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GIVING WOMEN THEIR DUE SHARE
bademiyansubhanallah
2010-03-17 07:26:56 UTC
Team Gadkari looks lacklustre
17 Mar 2010, 0214 hrs IST, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: A little less than a month after he formally took over as
BJP president, Mr Nitin Gadkari announced his team of office-bearers
and national executive here on Tuesday. In keeping with the party’s
new mantra, he has given 33% representation to women, but was
hamstrung with the acute talent deficit and pulls and pressures from
various quarters, including the RSS and the top brass, in preparing
the list.

A look at the composition of the new team would make it obvious that
the notorious ‘quota system’ — so far associated only with Congress,
with each top leader managing to get his nominees squeezed in — has
found its way into the BJP too. Members identified with front-ranking
leaders have been given more-than-adequate representation.

If the new BJP president was expected to announce a team capable of
taking on a youthful, resurgent Congress led by Mr Rahul Gandhi, it
has been belied. While a few fresh, younger faces have been inducted
in Mr Gadkari’s team, his task of building a team for the future has
been rendered that much more difficult by his failure to look beyond
the pool that was already available before him.

Thus, many leaders who failed to make their mark in the previous team
have been included in the new list of office-bearers. Also, leaders
whose performances were dubbed as disastrous in their respective home
states have been rehabilitated at the national level, lending credence
to the perception that Mr Gadkari did not exactly have a free
hand.

After holding wide-ranging consultations, the BJP president came out
with a list of 39 office-bearers. It includes, besides Mr Gadkari, 11
vice-presidents (two slots have been left vacant), 10 general
secretaries and 15 secretaries.While Mr Ram Lal has been retained as
general secretary in-charge of organisation, Mr Anant Kumar, Mr Vijay
Goel and Mr Thawar Chand Gehlot, who were there in the previous team,
too have been given a fresh innings.

Former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, former Jharkhand
chief minister Arjun Munda, Mr J P Nadda, minister for parliamentary
affairs,
forests and environment in Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh BJP chief
Narendra Singh Tomar, Mr Dharmendra Pradhan, secretary in the previous
team, and Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad are the new general
secretaries.

In what is being considered as recognition of his performance, Mr
Prasad will also be the chief spokesman of BJP. He will be assisted by
six more spokespersons, including Mr Prakash Javadekar and Mr Rajiv
Pratap Rudy, who were performing the job in the previous regime too.
The new spokespersons include former Union minister Syed Shahnawaz
Hussain, former Rajya Sabha member Ramnath Kovind, former Organiser
editor Tarun Vijay and Ms Nirmala Sitharaman, a party leader hailing
from Andhra Pradesh.

While former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Shanta Kumar and Mr
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will continue as vice-presidents, Mr Vinay Katiyar
has been elevated. The new vice-presidents are former Uttarakhand
chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Rajya Sabha member Najma
Heptullah, Lok Sabha member Bijoya Chakravarti, former MPs Karuna
Shukla and Hema Malini, Bihar MLC Kiran Ghai and former Gujarat BJP
chief Purushottam Rupala.

There will be 15 secretaries, including popular TV actress Smriti
Irani, Lok Sabha members Varun Gandhi, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Saroj
Pande, former Union ministers Santosh Gangwar, Ashok Pradhan and Kirit
Somaiya, former MPs Tapir Gao and Kiran Maheshwari and Mr Murlidhar
Rao. Former Delhi mayor Arati Mehra too has been made a secretary. Mr
Piyush Goyal is the new treasurer.

The party’s central parliamentary board, the top policy-making body,
has been left more or less untouched, with Mr Gadkari being the only
new member. The president simultaneously released the new list of
national executive comprising 81 members. It includes 26 women. The
chief ministers of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal
Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttarakhand and the deputy chief ministers of
Bihar and Jharkhand have been named as permanent invitees.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/Team-Gadkari-looks-lacklustre/articleshow/5692141.cms

Political yoga: A new phase in our democracy
17 Mar 2010, 0619 hrs IST, ET Bureau

It is a rather curious mix, our ready veneration of sundry godmen and
the equally-prompt readiness to push them off their pedestals when we
find
that they, well, aren’t so godly after all. Perhaps we haven’t yet got
to the stage where we can quite accept that men and matters spiritual
can really have anything to do with the material world.

Or, rather, we feel a greater sense of betrayal when that supposedly
personalised link to the spirit-realm turns out to have baser
moorings. A bit unlike other parts of the world, where godmen or cults
openly make a virtue out of, what for us, are vices. No experiments,
for us, sorry. Thus the scorn heaped upon the one who was recently
supposedly taped frolicking with an actress.

His excuses that he was in some sort of trance or merely
‘experimenting’ with stuff didn’t quite wash. We like our trances to
be more unearthly, thank you. But that does posit the curious
phenomenon of our preoccupation with such godmen . Perhaps the search
for deliverance, some sort of sense of agency.

Sure, there are any number of genuine worthies, people who really can
be what they say they are. But then, the whole thing is also open to
abuse. Just consider the number of such people over the years who have
come crashing to the ground, or are behind bars now.

But deliverance is at hand: a spiritual/health guru who wants to
expand our horizons and jump into the fray to improve the lot of the
nation. In a possible first of its kind, a well-known yoga guru has
just announced his intention to form a political party. Which, given
his stress on physical exercise, might give a new twist to his stated
intention of ‘cleansing’ the wider body politic.

Well, nothing wrong with that per se, as with his calls to crack down
on fake religious gurus. This would certainly at least make a
difference from our usual spectrum of left-centre-right politics. More
like a ‘save the nation, hold your breath’ kind of situation . The age
of the political asana might be upon us.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Opinion/Political-yoga-A-new-phase-in-our-democracy/articleshow/5692365.cms

Stop the Vedanta Project in Orissa
17 Mar 2010, 0617 hrs IST, ET Bureau

In the long-term interest of internal security, survival of an
endangered primitive tribe and justice and fairness , the government
should withhold
clearance to the bauxite mining project spread over Orissa’s Kalahandi
(South) and Rayagada forest divisions, proposed by minerals major
Vedanta.

The core issue is violent disruption of a tribal people’s life for the
sake of mineral extraction in a manner that would mock the ruling
ideology of inclusive growth, and give legitimacy to the Maoists.
Maoists represent themselves as the only champions of India’s
dispossessed and exploited rural masses, especially the scheduled
tribes.

The state has identified Maoists as India’s primary internal security
threat, and launched an offensive , labelled Operation Green Hunt,
against them. Its premise is that Maoists obstruct the reach of the
uplifting arms of the state as they delve deep into rural India’s
swamps of underdevelopment. If only the Maoists would step aside, in
peace or at the point of a bayonet, the state would take care of the
poor.

This claim would be blown to smithereens if the state were to
facilitate a classic case of development that impoverishes a
defenceless populace, perhaps to extinction. Vedanta’s treatment of
the Dongria Konds, who live on and off the land sought to be mined,
has led many ethics-sensitive large investors in Britain to exit the
company. A fact-finding team of the ministry of environment and
forests has come up with findings that discourage further progress in
the project.

India can progress with some of its bauxite continuing to lie
underground for some more time. India cannot progress with a growing
internal security threat, fed by the state’s failure to live up to its
commitment to the common people. One of the UPA government’s major
legislative achievements, in its previous term, was the Forest Rights
Act, whose sincere implementation would deprive Maoists of a crucial
support base.

The law is being subverted all over the country, for want of political
mobilisation in its support. The Lanjigarh bauxite mining project, if
it goes through, would be yet more subversion of a key instrumentality
of inclusive growth.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Opinion/Stop-the-Vedanta-Project-in-Orissa/articleshow/5692364.cms

Sidhu in Gadkari’s team
Express News Service

Posted: Wednesday, Mar 17, 2010 at 0031 hrs
Chandigarh:

Member of Parliament (MP) from Amritsar Navjot Singh Sidhu is among
the 15 national secretaries appointed by BJP national president Nitin
Gadkari on Tuesday. With his elevation, Sidhu will find himself in a
greater organisational responsibility as part of the core team of the
party. The Indian Express had on January 20 this year reported Sidhu’s
likely prospects of elevation to the plum post.

Navjot Sidhu’s new political assignment comes as a breather for him,
given that his equation with the BJP state leadership headed by
Rajinder Bhandari, who relinquished charge last month, has been
persistently waning. At one point, Sidhu even contemplated to quit as
an MP.

Sidhu now finds himself on this post despite the fact that his
adversaries in the saffron party have been promulgating Sidhu as a non-
cadre leader without a Sangh background. Sidhu, a three-time MP from
Amritsar, was the lone legislator from the BJP to win the Lok Sabha
seat last year.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Sidhu-in-Gadkari-s-team/591688

Ramdev may join politics, takes dig at Maya
ANI

Posted: Tuesday , Mar 16, 2010 at 1615 hrs
Lucknow:

Yoga Guru Swami Ramdev on Tuesday hinted at entering politics, saying
that he would join with the objective of cleansing the system.

"I will join politics to cleanse the system," said Ramdev. Ramdev said
he would not stand for elections personally, but would field
candidates in all 543 Lok Sabha constituencies.

Earlier, commenting on the giant currency garland controversy, Ramdev
criticized Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati of doing business
through politics. Some people are doing business over politics," said
Ramdev.

Raising questions over the giant garland, used to honour Mayawati
during the Bahujan Samaj Party's silver jubilee celebrations on
Monday, Ramdev said, "Money that should be used for the upliftment of
Dalits is seen being worn as a garland."

40 Comments |

We are with you pls go ahead.
By: Prabhulal buj | Wednesday , 17 Mar '10 9:56:45 AM

Dear, Swami Ramdev ji, we need such a great person who can take to
india's ranking No.1 in the world.I have seen almost all head
politician but I haven't seen who can lead the biggest loktantrik
country(india). The all indian politicain are corrupted.We never
expect from them that india will comes out as a devlop country in few
centuries. So I just requiest to you(Swami ji) that pls be positive we
are with you please go ahead. God bless you.

Guide Followers to believe in Democracy
By: Ganesh Singh | Wednesday , 17 Mar '10 9:44:24 AM

Baba Ramdev is doing gr8 job no doubt about it. But what I think his
followers are middle class people who doesn't go for vote. The people
who vote are poor people who still leaves in villages and think of
their survival. They vote according to their casts or who ever
provides them monetary benefits. My view is that Babaji inspite of
starting his new party should guide and teach this middle class people
to believe in democracy, vote and to vote for right candidates without
any influence. If he makes new party, one more party in indian
democracy will come and divide the votes nothing else.

Good Idea
By: mukesh | Wednesday , 17 Mar '10 9:43:48 AM

Hello Ramdev Baba, This is very good idea for you to handle politics
from out side. We need India purification movement and make Bharat out
of India. All the best and go ahead.

Let us Support Baba Ramdev's Cause
By: Leeladhar Sharma | Wednesday , 17 Mar '10 8:22:31 AM

Baba Ramdev has tailked about practical problems being faced by the
Indian Democracy. He has identified problem areas and is planning to
cleanse the system of its evils- a huge task to to make India a less
corupt country. Honest and Hardworking people need to whole-heartedly
come together for the first and last lest it is too late.

I would vote for him
By: Asit | Wednesday , 17 Mar '10 8:18:47 AM Rep

Hi four loksabha elections have been over since I was 18 years old .
Never ever i had the urge to vote for any one or any political party
in India but if Baba contests in the election of 20-14 definitely I
would vote for him and contribute as a party worker taking 5-7 days
leave from my organization. I belive in what he says and does and am
happy that he took such a necessary step to clean the system . God
save the current politicians from jail if he wins :)

Power Corrupts
By: Spirit | Wednesday , 17 Mar '10 8:15:00 AM

Politicians don not become corrupt, it's the corrupt people who become
politicians. Baba Ramdev should not take a plunge in the dirty waters
of politics. No one can change the world neither the already
established society, ecpect a World War 3. All change has to be at an
individual level and every individual is responsible for bringing that
change in him/herself. Baba Ramdev could and may have been acting as a
catalyst to bring about that change on the individual level of human
beings, but joiing politics he is looking for power now. Surely, power
corrupts.

How About Nikhilananda?
By: Dr. Verma | Wednesday , 17 Mar '10 6:30:49 AM

Personally, I would prefer a real-blooded human like Nikhilananda
rather than a cold, fundamentalist fish of Ramdeva's ilk. If he cannot
correct the strabismus in his eyes by yoga, what hope does realpolitik
have?

Colonel
By: Shashi Sharma | Wednesday , 17 Mar '10 2:24:07 AM

He is trying to bite more than he can chew. He is a good yoga guru and
he should stick to that. YES indian political system is corrupt and
democracy seems to be dead. But politics and democracy has its own
form in India and is very deep rooted.Ushering in revolutions is
easier said than done. He can contribute by bringing in good health
and that should be it. Leave the politics to the politicians.

be decisve
By: sonam | Wednesday , 17 Mar '10 1:13:14 AM

if Ramdev baba really want to do something for indian society he
should continue with his job and make indian citizens healthy!!when he
can't influence people for accepting yoga what he will do in
politics??

Baba Ramdevji, Most Honest In India
By: Sudhir | Wednesday , 17 Mar '10 1:03:02 AM

Baba Ramdevji is the Most Honest Person in India. His vision of India
& the World is very Practical. His ideas are very close to Real
Democracy where People are important, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists,
Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Adivasis etc The very rich & corrupt
politicians are not helping Poor & Middle Class people. Ramdevbaba's
Party will help Indian People to achieve Health, Happiness, Equality.
His Party will deal with the problem of Terrorism very effectively.


kalki has come
By: jai_hind | Wednesday , 17 Mar '10 0:53:29 AM

oh the so called intelluctuals do not even know about the bharat
swabhiman andolan, to all the people i would like to inform that
shradey swami ramdev's strength is no match for these puny
politicians... shradey swami ramdev's power 1.by 2013 there would be
one yoga teacher in every village of india, almost 50% work has been
done in the present 2.many polticians such that madhya pradesh chief
minister shivraj singh chouhan have bowed down to the power of swami
ramdev and have introduced bhagvat gita in the school's on swami
ramdev's suggestion even nepal's President Ram Baran Yadav had come to
patanjali yogpeeth and also wanted baba ramdev to set a yog peeth in
nepal.. 3.there is going to be atleast 10 patanjali yogpeeths with an
area of thousand's of acres to be set up in india till 2014 4.the
bharat swabhiman andolan has 1 lakh members who have dedicated their
lives for the independence of common people from this dark politics.
jai hind

Come on!!!!!!!
By: Vivek | Wednesday , 17 Mar '10 0:43:58 AM

Good to know his intentions, but I am sure COngress will ask Muslims
that he has saffron coloured dresses (what ever he wears) and others
like BJP/Shiv Sena/VHP etc ride onto his back about the very name of
Ramdev baba, and at the end he will be found that it was a mistake by
our beloved Swami Ramdev......people will do some yoga in his rally
but will not vote for him despite of him being honest and un
corrupted....reason: he is not going to distribute liqour and dresses
or money at the time of elections...

We are with you
By: N Gulati | Wednesday , 17 Mar '10 0:43:03 AM

Baba Ramdev Ji, the path is full of thorns but you have the guts to
travel and take us along. You know the real India. You are our future.
There are millions who want India to be number 1. We have fortotten
our great past and lost confidence and our leaders are running scared
of small countries like Pakistan. Our soldiers are not afraid but
leaders are. You are the one who make a Rana Pratap out of an Indian.
May God be with you. Jai Hind

Yoga guru
By: Salim | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 22:29:00 PM

I like Baba Ramdev. If he can spread yoga and its truthfullness to
everyone in India and abroad world would automatically be clean of
corruption But if he joins politics it would make him dirty But i will
still work for him

correction
By: Girish | Wednesday , 17 Mar '10 7:25:23 AM

He wont join politics he has only shown interest to help create a
political party with respectable agenda and practice, that it.

Ramdev baba only saviour
By: K Parameswaran | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 21:14:46 PM

it is a welcome decision from baba ramdev.Good people like babaji
should join politics so as to cleanse corrupt political system.It is
also necessary to change constitution because present one is lenient
to create corrupt people and criminals.

Welcome Ramdev ji
By: Ajoy | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 20:51:34 PM

I am surprised to see people advising Ramdev ji no to contest polls,
as if it is a birth right of fake Gandhis only. And someone also told
about progress. Well we can all see the progress under Abu Azmis of
SP,Mamtas and Pawars of UPA,Raj Thakreys of MNS,Yadav brothers,commies
and fake Gandhis. Great progress indeed. If Ramdevji's intentions are
clean, he is welcome.

Some hope at last?
By: Dr. Ranjana Bajpai | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 20:41:46 PM

Welcome to the murky Indian Politics, Ramdevji. Wish you add a dash of
honesty, nationalism, spiritualism and accountability replacing the
current blend of crime, lineage, money and muscle power. Whatever said
and done, Indian politics is going to witness some real interesting
drama in the lower and upper houses of the parliament.

Bye old politicians, and religion politics
By: Ash | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 20:39:40 PM

Indians in the past was conquered by Mughals, and then British because
they were not united. Congress has been using religion politics to
divide religions, and rule Indians. It is high time that an ethical
leader like Baba Ramdev emerges who unites Indians. A leader who does
not play religion, or regional politics. We hope that all the
religions rally behind him, and throw out unethical Congress, BSP etc.
and start enjoying clean politics. All religions will thrive, instead
of being made to fight each other. It is time for peace, and clean
politics!

Cleaning up Indian politics
By: Padam Singh | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 20:34:44 PM

How does Ramdev expect to clean politics - something God cannot do.
Nehru, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi were personally honest people but
corruption flourished. Nehru was too weak, although people like Kairon
were children in the world of corruption compared to the present day
politicians. Indira encouraged it as did Rajiv. Today Manmohan Singh,
though personally incorrigble, has to allow corruption - the Shibu
Sorens, Mayawatis, the Yadavs, the Khodas, Gogois etc. We may, like
the people who write letters like mine condemning corruption, keep
commenting and suggest action, but then we are the ones that bring
these parasites to power. Let's face facts we Indians, if not corrupt
abet it otherwise what is there stopping the honest public coming out
on the streets and forcing a showdown with the powers that be. No. We
would rather come out in force for the Gymkhanna Club elections or a
Twenty 20 game of cricket. Asked to describe an Indian I said - lazy
and indifferent to others

Ask an average indian
By: Subrata Mahanty | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 20:34:02 PM

The views of Mr.Ramdev are very natural and are practicable in Indian
society, which will make us filth-proof. Be it the debate on currency,
gay-sex or any legitimate debate which comes in the day to day life of
an average Indian, Baba's stance remains above all. He should motivate
enthusiastic youth to join politics and make india corruption free. It
should not be the case to diplomatize the situation into a religious
matter, otherwise we are losing a very good leader. We have already
losed Mr.APJ Abdul Kalam, Mr.AB Bajpayee from the leadership list
because of some leg-pulling politics. Politics is not bad, It has
become bad...Let's make it clear; so that evry one in my country can
utter... SAARE JAHAAN SE ACCHHAA HINDUSTAAN HAMAARA JAI HIND

Babaramdevji on Maya
By: Reddy | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 20:12:04 PM

YES only BABARAMDEVJI can give great governence to our country(BHARAT)
we all r with u BABA just kick this bloody corrupt polictican from our
country (Maya,sonia,all other parties) must be kicked out our country.
THis country belongs to only Indians not for outsiders. BABA suggested
to take out Rs.1000 and 500n notes should be rollback so that we can
control the corruption. if this so called governemnt run by (Manmohan
singh(remote controlled by Sonia)) why dont u rollback. u dont have
guts to do reason u have u r share in that. go ahead BABA we r with u
we need very badly for this country. Jai Hind Vandaymataram
Bharatmataki ji. Reddy

Good news
By: naresh | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 20:06:24 PM

I think there is only one person who can do for our india which has
power of people. Most of people know him very well. I am ready to be a
member of his party.

Koshti
By: Anil Kumar Koshti | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 19:53:43 PM

Ram Dev ji is a grate man and he can do something to our country. His
thinking and way of life should be followed by everyone. we know every
politician is currupt in our country but some body is low or high. but
when everyone can't do as well as he say then we can beleave Baba Ram
Dev. everybody's have two face one is good (according to only me) or
Bad (according to only me)but I believe this man and support to
everyside for win to cleance politics.

Baba Ramdem to enter politics to cleanse
By: shanthanu | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 19:38:44 PM

My humble request to him is, whether you touch the filth or filth
falls on you it is you who is affected as filth remains as abhorring
as ever. Please keep a distance and involve yourself in the noble
cause you are busy with. You dealing with people like Mayawathi is
unthinkable.
RIGHT TO FORM PARTY IN DEMOCRACY BUT MUD-SLINGING SHOULD BE BANNED
By: RAJAT KUMAR MOHINDRU .JALANDHAR CITY .PUNJAB | Tuesday , 16 Mar
'10 19:37:32 PM

World's biggest democratic country India where every person has the
right of freedom and expression , there are different Political
Parties who's representatives contest Elections . As Baba Ram Dev
vision to go ahead with formation of Political Party , it is his
fundamental right whether he is interested in forming a party or to
give support to another Political Party . It depends upon his vision ,
his ideology . As the need of time is of Two Party system in the
country or the Election commission of India should provide Negative
voting if the number of Political Parties go on increasing ,to bring
down the number of Political Parties through Negative Voting by the
voters issue may kindly be considered. The Mud -slinging on each other
by Political Leaders should strictly refrain to make democratic
process more healthy.

We Dont Need Him.....
By: kirankulkarni | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 19:36:45 PM

No BABA can save India from getting screwed by the Islamic Extremists
and I dont think somebody can do the damage control act for all the
things that Indian National Congress has done over a period of six
decades. I suggest Swami Ramdev to stick to his "YOGA school" and help
some obess and diabetic guys rather than doing some endless-hopeless
marathon running with 550 mentally upset tranglodites in the
parliament.. I also suggest people not to back Babaji since the first
thing he would do in case he tastes power, is banning BRANDED food and
beverages, which will paralyse economy. I also believe that this
country needs more of a HARD Stern Faced Ruler,perhaps a dictator who
ll "flush the shit" from this Society. DEMOCRACY IS IN A STATE OF
COMA.

Ramdev may join politics
By: alka | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 19:15:29 PM

Baba Ramdev should get elected and make a rule for all politicians and
policemen in his state to lose weight and get medically fit within a
year. It is amazing how politicians become gain weight sitting on
peoples money.

Only India Baba with clean image
By: Mohanjit | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 18:38:01 PM

Baba Ramdev is required with his mass public support to root out evils
in the society as Raj / Bal Thackerey's. Baba is spreading message of
health, Indian culture, swadeshi things etc. thru his daily
discourses. VOTE HIM TO POWER.Ramdev never says he is GOD but beleives
in karma, he never uses teachers to teach yoga but sweats daily
himself so that his followers get rid of dangerous diseases. We like
him even if he resembles a caveman.

IT IS HIGH TIME ENGLISH MEDIA HIGH LIGHT THE AIMS OF BABA RAM DEVJI
MAHARAJI
By: n.r.i. | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 17:53:32 PM

IT IS HIGH TIME ENGLISH MEDIA LIKE I.E. GIVE COVERAGE TO BABA RAM
DEVJI MAHARAJ .MY COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS BLOCKED . LETS HOPE BABA RAM
DEVJI MAHARAJ WIN WITH TOTAL MAJORITY AND CLEAN POLITICS AND ENGLISH
MEDIA . JAI HIND

ram dev.
By: vijai lugani | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 17:44:17 PM

baba ram dev should not join politics. what he is doing namely
spreading yoga in nook and corner of world , treatment through aruveda
and teaching moral values to the people and more ever politics is
dirty game and he shoul not waste his energy in this. many swamis
tried in politics from the arya samaj which he is follower , namely
parkasveer, swamy agnivesh ect.uma bharti have been failed.swami must
know door ke dhol suhvane hote he

India needs cavemans like this
By: Raj Thackrey | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 17:26:25 PM

I am sure looking at the twenty first century and progress, india
deserves cavemans like this to take india forward i mean back to
middle ages lol. More than seventy percent of indians are brain washed
by this man so they deserve to be like him in future.

cavemen
By: bal | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 18:53:42 PM

you are insulting ayogi calling him cavemen cavemen must be your
ancestors whom you dont have any regards

Cavemen
By: Arvind Mathur | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 22:14:56 PM

If this person can brain wash 70% indians that is better than what the
current political parties do. He will unite 70% Indians to do what is
right for India. Besides why do you discriminate against the
traditional attire of Yogi Baba's - they are not going to wear Pants
and Coats - why should they ?

Inida needs more than just yoga
By: haris | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 20:35:15 PM

baba ram dev's might have a good intention ie to cleanse the system.
But this lacks the STUFF to lead this nations in this modern age.
Ruling a big nation is not like teaching Pranayamam, it is a bit more
complex

Baba Ramdev hints of Joining Politics
By: P L Bajaj | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 17:19:48 PM

Suggest the political party of Baba Ramdev to start contesting
election at lower level, so that the party will be experienced &
matured by the time of Lok Sabha elections. I would like to see a
corruption free India. Hope Baba Ramdev will achieve this target in
future.

Jai ho Neta ji
By: Dr. Ram Chander Sharma | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 17:08:10 PM

The gullible Indian voter will soon see the tricks of another Swami,
who is exlointing the religious sentiments of public. The Indian
political system is open to illiterates, musclement, hoarders,
religious leaders, tantricks, dacoits, filim wallahs and now another
money minter. There must be reservations for technocrates in the
parliament and the state lagislators to keep the political chors at
bay Siot Sunderbani Jammu.

Political Thieves
By: Arvind Mathur | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 22:19:45 PM

I wonder why you believe that technical people are not political
thieves ? We have lots of Engineers in the government who are total
Chors or even Maha Chors.

Educated illiterates
By: Ash | Tuesday , 16 Mar '10 20:46:14 PM

India has problems because some of it educated illiterates are not
able to understand clean politics from unethical politicians. It is
probably ignorant people like you in the past who invited British to
India, and they ruled us.

NEW MAXIM
By: NIRANJAN | Wednesday , 17 Mar '10 8:31:58 AM

I LIKE YOUR NEW MAXIM, OR WHATEVER IT CAN BE CALLED: 'THE EDUCATED
ILLITERATE'. IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT INDIA IS FULL OF PEOPLE WHO ARE
ONLY EDUCATED IN A UNIVERSITY OR SCHOOL, BUT ARE TOTALLY IGNORANT OF
THE WORLD AS A WHOLE. MEMBERS OR BSP, SS, SP, MNS ARE ONLY A FEW
EXAMPLES OF SUCH GROUP OF PEOPLE.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/india-needs-cavemans-like-this/591533/#postComment

Row over Maya mala, I-T to probe money source
ENS Economic Bureau

Posted: Tuesday , Mar 16, 2010 at 2340 hrs
New Delhi:
Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati being offered a garland made up of 1000
rupee notes during BSP's Maharally in Lucknow.

A day after the BSP’s maharally, the Income Tax (I-T) department said
on Tuesday that it would probe the “source of money” of the huge
currency-note garland presented to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister
Mayawati.

Sources said the I-T department would investigate the ownership of the
Rs 1,000 notes used in the garland, the bank from which the money was
sourced, whether the money used was from disclosed income sources.

After a preliminary investigation, the department would accordingly
make a case for tax evasion.

Under the Income Tax Act, 1967, the department has power to suo motu
initiate inquiries into suspicious transactions. It can issue summons
under Section 131 and impound and retain in its custody any books of
account or other documents for the purpose. It can also call for any
information required for the case under Section 133(6).

The sources said the intelligence department would also be asked to
look into the entire funding of the rally organised by Mayawati for
the silver jubilee function of the BSP.

The Congress, meanwhile, accused Mayawati of failing to control
communal riots in Bareilly and compared her with Roman emperor Nero.

“What kind of a government is this? Bareilly is burning and there is
celebration in Lucknow,” Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said,
demanding a judicial inquiry into the riots. “The Nero sitting in UP
has a big role. Without administrative support, no riot can continue
for two weeks,” he said.

Tewari said there was an attempt to “polarise” the people in UP and it
was the BJP that had taught the BSP the “politics of riots”.

Comments (4) |

Maya Ki Mala ki Maya
By: Ashok K Gupta | 17-Mar-2010

Mala makes Mayas and Mayas make malas.This is how our political wheel
is running.Mayas & malas are inseprable in our
legislation,executive,.........We have silent endorsement in our
mandate,so why hue & cry now.

It is biased news from Media
By: Chandra | 17-Mar-2010

Media never made news about when fraud is committed by Congress. INR
60000 crore scam by our telecommunication Minister. Who cares. Penny
wise and Pound Foolish.

All eyewash
By: anand | 17-Mar-2010

Nothing is going to happen.Any scam tainted politician or neta got
harsh punishment in this country.A big no. For 2-3 days this is
another scoop news for channels and media,that's all. The citizens of
this country is getting fooled again and again.

Maya mala versus italian bofors Q mals
By: ramdev | 17-Mar-2010

Atleast for bad or worse Maya appeared with the mala. How about the
Bofors mala wore by the Quttorachi? How was he allowed to go free with
thousand of crores mala? Indian media especially congress channels
like NDTV only make noise of the Maya mala and silent about the
Italian Q mala

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/row-over-maya-mala-it-to-probe-money-source/591635/

Pune blast a blot, advisories ignored: Chidambaram
Express news service

Posted: Tuesday , Mar 16, 2010 at 2336 hrs
New Delhi:

Describing the Pune blast as a “blot on our record”, Home Minister P
Chidambaram stated in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that there was no
intelligence failure.

Chidambaram, who was replying to queries by Shiv Sena member Bhavana
Gawali Patil and Supriya Sule during question hour, said, “Despite the
intelligence shared, despite the advisories issued, the Pune blast
occurred... I regard that as a blot on our record.”

The Home Minister said enough information had been shared with the
Maharashtra Government about the terrorist threat.

He said consequently, the Pune Police had issued an advisory to all
establishments in the Koregaon Park area of Pune on October 9, 2009.
German Bakery manager Praveen Pant had acknowledged the receipt of the
advisory. The advisory was repeated in December. However,
establishments in the area did not pay any heed to the advisories.
These establishments, according to him, had to take their own minimal
security measures, which was not done.

Responding to queries of members, the minister said the Centre was
encouraging all states to set up anti-terrorist squads and NSG hubs,
modernise their police forces and procure advanced weapons.

Regarding the inadequacy of bullet-proof jackets in Maharashtra
Police, the Home Minister said the Centre planned placing an order for
their purchase for the central forces and the state could either
piggyback the Centre or make its own procurement.

Comments (1) |

Issue
By: ravi | 17-Mar-2010

Issue advisories every day like bhel puri, papri chhat & when the
blast occurs, say that advisory was issued. wow what gems we have as
Home Ministers!

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pune-blast-a-blot-advisories-ignored-chidambaram/591631/

DP cracks corrupted Godman's pan India network
Agencies

Posted: Tuesday , Mar 16, 2010 at 1625 hrs
New Delhi:

The Delhi Police submitted before a court that self-styled Godman Shiv
Murat Dwivedi was running a huge network of flesh trade involving more
than a hundred brokers and thousand prostitutes across the country.

Appearing before Special Judge S K Sarwaria, the investigating agency
pleaded for extension of his custodial interrogation to unearth the
vast network.

"We have to unearth the whole network in which more than hundred
brokers and thousand prostitutes are involved. He has also amassed
huge property in Mumbai, Noida, Kolkata, Varanasi and Gowardhan," the
police contended, also placing eight diaries and five CDs seized by it
before the court.

It further contended that the dairy contains information pertaining to
money transactions contact details of more than three thousand persons
which has been written in coded language.

The court after hearing the police's contention accepted its plea and
extended Dwivedi's custodial remand for four more days. Dwivedi, is
accused in four cases under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act and
one case of robbery. He was arrested on March nine under the
provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

Dwivedi is alleged to have earned crores of rupees through the sex
racket.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/dp-cracks-corrupted-godmans-pan-india-network/591536/

Godman, 7 held in sex racket
Express News Service

Posted: Saturday , Feb 27, 2010 at 0024 hrs
New Delhi:

Shiv Murat Dwivedi and seven others at the office of the DCP (South)
in Hauz Khas on Friday.

He organised satsangs, composed spiritual music, constructed a temple
and has now been arrested for running a prostitution racket.

Following the arrest of the self-styled spiritual guru, his accomplice
and six sex workers on Thursday, the South Delhi police claimed to
have unearthed a major prostitution racket.

The police said the accused — his real name is Shiv Murat Dwivedi, but
he was also known by many others, including Rajiv Dwiwedi, Shiv Murti
and Shiv Roop and Swami Ichadari Sant Swami Bhimanandji Maharaj
Chitrkootwale — arranged for sex workers in upscale areas of the
Capital as well as five-star hotels.

Of the six arrested, two are working with airlines and one is a
management student, the police said.

Yet another is a former student of a South Delhi school, the police
said. The arrested associate has been identified as Parveen Kumar
(28).

“On Thursday, Sub-Inspector Sanjay Sharma was sent to Dwivedi as a
decoy customer. After he struck a deal at Saket with him, we arrested
the group. The cars they were travelling in — a Honda Civic and a
Honda City — were also seized,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police
(South), H G S Dhaliwal.

Dwivedi came from Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh, to Delhi in 1988 and
began working as a security guard at a hotel in Nehru Place. Later, he
worked at a massage parlour in Lajpat Nagar and began a prostitution
racket, for which he was arrested in 1997.

After being released on bail, he transformed himself into a spiritual
leader.

“He soon began a flesh trade racket. He also constructed a 200-bed
hospital in Chitrakoot, a temple in Khanpur and began holding
satsangs,” DCP Dhaliwal said. The hospital and the temple were meant
to further sex trade in the garb of charity, he added.

The police recovered Rs 1.55 lakh, besides copies of a magazine
containing Dwivedi’s articles on spirituality as well as video CDs of
his sermons in the impounded cars.

Comments (5) |

Take it easy guys
By: Nick | 28-Feb-2010

Hey guys relax, its not only in India it is all over the world. When
it happens in India involving some thing like a Guru its splashes
world over, when such things happen in Catholic and Evangelist
churches those just go under the carpet helped by the same media. He
just used that as front to run his business, that's all about it.

think
By: pravin tarhal | 28-Feb-2010

this is very common today. but most fustrating is that we the people &
media are supporting these kind of things to happen like all leading
newspapers in delhi or all over india are full with classifieds of
massage parlours, friendship networks, with phone numbers & openly
indicating what they are trading of using sentenses like"hot body to
body" pujabi,russian,collage girl,foreigners,"full
satisfaction,moksh,full enjoyment" You(IE)can Claim that i have wrote
offenssive words above.but the classifides & the peoples cant be
stopped. this is fustrating. If somebody call on those numbers got
directly got asked about the requirement of the type of girl , period
& place of delivery. that means the police is slipping or acting like
they are in slip.ALL THESE THINGS ARE SUPPORTED BY US PEOPLE & THE
MEDIA. CAN WE STOPP THIS ? I DONT THINK SO BECAUSE THERE IS LOSS OF
EASY MONY......... THE TIME HAS COME TO THINK ABOUT THE SOCIETY

GODMEN AND RELIGION
By: NIRANJAN | 27-Feb-2010

OVERALL WE INDIANS ARE CONSIDERED VERY SMART PEOPLE. WE ALWAYS LOOK
BEFORE WE LEAP AND DON'T TRUST ANYONE EASILY. HOWEVER, WHEN IT COMES
TO RELIGION AND GODMEN TALKING ABOUT RELIGION, WE BECOME SO NAIVE THAT
WE ARE READY TO DO ANYTHING THAT THESE GODMEN ASK US TO DO. THIS IS
THE RESULT OF THE SUPERSTITIOUS NATURE OF OURS WHICH MAKES US TOO
STUPID WHEN WE SEE A PERSON IN SAFRON OR WHITE CLOTHES PREACHING LIKE
HE KNOWS IT ALL. I WISH AND HOPE THAT ALL THESE GODMEN BE SCRUTINIZED
BY SOME AUTHORITY OR EVEN NGOs AND EXPOSE THEIR SCAMS.!

The Scam artists
By: deepak | 27-Feb-2010

In order to expose these rascals you need an expert who is an
authority on the subject matter of religion.In my experience vast
majority of the general public and the so called 'spiritual gurus' do
not even know the meaning of the word 'religion',or who is God? or
what is the relationship between us and God? or what is the activity
that we should perform and the goal of that realtionship? In my
opinion only a Vaishnava can be deemed as an authority in spiritual
matters. Rest all must be rejected. deepak

Godmen
By: nihichsu | 27-Feb-2010

This is to respond to Mr. Niranjan's comments. It is not only that we
Indians trust fully these Godmen and get fooled. This is happening
everywhere in the world including USA, Europe, China etc. Religion and
its Godmen have indulged into nefarious activities all over the world.
Hindus are not the only scapegoats. This is happening amongst Roman
Catholics, Protestants, other Christian sects, Islam and its various
sects, Buddism etc. True that Karl Marx said "Relgion is the opium of
the masses".

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/godman-7-held-in-sex-racket/584978/0

Godman’s ashrams face public fury after footage with starlet
Express news service

Posted: Thursday , Mar 04, 2010 at 2350 hrs
Chennai:

A day after a private TV channel and a vernacular weekly showed
visuals claiming them to be of popular spiritual leader Paramahamsa
Nithyananda with a film actress of yesteryears, his ashrams, statues
and even posters were targeted by angry protesters.

A group of advocates in Chennai and Coimbatore approached the police
commissioners in the cities with the demand that the police book the
godman under criminal charges even as his organisation blamed
“conspiracy, graphics and rumour” for the controversy.

The controversy began on Tuesday when Sun News aired video clippings
that showed the godman allegedly in a compromising position with the
actress. The Nakkeeran weekly followed up with screenshots and news in
its latest issue that hit stands on Wednesday.

The video enraged fringe Hindu outfits like Hindu Makkal Katchi and
atheistic Dravidar Kazhagam alike, both attacking the properties
managed by Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam in their boroughs of strength.

While the former demanded action against Nithyananda for bringing
disrepute to religion, the latter raised similar demands for duping
people. Protests were staged across the state, including in
Tiruvannamalai, Namakkal, Coimbatore and Salem.

Meanwhile, the Dhyanapeetam issued a statement stating that the
'defamatory' video was a mix of conspiracy, graphics and rumour. "We
are working on a legal course of action and will come up with updates
in due course," said the statement.

Comments (6) |

What conspiracy ?
By: syArjun | 04-Mar-2010

People who are commenting here are fools or his die hard supporters.
It is Nithyanada in the video -if you cant see then ur blind. Second -
No one is trying to defame the Hindus , it is the 'Love Gurus' who are
destroying hinduism. True some elements may be acting to bring
disrepute to hinduism but here we have the Proof of swamigal(Swami
Gal). Anyways , it is the fools money that nithyananda is getting so
who cares. Hindus will learn by example who is true and who is fraud.
Nithyanada should have married and indulged in these pleasures, he has
brought disrepute to the Ochre robe and should be punished for it.
People see the robe and fall at the feet of the wearer ..we have so
much respect for that robe! I have seen his videos .. his lectures are
prepared by a team of writers and his organisation is run by an expert
management team. They charge huge amount and guarantee you realisation
after a 21 days program. Bah ! wake up all of you.

No confirmation yet.
By: Ayarn | 04-Mar-2010

The fellow in the video could be a good actor paid by some opposition
to defame the swami. Who knows? Who can confirm or not whether it is
really nithyananda? You can't jump to conclusion based on low
resolution video clip, it can very well be a setup to discredit the
organisation because they have too much power and support in south
india.

be selfish
By: shanthakumar | 04-Mar-2010

whatever it may be ,we should not look on the world, we should be very
clever in this cheating world work for our family, thats
enough,angrily if we do something it will not affect us ,surely it
affects our family ,in the most populated country such as india these
godman will not stop cheating people, our life is in our hand, be
clever have a happy life to all my indians

are you people blind?
By: raj | 04-Mar-2010

why is it so hard to beleive that the guy in the video is who he
is?..Nithyanandam is just another common man, a very intelligent
fraudster who has basic needs like every human being. It is so clear
from the video that he has some physical relationship that woman,
which is not an issue. The real issue is that - he is leading a double
life and fooling his followers..he is just a egomaniac and a cheat.

Blasphemy
By: vyasa | 04-Mar-2010

Misbehavior of the actual culprits in certain religions doesn't get
publicized whereas as history has proved Hindu Saints,Gods are always
target of the certain elements that belong to certain religions whose
main ambition is increasing headcount by indulging in
blasphemy,conversions through abuse and deceit( they take advatage of
peoples poverty,(give people some amount of money if they give up
Hinduism and take up their religion),illiteracy,ignorance).


Conspiracy
By: Brhamanda | Thursday , 4 Mar '10 1:19:37 AM

Just 2 days back there was a so called scandal about another spiritual
guru.Looks like whoever is behind all these TV shows is pretty
desperate to curb the popularity of Hinduism and Hindu spiritual
masters. We all know how alike the characters look even in all those
60's movies where hero does double action right? We are talking about
today where the technology has advanced rapidly than even in 60's. It
is not even confirmed if the person in the video is Swamiji so people
need not jump to conclusions by watching the video.We are talking
about Nithyanada who doesn't even eat onions,garlic,green chillies and
the vidoe says he's drinking liquor.That shows what a joke that video
is. Abusing an enlightened master is the worst sin which stays with
the soul making it suffer for life(s) together.Those who have
attempted to malign Swamiji and did the video have made their
choice.You don't make your choice by just watching or even reading
about a stupid video.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Godman-s-ashrams-face-public-fury-after-footage-with-starlet/586430/

From MP to DM, ‘godman’ played host to all at his Chitrakoot ashram
Vijay Pratap Singh

Posted: Monday , Mar 01, 2010 at 0251 hrs

Allahabad:

Former DM of Chitrakoot, Hridesh Kumar, inaugurates a function at
Dwivedi’s ashramFlower & Cake DeliveryValentine
Gift'sDiscussionBlogsHeadley is smart - By Arun

Self-styled godman Swami Shiv Murat Dwivedi alias Swami Bhimanandji
Maharaj alias Swami Ichchadhari Sant — arrested on Friday for
allegedly running a sex racket — has links with several influential
people back home in Chitrakoot district, Uttar Pradesh.

A four-day programme he organised at his ashram at Chamrauha village
in October 18, 2009, was inaugurated by Hridesh Kumar, then district
magistrate of Chitrakoot. The Samjawadi Party (SP) MP from Banda, RK
Singh Patel, SP Member of Legislative Council Yuvraj Singh, and slain
dacoit Dadua’s son and zila panchayat chairman Veer Singh were special
invitees on the occasion. In hoardings, Rural Development minister
Daddu Prasad was named as the chief guest for the programme. He did
not attend. But local BSP leaders like Vinod Kumar Dwivedi, the block
pramukh of Manikpur, did attend and stayed for the cultural programme
by girls from Delhi.

A month after the programme, Manikpur police lodged an FIR against the
godman and three others for a clash during the dance programme, said K
K Mishra, Station House Officer of Manikpur.

Officials said Hridesh Kumar, who inaugurated the programme, also
issued a rifle licence to the godman. Kumar, who is currently the
District Magistrate of Ghazipur, refused to comment.

Lok Sabha member R K Singh Patel said he did not know the godman
personally. “But I know his father Bachcha Lal,” he said. “Being the
MP from the area, I accepted the invitation. If he is running a sex
racket, he must be punished. I don’t have any connection with him.”
MLC Yuvraj Singh said: “Our society respects godmen. I was invited by
Dwivedi, so I went. It was the first and the last time I saw
him.”

BSP block pramukh Vinod Kumar Dwivedi said he went to the ashram
because, “like others, I was also invited. I did not know that he was
involved in such activities.”

The godman often visited Chamrauha which he has renamed “Sai Nagar”.
He is building a large temple in his ashram — the work has been on for
two years.

On Sunday, the Delhi Police sent a team to Chitrakoot to collect
evidence against him and information about his past. “Shiv Murat
Dwivedi was first arrested in Lajpat Nagar in 1997 for running a
prostitution racket in a massage parlour,” said DCP (South) HGS
Dhaliwal. “He had worked at a massage parlour in the area in 1990.
During the job, he came in contact with pimps and started the sex
racket. He has links with several influential persons and leaders in
Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.”

The Chitrakoot police, too, have started collecting details of the
criminal activities of his family. His father Bachcha Lal Dwivedi is
named in five criminal cases— these include murder, dowry death, theft
and patronising dacoits. His elder brother Ram Murat Dwivedi was
booked for the murder of his wife; younger brothers Sanjay and Krishna
Dwivedi were booked in theft cases in 2001. In spite of their criminal
past, several members of the family had managed to get arms licences.
Bachcha Lal has a licence for a double-barreled gun. Shiv Murat
Dwivedi and Sanjay Dwivedi got licences for rifles in 2009. Chitrakoot
SP Veer Bahadur Singh said he had asked the Manikpur police to probe
how these were issued.

Comments (1) |

Swami Chakar Dhar
By: Harbans Lal | 01-Mar-2010

He should be nominated as a member Rajya Sabha.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/from-mp-to-dm-godman-played-host-to-all-at-his-chitrakoot-ashram/585664/0

In UP hometown, ‘godman’ Dwivedi sports political ties
Vijay Pratap Singh

Posted: Monday , Mar 01, 2010 at 0041 hrs
Allahabad:

Months before his arrest in sex racket, a programme at the Chitrakoot
ashram of Swami Shiv Murat Dwivedi attended by SP parliamentarian, BSP
leader and the then District Magistrate

Self-styled godman Swami Shiv Murat Dwivedi alias Swami Bhimanandji
Maharaj alias Swami Ichchadhari Sant — arrested on Friday for
allegedly running a sex racket — has links with several influential
people back home in Chitrakoot, UP.

A four-day programme he organised at his ashram at Chamrauha village
in October 18, 2009, was inaugurated by Hridesh Kumar, then district
magistrate of Chitrakoot. The Samjawadi Party (SP) parliamentarian
Banda, RK Singh Patel, SP Member of Legislative Council Yuvraj Singh,
and slain dacoit Dadua’s son and zila panchayat chairman Veer Singh
were special invitees on the occasion. In hoardings, Rural Development
minister Daddu Prasad was named as the chief guest for the programme.
He did not attend. But local BSP leaders like Vinod Kumar Dwivedi, the
block pramukh of Manikpur, did attend and stayed for the cultural
programme by girls from Delhi.

A month after the programme, Manikpur police lodged an FIR against the
godman and three others for a clash during the dance programme, said K
K Mishra, Station House Officer of Manikpur.

Officials said Hridesh Kumar, who inaugurated the programme, also
issued a rifle licence to the godman. Kumar, who is currently the
District Magistrate of Ghazipur, refused to comment.

Lok Sabha member R K Singh Patel said he did not know the godman
personally. “But I know his father Bachcha Lal,” he said. “Being the
MP from the area, I accepted the invitation. If he is running a sex
racket, he must be punished. I don’t have any connection with him.”

MLC Yuvraj Singh said: “Our society respects godmen. I was invited by
Dwivedi, so I went. It was the first and the last time I saw
him.”

BSP block pramukh Vinod Kumar Dwivedi said he went to the ashram
because, “like others, I was also invited. I did not know that he was
involved in such activities.”

The godman often visited Chamrauha which he has renamed “Sai Nagar”.
He is building a large temple in his ashram — the work has been on for
two years.

On Sunday, the Delhi Police sent a team to Chitrakoot to collect
evidence against him and information about his past.

“Shiv Murat Dwivedi was first arrested in Lajpat Nagar in 1997 for
running a prostitution racket in a massage parlour,” said DCP (South)
HGS Dhaliwal. “He had worked at a massage parlour in the area in 1990.
During the job, he came in contact with pimps and started the sex
racket. He has links with several influential persons and leaders in
Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.”

The Chitrakoot police, too, have started collecting details of the
criminal activities of his family. His father Bachcha Lal Dwivedi is
named in five criminal cases — these include murder, dowry death,
theft and patronising dacoits. His elder brother Ram Murat Dwivedi was
booked for the murder of his wife; younger brothers Sanjay and Krishna
Dwivedi were booked in theft cases in 2001.

In spite of their criminal past, several members of the family had
managed to get arms licences. Bachcha Lal has a licence for a double-
barreled gun. Shiv Murat Dwivedi and Sanjay Dwivedi got licences for
rifles in 2009. Chitrakoot SP Veer Bahadur Singh said he had asked the
Manikpur police to probe how these were issued.

Comments (3) |

what a shame!
By: Shraddha | 04-Mar-2010

After having all these facts published, still there is no action.
People should stand up against such phony men of god and treat them
humanly. With justice! Jail these sick men, not godmen!

GODMAN
By: Tota Ram | 02-Mar-2010

India has a great civilization and has had great religious teachers
like Swami Ramkrishna, Swami Dayanand etc. Like any other country we
do also have scoundrels in our country posing as Saints. I suggest
public cateration of these people.

GODMEN AND POLITICIANS
By: NIRANJAN | 01-Mar-2010

ON ONE HAND POLITICIANS ARE SMART ENOUGH TO FOOL THE AAM AADMI FOR AT
LEAST FIVE YEARS. ON THE THE OTHER HAND THEY ARE GULLIBLE ENOUGH TO
BELIEVE IN SUCH GODMEN WHO, I AM SURE, PROMISE THEM THE 'GADDI' IN
DELHI OR SUCH THINGS BY THEIR 'TANTRIK' POWERS. SUPERTITIONS IS THE
ROOT CAUSE OF THE EVIL IN INDIA. UNFORTUNATELY THE NETAs FOSTER THESE
KINDS OF PEOPLE AND THE THE REAL SUFFERES IS THE AAM AADMI!

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/in-up-hometown-godman-dwivedi-sports-political-ties/585556/0

In UP village, devotees stop cops from probing ‘godman’ property
Express News Service

Posted: Sunday , Mar 07, 2010 at 0109 hrs
New Delhi:

Followers of self-styled godman Shiv Murat Dwivedi formed a human
chain around his property in his village in Uttar Pradesh on Friday
and thwarted attempts by a Delhi Police team from entering the
premises for probe into the alleged multi-crore sex racket he ran.

“We believe Dwivedi’s henchmen learnt about our arrival and got locals
to form the human chain,” DCP (South) H G S Dhaliwal said.

The team was supposed to take Dwivedi to the ashram and an upscale
house he built for his parents in Manekpur area of Chitrakoot in Uttar
Pradesh, but a crowd of around 2,000 did not let them enter, the
police said.

The police need to establish in court that Dwivedi accumulated
property and wealth from his crime syndicate to initiate the stringent
Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against Dwivedi.
MCOCA also gives police the right to seize property built with money
from such a syndicate.

Dhaliwal said the police are in the final stages of filing an
application to invoke provisions of MCOCA in court.

In Chitrakoot, Dwivedi reportedly claimed innocence and alleged that
some politicians had framed him in the sex racket case. Asked by the
media about his alleged links with slain dacoit Dadua, Dwivedi
accepted that he knew Danua but denied involvement in any crime.

In another development, police said they have found Dwivedi had at
least four bank accounts under his ‘real’ name: Rajiv Ranjan Dwivedi.
The daily or monthly transactions ranged between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1
lakh in each account, officers said.

“He ran his empire very professionally,” DCP Dhaliwal said. He
purportedly gave his staff and call girls allegedly working under him
“proper holidays” and weekly breaks.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/in-up-village-devotees-stop-cops-from-probing-godman-property/587733/0

Chitrakoot police begin process to strip ‘godman’ of his arms licence
Vijay Pratap Singh

Posted: Thursday , Mar 04, 2010 at 0306 hrs
Lucknow:

The temple which is under construction at Chitrakoot’s Chamrauha area.
express photo

Self-styled ‘godman’ Swami Shiv Murat Dwivedi alias Swami Bhimanandji
Maharaj alias Swami Ichchadhari Sant, who was arrested in Delhi on
February 26 for allegedly running a sex racket, is all set to be
stripped of his arms licence.

The Chitrakoot police today began proceedings to cancel his licence
that was issued by former district magistrate Hridesh Kumar.

“Taking cognizance of media reports and his arrest by the Delhi
Police, I have initiated the cancellation proceedings. Following an
inquiry, it came to light that the Manikpur police had ignored two
cases against him and made recommendations for the licence. I have
sent a report to the district magistrate to cancel his licence,” said
SP Veer Bahadur Singh.

Singh added that three licences had been issued to Swami and his
family members, including his father, Bachcha Lal, and brother Sanjay
Murat Dwivedi.

“The inquiry is on against his father and brother who possess licences
for a double barrel gun and rifle, respectively. If the police find
their involvement in criminal cases, their licences too will be
cancelled,” he added.

A team of five policemen from Delhi, led by Station House Officer of
Saket, Bhrama Deo, has arrived in Chitrakoot to collect information
about the ‘godman’.

“We have started verifying the statements of the ‘godman’ and are
inspecting his properties. We have also learnt that he was
constructing a multi-crore temple at Chamrauha under Manikpur police
station in Chitrakoot,” said Deo. The police team has inspected the
temple, the godman’s ashram and the residence of his father. “After
physical inspection, we will obtain the papers of his properties and
assets from the district magistrate,” said Deo.

The Delhi Police have intitiated proceedings to invoke Maharashtra
Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the ‘godman’.

Under MCOCA, stringent punishment is awarded to a person or gang
operating as part of a crime syndicate, said Deputy Commissioner of
Police (South) H G S Dhaliwal.

Give copy of custodial interrogation plea to Dwivedi: Court to cops
NEW DELHI: A city court on Wednesday asked the Delhi Police to provide
a copy of their application, seeking to interrogate ‘godman’ Shiv
Murat Dwivedi in custody, to the accused.

Metropolitan Magistrate Ravinder Singh, who was approached by the
police for permission to question Dwivedi (39), said: “the accused
(should) be provided a copy of the remand application”. “Once an
accused is remanded in judicial custody, the police cannot seek his
custody unless there are special reasons,” the counsel appearing for
Dwivedi said. The accused has a right to know the grounds for his
detention and custodial interrogation, he added.

The police said custodial interrogation of Dwivedi was required to
unravel the case. “Fix the application for arguments tomorrow,” the
court said after hearing the arguments. pti

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/chitrakoot-police-begin-process-to-strip-godman-of-his-arms-licence/586626/0

From driver to godman’s deputy, Praveen was on a roll for two years
Sahim Salim

Posted: Saturday , Mar 06, 2010 at 0030 hrs
New Delhi:

The self-styled godman Swami Shiv Murat Dwivedi, arrested from South
Delhi for allegedly running a multi-crore sex racket, took good care
of the people loyal to him.

The police said Dwivedi elevated the financial standing of his second-
in-command, Parveen Kumar, also arrested along with him on February
25.

Sources said Kumar, a native of Jhajjar in Haryana, would drive an
auto-rickshaw till 2008. Two years after he started working with
Dwivedi, Kumar drove a Honda City — it was seized by the police during
his arrest.

“He was Dwivedi’s face in the racket. He was in charge of the
logistics; he also made and finalised the deals. Whenever Dwivedi was
busy giving sermons, Kumar took charge of the racket,” a senior police
officer said.

A police team, meanwhile, recovered a rifle and other weapons
purportedly belonging to Dwivedi from his residence in Chitrakoot,
Uttar Pradesh, after a raid on Friday. Sources said it also came to
light during the raid that Dwivedi's personal bodyguards carried
firearms.

“We first need to assess and seize his property. He has many areas
within the Capital where he functioned. We need to investigate whether
the house owners knew about his operations,” a senior police officer
said.

The police are, meanwhile, also probing the allegations made by the
father of a Jaipur-based girl who said Dwivedi was behind the
abduction of his daughter. The 22-year-old woman is missing since
December 23 last year.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/From-driver-to-godman-s-deputy--Praveen-was-on-a-roll-for-two-years/587397/

MCOCA likely to be invoked against ‘godman’
Express News Service

Posted: Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 0105 hrs
New Delhi:

The South Delhi police are likely to invoke provisions of the
Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the 39-year-
old ‘godman’ Swami Shiv Murat Dwivedi, arrested on Friday for
allegedly running a high-profile sex racket.

Under MCOCA, stringent punishment is awarded to a person or gangs
operating as a syndicate.

Dwivedi was arrested along with an accomplice and six women, including
two air-hostesses, for allegedly running a multi-crore sex racket.

“We are looking at the possibility of whether Dwivedi can be slapped
with charges under the provisions of MCOCA,” Deputy Commissioner of
Police (South), H G S Dhaliwal said. MCOCA allows the police to adduce
as evidence the confession of the accused made before a senior police
officer not below the rank of a DCP.

Police officials said that in all, Dwivedi has four cases registered
against him. In 1997, Dwivedi was arrested on charges of running a
prostitution racket in Lajpat Nagar. The next year, he was arrested
for dacoity in Badarpur. In 2003, he was arrested from Noida Sector 24
— charges under the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act and the
Gangster Act were slapped.

The police said Dwivedi undertook charity activities as a guise to
explain the flow of money — he earned close to Rs 2 lakh every month
through his criminal activities. DCP Dhaliwal said they will seek
police custody to take Dwivedi to Chitrakoot for verifying the
ownership of his properties and investigate if his activities extended
to UP.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/mcoca-likely-to-be-invoked-against-godman/585961/

‘Godman’ booked for abduction
Express News Service

Posted: Monday , Mar 08, 2010 at 0104 hrs
Ghaziabad:

A self-styled godman in Ghaziabad has been booked for abducting his
cousin.

The police said the accused, Anup Kumar Sahay, is a resident of Vijay
Nagar. According to a complaint filed by the victim’s mother Subha
Srivastava, the accused, along with his brother Ashok Kumar Sahay, had
abducted her daughter, Priyanka. “Priyanka has been missing since
February 15, when she went to purchase milk,” Subha Srivastava has
stated in the complaint. The police said the two accused are
Priyanka’s cousins and often visited her house in Raj Nagar.

Superintendent of Police (City) Ghaziabad Avdhesh Kumar Vijeta said
the police received the complaint on Saturday. “Sahay has been booked
under Sections 363, 313 and 366 of the IPC which pertain to kidnapping
and forcing a woman to undergo abortion without her will.”

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/godman-booked-for-abduction/588008/

Caught on camera, godman held for extortion
Express News Service

Posted: Friday , Mar 13, 2009 at 2249 hrs
Mumbai:

Them & US From ABCD to almightyHealth dangers of GM FoodsStand on Bt
Brinjal

The Pydhonie police arrested a godman on Holi on charges of extortion
after the victim recorded the threat in a camera embedded in a pen.
One Mohammad Ashfaq Qureshi, a gold-dust contractor, had lodged a
complaint that godman Mohammad Gulzar had threatened to kill him
either by cursing or stabbing if he did not leave his job. Sheikh then
told Qureshi that he must pay him Rs 2 lakh if he wanted to keep his
business.

Acting on Qureshi’s complaint, the police set a trap and sent Qureshi
with Rs 25,000 in marked notes, to pay Sheikh. However, the clinching
evidence in the case was the video clip Qureshi had recorded with a
video recording pen. Sheikh was arrested on Wednesday. The police
believe that a business rival must have approached Sheikh to threaten
the complainant and are investigating into his identity.

“Sheikh is the typical godman. He began threatening Qureshi on
February 28, saying that if he didn’t leave his business, he would use
black magic to kill him. He said that if he wanted to continue with
his business, he should pay him Rs 2 lakh,” said a police officer from
Pydhonie police station. “Qureshi agreed to meet Sheikh and recorded
his threats on a video recording pen. We asked him to contact Sheikh
and pay him so that we could to trap him,” said the officer.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/caught-on-camera-godman-held-for-extortion/433787/

Godman stages suicide drama at police station
Rajeev P I
Posted: Sunday , May 18, 2008 at 2341 hrs
Kochi, May 17:

Kerala's latest screwball comedy starring yet another godman was
played out right inside a police station at Aluva here on Saturday
morning. This was staged by Swami Himaval Bhadranandaji, an
engineering course dropout-turned-political prophet, godman and maker
of fine holy ashes from thin air.

The Swami had the whole state watching him live on TV as he pranced
about in the police station with a fully loaded .32 revolver pressed
to his own head, vowing to pull the trigger to teach the local media a
deadly lesson for daring to give him a bad press.

All through the two-hour drama hogging all TV channels in the state,
the cops made no attempt at all to disarm the godman lording over
their police station — he even had the cops help recharge his mobile
so that he could keep calling up people with his free hand and held
the gun with the other. Senior police officers kept pleading with him
to go easy on the trigger.

The drama ended with the Swami pulling the trigger, finally. But
instead of shooting the reporters or himself, he shot through the
police station roof. A bullet grazed his own left hand and the godman
collapsed in a howling heap, leaving startled cops in the room to run
for their lives. The police, however, picked up a media reporter who
screamed and went down as soon as the swami fired. The police rushed
him to hospital while TV channels began saying he had been shot. But
the man soon came to, only to say he had fainted in fright.

Swami Bhadranandaji, who runs an outfit called “Karma” in Kochi, began
falling out with the media after some local newspapers began poking
into his activities after the fall of another high-profile local
godman, Swami Amritachaitanya last week. The latter was exposed to
have been a fraudster wanted by Interpol — besides a porn video star
and producer, mostly using under-age girls from poor families, many
lured in with educational sponsorships.

Bhadranandaji, who loved dropping names and claiming high political
connections, even fixed an official red beacon of the kind ministers,
high court judges and senior officials use, on the dome of his
personal car. He had a sizeable following in Kochi and Kozhikode, and
had often been hogging attention with his predictions and claims,
including his political prophesies, until reports hinted at a darker
side too.

The swami had barged into a local newspaper office on Friday and
threatened the staff there for printing some unedifying reports, and
the police had promptly filed a case against him. On Saturday morning,
he called the media to his home to announce his protest suicide, and
the police had got him to shift the drama to the police station
instead.

Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the swami appeared to have
got a gun license from the local administration without police
verification. Though the swami had claimed the minister was his close
pal, Balakrishnan denied it.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/godman-stages-suicide-drama-at-police-station/311137/0

Fifth case against ‘godman’
Express News Service

Posted: Friday , Mar 05, 2010 at 0128 hrs
New Delhi:

The police have unearthed yet another case of immoral trafficking
against self-styled godman Swami Shiv Murat Dwivedi — arrested last
Friday for allegedly running a sex racket in the Capital — taking the
total number of cases against him to five.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South), H G S Dhaliwal said Dwivedi was
arrested under the ITP Act in Srinivaspuri in 1998. “He was convicted
and a monetary fine was slapped against him. This is the fifth case
against him. In 1997, Dwivedi was arrested on charges of running a
prostitution racket in Lajpat Nagar. The next year, he was arrested
for dacoity in Badarpur. In 2003, he was arrested from Noida Sector-24
under the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act and was also charged
under the Gangster Act.”

Police said they have two convictions and five cases against Dwivedi
and enough evidence to invoke the stringent Maharashtra Control of
Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against him. A court, meanwhile, sent
Dwivedi to police custody till March 9.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Fifth-case-against--godman-/587114/

Namesake on terror list, Kerala godman on the run
Rajeev PI
Posted: Saturday , May 10, 2008 at 2305 hrs
KOCHI, MAY 10 :

The next time you ask what’s in a name, consider this: A one-time
temple priest-turned astrologer-turned alleged NRI fraudster-turned
Godman-cum-benami real estate operator (and much more), is the latest
news sensation in Kerala, his face and profile hogging front pages and
almost all local TV channel now panting to come up every hour with
more dark tidbits and legends about him. All this because the media
here took to believing, and still insists, that he is really his far
more notorious namesake accused of a lot more potent stuff, including
smuggling sophisticated weapons for extremist outfits linked to the
1993 Mumbai blasts.

The man in the headlines, Santosh Madhavan, used to be a school
dropout turned priest for many years in local temples in Kochi, before
he took on an astrologer’s image and flew off to Dubai, only to end up
in a financial fraud. Before Interpol Dubai put out a red corner alert
for him, Madhavan made his way back to India, grew a beard, put on
white robes, courted the local glitterati including top film stars and
promptly turned himself into

Swami Amritachaitanya. The 2004 Interpol alert for him and his
sidekick Saifuddeen Ali Kannu who fled with him, says both are wanted
in Dubai for fraud and mentions his date of birth as 18 March, 1973.

The other Santosh Madhavan, who too had a red corner Interpol notice
for him pending since 1993, was declared wanted by the Mumbai Police
after his brother Trikesh Madhavan was arrested following the seizure
of some imported weapons soon after the Mumbai blasts. The brother
named him as the kingpin and he was charged, in police language, of a
“criminal conspiracy to commit terrorist acts with the use of
sophisticated fire arms, with the intention to adversely affect
communal harmony”. This Santosh Madhavan was born on 7 June, 1960, and
UAE cops had finally caught him in Abu Dhabi by end-2003, at the
instance of the Interpol in India.

Things began getting tough for Santosh Madhavan alias Swami
Amritachaitanya after a Malayalam magazine put out a cover story
saying the Swami running his celebrity-studded posh ashram in Kochi
was his gunrunner namesake, and mistakenly superimposed the latter’s
profile on him. With almost the entire local media taking it up
together, the man vanished, only to go to both the cops and the CBI in
Kochi a couple of days ago offering to surrender, while maintaining he
was not the other Madhavan. Neither the cops nor the CBI took him in
and he went away.

A day later, the cops had some afterthought and began raiding the
ashram and looking up his suspected benami real estate deals, claiming
they were following up media reports. They claimed they had nothing
yet to arrest him for. Remarkably, the local cops say they are
ascertaining only if he was actually the wanted gunrunner, as was
being reported.

The investigating officer, Shaneel Babu, claimed to have no clue if
there really were two different Interpol red corner alerts for both
the Madhavans still available on the Internet, that both were
distanced by some 13 years in age—or even that that the gunrunner
Madhavan had a brother that this one did not. He also did not want to
comment on why the police began raiding Madhavan’s premises after
letting him off when he voluntarily offered to surrender a day
earlier.

Senior cops did not wish to comment on the possibility of arresting
this Madhavan since there is a Dubai Interpol alert out for him, and
India has an extradition agreement in force with the UAE.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/namesake-on-terror-list-kerala-godman-on-the-run/307537/0

Move to strip Godman of arms licence
Vijay Pratap Singh

Posted: Thursday , Mar 04, 2010 at 0136 hrs
Allahabad:

Self-styled ‘godman’ Swami Shiv Murat Dwivedi alias Swami Bhimanandji
Maharaj alias Swami Ichchadhari Sant, who was arrested on February 26
for allegedly running a sex racket in the Capital, is set to be
stripped of his arms licence.

The Chitrakoot police on Wednesday began proceedings to cancel
Dwivedi’s licence, issued by former district magistrate Hridesh
Kumar.

“I have initiated the cancellation proceedings and have sent a report
to the district magistrate for the same. Following an inquiry, it came
to light that the Manikpur police had ignored two cases registered
against him and put in recommendations for the licence,”
Superintendent of Police Veer Bahadur Singh said.

Singh added that three licences had been issued to Dwivedi, his father
Bachcha Lal and brother Sanjay Murat Dwivedi. “An inquiry is on
against his father and brother. If the police find their involvement
in criminal cases, their licences will also be cancelled,” he added.

A team of five policemen, led by Station House Officer of Saket Bhrama
Deo, went to Chitrakoot to collect information on Dwivedi.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Move-to-strip-Godman-of-arms-licence/586562/

http://www.indianexpress.com/gsearch.php?cof=FORID%3A10&ie=ISO-8859-1&cx=partner-pub-9517772455344405%3Aovx9qn9iau0&q=Godman&sa=Search#905

...and I am Sid Harth
chhotemianinshallah
2010-03-17 13:06:24 UTC
India will win in the end

I fully understand – and love Hussain’s paintings and art work --
knowing where he comes from (Bollywood poster art). I’ve called the
immensely popular Baba Ramdev “an idiot” on TV and got enough hate
mail. In Bombay, despite the Shiv Sena’s threats, I continue to edit
and publish a gay and lesbian magazine called ‘”Bombay Dost” and have
even sent copies to Bal Thackeray for reviewing in his stupid
newspaper ‘Saamna”. I even wrote a letter to his nephew to get out of
Bombay as it belonged to my Mother’s family (her family temple still
stands safe from Muslim marauders at Banganga at South Bombay’s tip at
Walkeshwar (Walu means sand and Keshwar is another name for Shiva with
his matted hair).

India is a huge jigsaw puzzle and you must love the whole picture to
understand how to navigate it. For example, I would support Taslima
Nasreen because she is a Muslim who challenges Islam from “within
Islamic tradition”. I will NOT support Hussain because he is a Muslim
suddenly seeing “purity”: in depicting Hindu goddesses in the nude. He
happens to be Muslim and let him interpret Islam from within Muslim
tradition and not give me lectures how much of Tulsidas’ Ramayana he
knows. When asked why he did not paint Mohamed’s wife Ayesha in the
nude, his answer was:” But Muslims won’t tolerate that” says it all.

You must know Hinduism takes to “shashtrarth” (shredding the
scriptures and analyzing them ruthlessly) seriously and I have stood
within orthodox gatherings of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad known as the
most intolerant of the right wing Hindus and talked about “Our
Homosexual Heritage” without a single person throwing stones at me. I
dare Hussain or any Muslim gay man to do that at a gathering of devout
Muslims. Or Christians for all I care. One of my Christian kids did
that at a Christian-Muslim gathering and they threw shoes at him. He’s
converted to Kali worshup in retaliation...

If you don’t know your India then don’t interpret it for these damn
Feringis and their followers. I don’t care to say more than that.

Hinduism will find her feet and she will find it though every kind of
discourse and discussion. But that will be W-I-T-H-I-N the four
corners of the Indic Dharma as even the Akali-Sikhs are realizing
after their followers got beheaded in the cesspool called Pakistan.

India will win in the end

Ashok Row Kavi

http://www.southasiamail.com/news.php?id=60545

Husain and Hinduism

Back To Main Letters

No one has said Husain "hates Hinduism". He is accused of treating
without respect the objects of Hindu worship. It does not matter what
Hindu holy books he has read, or even what he thinks of them.

If he wants to be judged by the same standards as devout Hindu artists
who have depicted sexuality as an aspect of the divine he must enter
the same devotional path. To do anything else is to be a hypocrite..

Bhaskar Menon

http://www.southasiamail.com/news.php?id=60561

None owns a religion

Back To Main Letters

No one owns a religion, God or the books, they are public universal
figures and respected by any one who chooses to, but every one has a
right to speak about it; good, bad or ugly. Freedom of speech
ultimately brings the justice and balance to the society.

The loud Muslims, Jews, Hindus or Christians do not represent the
overwhelming majority of the people and I hope the media catches that,
and shares it with the universe.

Prophets Cartoons became a mess, because a few Muslims chose to make a
mess of it, despite the appeal including my own, to follow the
prophet's example; to pray for goodwill to prevail. Muslims did not
care about the Fatwa on Rushdie, a few Bushes among them carried it
forward any way, despite the majority' non-consensus. The more these
radicals show irritation, the more the temptation to irritate.

We represent the views of a great majority of moderates, but some of
us in public are gutless, if we don't condemn the cartoons, or Hussain
himself, then we are bad guys; the right wingers are a few but have
the capacity to bark in concert... and ascribe as though majority of
Muslims or Hindus support them.

As a Journalist, what would you do to communicate to the world at
large, that the outrage does not represent the majority?

Mike Ghouse

http://www.southasiamail.com/news.php?id=60560

India is a mess, says travel writer

Back To Main Letters

The overwhelming reasons for why India is NOT a good place to live in,
despite all of its current and expected continuing economic boom.

If you are Indian, or of Indian descent, I must preface this post with
a clear warning: you are not going to like what I have to say. My
criticisms may be very hard to stomach. But consider them as the hard
words and loving advice of a good friend. Someone who’s being honest
with you and wants nothing from you.

These criticisms apply to all of India except Kerala and the places I
didn’t visit, except that I have a feeling it applies to all of India,
except as I mentioned before, Kerala.

Lastly, before anyone accuses me of Western Cultural Imperialism, let
me say this: if this is what India and Indians want, then hey, who am
I to tell them differently. Take what you like and leave the rest. In
the end it doesn’t really matter, as I get the sense that Indians, at
least many upper class Indians, don’t seem to care and the lower
classes just don’t know any better, what with Indian culture being so
intense and pervasive on the sub-continent. But here goes,
nonetheless.

India is a mess. It’s that simple, but it’s also quite complicated.
I’ll start with what I think are India’s four major problems–the four
most preventing India from becoming a developing nation–and then move
to some of the ancillary ones.

First, pollution. In my opinion the filth, squalor and all around
pollution indicates a marked lack of respect for India by Indians. I
don’t know how cultural the filth is, but it’s really beyond anything
I have ever encountered. At times the smells, trash, refuse and
excrement are like a garbage dump.

Right next door to the Taj Mahal was a pile of trash that smelled so
bad, was so foul as to almost ruin the entire Taj experience. Delhi,
Bangalore and Chennai to a lesser degree were so very polluted as to
make me physically ill. Sinus infections, ear infection, bowels
churning was an all to common experience in India. Dung, be it goat,
cow or human fecal matter was common on the streets. In major tourist
areas filth was everywhere, littering the sidewalks, the roadways, you
name it. Toilets in the middle of the road, men urinating and
defecating anywhere, in broad daylight.

Whole villages are plastic bag wastelands. Roadsides are choked by it.
Air quality that can hardly be called quality. Far too much coal and
far to few unleaded vehicles on the road. The measure should be how
dangerous the air is for one’s health, not how good it is. People
casually throw trash in the streets, on the roads.

The only two cities that could be considered sanitary in my journey
were Trivandrum–the capital of Kerala–and Calicut. I don’t know why
this is. But I can assure you that at some point this pollution will
cut into India’s productivity, if it already hasn’t. The pollution
will hobble India’s growth path, if that indeed is what the country
wants. (Which I personally doubt, as India is far too conservative a
country, in the small ‘c’ sense.)

More after the jump..

The second issue, infrastructure, can be divided into four
subcategories: roads, rails and ports and the electrical grid. The
electrical grid is a joke. Load shedding is all too common, everywhere
in India. Wide swaths of the country spend much of the day without the
electricity they actually pay for. Without regular electricity,
productivity, again, falls.

The ports are a joke. Antiquated, out of date, hardly even appropriate
for the mechanized world of container ports, more in line with the
days of longshoremen and the like. Roads are an equal disaster. I only
saw one elevated highway that would be considered decent in Thailand,
much less Western Europe or America. And I covered fully two thirds of
the country during my visit.

There are so few dual carriage way roads as to be laughable. There are
no traffic laws to speak of, and if there are, they are rarely obeyed,
much less enforced. A drive that should take an hour takes three. A
drive that should take three takes nine. The buses are at least thirty
years old, if not older.

Everyone in India, or who travels in India raves about the railway
system. Rubbish. It’s awful. Now, when I was there in 2003 and then
late 2004 it was decent. But in the last five years the traffic on the
rails has grown so quickly that once again, it is threatening
productivity. Waiting in line just to ask a question now takes thirty
minutes. Routes are routinely sold out three and four days in advance
now, leaving travelers stranded with little option except to take the
decrepit and dangerous buses.

At least fifty million people use the trains a day in India. 50
million people! Not surprising that waitlists of 500 or more people
are common now.

The rails are affordable and comprehensive but they are overcrowded
and what with budget airlines popping up in India like Sadhus in an
ashram the middle and lowers classes are left to deal with the over
utilized rails and quality suffers. No one seems to give a shit.

Seriously, I just never have the impression that the Indian government
really cares. Too interested in buying weapons from Russia, Israel and
the US I guess.

The last major problem in India is an old problem and can be divided
into two parts that’ve been two sides of the same coin since
government was invented: bureaucracy and corruption.

It take triplicates to register into a hotel. To get a SIM card for
one’s phone is like wading into a jungle of red-tape and photocopies
one is not likely to emerge from in a good mood, much less satisfied
with customer service.

Getting train tickets is a terrible ordeal, first you have to find the
train number, which takes 30 minutes, then you have to fill in the
form, which is far from easy, then you have to wait in line to try and
make a reservation, which takes 30 minutes at least and if you made a
single mistake on the form back you go to the end of the queue, or
what passes for a queue in India.

The government is notoriously uninterested in the problems of the
commoners, too busy fleecing the rich, or trying to get rich
themselves in some way shape or form. Take the trash for example,
civil rubbish collection authorities are too busy taking kickbacks
from the wealthy to keep their areas clean that they don’t have the
time, manpower, money or interest in doing their job.

Rural hospitals are perennially understaffed as doctors pocket the
fees the government pays them, never show up at the rural hospitals
and practice in the cities instead.

I could go on for quite some time about my perception of India and its
problems, but in all seriousness, I don’t think anyone in India really
cares. And that, to me, is the biggest problem. India is too
conservative a society to want to change in any way.

Mumbai, India’s financial capital is about as filthy, polluted and
poor as the worst city imaginable in Vietnam, or Indonesia–and being
more polluted than Medan, in Sumatra is no easy task. The biggest rats
I have ever seen were in Medan!

One would expect a certain amount of, yes, I am going to use this
word, backwardness, in a country that hasn’t produced so many Nobel
Laureates, nuclear physicists, eminent economists and entrepreneurs.
But India has all these things and what have they brought back to
India with them? Nothing.

The rich still have their servants, the lower castes are still there
to do the dirty work and so the country remains in status. It’s a
shame. Indians and India have many wonderful things to offer the
world, but I’m far from sanguine that India will amount to much in my
lifetime.

Now, have at it, call me a cultural imperialist, a spoiled child of
the West and all that. But remember, I’ve been there. I’ve done it.
And I’ve seen 50 other countries on this planet and none, not even
Ethiopia, have as long and gargantuan a laundry list of problems as
India does.

And the bottom line is, I don’t think India really cares. Too
complacent and too conservative.

Sean Paul Kelley

(Sean Paul Kelley is a travel writer. He founded The Agonist, in 2002,
which is still considered the top international affairs, culture and
news destination for progressives. He is also the Global Correspondent
for The Young Turks, on satellite radio and Air America.)

http://www.southasiamail.com/news.php?id=60440

Taslima Nasreen’s statement

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Taslima's article sparks violence in Karnataka, 2 killed, the article
is followed by my commentary and Quotes from Quraan.

The Indian Muslim clergy and the leadership needs to jump in on this.
As an individual she has the right to express her opinions whether we
agree or not, as much as any one has a right to condemn her
statements.

The major mistake Muslims are making is not to have a debate with her
on the issues, that's the civil and democratic thing to do. She will
lose the debate "She told the Muslim women to burn the Burqa" as if
she will start wearing a skirt if a westerner says "Burn the Saree, it
is a sign of backwardness". Neither is a sign of backwardness, it is a
culture that has evolved and no one will drop what they are used to on
the sound of a word 'drop'. In a democracy, people should have the
freedom to speak; the best way to combat a bad idea is to offer good
ideas to compete.

The major mistake Muslims are making is not to have a debate with her
on the issues. They did not have enough faith in their culture or
religion to debate. Taslima would have easily lost in a debate from a
few intellectuals and most likely she would not have gone on the
attack binge.

Ms. Nasreen is a bellyacher and not a reformer. A reformer brings
solutions to the issues and presents his or her research and asks the
scholars to review and build consensus for a gradual acceptance of the
proposed ideas. Instead, she agitates and builds resentment and does
exactly opposite of what she claims to do; reform. Her approach is
wrong and her statements may please the Islam-bashers and earn some
circulation. However, her opinion does not affect the world or the
religion of Islam.

The take of Quraan on this at: Link:
http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2010/03/taslimas-article-sparks-violence-in_01.html

Mike Ghouse

www.MikeGhouse.net

http://www.southasiamail.com/news.php?id=59726

Dr. Abdul Kalam's Letter to Every Indian

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Why is the media in India so negative?

Why are we in India so embarrassed to recognize our own strengths, our
achievements?

We are such a great nation. We have so many amazing success stories
but we refuse to acknowledge them. Why?

We are the first in milk production.

We are number one in Remote sensing satellites.

We are the second largest producer of wheat.

We are the second largest producer of rice.

Look at Dr. Sudarshan , he has transferred the tribal village into a
self-sustaining, self-driving unit. There are millions of such
achievements but our media is only obsessed in the bad news and
failures and disasters.

I was in Tel Aviv once and I was reading the Israeli newspaper. It was
the day after a lot of attacks and bombardments and deaths had taken
place. The Hamas had struck. But the front page of the newspaper had
the picture of a Jewish gentleman who in five years had transformed
his desert into an orchid and a granary. It was this inspiring picture
that everyone woke up to. The gory details of killings, bombardments,
deaths, were inside in the newspaper, buried among other news.

http://www.southasiamail.com/news.php?id=59530

On line petition to Penguin re. Doniger’s book

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http://www.petitiononline.com/dharma10/petition.html This is an
earnest request to you to sign the online petition and forward it to
your friends for signature.

The petition to the Penguin Group asks for an apology for the
publication of the factually incorrect and offensive book “The Hindus-
An Alternative History” by Wendy Doniger. We expect Penguin Group to
withdraw the book immediately. “The Hindus: An Alternative History” is
rife with numerous errors in its historical facts and Sanskrit
translations. These errors and misrepresentations are bound and
perhaps intended to mislead students of Indian and Hindu history. .

Throughout the book, Doniger analyzes revered Hindu Gods and Goddess
using her widely discredited psychosexual Freudian theories that
modern, humanistic psychology has deemed limiting. These
interpretations are presented as hard facts and not as speculations.
Doniger makes various faulty assumptions about the tradition in order
to arrive at her particular spin. In the process, the beliefs,
traditions and interpretations of practicing Hindus are simply ignored
or bypassed without the unsuspecting reader knowing this to be the
case. This kind of Western scholarship has been criticized as
Orientalism and Eurocentrism. The non Judeo-Christian faith gets used
to dish out voyeurism and the tradition gets eroticized... .

We emphasize that this defamatory book misinforms readers about the
history of Hindu civilization, its cultures and traditions. The book
promotes prejudices and biases against Hindus. Can Penguin’s editors
really be incompetent enough to have allowed this to pass to
publication? If this is not deliberate malice, Penguin must act now in
good faith. As concerned readers, we ask PENGUIN GROUP to: 1. WITHDRAW
all the copies of this book immediately from the worldwide bookshops/
markets/ Universities/Libraries and refrain from printing any other
edition. .

2. APOLOGIZE for having published this book “The Hindus: An
Alternative History”. This book seriously and grossly misrepresents
the Hindu reality as known to the vast numbers of Hindus and to
scholars of Hindu tradition. PENGUIN must apologize for failure to
observe proper pre-publication scrutiny and scholarly review. Vishal
Agarwal

http://www.southasiamail.com/news.php?id=58891

Indonesia restores Hindu temple

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I am pleased to see Indonesia Highlighting and restoring the Hindu
Temple, they are indeed following Islam, which forbids one to
desecrate a place of worship. I commend Suwarsono Muhammad for this
initiative, it is time we live the will of God; Co-existence and
harmony with life and matter.

Mike Ghouse

http://www.southasiamail.com/news.php?id=58048

India and China

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I think Hoagland is baiting India. We gain nothing from being too
close to the USA which can never get out of its hobbyhorse of a Paki-
Hug.

Rubbing China the wrong way will not help. Every reasonable effort:
diplomatic, strategic alliances with the ring of Sinophobia and last
but not the least, an effort to build a string of pearls around China
is the way out of any direct confrontation with China.

Even if we maintain our pace of growth at 7.5 per cent for the next 25
years, China will still far outpace us and become an economy 30 times
our GDP by 2025 by the estimates of the World Bank.. There’s no way, a
third rate government that is soft and kowtows to every Pakistani
threat can face China. Even in our soft power we are losing. Recently
China has even reclaimed Buddhism and Sanskrit as it’s intellectual
property whereas here we have secularists and shadow Islamists playing
footsie with our Hindu culture.

China has always been a ‘hard power” it knows that the power on earth
is its to grab and the heavens are everybody property. India knows
nothing because it has learnt nothing from the Arthashastra – the
people (Jana) must be kept happy and then alone the State becomes
strong as Chanakhya said so firmly.

China and India had over 40 per cent of the world’s industrial
production and trade in the early 15th and 16th century before the
white tribes swept out of Europe.and the barbaric Muslim lands and
ruined one of the greatest civilizations on earth, as Will Durant
noted so vividly..

Together we can make the planet anew. But maybe the human race is
fated to flounder on the rock of the monotheistic God born in the
deserts of West Asia. If we don’t know our own Karma, then it’s no use
trying to live out others’. That would be truly against Dharma.

Not that this political class in India has a clue of its own
historical importance. China never had a soft power ideological core.
Its hard shell hides a very soft underbelly. Just as the whole of East
Asia under its belly felt its fist, it imported everything “soft” and
“spiritual” from India. That’s why they are so rich and diverse and
stand up to China, which itself found its spine only with the wisdom
of the Buddha was grabbed by it by sending pilgrims into India. Unlike
the religions of West Asia, India didn’t export its religion or
spiritual wealth. Only peoplecwho understood its value came and drank
from this huge font of wisdom.

. Now India is adrift and China’s star on the ascendant. I salute it.

Truely and sadly

Ashok Row Kavi

http://www.southasiamail.com/news.php?id=57717

India as viewed by a Pakistani intellectual

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Here are some mind-boggling facts about India, a country that was
known as a "third world" nation barely 20 years ago – written by a
Pakistani. By Dr Farrukh Saleem, former Pakistani journalist,
Executive Director Center For Research and Security Studies

• 12 percent of all American scientists are of Indian origin; 38
percent of doctors in America are Indian; 36 percent of NASA
scientists are Indians; 34 percent of Microsoft employees are Indians;
and 28 percent of IBM employees are Indians. Sabeer Bhatia created and
founded Hotmail. Sun Microsystems was founded by Vinod Khosla. The
Intel Pentium processor, that runs 90 percent of all computers, was
fathered by Vinod Dham.

• Rajiv Gupta co-invented Hewlett Packard's E-speak project. Four out
of ten Silicon Valley start-ups are run by Indians. Bollywood produces
800 movies per year and six Indian women have won Miss Universe / Miss
World titles in the last 10 years.

• • The four richest Indians can buy up all goods and services
produced in a year by 169 million Pakistanis and still be left with
$60 billion to spare. • The four richest Indians are richer than the
forty richest Chinese. • Regardless of what Forbes or any other
western press may report, on 29 October 2007, as a result of the stock
market rally and the appreciation of the Indian rupee, Mukesh Ambani
became the richest person in the world, with net worth climbing to US
$63.2 billion (Bill Gates, the richest American, stood at around $56
billion). Indians and Pakistanis have the same Y-chromosome
haplogroup. We Pakistanis have the same genetic sequence and the same
genetic marker (namely: M124). We have the same DNA molecule, the same
DNA sequence. Our culture, our traditions and our cuisine are all the
same. We watch the same movies and sing the same songs. What is it
that Indians have and we don't?

• INDIANS ELECT THEIR LEADERS!!!!! And India thinks of construction of
its own nation, unlike some other nations who are more concerned with
the destruction of other's. Sam Koshy, Winnipeg

http://www.southasiamail.com/news.php?id=56378

India in Afghanistan
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By Jeremy Kahn

What’s more dangerous than being an American in Afghanistan? Being an
Indian in Afghanistan. On Oct. 8, 09 a car bomb exploded outside the
Indian Embassy in Kabul, killing 17 people and wounding 76. The attack
came 15 months after another bomb damaged the embassy and killed 58,
including the Indian defense attaché. On Feb 26 2010 a Kabul terror
strike killed seven Indians. Elsewhere in the country, Indian workers
have been victims of suicide attacks and kidnappings.

Although rarely discussed in the West, India is a key player in the
Afghan conflict. New Delhi has long sought to keep friendly
governments in Kabul as a bulwark against archrival Pakistan. India
pledged more than $1.2 billion in reconstruction aid to Afghanistan,
making it the country’s fifth-largest donor and the biggest within the
region. There are at least 4,000 Indian workers and security personnel
employed on reconstruction projects in the country. India also opened
an air base in Tajikistan, its first on foreign soil, to supply its
Afghan operations.

All of which makes Pakistan very nervous. Pakistan has accused India
and Hamid Karzai’s government of covertly supporting militants who are
challenging Islamabad’s authority over Baluchistan, an oil- and gas-
rich province in southwest Pakistan. Some believe Islamabad’s military
and intelligence services have allowed the Taliban safe haven in
Pakistan largely because they view the Afghan insurgents as a proxy
force against India. Indian and Western intelligence services found
strong evidence that Pakistan’s premier spy agency, the Inter-Services
Intelli-gence, helped plan the July 2008 Indian Embassy bombing in
Kabul. And, while India is still investigating the latest attack on
its embassy, Afghan ambassador to the U.S. Said Jawad wasted no time
in pointing the finger at Is-lamabad again.
The new Great Game being played out between India and Pakistan in
Afghanistan has complicated matters for the U.S. and its NATO allies.
“While Indian activities largely benefit the Afghan people,” Gen.
Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, wrote
in his recent report to President Obama, “increasing Indian influence
in Afghanistan is likely to exacerbate regional tensions and encourage
Pakistani countermeasures in Afghanistan or India.” Evidently, the
road to peace in Afghanistan runs not just through Kabul and
Islamabad, but Delhi as well.

Corruption in India
Send us a comment to : ***@southasiamail.com

By Shashi Tharoor

One of the questions people keep asking me since my entry into
politics is what we can do about corruption. What would I do, one
citizen recently asked in an on-line chat, if I became the “concerned
authority”? No such prospect — the Vigilance Commissioner isn’t a
Member of Parliament! — but in fact corruption is a national malaise
and a social ill, not just one that a “concerned authority” can solve.
We are all complicit — those who demand bribes and those who give
them.
But one of the things that intrigues me is the extent to which
corruption is a middle-class preoccupation, when in fact the biggest
victims of corruption in our country are in fact the poor. For the
affluent, corruption is at worst a nuisance; for the salaried middle-
class, it can be an indignity and a burden; but for the poor, it is
often a tragedy.

The saddest corruption stories I have heard are those where corruption
literally transforms lives for the worse. There are stories about the
pregnant woman turned away from a government hospital because she
couldn’t bribe her way to a bed; the labourer denied an allotment of
land that was his due because someone else bribed the patwari to
change the land records; the pensioner denied the rightful fruits of
decades of toil because he couldn’t or wouldn’t bribe the petty clerk
to process his paperwork; the wretchedly poor unable to procure the
BPL ["Below Poverty Line"] cards that certify their entitlement to
various government schemes and subsidies because they couldn’t afford
to bribe the issuing officer; the poor widow cheated of an insurance
settlement because she couldn’t grease the right palms … the examples
are endless. Each of these represents not just an injustice, but a
crime, and yet the officials responsible get away with their exactions
all the time. And all their victims are people living at or near a
poverty line that’s been drawn just this side of the funeral pyre.
One of the reasons that I was an early supporter of economic
liberalization in India was that I hoped it would reduce corruption by
denying officialdom the opportunity (afforded routinely by our license-
quota-permit raj) to profit from the power to permit. That has
happened to some degree, especially at the big-business level. But I
underestimated the creativity of petty corruption in India that
leeches blood from the veins of the poorest and most downtrodden in
our society. No one seems to be able to do anything about it, but I’d
like to try. I’d welcome any ideas readers might have to set me on my
way.

A Catalyst for Development
Send us a comment to : ***@southasiamail.com

Dr. Thomas Abraham

People of Indian origin (PIO) constitute a global community of over 22
million people. It is bigger than many countries of Europe. It has
been estimated that, PIOs living outside India has a combined yearly
economic output of about $250 billion, about one third of the GDP of
India. Whether they come from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Australia,
the Caribbean or Europe, they are Indians in body and spirit. Almost
all of them maintain their Indian cultural traditions and values. They
seem to have meaningfully integrated in their countries without losing
their ethnic identity.

Looking at the numbers of the NRI/PIO communities, we see the
following:

North America (Mostly USA & Canada) 3.2 Million
South America (Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Surinam, Jamaica, etc.) 1.6
million
Europe (U.K., Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, etc.) 2.5
million
Africa (South Africa, Mauritius, East African countries, etc.) 2.5
million
Middle East (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc.) 3.5 million
Far East & South East Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Mayanmar, etc.) 3.5
million
Pacific Island (Fiji, Australia, New Zealand) 0.7 million
Srilanka and Nepal 4.5 million
Total 22.0 million

Note: Since hard numbers have not been available, these are
approximate estimates and obtained from individual country statistics
and from the report of the High Level India Diaspora Committee
appointed by Govt. of India

With over 22 million people of Indian origin living outside India, a
new global community of Indian origin has been developed. Most people
of Indian origin have become highly successful in business and
professions. If their professional expertise and financial resources
are to be pooled together, it will benefit not only people of Indian
origin but also their countries and India. In addition, people of
Indian origin could assume a new role in providing help in case of
crisis to their communities around the world.

Of the 22 million, about 50% constitute the first generation
immigrants from India and their immediate families, generally termed
as non-resident Indians (NRIs). This is the group one should reach out
for investments and for business and technology collaborations in
India. This group also has taken great interest in India’s
developments. Where are these communities? They are spread across the
Middle East, USA, Canada, U.K. and other European countries, Australia
and Southeast and Far Eastern countries.

Need for Mobilizing the Community

As a first step toward bringing our communities together, the Indian
American community, under the leadership of the National Federation of
Indian American Associations, took the initiative to organize the
First Global Convention of People of Indian Origin in New York in
1989. The triggering point for the global Indian community to come
together was, when an elected Indian dominated government in Fiji was
thrown out by a military dictator in 1987. At the First Global
Convention, the major issue of concern to everyone was human rights
violations, be in Fiji, Guyana, Trinidad, South Africa, Sri Lanka,
U.K. and even in the U.S.A. with “Dot Buster” issue. The Global
Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) was formed at this
convention to help in networking our communities and take up issues
such as human rights violations of Indians around the world. GOPIO
filed petitions at the UN and a concerted effort was made to fight
these issues.

Changing Objectives

In the last one decade, the whole world has changed, so are the people
of Indian origin (PIO) communities. Since our first global convention
of people of Indian origin, Indian dominated parties were elected to
power in Fiji, Guyana and Trinidad. South Africa has several Indians
as ministers in the government. The late Dr. Chheddi Jagan, former
President of Guyana, Mr. Basdeo Panday of Trinidad and Mr. Mahendra
Chaudhry of Fiji were present at GOPIO’s first convention who went on
to become the President and Prime Ministers of their respective
countries. For a while, in the 1990s, we in the GOPIO felt that human
rights violations or being in political sideline are not major issues
for global Indian communities. After several brain-storming sessions
and conferences, GOPIO concluded that creating economic opportunities
by pooling our professional and financial resources is a platform to
bring our communities together. Economic progress of countries with
large PIO population and India should be one of the priorities of PIOs
as global citizens. Our ultimate goal should be to make our movement
working toward on issues of poverty, education and social justice of
our people. As we network globally, it should not only help our
communities to achieve economic progress, but also help the larger
communities we live in.

As global citizens, we PIOs have a stake in the new globalization
scenario where the closed net economic boundaries of countries are
already broken. In the new economic scenario, GOPIO Business Council
has been formed to cater the needs of small and medium businessmen
from our PIO community to network and promote collaborations. GOPIO
has also set up GOPIO.Connect to help and promote NGOs who are
involved in India developmental activities.

The last decade also saw PIOs becoming enormously rich, thanks to the
information technology revolution. Although many of them left India
with a meager amount of dollars or pounds in their pocket, with their
dedication and hard work they became successful in the West and in
particular the USA, Canada, U.K. and other European countries. Now our
community is growing in large number in Australia and New Zealand. The
PIO populations in all these countries are expected to increase in
this decade. Therefore, PIO communities will have important roles to
play in all these countries.

Development Initiatives by NRIs/PIOs

With large number of NRIs/PIOs taking active interest in developments
in India, several new non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been
launched in the US, Canada, Europe and countries in the Middle and Far
East to promote education, health care and developments including
water management, rural development and self help programs. NRIs and
PIOs are also increasingly supporting several NGOs in India in a range
of developmental, educational and social programs. With the net worth
of the NRI/PIO baby boomer generation increasing, tremendous
opportunities are provided for the govt. agencies and NGOs in India to
reach out more NRIs/PIOs to interest them to help in India
developmental activities.

Role for Govt. of India

Till the middle of 1970s, the Government of India did not take any
interest in non-Resident Indians (NRIs), a definition which was given
by the Reserve Bank of India when they wanted the Indian banks to
attract NRI deposits. In the 1980s, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi
invited a few NRIs to come back to India to help in development of
some core sectors including telecommunications. In the 1990s, with
economic liberalization by Narasimha Rao/Dr. Manmohan Singh team, an
impetus was provided for NRIs/PIOs to become more active in the Indian
scene.

Also, in the year 2000, a High Level Indian Diaspora Committee chaired
by Dr. L.M. Singhvi, was set up by the government of India to look
into the issues of NRIs and PIOs and to explore avenues of
opportunities for NRIs/PIOs to help India. The committee after
visiting several countries submitted a report with several
recommendations. The best news to NRIs/PIOs was provided by the
Vajpayee administration in January 2002, i.e. to accept the some of
the recommendations of the committee. Later, the Govt. of India
organized the first Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) in New Delhi in
January 2003 followed by three more such meetings in the month of
January in New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad in 2004, ’05 and ’06
respectively.

India government also decided to provide dual nationality to NRIs/
PIOs. The Indian Parliament passed a legislation to grant dual
citizenship to NRIs/PIOs in December 2003 and again in 2005. The dual
citizenship card was issued officially at the PRB-2006 in Hyderabad.
This will help to bring 22 million people of Indian origin living
outside India closer to India. It will help to mobilize professional
and financial resources of NRIs/PIOs for India’s development. Also, it
is of great sentimental values to PIOs/NRIs living outside India to
feel that they are now part of Mother India

India Govt. is now going a step further to grant voting rights for
Indian citizens living outside India in the Assembly and Parliamentary
elections, provided they are in the constituency at the time of
elections. This will make NRIs feel full participants for India’s
developmental activities. GOPIO had passed resolution on this at its
convention in Zurich in 2000 and has been campaigning on this issue
since then.

Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA)

GOPIO had campaigned for this new ministry similar to the Ministry for
Overseas Chinese in China. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh fulfilled
this demand in 2004. The new ministry has been organizing the annual
PBD. However, we see a bigger role for MOIA in reaching out all those
NRIs/PIOs who could contribute to India’s development. The ministry
also should work with groups such as GOPIO and other organizations to
motivate more NRIs/PIOs to take active interest in India in all areas
of investment, business, technology transfer, development and
charitable activities. There should be separate cells in MOIA to
promote each of these activities.

GOPIO.Connect

Initiated in 2002, GOPIO.Connect acts more as a catalyst to help NGOs
in India and outside to promote their activities as well as to provide
exposure to more NRIs and PIOs. The objectives are as follows:
• Capture and understand key developmental need areas in India where
NRI/PIO community can help
• Organize interactive sessions with NRI/PIO run civil service
organizations on India development issues to widen awareness
• Research on key development-related laws and highlight their
enforcement issues for NRI/PIOs
• Provide help to execute development projects in India
• Encourage NRI/PIOs to research key development-related trends in
India at academic institutions to facilitate new policy
recommendations in various government ministries

NRI/PIO’s Role for the Motherland/Adopted Countries

There are enormous opportunities for NRIs/PIOs to get actively
involved in India’s development as well as support various social
service activities. Many NRIs and organizations have taken major
initiatives in supporting their former schools and colleges, some have
set up schools and colleges in their villages and towns, while others
have been supporting social and environmental causes. The same level
of activities can be initiated by Indo-Caribbeans, Indo-Fijians and
other such communities who live in the developed countries. In the
next level of activities, different nationality segments of our PIO
communities such as Indo-Caribbeans or Indo-South Africans should form
partnerships with other PIO and NRI communities for the development of
their former adopted countries.

Looking to the Future

A former American Ambassador to India, Frank Wisner was quoted at a
speech in 2002 “Linkages between our two societies need to be
developed.” This is where, GOPIO and PIO communities around the world
can play a major role, i.e. to develop linkages between societies,
i.e. Indians with Dutch, Indians with Americans, Indians with
Australians, etc. Diplomats to countries come and go, business
delegations between countries come and go. However, the lasting bond
between countries will take place when we as global citizens develop
linkages. When an issue comes, we as global PIOs should focus upon
them and try to influence the opinion makers in whatever countries we
live in to take right decision and action. We need to build coalitions
with like-minded communities to make our voice heard. Whether it is
India related issues or human rights violations or violations of civil
and political rights in countries such as Fiji, Trinidad, Zimbabwe,
Africa or the Middle East, we have an important role to play.

NRI/PIOs as global citizens have done a great job in building good
image for their Motherland in their respective countries. NRI/PIOs
have worked behind the scene to create interest among companies to
take interest in India. If right opportunities are created, NRI/PIOs
could become solid and life long partners of India’s development as
well as those countries with large PIO population. And in turn, we are
making our contributions to the world’s development and peace, as it
is said, “Vasudeva Kudumbakam”, “World is one Family.”

***
Dr. Abraham has been serving the NRI/PIO community for the last 33
years. He served as the first president of the Federation of Indian
Associations of New York in 1976 and the National Federation of Indian
American Associations in 1980. Dr. Abraham currently serves as the
Chairman of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
which he founded in 1989 and as a Founder Board of Director of Indian
American Kerala Center in New York. Dr. Abraham is Vice President of
Business Communications Co., a leading industry and market research
firm based in Norwalk, CT, USA.

Climate Change Discord
Send us a comment to : ***@southasiamail.com

By Chandru Arni

Without doubt, the conference on Climate change and Global warming was
a fiasco, failure and a retrograde step. It even went back on the
Kyoto Protocol, held in 1997 in Japan where 37 industrialized
countries committed themselves to a reduction of 6 greenhouse gases to
as much as 5% of the 1990 level.

The reasons:
1. It was a wrong place and a wrong time for the meet. Copenhagen, a
chilly city made even more icy in December. The delegates shivered and
probably wished the temperature to be a few degrees warmer and some
sunlight! How could these delegates (90 % of who did not know enough
of the subject believe that the Earth getting warmer by a few degrees
can destroy itself?)
2. The conference had too many countries in participation. It was a
merry mix-up with hundreds of politicians and delegates confusing the
issue. This is one of the reasons that United Nations General Assembly
cannot take any meaningful decisions. Most of them are skeptics, and
do not accept anything based on scientific predictions and demand
physical evidence.
3. Every politician had been warned to put the country before the
Earth. Patriotism towards the country was more important than saving
the Earth.
However he was told that he must show concern for the Earth.
4. Every politician was told NOT to commit to a figure or, if he is
pushed to commit to some small figure he should ensure it could not be
verified. If he is accused of not showing concern he should indulge in
a blame game. Without these “protections” he could not face the
Parliament (or a Senate) on his return.
5. Most of the Politicians and delegates not having a technical
background should have undergone a small scientific instruction course
before attending the conference lest they talk without the desired
seriousness.
6. Lastly, all the countries recognized in advance that nothing
substantial will be achieved and waited for a political agreement to
mess around in platitudes and show a consensus. The Heads of the big
countries could spare just a day or two to get a final agreement –
shows their seriousness and commitment.

COMMENT
The setting of goals for achieving stabilization of greenhouse gas
concentrations in the atmosphere and carbon emissions at a level that
would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system and
temperatures not to go higher than 3
degrees WILL NOT be achievable for the next 20 years unless the above
state of affairs stop and someone who knows takes charge

Why is our Earth warming up?
The concentration of carbon in living matter is almost 100 times
greater than its concentration in the earth. So living things extract
carbon from their nonliving environment. For life to continue, this
carbon must be recycled.
The carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere is gradually and steadily
increasing. The, CO2 in the atmosphere retards the radiation of heat
from the earth back into space which and is referred to as the
“greenhouse effect”. With this effect the Earth gets warmer; in other
words these gases regulate our climate by trapping heat and holding it
in a kind of warm-air blanket that surrounds the earth and warm the
earth. If we don’t have any such blanket the Earth will on the other
side become far too cold for our existence. We must have this balance
But we have gone the other side and this increase is surely caused by
human activities:
Examples of malpractices and disregard
1. Burning natural gas, coal and oil - including gasoline for
automobile engine
2. Deforestation
3. Some farming practices and land-use changes
These are caused by Greenhouse Gases than Carbon Dioxide like methane
( caused by burning forests, flatulence of cattle produces methane
that is expelled, etc).Growing rice has an adverse environmental
impact because of the large quantities of methane and this can be
reduced by better agricultural practices like draining paddy fields.
4. Luxury of man: Chlorofluorocarbons, a totally human luxury (used in
refrigerators and aerosol cans,)
5. Rise in Human and Cattle population.
6. Increase in Environmental pollution

What are the effects of global warming and the greenhouse effect?
1. Weather changes. Even a small increase in the global temperature
would lead to significant climate and weather changes, affecting cloud
cover, precipitation, wind patterns, the frequency and severity of
storms, and the duration of seasons.
2. Temperature. Rising temperatures would raise sea levels as well,
reducing supplies of fresh water as flooding occurs along coastlines
worldwide
3. Sea levels rising: and global warming is at least part of the
cause.
If the sea level were to rise in excess of 4 meters almost every
coastal city in the world would be severely affected, Long-term
changes are mainly caused by temperature (because the volume of water
depends on temperature). The rise is also due to melting glaciers
(irreversible phenomena) caused by global warming.
4. Land. Millions of people also would be affected, especially poor
people who live in precarious locations or depend on the land for a
subsistence living.

Solutions
1. Saving energy and Life style changes and “throw away” practices. Be
frugal. Use Carpools.
2. Using Government and Media to highlight the problems and offer
solutions. Pour more money into research activities for clean energy.
3. Plant trees and support Organic farming (In simplest terms, organic
farming is a form of agriculture that avoids any use of synthetic
chemicals or Genetically Modified Organisms.)
4. Use Alternative energy rather than coal and petroleum
a. Using Solar power: solar cells capture the heat from the sun and
store it.
b. Using wind power: Wind turbines capture the energy of moving air
and convert to electric y
c. Biofuels: Converting organic matter into fuel (ethanol, marine
algae
d. Nuclear energy: It is a source of clean energy but is only a
temporary solution. It has the drawbacks of disastrous consequences of
accident and getting rid of nuclear waste.
e. Use of CFL (compact fluorescent light bulbs) for lighting. If a
building’s indoor incandescent lamps are replaced by CFLs, the heat
produced due to lighting will be reduced. Its environmental advantages
are big because of its lower energy requirement. For a given light
output, CFLs use 20 to 33 percent of the power of equivalent
incandescent lamps. If a building’s indoor incandescent lamps are
replaced by CFLs, the heat produced due to lighting will also be
reduced.

f. Use of hydrogen
A hydrogen vehicle is a vehicle that uses hydrogen as its onboard fuel
for motive power. The power plants of such vehicles convert the
chemical energy of hydrogen to mechanical energy (torque). With
further research and development, this fuel could also serve as an
alternative source of energy for heating and lighting homes,
generating electricity, and fueling motor vehicles.

Challenge for Haiti
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By Todd Moss
As the international response to Haiti’s earthquake shifts from
emergency rescue to longer term reconstruction, things are inevitably
going to get harder. There are some very good ideas floating out
there, not least Michael Clemens’ golden door visa proposal and Jeff
Sachs’ urging for a recovery trust fund (It’s too bad he couldn’t
resist swathing the idea in jabs at the donors and the United States).
But as the donor community starts making that shift and planning
projects, Joshua Nadel, a professor of Caribbean history, has this
very good reminder:

A top-down, donor-driven reconstruction that excludes Haitians will be
seen as paternalistic and will likely join the litany of failed
development projects in the country; in order to get it right,
Haitians need to sit at the table.

This seems obvious: “participation” and “ownership” are standard
buzzwords of the development planning set. But making this dynamic
work in practice is challenging in the best of situations. In Haiti,
this is even trickier since many of the institutions of the Haitian
state have been destroyed and many officials, police, and other
leaders have died. Yet if the donors take the shortcut of just doing
their own thing, I suspect Nadel’s prediction will, sadly, turn out to
be right.

National shame or national scandal?
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By Jeffrey Simpson

Somewhere between a national shame and a national scandal lies
Canada’s export of asbestos.
The federal government promotes asbestos exports – they have risen
sharply in the past year – despite the fact that the use of asbestos
has all but disappeared in this country. Why? Because scientists,
governments, industries and unions have concluded that the product can
lead to a variety of health-related problems and, in some cases, to
death.

Indeed, while the federal government promotes exports, a multiyear
construction project is refitting the Parliament Buildings, among
other reasons to remove asbestos. What our parliamentarians won’t have
in their buildings apparently will be in buildings in the developing
world.

The reason the federal government will not stop defending asbestos is
politics – Quebec politics, in fact. The asbestos produced in Canada
comes from Quebec, from the Jeffrey and LAB Chrysotile mines that
employ about 700 people. A large town in Quebec is even called
Asbestos.

No federal government has had the courage to say: Enough is enough!
We’re not exporting to developing countries any product we won’t use
at home for health reasons. Fear of offending Quebec has put a sock in
the mouth of federal governments, and fear of losing a few votes has
forced Quebec governments into acrobatic flights of hypocrisy to
defend the indefensible.

This week, Quebec Premier Jean Charest has been making headlines
outside Quebec, attacking Ottawa for questioning his government’s
intention to impose strict vehicle-emission standards. It’s all a lot
of blah-blah because Quebec’s rules are going to be superseded by new
national regulations in the U.S. and Canada.

Beating up on Ottawa is good politics, regrettably, in Quebec, but it
so happened that these attacks came from far away – from India, in
fact, where Mr. Charest was leading a Quebec trade delegation
promoting his province’s exports, including asbestos.

It was reported in the Quebec media that asbestos represents 11 per
cent of Quebec’s exports to India, a tidy sum of $427-million. Half of
India’s asbestos comes from Quebec, of the chrysotile variety with
fibres so fine they can penetrate some filtration masks and so enter
lungs, where they can create a variety of health problems, including
lethal ones.

On the eve of Mr. Charest’s visit, scientists from 28 countries urged
him to stop exporting all forms of asbestos. A hundred scientists said
the province won’t use asbestos at home because it can cause death,
while promoting it “where protections are few and awareness of the
hazards of asbestos almost non-existent.” Even some brave scientists
in Quebec, where criticism of asbestos exports has been often regarded
as “anti-Quebec,” urged the Premier to act.

But Mr. Charest said it was up to India to act if it felt asbestos led
to health problems. He was accompanied by a representative of an
asbestos lobby group that receives money from both the federal and
provincial governments; his group, he said, gives information to
asbestos users about its possible risks. In other words, caveat
emptor! Meantime, it’s business as usual for Quebec’s asbestos
exports.

Happily, some elements of the Quebec media have been all over this
story, slamming the Premier’s evident hypocrisy and noting how it
tarnishes Quebec’s precious international image. But, by extension,
the export also tarnishes Canada’s image because, Quebec pretensions
notwithstanding, most people abroad don’t even know where Quebec is,
whereas they do know about Canada.
Ottawa is intimately involved in this dirty game, too. It even sends
diplomats to international meetings to frustrate any worldwide action
against asbestos. And Canadian taxpayers are soiled by this export of
a dangerous product that is scarcely, if ever, used in this country.

Face up to it: Canadians, in their moral superiority, might think our
country has an unsullied international image, especially in
environmental matters. The reality is that those in the fisheries
business know how poorly we have managed some of our stocks. Europe
and the rest of the world are utterly repelled by the slaughter of
seals, and no amount of public-relations campaigning and political
posturing will alter that reality.

The tar sands are a growing PR nightmare, as is Canada’s weak
greenhouse-gas emissions record. To these are added the ongoing export
of asbestos from Quebec, exposing the province’s hypocrisy and
tarnishing Canada’s reputation abroad. (The Globe and Mail)
(See related article under Weekender)
Jeffrey Simpson is a columnist for the Globe and Mail.

Pakistan “Going To The Dogs”?
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By Virginia Moncrieff
Burnt and bombed schools, harsh religious edicts, strict rules of
dress, the total subjugation of women is now a way of life for most
citizens of the beautiful Swat Valley in northern Pakistan.
Swat is a stunning area of the world. It’s often called the
Switzerland of Asia, though for my money, it has a landscape that is
far more awe-inspiring than anything Europe can offer. Now it is
almost entirely over run by Taliban who are ruthless in their demands
on the citizens.
Cruelty is a feature of Taliban rule, under the guise of proper
Islamic practice, and Swat is receiving bucket loads of cruelty,
daily. “Un-Islamic” activities like dancing and singing, listening to
CDs and watching DVDs or being clean-shaven are now outlawed. Buses
playing music for their passengers are bombed for promoting “vulgarity
and obscenity” that “gravely offends pious people.” Girls are banned
from attending school under threat of violence and death.
The Taliban advance into Swat is only now being reported. While the
lawless badlands of the Afghan border areas have attracted much hand
wringing, the Talib have crept into sophisticated, cultural Swat -
nowhere near Afghanistan - and are now ruling the place with an iron
fist.
Pakistani political analyst Farrukh Khan Pitafi told the Huffington
Post from Islamabad that the free-for-all enjoyed by the Taliban stems
from bloody-minded opportunism dating back to the Pervez Musharraf
government.
“It is evident that the Musharraf’s strategy of allowing the Taliban
to grow in order to exploit western fear(s) of them (taking) over to
garner support for his rule is either beyond the control of the
government now or then. Some segment(s) of the power elite has not
given up that ploy.
“It has never been possible for any radical group (to flourish)
without the tacit support of at least some elements in the
establishment. It is my belief that Musharraf consciously allowed
these elements to thrive,” says Mr. Khan Pitafi. “At that time it
seemed convenient but now this movement is spinning out of control.
There is a chance also that some pro-Musharraf elements within the
civil military bureaucracy are still in touch with the Taliban in
order to destabilize the democratic government.”
“Ruthless murderers” is how Asif Ali Zardari, the new Pakistan
president described the Taliban in Swat, as he started making the
right noises about taking them on. He has sent in 12,000 army troops
to do battle with the estimated 4,000 Taliban who are running the
Valley. Reports from Swat suggest that not terribly much “doing
battle” is taking place; troops stay within their barracks, and
failing to protect those that the Taliban publicly threaten to kill
(and usually do).
Farrukh Khan Pitafi is is convinced that solutions must be found from
within and not through the advice or intervention of the United
States, which will create further difficulties for the national
administration’s fight against the insurgents.
“The speed with which the Taliban movement is destroying peace and
progress of the country is heartrending and baffling,” he says. “The
government right now is so unstable that it can hardly confront the
demon of Talibanization. Is there any solution? Well it certainly is
not more US across the border attacks for they inflict pain and give
the Taliban an excuse to further expand. The only solution then is to
strengthen the democratic government, do away with the remnants of
Pervez Musharraf and the retrogressive religious politicians and help
the federal and provincial governments improve coordination. This
seems an arduous process but unless these things are done the country
essentially is going to the dogs.”

India Sees Terrorism Threats
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By VIBHUTI AGARWAL

NEW DELHI—India put its security apparatus on high alert following
intelligence reports of two possible assaults in the air— one from a
plane hijacking, the other from paragliders, officials said.

Also Friday, the U.K. raised its terrorist-threat level to severe from
substantial, but declined to say why it was doing so.

Indian Officials said the Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-
Taiba was behind both threats. The group was responsible for the
November 2008 terrorist siege in Mumbai.

On Friday, the home ministry, which is in charge of internal security,
issued a security alert to all airports and airlines following an
intelligence notification of a plot to hijack a plane.

“We have reliable information of a planned plane hijack by terrorists.
We have advised the civil aviation ministry to take necessary steps,”
said Omkar Kedia, a home ministry spokesman.

Airport security was tightened following the warning. Sky marshals
were deployed on certain flights and passengers were being subject to
more intense security screening, he said.

Later Friday, U.K. Bansal, an official at the home ministry, said: “We
have intelligence reports that LeT has purchased 50 paragliding kits
from Europe with an intention to launch attacks on India.” No other
details were available.

India celebrates one of its biggest holidays of the year, Republic
Day, on Tuesday.

Indian interior ministry recommends extra security measures for
India’s flagship airlines. Video courtesy of Reuters.

The alerts came two days after U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates,
traveling in the region, warned of efforts by al Qaeda and its
affiliates to destabilize South Asia and trigger a war between India
and Pakistan.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since they became
independent nations in 1947. In December 1999, Islamic militants
hijacked an Air India flight from Nepal’s capital, Katmandu, to
Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. It ended when New Delhi released
three Islamic terrorists in exchange for 167 passengers and crew.

The U.K.’s move Friday reversed a lowering of the threat level in
July. The U.K. reduced the threat level from critical to severe in
July 2007. A spokesman for the home office referred questions to a
statement from the home secretary.

The United Kingdom’s security experts says they fear an attack from
female suicide bombers. Video courtesy of Fox News.

“The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre has today raised the threat to
the U.K. from international terrorism from substanital to severe. This
means that a terrorist attack is highly likely, but I should stress
that there is no intelligence to suggest than an attack is imminent,”
said Home Secretary Alan Johnson.

Mr. Johnson said the terror-threat level is under constant review and
is based on a wide range of factors.

US leads global relief effort for Haiti
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By Paul Woodward

As the survivors of Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake struggle in
worsening conditions, three US presidents came together on Saturday to
launch a fundraising effort across America. With his two predecessors
at his side, the US president appealed for national unity in support
of the people of Haiti.

“Flanked by two of his immediate predecessors – George W Bush and Bill
Clinton – President Barack Obama announced yesterday the launch of a
new fund-raising effort for Haiti and vowed a sustained US commitment
to rebuilding the island nation in the aftermath of the devastating
earthquake,” The National reported.

” ‘By coming together in this way, these two leaders send an
unmistakable message to the people of Haiti and to the people of the
world,’ Mr Obama said, speaking in the White House Rose Garden. ‘In
these difficult hours, America stands united. We stand united with the
people of Haiti, who have shown such incredible resilience, and we
will help them to recover and to rebuild.’”

The BBC noted: “When US President Barack Obama announced that one of
the biggest relief efforts in US history would be heading for Haiti,
he highlighted the close ties between the two nations.

” ‘With just a few hundred miles of ocean between us and a long
history that binds us together, Haitians are our neighbours in the
Americas and here at home,’ he said.

“Hundreds of thousands of Haitians have indeed become neighbours of
Americans.

“Some 420,000 live in the US legally, according to census figures.
Estimates of the number of Haitians in the country illegally vary
wildly, from some 30,000 to 125,000.

“It is a sizeable diaspora which wants to see quick and decisive
action from its adopted homeland.

“Desperate to see aid getting through to friends and relatives, many
expatriate Haitians have welcomed President Obama’s decision to send
up to 10,000 troops to help rescue efforts.”

On his blog at The New York Times, Nicholas D Kristof noted a concern
expressed by some Americans: that American generosity towards Haiti
has done little to alleviate the country’s troubles in the past. He
pointed out, however, that US aid to its impoverished neighbour falls
short of the contributions coming from many other more distant
nations.

“The United States contributed $2.32 per American to Haiti over the
last three years for which we have data (about 80 cents a year).
That’s much less than other countries do, even though Haiti is in our
hemisphere and has historic close ties to the US. For example, Canada
contributed $12.13 per person to Haiti over three years, and Norway
sent $8.44. … Other countries that contribute more, per capita, to
Haiti than the US are Luxembourg, Sweden, Ireland, France,
Switzerland, Spain and Belgium. True, there are more Americans, so
collectively our aid amounts to more than one-quarter of the pot in
Haiti, but that’s only because we’re such a big country. Given the per
capita sums, we have no right to be bragging about our generosity in
Haiti.”

Meanwhile, The Guardian reported: “The Haiti earthquake death toll is
predicted to reach 200,000 as relief workers struggle against looting
and logistical nightmares that have delayed vital supplies of food,
water and medical help.

“International aid has begun to reach the capital, Port-au-Prince,
four days after the quake destroyed much of the Haiti’s
infrastructure, from hospitals and prisons to the presidential palace
itself.

“The Red Cross said a convoy of trucks carrying a ‘huge amount’ of aid
from the Dominican Republic was due to arrive in the capital this
afternoon, bringing a 50-bed field hospital, surgical teams and an
emergency telecommunications unit.

“The supplies and medical teams had to be sent in by land because
‘it’s not possible to fly anything into Port-au-Prince right now’,
said Paul Conneally, the charity’s spokesman in Dominica. ‘The airport
is completely congested.’

“Mark Pearson of the charity ShelterBox said: ‘It’s utter chaos at the
airport. Buildings have been completely destroyed, the hospital has
been destroyed. It’s a full scale emergency, there’s so much
destruction.

” ‘The priority at the moment is search and rescue and then after that
emergency shelter provision, so obviously there’s frustration. There’s
no fuel and people are hunting for water. It’s difficult to put the
scale of destruction into words.’”

The New York Times said: “Countries around the world have responded to
Haiti’s call for help as never before. And they are flooding the
country with supplies and relief workers that its collapsed
infrastructure and nonfunctioning government are in no position to
handle.

“Haitian officials instead are relying on the United States and the
United Nations, but coordination is posing a critical challenge, aid
workers said. An airport hobbled by only one runway, a ruined port
whose main pier splintered into the ocean, roads blocked by rubble,
widespread fuel shortages and a lack of drivers to move the aid into
the city are compounding the problems.

“Across Port-au-Prince, hunger was on the rise. About 1,700 people
camped on the grass in front of the prime minister’s office compound
in the Pétionville neighborhood, pleading for biscuits and water-
purification tablets distributed by aid groups. Haitian officials said
tens of thousands of victims had already been buried.”

Time magazine said: “An armada of US warships is steaming toward
Haiti, to be joined by at least one Coast Guard cutter en route from
the Pacific via the Panama Canal - and manned and unmanned aircraft.
Within two hours of the quake, one of the globe’s biggest warships,
the carrier USS Carl Vinson, was ordered from off the Virginia coast
toward Haiti, swapping its jet fighters for heavy-lift helicopters as
it steamed south at top speed. Three ships, including the Vinson and
the hospital ship USNS Comfort, boast state-of-the-art medical
facilities that will care for injured Haitians. Thousands of troops
are on their way to Haiti or already there, running the airport and
clearing ports for many more to follow. Up to 10,000 troops will be in
Haiti or floating just offshore by Monday.

“It fell to State Department spokesman PJ Crowley to clarify a
delicate point: ‘We’re not,’ he insisted, ‘taking over Haiti.’
Strictly speaking, that’s true: Haiti remains a sovereign country, and
there are 9,000 UN peacekeepers already there, charged with
maintaining security. But as death stalks those smothered beneath the
rubble of pancaked buildings, and poor sanitation triggers outbreaks
of dysentery and other diseases, one nation in the world has the
muscle to quickly make a difference. That’s why the US is racing aid
to the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere. If things get worse,
the US - fairly or unfairly - will be blamed by many for not doing
enough.”

India’s growth prospects raised to 9%
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by Sunil Kashyap

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, himself an economist of international
repute, hoped double digit GDP growth rate for the economy in next
couple of years given to potential and enormous opportunities present
in India.
Urging NRIs at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Dr. Singh expressed
government’s commitment to provide investment friendly environment in
the country by reducing all hurdles for setting up project in India.
His assurance came a day after steel tycoon LN Mittal counted
challenges for executing mega projects in the country.
Addressing a gathering of the Indian diaspora, the PM said, “I
recognize the frustration well-wishers feel when they lament why
things don’t work faster or why well-formulated plans and policies
don’t get implemented as well as they should be.”
The PM’s projections can make economists and analyst to revise their
forecasts besides strengthening the common belief of India achieving
the past glories of economic growth leaving behinds the worst of
global slowdown.
Government has been expediting investment in road and infrastructure
projects through increased public spending besides taking a slew of
measures for cutting red tape, resolving legal issues and making land
acquisition simplified for setting up industries.

America’s long way to social development
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By Dr. John Samuel

United States of America, the most economically and militarily
advanced country, has a long way to go if it wants to be a socially-
developed country as well. It is hoped with his rhetorical elegance
and intelligence, Barack Obama would be able to help the country to
make significant progress in this direction.

With America’s economic leadership being challenged by China, the U.S.
needs to make the advance called for in social development to remain
ahead of other nations as a progressive and productive one on earth.
Its democracy is nothing unique considering that there are several
countries that can claim to be even more democratic since, unlike in
the U.S., it is not money alone that determines the successes or
failure of politicians in other democracies.

Among the social development factors, one of the most important is the
ability of a nation to provide essential services such as health care
for its people. It is a basic human need to get health care without
becoming bankrupt in the process. Several million American are
becoming increasingly unable to meet its horrendous costs in an
economy with more than one in ten unemployed. It is not certain even
the watered-down health care bill would have a smooth voyage in terms
of passage. It is unfortunate that many of the developing nations of
the world are blinded by the past economic success of the U.S. and
even in health care matters they follow the awful American example.

A second indictor of social underdevelopment in the U.S. is the
predominance and prevalence of the notion that the individual is
responsible for his/her safety and security. In most other countries,
the state takes over this function entirely and a police force is
responsible for the protection of individuals. It is unfortunate that
Americans live as if they are in a society that existed 200 or more
years ago when wild animals roamed and lack of law and order was the
norm and the individual needed protection from hostile forces using
one’s own devices such as guns. When the gun lobby bribes politicians
to support their cause of selling even more weapons of mass murder, as
seen in the numerous incidents of shootings by deranged individuals,
it would not be easy to change course despite the fact that there were
more gun death per 1000 population the U.S. than in any other country
in the world. Only an amendment of the Constitution of the country can
help. The Constitution is for the people, not the other way around.
This is not easy unless in the second term of his office, President
Obama turns his attention to this waxing issue.

A third indicator of social underdevelopment is the rising power of
fundamentalism among religious groups. Here the reference is not to
Islamic fundamentalism alone, but Christian fundamentalism as well.
Religious fundamentalism – Islamic, Christian or Hindu – is a danger
to smooth functioning of any society. “Live and let live” should be
the way of the future if unnecessary conflicts and deaths are to be
avoided. The state may not be able to play a direct role here.

Finally, it is the fundamentalism that leads to state executions as a
means of those who have supposedly committed a serious crime, at times
of innocent people. The state has to business to take away anyone’s
life though for the protection of society, it can take away the
freedom of dangerous individuals. European countries and Canada have
succeeded in abolishing capital punishment. In some U.S. states also
capital punishment is not allowed.

There could be other instances of lack of social development that
needs mention. We invite our readers to come up with suggestions.

Happy New Year to all.

Dr. John Samuel is the President and Managing Editor of South Asia
Mail.

Is Climate Change for Real?
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By Amit Bhattacharya

The hard talk is on at Copenhagen. In the huddle are negotiators from
more than 192 nations, trying to forge a common plan to save the
planet. At last count, 110 world leaders were slated to gather in the
Danish capital for end-of-summit declarations that may well lay the
ground for a fundamental retooling of the global economy.

Beyond the hope, hype and bickering about who pays how much to whom,
lies a plain fact - there’s near-total consensus among governments of
the world that fossil fuel emissions have been leading to a critical
rise in atmospheric greenhouse gases, which in turn is causing global
temperatures to rise and changing the Earth’s climate patterns.

Ironically, this consensus totally breaks down when civil society
begins to talk about climate change. The Internet is replete with
assertions of climate change being the “biggest scam of the century”.
Okay, you may argue that internet is also full of accounts from
victims of alien abductions and creationists who denounce evolution.
Society’s loony fringe often has exaggerated presence on the Internet.

Except, with the climate debate, it’s not exactly the loony fringe.
Consider this: Of the top 12 bestselling books on climatology in
Amazon.com, only three - one by Al Gore and two by leading climate
scientist James Hansen - present the mainstream scientific view on the
subject. As many as five other books deny human induced climate change
in some way or the other.

Look at opinion polls. A survey conducted in the US by the respected
Pew Research Center in October showed a 14% drop in the number of
Americans who thought there was solid evidence that the Earth was
warming from 71% who had said yes to the question in April 2008, to
57% in October 2009. Only 36% of the respondents thought humans were
causing it, down from 47% last year.

Then there is the “climategate”episode, in which leaked emails of
British climatologists proved at least to some people that scientists
were cooking data to fit their models.

That the Earth is steadily warming has itself been denied by some
experts. They point out that the global temperatures haven’t really
gone up since 1998, and the graph has been more or less flat since
then (despite the 2000-2009 decade being the warmest on record). There
are others who say that the warming trend of the last century is part
of a natural cycle and not human-induced; that human activities
haven’t reached the critical scale to impact climate. Many of these
experts point to waxing and waning of solar activity to explain
temperature variations on Earth.

All this brings us to the point of this post: Governments of the world
are convinced about the warming effects of greenhouse emissions, but
are the people? Is the science of global warming settled?

During the course of a climate change fellowship I attended in the US
last month, leading climatologists spoke on the subject. The insights
we got were both revealing and troubling. To answer the second
question first - yes, the science behind what’s causing the Earth to
heat up seems pretty settled. A few notable dissenters aside, an
overwhelming majority of climatologists believe there’s strong
evidence to show that fossil fuels are causing the warming.

It’s not just about individual scientists. The study of climate change
is a multidisciplinary system science. Like any science of this
nature, there are things that are well established and areas which
aren’t as clear, that is, where competing explanations exist and some
parts that are yet speculative. Understanding is built and unbuilt
through accumulated evidences over decades.

As Stephen Schneider, professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental
Studies at Stanford University and a preeminent climate change expert
put it, understanding climate is like understanding the world economy:
it’s never solved by one new piece of information. And the answers are
never in plain yes or no, but in degrees of certainty.

For instance, to understand whether human activity was leading to a
rise in global temperatures, scientists had to build climate models
based on observed data and make predictions. These models predict an
overall warming trend. Temperature data of the last 100 years, and the
last 50 years, bear this out. Since there are two possible outcomes in
the data set “warming or cooling” there’s a 50% chance that this
prediction was random.

There’s more. The models also predict that middle of the continents
warm up more than middle of oceans. Again, observations show that’s
the case. Models predict stratosphere cools, lower atmosphere warms.
Right again. Models predict the stratosphere cools because of ozone
depleting substances and relative damping. They also predict that
there’s more warming at night than the day. Yet again, the models get
it right.

Put together, these models leave a statistical possibility of just 5%
that all these correct predictions were arrived at by pure chance. In
other words, the statement that humans through fossil fuel emissions
are warming up the planet has a scientific accuracy of around 95%.
That’s a very high degree of certainty. No other competing explanation
of the observed data’s natural cycle or solar activity comes anywhere
close to the robustness of this theory. (Of course, there’s still a 5%
chance that the warming is being caused by a factor that’s yet
unknown; but can we risk our planetary future on this basis?)

To return to the first question: Why are so many people not convinced?
There are two main reasons why this is so. The first one is obvious:
There are strong vested interests in letting people believe that
warming is a myth; or that the issue is far from settled. It’s no
surprise that a lot of climate change deniers get funds from
multinational oil conglomerates. There are websites that carry lists
of who gets funded by whom. (There would, of course, be some genuine
non-believers in the mix, but oil funding is the ugly, predominant
truth.)

The second reason is the way the science works and the way scientists
communicate it. Climate science is all about probabilities, not
certainties. And scientists are careful about throwing in all the
caveats while making their points. On the other hand, people who are
cherry-picking facts to suit their slant are forceful and definitive.
No guessing which set of speakers would leave a more lasting
impression on primetime TV.

There’s no denying that climate is the most politicized and
contentious science of our times. But on one side is method and
rigour, and on the other, half-truths and slant. At stake is a planet
called Earth.

South Asia and climate change
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By Simon Tay

Climate change is a critical and pressing issue we are faced with
today. In South Asia we are increasingly exposed to the results of
climate change, such as the latest typhoons and floods in the region,
causing loss of lives and damage to property as well as displacing
families and increasing the spread of tropical diseases.

There is also the risk of rising sea level and increasing
temperatures. A recently released report from the Asian Development
Bank (ADB) shows that South Asia is likely to suffer more from climate
change than elsewhere in the world. There will be considerable
economic costs too, with a projected 7-8 per cent loss in GDP, unless
climate change is addressed.

It is an issue, on which developed and developing countries should
come together. Yet differences and suspicions remain.

Copenhagen meetings are going on to reach a consensus on a new climate
agreement. However, after Barcelona, it seems that the negotiations
have not progressed so far that a new legal framework will be ready
for Copenhagen. A realistic outcome will probably be a political
framework which can form the basis for future negotiations on the post-
Kyoto treaty.

South Asian countries need to think about their position on the
international stage. We all see the need to bring together the US,
India, China and south-east Asia, and mediators can help bring these
nations together. Singapore and other countries in the region could
very well play that role.

If we do not, we risk having larger and more powerful countries coming
to agreements alone and the decisions risk being made without our full
attention and participation.

The world is also looking at alternative sources of energy. It is
clear that some countries are more able and capable to deploy energy
saving mechanisms such as windmills and water/tidal turbines. Solar
energy, though a good solution, is still very expensive and presently
is not optimal.

Without the big nations on board, it may be understandable that other
nations approach Copenhagen cautiously. A solitary commitment by any
single nation cannot solve this global challenge.

Simon Tay is Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs
(SIIA) and former chairman of Singapore National Energy Agency
Stephen Harper in world affairs

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By Bruce Anderson

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s trip to China garnered huge coverage
at home, and likely helped his political fortunes somewhat.

First of all, it was a distraction from the politics of Afghan
detainees, and the week wasn’t kind to the Conservatives on that
issue. Almost anything is better than having lots of voters focus
exclusively on pictures of heavily redacted documents and watch some
increasingly effective opposition prosecution of the issue.

Beyond that though, the Prime Minister is working hard to position
himself as competitive with Michael Ignatieff when it comes to what’s
important on the world stage. His rising profile as the nation’s top
diplomat also continues the process of softening his personal image.
That he amiably absorbed the shots Chinese leaders inflicted about the
lack of a prior visit seemed in contrast with a more prickly reaction
we might have seen earlier in his career.

Conventional wisdom holds that Canadians feel conflicted about China,
anxious to enhance our trade opportunities on the one hand, but
reluctant to look indifferent about the human rights abuses in that
country. Over the years I’ve done public opinion research in this
area, that’s not exactly what I’ve seen.

For one of the world’s great selling nations, our citizenry is
actually a bit tentative about the importance of international
commerce. When it comes to trade agreements, we’ve often had a foot on
the brake and a foot on the accelerator at the same time. For many,
the apparent success of Nafta has softened opposition to the concept
of free trade, but not yet translated into a full-on embrace of the
philosophy.

Most Canadians are very hesitant about any notions of free trade with
China, and tepid at best about investment by Chinese state enterprises
in the Canadian resource sector. This comes from a reflexive worry
about our ability to compete with bigger players, and a longstanding
instinct not to bargain away our natural resources birthright.

We’re also less passionate than we used to be about involving
ourselves in the social rights agendas of other countries. We are
fatigued with the idea of nation building in Afghanistan. We don’t
always feel confident knowing when and where our voice is needed in
other trouble spots, how forceful our interventions should be in order
to be helpful, and whether we can really avoid being brushed off. Our
collective attentiveness to global issues has been slipping for years,
which contributes to this uncertainty.

A renewal of Canadian interest in international affairs would be a
good thing for Canada. Doing so requires this type of intense focus
from our political leaders, and benefits from vigorous competition
between parties to help inform and clarify our choices. Whatever
policy we make around trade and investment flows with China, whatever
role we choose to play in promoting human rights or fighting
collective environmental problems, it can’t help but be in our
interests to make these decisions on a more broadly informed basis.

That’s why many observers likely hope that the Prime Minister’s
extensive foreign policy work this year was about more than connecting
with targeted segments of Canadian voters, and winning a few more
seats, but instead signals a new era of active Canadian outreach. And
why most of the same observers also welcome the fact that the Liberals
have talented people like Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae and trade critic
Scott Brison to provide a serious and thought provoking challenge to
the government.

Obama Reassures Singh On U.S.-India Ties
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By Don Gonyea

As a sign of India’s rising stature, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was
treated to the first state visit of Obama’s presidency. The two
leaders pledged to strengthen their economic ties, and Obama
reiterated the importance of the U.S. relationship with India.

Obama tried to assuage growing concerns by many in India that the
relationship between these two nations is being eclipsed by a greater
U.S. outreach to China, India’s neighbor.

That was the broad message of all of the White House events Tuesday.

“It will be another opportunity to convey to the prime minister and
the people of India, as India assumes its rightful place as a global
leader in this century, that you will have no better friend and
partner than the United States of America,” Obama said.

“I was deeply impressed by President Obama’s strong commitment to the
India-U.S. strategic partnership and by the breadth of his vision for
global peace and prosperity,” Singh said.

“After eight years — some of those years in which we did not have, I
think, either the resources or the strategy to get the job done — it
is my intention to finish the job,” Obama said.

But a weak Afghan government, the country’s mountainous terrain and
the tenacity of the insurgents all add up to a very difficult task, no
matter what the strategy.

A poll published Wednesday by USA Today shows support for Obama on
Afghanistan plummeting. Three months ago, 56 percent approved of his
handling of the issue. Now 55 percent disapprove.

Any big buildup is likely to displease much of the American public as
the war enters its ninth year, with casualties rising.

Obama predicts that the public will give him a fair hearing when he
presents his case: “I feel very confident that when the American
people hear a clear rationale for what we’re doing there, and how we
intend to achieve our goals, that they will be supportive.”

The president has the Thanksgiving weekend to finalize his strategy
for Afghanistan, and his plan for selling that strategy both at home
and abroad.

HARPER AND INDIA
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By Rana Sarkar

There are few more important things Prime Minister Stephen Harper can
do for the future of the Canadian economy in our lifetimes than start
free-trade talks with India. Against the backdrop of aging
populations, thickening borders and the unlikely return of the U.S.
consumer as the global ATM – and in order to build the foundation for
competitiveness beyond the current downturn – we need to think
differently and act quickly to reduce our reliance on a single
partner.

We need to diversify into the big trading markets of the European
Union, Brazil, China and India. Given global multilateral trade talks
are mired in the sands of Doha for the foreseeable future, Canada’s
preference for bilateral pacts has proven a good instinct. With NAFTA,
and an EU free-trade deal in the works, we have secured two of the
largest markets, but Brazil remains tied up in its own regional
trading regime and China seems forever complicated. And so India
stands out as the next great opportunity for Canada.

Frankly, the timing could not be better. India is keen to expand its
global trade footprint and is selectively engaging in large deals of
its own, including ones with the EU and South Korea. But it is also
keen to get a foothold in the North American market. A quiet visit by
the Indian commerce minister to Ottawa in September has set the stage
for diplomatic dialogue on a comprehensive economic partnership – a
commitment to talk about talks. The Prime Minister should follow up
aggressively in India this week and stake his claim for full-blown
free-trade discussions.

“ Most countries got the memo circulated at Davos a few years ago”

An agreement will not happen overnight and will likely take years to
negotiate. But seizing on this initiative is rich with symbolism of
our intent to engage the New India and will help us jump the snaking
cue of the global great and good forming in Delhi. Most countries got
the memo circulated at Davos a few years ago: India, like China before
it, emerged from the global economic realignment as one of the great
players of the 21st century. It is now the fourth-largest economy in
the world in purchasing power parity, having grown at 6 to 9 per cent
over two decades, and will be, barring calamity, one of the big three
within 30 years.

Its self-sustaining growth is now past the tipping point – not fuelled
by exports alone but by a private sector composed of millions of
entrepreneurs, domestic consumption and new global ambition. India is
set to become one of the great global consumer markets in the decades
ahead as its North American-sized middle class flex their credit cards
and the country brings half a billion of its poorest into the global
economy for the first time.

Underwriting this growth has meant converting two enormous challenges
into strengths. India’s democracy, long viewed as a handicap to
growth, is now widely regarded as a source of multilayered strength,
able to see off complex challenges from security threats to brokering
the aspirations of the fast urbanizing poor. India’s billion-plus
population, once a Malthusian trap, now looks more like a demographic
dividend featuring a young population (half under 25) set to grow
rich(er) before they grow old – similar to postwar America and
Europe.

A Canada-India free trade agreement would likely be focused primarily
on investment, labour mobility and services – fears of job losses and
a flood of cheap exports are overblown. The China-U.S. relationship,
often citied by critics of trade arrangements between developed and
big emerging markets, is instructive: Job losses and cheap imports
have occurred precisely because trade and investment liberalization is
lacking, creating a situation where China has depressed its currency
to dampen consumption and drive exports that are bought by U.S.
consumers increasingly through debt – debt that is, in turn, financed
by the Chinese. This, of course, will not be the case with Canada’s
trade with India.

With similar democratic institutions, Commonwealth heritage and strong
diasporic links, Canada and India have much in common institutionally,
making an agreement possible. What is required now is a greater level
of political and corporate-sector commitment – and a little
imagination – to make it a reality. (The Globe and Mail)

Rana Sarkar is president and executive director of the Canada-India
Business Council.

Mohammad Akbar: Canada should strengthen trade relationship with India
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By Mohammad Akbar

In light of news that China has overtaken Canada as the number one
exporter to the U.S., it makes more sense than ever that we stop
putting all our eggs into one basket.

Canada should seek to diversify its trade for the same reasons that an
investor diversifies his or her portfolio—to get better gains and
reduce risk.

Canadian businesses are concerned by the potential upheaval in North
American trade amid the emergence of a “Buy American” mentality and
the likelihood that NAFTA may be placed back on the negotiation
table.

This is an opportune time for Canada to rethink its approach towards
international trade. We can and should open as many doors around the
world as possible for our businesses by moving toward free trade with
the world’s largest and fastest growing economies.

Preferential trade agreements or free trade agreements are becoming
very popular around the world as many countries become increasingly
disenchanted with the multilateral trade regime established under the
World Trade Organization.

I would suggest this is a very good time to be thinking of building a
stronger trade relationship with India.

The Indian economy has grown by more than nine percent for three years
running—growth that has been supported by economy-wide reforms, huge
inflows of direct foreign investment, rising foreign exchange
reserves, and a flourishing capital market.

Furthermore India is interested in building regional and bilateral
trade relationships and has entered into in number of them with the
zeal of a new convert. It is currently negotiating a free trade
agreement with the European Union and has signed an agreement to
cooperate in trade, investment, and energy issues with the U.S.

The Indian government is looking at alternative energy sources and has
also signed a wide-ranging nuclear treaty with the U.S.—an area that
can be exploited by Canada due to its comparative advantage in the
energy sector.

The Indian services sector, which accounts for more than 50 percent of
its GDP, is another tremendous opportunity for Canada .

Canada also has strong immigration ties with India that are currently
not reflected in trade relations. Over the last five years, trade
between the two countries has only amounted to about US$4 billion.

In this age of globalization, economic relations are a key to
strengthening political and foreign relations. A bilateral agreement
with India could yield meaningful strategic benefits.

India is an important country for Canada because of its geographical
location and its emerging role in global politics. Greater market
access to India and its one billion people will also help reduce
Canadian businesses’ vulnerability to the ups and downs of the U.S.
market. That will expand production here at home and create more jobs
while at the same time providing a cheap source of imports for both
goods and services.

In short, free trade with India would not only be a tremendous benefit
to Canadian business but would also establish Canada’s presence
politically and socially in one of the world’s great emerging
markets.

Mohammad Akbar is a professor of economics in the school of business
at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Singh’s US visit is rich with symbolism
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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s upcoming state visit to the US
would be reinforcement of America’s friendship with India. The trip
will be a test of India’s willingness to follow through with
acquisitions of civilian nuclear technology and ‘to agree to a test
ban’.

‘The first state visit under the Obama administration is rich with
symbolism,’ ‘It will solidify the US-Indian relationship under a
Democratic president.’

Obama administration has many officials who were skeptical of the
India-US civil nuclear deal. ‘The visit will be a test of India’s
willingness to follow through with concrete acquisitions of civilian
nuclear technology, and to agree to a test ban.

Manmohan Singh is scheduled to visit the US Nov 24.

The Obama administration early on learned to de-hyphenate India and
Pakistan, he said, adding ‘The challenges facing Pakistan’s survival
from within are driving relations there and are of a more urgent
nature than the slowly but steadily developing relationship with
India.

For Americans and Europeans, the terrorist origins in Pakistan are as
alarming as they are to Indians. US officials understand well,
perhaps better than some in the Bush administration that India is
pursuing improvements in its external circumstances along every
azimuth.

‘The relationship is important, and increasingly so, but it is not
exclusive in either direction. Both nations are pursuing their
interests with a cool eye and a sense of balance. This is a healthy
basis for long-term cooperation where the interests coincide.

The US and India share concerns about the terrorist threats we face.
We have a common interest in globalisation occurring in an orderly
fashion and a host of other issues. In those efforts, our allied
efforts will be critical.

Douglas H. Paal, is vice president for studies at the Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace.

Religious Freedom in India
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Lalit K Jha

A US government report on Monday praised the religious freedom in
India despite mentioning instances of attacks on religious minorities,
and lauded the “independent” judiciary and a “vibrant” civil society
for acting against violations whenever they occur.

The annual report on International Religions Freedom, between July
2008 and June 2009, released in Washington by Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton, also mentioned the Mumbai terror attacks in which
extremists targeted luxury hotels, a crowded railway station, a Jewish
centre, a hospital and restaurants.

It, however, criticised the police and law enforcement agencies for
often not acting swiftly to effectively counter violence and attacks
by extremists.

“In general, India’s democratic system, open society, independent
legal institutions, vibrant civil society and press all provided
mechanisms to address violations of religious freedom when they did
occur,” the State Department said in its annual report.

In its section on India, it said, although vast majority of citizens
of every religious group lived in peaceful coexistence, “some
organised societal attacks against minority religious groups
occurred,” and accused enforcement agencies for not acting swiftly in
many cases.

It also mentioned the violence in Kandhamal in August 2008 after the
killing of Swami Lakshmanananda by individuals affiliated with the
Maoists. The violence claimed 40 lives and left 134 injured, it said.

“Although most victims were Christians, the underlying causes that led
to the violence have complex ethnic, economic, religious and political
roots related to land ownership and government-reserved employment and
educational benefits,” it said, adding that police arrested 1,200
persons, including a Maoist leader and registered over 1,000 criminal
cases.

According to several independent accounts, an estimated 3,200 refugees
remained in relief camps, down from 24,000 in the immediate aftermath
of the violence, the report noted.

It said numerous cases remained in courts, including those related to
the 2002 Gujarat violence, the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, and the more
recent attacks against Christians, and some extremists continued to
view the ineffective investigation and prosecution as a signal that
they could commit such violence with impunity.

The State Department report said government officials responded to a
number of new and previous violent events, helping to prevent communal
violence and providing relief and rehabilitation packages for victims
and their families.

It also praised leaders of religious groups for making public efforts
to show respect for other groups by celebrating their holidays and
attending social events, and for protesting cases of violence against
other communities.

“Muslim groups protested the mistreatment of Christians by Hindu
extremists… Christian clergy and spokespersons for Christian
organisations issued public statements condemning anti-Muslim violence
in places such as Gujarat,” it said.
After the Mumbai strikes, religious leaders of all communities
condemned the attacks and issued statements to maintain communal
harmony, the report said.

Lalit K Jha is a talented and results-oriented journalist with
extensive experience reporting upon international affairs and
government operations for leading national newspapers and wire
services.

Taliban Terror in Pakistan
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By Walid Phares

Taliban Terror in Pakistan
The war between the Taliban and Pakistan continues to accelerate. Just
last weekend, Pakistan’s army responded to a long string of Taliban
attacks by launching a massive ground operation in Waziristan.

But through this already-long fight, the press and other observers
have only focused on the continuing bloodshed rather than the fact
that the Taliban continue to launch suicide bombers and other types of
attacks inside Pakistan’s cities against its police and military
forces. We warned that the Taliban’s war on Pakistan’s government and
civil society, would widen since the assassination of Prime Minister
elect Benazir Bhutto in December 2007. And so it is today.

It is unfortunate, but nevertheless true, that he most important
events – the worst events — in this war have yet to happen. And
analysts must focus on the lessons learned so far so that the worrying
projections can be accompanied with parallel policy suggestions.

The jihadi campaign in Pakistan was planned years ago, but the
electoral victory in 2007 of the secular Party of the People, headed
traditionally by the Bhutto clan, triggered an acceleration of the
Taliban general offensive. Initially the Mullahs of the most radical
Salafists on the face of Earth – in partnership with al Qaeda — wanted
to seize Pakistan gradually, with further infiltration. They were
building their “Emirate” sanctuary in Waziristan and beyond, while
penetrating the intelligence agencies and other segments of the
bureaucracy.

But since September 2008 when Benazir’s widower Asif Ali Zardari was
elected as new President and as he clearly pledged to fight
“terrorism,” the Taliban leaped to preempt his designs. In one short
year, they escalated their attacks reaching a point 60 miles from
Islamabad last April. That week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham
Clinton said that Zardari’s government was “abdicating to the Taliban
and the extremists.”

In fact when the Jihadist forces entered the Swat valley and began
heading towards the capital’s suburbs, the country’s Government was
tested strategically. I told Fox News then that this was a “red line.”
Crossing it towards Islamabad meant a Taliban advance all over the
country. But if the Army would cross it in reverse, it would mean a
full fledge war against the Taliban. And in fact it did happen, as we
can see today. So what are the lessons so far?

Taliban Forces
First, the Taliban and their jihadi allies have clearly shown that
they have cells capable of conducting terror attacks way beyond their
enclaves. Hence one needs to expect protracted violence in urban
zones. The armed Islamists aren’t a new force appearing only this
year, but a network growing for decades. Now is their time to try to
take out the secular government.

Second, the attacks against the military headquarters and bases, never
performed before, can be copycatted against more dangerous locations,
including nuclear sites: storage locations, launching pads or delivery
systems. It is a question of time before such a scenario could
materialize.

Third, assassinations are still possible. As with the late lady
Benazir, the Taliban knows that achieving such goals can trigger even
wider clashes inside the country.

Fourth, the present Pakistani government is strategically decided to
fight and dismantle the Taliban enclaves in the Northwest provinces.
If this government fails, such an opportunity will not happen again
soon. All of these factors indicate that this is the last card been
played, in this generation, against the jihadists of Pakistan.

Fifth, the Taliban war on the secular government in Pakistan shows a
determination to take over that country. It also shows that the notion
of a “moderate Taliban” has no connection to reality. Otherwise the
Pakistani Muslim Government would have found these alleged “moderate
Taliban” and mobilize them against the bad guys. It didn’t happen and
it won’t.
Hence, based on these findings, the following are strategic
recommendations for the US Administration to consider seriously:

a. As Pakistan’s armed forces and its government are waging a counter
campaign on the Taliban, Washington must refrain from regurgitating
the myth of “cutting deals with the good Taliban” as an exit strategy
for Afghanistan. Such a hallucination would crumble the determination
of anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan and would weaken the resolve of
the Pakistanis engaged in their own national counter terrorism
campaign against the Taliban.

b. The Obama Administration must help Zardari’s government discretely
and at the demand of the latter. US and Pakistani leaders should
coordinate efforts without exposing this cooperation to jihadist
propaganda

c. The Obama Administration must rapidly extend resources to General
McCrystal in Afghanistan so that the pincer movement against the
regional Taliban can happen at the same time. Now that the Pakistanis
are on the offensive in Waziristan, NATO and Afghan forces must take
the offensive on the other side of the border. The Taliban must not be
enabled to fight one adversary at a time, by massing all their
resources in two countries against one foe then move to the next.

I am sure US and NATO strategists and Pakistani decision makers have
this in mind. But we need to make sure US decision makers do not have
other plans in mind. Otherwise, if the pincer strategy is not
performed, we may lose not one but two countries in the region to the
jihadists, one of them being already nuclear.

*****
Dr Walid Phares is the Co-Secretary General of the Transatlantic
Parliamentary Group on Counter Terrorism and a senior fellow at the
Foundation for Defense of Democracy.

http://www.southasiamail.com/blog/

The World is What it is: Authorized Biography of VS Naipaul
By Patrick French

Review by Cyril Dabydeen

A curmudgeon, there’s no question, as far as rumours go about V. S.
Naipaul, Nobel Laureate and Booker Prize winner, benighted by the
Queen for being litterateur par excellence. He’s both celebrated and
derided, all at the same time. But why? The recent Authorized
Biography by Patrick French is still hotly discussed in literary
circles; mention the name V.S. Naipaul, and you’re bound to get a
terse reaction, even with vitriol, often contrapuntal or just
contrarious. Many Caribbean intellectuals are fraught over him for his
damning comments about race and Africa; at conferences I’ve heard the
call for his books to be burned. His spat with the other Caribbean
Nobel Laureate, Derek Walcott, is well-known (a la “V.S. Nighfall”);
yet Walcott has acknowledged Naipaul’s superb craftsmanship as a
master stylist bent on changing the novel’s “bastardized form”--as
Naipaul sees it.

Naipaul has said, “I became a writer to be free.” And maybe too free
he is: his earliest books about India such as An Area of Darkness and
A Wounded Civilization caused quite a stir. But Naipaul’s novels from
the earliest, such as A House for Mr Biswas, to the later books like
The Enigma of Arrival and A Bend in the River are classics, or near
classics. Indeed the Nobel Prize Committee 's citation of Naipaul's
award was for his "incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to
see the presence of suppressed histories," and singling out The Enigma
of Arrival (1987) for its "unrelenting image of the placid collapse of
the old colonial ruling culture and the demise of European
neighbourhoods."

Maybe therein lies the problem or dilemma, jaundiced as Naipaul’s view
may be. And the Muslim fundamentalist world has come in for much of
his criticism in books such as Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey
and Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Among the Converted Peoples.
Late distinguished post-colonial critic Edward Said would describe
what he calls Naipaul’s “funny moments... at the expense of Muslims,
who are ‘wogs’ after all as seen by Naipaul's British and American
readers, potential fanatics and terrorists, who cannot spell, be
coherent, sound right to a worldly-wise, somewhat jaded judge from the
West."

Yet Said acknowledged in his Reith Lectures Naipaul’s "extraordinary
antennae as a novelist," of his "sifting through the debris of
colonialism and post-colonialism, remorselessly judging the illusions
and cruelties of independent states and the new true believers...."
This distilled view is juxtaposed with Naipaul’s earlier expression in
Middle Passage (1962): "History is built around achievement and
creation; and nothing was created in the West Indies,” which caused
furore among some West Indian intellectuals; and Naipaul has gone on
to speak of "the colonial smallness [of Trinidad] that didn't consort
with the grandeur of my ambition."

Naipaul has influenced a whole slew of writers, including this writer–
as well as many modern-day Indians like Amitav Ghosh. Indeed, “it was
Naipaul who first made it possible for me to think of myself as a
writer,” Ghosh has said as he grew more comfortable with the
indwelling life of the mind. The most well-known Chinese-American
writer, Ha Jin, told us (when I was a juror of the Neustadt
International Prize for Literature at the University of Oklahoma) how
he would read Naipaul all the time on his train journeys in the US,
with a similar response to Ghosh’s; Ha Jin was a fellow juror.

Recent book reviewers of the French Biography have commented on
Naipaul’s treatment of his wife, Pat (he met her at Oxford), and
perhaps she was his best editor and confidante; and French quotes
Naipaul as saying “I have killed her”; Pat died of breast cancer. His
unsentimental self is what we have and being unequivocal about art as
well as equally satirical about politics as Naipaul assesses old and
new societies, often unsparing about the latter.

About himself and India, Naipaul has said: “I cannot belong to India
for the simple reason that I don’t know the language.” Naipaul, of
course, is of Indian forbears: the grandson of an indentured sugar
cane worker–of Brahmin caste--brought from Uttar Pradesh by the
British to the Chaguanas plantations in Trinidad. And you would think
that Naipaul would hate the British for this. But he has said, in
l979, perhaps too forthrightly: "I do not write for Indians, who in
any case do not read. My work is only possible in a liberal, civilized
western country"; and the enigma echoes: "The thing about being an
Indian, and it remains true of Indian writing now, is that it seems to
work without history, in a vacuum."

Misanthropic, if not satirical, Naipaul continues to excite or
intrigue, perhaps for just being outrageous with trenchant utterances
like his egregiously famous: "The dot means my head is empty":
referring to the bindi Hindu women wear; or, on Pakistan: "The
Pakistani dream is one day there'll be a Muslim resurgence and they
will lead the prayers in the mosques in Delhi"; and of Britain, it’s
“a country of second-rate people--bum politicians, scruffy writers and
crooked aristocrats."

In French’s Biography, there are touching elements, such as Naipaul’s
obsession and praising of his writer-father Seepersad Naipaul, and
about the family squabbles pitting the Capildeo clan (on his mother’s
side) with the Naipauls (on his father’s), all which rivets the
attention, as one is also acutely aware of Naipaul seeing “mimic men”
in the colonial setting with all that’s banal or incongruous.

V.S. Naipaul keeps seeking out other meanings in a diasporic new world
order by setting his gaze on more than imaginary homelands (as Salman
Rushdie does), always with troubling enigmas and, on occasion,
mutinies, if a million or more in India–which still beckons. Indeed,
he is the sum of his books; the novels always tell more than the
biography; and Naipaul affirms Marcel Proust’s axiom: of "the
secretions of one's innermost self, written in solitude and for
oneself alone that one gives to the public,” seen in his own
imaginative outpouring. But maybe with Naipaul controversy never ends:
the latest is about his Pakistani-journalist wife Nadera Naipaul’s
spat with Winnie Mandela over an interview-article in the UK’s Evening
Standard touching on Nelson Mandela’s patriarchal image. Read on!

Cyril Dabydeen’s novel, Drums of My Flesh (TSAR Publications) won the
Guyana Prize for Best Book of Fiction and had been nominated for the
prestigious IMPAC/Dublin Prize for Literature.

http://www.southasiamail.com/news.php?id=60443

Media, entertainment seen as $24 bn industry in India by 2014

Mumbai, The $13 billion Indian media and entertainment industry is
seen growing 13 percent annually over the next five years to net
revenues of $24.25 billion by 2014, says a report released Tuesday.

The study by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and
Industry (FICCI) made the projection based on the recovery staged by
the industry in the last quarter of 2009, which, it feels, will
continue in the future.

The growth will be driven by factors like favourable demographics,
high economic growth, strong fundamentals, expected rise in
advertising revenue and increasing penetration, adds the study,
conducted jointly by consultancy KPMG.

“The media and entertainment industry represents the face of consumers
in India,” said FICCI secretary general Amit Mitra, after the study
was released by Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan at the Frames
2010 conference.

“It is a part of our daily life and touches maximum number of people.
So despite the challenging last year, I’m excited by the potential of
the industry to even grow beyond 13 percent per annum over the next
few years,” Mitra said.

Others who attended the inaugural event at India’s commercial and
entertainment hub included actors Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif and
filmmakers Yash Chopra and Karan Johar.

Speaking on the session, Shah Rukh Khan said the three basic needs of
every Indian — food, clothing and shelter (roti, kapda aur makaan) —
appeared to have been fulfilled for most.

“There is now a fourth desire and that is entertainment and movies are
a popular source of this fourth requirement. Another concept popularly
emerging and posing to have a great future is sport entertainment,” he
said.

“We are at the threshold of a huge burst on the entertainment arena in
India and entertainment is the packaging of a growing economy.”

As per the FICCI-KPMG study several factors augur well for the
industry, notably the potential for growth in media reach, impact of
digitisation and convergence, better consumer understanding,
innovation and enhanced penetration of regional markets.

The study also gives the following estimates of the size of various
segments of media and entertainment industry in 2009 and the
projection for 2014:

Television: From $5.71 billion to $11.58 billion
Filmed Entertainment: From $1.98 billion to $3.09 billion
Print Media: From $3.88 billion to $5.97 billion
Radio: From $173 million to $364 million
Music: From $184 million to $382 million
Animation: From just $71 million to $1.03 billion

According to the study, gaming will be the fastest growing sector in
the media and entertainment industry. This sector grew 22 percent in
2009 and is expected to expand by 32 percent per annum to reach $711
million by 2014.

http://www.southasiamail.com/news.php?id=60556

PakNationalists - Bal Thackeray 'Wanted' By Pakistan
© paknationalists |

4:33 PM Posted by com puter

© 2007-2009. All rights reserved. AhmedQuraishi.com & PakNationalists
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted
in any medium
without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Indian Hindu Terrorist Bal Thackeray 'Wanted' By Pakistan

Thackeray issued a call to form Hindu suicide squads, "to take the
Muslims head on". Labeling them as "trouble makers", Balaji called for
them to be wiped out from the country to make India secure. Urging
Hindus to start referring to India Hindu rashtra" (Hindu nation), the
Shiv Sena militant leader maintains that only "our religion [Hinduism]
is to be honored here" and then "we will look after other religions".
At least two senior retired Indian military officers answered Bal
Thackeray's call to set up the suicide squads in India.

By S.M Hali

The Daily Mail of Pakistan
Wednesday, 17 March 2010.
WWW.PAKNATIONALISTS.COM

According to reports, the eighth Indian dossier containing more
"details" on the Mumbai terror attacks has been handed over to the
Interior Minister, Mr. Rehman Malik by Foreign Secretary Salman
Bashir.

India had submitted the dossier last week at the one-point Foreign
Secretary level talks, seeking "strict action" against Jamaat-ud-Dawah
(JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, who is alleged to be the mastermind of the
26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. India had submitted three dossiers, one
of them concerning the handing over of Saeed and 34 others wanted by
India.

However, after the talks, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir had
commented that evidence presented by New Delhi against Saeed was "mere
literature" and India did not have enough proof against him. Earlier,
New Delhi had expressed "severe concern" over Islamabad's "inaction"
against Saeed. India needs to accept the fact that Pakistan's free and
fair judiciary, whose independence was acclaimed by India too, had
examined the evidence against Hafiz Saeed, after he was arrested in
the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks. In light of the data presented by
India as "proof" incriminating Hafiz Saeed, the independent judiciary
in Pakistan had considered it inadequate to convict him thus he was
set free. India, which boasts of an independent, fair and free
judicial system in its own country, should realize that it has Ajmal
Kassab in its custody, who is alleged to be the sole survivor of the
attackers involved in the Mumbai carnage. Despite Ajmal Kassab's
signed "confession", video footage of the assailants and hundreds of
"witnesses" of the heinous crime, Indian judicial system is yet to
declare Mr. Kassab guilty of any crime. India will have to put faith
in Pakistan's judiciary or provide solid evidence of Hafiz Saeed's
involvement in the gory episode.

India had also expressed dissent over Islamabad allowing Saeed to make
'provocative and insidious' statements against India during a
television interview. Saeed had declared an open 'Jihad' against India
in the interview. "If India is not ready to talk on water and Kashmir
then Pakistan should wage a war against India. JuD will fight along
with the Pakistan army," the Jihadi leader had said.

Hafiz Saeed's comments may be termed provocative but surely it is not
a serious crime meriting his arrest and handing over to India. If it
were so, India's own firebrand demagogue Bal Keshav Thackeray,
popularly known as Balasaheb Thackeray, who is the founder and chief
of the Shiv Sena, a hardcore Hindu terrorist, Marathi ethnocentric and
extremist party, must be taken cognizance of. The hothead, highly
vocal radical leader, in his vitriolic comments seldom hides the venom
he harbors for Muslims and Pakistan. In 2002, Thackeray issued a call
to form Hindu suicide squads, "to take the Muslims head on". Labeling
them as "trouble makers", Balaji called for them to be wiped out from
the country to make India secure. Urging Hindus to start referring to
India Hindu rashtra" (Hindu nation), the Shiv Sena militant leader
maintains that only "our religion [Hinduism] is to be honored here"
and then "we will look after other religions".

At least two organizations founded and managed by the retired Indian
Army officers namely Lieutenant Colonel Jayant Rao Chitale and
Lieutenant General P.N. Hoon (former commander-in-chief of the Western
Command), answered Bal Thackeray's call to set up the suicide squads
in India. Lieutenant General Hoon claimed, Thackeray instructed him to
set up the training camps. Another Balaji follower is Indian Army's
serving Lieutenant Colonel Srikanth Prasad Prohit, wanted by Pakistan
for his complicity in torching the Samjhota Express which took a toll
of 59 Pakistani passengers. Bal Thackeray continues to publish
inflammatory editorials in his party's newsletter, Samna
(Confrontation). When explaining his views on Hindutva he has
conflated Islam with violence and has called for Hindus to "fight
Islam". In an interview in Suketu Mehta's book 'Maximum City', he
advocates the hanging of Indian Muslims and mass expulsion of Muslim
migrants from neighboring Bangladesh. One of his more acerbic
statements needs attention: "They [Muslims] are spreading like a
cancer and should be operated on like a cancer. The... country should
be saved from the Muslims and the police should support them [Hindu
Maha Sangh] in their struggle just like the police in Punjab were
sympathetic to the Khalistanis."

Balasaheb Thackeray criticized and challenged Indian Muslims through
his party newspaper, Samna, around the time the 16th century Babri
Masjid was demolished by members of the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP) in the northern town of Ayodhya, on December 6,
1992. The razing of the mosque was followed by a mass genocide of
Muslims. The Justice Srikrishna Commission of Enquiry, which
investigated the ensuing communal riots in Mumbai, named Thackeray for
sparking anti-Muslim violence, which led to more than 1,000 deaths in
several ensuing riots, many by having kerosene poured on their bodies
while alive and then being burned to death. The Srikrishna Commission
found that Thackeray was personally responsible, not only for inciting
the mobs through his incendiary speeches, but also directly
coordinating the movement of the rioters. In a deposition before the
Srikrishna Commission a witness alleged Thackeray coordinated much of
the January 1993 Mumbai carnage. Yuvraj Mohite claimed, "Balasaheb
ordered that not one Muslim be left alive to stand in the witness box,
and asked his men to send the additional police commissioner, A A
Khan, to his Allah." Balaji later announced: "I am proud of what my
boys have done. We had to retaliate and we did. If it was not for us,
no one would have controlled the Muslims." He has since made more
inflammatory statements regarding Muslims, and reiterated his desire
for Hindus to unite across linguistic barriers and to see "a Hindustan
for Hindus" and to "bring Islam in this country down to its knees".

I rest my case for readers to decide themselves, whether Balaji
Thackeray should be handed over to Pakistan to face trial for his
crimes against humanity or not? Surely there is enough evidence to
convict him.

This op-ed was published by The Daily Times. It is reproduced here
through a special arrangement.

© 2007-2009. All rights reserved. AhmedQuraishi.com & PakNationalists
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted
in any medium
without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

http://pak-nationalists.blogspot.com/2010/03/paknationalists-bal-thackeray-wanted-by.html

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-03-17 17:37:33 UTC
Category:Political scandals in India
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Subcategories
This category has only the following subcategory.

B
[+] Bofors scandal (10 P)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Bofors_scandal

Pages in category "Political scandals in India"
The following 14 pages are in this category, out of 14 total. This
list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).

1
Indian political scandals
1971 Nagarwala scandal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1971_Nagarwala_scandal

B
Barak Missile scandal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barak_Missile_scandal
Bofors scandal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bofors_scandal

C
Cash-for-votes scandal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cash-for-votes_scandal

F
Fodder Scam
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fodder_Scam

H
Hawala scandal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawala_scandal

M
Harshad Mehta
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harshad_Mehta
Haridas Mundhra
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haridas_Mundhra

Q
Ottavio Quattrocchi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottavio_Quattrocchi

S
SNC Lavalin scandal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SNC_Lavalin_scandal
Sukh Ram
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukh_Ram

T
Taj corridor case
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_corridor_case
Tata Tapes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tata_Tapes_controversy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Political_scandals_in_India

1971 Nagarwala scandal
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

On May 24, 1971 , INR 60 lakh (= £330,000) (was withdrawn from the
State Bank of India (Parliament Street branch) and given to a
Bangladesh ka babu or "man from Bangladesh" after the chief cashier,
Ved Prakash Malhotra, got a call purportedly from Indira Gandhi then
Prime Minister of India asking him to do so.

Later it was discovered that former army captain, Rustom Sohrab
Nagarwala, then attached to Indian intelligence or R&AW, collected the
money from Malhotra, by "mimicking the voice of Mrs. Indira Gandhi",
presumably for being diverted to the Mukti Bahini in its guerrilla-
liberation campaign from West Pakistan. Nagarwalla, it was later
alleged, was about to leave that same evening for Nepal. He was
arrested, however, after Malhotra went in person to collect a receipt
from P. N. Haksar, Indira Gandhi's personal secretary, informing him
that the requested payment was done. A stunned Haksar informed
Malhotra that Mrs Gandhi had instructed nothing of the sort and urged
him to inform the police immediately.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%26AW

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukti_Bahini

The opposition parties suspected that the money belonged to Indira
Gandhi. They also alleged that it was not an isolated case.

The investigating officer, D. K. Kashyap, investigating the case was
killed in a car attack. Nagarwala was sentenced for four years and
died in prison in February, 1973. This was due to deliberate neglect
of his increasing ill-health, a point in fact later confirmed in an
official enquiry.

A Commission of Inquiry was set up by Janata Party under Justice P.
Jagan Mohan Reddy on June 9, 1977, to probe into the Nagarwala case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._Jagan_Mohan_Reddy

Justice Jaganmohan Reddy listed four "incontrovertible facts" - one of
them being the fact that Indira Gandhi did not have any account in
that branch - but concluded that they were not sufficient to hold that
the money belonged to her. "There were several lacunae," he said, and
listed them. "To supply an answer to these (lacunae) would force me to
leave the safe haven of facts which required to be established by
evidence and enter the realm of conjectures and speculation." (p.
176).

External links

[1]

India's National Magazine
From the publishers of THE HINDU
Vol. 15 :: No. 17 :: August 15 - 28, 1998

JAIN COMMISSION REPORT
A law unto itself

The Jain Commission has run amuck, flouting the Commissions of Inquiry
Act, its own terms of reference, the rules of natural justice and the
norms of the judicial function.

A. G. NOORANI

JUSTICE M.C. JAIN has driven a coach and four through the law in his
Final Report. Let us consider first the law and, next, Jain's conduct.
Section 3 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act puts a strong fetter on
the Government as well as the Lok Sabha's power to appoint a
Commission of Inquiry. A Commission can be appointed only "for the
purpose of making an inquiry into any definite matter of public
importance." In the case of a former Chief Minister of Bihar, K. B.
Sahay, the Supreme Court said: "If the charges were vague or
speculative suggesting a fishing expedition, we would have paused to
consider whether such an inquiry should be allowed to proceed." (AIR
1969 S.C. 258 to 262; emphasis added, throughout).

The Royal Commission on Tribunals of Inquiry headed by Lord Justice
Salmon noted realistically that "as the agitation for an inquiry is
very often the result of nothing more than general allegation and
rumour, it is necessary to keep the Tribunal within reasonable
bounds... The Act lays down ... that what is to be inquired into shall
be a 'definite matter'. Accordingly, no Tribunal should be set up to
investigate a nebulous mass of vague and unspecified rumours. The
reference should confine the inquiry to the investigation of the
definite matter which is causing a crisis of public confidence. (1966;
Cmnd. 3121, p. 30, para 78). The Commissions of Inquiry Act of 1952 is
based on the British statute, the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act,
1921.

The Jain Commission did just that - launch a fishing expedition spread
over seven years. Similar violations of the law by the Thakkar
Commission that inquired into Indira Gandhi's assassination and the
Thakkar-Natarajan Commission that inquired into the Fairfax case have
gone unnoticed. Secondly, appointed to inquire into a "definite"
matter of public importance, the Commission's report must be based on
legal evidence and it must either give a finding of fact or decline to
do so if the evidence is inadequate. It is utterly impermissible for
it to voice "suspicion", whether directly or indirectly. To mention
mere "possibilities" as distinct from probabilities and refuse to
"rule out" some is calculatedly to raise a suspicion that they did
occur, the lack of evidence notwithstanding. No judicial exercise, be
it in a court of law or an inquiry, can indulge in such an exercise.

The third violation of the law is as gross and occurs despite an
important but overlooked ruling of the Supreme Court. No Commission of
Inquiry has any right to recommend prosecution or interrogation of any
individual. On December 11, 1956, the Government of India set up a
Commission of Inquiry to go into the affairs of companies controlled
by Ramkrishna Dalmia and his associates. Clause 10 of the terms of
reference of the Commission directed it to inquire into "any
irregularities" in those firms, except those in respect of which
criminal proceedings were pending in a court of law and to recommend
thus "and the action which in the opinion of the Commission should be
taken as and by way of securing redress or punishment or to act as a
preventive in future cases."

This part of Clause 10 was struck down by the Bombay High Court and
the Supreme Court. In the High Court, Chief Justice M. C. Chagla ruled
that it was not open to the Commission "to point out to the Union
Government what civil or criminal action can be taken with regard to
these breaches of law" under the new Companies Act. That was "beyond
the legislative competence of Parliament". The Commission was asked
"to inform the Government in order that Government should launch civil
or criminal proceedings. Now, such an investigation can only be
instituted by means of the judicial process and not through the device
of a Commission."

Justice Chagla amplified: "It is not open to the Government by this
notification to put any individual in the position of an accused, to
constitute a Commission to investigate into any offence that he might
have committed, and to place before it materials collected so that on
the strength of those materials a prosecution could be launched.... it
would be competent to Government to get information with regard to
breaches of law, so that legislation may be passed to prevent such
breaches in future, and there is no reason to suggest why breaches of
law referred to in the first part of Clause (10) were to be
investigated into only for the purpose of instituting civil or
criminal proceedings and not also for the purpose of legislation. In
our opinion, therefore, the last part of Clause (10) from the words
"and the action" to "in future cases" is ultra vires of the Act and
the Government is not competent to require the Commission to make any
report with regard to these matters (Ram Krishna Dalmia vs. Mr.
Justice S. P. Tendulkar 59, Bom.L.R. 769 at 775).

The ruling was upheld by a unanimous judgment of a Constitution Bench
of the Supreme Court delivered by Chief Justice S. R. Das. He held
that "there can be no objection even to the Commission of Inquiry
recommending the imposition of some form of punishment which will, in
its opinion, be sufficiently deterrent to delinquents in future. But
seeing that the Commission of Inquiry has no judicial powers and its
report will purely be recommendatory and not effective proprio vigor
and the statement made by any person before the Commission of Inquiry
is, under Section 6 of the Act, wholly inadmissible in evidence in any
future proceedings, civil or criminal, there can be no point in the
Commission of Inquiry making recommendations for taking any action 'as
and by way of securing redress or punishment' which, in agreement with
the High Court, we think, refers in the context to wrongs already done
or committed; for redress or punishment for such wrongs, if any, has
to be imposed by a Court of law properly constituted exercising its
own discretion on the facts and circumstances of the case and without
being in any way influenced by the view of any person or body,
howsoever august or high-powered it may be. Having regard to all these
considerations it appears to us that only that portion of the last
part of Clause(10) which calls upon the Commission of Inquiry to make
recommendations about the action to be taken 'as and by way of
securing redress or punishment' cannot be said to be at all necessary
for or ancillary to the purposes of the Commission." (AIR 1958 S.C.
538).

If the Jain Report is invalid on this score, the Action Taken Report
(ATR) falls with it. Section 3(4) of the Act was amended in 1971 to
bind the Government to lay before the Lok Sabha (or the State
Assembly, as the case may be) the Commission's report "together with a
memorandum of the action taken thereon within a period of six months
from the submission of the report by the Commission..." The
Government's ATR must be based on the Commission's Report
("thereon").

Fourthly, while Commissions of Inquiry are not bound by the Indian
Evidence Act, 1872, they are not free to disregard the principles
underlying it. The Law Commission's 24th Report (1962) on the Act
quoted G.W. Keeton's remarks in his classic Trial by Tribunal (1960):
"When the question of the involvement of a particular person in a
particular transaction is under consideration, however, the Tribunal
restricts itself to the facts admissible under the normal rules of
evidence." The Law Commission said approvingly: "We recommend that the
same practice should be followed in our country also." It did not
recommend any statutory provision lest "a rigid provision may defeat
the very object of the Act; namely, to find out the truth." But in its
pursuit, speculation cannot be substituted for evidence.

In 1970, Justice Y. V. Chandrachud said in his report on the
circumstances relating to the death of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya: "I have
to grapple with quite a mass of irrelevant and hearsay evidence.... I
could not reject that evidence on the ground of its inadmissiblity
under the Evidence Act but that does not mean that I must accept it as
good evidence" (p. 7). For instance, the Evidence Act makes
inadmissible opinion evidence except in some specific cases such as
handwriting or expert evidence (Sections 45 to 51). It is not open to
a person to say, for instance, that in his opinion, X conspired to
murder Y. He can only depose to facts within his personal knowledge.
Jain declared open season on assassination "theories". The Radcliffe
Tribunal, set up to probe into allegations in the press on espionage
and breaches of security in the Admiralty, noted that "most of these
statements, it turned out, were either pure comment expressed in the
form of assertion of fact or else inferences put together from other
readily accessible sources... Our only function, as we have seen it,
is to try to report on the facts coming before us in our inquiry..."

Fifthly, if the Report must be based on facts, not opinions, what must
be the standard of proof of the facts? Section 3 of the Evidence Act
simply says that "a fact is said to be proved when, after considering
the matters before it, the court either believes it to exist, or
considers its existence so probable that a prudent person ought, under
the circumstances of the particular case, to act upon the supposition
that it exists." There is a similar formulation in regard to a
situation in which a fact is "disproved". In contrast is the
definition of "not proved" - "neither proved nor disproved". That is
the honest course when evidence is inadequate. To seek refuge in
suspicion when there is no proof is unjudicial. To arraign people on
suspicion is unjust.

IT is all right to decide civil disputes on a balance of
probabilities. But no "prudent man" will inflict punishment save on
the basis of proof beyond reasonable doubt, the rule in criminal
cases. The S.R. Das Commission on Partap Singh Kairon insisted on the
stricter standard of proof. For, "No individual shall be condemned on
suspicion, however strong. " The Evidence Act does not apply but its
fundamentals do.

The J. R. Vimadalal Commission's Report (1978) on J. Vengala Rao,
former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, opted for a lower standard
but held that "the graver the consequence of a finding in regard to a
particular allegation, the higher should be the preponderance of
probability which a Commission of Inquiry should require to be
established, before it holds a fact to be proved and arrives at a
finding to that effect."

T.A. HAFEEZ
D.R. Karthikeyan, chief of the Special Investigation Team and later
Director of the CBI.

These Commissions were concerned with charges of abuse of power by
Chief Ministers. How much more stringent must be the standard of proof
in a case in which the allegation is culpable neglect that leads to
murder or actual complicity in it? No prudent person would accept any
other test but proof beyond reasonable doubt.

There was a Commission of Inquiry which had to probe into a bizarre
case seven years later. It was honest enough to pronounce "not proved"
despite proven indications that could legitimately create suspicion in
a layperson's mind. The Judge refused to endorse suspicions despite
the fact that he detested the policies of the person under suspicion,
Indira Gandhi. Justice P. Jaganmohan Reddy, one of the finest judges
to have sat on, was appointed as Commission of Inquiry on June 9,
1977, to probe into the Nagarwala case. On May 24, 1971, R. S.
Nagarwala was able to take out Rs. 60 lakhs from the State Bank of
India's Parliament Street branch by "mimicking the voice of Mrs.
Indira Gandhi" to Chief Cashier Ved Prakash Malhotra. Nagarwala died
of heart attack in prison. Neglect by the authorities was patent. The
investigating officer, D. K. Kashyap, was killed in a car attack. If
Milap Chand Jain had been let loose on the case at the behest of the
Government, a mountain of suspicion would have been raised. Justice
Jaganmohan Reddy only listed four "incontrovertible facts" - one of
them being the fact that Indira Gandhi did not have any account in
that branch - but concluded that they were not sufficient to hold that
the money belonged to her. "There were several lacunae," he said, and
listed them. "To supply an answer to these (lacunae) would force me to
leave the safe haven of facts which required to be established by
evidence and enter the realm of conjectures and speculation." (p.
176). He did not talk of "needles of suspicion" nor direct a "finger
of suspicion".

Lastly, a Commission's report is very much open to judicial review. It
can be quashed by the High Court or the Supreme Court if, among other
things, it has failed to abide by the rules of evidence or if its
reasoning is illogical grossly. The Privy Council set aside the Report
of a New Zealand Royal Commission set up under the Commissions of
Inquiry Act, 1908. It applied the established rules of evidence, that
is, ".... the person making a finding... must base his decision upon
evidence that has some probative value.... What is required... is that
the finding must be based upon some material that tends logically to
show the existence of facts consistent with the finding and that the
reasoning supportive of the finding, if it be disclosed, is not
logically self-contradictory." Judicial review is allowed in relation
to "primary facts... not supported by any probative evidence" and to
"reasoning by which the decision-maker justify inferences of fact that
he had drawn (but) is self-contradictory or otherwise based upon an
evident logical fallacy."

Jain's Report would collapse if these six legal principles were
applied to it. Courts in India have for over a century decided
conspiracy cases. Jain could not apply the law because it would
demolish his suspicions or conspiracy theories. Nor could he
articulate them without contradicting himself. Sample this from Volume
VI (p.29): "The standard proof is very high in criminal trial and it
is difficult to collect such evidence in a case where people feel that
there is deeper conspiracy, national and international. The theory of
conducting the investigation from the scene of crime to the criminal
may sometimes unearth the whole conspiracy but it is also very likely
that the whole conspiracy may not be unravelled even after reaching to
the executors of the conspiracy from the scene of the crime. In a case
of the present nature, in which even the main culprits were not
available as they have consumed cyanide and died or are absconding, it
is all the more difficult to unearth the conspiracy if any behind the
LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)." Mark the words "if any."

ANU PUSHKARNA
Justice Milap Chand Jain.

This special pleading is followed by these bold assertions: "In a
Commission of Inquiry, the inadmissible evidence in a Court of Law can
form the basis of factual findings and the standard of proof is not so
strict before the Commission of Inquiry. The factual findings can be
recorded on the basis of even probabilities."

THE entire Volume II on "persons/agencies responsible for the
assassination" rests on opinions aired and theories spun heedless of
implausibilities and contradictions. The Khalistan Guerilla Force
(KGF) issued a press note on May 22, 1991, the day after the
assassination, claiming responsibility for the crime jointly with the
LTTE. The blast, it said, was made with '''satellite wave control'
with the help of computer at a distance of 60 kms... about 90
persons... have been killed." Instant rejection would have been a
sound response even in 1991. In 1998 no sensible person would waste a
minute on this.

Jain dwells on it at length and ties himself up in knots: "The press
note may be fake but it does point to a link with the LTTE." A fake
provides guidance: "The Sikh militant group solely has not claimed
responsibility. Any group by the name of Khalistan Guerilla Force may
be non-existent. The group could have claimed the sole responsibility
but it has not done so. If a fake responsibility was to be claimed,
the group could have come out with claiming sole responsibility. But
the note clearly makes out that it is not only the job of LTTE but
there is some other force also behind the LTTE." So, whether the KGF's
press note was fake or not, it "proves" a "wider conspiracy" to Jain's
satisfaction. Such logic surfaces again on page 118: "Unless there is
some link, it is inconceivable that such a claim would have been made
in the press release that the assassination has been done in
collaboration with the LTTE. It is quite possible that this may be
with a view to mislead the investigation and instead of directing
investigation towards the LTTE, it may take up investigation against
the Khalistani extremists. But the question is how such a press
release appeared on 22-5-1991 claiming assassination by the terrorist
groups mentioned therein... The information contained therein
regarding the method of blast with a satellite control system, may
also be incorrect and this information may also be incorrect that
Chintamani Raman has been baptised Sikh by taking Amrit at a
Gurudwara."

"Without attaching any significance to these informations (sic.), the
very fact of the press release having been issued the same night
involving the two different terrorist organisations becomes relevant
and assumes importance from the point of view of establishing link
between the two, and therefore it is quite possible that they may have
acted in concert on the basis of which the press release was issued."
Such contradictions invalidate the Report.

The record shows that in December 1990, Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar
sent Mahant Sewa Dass Singh to London at government expense to bring
around Jagjit Singh Chohan and score a "victory" by "settling" the
Punjab problem. The Mahant claimed that Chohan told him of a plan to
assassinate Rajiv Gandhi. On May 28, 1991, he wrote to the President:
"The anti-India forces are diverting the attention from the killers by
blaming the Tamils or LTTE. The LTTE has repeatedly denied that they
have hand in the killing of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. So I request to your
goodself to ask the Government to direct the energies towards the real
killers." Which Judge would waste his time on such a witness?

This letter was produced by D. R. Karthikeyan, then Joint Director of
the Central Bureau of Investigation and head of the Special
Investigation Team (SIT), when he appeared before Jain on September
19, 1997. It did not worry Jain one bit. The Mahant also said: "The
theory about the human bomb is all non-sense." Why? Because Chohan
"himself told me this when I spoke to him on telephone after the
assassination."

A professional investigator, Karthikeyan saw through the Mahant as any
educated person would. Yet, Jain pressed him to accept other
"possibilities". He writes: "On being questioned as to whether he
rules out any possibility of any conspiracy beyond LTTE, or is there
any conspiracy behind LTTE or behind the persons who have been
prosecuted, the witness replied that Shri Rajiv Gandhi being a dynamic
leader taking bold decisions in many fields, there may have been many
groups inimical to him and many conspiracies also. Thus, there are any
number of possibilities of any one of those numerous inimical groups
targeting him. As an investigator, what he can speak about is about
the conspiracy that actually fructified in the killing of Shri Rajiv
Gandhi on 21-5-1991 at Sriperumbudur. He, however, stated that he
agrees that there are possibilities of other groups inimical to Shri
Rajiv Gandhi joining hands with an organisation like the LTTE to
eliminate him but his submission is that he is talking about
probabilities and not possibilities, and according to him involvement
of any other terrorist group was most improbable and stated that LTTE
is not just a mercenary who can be made to do a task by somebody else
looking to their thinking, the making and the philosophy of the LTTE,
and he expressed his firm opinion that in this operation, LTTE acted
alone."

The contrast between the two attitudes emerges starkly and to the
Judge's disadvantage in Volume V on the 21 suspects, in Chapter X on
the SIT's stand "on theories (sic) beyond LTTE." Karthikeyan told him
that "there is hardly anything either in its investigation or from
intelligence from any quarter to lend credibility to and sustain such
theories and hypothesis. In the absence of any evidence they have to
remain as such for ever in the realm of endless speculation." He said
emphatically: "I, as the leader of the Team, my officers and the
prosecutors are confident that there is very little scope of
involvement of any person or group beyond the LTTE and the 41 persons
charged by us" - notwithstanding the difficulties in investigating a
conspiracy several of whose participants were dead or beyond reach.
Jain's comment on this defies belief: "His statement does not
completely rule out the possibility of involvement beyond LTTE and
beyond the 41 charge-sheeted accused persons." This deliberate
misconstruction is followed by the admission that "the Commission has
done that exercise to the extent possible" - a pursuit of
"possibilities" followed by airing of suspicions.

It is in this context that Jain criticises the SIT for not
interrogating six public figures, including Chandra Shekhar and
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi. Regardless of that
"failure" by the SIT, "the evidence and circumstances on some theories
examined by the Commission do point some accusing finger on some
agencies, organisations, outfits or individuals. The Government may
adopt such course of action as it may think fit in respect
thereto." (Volume V; Page 361). In law, a Commission of Inquiry can
only return a finding based on evidence or decline to do so because
the evidence is inadequate, as Justice Jaganmohan Reddy did. No
Commission has the right to point "an accusing finger" on the basis of
"theories" it has examined. No Government is entitled to act on such
suspicion and launch a witchhunt.

But the "accusing finger" is waved all over the Report and
recommendations for action by way of investigation or interrogation
abound (Volume II, pp. 202 and 231). This is not the remit the
Commission was given. It is unable to give a finding after years of
inquiry and expects others to do better. "No definite clinching
evidence establishing the link between Khalistani extremists and LTTE
has come before the Commission but the circumstances as considered
above do warrant further probe. "But, surely, there was to be some
finality to the Final Report. The Commission's order of July 2, 1993
said that "a thorough probe is needed leaving no areas including the
areas covered by the charge-sheet". That was five years ago. After
nearly seven years of labour, the Jain Commission can do no more than
urge "further scrutiny, examination and action in accordance with
law," in respect of the 21 suspects it names. But, as Jain himself
admitted, "This Commission is required to prove the criminal
conspiracy. It has to find out the persons and agencies responsible
for conceiving, preparing and planning the assassination of Shri Rajiv
Gandhi and whether there was any conspiracy behind it."

THE ATR is motivated. Tongue firmly in cheek, it quotes the Interim
and Final Reports together on some points to establish, without
comment, Jain's inconsistencies. On his quaint notions of evidence,
the ATR says: "While noting this observation of the Commission,
Government understand that any probe must eventually result in
judicially admissible evidence." Yet the "foreign hand" will be
"examined in depth" by the Ministries of External Affairs and Home,
and the I.B. and the RAW, all of which have nothing better to do,
apparently. The ATR accepts the stand of the CBI and the judgment of
the Designated Court generally and specifically, on the 21 suspects
except in regard to Kumaran Padmanathan and Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan,
oddly enough. The MDMA will also target Karunanidhi on the basis of
"serious observations" in the Interim Report although the Final Report
declares that "there is no indictment in the Interim Report of any
individual" (volume VI, p. 60). The MDMA will be an instrument of the
Government.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has good reason to be happy with Jain. He
brought down the United Front Government and has this to say of the
Godse case: "There was a conspiracy theory in the assassination of
Mahatma Gandhi. The RSS was banned and Savarkar was charged-sheeted
and finally the political leaders were exonerated. The conspiracy as
to who was responsible for the assassination of the Father of the
Nation - not the particular Nathu Ram Godse who pulled the trigger -
remains yet to be unveiled." He is wrong. The RSS was accused even by
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel - who would have liked it to join the
Congress - of spreading "communal poison". On September 11, 1948,
Patel wrote to RSS chief M. S. Golwalkar: "As a final result of the
poison, the country had to suffer the sacrifice of the invaluable life
of Gandhiji. Even an iota of the sympathy of the Government or of the
people no more remained for the RSS. In fact, opposition grew.
Opposition turned more severe when the RSS men expressed joy and
distributed sweets after Gandhiji's death." Patel wrote to Hindu
Mahasabha leader Shyama Prasad Mookerjee on July 18, 1948: "Our
reports do confirm that, as a result of the activities of these two
bodies (RSS and Hindu Mahasabha), particularly the former, an
atmosphere was created in the country in which such a ghastly tragedy
became possible..." Mahasabha president V. D. Savarkar was acquitted,
despite the fact that the approver badge was found to be a reliable
witness only because there was no independent corroboration of the
approver's evidence as the law strictly required.

http://74.125.93.132/search?q=cache:ENOMQMcZZccJ:www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl1517/15171170.htm+nagarwala+60+lakhs&hl=en&gl=nz&ct=clnk&cd=1

[2]
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1030627/asp/nation/story_2107442.asp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1971_Nagarwala_scandal

Hawala scandal
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Hawala scandal or hawala scam was an Indian political scandal
involving payments allegedly received by politicians through hawala
brokers, the Jain brothers. It was a US$18 million bribery scandal
that implicated some of the country's leading politicians. There were
also alleged connections with payments being channelled to Hizbul
Mujahideen militants in Kashmir.[1]

Those accused included L. K. Advani, Madhav Rao Scindia, Arjun Singh,
V. C. Shukla, P. Shiv Shankar, Moti Lal Vora, Ajit Panja, Sharad
Yadav, Balram Jakhar and Madan Lal Khurana. Many were acquitted in
1997 and 1998, partly because the hawala records (including diaries)
were judged in court to be inadequate as the main evidence.[2] The
failure of this prosecution by the Central Bureau of Investigation was
widely criticised.[3]

See also

Vineet Narain, the journalist who broke the story

Further reading

Kapoor, S. (1996), Bad Money, Bad Politics: The Untold Hawala Story,
Har–Anand Publications, Delhi - cited (p.22) by Ashok V. Desai in The
Economics and Politics of Transition to an Open Market Economy: India,
OECD Working Paper 155 accessed at [4] Nov 2, 2006
http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/18/3/1921937.pdf
Hawala. An Informal Payment System and Its Use to Finance Terrorism by
Sebastian R. Müller (Dec. 2006), ISBN 3-8655-0656-9

Notes

^ Open letter to Prime Minister of India Narsimhanrao, Canadian
Journalists for Free Expression, July 16, 2001 accessed at [1] Nov 2,
2006
http://www.cjfe.org/protestlets/2001/indiag16.html
^ Sudha Mahalingam, Jain Hawala Case: Diaries as evidence, Frontline
magazine, Vol.15: No.06: Mar 21 - Apr 3, 1998, accessed at [2] Nov 2,
2006
http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl1506/15060270.htm
^ A glaring CBI failure, editorial, The Tribune, Feb 2, 2000 accessed
at [3] Nov 2, 2006
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2000/20000202/edit.htm#1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawala_scandal

A glaring CBI failure

EVEN by its own abysmal standard, the CBI hit a new low of
incompetence on Monday. The hawala case involving Jains and several
top leaders and a few bureaucrats just disappeared into history
without leaving any scar. The last chargesheet has been thrown out by
a court. In Delhi again, a sessions judge reprimanded the agency for
trying to distort records to secure the release of a person from whose
house it had recovered nearly a kilo of opium. In Calcutta, it found
its case against the only Indian link in the Purulia arms dropping
case was thrown out a the court, which lamented that there was nothing
on record to link the Ananda Marg with the frightening operation
although it is apparent that it was the intended recipient. For one
day it is a distressingly long list of fiascos and worse. For those
who are struggling to come out of the shock acquittal of the accused
in the Priyadarshini Mattoo case, the latest clutch of failures must
be a painful reminder.

The hawala case once appeared to be clear cut but the CBI succeeded in
converting it into a ridiculously porous one. It had the dairy of
Jains, several computer disks and it also had a detailed confessional
statement by one of the brothers. All it had to do was to collect
circumstantial evidence by painstaking leg work and, yes, its
homework. Instead it sent in for its hack writer and wove a story on
the basis of the diary, some loose sheets and the confession. The
court held the paper proof as inadmissible thereby nearly killing the
prosecution case. When Mr S.K. Jain retracted his statement the CBI
charge looked flat like a table without legs. Only the last rites
remained and they were performed on Monday. In the West, money-
laundering and tax fraud are considered serious economic offences and
there are independent investigating agencies to chase and punish the
guilty. Big names had been jailed within a very short time. The hawala
case would have most certainly ended in a string of conviction if the
CBI had pursued the leads with a degree of diligence and commitment.
For instance, it hurled very serious allegations against Mr Arif
Mohammed Khan but failed to find any evidence to prop them up. It
means that either the charges were flippand and false or the agency is
lazy and stupid.

The arms dropping case is as serious in terms of national security as
the hawala case is in terms of economic security. Yet only a bunch of
mercenaries face a jail term and the real criminals are free. It is
like shooting the messenger for bringing an unpleasant message. Who
organised the gun running, which the court says, could disturb the
entire region? In other words, what was the purpose or the motive?
Again, who or what stood to gain by receiving this deadly cargo? Those
who read the escapades of Sherlock Holmes in their school days will
know that the clue to solving a crime is to search for the motive and
the likely beneficiary. The CBI obviously has not learnt this basic
lesson. It has a weak alibi in the fact that seven other accused are
absconding and they are all, apart from Davy, avaduts and anands,
meaning members of the Anand Marg cult. As the judge has curtly
remarked, the CBI had conveniently concluded that the cult had ordered
the arms and since its three-storeyed white building in the area was
the focus of dropping, the charge stood established. But the court
cannot go only on circumstantial evidence even if it is as compelling
as in this case; there must be strong basis to accept it as
substantial evidence. So he acquitted a local cult member and for the
present cleared even the Ananda Marg of any link with the gun running.
India is wracked by armed insurgency and yet a bunch of amateurs are
able to sneak into the country to dump several crates of arms and
ammunition with precision and the CBI, thanks to their chance arrest
at Mumbai airport, can only proceed against five wretched crew members
and a flamboyant sub-leader. What is the message the CBI is sending to
potential economic pirates and arms smugglers? It is terrifying.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2000/20000202/edit.htm#1

His Excellency Atal Behari Vajpayee
Prime Minister, Republic of India
Office of the Prime Minister
New Delhi, India
110 011
Fax: +91 11 301 6857
July 16, 2001

Your Excellency,

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), a non-profit, non-
governmental organization dedicated to fighting for freedom of
expression as stipulated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, wishes to protest the recent prosecution of Vineet
Narain, editor of the New Delhi-based investigative journal Kalchakra.

Contempt of court charges issued by the Jammu and Kashmir State were
brought against Narain as a result of the paper's investigation into
Jammu and Kashmir High Court justice T.S. Doabia's involvement in
resolving a land dispute. The article in question was published in the
December 16, 2000 issue of Kalchakra. In it, it was suggested that a
friendship with Indian Supreme Court chief justice A.S. Anand (former
chief justice of the Jammu/Kashmir High Court) had unjustifiably
influenced Doabia's decisions to help Anand secure legal victories for
close family members and associates in various property disputes.


Mr Narain made a request to the High Court for a venue change (to New
Delhi) for the court hearing, yet was instead granted relocation to
Jammu, a place he feels threatened for his life. Mr Narain says he
fears threats posed by militant groups in Kashmir who were angered by
his investigations into their underground funding networks. Mr Narain
is well known in India for exposing the so-called hawala scam, a US$18
million dollar bribery scandal that implicated some of the country's
leading politicians. He reported that some of those allegedly involved
in channelling payoffs to politicians were also responsible for
transferring money to militant groups in Kashmir, including the Hezb-
ul Mujahedeen. The Indian government acknowledged the potential threat
to Mr Narain's safety by providing him with special security
protection between 1996 and 1998, at the height of efforts to
prosecute those involved in the hawala scandal. Now, however, Mr
Narain feels that local officials have essentially ignored all
requests for his protection while in Kashmir.

CJFE believes that this case demonstrates an abuse of the contempt of
court law, which should never be used to shield members of the
judiciary from scrutiny by the press. CJFE asks for a prompt inquiry
into the possible political motivations behind Mr Narain's prosecution
as well as to provide him with protection if required to appear in
court in Jammu.

Sincerely,

Sharmini Peries

Executive Director

http://www.cjfe.org/protestlets/2001/indiag16.html

JAIN HAWALA CASE

Diaries as evidence

The Supreme Court has acquitted L.K. Advani and V.C. Shukla in the
Jain hawala case. However, in admitting that the Jain diaries are
admissible evidence, the court has paved the way for prosecution in
cases where the payoffs indicated are corroborated by other evidence.

SUDHA MAHALINGAM

THE acquittal of L.K. Advani and V.C. Shukla of the charges of
corruption and criminal conspiracy in the Jain hawala case
overshadowed certain other important aspects of the Supreme Court
verdict that was delivered on March 2. One of these is the reversal of
the position the Delhi High Court had taken on the admissibility of
the Jain diaries as evidence. A three-member Bench of the apex court,
comprising Justices M.K. Mukherjee, S.P. Kurdukar and K.T. Thomas,
ruled that one of the diaries presented by the prosecution was
admissible as evidence under Section 34 of the Indian Evidence Act,
1872.

Justice M. Shamim of the Delhi High Court, who too had acquitted
Advani and Shukla, had taken the view that the entries made in the
Jain diaries "can be used only by way of corroboration to other pieces
of evidence" that the prosecution had at its disposal. In other words,
the diaries could not be used as lead or sole evidence. The Central
Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which investigated the cases, had
appealed to the apex court against this order.

While reversing this position of the High Court, the apex court held
that the entries in one of the diaries, MR 71/91, would be admissible
under Section 34 of the Indian Evidence Act. In doing so, the court
interpreted the provisions of Section 34 to give them their "ordinary,
natural and grammatical meaning" and not a restrictive meaning since
the context or the principle of construction did not warrant it.

According to Section 34, "entries in books of account, regularly kept
in the course of business, are relevant" as evidence. Both prosecution
and defence counsel placed emphasis on the interpretation of the key
words in the section. Defence counsel Kapil Sibal argued that while
the diaries and spiral pads recovered from the residence of the Jains
were "books" within the meaning of Section 34, they were not
admissible as evidence since neither were they "books of account" nor
were they "regularly kept" in the course of "business". Sibal argued
that "account" meant a formal statement of money transactions between
parties arising out of a contractual or a fiduciary relationship. His
contention was that these "books of account" did not relate to a
"business" nor were they "regularly kept".

SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY
L.K. Advani

Additional Solicitor-General Altaf Ahmed, who appeared for the
prosecution, argued that the High Court's interpretation of the words
"books of account" and "business" in the above section was a truncated
view. It disabled law from "dealing with illicit business and
situations connected therewith, such as the case in hand where a
conspiracy was hatched to receive money through hawala channels and
other sources and to distribute it as bribes to politicians to
influence favourable decisions from them."

He argued that the word "business" under Section 34 should receive the
widest possible meaning and should be understood and construed to mean
and include all such efforts of people, which, by varied methods of
dealing with each other, were designed to improve their individual
economic conditions and satisfy their desires.

The apex court interpreted the words "account", "books of account",
"business" and "regularly kept" in a general sense. Since the entries
made in the document in question were totalled and balanced, the court
held that the document was a "book of account" recording monetary
transactions that were duly reckoned, rather than a memorandum book.
While interpreting the word "business", it upheld earlier judgments to
mean a real, substantial and systematic or organised course of
activity or conduct with a set purpose. Since the Jains carried on
their activities continuously in an organised manner with a set
purpose (be it illegal) to augment their own resources, the court
ruled that MR 71/91 was a book of account kept in the course of
business. In deciding that the "books of account" were indeed
"regularly kept", the court relied on the relevance of the nature of
occupation of the parties involved.

However, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of the CBI on the
ground that there was no independent evidence to indicate that the
amounts paid by the Jain brothers, were actually received by the
"recipients". Hence, the Bench observed that the recipients could not
be held liable under Section 34. The Judges observed: "Since, however,
an element of self-interest and partisanship of the entrant to make a
person - behind whose back and without whose knowledge the entry is
made - liable cannot be ruled out, the additional safeguard of
insistence upon their independent evidence to fasten him with such
liability has been provided for in Section 34 by incorporating the
words 'such statements shall not alone be sufficient to charge any
person with liability'."

Referring to the statements of the four witnesses who had admitted
receipts of payments as shown against them in MR 71/91, the Supreme
Court held that they could at best be proof of reliability of the
entries so far as they were concerned and not others. In other words,
it maintained that the statements of the witnesses could not be
independent evidence under Section 34 as against the two respondents
in this case.

One important implication of the apex court's ruling is that it has
changed the perception about the cohesiveness of the Jain diaries/
hawala case in which, it was believed, all the accused would stand or
fall together. In admitting that the diaries are admissible evidence,
the court has paved the way for the prosecution to proceed at least in
those cases where the payoffs indicated in the diaries have been
corroborated by other evidence. The CBI had filed 34 charge-sheets in
the court of the Special Judge against powerful individuals across the
political spectrum. While the investigative agency claims to have
obtained corroborative evidence against most of the accused either
through independent investigation of their bank accounts, passports,
official documents, circumstantial evidence or in the form of evidence
relating to favours rendered as quid pro quo for payments, it remains
to be seen which of these will stand fresh judicial scrutiny in the
light of the present judgment. The Special Courts dismissed most of
these cases, some of them at the stage of charge-sheeting itself, on
various grounds. The CBI has appealed to the higher courts in respect
of every case.

SANDEEP SAXENA
V.C. Shukla

The apex court also went into the conspiracy theory under Section 10
of the Indian Evidence Act, 1972. Counsel for the CBI had submitted
that material collected during the investigation and placed on record
clearly established the existence of a general conspiracy among the
accused Jains to promote their economic interest by corrupting public
servants. He had also contended that a number of separate conspiracies
with similar purpose had been hatched between the Jains and various
public servants. However, since the agency had failed to file a charge-
sheet against the Jains for having entered into a criminal conspiracy
among themselves, the court did not even consider the matter.
Statements made by certain witnesses, which were furnished by the CBI,
were found to be either irrelevant to the charges of conspiracy or
insufficient as reasonable ground to believe that all of them had
conspired together.

The CBI appears to have bungled in not having framed a charge of
conspiracy among the accused Jains to offer illegal gratification to
Advani and Shukla. It had framed charges of two separate conspiracies,
in both of which the Jains together figured as the common party and
Advani and Shukla as the other. Advani had been accused of receiving
Rs.25 lakhs from the Jains when he was a member of Parliament (besides
the Rs. 35 lakhs he allegedly received when he was not an MP). In the
charge-sheet filed against Shukla and the Jains, it was alleged that
during 1988-91, when Shukla was an MP and a Cabinet Minister, he
allegedly received Rs. 39 lakhs from the Jains. The Jains were charged
with abetment under Section 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act
(PCA).

The court held that since it found no prima facie evidence of
corruption under Section 7 of the PCA against Advani and Shukla, the
question of abetment did not arise. Advani's name did not even figure
in M 71/91, the diary admitted as evidence and in the case of Shukla,
the evidence was insufficient, the court said. The Bench held that
where no offence had been committed, the question of aiding or
abetting it did not arise.

Since no prima facie case had been established against the two
respondents, the Bench did not deem it necessary to go into the
question of whether an MP came within the definition of a 'public
servant' under the PCA so as to make the respondents liable for
prosecution for alleged commission of offences that attracted the
provisions of the Act.

India's National Magazine
From the publishers of THE HINDU
Vol. 15 :: No. 06 :: Mar. 21 - Apr. 3, 1998

http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl1506/15060270.htm

Vineet Narain
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vineet Narain (born 1956) is a prominent Indian journalist and anti-
corruption activist. His exposure of the 1990s Hawala scandal led him
to use a public interest petition to apply pressure on the Central
Bureau of Investigation. The CBI was widely criticised when its
prosecutions collapsed, and the Supreme Court of India in deciding the
Vineet Narain Case made directions that included new supervision of
the CBI by the Central Vigilance Commission.[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Bureau_of_Investigation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Vigilance_Commission

Family and early life

Born in 1956, Vineet Narain had his primary education in Western Uttar
Pradesh and did his higher studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University in
New Delhi. His father was an academician and served as the Vice
Chancellor of two prominent universities in U.P. He fought against
interference of the political masters in the admission procedure of
some of the professional courses in the state.[citation needed] His
mother was active in students politics at the Lucknow University. Her
father was then the Secretary of the UP Legislative Council.

Narain married outside his caste. His wife is an assistant professor
of Russian language at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She
was educated at Modern School in New Delhi. His eldest son Azeez
Narain is a manager in Tata Administrative Services (TAS). His younger
son, Eeshit Narain is an independent film maker based in Delhi
<ShreeJee Productions>.

Narain was drawn to social work from his early youth. He worked in a
village at the age of 18 years with an NGO.

Hawala Scam

Vineet Narain was responsible for bringing the Hawala scandal to light.
[citation needed] 115 top bureaucrats were identified as having
participated in the scam.[citation needed] Case No.340-43 of 1993,
Supreme Court of India

The case got a momentary boost up as a result of a PIL (Public
Interest Litigation) filed in the Supreme Court.[citation needed] In
1996 for the first time in Indian history, several cabinet ministers,
chief ministers and governors were charge-sheeted.Out of them the
person who is still on the run is EX-M.P -Chandravijay Singh from
Moradabad for land scams and legal paper forgery-booked under the high
court NEW-DELHI.[citation needed] Several landmark decisions were
passed by the Supreme Court of India in the Vineet Narain Vs Union of
India and Ors case.[unreliable source?][2]

In July 1997, Mr. Narain compelled the Chief Justice of India comment
on the Hawala case. He wrote a book on the case entitled Hawala ke
Deshdrohi or Dangerous Silence.

Indian Judiciary

Narain brought out a series of land scams involving of one of the
sitting chief justices of India.[citation needed] As a result,
contempt of court proceedings were initiated against him and he fled
the country.[3] Later on, due to the intervention of various
international organisations like Committee to Protect Journalists, all
the proceedings against him were withdrawn.[4]

TV Journalism in India

He launched Kalchakra, the first Hindi-language video magazine, in
1989. He faced hurdles due to financial crisis and by the government
controlled censor board. He writes a weekly syndicated column in
several regional daily newspapers.

Earlier he worked as a correspondent of national dailies and has
appeared in programmes on several international television networks.
[citation needed] He began investigative TV journalism in 1980. TV &
Video World reported, "It may sound surprising, but men of principles,
willing to take tough stand and unwilling to compromise on basic
ideals, still exist in our society. When, in April 1987, one of his
programmes in the Sach Ki Parchhain series was arbitrarily stopped by
Doordarshan authorities, its producer, TV and newspaper journalist
Vineet Narain vowed never to present anything on the government-
controlled network until it was made autonomous and functioned more
democratically."[citation needed]

Current Activities

Vineet Narain writes a syndicated column in over 22 national dailies
on a weekly basis. Vineet Narain gives a weekly news report from India
on telephone to SBS Radio, Australia and also contributes to weekly
columns in two dozen popular dailies of India.[citation needed]

Through Kalchakra Investigative News Bureau, he, along with his
associates, undertake investigative journalism in India. He is also
the founder Secretary of People’s Vigilance Commission, a group headed
by J F Ribeiro, Ex-DGP, Punjab. Narain has been involved in the wider
restoration works in Braj.[5]

Notes

^ Vineet Narain Case, Directions of the Court accessed at [1] Nov 2,
2006
^ Vineet Narain's web-site
^ INDIA: Vineet Narain contempt trial postponed, August 10, 2001,
Committee to Protect Journalists, New York accessed at [2] Nov 2,
2006

^ India annual report 2002, Reporters Without Borders accessed at [3]
Nov 2, 2006
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reporters_Without_Borders
^ www.brajfoundation.org

External links

Vineet Narain's Website
http://www.vineetnarain.net/
Kalchakra's Website
http://www.kalchakra.org.in/
Current Activity
http://www.brajfoundation.org/
Supreme Court Judgement Vineet Narain & Ors Vs. Union Of India & Anr
http://www.rishabhdara.com/sc/view.php?case=13530

"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vineet_Narain"

Case DetailsVINEET NARAIN & ORS versus UNION OF INDIA & ANR
Supreme Court Cases

1996 SCC (2) 199 JT 1996 (1) 708 1996 SCALE (1)SP31
Case Law SearchIndian Supreme Court Cases / Judgements / Legislation

Judgement

VINEET NARAIN & ORS V. UNION OF INDIA & ANR [1996] RD-SC 158 (30
January 1996)

VERMA, JAGDISH SARAN (J) VERMA, JAGDISH SARAN (J) BHARUCHA S.P. (J)
SEN, S.C. (J)

CITATION: 1996 SCC (2) 199 JT 1996 (1) 708 1996 SCALE (1)SP31

ACT:

HEADNOTE:

O R D E R The true scope of this writ petition has been indicated
during the earlier hearings. At this stage, when some charge sheets
have been filed in the Special Court and there is considerable
publicity in the media regarding this matter, with some speculation
about its true scope, it is appropriate to make this order to form a
part of the record.

The gist of the allegations in the writ petition are that Government
agencies, like the CBI and the revenue authorities, have failed to
perform their duties and legal obligations inasmuch as they have
failed to properly investigate matters arising out of the seizure of
the so called "Jain Diaries" in certain raids conducted by the CBI.

It is alleged that the apprehending of certain terrories led to the
discovery of financial support to them by clandestine and illegal
means, by use of tainted funds obtained through 'hawala' transactions;
that this also disclosed a nexus between several important
politicians, bureaucrats and criminals, who are all recipients of
money from unlawful sources given for unlawful considerations; that
the the CBI and other Government agencies have failed to fully
investigate into the matter and take it to the logical and point of
the trail and to prosecute all persons who have committed any crime;
that this is being done with a view to protect the persons involved,
who are very influential and powerful in the present set up; that the
matter discloses a definite nexus between crime and corruption in
public life at high places in the country which poses a serious threat
to the integrity, security and economy of the nation; that probity in
public life, to prevent erosion of the rule of law and the
preservation of democracy in the country, requires that the Government
agencies be compelled to duly perform their legal obligations and to
proceed in accordance with law against each and every persons
involved, irrespective of the height at which he is placed in the
power set up.

The facts and circumstances of the present case do indicate that it is
of utmost public importance that this matter is examined thoroughly by
this Court to ensure that all Government agencies, entrusted with the
duty to discharge their functions and obligations in accordance with
law, do so, bearing in mind constantly the concept of equality
enshrined in the Constitution and the basic tenant of rule of law: "Be
you ever so high, the law is above you".

Investigation into every accusation made against each and every person
on a reasonable basis, irrespective of the position and status of that
person, must be conducted and completed expeditiously. This is
imperative to retain public confidence in the impartial working of the
Government agencies.

In this proceeding we are not concerned with the merits of the
accusations or the individuals alleged to be involved, but only with
the performance of the legal duty by the Government agencies to
fairly, properly and fully investigate into every such accusation
against every person, and to take the logical final action in
accordance with law.

In case of persons against whom a prima facie case is made out and a
charge sheet is filed in the competent court, it is that court which
will then deal with that case on merits, in accordance with law.

However. if in respect of any such person the final report after full
investigation is that no prima facie case is made out to proceed
further, so that the case must be closed against him, that report must
be promptly submitted to this Court for its satisfaction that the
concerned authorities have not failed to perform their legal
obligations and have reasonably come to such conclusion. No such
report having been submitted by the CBI or any other agency till now
in this Court, action on such a report by this Court would be
considered, if any when that occasion arises. We also direct that no
settlement should be arrived at nor any offence compounded by any
authority without prior leave of this Court.

We may add that on account of the great public interest involved in
this matter, the CBI and other Government agencies must expedite their
action to complete the task and prevent pendency of this matter beyond
the period necessary.

It is needless to observe that the results achieved so far do not
match the available time and opportunity for a full investigation ever
since the matter came to light. It is of utmost national significance
that no further time is lost in completion of the task.

Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India)
from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court
Websites

http://www.rishabhdara.com/sc/view.php?case=13530

Vineet Narain contempt trial postponed

http://cpj.org/2001/08/vineet-narain-contempt-trial-postponed.php

New York, August 10, 2001—Yesterday's scheduled contempt of court case
against journalist Vineet Narain has been postponed due to violence in
Jammu and Kashmir State, the trial venue. It is not known when the
next hearing will be held.

Narain is the founding editor of the New Delhi­based investigative
journal Kalchakra. He faces contempt charges based on a December 16,
2000, Kalchakra article in which Narain alleged that Jammu and Kashmir
High Court justice T.S. Doabia had been unduly influenced by his
friendship with Indian Supreme Court chief justice A.S. Anand in
deciding a land dispute.

http://www.kalchakra.org.in/

Jammu City was placed under curfew after three Muslim militants opened
fire at a local train station on August 7, killing 11 people,
according to international press reports. The curfew went into effect
on August 8 and prevented Narain from reaching the court, the
journalist told CPJ via e-mail.

Narain, who is currently in hiding, said that the Jammu and Kashmir
High Court could not convene as planned due to "hostile conditions in
Jammu."

The curfew was lifted yesterday, August 9, according to Indian and
international press reports.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has not yet responded to a July 6
letter from CPJ and Human Rights Watch urging him to order an
immediate inquiry into possible political motivations behind Narain's
prosecution, and to provide him with adequate security protection
during the trial. CPJ reiterated these requests in a separate letter
that was faxed to the prime minister on August 8.

http://cpj.org/2001/08/vineet-narain-contempt-trial-postponed.php

Committee to Protect Journalists
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is an independent,
nonprofit organization based in New York, New York, United States,
that promotes press freedom and defends the rights of journalists.

History

A group of U.S. foreign correspondents founded CPJ in 1981 in response
to harassment from authoritarian governments.

Operations

CPJ organizes vigorous public protests and works through diplomatic
channels to effect change. CPJ publishes articles, news releases,
special reports, a biannual magazine called Dangerous Assignments[1],
and an annual worldwide survey of press freedom called Attacks on the
Press[2].

CPJ also administers the annual CPJ International Press Freedom
Awards, which honor journalists and press freedom advocates who have
endured beatings, threats, intimidation and prison for reporting the
news.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPJ_International_Press_Freedom_Awards

Each year, CPJ compiles a list of all journalists killed in the line
of duty around the world. Since 1992, the first year that CPJ began to
statistically monitor deaths, 661 journalists have been killed[3]

CPJ is a founding member of the International Freedom of Expression
Exchange (IFEX), a global network of more than 70 non-governmental
organizations that monitors free expression violations around the
world and defends journalists, writers and others who are persecuted
for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Freedom_of_Expression_Exchange

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_expression

Active engagements

On December 26, 2007, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
appealed to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to forthwith bring to
justice the killers of Davao City broadcaster Ferdinand Lintuan, who
was murdered on December 24.[4]

Staff and directors

The current (2009) executive director of CPJ is journalist Joel Simon,
who assumed the position in July 2006 after having served as deputy
director since 2000.[5] His predecessor was veteran foreign
correspondent Ann Cooper, who served as executive director from 1998
to 2006.[6]

CPJ's board of directors includes prominent American journalists,
including Christiane Amanpour, Tom Brokaw, Anne Garrels, Charlayne
Hunter-Gault, Gwen Ifill, Jane Kramer, Anthony Lewis, Dave Marsh, Kati
Marton, Michael Massing, Victor Navasky, Andres Oppenheimer, Clarence
Page, Norman Pearlstine, Dan Rather, John Seigenthaler, and Mark
Whitaker.

See also

CPJ International Press Freedom Awards
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPJ_International_Press_Freedom_Awards
List of journalists killed in Russia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_Russia

External links

Committee to Protect Journalists website
http://www.cpj.org/
International Freedom of Expression Exchange
http://www.ifex.org/

References

^ [1]
http://cpj.org/Briefings/2005/DA_spring05/DA_spring_05.pdf
^ [2]
http://cpj.org/attacks04/pages/attacks04index.html
^ [3]
^ GMA NEWS.TV, Aggressively pursue Lintuan killers, NY media group
urges Arroyo
http://www.gmanews.tv/story/74305/Aggressively-pursue-Lintuan-killers-NY-media-group-urges-Arroyo
^ CPJ Staff bios
http://cpj.org/about/staff.php
^ Poynter Online Forums
http://www.poynter.org/forum/view_post.asp?id=11487

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_to_Protect_Journalists

...and I am Sid Harth
bademiyansubhanallah
2010-03-17 23:15:02 UTC
Caste-related violence in India
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Caste-related violence and hate crimes in India have occurred despite
the gradual reduction of casteism in the country.

According to a report by Human Rights Watch, "Dalits and indigenous
peoples (known as Scheduled Tribes or adivasis) continue to face
discrimination, exclusion, and acts of communal violence. Laws and
policies adopted by the Indian government provide a strong basis for
protection, but are not being faithfully implemented by local
authorities."[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_crime

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Rights_Watch

Phoolan Devi

Main article: Phoolan Devi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoolan_Devi

Phoolan Devi (1963 – 2001) was an Indian dacoit (bandit), who later
turned politician. Born in a lower-caste Mallaah family, she was
mistreated and abandoned by her husband. She was later kidnapped by a
gang of dacoits. The upper-caste Thakur leader of the gang tried to
rape her, but she was protected by the deputy leader Vikram, who
belonged to her caste. Later, an upper-caste Thakur friend of Vikram
killed him, abducted Phoolan, and locked her up in the Behmai village.
Phoolan was raped in the village by Thakur men, until she managed to
escape after three weeks.

Phoolan Devi then formed a gang of Mallahs, which carried out a series
of violent robberies in north and central India, mainly targeting
upper-caste people. Some say that Phoolan Devi targeted only the upper-
caste people and shared the loot with the lower-caste people, but the
Indian authorities insist this is a myth[2]. Seventeen months after
her escape from Behmai, Phoolan returned to the village, to take her
revenge. On February 14, 1981, her gang massacred twenty-two Thakur
men in the village, only two of which were involved in her kidnapping
or rape. Phoolan Devi later surrendered and served eleven years in
prison, after which she became a politician. During her election
campaign, she was criticized by the women widowed in the Behmai
massacre. Kshatriya Swabhimaan Andolan Samanvay Committee (KSASC), a
Kshatriya organization, held a statewide campaign to protest against
her. She was elected a Member of Parliament twice.

On July 25, 2001, Phoolan Devi was shot dead by unknown assassins.
Later, a man called Sher Singh Rana confessed to the murder, saying he
was avenging the deaths of 22 Kshatriyas at Behmai. Although the
police were skeptical of his claims, he was arrested. Rana escaped
from Tihar Jail in 2004. In 2006, KSASC decided to honor Rana for
"upholding the dignity of the Thakur community" and "drying the tears
of the widows of Behmai."[3]

Andhra Pradesh

This state is considered to be one of the least caste-crime infested
places of India which has not had many Dalit Massacres.

Ranvir Sena

Main article: Ranvir Sena
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranvir_Sena

Ranvir Sena is an caste-supremacist fringe paramilitary group based in
Bihar. The group is based amongst the forward-caste landlord, and
carries out actions against the outlawed naxals in rural areas. It has
committed violent acts against Dalits and other members of the
scheduled caste community in an effort to scuttle reform movements
aimed at their emancipation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naxalite

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheduled_caste

Tamil Nadu

The state of Tamil Nadu has witnessed several caste-based incidents
both against Dalits and Brahmins[citation needed]. In 2000, three
young men belonging to the Dalit undercaste were killed in the
Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. This fuelled some localized violence
in the caste-sensitive region, which has seen numerous caste-related
incidents in which the majority of the victims have been Dalits. Six
of the killings have been registered as murders under the Indian Penal
Code and others as "Deaths under suspicious circumstances". No arrests
have been made in these cases.

However, several Dalits have been arrested as goondas (hoodlums). The
Chief minister of Tamil-Nadu, M. Karunanidhi, has been accused of
having an "anti-Dalit" bias by the radical organization "Dalit
Panthers of India". Theories concerning these crimes against Dalits
range from "alcohol bootleggers opposing prohibition movements among
Dalits" to "inter-caste relations between an upper-caste Vanniya boy
and a Dalit girl"[citation needed]. Political parties sympathetic to
the Dalits have protested against these incidents[4] and have alleged
systemic biases against Dalits in several parts of the country.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systemic_bias

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Penal_Code

Bant Singh case of Punjab

On the evening of January 5, 2006 Bant Singh, a poor Sikh Dalit, was
attacked by unknown assailants. His injuries necessitated medical
amputation. He alleges that this was in retaliation for actively
working to secure justice for his daughter, who was gang raped by
upper caste members of his village in Punjab five years earlier.[5][6]

A 55-year-old Dalit Sikh woman, Sawinder Kaur has been tortured,
stripped and tied to a tree in Ram Duali village of Punjab because her
nephew eloped with a girl from the same community. The police arrested
four persons for allegedly committing the crime on 9 September 2007.
[7]

In January, 1999 four members of the village panchayat of Bhungar
Khera village in Abohar paraded a handicapped Dalit woman naked
through the village. No action was taken by the police, despite local
Dalit protests. It was only on July 20 that the four pancha yat
members were arrested, after the State Home Department was compelled
to order an inquiry into the incident.[8]

A Dalit Sikh woman, Sukhwinder Kaur of Sumel Kheri village was
molested and beaten up by an octroi contractor of Malaudh when she
resisted his attempt to sexually exploit her.[9]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikh

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalit

Kherlanji massacre

Main article: Kherlanji Massacre

On September 29, 2006, four members of the Bhotmange family belonging
to the Dalit underclass were slaughtered in Kherlanji, a small village
in Bhandara district of Maharashtra. The women of the family, Surekha
and Priyanka, were paraded naked in public, then allegedly gang-raped
before being murdered[1]. Although initially ascribed by the media and
by the Human Rights Watch to upper castes, the criminal act was
actually carried out by Kunbi[10] caste (classified as Other Backward
Classes[11] by Government of India) farmers for having opposed the
requisition of the Dalit land to have a road built over it.

On November 23, 2006, several members of the Dalit community in the
nearby district of Chandrapur staged a protest regarding this
incident.The protesters allegedly turned violent and pelted stones.
The police had to resort to baton charging to control the situation.
Dalit leaders, however, denied that they had sparked the violence and
that they were "protesting in peace".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kherlanji_Massacre

2006 Dalit protests in Maharashtra

Main article: 2006 Dalit protests in Maharashtra

In November-December 2006, the desecration of a Ambedkar statue in
Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh) triggered off violent protests by Dalits in
Maharashtra. Several people remarked that the protests were fueled by
the Kherlanji Massacre[12]. During the violent protests, the Dalit
protestors set three trains on fire, damaged over 100 buses and
clashed with police[13]. At least four deaths and many more injuries
were reported.

Later, the Kanpur Police arrested a Dalit youth Arun Kumar Balmiki for
desecrating the Ambedkar statue. According to the police, the youth
had "admitted to having damaged the statue in a drunken state along
with two friends"[14]. Earlier in a similar case, a Dalit youth was
held for desecrating an Ambedkar statue in Gulbarga, Karnataka[15].

In response to these protests, Raj Thackeray drew attention to another
incident in Kherlanji, in which a Dalit allegedly raped a girl and
killed her. Thackeray demanded action on those responsible for the
rape and the subsequent death of the girl, and also remarked that
nobody helped the girl's family[16].
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raj_Thackeray

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kherlanji_Massacre

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Dalit_protests_in_Maharashtra

Rajasthan

In the Indian province of Rajasthan, between the years 1999 and 2002,
crimes against Dalits average at about 5024 a year, with 46 killings
and 138 cases of rape.[17][18] In January 2007, a Jat girl was thrown
into a canal near the border with Haryana for marrying a Dalit boy,
although she swam to shore and was rescued by strangers.[19]

See also: 2008 caste violence in Rajasthan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_caste_violence_in_Rajasthan

Punjab

On 25 May 2009, violence and rioting broke out when thousands of
protesters took to the streets in almost all major towns and cities in
the Indian state of Punjab after a dalit preacher, Sant Ramanand, was
attacked in a temple in Vienna, Austria. He was among 16 people
injured, including another preacher Sant Nirajnan Dass, and later died
in hospital. Both the preachers were from a low-caste Sikh sect which
has a large following in parts of Punjab and had travelled to Vienna
to conduct a special service. Several high-caste Sikh groups had
apparently opposed his presence and threatened violence. This happened
after the preacher had reportedly made remarks about the Sikh groups.
[20]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rama_Nand

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna

Other incidents

On September 1, 2007 some Yadavs poured steaming dal on a Dalit woman
and her infant daughter, and beat up several other Dalits, for
allowing their children to play in the premises of a temple at
Shivayalay Mushari, on the outskirts of Patna.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yadav

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dal

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patna

See also

Communalism (South Asia)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communalism_(South_Asia)
Religious violence in India
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_violence_in_India

References

^ "India Events of 2007". Human Rights Watch.
http://www.hrw.org/legacy/englishwr2k8/docs/2008/01/31/india17605.htm.
^ "Phoolan Devi: Champion of the poor". BBC News. 2001-07-25.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1456441.stm. Retrieved
2006-12-11.
^ "Kshatriya Samaj to honour Phoolan's killer". The Tribune,
Chandigarh. 2006-05-21. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060501/nation.htm#5.
Retrieved 2006-12-11.
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060501/nation.htm#5
^ Victims of bias,The Hindu
http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl1712/17121060.htm
^ Paying a price for securing justice for his daughter, The Hindu
http://www.hindu.com/2006/01/16/stories/2006011608190500.htm
^ Bant Singh can still sing, Tehalka Magazine
http://www.tehelka.com/story_main16.asp?filename=Cr020406do_bigha.asp
^ Dalit woman tied naked to a tree
http://www.aiccindia.org/newsite/0804061910/news/Dalit_woman_tied_naked_to_tree_in_Punjab_11_Sep_2007.htm
^ Down and out in Punjab By Praveen Swami
http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl1626/16260650.htm
^ Dalit woman molested, beaten up Malaudh (Ahmedgarh), April 27
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20050428/ldh1.htm
^ "Dalit blood on village square". Frontline.
http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/thscrip/print.pl?file=20061201004713000.htm&date=fl2323/&prd=fline&.
Retrieved 2006-12-10.
^ "Age old rivalry behind Khairlanji violence". NDTV.
http://origin.ndtv.com/morenews/showmorestory.asp?slug=Age+old+rivalry+behind+Khairlanji+violence&id=96718&category=National.
Retrieved 2006-12-10.
^ "Khairlanji to Kanpur". The Indian Express. 2006-12-02.
http://www.indianexpress.com/story/17707.html. Retrieved 2006-12-02.
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/khairlanji-to-kanpur/17707/
^ "Maharashtra: Dalit anger leaves 4 dead, 60 injured". Rediff.com.
2006-11-30. http://www.rediff.com/news/2006/nov/30statue.htm.
Retrieved 2006-12-02.
http://www.rediff.com/news/2006/nov/30statue.htm
^ "Dalits force police to let off suspect in Kanpur". Business
Standard. 2006-12-01. http://www.business-standard.com/common/storypage_c_online.php?leftnm=11&bKeyFlag=IN&autono=18172.
Retrieved 2006-12-02.
http://www.business-standard.com/india/storypage.php?tp=on&autono=18172
^ "Dalit youth held for desecrating Ambedkar statue". Deccan Herald.
2006-09-26. http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/Sep222006/district1711462006921.asp.
Retrieved 2006-12-02.
^ "Situation in Mumbai, state back to normal". The Times of India.
2006-12-02.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Mumbai/Situation_in_Mumbai_state_back_to_normal/articleshow/678044.cms.
Retrieved 2006-12-02.
^ http://www.indiatogether.org/dalit/articles/bidwai1002.htm
^ BBC NEWS | South Asia | Dalits in conversion ceremony
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6050408.stm
^ (Hindi)CNN/IBN Video
http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/55743/girl-escapes-honour-killing-now-fights-a-lonely-battle.html

^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8066783.stm

"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste-related_violence_in_India"

http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/111615/revered-godman-accused-of-land-grabbing.html

http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/111608/baba-ramdev-forays-into-politics-forms-new-party.html

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Low-caste Hindus hold mass conversions

SEE ALSO

Indian Dalit leader passes away
09 Oct 06 | South Asia
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6032563.stm
Kanshi Ram: Champion of the poor
09 Oct 06 | South Asia
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6034823.stm
Anger over Gujarat religion law
20 Sep 06 | South Asia
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5362802.stm
Conversions harder in India state
26 Jul 06 | South Asia
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5215696.stm
Furore reflects India's caste complexities
20 May 06 | South Asia
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4998274.stm
India mourns Dalit ex-president
10 Nov 05 | South Asia
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4424216.stm
India dalits protest arson attack
05 Sep 05 | South Asia
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4216290.stm
Country profile: India
31 Aug 06 | Country profiles
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/country_profiles/1154019.stm

RELATED BBC LINKS

Hindu caste system - BBC religion and ethics
http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbreligion/F2213234

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbreligion/F2213239

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbreligion/F2213233

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbreligion/F2213236

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbreligion/F2213237

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/living/caste.shtml

RELATED INTERNET LINKS

National Conference of Dalit Organisations
http://www.nacdor.org/
National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights
http://www.dalits.org/

See also:

25 Jul 01 | South Asia
'Bandit Queen' shot dead
29 Jun 01 | South Asia
Indian bandit offers to surrender
07 Mar 00 | South Asia
Court rules out caste differences
28 Sep 99 | South Asia
Dalits' political awakening
12 Oct 00 | South Asia
Analysis: India's criminal politicians

Internet links:

US article on the Bandit Queen
http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/96nov/bandit/bandit.htm

See also:

25 Jul 01 | South Asia
'Bandit Queen' shot dead
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1456178.stm
29 Jun 01 | South Asia
Indian bandit offers to surrender
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1412944.stm
07 Mar 00 | South Asia
Court rules out caste differences
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/669285.stm
28 Sep 99 | South Asia
Dalits' political awakening
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/459591.stm
12 Oct 00 | South Asia
Analysis: India's criminal politicians
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/701360.stm

See also:

26 Feb 00 | South Asia
Analysis: Bihar's pivotal politician
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/658347.stm
25 Feb 00 | South Asia
Jayalalitha will face corruption trial
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/657030.stm
21 Feb 00 | South Asia
Net shame for corrupt officials
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/650952.stm
11 Feb 00 | South Asia
Guide to Indian state elections
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/638134.stm

Internet links:

Central Bureau of Investigation
http://www.cbi.gov.in/index.php
Election Commission of India
http://www.eci.gov.in/
Indian Elections 99 - BBC News Online
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/special_report/1999/08/99/indian_elections/default.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/701360.stm

India's "Untouchables" Face Violence, DiscriminationHillary Mayell
for National Geographic News
June 2, 2003

More than 160 million people in India are considered "Untouchable"—
people tainted by their birth into a caste system that deems them
impure, less than human.

Human rights abuses against these people, known as Dalits, are legion.
A random sampling of headlines in mainstream Indian newspapers tells
their story: "Dalit boy beaten to death for plucking flowers"; "Dalit
tortured by cops for three days"; "Dalit 'witch' paraded naked in
Bihar"; "Dalit killed in lock-up at Kurnool"; "7 Dalits burnt alive in
caste clash"; "5 Dalits lynched in Haryana"; "Dalit woman gang-raped,
paraded naked"; "Police egged on mob to lynch Dalits".

"Dalits are not allowed to drink from the same wells, attend the same
temples, wear shoes in the presence of an upper caste, or drink from
the same cups in tea stalls," said Smita Narula, a senior researcher
with Human Rights Watch, and author of Broken People: Caste Violence
Against India's "Untouchables." Human Rights Watch is a worldwide
activist organization based in New York.

India's Untouchables are relegated to the lowest jobs, and live in
constant fear of being publicly humiliated, paraded naked, beaten, and
raped with impunity by upper-caste Hindus seeking to keep them in
their place. Merely walking through an upper-caste neighborhood is a
life-threatening offense.

Nearly 90 percent of all the poor Indians and 95 percent of all the
illiterate Indians are Dalits, according to figures presented at the
International Dalit Conference that took place May 16 to 18 in
Vancouver, Canada.

Crime Against Dalits

Statistics compiled by India's National Crime Records Bureau indicate
that in the year 2000, the last year for which figures are available,
25,455 crimes were committed against Dalits. Every hour two Dalits are
assaulted; every day three Dalit women are raped, two Dalits are
murdered, and two Dalit homes are torched.

No one believes these numbers are anywhere close to the reality of
crimes committed against Dalits. Because the police, village councils,
and government officials often support the caste system, which is
based on the religious teachings of Hinduism, many crimes go
unreported due to fear of reprisal, intimidation by police, inability
to pay bribes demanded by police, or simply the knowledge that the
police will do nothing.

"There have been large-scale abuses by the police, acting in collusion
with upper castes, including raids, beatings in custody, failure to
charge offenders or investigate reported crimes," said Narula.

That same year, 68,160 complaints were filed against the police for
activities ranging from murder, torture, and collusion in acts of
atrocity, to refusal to file a complaint. Sixty two percent of the
cases were dismissed as unsubstantiated; 26 police officers were
convicted in court.

Despite the fact that untouchability was officially banned when India
adopted its constitution in 1950, discrimination against Dalits
remained so pervasive that in 1989 the government passed legislation
known as The Prevention of Atrocities Act. The act specifically made
it illegal to parade people naked through the streets, force them to
eat feces, take away their land, foul their water, interfere with
their right to vote, and burn down their homes.

Since then, the violence has escalated, largely as a result of the
emergence of a grassroots human rights movement among Dalits to demand
their rights and resist the dictates of untouchability, said Narula.

Lack of Enforcement, Not Laws

Enforcement of laws designed to protect Dalits is lax if not non-
existent in many regions of India. The practice of untouchability is
strongest in rural areas, where 80 percent of the country's population
resides. There, the underlying religious principles of Hinduism
dominate.

Hindus believe a person is born into one of four castes based on karma
and "purity"—how he or she lived their past lives. Those born as
Brahmans are priests and teachers; Kshatriyas are rulers and soldiers;
Vaisyas are merchants and traders; and Sudras are laborers. Within the
four castes, there are thousands of sub-castes, defined by profession,
region, dialect, and other factors.

Untouchables are literally outcastes; a fifth group that is so
unworthy it doesn't fall within the caste system.

Although based on religious principles practiced for some 1,500 years,
the system persists today for economic as much as religious reasons.

Because they are considered impure from birth, Untouchables perform
jobs that are traditionally considered "unclean" or exceedingly
menial, and for very little pay. One million Dalits work as manual
scavengers, cleaning latrines and sewers by hand and clearing away
dead animals. Millions more are agricultural workers trapped in an
inescapable cycle of extreme poverty, illiteracy, and oppression.

Although illegal, 40 million people in India, most of them Dalits, are
bonded workers, many working to pay off debts that were incurred
generations ago, according to a report by Human Rights Watch published
in 1999. These people, 15 million of whom are children, work under
slave-like conditions hauling rocks, or working in fields or factories
for less than U.S. $1 day.

Crimes Against Women

Dalit women are particularly hard hit. They are frequently raped or
beaten as a means of reprisal against male relatives who are thought
to have committed some act worthy of upper-caste vengeance. They are
also subject to arrest if they have male relatives hiding from the
authorities.

A case reported in 1999 illustrates the toxic mix of gender and
caste.

A 42-year-old Dalit woman was gang-raped and then burnt alive after
she, her husband, and two sons had been held in captivity and tortured
for eight days. Her crime? Another son had eloped with the daughter of
the higher-caste family doing the torturing. The local police knew the
Dalit family was being held, but did nothing because of the higher-
caste family's local influence.

There is very little recourse available to victims.

A report released by Amnesty International in 2001 found an "extremely
high" number of sexual assaults on Dalit women, frequently perpetrated
by landlords, upper-caste villagers, and police officers. The study
estimates that only about 5 percent of attacks are registered, and
that police officers dismissed at least 30 percent of rape complaints
as false.

The study also found that the police routinely demand bribes,
intimidate witnesses, cover up evidence, and beat up the women's
husbands. Little or nothing is done to prevent attacks on rape victims
by gangs of upper-caste villagers seeking to prevent a case from being
pursued. Sometimes the policemen even join in, the study suggests.
Rape victims have also been murdered. Such crimes often go
unpunished.

Thousands of pre-teen Dalit girls are forced into prostitution under
cover of a religious practice known as devadasis, which means "female
servant of god." The girls are dedicated or "married" to a deity or a
temple. Once dedicated, they are unable to marry, forced to have sex
with upper-caste community members, and eventually sold to an urban
brothel.

Resistance and Progress

Within India, grassroots efforts to change are emerging, despite
retaliation and intimidation by local officials and upper-caste
villagers. In some states, caste conflict has escalated to caste
warfare, and militia-like vigilante groups have conducted raids on
villages, burning homes, raping, and massacring the people. These
raids are sometimes conducted with the tacit approval of the police.

In the province Bihar, local Dalits are retaliating, committing
atrocities also. Non-aligned Dalits are frequently caught in the
middle, victims of both groups.

"There is a growing grassroots movement of activists, trade unions,
and other NGOs that are organizing to democratically and peacefully
demand their rights, higher wages, and more equitable land
distribution," said Narula. "There has been progress in terms of
building a human rights movement within India, and in drawing
international attention to the issue."

In August 2002, the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination (UN CERD) approved a resolution condemning caste or
descent-based discrimination.

"But at the national level, very little is being done to implement or
enforce the laws," said Narula.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/06/0602_030602_untouchables.html

SOURCES AND RELATED WEB SITES

National Campaign on Dalits Human Rights
http://www.dalits.org/

Crimes Against Dalits

These are JUST SOME of the Crimes committed on Dalits from April 2000
to December 2002, reported in National Daily's. Hundreds of Such
crimes go unreported. If you find any such crimes happening in your
neighbourhood, please send the details of such crimes to us.
***@ambedkar.org
Please check this page for updates. Meanwhile THINK what YOU can do to
stop this madness.

• Exclusive Report:Five Dalits Lynched in Haryana (06 Nov)
• Dalit elopes with Jat girl, death stalks Haryana village (30 Oct)
• Untouchability, The Dead Cow And The Brahmin (23 Oct)
• A Dalit damned for defying her village (07 Aug)
• Dalit burnt alive, tension brews in Mansura village (29 May)
• Pakistani Dalits protest genocide of Dalits (29 May)
• Dalit hanged for having illicit ties (15 May)
• 6 Dalits shot dead in Bihar (09 May)
• Dalit houses attacked in Salem village (02 May)
• Attack on Dalit youth in Bellary (26 Apr)
• Dalits face wrath of upper castes in UP village (24 Apr)
• Dalit teenager raped in Rajasthan (24 Apr)
- 18-year-old girl raped, murdered (21 Mar)
- Crime in Chennai (21 Mar)
- Couple hounded by cops for inter-caste marriage (04 Feb)
- Students demonstrate against sexual harassment (04 Feb)
- Dalit woman raped (26 Jan)
- Caste Discrimination in Hyderabad Central University (15 Jan)
- Dalit women molested near Davangere (15 Jan)
- Another youth killed by lover's parents (15 Jan)
- Koli girl's gang-rape infuriates ministers, MLAs (15 Jan)
- 3 Dalits Shot Dead (08 Jan)
- Dumb girl accuses cop of rape (07 Dec)
- Woman Paraded Naked For Playing Cupid (07 Dec)
- Alleged rape of Dalit minor (27 Nov)
- Atrocity on SC girl in Karnataka (27 Nov)
- Dalit woman beaten to death by excise officials in Kerala (27
Nov)
- Yet another life sacrificed at the altar of love (27 Nov)
- Custodial death sparks protest (1 Nov)
- Landless woman stripped, beaten up (29 Oct)
- 2 dalit girls raped (29 Oct)
- Dalit girl raped (11 Oct)
- SC hostel inmates left in lurch (6 Oct)
- JNU girl alleges molestation, casteist slur (22 Sept)
- Goan Dalit denied equality even in death (13 Sept)
- Dalit student in Delhi University beaten up by upper caste hostel
mates (10 Sept)
- Naked assault Crime: Dalit woman is stripped and paraded for two
hours in Karnataka (3 Sep)
- Discrimination against Dalits in Chhattisgarh (3 Sep)
- Stripping of Dalit by cop: Panel orders probe (2 Sep)
- Dalit gang-raped in Kankipadu mandal (31 Aug)
- Dalit woman gang-raped in Vijayawada (30 Aug)
- Dalit woman paraded naked in Bellary village (29 Aug)
- Raped Dalit woman ends life (27 Aug)
- Three tribals killed (9 August)
- Caste Hindus terrorise Dalits in MP's Mugalia (8 August)
- Caste's cruel: lovers hanged in UP (8 August)
- Dacoits rape 2 tribal women (29 July)

- Gang-rape of Dalit woman in Rohtak (24 July)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/GangrDalit.htm
- TD men attack Dalits for voting for Congress (19 July)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/TDmenattack.htm
- Liberty, Equality etc --- but not for Dalits (17 July)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/LibEqualityetc.htm
- Castes and killings in Jehrana and Hasanpur (16 July)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Cakillings.htm
- Bihar panchayats deny Constitutional reservations (13 July)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Bihar_panchayats_deny.htm
- Landlord urinated in my mouth, alleges Dalit (11 July)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Landlord_urinated_in.htm
- Dalit hacked, ban order in Bellary village (6 July)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Dalit_hacked_ban.htm
- Harassed Dalit woman fights for justice (3 July)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/harassed_dalit_woman.htm
- Dalit family spends year in hut looking for justice (3 July)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/dalit_family_spends.htm
- Stripping of women: DM orders probe (1 July)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/stripping_of_women.htm
- Caste row in Indian school (30 Jun)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/941496.stm
- Dalits banished for drawing water from village well (29 Jun)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Dalitsbanished.htm
- Six people massacred in Bihar (29 Jun)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Sixpeople.htm
- Dalit leader blames Jehrana carnage on casteism (28 Jun)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Dalitleader.htm
- Four Dalits lynched in Bhojpur (26 Jun)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/FourDalits.htm
- Discrimination in promotions alleged (26 Jun)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Discriminationin.htm
- Punish the guilty (22 Jun)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Punishthe.htm
- Sexual assault on Dalit woman (15 Jun)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Sexualassault.htm
- 5 dalits shot dead in UP (14 Jun)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/5dalits.htm
- Dalit woman gang raped (14 Jun)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Dalitwoman2.htm
- Dalits don’t redraw the village map here, those who do get killed
(12 Jun)
- Untouchability faces no threat here (11 Jun)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Untouchabilityfaces.htm
- Dalit killed for entering temple (10 Jun)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Dalitkilled.htm
- Villagers still terrified (25 May)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Villagersstill.htm
- Police atrocities (23 May)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Policeatrocities.htm
- Dalits barred from temple (21 May)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Dalitsbarred.htm
- No justice for tortured labourer (21 May)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Nojustice.htm
- Well divides Dalits and upper castes (21 May)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Welldivides.htm
- Rape victim dies due to doctors' negligence (17 May)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Rapevictim.htm
- ‘Atrocities on SC/STs on the rise’ (17 May)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Atrocitieson.htm
- Officials accused of harassing Dalits (12 May)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Officialsaccused.htm
- Tribal dies due to starvartion (4 May)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Tribaldies.htm
- Leaders allege harassment of tribals (4 May)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Leadersallege.htm
- Minor Dalit girl raped at Kallipalli village (1 May)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/MinorDalit.htm
- Inter-caste marriage claims girl (26 Apr)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Inter-caste.htm
- Caste-based segregation at JNTU hostels: SFI (26 Apr)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Caste-based.htm
- Atrocities against Dalits surface in village near Bhopal (26 Apr)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Atrocitiesagainst.htm
- Clashes as Dalits stopped at tap (23 Apr)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Clashesas.htm
- Voting rights still elude most Dalits (23 Apr)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Votingrights.htm
- Stripped nude for offering water (19 Apr)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Strippednude.htm
- Untouchability in AP (18 Apr)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Untouchabilityin.htm
- Denial in death (16 Apr)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Denialin.htm
- 3 tribals killed in police firing (7 Apr)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/3tribals.htm
- `Untouchable' fined, beaten for entering Orissa village temple (7
Apr)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Untouchablefined.htm
- Old Dalit couple attacked at home (2 Apr)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/OldDalit.htm
- Vigil for Kamballapalli (14 Mar)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Vigilfor.htm
- Custodial Torture of Dalit Youths (14 Mar)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/CustodialTorture.htm
- Dalits houses torched, 15 arrested (7 Mar)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Dalitshouses.htm
- Lashes greet caste student (5 Mar)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Lashesgreetl.htm
- Starving the poor (27 Feb)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Starvingthe.htm
- Dalit Girl Victimised at Cochin University (19 Feb)
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/DalitGirl.htm
- Discriminating the distressed (19 Feb)
http://www.ambedkar.org/research/Discriminatingthe.htm
- Youth dies in custody,constable booked
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Youthdies.htm
- Quake can't shake caste system
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Quakecan.htm
- Ten Dalit Houses Set On Fire
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/TenDalit.htm
- Three Dalits hurt in attack
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/ThreeDalits.htm
- Dalit community alleges social boycott by villagers
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Dalitcommunity.htm
- 14-year-old Dalit girl raped
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/14-year-old.htm
- Booked for raping Dalit
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Bookedfor.htm
- Dalit beaten up for seeking money back
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalitbeaten1.htm
- 'Dalits denied entry in many temples'
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalitsdenied.htm
- 150 dalit families rendered landless
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/dalitfamilies.htm
- Four Dalits gunned down in Bihar
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalitsgunned.htm
- 3 Orissa tribals killed in police firing
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Orissatribals.htm
- SC woman raped
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/SCwoman.htm
- Alleged attacks on Dalits
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Allegedattacks.htm
- Court pulls up police for custodial torture
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Courtpulls.htm
- IITs: Doing Manu Proud
http://www.ambedkar.org/research/IITs.htm
- Discrimination against Koluru Dalits alleged - Dalit commits
suicide, Shinor tense
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Discriminationagainst.htm
- Assertion, Co-option and Marginalization of Dalits
http://www.ambedkar.org/research/Assertion.htm
- An instance of untouchablility in Channagiri taluk
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Aninstance.htm
- Scavengers: Mumbai's Neglected Workers
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Scavengers.htm
- Gang rape of dalit housewife flayed
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Gangrape.htm
- Witches exorcised with Bajrang Dal help
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Witchesexorcised.htm
- 15-year-old Dalit girl raped
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/15-year-oldDalit.htm
- Caste system main barrier to India's IT superpower ambitions?
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Castesystem.htm
- Dalit samiti condemns Neelur incident
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/samiticondemns.htm
- Acid attack on Dalit
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/overfishing.htm
- One held for raping Dalit girl
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Oneheld.htm
- Tribal schoolgirls sexually assaulted
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Tribalschoolgirls.htm
- 'Police atrocities' on tribals condemned
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Policeatrocities.htm
- Bihari girls sold to work in Punjab
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Biharigirls.htm
- Boy stripped, assaulted in Orissa village
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Boystripped.htm
- Dalit 'killed' in lock-up at Kurnool
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalitkilled.htm
- Dalit beaten up for stoning dog
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalitbeatenup.htm
- Solidarity With Sardar Buta Singh
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Solidarity.htm
- Three dalits killed in Bihar
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Threedalits.htm
- Dalit students humiliated
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/studentshumiliated.htm
- Orissa tribal group gheraos police station after attack
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Orissatribal.htm
- Sexploitation of an alarming nature
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Sexploitationof.htm
- Dalit students forced out of classrooms
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalitstudents.htm
- Deep prejudice
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Deepprejudice.htm
- Four dalits burnt alive in Rajasthan
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Fourdalits.htm
- Attack on Dalits: action sought against culprits
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Attackon.htm
- Atrocity against magistrate opens can of worms
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Policeatrocity.htm
- RPI activist shot dead in Mulund
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/RPIactivist.htm
- Dalit village still deserted
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalitvillage.htm
- Dalit branded witches, one dies after `torture'
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalitwidows.htm
- The bells of Guruvayoor
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Thebells.htm
- Vayalar Ravi to move court on temple issue
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/VayalarRavi.htm
- Dalit tortured by cops for three days
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalittortured.htm
- SC, STs face higher risk of poverty due to caste
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/facehigher.htm
- AIIMS chief biased against SC/STs
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/AIIMSchief.htm
- Dalit MLA's outrage over veedu remark
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalit%20MLA.htm
- Minister accused of raping tribal girl
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Ministeraccused.htm
- Dalits decry bid to hush up death casem
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalitsdecry.htm
- 'Discrimination' made IAS officer quit
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Discrimination.htm
- Death does not come as the end
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Deathdoes.htm
- Bihar's landless landlords die watching others..
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Biharslandless.htm
- 'Witch' paraded naked in Bihar
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Witchparaded.htm
- Dalit's death after police torture alleged
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalitsdeath.htm
- 'Govt apathy' towards women leads to suicide
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Govtapathy.htm
- Atrocities against Dalits high in Punjab
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Atrocities%20against.htm
- ABVP attack Dalit prof at varsity
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/ABVP%20attack.htm
Aurangabad, Aug 15: The 15-day-long lull of student activism at Dr
Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University ended on Monday when students
belonging to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad barged into the
cabin of professor of social sciences, Dr B H Kalyankar, a renowned
intellectual from the Maratha community and blackened his face, `to
teach him a lesson for attacking Hindusim.'

- Dalit judge moves SC over courtroom 'purification'
NEW DELHI: A Scheduled Caste judge in Allahabad has appealed in the
Supreme Court against his compulsory retirement in the aftermath of an
incident in which his courtroom was washed with `Ganga jal' by his
`upper' caste successor.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalit%20judge.htm
- Dalit boy beaten to death for plucking flowers
BAREILLY: A teenaged Dalit boy was allegedly beaten to death by the
nagar panchayat President of Fateh Ganj for plucking some flowers from
his garden
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalitbeaten.htm
- Girl tortured, burnt to death in UP
Lucknow: History probably repeated itself when a strikingly similar
incident, as Phoolan Devi's physical torture and humiliation two
decades ago, was reported from Azamgarh district in Eastern Uttar
Pradesh.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Girl%20tortured.htm
- Caste groups clash; cops use force
JALANDHAR, July 30 (UNI) -The demand for the release of a suspect in a
theft case from police custody snowballed into an inter-caste tension
at a city police station last night when two warring caste groups
exchanged brickbats and the police used force to quell the clash.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Caste%20groups.htm
- Five Dalits hacked to death
HYDERABAD: In a gruesome incident, five Dalits were hacked to death at
Surampalli village under Tekmal police limits of Medak district, some
100 km from here, on Thursday night
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Five%20Dalits.htm
- Communal clash sparks tension
AYAMKONDAN, JULY 20. Tension prevailed in Meensuriti village near
Jayamkondan in Perambalur district late last night following a
communal clash between Vanniyars and Dalits of the village.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Communal%20clash.htm
- Tribal family stripped for shooing away hens
BHUBANESWAR: Four members of a tribal family were stripped, beaten up
and made to parade naked before their fellow villagers in Chhatam, in
Orissa's tribal-dominated Sundergarh district.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Tribal%20family.htm
- Bihar Minister sacked
EMBARRASSED BY the charges of torture of two Dalits by Minister of
State for Cooperatives Lalit Yadav, Chief Minister Rabri Devi on
Monday promptly sacked him.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Bihar%20Minister.htm
- 32 kids rescued from bonded labour
MUMBAI: Following a raid by police officials along with Samarthan, a
Mumbai-based NGO, 32 children were rescued from Walope village near
Chiplun in Ratnagiri district.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/32%20kids.htm
- Life in Chains
Bonded Labour: Tortured and terrorised, five men suffered in fetters
in a stone quarry for two years
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Life%20in.htm
- A cry for justice
At the National Public Hearing on Dalit Human Rights in Chennai, the
country's most oppressed section narrates its tales of woe.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/A%20cry.htm
- Four-year-old girl beheaded for sacrifice
A 40-YEAR-old man allegedly 'sacrificed' a four-year-old girl on
Monday in Miragpur village, 30 km from Roorke. Only the head of the
victim has been recovered so far
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Four-year-old.htm
- Dalit girl hostel for sexual exploitation
PALAKKAD, JULY 2. The shocking revelations of sexual exploitation of
some inmates of the Government-run Agali Tribal Girls Hostel in the
tribal heartland of Attappady in Palakkad district resulting in a few
of them becoming pregnant has rocked Kerala, the most literate State.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalit%20girl.htm
- Action to be taken in killing of two Adivasis
he National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has
directed the collector and the superintendent of police of Dhar
district in Madhya Pradesh to take action against the police officials
responsible for killing two Adivasi youths in June.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Action%20to.htm
- Gujarat tribals fear losing grants
IN ITS eagerness to keep an eye on any possible conversions, the
Social Welfare Department of the Gujarat Government has made changes
in the application form for seeking grants.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Gujarat%20tribals.htm
- Dalit colony razed in Sonepat
SONEPAT: More than 100 kutcha and pucca houses were razed to the
ground by officials of the demolition squad with the help of the
police in RK Colony on the GT Road about eight km from here, on
Wednesday night.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalit%20colony.htm
- Becoming A ‘Servant Of God’
June 25 — You can tell the “servants of God” from the other Dalit
women outside the Hindu temple in Manvi, a village in northern
Karnataka, by their jewelry. They’re wearing red beaded necklaces with
silver and gold medallions.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Becoming%20A.htm
- Caste Struggle
June 25 — On paper, the people in the slum on Delhi’s Lodi Road don’t
even exist. The Dalits, or literally “broken people,” as members of
India’s Untouchable castes are now called, don’t show up on electoral
rolls, ration cards or water bills.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Caste%20Struggle.htm
- Brutal Murder of 3 Dalits
M.Puliangudi is a Village situated in Cuddalore District in Tamilnadu.
This village has a population of around 3000 in which about 300 people
are be Dalits and the remaining population belongs to Vanniyar
community. Vanniyars are the landed population.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Brutal%20Murder.htm
- Return to an abhorrent past
The shankaracharya of Puri, Nischalanand Saraswati, has said that neo-
converts to Hinduism should pray in separate temples. These swastik
temples, as they will be called, are to be for the exclusive use of
all those who have joined or rejoined the Hindu fold. Those 'lucky'
enough to be born Hindus can, of course, continue to pray in the
existing temples across India and the globe.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Return%20to.htm
- Low - cost for low caste
SHANKARACHARYA of Govardhan Peeth in Puri Jagatguru Nischalananda
Saraswati was in the news for "reconverting" 72 tribal Christians in
the same area where Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two
minor sons were roasted alive. Presumably, the conversions did not
contravene the special laws that exist in Orissa. Nobody should grudge
His Grace for his mission as long as he uses persuasion, and not
force.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Low%20-%20cost.htm
- Charges filed in Kambalapalli Dalit killings
BANGALORE: The Civil Rights Enforcement Cell (CRE) filed the
chargesheet last Thursday in the court of Civil Judge, Chintamani,
indicting 32 persons, including one Maddi Reddy, as the main accused
in the burning of seven dalits in Kambalapalli village in Chintamani
taluk of Kolar district in March this year. All the accused are now in
judicial custody.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Charges%20filed.htm
- 15 killed in Bihar caste violence
Fifteen persons were killed in two separate incidents of caste
violence in Nawada district of central Bihar last night.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/15%20killed.htm
- Two cases of Rape
Woman panch stripped for being raped in MP
NCW to intervene in Biswas rape case, Lalita
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Two%20cases.htm
- The drumbeats of oppression
In a village in Tamil Nadu's Pudukkottai district, Dalits are
subjected to a vicious attack for refusing to subject themselves to
rites of social oppression.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/The%20drumbeats.htm
- Murder of three Dalits in Cuddalore
The recent murder of three Dalits in Cuddalore district shows that
caste oppresion is a living reality in rural Tamil Nadu.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Murder%20of.htm
- Dalits and land issues
ON December 25, 1927, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar led a historic
mahasatyagraha to defy a ban imposed by caste Hindus on Dalits drawing
water from public sources. More than 10,000 Dalits participated in
it.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalits%20and%20land.htm
- Dalit killed by 4 upper caste persons
Police officials interrogate people witness to the murder of a dalit
youth in Amraiwadi area of Ahmedabad.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalit%20killed.htm
- Landlords exploit the drought-hit Dalits
Drought is driving Dalit women into the arms of landlords and
contractors. As most of their men have migrated in search of a
livelihood or been forced into bonded labour, the Dalit women fall
back on Thakurs, Chaudhary-Patels and Rabari-Desais in these trying
times.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Landlords%20exploit.htm
- Dalit woman gang-raped, paraded naked
FARIDKOT: A married, Dalit woman was gang-raped and paraded naked in
the village Tharajwala of Muktsar district because of her brother's
alleged involvement with a girl of the village.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalit%20woman.htm
- DSS activist says he was kidnapped
Dalit Sanghrasha Samiti activist Manjunath Kundar, who was missing for
about 15 days and later found near Sakaleshpur, has alleged that his
political opponents in connivance with the police, masterminded his
''kidnapping``
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/DSS%20activist.htm
- Dalit farm worker killed in caste conflict
MEERUT: A 40-year-old dalit agricultural labourer was tortured and
humiliated before being shot dead in front of his wife and others at
Kabaraut village, 35 km from Muzaffarnagar, allegedly by some
influential persons, on Tuesday evening.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/worker%20killed.htm
- Nailing evidence-Police cap under a dead man
Uttar Pradesh: The scene at the wheat fields along the national
highway in Basai village was gory on May 2 morning. Villagers going
for work saw five bodies soaked in blood. Vijay Singh, Jaipal Singh,
Satbir Singh and SugreevÑall Dalits of the villageÑwere dead, but
another Dalit, Santhosh was still hanging on to life, though his neck
had a deep gash. He was rushed to hospital.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Nailing%20evidence.htm
- 7 hurt in caste clash near Hoskote
Seven persons were injured and two huts destroyed following clashes
between Caste Hindus and Dalits in Hoskote Taluk, the hotbed of
political and caste-based conflicts in Bangalore Rural dis-trict, on
Tuesday night.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/7%20hurt.htm
- Dalit killings cause concern in Uttar Pradesh
Two recent incidents involving killing of dalits by members of the
upper caste have brought under fire the Bharatiya Janata Party-led
coalition government in Uttar Pradesh.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalit%20killings.htm
- SI guns down four Dalits in Uttar Pradesh
Angry at his daughter eloping with a Dalit, a police sub-inspector
avenged the humiliation by killing four of the latter`s family.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/SI%20guns.htm
- The carcass collectors of Rann
Ever since animals started dying in the drought, the only way to
collect the carcasses and get it surveyed has been through people from
this Dalit community.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/carcass%20collectors.htm
- Caste off!!
One of the tragedies of our history books is that they do not look at
history holistically, but rather as specific events of battles won or
lost and so on. In the bargain, we fail to learn our lessons
completely, which is perhaps the primary purpose of reading history.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Caste%20off.htm
- Water shortage re-ignites caste clashes
AMRELI (Gujarat), APRIL 27. As the mercury soars and water resources
dry up, clashes over collecting water in the drought- hit areas of
rural Gujarat are becoming common. And with that has returned with a
bang the caste consciousness, which was slowly getting blurred.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Water%20shortage.htm
- Double infliction on Dalits
Drought has failed as a great leveller of the financial status of
individuals here, as farmers who take to agricultural or manual labour
stand divided. Even in hunger, the Dalits are not equal to the upper
castes in the backward Rangareddy district in Telangana.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Double%20infliction.htm
- Four Dalits gunned down in Bihar
At least 4 Dalits were gunned down, 3 others received serious injuries
and more than a dozen houses were burnt by upper castes in Khairahni
village under the jurisdiction of Nokha police station in Rohtas
district of central Bihar during the wee hours today.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Four%20Dalits%20gunned.htm
- Deprived of their due
A study highlights the flouting of the norms of reservation for the
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in appointments to
institutions of higher learning.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Deprived.htm
- Dalit bridegroom dismounted from mare
Riding a mare in a wedding procession still proves to be a nightmare
for many a Dalit bridegrooms in Rajasthan. A Dalit bridegroom was
reportedly dismounted from the mare and stones were thrown at the
'baaratis` injuring four of them at Sardada village of Deoli tehsil in
Tonk district on Wednesday.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Dalit%20bridegroom.htm
- Untouchables remain victims of persecution
MADRAS, Apr 21: India's dalits, or "untouchables," remain wide-spread
victims of persecution, of-ten with state collusion, a two-day public
hearing here concluded Thursday, reports AFP.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/RS%20adjourned.htm
- Landlords attack dalits, burn houses
CUDDAPAH, APRIL 19. Upper caste landlords have attacked dalits and set
ablaze 30 houses belonging to the latter, near Rajupalem in B. Kodur
mandal.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/Landlords%20attack.htm
-7 Dalits burnt alive in Karnataka caste clash
KOLAR: Seven persons, including three women, were burnt alive and one
person was stabbed to death in a major flare-up of caste-related
violence at Kambalpally village in Karnataka's Kolar district on
Saturday night, police said on Sunday.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/hl/7%20burnt%20alive.htm
Woman Stripped, Killed
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Woman%20Stripped_Killed.htm
20 Dalits injured in mob attack
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/20_Dalits_injured_in_mob_attack.htm
Priest slaps Dalit, ties him with rope
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/_ties_him_with_rope.htm
A temple entangled in clash between castes
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/A_temple_entangled_in_clash_between_castes.htm
Another batch of bonded labourers set free
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Another_batch_of_bonded_labourers_set_free.htm
Caste factor in delivery of justice highlighted
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Caste_factor_in_delivery_of_justice_highlighted.htm
Cry of the oppressed goes unheard
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Cry_of_the_oppressed_goes_unheard-Deccan.htm
Dalit mother raped for son’s ‘criminal’ affair
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/DALIT_MOTHER_RAPED.htm
Tragic end to inter-caste marriage
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/Tragic_end_to_inter-caste_marriage.htm

http://www.ambedkar.org/crime.htm

Human Rights Watch
http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/1999/india/index.htm
Amnesty International
http://www.amnesty.org/en/features-news-and-updates

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/06/0602_030602_untouchables.html

...and I am Sid Harth
chhotemianinshallah
2010-03-18 15:58:47 UTC
bademiyansubhanallah
2010-03-19 06:43:06 UTC
Debt bondage
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Bonded labor)

This article has multiple issues. Please help improve the article or
discuss these issues on the talk page.

Its neutrality is disputed. Tagged since August 2009.
It may contain original research or unverifiable claims. Tagged since
August 2008.

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Debt bondage (or bonded labor) is an arrangement whereby a person is
forced to pay off a loan with direct labor in place of currency, over
an agreed or obscure period of time. When a debtor is tricked or
trapped into working for very little or no pay, or when the value of
their work is significantly greater than the original sum of money
borrowed, some consider the arrangement to be a form of unfree labour
or debt slavery. It is similar to peonage, indenture or the truck
system.

Legal Definition

Debt bondage is classically defined as a situation when a person
provides a loan to another and uses his or her labor or services to
repay the debt; when the value of the work, as reasonably assessed, is
not applied towards the liquidation of the debt, the situation becomes
one of debt bondage. See United Nations 1956 Supplementary Convention
on the Abolition of Slavery.

[edit] Historical background to bonded labor
Prior to the early modern age, feudal and serfdom systems were the
predominant political and economic systems in Europe. These systems
were based on the holding of all land in fief or fee, and the
resulting relation of lord to vassal, and was characterized by homage,
legal and military service of tenants, and forfeiture.[citation
needed]

A modernization of the feudal system was "peonage", where debtors were
bound in servitude to their creditors until their debts were paid.
Although peons are only obliged to a creditor monetarily.[citation
needed]

Historical peonage

Peonage is a system where laborers are bound in servitude until their
debts are paid in full. Those bound by such a system are known, in the
US, as peons.[citation needed] Employers may extend credit to laborers
to buy from employer-owned stores at inflated prices.[original
research?] This method is a variation of the truck system (or company
store system), in which workers are exploited by agreeing to work for
an insufficient[original research?] amount of goods and/or services.
In these circumstances, peonage is a form of unfree labor. Such
systems have existed in many places at many times throughout history.

Historical examples

The American South - Such a system was often used in the southern
United States after the American Civil War where African-American and
poor white farmers, known as sharecroppers, were often extended credit
to purchase seed and supplies from the owner of the land they farmed
and pay the owner in a share of the crop.
In Peru a peonage system existed from the 1500s until land reform in
the 1950s. One estate in Peru that existed from the late 1500s until
it ended had up to 1,700 peons employed and had a jail. Peons were
expected to work a minimum of three days a week for their landlord and
more if necessary to complete assigned work. Workers were paid a
symbolic 2 cents per year. Workers were unable to travel outside of
their assigned lands without permission and were not allowed to
organize any independent community activity.
Thousands of such laborers were sold into slavery during the West
African slave trade and ended their lives working as slaves on the
plantations in the New World. For this reason, section 2 of the Slave
Trade Act 1843 enacted by the British Parliament declared "persons
holden in servitude as pledges for debt" to "be slaves or persons
intended to be dealt with as slaves" for the purpose of the Slave
Trade Act 1824 and the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.

It continued to be very common in Africa and China, but was suppressed
by the authorities after the establishment of the People's Republic of
China.[citation needed]. It persists in rural areas of India, Pakistan
and Nepal.[citation needed]

In Niger, where the practice of slavery was outlawed in 2003, a study
found that almost 8% of the population are still slaves.[1] Descent-
based slavery, where generations of the same family are born into
bondage, is traditionally practised by at least four of Niger’s eight
ethnic groups. The slave masters are mostly from the nomadic tribes —
the Tuareg, Fulani, Toubou and Arabs.[2]

According to some claims, 40 million people in India, most of them
Dalits, are bonded workers, many working to pay off debts that were
incurred generations ago. Rise of Dalit politicians in India, and
their overwhelming support by non-Dalits, as well as Government
commitment to overall improve education, communication and living
standards in India has resulted in rapid decline of bonded labor in
India. Penalties for those indulging in employing bonded labor are
severe and Human Rights Groups are very active in curbing these
practices. Television media and increased penetration of cheap
satellite television has spread awareness to the most remote areas and
made people aware of the rights, hence the evidence of forced labor in
India is rapidly declining.

These claimed figures are comparable to ones in Bolivia, Brazil, Peru
and Philippines.

There are no universally accepted figures for the number of bonded
child labourers in India. Again, Government's commitment to universal
education and poverty eradication programmes have resulted in
significant decrease in number of bonded labors. In the traditional
industries of high quality hand-woven fabrics and handicrafts,
increased awareness by international buyers and stringent checks put
in place by multinational corporations on their suppliers has resulted
in suppliers and manufacturers to replace bonded child labor by
instead offering educational facilities to children of their employees
and workers. International Tourists to places like Rajasthan also play
their part and have at many times reported instances of child labor to
authorities who swiftly act to curb any child labor. In contrast, of
20 million bonded labourers in Pakistan 7.5 million are children.

Modern views

See also: Human trafficking http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_trafficking

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Slavery_International

According to Anti-Slavery International, "A person enters debt bondage
when their labor is demanded as a means of repayment of a loan, or of
money given in advance. Usually, people are tricked or trapped into
working for no pay or very little pay (in return for such a loan), in
conditions which violate their human rights. Invariably, the value of
the work done by a bonded laborer is greater that the original sum of
money borrowed or advanced."[citation needed]

Some see the term as also applying to inhabitants of countries who
must work to repay extensive national debt, but which incurrance of
debt they did not agree to, and (arguably) have not benefited from.[3]

According to the Anti-Slavery Society:

Pawnage or pawn slavery is a form of servitude akin to bonded labor
under which the debtor provides another human being as security or
collateral for the debt. Until the debt (including interest on it) is
paid off, the creditor has the use of the labor of the pawn.[4]

At international law

Debt bondage has been defined by the United Nations as a form of
"modern day slavery" [5] and is prohibited by international law. It is
specifically dealt with by article 1(a) of the United Nations 1956
Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery. It persists
nonetheless especially in developing nations, which have few
mechanisms for credit security or bankruptcy, and where fewer people
hold formal title to land or possessions. According to some
economists, for example Hernando de Soto, this is a major barrier to
development in those countries - entrepreneurs do not dare take risks
and cannot get credit because they hold no collateral and may burden
families for generations to come.[citation needed]

Where children are forced to work because of debt bondage of the
family, this is considered not only child labor, but one of the worst
forms of child labor in terms of the Worst Forms of Child Labour
Convention, 1999 of the International Labour Organization.[citation
needed]

Despite the UN prohibition, Anti-Slavery International estimates that
"between 10 and 20 million people are being subjected to debt bondage
today."[citation needed] Other estimates place the number as high as
40 million. Researcher Siddharth Kara has calculated the number of
slaves in the world by type, and determined the number of debt bondage
slaves to be 18.1 million at the end of 2006. [6] He has updated this
number for the end of 2009 to be 18.4 million, the increase primarily
as a result of the 2007 global commodity bubble, followed by the
global economic crisis of 2008 and 2009.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_law

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hernando_de_Soto_(economist)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrepreneurs

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_labor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worst_Forms_of_Child_Labour_Convention,_1999

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Labour_Organization

Modern examples

Prostitution - News media in western Europe regularly carry reports
about one particular kind of debt bondage: women from Eastern Europe
who are forced to work in prostitution as a way to pay off the "debt"
they acquired when they were illegally smuggled to destinations in
Western Europe. This form of debt bondage also takes place in other
parts of the world, such as women moving from Southeast Asia or Latin
America.[citation needed]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeast_Asia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_America

Marxist analysis

According to Marxist economists, debt bondage is characteristic of
feudal economies, where families are considered the responsible unit
for financial relationships, and where heirs continue to owe parents'
debts upon their deaths. Fully capitalist economies are characterized
by the individual taking all responsibility, and such mechanisms as
bankruptcy and inheritance taxes reducing creditors' rights (while
increasing the power of the state). Heirs are freed from the creditor,
but at the cost of a drastically increased power accruing to the state
itself.

Debt bondage is often a form of disguised slavery in which the subject
is not legally owned, but is instead bound by a contract to perform
labor to work off a debt, under terms that make it impossible to
completely retire the debt and thereby escape from the contract.
[citation needed]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxist_economists

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feudal

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bankruptcy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inheritance_taxes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contract

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debt

See also

Bonded Labour Liberation Front, India
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonded_Labour_Liberation_Front
Bondage in Pakistan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bondage_in_Pakistan
Debtor's prison
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debtor%27s_prison
Karl Marx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Marx
Peon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peon
The State of Bonded Labor in Pakistan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_State_of_Bonded_Labor_in_Pakistan
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worst_Forms_of_Child_Labour_Conventionhttp:
References

This article includes a list of references, related reading or
external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline
citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise
citations where appropriate. (September 2009)

^ [1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/4250709.stm
^ [2] http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/10013271.html?page=3
^ Debt Bondage Or Self-Reliance, GATT-Fly
^ [3] http://anti-slaverysociety.addr.com/pawnage.htm
^ The Bondage of Debt: A Photo Essay, by Shilpi Gupta
http://journalism.berkeley.edu/projects/asiaproject/Gupta.html
^ Kara, Siddharth (January 2009). Sex Trafficking - Inside the
Business of Modern Slavery. Columbia University Press. ISBN
978-0231139601.

External links

Photo-story on modern-day slavery (debt-bondage) in Brazil by
photographer Eduardo Martino
http://www.eduardomartino.com/pages/slavery_brazil.html
Human Rights Watch report on Thai women tricked into debt bondage in
Japan
http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/2000/japan/6-sec-6-7-8.htm
1996 Human Rights Watch report on bonded child labor in India
http://www.ilo.org/sapfl/lang--en/index.htm

http://anti-slaverysociety.addr.com/bclab.htm

http://clpmag.org/article.php?article=Twenty-First-Century-Slavery_146

http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/1996/India3.htm

Anti-Slavery International
Common Language Project article on bonded labor in Pakistan

Bonded child labor
The ILO Special Action Programme to combat Forced Labour (SAP-FL)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonded_labor

THE SMALL HANDS OF SLAVERY
Bonded Child Labor In India
Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Project
Human Rights Watch/Asia
Human Rights Watch

Copyright © September 1996 by Human Rights Watch.
All rights reserved.
rinted in the United States of America.
ISBN 1-56432-172-X
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 96-77536

This is the half report. (The last part)
The first part would follow in the next post...

Another writer, a human rights lawyer with extensive experience
working with bonded laborers, put it more bluntly. "A bonded labourer
who becomes free without the means to survive," he wrote, "becomes
free to die."30

As of 1996, a bonded laborer identified and released by the state is
entitled to a rehabilitation allowance of 6,250 rupees. The 1994-1995
annual report of the Indian government's Ministry of Labour reported
that in August 1994, state and central government labor officials
agreed to raise the rehabilitation allowance to 10,000 rupees.31
Nonetheless, as of July 1996, this raise had not been effectuated.

The failure of state governments to comply with their legal
obligations under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act-
particularly the formation and adequate functioning of the district-
level vigilance committees-is one of the primary reasons behind the
low enforcement rate of the law and the continuing high prevalence of
bonded labor. (Indeed, by some accounts, bonded labor is actually
increasing during the 1990s.32) Another contributing factor, mentioned
previously in the context of child labor policy, is the failure of the
government to gather and maintain accurate or even plausible
statistics.

The statistics problem is as acute in the bonded labor context as it
is in the child labor context. According to credible estimates, the
number of bonded laborers in India is approximately sixty-five
million, representing slightly more than 7 percent of the country's
total population.33 Certain individual states alone are estimated to
have bonded labor populations of one to two million people; a report
from Tamil Nadu, based on extensive research conducted at the
direction ofthe Supreme Court, concluded that there were "well over 10
lakhs" (one million) bonded laborers working in that state.34 Other
states known to have high rates of bondage include Andhra Pradesh,
Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar
Pradesh, Haryana, and Bihar.

In contrast to the figures used by social scientists, the Indian
government's figures regarding bonded labor are unconvincingly low.
The central Ministry of Labour relies on the state Ministries of
Labour-which are charged with enforcing the Bonded Labour System
(Abolition) Act-to report the number of bonded laborers identified,
released, and rehabilitated. Based on information submitted by the
states, the central Ministry of Labour's 1994-1995 Annual Report
stated that the nationwide target for 1994-1995 was the rehabilitation
of 2,784 bonded laborers-a figure representing less than .005 percent
of all estimated bonded laborers. The figure for the total number of
bonded laborers identified, when viewed in contrast to the same
figures provided in 1989, illustrate the lack of implementation of the
Bonded Labour (Abolition) Act. In 1989, the total number of bonded
laborers identified was 242,532.35 By 1995, this number had risen to
251,424.36 These figures indicate that from 1988 to 1995, only 8,892
bonded laborers had been identified throughout the country, at a time
when nongovernmental sources were reporting that there were as many as
sixty-five million bonded laborers in India by 1994.37 Ironically, in
the paragraph following the presentation of statistics in the 1994-95
Annual Report, the report states that "[t]he [state] Governments are
attaching the highest priority to the total eradication of the bonded
labour system in the country."38

The central government's reliance on and acceptance of state
government statistics regarding bonded labor is misplaced and
irresponsible. The majority ofstate governments vastly underreport the
incidence of bonded labor within their borders. For instance, the
government of Tamil Nadu, where an independent commission recently
concluded that there existed more than one million bonded laborers,
stated in a sworn affidavit to the Supreme Court that "in Tamil Nadu,
only stray cases of bonded labour are noticed..."39 Twelve other state
governments made the same assertion to the court, which expressed its
disbelief by ordering independent investigations into the matter.40

In interviews with Human Rights Watch, top labor officials from the
states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, both states with high levels of debt
bondage, asserted that there was no bonded labor in their states. "I
frankly don't think it [bonded labor] exists in Rajasthan," said Ashok
Shekhar, Labour Commissioner for Rajasthan; one of his subordinates
added that, "there is no case of bonded labour in Rajasthan."41 When
asked about the reports of widespread bondage from journalists and
activists, Commissioner Shekhar conceded, as noted, that there might
exist "technical bonded labour," whereby an advance is paid to secure
a worker's labor, but he insisted that this practice was "not really
bondage." He also said that activists who organize against bonded
labor practices in the stone quarries of Rajasthan are not acting on
behalf of the bonded laborers, but rather are hoping to be paid off by
the owners in order to stay quiet. Ashok Bhasin, the Deputy Labour
Commissioner for the neighboring state of Gujarat, concurred
withCommissioner Shekhar's statements. As for his own state, he
asserted that "bonded labour does not exist in Gujarat... neither
among women, men, or children."42

Dr. Manoj Dayal, a professor at the University of Allahabad described
how the government of Bihar "abolished" bonded labor:

As soon as the issue of abolishing bonded labour was raised in Bihar,
the State Government outrightly persisted that there was no system of
bonded labour prevailing in the State; that what exists in the State
is a system of attached labour and that the labourers are assured of
remuneration, cultivable and homestead land, clothing, interest-free
loans and so on. The Bihar Government thus abolished bonded labour by
redefining it and by terming it as "attached labour system."43

Given this willful denial of one of the country's most pressing social
ills, it is not surprising that government officials' efforts on
behalf of bonded laborers have remained meager at best. The failure to
address the issue is doubly egregious in the case of bonded child
laborers, who, without intervention, will be doomed to pass their
entire lives in a state of virtual slavery.

FAILURE OF THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT TO ENFORCE THE LAW

An analysis of data indicating the number of prosecutions launched
under [the Child Labour] Act and convictions obtained would clearly
indicate that this act ... has achieved very little.44

The government's failure to enforce the Child Labour (Prohibition and
Regulation) Act and the government's failure to enforce the Bonded
Labour System (Abolition) Act-not to mention the failure to enforce
the several other laws protecting child workers-are twin
manifestations of the same set ofphenomena. These phenomena include
apathy, caste and class bias, obstruction of enforcement efforts,
corruption, low prioritization of the problem, and disregard for the
deep and widespread suffering of bonded child laborers.

Enforcement Statistics

A glaring sign of neglect of their duties by officials charged with
enforcing child labor laws is the failure to collect, maintain, and
disseminate accurate statistics regarding enforcement efforts. Human
Rights Watch met with a top official of the Ministry of Labour, but he
was unable to provide any statistics regarding enforcement of the
Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act or other legislation
protecting the rights of child workers.45 We attempted to meet with S.
S. Sharma, the Director General of Labour Welfare and, as such, the
official entrusted with enforcement of the Bonded Labour System
(Abolition) Act. Director-General Sharma refused to grant an interview
to Human Rights Watch while we were in New Delhi, suggesting instead
that we fax him a set of questions, which we did. Unfortunately, we
received no response.46 The enforcement statistics that follow have
been gleaned from a variety of sources, including public government
documents, news reports, and interviews with government officials.

Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act

At the national level, from 1990 to 1993, 537 inspections were carried
out under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act. These
inspections turnedup 1,203 violations. Inexplicably, only seven
prosecutions were launched.47 At the state level, the years 1990 to
1993 produced 60,717 inspections in which 5,060 violations of the act
were detected; 772 of these 5,060 violations resulted in convictions.
48

At the state level during the 1993 to 1994 year, the latest period for
which data are available, 1,596 cases were filed against employers.49
The number of convictions is unknown; many of these cases may still be
pending.

When convictions are obtained under the Child Labour (Prohibition and
Regulation) Act, the fines are light. The vast majority of adjudicated
offenders receive fines of five dollars or less-just a few hundred
rupees, as opposed to the 10,000 to 20,000 fine stipulated by the act
itself.50 To the knowledge of Human Rights Watch, not a single case
brought under the act has resulted in imprisonment, to date, although
the act allows for sentences of three months to a year for first-time
offenders and six months to two years for repeat offenders.51

Some information is available from various states of India regarding
enforcement of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act. In
Tamil Nadu, the act was not enforced until 1994-eight years after its
passage-when a casewas filed in North Arcot district.52 In the two
years since then, according to a senior state official, there have
been fifteen or sixteen convictions under the Child Labour
(Prohibition and Regulation) Act, and another fifty cases or so are
pending.53 To date, no one has been imprisoned in Tamil Nadu for
violation of either the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act
or the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act. According to activists in
the state, on the rare occasions when prosecutions of Child Labour
(Prohibition and Regulation) Act offenders are mounted by the state,
some judicial magistrates are quick to dismiss the charges, ostensibly
for lack of evidence, but in fact because of corruption or sympathy
with the defendant employers.54

In the Firozabad district of Uttar Pradesh, more than 50,000 children
are estimated to be working in glass factories in violation of the
Factories Act and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act.55
Nonetheless, in 1995 there were only two convictions for child labor
law violations in Firozabad, and the assistant labour commissioner,
Mr. B. K. Singh, told a journalist that "[t]here is no child labour in
the district now."56 According to the Secretary General of the
National Human Rights Commission, the enforcement problem, in
Firozabad and elsewhere, is "just a matter of people not doing their
work."57

Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act

Official statistics reflecting enforcement of the Bonded Labour System
(Abolition) Act are equally difficult to obtain. Statistics regarding
application of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act to children
are nonexistent. Indeed, at least some government officials
interviewed by Human Rights Watch appeared to be laboring under the
conviction that the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act does not
apply to children, an interpretation that has no basis in the law
itself nor in Supreme Court cases interpreting the law.

As of March 1993, the latest date for which official figures are
available, state governments had reported the identification and
release of a total of 251,424 bonded laborers. This number indicates
all bonded laborers identified and released since the Bonded Labour
System (Abolition) Act was passed in 1976.58 Of this number, 227,404
were reported to have been rehabilitated.59 If this number includes
any rehabilitated bonded child laborers, that fact has not been
reported.

State governments' statistics grossly under-report the current
incidence of bonded labor. As mentioned, the Supreme Court has been
examining the incidence of bonded labor in thirteen states.60 These
thirteen states, chosen by the court for investigation because of
their reputation for high rates of debt bondage, all claimed in
affidavits to the court that there was little or no bonded labor
within their jurisdictions.61 The court, skeptical of these claims,
appointed teams of investigators to study the issue in each state.62

When districts and states do report on statistics regarding the
identification and rehabilitation of bonded laborers, these numbers
are frequently unreliable. The team investigating bonded labor in
Tamil Nadu, for example, found that"[s]tatutory registers relating to
bonded labour were not maintained in many districts."63 Simple neglect
or lack of resources is not the only or even the primary reason for
lack of accurate statistics. According to the investigative team,
"Details provided by the state government and the district
administration do not tally in most districts and even appear
fabricated."64

This can be seen in states' statistics on bonded labor which are
submitted to the central government. For example, there are at least
three examples from 1988 to 1995 where states have reported that the
number of bonded laborers that have been rehabilitated are greater
than the number of bonded laborers that have been identified. In 1988,
the state of Tamil Nadu reported that 34,640 bonded laborers had been
rehabilitated, but they also reported that 33,581 bonded laborers had
been identified, meaning that the state claimed it had rehabilitated
1,059 more people than it had ever identified as bonded laborers.65 In
the 1989-90 report to the Ministry of Labour, the state of Orissa
reported that 51,751 bonded laborers had been rehabilitated, but only
48,657 had been identified.66 The state of Tamil Nadu reported in the
1994-95 Ministry of Labour Annual Report that 39,054 bonded laborers
had been rehabilitated, but they had identified 38,886.67 In total,
these three examples indicate that 4,321 more people were
rehabilitated than were identified as bonded laborers.

These statistics are disturbing for two reasons. The first is that
these statistics are cumulative totals, meaning that every year, new
cases are added to the cases from previous years, dating back to 1976,
when the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act became law, so that the
yearly statistics represent the total number of bonded laborers that
have ever been identified, released, and rehabilitated. The second
factor that makes the statistics suspect is that before bonded
laborers can be eligible for rehabilitation, they must be identified
as bonded laborers. Because ofthis methodology, the cumulative totals
for rehabilitation can never be more than the cumulative totals for
identification and when this occurs, such as the previous three cases,
it indicates a serious flaw in reporting. This may be due to several
factors: state governments may be arbitrarily determining bonded labor
statistics, or the inaccuracies may be due to simple error, or people
who were not bonded laborers are being rehabilitated as bonded
laborers. In one example of the latter, a survey of 180 bonded
laborers who had been officially rehabilitated by the Bihar government
found that 120 had never been bonded.68

Another indication that the law is not being enforced is the fact much
of the money allocated for the rehabilitation of bonded laborers is
unspent and reabsorbed by the government. Funding for rehabilitation
is allocated through a fifty-fifty matching grant in which the states
undertake rehabilitation and the central government matches their
expenditures.69 It is administered through several schemes under the
Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP) and Jawahar Rozgar Yojana
(JRY). Records of expenditures for these programs show that in
1989-90, only 76.16 percent of the funds were utilized. In 1990-91,
78.41 percent of funds were utilized. And in 1991-92, only 47.83
percent of funds available were utilized for rehabilitating bonded
laborers.70 On March 14, 1996, the Parliamentary Committee on Labour
and Welfare reported that only 38.39 percent of the funds available
for the rehabilitation of bonded laborers had been utilized. The
reason given was that "the state governments failed to submit
certificates in regard to the expenditure incurred by them. Because of
this lapse, the Central government did not release funds to them."71
The failure to report expenditures indicates a failure to enforce the
law.

A Supreme Court lawyer closely connected to bonded labor litigation
corroborated the unreliable nature of the district collectors'
reports, saying there is "no mechanism to ascertain [the collectors']
veracity."72 According to thisadvocate and others familiar with the
issue, corruption in application of the Bonded Labour System
(Abolition) Act and dispersal of act-related rehabilitation funds is
common. "A collector may receive 100,000 rupees for rehabilitation
efforts but disperse only 10,000 of it. Embezzlement is difficult to
track, but we all know it happens. For example, a bonded labourer
comes in, puts his thumb print on the document saying he will receive
6,250 rupees, but receives only 3,000 rupees."73

Corruption and neglect are not the only reasons for bad statistics
regarding bonded labor. Another is passivity on the part of enforcing
officials, who too often take no affirmative steps to discover and
root out debt bondage in their districts. Whether this is due to
simple apathy or to a misunderstanding on their part of their official
duties, the effect is disastrous for bonded laborers, who are left in
their state of enslavement indefinitely. In Tamil Nadu, for example,
the investigators found that "most District Collectors... had one
basis to assume that bonded labour does not exist-No one is coming
forward [to report that they are in bondage]."74

Human Rights Watch was unable to obtain any statistics on prosecution
under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act after 1988.75 Up to
1988, there were 7,000 prosecutions under the Bonded Labour
(Abolition) Act throughout India, of which 700 resulted in convictions.
76 It is certain that prosecution under the act is rare. In Tamil
Nadu, the first prosecutions under the twenty-year-old act occurred in
1995, when eight beedi employers were arrested by the North Arcot
District Collector.77 The case, which drew headlines in the regional
press, was depicted as a bold "get tough" measure. The agents spent
one night in jail andwere fined 500 rupees each.78 The Bonded Labour
System (Abolition) Act allows for punishment of three years in prison
and a 2,000 rupee fine.

Obstacles to Enforcement

Apathy

The endemic apathy among government officials charged with enforcing
India's labor laws is apparent at all levels: national, state, and
district. While undoubtedly there are many committed men and women
among their ranks-including, for example, the district collector of
North Arcot in Tamil Nadu, whom Human Rights Watch interviewed-such
commitment is not the norm. From India's top labor officials all the
way down to the local level, where tehsildars (community leaders) use
their influence to support the status quo, Human Rights Watch and
other researchers have found a profound lack of concern for the plight
of bonded and child laborers.

There are many concrete examples of government neglect. The Child
Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, signed into law in 1986,
requires each state to formulate rules for its implementation. Until
this is done, the law cannot be applied in those states. As of July
1996, a full ten years after the act's birth, the majority of states
have failed to formulate and implement these necessary rules.79 It is
a sign of the government's disregard of this issue that we are unable
to report the exact number of India's twenty-five states that have
made rules for the act's application. When we asked a very senior
official of the central Ministry of Labour-who spoke only on condition
of anonymity-how many states had made rules under the Child Labour
(Prohibition and Regulation) Act, he said "I don't know." He then
said, "Laws don't matter. Economics do," and went on to assert that,
until rural prosperity increases, nothing can be done about child
labor.

Clearly, states are receiving no pressure from the national government
to implement the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act. Nor,
for the most part, are they themselves taking the initiative to push
for greater enforcement of child labor legislation. It is at the
district level that most enforcement efforts are coordinated and
carried out, and these efforts are managed and overseen by the
district magistrates. The district magistrates, or collectors as they
are also called, are civil servants appointed by the state ministers,
and are the top law enforcement and administrative authorities at the
district level. At a 1995 conference of district magistrates and
collectors in New Delhi, various district heads told a journalist that
child labor was "very low" on their list of priorities, ranking about
twenty-fifth (investment in high-tech industries was first).80

Regarding the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, the government's
egregious neglect of the law is most evident in the nearly universal
failure of districts to form the requisite vigilance committees, much
less ensure that the committees function meaningfully. The vigilance
committees form the core of act enforcement-if implemented as
intended, these committees could contribute dramatically to the
eradication of bonded labor. For overburdened district collectors,
they would provide resources; for corrupt district collectors, they
would provide oversight; and for all district collectors, they would
provide essential liaison possibilities to the bonded laborer
population, whose interests are usually at odds with the interest and
sympathies of their local leaders.81

Nonetheless, notwithstanding the act's unambiguous requirement that
vigilance committees be formed and active, as well as numerous supreme
court rulings emphasizing the importance of the committees for act
enforcement, Human Rights Watch has learned of no functioning
vigilance committee anywhere in India.

Apathy, or at least a low prioritization of child and bonded labor
issues, is also evident in the slow pace at which complaints are
adjudicated-enforcement in the courts is very slow. One attorney told
us of a case he filed with the Supreme Court under the Bonded Labour
System (Abolition) Act in 1984. A fact finding committee was not
appointed until 1991 and, although arguments and submissionsbefore the
court concluded in 1994, as of 1996 no decision had yet been issued.82
The time table is not much better for the bonded labor case before the
Supreme Court, People's Union for Civil Liberties v. State of Tamil
Nadu, et al., which was filed in 1985 and as of 1996 was under
consideration by the court.

Delays in prosecuting cases under the Child Labour (Prohibition and
Regulation) Act are also not uncommon. One such case, filed in 1986
shortly after the act took effect, was reported to be still pending at
the prosecution stage eight years later, in 1994, with the accused
continuing to engage in prohibited practices. The delay in processing
the complaint, filed against an owner of a glass and bangles factory
in Firozabad, is all the more startling in view of the fact that the
complaint was filed by then-Labour Minister P. A. Sangma.83

Caste and Class Bias

A key element of enforcement is the attitude and the tendency toward a
subjective interpretation of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act,
1976 by government officials, including district magistrates, police
officers, labor inspectors, and judges. Too often, because of their
own backgrounds and the climate in which they work, those officers
entrusted with enforcement are more sympathetic to the employers than
to the child or bonded laborers. This phenomenon has been noted
repeatedly in the context of enforcement of the Bonded Labour System
(Abolition) Act.

We had some time back a case before us where pursuant to a direction
given by the Collector as a result of an order made by this Court, the
Tehsildar went to the villages in question and sitting on a dais with
the landlords by his side, he started enquiring of the labourers
whether they were bonded or not and when the labourers, obviously
inhibited and terrified by the presence of the landlords, said that
they were not bonded but they were working freely and voluntarily, he
made a report to the Collector that there were no bonded labourers.84

In the rare instances where vigilance committees or similar bodies
have been formed, according to one researcher, they have been composed
of people who themselves, either directly or through their families,
employ bonded labor.85 District collectors and other civil servants
assigned to bonded labor enforcement are also more often than not
aligned with the property-holding-including the holding of bonded
laborers-class. One researcher told Human Rights Watch of working with
a team of three Indian Administrative Service officers, who had been
assigned by the Supreme Court to investigate a case of bonded labor
affecting between 2,500 and 3,000 people. The investigators were urban
middle-class men from land-owning families in the region; in private
conversations, they made it clear that they considered the use of
bonded labor to be an acceptable practice.86

Many bond masters are themselves government employees, including
teachers, railway workers, and civil administrators.87 Because of
their steady income, these people are more likely to own land-which
they need someone to cultivate-and are more likely to have money
available for lending purposes. They are also more likely to be local
leaders and to have ties to the local and district administration,
both factors which tend to inhibit prosecution.

Despite the obvious limitations of relying on high-caste and local
landowning officials to attack bonded labor, outreach by the
government to affected populations and collaboration with grass-roots
social actions groups have not yet been implemented to any significant
degree.

Obstruction

It is not uncommon for those accused of violating labor laws to engage
in overt obstruction of the legal process. This ranges from
intimidation of thecomplaining workers, to bribery of government
officials, to physical threats and violence against the bonded
laborers and their advocates.88

Those who file suit against employers of bonded labor are frequently
harassed, according to a New Delhi lawyer who has been engaged in
bonded labor cases for more than a decade.89

The danger is greatest to those who work in rural areas, where bondage
is often the norm and is employed by powerful and ruthless owners.
According to another attorney closely related to bonded labor
litigation, the advocates and especially the workers who complain
about their status are "risking their lives... they are putting their
lives on the line, and the state officials have turned a callous eye
to it."90

Government officials may do more than just turn a "callous eye" toward
violence against the bonded laborers and their advocates. Several
activists told Human Rights Watch of police collusion with local
employers, including returning escaped workers to the employers and
intimidating, through force or threat of force, workers who are
attempting to organize for improved conditions.91

Corruption

As noted in previous chapters, corruption among government officials
charged with enforcement of labor laws is notorious and widespread.
Labor inspectors, medical officers, local tehsildars (representatives
of the district magistrates at the local level), and judges and
judicial magistrates are all known to be susceptible to bribery.

Lack of Accountability

Under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, district magistrates
are supposed to report to the state government periodically regarding
the number of cases of bonded laborers identified, released, and
rehabilitated. Most districtmagistrates either do not make these
reports at all, or make them sporadically. Furthermore, no mechanism
is in place whereby the accuracy of the district-level reports can be
ascertained, including such important issues as how many of the
identified workers have actually been released, and whether any
released workers have relapsed into bondage. Often, the district
magistrates will simply report that identified bonded laborers, or
formerly released bonded laborers, are "unavailable for
rehabilitation." That is to say, that their whereabouts are unknown.
Hence the central government's figures for 1994-1995, which state
that, of 251,424 bonded labourers identified between 1976 and 1995,
17,127 are "not available for rehabilitation."92

The rate of return into bondage by previously released bonded laborers
is neither studied nor recorded by the government; the effectiveness
of the rehabilitation scheme is therefore unknown. Various
nongovernmental sources believe the relapse rate to be very high.93
Part of the reason for return may be the long delays between
identification of bonded laborers and dispersal of rehabilitation
monies to them.94 Another factor may be the reportedly widespread
corruption among enforcing officials, who are accused of siphoning off
funds earmarked for rehabilitation purposes.

Lack of Adequate Enforcement Staff

Yet another obstacle to enforcement is the failure to devote
sufficient resources to the issue of bonded child labor. This failure
includes inadequate training of labor inspectors, an insufficient
number of inspectors,95 and anoverburdening of the district
magistrates.96 At both the state and the district level, the number of
personnel devoted to enforcement of child and bonded labor laws is
blatantly inadequate. In Tamil Nadu, for example, "there is only one
Assistant Section Officer dealing with the bonded labour issue for the
whole State... [and he] also holds other responsibilities.97

VII. CONCLUSION: COMBATING BONDED CHILD LABOR

The eradication of bonded child labor in India depends on the Indian
government's commitment to two imperatives: enforcement of the Bonded
Labour System (Abolition) Act, and the creation of meaningful
alternatives for already-bonded child laborers and those at risk of
joining their ranks.

In addition to genuine government action, it is essential that
nongovernmental organizations be encouraged by the government to
collaborate in this effort. The government has the resources and
authority to implement the law, while community-based organizations
have the grass-roots contacts and trust necessary to facilitate this
implementation. Furthermore, nongovernmental groups can act as a
watchdog on government programs, keeping vigil for corruption, waste,
and apathy. The elimination of current debt bondage and the prevention
of new or renewed bondage therefore requires a combination of
concerted government action and extensive community involvement.
Neither standing alone is sufficient. Bonded labor is a vast,
pernicious, and long-standing social ill, and the tenacity of the
bonded labor system must be attacked with similar tenacity; anything
less than total commitment is certain to fail.

ENFORCEMENT OF THE BONDED LABOUR SYSTEM

(ABOLITION) ACT

The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act was passed into law in 1976.
Twenty years later, Human Rights Watch has found that the goals of
this law-to punish employers of bonded labor and to identify, release,
and rehabilitate bonded laborers-have not been met, and efforts to do
so are sporadic and weak at best. The bonded labor system continues to
thrive.

The district-level vigilance committees, mandated by the Bonded Labour
System (Abolition) Act and constituting the key tool of act
enforcement, have not been formed in most districts. Those that have
formed tend to lie dormant, or, worse yet, are comprised of members
unsympathetic to the plight of bonded laborers, in direct
contravention of Supreme Court orders interpreting the act.

Without effective vigilance committees to assist, guide, and oversee
their efforts, district collectors are left alone in their efforts to
enforce the law. Collectors interested in enforcement are limited in
these efforts by competing administrative and prosecutorial duties;
without vigilance committees to share the work, meaningful enforcement
of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act is difficult. Other
collectors are not interested in enforcing the act; for them, the lack
of a good vigilance committee means there is no pressure to do so.

Whether for lack of will or lack of support, India's district
collectors have failed utterly to enforce the provisions of the Bonded
Labour System (Abolition)Act. If collected statistics regarding
prosecutions under the act after 1988 exist, Human Rights Watch was
unable to obtain them. The only attempted prosecutions we learned of
occurred in Tamil Nadu in 1995, when eight employers of bonded child
labor were arrested, kept in jail over night, and fined a nominal
amount. The state of Tamil Nadu has an estimated one million bonded
laborers; according to the North Arcot District Collector, these were
the first charges ever brought under the act in Tamil Nadu.

In addition to prosecuting violators, district collectors are directed
by the act to identify, release, and rehabilitate bonded laborers.
India has an estimated fifteen million bonded child laborers alone.
The Indian government's Ministry of Labour, however, estimated in 1995
that there were just 2,784 bonded laborers of all ages identified and
awaiting rehabilitation. It made no mention of any bonded laborers yet
to be identified. Non-enforcement of the law is virtually guaranteed,
of course, so long as the government engages in a willful denial
regarding the existence and pervasiveness of bonded labor.

The mandated rehabilitation of released workers is essential. Without
adequate rehabilitation, those who are released will quickly fall
again into bondage. This has been established repeatedly, among both
adult and child bonded laborers. Nonetheless, the central and state
governments have jointly failed to implement required rehabilitation
procedures. Rehabilitation allowances are distributed late, or are not
distributed at all, or are paid out at half the proper rate, with
corrupt officials pocketing the difference. One government-appointed
commission found that court orders mandating the rehabilitation of
bonded laborers were routinely ignored.98

Finally, the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act directs vigilance
committees and district collectors to institute savings and credit
programs at the community level, so that the impoverished might have
access to a small loan during financial emergencies. This resource is
crucial. Just as enforcement of the law against employers would work
to terminate the demand for bonded labor, so would available credit
work to end the supply. Nearly every child interviewed by Human Rights
Watch told the same story: they were sold to their employers because
their parents were desperate for money and had no other way to get it.
For some, it was the illness or death of a parent, for others, the
marriage of a sister, and for others still, the need to buy food or
put a roof over their heads. In most cases, the amount of the debt
incurred was very small.

A community-based savings and credit program has been introduced in
North Arcot district, and early indications are that it will strike a
significant blow against bonded child labor. The program was launched
by the district collector for North Arcot, who claimed that sufficient
funds and personnel were available from existing rural development
programs. Similar initiatives should be instituted in all areas where
bonded child labor is prevalent.

CREATING ALTERNATIVES TO BONDED CHILD LABOR

Bonded child labor must be attacked from many fronts. Enforcement of
the law is essential, but it is not enough. The bonded child laborer
must have someplace else to go. The child's parents must have other
options available. The community must support the end of debt bondage
for children. In sum, the attack must be holistic-it must work to
change the system of debt bondage. Elements already in use by
community activists and some government officials include: education,
including vocational training and popular education, and rural
development.

The availability of free, compulsory, and quality education is widely
regarded as the single most important factor in the fight against
bonded and non-bonded child labor. The correlation between illiteracy
and bonded labor is strong, with researchers reporting that literacy
rates among bonded child laborers are as low as 5 percent.99 The
majority of children interviewed by Human Rights Watch had been
schooled for three years or less, and many said they could not read or
write.

Article 45 of the Indian Constitution commits the state to
"endeavor[ing] to provide, within a period of ten years from the
commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education
for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years." The
constitution came into force in 1950. Recognizing the central
importance of education, India's leading non-governmental
organizations have called for the implementation of universal, free,
and compulsory education. Among them are: the Child Labour Action
Network (CLAN), the Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL), the Centre
for Rural Education and Development Action (CREDA), and the Bonded
Labour Liberation Front (BLLF). UNICEF-India and Anti-Slavery
International have likewise called on the Indian government to
implement education for all.

At the same time, alternate efforts to at least minimally educate
bonded children are already underway in a few areas. CREDA in the
carpet-belt, the MV Foundation in Andhra Pradesh, and the Indian
Council on Child Welfare (ICCW)in North Arcot, are all involved in non-
formal education initiatives. Some of these programs utilize modest
financial support to attract children, including small cash stipends
and periodic grain allowances. In addition to classic schooling,
children on the verge of adulthood may benefit from concrete skills
training as well.

CREDA and the MV Foundation also emphasize popular education for all
members of the community, in which community teachers stress the
importance of education for children and the deleterious effects of
exploitative child labor. Such outreach to the community as a whole is
necessary in order to chip away at the thick web of myths and
justifications that support the exploitation of child workers. These
myths contend that children must be trained at the "right" age or they
will never learn a skill; children must be trained in a profession
"appropriate" to their caste and background; children are well-suited
for certain kinds of work because of their "nimble fingers;" and child
labor is a natural and inevitable function of the family unit. These
views are widely shared by parents, educators, government officials,
and the public at large, with the result that talk of children's
rights in regard to labor is dismissed summarily. It is necessary to
change these views in order to change the system.

In sum, the fight against bonded child labor must be carried out on
two fronts: enforcement and prevention. Those employers who continue
to bind children to them with debt, paying just pennies for a
hazardous and grueling work day, must be prosecuted under the Bonded
Labour System (Abolition) Act. Employers or agents that physically
abuse, kidnap, unlawfully confine, threaten with violence, or expose
to dangerous conditions, within the context of the bonded labor
system, should be prosecuted for these crimes under the Indian Penal
Code and the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986. Children must be removed from
bondage and rehabilitated to avoid a subsequent return to bondage.
Finally, the educational and survival needs of all children at risk
must be addressed in order to stop the cycle of bondage.

APPENDICES

APPENDIX A: Selected Articles of the Indian Constitution

Article 21. Protection of life and personal liberty-No person shall be
deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure
established by law.

Article 23. Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour-
(1) Traffic in human beings and begar and other similar forms of
forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this prohibition
shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.

(2) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from imposing
compulsory service for public purposes, and in imposing such service
the State shall not make any discrimination on grounds only of
religion, race, caste or class or any of them.

Article 24. Prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc.-
No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in
any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.

Article 39. Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State-
The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing-

(a) that the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an
adequate means of livelihood;

(b) that the ownership and control of the material resources of the
community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good;

(c) that the operation of the economic system does not result in the
concentration of wealth and means of production to the common
detriment;

(d) that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women;

(e) that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the
tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced
by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or
strength;

(f) that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in
a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that
childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against
moral and material abandonment.

Article 39A. Equal Justice and free legal aid-The State shall secure
that the operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of
equal opportunity, and shall, in particular, provide free legal aid,
by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that
opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by
reason of economic or other disabilities.

Article 41. Right to work, to education and to public assistance in
certain cases-The State shall, within the limits of its economic
capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the
right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of
unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of
undeserved want.

Article 42. Provision for just and humane conditions of work and
maternity relief-The State shall make provision for securing just and
humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.

Article 43. Living wage, etc., for workers-The State shall endeavour
to secure, by suitable legislation or economic organisation or in any
other way, to all workers, agricultural, industrial or otherwise,
work, a living wage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of
life and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural
opportunities and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to promote
cottage industries on an individual or cooperative basis in rural
areas.

Article 43A. Participation of workers in management of industries-The
State shall take steps, by suitable legislation or in any other way,
to secure the participation of workers in the management of
undertakings, establishments or other organizations engaged in any
industry.

Article 45. Provision for free and compulsory education for children-
The State shall endeavour to provide within a period of ten years from
the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory
education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen
years.

Article 46. Promotion of educational and economic interests of
Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections-The State
shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests
of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from
social injustice and all forms of exploitation.

APPENDIX B: The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976

(No. 19 of 1976)

[9th February, 1976]

An act to provide for the abolition of bonded labour system with a
view to preventing the economic and physical exploitation of the
weaker sections of the people and for matters connected therewith or
incidental thereto

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Twenty-seventh Year of the Republic
of India as follows:

CHAPTER I

Preliminary

1. Short title, extent and commencement.-(1) This act may be called
the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976.

(2) It extends to the whole of India.

(3) it shall be deemed to have come into force on the 25th day of
October, 1975.

2. Definitions.-(1) In This act, unless the context otherwise
requires,-

(a) "advance" means an advance, whether in cash or in kind, or partly
in cash or partly in kind, made by one person (hereinafter referred to
as the creditor) to another person (hereinafter referred to as the
debtor);

(b) "agreement" means an agreement (whether written or oral, or partly
written and partly oral) between a debtor and creditor, and includes
an agreement providing for forced labour, the existence of which is
presumed under any social custom prevailing in the concerned
locality;

Explanation.-The existence of an agreement between the debtor and
creditor is ordinarily presumed, under the social custom, in relation
to the following forms of forced labour, namely:

Adiyamar, Baramasi, Bethu, Bhagela, Cherumar, Garrugalu, Hali, Hari,
Harwai, Holya, Jolya, Jeeta, Kamiya, Khundit-Mundit, Kuthia, Lakhari,
Munjhi, Mat, Musish system, Nit-Majoor, Paleru, Padiyal, Pannaayilal,
Sagri, Sanji, Sanjawal, Sewak,, Sewakis, Seri, Vetti;

(c) "ascendant" or "descendant" in relation to a person belonging to
matriarchal society, means the person who corresponds to such
expression in accordance with the law of succession in such society;

(d) "bonded debt" means an advance obtained, or presumed to have been
obtained, by a bonded labourer, or in pursuance of, the bonded labour
system

(e) "bonded labour" means any labour or service rendered under the
bonded labour system;

(f) "bonded labourer" means a labourer who incurs, or has, or is
presumed to have, incurred, a bonded debt;

(g) "bonded labour system" means the system of forced, or partly
forced labour under which a debtor enters, or has, or is presumed to
have, entered, into an agreement with the creditor to the effect
that,-

(i) In consideration of an advance obtained by him or by any of his
lineal ascendants or descendants (whether or not such advance is
evidenced by any document) and in consideration of the interest, if
any, due on such advance, or

(ii) in pursuance of any customary or social obligation, or

(iii) in pursuance of an obligation devolving on him by succession,
or

(iv) for any economic consideration of the interest, if any, due on
such advance, or

(v) by reason of his birth in any particular caste or community, he
would-

(1) render, by himself or through any member of his family, or any
person dependent on him, labour or service to the creditor, or for the
benefit of the creditor, for a specified period or for an unspecified
period, either without wages or for nominal wages, or

(2) forfeit the freedom of employment or other means of livelihood for
a specified period or for an unspecified period, or

(3) forfeit the right to move freely throughout the territory of
India, or

(4) forfeit the right to appropriate or sell at market value any of
his property or product of his labour or the labour of a member of his
family or any person dependent on him

and includes the system of forced, or partly forced, labour under
which a surety for a debtor or has, or has, or is presumed to have,
entered, into an agreement with the creditor to the effect that in the
event of the failure of the debtor to repay the debt, he would render
the bonded labour on behalf of the debtor;

Explanation.- For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that
any system of forced, or partly forced labour under which any workman
being contract labour as defined in Cl. (b) of subsection (1) or Sec.
2 of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 (37 of
1970), or an inter-State migrant workman as defined in Cl. (e) of sub-
section (1) of Sec. 2 of the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation
and of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979 (30 of 1979),
is required to render labour or service in circumstances of the nature
mentioned in sub-clause (1) of this clause or is subjected to all or
any of the disabilities referred to in sub-clauses (2) to (4), is
"bonded labour system" within the meaning of this clause.

(h) "family", in relation to a person, includes the ascendant and
descendant of such person;

(i) "nominal wages", in relation to any labour, means a wage which is
less than,-

(a) the minimum wages fixed by the Government, in relation to the same
or similar labour, under any law for the time being in force; and

(b) where no such minimum wage has been fixed in relation to any form
of labour, the wages that are normally paid, for the same or similar
labour to the labourers working in the same locality;

(j) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this act.

3. Act to have overriding effect.-The provisions of this act shall
have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained
in any enactment other than this act, or in any instrument having
effect by virtue of any enactment other than this act.

CHAPTER II

Abolition of Bonded Labour System

4. Abolition of bonded labour system.-(1) On the commencement of this
act, the bonded labour system shall stand abolished and every bonded
labourer shall, on such commencement, stand freed and discharged from
any obligation to render any bonded labour.

(2) After the commencement of this act, no person shall-

(a) make any advance under, or in pursuance of the bonded labour
system, forced labour, or

(b) Compel any person to render any bonded labour or other form of
forced labour.

5. Agreement, custom, etc. to be void.-On the commencement of this
act, any custom or tradition or any contract, agreement or other
instrument (whether entered into or executed before or after the
commencement of this act), by virtue of which any person, or any
member of the family or dependent of such person, is required to do
any work or render any service as a bonded labourer, shall be void and
inoperative.

CHAPTER III

Extinguishment of liability to repay bonded debt

6. Liability to repay bonded debt to stand extinguished-(1) On the
commencement of this act, every obligation of a bonded labourer to
repay any bonded debt, or such part of any bonded debt as remains
unsatisfied immediately before such commencement, shall be deemed to
have been extinguished.

(2) After the commencement of this act, no suit or other proceeding
shall lie in any civil Court or before any other authority for the
recovery of any bonded debt or any part thereof.

(3) Every decree or order for the recovery of bonded debt, passed
before the commencement of this act and not fully satisfied before
such commencement, shall be deemed, on such commencement, to have been
fully satisfied.

(4) Every attachment made before the commencement of this act, for the
recovery of any bonded debt, shall, on such commencement, stand
vacated; and where, in pursuance of such attachment, any moveable
property of the bonded labourer was seized and removed from his
custody and kept in the custody of any Court or other authority
pending sale thereof such moveable property shall be restored, as soon
as may be practicable after such commencement, to the possession of
the bonded labourer.

(5) Where, before the commencement of this act, possession of any
property belonging to a bonded labourer or a member of his family or
other dependent was forcibly taken over by any creditor for the
recovery of any bonded debt, such property shall be restored, as soon
as may be practicable after such commencement, to the possession of
the person from whom it was seized.

(6) If restoration of the possession of any property referred to in
sub-section (4) or sub-section (5) is not made within thirty days from
the commencement of this act, the aggrieved person may, within such
time as may be prescribed, apply to the prescribed authority for the
restoration of the possession of such property and the prescribed
authority may, after giving the creditor a reasonable opportunity of
being heard, direct the creditor to restore to the applicant the
possession of the concerned property within such time as may be
specified in the order.

(7) An order made by any prescribed authority, under sub-section (6),
shall be deemed to be an order made by a civil Court of the lowest
pecuniary jurisdiction within the local limits of whose jurisdiction
the creditor voluntarily resides or carries on business or personally
works for gain.

(8) For the avoidance of doubts, it is hereby declared, that, where
any attached property was sold before the commencement of this act, in
execution of a decree or order for the recovery of a bonded debt, such
sale shall not be affected by any provision of this act:

Provided that the bonded labourer, or an agent authorized by him in
this behalf, may, at any time within five years rom such commencement,
apply to have the sale set aside on his depositing in Court, for
payment to the decree-holder, the amount specified in the proclamation
of sale, for the recovery of which sale was ordered, less any amount
as well as mesne profits, which may, since the date of such
proclamation of sale, have been received by the decree-holder.

(9) Where any suit or proceeding, for the enforcement of any
obligation under the bonded labour system, including a suit or
proceeding for the recovery of any advance made to a bonded labourer,
is pending at the commencement of this act, such suit or other
proceeding shall, on such commencement, stand dismissed.

(10) On the commencement of this act, every bonded labourer who has
been detained in civil prison, whether before or after judgement,
shall be released from detention forthwith.

7. Property of bonded labourer to be freed from mortgage, etc.-(1) All
property vested in a bonded labourer which was, immediately before the
commencement of this act under any mortgage, lien, charge, or other
incumbrances in connection with any bonded debt shall, in so far as it
is relatable to the bonded debt, stand freed and discharged from such
mortgage, charge, lien or otherincumbrances in connection with any
bonded debt, and where any such property was, immediately before the
commencement of this act, in the possession of the mortgagee or the
holder of the charge, lien or incumbrance, such property shall (except
where it was subject to any other charge), on such commencement, be
restored to the possession of the bonded labourer.

(2) If any delay is made in restoring any property, referred to in sub-
section (1), to the possession of the bonded labourer, such labourer
shall be entitled, on and from the date of such commencement, to
recover from the mortgagee or holder of the lien, charge or
incumbrance, such mesne profits as may be determined by the Civil
Court of the lowest pecuniary jurisdiction within the local limits of
whose jurisdiction such property is situated.

8. Freed bonded labourer not to be evicted from homestead, etc.- (1)
No person who has been freed and discharged under this act from any
obligation to render any bonded labour, shall be evicted from any
homestead or other residential premises which he was occupying
immediately before the commencement of this act as part of the
consideration for the bonded labour.

(2) If, after the commencement of this act, any such person is evicted
by the creditor from any homestead or other residential premises,
referred to in sub-section (1), the Executive Magistrate in charge of
the sub-division within which such homestead or residential premises,
is situated shall, as early as practicable, restore the bonded
labourer to the possession of such homestead or other residential
premises.

9. Creditor not to accept payment against extinguished debt.-(1) No
creditor shall accept any payment against any bonded debt which has
been extinguished or deemed to have been extinguished or fully
satisfied by virtue of the provisions of this act.

(2) whoever contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1), shall be
punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three
years and also with fine.

(3) The Court, convicting any person under sub-section (2) may, in
addition to the penalties which may be imposed under that sub-section,
direct the person to deposit, in Court, the amount accepted in
contravention of the provisions of sub-section (1), within such period
as may be specified in the order for being refunded to the bonded
labourer.

CHAPTER IV

Implementing Authorities

10. Authorities who may be specified for implementing the provisions
of this act.- The State Governments may confer such powers and impose
such duties on a District Magistrate as may be necessary to ensure
that the provisions of this act are properly carried out and the
District Magistrate may specify the officer, subordinate to him, who
shall exercise all or any of the powers, and perform al or any of the
duties, so conferred or imposed and the local limits within which such
powers or duties shall be carried out by the officers so specified.

11. Duty of District Magistrates and other officers to ensure credit.-
The District Magistrate authorized by the State Government under Sec.
10 and the officer specified by the District Magistrate under that
section shall, as far as practicable, try to promote the welfare of
the freed bonded labourer by securing and protecting the economic
interests of such bonded labourer so that he may not have any occasion
or reason to contract any further debt.

12. Duty of the District Magistrate and officers authorized by him.-It
shall be the duty of every District Magistrate and every officer
specified by him under Sec. 10 to inquire whether after the
commencement of this act, any bonded labour system or any other form
of forced labour is being enforced by, or on behalf of, any person
resident within the local limits of his jurisdiction and if, as a
result of such inquiry, any person is found to be enforcing the bonded
labour system or any other system of forced labour, he shall forthwith
take such action as may be necessary to eradicate the enforcement of
such forced labour.

CHAPTER V

Vigilance Committees

13. Vigilance Committees.-(1) Every State Government shall, by
notification in the Official Gazette, constitute such number of
Vigilance Committees in each district and each sub-division as it may
think fit.

(2) Each Vigilance Committee, constituted for a district, shall
consist of the following members, namely:

(a) The District Magistrate, or a person nominated by him, who shall
be the Chairman;

(b) three persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled
Tribes and residing in the district, to be nominated by the District
Magistrate;

(c) two social workers, resident in the district, to be nominated by
the District Magistrate;

(d) not more than three persons to represent the official or non-
official agencies in the district connected with rural development, to
be nominated by the State Government;

(e) one person to represent the financial and credit institutions in
the district, to be nominated by the District Magistrate.

(3) Each Vigilance Committee, constituted for a sub-division, shall
consist of the following members, namely:

(a) The Sub-Divisional Magistrate, or a person nominated by him, who
shall be the Chairman;

(b) three persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled
Tribes and residing in the sub-division, to be nominated by the Sub-
divisional Magistrate;

(c) two social workers, resident in the sub-division, to be nominated
by the Sub-divisional Magistrate;

(d) not more than three persons to represent the official or non-
official agencies in the sub-division connected with rural
development, to be nominated by the State Government;

(e) one person to represent the financial and credit institutions in
the sub-division, to be nominated by the Sub-divisional Magistrate.

(f) one officer specified under Sec. 10 and functioning in the sub-
division;

(4) Each Vigilance Committee shall regulate its own procedure and
secretarial assistance as may be necessary, shall be provided by-

(a) the District Magistrate, in the case of Vigilance Committee
constituted for the district;

(b) the Sub-divisional Magistrate, in the case of a Vigilance
Committee constituted for the sub-division.

(5) No proceeding of a Vigilance Committee shall be invalid merely by
reason of any defect in the constitution, or in the proceedings, of
the Vigilance Committee.

14. Functions of Vigilance Committees.-(1) The functions of each
Vigilance Committee shall be-

(a) to advise the District Magistrate or any officer authorized by him
as to the efforts made, and action taken, to ensure that the
provisions of this act or any rule made thereunder are properly
implemented;

(b) to provide for the economic and social rehabilitation of the freed-
bonded labourers;

(c) to co-ordinate the functions of rural banks and co-operative
societies with a view to canalizing adequate credit to the freed-
bonded labourers;

(d) to keep an eye on the number of offences of which cognizance has
been taken under this act;

(e) to make a survey as to whether there is any offence of which
cognizance ought to be taken under this act;

(f) to defend any suit instituted against a freed-bonded labourer or a
member of his family or any other person dependent on him for the
recovery of the whole or part of any bonded debt or any other debt
which is claimed by such person to be bonded debt.

(2) A Vigilance Committee may authorize one of its members to defend a
suit against a freed-bonded labourer and the member so authorized
shall be deemed, for the purpose of such suit, to be the authorized
agent of the freed-bonded labourer.

15. Burden of proof.- Whenever any debt is claimed by a bonded
labourer, or a Vigilance Committee, to be a bonded debt, the burden of
proof that such debt, is not a bonded debt shall lie on the creditor.

CHAPTER VI

Offences and Procedure for Trial

16. Punishment for enforcement of bonded labour.-Whoever, after the
commencement of this act, compels any person to render any bonded
labour shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may
extend to three years and also with fine which may extend to two
thousand rupees.

17. Punishment for advancement of bonded debt.-Whoever advances, after
the commencement of this act, any bonded debt shall be punishable with
imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and also with
fine which may extend to two thousand rupees.

18. Punishment for extracting bonded labour under the bonded labour
system.-Whoever enforces, after the commencement of this act, any
custom, tradition, contract, agreement or other instrument, by virtue
of which any person or any member of the family of such person or any
dependent of such person is required to render any service under the
bonded labour system shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term
which may extend to three years and also with fine which may extend to
two thousand rupees; and out of the fine, ifrecovered, payment shall
be made to the bonded labourer at the rate of rupees five for each day
for which the bonded labour was extracted from him.

19. Punishment for omission or failure to restore possession of
property to bonded labourers.-Whoever, being required by this act to
restore any property to the possession of any bonded labourer, omits
or fails to do so, within a period of thirty days from the
commencement of this act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a
term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to
one thousand rupees, or with both; and, out of the fine, if recovered
payment shall be made to the bonded labourer at the rate of rupees
five for each day during which possession of property was not restored
to him.

20. Abetment to be an offence.-Whoever abets any offence punishable
under this act shall, whether or not the offence abetted is committed,
be punishable with the same punishment as is provided for the offence
which has been abetted.

Explanation.-For the purpose of this act, "abetment" has the meaning
assigned to it in the Indian Penal Code.

21. Offences to be tried by Executive Magistrates.-(1) The State
Government may confer, on an Executive Magistrate the powers of a
Judicial Magistrate of the first class or of the second class for the
trial of offences under this act; and on such conferment of powers,
the Executive Magistrate, on whom the powers are so conferred, shall
be deemed, for the purposes of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2
of 1974), to be a Judicial Magistrate of the first class, or of the
second class, as the case may be.

22. Cognizance of offences.-Every offence under this act shall be
cognizable and bailable.

23. Offences by companies.-(1) Where an offence under this act has
been committed by a company, every person who, at the time the offence
was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company
for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the
company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be
liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where any
offence under this act has been committed by a company and it has been
proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or
connivance of, or is attributable to, any neglect on the part of, any
director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such
director, manager, secretary or other officer shall be deemed to be
guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and
punished accordingly.

Explanation.-For the purposes of this section,-

(a) "company" means any body corporate and includes a firm or other
association of individuals; and

(b) "director", in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.

CHAPTER VII

Miscellaneous

24. Protection of action taken in good faith.-No suit, prosecution or
other legal proceeding shall lie against any State Government or any
officer of the State Government or any member of the Vigilance
Committee for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be
done under this act.

25. Jurisdiction of Civil Courts barred.-No Civil Court shall have
jurisdiction in respect of any matter to which any provision of this
act applies and no injunction shall be granted by any Civil Court in
respect of anything which is done or intended to be done by or under
this act.

26. Power to make rules.-(1) The Central Government may, by
notification in the official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the
provisions of this act.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the foregoing power, such
rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:

(a) the authority to which application for the restoration of
possession of property referred to in sub-section (4), or sub-section
(5) of Sec. 6 is to be submitted in pursuance of sub-section (6) of
that section;

(b) the time within which application for restoration of possession of
property is to be made under sub-section (6) of Sec. 6, to the
prescribed authority;

(c) steps to be taken by Vigilance Committees under Cl. (a) of sub-
section (1) of Sec. 14, to ensure the implementation of the provisions
of this act or of any rule made thereunder;

(d) any other matter which is required to be, or may be prescribed.

(3) Every rule made by the Central Government under this act shall be
laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of
Parliament while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days
which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive
sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately
following the session or successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses
agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that
therule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only
in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so
however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without
prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that
rule.

(1) The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Ordinance, 1975 (17 of 1975),
is hereby repealed.

(2) Notwithstanding such repeal, anything or any action taken under
the Ordinance (including any notification published, direction of a
nomination made, power conferred, duty imposed or officer specified)
shall be deemed to have been done or taken under the corresponding
provisions of this act.

APPENDIX C: The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Rules, 1976

(Published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section
3(i),

February 28, 1976)

In exercise of powers conferred by sub-section (1), read with sub-
section (2) of Sec. 26 of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act,
1976 (19 of 1976), the Central Government hereby makes the following
rules, namely:

1. Short title and commencement.-(1) These rules may be called the
Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Rules, 1976.

(2) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the
official Gazette.

2. Definitions.-In these rules, unless the context otherwise
requires,-

(a) "Act" means the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 (19 of
1976);

(b) "District Vigilance Committee: means a Vigilance Committee
constituted for a district under sub-section (1) of Sec. 13;

(c) "section" means a section of the act;

(d) "Sub-divisional Vigilance Committee" means a Vigilance Committee
constituted for a sub-division under sub-section (1) of Sec. 13.

3. Term of office, and vacation of seat members of District Vigilance
Committees.-(1) Every member of a District Vigilance Committee,
nominated under Cls. (b), (c), (d) and (e) of sub-section (2) of Sec.
13 shall hold office for a period of two years from the date on which
his nomination is notified in the official Gazette and shall, on the
expiry of the said period, continue to hold office until his successor
is nominated and shall also be eligible for re-nomination.

(2) Every member referred to in sub-rule (1), -

(a) may, by giving notice in writing of not less than thirty days to
authority which nominated him, resign his office and, on such
resignation being accepted or on the expiry of the notice period of 30
days, whichever is earlier, shall be deemed to have vacated his
office.

(b) shall be deemed to have vacated his office,-

(I) if he fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the District
Vigilance Committee without obtaining leave of the Chairman of such
absence:

Provided that the authority, which nominated him, may, if he is
satisfied that such member was prevented by sufficient cause from
attending the three consecutive meetings of the Committee restore him
to membership;

(ii) if he becomes subject to any of the following disqualifications,
namely:

(1) is adjudged insolvent;

(2) is declared to be of unsound mind by a competent court;

(3) is convicted of an offence which, in the opinion of the authority
which nominated him, involves moral turpitude;

(c) may be removed from office, if the authority, which nominated such
member is of the opinion that such member has ceased to represent the
interest to represent which he was nominated:

Provided that a member shall not be removed from office under this
clause unless a reasonable opportunity is given to him for showing
cause against such removal.

(3) A member, nominated to fill a casual vacancy shall gold office for
the unexpired portion of the term of his predecessor.

4. Term of office, and vacation of seat of members of Sub-divisional
Vigilance Committees.-(1) Every member of a Sub-divisional Vigilance
Committee, nominated under Cls. (b), (c), (d) and (e) of sub-section
(2) of Sec. 13 shall hold office for a period of two years from the
date on which his nomination is notified in the official Gazette and
shall, on the expiry of the said period, continue to hold office until
his successor is nominated and shall also be eligible for re-
nomination.

(2) Every member referred to in sub-rule (1), -

(a) may, by giving notice in writing of not less than thirty days to
authority which nominated him, resign his office and, on such
resignation being accepted or on the expiry of the notice period of 30
days, whichever is earlier, shall be deemed to have vacated his
office.

(b) shall be deemed to have vacated his office,-

(i) if he fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the Sub-
divisional Vigilance Committee without obtaining leave of the Chairman
of such absence:

Provided that the authority, which nominated him, may, if he is
satisfied that such member was prevented by sufficient cause from
attending the three consecutive meetings of the Committee restore him
to membership;

(ii) if he becomes subject to any of the following disqualifications,
namely:

(1) is adjudged insolvent;

(2) is declared to be of unsound mind by a competent court;

(3) is convicted of an offence which, in the opinion of the authority
which nominated him, involves moral turpitude;

(c) may be removed from office, if the authority, which nominated such
member is of the opinion that such member has ceased to represent the
interest to represent which he was nominated:

Provided that a member shall not be removed from office under this
clause unless a reasonable opportunity is given to him for showing
cause against such removal.

(3) A member, nominated to fill a casual vacancy shall gold office for
the unexpired portion of the term of his predecessor.

5. Prescribed authority under sub-section (6) of Sec.6.-An application
under sub-section (6) of Sec. 6 for restoration of possession of any
property referred to in sub-section (4) or sub-section (5) of that
section shall be made to the Executive Magistrate, on whom the powers
of a Judicial Magistrate of the first class or of the second class
have been conferred under sub-section (1) of Sec. 21, and within the
local limits of whose jurisdiction the said property is, or the
applicant has reason to believe is, situated at the time of making the
application:

Provided that where there are two Executive Magistrates, on one of
whom the powers of a Judicial Magistrate of the first class and on the
other the powers of a Judicial Magistrate of thesecond class have been
conferred under sub-section (1) of Sec. 21 having jurisdiction to
entertain the application for restoration of possession of property
referred to in sub-rule (1), the application shall be made to the
Executive Magistrate on whom the powers of a Judicial Magistrate of
the second class have been conferred.

6. Time within which an application under sub-section (6) is to be
made.-

An application under sub-section (6) of Sec. 6 for restoration of
possession of any property referred to in sub-section (4) or sub-
section (5) of that section shall be made within a period of ninety
days from the date on which these rules come into force.

7. Records to be maintained by District Vigilance Committees to ensure
the implementation of the provisions of the act and rules.-In order to
ensure the implementation of the act and rules, every District
Vigilance Committee shall maintain the following registers in respect
of freed-bonded labourer with the local limits of its jurisdiction,
namely:

(a) a register containing the name and address of freed bonded
labourer;

(b) a register containing the statistics relating to the vacation,
occupation, and income of every freed-bonded labourer;

(c) a register containing the details of the benefits which the freed-
bonded labourers are receiving, including benefits in the form of
land, inputs for agriculture, training in handicrafts and allied
occupations, loans at differential rates, interest of employment in
urban or non-urban areas;

(d) a register containing details of cases under sub-section (6) of
Sec. 6, sub-section (2) of Sec. 8, sub-section (2) of Secs. 9, 16, 17,
18, 19, and 20.

APPENDIX D: The Children (Pedging of Labour) Act, 1933

(Act No. 2 of 1933)

[24th February, 1933]

An act to prohibit the pledging of labour of children

Whereas it is expedient to prohibit the making of agreements to pledge
the labour of children and the employment of children whose labour has
been pledged;

It is hereby enacted as follows:

1. Short title, extent and commencement.-(1) This act may be called
the Children (Pledging of Labour) Act, 1933.

(2) It extends to the whole of India

(3) This section and Secs. 2 and 3 shall come into force at once, and
the remaining sections of this act shall come into force on the first
day of July, 1933.

2. Definitions.- In this act, unless there is anything repugnant in
the subject or context,-

"an agreement to pledge the labour of a child" means in agreement,
written or oral, express or implied, whereby the parent or guardian of
a child, in return for any payment or benefit received by him,
undertakes to cause or allow the services of the child to be utilized
by him, undertakes to cause or allow the services of the child to be
utilized in any employment:

Provided that an agreement made without detriment to a child , and not
made in consideration of any benefit other than reasonable wages to be
paid for the child's services, and terminable at not more than a
week's notice, is not an agreement within the meaning of this
definition;

"child" means a person who is under the age of fifteen years; and
"guardian" includes any person having legal custody of or control over
a child.

3. Agreement contrary to the act to be void.-An agreement to pledge
the labour of a child shall be void.

4. Penalty for parent or guardian making agreement to pledge the
labour of a child.-Whoever, being the parent or guardian of a child,
makes an agreement to pledge the labour of that child, shall be
punished with fine which may extend to fifty rupees.

5. Penalty for making with a parent or guardian agreement to pledge
the labour of a child.-Whoever makes with the parent or guardian of a
child shall be punished with fine which may extend to two hundred
rupees.

6. Penalty for employing a child whose labour has been pledged.-
Whoever, knowing or having reason to believe that an agreement has
been made to pledge the labour of a child, in furtherance of such
agreement employs such child, or permits such child to be employed in
any premises or place under his control, shall be punishable with fine
which may extend to two hundred rupees.

APPENDIX E: The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986

Number 61 of 1986

[23rd December 1986]

Statement of Objects and Reasons

There are a number of acts which prohibit the employment of children
below 14 years and 15 years in certain specified employments. However,
there is no procedure laid down in any law for deciding in which
employments, occupations or processes the employment of children
should be banned. There is also no law to regulate the working
conditions of children in most of the employments where they are not
prohibited from working and are working under exploitative
conditions.

2. This Bill intends to-

(i) ban the employment of children, i.e., those who have not completed
their fourteenth year, in specified occupations and processes;

(ii) lay down a procedure to decide modifications to the Schedule of
banned occupations or processes;

(iii) regulate the conditions of work of children in employments where
they are not prohibited from working;

(iv) lay down enhanced penalties for employment of children in
violation of the provisions of this act, and other acts which forbid
the employment of children;

(v) to obtain uniformity in the definition of "child" in the related
laws.

3. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objects.

An act to prohibit the engagement of children in certain employments
and to regulate the conditions of work of children in certain other
employments.

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Thirty-seventh year of the Republic
of India as follows:

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title, extent and commencement.-(1) The act may be called the
Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986.

(2) It extends to the whole of India.

(3) The provisions of this act, other than part III, shall come into
force at once, and part III shall come into force on such date as the
Central Governmentmay, by notification in the Official Gazette,
appoint, and different dates may be appointed for different states and
for different classes of establishments.

2. Definitions.- In this act, unless the context otherwise requires.

(i) "appropriate Government" means, in relation to an establishment
under the control of the Central Government or a railway
administration or a major port or a mine or oil field, the Central
Government, and in all other cases, the State Government;

(ii) "child" means a person who has not completed his fourteenth year
of age;

(iii) "day" means a period of twenty-four hours beginning at mid-
night;

(iv) "establishment" includes a shop, commercial establishment,
workshop, farm, residential hotel, restaurant, eating house, theatre
or other place of amusement or public entertainment;

(v) "family" in relation to an occupier, means the individual, the
wife or husband, as the case may be, of such individual, and their
children, brother or sister of such individual;

(vi) "occupier", in relation to an establishment or a workshop, means
the person who has the ultimate control over the affairs of the
establishment or workshop;

(vii) "port authority" means any authority administering a port;

(viii) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under Section 18;

(ix) "week" means a period of seven days beginning at mid-night on
Saturday night or such other night as may be approved in writing for a
particular area by the inspector;

(x) "workshop" means any premises (including the precincts thereof)
wherein any industrial process is carried on, but does not include any
premises to which the provisions of section 67 of the Factories Act,
1946, for the time being, apply.

PART II

PROHIBITION OF EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN IN CERTAIN OCCUPATIONS AND
PROCESSES

3. Prohibition of employment of children in certain occupations and
processes.-No child shall be employed or permitted to work in any of
the occupations set forth in Part A of the Schedule or in any workshop
wherein any of the processes set forth in Part B of the Schedule is
carried on:

Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to any workshop
wherein any process is carried on by the occupier with the aid ofhis
family or to any school established by, or receiving assistance or
recognition from, Government.

4. Power to amend the Schedule.-The Central Government after giving,
by notification in the Official Gazette, not less than three months
notice of its intention so to do, may, be like notification, add any
occupation or process to the Schedule and thereupon the Schedule shall
be deemed to have been amended accordingly.

5. Child Labour Technical Advisory Committee.-(1) The Central
Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute an
advisory committee to be called the "Child Labour Technical Advisory
Committee" (hereafter in this section referred to as the Committee) to
advise the Central Government for the purpose of addition of
occupations and processes to the Schedule.

(2) The Committee shall consist of a Chairman and such other members
not exceeding ten, as may be appointed by the Central Government.

(3) The Committee shall meet as often as it may consider necessary and
shall have power to regulate its own procedure.

(4) The Committee may, if it deems necessary so to do, constitute one
or more sub-committees, and may appoint any such sub-committee,
whether generally or for the consideration of any particular matter,
any person who is not a member of the Committee.

(5) The term of office of, the manner of filing casual vacancies in
the office of, and the allowances, if any, payable to, the Chairman
and other members of the Committee, and the conditions and
restrictions subject to which the Committee may appoint any person who
is not a member of the Committee as a member of any of its sub-
committees shall be such as may be prescribed.

PART III

REGULATION OF CONDITIONS OF WORK OF CHILDREN

6. Application of Part.-The provisions of this Part shall apply to an
establishment or a class of establishments in which none of the
occupations or processes referred to in section 3 is carried on.

7. Hours and period of work.-(1) No child shall be required or
permitted to work in any establishment in excess of such number of
hours as may be prescribed for such establishment or class of
establishments.

(2) The period of work on each day shall be so fixed that no period
shall exceed three hours and that no child shall work for more than
three hours before he has had an interval for rest for at least one
hour.

(3) The period of work of a child shall be so arranged that inclusive
of his interval for rest, under sub-section (2), it shall not be
spread over more than six hours, including the time spent in waiting
for work on any day.

(4) No child shall be permitted or required to work between 7 p.m. and
8 a.m.

(5) No child shall be required or permitted to work overtime.

8. Weekly holidays.-Every child employed in an establishment shall be
allowed in each week, a holiday of one whole day, which day shall be
specified by the occupier in a notice permanently exhibited in a
conspicuous place in the establishment and the day so specified shall
not be altered by the occupier more than once in three months.

9. Notice to Inspector.-(1) Every occupier in relation to an
establishment in which a child was employed or permitted to work
immediately before the date of commencement of this act in relation to
such establishment shall, within a period of thirty days from such
commencement, send to the Inspector within whose local limits the
establishment is situated, a written notice containing the following
particulars, namely:-

(a) the name and situation of the establishment;

(b) the name of the person in actual management of the establishment;

(c) the address to which communications relating to the establishment
should be sent; and

(d) the nature of the occupation or process carried on in the
establishment.

(2) Every occupier, in relation to an establishment, who employs, or
permits to work, any child after the date of commencement of this act
in relation t such establishment, shall, within a period of thirty
days from the date of such employment, send to the Inspector within
whose local limits the establishment is situated, a written notice
containing the particulars as are mentioned in sub-section (1).

Explanation.-For the purposes of sub-sections (1) and (2), "date of
commencement of this act, in relation to an establishment" means the
date of bringing into force of this act in relation to such
establishment.

(3) Nothing in sections 7, 8 and 9 shall apply to any establishment
wherein any process is carried on by the occupier with the aid of his
family or to any school established by, or receiving assistance or
recognition from, Government.

10. Disputes as to age.-If any question arises between an Inspector
and an occupier as to the age of any child who is employed or is
permitted to work byhim in an establishment, the question shall, in
the absence of a certificate as to the age of such child granted by
the prescribed medical authority, be referred by the Inspector for
decision to the prescribed medical authority.

11. Maintenance of register.-There shall be maintained by every
occupier in respect of children employed or permitted to work in any
establishment, a register to be available for inspection by an
Inspector at all times during working hours or when work is being
carried on in any such establishment, showing-

(a) the name and date of birth of every child so employed or permitted
to work;

(b) hours and periods of work of any such child and the intervals of
rest to which he is entitled;

(c) the nature of work of any such child; and

(d) such other particulars as may be prescribed.

12. Display of notice containing abstracts of sections 3 and 14.-Every
railway administration, every port authority and every occupier shall
cause to be displayed in a conspicuous and accessible place at every
station on its railway or within the limits of a port or at the place
of work, as the case may be, a notice in the local language and in the
English language containing an abstract of sections 3 and 14.

13. Health and safety.-(1) The appropriate Government may, by
notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for the health and
safety of the children employed or permitted to work in any
establishment or class of establishments.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions,
the said rules may provide for all or any of the following matters,
namely:-

(a) cleanliness in the place of work and its freedom from nuisance;

(b) disposal of wastes and effluents;

(c) ventilation and temperature;

(e) artificial humidification;

(f) lighting;

(g) drinking water;

(h) latrine and urinals;

(i) spittoons;

(j) fencing of machinery;

(k) work at or near machinery in motion;

(l) employment of children on dangerous machines;

(m) instructions, training and supervision in relation to employment
of children on dangerous machines;

(n) device for cutting off power;

(o) self-acting machines;

(p) easing of new machinery;

(q) floor, stairs and means of access;

(r) pits, sumps, openings in floors, etc.;

(s) excessive weights;

(t) protection of eyes;

(u) explosive or inflammable dust, gas, etc.;

(v) precautions in case of fire;

(w) maintenance of buildings; and

(x) safety of buildings; and machinery.

PART IV

MISCELLANEOUS

14. Penalties.-(1) Whoever employs any child or permits any child to
work in contravention of the provisions of section 3 shall be
punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than
three months but which may extend to one year or with fine which shall
not be less than ten thousand rupees but which may extend to twenty
thousand rupees or with both.

(2) Whoever, having been convicted of an offence under section 3,
commits a like offence, afterwards, he shall be punishable with
imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but
which may extend to two years.

(3) Whoever-

(a) fails to give notice as required by section 9; or

(b) fails to maintain a register as required by section 11 or makes
any false entry in any such register; or

(c) fails to display a notice containing an abstract of section 3 and
this section as required by section 12; or

(d) fails to comply with or contravenes any other provisions of this
act or the rules made thereunder, shall be punishable with simple
imprisonment which may extend to one month or with fine which may
extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.

15. Modified application of certain laws in relation to penalties.-(1)
Where any person is found guilty and convicted of contravention of any
of the provisions mentioned in sub-section (2), he shall be liable to
penalties as providedin sub-sections (1) and (2) of section 14 of this
act and not under the acts in which these provisions are contained.

(2) The provisions referred to in sub-section (1) are the provisions
mentioned below:-

(a) section 67 of the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948);

(b) section 40 of the Mines Act, 1952 (35 of 1952);

(c) section 109 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (44 of 1958); and

(d) section 21 of the Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961 (27 of 1961).

16. Procedure relating to offences.-(1) Any person, police officer or
Inspector may file a complaint of the commission of an offence under
this act in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(2) Every certificate of as to the age of a child which has been
granted by a prescribed medical authority shall, for the purposes of
this act, be conclusive evidence as to the age of the child to whom it
relates.

(3) No court inferior to that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a
Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence under this act.

17. Appointment of Inspectors.-The appropriate Government may appoint
Inspectors for the purposes of securing compliance with the provisions
of this act and any Inspector so appointed shall be deemed to be a
public servant within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code (45 of
1860).

18. Power to make rules-(1) The appropriate Government may, by
notification in the Official Gazette and subject to the condition of
previous publication, make rules for carrying into effect the
provisions of The act.

(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the
foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the
following matters, namely:-

(a) the term of office of, the manner of filing casual vacancies of,
and the allowances payable to, the Chairman and member of the Child
Labour Technical Advisory Committee and the conditions and
restrictions subject to which a non-member may be appointed to a sub-
committee under sub-section (5) of section 5;

(b) number of hours for which a child may be required or permitted to
work under sub-section (1) of section 7;

(c) Grant of certificates of age in respect of young persons in
employment or seeking employment, the medical authorities which may
issue such certificate, the form of such certificate, thecharges which
may be thereunder and the manner in which such certificate may be
issued:

Provided that no charge shall be made for the issue of any such
certificate if the application is accompanied by evidence of age
deemed satisfactory by the authority concerned;

(d) the other particulars which a register maintained under section 11
should contain.

19. Rules and notifications to be laid before Parliament or State
legislature.-(1) Every rule made under this act by the Central
Government and every notification issued under section 4, shall be
laid, as soon as may be after it is made or issued, before each House
of Parliament, while it is in session for a total period of thirty
days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more
successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session
immediately following the session or the successive sessions
aforesaid, both Houses agree that the rule or notification should not
be made or issued, the rule or notification shall thereafter have
effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may
be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be
without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under
that rule or notification.

(2) Every rule made by a State Government under this act shall be laid
as soon as may be after it is made, before the legislature of that
State.

20. Certain other provisions of law not barred.-Subject to the
provisions contained in section 15, the provisions of this act and the
rules made thereunder shall be in addition to, and not in derogation
of, the provisions of the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948), the
Plantations Labour Act, 1951 (69 of 1951), and the Mines Act, 1952 (35
of 1952).

21. Power to remove difficulties.-(1) If any difficulty arises in
giving effect to the provisions of this act, the Central Government
may, by order published in the Official Gazette, make such provisions
not inconsistent with the provisions of this act as appear to it to be
necessary or expedient for removal of the difficulty:

Provided that no such order shall be made after the expiry of a period
of three years from the date on which this act receives the assent of
the President.

(2) Every order made under this section shall, as soon as may be after
it is made, be laid before the Houses of Parliament.

22. Repeal and savings.-The Employment of Children, Act, 1938 (26 of
1938) is hereby repealed.

(2) Notwithstanding such repeal, anything done or any action taken or
purported to have been done or taken under the act so repealed shall,
in so far as it is not inconsistent with the provisions of this act,
be deemed to have been done or taken under the corresponding
provisions of this act.

23. Amendment of Act 11 of 1948.-In section 2 of the Minimum Wages
Act, 1948,-

(i) for clause (a), the following clauses shall be substituted,
namely:-

(a) "adolescent" means a person who has completed his fourteenth year
of age but has not completed his eighteenth year;

(aa) "adult" means a person who has completed his eighteenth year of
age;

(ii) after clause (b), the following clause shall be inserted,
namely:-

(bb) "child" means a person who has not completed his fourteenth year
of age;

24. Amendment of Act 69 of 1951.-In the Plantations Labour Act,
1951,-

(a) In section 2, in clauses (a) and (c), for the word "fifteenth",
the word "fourteenth" shall be substituted;

(b) section 24 shall be omitted;

(c) in section 26, in the opening portion, the words "who has
completed his twelfth year" shall be omitted.

25. Amendment of Act 44 of 1958.-In the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958,
in section 109, for the word "fifteen", the word "fourteen" shall be
substituted.

26. Amendment of Act 27 of 1961.-In the Motor Transport Workers Act,
1961, in section 2, in clauses (a) and (c), for the word "fifteenth",
the word "fourteenth" shall be substituted.

THE SCHEDULE

(See section 3)

PART A

Occupations.-Any occupation connected with -

(1) Transport of passengers, goods or mails by railway;

(2) Cinder picking, clearing of an ash pit or building operation in
the railway premises;

(3) Work in a catering establishment at a railway station, involving
the movement of a vendor or any other employee of the establishment
from one platform to another or into or out of a moving train;

(4) Work relating to the construction of a railway station or with any
other work where such work is done in close proximity or between the
railway lines;

(5) A port authority within the limits of any port.

(6) Work relating to selling of crackers and fireworks.*

(7) Abattoirs/Slaughter houses.**

PART B

(1) Beedi-making.

(2) Carpet-weaving.

(3) Cement manufacture, including bagging of cement.

(4) Cloth printing, dyeing and weaving.

(5) Manufacture of matches, explosives and fireworks.

(6) Mica-cutting and splitting.

(7) Shellac manufacture.

(8) Soap manufacture.

(9) Tanning.

(10) Wool-cleaning.

(11) Building and construction industry.

(12) Manufacture of slate pencils (including packing)*

(13) Manufacture of products from agate.*

(14) Manufacturing processes using toxic metals and substances such as
lead, mercury, manganese, chromium, cadmium, benzene, pesticides and
asbestos.*

(15) "Hazardous processes" as defined in section 2(cb) and `dangerous
operations' as notified in rules made under section 87 of the
Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948).**

(16) Printing as defined in section 2(k) (iv) of the Factories Act,
1948 (63 of 1948).**

(17) Cashew and cashewnut desaling and processing.**

(18) Soldering processes in electronic industries.**

*Inserted by notification No. SO. 404 (E) dated 5th June, 1989
published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary.

**Inserted by notification No. SO.263 (E) dated 29th March, 1994
published in Gazette of India, Extraordinary.

1 All names have been changed.

2 All dollar amounts refer to U.S. dollars.

3 The estimate of fifteen million bonded child laborers is
conservative. Anti-Slavery International reported in 1991 that India
had fifteen million bonded child laborers working in agriculture
alone. Anti-Slavery International, Children in Bondage: Slaves of the
Subcontinent (London: 1991), p. 30. Given that agriculture accounts
for approximately 52 to 87 percent of all bonded child laborers (see
chapter on agriculture), there could be millions more working in non-
agricultural occupations. "Indians form panel to stop child labor,"
United Press International, November 18, 1994. Other activists and
academics estimate that one quarter of all working children, that is,
between fifteen and twenty-nine million, are bonded laborers. Based on
these and other coinciding estimates, Human Rights Watch considers
fifteen million to be a reliable minimum indicator of the prevalence
of bonded child labor in India.

4 The United Nations Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of
Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to
Slavery, 1956, defines debt bondage as "the status or condition
arising from a pledge by a debtor of his personal services or those of
a person under his control as security for a debt, if the value of
those services as reasonably assessed is not applied towards the
liquidation of the debt or the length and nature of those services are
not respectively limited and defined." It should be noted that many
Indian activists consider all child labor to be a form of bondage,
given the child's powerlessness and inability to freely choose to
work. This report, however, considers bonded child labor to be that
which conforms to the definition of the U.N. Supplementary
Convention.

5 Between $15 and $220, at the late 1995 exchange rate of thirty-four
rupees to the U.S. dollar.

6 Iqbal Masih was shot and killed on April 16, 1995. Initially blamed
on the carpet industrialists of Pakistan, the murder was later
attributed to a villager whom Masih reportedly discovered involved in
an illicit act.

7 See chapter on handwoven carpets.

8 Neera Burra, Born to Work: Child Labour in India (New Delhi: Oxford
University Press, 1995), p. xxii.

9 Ministry of Labour, Annual Report 1994-95 (New Delhi: Government of
India, 1995), p. 95. The actual quote is: "Out of India's total
workforce of 314 million, about 80% (249 million) are in rural areas.
About 64% of the workers (200 million) are engaged in agriculture.
About 85% of the workers (267 million) are self-employed or on casual
wages. Only about 15% (47 million) have regular salaried employment."

10 Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, Part I,
Section 2(ii).

11 There is no universal definition of a child under Indian law. The
Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, the Minimum Wages
Act, 1948, the Plantation Labour Act, 1951, the Apprentices Act, 1961,
and Article 24 of the Indian Constitution define "child" as any person
under the age of fourteen. The Shops and Establishments Act, 1961
allows the definition to be set by the states and in thirteen states,
the minimum age is twelve, and in eleven states, the minimum age is
fourteen. The Children (Pledging of Labour) Act, 1993 defines a child
as anyone below the age of fifteen. The Juvenile Justice Act, 1986
defines "juveniles" as any male under sixteen or any female under
eighteen.

12 Bonded child labor is convenient, cheap, compliant, and dependable.
It depresses wages. It is easily replenishable. Bonded labor among
both adults and children is not a new phenomenon in India. It is an
old arrangement, and a convenient one for the lucky top layers of
privilege. Those who have the power to change this arrangement are, by
all measures, uninterested in doing so.

13 United Front Coalition's Economic Program, presented June 6, 1996,
pp. 3-4. From MakroIndia Business Page sponsored by Amrok Securities
Private Limited at www.macroindia.com/hlight1.htm.

14 See Human Rights Watch/Asia, Contemporary Forms of Slavery in
Pakistan (New York: Human Rights Watch, July 1995); Anti-Slavery
International, Children in Bondage: Slaves of the Subcontinent
(London: Anti-Slavery International, 1991); INSEC, Bonded Labour in
Nepal under Kamaiya System (Kathmandu: INSEC, 1992); and Report of the
Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery (18th Session, June
1993), UN DOC E/CN.4/1993/67.

15 Asia Watch and Human Rights Watch Women's Rights Project, A Modern
Form of Slavery: Trafficking of Women and Girls into Brothels in
Thailand (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1993); Americas Watch, "Forced
Labor in Brazil Revisited," vol. 5, no. 12, November, 1993; Middle
East Watch and Human Rights Watch Women's Rights Project, "Rape and
Mistreatment of Asian Maids in Kuwait," vol. 4, no. 8, July 1992;
Americas Watch, The Struggle for Land in Brazil: Rural Violence
Continues (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1992); Americas Watch,
"Forced Labor in Brazil," vol. 2, no. 8, December 1990; and National
Coalition for Haitian Refugees, Americas Watch, and Caribbean Rights,
Harvesting Oppression: Forced Haitian Labor in the Dominican Sugar
Industry (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1990).

16 Human Rights Watch/Asia, Rape for Profit: Trafficking of Nepali
Girls and Women to India's Brothels (New York: Human Rights Watch,
June 1995).

17 All dollar amounts in this report are in U.S. dollars.

18 Pradeep Mehta, "Cashing in on Child Labor," Multinational Monitor,
April 1994.

19 Ministry of Labour, Annual Report 1994-95, p. 95.

20 K. Mahajan and J. Gathia, Child Labour: An Analytical Study (New
Delhi: Centre of Concern for Child Labour, 1992), p. 25. Citing the
Indian Council for Child Welfare, Mahajan and Gathia report that
"slavery is on the increase among children below the age of 15 years."
Gathia also notes, in another study, that the number of children in
India who will not be in school by 2000 may be as high as 144 million,
indicating there may be tens of millions more child laborers in India
by 2000. (See: Child Labour Action Network (CLAN), Political Campaign
for Compulsory Primary Education (New Delhi: Child Labour Action
Network, 1996), p. 2.

21 Commission on Labour Standards and International Trade, Child
Labour in India: A Perspective, June 10, 1995, p. 32.

22 In 1984, the Operations Research Group-Baroda, an independent
research organization based in Baroda and Madras, estimated there were
forty-four million child laborers in India. Taking into account
population growth and employment trends, that figure would be
approximately sixty million in 1995. Another frequently cited figure
is one hundred million child laborers, a number that corresponds to
the government's estimate of all non-school-going children, who are
assumed to be working more than eight hours a day. Peace Trust and
Bhagwati Environment Development Institute, From the South, vol. 2,
no. 1, January-March 1995, p. 1. Anti-Slavery International confirmed
this estimate of 115 million in a telephone interview on August 14,
1996. Official government figures on the working child population, on
the other hand, are based on the 1981 census and are absurdly
inaccurate, with the government claiming there are only about
seventeen million child laborers. (See chapter on the role of the
Indian government.) A 1994 report by the Indian government's
Department of Women and Child Development, the Indian Council for
Child Welfare, and UNICEF-India concluded that "the number of working
children is closer to 90 million than the figure of 20 million assumed
by the government." Department of Women and Child Development, Indian
Council for Child Welfare, and UNICEF, India Country Office, "Rights
of the Child: Report of a National Consultation," November 21-23,
1994.

23 There are no accurate statistics that give the number of street
children in India. In 1983, the Operations Research Group stated that
there were forty-four million working children in India of which
eleven million were street children. This number must be considered
significantly low, given the fact that the study is now thirteen years
old. The government of India's 1991 Census estimated that eighteen
million children live and work in India's urban slums (huts,
tenements, pavement dwellings), which by the nature of their residence
and the fact that they were considered working, qualified them as
street children. The estimated population of India's street children
is between eleven to eighteen million, based on the Operations
Research Group's 1983 estimate and the 1991 Census estimate.

24 Peace Trust and Bhagwati Environment Development Institute, From
the South, Vo. 2, No. 1, January-March 1995, p. 1.

25 At a non-formal education center run during the evenings (as are
most, to accommodate the work schedules of the children), Human Rights
Watch asked one group of working children what they did for fun. The
boys perked up and rattled off a variety of activities: playing with
friends, going to the movies, riding a bicycle. The girls, however,
were puzzled by the question. Finally a teacher stepped in to explain:
the girls do not have the opportunity to do anything for fun; when
they are not working for wages or against a loan, they are working for
the family.

26 Mahajan and Gathia, Child Labour..., September, 1992, p. 24.

27 Human Rights Watch interview with social activist, November 21,
1995, Madras, Tamil Nadu. Advances in the beedi industry of Tamil Nadu
range from 500 to 5,000 rupees. These figures were confirmed by Human
Rights Watch interviews with dozens of bonded child beedi rollers.

28 There are an estimated 327,000 child workers in the beedi industry
(Burra, Born to Work p. xxiv); 300,000 child carpet weavers (Mehta.,
"Cashing in on Child Labor..."); and more than 200,000 children
working in silk weaving (see chapter on silk for details and
citations).

29 According to a 1991 study of child labor in India, these training
centers include "many [children] well below age fourteen." The manager
of one government program claimed that a ban on child labor in the
carpet industry would be "suicidal" for exports. See Myron Weiner, The
Child and the State in India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press,
1991), p. 86

30 Tanika Sarkar, "Bondage in the Colonial Context," Patnaik and
Manjari Dingwaney, eds., Chains of Servitude: Bondage and Slavery in
India (New Delhi: Sangam Books, 1985), p. 97.

31 See generally Uma Chakravarti, "Of Dasas and Karmakaras: Servile
Labour in Ancient India," Chains of Servitude . . .

32 Manjari Dingwaney, "Unredeemed Promises: The Law and Servitude,"
Chains of Servitude . . ., pp. 312-313.

33 For example: "The children were frequently beaten with iron
rods . . . and wounded with scissors . . ., if they were slow in work,
or if they asked for adequate food, or if they so much as went to the
toilet without the owner's permission." Appendix XV, "Reports on Child
Labour of Mirzapur," Law Relating to the Employment of Children
(1985), p. 160. Another report detailed a woman's attempt to rescue
her youngest son after his brother died on the job in a carpet-weaving
factory; the employer of her son threatened to kill the boy if she
attempted to meet him. "Bonded labourers' mothers want to see PM,"
Times of India, August 14, 1995.

34 Y. R. Haragopal Reddy, Bonded Labour System in India (New Delhi:
Deep and Deep Publications, 1995), p. 82. Similar incidents took place
across India in the mid-1980s. See, e.g., Ajoy Kumar, "From Slavery to
Freedom: The Tale of Chattisgarh Bonded Labourers," Indian Social
Institute, 1986, p. 8, reporting that bonded agricultural laborers who
attended meetings with labor activists were publicly beaten and driven
from their homes.

35 Human Rights Watch interview with rural activist, Dec. 13, 1995,
Rajasthan.

36 R. K Misra., Preliminary Report on the Child Labour in the Saree
Industry of Varanasi, Human Rights Cell, Banaras Hindu University,
Varanasi, 1995, p. 13.

37 Convention on the Suppression of Slave Trade and Slavery, signed at
Geneva, September 25, 1926; Protocol Amended the Slavery Convention,
signed at Geneva, September 25, 1926, with annex, done at, New York,
December 7, 1953, entered into force, December 7, 1953. A slave is
someone "over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of
ownership are exercised." Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of
Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to
Slavery, done at Geneva, September 7, 1956; entered into force, April
30, 1957 (Supplementary Convention).

38 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery.

39 Ibid.

40 Forced Labour Convention (No. 29), 1930, adopted at Geneva, June
28, 1930, as modified by the Final Articles Revision Convention,
adopted at Montreal, October 9, 1946.

41 International Labour Organisation, Conventions and Recommendations
1919-1966 (Geneva: ILO, 1966), p. 891. The ILO also passed the
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No. 105) in 1957; India,
however, chose not to sign this convention.

42 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, G.A. Res.
2200 (XXI), 21 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 16), U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966)
(entered into force March 23, 1976).

43 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
G.A. Res. 2200 (XXI), 21 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 16), U.N. Doc. A/6316
(entered into force January 3, 1976).

44 Convention on the Rights of the Child, G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR,
44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989) (entered into
force September 2, 1990).

45 Ibid. India ratified the Convention subject to a reservation that
these economic and social rights will be "progressively implemented,"
"subject to the extent of available resources."

46 Ibid.

47 See chapter on carpets; see also Human Rights Watch/Asia, Rape for
Profit: Trafficking of Nepali Girls and Women to India's Brothels
(Human Rights Watch: New York, 1995).

48 Convention on the Rights of the Child, G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR,
44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989) (entered into
force September 2, 1990).

49 See S. K. Singh, Bonded Labour and the Law (New Delhi: Deep and
Deep Publications, 1994), pp. 48-51.

50 People's Union for Democratic Rights v. Union of India [Asiad
Workers' Case], AIR 1982 S.C. 1473, paragraph 1486.

51 Ibid., paragraph 1490. For a discussion of Supreme Court decisions
affecting bonded labourers, see Y. R. Haragopal Reddy, Bonded Labour
System in India (New Delhi: Deep and Deep Publications, 1995), ch. 4.

52 People's Union for Democratic Rights v. Union of India, (1982) 3
SCC 235, paragraphs 259-260.

53 Neeraja Chaudhary v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 3 SCC 243, paragraph
255 (1984).

54 "No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work
in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment."
Constitution of India, Article 24.

55 Consequently, post-act social action litigation on behalf of bonded
laborers is brought under both the Bonded Labour System (Abolition)
Act and the Constitution of India. For a discussion of cases see
Reddy, Bonded Labour System in India, ch. 4.

56 The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, Sec. 4, 5, 6, and
14. See Appendix for full text.

57 Ibid., Sec. 16. The maximum penalties for a first-time offender
under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act are weaker
than the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act in terms of potential
length of incarceration (one year), but significantly stronger in
terms of monetary punishment (ten to twenty thousand rupees). See the
Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, Sec. 14 (1).

58 Ibid., Sec. 2(1)(I)(a) and (b). Because no minimum wages have been
set by the government for children's work, the second prong of this
definition applies. See also People's Union for Democratic Rights v.
Union of India, (1982) 3 SCC 235, paragraphs 259-260, in which the
Supreme Court ruled that "where a person provides labour or service to
another for remuneration which is less than minimum wage, the labour
or service provided by him clearly falls within the scope and ambit of
the word `forced labour'..." All forms of forced labor are forbidden
under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act.

59 "It shall be the duty of every District Magistrate and every
officer specified by him under Sec. 10 to inquire whether after the
commencement of this act, any bonded labour system or any other form
of forced labour is being enforced by, or on behalf of, any person
resident within the local limits of his jurisdiction and if, as a
result of such inquiry, any person is found to be enforcing the bonded
labour system or any other system of forced labour, he shall forthwith
take such action as may be necessary to eradicate the enforcement of
such forced labour." Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, Sec.
12.

60 Human Rights Watch interview with Mirzapur District Collector Mr.
Bachittar Singh, December 19, 1995, Mirzapur. A 1994 study describing
the multifarious duties of district magistrates notes that "[n]o
district magistrate can properly perform all the assignments given to
him." See also S. K. Singh, Bonded Labour and the Law, p. 124-125,
142, 147.

61 Ibid., Sec. 11 requires the district magistrate to "as far as
practicable, try to promote the welfare of the freed bonded labourer
by securing and protecting the economic interest of such bonded
labourer so that he may not have any occasion or reason to contract
any further bonded debt."

62 Ibid., Sec. 14.

63 Reddy, Bonded Labour System in India, p. 163.

64 Ibid., citing, inter alia, Lr. No. Y-11011/4/84-BL, dated February
14, 1986, Director General (Labour Welfare), Ministry of Labour,
Government of India.

65 Ibid., p.166.

66 Ministry of Labour, Annual Report 1994-1995, p.97.

67 The Children (Pledging of Labour) Act, 1933, Sec. 2. "Child" is a
person less than fifteen years old.

68 Ibid., Sec. 4 - 6.

69 Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, Part I,
Section 2(ii).

70 The twenty-five occupations and industries where child labor is
prohibited are: beedi-making; carpet-weaving; cement manufacture;
cloth printing, dyeing and weaving; manufacture of matches, explosives
and fireworks; mica-cutting and splitting; shellac manufacture; soap
manufacture; tanning; wool-cleaning; the building and construction
industry; manufacture of slate pencils; manufacture of agate products;
manufacturing processes using toxic metals and substances; "hazardous
processes" as defined by the Factories Act, Sec. 87; printing as
defined by the Factories Act, Sec. 2; cashew and cashewnut processing;
soldering processes in electronic industries, railway transportation;
cinder picking, ashpit clearing or building operations in railway
premises; vending operations at railway stations; work on ports; sale
of firecracker and fireworks; and work in slaughter houses. Child
Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, Part II (Prohibition of
employment of children in certain occupations and processes), Sec. 3,
Schedules A and B; as amended by Government Notification Nos. No.SO
404(E) (June 5, 1989) and No. SO. 263(E) (March 29, 1994).

71 Myron Weiner, The Child and the State in India (New Delhi: Oxford
University Press, 1991), pp. 80-81.

72 Commission on Labour Standards and International Trade, Child
Labour in India..., p. 40.

73 Ibid.

74 The prevalence of corruption among factory and labor inspectors and
other charged with enforcing child labor laws was confirmed to Human
Rights Watch by multiple sources, including an official of the
national government. See also Commission on Labour Standards, Child
Labour in India... , p. 40.

75 The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, Sec. 3.

76 See chapter on handwoven carpets.

77 Ibid., Sec. 10.

78 According to R. V. Pillai, the Secretary General of the National
Human Rights Commission (NHRC), there is frequent collusion between
medical officers of the government and employers of child labor, who
bribe the medical officers in order to obtain certificates stating the
children working for them are above the age of fourteen. Secretary
General Pillai stated that some medical officers are "notorious" for
engaging in these acts, to the extent that the NHRC has recommended to
some district magistrates that they file criminal charges against
corrupt medical officers. Human Rights Watch interview with Secretary
General Pillai, December 28, 1995, New Delhi.

79 "No child who has not completed his fourteenth year shall be
required or allowed to work in any factory." The Factories Act, 1948,
Sec. 67.

80 Ibid., Sec. 2(m)(I) and (ii).

81 To get around this restriction, factory owners have been known to
"partition their premises and isolate the areas where work is being
done with power." See Burra, Born to Work, p. 75.

82 According to Burra: "In order to evade the Factories Act, ninety
per cent of the units show that they have less than nine workers. In
some factories I visited, I noticed around fifty workers. But when I
asked the employer, he said there were only eight people working
there!" Ibid., p. 136.

83 The Scheduled Castes and The Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of
Atrocities) Act, 1989, Section 3(1).

84 The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and
Conditions of Service) Act, 1979, ch. II - ch. VI.

85 The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, Sec. 6,
10, and 64.

86 Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL), "Reference Kit on Child
Labour for Media Persons," January 1995.

87 All testimonies in this report are from children interviewed by
Human Rights Watch researchers in November and December, 1995, except
where otherwise noted. All names have been changed.

88 "50,000 cr beedies consumed annually," Indian Express, February 1,
1995. One crore, abbreviated as "cr," is equal to ten million.

89 Ibid.

90 Burra, Born to Work, p. xxiv. Another account estimates 248,000
child beedi workers in Tamil Nadu. See R. Vidyasagar,"A Status Report
on Child Labour in Tamil Nadu," Madras, 1995, p. 8.

91 "Children shall be free," The Hindu, September 24, 1995; "50,000 cr
beedies consumed annually," Indian Express, February 1, 1995.

92 "Ragi" is a type of grain, commonly given to South Indian
agricultural laborers instead of cash wages. See R. Vidyasagar, "Debt
Bondage in South Arcot District: A Case Study of Agricultural
Labourers and Handloom Weavers," Chains of Servitude, p. 146.

93 L. R. Jagadheesan, "Whole families are pledged for paltry sums,"
Indian Express, April 25, 1995.

94 The minimum wage for beedi rolling varies from state to state. The
wage is slightly lower in Karnataka than in Tamil Nadu, while in the
neighboring state of Kerala it is significantly higher, at forty-two
rupees per thousand beedi rolled. "50,000 cr beedies consumed
annually," Indian Express, February 1, 1995. The minimum wage does not
apply to children, but is a good indicator of the market value of
labor, and non-bonded children in the beedi industry appeared to be
receiving wages comparable to the government-set minimum wage. Many
activists and some government officials are pressing for legal reform
to apply the same minimum wage to adults and children, on the grounds
that such a move would decrease child labor and increase adult
employment.

95 This wage is actually 3.65 rupees more than the government set
minimum wage for beedi rolling (30.90 rupees per 1,000 beedies).
Regardless of whether adults or children roll beedies, they are paid
the same on a piece-rate basis. The only wage differentials
occurbetween bonded and non-bonded beedi rollers. This indicates that
there would be no significant difference between adult and child wages
when bondage is not a factor or when payment is solely based on
production (piece-rate) which is a very common way of paying people in
informal occupations where the majority of Indians, children and
adults, work. There are other examples of this. For example, in
stainless steel factories in Madras, adults and children receive the
same piece-rate wages. In Pakistan, where bonded labor is also
endemic, adults and children have been paid on the same piece-rate
basis in the country's soccer ball industry. These findings call into
question a commonly held tenet about child labor: that children's
wages depress adult wages in the same industry and that removing
children from work would automatically lead to an increase in adult
wages. In addition, Neera Burra notes that the piece-rate wage
structure in home-based, informal work actually provides an incentive
to use children, as their help increases the production, which in-turn
provides a higher family income, and says "Unless the issue of home-
based, piece-rate workers is resolved and minimum wages and social
security provided to this sector, children will continue to be
exploited." See Burra, Born to Work, p. 255. Removing children from
employment would not necessarily result in raising adult wages unless
the problems of piece-rate wages and other forms of payment based
solely on productivity are addressed as well.

96 Human Rights Watch interview with longtime social welfare activist,
November 21, 1995, Madras.

97 Jacob Varghese, "Freedom at Mid-Day," Worldvision: A Worldvision of
India Magazine, Monsoon 1993, p. 6-7.

98 National Children's Day in India is celebrated on November 14, the
birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru, one of the founding fathers and the
first prime minister of India.

99 Human Rights Watch interview with social welfare activist, November
21, 1995, Madras.

100 Ibid.

101 Vidyasagar,"A Status Report...," p. 9.

102 Ibid. Vidyasagar cites a study of one beedi manufacturing village
that found 25 percent of all beedi rollers to have tuberculosis.

103 Human Rights Watch interviews, North Arcot district, Tamil Nadu,
November 25, 1995.

104 Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966, Sec.
2(I).

105 Asha Krishnakumar, "Reprehensible by any name: Children in beedi
industry," Frontline (Madras), November 17, 1995, p. 87.

106 Vidyasagar, "Status Report...," p. 8.

107 Local government authorities estimate there are 45,000 bonded
child laborers in the North Arcot district alone, most working in the
beedi industry. "Child Labour Abolition Support Scheme (A proposal
submitted to the International Labour Organisation)," North Arcot
Ambedkar District, 1995, p. 1. An estimated 30,000 bonded children
work in the beedi industry in North Arcot. See Vidyasagar, "A Status
Report...," p. 8. Unlike most beedi-producing areas, where 90 percent
of the workers are women and children, North Arcot district has a
significant percentage of adult male beedi workers. Vidyasagar
attributes the high rate of bondage in North Arcot to the presence of
men workers in the same industry, hypothesizing that "men use
children's labour to augment their income by keeping them under
bondage by paying low wages." Ibid.

108 "Child labour census in Tamil Nadu district," The Hindu, April 28,
1995.

109 "Child Labour Abolition Support Scheme (A proposal submitted to
the International Labour Organisation)," North Arcot Ambedkar
District, 1995, p. 8.

110 Ibid. pp. 1, 8-12, and 25.

111 Human Rights Watch interview with North Arcot District Collector
M. P. Vijaykumar, November 27, 1995, Vellore, Tamil Nadu.

112 Depending on the circumstances of the case, a bondmaster could be
charged under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, the Child
Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, or the Factories Act. As of
1995, the collector had initiated a limited number of prosecutions
under all three laws, including a handful of cases against parents who
had bonded their children. Human Rights Watch interview with North
Arcot District Collector M. P. Vijaykumar, November 27, 1995, Vellore,
Tamil Nadu; "Project Proposal for Community-Based Convergent
Services," North Arcot Ambedkar District, June, 1995, p. 15 Most
activists agree that prosecution of parents is misguided. Among
prosecuted employers, as of December 1995 the collector had not aimed
for prison sentences, but instead sought only modest fines.

113 North Arcot Ambedkar District, "Child Labour Abolition Support
Scheme (CLASS)," Proposal submitted to International Labour
Organisation, 1995, p. 10.

114 Reddy, Bonded Labour System in India, p. 56.

115 Human Rights Watch interview with North Arcot District Collector
M. P. Vijaykumar, November 27, 1995, Vellore, Tamil Nadu.

116 Vidyasagar, "A Status Report ...," p.9.

117 The "silver" referred to throughout this discussion is not pure
silver, but a blend of silver and lesser metals.

118 The figure of 100,000 working children in Salem is based on a
social scientist's finding that Salem district accounts for 10.93
percent of all child workers in the state of Tamil Nadu, and the 1981
census figures of 975,055 working children, below the age of fourteen,
in Tamil Nadu. See Vidyasagar, "A Status Report...," pp. 2 -3. Based
on more reliable statistics and analyses, however, Vidyasagar himself
estimates that there are four million working children in Tamil Nadu,
which would indicate about 400,000 child laborers in Salem district
alone. Ibid., p. 5.

119 Ibid., p. 14.

120 Human Rights Watch interview with the chief of a village near
Salem, Tamil Nadu, November 30, 1995.

121 Background information on the silver industry of Salem was
provided during a Human Rights Watch interview with staff members of a
local nongovernmental organization, November 30, 1995. It requested
anonymity in order to avoid possible repercussions against its
programs or staff.

122 Human Rights Watch interview with a social worker who works with
the children in this industry, Salem, November 28, 1995.

123 Human Rights Watch interview with a small-scale silver smithy
owner who, at the time of the interview, had three bonded children
working, Salem, November 30, 1995.

124 See chapter on applicable law.

125 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Project Officer J. L.
Poland, December 1, 1995, Salem, Tamil Nadu. The district government's
goal was to establish twenty such schools, with one hundred working
children in each.

126 Ibid. Instead of prosecuting, the office is employing a
"cooperative approach" and "working with the companies [that employ
child laborers]," according to the project officer. A local activist
put this another way. "He [the district collector] is collaborating
with the big mill and factory owners.... They [government officials]
will never worry about the welfare of the child labourers." Human
Rights Watch interview, November 30, 1995.

127 Ibid.

128 Report of the Commission on Bonded Labour in Tamilnadu, submitted
to the Supreme Court for Supreme Court Civ. Writ Petition No. 3922 of
1985. October 31, 1995, Madras, Tamil Nadu, p. 75.

129 Vidyasagar, "A Status Report...," p. 12.

130 Report of the Commission on Bonded Labour in Tamilnadu, p. 76.
Those few gem workers who are not scheduled caste members are members
of lower castes.

131 "A training centre on synthetic diamonds production," The Free
Press Journal, January 16, 1996.

132 Ibid.

133 Ibid.

134 Ibid.

135 There have been several other problems with this initiative.
According to the director of a local social welfare organization, the
new machines, which the government encouraged people to buy, were very
expensive (valued at 8,000 rupees each) and were sold to participants
by government agents at an inflated price (up to 16,000 rupees each).
These purchases were financed by bank loans set up with government
assistance, and buyers were then saddled with long-term bank debts. A
second problem was over saturation of the market as a direct result of
the gem park scheme. More than 6,000 people bought these machines and
were trained to use them. Many of these buyers were entering into the
industry for the first time, enticed by government promises of steady
earnings. With more and more American diamonds being produced, a glut
in the market soon developed. Within a year, many of the machines
stood idle, their owners having defaulted on the loans and begun
looking for other means of income generation. Another accusation
against the program is that the training process has been inadequate,
with the result that some participants never even learned how to use
their machines. Some machines, then, were idle from the start. That
the production glut happened anyway underscores an even greater
potential for market flooding.

136 Report of the Commission on Bonded Labour in Tamilnadu, p. 76.

137 There are five distinct stages of gem production: slicing,
shaping, preforming, faceting, and polishing. Each of these stages
requires minute and sustained attention to detail. Report of the
Commission on Bonded Labour in Tamilnadu, p. 75.

138 Vidyasagar, "A Status Report...," p.13, citing eye specialist Dr.
Jaiswal. According to Dr. Jaiswal, eyeglasses are not usually required
by the general population until after the age of thirty-five.

139 "Silk Exports May Fall 20 Percent," Business Line, March 7, 1996.

140 Ibid.

141 "Indo-German Trade Surges By 20% to DM 8.17 Billion," Business
Standard, June 12, 1996.

142 See Sanjay Sinha, The Development of Indian Silk: A Wealth of
Opportunities (New Delhi: Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd.,
1990), p. 46-47, 56-59; government subsidies as of 1990 totaled $20
million annually; The Hindu, "Sericulture project for 7 more
districts," November 21, 1995, p. 5. The article reported that World
Bank funding of sericulture projects would continue and the annual
production of silk was expected to more than double by end of eight-
year project. "Sericulture" refers to the culture of the silkworm.

143 "Silk Exports May Fall 20 Percent," Business Line, March 7, 1996.

144 Public Interest Research Group, The World Bank and India (New
Delhi: Public Interest Research Group, 1994), p. 81.

145 Ibid., p. 82.

146 "Karnataka to Have 7 Integrated Silk Growth Centres," Business
Line, January 31, 1996; "Silk-Mixed Fare on the Cards for the Future,"
Economic Times, February 3, 1996.

147 The World Bank, India-UP Diversified Agriculture Support Project
(DASP), Project Identification Number INPA35824, Proposal Date: March,
1995.

148 The World Bank, Working With NGOs (Washington D.C.: The World
Bank, 1994), p.5.

149 There is also a significant amount of bonded child labor in the
silk powerloom industry, with at least 35,000 bonded children working
the powerlooms of Tamil Nadu alone. This area demands further
investigation and action on the part of government authorities, but is
beyond the scope of the present report.

150 Human Rights Watch interview with researcher R. Vidyasagar,
November 17, 1995, Madras; Report of the Commission on Bonded Labour
in Tamilnadu, October 31, 1995, Madras, submitted in connection with
Supreme Court Civ. Writ Petition No. 3922 of 1985, p. 73; R.K. Misra,
Preliminary Report on the Child Labour in the Saree Industry of
Varanasi, Human Rights Cell, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, 1995,
p. 10.

151 Misra, Child Labour in the Saree Industry of Varanasi, p. 3.

152 Human Rights Watch interview with director of government cocoon
market, December 7, 1995, Magadi, Karnataka.

153 No systematic study has been undertaken on child labor in the silk
industry of Karnataka. Nonetheless, a detailed study of one Taluk
(subdivision of a district) near Bangalore found 10,000 bonded child
silk workers in that Taluk alone. Based on this figure,an overall
estimate of 100,000 is conservative.

154 Sinha, The Development of Indian Silk: A Wealth of Opportunities
(New Delhi: Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., 1990), p. 11.

155 Ibid., p. 31.

156 Ibid. at 31.

157 Memorandum to Human Rights Watch from author Rudi Rotthier and
photographer Marleen Daniels, November 1, 1995 (Rotthier/Daniels
memorandum).

158 Human Rights Watch interviews, December 6, 1995, Ramanagaram,
Karnataka.

159 Results of a 1995 survey conducted by social service organization
in Magadi Taluk, rural Bangalore District, Karnataka.

160 Rotthier/Daniels memorandum.

161 Human Rights Watch interview with social activist, December 7,
1995, rural Bangalore district.

162 Human Rights Watch witnessed many children working in the twining
factories and spoke with several of them briefly, usually in view of
their employers. We were unable to gain access to the children in a
setting more secure and conducive for interviews. Instead, we relied
largely on information provided by a local social welfare
organization. Although the particulars of these three testimonies were
confirmed repeatedly by our own conversations and observations, the
testimonies themselves were recorded by this organization and not by
Human Rights Watch.

163 Rotthier/Daniels memorandum.

164 Sinha, The Development of Indian Silk, p. 63.

165 A researcher who undertook a detailed study of the industry
reported that girls who work in the silk factories tend to have
irregular and very painful menstrual periods, and may suffer other
reproductive problems. Human Rights Watch interview with social
activist in a village in Rural Bangalore district, Karnataka, December
7, 1995. A female leather worker interviewed in Ambur, Tamil Nadu,
reported the same phenomenon in the shoe factories of that town. To
Human Rights Watch's knowledge, there has been no effort by the
government to investigate these or other health problems experienced
by working children.

166 Ibid.

167 Human Rights Watch interview with researcher R. Vidyasagar, Nov.
17, 1995, Madras; Report of the Commission on Bonded Labour in
Tamilnadu, Oct. 31, 1995, Madras, submitted in connection with Supreme
Court Civ. Writ Petition No. 3922 of 1985, p. 76.

168 Misra, Preliminary Report on the Child Labour, p. 8.

169 Sinha, Development of Indian Silk, p. 34.

170 On November 24-25, 1995, Human Rights Watch interviewed forty
people in four of the Kanchipuram area regarding the use of bonded
child labor in the silk handloom industry. Most of those interviewed
were bonded child laborers; others were parents of working children,
non-bonded child workers, owners, employers, and agents. Except where
otherwise noted, all information regarding the practices of the
Kanchipuram silk industry was obtained during these interviews. All
information regarding the practices of the Varanasi silk industry is
from Misra, Preliminary Report on the Child Labour, except where
otherwise noted.

171 Human Rights Watch interview with researcher R. Vidyasagar, Nov.
17, 1995, Madras, Tamil Nadu.

172 Misra, Preliminary Report on the Child Labour, p. 8.

173 Misra, Preliminary Report on the Child Labour, p. 11.

174 Ibid., p. 30.

175 Ibid., pp. 10-11.

176 One wealthy employer told Human Rights Watch researchers, in an
interview in Kanchipuram on November 23, 1995, that he has suffered
losses totaling 200,000 rupees because of children running away. While
he declined to specify how many children ran away or over what period
of time this loss occurred, this figure is a clear indicator of the
desperate conditions and deep suffering of the bonded child laborer's
life.

177 B.N. Juyal, Child Labour: The Twice Exploited (Varanasi: Gandhian
Institute of Studies, 1985).

178 Jagaran, Dec. 14, 1994 (cited by Misra, Preliminary Report on the
Child Labour, p. 5).

179 Ibid.

180 Misra, Preliminary Report on the Child Labour, p. 47.

181 "Thousands of persons are committing offenses under this act every
year. However not one person is known to have been convicted in
Varanasi." Ibid., p. 44. Nor have there been any convictions in the
Kanchipuram area.

182 See chapter on applicable law.

183 Human Rights Watch interview with North Arcot District Collector
M. P. Vijaykumar, Nov. 27, 1995, Vellore, Tamil Nadu; Misra,
Preliminary Report on the Child Labour, p. 42.

184 Human Rights Watch interview with director of government cocoon
market, Dec. 7, 1995, Magadi, Bangalore Rural District, Karnataka.

185 Sinha, Development of Indian Silk, pp. 47, 57.

186 "By the Skin of Its Teeth - Indian Leather Industry," Financial
Express Investment Week, August 9, 1995; "Indian Shoe Manufacturers
Increased Exports Rs. 9.14 Bil in 1994-95, Compared With Rs. 5.23 Bil
in 1992-93," Reuters, March 27, 1996.

187 Prakash Mahtani, Chairman of the Council for Leather Exports,
predicted exports valuing seven billion dollars by the year 2000.
Sharika Muthu, Times of India, Shoe Fair Supplement, "Global Giants
Stepping into Indian Shoes," Oct. 17, 1994.

188 The Factories Act, 1948, Sec. 2(m)(i) and (ii); The Child Labour
(Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, Sec. 3. (The act does not
apply to workshops where occupier is assisted by family).

189 See chapter on the role of the government.

190 Based on our observations of the Bombay leather shoe industry,
girl workers comprise approximately 5 percent of the child workers
overall.

191 Human Rights Watch interview with local resident and shoemaker,
January 16, 1996, Bombay.

192 A small percentage of the boys are brought in from Uttar Pradesh
and other parts of Maharashtra. These children make wooden heels for
shoes, while the children from Rajasthan make the leather sandals
known as chappals. Times of India, "Children toil for 12 hours in
chappal units," February 12, 1996.

193 The information on Rajasthani shoemaking communities was gathered
during several Human Rights Watch interviews in villages near
Viratnagar, Rajasthan, Dec. 13-14, 1995.

194 At the same time, their daughters are being forced into carpet-
weaving. See chapter on carpets.

195 Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, Sec. 2(1)(g)(I)(1).

196 Ibid., Sec. 2(1)(I)(a) and (b). Because no minimum wages have been
set by the government for children's work, the second prong of this
definition applies.

197 People's Union for Democratic Rights v. Union of India, (1982) 3
SCC 235, paragraphs 259-260.

198 Times of India, "Children toil for 12 hours in chappal units,"
February 12, 1996.

199 According to the Ministry of Labour, 84.98 percent of child labor
is in agriculture. Ministry of Labour, Government of India, "Children
and Work," produced for Workshop of District Collectors/District Heads
on "Elimination of Child Labour in Hazardous Occupation," New Delhi,
September 13-14, 1995, p. 3. For statistics on bonded child laborers,
see Burra, Born to Work..., pp. 32-33, the range is so great because
no definitive study has been undertaken to determine the number of
bonded child laborers in agriculture. The 85 percent of all bonded
laborers was confirmed by Anti-Slavery International in a telephone
interview with Human Rights Watch on August 14, 1996; but like other
statistics on bonded and child labor, no comprehensive survey has been
taken to document this.

200 Dalit groups have largely rejected the terms "untouchable" and
"harijan" (children of God) to describe their communities. They are
also referred to as "scheduled castes," a term which like "scheduled
tribes" refers to groups designated on a schedule attached to the
Indian Constitution as entitled to special consideration, including
some quotas for educational and career opportunities, in recognition
of their historically disadvantaged status. Many, if not the majority
of India's bonded laborers are members of the Dalit communities, or
are "scheduled tribes"-indigenous tribal people, also known as
adivasi. However, in some industries, Dalits occupy positions other
than bonded laborers. In the silk industry, for example, some loom-
owners and weavers are also Dalits.

201 See for example, A.R. Desai, ed. Repression and Resistance in
India, (Bombay: Popular Prakashan Private Ltd., 1990).

202 All interviews by Human Rights Watch, December 9, 1995, Anekal
Taluk, Bangalore Rural District.

203 Kiran Kamal Prasad, "Bonded Labour in Anekal Taluk, Bangalore
Urban District, Karnataka" (Guddhati village: Self published, March
12, 1991), p.4.

204 Ibid.

205 Government of India, 8th Five Year Plan: 1992-1997 (New Delhi:
Cosmos Bookhive (P) Ltd., 1992), pp. 64-65.

206 Kiran Kamal Prasad, "Bonded Labour in Karnataka," (Bangalore: Self
published, 1995), p. 4.

207 Ibid.

208 Ibid.

209 Ministry of Labour statistics on bonded labour are cumulative
totals. For a further discussion of these statistics and their
methodology, see below.

210 Kiran Kamal Prasad, "Bonded Labour...", p. 3.

211 Ibid, p. 2.

212 "23 Children Rescued from Bondage," The Statesman, January 26,
1996.

213 Pradeep Mehta, "Cashing in on Child Labor."

214 Ela Dutt, "Rug Firms With No Child Labor Need Help," India Abroad,
February 3, 1995.

215 See Hamish McDonald "Boys of bondage: Child labour, though banned,
is rampant," Far Eastern Economic Review, July 9, 1992, p. 19 (with
arrival of Nepali children, including girls, reports of sexual abuse
and rape increasing).

216 "Mirzapur Carpets - Taking Exports to a New High," Economic Times,
June 10, 1996.

217 Since 1994, the carpet industry has been experiencing a decline in
terms of global market share. It declined to a 17 percent share of the
global market in 1995, from 21 percent in 1994. Most reports attribute
this to increased competition from China and Iran. "Hand-Knotted
Carpet Units Losing Out to China, Iran," Financial Express, March 12,
1996; "Mirzapur Carpets - Taking Exports to a New High," Economic
Times, June 10, 1996.

218 "Steps taken to Curb Child Labour in Carpet Industry," Times of
India, December 11, 1995.

219 India's total exports in 1995 were $26.2 billion; carpet exports
were valued at $650 million, or about 2.5 percent of the total
exports.

220 "Steps taken to Curb Child Labour in Carpet Industry."

221 Edward A. Gargan, "Bound to Looms by Poverty and Fear, Boys in
India Make a Few Men Rich," New York Times, July 9, 1992.

222 "Mirzapur Carpets - Taking Exports to a New High."

223 Molly Moore, "Factories of Children; Youth Labor Force Growing in
Asia to Meet Export Demand, Help Families," Washington Post, May 21,
1995. Although the highest concentration of carpet villages is in
Mirzapur district, carpet manufacturing is also a dominant industry in
the neighboring districts of Allahabad, Varanasi, and Jaunpur.

224 Neera Burra, Born to Work, p. xxii.

225 According to one 1995 report, carpet manufacturers have found a
new way to exploit the poverty of the Bihar inhabitants: in addition
to bringing Bihar children into bondage in the carpet belt,
manufacturers are beginning to bring bondage to the children, setting
up hundreds of looms in the poorest districts of Bihar. See "Ex-child
labourers make a fresh start," Times of India, July 31, 1995.

226 Anti-Slavery International (ASI), "Slavery Today in India,"
Factsheet B, July 1994. According to ASI, 10,000 boys have been
kidnapped from the boys' district (Chichoria, Bihar) alone.

227 Prem Bhai, "The Working Conditions of the Child Weaver in the
Carpet Units of Mirzapur and Summary of Findings," Law Relating to
Employment of Children, 1985, p. 146.

228 Shamshad Khan, "Migrant Child Labour in the Carpet Industry of
Mirzapur-Bhadohi," (undated).

229 A detailed 1984 study found that approximately 50 percent of
migrant child weavers were paid only in food; another 40 percent of
them received only one or two rupees per day. Prem Bhai, "Working
Conditions of the Child Weaver..." p. 151.

230 Except where otherwise noted, all child testimonials from the
carpet belt are drawn from Human Rights Watch interviews, December 19,
1995, in several rural villages of Mirzapur district, Uttar Pradesh.

231 See especially Prem Bhai, "The Working Conditions of the Child
Weaver in the Carpet Units of Mirzapur and Summary of Findings," Law
Relating to Employment of Children, 1985.

232 See, e.g., "Ex-Child Labourers make a Fresh Start," Times of
India, July 31, 1995.

233 Information on health risks from Human Rights Watch interviews in
Mirzapur district, Uttar Pradesh, and Jaipur district, Rajasthan; also
McDonald, "Boys of bondage...," July 9, 1992, p. 18; Shamshad Khan,
"Improvement in Health, Hygiene and Nutritional Status of Child Labour
in Carpet Industry: Experience of CREDA," February 26, 1990.

234 Molly Moore, "Factories of Children; Youth Labor Force Growing in
Asia to Meet Export Demand, Help Families," Washington Post Foreign
Service, May 21, 1995.

235 "19 Children Rescued from Bonded Labour," Indian Express, Nov. 9,
1995.

236 Bhai, "The Working Conditions of the Child Weaver...", p. 151.

237 Ibid., p. 152.

238 Pradeep Mehta, "Cashing in on Child Labor."

239 See McDonald, "Boys of Bondage...," p. 19.

240 See chapter on leather for a more detailed discussion of the
Rajasthani shoemaking communities.

241 Approximately 80 percent of the child carpet-makers in Rajasthan
are female (Human Rights Watch interview with social activist,
December 14, 1995, Viratnagar). This is quite different from the
pattern in the Uttar Pradesh carpet belt, where 95 percent of the
carpet-makers are male.

242 Human Rights Watch interview, December 13, 1995, village near
Viratnagar, Jaipur district, Rajasthan.

243 Ibid.

244 Anti-Slavery International, "Slavery Today in India," Factsheet B,
July 1994.

245 Ibid. As of 1991, the number of government-run carpet-training
centers was reported as approximately two hundred. Weiner, The Child
and the State in India, p. 86.

246 Human Rights Watch interview with local children's rights
activist, December 13, 1995, Viratnagar, Rajasthan.

247 B. N. Juyal, "Official Schemes Exacerbate Situation in Northern
States," Vigil India, No. 69, August 1995, p. 6.

248 Ibid.

249 Ibid. Under the Emergency of 1975-1977, then Prime Minister Indira
Gandhi suspended civil liberties, arrested hundreds of opposition
leaders and activists, and attempted to push through a number of
economic reforms, including new development programs.

250 Indian Constitution, Article 24.

251 Gargan, "Bound to Looms..."

252 McDonald, "Boys of bondage ..." p. 19 .

253 Ibid.

254 Human Rights Watch interview with Mirzapur District Collector
Bachittar Singh, December 19, 1995, Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh.

255 Human Rights Watch interview with Rajasthan Labour Commissioner
Ashok Shekhar, December 15, 1995, Jaipur, Rajasthan.

0 S. B. Civil Writ Petition No. 263/1995, Ugam Raj Mohnot v. State of
Rajasthan and Others, filed January 18, 1995, before the High Court of
Judicature for Rajasthan, Jaipur Bench, Jaipur. The writ requests,
inter alia, that the Court "direct the State Government to make Rules
under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, and to
implement the provisions of this act forthwith strictly..." The
petitioner is coordinator of the Rajasthan branch of the Centre of
Concern for Child Labour (CFCCL) and he filed the petition on behalf
of the organization.

1 Civ. Writ Petition No. 3922 of 1985 with Civ. Writ Petition No. 153
of 1982, Record of Proceedings, August 7, 1995.

2 Human Rights Watch interview with Ms. Srilata Swaminathan, Rajasthan
Kisan Sangathan, December 13, 1995, Jaipur, Rajasthan.

3 Commission on Labour Standards and International Trade, Child Labour
in India..., p. 41.

4 This section discusses the government's child labor programs. These
are not programs designed specifically to address the needs of bonded
child laborers; as of July 1996, the Indian government has no such
program.

5 UNICEF, "Child Labour: UNICEF India Position," 1995, p. 4. There are
467 districts in all of India.

6 See Commission on Labour Standards and International Trade, Child
Labour in India..., p. 42-45 (describing eighteen policies, laws,
committees, etc. established by central government since 1921).

7 Ibid., p. 45.

8 Ibid.

9 "Non-formal education" is typically part-time instruction that
emphasizes basic literacy and life skills. It is geared toward working
children.

10 The majority of the funds for this program were provided by the
International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), a
program of the International Labour Organisation. IPEC focuses on "the
worst abuses of child labour: hazardous work, forced labour, the
employment of working children who are less than 12 or 13 years old,
girls and street children." The NGO Group for the Convention on the
Rights of the Child, 1993, "Eliminating the Exploitation of Child
Labour: International, national and local action," May 1993, p. 8.

11 Commission on Labour Standards, "Child Labour in India," p. 49
(source: Ministry of Labour). Additional IPEC programs serve nearly
55,000 children. Ministry of Labour, Government of India, "Children
and Work," Workshop of District Collectors/District Heads on
"Elimination of Child Labour in Hazardous Occupations," New Delhi,
September 13-14, 1995, p. 11.

12 Ministry of Labour, "Children and Work," p. 5.

13 "Data on Child Labour yet to be Compiled," The Hindu, April 10,
1995, p. 13. The article uses the figure of 850 crore rupees; one
crore is equal to ten million.

14 Ministry of Labour, "Children and Work," p. 5.

15 "India has told the International Labour Organisation it requires
no external financial assistance for the various remedial measures it
is taking [to eliminate children from the workforce in hazardous
industries]." "Collectors Meeting on Child Labour," The Statesman
(Calcutta edition), September 10, 1995; "Government today informed the
Rajya Sabha that it had rejected the offer by some countries to help
India check the problem of child labour, saying it preferred to depend
on its own resources." "India rejects aid to tackle child labour," The
Statesman, March 12, 1996; "India spurns aid to abolish child labour,"
Times of India, February 11, 1996.

16 The issue of foreign aid also underscores the government's
sensitivity to external critiques of child labor in India. According
to one diplomat in New Delhi, "the Indian government is known to have
discouraged suggestions, including one from the European Union, for
financial assistance." The diplomat attributed this stance to a desire
by the government "to avoid any meddling in its programme for
abolition of child labour," pointing out that international funding
brings with it accountability for the use of funds, something the
Indian government may wish to avoid. "India spurns aid," Times of
India, Feb. 11, 1996. Others believe that the government is
positioning the issue of external aid as a bargaining chip in the
ongoing debate over a linkage between trade and labor. Under this
view, "[i]f the developed countries demand that the pace of compliance
with international labour standards should be faster... India could
then ask for a substantial part of the cost of the programmes to be
shared by the developed countries." Ibid.

17 The twenty million figure was used by then-Prime Minister Rao on
August 15, 1994, when he announced the government's goal of releasing
two million child workers from hazardous industries by the year 2000.
Campaign Against Child Labour, "Reference Kit for Media Persons,"
January 1995, p. 8.

18 Department of Women and Child Development, Indian Council for Child
Welfare, and UNICEF, India Country Office, "Rights of the Child:
Report of a National Consultation, November 21-23, 1994, p. 102.

19 N.K. Doval, "Double-speak on child labour," The Hindu, December 28,
1994; Ministry of Labour, Children and Work, September 13-14, 1995.
Based on 1981 figures, the Planning Commission for the Census of India
estimated that there were seventeen and a half million child laborers
under the age of fourteen in 1985, eighteen million in 1990, and 20
million in 1995 See Commission on Labour Standards, Child Labour in
India, p. 3

20 Gerry Pinto, UNICEF, "Child Labour in India: The Issue and
Directions for Action," 1995, p. 2; UNICEF et al., "Rights of the
Child," p. 101.

21 Ministry of Labour, Children and Work, September 13-14, 1995, p. 2.
Preliminary numbers released from the 1991 census include a total
population of 844 million people, 298 million of whom are children
under the age of fifteen. Of these children, 221million live in rural
areas and seventy-one million in urban areas. These numbers are
already considered out of date, with most sources reporting an overall
population of more than 900 million. India's population is expected to
cross the one billion mark by the turn of the century.

22 Human Rights Watch interview with National Human Rights Commission,
Secretary General R. V. Pillai, New Delhi, December 28, 1995.

23 This chapter discusses only certain aspects of the Bonded Labour
System (Abolition) Act. For a more comprehensive overview, see the
chapters on the legal context of bonded child labor and on the beedi
industry. The full text of the act may be found in the appendix.

24 Bonded Labour (System Abolition) Act, Ch. IV, Art. 10, Art. 12 and
Ch. V, Art. 14. There are twenty-five states in India and 467
districts. Stanley Wolpert, India (Berkeley: University of California
Press, 1991), p. 199; UNICEF, "Child Labour: UNICEF India Position,"
1995, p. 4.

25 See chapter on applicable law for details of the committees'
duties.

26 Judgement in Writ Petition No. 1187, 1982 (cited in Vivek Pandit,
"Prevention of Atrocities (Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes): Bonded
Labour, Their Rights and Implementation", 1995), p. 7.

27 Neeraja Chaudhary v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 3 SCC, paragraphs
243, 255 (1984).

28 For details, see chapter on applicable law.

29 Neeraja Chaudhary v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 3 SCC 243, paragraphs
245-246 (1984).

30 Pandit, "Bonded Labour," p. 18.

31 Ministry of Labour, Annual Report 1994-1995, p. 97.

32 See, e.g., Mahajan and Gathia, Child Labour: An Analytical Study,
p. 25. Not only is the incidence of bonded child labor increasing, but
the wages paid to bonded laborers are steadily decreasing in real
terms. S.P. Tiwary, "Bondage in Santhal Parganas," Chains of
Servitude..., p. 206.

33 "Citizen's [sic] Body on Bonded Labour," Times of India, November
18, 1994.

34 Report of the Commission on Bonded Labour in Tamilnadu, October 31,
1995, Madras, p. 208, Part VIII, para. A. This report was submitted by
order of the Supreme Court in connection with Supreme Court Civ. Writ
Petition No. 3922 of 1985 (Public Union for Civil Liberties v. State
of Tamil Nadu and Others).

35 Sarma, Welfare of Special Categories of Labour, p. 55, citing
1989-90 Ministry of Labour statistics.

36 Ministry of Labour, Annual Report 1994-95, p. 97.

37 "Citizen's [sic] Body on Bonded Labour," Times of India, November
18, 1994.

38 Ibid.

39 Affidavit on behalf of the State Government of Tamil Nadu, October
7, 1994. This affidavit was submitted by order of the Supreme Court in
connection with Supreme Court Civ. Writ Petition No. 3922 of 1985
(Public Union for Civil Liberties v. State of Tamil Nadu and Others).

40 The case that sparked this inquiry, Public Union for Civil
Liberties v. State of Tamil Nadu and Others, was filed in 1985. Much
of the delay in its resolution is due to the state governments'
failure to respond to court directives in a timely manner. In its
order requiring the states to report on bonded labor practices, the
court noted that "It does appear to us that no significant progress
has been made by the concerned authorities and it is not unlikely that
the attitude of the concerned authorities is not enthusiastic as one
would expect in a matter of such significance." Record of Proceedings,
May 13, 1994. As of August 1996, Human Rights Watch has been unable to
find out whether the case has been resolved.

41 Human Rights Watch interview with Ashok Shekhar, Labour
Commissioner for Rajasthan, December 15, 1995, Jaipur, Rajasthan.

42 Human Rights Watch interview with Ashok Bhasin, Deputy Labour
Commissioner for Gujarat, December 15, 1995, Jaipur, Rajasthan.

43 Manoj Dayal, "Abolition of Bonded Labour an Eye-wash in Bihar,"
Patrika, December 26, 1995.

44 Department of Women and Child Development, Indian Council for Child
Welfare, UNICEF-India, "Rights of the Child: Report of a National
Consultation, November 21-23, 1994, p. 102.

45 The inability to come up with basic statistics regarding
enforcement was not an aberration, but rather just one example of a
chronic failure to keep-and make public-this information. See, e.g.,
"Scheme to divert kids from hazardous units," Indian Express, February
27, 1995.

46 The questions we asked of the Director General of Labour Welfare
included questions regarding: agency estimates of the number of bonded
child laborers in India; the number of district vigilance committees
currently in operation, and their activities to date; the number of
cases prosecuted under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act and
the results of these prosecutions; the number of people rehabilitated
under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act; whether any bonded
child laborers have ever been rehabilitated under the act; and the
agency opinion regarding the case of bonded labor currently before the
Supreme Court, in which thirteen states are accused of allowing
widespread bonded labor to flourish.

47 Commission on Labour Standards and International Trade, Child
Labour in India: A Perspective, June 10, 1995, p. 33. Inspections by
the national government presumable took place in New Delhi and other
centrally-administered territories.

48 Ibid.

49 N.K. Doval,"Double-Speak on Child Labour," The Hindu, December 28,
1994.

50 Molly Moore, "Poverty Weaves Harshness Into Lives," Guardian
Weekly, June 4, 1995, p. 19 (reprint from Washington Post) (of 4,000
convictions reported under the Act since 1986, 3,500 offenders got off
with a fine equivalent to five dollars or less; figures from report by
an Indian Chamber of Commerce and the International Labour
Organisation). The assertion that there have been 4,000 convictions
under the act does not coincide with the data released by the
government regarding 1990 to 1993 convictions, reported above. The
government's figures of 772 convictions for one three year period
indicate that, since the act was passed in 1986, total convictions
probably number 2,500 or less.

51 Hema Shukla, "India Insincere in Ending Child Labor," United Press
International, September 12, 1994.

52 Human Rights Watch interview with North Arcot District Collector M.
P. Vijaykumar, November 27, 1995, Vellore, Tamil Nadu.

53 Human Rights Watch interview with senior state official, a former
district collector of Tamil Nadu, November 22, 1995, Madras, Tamil
Nadu.

54 Human Rights Watch interviews, November 17 - December 1, 1995,
Tamil Nadu.

55 Human Rights Watch interview with social activists, December 22,
1995, Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh. See also Burra, Born to Work, p. xxiii
(of 200,000 glass workers in Firozabad, 50,000 are children).

56 Srawan Shukla, "Childhood goes up in Smoke in the `Land of Glass,'"
Times of India, November 19, 1994.

57 Human Rights Watch interview with R. V. Pillai, Secretary General,
National Human Rights Commission, December 28, 1995, New Delhi.

58 Ministry of Labour, Annual Report 1994-1995, pp. 96-97.

59 Ibid., p. 97.

60 The case, Public Union for Civil Liberties v. State of Tamil Nadu
and Others (Civ. Writ Petition No. 3922 of 1985), is investigating the
practice of bonded labor, and the states' failure to eradicate that
practice, in the states of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Andhra
Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh,
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Meghalaya.

61 Public Union for Civil Liberties v. State of Tamil Nadu and Others,
Civ. Writ Petition No. 3922 of 1985 with Civ. Writ Petition No. 153 of
1982, Record of Proceedings, August 7, 1995, p. 2.

62 Ibid., p. 3.

63 G. V. Krishnan,"TN has 10 Lakh [one million] Bonded Workers, says
Panel," Times of India, March 1, 1996.

64 Ibid.

65 Reddy, Bonded Labour System in India, p. 153. Citing 1988-89
Ministry of Labour statistics.

66 Sarma, Welfare of Special Categories of Labour, p. 55, citing
1989-90 Ministry of Labour statistics.

67 Ministry of Labour, Annual Report 1994-95, p.97.

68 Manoj Dayal, "Abolition of Bonded Labour an Eye-wash in Bihar,"
Patrika, December 26, 1995.

69 Ministry of Labour, Annual Report 1994-95, p. 97.

70 Hoshiar Singh, Administration of Rural Development in India (New
Delhi: Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd., 1995), pp.165-188.

71 "Allocations for Labour Schemes Unutilised," Times of India, March
15, 1996.

72 Human Rights Watch interview, December 29, 1995, New Delhi.

73 Ibid. See also Reddy, Bonded Labour System in India, p. 171.

74 Report of the Commission on Bonded Labour in Tamil Nadu, October
31, 1995, Madras, submitted for Supreme Court Civ. Writ Petition No.
3922 of 1985, Part V, p. 1.

75 We asked the Director General of Labour Welfare for India for these
statistics, but he declined to respond.

76 Reddy, Bonded Labour System in India, p.161.

77 Human Rights Watch interview with District Collector M. P.
Vijaykumar, November 27, 1995, Vellore, Tamil Nadu.

78 Ibid. See also "8 Beedi Agents held under Bonded Labour System
(Abolition) Act," Indian Express, September 10, 1995.

79 Commission on Labour Standards and International Trade, Child
Labour in India..., p. 9 ("There is also apathy amongst State
Governments. Most states do not have yet in place the framing of rules
for the enforcement of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation)
Act of 1986, nearly a decade later!"). The Commission on Labour
Standards and International Trade was appointed by the Indian
government in August 1994 for the purpose of studying "Issues
Concerning the Protection of Labour Rights and Related Matters."
Ibid., appendix 1.

80 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Belgian journalist Rudi
Rotthier, October 19, 1995.

81 The Supreme Court noted this in directing states to include social
action groups in their efforts against bonded labor, stating that
"patwaris and tehsildars [local leaders] [are] either in sympathy with
the exploiting class or lacking in social commitment or indifferent to
the misery and suffering of the poor . ." Crim. Writ Petition No. 1263
of 1982, Neeraja Chaudhary v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 3 SCC
paragraphs 243, 251 (1984).

82 Human Rights Watch interview with attorney Jose Varghese, November
15, 1996, New Delhi.

83 Child Workers News, Vol. 2, No. 2, April-June 1994.

84 Crim. Writ Petition No. 1263 of 1982, Neeraja Chaudhary v. State of
Madhya Pradesh, 3 SCC 243, paragraph 252 (1984).

85 Tiwary, "Bondage in Santhal Parganas," Chains of Servitude, p.
207.

86 "Bonded labour is employed by powerful landlords from whom the many
political parties draw political support and this poses a major
obstacle to implementation of the legislation. The power of those
opposed to the eradication of bondage ensures the continuation of the
economic conditions which nurture the system." See Mahajan and Gathia,
Child Labour: An Analytical Study, p. 25.

87 Human Rights Watch interviews with local social activists, December
1, 1995, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, and December 18, 1995, Varanasi, Uttar
Pradesh.

88 These phenomena are discussed in previous chapters.

89 Human Rights Watch interview with Jose Varghese, November 15, 1995,
New Delhi.

90 Human Rights Watch interview with Supreme Court attorney, December
29, 1996.

91 For example, see Ajoy Kumar, "From Slavery to Freedom: The Tale of
Chattisgarh Bonded Labourers," Indian Social Institute, 1986, pp.
12-13.

92 Ministry of Labour, Annual Report 1994-1995, p. 97.

93 See G. Satyamurty, "Trouble Dogs Freed Bonded Labourers," The
Hindu, October 27, 1994; also, in a memorandum to Human Rights Watch,
journalists Marleen Daniels and Rudi Rotthier reported their discovery
in a rural village that, of twenty-one children liberated from bondage
in 1993, nineteen had been returned to bondage one year later.
(Rotthier/Daniels memorandum to Human Rights Watch, November 1,
1995).

94 For example, in Tamil Nadu, the rehabilitation allowance for a
bonded laborer released in December 1992 was not approved for
distribution until March 1994. Report of the Commission on Bonded
Labour in Tamil Nadu, October 31, 1995, Madras, submitted in
connection with Supreme Court Civ. Writ Petition No. 3922 of 1985, p.
18.

95 See Commission on Labour Standards and International Trade, Child
Labour in India..., p. 40.

96 See Neeraja Chaudhary v. State of Madhya Pradesh, paragraph 251.

97 Report of the Commission on Bonded Labour in Tamil Nadu, October
31, 1995, Madras, submitted in connection with Supreme Court Civ. Writ
Petition No. 3922 of 1985, p. 137.

98 Sreedhar Pillai, "Of Inhuman Bondage: The Supreme Court Indicts the
Tamil Nadu Government for Failing to Abolish Bonded Labour," Sunday
Magazine (Calcutta), April 7-13, 1996.

99 Tiwary, "Bondage in Santhal Parganas," Chains of Servitude..., p.
205.

http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/1996/India3.htm

...and I am Sid Harth
chhotemianinshallah
2010-03-19 12:50:42 UTC
Give Varun Gandhi a chance: Gadkari
NDTV Correspondent, Friday March 19, 2010, New Delhi

Having to contend with both silent sulks and open attack from within
his party, BJP's new president Nitin Gadkari has stoutly defended his
choice of people for his new team of office-bearers.

On the controversial inclusion as Secretary of Varun Gandhi, a man the
party had in the past sought to distance itself from after his hate
speeches, Gadkari said exclusively to NDTV: "Varun Gandhi should be
given a chance, why hold the past against him?"

Gadkari also made clear that, "Those who have complaints about the new
team should speak to me, not the media," a barb at partymen like actor
Shatrughan Sinha, who had criticised the new president for leaving out
"the most deserving people". (Read: Shatrughan slams Gadkari)

The actor had particularly talked about the exclusion from the team of
veteran Yashwant Sinha, saying the team was constituted without
consulting "people who matter like my friend and leader of opposition
Sushma Swaraj and some other top leaders".

Gadkari countered the charges by saying: "It's wrong to say that
Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie were excluded because they are Advani
detractors... It's not possible to include everyone on the team."

The BJP chief, who was reported scrambling for approval from the RSS
for his list of office-bearers hours before he announced the names,
however, maintained that there was no pressure from the RSS on team
selection.

He also sought to clear the air on the inclusion of a number of
celebrities as senior office-bearers by saying, "The celebrities we
included are also committed party workers, they are not just
celebrities." Getting in people like Hema Malini as Vice President and
Navjyot Singh Sindhu and Smriti Irani as Secretaries is seen by many
as a move by Gadkari to use known faces strategically in his bid to
revive and re-popularise the BJP. The Sangh's choice of workers is not
personality-based.

In the broad-based interview, Gadkari talked about the summons to
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi from the Supreme Court-appointed
Special Investigation Team (SIT) looking into 2002 Gujarat riots
cases. "Modi is a big leader of our party, the SIT summons make no
difference", Gadkari said.

Talking exclusively to NDTV in Mumbai, Gadkari also commented on the
issue of partners Shiv Sena targeting non-Maharashtrians in the city.
"We believe Mumbai is for all Indians, but just because we have some
differences with the Shiv Sena, doesn't mean it will impact our
alliance," he said.

Nitin Gadkari's new team for BJP
http://www.ndtv.com/news/india/nitin-gadkaris-new-team-for-bjp-17797.php

Gadkari sheds kilos for a lean makeover
http://www.ndtv.com/news/india/nitin-gadkari-in-youngistan-17791.php

Gadkari, RSS differ over his new team
http://www.ndtv.com/news/india/gadkari-rss-differ-over-his-new-team-17787.php

Gadkari's new team: Comeback for Varun, Raje?
http://www.ndtv.com/news/india/gadkaris-new-team-comeback-for-varun-raje-17713.php

http://www.ndtv.com/news/india/give-varun-gandhi-a-chance-gadkari-18105.php

Shatrughan slams Gadkari's team, says 'new wine in old bottle'
18 Mar 2010, 2122 hrs IST, PTI

MUMBAI: Upset over being ignored by BJP president Nitin Gadkari, actor-
turned-MP Shatrughan Sinha on Thursday became the first party leader
to
publicly criticise the composition of the new team of office bearers,
saying it was "new wine in old bottle".

While there have been reports of unease among some leaders, Sinha was
forthcoming in an interview claiming some of the "most deserving"
people have been left out in the much-awaited team announced on
Tuesday.

The 'Bihari Babu' dubbed Gadkari's team, touted by the party as an
effective blend of youth, experience and women, as "new wine in old
bottle and, if we include bodies like the party's parliamentary board,
old wine in old bottle".

Without naming anyone, he said some of those inducted could have been
avoided.

For the record, Sinha refuted suggestions that he was a contender for
any post. He felt that senior leader and former union minister
Yashwant Sinha should have been included with an eye on Bihar assembly
elections due in October this year.

Yashwant Sinha, a former leader of opposition in the Bihar assembly,
has held key portfolios at the centre including those of Finance and
External Affairs.

"Bihar assembly polls are most crucial for the party in the near
future, yet a leader of the calibre of Yashwant Sinha has been kept
out of the team. Some of the people who could have been avoided have
been taken at the cost of some of the most deserving people," he
said.

"I have always treated Gadkari like a younger brother and friend.
Nevertheless, the composition of the new team, personally speaking, is
unfortunate and I am quite unhappy."

Sinha claimed that the team was constituted without consulting "people
who matter like my friend and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha
Sushma Swaraj and some other top leaders".

"Being a senior and matured leader, I do not want to break party
discipline by making any undesirable comments but I am certainly
worried and to a certain extent unhappy with the composition of the
team," he said and went on to add that "most partymen are unhappy but
there is time and we will wait and watch."

Party insiders said Sinha was unhappy over the appointment as general
secretary of Ravishankar Prasad, a fellow Bihari and Kayastha
casteman.

Sinha, one of the star campaigners for the party in the past several
assembly and parliamentary elections, wanted a greater role for
himself in the Bihar polls, sources said.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/Shatrughan-slams-Gadkaris-team-says-new-wine-in-old-bottle/articleshow/5699195.cms

Deserving people not in Gadkari team: Shatrughan
19 Mar 2010, 0352 hrs IST, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: BJP’s perennial dissenter Shatrughan Sinha is at it again.
This time, he has attacked party president Nitin Gadkari for not
including
“deserving” leaders in his team.

Mr Sinha, who has been eyeing a party post, couched his criticism in
his “angst” over the denial of a place in the new team of office-
bearers for former Union minister Yashwant Sinha. “Bihar assembly
polls are most crucial for the party in the near future, yet a leader
of the calibre of Yashwant Sinha has been kept out of the team. Some
of the people who could have been avoided have been taken at the cost
of some of the most deserving people,” he said. Incidentally, Mr
Yashwant Sinha represents Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh in the Lok Sabha.

Mr Shatrughan Sinha also insinuated that the list was prepared without
any consultation. “The team was constituted without consulting people
who matter like my friend and leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj.
Being a senior and mature leader, I do not want to break party
discipline by making any undesirable comments, but I am certainly
worried and to certain extent unhappy with the composition of the
team,” he said.

His attack seemed directed against the BJP president as he dismissed
his team as “new wine in old bottle”. To Mr Sinha, the parliamentary
board was “old wine in old bottle”.

Mr Sinha has been at loggerheads with the BJP leadership for a long
time. He had refused to campaign for the NDA in the 2004 Bihar
assembly polls after Mr Nitish Kumar was named as the alliance’s chief
ministerial candidate.

But he made peace with the JD(U) leader after he was declared as the
BJP’s candidate from the Patna Saheb Lok Sabha constituency in 2009.
But for Mr Kumar’s backing, he would not have made it to the Lok
Sabha. Within his own Kayastha community, he did not have much support
as his candidature came at the cost of another legitimate claimant Mr
Ravi Shankar Prasad.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/Deserving-people-not-in-Gadkari-team-Shatrughan/articleshow/5700159.cms

Sinha stirs up hornet’s nest on Gadkari team, BJP quiet
Express news service

Posted: Friday , Mar 19, 2010 at 2340 hrs
New Delhi:

An embarassed BJP on Thursday refused to react to party leader
Shatrughan Sinha’s criticisim of the newly-constituted team of party
office-bearers.

Earlier in the day, the actor-turned-MP said “some of the most
deserving people” have been left out of Nitin Gadkari’s team.
Specifically referring to the exclusion of former Union Finance
Minister Yashwant Sinha, the Patna Sahib MP stressed that Sinha had
held key portfolios at the Centre and in states, and that he was also
a former leader of opposition in the Bihar Assembly.

“Bihar Assembly polls are most crucial for the party in the near
future, yet a leader of the calibre of Yashwant Sinha has been kept
out of the team. Some of the people who could have been avoided have
been taken at the cost of some of the most deserving people,” Sinha
was quoted as saying.

Shatrughan Sinha is considered close to Yashwant Sinha, but he is not
on the best of terms with Ravi Shankar Prasad, who has been elevated
as a general secretary and chief spokesperson.

Sinha further said the team was constituted “without consulting people
who matter like my friend and leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj and
some other top leaders”.

“Being a senior and matured leader, I do not want to break party
discipline by making any undesirable comments but I am certainly
worried and to a certain extent unhappy with the composition of the
team,” he was quoted as saying. Prasad, however, refused to comment.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Sinha-stirs-up-hornet-s-nest-on-Gadkari-team--BJP-quiet/592738

Old faces dominate new BJP prez’s team
Shekhar Iyer, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 17, 2010

First Published: 00:52 IST(17/3/2010)
Last Updated: 01:01 IST(17/3/2010)

The big changes that BJP president Nitin Gadkari promised to bring
when he took over three months ago are still far away, judging by the
new team of office bearers he announced on Tuesday.

Gadkari picked many old hands and a few new faces, leaving many
aspirants disappointed even as he sought to perform a balancing act by
giving ample representation to various factions and social groups.

Rajnath Singh, who had to make way for Gadkari, appeared to have
succeeded in ensuring most of the office bearers close to him when he
was president, remained undisturbed in Gadkari’s reshuffle.

Among the other nine general secretaries, at least four are Rajnath
Singh’s core followers, led by former Jharkhand chief minister Arjun
Munda.

Former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje was also made general
secretary, honouring the commitment made to her in return for her
stepping down as leader of the Rajasthan opposition.

Gadkari’s personal stamp was reflected in the choice of Himachal
Pradesh minister Jagat Prakash Nadda, as a general secretary, whom he
was associated closely with during their days in the Akhil Bharatiya
Vidyarthi Parishad.

The RSS, which pitched strongly for Gadkari being made president, has
reasons to be pleased, with many of its men allotted key positions.
They include Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Murlidhar Rao and Tarun Vijay,
former editor of RSS mouthpiece Panchajanyaya.

In a bid to show 33 per cent went to women, Gadkari filled the
national executive with leaders like Maharashtra BJP youth wing leader
Shaina N. C., film star Kiron Kher, Poonam Azad (wife of former
cricketer Kirti Azad), and Shobhatai Phadanvis.

Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, who were critical of the party after
the poll debacle, retained their membership of the national executive.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/newdelhi/Old-faces-dominate-new-BJP-president-s-team/520507/H1-Article1-519974.aspx

List of new BJP team
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 16, 2010

First Published: 17:10 IST(16/3/2010)
Last Updated: 17:24 IST(16/3/2010)

Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari has announced party's
National Executive. It consists of 121 members, including 13 vice-
presidents, 10 general secretaries, 15 secretaries and one treasurer.

As provided for in the BJP constitution, the office bearers include as
many as 13 women, 33% of the total number. In all, there are 40 women
members. Besides, the president has also constituted BJP's
Parliamentary Board. The names of the members of the Central Election
Committee, Morcha Presidents and Conveners of different cells besides
some other functionaries will be announced later.

Office Bearers

President: Shri. Nitin Gadkari

Vice-Presidents

1. Shri Shanta Kumar
2 Shri Kalraj Mishra
3 Shri Vinay Katiyar
4 Shri Bhagatsingh Koshiyari
5 Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
6 Smt. Karuna Shukla
7 Smt. Najma Heptullah
8 Smt.Hema Malini
9 Smt.Bijoya Chakravarti
10 Shri Purushottam Rupala
11 Smt. Kiran Ghai
12
13


General Secretaries

1 Shri Ananth Kumar
2 Shri Thavarchand Gehlot
3 Smt.Vasundhara Raje
4 Shri Vijay Goyal
5 Shri Arjun Munda
6 Shri Ravishankar Prasad (Chief Spokesperson)
7 Shri Dharmendra Pradhan
8 Shri Narendrasingh Tomar
9 Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda
10 Shri Ram Lal (Organisation)
11 Shri V. Satish (Jt.Gen.Sec.Org)
12 Shri Saudan Singh (Jt.Gen.Sec.Org)

Secretaries

1 Shri Santosh Gangwar
2 Smt.Smriti Irani
3 Smt.Saroj Pande
4 Smt.Kiran Maheshwari
5 Shri Tapir Gao
6 Shri Navjot Singh Siddhu
7 Shri Ashok Pradhan
8 Shri Varun Gandhi
9 Shri Muralidhar Rao
10 Dr. Kirit Somaiyya
11 Dr. Laxman
12 Captain Abhimanyu
13 Smt.Arati Mehra
14 Shri Bhupendra Yadav
15 Kum.Vani Tripathi

Treasurer
Shri Piyush Goyal

Official Spokespersons

Shri Prakash Javdekar
Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy
Shri Shahnawaz Hussain
Shri Ramnath Kovind
Shri Tarun Vijay
Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman

Members

Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Shri Lal Krishna Advani
Dr. Murali Manohar Joshi
Shri Bangaru Laxman
Shri Venkaiya Naidu
Shri Rajnath Singh
Smt. Sushma Swaraj
Shri Arun Jaitley
Shri Bal Apte
Shri Yashwant Sinha
Shri Gopinath Munde
Shri S.S.Ahaluwalia
Shri Arun Shouri
Shri Balveer Punj
Shri Chandan Mitra
Smt. Mridula Sinha
Shri Shatrughan Sinha
Shri Kaptansigh Solanki
Smt. Sumitra Mahajan
Smt. Jayavantiben Mehta
Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe
Shri Sheshadri Chari
Smt. Anita Arya
Dr. C. P. Thakur
Shri Dilip Singh Judeo
Smt. Sudha Yadav
Shri Ramtahal Chaudhari
Smt. Maneka Gandhi
Shri Yogi Adityanath
Shri Lalji Tandon
Shri Hukumdev Narayan Yadav
Dr. J. K Jain
Dr. Anil Jain
Shri Arun Singh
Shri Nalin Kohli
Shri Jayprakash Agrawal (Surya)
Smt.Punam Azad
Smt. Rekha Gupta
Smt. Pinki Anand
Shri Hari Babu
Smt. Shanta Reddy
Smt.Sukhada Pande
Shri Bhupendrasingh Chudasama
Shri Balubhai Shukla
Shri Omprakash Dhankad
Shri Vinod Khanna
Smt. Kiran Kher
Shri Arjun Meghwal
Shri Subhash Mehriya
Smt.Suman Shringi
Shri Manavendra Singh
Shri Omkarsingh Lakhawat
Shri H. Raja
Smt. Lalitha Kumar Mangalam
Shri M. T. Ramesh
Shri C. H. Vijayshankar
Smt.Gouri Chaoudhari
Shri Bijoy Mahapatra
Smt. Surama Padhi
Smt. Shobhatai Phadanvis
Shri Mahesh Jethamalani
Smt. Shaina N C
Smt. Manisha Chaudhari
Shri Nana Shamkule
Smt. Kanta Nalavade
Smt. Louis Marandi
Shri Sunil Singh
Shri Faggansingh Kulaste
Shri Virendra Kumar Khatik
Smt. Nirmala Bhuriya
Shri Satpal Malik
Dr. Vijay Sonkar Shastri
Shri Manoj Sinha
Smt.Sarla Singh
Shri Rambux Verma
Shri Hukum Singh
Shri Sudhanshu Trivedi
Shri Sadhvi Niranjana Jyoti
Shri Ajay Tamta
Smt. Shanti Mehra
Smt. Ranjana Sahi

BJP National Executive

Permanent Invitees

Chief Ministers

Shri Narendra Modi
Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan
Dr. Raman Singh
Shri Premkumar Dhumal
Shri B. S. Yediurappa
Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank

Deputy Chief Ministers

Shri Sushil Modi
Shri Raghuvar Das

Ex-Governors

Shri Kedarnath Sahni
Shri Kailashpati Mishra
Shri V. Rama Rao

Ex-Chief Ministers

Shri Sundarlal Patwa
Shri Keshubhai Patel
Shri Madanlal Khurana
Shri B. C. Khanduri
Shri Nityanand Swami
Shri Kailash Joshi
Shri Babulal Gaur
Shri Manohar Parrikar

Legislature Leaders

Shri Ganga Prasad
Dr. V. S. Acharya
Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra
Shri Eknath Khadse
Shri Bhausaheb Phundkar
Shri Ghanashyam Tiwari (Officiating)
Shri Om Prakash Singh
Shri Nepal Singh
Shri Mission Ranjan Das
Shri Chaman Lal Gupta
Shri K. V. Singhdev
Shri Manoranjan Kalia
Shri Tamigo Taga, (Arunachal Pradesh)
Shri Anil Viz

Chief Whips in Parliament

Shri Ramesh Bains
Smt. Maya Singh

Parliamentary Party Secretary and Jt.Sec.

Shri Ramkripal Sinha
Shri Shanmuganathan

Others

Shri O.Rajgopal
Dr. Satyanarayan Jatiya
Shri Kesarinath Tripathi
Shri Devdas Apte (Bapu Apte)
Shri Sadanand Gowda
Shri Tanveer Hyder Osmani
Dr. Harsh Vardhan
Shri. Vidyasagar Rao
Shri Bandaru Dattatreya
Shri Vinod Pande
Shri M. Bharot Singh
Shri Rajen Gohain
Shri Ramen Deka
Shri Nilmani Dev
Shri Vishnudeo Sai
Shri Naresh Bansal
Shri Harendra Pratap
Shri Rambilas Sharma
Shri Maheshwar Singh
Dr. Nirmal Singh
Shri Rajendra Bhandari
Shri Stayapal Jain
Shri Gulabchand Katariya
Shri Ramdas Agarwal
Shri L. Ganeshan
Shri C. K. Padmanabhan
Shri Tathagat Roy
Shri Shripad Yesso Naik
Shri Rampyare Pande
Shri Anant Nayak
Shri Prakash Mehta
Shri Vinod Tawde
Shri Amit Thakar
Shri Suresh Pujari
Shri R. Ramkrishna
Shri Om Prakash Kohli
Dr. Ramapati Ram Tripathi
Shri Ashok Khajuriya
Shri Mange Ram Garg
Shri Jagdish Mukhi

BJP National Executive

Special Invitees

Shri Padmanabh Acharya
Shri Sukumar Nambiyar
Shri Baldev Prakash Tandon
Shri Vijay Kapoor
Shri Arun Sathe
Shri Nand Kishor Garg
Dr. Vaman Acharya
Shri Jagdish Shettigar
Shri Alok Kumar
Shri Arun Adsad
Shri S. Sureshkumar
Shri C. S. Parcha
Shri Gajendra Chauhan
Smt. Anandiben Patel
Shri Amit Shah
Shri Kishansingh Sangwan
Shri Govind Karjal
Ramji Rishidev
Shri Banvarilal Purohit
Shri Haribhau Bagde
Shri Chaitanya Kashyap
Shri Hriday Narayan Dixit
Shri Tanveer Ahmed
Shri Rajesh Shah
Shri Rajendra Agrawal
Shri Bhupendra Thakur
Shri Harjit Singh Grewal
Shri Ravikant Garg
Shri Suvarn Saleriya
Col. Bainsala
Shri Siddharthanath Singh
Shri Uday Bhaskar Nayar
Smt. Kavita Khanna
Shri Amitabh Sinha
Shri Ashutosh Varshneya
Shri Ajay Sancheti


BJP Parliamentary Board

Shri Nitin Gadkari, Chairman
Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Shri Lal Krishna Advani
Dr. Murali Manohar Joshi
Shri Venkaiya Naidu
Shri Rajnath Singh
Smt. Sushma Swaraj
Shri Arun Jaitley
Shri Bal Apte
Shri Ananth Kumar (Secretary)
Shri Thavarchand Gehlot
Shri Ram Lal

http://www.hindustantimes.com/newdelhi/List-of-new-BJP-team/520507/H1-Article1-519745.aspx

Labouring to keep alive
March 18, 2010

First Published: 23:08 IST(18/3/2010)
Last Updated: 23:10 IST(18/3/2010)

When it comes to infusing our laws with the finest principles
possible, India has no parallel. It’s when we come to implementing
these laws that we find many a slip between the proverbial cup and
the lip. Perhaps most deceptive of them all is India’s labour and
industrial practices. Blessed — or, if one looks at it with a
different perspective, cursed — with large deposits of iron ore,
mining is big business in the district of West Singhbhum in Jharkhand.
With the demand for iron ore increasing to fuel national industrial
development, a negative correlation to the length of people’s lives
and health index has become increasingly noticeable. Thousands of
mineworkers, including young boys and girls, suffer from siderosis, a
lung disorder that is caused by prolonged exposure to red (mining)
dust. The lifespan of these workers, who have no or minimal protective
gear, in this region is a shocking 40-45 years. In the meantime, in
21st century India’s national capital New Delhi, a committee appointed
by the Delhi High Court has found workers at Commonwealth Games-
related construction sites not being paid minimum wages and, in many
cases, being made to work overtime for no extra remuneration. Their
living conditions are appalling and in many cases they are bereft of
any sanitation facilities.

In both semi-urban and urban cases, we are dealing with serf-like
conditions while on paper we are chugging along a First World
trajectory. Laws are being openly flouted with the State turning a
blind eye and seemingly only concerned that ‘the work’ is done. Some,
like Jharkhand deputy chief minister, prefer to put such ‘chalta hai’
issues on the backburner (he has asked for a report). That the working
conditions of miners is appalling in this country, more so if the
mines are illegal and that many of the workers don’t work with
protective gear is an old story. What should be a new story if India
is to protect itself from charges of being uncaring towards its own
people is the implementation of laws.

Whenever Indian workers are mistreated abroad, especially in the Gulf
States, we spare no effort in criticising — and rightly so — foreign
governments. But the conditions here are, in many cases, no better. As
job opportunities shrink in rural India and a construction boom takes
place all across, more labourers will enter the cities. This is a
labour class that needs basic protection and policies relating to
special target groups such as women and child labour. There was a time
when labour unions held the nation’s development to ransom. We can’t
now have a callous State holding the lives and livelihood of our
workers hostage in the name of progress.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/editorial-views-on/edits/Labouring-to-keep-alive/Article1-520657.aspx

Face The Nation: Varun no match for Rahul
CNN-IBN

Published on Wed, Mar 17, 2010 at 23:21, Updated on Thu, Mar 18, 2010
at 00:50 in Politics section

ANALYSIS: Experts discuss the Gandhi vs Gandhi politics on Face The
Nation.

The (Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has unveiled its new list of office
bearers and the list includes Varun Gandhi. Varun Gandhi, first time
MP from Pilibhit, is best known for his inflammatory pro-Hindutva
speeches during the general elections last year, speeches for which he
was jailed under the National Security Act. Now the BJP has ended his
isolation within the BJP and made Varun an office bearer with the rank
of secretary. CNN-IBN on Face The Nation asked: Can Varun Gandhi
compete with Rahul Gandhi?

Congress, BSP trying to trap Varun: Rajnath
IANS

Published on Wed, Apr 01, 2009 at 13:14, Updated on Wed, Apr 01, 2009
at 13:43 in Politics section

RALLYING FOR VARUN: Rajnath Singh said that the BJP was firmly
standing behind Varun Gandhi.

Raipur: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Rajnath Singh on
Wednesday asserted that Varun Gandhi was being "politically and
legally" supported by the party. He accused the Congress and Bahujan
Samaj Party (BSP) of "exploiting" the National Security Act (NSA) to
"trap" the BJP nominee in Pilibhit in the Lok Sabha polls.

"What is happening with Varun Gandhi is unfortunate. He is being
harassed and the BJP condemns it," Rajnath Singh said at a press
conference in Raipur.

The 'other' Gandhi, the BJP nominee from the Utar Pradesh Lok Sabha
seat, is now in jail on charges of vilifying Muslims in his campaign
speeches.

"The information I have been getting from Varun Gandhi's secretary is
very disturbing. The episode is a shame for the nation. The BSP and
Congress are trying to trap him," Rajnath Singh said.

"I wanted to personally meet Varun Gandhi but he is jailed in Uttar
Pradesh and I am campaigning in other states. So I have asked Venkaiah
Naidu to meet him and express the party's support. The BJP is
politically and legally rallying behind Varun Gandhi," the BJP
President said.

Varun on D-gang hitlist, moved to Etah jail

Trailing Varun Gandhi: From Pilibhit to Etah

"His detention under the NSA is shameful. It is the joint act of the
Congress and BSP. Where do they want to lead the country?" asked
Rajnath Singh.

The Uttar Pradesh government had on Sunday invoked the NSA against
Varun Gandhi, the BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from the seat held earlier
by his mother Maneka Gandhi, for his reported hate speeches and mob
violence during his arrest on Saturday.

"The Congress and BSP have created an Emergency-like situation by
exploiting the NSA. Varun Gandhi has no criminal record," said the BJP
President.

For reasons of security, Varun Gandhi was shifted from the prison in
Pilibhit to a jail in Uttar Pradesh's Etah town at around 1:30 hrs IST
on Wednesday.

"There is a threat to Varun Gandhi's life. The centre, Uttar Pradesh
government and Election Commission should take note of this and ensure
foolproof security for him," said Rajnath Singh.

"The Congress and BSP have crossed all limits to gain political
mileage. They are playing with fire. The BJP will not remain quiet,"
he added.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/congress-bsp-trying-to-trap-varun-rajnath/89207-37.html?from=search-relatedstories

BJP, Cong may stun SP, BSP; due to Gandhis
Pallavi Ghosh / CNN-IBN

Published on Sat, May 02, 2009 at 01:06, Updated on Sat, May 02, 2009
at 09:20 in Politics section

New Delhi: After three phases of polling, it appears the Congress and
the BJP may well be doing better than expected in the key state of
Uttar Pradesh with the potential losers being the SP and the BSP.

So has Rahul Gandhi's “go it alone” policy and BJP’s Hindutva slant
clicked? Ground reports suggest so. Muslims, having turned their back
on the Congress after the Babri demolition, are doing a rethink after
Mulayam embraced Kalyan Singh.

The good news for BJP is that Brahmins are tiring of Mayawati's social
engineering which has now begun targeting the Muslims.

It was Rahul's idea to walk it alone in the crucial state despite
having taken the Samajwadi support during the trust vote. But a bitter
SP thinks Rahul's romance with this idea will be shortlived.

There are smiles on BJP faces, having once boasted of big names from
the state, the party was groping for a foothold. Now, after three
phases of polling, the Hindutva strategy, which was not overplayed
except in Pilibhit, may have clicked.

And as the Congress and the BJP prepare for the last two phases, it
will be Gandhi versus Gandhi as Rahul and Varun take each other on.
The national parties are relying on the same family tree to reap a
harvest in Uttar Pradesh.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/bjp-cong-may-stun-sp-bsp-due-to-gandhis/91595-37.html?from=search-relatedstories

Six from state get pride of place in Team Gadkari
Express News Service

Posted: Wednesday, Mar 17, 2010 at 0233 hrs
Lucknow:

With six of its leaders being given prominent place in the 121-member
national committee of the BJP, the party’s Uttar Pradesh unit has
certainly managed to find a good place in national president Nitin
Gadkari’s team.

Out of the 13 vice-presidents, three are from the state — Kalraj
Mishra, former national general secretaries Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and
Vinay Katiyar. Among the 15 secretaries in Team Gadkari, three are
again from UP — former Bulandshaher MP Ashok Pradhan, former Bareilly
MP Santosh Gangwar and Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi. Out of the six
official spokespersons, one is from the state — Ramnath Kovind, who
represents the party’s Dalit face.

While Naqvi is one of the prominent Muslim faces from the state,
Katiyar is a firebrand leader and Mishra a veteran. Among the
secretaries too, Santosh Gangwar is a six-time MP and a former Union
minister. After his defeat in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the party
was said to be looking to suitably place him at the national level.

Ashok Pradhan was one of the primary reasons for former chief minister
Kalyan Singh to leave the BJP and is said to have a good base in
Bulandshahr and surrounding districts. And at a time when Singh is
building the base of his new party in this area, Pradhan being lifted
to secretary’s post is certainly strategic.

Varun Gandhi, a first-time MP from Pilibhit and son of Maneka Gandhi,
is the party’s youth face not just in UP but also, on the national
chart. And together, the trio will represent western UP, where the
party is trying to regain grounds with its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal
drifting away.

Gadkari has also given 33 per cent of the posts to women, thus
becoming the first party in the country to give reservation to women
in their organisation. Here too, Uttar Pradesh has been given a “fair
share” with Aonla MP Maneka Gandhi, Mahila Morcha president Sarla
Singh and Saadhvi Niranjana Jyoti being made members of the national
executive. “It is good that even women leaders from UP have been
inducted in the committee. The state has potential and these women
will prove it,” said Vinay Katiyar.

Apart from these “cream” posts, many other leaders from the state have
also found a place in the team. These include Atal Bihari Vajpayee,
Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajnath Singh, Maneka Gandhi, Hukum Singh, Satpal
Malik, Rajnath Singh, Yogi Adityanath, Keshari Nath Tripathi and Lalji
Tandon as members, Hriday Narain Dixit as special invitee and Om
Prakash Singh and Nepal Singh as legislature leaders.

The party’s state unit has thanked Gadkari for giving representation
to UP. State BJP vice-president H N Dixit, who has also been inducted
as a special invitee, said that by including 34 leaders from UP,
Gadkari has shown his trust in the state unit.

“These leaders will certainly strengthen not just state campaigns, but
also national campaigns,” he added.

It is also expected that more faces from Uttar Pradesh will find a
place in the national scene, as the convenors of different cells and
Morcha presidents will be announced in the days to come.

Comments (1) |

Im-mature Varun
By: Ganesh Singh | 17-Mar-2010

Gadkari ji wants to please every one. But if you want to strengthen
your party, you will have to take some tough decisions. you were gr8
in saying that party and his policies makes people and not vice versa
but at present situation you are again doing the same thing. Including
immature persons like Varun Gandhi in your team shows to which level
you are going to please others. Varun has won because of the gr8 work
done by his mother Manekaji not because of his controversial speeches.
I dont know why RSS is intersted in projecting Varun as youth face.
Did they want to pick someone only from elite people of BJP. Can't
they pick some leaders from ABVP as youth face. If they really lack so
they must work with their ground workers to find out someone instead
of proposing Varun.

Gadkari's inclusive act may open old fissures in BJP
Nistula Hebbar / DNA
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 0:45 IST

New Delhi: Nitin Gadkari was the answer of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh (RSS) to the leadership crisis in the Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP), driven listless by debilitating factionalism and ego clashes
not long ago. After three months as BJP president, Gadkari had a task
on hand: To give the party a sense of direction. As he came out with
his list of office-bearers on Tuesday, the jury was still out.

The BJP president’s list of 121 office-bearers is a blend of youth and
experience, Hindutva hardliners and doves, and several other
conflicting strains in the party. However, if a team is supposed to be
a statement of intent, Gadkari’s is not one. At best, it reflects his
inclusive approach and his seriousness to promote third and fourth
generations of leaders.

The new BJP team has 13 vice-presidents, 10 general secretaries, 15
secretaries and one treasurer. The party also announced its 81-member
national executive. While several faces have made their debut — actor
Hema Malini as vice-president, and Varun Gandhi, Vani Tripathi, Smriti
Irani and Arti Mehra as secretaries — there is a feeling that many
older faces have been unduly rewarded.

Gadkari’s new team was being closely watched in the context of
factionalism in the party and the RSS’s demands.

Despite a disastrous record as party president, senior leader Rajnath
Singh has managed to get key posts for his people. Three general
secretaries — Thawarchand Gehlot, Narendra Singh Tomar and Vijay Goel
— owe loyalty to him. This means Singh would continue to have a say
under the new dispensation.
In the parliamentary board, the most important body of the party, LK
Advani holds sway.

Except for Rajnath Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi and Thawarchand Gehlot,
all other members — Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and parliamentary
board secretary Ananth Kumar — are Advani loyalists. The arrangement
might also open a can of worms for Gadkari.

While RSS nominees like Varun Gandhi, Muralidhar Rao and Tarun Vijay
have been accommodated, it was expected that Rao would get a better
position. Gadkari, who is trying to project a soft image of himself,
had to accommodate hardliners like Vinay Katiyar to please the mother
organisation.

The biggest disappointment to those expecting Gadkari’s list to be a
departure from the past was the absence of a Muslim face in any
effective party position. While Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Najma
Heptullah have been made vice-presidents, a largely decorative post,
Bhagalpur MP Shahnawaz Hussain, who was tipped to be general secretary
in this team, was adjusted as one of the spokespersons. No Muslim
finds a place in the party’s parliamentary board either.

The list appeared a little skewed in favour of one state and against
some others. For example, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh appeared very
well represented, with the former getting one vice-president in Hema
Malini, three secretaries and the party treasurer Piyush Goel. Out of
the 10 general secretaries, two — Thawarchand Gehlot and Narendra
Singh Tomar — are from Madhya Pradesh.

“We cannot help but compare this to Karnataka’s case, which is the
party’s first government in the south, and apart from Ananth Kumar,
who has always found space at the centre, only Vijayshankar from the
state has been made a member of the national executive,” said a senior
leader.

Women have found ample space in the new team. With 40 out of 121
members being women, the party has kept its promise of 33% quota for
them in organisational posts.

The party’s chief spokesperson and newly appointed Ravi Shankar
described the team as a blend of the young and the old. What it might,
however, do is end the ceasefire in the party and give fresh impetus
to the party’s many discontented elements.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_gadkari-s-inclusive-act-may-open-old-fissures-in-bjp_1359938

Orissa deploys force to prevent Togadia's Kandhamal visit
PTI
Friday, March 19, 2010 17:18 IST

Phulbani (Orissa): In the face of VHP's international secretary
general, Pravin Togadia's proposed visit to Kandhamal in Orissa this
evening defying ban, the district administration has deployed police
and a magistrate at the entry point to the riot-hit town to prevent
him, official sources said.

The district administration has also imposed prohibitory orders under
section 144 of the CrPC to stop Togadia and other members of the VHP
from visiting the town, additional district magistrate
(ADM),Kandhamal, Arnanchal Das said.

The VHP leader had yesterday challeged the state government to arrest
him as he was all set to defy the ban order. "I will enter to
Kandhamal along with 100 sadhus," Togadia said.

The district administration is also contemplating steps to seal road
at Madhapur, the entry point to Kandhamal district.

Kandhamal witnessed widespread riot from August 2008 till October 2009
following the killing of VHP leader Lakhsmananda Saraswati.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_orissa-deploys-force-to-prevent-togadia-s-kandhamal-visit_1360904

Togadia to defy Orissa govt's ban on his visit to Kandhamal
PTI
Thursday, March 18, 2010 23:10 IST

Bhubaneswar: Defying the Orissa government's ban on his proposed visit
to Kandhamal, VHP leader Pravin Togadia today announced his plan to
forcibly enter into the communally sensitive district tomorrow.

"I will go to Kandhamal along with 100 sadhus as per prior programme,"
Togadia told reporters after addressing a public meeting in Nuapada
district.

The VHP's firebrand leader also challenged the Naveen Patnaik
government to arrest him.

"I am ready to be arrested than succumbing to the state government's
undemocratic decision", he said adding that it was not possible for
him and the VHP to cancel the programme.

"While the state government spread red carpet to welcome the European
diplomats to Kandhamal, it is not proper to clamp ban on the entry of
a Hindu leader," he said.

The administration of Kandhamal imposed prohibitory order under
section 144 of the CrPC at many sensitive places.

"If Togadia or any other person try to defy the ban, action would be
taken in accordance with the law of the land," additional
superintendent of police (ASP), Kandhamal, CR Das said.

Das said the district administration would not tolerate if any one
tried to disturb peace in the area.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_togadia-to-defy-orissa-govt-s-ban-on-his-visit-to-kandhamal_1360668

BJP cautions Orissa govt over ban on Pravin Togadia's Kandhamal visit
PTI
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 22:39 IST

Bhubaneshwar: Terming the decision to ban the visit of the VHP leader
Pravin Togadia to Kandhamal district as 'whimisical', the BJP today
warned that the Orissa government would be reponsible if communal
harmony was disturbed at any place over the issue.

MF Husain accepting Qatar nationality victory for Hindus: Pravin
Togadia
Nitin Gadkari offers to rebuild Babri Masjid
"Chief minister Naveen Patnaik will be held reponsible if communal
tension Arises in Kandhamal and other parts of the state over the
government's whimisical decision," a statement issued by the state BJP
said.

The saffron party's reaction came a day after the Kandhamal district
administration denied permission to Togadia to enter Kandhamal
district, which had witnessed riots last year and the year before.

"While the government offered a red carpet welcome to diplomats from
nine European countries, there is no point in putting a ban on
Togadia's visit," party's vice-president Ashok Sahu said.

The firebrand VHP leader was scheduled to visit Kandhamal on March 19
and spend a night in Phulbani town.

Togadia's three-day Orissa visit would start from tomorrow, state VHP
general secretary Gouri Prasad Rath said.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_bjp-cautions-orissa-govt-over-ban-on-pravin-togadia-s-kandhamal-visit_1360232

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-03-19 17:23:56 UTC
Volume 26 - Issue 26 :: Dec. 19, 2009-Jan. 01, 2010
INDIA'S NATIONAL MAGAZINE
from the publishers of THE HINDU

BOOKS
Circular reasoning
T. JAYARAMAN

The author loses sight of the possibility that the decline of religion
is indeed the long-term trend in modern industrial societies.

Meera Nanda’s writing occupies a distinctive intellectual niche in the
academic and media discourse on the nature and practice of secularism
in India. In a major book, Prophets Facing Backward, and in a number
of academic papers, essays and media articles (and two short
collections of essays), she has brought to bear a perspective on this
question that distinguishes her work from a wide variety of other
writers and scholars engaged with this theme.

Her work so far has been marked by the special attention she has paid
to the relationship between science and secularism in the Indian
context. Going beyond the limitations of the arguments over the
Nehruvian vision of the link between secularism and scientific temper,
she has drawn attention to the much larger role of science in the
debate between secularists on the one hand and Hindu communalism on
the other. In Meera Nanda’s account, the ideological machinery of
Hindu communalism in the 20th century has drawn sustenance from a more
pervasive and widespread neo-Hinduism, central to whose world view is
the idea that Hinduism provides a uniquely “scientific” perspective in
the spiritual quest. While all fundamentalisms have some form of
exceptionalism as part of their ideological foundations, Hindutva’s
particular brand arises from this allegedly unique “scientific” nature
of Hinduism as compared with all other religions.

Meera Nanda has argued convincingly that it is the widespread
acceptance, overtly or otherwise, of this brand of Hindu
exceptionalism, even by those who were in many other respects in the
secular camp, that rendered Indian secularism vulnerable to attack
even before a full-scale attack was mounted on it by a resurgent
Hindutva in the late 1980s. Meera Nanda has argued, again
convincingly, that all modern trends in Hinduism, given their tendency
for an uncritical acceptance of this notion of Hindu exceptionalism,
render themselves vulnerable to being co-opted into the ranks of
Hindutva. She has provided an engaging account in Prophets Facing
Backward of the different stratagems that neo-Hinduism adopts in the
pursuit of the “scientificity” of Hinduism, often on the basis of
loose pseudo-scientific analogies between the language of science and
the vocabulary of Hinduism. The contemporary brand of Indian pseudo-
science that is actively championed by Hindutva, an Indian parallel as
it were to the well-known link between evangelical Christianity and
the American brand of pseudo-science, is in Meera Nanda’s view rooted
in this aspect of neo-Hinduism. In her short book titled The
Ecological Wrongs of the Religious Right, she has explored the
particular case of the neo-Hindu and Hindutva version of religion-
inspired pseudo-science in the realms of biology and ecology.

In her latest work, The God Market, Meera Nanda turns to explore a
somewhat different aspect of this link between contemporary Hinduism,
the professed secular nature of the Indian state, and Hindutva. The
focus here, in her own words, is on the “changing trends in popular
Hinduism”, and the overall aim is to describe how “modern Hindus are
taking their gods with them into the brave new world and how Hindu
institutions are making use of the new opportunities opened up by
neoliberalism and globalisation”.

The crux of the argument in the book is that there is a causal
connection between economic reforms and the rise of popular Hindu
religiosity. Meera Nanda argues that economic reform, while
encouraging a “neoliberal market economy [sic]”, is also “boosting the
demand and supply for religious services in India’s God market”, and
the progressively greater embedding of a new Hindu religiosity in
everyday life, in both public and private spheres, is aided by the new
political economy. With the withdrawal of the Nehruvian state from the
social sector, a new state-temple-corporate complex is emerging to
fill the space as a consequence of the state actively seeking
partnership with the private sector and the Hindu establishment. The
rising tide of popular religiosity among the Hindu middle classes in
the era of liberalisation is a consequence of this religiosity being
deliberately cultivated by an “emerging state-temple-corporate complex
that is replacing the more secular public institutions of the
Nehruvian era”. This rising tide of popular Hindu religiosity
continues to feed the forces of Hindutva, assisting among other things
in the routine conflation of the domain of the national with the
domain of Hinduism.

The idea that globalisation is in some way intimately connected with,
or is even perhaps one of the drivers of, the many fundamentalisms
that we see in the world today is an idea that has respectable
patronage, including, among others, the eminent historian Romila
Thapar. In the Indian context, it has been widely noted that the
challenge to the Nehruvian vision of secularism and scientific temper
has risen in the same era as the era of economic reform and the right-
ward shift in Indian foreign policy, away from the vision of India as
the leader of the non-aligned world towards a vision of India as a
global player aligned strategically with the United States and the
developed world. In opposition to the view that the Sangh Parivar is
somehow anti-globalisation and that self-reliance is somehow equally a
Parivar slogan (a view aided by the activities and attitudes of the
Swadeshi Jagran Manch, a Parivar outfit), commentators on the Left
have argued that Hindutva is no less pro-economic reform and that it
is equally at home with liberalisation and globalisation.
Nevertheless, few have argued for a causal nexus between globalisation
and the rise of popular Hindu religiosity as closely as Meera Nanda,
or shown the two to be as directly knit as she portrays in this new
book.

OBVIOUS PROPOSITION

Much of the book appears to be actually devoted to arguing the much
weaker proposition that contemporary Hindu institutions are actively
utilising the opportunities provided by the modern world to further
their cause. One may argue that this is a somewhat obvious proposition
with a wealth of examples, which can be picked even from casual
observation, to back it up. Religious preaching or fundamentalist
propaganda can reach out much further in the era of instant
communication. Cable or satellite television broadcasts provide many
opportunities that are utilised by all manner of religious or
fundamentalist organisations. A wide variety of Hindu institutions and
neo-Hindu cults, ranging from the religious trust and administration
associated with the temples at Tirupati and Tirumala to the
organisations associated with religious personalities such as Sai Baba
or Mata Amritanandamayi, run educational institutions and even modern,
officially recognised universities. Hindu organisations and cults
administer a range of charities and organisations dealing with health
and medicine. Hindu organisations have proliferated around the world
and have struck especially strong roots where there is a numerically
significant and well-heeled Indian diaspora. The diaspora followers of
Hindu organisations are also an important source of funds, as well as
prestige and visibility, for Hindu and Hindutva organisations. After
all, what credibility or oomph would a guru or swamiji possess without
at least a small retinue of non-resident Indians and preferably
foreigners?

Meera Nanda covers much of this kind of ground with many apt
illustrations in the second, third and fourth chapters of her book.
One may certainly agree with her in the characterisation that she
offers of the three significant dimensions of contemporary popular
Hindu religiosity, namely the invention of new rituals, the
gentrification of the gods and the booming guru culture. Indeed, much
of the characterisation is based on scholarly work available on the
subject. The existence of a booming guru culture and its links to
Hindutva is of course somewhat obvious.

However, it is arguable whether these examples really lay a basis for
her claims of the emergence of a state-temple-corporate complex. It is
certainly true that the Indian state has increasingly weakened secular
credentials after the rise of Hindutva and the success of Hindutva-
related political forces in being elected to govern both at the Centre
and in the States. Much has been written, including by Meera Nanda
herself, regarding the attempted de-secularisation of government
consequent to the electoral victories of the Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP), especially at the Centre. The Sangh Parivar penetration of the
government was a major issue in the period of BJP rule, but a timid
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government refused resolutely to
“detoxify” (to use the late Harkishen Singh Surjeet’s fine phrase)
government institutions, especially in the educational sector, which
was a prime Parivar target.

It is also true that corporate India, despite some initial misgivings,
has learnt to live peaceably with Hindutva. BJP-ruled States have been
no less eager to roll out the red carpet for the captains of industry
both from home and abroad. Several major corporate houses also have a
long record of involvement in charitable work relating to religious
institutions. Corporate houses have demonstrated their willingness to
put secularism on the back burner and prioritise their short-term
economic and financial interests (as with the house of Tatas and the
Modi government).

What is unconvincing is the overarching claim that these examples
point to the emergence of something that merits the rather grand
appellation of a “state-temple-corporate” complex. Indeed, corporate
houses are uncomfortable with a militant Hindutva that disturbs law
and order and stable governance and were certainly more than satisfied
with the return of the UPA to power. Many institutions of the Indian
state are willing to act and do act to protect secular values at
critical moments. The critical issue here is to recognise the
ambivalence of the state and the corporate sector in relation to
secularism and not to one-sidedly use as evidence only their non-
secular or anti-secular actions. Regrettably, in the author’s “take no
prisoners” style of argument, there is little room to understand or
explore this ambivalence. Either the state is secular in full measure
in the classical sense of the term or it must necessarily be
considered entirely anti-secular.

In the event, the author herself can identify only two areas where
this complex [sic] is significant, the first being education and the
second, tourism. Even in these two sectors, the claim that the state
and the private sector are working together to promote Hinduism seems
less than credible. It is certainly true that the increasing
privatisation of education is also utilised by Hindutva-related
organisations to set up their own institutions, like numerous others.
However, Meera Nanda’s claim that what the BJP government could not
establish by way of Hindu-centrism of education is being accomplished
by privatisation requires more evidence than is presented in the
book.

Many would agree with Meera Nanda’s view that secular education is a
public good that the state ought to provide to all its citizens
without throwing them at the mercy of faith-based or cult-based
institutions. But to proceed from the relative absence of state-run
educational institutions and the ideological space that this affords
Hindutva to the claim that “economic globalisation and neoliberal
reforms have created the material and ideological conditions in which
a popular and ritualistic Hindu religiosity is growing” is a leap that
seems unwarranted.

SANDEEP SAXENA

Birla Mandir in New Delhi, illuminated on the occasion of Janmashtami
on August 14.

The argument is even thinner in the case of tourism, where the
author’s argument is based on the state’s, and occasionally corporate
houses’, support for religious tourism. Even this reviewer, who is no
votary of religious pilgrimages, is constrained to point out that
tourism in India, untouched by the religious inclination, is a modern
construct. For the newly rich as well as those of the poor and middle
classes who have small disposable surpluses, religious pilgrimage is
likely to be the first form of tourism. In another direction,
occasions for the mass display of popular religiosity such as the
Kumbh Mela certainly call for the intervention of the government in
the interest of common safety and security. To take all instances of
government regulation of religious tourism uncritically together and
to read into it the emergence of a state-temple-corporate complex does
not seem to aid a critical understanding of the link between popular
religiosity and secularism. It is of course true that religious
pilgrimage sites are happy hunting grounds for Hindutva groups to
further their ideological campaign, and specific issues relating to
some popular pilgrimage sites such as the Amarnath caves can certainly
provide grist to the Hindutva mill.

Popular religiosity is a complex phenomenon, especially in the
presence of many ideological forces and undercurrents in a society in
a state of transition, even if not rapid transformation. It is a
phenomenon that has many layers to it, as activists and scholars on
the issue of communalism have come to recognise across the country.
The book unfortunately displays little inclination to engage carefully
with this literature. Perhaps in the author’s perception such theories
do not belong to the class of “the most cutting-edge social theories
about globalisation and the resurgence of religion” that she promises
the reader in the introductory chapter.

Given the thinness of the author’s evidence relative to the weight of
the theoretical conclusions that she wishes to draw, it is
unsurprising that the theoretical considerations in the book are among
its weakest and most unconvincing sections. The first chapter on
globalisation covers ground that would be quite familiar to most of
the author’s likely audience in India. It is a chapter that leaves one
with the impression that the book is really meant for a non-Indian
audience. But it is in the last chapter that the insufficiency of the
theoretical perspective that Meera Nanda brings to bear on the problem
is most evident as the author showers a series of “cutting-edge social
theories” on an unwary reader.

In substance, the author is in sympathy with the perspective, most
notably espoused by the sociologist Peter L. Berger in his later work,
that the secular project has essentially failed. Berger famously
recanted in 1999 his earlier vision of the inevitable decline of
religion, arguing that the supernatural has not lost its plausibility
in the modern world. While Meera Nanda believes that this is
applicable to India, she disagrees with Berger’s argument that this
persistence of religion lies in the economic fact of the undermining
of life’s certainties for the majority of the population and the
appropriation of secular values by the rich. She, quite correctly,
points to the fact that contrary to what Berger suggests, popular
religiosity in India has also significantly risen among those who have
benefited enormously from economic reform and that popular religiosity
grips both the well-to-do and the poor.

Of course, in transposing Berger’s argument to India, Meera Nanda
(along with Berger) loses sight of the possibility that this
resurgence of religion could well be a short-lived phenomenon and that
the decline of religion is indeed the long-term trend in modern
industrial societies.

NEOLIBERAL PERSPECTIVE

For the subsequent part of her argument the author moves on,
approvingly, to what she calls the “neoliberal” perspective on
religion, the next in her shopping list of theories. This is indeed
curious because while she has always been dismissive of the Marxist
view of religion, labelling it as reductionist, she turns now to a
view that fully merits the label. In this demand-supply view of
religion, espoused by Rodney Stark and his academic collaborators,
there is indeed no room for the notion of secularisation. Religion
always exists, so the argument runs, because there is a need, or a
“demand”, for it. Whether it will be satisfied or not is a question of
the “supply” of appropriate religions that are efficacious in
responding to it. In this view, secularisation is an illusion created
by the lack of appropriate supply to meet the demand for religion over
brief historical periods. Social facts such as the fall of church
attendance and overt religious observance do not mean the progress of
secularisation as the persistence of personal belief points to a
“potential demand” that is not being met by existing religious
institutions.

UNCLEAR RATIONALE

It is from this perspective that the author formulates the proposition
mentioned at the outset of this article, namely, that it is the
neoliberal market economy following globalisation that is boosting the
demand and supply for religious services in India’s God market. The
rationale for this proposition is completely unclear as she appears to
conflate the application of a demand-supply or market perspective on
religion with the nature of religiosity in an era where economic
policy is dominated by the market perspective.

But what is even stranger about the turn that her argument takes is
that, in this demand-supply perspective, the weakly secular character
of the Indian state is indeed a virtue that has led to greater
religious plurality, as evidenced by the wide variety of cults and
sects and religions in India. How then does the author square the
circle, reconciling her use of the neoliberal perspective on religion
after having railed against Hindutva and upbraided the Indian state
for having forsaken secularism? There is indeed no direct answer that
the author provides. All she can offer the curious reader is the
somewhat feeble response that indeed a pure market for religion would
not be problematic, but it is the unfortunate extension of sacrality
to the realm of non-sacral entitites like the nation that is the
source of the problem. The circularity of her reasoning and argument
appears entirely to escape the notice of the author.

The book ends with an appeal for the creation in India of meaningful
secular spaces, where people may interact with each other without
reference to religious identities. Praiseworthy as this statement
undoubtedly is, it is small consolation for the interested reader who,
having followed the author into the blind alley of the demise of
secularisation and its abolition in the neoliberal perspective, is
left wondering where Indian society would find the resources for such
a transformation.

Meera Nanda’s work, as we have remarked earlier, is marked by a strong
tendency to ignore the multi-sided and often contradictory character
of social phenomena. While her perspective has helped shed light on
the social, intellectual and cultural resources that Hindutva can
mobilise, she has rarely been able to throw similar light on the
impulses for secularism in Indian society. One reason for this,
undoubtedly, lies in her resolute unwillingness to consider atheism as
an ally of secularism. She has always been insistent that movements
that are atheist miss the point about the need of the masses for
“meaning” in their lives, which can be met only by religion. That this
“meaning” could also be provided by the advance of a secular
imagination and the retreat of religion is not a prospect that she is
willing to consider.

Another reason lies in her view of ideological transformation purely
as an act of the mind without reference to any social and economic
preconditions for such a transformation. More fundamentally, Meera
Nanda has never reckoned with the possibility that any understanding
of religion in contemporary India needs to grasp the reality of the
incomplete modernisation of Indian society, rooted in the development
of capitalism in an era when it has essentially lost its critical
ideological impulse.

Meera Nanda’s passion for secularism will undoubtedly be shared by
many readers in India and elsewhere, and the many observations that
she has provided on various aspects of the Hindutva communal project
in Indian society are useful and important. Yet, regrettably, she has
little to offer in terms of a way forward from the current scenario
towards a more secular social order except rhetorical calls for a
meaningful, limited secularisation of society.

http://www.flonnet.com/fl2626/stories/20100101262607900.htm

Volume 18 - Issue 01, Jan. 06 - 19, 2001
India's National Magazine
from the publishers of THE HINDU

ANALYSIS
Outsider as enemy
The politics of rewriting history in India.
K.N. PANIKKAR

This is the text of a presentation made at a round table on the topic
of 'The Rewriting of History: Intellectual Freedom and Contemporary
Politics in South Asia', organised as a part of the International
Conference of North African and Asian Scholars (ICANAS) in Montreal
held from August 27 to September 1.

REWRITING of history is a continuous process into which the historian
brings to bear new methodological or ideological insights or employs a
new analytical frame drawn upon hitherto unknown facts. The
historians' craft, the French historian, Marc Bloch, whose work on
feudal society is considered a classic, has reminded us, is rooted in
a method specific to history as a discipline, most of which has
evolved through philosophical engagements and empirical investigations
during the last several centuries. No methodology which the historian
invokes in pursuit of the knowledge of the past is really valid unless
it respects the method of the discipline. Even when methodologies
fundamentally differ, they share certain common grounds, which
constitute the fiel d of the historian's craft. Notwithstanding the
present scepticism about the possible engagement with history, a
strict adherence to the method of the discipline is observed in all
generally accepted forms of reconstruction of the past. A departure
from such norms of the discipline tends to erase the distinction
between myth and history, which the forces of the Hindu rightwing,
actively supported by the present government, are seeking to achieve.

K. PICHUMANI
The makeshift temple that was erected at Ayodhya after the demolition
of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992. The organising principle of
the politics of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple was not only the
privileging of faith over reason, but also the ident ification of an
enemy who acted against the religious interests of Hindus.

The distinction is important, despite the undeniable connection
between history and myth. Although elements which constitute myth are
not verifiable like historical facts, myths do represent reality even
if symbolically and metaphorically. Myths are esse ntially illusory
representations of phenomena and as such do not help discover the
historicity of events and by the very nature of representation they
tend to mask the reality. Yet, there are no myths in which reality is
not embedded in some form, be the y origin, explanatory or
legitimatory myths.1 This integral connection between myth and history
facilitates the transmutation of the latter into the former and
through that change, the existing historical consciousness in society.
The rewritin g of history the Sangh Parivar has undertaken with the
connivance and collaboration of the government is essentially an
attempt at communal mythification, which lends ideological support and
legitimacy to the politics of cultural nationalism.

History as communal ideology

The communal interpretation of history has a fairly long tradition, at
least going back to the colonial times. The history of the subjected
that the colonial administrators and ideologues wrote, either as a
part of their intellectual curiosity or as a po litical mission,
essentially took a religious view of the past. Although James Mill's
periodisation of Indian history into Hindu and Muslim periods is
generally pointed out as an example of this colonial view, almost
every aspect of the social, cultural and political life was
incorporated into this religious schema. This view has had an abiding
influence on Indian historiography, with a large number of Indian
historians of vastly different ideological persuasions rather
uncritically internalising this i nterpretation. Thus the history of
India is seen through a series of stereotypes rooted in religious
identity. No aspect of society or polity has escaped this religious
view, be it social tensions, political battles or cultural
differences. Such an inter pretation of history has been a part of the
textbooks, both of school and college, for a long time, moulding the
historical consciousness of society and in turn the social
perspectives and behaviour of several generations. This divisive
notion of history was one of the several ideological weapons that
colonialism invoked to construct its legitimacy.

In the Hindu communal worldview and politics, the religious
interpretation of history has an entirely different import, even if it
shares much of the colonial assumptions. Unlike the colonial history
which mainly emphasises social divisions, despite invo king the
tyranny of the Yavanas and the Muslims, its focus is more on social
antagonism and political hostility, which differentiates the Hindu
communal from the colonial communal. The antagonism and hostility
encoded in the interpretative structure of t he former, which
identifies the 'outsider' as enemy, turn history into an ideology of
communalism. The politics of Ramjanmabhoomi temple is a good example
of the mediation of such history in the making of popular historical
consciousness. The organising principle of this politics was not only
the privileging of faith over reason, but also the identification of
an enemy who acted against the religious interests of the Hindus.

Among the variety of factors that define the relationship between
communalism and revivalism in India, history plays a central role. The
revivalist ideas were inherent in the social and religious reform
movements of the 19th century, circumscribed as the y were within the
boundaries of caste and religious communities. Yet, revivalism as an
influential tendency emerged only during the second half of the 19th
century. Bankim Chandra Chatterji, Dayananda Saraswathi and Swami
Vivekananda are generally consid ered the early protagonists of this
tendency. Inward looking in their intellectual orientation and engaged
in revitalising Hinduism and Hindu community, they tried to privilege
many ideas and institutions from the ancient past. However, their
perspective was communitarian rather than communal. Antagonism against
other religions and communities was not a part of their perspective.
Even when they were critical of other religions as in the case of
Dayanand, their attempt was to explore religious truth thro ugh a
comparative understanding of different religions. Dayanand after all
was as trenchant a critique of the practices of Sanatani Hinduism as
of other religions. So were Bankim and Vivekananda. These early
articulations of revivalist tendencies were no t rooted in relation to
the 'other' in terms of a community within society.2 It was more in
the nature of internal revitalisation and consolidation in the context
of colonial domination. Communalism, on the other hand, though it
subsumed several elements of revivalism, is firmly anchored on a
hatred of the 'outsider' who, it is held, is mainly responsible for
the distortions and eventual loss of the indigenous civilisational
achievements. Notwithstanding this distinction, revivalism transformed
itself into communalism which, among other things, was made possible
by the m ediation of communal history, which cast the 'outsider' in
the role of the enemy. The inward looking communitarian perspective,
which mainly characterised revivalism, merged with a suspicion
andhostility of 'the other'. This process is facilitated by a r
eligious interpretation of history which by locating the 'outsider' as
the cause of the decline in the fortunes of the community forms the
ideology of communalism.

The concept of the 'outsider', variously described as the Mleccha,
Yavana and Turuska, has been part of the social consciousness for a
long time. They were communities from both within and outside India
and their defining elements were primarily social a nd cultural. The
language, food habits, dress and a variety of other practices
underlined the otherness. The Aryans considered the indigenous
population as Mleccha and at a later stage those who came from
outside, like the Huns and the Muslims, were inco rporated into this
category. Although the otherness was often a source of conflict, both
inter and intra-community, the relationship with the other was not
characterised by continuous hostility and conflict.3 That the
relationship with the out sider in the past was based on
irreconcilable political interests is a construction of communalism
influenced more by political interests rather than by social reality.

Outsider as enemy

The demographic composition of India which reflects the coming
together of a variety of groups - racial, linguistic and ethnic -
during the course of the last two millennia raises the question who
the 'outsider' is in Indian society. According to the Ant hropological
Survey of India there are 4,635 identifiable communities, diverse in
biological traits, dress, language, forms of worship, occupation, food
habits and kinship patterns. Most of these communities have a mixed
ancestry and it is now almost imp ossible to identify their roots.
They could be traced to Proto-Austroloid, Palio-Mediterranean,
Caucasian, Negroid and Mongoloid. The racial component is also quite
varied, drawing from almost every stock in the world. This plurality
is also reflected in the number of languages in use. Apart from
thousands of dialects there are as many as 325 languages and 25
scripts derived from various linguistic families - Indo-Aryan, Tibeto-
Burman, Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic, Andamese, Semitic, Indo-Iranian,
Sino-Tib etan, Indo-European and so on. The Indian society, as a
consequence, is a social and cultural amalgam with many of its
constitutive elements loosing their specific identity, at any rate
none existing in its initial pure form.4

The Hindu communal view of history strives to negate this historical
process by making a distinction between the original inhabitants of
the land and those who settled later. According to this view, all
those who migrated to India and their descendants a re foreigners and
therefore not part of the nation. Thus the Muslims, Christians and
Parsis, who are not indigenous to India and hence outsiders should
either 'Indianise' themselves or live like 'second class citizens
without any rights or privileges'.5 This naturally raises the question
who the original inhabitants were. Were the Aryans, to whom the upper
caste Hindus trace their lineage, indigenous to India? The opinion of
scholars of ancient history, based on archaeological and linguistic
evid ence, has been that Aryans had migrated to India, in all
probability in small groups, over a period of time.6 If this view is
correct, the assumption that the non-Hindu is the only 'outsider'
becomes untenable and the historical rationale for the Hindu nation
basedon Vedic lineage also becomes suspect. The present attempt to
invent the indigenous origins of Aryans, which is supported more by
speculation rather than tangible evidence, is rooted in an anxiety to
overcome this paradox. That the Hindutva historians are not hesitant
to fabricate evidence to prove their contention has been ably
demonstrated by Professor Michael Witzel and Professor Steve Farmer in
their recent article on the Harappan seal.7

The distinction between the indigenous and the 'outsider' is also
sought on the basis of the pure and the impure. The claim to purity,
traced to the idyllic past uncontaminated by the intrusion of the
'outsider', is an essential ideology of religious fun damentalism. One
among the various indicators of this distinction is food habit: those
who ate flesh and those who did not. It is now claimed by the
ideologues of the Sangh Parivar that the Aryans did not partake of
beef, although copious evidence exists , both literary and
archaeological, to the contrary. After a survey of the evidence from
various excavations since 1921, the doyen of Indian archaeologists,
H.D. Sankalia, has opined that "the attitude towards cow slaughter
shows that until the beginning of the Christian era the cow/ox were
regularly slaughtered for food and for the sacrifice etc., in spite of
the preaching of Ahimsa by Mahavira and the Buddha. Beef eating,
however, did decrease owing to these preachings, but never died out
completely". 8 The literary evidence from the Vedic and later periods
are also plenty. Panini, for instance, calls a guest a Goghna, which
means one for whom a cow is killed.9 Even Vivekananda refers to
instances of Rama and Krishna drinking wine and eating meat and Sita
offering meat, rice and wine to the river goddess Ganga in Ramayana
and Mahabharata. In fact, he considered the meat-eating habits of the
Aryans a virtue and attributed the decline of the Hindus in modern
times to the departure from it!10 Yet, the slaughter of cow and eating
beef are now invoked as signs of otherness in a bid to distinguish the
indigenous from the 'outsider'.

Apart from defiling the sacredness and purity of indigenous life, the
communal history also attributes to the 'outsider' a politically
disruptive role. The political history of India, in the account given
by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the progenitor of th e concept of
Hindutva, is a story of foreign invasions and Hindu resistance.
According to him, there were six major invasions of India, which were
successfully met by the Hindus. He characterises them as six 'glorious
epochs' in which the valour and brav ery of the Hindus overcame the
external threat. These 'glorious epochs' are the periods of
Chandragupta and Pushyamitra when the Greek invasions were repelled,
followed by those of Vikramaditya and Yashodharma who defeated the
Shakas and the Huns respect ively. In imagining the Hindu nation as a
historically constituted political entity, this religious view of the
conflict with the 'outsider' is a major factor.11

The consolidation and mobilisation of the Hindus are the main
objectives of the communal construction of history of which Savarkar
set a worthy example. Towards this political end, a systematic
attempt, embracing both the academic and popular histories, has been
on the anvil for quite some time, particularly during the last two
decades. The main thrust of this effort has been to further the
communal consciousness of history. Whenever the Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) or its earlier incarnation, the Jan S angh, was able to gain
access to power they have not spared any effort to promote Hinduised
history at the expense of secular history. In 1977, at the instance of
the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh (RSS) the government of the Janata
Party, of which the Jan S angh was a partner, tried to withdraw the
history books published by the National Council for Educational
Research and Training (NCERT) on the ground that they were not
sufficiently Hindu in their orientation. In more recent times, the BJP
governments in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi have
revised their textbooks to introduce a communal view of the past,
highlighting the achievements and contribution of the Hindus and
undermining or misrepresenting the role of others. The present gov
ernment at the Centre, led by the BJP, has tried to lend support to
this effort by saffronising research institutions such as the Indian
Council for Historical Research (ICHR), Indian Council for Social
Science Research (ICSSR), Centre for Advanced Studi es (CAS) and so
on. Given the tradition of secular historical writing, these state
interventions to further the influence of communal history have
elicited strong resistance from the fraternity of professional
historians, as they have realised the danger the communal
mythification poses to the discipline of history.

Simultaneously, several initiatives have been taken to transform the
popular historical consciousness in favour of the communal. Among them
the setting up of Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Samiti, with four hundred
branches all over the country, is particular ly significant. Its brief
is to prepare the history of all districts keeping as the ideal the
history written by P.N. Oak, whose main contribution is the
identification of every medieval monument as a Hindu structure.
Incidentally, Oak recently approache d the Supreme Court of India with
a request to declare the Taj Mahal a Hindu building. The Supreme Court
has indeed dismissed the plea stating that Oak seems to have 'a bee in
his bonnet'. But it has not deterred the Archaeological Survey of
India (ASI), under the influence of the Sangh Parivar, to look for a
Hindu temple under every medieval monument! The latest excavation is
at Fatehpur Sikri, a monument constructed by the Mughal Emperor Akbar,
from the vicinity of which Jain idols have been unearthed and promptly
identified as disfigured by Akbar. The present chairman of the ICHR,
B.R. Grover, who has distinguished himself by the statement that the
Babri Masjid had collapsed and not destroyed, saw even the hand of
Auragazeb in this disfigurement! Th e archaeologists of the Sangh
Parivar who are eager to excavate the site of every medieval monument
are totally indifferent to the danger the excavations might spell to
these heritage sites.

The Sangh Parivar, with the support of the government if possible and
without it if necessary, has been engaged in the construction and
dissemination of mythified histories which would help further its
religious politics. Among the innumerable examples o f such
mythification, the 'histories' of Ayodhya circulated during the
Ramjanmabhoomi campaign through political and religious networks,
using audio, video and print materials, are the most instructive. In
fact, mythified histories of Ayodhya considerabl y helped to propel
the campaign. The mythification mainly served two objectives. Firstly,
to prove the deliberate and hostile acts of the 'outsider' and
secondly, to invoke the tradition of resistance and struggle the
Hindus had waged since the 16th cent ury in defence of their faith.
These histories foregrounded many a myth as established 'facts' of
history which later found their way into the textbooks in schools in
BJP-ruled States and those run by the RSS.

In these 'histories' the desecration and demolition of temples by the
medieval Muslim rulers form a central theme, substantiating thereby
the iconoclastic beliefs as well as the religious fanaticism of the
followers of Islam. Such an interpretation, howe ver, overlooks two
significant facts of medieval history. First, as Richard Eaton has
shown in a recent essay, well before the coming of the Muslims to
India temples had been the sites for the contestation of kingly
authority. The early medieval history abounds in instances of
desecration and destruction of temples of their political adversaries
by Hindu rulers. The Cholas, the Pallavas, the Chalukyas, the Palas
and many others had indulged in this 'irreligious' act.12 Secondly,
most of the desecration and destruction took place when "Indo-Muslim
States expanded into the domains of non-Muslim rulers". Once the
territory was conquered and integrated into the kingdom, such
expression of 'fanaticism' rarely occurred. Tipu Sultan, for instance,
desecrated temples during his invasion of Malabar, but after the
conquest he gave generous land grants to several of them. Also he is
not known to have desecrated temples in his own kingdom. On the
contrary, when a Hindu religious institution like the Sringeri Mat was
plundered and destroyed by a Maratha chieftain, Tipu Sultan had met
the expenses for its reconstruction. Similarly the Mughal rulers
generally 'treated the temples lying within their sovereign domain as
state propert y' and 'undertook to protect both the physical
structures and their Brahmin functionaries'.13 Such an attitude
informs even the policy of Aurangazeb, as evident from his orders to
his officials to protect the Brahmins of Benares. The departure from
this general policy, however, occurred either at the time of war or
rebellion as in the case of th e desecration of temples in Orcha by
Shajahan and in Mathura and Benares by Aurangazeb. Thus political
exigencies rather than a 'theology of iconoclasm' were the driving
force behind the destruction and desecration of temples. Yet, the
communal interpret ation of history adopts a purely religious view to
stigmatise the present-day Muslims - described as Baber ke Santan
(children of Baber) - as enemy.

The stigmatisation of the 'outsider' as enemy is not an end in itself.
Its purpose is mainly political: to recall to memory a heroic
tradition of resistance against the 'outsider' and thus to stir the
Hindus out of their lethargy and, in the provocative words of Sadhvi
Ritambara, from their impotence, so that they consolidate and realise
their power. The communal 'histories' of Ayodhya have, therefore,
invented the myth of the heroic resistance to the demolition of the
temple in the birth place of Shri Ramachandra and the later efforts to
reclaim it. A pamphlet entitled, "Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Ka Rakt Ranjit
Itihas" (The Blood Stained History of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi), published
by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) claimed that at the time of the de
molition of the temple, 1,74,000 Hindus sacrificed their lives
fighting against the Muslims. The pamphlet then goes on to record the
77 battles fought thereafter to reclaim the temple in which 3,50,000
Hindus had laid down their lives. The reference to t he exact numbers
involved gives certain historical veracity, which though imaginary
facilitates the social acceptance of myth as history.14

This is not to argue that myths, though lacking historicity, are
'hollow tales' without any element of historical truth.15 The origin
of the myth of 77 battles, for instance, can be traced to an actual
historical incident, even if it was not l inked with the
Ramjanmabhoomi temple: a fight between the Muslims and the Hindus in
1855 over a temple located near the Babri Masjid and dedicated to
Hanuman.16 Interestingly, this battle was waged by a Muslim faqir who
claimed the existence o f a mosque below this temple. During the
course of the inquiry into this incident, conducted by an official of
the Nawab of Awad and the British Resident, the local inhabitants did
not refer either to the existence of the Ramjanmabhoomi temple or
conflic ts in the past between the Hindus and the Muslims over the
possession of the mosque.17 The myths about the Mandir was therefore a
later construction, in all probability an outcome of property disputes
and political interests.

Larger Context

The rewriting of history in which the Sangh Parivar is currently
engaged is not internal to the movements within the discipline of
history. It is integral to a larger and long-term project aimed at
reordering the secular character that informed the educa tional and
cultural policies of independent India. Towards this end, the Sangh
Parivar has already undertaken several initiatives. Prominent among
them are the changes in the content of education, the organisation of
a parallel school system and the cont rol over cultural institutions.

In the field of education the University Grants Commission (UGC) and
the NCERT appear to be pursuing a communal agenda. The UGC is
reportedly working on a uniform syllabus for the country and as a part
of it is preparing to introduce courses on Vedic stu dies, astrology,
palmistry and Hindu rituals. A band of Hindu pandits armed with
university certificates will soon be available, particularly to non-
resident Indians, to conduct the rituals at the time of birth,
marriage and death! The only consolation i s that the Chairman of the
UGC promises to provide such academic service to non-Hindus also. It
appears that the concept of university is undergoing revolutionary
changes inspired by the swadeshi ideas advocated by the Minister for
Human Resource Development. The UGC also insists that all universities
and institutions under them be subjected to the recognition of the
National Accreditation Council. It is feared that such a
standardisation will undermine the autonomy of universities and thus
facil itate the introduction of a 'national' curriculum.

The preparation of a 'national' curriculum framework for school
education is also the urgent task undertaken by the NCERT. The
discussion document released by the NCERT clearly underlines a change
from secular to religious education. Most of the suggesti ons in this
report have a revivalist and chauvinistic ring about them. It
advocates an indigenous curriculum which would 'celebrate the ideas of
native thinkers' among whom non-Hindus are conspicuous by absence. One
of the aims of the new curriculum is ' to inculcate and maintain a
sense of pride in being an Indian through a conscious understanding of
the growth of Indian civilisation and also contributions of India to
the world civilisations in its thoughts, actions and deeds'. The
external influences o n the shaping of the Indian civilisation are
completely overlooked. The concept of secularism itself is sought to
be given a religious meaning by suggesting that sarvadharma samabhava
would facilitate 'the view that religion in its basic form (dev oid of
dogma, myth and ritual) would draw younger generations to basic moral
and spiritual values'.18

Both the UGC and the NCERT appear to draw inspiration from the scheme
prepared by an RSS education outfit, Vidhya Bharati, and presented by
the Human Resource Development Minister to the conference of State
Ministers of Education in 1998. In the name of 'Indianising,
nationalising and spiritualising' education, the attempt then was to
replace secular education with an indigenous system rooted in Hindu
knowledge. To achieve that end, Sanskrit was proposed as a compulsory
subject in schools and the induct ion of the valuable heritage of the
Vedas and Upanishads in the curriculum from the primary to the higher
level, including the vocational stream. Besides these, Indian culture,
conceived in Hindu religious terms, was to form an integral part of
all cours es.19 The incorporation of Sanskrit and Indian culture into
the curriculum is in itself not an undesirable step, but that it
privileged the Hindu system of knowledge to the exclusion of others
amounts to an infringement of the tenets of a secular state. Althou gh
this scheme had to be abandoned due to secular opposition, it gave a
foretaste of the future, if and when the Sangh Parivar gained
sufficient political clout.

The attempt to Hinduise the system of education had, however, begun
much before the BJP gained access to government power. As early as
1942 the RSS had initiated steps to organise its own educational
network. Since then the number of schools run by the P arivar has
steadily increased. It is estimated that now there are about 70,000
schools under its management. And the VHP has recently announced its
intention to further expand its educational activities, particularly
in tribal areas. With the financial a nd administrative assistance
proffered by the present government, a parallel system of Hindu
education is being brought into existence, under the guidance of an
all-India organisation called the Vidya Bharati Shiksha Sanstan, set
up in 1978. It was to he lp this system that the Minister for Human
Resource Development recently mooted the idea of extending the
educational privileges so far enjoyed by the minorities under the
Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution to all others.20 The rather
well-organised attacks on Christians, who own a fairly large number of
educational institutions, are also rooted, at least partially, in this
interest, as it is not possible to capture the educational sector
without eliminating the Christians.

The curriculum of these schools is unambiguously Hindu and militantly
communal, be it related to history, politics or literature. The
textbooks, particularly of history, prescribed in these schools are so
oriented to lend legitimacy to communal politics by stigmatising the
'outsider' and valorising the Hindu. In the process, history is turned
into myth which tends to inculcate in the young minds a false sense of
religious pride and hostility to the members of other denominations.
Not only the entire cul tural tradition is appropriated as Hindu, the
past is represented as a saga of Hindu valour and bravery. In fact,
the defeat of almost every Hindu ruler at the hands of an 'outsider'
is reinterpreted as a victory. A good example of such mythification is
an account of the war between Muhammad Ghori and Prithviraj Chauhan.
In the second battle of Tarain, which Prithviraj lost, he was captured
and executed by Ghori. This historical event is described in one of
the textbooks as follows: "Muhammad Ghori kill ed lakhs of people and
converted Vishwnath temple and Bhagawan Krishna's birthplace into
mosques. He took Prithviraj to Gazni, but Prithviraj killed him there
with one arrow and Muhammad Ghori's corpse lay on the feet of
Prithviraj as if narrating the ta le of his sins."21

The main objective of the rewriting of history is to impart certain
historical legitimacy to communal politics. The way the Indian
national movement is represented in the textbooks used in RSS-
administered schools and the desperate attempt of the ICHR to suppress
the volumes of Towards Freedom are among the several ongoing efforts
in this direction. It is common knowledge that the RSS hardly had any
role in the national movement, except as active collaborators of
colonialism. Yet, the Sangh Pariv ar is keen on appropriating its
legacy, as it would give a much-needed national legitimacy. The
history of the national movement is therefore being rewritten to
establish that the RSS had indeed played a positive role in the anti-
colonial struggle. This requires the projection of its leaders as
freedom fighters on the one hand and the suppression of their actual
role, on the other. In such rewritten history incorporated in all
textbooks of Vidhya Bharati, the founder of the RSS, Keshav Baliram
Hedgewar, figures as a great leader of the anti-colonial struggle,
much ahead of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.22 In a textbook
prescribed by the Uttar Pradesh government, out of about 20 pages
devoted to the Freedom movement, three pages take up the contribution
of Hedgewar, who is credited with the leadership of the agitation
against the partition of Bengal.23

The successful projection of such a positive image of the RSS and its
leaders would depend upon the suppression or elimination of counter
factual evidence. That appears to be the brief of the ICHR, as evident
from the attempt to withdraw the volumes of < I>Towards Freedom. The
published volumes of Towards Freedom do not credit the RSS with any
role in the anti-colonial struggle. Instead there is evidence in them,
in the form of letters and speeches of its leaders, about its active
collaboratio n with the British colonial rule. The ICHR, now firmly
under the control of the RSS, is understandably eager to prevent the
publication of further volumes and withdraw the existing ones, as
they, being documentary histories, would expose the claims of th e
RSS. The knowledge about the role of the RSS, to which the public will
have access through these volumes, is likely to undermine the
nationalist credentials of the Sangh Parivar. It is this fear of
history, which has prompted the ICHR to make the rathe r desperate
move to withdraw the volumes from the Press. In the process all
institutional procedures have been violated and the academic freedom
of the authors has been infringed.

What the ICHR has tried to do rather clumsily and secretly - the
authors who were commissioned to edit the volumes were not even
informed, let alone consulted - is not an isolated incident, but part
of an anti-secular, anti-democratic rightwing agenda wh ich the
present government with the active participation of various arms of
the Sangh Parivar has been pursuing. Towards this end, secular opinion
has been systematically eliminated from all research institutions and
cultural organisations funded by the government and replaced by the
activists or loyalists of the RSS. There is also well-planned and
systematic vilification of secular intelligentsia, as evident from the
false and malicious accusations recently levelled against historians
by Arun Shourie, an RSS ideologue and a Minister in the present
government.

The freedom of expression is particularly under surveillance in the
cultural field. No effort is spared to suppress the long cherished and
historically evolved plural and secular traditions. The artists and
cultural activists who follow such traditions h ave been under severe
strain, often faced with threats and even physical attacks. Some time
back a panel on Ramayana, based on Jataka tales, displayed in an
exhibition on Ayodhya mounted by a cultural organisation, SAHMAT, was
destroyed by the members of the Sangh Parivar. M.F. Husain's paintings
and Deepa Mehta's films have also aroused the ire of the Sangh Parivar
for alleged disrespect to Indian tradition. On the whole, there is a
tendency to control the intellectual and cultural life in conformity w
ith a fundamentalist view. In the way such a view is implemented,
irrationally and aggressively, there are unmistakable signs of fascist
tendencies.

The instrumentalist role of the rewriting of history currently being
promoted by the government and the Sangh Parivar for defining and
demarcating the nation as Hindu, imparts to it an essentially
political character. The stigmatisation of the 'outsider' as enemy
validated by historical experience lends the rationale for the
communal programme of marginalising, if not externalising, the members
of other denominations. Derivatively, it also legitimises the claim of
the 'indigenous' to the nation. The oth erness of 'outsider' therefore
serves as a signifier for internal consolidation and homogenisation.
To the early ideologues of communalism, such as V.D. Savarkar and M.S.
Golwalkar, the religious interpretation of history was the necessary
ideological gr oundwork for recovering the Hindu nation. The present
engagement of the communal forces with history is with no other intent
which, if succeeds, would unsettle the secular character of the
nation. Therefore the current debate about history in India is as much
about the integrity of the discipline as about the future well-being
of the country.

K.N. Panikkar is Professor of Modern History at the Centre for
Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

1. Maurice Godellier, Perspectives in Marxist Anthropology, Cambridge,
1977, pp.207-09.

2. Tapan Roy Choudhry, Perceptions, Emotions, Sensibilities, New
Delhi, 1999 and John Zavos, The Emergence of Hindu Nationalism in
India, New Delhi, 2000.

3. Romila Thapar, 'The Image of the Barbarian in Early India' in
Ancient Indian Social History, New Delhi, 1998, pp.152-192; Aloka
Parasher, Mlecchas in Early India, New Delhi,1991 and Brajadulal
Chattopadhyaya, Representing the Other? Sanskrit Sources and the
Muslims, New Delhi, 1998.

4. K.S.Singh, People of India: An Introduction, New Delhi, 1995.

5. M.S.Golwalkar, We or our Nationhood Defined, Nagpur, 1947.

6. Romila Thapar, 'The Rgveda: Encapsulating Social Change' in
K.N.Panikkar et.al. (ed) The Making of History, New Delhi, 2000, pp.
11-40; R.S. Sharma, Advent of the Aryans in India, New Delhi, 1999
Shereen Ratnagar, End of the Great Har appan Tradition, New Delhi,
2000.

7. An advocate of this theory is a computer scientist based in North
America, N.S. Rajaram, who has authored two books, Aryan Invasion of
India (1993) and The Politics of History (1995). The arguments and
interpretations in these two books are found to be fictional and
historically unfounded. See Shereen Ratnagar, Revisionist at work: A
chauvinistic Inversion of the Aryan Invasion Theory, Frontline,
February 9,1996. More grievously Rajaram has been found faking
evidence by Michael Witzel, Wales Professor of Sanskrit at Harvard
University. For his findings and criticism see website,
http://www.Safarmer.com/horseseal/update.html (The authoritative
version of Witzel and Farmer's collaborative work on Rajaram's
supposed findings has b een published as a cover story in Frontline,
October 13, 2000.)

8. H.D. Sankalia, 'In History', Seminar, No. 93, May 1967, pp.12-16.
Also see Alan Heston, 'An Approach to the Sacred Cow of India',
Current Anthropology, Vol.12, No.2, April 1971 and Marvin Harris, 'The
Cultural Ecology of India's Sacred Cattle', Cultural Anthropology, Vol.
7, No. 1, February 1966.

9. P.V.Kane, History of the Dharma Shastras, Pune, 1975, Vol.ii, pp.
772-76.

10. Complete Works of Vivekananda, Vol.V, Calcutta, 1966, pp.477-498.

11. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Six Glorious Epochs of Indian History,
Bombay, 1966.

12. Richard M. Eaton, 'Temple Desecration and Indo-Muslim States' in
Essays on Islam and Indian History, New Delhi, 2000.

13. Ibid.

14. K.N. Panikkar (ed.), The Concerned Indian's Guide to Communalism,
'Introduction', New Delhi, 1999, p.xiii.

15. Paul Veyne, Did the Greeks Believe in the Myth?, Chicago,1983.

16. K.N. Panikkar, 'An Overview' in S. Gopal (ed.) Anatomy of a
Confrontation: Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhumi Issue, New Delhi, 1991.

17. The details of this incident and the report of the enquiry are
available in Foreign Political Consultation, No.34, 28 December 1855,
National Archives of India, New Delhi.

18. National Curriculum Framework for School Education - A Discussion
Document, NCERT, New Delhi, 2000, p.24.

19. 'Conference of State Education Ministers and Education
Secretaries, October 22-24, Agenda Papers, Annexure.

20. Ibid.

21. National Steering Committee on Textbook Evaluation:
Recommendations and Report, NCERT, p. 6, New Delhi, 1998.

22. See Sanskar Saurab Series published by the Bharatiya Shiksha
Samiti, Rajasthan.

23. National Steering Committee on Textbook Evaluation:
Recommendations and Report, NCERT, p.14

http://www.flonnet.com/fl1801/18010730.htm

Volume 23 - Issue 01, Jan. 14 - 27, 2006
India's National Magazine
from the publishers of THE HINDU

COMMUNALISM
A saffron assault abroad
NALINI TANEJA

The Hindu Right's attempts to rewrite school textbooks on India and
Hinduism in California meet with stiff resistance from renowned
historians and scholars in the U.S. and abroad.

THE connections between communalist political strategies and textbook
revisions were explored in detail in the media when the Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP) went about changing the syllabus of the National
Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and getting
school history textbooks rewritten while in government. But few would
imagine that the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS)-linked
organisations were in a position to put their stamp on school
textbooks in California in the United States. The partial success of
the "education" wings of the Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh in getting many
of their revisions approved by the Curriculum Commission (CC) of the
California State Board of Education has caused a virtual
"international scandal".

The State Board of Education, California, is currently engaged in
approving the history/social science textbooks for grades six to eight
in schools, an exercise undertaken periodically. The Hindu Education
Foundation and the Vedic Foundation (based in the U.S.) have used the
occasion to push through "corrections" in the textbooks approved.
Shiva Bajpai, who constituted the one-member ad hoc committee set up
by the Board, succeeded in getting virtually all the changes requested
by these organisations incorporated into the textbooks. Professor
Emeritus at California State University, Northridge, and a Hindutva-
leaning adviser to the Board, Bajpai was proposed as expert by the
Vedic Foundation. That the Hindutva groups have not had a walkover is
thanks to the vigilance and commitment of the many academics involved
in Indian studies all over the world. Intervention by Professors
Michael Witzel and Steve Farmer in the form of a letter, signed by 50
other scholars, presented at a public hearing on November 9, resulted
in the Board reversing its initial approval of the pro-Hindutva
changes. Prof. Witzel is a well-known Indologist and has often taken
up the cudgels against Hindutva ideologues such as David Frawley, N.S.
Rajaram and Konrad Elst in the West.

Witzel's letter, endorsed among others by renowned Indian historians
Romila Thapar, D.N. Jha and Shereen Ratnagar, to Ruth Green,
President, State Board of Education, California, on behalf of "world
specialists on ancient India", voicing "mainstream academic opinion in
India, Pakistan, the United States, Europe, Australia, Taiwan and
Japan" on the issue, is now part of a concerted campaign encompassing
well-known scholars and hundreds of teachers and parents in
California.

These scholars make the important point that the "corrections"
proposed by the Hindu Right in the U.S. reflect political agendas
discriminatory to millions of people in India, especially the
minorities, `lower' castes, and women; and that such revisions have
already been debated thoroughly and rejected by academics and
progressive political opinion in India. Besides, they "do not reflect
the views of majority of the specialists on ancient Indian history,
nor of majority of the Hindus".

Asserting that "the proposed revisions are not of a scholarly, but of
a religious-political nature and are primarily promoted by Hindutva
supporters and non-specialist academics writing about issues far
outside their areas of expertise", the scholars have called on the
Board to "reject the demands by nationalist Hindu (Hindutva) groups".
From India, 12 historians have written to the CC to reject the changes
proposed by the RSS-linked organisations in the U.S.

Signatures opposing the sectarian changes have been pouring in by the
day and the Board, now alert to the issue, has constituted a new
Content Review Committee (among its members are Professors Witzel,
James Heitzman and Stanley Wolpert), which has put together a list of
recommendations that "allow for only such changes as meet the
standards of objective scholarship".

On the other side, the Hindu Education Foundation and the Vedic
Foundation protested the constitution of the Content Review Committee
and the inclusion of Witzel on it. They launched a campaign that the
"corrections" were incorporated through a proper procedure and claimed
that Witzel knew little about Hinduism and ancient Indian history.
They also asserted their right to represent Hindus in the U.S. and
their authority to decide what is the `authentic' depiction of
Hinduism and ancient Indian history.

Frantic mobilisation by Pranawa C. Deshmukh, a professor of physics at
the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, in support of the changes
suggested by the Vedic Foundation and the Hindu Education Foundation,
and the pressure of a host of organisations that constitute the
`parivar' in the U.S. resulted in many of the proposed changes in
textbooks getting the approval despite scholarly opinion being heavily
weighted against it.

The details of how this was achieved remind one of the way in which
RSS-sponsored revisions of textbooks were pushed through during the
BJP's tenure in power at the Centre. During the meeting for the
adoption of the recommendations of the Board by the CC in the course
of a public hearing on December 1 and 2, 2005, the members of the
Commission actually flouted the mandate of the Education Board. Of the
total 156 edits requested, the CC accepted 97 that conformed to what
the Hindutva organisations had proposed.

According to Witzel, "the proceedings of the CC meetings were highly
skewed, irregular and contravened the mandate given by the Board". The
Board had directed that the Commission approve only edits that
"improve the factual accuracy of materials". Instead, matters were so
arranged that several Commissioners had already left in the afternoon
of December 2, by the time this was voted on. Others abstained as they
did not know about the matter at hand (but with stacks of related
papers in front of them which they apparently had not read, including
the letter by more than 100 U.S. professors of Indian background and
others by groups of concerned Indian Americans). All were tired, and
one Commissioner, Stan Metzenberg, Professor of Biology at California
State University, Northridge, took the chance to push through
aggressively the Vedic Foundation's agenda. "The CC redefined their
mandate repeatedly, contravening the mandate of the Board that the
Commission should approve only edits that `improve the factual
accuracy of materials'; they allowed additional changes made from the
floor by Hindutvavadins to be inserted; they pushed through a
sectarian agenda that redefines Indian history and Hinduism," Witzel
said.

The Hindu Education Foundation appreciatively quotes Metzenburg as
saying: "I've read the DNA research and there was no Aryan migration.
I believe the hard evidence of DNA more than I believe historians."
However, finally it had to be agreed as: "Some historians believe in
the theory of an Aryan migration." He insisted that "Hindus should at
least be able to recognise their own religion when they read these
textbooks". In short, the textbooks must reflect popular common sense
rather than strive to mould/challenge popular common sense on the
basis of objective historical facts or the gains of scientific
enquiry.

Witzel puts it thus: "California has been hijacked by a saffron
agenda, worse by a sectarian saffron agenda. In this case, a strident
Vaishnava one that excludes Shaiva, Devi, Tantric, Lingayat and other
forms of Hindu worship and Darshana... The new CA [California] history
textbooks will reflect that."

Going by the "corrections" approved, the word "murti" means "God" (the
CC agreed to the Hindu request to change "statue" to "deity"), the
translation of "brahman" is "God", and all Hindus believe in God whose
name is Bhagwan.

The "corrections" demanded by the Hindutva organisations are integral
to the Sangh Parivar's political agenda in India, and similar to what
the BJP government was trying to do with the NCERT syllabus and
textbooks in social sciences, particularly history.

For example, among the "corrections" suggested is a clear attempt to
deny the integrality of the caste system in ancient India; it was
proposed to delete the reference altogether in one textbook. In
another, it was proposed that the picture of an untouchable be
removed. In yet another book, a reference to caste system as part of
Aryan society was replaced by: "During Vedic times, people were
divided into different social groups (varnas) based on their capacity
to undertake a particular profession." Another reference to caste is
to read as: "A late hymn of the Rg Veda describes the
interrelationship and interdependence of the four social classes."

On women, it was suggested that the references to gender bias in
ancient India were incorrect and insulting to Hindu society. Therefore
the line, "Men had many more rights than women" was to be replaced by,
"Men had different duties (dharma) and rights than women. Many women
were among the sages to whom the Vedas were revealed."

In another textbook, the changes included a specific addition that
"the recent archaeological proofs are negating the Aryan invasion
theory. The new theory suggests that Aryans were not the outsiders".
Elsewhere: "They [Aryans] were part of a larger group of people
historians refer to as the Indo-Europeans" is replaced with the
statement: "Some historians believe the Aryans were part of a larger
group of people known as the Indo-Europeans." "The Vedas came to form
the major beliefs of the religion called Brahmanism" is replaced with:
"The Vedas constitute the source of Hinduism." Early Aryan religion is
to be replaced with references to early Hindu religion.

Still other corrections follow the familiar pattern of ante-dating the
Rg Veda, confusing dates of Indus and Harappa city-based civilisations
with the Vedic civilisation, conflating Brahmanical practices with
Hinduism, describing the Vedas as the source and basic texts of
Hinduism, denying the plurality of gods worshipped through history in
favour of one God in different forms, depicting sudras as "serving all
classes" and doing "labour-intensive work" rather than serving `upper'
castes and so on. The current Hindutva preoccupations such as
asserting the sacredness of cows, vegetarianism and the Saraswati
civilisation myth have also found their way into the textbooks.

Tolerance is shown as "usual" for the time of Asoka in ancient India;
the references to technology, science and mathematics in ancient India
have been modified to enable suitable glorification; and negative
aspects of society are either deleted or presented as cultural
specificities rather than as oppressive ones.

THE moves by the Hindu Right in the U.S. are no flash in the pan. The
web sites of two of the organisations spearheading the Hindutva
campaign - the Hindu Education Foundation and the Vedic Foundation -
expressly state the revision of school textbooks in the U.S. as part
of their political agenda. They regularly "interact" with State
Education Committees that define school curriculum, conduct seminars
and training programmes for teachers and "create resources" for
parents who "wish to provide such opportunities for educators in their
own areas". There are fora of all kinds offering entertainment,
educational services and social support to youth. Alternative social
networks through bhajan mandalis, yoga centres, discussion groups,
special programmes and publications devoted to children, answer the
yearnings for roots and culture among immigrants. The RSS-linked
organisations have penetrated all these and are creating new ones all
the time. The entire effort is part of the RSS' larger goal to
"educate" Hindu children brought up in the U.S. to be "good Hindus"
and to "learn the truth about Indian history and culture", and
ultimately to finance their "social work" in India.

Not long ago, citizens' groups in India and North America exposed the
nexus between funding of charities in the West and the hate campaigns
and the expansion of communal networks of the Sangh Parivar in India.
Infusing hatred directly or through the educational set-up is not as
easy in the U.S. as it is through the Vidya Bharati schools and the
Ekal Vidyalayas in India. The strategy of the Hindu Right is different
in the U.S. It does the next best thing: it creates innumerable social
networks where prejudices are nurtured and fascist solutions to
problems legitimised, and glories of ancient India and Hinduism rule
the roost.

http://www.flonnet.com/fl2301/stories/20060127000807700.htm

Volume 16 - Issue 9, Apr. 24 - May. 07, 1999
India's National Magazine
from the publishers of THE HINDU

COVER STORY
The DMK's turnabout

The circumstances surrounding the fall of the Vajpayee Government may
lead to a realignment of political forces in Tamil Nadu, where the
ruling DMK finds itself politically isolated.

T.S. SUBRAMANIAN
in Chennai

EVEN as All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary
Jayalalitha helped push Vajpayee Government out of power, her
principal political rival in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister and Dravida
Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi, stood politically isolated
from his erstwhile allies. Karunanidhi's gamble in deciding to support
the BJP-led Government in the vote of confidence, breaking ranks with
four allies - the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC), the Communist Party of
India (Marxist), the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Janata Dal
- failed.

Indeed, no party in Tamil Nadu has emerged with a creditable image
from the latest political battle. Clearly, it was not "national
security", as Jayalalitha claimed, but her personal agenda to get the
DMK Government dismissed and extricate herself from the corruption
cases she faces that in the end drove her to desert the BJP-led
Government. On the other hand, the DMK's volte-face and its voting
alongside the BJP made a mockery of its claims to upholding the
Dravidian legacy of combating communalism; Karunanidhi sought to
justify his decision by saying that "Jayalalitha's corruption is more
dangerous than communalism."

The TMC seems to have emerged relatively unscathed; the party made
known its stand opposing in equal measure the BJP's communalism and
the AIADMK's corruption. TMC president G.K. Moopanar did not yield to
pressure from the DMK, some other parties and film actor Rajnikant to
bail out the Vajpayee Government by voting in support of the
confidence motion or abstaining during the vote. Moopanar also
reportedly told Congress(I) president Sonia Gandhi and other
Congress(I) leaders that his party would not support a Congress(I)-led
Government in which the AIADMK was a partner.

Soon after the Vajpayee Government was voted out, Moopanar, in a clear
reference to the AIADMK, said: "Corrupt elements cannot be allowed to
go out of one door and re-enter the government through another door...
The TMC hopes that the Congress(I) will adhere to the principles
contained in the (Pachmarhi) declaration and that the new formation
will fight the twin evils of communalism and corruption."

Sources in the Left parties said that the DMK had placed "personal
interests above national interests" and had lost out eventually.
Informed sources in the TMC and the Left parties said that the DMK had
stood on prestige and that its actions were motivated by a desire to
see that Jayalalitha did not get the "credit" for toppling the
Vajpayee Government. A Left leader said: "If the DMK had joined us,
the credit would not have gone to Jayalalitha. She has accomplished
what she set out to do."

Karunanidhi shrugged off the defeat of the BJP-led Government, saying:
"In a democracy, victories and defeats are common... I do not want to
pretend that I do not feel sad about the defeat." He said the reason
for the defeat was the "magnanimity" of Lok Sabha Speaker G.M.C.
Balayogi in allowing Orissa Chief Minister Giridhar Gamang to vote on
the motion.

THE fall of the Vajpayee Government and the circumstances that led up
to it may lead to a realignment of political parties in Tamil Nadu.
The TMC, the CPI(M) and the CPI may part company with the DMK and
forge a new front, and the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
(MDMK) led by Vaiko, which was a constituent of the BJP-led coalition,
may join it. The Congress(I) and the AIADMK may formalise an alliance
and may be joined by the PMK led by Dr. S. Ramadoss.

When it became clear that the AIADMK was preparing to withdraw support
to the Vajpayee Government, the BJP set in motion efforts to win the
DMK's support. Union Home Minister L.K. Advani and Vajpayee spoke to
Karunanidhi on the phone on April 9 and 10 respectively and sought his
party's support. Informed sources in the BJP and the DMK said that
Karunanidhi told them that the DMK's ideology was opposed to that of
the BJP's Hindutva, and that in any case only the party executive
could take a decision.

The first indication that the DMK might strike out on its own came on
April 11, when newspersons asked Karunanidhi what strategy the DMK
would adopt in the light of the political developments in New Delhi.
Karunanidhi asked: "How can we be in a front in which Jayalalitha is a
part?" The DMK also came under pressure from the BJP, which pointed
out that over the past year the Prime Minister had not yielded to the
AIADMK's repeated demands for the dismissal of the Karunanidhi
Government. Vazhapadi K. Ramamurthi of the Tamizhaga Rajiv Congress
too spoke to Karunanidhi and told him that even if the DMK did not
support the BJP, it should do nothing that would assist Jayalalitha in
her efforts to topple the Government.

Even after the DMK indicated that it would go with the BJP, Moopanar
stuck to his stand. "We will always work against corruption and
communalism," he said. When Moopanar met Congress(I) leaders in the
first week of April, he put forward only one condition: a Congress(I)
government should not include the AIADMK.

DMK leaders Murasoli Maran, MP, and Health Minister Arcot N. Veerasamy
met Moopanar on April 12 in order to explain their party's stand. But
Moopanar made it clear that the TMC would have nothing to do with
either the AIADMK or the BJP and that it expected the DMK to take a
similar stand. No such assurance came from Maran and Veerasamy.

S. THANTHONI
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president M. Karunanidhi. His
gamble in deciding to spport the BJP-led Government in the vote of
confidence, breaking ranks with his party's allies in the State,
failed.

Jayalalitha left for New Delhi on April 12, ruling out the possibility
of a rapprochement with the BJP because Vajpayee and Advani had spoken
to Karunanidhi.

On April 13 the DMK executive met and passed a resolution which said
that since Jayalalitha posed "the biggest threat to the State and the
nation, the DMK will not support any formation in which Jayalalitha
found a place directly or indirectly." Karunanidhi summed up his
party's intention when he said: "Jayalalitha's corruption is a bigger
threat than communalism." The resolution added that Jayalalitha was
bent on toppling the Government not because she opposed communalism
but because she wanted to extricate herself from the corruption cases
she was facing. Besides, the "one and only item on her agenda" was to
get the DMK Government dismissed, it said.

The DMK's stand shocked the Left parties. State CPI secretary R.
Nallakannu and State CPI(M) secretary N. Sankariah issued a joint
statement asking the DMK to reconsider its stand and take "a political
position which will be firmly against the BJP Government."

When Frontline met Nallakannu and Sankariah separately, they assailed
the DMK line that "Jayalalitha's corruption is more dangerous than
communalism." They agreed that Jayalalitha was monumentally corrupt
and that she had tried to extricate herself from the corruption cases
against her and that the BJP had aided her in this. But, they noted,
the five parties in the DMK-led front in Tamil Nadu had fought this.
However, when the AIADMK had withdrawn its support to the Vajpayee
Government because of "internal contradictions" and the Government was
about to fall, the five parties should back that move, they said.
Jayalalitha's corruption could be tackled later, after the Government
fell, they reasoned.

N. BALAJI
TMC president G.K. Moopanar. The TMC seemed to have emerged
relatively unscathed from the latest round; the party made known its
stand opposing in equal measure the BJP's communalism and the AIADMK's
corruption.

Sankariah said: "We will not protect anybody who is corrupt. The law
will take its own course."

Both Nallakannu and Sankariah squelched the DMK's fears that if the
Congress(I) formed a coalition government with the AIADMK as a
partner, the DMK Government would again be dismissed. Nallakannu said
that in the absence of a majority, the Congress(I) would not be able
to dismiss the DMK Government, and that in any case the Communist
parties would firmly oppose any such move. Nallakannu said that the
DMK's decision to support the BJP at this juncture "does not behove
Tamil Nadu's political background because the legacy of the Dravidian
parties is to oppose sectarian politics."

Informed sources said that Karunanidhi felt "insulted" that CPI(M)
general secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet met Jayalalitha in Delhi on
April 14. CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan too met her the next
day.

Karunanidhi accused the CPI(M) and the CPI of initiating steps that
"certainly fragmented" the Third Front. He said: "I do not know what
prompted Mr. Surjeet to ignore the DMK and talk to Jayalalitha." He
wondered what had become of the assurances from West Bengal Chief
Minister Jyoti Basu and Surjeet that the DMK and the TMC were very
much a part of the Third Front and that a collective decision would be
taken. He accused the CPI(M) and the CPI of not consulting the DMK on
the fast-moving developments in New Delhi. He said he was sure that
the political parties which had lined up behind Jayalalitha now would
see her in her true colours at the appropriate time.

SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY
Jayalalitha with CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan at Ajoy Bhavan,
the CPI headquarters, in New Delhi on April 15. The circumstances that
led up to the fall of the Vajpayee Government may lead to a
realignment of political parties in Tamil Nadu.

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury refuted Karunanidhi's
allegation that he had not been consulted by the Left parties. He said
the Central and State leadership of the CPI(M) had been in constant
touch with the DMK. If the DMK wanted to change its position, the Left
should "not be used as an excuse," he said.

With the defeat of the Vajpayee Government, the DMK, which is without
friends, may face tough days ahead in the political arena. Karunanidhi
admitted as much when he said that the DMK had been isolated from the
Left parties. "But we will not be isolated from the people," he
added.

http://www.flonnet.com/fl1609/16090210.htm

Volume 27 - Issue 06 :: Mar. 13-26, 2010
INDIA'S NATIONAL MAGAZINE
from the publishers of THE HINDU

CONTROVERSY
Artist’s alienation
V. VENKATESAN

Harassment by Hindutva fanatics and law enforcers made M.F. Husain
accept Qatari nationality.

V. GANESAN

THAT India’s pre-eminent artist, Maqbool Fida Husain, 94, had to
accept the citizenship of another country may well be the tragedy of
Indian secularism. On February 25, the Government of Qatar conferred
on him Qatari nationality, without his applying for the same.

Husain’s acquisition of Qatar’s citizenship will, in all probability,
raise questions about whether he can retain his Indian citizenship.
Under Section 9 of the Citizenship Act, 1955, any citizen of India who
voluntarily acquires the citizenship of another country shall, upon
such acquisition, cease to be a citizen of India. The key word here is
“voluntarily”. Therefore, when the Central government seeks to
determine whether he “voluntarily” acquired the citizenship of Qatar,
it may well consider the circumstances that left him with no choice,
apart from the obvious facts.

The story of Husain’s struggle for justice has to be traced to 1996,
when Hindutva forces were on the ascendant following their success in
electoral politics. In September 1996, an article by one Om Nagpal,
titled “Is he [Husain] an artist or a butcher?” appeared in Vichar
Mimansa, a monthly magazine in Hindi published from Bhopal. In the
article Husain’s depiction of the goddess Saraswati in the nude was
reproduced. The magazine’s editor, V.S. Vajpayee, had come across it
in the book Husain - Riding the Lightning by Dnyaneshwar Nadkarni.
Husain had drawn this in 1970.

Maharashtra’s then Minister for Culture and Shiv Sena leader Pramod
Navalkar, who came across newspaper reports of the article, and then
read the article, wrote to the Mumbai Police Commissioner informing
him of the material referred to in the article. The Mumbai Police
treated the letter as a complaint and registered a case on October 8,
1996, against Husain under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between
different groups on account of religion, etc.) and 295A (deliberate
and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any
class) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

These are provisions that cannot be invoked without the sanction of
the State government. The non-application of mind by the State
government, before granting sanction, thus sowed the seeds of bigotry.
Soon after, Bajrang Dal activists barged into the Herwitz gallery in
Ahmedabad’s famous Husain-Doshi Gufa art complex to destroy Husain’s
paintings. They ransacked the place and the damage was estimated at Rs.
1.5 crore. Damage was inflicted on all of Husain’s paintings,
including his depictions of the Buddha, Hanuman and Ganesha. The State
government’s reluctance to apprehend those responsible for the attack
encouraged a culture of impunity.

Artists in Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad came out in a public expression
of solidarity with Husain. Husain, then in London, issued a statement
in which he said it was not his intention to hurt people’s feelings
with his art, but if he had, he regretted it.

Metaphoric art

Husain was born in a working class family of some means in Pandharpur,
Maharashtra. He intermittently attended the local college of arts in
Indore. At 17, he was apprenticed to a tailor; he also trained to
become a prayer leader. He moved to Mumbai in 1937 and lived for many
years in a slum. There he worked as an assistant to a billboard
painter, and then became a painter of signs himself. He also worked as
a furniture designer and as a toy maker. He painted determinedly
through all these phases.

His references to Indian culture are metaphoric. In fact, the
Saraswati sketch was really skeletal, an outline showing a woman as a
muse. It revealed Husain’s deft strokes. There was nothing in it that
could be called grotesque. As Rajeev Dhavan records in his book
Publish and be Damned: Censorship and Intolerance in India (Tulika
Books, 2008), it was the Vichar Mimansa headline calling Husain a
butcher that built up hatred against the painter and his works. In
fact, the publication should have been indicted for hate speech.

Since Vichar Mimansa was published from Madhya Pradesh, the
prosecutions should have been launched in that State. But there is no
legal bar to prosecute from any State where the publication was
distributed. This legal labyrinth prompted Hindutva forces to choose
Maharashtra, where the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party was in power,
rather than Madhya Pradesh, which was then ruled by a Congress
government led by Digvijay Singh.

Artists and historians had then sought to expose the vacuousness of
the protests by the Hindutva fringe groups. They pointed out that the
walls of the Hoysala temples depict a variety of Saraswati images, all
nude. Nudity was never questioned in Indian art. Experiments of early
Indian artists were much more daring than Husain’s.

Hate-mongers

On May 1, 1998, Bajrang Dal activists forced their way into Husain’s
South Mumbai home and created mayhem. They were ostensibly provoked by
one of his works exhibited in New Delhi. They interpreted that the
painting depicted Sita perched on the tail of a flying Hanuman, both
in the nude. Husain had never given a caption to this painting, and
the Hindutvavadis gave a free rein to their imagination.

This time, as in 1996, Husain suggested setting up a three-member
committee – an art critic, a lawyer and a representative of the Vishwa
Hindu Parishad (VHP) – that could go through his entire collection. He
said he was prepared to destroy immediately any work that the
committee found objectionable.

But the VHP-Bajrang Dal combine could not be pacified by these
concessions which, to many of Husain’s admirers, seemed unwarranted.

In 2006, Husain was accused of painting a ‘Naked Bharat Mata’ (nude
Mother India). The painting was put up for auction by Apparao
Galleries of Chennai. The title Bharat Mata was given by the
auctioneer without reference to Husain. Husain again apologised and
withdrew the painting from the charity auction.

SEBASTIAN D'SOUZA/AFP

M.F. Husain at the inauguration of his exhibition "...and not only 88
of Husain" at the National Art Gallery in Mumbai in Janary 2004.

Although Husain apologised to stop the hate campaign, he was innocent
and had no intention of painting something profane.

The hate-mongers remained dissatisfied. It was then that Home Minister
Shivraj Patil instructed the police chiefs of Delhi and Mumbai to take
“appropriate action” against Husain on the basis of an intelligence
input that Husain’s Bharat Mata and other controversial paintings of
Hindu goddesses could spark communal trouble. Newspaper reports about
the May 2006 advisory shocked the artistic community.

The advisory was based on the Law Ministry’s review of about six
paintings by Husain. The Law Ministry had concluded that a sound case
had been made for the prosecution of Husain. The United Progressive
Alliance government, which now swears by its resolve to give
protection to Husain if he returns to India, has no explanation why it
responded the way it did in 2006.

Artists such as Vivan Sundaram, Ram Rahman, Shubha Mudgal, Arjun Dev,
K. Bikram Singh, S. Kalidas, Krishen Khanna and Rajen Prasad wrote to
Shivraj Patil on May 8, 2006, to withdraw immediately the advisory, if
it had been issued, as such an action had never been taken earlier
against a visual artist. “The implications of such a step are very
serious and strike at the very foundations of our democratic polity,”
they wrote. They pointed out to Patil that Husain’s work is a
celebration of the multi-cultural and multi-religious life of
independent India. Though a Muslim, Husain has done a series of
paintings celebrating the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the
mythological traditions of other religions that have taken root in
India – such as Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism as well as
Islam. He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha on this acclaim.

Meanwhile, death threats were issued, putting a price on Husain’s
head. Ashok Pandey, who claimed to be the president of the Hindu Law
Board, offered a Minister from Uttar Pradesh Rs.101 crore to kill
Husain in response to the Minister’s offer of Rs.51 crore to any
person who assassinated the Danish cartoonist who had insulted the
Prophet.

In Gujarat, Jashubhai Patel, who was earlier president of the BJP unit
in Mehsana district, announced that he would pay one kilogram of gold
to anyone who gouged out the eyes of Husain and cut off his right
thumb so that he would never be able to make paintings of Hindu gods
and goddesses. The Congress Minority Cell in Madhya Pradesh offered Rs.
11 lakh to any patriot who would chop off Husain’s hands because he
had hurt Hindu sentiments. The call was issued by Akhtar Baig, who was
vice-president of Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee in Indore.

If these threats dissuaded Husain from returning to India, he could
not be blamed for it. The police in these States did not take any
action against those who issued the threats despite their identity
having been revealed in the media. Such threats are covered under
Section 503 of the IPC (criminal intimidation), and punishment for
this offence under Section 506 is imprisonment up to seven years.

The same month, there was an exhibition of Husain’s paintings at Asia
House in London. A protest was organised by Arjun Malik of the Hindu
Human Rights Campaign against the exhibition and against the Japanese
firm Hitachi that had supplied plasma screens to the gallery for
better viewing. Asia House gallery succumbed to the pressure by
concluding the exhibition much before the scheduled date.

The controversy over the Bharat Mata painting was an invitation to
bigots to use legal means to harass Husain. In a sense, the legal
process itself was a punishment. A social worker filed a complaint
before the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, in Indore, who summoned
Husain. Husain feared that his life would be in danger in Indore if he
appeared before the magistrate. A bailable warrant was then issued
against Husain. Soon other complaints followed.

Typical of these complaints was that neither the complaint nor the
summoning order referred to any sanction granted by the Central or
State governments – a mandatory requirement under Section 196 of the
Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). In a complaint registered in
Pandharpur, a non-existent provision, Section 501B IPC, was invoked on
the basis of which a non-bailable warrant of arrest was issued against
him by a lower court. The court directed the Kerala government to
present him in the Pandharpur court as and when he arrived in Kerala
to receive the Raja Ravi Varma Award for 2007. The basis of the
complaint was that Husain had hurt the sentiments of Hindus through
his painting of Bharat Mata. These multiple proceedings had the
chilling effect of distracting him from his obsession and love for
art. It also dissuaded him from returning to India from his self-
imposed exile in Dubai.

Landmark judgment

In December 2006, the Supreme Court directed transfer of all the
pending cases against him in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bihar to
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Delhi. When the ACMM issued
a summons to Husain in three such cases, he filed a revision petition
in the Delhi High Court to quash the same.

Despite the ruling of the Delhi High Court on May 8, 2008, quashing
the summons, three cases are pending against him in the Sessions Court
at Patiala House in Delhi on virtually identical charges.

Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul delivered the landmark High Court judgment
in 2008. The essence of the judgment was that Husain’s Bharat Mata
painting is not obscene, as it is not lascivious and nor does it
appeal to prurient interests. The painting depicts India in a human
form, and the naked portrayal of a concept which has no particular
face does not qualify the as obscene, Justice Kaul reasoned. By way of
an abstract expression, Husain tried to elucidate the concept of a
nation in the form of a distressed woman; the aesthetic touch to the
painting dwarfs the so-called obscenity in the form of nudity, he
explained. He also disagreed with the view that the painting could
offend religious feelings.

The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal against this judgment. But three
more cases are yet to be disposed of at the Patiala House District
Court, New Delhi. In one case, a first information report (FIR) was
registered against Husain, and the court ordered a police
investigation, which has not yet been concluded. The remaining two
cases have been transferred from other States to Delhi. It is clear
that after Justice Kaul’s judgment, these cases too needed to be
quashed by the District Court. The Delhi High Court quashed one such
case in 2009. The pendency of these cases made the prospect of his
arrest and harassment real if he returned to India.

Even though Home Minister P. Chidambaram promises full security to
Husain if he returns to India, the threat of vandalism against his
paintings still looms large. Organisers of any exhibition of modern
art, let alone art summits, now tend to exclude Husain’s paintings
from it.

Akhil Sibal, Husain’s advocate in Delhi, said: “The Government of
India has been a silent spectator to his harassment for 15 years. It
has taken neither any clear position nor any unequivocal step to
secure him, and those who support him, a harassment-free environment.
Let the government not be held hostage and paralysed by the shrill
voices of extremists.”

In the case decided by Justice Kaul, the Additional Solicitor General
while assisting the Court promised that he would advise the Central
government to take steps by way of appropriate legislative amendments
to prevent harassment of artists, sculptors, authors, film-makers and
so on in different creative fields. Justice Kaul hoped that this
aspect would get the attention it deserves and the legislature in its
wisdom would examine the feasibility of possible changes in law.

Justice Kaul had made it clear that the criminal justice system should
not be invoked as a convenient recourse to ventilate any and all
objections to an artistic work. The system, he warned, can cause
serious violations of the rights of people in the creative fields, and
this represents a growing intolerance and divisiveness within society
and poses a threat to the democratic fabric of the nation. Therefore,
he said, the magistrates must scrutinise each case in order to prevent
vexatious and frivolous cases from being filed and ensure that it is
not used as a tool to harass the accused. Rather than make empty
promises to Husain to guarantee his security if he returns to India,
the government may well initiate concrete action on the reforms
suggested by Justice Kaul.

http://www.flonnet.com/stories/20100326270611500.htm

Volume 27 - Issue 06 :: Mar. 13-26, 2010
INDIA'S NATIONAL MAGAZINE
from the publishers of THE HINDU

CONTROVERSY
Shock and shame
S. ARNEJA

Artist Vivan Sundaram.

IN a recent interview to NDTV, Maqbool Fida Husain, the first global
modernist painter from India, made his decision to accept Qatari
citizenship sound like a practical imperative. He said since he had
found sponsors in London (United Kingdom) and Qatar to complete his
three projects on ancient civilisations, he would have to become a non-
resident Indian (NRI) because of the excessive tax structure
prevailing in India. He justified the decision by saying that even
film directors such as Roman Polanski and Ingmar Bergman had to leave
their countries.

He said: “Had I been 40, I would have fought them [attackers of his
art] tooth and nail but here I want to focus only on my work. I don’t
want any disturbance. I need all comforts and facilities to the
maximum.” He added: “These boundaries are only political boundaries.
The visual arts especially is a universal language; you can be
anywhere in the world but the work that you do has a strong link to
5,000 years of our great Indian culture.”

However, most artists in India expressed shame, sadness and shock at
Husain being pushed to the edge. They recalled Husain’s life and the
implications of his enforced exile.

The renowned Hindustani classical singer Shubha Mudgal says: “It is
tragic that we allowed this to happen. Having gone through what M.F.
Husain has, we are no one to tell him where to go or not. The
government is talking of disaster management now but where was it all
these years? Unfortunately, art does not transcend all boundaries of
prejudices and that prevents the artistic community from taking a
stand together. To top it all, there is no space for artists to get
together to discuss Husain and other issues such as censorship. If
this can happen to Husain, what can happen to many lesser-known
artists?”

The photographer Ram Rahman hesitates to use the word “controversial”
to describe Husain’s paintings. “We have to ask who made these
paintings controversial? Why use a discourse that has been defined by
right-wing militants? And how can we talk of Qatar’s freedom of
expression if Husain and other artists are being attacked in India?”
He is sceptical about the Indian government’s promise of security to
Husain. he said: “He is not a corporate honcho or a political leader.
He is a free bird. Would he be able to work in an environment he knows
is not conducive to work? All because you are letting the RSS
[Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh] and national politics, and not the
Constitution, define citizenry.”

In her recent essay “Modernist Myths and the Exile of Maqbool Fida
Husain”, the art historian Geeta Kapur profiles his exile in its
tragic, political and discursive meanings. She says that Husain faces
multiple exiles. According to her, “if an exiled artist is seen to
radiate a sense of self, an emanation of solitude, crucial to the
creative soul”, it was also crucial for Husain, facing so much apathy,
to impose on himself an exile in order to exercise uncompromised
understanding of ethical issues.

She goes on to write: “Husain is stereotypically a postcolonial artist
and his exile carries the entire burden of the citizenship/community
discourse in India… In post-Independence India, Husain’s visible
identity as a Muslim figured emblematically but was not overplayed,
since the secular was simply a taken-for-granted for all modern
artists. Now, 60 years hence, even as he (so admirably) refuses to
play the opposite role of an embittered Muslim or a national martyr,
he must rely on the modern artist’s sense of singularity to salvage
himself.”

The Husain issue has many political implications. Branding is a
contemporary political reality: someone who is a human rights activist
can be branded as a Maoist or someone speaking for minority rights can
be seen as a terrorist in a security-driven system. All these trends
recoil into suppression of free speech, the most important pillar of a
democratic society.

SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Film director Shyam Benegal.

In a liberal space, none of the artists discount the right of the
groups protesting against Husain but are critical of violent methods
to assert their point. The film-maker Shyam Benegal, known for his
socially sensitive cinema, says: “There is a convergence of the
politics of intimidation and the politics of identity in these times,
which creates the ‘other’ very easily. How can we just blame the right-
wing groups? It is an organised attitude. The Bhandarkar Oriental
Research Institute in Pune was ransacked in 2004 by the Sambhaji
Brigade, a cultural group of the Nationalist Congress Party.
Similarly, what happened with Shah Rukh Khan is absurd. There are ways
to protest because in a country that guarantees free speech,
sentiments can get hurt. We all have our ways to protest, but to say
you have no right to exist is a matter of concern.”

An important reading of Husain’s ostracism was done by Vivan Sundaram,
painter, sculptor and installation artist: “Visual images can have
many readings, and inbuilt into them are greater ambiguities. But
interpretation in a way that could make way for an attack is being
done by organised right-wing groups and not individuals.” When asked
whether Husain is trying to make a statement by accepting Qatar’s
citizenship, he said, “In a way, he is making some kind of a statement
that if you are insisting I should live in exile, then I will get rid
of this. Vigilance in the public domain is keeping India away from
many progressive thoughts. The government cannot just provide security
but it has to act consistently against fundamentalists. It is a
process, but the political leadership must stand up to it.”

In this polemic, what remains conspicuous is the government’s
emergence as a protector only when the issue of foreign nationality
surfaced. Geeta Kapur gives an explanation. She traces the transition
of an artist from a citizen to an interlocutor in the changed public
discourse. While, she says, the space for artists as citizens began to
be suppressed during the naxalite era of the 1960s and 1970s and then
during the Emergency, it became starker in the 1990s.

“The right-wing swing in Indian politics during the 1990s made the
‘othering’ process at work in the polity fully visible to the more
radical intelligentsia, as it also made visible the alienation of the
minorities and Dalits whose political struggles echoed through and
beyond the public sphere. The artist-interlocutor now undertook to
investigate the fault lines within civil society structures, as well
as to address the conditions of life that fall outside the protocols
of governances,” she writes.

By accepting Qatar’s citizenship, Husain precisely does this. For the
first time, perhaps, with Husain’s issue, citizenry engages with
minority rights and victimisation. These are issues of social
exclusion in terms of caste, gender and religion, which get lost in an
overarching identity of a ‘citizen’. It is in this context that Geeta
Kapur writes: “Husain’s exile is a personal tragedy and a national
shame. It is the exile of a modern artist, of a secular artist and,
more explicitly, a Muslim citizen-artist from secular India. Relayed
into each other, these aspects condense into a logic whereby it is
precisely as a secularist that Husain is accused.”

She goes on to say: “How ironic that antagonists as well as
protagonists should make it mandatory for Husain to publicly embrace
Islam and its metaphysics, endorse a sectarian identity, valorise the
Islamicate legacy, and interpret his present engagement with Arab
civilisation as an endorsement of his ‘originary/ethnic’ identity!
More ironical, that he must thereby shun not only the secular but also
the sovereign status he sought in the embrace of modernity.”

Faced with the empathy within the artistic community for Husain, the
Indian government has woken up to the need to bring Husain back to
India to salvage whatever little goodwill it may have among the
artists and liberal ideologues. But it needs to do more to convince
them about its sincerity.

By Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta

http://www.flonnet.com/stories/20100326270611800.htm

Volume 27 - Issue 06 :: Mar. 13-26, 2010
INDIA'S NATIONAL MAGAZINE
from the publishers of THE HINDU

SOCIAL ISSUES
Khap terror
T.K. RAJALAKSHMI
in Rohtak

Haryana’s caste panchayats continue to punish couples, practically
unchecked, for breaking “brotherhood norms”.

BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Azad Singh and Lakshmi, parents of Satish Berwal. The family has been
given police protection.

ON February 12, Meham town in Rohtak district, Haryana, saw a
citizens’ convention that was unusual in more than one sense. First,
it was being held from the ramparts of the Meham Chaubisi Chabootara,
a platform reserved for members of the Meham panchayat (a
conglomeration of 24 villages, better known as the Meham Chaubisi).
Second, the meeting was not dominated by any one caste. Third, it was
a congregation of secular and democratic groups, and a good number of
women participated in it. (Women had never attended meetings at that
venue since all caste and khap panchayats are male-dominated.) Fourth,
it was a meeting where caste and khap panchayats and their
undemocratic ways were roundly criticised. People from neighbouring
villages also attended the meeting and expressed their opposition to
the illegal acts of the panchayats.

The meeting reflected a growing anger against the actions of self-
styled khap panchayats. In early February itself, there were at least
three reported cases of panchayats ordering the expulsion of married
couples for having allegedly violated one community norm or the other.
Meham shot into notoriety 20 years ago following complaints of poll-
rigging and booth-capturing in an Assembly byelection. The election
had to be countermanded twice because of large-scale violence and the
murder of an independent candidate. The Meham Chaubisi has
historically played a crucial role in elections.

Bhaichaara victims

On January 31, Kavita and Satish, a young couple from Kheri Meham with
a nine-month-old child, were told by the khap panchayat that their
marriage three years ago was in violation of the gotra norm of
bhaichaara, or brotherhood. Kavita belongs to the Beniwal gotra and
Satish to the Berwal gotra, and their marriage had seemingly not
violated any caste or gotra norm. However, according to the bhaichaara
norm, girls belonging to a village’s dominant gotra could be accepted
in that village only as sisters, and not as wives. Of late, this has
been used to harass couples who either married out of their own choice
or whose marriages were arranged by their families.

Twenty-one members of the Beniwal gotra convened a meeting and decided
to expel Kavita and Satish from the village. Kavita could not stay in
the village as the wife of Satish, but the child could live with
Satish’s father, Azad Singh, the meeting decreed.

As a punishment for allowing the marriage to take place, the 65-year-
old Azad Singh was paraded around the village with a shoe shoved into
his mouth. Azad Singh’s family is among the poorer ones in the village
and belongs to a minority gotra. “We were told that we could stay on
in the village if we donated whatever land we possessed to the village
dera (a village shelter used by mendicants). As per the ruling, Satish
would become his own child’s uncle while I have to pay Rs.3 lakh for
the upkeep of my grandchild. How will I procure all the money for this
after giving away my land?” said Azad Singh.

Anil Rao, Senior Superintendent of Police, Rohtak, told Frontline that
the couple was now staying in Bhiwani district and that he had sent
word to the police authorities there to provide them security.

Kavita had, with support from her parents, who live in Bhiwani
district, approached the SSP with a detailed complaint, naming the
people who had convened the panchayat and humiliated her father-in-
law. She demanded action against the 21 gotra members involved in the
act. But the police registered a first information report (FIR)
without mentioning any names – reportedly owing to pressure from
influential people. Frontline learnt that at least two revenue
department employees and one panchayat samiti member were involved in
the humiliation of Azad Singh and in the decision to expel the
couple.

The SSP said that the police were doing everything possible to help
the couple and claimed that police intervention had forced the Meham
Chaubisi to reverse its judgment. A joint meeting of the Berwal and
Beniwal khaps resolved that the couple could live as man and wife but
outside their village. The Chaubisi also condemned the humiliation of
Azad Singh.

At Azad Singh’s house, emotions run high. “They have done their worst.
What more can they do?” said Azad Singh, referring to his humiliation.
While he and his wife Lakshmi are relieved to have police protection
against further assaults by members of the dominant gotra, they are
scared to say openly that they will bring their daughter-in-law home.
“What would you do if you are surrounded by the village toughs? But
how can a man and his wife reconvert as brother and sister?” wondered
an elderly relative of Azad Singh. However, she said that the
panchayat was right in its decision but others had influenced it
wrongly. Lakshmi wondered what would be the nature of her relationship
with her grandson, Raunaq, if her son and daughter-in-law were to see
each other as brother and sister.

It was shocking that none of the influential Berwal gotra members was
ready to stand by the family. Dharamraj, a former sarpanch of Kheri
village, said that the khaps’ decision, taken at a joint meeting of
the two khaps, was final. The role of an elected sarpanch, as has been
seen in most cases relating to such issues, is marginal. An older
citizen of the village told Frontline that an elected sarpanch was of
use only if he was influential and “strong”.

The police maintained a studious silence regarding the couple’s desire
to live together in their own village of Kheri. “Mindsets have to
change, and then there is the issue of bhaichaara that cannot be
disturbed,” said a police officer.

It is significant that the Punjab and Haryana High Court took suo motu
notice of the issue and asked the Haryana government to file a reply.
The Director-General of Police told the court that the Unlawful
Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, does not cover the activities of
khap panchayats. Equally significant is the fact that apart from the
Left parties and the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA),
which took up the cudgels on Kavita’s behalf, several individuals,
including veteran Congress leader Shamsher Singh Surjewala, and
organisations such as the All India Lawyers’ Union, the All India
Kisan Sabha and a few youth organisations, denounced the undemocratic
diktats of the caste panchayat.

Apart from the Kheri incident, three other cases of caste panchayat
atrocities were reported in the recent past. A couple in Jind district
came under immense pressure to call off their engagement after a
section of residents of the boy’s village, Budalkhera, claimed that
the gotras of the groom and the bride had brotherly relations. The
Budalkhera panchayat declared that the marriage could not take place
in the village. The families of the couple resisted and finally, on
February 6, the panchayat reversed its order. But it ensured that the
wedding took place outside the village.

Similarly, on November 1 last year, a joint panchayat of the Garhi
Ballam and Sundana villages ordered a couple to leave the village for
violating gotra norms. The couple quietly left. No complaint was
lodged.

Curiously, on February 3, in a village in Hisar district, members of
the Scheduled Caste Dhanak community objected to a wedding and
banished the boy from the village, alleging gotra violations. That was
perhaps the first time that the Dhanak community had targeted one of
its own. Until then, only a section of the Jat community was found
raising vocal and violent objections on the grounds of gotra
violations. It was because of the intervention of some Left and
democratic organisations and the determination of the boy’s mother, a
widow who threatened to commit suicide, that the panchayat finally
relented.

The Bhupinder Singh Hooda government’s record in taking on illegal
actions of caste groups is less than satisfactory. Such incidents are
as common as they were before, but many of them go unreported.

“There are so many more important issues – such as dowry, domestic
violence and livelihood issues. But we spend most of our energy and
time fighting the unconstitutional fiats of these self-styled
panchayats,” said Jagmati Sangwan, president of the State unit of
AIDWA.

She pointed out that though the government had promised to set up
shelters for couples who were being targeted by khap panchayats, to
date not a single one had come up.

The Rohtak SSP told Frontline that harassed couples could stay in the
police lines, sharing accommodation with other families until the
government shelters came up. “We can’t provide independent
accommodation for 2,000 couples overnight,” he said.

http://www.flonnet.com/stories/20100326270604400.htm

Volume 27 - Issue 06 :: Mar. 13-26, 2010
INDIA'S NATIONAL MAGAZINE
from the publishers of THE HINDU

THE STATES
Facing flak
S. DORAIRAJ
in Chennai

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes criticises Tamil Nadu for
poor implementation of Dalit welfare measures.

E. LAKSHMI NARAYANAN

A Dalit woman staging a dharna outside the Office of the Special
Tahsildar (Adi Dravidar Welfare) in Salem on June 16, 2008, demanding
a patta for the site of her house.

THE sharp criticism of the State administration by the National
Commission for Scheduled Castes for perceived inadequacies in
enforcing the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of
Atrocities) Act, 1989, and in implementing various welfare measures
aimed at empowering Dalits has put the Tamil Nadu government in a
tight spot. Despite denials by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who is
also a top leader of the United Progressive Alliance which is in power
at the Centre, NCSC Vice-Chairman N.M. Kamble’s remarks after a review
meeting in Chennai on February 18 have triggered a fresh debate on a
wide range of Dalit-related issues. These include different forms of
discrimination against Dalits, the lacunae in enforcing the S.Cs and
S.Ts (POA) Act, non-distribution of adequate cultivable land and house
sites to the oppressed sections, non-clearance of the backlog of
promotions, introduction of 3 per cent internal reservation for the
Arunthathiar community, and the lack of political will to end manual
scavenging.

The Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF), led by
functionaries of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), and several
Dalit organisations, which participated in the review meeting, made
their submissions to the commission. The NCSC dropped a bombshell by
pointing to the large number of pending cases and the low rate of
conviction in the State under the S.Cs and S.Ts (POA) Act. It did not
take lightly the failure on the part of the police to complete the
investigations in time in many cases. The commission also pointed out
that the details pertaining to the grounds for acquittal in many cases
were not made available to it. It substantiated its claims with a year-
wise break-up of pending cases, disposals and convictions.

The commission pulled up the government for not furnishing district-
wise and ward-wise information regarding the implementation of welfare
schemes for Dalits. The non-appointment of a liaison officer to take
care of the interests of Scheduled Caste government employees
particularly earned the NCSC’s ire. The commission also expressed
anguish over the lack of initiative on the part of the authorities to
retrieve lands that were assigned to the Scheduled Castes but were
still in the possession of non-Dalits. There are as many as 8,000 such
cases.

Top officials of the State government who attended the meeting assured
the NCSC of submitting the information required by it in a month. But
Karunanidhi took issue with the criticism the next day by announcing
that he would apprise the Centre, particularly Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh, of his government’s performance in promoting the welfare of
Dalits.

Refuting the NCSC’s “barbed comments”, Karunanidhi came out with a
detailed statement highlighting the various welfare measures
implemented by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government after he
assumed office as Chief Minister for the first time in 1969. These
include decisions to raise the quantum of reservation for the S.Cs and
the S.Ts from 16 per cent to 18 per cent in 1971 and to earmark a
quota of 1 per cent exclusively for the S.Ts in 1990.

He said the State government had allocated more funds under the
Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP) than the earmarked 19 per cent. He
further said the allocations for divisible expenditure out of the
State Plan funds had grown from Rs.567 crore in 2005-2006 to Rs.2,615
crore in 2009-2010. It was his government that named the Law
University in the State after B.R. Ambedkar, he recalled. On the
commission’s contention with regard to the low conviction rate in
cases registered under the S.Cs and S.Ts (POA) Act, Karunanidhi said
just blaming the government counsel and the courts appeared to be the
motive behind the criticism.

Several Dalit organisations in the State, however, do not seem to be
convinced by the Chief Minister’s claims. Addressing a joint press
conference, Dalit leaders including Puthiya Tamizhagam president K.
Krishnasamy and Republican Party of India’s State general secretary
S.K. Tamilarasan accused the DMK government of attempting to find
fault with the NCSC.

They urged the government to come out with a White Paper in three
months giving district-wise and block-wise details on reservation in
jobs and education, distribution of land, and retrieval of ‘panchami’
land to promote the socio-economic conditions of Dalits in the State.
They also wanted the data on the allocation of funds under the SCSP
and development projects executed for Dalits in villages to be
released without delay.

P. Sampath, State convener of the TNUEF, said there was nothing wrong
in the NCSC Vice-Chairman’s observations regarding the manner in which
S.Cs and S.Ts (POA) Act cases were handled in the State. He said
compromises were reached in many cases at the intervention of the
police, who register counter-complaints from the dominant communities
against the Dalit victims. The bail applications of offenders are
seldom objected to by the police, he alleged.

He said State and district panels set up by the government to monitor
the implementation of the Act had become dysfunctional. In many cases,
investigations were not done by deputy superintendents of police as
laid down by the rules, he alleged.

Official data show that the rate of conviction in cases of atrocities
against Dalits is very low. According to information provided by the
Inspector-General of Police (Social Justice and Human Rights), there
were 18,752 cases – 4,445 fresh cases and 14,307 “brought forward”
cases – involving S.Cs before special courts between 2003 and 2009. Of
these, only 412 ended in conviction, whereas there were 3,354
acquittals. In 2009 alone, there were 420 acquittals against 29
convictions; 2,656 cases were pending at the close of the year.

Official sources acknowledged the prevalence of injustices such as
denial of rights to Dalits to worship in temples, bury or burn their
dead in common burial or cremation grounds; denial of passage to
graveyards; and denial of land, water and promotions.

V. GANESAN

N.M. Kamble, Vice-Chairman, National Commission for Scheduled Castes,
addressing the media after a review meeting in Chennai.

An issue that has come to the fore now is the 3 per cent special
reservation in the State for Arunthathiars in education and
employment. Replying to a query at the press conference held after the
review meeting, Kamble held that the sub-quota announced without
consulting the commission was “unconstitutional” and could be
challenged in a court.

However, Karunanidhi strongly defended the internal reservation for
Arunthathiars, who “are still at the lowest rung in terms of socio-
economic and educational status”. Recalling the Chief Secretary’s
letter to NCSC Chairman Buta Singh in this regard on November 25,
2008, he said that though, according to rules, any such proposal
should be brought to the notice of the commission, it was not
mandatory to get its consent. The Tamil Nadu Arunthathiars (Special
Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions including Private
Educational Institutions and of Appointments or Posts in Services
under the State within the Reservation for the Scheduled Castes) Act,
2009, was enacted after consulting a one-man panel, he pointed out.

The TNUEF has welcomed the Tamil Nadu government’s stand on this issue
though some Dalit organisations have threatened to challenge the Act
in court. Referring to the High Court’s direction that the Act must be
implemented with effect from April 29, 2009, when it came into force,
the TNUEF has urged the NCSC to ensure that it is carried out in tune
with Clause (5) of Article 338 of the Constitution. It also wants a
State Commission for S.Cs to be formed. The front has stressed the
need for raising the quota for Dalits by 1 per cent as the Scheduled
Castes constitute 19 per cent of the State’s total population of
624.06 lakhs as per the 2001 Census.

Sampath said the most contentious issue was the redistribution of
surplus land and wastelands to Dalits as land had become a status
symbol and was an important factor in solving livelihood issues.
Official sources say the government is keen to provide house site
pattas to roofless Dalit families.

According to them, 1,74,952 Dalit families were given house site
pattas from April 1, 2006, to May 31, 2009, under the one-time special
scheme to regularise encroachments on government poramboke lands. And
44,522 acres (one acre is 0.4 hectare) was distributed to 41,064 Dalit
families in five phases, from September 17, 2006, as part of
implementing the Chief Minister’s pet scheme of distribution of two
acres of wasteland to families of the landless poor. The government
has also announced that 11,660 house site pattas will be issued during
2009-2010. But Sampath said all these were only on paper and in many
places Dalits found it difficult to take possession of the lands which
were in the hands of dominant communities.

The NCSC’s review in the State has also paved the way for the revival
of the demand for retrieval of several thousands of ‘panchami’ lands
gifted to Dalits during British rule in the 1890s. According to
informed sources, only 1.26 lakh acres of the 12 lakh acres of
panchami lands were available now and most of these were occupied by
non-Dalits and industrial houses.

Significantly, the TNUEF and leaders of some Dalit organisations have
demanded that the Tamil Nadu government give serious consideration to
the Scheduled Castes Sub Plan and other special assistance provided by
the Centre. They say that only by doing so will the government be able
to reduce the gap between Dalits and the rest of society and speed up
the process of integrating them with the mainstream.

The government has been claiming that the allocations are made under
the SCSP as per guidelines. Official data show there has been a steady
rise in the allocations from the earmarked 19 per cent in the last
four financial years. For instance, it was 20.87 per cent in
2008-2009, up from 19.09 per cent in 2005-2006, it says.

However, the TNUEF and the Dalit organisations have been accusing the
government of not allocating funds adequately under the scheme besides
diverting them to other schemes. The Chief Minister time and again has
attempted to allay the apprehensions of the Dalit organisations by
promising them that he would take the responsibility to see that not
even a small portion of the funds allotted for improving the status of
the S.Cs was diverted to other schemes.

But the TNUEF feels that Dalit organisations and political parties
should be vigilant as funds earmarked for Adi Dravidar welfare have
been diverted in the past. They allege that, for example, the
construction of quarters 10 years ago for 44 legislators representing
reserved constituencies was done with funds so earmarked.

http://www.flonnet.com/stories/20100326270603800.htm

Volume 27 - Issue 06 :: Mar. 13-26, 2010
INDIA'S NATIONAL MAGAZINE
from the publishers of THE HINDU

COVER STORY
Less for the poor
PRAVEEN JHA

The UPA government seems to have grown complacent about its budgetary
allocations for the social sectors.

WITH clear indications of the economy reviving fast, the Union
government should have taken an expansionary fiscal stance not only to
accelerate growth but also to finance adequately the interventions
that promote social sector development. However, it has chosen to
revert to the path of fiscal conservatism, albeit gradually, with
Budget 2010-11.

A “calibrated exit strategy from the expansionary fiscal stance of
2008-09 and 2009-10”, which the 13th Finance Commission has
recommended strongly, seems to have been given shape to as the
government’s total expenditure is projected to fall from 16.6 per cent
of GDP (gross domestic product) in 2009-10 (Revised Estimates) to 16
per cent of GDP in 2010-11 (Budget Estimates). In tandem with the
compression of public expenditure, the fiscal deficit is projected to
fall from 6.7 per cent of GDP in 2009-10 (R.E.) to 5.5 per cent of GDP
in 2010-11 (B.E.), and the revenue deficit is estimated at 4.0 per
cent of GDP in 2010-11 (B.E.), significantly lower than the 5.3 per
cent figure for 2009-10 (R.E.).

As regards the policy direction suggested by the 13th Finance
Commission, both the Report of the Commission (tabled in Parliament on
February 25) and Budget 2010-11 indicate clearly that the next five
years will witness growing efforts by the government towards
elimination/reduction of deficits through compression of public
expenditure. Consequently, any significant boost to public expenditure
in the social sectors in the last two years of the 11th Five-Year Plan
(2010-11 and 2011-12) seems unlikely.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government seems to
have grown complacent about its budgetary policies for the social
sectors. While Budget 2010-11 does pay some attention to a few of the
important sectors/issues such as women and child development,
development of minorities, rural housing and technical education, its
overall allocations and proposals for the social sectors (which
include education, health and family welfare and water and sanitation)
seem to fall far short of expectations.

As shown in Table 1, the allocation for social services (which in the
jargon of budgets in our country refers to social sectors such as
education, health and family welfare, water and sanitation, nutrition,
welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward
Classes, and social security and welfare, among others) in the total
expenditure in the Union Budget has been stepped up from 8.9 per cent
in 2007-08 to 10.4 per cent in 2008-09. However, it remains at 10.4
per cent in the B.E. for 2010-11. As a proportion of GDP, the
government’s total expenditure on social services showed a somewhat
noticeable increase from 1.3 per cent in 2007-08 to 1.6 per cent in
2008-09; but it has been stagnant in the last two Budgets.

State governments continue to bear a significant share of the
country’s total public expenditure on social sectors – as per the
Reserve Bank of India’s document ‘State Finances: A Study of Budgets
2009-10’, the total expenditure from Budgets of all States on social
services and rural development stood at 5.4 per cent of GDP in
2007-08, which increased to 5.8 per cent in 2008-09 (R.E.) and 6 per
cent in 2009-10 (B.E.). If we deduct the expenditure on rural
development from these figures and also exclude the double counting of
the Centre’s grants-in-aid to States in social services (which appear
both in the Union Budget and in the Budgets of States), the total
public expenditure in our country on social services could well be
around 6 per cent of GDP even in 2009-10.

Thus, despite the somewhat noticeable increases in the Union
government’s expenditure on social services, mainly during the UPA-1
regime, the country’s overall public expenditure on social services
continues to be very low. Before one jumps to the conclusion that
State governments are primarily responsible for this, one has to keep
in mind that over the past two decades the federal fiscal architecture
has been altered consistently in favour of the Union government.

The analysis of Budget 2010-11 by the Centre for Budget and Governance
Accountability (CBGA), New Delhi, shows that despite the increase in
the States’ share in Central taxes and duties to 32 per cent (from
30.5 per cent) and a number of specific-purpose grants recommended by
the 13th Finance Commission, the Gross Devolutions and Transfers (GDT)
from the Centre to the States would be 5.4 per cent of GDP in 2010-11,
which is almost the same as that in 2007-08 and 2008-09. This is
unlikely to reverse the disturbing trend of a decline in the share of
GDT in aggregate expenditure in State budgets. Hence, the primary
responsibility for the persistence of low public spending on social
sectors lies with the Union government.

The Union Finance Minister has claimed that his government has adopted
a number of budgetary policies to create entitlements for the poor
(over the past six years). However, it may be argued that the National
Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) is the only Plan scheme of
the Union government rooted in an entitlements-based approach. In
contrast, most of the social sector Plan schemes of the Union
government continue to follow a welfarist approach and provide low-
cost, ad hoc interventions. An entitlements-based approach towards
public provisioning in the social sectors would require a significant
strengthening of the regular and sustained government interventions in
these sectors, which does not yet seem to be on the government’s
policy agenda.

Spending on education

In 1966 the D.S. Kothari Commission had recommended that the total
public spending on education should be raised to the level of 6 per
cent of GNP (gross national product) by 1986. Subsequently, many
political parties reiterated this as a commitment in their election
manifestos; the UPA, too, promised it in the National Common Minimum
Programme (NCMP) in 2004. However, the overall public spending on
education continues to be way below 6 per cent of GDP; even in 2007-08
(B.E.), it was only 3.67 per cent of GDP (including the spending by
Central and State education departments as well as other departments.

The Union government’s total allocation for education in 2010-11
(B.E.) stands at 0.71 per cent of GDP, which is slightly better than
the 0.64 per cent recorded for 2009-10 (R.E.). However, such gradual
and small increases in the Budget outlays for education cannot result
in any visible increase in overall public spending on education in the
country.

In addition to the 0.71 per cent of GDP allocated in Budget 2010-11
for the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), States will be
given access to Rs.3,675 crore for elementary education under the 13th
Finance Commission grants for 2010-11. There has been a significant
stepping up in the outlay for the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan
from Rs.550 crore in 2009-10 (R.E.) to Rs.1,700 crore in 2010-11.
Other areas showing increased outlays in Budget 2010-11 include the
adult education and skill development scheme, educational loan
interest subsidy in university and higher education, scholarship for
college and university students and the upgradation of existing
polytechnics and setting up of new ones.

In the current discourse on planning and government budgeting in the
country, there are very few benchmarks to assess the adequacy of
public spending on development schemes. In this context, the outlays
recommended by the Planning Commission for the 11th Five-Year Plan
period (2007-08 to 2011-12) could be treated as benchmarks, even
though the quality parameters underlying these benchmarks would hardly
be satisfactory. With just one more Union Budget left in the 11th Plan
period, at least 80 per cent of the outlays recommended by the
Planning Commission should have been made for Plan schemes during
2007-08 to 2010-11. However, the analysis by the CBGA (“Union Budget
2010-11: Which Way Now?”, available at www.cbgaindia.org) shows that
the total provisioning in the four Budgets during 2007-08 to 2010-11
has been only 12 per cent of the recommended outlay for the Rashtriya
Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, 36 per cent for teacher training and 46 per
cent for the UGC; the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and the midday meal
scheme have fared better with 76 per cent and 65 per cent
respectively.

However, in the context of education, what is most disconcerting about
Budget 2010-11 is its complete silence on the financing of the Right
to Education Act, which the Union government is reportedly planning to
notify from April 1. There have been reports in the media about the
Union government’s initiative to modify the norms and unit costs under
the SSA so as to make the provisioning under this flagship programme
in line with the Right to Education Act. However, the allocation for
the SSA has been increased only by 14.5 per cent from Rs.13,100 crore
in 2009-10 (R.E.) to Rs.15,000 crore in 2010-11 (B.E.).

Meagre amount for health

The UPA made a commitment in the National Common Minimum Programme
(NCMP) in 2004 that the total public spending on health would be
raised to the level of 2 to 3 per cent of GDP, which was also
reiterated in the 11th Five-Year Plan. However, the combined budgetary
allocation (that is, the total outlays from both Union Budget and
State budgets) for health stands at a meagre 1.06 per cent of GDP in
2009-10 (B.E.). The Union government’s allocation for health (that is,
the budget for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) shows a
negligible increase from 0.35 per cent of GDP in 2009-10 (R.E.) to
0.36 per cent of GDP in 2010-11 (B.E.). Thus, even after Budget
2010-11, the government is far short of the NCMP target of raising the
total public spending on health to 2 to 3 per cent of GDP.

In his Budget speech, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee proposed
to include in the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana all those NREGS
beneficiaries who have worked (in the scheme) for at least 15 days in
the last fiscal year. While this is a welcome development, there are
several concerns pertaining to the implementation of the RSBY
(relating mainly to the role of private health insurance companies and
the private health care institutions), which need to be addressed. The
Budget allocation for the National Rural Heath Mission (NRHM) has been
increased only by 10.8 per cent, from Rs.14,002 crore in 2009-10
(R.E.) to Rs.15,514 crore in 2010-11 (B.E.). Given the huge
infrastructural gaps and the human resource crunch in the health
sector across the country, the budget for the NRHM should have been
increased significantly.

The allocation for the national disease control programmes has gone
down from Rs.1,063 crore in 2009-10 (B.E.) to Rs.1,050 crore in
2010-11 (B.E.), which is disturbing given that a number of diseases
covered under the scheme have witnessed increased prevalence in the
recent past.

The overall allocation for medical education and training has gone
down from Rs.3,256 crore in 2009-10 (B.E.) to Rs.2,679 crore in
2010-11 (B.E.). Within this, the most evident is the fall in
allocation for the establishment of AIIMS-type super specialty
hospitals, where the allocation has declined to the tune of Rs.700
crore. This is happening at a time when the budget allocation for
postgraduate medical education needs to be stepped up significantly to
fulfil the requirement of specialist doctors in the country. The
Finance Minister’s proposal for an annual health survey to prepare a
district health profile for all districts is a welcome step; but the
government would need to allocate adequate funds for this purpose. It
may be noted here that no allocation towards this has been made in
Budget 2010-11.

The persistence of low public spending in the country on social
sectors is also rooted in the small public resource base of the
country. In this context, it is disconcerting to note that with the
latest Budget the tax-GDP ratio for the Centre shows a small increase
from 10.3 per cent in 2009-10 (R.E.) to 10.8 per cent in 2010-11
(B.E.). Moreover, a liberal estimate of the amount of additional tax
revenue the government could have collected in 2009-10 if all
exemptions/incentives/deductions (both in direct and indirect taxes)
had been eliminated stands at a staggering 8.1 per cent of GDP. It is
ironical that exemptions of this magnitude, in fact, do not fit even
with the neoliberal rhetoric of fiscal consolidation, not to speak of
it being out of sync with the oft-repeated mantra of an “inclusive
growth by a caring and enabling government”.

Praveen Jha is on the faculty of the Centre for Economic Studies and
Planning, JNU. He is also the Honorary Economic Adviser to the Centre
for Budget and Governance Accountability, New Delhi. The article draws
substantially on the CBGA’s analysis of Union Budget 2010-11.

http://www.flonnet.com/stories/20100326270602400.htm

Volume 27 - Issue 06 :: Mar. 13-26, 2010
INDIA'S NATIONAL MAGAZINE
from the publishers of THE HINDU

EDITORIAL
Not for ‘aam aadmi’

IN the course of his presentation of the Union Budget for 2010-11 to
Parliament, the Finance Minister made a passing reference to his
having presented the Union Budget way back in 1984. One is indeed
inclined to admire the longevity of Pranab Mukherjee’s occupation of
some Cabinet berth or the other through the last 25-plus years (with
some years in the Opposition and a brief period in political
wilderness). However, the ordinary people of our country are unlikely
to admire the Budget he has presented for 2010-11.

Consider the context in which the Budget has been presented. The
Economic Survey 2009-10, while providing a generally self-
congratulatory assessment of the government’s management of the
economy during 2009-10, reminds us that the agricultural economy has
done very poorly. Agricultural output is estimated to decline by 0.2
per cent over the current financial year in comparison with 2008-09.
This is even as industry in general and manufacturing in particular
are estimated to have done exceptionally well in recovering from the
impact of the global economic slowdown. The other disturbing feature
of the current economic context is, of course, the nearly 20 per cent
rise in food prices over the recent period. In fact, the Finance
Minister, in his Budget speech, said: “Since December 2009, there have
been indications of these high food prices, together with the gradual
hardening of the fuel product prices, getting transmitted to other non-
food items as well. The inflation data for January seems to have
confirmed this trend.”

The response of the Budget to these two key concerns, both of which
receive mention in it, has not merely been extremely inadequate. It is
likely to accelerate inflation and do little for agriculture. This is
evident from a look at the Budget proposals on indirect taxes. The
Budget proposes a partial rollback of the rate reduction in Central
Excise duties from 8 per cent to 10 per cent ad valorem on all non-
petroleum products. It restores the basic duty of 5 per cent on crude
petroleum. It also slaps a 7.5 per cent duty on diesel and petrol and
10 per cent on other refined products. In addition, the Budget
proposes enhancement of the Central Excise duty on petrol and diesel
by one rupee a litre each. This is a massive dose of indirect taxation
that will certainly be both highly inflationary and extremely
regressive in its impact, especially considering that incomes of most
working people in India are completely unprotected against inflation.
Besides stoking inflationary fires further, these moves will impact
negatively on agricultural output. Keeping in mind the likelihood that
the move to a “nutrient-based” regime of fertilizer subsidy that has
been announced by the government will result in significant increases
in the prices of fertilizers, one is appalled by the nonchalance with
which these measures have been proposed and defended vigorously
afterwards in and outside Parliament.

There is a certain asymmetry when it comes to the impact that a change
in indirect taxes has on prices in the Indian economy. When they are
raised, the additional burdens are almost invariably passed on to the
consumer. When they are reduced, there is no guarantee that the
benefits are passed on. Thus, while the reduction in excise and
customs duties last year represented a huge tax giveaway in the name
of a fiscal stimulus to the corporate sector, it is far from obvious
that ordinary people benefited by way of moderation in prices. This,
too, needs to be borne in mind in assessing the justifiability of the
reductions made last year and the increases being proposed now.

The regressive character of the Budget is also evident in the doling
out of tax concessions to the well-to-do. The proposals in respect of
direct taxes include the lowering of rates of personal income tax over
certain income slabs, a reduction in surcharge on corporate income tax
from 10 per cent to 7 per cent, and concessions for corporate business
entities in various forms. All these taken together are estimated by
the Finance Minister to result in a revenue loss of Rs.26,000 crore,
while his indirect tax proposals are estimated to bring in additional
revenues of Rs.46,000 crore in the net, taking into account some
concessions in indirect taxes as well.

What can one say about the expenditure proposals in the Budget? First
of all, the overall expenditure of the Union government proposed for
2010-11 constitutes an increase of 8.6 per cent over the corresponding
figure for 2009-10. Given the rate of inflation, this signifies little
increase in real terms, and may even imply a reduction. The proposed
increase in Plan expenditure is 15 per cent, which again would be a
rather modest increase in real terms. The non-Plan expenditure is
slated to decline in real terms, its increase over Budget Estimates
(B.E.) 2009-10 being only 6 per cent.

In terms of sectoral allocations, the rhetoric about agriculture and
rural development, as also the social sector, in the Budget speech is
not reflected in the allocations. The Central Plan outlay for rural
development in 2010-11 is Rs.55,190 crore as against the B.E. of Rs.
51,769 crore in 2009-10. The outlay for agriculture, irrigation and
flood control taken together has been enhanced from Rs.11,068 crore in
B.E. 2009-10 to Rs.12,834 crore in 2010-11, a modest increase in real
terms. Considering the persistence of an agrarian crisis across the
country for over a decade now (though the intensity varies across
States and regions and different social classes in the agrarian
population), this is a very inadequate response.

As for the much-hyped focus on the social sector, the Plan outlay for
all social services does increase by more than 22 per cent, but this
has to be seen against the present abysmal state of health and
education and the low base from which increases in recent years have
occurred. Moreover, if one takes into account the squeeze on the
finances of State governments, which account for the bulk of social
sector expenditures, the picture that emerges is hardly reassuring. In
fact, in education, the combined expenditures of the Central and State
governments still fall far short of the figure of 6 per cent of GDP
promised in the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) of the UPA
government of 2004-09. The same is the case for the health sector. The
current Budget does not even begin to address these concerns.

After having budgeted for a mere Rs.1,120 crore from “other capital
receipts” (read “disinvestment”) in B.E. 2009-10, the government has
gone ahead and disinvested public sector equity to an amount of Rs.
25,958 crore as per the Revised Estimates (R.E.), exceeding even the
proposal in the Economic Survey of 2008-09 that annually Rs.25,000
crore should be the disinvestment target. The B.E. for receipts from
disinvestment for 2010-11 is Rs.40,000 crore. Considering that market
capitalisation of listed Central public sector undertakings (PSUs) has
taken a beating in the stock market, the Finance Minister’s argument
that disinvestment is all about unlocking the values of PSUs hardly
holds water. The other misleading phraseology about “inviting people
to own shares in PSUs”, is, to say the least, disingenuous. Moreover,
the sale of shares of profitable PSUs contradicts the promise made in
the NCMP of the earlier UPA government.

Overall, Budget 2010-11 reflects two important aspects of the current
political context: Parliamentary elections are four years away and the
present UPA government does not need the support of the Left parties
to stay in power.

http://www.flonnet.com/stories/20100326270600800.htm

Volume 27 - Issue 06 :: Mar. 13-26, 2010
INDIA'S NATIONAL MAGAZINE
from the publishers of THE HINDU

COVER STORY
The march of neoliberalism
PRABHAT PATNAIK

Union Budget 2010-11 has given a forward thrust to the neoliberal
agenda in all the crucial sectors where "reforms" had been stalled.

KAMAL NARANG

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee addressing the media after the
Economic Survey 2009-10 was tabled in Parliament on February 25.

THE strategy underlying Budget 2010-11 is eerily reminiscent of that
of Margaret Thatcher. In pushing her “market-fundamentalist” agenda
against the working class and the trade unions, Thatcher had enlisted
the support of the affluent middle class. She had wooed the yuppies
and the city slickers of London’s financial district, and to this end
given direct tax concessions to the middle class, even while jacking
up indirect taxes on the poor and the working people in the midst of a
raging inflation.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has done almost exactly the same.
For pushing the neoliberal agenda, he has enlisted the support of the
affluent middle class by giving it direct tax concessions even as he
has jacked up regressive indirect taxes. Until now, neoliberalism in
India had been covered by a patina of concern for the aam aadmi. With
this Budget it has come of age; the patina is off.

The government claims that this Budget, too, is for the aam aadmi; but
that is unsustainable. The suggestion that persons earning in excess
of three lakhs of rupees a year, who are the beneficiaries of direct
tax concessions, constitute the aam aadmi, while the fisherman who
risks his life daily by venturing out to the sea for an annual income
of less than Rs.20,000, and who will be hit hard by the diesel price
hike, does not, can only be ironical.

There was a time when even as the government increased petrol prices,
it would spare diesel prices, since diesel and kerosene prices were
linked for technical reasons, and raising the former would necessarily
raise the latter, to the detriment of the poor. But such restraint no
longer prevails. Diesel prices have been raised and kerosene prices
will follow. Indeed, a whole lot of petro-product prices are going to
be raised as a consequence of the increase in import duty, that is, a
new round of price increases on top of what Pranab Mukherjee has
announced is in the offing. And if the Kirit Parikh Committee’s
recommendations for linking domestic petro-product prices to world
prices are accepted, which is likely, then these prices will be jacked
up even further in the coming months.

Any such linking of domestic petro-prices to world prices makes little
sense, since it would mean importing speculation-induced world oil
price fluctuations, which can be quite massive, into the domestic
economy, and hence making the domestic price-level as a whole a
plaything in the hands of international speculators. But the
government’s commitment to neoliberalism appears to outweigh any
concern over this.

Specious argument

This lack of concern is manifest even in Mukherjee’s argument for
raising the import duty on petroleum and the Central excise duty on
petrol and diesel, which is quite specious. Since domestic petrol
prices had not been raised adequately even when world crude prices had
crossed $130 a barrel, the government, he argues, has earned the right
to raise prices now, that is, the current price hike is a reward for
the government’s earlier abstinence. This is untenable since it is not
as if petrol prices had been lowered earlier and are now being
restored to pre-lowering levels. Besides, the biggest component of
petrol and diesel prices in the country consists of government taxes;
there is no logical compulsion therefore about raising taxes on this
commodity any further.

The “cascading effect” of the higher taxes on petrol and diesel, which
would raise the prices of these commodities by close to Rs.3 a litre,
has been much discussed. The government’s lack of concern, however, is
not just about the inflationary implications of this move but about
inflation in general. Since the food price rise, by the government’s
own admission, is because of supply shortages (even if these shortages
are artificially compounded by hoarding and speculation), the strategy
must be to throw government-owned surplus foodgrain stocks (that is,
actual stocks minus the minimum buffer stocks), which exceed 27
million tonnes as on January 2010, on the market. These stocks cannot
obviously be thrown on the open market, since speculators would then
buy them up gleefully, as had happened in 1972-73, and blunt their
anti-inflationary impact; they have to be released through the public
distribution system. But, going by the Budget figures, the government
has no intention of doing so.

The fact that the food subsidy is lower than that for 2009-10 by over
Rs.400 crore, suggests that the government does not intend to sell
these stocks through the PDS or merely hold on to them (for either of
these options would have raised the food subsidy, the latter because
of higher interest payments). It intends to do precisely what it
should not do, namely, sell them in the open market, which means that
it is not too concerned about inflation.

In fact, Mukherjee said as much in his post-Budget television
interview. He claimed that his way of combating inflation was by
augmenting supplies in the long run, for which he had taken steps in
the Budget, such as earmarking Rs.300 crore for 60,000 “pulses and
oilseeds villages”, Rs.400 crore for extending the “Green Revolution”
to the eastern region of the country, and Rs.200 crore for sustaining
the gains made in Green Revolution areas through “conservative
farming”. As for short-run measures, these, according to him, were
unnecessary since the inflation rate was coming down anyway.

Self-limiting phenomenon

The fallacy behind the argument about inflation coming down is often
not appreciated. Inflation, precisely when it hurts the people, is a
self-limiting phenomenon. It can be categorised into two kinds: one
caused by excess demand and the other by “cost-push”. Cost-push
inflation arises when some input cost (or excise duty as in the
present case) rises, which is “passed on” in the form of higher
prices; in response to this initial price rise, money wages rise,
which, in turn, is passed on in the form of still higher prices, and
so on. As long as each component of price keeps rising with the rise
in the price, to ensure that its share in total value does not
decline, the price rise continues ad infinitum. But if some cost
element, typically the wage cost, does not rise in tandem with the
price, then inflation eventually comes to a halt. But this also means
that the real wage rate comes down because of a cost-push inflation,
and this coming down is the reason for the end of cost-push inflation.

Much the same can be said of excess-demand-caused inflation. Such
inflation gets eliminated when someone’s demand is curtailed, and
typically the demand curtailed is of that group whose money income
does not go up as prices rise, that is, whose money income is not
indexed to prices. This is typically true of the working people,
especially of the vast mass of unorganised workers. Precisely because
their incomes are not indexed to prices, inflation hurts them, and
eventually comes to an end by squeezing them.

S. THANTHONI

The suggestion that persons earning in excess of Rs.3 lakh a year
constitute the `aam aadmi', while fishermen who risk their lives daily
by venturing out to sea (in the picture, a group of them in Chennai)
for an average annual income of less than Rs.20,000 and who will be
hit hard by the diesel price hike do not, can only be ironical.

In Latin American countries where inflation rates in the past have
quite often been quite phenomenal, the reason lies in the fact that
wages in such cases have been indexed to prices. In India, by
contrast, where wages are not indexed, inflation will necessarily
always come down, but it will do so precisely by hurting the poor. The
whole purpose of government action should be to prevent the
elimination of inflation through this odious mechanism, by attempting
its elimination in some other way, for example, by de-hoarding (which
adds to supply), imports (which do the same), and using the PDS (which
insulates the poor against a squeeze on their demand). But if none of
these things is done, inflation will still come down, but by squeezing
the consumption of the poor.

An example will make this last point clear. Let us start from a
situation where the supply of foodgrains is, say, 100 units and equals
the demand at a price of Re.1 a unit. The wage bill in the economy is
Rs.80, all of which is spent on foodgrains. Now, suppose supply falls
to 95, so that there is an excess demand of 5 units at the old price.
The price will rise, that is, inflation will set in. If all incomes
are indexed to the price-level, then this excess demand will never get
eliminated and hence inflation will continue ad infinitum. But if
wages are not indexed but other incomes are, then inflation will come
to an end when the price has climbed up to Rs.16/15 (or Rs.1.07), for,
at that price, the workers can buy only 75 units of foodgrains from
their total wage bill of Rs.80, which means five units fewer than
before; and this eliminates excess demand. So, inflation is self-
limiting precisely because the poor get squeezed by it.

Hence, when Mukherjee derives satisfaction from the fact that
inflation is coming down, even without the government’s doing anything
about it, that satisfaction is totally misplaced; the inflation coming
down in this way shows precisely that the people are being squeezed by
it. Likewise, when Mukherjee claims that the effect of petrol and
diesel price increases “will get absorbed” over time, he omits to
mention that this absorption can occur only by squeezing the poor (as
in the above example of cost-push inflation). Inflation’s coming down
does not mean that the world returns to its pristine state of
happiness. This coming down itself, far from being a source of
satisfaction, should rather be a cause for concern, because it is
necessarily at the expense of the poor.

Coming to Mukherjee’s “long term measures” for raising food supplies,
what exactly these are becomes an intriguing question. The proposed
expenditures on the “pulses and oilseeds villages” and the extension
of the Green Revolution are too trivial to matter. The reduction in
fertilizer subsidy, which will raise fertilizer prices, will, if
anything, have a negative effect on output. The thing he must be
pinning his hopes on, therefore, is the opening up of retail trade,
which allegedly will help in “bringing down the considerable
difference between farm-gate, wholesale and retail prices”. This view
is attributed to the Prime Minister, who believes that opening up
retail trade will increase competition.

“Opening up” retail trade necessarily means the induction of corporate
capital, including multinational corporations (MNCs), into this
sector, for which they have been clamouring for some time. We are,
therefore, being asked to swallow the argument that bringing in
monopolists to drive out myriad petty traders will increase
competition! Anyone who believes that bringing in monopolies reduces
the gap between farm-gate and retail prices should ask the coffee
producers of Kerala: they get a pittance for their crop even when
retail coffee prices are soaring. If the government genuinely wants
the gap between retail and farm-gate prices to close, it should get
the public sector to take on a larger role in the marketing of crops,
as the various commodity boards used to do before neoliberalism
prevented them from doing so.

Corporate hegemony

SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Since the food price rise is because of supply shortages, the strategy
must be to throw government-owned surplus foodgrain stocks, which now
exceed 27 million tonnes, on the market through the PDS. But the
Budget figures indicate that the government has no intention of doing
so. Here, at the mandi at Najafgarh, New Delhi, a file picture.

Besides opening up retail business, Budget 2010-11 announced a number
of other steps, such as private participation in storage, setting up
of private cold storage and cold room facility for agricultural and
marine products and meat, and the accessing of external commercial
borrowing for this latter purpose, all of which entail corporate
hegemony over peasant and petty production. And since finance for
setting up godowns and cold storage will be counted as agricultural
credit, and hence come under priority sector lending, much of the
ambitious target for credit support to “farmers” will actually go to
large corporate houses, and even to MNCs.

This Budget gives a thrust to the neoliberal agenda in other ways as
well. Disinvestment is to proceed apace, and is a major contributor to
the so-called “Miscellaneous Capital receipts” of Rs.40,000 crore,
even though there is no valid argument for it. Disinvestment is
theoretically no different from a fiscal deficit: the latter puts
government bonds into non-government hands, while the former puts
government equity into non-government hands; they are only different
forms of raising finance but with identical macroeconomic effects.

A Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission is to be set up to
“rewrite and clean up the financial sector laws to bring them in line
with the requirements of the sector”, a euphemism for “financial
sector liberalisation”. And there is an additional instrument for this
particular purpose: a Financial Stability and Development Council,
which is to be set up “to strengthen and institutionalise the
mechanism for maintaining financial stability”. Add to all this the
allocation of coal blocks for captive mining, and you find that in all
the crucial sectors where the “reforms” had been stalled, that is,
public sector, financial liberalisation and retail trade, this Budget
has given a forward thrust to the neoliberal agenda. But then what
about the increase in social sector and rural development outlays that
the Budget promises? This is a chimera. Central plan outlay on rural
development (all comparisons are Budget Estimate to Budget Estimate)
is slated to increase by a mere 6.6 per cent over 2009-10, which means
a real absolute decline; and the National Rural Employment Guarantee
Scheme (NREGS) outlay is to rise by only 2.5 per cent.

As for Central Plan outlay on social services, the increase provided
under the Plan is significantly counterbalanced by a decline in non-
Plan expenditure in this sector. If we take the sum of Central Plan
outlay and non-Plan expenditure on social services, then the nominal
increase in 2010-11 over 2009-10 is only 12.5 per cent, which in real
terms means very little.

This is hardly surprising. After all, the total expenditure of the
Central government is expected to rise in nominal terms by a mere 8.6
per cent, which means stagnation in real terms. Within this overall
stagnation, large apparent increases on specific items are more likely
to be results of statistical jugglery or reallocation, rather than
matters of any substance.

The pushing of the neoliberal agenda requires inter alia a
neutralisation of opposition from State governments, and this can be
ensured only if their mendicant status is perpetuated. The 13th
Finance Commission, by keeping States’ share of taxes under Article
270 at 32 per cent (up marginally from the 30.5 per cent under the
previous Commission), compared with the 50 per cent demanded by most
State governments, has not helped matters. And the Central government
can be relied upon to compress its loans and grants to States, to
offset even such increases in revenue transfers that it is statutorily
required to make. In Budget 2010-11, for instance, while its statutory
transfers increase by 26 per cent over the current year, its loans and
advances rise by a mere 8.9 per cent. With such compression, one can
be sure that the States will continue to retain their mendicant
status.

Neoliberalism is clearly resuming its stalled march, adopting a
Thatcherite strategy for doing so. But the United Progressive Alliance
(UPA) government miscalculates by ignoring the fact that, unlike in
Thatcher’s Britain, the affluent middle class it is wooing is a
minuscule segment of our society, while those squeezed by
neoliberalism, the workers, peasants, agricultural labourers, and
petty producers, constitute its overwhelming majority.

http://www.flonnet.com/stories/20100326270600400.htm

Volume 27 - Issue 06 :: Mar. 13-26, 2010
INDIA'S NATIONAL MAGAZINE
from the publishers of THE HINDU

COVER STORY
Enabling whom?
JAYATI GHOSH

In keeping with the overall approach of an “enabling” state, the
Economic Survey has proposed to do away with food procurement and
distribution.

R. RAGU

At a fair price shop in Chennai. States with successful public
distribution systems are those that have such large numbers of BPL
households that their lists are close to being universal. But the
Economic Survey seeks to replace this system with food coupons for
targeted households.

THIS year’s Economic Survey contains a new and unusual chapter
entitled “Microfoundations of inclusive growth”. It is unusual because
it is largely theoretical, thereby providing an addition to the
generally descriptive review of the Indian economy over the past year
according to the government’s own perception. It also contains,
possibly for the first time in an Economic Survey, an explicit
statement of what might be described as the present government’s
economic philosophy and its approach to certain crucial questions of
economic policy. The fact that some statements in it found an echo in
the Finance Minister’s Budget speech confirmed that this was indeed
the case.

It is certainly welcome that the basic goal of economic policy is
identified as inclusive growth, recognising that “growth must not be
treated as an end in itself but as an instrument for spreading
prosperity to all” (page 22). Inclusive growth in turn is given a more
precise definition than is usual, as growth that improves the incomes
and other measures of conditions of life of the bottom 20 per cent of
the population.

This inclusive growth is to be delivered by a change in focus to
enabling government, which is seen as “a government that does not try
to directly deliver to its citizens everything that they need. Instead
it (1) creates an enabling ethos for the market so that individual
enterprise can flourish and citizens can, for the most part, provide
for the needs of one another, and (2) steps in to help those who do
not manage to do well for themselves”, for example by “directly
helping the poor by ensuring that they get basic education and health
services and receive adequate nutrition and food” (page 23).

It is immediately clear that this is a vision of the economy in which
it is taken for granted that the market mechanism generally delivers
the economically desired outcomes for most citizens, and the role of
the government is therefore mainly to ensure that such markets
function smoothly and to take care of the stragglers, “for there will
always be individuals, no matter what the system, who need support and
help”. This vision excludes the possibility of the process of market-
driven economic growth itself generating greater material insecurity
and impoverishment for a significant section. Trickle-down is seen to
operate for most of the population; for the bottom fifth, the
government has to step in.

Obviously, in such a framework, public delivery of essential goods and
services will necessarily be targeted to those that are defined as
poor. The chapter contains an eloquent argument in favour of
redefining the nature of public delivery to minimise direct
involvement of the state in favour of market-based mechanisms such as
coupons and vouchers targeted to the poor. This is what allows for the
claim that more can be achieved with less fiscal resources, by
eliminating the administrative costs of running large public schemes.

This would be a major departure from the current practice, with
potentially far-reaching implications in a very wide range of goods
and services that are seen to constitute essential socio-economic
rights. It is impossible to discuss all the different implications
here, so I shall briefly consider only the interventions proposed for
the food economy. The arguments have wide applicability with reference
to other sectors as well.

Managing the food economy

There is an extended discussion on how to manage the food economy,
which is only to be expected given that food price inflation is
clearly the most significant economic problem in the country at
present. Yet the discussion presents several different arguments which
turn out to be mutually inconsistent. In keeping with the overall
approach of an “enabling” state rather than an actively
interventionist one, it is proposed to do away with the existing
system of government food procurement and distribution. It is argued
that this is prone to corruption, adulteration and similar flaws, and
that it is necessary to craft policy that takes into account that
people are the way they are (not always ethically sound) and craft
incentive-compatible policies accordingly. So this is to be replaced
with a system of food coupons (of a certain value of money) given
directly to targeted households and which can be exchanged for wheat
or rice at market prices, giving the freedom of choice to households
about the shop from which to purchase.

This proposal betrays some ignorance about the background of the
current food subsidy and the purposes of the public system of food
procurement and distribution in India. These were (and fundamentally
remain) to provide farmers with a minimum price that covers their
costs, to ensure that basic foodgrain is transported from surplus to
deficit areas of the country, and to build up a system of buffer
stocks that protects the country from international price volatility
and external dependence. It is because the market mechanism was found
wanting in achieving any of these goals that such measures were deemed
necessary – and the persistence of such measures not only in India but
in many countries across the world (including most developed ones)
suggests that this is still the case. Food security within a nation as
large as India is not possible without ensuring the viability of food
production by domestic farmers and the existence of a national
distribution system that tries to reach deficit areas quickly. There
is no way that replacing this with a system of food coupons to
selected households can achieve these basic aims.

There is of course the further question of how to ensure that the
public at large – and the poor in particular - get access to
affordable food. This too is a current function of the public
distribution system (PDS), but it has been less than successful in
meeting it for a variety of reasons. The Economic Survey correctly
recognises the many problems in the existing system but tends to treat
the entire system as homogenous across the country.

There are States in the country (such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and to
a lesser extent Andhra Pradesh) where the PDS is a strong, functioning
and largely non-corrupt system, and there are other States where the
opposite is true. Surely, policymakers need to study and understand
these differences if they actually want to make the system work.

What is clear is that targeting tends to add to the problems, not only
because of the significant administrative costs associated with
identifying the poor and monitoring them but because of well-known
errors such as unfair exclusion from and unjustified inclusion in the
list of poor households. That is why the States with more successful
public distribution systems are those that have such large numbers of
declared below-poverty-line (BPL) households that their lists are
close to being universal. The Survey argues that the Unique
Identification System (UID) will solve that problem, but that is
believing that there can be a technological fix to what is essentially
a socio-economic problem. The UID card only identifies a person; the
description of that person as belonging to a poor or non-poor
household remains as cumbersome, problematic, politically charged and
administratively challenging as ever.

The Survey does provide some useful and interesting proposals with
respect to managing the foodgrain stocks and correctly argues for a
more flexible approach in releasing stocks that not only is responsive
to market pressures but also anticipates them. Indeed, the need to
prevent foodgrain allocation from becoming a political tool in the
hands of the Centre vis-a-vis the State governments is all the more
pressing in the light of recent experience. However, it should be
obvious that such a proactive role of the state in preventing food
price increases will not be possible at all if the entire system is
replaced with a system of food coupons!

There is another comment with direct relevance to the food economy
that deserves to be noted. In keeping with the overall perspective
that markets generally know best, the Survey argues for erring on the
side of less control whenever there is some doubt on the matter. This
is then used to suggest that a ban on futures trading in essential
commodities is unwarranted. “An enabling government takes the view
that if we cannot establish a connection between the existence of
futures trading and inflation in spot prices, we should allow futures
trade” (page 24). Yet there are at least two flaws in this argument.

First, as any econometrician would know, it is generally possible to
question any link between two economic phenomena, and so the argument
about whether future trading has been associated with significant spot
price changes will definitely continue well after all the cows have
come home. Yet globally, the existence of contango in commodity
markets (when prices in the futures markets are higher than the spot
prices, instead of lower as they would be if the market was only for
hedging against risk) has been seen as a sign that speculation has
driven changes even in spot prices. It is next to impossible to
provide a clear and explicit link that will satisfy those determined
not to see it.

Second, and perhaps more significantly, there are important conceptual
reasons to be wary of allowing futures trading in any commodity in
which there is significant public intervention in the form of minimum
support prices and so on because these provide an easy floor for
speculators. So this is not a case of allowing something because we do
not have enough information on either side of the argument, but
preventing speculative activity that can cause great harm even as its
possible benefits are minimal.

Enabling markets and empowering the citizenry

There are several other issues that are discussed for which similar
arguments could be made. But it is the broader perspective underlying
this chapter which deserves more careful consideration. The goal is
clearly benevolent: improving the economic conditions of the bottom
quintile of the population. Yet the means that have been proposed
suggest a lack of awareness of the political economy of both markets
and government in India and the social and economic context within
which policies are implemented. This is somewhat surprising because
within the chapter there is a discussion of the need to recognise
extant social realities even though it is more concerned with culture
and social norms.

The point is essentially this: both markets and government policies do
not function in a socio-political vacuum but within complex social
realities in which power relations are deeply entrenched. So it is not
that there are individuals all operating on level-playing fields, with
some having a few disadvantages such as lower income and assets and
less education. Rather, the processes of striving for power, and
keeping it, unfold through the medium of markets. The impact of
government policies depends upon the extent to which they enable
different sets of actors with different power positions to fight for
their rights or advance their own positions.

That is why “free” market functioning tends to accentuate existing
inequalities, both social and economic. To the extent that government
policies are aware of this and are designed to reduce this effect,
they are more successful. All economic policies therefore have
distributive implications, whether or not these are officially
recognised. A government that is genuinely enabling for the citizenry
as a whole and for the poorest citizens has to act decisively in their
favour, and also has to provide good quality public services that the
poor are not excluded from.

In such a context, it is worth stepping back and examining how much of
the declared goal of inclusive growth in the Economic Survey actually
informs the most recent policy statement of the government, the Union
Budget. Surprisingly, the most important initiatives constitute direct
attacks on the incomes of the bottom quintile of the population: the
hike in fuel prices and indirect taxes, which will definitely increase
the price of necessities; the reduction in food subsidy; the
embarrassingly small increases in funds for agricultural schemes,
especially in the most devastated regions; the paltry amounts
allocated to education and health, which cannot possibly ensure good
quality public provision that reaches the poorest. Conversely, the
enabling aspect of government is very clearly evident with respect to
big business, in the form of tax breaks, subsidies for agribusiness
and the like.

The problem is that enabling markets does not always translate into
empowering people: often the reverse is the case. Clearly, whatever be
the more sensitive statements made in the Economic Survey, the basic
philosophy of the government has not changed from an obsessive focus
on growth at any cost.

http://www.flonnet.com/stories/20100326270603000.htm

...and I am Sid Harth
chhotemianinshallah
2010-03-20 13:25:24 UTC
Whose abuse is it anyway?

Sharad Pawar is not new to verbal abuse. Before Bal Thackeray cosied
up to him in recent times, he was wont to call the Maratha warlord the
most colourful names. Among the more mentionable of them were
`maidyancha pota ’ (a sack of flour) and a dog (I would rather not
repeat the Marathi as that sounds worse).He also continuously poked
fun at Pawar’s ample girth, saying he might be getting stuck in his
commode each morning. To be noted: Thackeray himself preferred Indian
toilets. Hotels he stayed at in Maharashtra had to modify their rooms
for the purpose and when he thought he might be thrown into jail by
Chhagan Bhujbal his primary concern, ahead of other comforts, was if
he would get an Indian toilet in his cell — though Michael Jackson did
use a Western one when he came calling at Matoshree in 1997!

Pawar was so sickened by all such politically irrelevant comments that
he warned Thackeray about the consequences: “I am from the rural areas
and a rural rustic can get more colourful abuse out of his mouth than
someone like Thackeray, city born and bred can ever fathom. So don’t
tempt me.’’ That shut Thackeray up quite adequately because he could
not be sure about how insulting Pawar could get or even if he could
match the latter’s vocabulary, word for word.

I guess Thackeray had reason to run scared. Because he knew Pawar
could say the worst possible things about somebody and still keep the
language parliamentary. Like the time in the Eighties — I recall I
was shocked out of my wits when he referred to then opposition leader
Mrinal Gore as `Pootna Maushi’.

Gore was a well-known socialist and she was very adept at her job as
an opposition leader. She was one of the primary persons who had
exposed Pawar’s alleged involvement in what we then referred to as the
`dereservation scam’. Decoded, this was simply that soon after he
became Chief Minister in 1988, Pawar decided that more than 250 plots
in Bombay which had been reserved for schools, gardens, hospitals and
other public spaces would be, well, dereserved and handed over to
private builders for commercial constructions. Pawar had overruled the
objections of both bureaucrats and municipal authorities about the
advisability of turning Bombay into more of a concrete jungle thus.

Gore tabled the whole list of the plots, along with a minute by minute
account of how they were dereserved, in the Maharashtra Assembly —
leading Chhagan Bhujbal, then the Shiv Sena’s lone legislator in the
House, to stick another unforgettable tag on Pawa: Bhookhandanche
Shrikhand Khalle (he has eaten shrikhand out of plots of land).

But while Pawar could brush aside such labels, what he could not get
over was the complete exposure of his integrity (since then wherever
Pawar goes, land scams, true or not, follow).

Why I believe Pawar’s abuse of Gore was unforgivable was because of
the choice of his words — which were not unparliamentary by themselves
but the circumstances under which they were uttered were downright
vicious. Pootna was the rakshasi who had been assigned by Lord
Krishna’s maternal uncle Kansa to poison the baby God through her
milk. Everyone knows the legend: how Baby Krishna bit her breasts and
destroyed both her and her evil purpose.

Gore had, at the time, been recovering from breast cancer and I
thought it was particularly nasty, downright mean and very hurtful of
Sharad Pawar to allude to a worthy opponent in such unpleasant and
personally painful terms. I was little more than a rookie at the time
and I recall rushing to Gore’s party office at the Vidhan Bhavan soon
after Pawar’s volley – I wanted to sympathise more than get a reaction
out of her to that insult.

However, Gore spoke of everything else but that abuse. And when I
asked her for a reaction, she said she had not heard anything at all
and there was no point reacting to something she did not know about.
Since Gore had very much been present during Pawar’s outburst, I
realised that she was either very hurt or very forgiving. In either
case, her response was very dignified and, in the absence of
television channels in that era, the whole episode was put to rest
almost immediately.

So, if an eon later, Satyavrat Chaturvedi now calls Sharad Pawar
another colourful name, I am not surprised that the Maratha strongman
should not find it too hard to forget and forgive. For Chaturvedi’s
terms of reference were neither personal nor could be too hurtful
(except to the extent that he chose to abuse at all) – those are
terms used almost like punctuation in many North Indian tongues. But
while MCs and BCs might be lingua franca in the North, I agree with
Pawar that it was quite unparliamentary language to have been used at
all.

Perhaps Chaturvedi should have taken lessons from Pawar before he got
abusive: on how to be parliamentary and unpleasant at one and the
same time!

Comments

One Response to “Whose abuse is it anyway?”

Rajen Kaushal says:
March 20, 2010 at 7:10 am
By far, conclusion is that unparliamentary language has no place on
high seats like CM. Thackerays comments are given more weightage by
Media otherwise, going by their political stature, they do not deserve
much weightage.

After exorbitant rise in food prices and sugar, Sharad Pawar’s
response was poor but going by Congress rules after independendence,
Congress, a party of capitalist never contained inflation and many
fold increase in food prices after independence is evident. Moreover,
while appointing ministers, Govt. must ensure that a person does not
become minister for industry from his home state. Maharastra houses
major sugar mills and Sharad Pawar should not have been Agricultural
Minister. What better or clean administration Manmohan Singh,
projected and perceived as honest man by Indians, provide?

http://blogs.hindustantimes.com/singly-political/2010/03/19/whose-abuse-is-it-anyway/

Beat men fair and square

IF THE BILL DOES BECOME LAW, THOUGH,
I AM SURE AT LEAST THE YADAVS, WHO
ARE NOW OPPOSING IT VOCIFEROUSLY,
WILL BE AMONG THE FIRST TO BRING OUT
THEIR WIVES AND DAUGHTERS-IN-LAW TO
OCCUPY HIGH POSITIONS

Ihave always been agnostic when it comes to women’s
reservation: I am not against it per se, but I am not for
it either. My reservations about, well, reservation for
women is based on observation of how it has played out
in Maharashtra, which was among the first states to introduce
a 33 per cent quota for women in local self-government
bodies.
When I travelled to the villages, I noticed that most of
the women sarpanchs were wives of powerful men of the
area. Though it is getting slightly better these days, most
of these women did not take decisions on their own —
and if they did, their husbands would still beat them up.
In the cities, it was only somewhat better — the men
might not beat up women but the latter were certainly
puppets in the hands of their husbands.
I recall one particular woman corporator who had a
fairly bad reputation for just being who she was: the conservative
wife of a local party boss. Her husband took to
threatening people in her name and her mother-in-law
set up a desk right at her front door to rake in the earnings
— she personally counted the cash all day long!
It drove even members of her own party crazy. One of
them told me wryly, “I am against women’s reservation
only for this. Give a man a ticket and only he is corrupt,
give a woman a ticket and her whole family becomes
extortionists.’’
Of course, I did not agree with that perception and
ticked him off quite soundly.
I notice, though, that at least the Brihanmumbai
Municipal Corporation (BMC) has got better over the
years. But several years ago former Chief Minister
Manohar Joshi had told us, after fielding women relatives
of Shiv Sainiks, quite unabashedly, “We are a purushi
(male) party. Electable women are very difficult to find.’’
However, when Bombay Mayor Shraddha Jadhav gave
away awards on International Women’s Day this year, all
top officials on the dais were women: Shailaja Girkar is
the Deputy Mayor, Mridula Joshi is the Municipal
Secretary and Manisha Mhaiskar is the Additional
Municipal Commissioner. One half was there on account
of the benefit of reservation; the other half had got there
on their own steam, perhaps pipping several worthy men
at the post.
So while I saluted all those women, my ambivalence
towards women’s quota continued, even as the UPA government
failed to have the Bill passed in Parliament on
Monday.
If the Bill does become law, though, I am sure at least
the Yadavs, who are now opposing it vociferously, will be
among the first to bring out their wives and daughtersin-
law to occupy high positions — yes, even the ‘par kati’
ones — remember Sharad Yadav’s obnoxious remark
about women with short hair? His wife has (or at least
had at the time he made that remark) short hair.
Next would be the girlfriends, as we have seen many politicians
promote their paramours even without the benefit
of reservations. I wonder how long it will be before the
common woman, without the benefit of a Godfather in
politics, gets an opportunity to enter a legislative body
on her own merit.
But if she did, I am not so sure it would be fair to restrict
women to constituencies for just five or ten years. Former
Speaker Somnath Chatterjee had represented his constituency
in the Lok Sabha for ten terms — if not 50 years,
given several mid-term polls, this meant at least 40 years
at a stretch. Why should women not have similar right
to continue for as long as the voters want them?
If I were into electoral politics, I certainly would be
highly resentful at the injustice and unfairness of it all.
Yet, there is really no other way out of the situation. Which
once again reinforces my ambivalence about a quota for
women.

So it is just as well that I am not a politician with parliamentary
ambitions. I prefer to best the men at their
own game and beat them in their own backyards. As
Pratibha Patil did. And as many other exemplary women
are doing. ■ ***@hindustantimes.com

http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/120310/10_03_M_MTR_16.pdf

How does she do it?

I have said all I wanted to say about my reservations about the
women’s reservation bill in my column anandan on Wednesday this week.

Like I said in the column, I am agnostic about the bill – I neither
believe in it nor do I knock it. I simply doubt that it will help at
all (help the common woman, that is).

But whatever my reservations, I am amazed at how Sonia Gandhi managed
to have the bill passed in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, March 9. That
morning it looked as though not just the fate of the bill but also her
authority over her party was at risk. For, I know as a matter of fact
that many men in her party were as determined as Lalu and Mulayam
Yadav to ensure that it never became law and I thought they would
surreptitiously pitch in to scuttle the bill. But now I do not think
too many of them will dare voice their opposition.

I wonder what makes Sonia Gandhi take all the right calls and achieve
miracle after miracle in such quick succession. This particular bill
had been hanging in the balance for 14 years and when several more
stable governments could not manage to get it through, it really did
require a great deal of political will to push it at the risk of so
much endangerment of the UPA’s future.

I have heard people say quite often that we cannot find one single
Indian to rule this country and follow it up with the query: why
should Indians have to kowtow to the Italian bahu of Mrs Indira
Gandhi? In fact, I am looking to all those critics for an answer: yes,
really, why?

But I think I have a clue. And that came from a British diplomat to
quite another question. We were discussing how the Indian diaspora was
among the highest wage earners everywhere else in the world (and thus,
not surprisingly, they incurred the wrath of the locals in their
adopted countries for beating them to and keeping their jobs by sheer
dint of hard work). Yet, when it came to our own country, we were
among the poorest, most backward and taking too long getting anywhere.

The diplomat said, “Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that Indians
follow the rules to the `t’ wherever they live abroad. In India they
break the law all the time and so make it difficult for both
themselves and others to get along.’’

Then a Congress worker told me why he preferred Sonia Gandhi to her
husband, Rajiv. “She has a very European outlook on rules and honour.
She keeps her word and will not allow any violations. For example, if
the maximum age for a youth congress leader is 35, she will not allow
any one older to be elected to that post. No other considerations like
caste et al except what is stated in the rulebook. That is heartening
for the rest of us: we know we will eventually get there if we fit the
bill and no one can bring any untoward influence to bear upon her to
push us off the ladder. Even Rajivji was not so correct, he would
allow the occasional jugaad. ’’

That was a eulogy of his party president, of course, but I now wonder
if that is true. Perhaps she does bring a sense of honour and follows
the rules in everything she does and so succeeds more than others who
believe in, well, jugaad (manoeuvring people and situations to suit
their needs).

But on Tuesday, as she gave interviews to women journalists on
television, I was impressed by Sonia’s tone and pitch – happy but
thanking all the men for having made it possible. Gracious for their
support to both the Left parties and the BJP which have knocked her
endlessly over various issues but not gloating about it at all a la
the Yadavs, keeping a door open for the allies and, of course, very
self-effacing.

I say `self-effacing’ because when I first met her in Nasik several
years ago, after she first took over the party’s reigns in the middle
of an election in 1998 and miraculously helped a losing Congress win
45 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats from Maharashtra, she was quick to give
the credit to Sharad Pawar. And when we asked her about her role as
the Congress president, she said, “I am only the latest in a long
series of Congress presidents. Other Congress leaders have been around
longer than I have been and it is they who have done things for the
party, not me. I am still learning.’’

I guess she has learnt well by now and I remark upon another thing: in
the decade at the start of which even her own party men took her with
several fistfuls of salt to now, she seems to have muted the criticism
about her being a misfit in Indian politics and put their uncertainty
about her ability to deliver to rest.

The Congress is the most indisciplined, chaotic and irreverent party I
know. Yet they revere their party president more than the Shiv Sainiks
do Bal Thackeray or the BJP does its own succession of party chiefs.
Perhaps that is because she delivers to them nine times out of ten,
while others do not. But I continue to wonder: did Sonia Gandhi learn
it all at the feet of her mother-in-law or is she bringing a European
sense of commitment to her party that helps her defeat the might of
the BJP and its formidable allies in 2004 and return with an even
greater majority in 2009? And now give to Indian women what no man (or
even woman — most notably Indira Gandhi) has dared or cared to before?

(9 votes, average: 5 out of 5)

Posted by Sujata Anandan on Friday, March 12, 2010 at 9:05 pm

28 Responses to “How does she do it?”

vijai lugani says:
March 13, 2010 at 3:25 am
she leaenedrned the political process in india under the leader ship
of mrs. indra gandhi and of cousrse from rajiv gandhi. she knows upto
this time how to bring together different political shades under one
umberala when requied, she does not believe in cast and creed.she is
hard worker and of couse haverahul and pryanka and some faithful
polrical advisers. the author of this artical is absoultely right in
every aspect and more ever she is not power hungry. if she does not
like some people she can show them door to get out.

Nikhil Reply:

March 14th, 2010 at 3:13 am

Vijay Lugani,

If I write about the good qualities of my dhobi they’re not too far
from the ones that you wrote – hardworking, honest, faithful,
relatively selfless and mostly fair. For that matter these qualities
are universal and necessary to succeed in any profession. What makes
Sonia different from us is she finds herself married in to the most
politically influential family in our country where political power is
hereditary and party members are expected to bow to the whips of party
leaders.

Ajay says:
March 13, 2010 at 5:16 am
Interesting thoughts… However, I think many Europeans may feel that
Italian background is bit different from that of Western European one…

Ed says:
March 13, 2010 at 5:53 am
Take a dig on this topic at

[ http://pages.rediff.com/we-evolve/21809#allfeeds ]

The bill is only useful when it break the poverty lines, dynasty lines


It should be 35% (poor women), 35%(poor men), 30% (talented)

70% should be representative of poor.

It should be 35% (poor women), 35%(poor men), 30% (talented –
scientist, economist, etc)

THE BIG QUESTION IS how do we qualify to be

1 )Identify 70% – Poor & most popular 10 candiate representing Poor
People from certain region (MP/MLA area) to whom the Election
commision will fund campaign money

2 )To keep tap on Rich person whose campaign funds/money has to be
capped by Election commision and made almost equal to 1).

3 )Criteria to identify 30% (talented people)

Ways to find the list 1) and 2) and 3) is something ruling party needs
to think and debate instead of wasting time.

To gauge 1), we need to count the strongest of the following points by
Election Commision and more can be added by debates

A) Years of work

B) Have an open debate at ONE or TWO cantenders preferred location
agreed by each contenders,
let contenders speak what they have done and want to do.

Make people/choser stand in different locations on the debate ground
to exibit their support.

The count done to choose the top 10.

C) Ensure rotation between Male and Female, thus women whose work and
popularity is on her own rather than backing of GOONDAS should be
preferred for qualifying 1)
People backed by money and goonda power cannot qualify for 1)

D) Every term, Election commision can choose certain region by Gender,
thus they can choose between the women & men that qualify for 1) or
term when both women & men qualify for 1)

Debate should be there to decide if 2)candiates should be allowed to
contest irrespective of gender.

Cap/restriction of number of time(2 times max) a candiate can stand
for elections in a sequence.

Debate on how election commsion will enforce 1) on all parties and in
all regions.
Debate on how to lessen the dynasty and family business and bring
democracy by Election Commission criteria in 1).

Nikhil Reply:

March 14th, 2010 at 4:11 am

Ed,

Because you write of so many different, often contradictory,
qualifications for running for office may be you should be our next
Election Commission.

Vijay Saini says:
March 13, 2010 at 6:36 am
Meekly following Sonia Gandhi is the slave mentallity. Although India
is a free country now, it would take us a very long time to get over
the slave mindframe. I think we are ripe and ready for foreign rule by
proxy. Any country can capture us in reality.

AB says:
March 13, 2010 at 7:56 am
Funny article, then lets elect Silvio Berlusconi as president of
India.Problem solved

Jitendra says:
March 13, 2010 at 9:18 am
I have never read such a degrading article. It is a shame that we
still have white man’s lackey amongst us. It is achivement of Mcaulays
education aystem that country continues to create such people even
after 62 years. She can do it because congis are a party of chamchas
and nincompoops including PM. Not a single congi has any moral, ethics
and no one is ready to stand up for the good of country. They only
stand up to save their chair and that depends of congi president. This
article talks of European values and commitment. Is author trying to
say that India does not have people with values and commitments. We
have plenty of people but stupid system of election where masses of
Idiots vote on the basis of caste, religion and personal loyalties.
What a stupid assumption on the part of author that Eurpeons are
better then us. In western coutries it is the system that works but
people are no different from us.

This bill is wrong because it will create rabris. Every from of
reservation and quota should be removed if country has to make any
progress. Otherwise mediocres will continue to stuff this country and
we will reamin a third world country forever. Singapore, Japan and
Malayasia are better than us without importing any whity. Have you
ever thought why we are still joke of the world after 62 years.
Reservation is an indication of failures of Govt economic and social
policies, and majority of the time Congi traitors have been in rule.
Wake up and get rid of banana spine and start believing in yourself
and it is shame that congis have imposed a whity on us. It hurts my
self respect.

LAKSHMANAN says:
March 13, 2010 at 9:32 am
Any type of reservations, on a permanent basis, is a threat to
liberty, standard of life, freedom and finally to democracy. See what
is happening in government due to reservations, especially reservation
policy in promotions. Merit is sidelined and in the name of social
justice many people occupy posts which they would not have got but for
reservations. It is not their fault and no one is worried about the
declining standard of Administration which is directly affecting the
generl public.

The introduction of reservation for women may be an eye opener in the
years to come and after 10 or 15 years every all shall join together
to undo reservations of any kind, I hope.

Nikhil says:
March 13, 2010 at 10:11 am
Oh god! When will journos stop sucking toes of the Nehru-Gandhi
family? Perhaps, never.

Bhukkal Reply:

March 13th, 2010 at 10:21 am

Thats the best summarisation of this article, Nikhil. Well the journos
are on fat pay packets….there is no responsible and honest journalism
left, they have to also buy flats in posh areas, salaries will cater
to their chai paani only… Shameless Creed, I wish there were Kiran
Bedis in Journalism as well.

Ekta B says:
March 13, 2010 at 11:07 am
Although an expat now, this is definitely the way I see things under
Sonia Gandhi in India, a very well written article indeed.
I have now lived overseas for the last 14 years and as someone who has
been given their fair share in an adopted and foreign land and made to
feel so at home, I must say it feels good to read that Sonia has
achieved in India (not from a political but recognition stand-point)
what we hope to achieve overseas as immigrant Indians.
I hope there are more people like her from different political
persuasions for it would make for a better and stronger India.

Nikhil Reply:

March 14th, 2010 at 3:01 am

Ekta B,

To be where Sonia is in politics today, one has to first marry in to
the most politically influential family in a country where dynastic
politics reigns supreme. This privilege is found only in India and not
in the West. After looking at the success of political heirs in India,
I’m convinced humans are capable of being reasonably successful if
they’re thrown in any job.

As far as success of foreigners in India is concerned, we already do
it well in many different spheres.

Anil says:
March 13, 2010 at 2:29 pm
Basically I am against any kind of reservations. The historic bill
however was a necessity because of our historic suppression of the
female gender over thousands of centuries. The real necessity is the
empowerment to the women. The glaring example is in the way women are
treated in Army. The strangest thing is that people have totally
forgotten the most maligned PM Mr H D Devegowda (the humble farmer)
and his Law Minister Ram Das Khalap who tabled the bill for the first
time.

Anil Reply:

March 13th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

One more point about our Constitution. India gave voting rights to
women since its independence. USA gave voting rights to women almost
80 years after the blacks got to vote in 1870 !

Gopi Thomas says:
March 13, 2010 at 6:30 pm
Although I do not care about congress party and its politics, I do
admire and respect Mrs Gandhi. Like many, I was questioning her
selection, her “foreign” status, her commitment etc. I have come 180
degrees around, she is an exemplary leader, good disciplinarian. I
firmly believe now, that she at the core, is 100% “Indian”, much much
more than many of her followers or other Indians. I do believe she
wants to create a better and new India on the foundation of our
ancient and rich heritage. Originally it was the call of her husband;
now I truly believe, to her, it is now the call of the country.

Atul8 says:
March 13, 2010 at 8:52 pm
In all my years of international travel, I learnt a valuable lesson
about myslef and my countrymen…. we lack accountability & discipline.

Of course, controlling the congress coffers does help, but Sonia’
foreign roots are really an advantage in this Jugaad ridden society

Most important, normally europeans are not given to visions of
grandeur when in power, unlike in our case where the lust for that red
light on the car is more important than perforing their gievn jobs.

It has to be the European sense of commitment….all the way!!

Nikhil Reply:

March 14th, 2010 at 4:02 am

Atul8,

If you think Sonia’s european heritage makes her special in Indian
politics, too bad we let the British go, is it not?

The European sense of commitment and discipline were not achieved
overnight by passing bills for quotas in European governments. If
you’re suggesting to overcome lack of accountability and discipline in
India through more political quotas, perhaps, you should continue with
your international travel till you see clear.

Atul8 Reply:

March 14th, 2010 at 10:19 am

Nikhil,

My response in one line -

Too bad we did not embrace and carry forward the sense of discipline &
accountability when we let the British go.

You need to do something about your aggression – it is colouring your
usual objectivity

Nikhil Reply:

March 14th, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Atul8,

The sense of discipline & accountability is not a British – or should
I say Italian – USP. Such characteristics are universal and cultivated
in societies where merit and systems are valued more than quotas and
personalities. We could not develop that sense because of intellectual
lethargy and we let ’some’ leaders off the hook when they dilute
democractic processes.

What you may see as aggression, I see it as a natural response to the
perfidy of the mainstream media. Happy international traveling, for
you.

Atul8 Reply:

March 15th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Nikhil,

Whatever we are, we have done unto ourselves – good or bad.

But when a discussion veers away from the issue to personalities, then
it becomes a clear indication that objectivity is losing out.

Musnt let that happen in the interest of a healthy debate.

Nikhil Reply:

March 16th, 2010 at 1:14 am

Atul8,

Dear, the article revolves around hollow personality and not
substance. The comments will not be too far off, would they? I
fundamentally disagree with your point of view and I had to express it
in a sharp way.

Atul8 Reply:

March 18th, 2010 at 12:43 am

Nikhil,

You were not being sharp. You were being obtuse.

However, enough has been exchanged on this topic, and we should move
on.

Nikhil Reply:

March 18th, 2010 at 5:31 am

Atul8,

It provoked you, that’s all I wanted. Enough said!

Harish says:
March 15, 2010 at 3:31 pm
Is ambika soni ghost writing these articles

You did hit it out of the park with the European honour bit maam…
stupid and rash…but..takes guts..the right wing is sort of like the
australian team in the early part of last decade on the internet…and
they are still reeling in shock and have not attacked this piece in
earnest even after two days…

Rajeev says:
March 16, 2010 at 1:07 am
This article truly reflects dark skinned Indians’ mentality…eternal
slaves

Anil says:
March 16, 2010 at 2:17 am
The Congress is the most indisciplined, chaotic and irreverent party I
know. Yet they revere their party president more than the Shiv Sainiks
do Bal Thackeray or the BJP does its own succession of party chiefs.

The first sentence is unadultyerated lie.. i have never seen any
congress man being anythgin beyond yesman to the nehru family figure..
Somehow this is being presented as virtue which it is not.

BJP is nto family rule Shiv sena could be another matetr altogether
but to ask BJP men to be supine and fawning liek congressmen towards
their leader is negating the intra party democracy of BJP. Everyone is
free to express hsi/per opninon noone need fawn like congressmen do to
the later of 10 janpath.

Rajeev says:
March 16, 2010 at 9:53 pm
I get a feeling that Anandan may be dreaming for Congress ticket in
2014..Good going..Why don’t you start licking feet of Sonia like
Barkha did recently.

http://blogs.hindustantimes.com/singly-political/2010/03/12/how-does-she-do-it/

Kill Bill, for men’s and women’s sake

Amid riotous scenes, India’s upper house passed a controversial
legislation to reserve a third of seats in federal and state
legislatures for women. The constitutional amendment “one that changes
the scope of India’s Constitution” is likely to scrape through the
powerful lower house, too. Despite overreaching itself, the government
of the day will probably survive.
In principle, empowering women is the way to go. Yet this triumph is a
zero-sum game. One participant’s gains can come only from another’s
equivalent losses. It seeks to pay Paul by robbing Peter.

This bill is deeply flawed because collateral damages have not been
addressed. Since it will be a zero-sum game, it will have a direct
bearing on representations of minority communities, backward castes
and marginalized women themselves. The Bill is anti-minority, anti-
backwards, and both anti-women and anti-men.

In a largely risk-averse political system, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi
can take the credit for pulling out a Bill that previous governments
“including those run by her own party” had abandoned, and for driving
it past dissenters whom she may in future need.

Imposing a 33 per cent quota seems momentous in a country where female
foetuses are aborted, wives spanked and women are paid less than a
third the male average in unorganized jobs. In reality, the quota can
add to the sort of disequilibrium current legislatures are made of.

Even setting aside the fact that some male MPs will naturally have to
step down for women, the proposed law fundamentally changes the basic
nature of India’s electoral representation.

With a 15-year shelf-life, 33 per cent of the seats will be blocked in
rotation and will be done in a way that a seat shall be reserved once
in three back-to-back elections. The revolving quota is the Bill’s
most serious flaw.

Two-thirds of candidates, men and women, will be unseated every time
and one-thirds will have no chance of being re-elected from the same
seat. This one-third will be left wondering if they will get to retain
their seats, depending on the outcome of the lottery.

On the whole, it will set off largescale churning “every single time”
that will make elections farcical. Electors will vote in, rather than
vote out incompetent representatives. With frequently changing
representatives, what would voters go by in deciding whom to elect?

The role of past performance in deciding a candidate’s fate will be
further lessened, thereby blunting the only weapon the common man has.
Constituencies will cease to matter for candidates. The veterans and
more guile among candidates will resettle themselves, pushing out less
iconic politicians.

Accountability will suffer because a candidate will less likely go to
the same voter every time. The voters’ powers to rate a candidate’s
performance will diminish, paving the way for a greater role of money
in deciding electoral outcomes.

A “sense of belonging” is part and parcel of Indian politics.
Constituencies are nursed by politicians who invest time, efforts and
money into the place they hope to get elected from.

Can we have compelling women leaders if they do not have strong
permanent political bases? The current Bill is paternalistic; it seeks
to make rolling-stone politicians of women, or “one-time players”, to
use women activist Madhu Kishwar’ words.

Several women’s rights organisations have highlighted these fault
lines. NGO Manushi advocates an alternative Bill, requiring political
parties to reserve nominations (tickets) for women, not seats.
Feminist fundamentalists, however, in their zeal, have failed to
appreciate the serious weaknesses hidden in the proposed amendment.

Though it will not exactly result in separate electorates, the women’s
reservation Bill, in spirit, moves towards that direction. But
proponents of the Bill deny such a possibility. Separate electorates,
theoretically, are those where electors and the elected belong to the
same community, sex or caste.

The Constituent Assembly “which served as India’s first Parliament
until it framed the Constitution” had overturned separate electorates
granted by the British government to minorities, especially Muslims
and Sikhs.,

Framers of the Constitution opted to keep the highest elected
institution free from preferential treatment, preferring the “first
past the post system”over proportional representation, save for time-
bound reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to enable
them to overcome disadvantages.

The Constituent Assembly initially included minority safeguards in its
Report on Minority Rights adopted in August 1947 and in the Draft
Constitution’s Part XIV. However, subsequent nationalist arguments
“situated in the immediate past history of Partition” paved the way
for a reversal of minority safeguards.

The principal arguments against it were that such rights were based on
caste and religion, and religion-based separate electorates had been
the immediate trigger for Partition. With the Muslim League and the
Sikh Panthic Party in disarray, Muslim and Sikh acquiescence on
reversing minority safeguards was ultimately secured.

The reversal was done by a close vote in the Constituent Assembly
Advisory Committee meeting, but key Muslim leaders, including Congress
leader Maulana Azad, abstained. (R. Retzlaff points out in “The
Problem of Communal Minorities in the Drafting of the Indian
Constitution” that the Constitution would have included political
safeguards for religious minorities had framing been completed during
the initial timetable fixed for it. Also see Rochana Bajpai’s Minority
Rights in Indian Constitution, Working Paper 30).

If the women’s Bill is passed in its current form, then a clear case
emerges for compensatory minority safeguards to be reactivated, not
separate electorates but reserved seats.

In fact, parties like Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Samajwadi Party and
Muslim organizations have demanded a quota-within-quota in women’s
reservation.

Muslim representation in the federal legislature is dwindling: from 48
in 1985, it is 29 at present. In all 15 Lok Sabha elections, only 14
Muslim women have been elected. Kerala has two Muslim federal
lawmakers, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have 1 each. States such as
Mahrashtra, Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan have none..

The women’s reservation Bill is based on the presumption of
homogeneity in the status of women. Homogeneity is a stupid idea when
applied to assess communities horizontally. Not all women, like
Muslims, are equally disadvantaged or privileged.

Since privileged groups are always in a better position to leverage
concessions, the proposed amendment will help privileged women gain at
the expense of less-privileged ones. Though ideally, the highest
elected forum should be able to be free from all reservations, a quota
that specifically addresses maginalised women would have been
pragmatic.

The Congress, at his stage, clearly has not thought of the jigsaw
puzzle that awaits it. It is simply basking in the glory of a
political stunt. The BJP has eyes set on inroads through upper-caste
women. The Left’s euphoria matches Abdullah’s in this Urdu
proverb: begaani shaadi me Abdullah diwana (Abdullah is rejoicing at
an uninvited wedding).

(10 votes, average: 2.7 out of 5)

Posted by Zia Haq on Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 8:04 pm
Filed under India · Tagged collateral damages, Congress chief Sonia
Gandhi, elections, India’s Constitution, legislation, Madhu Kishwar,
Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes

36 Responses to “Kill Bill, for men’s and women’s sake”

Gopi Thomas says:
March 14, 2010 at 9:48 pm
Churning, short terms etc are good; and an increased representation
for women is even better. Democracy works through elected
representatives voting on changes and issues. I do hope Lok Sabha
votes for this; and if they do, I hope people like Zia will shut up.
These are the same people who want reservation for this group of
people and that group of people; what is wrong with having seats
reserved for women?

Panchayaths, municipality, and Corporation elections (and mayoral
slots) in Kerala have been reserved for women in the last 15 years,
and it ahs produced real grass roots level progress. A bigger
representation by women in Parliamenta nd aswemblies will only do
good.

Vijay Bhatia Reply:

March 15th, 2010 at 2:53 am

Gopi, you are arguing in favor of increased representation of women in
Parliament and Assemblies. That of course is very much desirable. But
this bill, in its current form is a sure prescription of political
chaos.
What this bill means is that no male leader can represent same
constituency more than twice! And this will do no long term good for
women politicians either. Because, before they can gain ground and
experience, they will have to move on, since in next election cycle
the seat won’t be reserved!

Here is a very Rational take on this important issue (feel free to
comment):-

http://rationalopinion.blogspot.com/2010/03/no-good-womens-reservation-bill.html

[Reply]

Vijay Reply:

March 15th, 2010 at 8:09 am

No one is arguing against a bigger representation by omen in
Parliament and assemblies will be good. The debate is about how to
achieve it.
The bill in its current form is sure recipe for political chaos.
Here is another rational opinion on this important issue:-

http://rationalopinion.blogspot.com/2010/03/no-good-womens-reservation-bill.html

Bell Bajao Reply:

March 15th, 2010 at 8:17 pm

“Panchayaths, municipality, and Corporation elections (and mayoral
slots) in Kerala have been reserved for women in the last 15 years,
and it ahs produced real grass roots level progress. A bigger
representation by women in Parliamenta nd aswemblies will only do
good.”

Indeed! We’ve seen this happen in other parts of the company as well.
Reservation in panchayat has actually empowered women in villages and
has helped a lot in their upliftment.

VARUN SAXENA says:
March 15, 2010 at 1:53 am
Mr.Zia, the bill has certain Issues and to a certain the bill proposed
by Madhu Kishwar is in someways better.
But what I cannot understand is this. You said “The Bill is anti-
minority, anti-backward”. Can you pls explain How ?

How can women reservation bill be Anti Muslim ? How come just about
everything becomes Anti Muslim ?

I hope this bill passes with some modifications and not the
modifications which Mulayam and Laloo are suggesting but the ones
suggested by Learned People.
The only reason Mulayam and Laloo are against this Bill is that most
of the MPs’ of these 2 parties are big goons and only through these
goondaism of these goons alongwith folling Muslims and Lower Castes by
pitting them against Upper Castes do they win elections.

Now it can be safely said that more than 95% goons in INDIA would be
men. Henceforth with Women having 33% reservations the chances of
these parties winning Elections will be inversely affected

Ashish says:
March 15, 2010 at 2:21 am
I agree that while the objective is laudable, the bill as it stands
today is deeply flawed. I am not comfortable with the idea of having
no power over my MP (man or woman) who knows that he/ she will not
need my vote next time.

I liked the arguments put forward by Karan Thapar favouring changes to
the bill in his column earlier today.

Am I against reserving seats for women? No, I am not. But, this bill
in its present form; no, it does not appeal to me. MPs are not IAS
officers that they can serve one constituency (district) for 2 terms
and then move to another one for the next terms.

However, trust Zia to use the Women’s reservation bill to ask for
reservations for Muslims.
Way to go Zia; suck up to Mulayam now. Who knows, he might make you an
MLA/ MP from Delhi.

Vini says:
March 15, 2010 at 2:27 am
The headline of this post should be: Kill Bill, for men’s sake. After
all, all the rhetoric we have heard in recent days about the bill
being a threat to parliamentary democracy, equality… blah, blah,
blah…. including this blogpost… is simply a smokescreen to hide the
truth that no man wants to be caught admitting: That men, don’t want
to share power with women. Ever.

Yes the Bill has flaws, but those flaws can be addressed without
killing the Bill.

What I want to say here first is that I take extreme offense at the
use of the word ‘spanking’ to trivialize a serious issue like domestic
violence. Do you have any idea what domestic violence is? Perhaps not.
That’s why you treat it so flippantly.

As for the rest of the blog, it is all conjecture. You and all the
doomsayers don’t know if this bill will work till it is implemented.
It might just. And forget that old argument that it will be taken over
by elite women. So far it’s been elite men in charge.. so what’s wrong
with elite women having a go?

As for the problems of revolving quota that you bring up as the Bill’s
most serious flaw, I think you can argue the other way too. That is,
MPs from reserved constituencies will work extra hard in the reserved
constituency to ensure that they get a ticket when the seat is not
reserved any more because of the good work they would have hopefully
done.

Ashish Reply:

March 16th, 2010 at 6:02 pm

@Vini,
Mr Zia can’t just win, can he ?
For the first time, Zia tried arguing for the majority (men!). And,
still, he finds very few supporters!

Not speaking for Zia here; just speaking for myself.

I support the objectives behind the bill; as a man. I see in India a
huge need to balance the power structure which is so tilted in favour
of men. Also, as others have pointed out in comments, an increased
representation for women is inversely correlated (or so we hope) to
the criminality quotient of our legislatures.
I do not wish this bill to be killed. I do however wish this bill to
be amended to somehow handle the rotation issue. Like I had said,
Karan Thapar made some excellent suggestions. So did the legal cell
head of the Shiv Sena on TV.

Ma’am, most men on this blog are not against the bill; please do not
make the mistake of thinking men oppose the bill. Far from it.
Certainly not because we will lose a chance to be an MP/ MLA… I doubt
any of us commenting here have realistically ever thought of
contesting elections.

All men are not Laloo Yadav/ Sharad Yadav/ Mulayam Yadav.. luckily all
women are not Mayawati, Mamata or Jayalalitha either who promote
women even less than men do.
May I also mention that I have a vested interest? As one with two
daughters, at least one of whom is seriously disinclined to study
(admittedly early days, she is just 6), I love the new career options
this bill opens up for her.

Vijay Bhatia says:
March 15, 2010 at 2:55 am
“I am not comfortable with the idea of having no power over my MP (man
or woman) who knows that he/ she will not need my vote next time.”

Excellent point Ashish!
Here is my take on this important issue, if you like:-

http://rationalopinion.blogspot.com/2010/03/no-good-womens-reservation-bill.html

K says:
March 15, 2010 at 4:09 am
I dont understand what makes the women reservation bad but all those
other reservations (BC,SC,OBC etc.) good ? Both types are aimed at the
‘marginalized’ and both actually lower the quality of politicians we
elect and even more importantly, both a against the constitution which
lets the people decide who should represent them.

Quota has only helped influential sections of SC,BC,OBC. This is not
like a ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ where an unknown, marginalized dalit or
lady can make it to the parliament, no matter how much quota is
introduced.

As Sonia shockingly and sadly commented, people like Lalu will have
greater control over parliament and greater share of black money
because he has seven daughters and the power to field them in
elections.

peshori ahuja says:
March 15, 2010 at 5:41 am
Reservation itself means that the comunity, the religion, the class,
or any groupthat asks or gets reservation is not capable of attaining
the efficiency of the level that is attained by those for whom there
is no reservation.

Not only that but by asking or getting the reservation makes the
reserveds a second class citizens and it makes the clever politicians
more manipolative and powerful.

Vijay says:
March 15, 2010 at 8:14 am
For most parts I agree with Zia’s reasoning. This bill in it’s current
form is a sure recipe for political chaos. Political commitment by
parties is way to go.
Why political parties have to be coerced by laws? Where did the days
go, when parties used to organize “aandolans” for social cause? Why
not even congress want to field more women candidates, unless coerced
by the law?
This is anything but LEADERSHIP.

Here is another rational opinion on this important issue:-

http://rationalopinion.blogspot.com/2010/03/no-good-womens-reservation-bill.html

Joseph James says:
March 15, 2010 at 8:20 am
The writer bases his arguments against the women’s bill on the false
premise that the retention of a constituency by a sitting member is
the be-all and end-all of democracy. In an advanced stage of
democracy, every election will bring in new candidates as it is
happening in the southern states. In fact, a constituency must be
nursed by a party and not by individuals. At any rate, going by the
arguments of bill’s opponents like Zia, the candidates displaced by
the reservation are going to promote women from their families. This
will mean that, certain constituencies which were individual pocket
boroughs earlier will now become family pocket boroughs. Or ingenious
candidates will now start nursing two constituencies instead of one.
In short the electorate, now, stand to receive more attention from the
politicians, which isn’t a bad thing after all. Moreover, rotational
unseating is applicable only to men, not to women. So, performing
women members can continue to represent their constituencies even when
they become unreserved. This will push the female strength in the
parliament beyond the mandatory 33%. The argument that the bill
doesn’t address the grievances of marginalized women doesn’t hold
water either. As of today all women are marginalized. The quota within
quota can come in the second stage. After all this is a mere
beginning. Amendments can be introduced later to make it foolproof. It
must be given time to evolve like the anti-defection law. What’s most
worrying about the anti-bill movement is that it seems to be centred
around the Muslim interests. Even the socialist parties are
purportedly doing it please the Muslim minority. I do not think Islam
is as anti-women and anti-progress as it is usually made out to be.

Dr. P.K. Jha says:
March 15, 2010 at 8:43 am
Reservation in any form is bad, be it caste-based or gender-based or
religion-based. As Karan Thapar says, the whole issue of reservation
is an offense, for it leads to severe discrimination. The proposed
bill for women is no exception.

The women in favor of this bill are virtually projecting themselves as
handicapped. Strangely, they are the ones who also insist on gender
equality.

Every policy of reservation is initially deemed to end after a period
of ten to fifteen years, and this one is no exception. However, we
know from our experience that this kind of promise is basically a
hogwash.

There is still time for good sense to prevail. For heaven’s sake,
withdraw the bill.

sks says:
March 15, 2010 at 9:05 am
The fact is that a woman might actually do very well in 5 years to be
re-elected again. Why should anyone presume that they will not get
reelected! It might be the best strategy to break the current fiefdom
without performance!
By the way, which sane person uses the word spanked for abuse!

Shrinivas says:
March 15, 2010 at 9:22 am
Some of the objections to the bill are valid, but since for 60 years
the disparity, marginalization and backwardness of women is not
addressed by the the political system, only quota is the solution.
Though this is meant for 15 years, we can imagine this not going away
after that.
The people who suggest that let parties reserve % of candidacy to
women is not going to work, as we all know that just to satisfy the %
the parties will give tickets where they don’t stand a chance to win.
Now, about quota within quota, I believe being women, representing
women and fighting for women is a bigger cause than representing a
cast, community or a section of society. So let’s fight for the the
right cause first. These parties who are making hoopla about quota in
quota, did not bother to give tickets neither to women nor minorities
in the same %.

Sid says:
March 15, 2010 at 9:26 am
First of All welcome change from Zia Haq – atleast instead of calling
for Fatwa – he is trying to engage in a debate! However, it is NOT an
intellectual debate because:
1. For Muslims there are many forums & 80% our media is in FOREFRONT
to project their interests & represent their view points.
2. For OBC & SC, 63 years have gone by, except for their leaders
becoming Zillionaires, NO REAL improvements have been seen in their
lives. Many CMs ruled for long time (Laloo, Karunanadhi, Mulayam,
Mayawathi etc). Same is true of Muslims (all Bollywood big guns are
Muslims – do they donate any charity to good Muslim organizations?)
Money also comes from Gulf employed Muslims.
3. My wife should be writing this – but she is BUSY listening to
Bollywood songs, so SPIRITED men like me have to take up the cause of
WOMEN!
4. Most important – Laloo has commented – women’s bill OVER his dead
body – such GOLDEN oppertunity may NEVER again come in our life times,
so why NOT KILL TWO wonderful birds with one STONE. Don’t even THINK –
JUST go for the KILL by voting BLINDLY for women’s bill!

n s parameswaran says:
March 15, 2010 at 9:54 am
The people who call themselves secular, liberal and progressive are
the people who ask for communal reservation for Muslims under the garb
of ‘Monorities’. . When they practice ‘Communalism’ it is called
‘Progressive Politics’, and when Hindus object to it they are labelled
‘Communal’.

If muslims are backward then the reason is they want to be backward.
They never started or took admission in schools and colleges and
instead started “madarassa’, learnt Quaran by rote. Now how can they
get jobs which such ‘UN”Qualifications. Then they blackmail the
majority with cries of injustice and opression. Spineless parties like
Congress, Left and Opportunistic and unprincipled parties like RJD,
SP, DMK, AIADMK, JD(Secular), Left and the whole bandwagon of seculars
have fallen for this blackmail and ruined India.

MUSLIMS SHOULD NEVER EVER BE GIVEN RESERVATION UNDER ANY
CIRCUMSTANCES.

Tanuj says:
March 15, 2010 at 12:07 pm
The britishers used seperate electorate to divide & rule. By giving
reservation based on religion we would be doing the same. Who stops a
party to give a ticket to a muslim lady from one of the reserved
seats?
I think it is a landmark bill and should be supported by all.

Gurmeet says:
March 15, 2010 at 1:15 pm
I think this bill will prove to be a boon for all women, but
especially for Muslim women. Representation of Muslim women has so far
been very weak. When one-third of the seats are reserved for women, a
substantial number of muslim majority constituency will have to elect
a woman. There is an excellent chance that those constituencies shall
be represented by Muslim women. It is also likely that these women
will not be the burka or naquab clad women, who are oppressed by the
fundamentalists in the Muslim society, but would be more socially
progressive and liberated from the dogmas. This is likely because the
arduous task of reaching and engaging with the electorate will be so
much easier for the progressive Muslim women. These women will serve
as the role model of rest of the young women in Muslim society, which
will ultimately be a good thing both for the Muslims and therefore for
India.

Vini says:
March 15, 2010 at 2:57 pm
The headline of this post should be: Kill Bill, for men’s sake. After
all, all the rhetoric we have heard in recent days about the bill
being a threat to parliamentary democracy, equality… blah, blah,
blah…. including this blogpost… is simply a smokescreen to hide the
truth that no man wants to be caught admitting: That men, don’t want
to share power with women.

Yes the Bill has flaws, but those flaws can be addressed without
killing the Bill.

What I want to say here is that I take extreme offense at the use of
the word ‘spanking’ to trivialize a serious issue like domestic
violence. Do you have any idea what domestic violence is? Perhaps not.
That’s why you treat it so flippantly.

As for the rest of the blog, it is all conjecture. You and all the
doomsayers don’t know if this bill will work till it is implemented.
It might just. And forget that old argument that it will be taken over
by elite women. So far it’s been elite men in charge.. so what’s wrong
with elite women having a go?

As for the problems of revolving quota that you bring up as the Bill’s
most serious flaw, I think you can argue the other way too. That is,
MPs from reserved constituencies will work extra hard in the reserved
constituency to ensure that they get a ticket when the seat is not
reserved any more because of the good work they would have hopefully
done.

Ziauddin Shafi says:
March 15, 2010 at 6:59 pm
The simple fact is that, if you want to prevent a civil war in our
country, you will have to simply amend it and incorporate all the
demands that are being raised here. No, this is not a threat – nobody
can threaten a civil war damn it, this is just a forecast of shape of
things to come. Maoists on the rampage, Yadavs fully agitated, Muslims
further discriminated against and lesser represented in the power
share, Dalits more oppressed than before – and the high caste hindus
more getting more power in the process. This is a sure formula of
inciting a civil war – thank you congress, bjp and cpim – you are
about to do something which china, usa, europe & pakistan would have
loved to do – have a great civil war in india so that it receds back
to the middle ages – then it would be easier for the buccanneers of
the khyber to get in and set up shop. India had always suffered due to
the high caste hindus throughout its history – and alas would continue
to do so because of them.

S Singh Reply:

March 15th, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Ziauddin

Nice “hope”!

Believe me, your hope will not happen. India is beyond that.
Skirmishes will be there, appeasing politicians will continue to
appease, country will progress at a rate less than what it could have.
A growing India uplifts all; the huge spending govt does on
disadvantaged will only grow.

If 10% of so called high caste Hindus control the whole India, one
should congratulate them on their skills.

Have you tabulated the “classification” of the top 100 richest
Indians ? Do you know how many Brahmins are in the richest 100? It is
4.

sanjeev says:
March 15, 2010 at 7:06 pm
@ Zia
i could guess that Zia will ultimately turn to his muslim
reservation.

You need a serious therapy of “reverse brainwashing”

I f these skull caps and three quarter pyajama’s got reservation then
this will be step towards another Pakistan in the making. Remember the
process started this way in 1909…Morley Minto Reforms

SKS Mumbai says:
March 15, 2010 at 9:31 pm
‘The Bill is anti-minority, anti-backwards, and both anti-women and
anti-men’

If we exclude the women and men, it would read like a pre-partition
Muslim League’s pamphlet.

‘Framers of the Constitution — —- —– save for time-bound reservation
for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to enable them to overcome
disadvantages.’

Except for the rotation part (clearly a problem), how is current bill
different from above?

‘The principal arguments against it were that such rights were based
on caste and religion and religion-based separate electorates had been
the immediate trigger for Partition’

Just immediate trigger? Or the whole basis?
Zia sahab, are you suggesting that proportional representation was the
way to go? We thought that all those wanted proportional (actually
more than proportinal with a veto as well) representation crossed over
in 1947.

‘With the Muslim League and the Sikh Panthic Party in disarray, Muslim
and Sikh acquiescence on reversing minority safeguards was ultimately
secured’

Indeed, after Mr Jinnah and Muslim League left India in 1947, Muslims
of India had nobody to represent them, exactly as Mr Jinnah had
insisted all along. Our Hindu Communal Leaders foolishly questioned Mr
Jinnah’s premise. (For Mr Jinnah and ML, Hindu communalism was
represented by Gandhi, Nehru and congress, rarely did they talk of
Hindu Mahasabha)

‘In fact, parties like Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Samajwadi Party and
Muslim organizations have demanded a quota-within-quota in the women’s
reservation’

Yup, the ‘Strongest Argument’ against the bill.

Mr Zia’s Final Conclusions:
Congress acted dumb, Left dumber.
The Bill is a victory for Hindutva driven Bramhin-Bania combine!!
Do we need any other reason to oppose the Bill?

Rajeev says:
March 16, 2010 at 1:17 am
The best thing will be to merge India with pakistan and name is
Greater pakistan. Gives muslims like Zia 100% reservation with right
to kill or convert non-muslims especially hindus.

Anil says:
March 16, 2010 at 1:45 am
One participant’s gains can come only from another’s equivalent
losses. It seeks to pay Paul by robbing Peter

Do you have same sentiments in matters of reservation for muslims..

Hypocricy at its very best

Zia Haq Reply:

March 16th, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Unfortunately, of late, I haven’t been able to read up on the comments/
invectives that follow because of lack of time.

On your charge of hypocricy: What I said is up here for you to read
again. But Here’s what I didn’t say anywhere: that Muslims should get
separate electorates (something simply out of question) or political
reservation. On the contrary, I said: “Though ideally, the highest
elected forum should be able to be free from all reservations, a quota
that specifically addresses maginalised women would have been
pragmatic.” What does this tell you?

Even so, I am not against political reservation for women per se, but
not in the current form. I would much rather have political parties
give nomination to the extent of 33 per cent. Who or what stops them.
And please understand, I do not advcoate any quota on the basis of
homogeneity. I said so: “Homogeneity is a stupid idea when applied to
assess communities horizontally. Not all women, like Muslims, are
equally disadvantaged or privileged.” Therefore, I will never advocate
quota for all Muslims.

Understand that before I decide to write or take a position, I do
consider all relevant issues before arriving at an informed decision
and not simply think with a Muslim hat on. The Bill, in its current
form, suffers from inherent flaws. Its bearing on representations of
minority is one such flaw, among others. It is a given that Muslim
representation will be severely affected. And therefore it is a
legitimate concern. Moreover, blocking such a huge number of seats for
women in this way — I have argued — legitimises the demand for a quota
within quota for backward women, which will include Muslims, OBCs etc.
Nobody is even talking about Muslim political reservation. it’s not
required, not recommended and not demanded. The demand is for
political representation, not reservation.

Anil says:
March 16, 2010 at 1:48 am
NO muslim reservation in legislation.. we do not want start of another
pakistan movemenet.. this is how it all started in past..

Anil says:
March 16, 2010 at 2:08 am
See the thuggery of parties sekeing quota withitn quota.. these people
will make you belive as if they have bene emporing the women i within
their community caste only the general category women have faced
dicrmination. But fact is noone acroos the party caste creed lines
have bene empowering women. There is a common threat fo discrimantion
against women by their respective male folks.. Who stops these idiots
shouting for quota within quota from giving tickets to more and more
muslim and backward and sc/st and what nto women.

One fo the guy was saying woman; reseervation will dilute sc/st
reservation as if sc/st woman are nto sc/st.

These thuigs who support reservation when it’s conveneint to them are
suddenly parooting reservation pays peter by robbing paul..

Pahle ye akal nahin aai thi

ramesh says:
March 16, 2010 at 10:43 am
The mother of all the resavations is the resv. the muslims are allowed
tobe the resident non indians,

Rajeev Reply:

March 16th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Good one. We have 150 million pakistanis living in India barring
handful.

SKS Mumbai says:
March 17, 2010 at 9:14 pm
@Zia
@Zia
‘I didn’t say anywhere: that Muslims should get separate electorates
(something simply out of question) or political reservation’

What you said was this: Constituent Assembly would have approved
separate electorates (is that same as Minority safeguards?) but for:
1. fresh memory of partition, which made the nationalist arguments;
particularly effective, and/or

2. a weakened Muslim League (I omit Sikh part here); and/or

3. abstention by key Muslim leaders.

Of course, that does not mean that you wanted ’separate electorates’
or ‘political reservation’ for Muslims?

Nor does your following statement mean so:

‘If the women’s Bill is passed in its current form, then a clear case
emerges for compensatory minority safeguards to be reactivated, not
’separate electorates’ but ‘reserved seats’

Am I missing something?
For e.g. the difference between ‘reserved seats’ and ‘political
reservation’?
Or the similarity between
‘compensatory’ and ‘only for marginalised’?

Ashish Reply:

March 18th, 2010 at 10:30 am

@SKS
It has been established before that Zia resorts to generalities when
specifics are called for.. at any rate, he has his own idioms and
syntaxes. Deliberately vague or vaguely deliberate, a compendium of
Zia-isms will be a best-seller.
As for your question: am I missing something? well, yes. You are. You
are missing the point of this blog. The sole function of this blog is
to generate controversy by ill-advised and poorly researched comments
and boost eyeballs.. the visit stats look good on account of Zia,
Vinod Sharma et al.. they are stars.

Rajeev says:
March 18, 2010 at 1:33 am
All the muslims who are asking for reservation on caste basis should
revert back to Hinduism.
The reservation for SC/ST/OBC was introduced to fight casteism in
HINDU society. It was for HINDUS who were at the bottom of their
SOCIETY. There were many who chose to become muslims/xtians to escape
HINDU casteism. Now if they want to come out of caste opression, they
need to revert back to hinduism.

In the word of Shri Kancha Illiah “islam and xtianity are democratic
religion” so there is no chance of casteism being part of muslim/xtian
socities.

Rajeev says:
March 18, 2010 at 9:24 pm
Simple solutions-

1. If you are muslim and want reservation on caste, come back to caste
system in Hinduism and avail the reservation.

2. If you are muslim and want reservation on caste but don’t want to
revert to Hinduism, please pack your bags and go back to pakistan
where you guys have 100% reservation.

http://blogs.hindustantimes.com/they-call-me-muslim/2010/03/14/kill-bill-for-men%e2%80%99s-and-women%e2%80%99s-sake/#more-144

Budgeting for minorities

Although historically aware of its disadvantaged sections and their
special needs, India has decisively switched from ‘appeasing’ Muslims
— its largest minority — to budgeting for them.

Two things in recent years have helped institutionalise minority
budgeting. One is the creation of a minority affairs ministry by the
Congress-led UPA government in 2004 and, as a result, yearly budgetary
allocations made to it.Two, a high-level government survey in November
2006 that proved disadvantages faced by Muslims, followed up with
another one that recommended reservations.

Till now, an unproductive Hajj subsidy worth Rs 390 crore — which goes
in bankrolling the pilgrimage through discounted airfare — had been
the flagship largesse.

Even though government-funded religious travel is not unique to
Muslims, the Hajj subsidy has often been singled out as unfair.

The Centre underwrites a part of the travel costs of the annual Hindu
pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet, the abode of the Hindu god
Shiva.

Karnataka’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government proposes
concessional Hindu pilgrimages to the temples of Udupi, Dharmasthala
and Saudatti in the southern Indian state.

In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the Congress party-led government
subsidises the cost of travel for Christians visiting Jerusalem in
Israel and Bethlehem in Palestinian Authority. A subsidy is also being
planned, according to media reports, for Manasarovar Yatra in China.

Why should government fund religious jaunts? Either because we are a
welfare state unlike any other or it is a game of votes. Perhaps,
both.

Deploying tax revenues for affordable healthcare, education and
employment may be good economics but in an ancient holy land,
spiritual well being seems to deserve importance too. But competing
populism has definitely crept into it.

Show me an economically underprivileged Hindu who will find fault with
government help to make a dip in the holy Ganges a reality? Or a
Muslim quibbling over a lifetime visit to Mecca, courtesy government
help?

However, there is a growing demand from Muslims themselves for the
Hajj subsidy to be scrapped. While it gives Air India 150,000 assured
passengers every year (that’s the total number of seats on all Indian
carriers criss-crossing the country on any given day), helping it keep
afloat, the grant has been turned into a stick to beat Muslims with.
No Muslim asked for it in the first place.

Muslims are now calling for global and national open bids: whoever
offers the cheapest tickets gets to fly away with 150,000 prize
passengers. Fair enough.

“If the Hajj subsidy is withdrawn, it won’t hurt us. If scholarship
are cut, that would,” Asaduddin Owaisi, Hyderabad MP from the All
India Majlis-eIttehadul Muslimeen party, told the Hindustan Times last
year.

There is a less obvious side to the Hajj subsidy. The subsidy itself
seems responsible for Muslim backwardness, given that it has enabled
governments to use it as a signature grant and avoid more basic
financial interventions.

However, the recognition that minorities can be predisposed to
experiencing disadvantages due to their numerical inferiority itself
has made planning and budgeting for them an integral part of most
developed countries.

Almost all of Europe and the US make special allocations of one type
or the other for their minorities.

Why do Indian Muslims need a helping hand?

The country’s Muslim population is 150 millions, making it the state
with the second-largest Muslim population, after Indonesia. Indian
Muslims experience serious disadvantages, low literacy and high
poverty rates.

Their literacy rates are well below the national average, while
poverty rates are only slightly higher than low-caste Hindus,
according to the November 2006 Sachar Committee report.

Muslims, mostly Sunnis, make up 13.4% of India’s population, yet hold
fewer than 5% of government posts and make up only 4% of
undergraduates in universities. The report also found that, despite
being self-employed at a far higher rate, Muslims trail other groups
in terms of access to credit.

Yet, they can influence elections, using their voting power to extract
concessions from parties who woo them.

Muslims are not uniformly disadvantaged. Those in south and west India
have been historically wealthier. In the north, Muslims were thrust
into abject poverty at once when their wealthier counterparts left for
Pakistan during the 1947 Partition.

Muslims in rural areas are less poor than in urban areas, where their
poverty rate of 38 percent is higher than any other population’s,
including low-caste Hindus.

Although no formal Muslim caste system exists, three groups of Indian
Muslims –ashraf, ajlaf, and arzal — indeed function as such. More
correctly, there is definitely a Muslim class system, if not a caste
system.

The ashrafs, thought to be of Arab ancestry, form the upper class
among Muslims, while the ajlafs are thought to be previously Hindus
who converted to Islam to escape the Hindu caste system. A third
group, the arzals, correlates to the lowest caste among Hindus.

The Sachar Report has provided exhaustive data on socio-economic
conditions of Muslims.

The Sachar report has been controversial, not just for highlighting
Muslim marginalisation but also because of its very mandate. Hindu
nationalists — led by the BJP — criticized the report, tainting it
with an old brush –- that of appeasement.

While it offers clear proof of Muslim marginalisation, there have been
debates about how to combat Muslim unemployment rates. The BJP is
averse to solutions focusing directly on Muslims but would prefer
general poverty alleviation.

All government outlays to pull a community out of backwardness can
look like appeasement, given the zeal for competing interests of
political leaders vying for power.

Has budgeting helped?

India’s 2010-11 budget has given 50% higher allocation to the minority
affairs ministry — up from Rs 1,740 crore to Rs 2,600 crore.

Cash flow to minorities — from bank loans to scholarships — peaked
during 2008-09, according to government data, as Muslims appeared to
be slowly overcoming a strong bias of banks in lending.

Public sector banks, which would turn down Muslim loan applicants
because they were considered “credit risk groups”, have disbursed a
staggering Rs 82,864 crore in loans to minorities during 2008-09.

Since the Reserve Bank has now turned its focus to 121 backward
minority districts with high Muslim population, as identified by the
minority affairs ministry, Muslims got a chunky pie of the credit
share.

Banks now have to compulsorily service Muslims in backward areas after
the Reserve Bank added minorities to its list of other priority
lending sectors, like agriculture and small-scale businesses in July
2007.

“We will be able to see the results shortly if not immediately,”
Planning Commission member Syeda Saiyidain Hameed, who heads the
minority sector, says.

Cash constraints are now easing, with banks achieving lending targets
set for minorities. In 2008-09, the Reserve Bank’s target was that 13%
of loans under priority sector lending should go to minorities and
banks were able to lend 12.4%. This was better than 2007-08, when the
target was 10.6% and actual sanctions 9.6%. Priority sector lending
accounts for 40 per cent of total loans, according to the federal
Reserve Bank of India norms.

Banks also opened 524 branches in minority concentration districts in
2009 and nearly 6-lakh minority students got scholarships. In 2008,
523 branches were set up.

The UPA government has earmarked a whopping Rs 7,000 crore for
minority welfare under the 11th Five Year Plan that concludes in 2012.

The government now plans to install national-level independent
monitors to track back how Rs 3,780 are being spent for minority
welfare under the “flagship multi-sectoral development programme”, in
which lawmakers will have a say for the first time.

The multi-sectoral programme, which helps set up anything from a
school to a water pump, applies to 90 districts countrywide where
minorities make up more than 25 per cent of the population and lag
behind significantly on crucial socio-economic parameters.

The government’s approach is such that creation of assets in these
districts should also benefit the majority communities as well. UP,
Assam and Bihar have the largest number of minority districts, with
21, 12 and 6 districts respectively.

These districts were selected on the basis of 10 indicators, ranging
from literacy to the number of inoculated children.

The government hopes evaluating schemes with a fine-toothed comb and
involving area MPs, an idea of minority affairs minister Salman
Khurshid, are moves that would customise the multi-sectoral scheme.

The government feels a quick appraisal is important to ensure rapid
implementation of schemes. “These national-level independent monitors
will report back two things: are schemes being implemented in the
right way and right place, according to Khrushid.

The scheme, in its second stage now, is also called being called a top-
up phase because money from the minority affairs will be now poured
into schemes of other ministries so that minorities benefit.

The Planning Commission is also evaluating massive spending on
minority welfare as it prepares for mid-term appraisal of the 11th
Five-Year Plan.

Planning Commission member Hameed is set to personally travel to five
regions for first-hand feedback from beneficiaries.

Lessons from Congressional Black Caucus

Some historic measures for minority welfare, including an exclusive
ministry, helped the Congress sail through the last general elections
for a second term in power.

However, Muslim lawmakers, whose numbers are dwindling over time, have
seldom used parliamentary mechanisms creatively to ensure Muslims get
a fair deal. A problem with Muslim leadership is that political
leadership has often overlapped with religious leadership.

Divided along sharp party lines, India’s Muslim lawmakers seldom get a
chance to work in unison. However, they could take a leaf out of the
Congressional Black Caucus.

The Caucus helped highlight the plight of US minorities with a two-
step process: by the congressional budget process called the Humphrey-
Hawkins debate and by moving alternate budget resolutions.

The struggle of minorities in the US helped them integrate into
society and as their clout grew, Congress became more responsive to
their needs. Geographical concentrations of some minorities in the US
have led to their greater representation, though it is far behind
their share of the population.

In the 2001-2003 Congress, for instance, African-Americans comprised
12 percent of the population, but just 8.3% of the House members;
Hispanics made up 13 % of the population and just 4.4 % of the House;
and women represented 51 % of the population but just 13.6% of the
House, and 13% of the Senate.

America’s annual budget project to thrash out budgetary solutions to
address backwardness of minorities is a lesson for both Indian
minority lawmakers and those opposed to minority-specific solutions,
like the BJP.

A beginning has been made but just a fraction achieved. After all,
every change for the better begins with a small minority.

(9 votes, average: 4.11 out of 5)

Posted by Zia Haq on Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 11:09 pm

102 Responses to “Budgeting for minorities”

sanjeev says:
March 1, 2010 at 1:40 am
Mullah Zia

“The Centre underwrites a part of the travel costs of the annual Hindu
pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet, the abode of the Hindu god
Shiva ”

This is less of a pilgrimage and more of india’s strategic and
geopolitical game plan to counter the chinese arguments of Arunachal
being historically part of China. and more imporatantly a tradition
which has been part ofindian civilzation.

Further this is a trekking expedition and not any luxury trip by an
aeroplane.which your ilk makes at taxpayers money.

I hope brainwashed mullahs like you might be aware that govt of India
also promote trekking to high altitude areas…through Indian
Mountaineering Federation (IMF). I myself has been part of some IMF
funded trekking expeditions to himalayas.

So in that way its not any exclusive and out of turn activity.

Further this yatra is open to all Indian citizens cutting across
religious lines…but Haj is not.

So don’t show your ignorance…rather write something about islamophobia

Mitra Reply:

March 1st, 2010 at 11:10 am

Hey Sanjeev,
Whatever excuses and arguments you come up with, it is a fact that
Govt. of India subsidizes a Hindu pilgrimage just as it does for
Mulsims and Christians. Nowhere does the Govt. say they do it for
strategic reasons- and it is a rather absurd argument. So cool down
and try to control your hatred. Aren’t you guys always shouting about
how tolerant Hindus and Hinduism are? There is no way to infer that
from your churlish behavior! Learn to give respect to people and
debate like a civilized educated man- even when you keep making stupid
arguments. Jai Hind!

RE Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 3:30 pm

How can you expect an uncivilized Hindu terrorist to react when
confronted with facts? All I’ve seen on this blog, is people preaching
hatred and violence bypassing all logic and sense. None of their
comments make sense and I repeat NONE. But rhetoric is what helps them
feel superior, else they are cowed down by the uneducated minority so
easily. Let them have the comfort of the rhetoric and shameless
ignorance. Ignorance is bliss ya know?

RE Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 3:45 pm

@Pandit sanjeev

“The Centre underwrites a part of the travel costs of the annual Hindu
pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet, the abode of the Hindu god
Shiva ” ~~~> FACT

“This is less of a pilgrimage and more of india’s strategic and
geopolitical game plan to counter the chinese arguments of Arunachal
being historically part of China” ~~~~>FICTION …

“…and more imporatantly a tradition which has been part ofindian
civilzation” ~~~> Is that all you think about your own culture and
religion? Hang your head in shame. I pity you.

“Further this is a trekking expedition and not any luxury trip by an
aeroplane.which your ilk makes at taxpayers money.”

Does that make it a FREE expedition? The Government employs choppers
for your “safety” in the mountains, massive policing arrangements for
the crowd and at times they even arrange for fake shivlings (LMAO)
when you “God” fails to appear Will you please tell me who funds
these costs? IMO It is the taxpayers money and that includes Muslims
of this country. If you are so averse to Muslims, why don’t you shun
government spending? Lets just take an example – India’s third largest
software exporter Wipro is held by a Muslim billionaire. Over a lakh
of people are employed by the company and they pay huge taxes to this
government every year. Why don’t you ask your Hindu brethren to stop
taking up jobs in Wipro and making a living out of it? The tax they
pay is also funded by that very same Muslim -held company. Do you need
more examples? OK have you heard of the companies – Cipla, Wockhardt ,
Himalaya heath Care are only to name a few of them. What about the
crores of taxes, the “Khans’ of Bollywood pay to this Government and
the revenue that their movies generate directly or indirectly ( though
people employed and associated with the movies) Why would you like to
go on a “holy” trip on Muslim money? Should’nt you shun the Government
subsidy?

“I hope brainwashed mullahs like you might be aware that govt of India
also promote trekking to high altitude areas…through Indian
Mountaineering Federation (IMF). I myself has been part of some IMF
funded trekking expeditions to himalayas. So in that way its not any
exclusive and out f turn activity.”

So ? Doesn’t make sense honey! Try harder next time and come up with
some logic, not brain-dead arguments.

“Further this yatra is open to all Indian citizens cutting across
religious lines…but Haj is not.”

LMAO I pity you now!!

“So don’t show your ignorance…rather write something about
islamophobia”

Internet Hindus have time and again proudly proved their blissful
ignorance. I’m glad you are just another one of them!

raman says:
March 1, 2010 at 8:24 am
So, they need special budget for them , they need special care from
government otherwise they warn that some of them will turn into
terrorist or help them…..what kind of logic is this………

RE Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 3:53 pm

No one has argued that they will turn into terrorists if the
government doesn’t provide them with a separate budget. After all what
have all the subsequent governments done over all these years? They
have only pushed the minorities ( read Muslims ) to impoverishment and
under-representation without a voice. Anyone who dares speak for
Muslims is labeled a traitor or at best a supporter of Muslim League.
Anything that anyone even promises for Muslims ( let alone fulfill
them) is termed as Muslim Appeasement. How wonderfully naive.

Muslims have lived in ghettos with discrimination over the years in
this country and we don’t need any one to make nonsense announcements
for Muslims. We have lived with deprivation and can survive in our own
mumbling ways.

RE Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Oh BTW look what poverty has done to people in the rural areas. Will
you dare call the Maoists terrorists and traitors? The argument
against it is that they are our very own civilians although they can
murder people at will,kill innocents, behead people they hate and rape
and maim women. So what? after all they are Hindu civilians, they’ve
got every right to be protected in this country. A Muslim on the other
hand is picked up by the police at random without evidence or even
gunned down in cold blood is quickly labeled a terrorist by everyone.
Why make a distinction?

raman Reply:

March 8th, 2010 at 12:51 am

Did I say I sympathize with Maoists, do not assume things…..

RE Reply:

March 9th, 2010 at 3:07 am

No, I never said that. I am only putting across my point.

Ashish Reply:

March 8th, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Dear RE,
the Maoists do not fight on religious grounds; the Indian state’s
“war” against them is also “secular”.
There is tremendous amount of blood-letting going on in the names of
protecting the rights of the economic underprivileged and the rights
of the state. I have not heard any Maoist (or any CPIML member) make
any invocation to religion.
I am not sure why you think the State treats the Maoists as “Hindu
civilians”. Care to explain?

SP Reply:

March 9th, 2010 at 3:34 am

Maoists justify terror as a means of pursuing their goal of
overthrowing the Indian state just because they are poor and the
deprived citizens of this country? Common a very sizable population of
this country is below the poverty line. But the Government won’t fight
a war against them because these ‘Adivasis’ happen to be our ‘own’
people although they can engage the armed forces of this
coutry,massacre them at will, abduct ,kill and behead people at will.
A 20 something Muslim guy on the other hand is picked up at random/
even better shot in broad daylight, by the police and branded a
terrorist without even a shred of evidence The News channels hail the
police and the government and all we read is “20 something Islamic
Terrorist has been nabbed who has confessed to all the bombings that
ever happened in the country over the last 10 years”. How lame is
that!

Why is there such a discrimination in the treatment between the two? A
terrorist is a terrorist! Be it a Maoist or a certain Pragya Singh
Devi. Why does the mainstream political party come up in defense of
HINDU terror accused or label any muslim ACCUSED to be a terrorist?
The same goes with the Maoists – the Government won’t wage a war
against them just because they happen to be Hindus.
Anyone who challenges the state should be an enemy of the
state .Unfortunately that is not true for the Hindus of this country.
They can get away with mass orchestrated murders and live under state
protection. (‘92 ‘02 anyone?) And so is the case with the Maoists.
They are Hindus and by default saintly and hence cannot be treated as
terrorists.

Ashish Reply:

March 10th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

@SP
I will again quote from my post “there is a tremendous amount of
bloodletting going on in the names of protecting the rights of the
economic underprivileged and the rights of the state.” I think I make
it clear that Maoists are fighting only in the name of protecting the
rights of the underprivileged.
And, what gives you the idea that the Government is not fighting them?
We can differ on whether it is a “war” or not. But the human rights
activists will certainly not agree with you that the government is
going easy on the Maoists. Unless of course you say that the likes of
Arundhati Roy are basically Hindu zealots and speak for the Maoists
only because they are Hindus.
Let me quote from your reply:

“A 20 something Muslim guy on the other hand is picked up at random/
even better shot in broad daylight, by the police and branded a
terrorist without even a shred of evidence The News channels hail the
police and the government and all we read is “20 something Islamic
Terrorist has been nabbed who has confessed to all the bombings that
ever happened in the country over the last 10 years”. How lame is
that!”

You know, this seems to be straight from the alleged situation in the
North-East; where the “war” between the state and the ultras have
resulted in several cases of human rights abuses that should be the
concern of any civilized society. The state of Manipur is a case in
point. May I however point out that the affected populace is not
Muslim in Manipur.

The Indian state is not perfect; far from it. Nor is the Indian
society. But, it is a worthwhile experiment is creating a multi-hued
culture. Thanks to our founding fathers and thanks to the economic
progress unleashed in the last 20 years, the benefits of modern living
are reaching many. If you argue that Muslims face systematic and
systemic discrimination, then you must be prepared to look within and
ask why is it that no other religion in India, including the Sikhs
(even after 1984) have a problem sharing space and prospering in this
country.
Looking at everything through the religious prism makes for noisy
debates but, makes you hostage to “benefactors” like Mamata Banerjee
and Laloo Yadav.

Mitra says:
March 1, 2010 at 11:05 am
Very interesting and informative discussion! Hope you keep monitoring
how well the minority welfare schemes are progressing- this is really
important. It is good we have a decent, honest man Salman Khursheed as
the Minister- politicians like him are relatively rare in India.

sanjeev Reply:

March 1st, 2010 at 5:43 pm

@ Mitra

I can expect such sort of logic from naxal sympathisers like you….
Hope you forgot your bengali ilk got kicked by these so called
discriminated lots on 16 july 1946 (direct action day ).

Wait for some more decades another Pakistan will be demanded from your
home state. The demand will arise from your so called secular and left
ruled state.

Or else i can imagine you have admitted to dhimmi status or else burqa
clad.

Rajeev Reply:

March 2nd, 2010 at 8:05 am

This guy is muslim with hindu last name..just like Bhowmik (saba naqvi
bhaowmik).

sanjeev Reply:

March 2nd, 2010 at 1:54 pm

@ Rajeev

I M sure she is a girl and so brainwashed by so called leftist of
Students Federation of India (SFI).

She haven’t been able to come out of the vote bank politics of naxal
sypmathizers of JNU.

Mitra Reply:

March 4th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I am Hindu and I am not a woman. I won’t give you my first name as I
teach in an university and I have a website- I am afraid Hindu
nationalist vandals will try to bother me. I am not a Naxal
sympathizer and thats not what we are discussing. The Naxals are left-
wing extremists and you guys are right-wing extremists- every
patriotic Indian should condemn both equally. The day you guys will
learn to make an actual argument instead of spewing vile hatred and
prejudice, I will be happy to have a discussion.

sanjeev Reply:

March 4th, 2010 at 5:36 pm

@ Mitra

It is you who started labelling someone as sangh parivar or bajrang
bal member

Its welcome that you want positive debate..

Btw other people like me also work for govt organizations.

Nobody has time to bother except those with whom you empathise…hope
you remember the recent karnataka episode over Taslima nasreen article
episode. who resorted to rioting ?

RE Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

@Sanjeev pandit.

1. I hope you are not a disgruntled shudra who is not even allowed to
enter the temple by The Brahmins or you did not marry in the same
gotra and were hounded by your own goons. You sound very irked and
disgruntled so can I assume that someone in your family decided to
kill a female child or maybe your wife does not want to put on a
ghoonghat? Is there any reason why you are so pissed off with life?

2. Regarding rioting in Karnataka :

Source : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8544657.stm

“Police say Hindu groups joined the unrest in both places after
Muslims took to the streets. About 50 arrests have been made in
connection with the violence. ”

Muslims taking to streets to voice protest against something does not
mean they were rioting but as usual, people don’t have the guts to
accept the truth in this country. I am sure they did not pull you out
of you house and mob you down like the goons at RSS do under state
protection. Every citizen has the legitimate right to voice his/her
opinion but the fact of the matter is Hindu cowards started a riot.
Television images on “Times Now” , a clearly pro- hindutva ,pro- BJP ,
pro- right wing channel showed images of people with ORANGE flags with
“OM” inscribed on them. Now I can bet they were not Muslims. Secondly,
the Ram Sene called a bandh the very next day! WOW how did the entire
protest affect those cowards? Karnataka is BJP ruled so people have
the liberty to start a riot and get away with it just like Gujarat.
The Muslims are the ones who will be labeled terrorists any which way.

At least have the guts to accept the truth in public MORON

perpetual.dilettante says:
March 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm
Since you cite the government subsidies for the pilgrimage to Kailash
Mansorovar as a point to counter the annual Haj subsidies, numbers
around what the total outlay for the project is would have been
interesting for a fair comparison. Do not quite agree with your point
that the Muslims had not asked for the subsidies. The fact remains
that there were demands from certain quarters from within the
community for this step. Obviously the point whether or not they
represented the true sentiments of the community can well be debated.

However, your point around the government not subsidizing religious
pursuits is well taken. It needs to be applied irrespective of
religious affiliations of the vote banks, pressure groups, etc.
However, there is a bigger question here around the value of
affirmative action, specially in context of religious segments. That
is a point worth debating as well

Gopi Thomas says:
March 1, 2010 at 2:35 pm
If money would have solved Muslim “backwardness” , countries like KSA
would be producing qualified engineers and journalists and teachers
leave alone world class scientists. They recently opened a “world
class” university; minister E Ahmed represented India in the
inauguration ceremony – 80% of the student body was foreign students
whom they had ‘bought” with lucrative scholarships. A student from
Minnesota stated that he will have to spend $20,000 in a state Univ in
Minnesota; now he gets paid $20,000 affter all the expenses; he did
not know how long he could last there in KSA because the public
outside the walls of the Univ do not want a Univ there.

Why is Pakistan so backward with madrasites killing left and right,
with nosystem to speak of other than a rot corrupt military system,
if, as the author says “elite’ Muslims migrated to Pakistan.

Hyderabad (Telengana) was under Nizam rule for yearsa nd years. Why
are Muslims educationally so backward there?

Why iin Kerala they are still backward educationally (although they
are significantly better compared to all India Muslim average)? And a
smaller minority there, Christians, excelled in education,
industriousness, contributions..

The author talks about bank loans. Muslims are promoting “Islamic
Bank” as the right way of banking. I have seen Muslim students being
advised on some of their “exclusive” sites not to seek student loan,
and to take lower level job rather than pursuing higher studies with
student loans.

We have to bring all up to participate in a vibrant, growing India.
Money, if at all, is only a very small part of the equation. It is
attitudes, entrenched belief systems, uncompromising stickiness to a
set of rules formed in 650 when conditions were different, learning
Arabic (instead of English) etc etc. If these do not change, whatever
money is allocated, we will still have this dialogue of backwardness
fifty years from now, 100 years from now.

RE Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Your arguments are best very naive and you obviously know that. If you
still need an explanation, I’m ready to debate

sanjeev says:
March 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm
@ Gopi

Govt should resort to following Measures for development of muslims

1. Sharia laws
2. Islamic banking
3 Education only through madrasa: this should include courses on
geography and hisory of saudi arabia, science based on quran, arabic
language
4. Compulsory pilgrimage for all muslims to Haj
5. Freedom to kill as many as infidels as they wish so that they can
achieve ultimate aim: jannat with hooris

I think then they can have proper development of their personality as
well as material progress

Ziauddin Shafi says:
March 1, 2010 at 6:57 pm
Muslims of Hyderabad were never backward during the Nizam’s rule.
Since the last 30 years or so, the criminal nexus between MIM and the
Congress, who treat the Hyderabadi Muslims as their vote bank, have
deliberately worked against the education of Muslims in the city. So
much so that government schols functioning there do not have teaching
staff, water, electricity and toilets – forcing poor students to drop
out. Government-funded Urdu medium schools are in the worst possible
conditions – unbelievable is the word. Despite all these Muslim
traitors and “secular congress” traitors, the Muslims of Hyderabad and
Telangana are struggling to find their feet. The northern Indian
Muslims are comparatively better off – they have leaders like Salman
Khursheed and Sayyida who are sincere, honest and hard-working. Hope
they also come down to Telangana & Hderabad to look into the affairs
here.

Shoeb K Reply:

March 1st, 2010 at 11:19 pm

@Shafi

Are you implying that there was a “conspiracy” to deprive Hyderabad
Muslim students of education? Are you saying that Muslims in Hyd were
highly educated during Nizam rule and 30 years after independence, and
then due to misadministration or stupidity or conspiracy of leaders,
the education started going down???

How do other people (including the so called most backward DAaits
among us) get educated? Sam Pitroda, the telecom architect of India,
came from a Dalit background. Modern india has lakhs of stories like
that.

You may be right that some Muslim eladers and congress leaders
coluded. At the end of the day, our community has to look into
ourselves — are we doing right? Are we giving emphasis to education,
like other communities are giving? Or, are we satisfied iwth menial
trading jobs? Do w e want our daughters get educated and working and
standing on their feet? Do we give emphasis to readinga nd writing (at
a basic level as well as at a literary level)? Arent most of our
people victims of mullahs and maulavis, this way or no way? Do many of
us really interact with otehr religious members in an intimate way?
Unless we sort out these, we will always be blaming some others and
not doing the right thing.

Ashish Reply:

March 2nd, 2010 at 3:50 pm

@ Shoeb K,
till today I did not know that Sam Pitroda came from a Dalit family; I
suspect very few others on this blog did either.
The great thing is, we don’t know and we don’t care. It is enough for
us that Sam Pitroda is what he is, a visionary with the gumption to
get things done.
Is Azim Premji a Muslim? Well, yes. Is he an example? Of course. Is he
an example only for Muslims?

” Modern india has lakhs of stories like that.” .. yes, and thank you
for making this simple statement.

Let’s worry about evolving a “post-religious” identity. We must.
The questions you raise are not limited to Muslims; I think the
Muslims as a community can benefit by making common cause with the
poor Hindus/ Jains/ Christians and demand that the government deliver
on education, women’s rights and childrens’ health and nutrition. Of
course, the community must play its part in ensuring that religion is
quoted as an argument to stymie those initiatives.
@Ziauddin Shafi I think you are not informed about the sorry state of
affairs in the northern part of the country. The lack of leadership
that you talk about, is even more pronounced in North and it shows up
in all the indices.

UI Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 4:37 pm

@Shoeb K Reply:

“Are you implying that there was a “conspiracy” to deprive Hyderabad
Muslim students of education? ”

Why only in Hyderabad, look at the vitriol everyone spewed when there
was a proposal to set up a branch of AMU in Murshidabad, West Bengal.
AMU may not be an Oxford but education surely will help the most
deprived and the backward. Do you think it was fair to unnecessarily
criticize the setting up of a branch of AMU? You know what, you need
to get out of you comfort zone to see what people have done to Muslims
in this country. I am an engineer and I’ve seen the nasty face of
educators at every stage of my school/university. I was always singled
out because I was the only Muslim in the class who topped exams year
after year. It is exactly things like these that make people cringe
and say that they do. Accept the fact that there has been a targetted
marginalization of Muslim in this country

“How do other people (including the so called most backward DAaits
among us) get educated? Sam Pitroda, the telecom architect of India,
came from a Dalit background. Modern india has lakhs of stories like
that.”

Have you ever heard of something called reservations? When the most un-
deserving candidates are given preferences in places that matter, what
do you expect in this country? Abolish all forms of reservations or
apply them equally for ALL economically backward sections of the
society. Only then you will get a clear idea of what the reality is.

“You may be right that some Muslim eladers and congress leaders
coluded. At the end of the day, our community has to look into
ourselves — are we doing right? Are we giving emphasis to education,
like other communities are giving? Or, are we satisfied iwth menial
trading jobs? Do w e want our daughters get educated and working and
standing on their feet? Do we give emphasis to readinga nd writing (at
a basic level as well as at a literary level)? Arent most of our
people victims of mullahs and maulavis, this way or no way? Do many of
us really interact with otehr religious members in an intimate way?
Unless we sort out these, we will always be blaming some others and
not doing the right thing.”

You must be kidding my dear! You seriously must be kidding me! Talking
about things from the comfort of your home with a laptop in front of
you is something different than the stark poverty and alienation that
Muslims face in this country. Get out of the 5-6 Urban cities for
God’s sake. You cannot expect anyone to get a decent education unless
he is lucky like me or you, when there is abject poverty , when people
can hardly make ends meet if at all. I’ve seen most Muslims living in
ghettos even in so called urban cities where there is hardly a decent
school in the vicinity and you talk about education? Have you ever
wondered why Muslims are discriminated when it comes to getting a
rented house in a Hindu locality?

You talk about the status of women in our society( are you seriously a
Muslim or just using a Muslim name? )

“Do w e want our daughters get educated and working and standing on
their feet?”
Seriously? Any and every educated family that I know of and some very
poor families insist on their daughters going to school to get an
education. Esp when it comes to urban areas, people are more open to
allowing women to work. You seriously must be kidding me or you are
very detached from the society !!

“Arent most of our people victims of mullahs and maulavis, this way or
no way?”

Again you are making sweeping generalizations.

“Do many of us really interact with otehr religious members in an
intimate way?”
What do you mean by an Intimate way? Of course where the majority are
people from other communities, you mingle with them , at school , at
work , in your neighborhood. Living in ghettos does not mean that you
never interact with anyone!

A Banerjee says:
March 1, 2010 at 8:50 pm
The biggest enemy of the muslim community is the muslim himself. There
is an intersting article comparing muslims and jews. Although jews
consist of only 0.02 % of the world’s population, they have won 130
Nobel Prizes. Muslims are 20% of the world’s population, but have won
only 7 Nobels. I think that Muslims must stop this tirade of being
‘minorities’ and start working for themselves.

What has number to do with progress? If that be so the case then how
doyou explain the parsis who are doing so well for themselves?

The trouble with Mr Zia and other ’secular’ people is that they waste
their time and energy (please see that I am not mentioning ‘brains’)
brooding over some conspiracy theory or some ’sachar’ report instead
of using their time productively. This imacts the minds of young and
gullible muslim youth who start thinking that the entire nation is
against them.

Their was a very nice ad campaign by Idea in which Abhishek Bachhan
says that their will be no community, only mobile numbers. That’s the
way it should be…..

UI Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 4:38 pm

BS

Anil Kumar says:
March 1, 2010 at 10:04 pm
All the religious pilgrimage subsisdy given to non-muslim you have
rehashed is the progeny of haz subsidy.> So muichy noise was made that
various state govts hand have bene forced..

No hindu no chrstian wnats thatsubsisdy only muslims are the one who
always need crutch for anything and everything..

They insisst that they will nto join mainstream education but they
must eb given job..

State of those hindus who confine themselves withitn the scriptute
study are not different we don;t see them cribbing..

If you want job start learnign physics chemistry math those Quran and
hadith reading is nto going to give you job..

RE Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 4:39 pm

“No hindu no chrstian wnats thatsubsisdy only muslims are the one who
always need crutch for anything and everything..

They insisst that they will nto join mainstream education but they
must eb given job..”

BS

Raju Kurien says:
March 2, 2010 at 6:51 am
The problem with Muslims is that they do not have a proper perspective
or they refuse to accept the reality. For example, This Javed Naqvi, a
reporter for DAwn, (a Pakistani based newspaper) always writes about
how bad it is for Muslims in india; how the goovernment goes on
destroying Muslims.. This guy is a Pakistani, living in and enjoying
Delhi, and he is always venomous about India– May be it is jealousy………

Muslims acn be a “suppressed moinority” (as they think) or an
aggressive contributor to national progress; they have to make that
choice..Government can go on pouring tax payers’ money for the so-
called upliftment; but the desire for upliftment and work towards
upliftment has to come from muslims themselves,a nd not througha ny
government programs.

sanjeev Reply:

March 2nd, 2010 at 2:04 pm

@ Raju

This so called peace activist Javed Naqv is no less than Taliban. I
don’t know whether he is Indian national ?

Regarding the much admired masiha of muslims Justice Rajendra sachar’s
credentials…let me highlight one of high ideological fact : He is so
called human right and civil rights activists of Arundhati Roy gang.
We can seriously doubt his credentials as a judge of supreme court or
distinguished jurist. I thibk this sachar committee is all a game plan
of congress left combine.

Although i personally support the govt should do efforts to educate
and elevate living standard of all deprived citizens irrespective of
minority or majority.

But why only the special emphasis on muslims ?

Why can’t they start some programme for all poor people of india and
allocate separate budget targets for this group ?

RE Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Now comes conspiracy theory LMAO

shiuli says:
March 2, 2010 at 2:47 pm
Budgeting for minorities is a much required factor, coz if the gov’t
does not we have big brain drain like MF Husain, escaping to Qatar,
taking Citizen-ship there. We have violent clashes over Taslima
Nasreen’s outcry; also The Great Khan who has already been awarded
Dato-ship in Malaysia, by calling Pakistan, Our Friendly Neighbour,
may condemn Indian Citizenship one fine day.

RE Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

BS

ramesh says:
March 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm
What is holding back the muslims, is their literalism in
religion ,which is evident in all their aspects.Why arent the Parsees,
christians or sikh held back.Because they have opend their minds.
Muslims consider everyone else as jews only, their born enemy.They
should see the broader sense of the message.

RE Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Because all the hatred,vile and discrimination is directed towards the
Muslims , not towards the Parsees , Christians and Sikhs

S Singh Reply:

March 8th, 2010 at 11:41 pm

So, there is no animosity to anybody except Muslims.. Could it be that
something is wrong with Muslism?

Why do Muslims have problem everywhere? Be Philippines, thailand, US,
UK, germanty. denmark, Switzerland — why even in the so called Islamic
countries ((OIC)? Oh why!

SP Reply:

March 9th, 2010 at 3:36 am

The Problem is that you have become so ignorant that you cannot
comprehend History or Geography or Geo-Politics OR probably you don’t
wish to. At least don’t sound such a moron on the internet.

Ashish Reply:

March 9th, 2010 at 12:07 am

@RE
“Because all the hatred,vile and discrimination is directed towards
the Muslims , not towards the Parsees , Christians and Sikhs”
poor souls! Muslims! No one loves them! Boo, hoo, hoo!

Rajeev says:
March 2, 2010 at 10:35 pm
I think instead of budgeting for minority (read MUSLIMS, MUSLIMS and
MUSLIMS), why don’t we send them to their land which we allocated for
them in 1947. The pakistan was meant for muslims of south asia. If you
muslims think, you are not getting fair deal, migrate to the land that
was created for giving muslims fair deal.

Jinnah also demanded same kind of things before partition to safegaurd
the interests of muslims. The then-congress decided not to give in to
Jinnah’s loony demands and agreed for partition. Now after 62 years,
we are being forced to agree to Jinnah’s demand or face terror ending
into another partition of country. How long can this blackmail go on?

Pl. show me a single country in the world where muslim minority has
outperformed other communities…None… Are all these non-muslims country
guilty of this or is the in the muslims gene to stay and ghetto and be
backward? Do you want Sachar to go in all those countries and then
produce a report implying that muslims are denied opportunities.

There is something very wrong with muslim mindset. They are
themseleves to blame for their misery. Why is that Hindus, jews,
chinese are doing so well in USA? Why is that non-muslims do better
than muslims in almost every country?

These muslims have to come out to their eternal victimhood syndrome.

L Mirza Reply:

March 3rd, 2010 at 12:12 am

@Rajeev

Many things you mention are right. For our country to propel, we need
to bring all into the equation. Youa re absolutely right that the
backwardness of msulims can eb squarely attributed to teh community
itself -its religiosu leaders, political leaders etce tc. A
fundamental aspect of Islam as oppsoed to various other “movements” ,
is that the role of the individual or individuality is suppressed;
hence no major innovations, initiatives, pathbreaking inventions,
methosds etc etc.

Government money will do only little. The mindset has to eb changed;
it ahs to come from within; and lot of forces work against that. It is
a real problem; as Zia mentioned in an earlier blog, muslims have to
handle it themselves.. They should know that the world would not wait
for this, and they will be left further behind if they do not acvt.

The sorry situation is that whether we like it or not, we have to
somehow solve this…

RE Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Why don’t you leave this country instead if you hate the people living
in this country? Or is is that you have no place on this earth to call
a Hindu State? haha India is NOT a Hindu country. If you cannot live
here, go and find a place for yourself

Rajeev says:
March 2, 2010 at 10:39 pm
The Sachar report is not an extensive survey but a SAMPLE survey. We
have all seen how surveys have been proved wrong time and again.

The need of the hour for muslims is to shun excessive religiousity,
waste less time curing non-muslims and concentrate on education
followed by search for jobs. You can not be employed on high position
(IPS, IAS, Army etc.) till you get proper education. Even a police
constable in maharashtra police is graduate.

sanjeev Reply:

March 3rd, 2010 at 6:00 pm

@ Rajeev

I seriously doubt credentials of Rajendra sachar. he is an
ideologically indoctrinated person and not neutral, unbiased
researcher.

Just google his name..he has association with People’s Union for Civil
Liberties (PUCL)

In the recently arrested Kobad ghandy case his organisation has been
mentioned by delhi police among the naxal sympathisers.

I have personally attended many of the debates and discussions
frequented by this gang of naxal sympathisers like Gautam Navlakha,
Achin Vinayak, DSU, etc. their views clealry state that they are
chinese protege and they aim to bring china type revolution in india.

I seriously doubt how can such a person was appointed chairman of such
a committee.

RE Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 4:44 pm

You need some money for education which they have been deprived of
over the years

Shoeb K Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 6:20 pm

RE

So you are saying that somehow government “deprived ” them of
education, and now have to give them money for education??

Do you believe that our people (I assume you are a muslim) give utmost
importance to education like other commun ities? Even Baniya children
grow up reciting “vidya dhan sarv dhanal pradhan”.. What is our
children taught in Madrasi??

RE Reply:

March 9th, 2010 at 4:05 am

No one is begging for alms here. It’s only the Hindus who beg for
Money & Jobs and you will keep begging for your lives. Don’t worry the
Government won’t take away your reservations any soon. You can
obviously beg for even more.
If you are going to tell me that ^%$^% like Mulayam Shi% and people
like him demand BS for Muslims, I pity you and your ignorance of the
reality of this country.

Secondly, you must be naive to think that people think in terms of
community when it comes to education. You must be so out of this world
my HINDU brother! (Using a Muslim name does not make you one) The fact
of the matter is, yes people want education for their children and the
fact of the matter is that a majority of the Muslim population in
India is living foot-to-mouth. I have grown up in a poor Muslim
neighborhood and you can bet a very good number of children went to
proper schools. They may not have been the DPS’s of this country but
yes everyone valued education.Economics is the major concern my dear,
not community based ignorance. When you cannot even earn Rs20 a day,
you cannot possibly dream of sending your child to a regular school.

I come from a Naxal affected place so you very well imagine the state
of affairs and to add to that I grew up in a Muslim neighborhood with
a couple of Madarsas. I can tell you, even people who have studied in
these very madarsas completed their education and then took up
respectable and decent government jobs ,quite unlike your Hindu naxal
brothers just 40-50 kms away from my place. A few of us were lucky
ones who grew up in middle class families, who could study in English
medium schools and landed up with jobs with MNCs. Unfortunately most
are not so lucky. You know what, either you have never seen poverty in
and around you so it’s very comfortable to pass sweeping remarks or
you are just another prejudiced and ignorant Hindu on the internet. If
you are the former (n I doubt it ) all I would ask you is to leave the
comfort of your house to visit a Madarsa .If you are the later, I can
only pity you

sanjeev says:
March 3, 2010 at 5:51 pm
@ Rajeev

Here is an interesting article from Tavleen Singh (who i think can’t
be labelled as sangh parivar member as she happens to be a sikh and
married to muslim

http://www.indianexpress.com/storyOld.php?storyId=59288

I hope ignorant persons like mitra and other so called secularists
accept the true reality after going through this article or else they
will label Tavleen as sanghi.

sanjeev

Rajeev says:
March 4, 2010 at 2:45 am
Sanjeev,
Did you compare debate done on NDTV/CNN-IBN on MF Hussain and Taslima
Nasreen? It exposed the hypocrisy of Indian secualrism. I could not
control my laughter listening to arguements from Shabnam hashmi.

I have come to the conclusion that soft terrorist (ideological) from
muslim community are oxygen for all the terror activities in the
world. These are the people who should be arrested and may be
eliminated Isarael style.

RE Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Yes people like you must be singled out Israeli style

[Reply]

sanjeev says:
March 4, 2010 at 5:43 pm
Here is another article exposing the hypocrisy of the so called
secular gang of india:

Its by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, from centre for policy research, new delhi

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/freedoms-our-defence/586662/

sanjeev says:
March 4, 2010 at 5:51 pm
@ Rajeev

sorry rajeev,

i have given up watching news on these sensationlist channels..i only
watch DD news or r news on FM gold radio.

i know this Indian secularism is a biggest joke in the world

Anything can happen in india in the name of secularism and freedom of
speech for the sake of minority (read muslim )

RE Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Two Losers in this country Pandit Rajeev and Pandit Sanjeev have got
HT Blog as the only place to vent their frustration. Is it something
else?

Ashish says:
March 6, 2010 at 11:24 am
After all these serious comments, I think we all need a comic break..
quoting from an email just received:
A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy
International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in
possession of a ruler, a protractor, a compass, a slide-rule and a
calculator.

At a morning press conference, the Attorney General said he believes
the man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement. He did not
identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying
weapons of maths instruction.

“Al-Gebra is a problem for us”, the Attorney General said. “They
derive solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on
tangents in search of absolute values. They use secret code names like
‘X’ and ‘Y’ and refer to themselves as ‘unknowns’, but we have
determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of
medieval with co-ordinates in every country.

As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, “There are 3 sides to
every triangle”.

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Obama said, “If God had
wanted us to have better weapons of maths instruction, he would have
given us more fingers and toes.’

White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more
intelligent or profound statement by the President. It is believed
that the Nobel Prize for Physics will follow.

Paritosh Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 12:03 pm

ha ha ha ha . nice!!!

sanjeev says:
March 6, 2010 at 11:56 am
hilarious !!!

SKS Mumbai says:
March 6, 2010 at 1:44 pm
Why Physics?
They don’t award nobles for Maths or Philosophy? Time they did

Gopi Thomas Reply:

March 6th, 2010 at 5:37 pm

@SKS

And these must be reserved for Muslims because of the historical
sidelining Westerners have done to them..

So far Muslims have not stated theat the nobels Jews received were
undeserving; so you have to give them credit!

Ashish says:
March 6, 2010 at 2:39 pm
when they run out of existing Nobels; one for each year Obama is in
office..
There is probably no rule against multiple Nobel awards for multiple
disciplines in the same year to the same person; while so far such a
rule would have been largely academic, I think with Obama, this rule
will soon be tested.
Literature Nobel is his for the taking .. with all the fiction in his
speeches (even if he has to share the Nobel with his speechwriters)..

Raju Kurien says:
March 6, 2010 at 10:02 pm
Mosab hasan Yousef, an ex Hamas leader, who later became a Mosad spy,
and converted to Christianity, has written a book titled “Son of
Hamas”. Wall Street journal interviewed him on his opinions,
perspectives….His father is also a leader of Hamas..

Do you consider your father as a fanatic? “he is not a fanatic; he is
a very moderate, logical person. What matters is not whether my father
is fanatic or not; he is doing the will of a fanatic God. It does not
mind whether he is a terrorist or a traditional muslim. At the end of
the day a traditional Muslim is doing the will of a fanatic,
fundamentalist, terrorist God. I know this is harsh to say. Most
governments avoid this subject..

“the problem is not in Muslims. the problem is with their God. They
need to be liberated from their God. He is the biggest enemy. It has
been 1400 years they have been lied to.

SKS Mumbai says:
March 7, 2010 at 10:08 am
So ‘Government funded religious travel’ (let’s call it GFRT) isn’t
‘Unique’ but only Haj subsidy has been targeted! So unfair!

Research does help, even if, of ‘directed’ kind, to pick facts, as
might be necessary for the ‘conclusion’ one has chosen to present. But
’secular’ journalism, at least here in India, is easier than that. For
facts aren’t needed nor is their careful selection and for those on
the cutting edge of secular journalism, fact invention is routine.
Certainly, by those standards, Mr Zia is struggling.

To come up with ‘govt funded religious travel’ or GFRT for questioning
the criticism of Haj subsidy, suggests that research was involved.
Instead of limiting himself to any one of either GFRT or subsidy, he
uses both and implied smartly, that only Haj subsidy is criticized,
without ever saying that both are/aren’t the same. But there may be
’small’ differences between the two:

Subsidy of course is subsidy.

GFRT does not seem to be a well defined concept, but Mr Zia must be
referring to the costs involved in provision of various facilities and
services provided by Govt. for the pilgrims. These costs include a
part for the services rendered in India and another for outside India.

For e.g. in case of Kailash Mansarovar, these are free medical
inspection, security, escort cover, insurance cover and communication
links and 4 days acco. provided by Govt of Delhi (at Delhi) etc, most
of these within India. Then there is also a Rs 3250/pilgrim payment
made by Govt to Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN) for arranging
boarding and lodging on the Indian side.

Indian side expenses for Haj, include cost of Haj houses, built in a
number of state capitals (including a capital cost for the facility,
often funded by the concerned state govt. There is a dedicated Haj
terminal at Delhi Airport (can’t say for others), again involving a
capital cost. I am not sure if medical tests, security etc is involved
or not. There is also a fully dedicated Haj department maintained by
Air India throughout the year.

For expenses outside India:
In case of Mansarovar, nothing much is known. Possibly, the escort,
security and medical facilities continue to be provided on the chinese
side as well. Interestingly, complaints regarding poor facilities on
Chinese side are brushed aside by MEA, saying Chinese want a revision
in the rates (last set in 1995) for better facilities.

Foreign component of Haj expenses: expenditure on a contingent of
seasonal local staff, supervisors, data entry operators, drivers and
messengers, appointed in SA, a contingent of more than 600 personnel
(incl. about 135 doctors, nurses and paramedics) on short-term
deputation to SA, hospital facilities (about 100 beds) at Makkah,
Madinah, medicines, ambulances, facilitation and coordination centres
at Jeddah, Makkah probably, Madinah also.

What is also interesting to note, is the kind of answers MEA gives for
questions raised in LS or RS:

1. Whenever there is a broad query (broad as in, about ’subsidy’ and
‘other facilities’) the answer, in case of Haj; includes a number for
subsidy and another for expenses, while for Mansarovar, it is only one
figure.

2. When there is a precise question such as: ‘ whether the Union
Government has been extending ’subsidy’ ( no mention of facilities)
for pilgrimage of Indians abroad’, the answer never goes beyond Haj
( e.g. LS Unstarred Question no 3086 http://meaindia.nic.in/parliament/ls/2006/08/23ls07.html)

3. When a specific question was asked : whether Govt
would also consider providing any subsidy on the lines of subsidy
being provided for Haj Pilgrimage, the smart state minister for MEA
repeats the same Rs 3250 story (of course never uses the word subsidy
for this) and concludes with : ‘Kailash Mansarovar Yatra and Haj are
essentially different so far as the number of pilgrims (not enough
devotees? ) , mode of travel and the nature of terrain are involved.
Therefore, there may not be a direct comparison between the two!
http://meaindia.nic.in/parliament/rs/2006/05/11rs27.htm

Thus for some ’strange’ reason, Govt. has consistently failed to apply
the word ‘Subsidy’ in case of Mansarovar costs. This could mean either
a ‘consistent error’ or most likely an accounting conspiracy designed
to discriminate against the poor minority, and worst of all, signed
off by CAG as well!

For the sharper but unfortunately oppressed beings, another ’small’
difference :
- the total amount paid for 2002, 03, 04 for Mansarovar was around Rs.
0.43 Crs (or Rs 43 lacs), while for HaJ 2007 and 2008, it was more
than Rs. 44.00 crs.
-Haj subsidy that Mr Zia shows at Rs 390 crs is over and above that.
Not just that, it seems that subsidy figures for Haj continue to be
presented as ‘provisional’ for last 4-5 years. (i.e. besides the
subsidy).

Mr Zia could have checked a bit of History as well, as he has so
carefully listed out the ‘proposed’ subsidy in Karnataka and the one
announced in AP a ‘couple’ of years ago.

Clearly then, there isn’t ANY VALID reason to target Haj subsidy
alone!! Except the Discriminatory approach, what say Zia?

SKS Mumbai says:
March 7, 2010 at 10:26 am
Can someone tell me whether, there is some difference between the
Kailash Mansarovar, Tibet (for which Govt ‘underwrites’ a part of the
cost, as indicated by Zia) and the Mansarovar, China (for which a
’subsidy’ is under consideration (as Zia says quoting media reports)

Ashish Reply:

March 10th, 2010 at 11:35 am

@SKS,
“Can someone tell me whether, there is some difference between the
Kailash Mansarovar, Tibet (for which Govt ‘underwrites’ a part of the
cost, as indicated by Zia) and the Mansarovar, China (for which a
’subsidy’ is under consideration (as Zia says quoting media reports)”

Only Zia can answer this.. but, on past performance, even if he deigns
to, it is likely to decry your tendency to split hairs..

SKS Mumbai Reply:

March 10th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

@Ashish
You mean just tendency?
That is all we do, apart from full time hate mongering, that is

Ashish Reply:

March 10th, 2010 at 4:03 pm

aha.. but, Mr Zia is a gentleman, not given to invectives

SKS Mumbai says:
March 7, 2010 at 11:34 am
‘Show me an economically underprivileged Hindu who will find fault
with government help to make a dip in the holy Ganges a reality? Or a
Muslim quibbling over a lifetime visit to Mecca, courtesy government
help?’

Now that is a profound question. Perhaps Zia can show us an
‘economically privileged’ Hindu who will find fault with government
help to make a trip to switzerland a reality, or riding a chauffeur
driven BMW (all expense paid) for that matter?

First of all what difference does it make, whether you are talking
about an economically privileged or underprivileged person here,
unless that bounty is meant for reducing that economic gap?

(BTW, I am not sure if Haj susbsidy is only for underpriveleged ones,
and even if, it is, the validity of above question does not change)

Secondly, on what basis does a secular Government decide that my all-
expense trip to swiss alps, is spiritually less important than
someone’s dip in Ganges and more importantly, why should a secular
govt be even required to measure spirituality quotient?

Gopi Thomas Reply:

March 8th, 2010 at 4:51 pm

@SKS

I read somewhere that Haj subsidies were never requested by the
community. I believe it was instituted during the oil shock of early
1970s and institutionalized ever since. This may be one situation
where one smart politician created a permanent vote bank through this
master stroke.

ajay says:
March 8, 2010 at 10:10 am
those politicians who are using vote bank politics must be dealt with
severely.other people who easily get caugt by words of these soundrels
should apply there common sense

S Singh says:
March 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm
There is no dispute that everything possible should be done to uplift
ALL., to make all contributors to a great country and humanity.

Money should be spent wisely; it also should be spent on all who need,
not just Muslims.

Money is only one, and may be even a lesser part, as far as upliftment
of Muslims are concerned. Unlike Hindus, Christians, jews, budhists
etc they do not give much emphasis to education. It simply is not
their “core” belief. When Hindu and kids belonging to other religions
right from early ages are inculcated “Vidya dhan sarva dhanal
pradhan” , the focus of Muslim kids is memorizing Quran. After that,
they get into petty trades.

Unless education is considered as the most important factor and
embraced by the family and community, nothing will happen; complaints
will remain.

SKS Mumbai says:
March 8, 2010 at 8:20 pm
@Gopi
I don’t know, but it can’t be that simple.

SKS Mumbai says:
March 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm
Quote:
‘While it gives Air India 150,000 assured passengers every year
(that’s the total number of seats on all Indian carriers criss-
crossing the country on any given day), helping it KEEP AFLOAT, the
grant has been turned into a stick to beat Muslims with’

This is really all that it takes!
One article by a non-entity, (he/she could be anything, journalist,
activist, third rate self proclaimed intellectual, rabble rouser,
dancer, singer, whatever. Even if he wasn’t, that article alone will
make him a front ranking secular warrior), asserting that Haj subsidy
is really a subsidy for Air India.

Watch that dumb ‘assertion’ turn into a foundational truth for the
Indian secularrazzi, to be repeated so many times that, Hitler would
have them rather Goebbels.

It just does not matter that the fraudulent claim is immediately
thrashed to pieces by precise facts and irrefutable documentary
evidence, the ‘Truth’ once revealed, is the Divine Law for our secular
believers. To question the law is apostasy or a communal propaganda by
Hindutva forces, or as Mr Zia claims, a ’stick’ to beat poor Muslims
with.

For a moment, even if we accept that fraudulent claim, what changes
Mr. Zia? Muslims are still getting a subsidy, aren’t they? Or can you
book a return ticket for Patna-Delhi-Jeddah for Rs.12000 (or Rs 16000
for last year only)? Bulk discounts? Yes why not, we will see later
how much difference your direct chartering can make. Unfortunately
facts happen to be facts and if they are communal so be it (in the
meanwhile Mr Zia could check whether direct charter negotiations were
attempted at some point of time or not and what went wrong). Here are
the facts:

1. It isn’t 150,000 prize customers in the first place, the number for
2010 is more like 120,000 and that after annual increases of the order
of 10,000-15,000. approximately 50% of that is carried by Saudi
airlines.
2. Spare/standby aircrafts are a part of any commercial airlines
fleet, but they are primarily used when regular aircrafts are sent for
scheduled or unscheduled maintenance. Haj means 2-3 months of a steep
peak forcing most of the commercial airlines to opt for short term
leases, called wet lease. Being short-term, they are by definition
much more expensive than longer leases. It does not take an Einstein
to understand that the capital cost of the wet leased aircrafts will
have to be recovered from the passengers who fly during that peak
window. For e.g. If you look at the state electricity boards, their
normal procurement costs (for the pool) will rarely exceed Rs 4-5/
unit. But during peak months, the incremental power is often purchased
at Rs. 10-15/unit range. It matters, but little, that your requirement
for those few months constitutes a huge volume, the annual fixed cost
will still be recovered during those two months. Further, it seems
that many of the aircrafts have to undertake one trip without
passengers (i.e. no backhaul)
3. If AIR INDIA was really saving itself by grabbing the prized Haj
Service, why does it keep on requesting the Govt to allow other
airlines in the space? Isn’t that Monopolistic, Mr Zia ? Last publicly
known attempt was around 2008. http://www.financialexpress.com/news/haj-subsidy-has-air-india-fuming/360651/0
4. BTW Muslims anyway have the option of not going through Haj
committee and a large number of Muslims actually go through private
tour operators (~ 40,000 or so), so why are suffering the tyranny of
AI? Why? Especially when it also gives the so-unfair-stick to Hindutva
Guys ?

But all these are lies, a hindutva propaganda, sanghi hate mongering,
the only Truth and what we need to remember for ever is that, it is
not the ‘Poor Hajis’ but AI who is being subsidized. (soon we will
discover it wasn’t even AI, it were the vile Bramhins-Bania who were
fattening themselevs)

You know what, some 100 years down the line, secular historian will
cite these and assert Haj subsidy was a myth and contrary evidence
will be subjected to secular tools called contextualizing History and
presenting multiple perspectives and another 100 years Haj subsidy
won’t even be a subject.

S Singh Reply:

March 9th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Muslims will go on itching, bitching, scratching…

The only solution is dictatorship (why do you think almost all Muslim
countries are dictatorships?) or someother way of controlling, because
they respect power; they just cannot operate independently in a
democracy. Time and again it ahs been demonstrated that they cannot
form, suatain a democracy.

India will remain a democracy, meaning the scratching and bitching
will be with us for a long time, unless a region is converted to
another Pakistan and round up ALL Muslims to that region.

Rajeev Reply:

March 9th, 2010 at 9:06 pm

No all muslims should be packed up and sent to pakistan. No more
divisions for these ungrateful people.

Rajeev says:
March 8, 2010 at 9:07 pm
Is this RE another avatar of Soft-terrorits Bobby?

sanjeev Reply:

March 9th, 2010 at 6:59 pm

@ Rajeev

Tonight i will get to meet biggest anti national..Javed Naqvi (dawn
reporter from delhi )

I want to ask him some tough questions ..

If any knowledge u can share about this nut ?

Rajeev Reply:

March 9th, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Ask him just one thing. Is he Indian or Pakistani?

If he is Indian and beleives in secularism, why is he with Pakistan on
Kashmir.

Secondly ask him what happened to 20% hindu population of pakistans.
How many guharat massacre took place in Pakistan?

SKS Mumbai says:
March 8, 2010 at 10:12 pm
Aah Rs 390 crs isn’t it.
Last statement by Dr Tharoor pegs it at some Rs 826 crs for 2009!and
still counting all these numbers continue to be Provisional.

Rajeev says:
March 9, 2010 at 1:30 am
I have always wondered if Hajj performed on khairat of infidel nation
(India) is haram or Halal.

I am pretty sure that all the muslims perforing Hajj on donations
doled out by hindu-dominated India are commiting shirk and their hajj
is invalid according to Islam.

I guess most of the muslims are destined for jahannum.

S Singh Reply:

March 9th, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Does not matter, as long as it is free.

It is the government we should blame; and by that voters like us. what
the politicians have done is one more way of institutionalizing
“minority” , this time with huge allocation. Now the bar of spending
is set high, and every following year it will be higher than the prior
year.

Like any government spending schemes, only 10% will go to the purpose;
other 90% will go to the b ureaucracy and contractors!

sanjeev Reply:

March 9th, 2010 at 6:50 pm

ha ha ha ha !

where else they can go ?

mulleh ki dor masjid tak

RE Reply:

March 20th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

arey pandit ki langot apni dhoti sambhalo yaar

SKS Mumbai says:
March 9, 2010 at 9:35 pm
@Ashish

In RE, you have one of the original ones. His views on Premjee’s
Billions and stuff are part of the original curriculum. Don’t be
surprised, when you are told:
1. It is Indian Muslims living in the gulf whose earnings drive the
larger part of Indian economy.

2. That Indira Gandhi used her charm to get cheap oil from the house
of Sauds and thus Hindus have been living off Muslim charity for ages.

3.That there is a conspiracy under which muslim intellectuals are
being murdered and this has gone for many decades now.

4. That “Urdu” was eliminated as a language to prevent muslim
advancement.

5. Some more that I came across recently: the conspiracy against
Muslims also include: introducing “gate-keeper” mentality-type service
commission exams and entrance exams for professional courses .That a
scientist was picked to become a Muslim President of India, to
diminish OR extinguish his contribution to science.
That (hold your breath) Shahrukh Khan and Amir Khan have Hindu wives,
because they are rich and famous – and their wives will inherit their
crores.

6. Of course we all know about 9/11, 26/11, Karkare, Batla and types.
Recent violence in Karnataka on Tasleema’s article was also a Hindutva
conspiracy.(Confirmed already as I see)

7. Upper caste Hindus joined hands with British in a conspiracy to
weaken Islamic Kings, freedom fight was mainly a Muslim venture, but
Gandhi and Nehru forged another conspiracy to divide India, so that
Muslims were weakened.

8. His views on how state is dealing with Maoists because they are
Hindus shouldn’t surprise anyone. The difference lies, not in
perceptions but in definitions itself.

Reasoned debate is useless and anyway impossible. Facts must adhere to
’secular’ requirement else they are conspiracies. When even fairly
well ensconced people, from the core of mainstream, do not hesitate in
asserting nonsense like Haj subsidy is for Air India, never miss the
opportunity to impress you with Quranic wisdom, or to offer Quranic
justification while urging Muslims to seek education or to not hate
the jews, we know it isn’t just another problem.
This combined with the values our politicians operate on, will ensure
that we just have to live with it the way it is and just hope it does
not get worse during our or our children’s lifetime.

Gopi Thomas Reply:

March 9th, 2010 at 10:45 pm

@SKS

There is more; especially with the advent of ex SIMI turned into PFI/
SDPI as a political party for the disadvantaged, “not just Muslims”:

1)Brahmins are colluding with USA/UK to make India a Jesustan

2)Reservations etc are farce; Brahmins control everything (i am still
looking for those powerful Brahmins!)

3) Muslims did well in the first 30 years of independence; then a
coordinated conspiracy started to marginalize them, to exterminate
their intellectuals
4)The elite Muslims migrated to Pakistan (we know how that has helped
PAkistan) and the real backward Muslims stayed back in India

5) Gandhiji was in collusion with Brahmins to marginalize Muslims

6)Lodhi and Gazni are not Muslims,a nd Somnath temple destruction
should not be attributed to Muslims

7)Babur loved all and did not destroy any places of worship

8)Auragazeb is maligned by Brahmins; he was a great king who cared for
all equally (and Akbar was not a great king)

9)Shivaji looted neighboring kingdoms, and have done more damage to
india than any Moghul or other foreign invaders have done

10)”Mapilla rebellion” in Kerala that happened with Khilafet was an
agrarian revolution and not one where muslims targeted and raped and
killed Hindus and destroyed their palces of worship

11) tipu Sultan was a benevolent king who did not destroy palces of
worship of Hindus and Christians (although history of Kerala clearly
traces his “patayottam” (rapid fight ) for the massive conversions in
Malabar area, including naming Calicut as Islamabad for a while

12)All the communal troubles are started by Brahmins to further
marginalize Muslims

List goes on

Ashish Reply:

March 10th, 2010 at 1:28 am

@SKS @Gopi Thomas
great compilations; SKS, great summary of the core arguments we have
heard on this blog over the last few months.
This blog has run out of ideas.. tired, tiresome and repetitive..
poorly researched and lately even without a central idea.

I can sense the next blog coming.. on why Ranganath Mishra
recommendations must be adopted. Stealing from a well known poster,
first seen in London, “Sachar spotted the cancer, Mishra has the
answer”.

Trying to remember some Muslim Maoist name; honestly can’t. By the
way, SP/RE/UI.. whoever/ whatever, I was in Lalbazar (Calcutta police
HQ) .. staying with a certain doctor employed with the police the day
Charu Mazumdar was brought in. I have heard enough stories of how
Naxals used to be handled by the Calcutta Police; suffice it to say
KPS Gill was really tame in comparison. Honestly speaking, I have
never ever thought about the religion of the Naxals; now that I do,
yes, you are right. All of these guys I heard of were Hindus-excepting
Jangal Santhal – even though I am sure they will be quite amused to be
called such. But, the brutality on both sides (Naxals and the state)
was totally secular. I hope I am not told next that Maoists and the
Government are in cahoots to rid the world of Muslims.
Hindus become Maoists because they just like to kill and are afforded
protection by the state; and Muslims do not- inspite of all the
discrimination, because they follow the religion of peace. Hmmm…..
Talking about KPS Gill; so, his forces killed Muslims and then dressed
them up as Khalistanis, correct? Just checking…
MMM’s (Much Maligned Modi) goons killed Muslims while his police shot
dead 400 Hindus .. inconvenient, but true.
Gopi, great item 4 on your list. Precisely..

SKS Mumbai Reply:

March 10th, 2010 at 2:17 pm

@Ashish

‘Honestly speaking, I have never ever thought about the religion of
the Naxals’

Hmm that shows your communal mindset, Bhai sahab.

Ashish Reply:

March 10th, 2010 at 3:56 pm

@SKS
my communal mindset is well established on this blog.. garv se kaho…

RE Reply:

March 20th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Arey bhai then stop living off Muslim money and Muslim oil. Dead
simple as that. You hate us like anything and yet want to live off our
money! hahaha great

RE Reply:

March 20th, 2010 at 2:54 pm

You didn’t answer my post cuz you DON”T have an answer . Stop being a
MORON for a change. You sound like a joker

SKS Mumbai says:
March 10, 2010 at 2:13 pm
Sorry guys, I underestimated the power of contextualisation and
perspectivasation and the time it might take to secularise the
history. It is faster.
See what India’s great son, Mr Kuldip Nair has to say about 26/11 and
Karkare:

Quote: More worrisome are the Hindu extremists rearing their head. The
murder of police officer Hemant Karkare, who was probing the Malegaon
blasts, was the doing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad or Bajrang Dal”
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/columnists/16-kuldip-nayar-politics-of-terrorism-hs-01

See how simple it is to present TRUTH. If you want first mover
advantage, it is time to write a Book :

November 26th 2008, Mumbai : Revolt of the oppressed against the vile
Hindu Elite.
You can try a Bharat Ratna for yourself and freedom fighter’s pension
for Mr Kasab

Ashish Reply:

March 10th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

@SKS
for a few pieces of silver.. Mr Nayar can be made to say anything..
He does not find a publisher on this side of the border anymore; don’t
judge him too harshly.. he needs to earn a living somehow.

Gopi Thomas Reply:

March 10th, 2010 at 6:12 pm

@Ashish

I will take Kuldip against Naqvi (who also writes for Dawn) anytime!

SKS Mumbai says:
March 10, 2010 at 4:11 pm
@Ashish

the latest seems to be “garv se kaho hum internet hindu hain”

Rajeev Reply:

March 10th, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Nice one…

Indian says:
March 11, 2010 at 9:59 am
Victim Swami Laxmanananda portrayed as a villain by biased media
Alarming 5 fold increase in Kandhamal Christian population from six
per cent in 1971 to 27 per cent in 2001 ,It began with the arrival of
Christian missionaries in the area who found the remote region very
conducive to conduct prosetylization amongst the poor tribals. The
conversions continued unhindered until the arrival of Swami
Laxmanananda who put strenuous efforts to stop conversions and help
reconversion to Hindouism as well. If not for his effort Kandhamal
would have been another Nagaland in the making where the separatist
movement has wrecked havoc in the state. The aggressive Christian
proselytization in Orissa today pitched previously peaceful tribals
into warring camps of Christians and non-Christian. This has has
vitiated the peace that has existed with various communities for
millenia. Next target is KARNATAKA and they are facing stiff
resistance from Hindus here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SKS Mumbai says:
March 12, 2010 at 10:25 pm
Another TRAIL BLAZING Research!!

Truth behind Sachin’s 200 runs Innings. Must Read

http://altnews.asia/content/2010/03/11/who-controls-fanatic-india-xi-dr-abdul-ruff-colachal-0

Author is one more feather in the crowded cap of our JN University of
Secular Research Sciences.

Ashish Reply:

March 12th, 2010 at 11:42 pm

@SKS,
does the JNU reserve seats for the mentally challenged?

sanjeev Reply:

March 14th, 2010 at 7:54 pm

@ ashish

Infact it has become fashionable to criticize govt and hindus in JNU.
There is whole lot a generation mostly elite bengali who tretas it
fashionable to be politically correct and being anti national.

Unfortunately the leftist brigade have penetarted deeply in JNU
faculty where it has become fashionable to criticise anything indian,

Infact JNU has proved to be a factory of producing traitors in the
garb of liberal thinkers

sanjeev Reply:

March 14th, 2010 at 7:58 pm

@ Ashish

Yes there is reservation for such elements like Rauff in centres of
JNU in schools of languages and international relations. These centres
are for Urdu, Arabic, Persian, west asian studiess, etc.

In fact these centres are reserved exclusively of urdu-persian- arabi
speaking intellectuals.

Hence we used to call these departments as UPA

Gopi Thomas Reply:

March 13th, 2010 at 1:52 pm

It also shows people live in different planets. Also, it is like
Newton’s law. The more appeasement and more give aways, the more
demand for more and cries of discrimination. The person’s last name
sounds like a typical Kerala “house” name; and if he is from there, it
is an even “bigger” problem. Because whatever may be the issue in
other parts of India, they were part of the ruling coalition from
almost day 1; they got their district formed, they are one of the
richest groups etc etc.

SKS Mumbai says:
March 13, 2010 at 6:29 pm
@Ashish

Reservations for mentally challenged?
Interesting question , but for which levele admission or for faculty.

http://blogs.hindustantimes.com/they-call-me-muslim/2010/02/28/budgeting-for-minorities/

My Name Is Bal Thackeray

In the middle of the Shiv Sena’s rampage against Shah Rukh Khan’s My
Name Is Khan in Bombay, came the delightful news that someone had
blackened Pramod Muthalik’s face in Bangalore just as he was preparing
to oppose Valentine’s Day celebrations on Sunday.
I think it is rich that he should describe the act as “undemocratic”
and against freedom of expression – as though such freedoms are the
prerogative of just the bigots of this country and the rest of us have
no democratic rights or freedom to do as we please, at all!

But that also brought to mind the fact that perhaps the Shiv Sena in
Bombay has been the biggest loser this Valentine season. They are the
original party poopers of Valentine’s Day celebrations – there was a
time when Bal Thackeray had become synonymous with the term. I recall
a friend in a raging fight with her husband who would not take her out
to dinner one Valentine’s day one year. When this musty and old-
fashioned gent started a spiel on Indian culture and traditions, my
friend walked off in a huff, muttering, “There is no fun in asking Bal
Thackeray out to dinner, anyway!”

Now the sainiks have no time to mount an attack as of yore on card and
gift companies who might want to make a killing as people celebrate
their love for each other. In any case, they have no reason. The Shiv
Sena is now in the hands of Thackeray’s son Uddhav and he has no love
lost for his divorced sister-in-law, Smita.

According to my information from inside Matoshree, the Sena only ever
took up the anti-Valentine’s Day cause purely for reasons of personal
pique. When they started the campaign sometime in the late Nineties,
Smita was very thick with her father-in-law Bal Thackeray. And
Thackeray Sr was pretty miffed one December when a very well-known
card and gift company –which puts up huge Valentines Day hearts and
arches all across urban India — refused to sponsor his daughter-in-
law’s Mukti Foundation event in the battle against AIDS.

I am told that they had burnt their fingers the previous year – they
were not paid their share of the dues even after several reminders and
appeals and so decided to cut their losses by determining never to
sponsor such an event ever again. None of Thackeray’s cajoling,
pleading or threatening would budge this company.

So when Valentine’s Day came around a few weeks later in February,
Thackeray decided to get even. For years after that the Sena
vandalised all card shops and gift outlets on Valentine’s Day – and
then, one year, it abruptly ceased. It must have been a coincidence
surely that by then the reins had been handed over to Uddhav and his
brother divorced that year. I believe Uddhav saw no point in opposing
something that had caught on like fire, particularly for someone he
considered no longer a member of the Thackeray household; indeed for
someone he felt had no claim to the Thackeray name any longer.

It is also significant that Raj Thackeray actually encouraged the
celebration of love soon after he formed his Maharashtra Navnirman
Sena –he put up posters encouraging youths to learn ball room dancing
(though that stopped after the first year when he received flak for
encouraging westernisation among Indian youth).

Today, the whole world has seen how Shah Rukh Khan has stood up to Bal
Thackeray and refused to pay up – yes, at the end of the day, that is
what, I believe, this was all about. The Sena targeted Shah Rukh only
because he had a film coming up and knew that producers and
distributors would rather buy off the trouble than risk vandalisation
and block crores of rupees riding on their films (that’s what Karan
Johar did after all vis-à-vis Wake Up, Sid and Raj Thackeray). I
salute Shah Rukh for keeping producers and distributors, too, from
giving in to such low blackmailing tactics.

However, very few people know that much before Shah Rukh, one card
company in India had silently determined not to give in to cheap arm-
twisting and risked – even suffered – vandalisation and monetary
losses for years before the Sena got off its back and the celebration
of love began to happen in Bombay in right earnest.

Of course, the individual for whom these obstructionist activities
were undertaken was herself organising highly expensive celebratory
dinners for couples at her various restaurants across the city much
before the vandalisation ceased, quite exposing the duplicity of the
Shiv Sena in its campaigns – a point that has now been underscored by
Raj Thackeray. For the first time I agree with Raj – if the Sena can
allow cultural exchanges between India and Pakistan to go forward
unfettered, then they have an ulterior motive in targeting Shah Rukh
Khan.

And that is not because he is Muslim or supported Pakistani cricket
players. It is because he had a film coming up which had nearly a
billion rupees riding on it. And opportunities like these are not
something to let go of — if Your Name Is Bal Thackeray.

(38 votes, average: 4.53 out of 5)

Posted by Sujata Anandan on Friday, February 12, 2010 at 4:58 pm
Filed under India · Tagged Bal Thackeray, Bangalore, blackened Pramod
Muthalik, Bombay, My Name Is Khan, rampage, Shahrukh Khan, Shiv Sena,
Valentine’s Day celebrations

102 Responses to “My Name Is Bal Thackeray”

Kushal says:
February 13, 2010 at 12:31 pm
Great piece, Sujata. But I’m with Manish – not only the Sena(s) but
ALL political parties have ulterior motives behind their causes.


Kushal Reply:

February 13th, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Btw, do you suppose the Sena will demand a cut of MNIK’s takings since
they have practically driven the whole nation to watch it, just to
take a stand?

Sujata Anandan Reply:

February 15th, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Ha, ha, ha! Tht will take some gall!

Anurav Reply:

February 14th, 2010 at 10:55 am

True. ALL political parties have ulterior motives but only a handful
like Sena keeps the city as hostage.

Sujata Anandan Reply:

February 15th, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Agree, Bunny. But like Anurav says all political parties have their
agenda but only ones like the Sena hold the city to ransom

Kushal Reply:

February 16th, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I’m no advocate for the Sena(s), Sujata and Anurav. But I wonder how a
government can allow things to reach such a state that a party CAN
hold a city to ransom.

What about THOSE ulterior motives?

Harry says:
February 13, 2010 at 1:22 pm
Hi sujata, why didn’t u publish my comment.

Sujata Anandan Reply:

February 15th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Have no control over this , Harry

Anil says:
February 13, 2010 at 3:57 pm
Not much debate when Nilesh Rane a congress MP held Maharashtra to
ransom on the film Zhenda. He even managed to have the film release
postponed. Nice government sponsored promotion for MNIK. 24 hours
prime time coverage. Great going. Keep it up

Mohin says:
February 13, 2010 at 6:33 pm
Bal Thackare is a ordinary Man,is a not God,He is using ordinary
Peoples to him as Powerful
Certainly he fails.If i am CM of Maharastra Surely He will be
furnished.

Anil Kumar says:
February 13, 2010 at 10:13 pm
In the middle of the Shiv Sena’s rampage against Shah Rukh Khan’s My
Name Is Khan in Bombay, came the “delightful” news ..

See this is the problme with socalled educated class of India.. Here
this madam found that news delightful.

As much as I disapprove the nonsense of valentine’s day protest it’s
equally disturbing that people midn you educated one at that find this
vandalism when the recepient is their object of hate find it
delightful..

What is the difference between Muthalik’s army spreading nonsense and
these idiots who blackend his face that too in a panel debate..

Sane people shold be the last oen to endorse these behavious otherwise
you lose the right to complain when army of muthaliksfo the world go
on rampage

Rajeev says:
February 13, 2010 at 10:46 pm
I think it is SRK desperate attempt to equal 3 idiots collections by
any means…what a chichora khan!!!

Rajeev says:
February 14, 2010 at 12:20 am
This controversy started by SRK is just to promote MNIK so that his
movie can beat collections for 3 Idiot.

What a Chichora loser SRK is!!!

What fools we Indians are!!! This mediocre actor has taken this nation
for a ride with Congress in arms and media in his shoes.

By the way our Maharashtra police was so busy gaurding SRK’s movie
that they forgot to gaurd common people of pune (who have stood up to
Thackrey but forgot to stand up to terrorist sympathisers).

Rajeev says:
February 14, 2010 at 12:56 am
Let us see who gained and lost out of this controversy-

1. Congress – Gained political mileage in UP and Bihar by showing sham
sympathy towards north Indians in Mumbai. Gained political mileage
among muslim voters by supporting Shahrukh Khan and his pro-pakistani
stance (Pakistan is a great neighbor to have).

2. Rahul Gandhi – Has become a hero for UP and Bihar voters. By
supporting SRK, he has become hero of communal muslim voters and now
is going to Azamgarh to consolidate those gains.

3. Shiv Sena- After becoming irrelevant after MNS (Raj Thackrey)
hijacked its plank ably supported by congress led chavan govt., they
got an opportunity to get noticed. They miscalcuated big time because
they should know that India has moved on. We have now become immuned
to terrorism and are now more interested in making money. For us
escapist routes like movies are more important than lives of 200
Indians. As long as VIPs are not hurt, we don’t care and so does our
Media.

4. Media- Media got great TRP out of this controversy..loads of ads
and big money. The media under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi has also
started propaganda that rahul is next KING of India (Times of India).
This is the first time in the history of private television that
doordarshan stands ashamed in front of media’s pro-congress bias.

5. Aam Admi urf Ullu ka Pattha – Aam admi lost money on mediocre film
like MNIK, lost valuable time following useless pro-SRK and pro-Rahul
Baba story.

Nikhil says:
February 14, 2010 at 1:49 pm
Sujata,

UNHOLY NEXUS BETN BOLLYWOOD AND NEWS MEDIA IN INDIA:

Please read the article in Indian express today. They say it’s unique
in India where movie producers and stars own or have stake in the
content providers or business groups that own TV channels. This
furthers the deep suspicion in the MNIK controversy. SRK and Karan
Johar, most likely, are laughing their way to the bank. Shiv Sena
perhaps may’ve got a small share of it too. Who knows?

arvind says:
February 17, 2010 at 10:56 am
Thakray family jo khud mumbai ka nahi hai aur apne aap ko asli
mumbaikar batata hai , mumbai uski hai jo mumbai se sachha pyar karta
hai ,uske bare me sochta hai , ye logo ke bhawnao ko bhadkakar apne
roti ka intjam karte hai aur pure mumbai ke logo ke paise ko lutte
hai, pahle party banakar party fund ke paise se apna ghar chalate hai.
Agar thakray me himmat hai to north india jane wali kisi bhi train ke
genral compartment me baith kar dikhai, aur wo train non stopage ho to
shayad destintion tak pahunchte pahunchte wo history ke ek joker ban
kar rah jayenge . thakrey hosh me aao , nafrat ki aandhi mat failao ,
nahi to usi me mit jaoge .

Rajeev Reply:

February 17th, 2010 at 10:07 pm

It looks like a typical nautanki congressi speech.

shiuli says:
February 17, 2010 at 1:29 pm
Ms.Sujata, great insight. Enjoyed the subtle wit in your writing also
the way you put across your point, by not badgering it down the neck.

Ashish Kolarkar says:
February 17, 2010 at 2:10 pm
Thanks Sujata for revealing interesting secret motive of Thackeray’s
in public domain. I’m sure you have lot of such secrets to offer in
near future. Enjoyed your blog.

arvind says:
February 18, 2010 at 10:20 am
It’s real voice of truth indian , agar dam hai to thkray family ko
train me bitha kar dekh lo saath me tum bhi aa jana

AKshay_Marathi says:
February 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm
Hi..,
THIS IS REALLY DISAPPOINTING TO READ THAT , U ARE PORPOSEFULLY USIN
WORD BOMBAY.
U HATE THAKRE O.K. BUT WHY R U INSULTING WHOLE MARATHI BY REPEATNG
BOMBAY.
MAY BE ONE TO GET OUR LOST PRIDE AND TO SAVE FROM HUMILIATION FROM
INDIAN WE HAVE TO SUPPORT THAKRE.
PLZ. DO’T CALL IT BAMBAY IT IS MUMBAI.

Rajeev Reply:

February 23rd, 2010 at 10:47 pm

These jouranlist are extremist fascist who impose their ideologies on
others.

Arpit says:
February 24, 2010 at 1:36 am
Its was only the the publicity stunt by Bal Thackeray. He only wants a
topic every time to be in limelite, as he did when he was delivering
comments on north Indians in Mumbai……..nothing else…I think this type
of political party should be banned in India…I think they people wanna
run country as what they want………………

Earthling says:
March 11, 2010 at 7:28 pm
thakeray is a very bad boy…never will he do good in the face of
indians….corrupting mind sets of people and talking as if he is doing
all good for india…

http://blogs.hindustantimes.com/singly-political/2010/02/12/my-name-is-bal-thackeray/#more-135

Happy Birthday, Netaji

As Bal Thackeray turns 83 on Saturday (January 23), I cannot help
recalling the politics of birthdays that I have witnessed over the
years.

The first political birthday party that I ever attended was that of S
B Chavan (father of Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Ashok Chavan),
sometime in the late Eighties.Sharad pawar had just merged his
Congress(S) with the Congress(I) and become Chief Minister the
previous year. And though Chavan Sr was inducted into the union
cabinet as Home Minister, I think he was mighty miffed at having been
summarily displaced to accommodate the Maratha warlord.

The move opened up a chasm between the so-called `loyalists’ in the
Congress and those who were Pawar’s acolytes. The bickering and
nitpicking went on for months, until Chavan’s birthday arrived on July
14 the next year. Without making any overt moves that might seem as a
campaign against the party high command (it was still Rajiv Gandhi
then), Congress loyalists thought they would use Chavan Sr’s birthday
to put Pawar in his place.

The party was held at a star hotel in South Bombay and a huge
chocolate cake was rolled in to stand under the chandelier in the main
ballroom of that hotel. The hosts had invited all and sundry,
including journalists, except for one very important person – Chief
Minister Sharad Pawar. They were full of glee as Chavan was
fashionably late at his own birthday party and crowed at how awful
Pawar might feel when he read about it in the papers the next day.

The birthday boy arrived an hour after he was scheduled to cut the
cake and we all gathered round him as he held the ribboned knife in
his hand and prepared to set the ball rolling. Even as those around
him clapped and sang the birthday tune, I turned round to see why
there was an unusual hush around the edges of that room.

Sharad Pawar was standing at the door and, even as Chavan cut a slice,
Pawar moved slowly towards the centre of the room. And before Chavan
could lift the slice and feed it to the person nearest him (I forget
who), Pawar was standing with an extended hand to greet Chavan a happy
birthday. A chagrined Chavan had to feed the cake to Pawar, instead;
they hugged and exchanged pleasantries even as many of the Congress
workers stood around in consternation..

Chavan graciously invited him to join the party but Pawar demurely
declined. He had another important meeting to attend, he said by way
of explanation, but had just dropped in as he was passing by the hotel
en route to this other function. He left in minutes but it took
several more for the others to regain their composure and continue
with the now subdued celebrations.

Next day, as I and another colleague nosed round Pawar’s office, we
were told in confidence by a close confidante that Pawar had heard
about the plan to cut him out of the party and was damned if he would
be defeated by a bunch of `upstarts’ or provide a lot of grist to the
mill of journalists who would have a blast the next morning. So he
decided to play party pooper-of-sorts (because that is what he had
turned out to be the previous night).

We were told that Pawar had arrived at the time given out for the cake-
cutting ceremony but sent a sniffer upstairs to find out how things
stood. He decided he would not be kept waiting for Chavan inside the
hotel and asked his cavalcade to circle round the locality of the
hotel several times until Chavan himself had rolled in (he had posted
some cops as lookouts). Pawar then timed his entry perfectly to
nonplus Chavan and his supporters with, “I heard you were having a
party for your birthday. So I decided to drop in myself and greet you
in person.’’

And then he went home. Satisfied that he had nipped any mischief in
the bud. Chavan never had another birthday party like that one again,
though his constituents would celebrate the day in his hometown off
and on over the years.

And as far as I remember, Pawar has only ever had one birthday party –
when he turned 60 nearly a decade ago. There was a five-star event
with the who’s who of India represented the previous evening. But it
was his public rally the next day that saddened me the most. For, even
then it was no secret that he was dying to be Prime Minister. Atal
Behari Vajpayee was in office at the time and Pawar was at pains to
explain to his supporters that it was still not too late for him. “In
this country no one becomes Prime Minister before they are 70,’’ he
said, though that was not strictly true – Indira and Rajiv Gandhi each
had been much younger. “Look at P V Narasimha Rao, he was half way
through his seventies before he became PM; even Vajpayee now is past
75. I am yet only 60. There is still plenty of time.’’

I wondered if his support base was shrinking and he needed to say that
to stop them from abandoning him altogether. Ten years later he is
still not PM and I wonder how much more time he would now need to get
to that high office.

But it is not just Congressmen who are fond of birthdays. Manohar
Joshi had had himself presented with a 60-diamond necklace on – what
else? – his 60th birthday in a very public ceremony in Bombay wherein
he laid claim to a flawless career stating proudly that no one could
find a breath of scandal against him. Bal Thackeray, then about to
turn 75, was at the time besieged with allegations that his nephew Raj
Thackeray had murdered middle-class professional Ramesh Kini and he
did not take that comment kindly. Joshi was out of office within weeks
and Thackeray barred anyone from going to town on his own birthday.
Joshi has never had another party again.

Nearly a decade later, Thackeray is still off a public celebration of
his birthday. Shiv Sainiks, though, have organised blood donation
camps, free distribution of grains et al to mark the event but the
Sena patriarch has decided to remain out of public view.

I think he is the wisest of them all. I am told he is superstitious –
kahin nazar naa lag jaye!

(1 votes, average: 5 out of 5)

Posted by Sujata Anandan on Friday, January 22, 2010 at 7:45 pm
Filed under India · Tagged Bal Thackeray, Maratha warlord, political
birthday party, Rajiv Gandhi, S B Chavan, Sharad Pawar

6 Responses to “Happy Birthday, Netaji!”

Dev says:
January 22, 2010 at 11:03 pm
And we’ll never know what became of Netaji.

Anil says:
January 23, 2010 at 11:36 am
Wish Pawar had used the same cunningness to improve agriculture sector
and bring down prices. He is just incapable of thinking big for the
country. The only person who really knew how to celebrate birthday in
a manner beffiting his personality was Chach Nehru. He really spent
quality time with children. Others have just aped him.

Ashish Kolarkar says:
January 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm
Due to such shrewdness and intelligence Pawar is in the limelight for
such a long time. He is too ambitious and believes in playing long
innings. Who knows one day this Maratha Sardar would hoist flag from
Lal Kila?

But it seems that Pawar is losing his popularity for his foot in mouth
comments recently. He seems to have all the problems but no soultions
to Offer to common man. He is bent on taking his role too casually.

Good that Thackeray Sr has finally realised that birthday bashes are
meant for sycophancy only and don’t serve any good purpose.

vipin malik says:
January 24, 2010 at 12:03 am
you remeber for netaji all indian popel it was great man

vipin malik says:
January 24, 2010 at 12:10 am
i am a fan of Netaji

Anil Kumar says:
January 24, 2010 at 3:51 am
These leaders who set goal in terms of this or that chair make me
cringe..

All these leader needs a plenary session with Narendra Modi..
Everytime anyone asks him about chairs his reply is I never lust for
chair I lost for work to be done target to be achieved with or without
chair.. Chair is not the destination and that’s how it should be..

http://blogs.hindustantimes.com/singly-political/2010/01/22/happy-birthday-netaji/#more-131

Jhenda ooncha rahe…
14 Comments

Ram Gopal Verma’s Sarkar and Sarkar Raj are broadly thought to be
based on the life of Bal Thackeray. In large portions, the theme might
be taken from episodes from the Sena tiger’s life but the intelligence
and dexterity of managing politics that has characterised Amitabh
Bachchan’s portrayal of Sarkar in the two films have never been Bal
Thackeray’s forte.
Thackeray is an instinctive politician whose reactions have always
been spontaneous rather than well-thought out. Moreover, he has
thrived not on his programmes or issues of his making but on the
mistakes of other parties (in large measure, the Congress). For
example, the one and only time that the Shiv Sena came to power in
Maharashtra in alliance with the BJP was in 1995, soon after the 1992
riots and the 1993 bomb blasts when people thought and believed that
the Congress was playing far too many games and still remembered the
protectionist campaign of Shiv Sainiks through those burning weeks.

If the Sena was unable to return in 1999, 2004 and 2009 again, it is
because in these years, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress
Party, in alliance in Maharashtra, have largely done little wrong and
Thackeray has found no gap in the fabric to tear it apart.

But the Shiv Sena’s massive defeat at both the Lok Sabha and the
Assembly elections can be largely attributed to art — or at least
politics posing as art. Just before the Lok Sabha polls, Raj Thackeray
had helped to produce a film titled Mee Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje
Bhosale Boltoy (I, Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhosale, speak), with
Mahesh Manjrekar playing the title role, that was an indictment of the
complacence and laid-back attitudes of Maharastrians. It portrayed,
through film, the political point that Raj had been hammering at for
months: that the Maharashtrian is content with just a table, khurchi
ani pankha (a table, a chair and a fan). That he did not strive for
much more and allowed others to walk all over him. The film exhorted
Maharashtrians to become more combative in their own interest and,
like Oliver, never stop asking for more

It released in Maharashtra’s cinemas just before the producers-
multiplex imbroglio and so ran for weeks and weeks and had a great
hand in influencing a large number of Maharashtrian youth who went
right out and voted for Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.

Now the Shiv Sena has come out with its counter to that film – benami
again, like Raj’s production of Chhatrapati, but with no kid gloves on
this time. It appears to be a real-life account of the war between the
two cousins – indeed, from the stills released so far, it is very
difficult to spot the differences between the actors who play Raj and
Uddhav and the original cousins.

Titled Jhenda (Flag), it seems to be a mixture of truth and
exaggeration and some of the alleged falsehoods have already compelled
the producer to make some cuts and changes and promise to re-release
the film without the offending portions.

But while everyone — from Narayan Rane’s son to sundry Sena leaders —
are objecting to their unfair portrayals, the one man it lampoons the
most – Raj Thackeray – is uncharacteristically silent.

I haven’t seen Jhenda yet but I am told that there is a scene where
Raj’s character dons a skullcap and attends an Iftaar party. I don’t
know how true that portrayal is, for in all my years I at least have
not seen Raj Thackeray in a skull cap at an Iftaar party. When Raj
launched his MNS he did mean to be all inclusive and there are many
Muslims in his party who are devoted to Bal Thackeray’s nephew. Yet
they have all taken a so-called `mature’ decision not to agitate or
protest.

It could be because Raj well realises that any protest will only help
the film at the box office and more people will end up seeing his
portrayal in an unflattering light than they would if he just gives it
the royal ignore. But, a little bird tells me, Raj has also been cut
down to size and is no longer sure what his protests will lead to.

At the constitution of the current Assembly in Maharashtra, he
protested against Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi taking his oath in
Hindi. That has led to another non-bailable warrant from a court in
Madhya Pradesh (in addition to cases pending against him in courts in
Bihar and Jharkhand, just transferred to Delhi by the Supreme Court))
and suddenly he has no Godfathers.

It is largely believed that the previous Congress government egged him
on against the Shiv Sena but the Assembly elections proved that Raj
was eating into even the Congress and the NCP voter base. So they have
no reason to nurture a Frankenstein’s Monster. But it may also be
true, as I have heard, that the Congress is also squeezing his
business interests to gag him into submission. Moreover, he needs to
keep is silence, again, to buy freedom for those of his MLAs who were
suspended for four years from the Maharashtra Assembly for beating up
Azmi for taking his oath in Hindi.

When I asked a top functionary in the government why those MLAs were
not expelled outright, he said, “If we had done that, it would have
led to by-elections and Raj Thackeray might have come back with a bang
and got more arrogant. This is our version of suspended animation; he
cannot now afford to create more trouble out of fear that there might
be more action that will actually pinch.’’

Without the alleged protection offered by the previous government, I
think Raj is now truly feeling that pinch. And the Sena is not far
behind in hoisting him with his own petard and, in addition, hoisting
its own flag — both the party standard and the celluloid variety.

But, still, I believe Chhatrapati …. was a far more intelligent film –
for one, it needed no cuts, for another it touched a chord with
Maharashtra’s youth — than Jhenda could ever be.

(3 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)

Posted by Sujata Anandan on Friday, January 8, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Filed under India · Tagged Amitabh Bachchan, Bal Thackeray, bjp,
Congress, Lok Sabha polls, Mahesh Manjrekar, Raj Thackeray, Raj
Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Ram Gopal Verma’s Sarkar,
sarkar raj, Shiv Sainiks

14 Responses to “Jhenda ooncha rahe…”
Ashish Kolarkar says:
January 8, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Thanks Sujata for telling us about “Chhatrapati….” and its impact in
recent elections. I think so much has come in print/visual media about
Thackeray family that people have started losing interest in it. With
the desertion of Smita Thackeray the things have become too
intriguing. How come daughter-in-law basking under the glory of father-
in-law could leave the later at this stage for greater political
aspiration?

I’ve read a research paper which said that there is great similarity
in genes of nephew and Uncle. I think the Raj and Bal Thackeray prove
the theory. Raj has got cartooning and same eccentric nature from his
uncle. He is too unpredictable. He is on the threshold of finding his
identity after initial euphoria. It is time for him to invent more
tricks to be in the market with due help from ruling party.

Sujata Anandan Reply:

January 11th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Yes, there is great similarity — and even in terms of events history
is repeating itself vis-a-vis Rraj Thackeray. Will write about those
by and by

Anil Kumar says:
January 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm
Congress will keep him alive.> he need not woory.> Congress always
creates fransktein .

Punjab was gifted Bhindarwale in order to check Akali Dal. Congressi
have no scruples when it coems to snatchign power they care two hoot
about even national interest.

Maharashtra was first gifted Baal thackrey to check labour uninsit and
communist’s rise. now we haevRaj Thackrey to check Baal thackreey

Assam have ben figted crores of illegal bangaldeshi

List goes on and on.

Country can go to dogs as long as these gimmciks insure perpetuation
fo power of congress they are fair game for anythign and everything

Pankaj Reply:

January 9th, 2010 at 11:08 am

country is with dogs and *******!

Sujata Anandan Reply:

January 11th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

You are right on all counts

bobby says:
January 9, 2010 at 1:28 pm
Raj may be silent also because there are no elections round the
corner.

Sujata Anandan Reply:

January 11th, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Well, the municipal elections are due next year which are crucila to
him in terms of his business interests across Bombay

Anil says:
January 9, 2010 at 11:31 pm
Narayan Rane and his son are doing more goonda giri than the entire
Thackrey clan put together. There is absolutely no unfair portrayal of
the the former. They should not crib. Any portrayal of their character
will be a milder version of their true self. Ranes have been the most
unscrupulous turncoats in Maharashtra politics. No fan of Shiv Sena
but Congress have won in Maratha land becuase of the infighting in
Sena. Haven’t seen ‘Zhenda’ but ‘ Mee Chhatrapati Boltoye’ by Mahesh
Manjrekar is a classic Marathi film

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BmqdU0tpRk

Sujata Anandan Reply:
January 11th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

However, the producer of jhenda has given in and agreed to delete the
offending scenes — that’s muscle power for you!

Sujata Anandan says:
January 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm
Well, the municipal elections are due next year which are crucial to
him in terms of his business interests…

Joe Zachs says:
January 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm
After watching Sarkar, I admire Ram Gopal Verma for how he hoodwinked
the vested interest into believing that it is a film about “His life”
A real master move Varma.

Dev says:
January 22, 2010 at 11:08 pm
I am reminded of a dialogue in a popular Hindi movie – Jhanda jish
desh ke bhi ho, danda Indian hona chahiye.
Mob rules OK.

Praveen Saxena says:
January 28, 2010 at 12:05 pm
The fact of the matter is that Raj Thakeray is a creation of the
Congress Party and a beneficiary of the mad rush 24×7 news channels.
The Congress has played these tricks in all states Maharashtra,
Punjab, Assam etc. The Kashmir mess is a result of the negligence
shown by the Congress govt at a crucial time.
The country ends paying the price for the dirty politics of the
Congress Party

Ashwatthama says:
February 6, 2010 at 11:20 am
Well Jhenda is way far superior film than Mi Shivaji…

I found MSRBB very stereotype and melodramatic and on the other side
Jhenda is extremely realistic and brilliant.

http://blogs.hindustantimes.com/singly-political/2010/01/08/jhenda-ooncha-rahe%e2%80%a6/#more-126

‘Wrong of Pawar to seek Sena nod’
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, March 20, 2010

First Published: 00:51 IST(20/3/2010)
Last Updated: 00:53 IST(20/3/2010)

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan has said it was wrong of people to go to
parties like the Shiv Sena to seek permission to screen a film or hold
cricket matches.

Chavan was referring to Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief
Sharad Pawar’s meeting with Sena chief Bal Thackeray before the IPL
started to get an assurance from the Sena that the matches in Mumbai
pass peacefully.

This was soon after the Sena, protesting the attacks on Indians in
Australia, said it would not allow Australian cricketers to play in
the IPL.

“Yes, it is wrong,” Chavan said in an interview to Vir Sanghvi for
CNBC-TV18’s programme Off the Record with Vir Sanghvi.

Sanghvi had asked Chavan if he approved of people going to the likes
of Thackeray for permission for holding matches or screening movies.

“Sharad Pawarji is a senior leader. He is in the Union

government and they say he went to discuss the IPL matches and issues
like that….Yes, there were a lot of eyebrows raised and asking why did
he go?” Chavan said.

Chavan, in reply to another query, also said the Sena was losing
ground and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena will probably be the main
opposition.

Chavan also talked about the trouble he was having with alliance
partner NCP in handling the Mumbai police. “There have been political
problems,” he said. “I don’t deny that…”

The CM also admitted that there was “politicisation” of the police
force. “We have to select people with integrity…,” he said.

“Looking at the situation during 26/11, we have been cautious. We have
to put a stop to all this and see that proper people handle jobs of
equal importance and men of integrity and people with strength and
courage and the determination to fight, take charge.”

On factionalism in the Mumbai police, Chavan said there have been
differences but they have been sorted out.

Tune in to Off the Record with Vir Sanghvi on CNBC-TV18 at 8 pm on
Saturday and 9 pm on Sunday.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/mumbai/Wrong-of-Pawar-to-seek-Sena-nod/Article1-521102.aspx

Goondas, mind your own business
By Khushwant Singh

Did Shah Rukh Khan and the Maharashtra government score a decisive
victory over the Shiv Sena by showing ‘My Name Is Khan’ in Mumbai’s
cinemas?

Did liberal elements in Karnataka score over Rama Sene by blackening
the face of Pramod Muthalik? Many of us think so and hope both senas
have been dumped on the garbage heap. Unfortunately that is not so.

Shiv Sena’s balloon has no doubt been somewhat deflated but not burst.
It was the same when Rahul Gandhi travelled by suburban train, walking
down streets of Mumbai — a one time performance. And Muthalik has
wiped that soot off his face and is leading his storm troopers to
impose his will on people who do not agree with him.

My reasoning is simple: you cannot put down subversive elements
without having a strong government, which can effectively deal with
bullies. Their strength is their ability to damage property and rough
up people: No one wants to lose his property and get beaten up. The
most vulnerable are mill owners, cinema hall proprietors, eateries and
film people.

They will be eager to patch up with the Thackerays and the Muthaliks.
Take it from me that soon SRK will come to an understanding with the
Thackerays. It has been done before. Sunil Dutt and his daughter Priya
Dutt of the Congress sought Bal Thackeray’s blessings before the
elections. So did Pritish Nandi to become Sena’s nominee to the Rajya
Sabha.

Bal Thackeray is happy to receive important people at his residence,
Matoshree. They kowtow to him and touch his feet while he sits on his
throne draped in saffron robes and rudraksh malas, looking like a
patriarch of all he surveys. He aches to be loved to and is as liberal
in his blessings as he is in offering visitors chilled beer.

I have never met his recalcitrant nephew Raj Thackeray but his modus
operandi is much the same as his uncle’s. So I fear the present
euphoria generated by the release of ‘My Name Is Khan’ is going to be
short-lived. We have yet to build up a mass support of those who can
confront these senas’s goondas and teach them how to mind their own
business.

Bharatrihari

Almora-born Ramesh Chandra Shah was a professor of English in Hamidia
College, Bhopal, till 1997. However, he won acclaim as a Hindi poet
and novelist and was honoured with several awards. He stumbled on
Bharatrihari’s poems in Sanskrit and decided to learn the language; to
be able to translate them into English. I published some selections in
‘Yojana’ and ‘The Illustrated Weekly of India’. It is a privilege to
publish some more a third time. The translations are in rubai form and
read as well as Fitzgarald’s translations of Omar Khayyam.

‘Thus Spoke Bharatrihari’ is divided into three sections: Niti
(polity), Sringar (erotica) and Vairagya (asceticism). First I give
examples of Sringar:
You are so lucky if you can admire The lineaments of satisfied desire
In your young bride; suck at her honey’s mouth And let her languor in
your arms retire And:

The bookful blockheads preaching self-restraint Do not consider what’s
really at stake Love’s play on passionate breasts and thighs once
known Such amorous raptures who can ever forsake.

In the third verse he rues the futility of life spent in making love:

The joy companionship of women brings Ends in despair and
disillusionment
Self-knowledge is the only certain good Leading to calm of mind, all
passions spent.
Finally the search for salvation:

Blest are the saints who from all passions free Possess their souls
and live in ecstasy With boundless space as garment and a bowl Of rice
as food and woods as company.

And:

Drunk with delusion’s ever tempting wine We mortals fail to see the
spark Divine
Caught in the vicious whirls of nights and days Our soul ne’er stops
to think of its decline Dress Code

Henry Ford II, son of Henry Ford I, who felt that his father was
generally improperly dressed and did not adhere to the correct dress
code, had the following conversation with him:

Henry Ford II: Dad, you are the biggest manufacturer of cars and a
very renowned person in America. Then why do you dress so shabbily?

Henry Ford I: Yes. I dress the way I like, as everyone in America
knows me as Henry Ford.

Henry Ford II: But, when you go abroad, there also you dress in the
same way, even in poshest of places.

Henry Ford I: Yes, of course, abroad also I dress the same way,
because there no one knows me as Henry Ford.

(Contributed by Colonel Trilok Mehrotra, Noida)

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/58941/goondas-mind-your-own-business.html

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-03-20 19:11:46 UTC
Judicial & crime statistics, facts and figures

Following are various stats, facts and figures on crime in India and
judicial data , picked out of newspapers (mainly Hindustan Times),
magazines (mainly India Today), the BBC and various sources on the
web. These figures are not meant to be comprehensive lists, but rather
statistical trivia or factual snippets. For basic general facts and
figures about India as well as several Indian states, please see the
Quick Reference popups on the right hand side of this page, or go to
the main page of India statistics, facts and figures . For a full list
of links to our statistics pages, see the About India index or the
bottom of the right navigation bar on this page.

Lines marked with an asterisk (*) are recently added entries.

stats on court cases, murder and jails in India

- pending court cases country wide: more than 20 million (end of
2002)
- persons in jail waiting for trial: over 1 million (end of 2002)
- conviction rate of court cases: around 1 percent (according to Prem
Shankar Jha)
- number of murders in India between 1998 and 2000: 37,170
- murders committed in Uttar Pradesh: 7,200 to 7,500 per year [HT Jun
04]
- occupancy of Muzzafarnagar district jail in UP: 1,155 prisoners
(oct 03)
- capacity of Muzzafarnagar district jail in UP: 530 prisoners (oct
03)
- number of prisoners jailed in 60 prisons in Uttar Pradesh: 50,939
(oct 03)

various crime statistics and data

- people who died instantly in Bhopal on 2-3 Dec 1984 from the Union
Carbide gas
leak: 1,700 [HT May 04]
- people who have died since Dec 1984 from after effects from the
Union Carbide
gas leak in Bhopal: 22,000 [HT May 04]
- people who continue to suffer from varied diseases affecting
respiratory,
reproductive systems as a result of the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak
in Bhopal:
570,000 [HT May 04]
- * number of persons reported missing in Nithari (impoverished area
in Noida, Delhi): 41 within 2 years [REU Jan 07]
- * number of cases of kidnapping, murder and rape registered by the
CBI in
Noida relating to suspected serial killers Moninder Singh Pandher
and
Surendra Koli: 19 (CBI: (Central Bureau of Investigation) [REU Jan
07]
- * number of polythene bags containing body parts found in drains
near the
suspect: 40 [REU Jan 07]
- number of policemen in Delhi: 59,077 [HT Jun 04]
- number of finials missing at the Red Fort Delhi Gate: 10 (originals
could fetch each
about 33,600 Euro on black market)
- drop in crime in Delhi Nov 2003 (compared to Nov 2002): murder: -36
% --
robbery: -23 % -- extortion: -73 % -- rioting: -70 %
- number of crimes in the Chambal ravines (UP) within past 5 years:
approx 4,000
kidnappings & 180 murders (The UP government has proposed to combat
crimes and
bandits in the Chambal ravines by setting up a 371 acre lion safari
park with 5 lions to
attract tourists) [BBC, Aug 2005]

crime in Government / corruption

- candidates facing criminal charges in the Oct 2004 Maharashtra
election: 91 out
of 163 Shiv Sena party candidates -- 45 out of 111 BJP candidates
-- 31 out of 124
Nationalist Congress party candidates -- 30 out of 157 Congress
candidates [BBC Oct 04]
- number of UP candidates with a criminal record who made it to the
14th Lok
Sabha: at least 12 [HT May 04]
- number of Uttar Pradesh's MLAs who have been through processes of
the law
reserved for criminals: 205 (of a total of 403 MLAs - Member of the
Legislative
Assembly) [HT beginning 2004]
- amount of money taken by MPs in recent "cash for questions"
scandal:
232 - 10,000 US Dollars in bribes for asking questions in
parliament [BBC, Dec 2005]
- number of MPs suspended by India's main political parties for
taking bribes,
end 2005: 9 (Congress: 1 -- BJP: 5 -- BSP: 3) [BBC, Dec 2005]

some facts on laws, sentences & Court rules

- legal sentence for homosexuality: 10 years prison [BBC, Jan 2006]
- age of the colonial Indian Penal Code dealing with homosexuality:
145 years
[BBC, Jan 2006]
- year in which a petition for legalising homosexuality was dismissed
by the High
Court in Delhi: 2004 [BBC, Jan 2006]
- year in which the High Court in Delhi overturned the 1914
legislation and ruled
that women should be allowed to serve alcohol in public: 2005 [BBC,
Jan 2006]

"missing person" tourist stats

- number of registered "person gone missing" in the Kulu Valley (HP)
since 1992: 15
- estimated foreigners disappearance in the Kulu Valley (HP) for the
past decade: 50
(estimate by UK based pressure group Fair Trials Abroad)
- "mysterious" tourist deaths in Goa (jan 2003 - apr 2004): 59

data on crime against women

- official punishment for sex selection (i.e. abortion if child is
female): 3 years jail +
50,000 Rupees fine (equiv to 960 Euro)
- loss of female births within past 2 decades caused by abortion and
sex selection:
estimate of more than 10 million [BBC, Jan 2006]
- annual 'girl deficit' due to prenatal sex selection and selective
abortion: 500,000
according to researchers for the Lancet Journal [BBC, Jan 2006]
- rape cases pending in courts across the country: 56,000 [Oct 2003]
- * registered cases of rape in Delhi 2004: 550 [BBC, Aug 2005]
- rape cases in Delhi 2002: convicted: 98 -- acquitted: 344
- age of rape victims in Delhi: 75% are minors, and of those 25 % are
below 12 years
- registered cases of eve-teasing for Mar - Aug 2003 in Indian
metropoles: Delhi: 744
-- Mumbai:27 -- Kolkata:30 -- Chennai:143
- cases of rape for Mar - Aug 2003 in Indian metropoles: Delhi: 262
-- Mumbai: 40
-- Kolkata: 18 -- Chennai: 21
- officially recorded dowry deaths in major cities combined (Delhi,
Mumbai, Calcutta,
Chennai): 2002: 181 -- 2001: 121
- cases of crimes against women registered with the police in
Himachal Pradesh
2002: 920 (including 137 for rape, 138 for kidnap, 6 for dowry)
- Haryana cost of buffalo: 18,000 - 24,000 Rs (approx 345 - 460 Euro)
- Haryana cost of girl (human trafficking): 4000 Rs (approx 77 Euro)

some crime statistics of Himachal Pradesh
- number of cases of crime in HP from Apr 2003 to May 2004: 1,617
registered cases
- top on the Human Rights violators' list in Himachal Pradesh: Police
(HP Human
Rights Commission received 148 complaints involving police, that is
43 percent of the
complaints)
- cases registered under the NDPS Act in HP: 2002: 312 -- 2003:310
(NDPS: Narcotics, Drugs & Psychotropic Substances) [HT Mar 04]
- amount of drugs recovered by police in HP: 2002: 720 kg charas, 35
kg opium
-- 2003: 420 kg charas, 35 kg opium, 1.5 kg brown sugar
- number of police personnel involved in the annual "Destroy
Cannabis" operation
in the village of Malana in HP Sep 2004: team of 200 people from
Narcotics Control
Bureau, Kullu police and Home Guards [HT Sep 04]

stats on "Destroy Cannabis" operation in Malana Sep 2003 in HP
- cannabis growing area destroyed in Malana and surrounding: 1,100
bigha
(1 hectare = 12 bigha)
- duration of operation "Destroy Cannabis": 8 days (15 - 23
september)
- number of police or soldiers or helpers: 250 or more
- longest cannabis plant found: 15 feet 7 inches
- possible production from destroyed area: 300 kg charas
- area of destruction of cannabis fields in previous years: 1998: 939
bighas
-- 1999: 224 bighas -- 2000: 1,200 bighas -- 2002: 676 bighas (1
hectare = 12 bigha)

data sources & key:

AT: Asia Times, BBC: BBC online, BRIT: Britannica 2002, BSNL: BSNL
Telecom Trends, BSt: Business Standard, CIA: CIA Factbook India, CIN:
censusindia.net, CNEI: Chandigarh Newsline, c/net: c/net news, ConSu:
Content Sutra DI: Daily India, DNA: DNA India, EB: EquityBull, EI:
ExpressIndia, EW: EconomyWatch, FE: Financial Express, FL: Frontline,
GG: Gujarat Global, GTF: Global Technology Forum, GBoWR: Guinness Book
of World Records, HT: Hindustan Times, ID: IndiaDaily, IInfoLine:
India InfoLine IND: The Independent, ITo: India Today, NPBS: Nature
PBS, PhO: PhysOrg, RED: Rediff, REU: Reuters, Sify: Sify Broadband,
TH: The Hindu, TNJ: The News (Jang), ToI: Times of India, TT: The
Tribune,

http://www.neoncarrot.co.uk/h_aboutindia/india_crime_stats.html

Specimen Data Tables : Crime and Law

Cognizable Crimes Registered in India
(1995 to 2001)

Year Num.of Offences Ratio (IPC : SLL) Rate/100000 Inhab. Total

1995 1695696 4297476 1:2.53 5993172 -

1996 1709576 4586986 1:2.68 6296562 675.6

1997 1719820 4691439 1:2.73 6411259 671.2

1998 1778815 4403288 1:2.47 6182103 636.7

1999 1764629 3198902 1:1.78 4911730 497.8

2000 1771084 3396666 1:1.92 5167750 515.7

2001 1769308 3575230 1:02:02 5344538 520.4

Abbr.: IPC : Indian Penal Code.
SLL : Special and Local Laws.

Crime against Women

Figures at All-India / State level : (Currently showing India with
State Level consolidated figures) Andaman & Nicobar Islands |
Arunachal Pradesh | Assam | Chhattisgarh | Delhi | Goa | Himachal
Pradesh | Jharkhand | Kerala | Madhya Pradesh | Maharashtra | Manipur
| Orissa | Punjab | Rajasthan | Tamil Nadu | Tripura | Uttar Pradesh |
Uttaranchal | West Bengal |

(Data table headings are shown Year-wise in descending order)

Number of Cases Registered at National Commission for Women (NCW)
Related to Alleged Attacks on Women/Girl by Nature of Complaints in
India (01.11.2008 to 31.10.2009)

State/Age-Group-wise Victims of Total Rape Cases in India (2007)

Crime Head-wise Incidents of Crime Against Women in India (2001 to
2006)

Incidents of Custodial Rape in Police Custody in India (1995 to
2006)

Proportion of Crime Against Woman (Indian Penal Code) toward total
Indian Penal Code Crimes in India (1996 to 2006)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered (Women and Children) under
Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 in India (2004 to 2006)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered for Atrocities against Women
and their Status in India (2006)

State-wise Number of Missing and Traced Men, Women and Children in
India (2006)

Number of Cases Detected and Persons Arrested in Flesh Trade in
India (2003 to 2005)

Selected City-wise Number of Crime Committed Against Women in India
(2005)

State/Selected City/Age-Group-wise Victims of Other (Rape) Cases in
India (2005)

State-wise Cases Registered and Case Charge Sheeted under Cruelty
by Husband and Relatives against Women in India (2001 to 2005)

State-wise Number of Cases of Procuration of Minor Girls, Selling/
Buying of Girls for Prostitution in India (2001 to 2005)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered for Atrocities against Women
and their Status in India (2005)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered of Harassment (Molestation)
and Sexual Harassment of Women in India (2002 to 2005)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered Under Procuration of Minor
Girls in India (2003 to 2005)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered under Rape, Molestation and
Sexual Harassment in India (2005)

State-wise Number of Complaints for Harassment of Women at Work
Place Received and Disposed by National Commission for Women in India
(2002 to 2005)

State-wise Number of Complaints for Harassment of Women at Work
Place Received and Disposed of by Department of Women and Child
Development in India (2002 to 2005)

State-wise Number of Dowry Deaths Reported in India (1999 to
2005)

State-wise Number of Missing and Traced Men, Women and Children in
India (2005)

Cases Filed Against Clinics/Doctors for Communication of Sex of
Foetus in Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Punjab (As on
31.3.2004)

Different Types of Crimes Committed Against Women in India (2001 to
2004)

Month-wise Number of Complaints Received by National Commission for
Women in India (April 2003 to March 2004)

Number of Complaints of Sexual Harassment Received in Prasar
Bharati in India (2001-2002 to 2003-2004)

State/Month-wise Atrocities Complaints Received Against Women by
National Commission for Women in India (2004)

State/Month-wise Atrocities Complaints Received Against Women by
National Commission for Women in India (2004)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered for Atrocities against Women
and their Status in India (2004)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered under Rape, Molestation and
Sexual Harassment in India (2002 to 2004)

State-wise Number of Complaints for Harassment of Women at Work
Place Received by National Commission for Women and Department of
Women and Child Development in India (2002 to 2004)

State-wise Number of Missing and Traced Men, Women and Children in
India (2004)

Number of Cases of Eve-Teasing and Rape Reported in Metropolitan
Cities of India (As on 1st March 2003 to 31st August, 2003)

Category/Month-wise Complaints Received in National Commission for
Women in India (2001-2002)

City-wise Number of Rapes and Rapes with Murders in India
(2000-2002)

Different Type of Crimes Committed Against Women in India (1998 to
2002)

Nature and Number of Complaints Received Against Women in India
(January 2000 to March 2002)

State-wise Cases Reported, Persons Arrested, Charge-Sheeted and
Convicted in Custodial Rape in India (2001 and 2002)

State-wise Number of Complaints Received regarding Crime against
Women in India (1997 to 2002)

State-wise Number of Missing Girls (14-18 Years) in India (2000 to
2002)

Category/Month-wise Complaints Received in National Commission of
Women in India (April, 2000 to March, 2001)

Missing Women Registered and Percentage of Women Recovered in Six
Metropolition Cities in India (1999 to 2001)

Number of Dowry Death Cases Reported in India (During 2000-2001)

State-wise Cases Disposal of Cruelty (Husband and Relatives) by
Police and Court in India (1999 to 2001)

State-wise Disposal of Dowry Prohibition Act Cases by Police and
Court in India (1999 to 2001)

State-wise Incidence of Incest Rape Cases Registered in India (1999
to 2001)

State-wise Incidence of Molestation and Percentage Variation Over
Previous Year in India (1999-2001)

State-wise Incidence of Procuration of Minor Girls, Selling/Buying
of Girls for Prostitution in India (During 2000 to 2001)

State-wise Incidence of Total Crime Committed Against Women in
India (1999 to 2001)

Crime Head-wise Incidents of Crime Against Women in India (1990 to
2000)

Different Types of Crimes Committed Against Women in India (1990 to
2000)

Disposal of Custodial Rape Cases by Courts in India (1995 to
2000)

Disposal of Custodial Rape Cases by Police in India (1995 to
2000)

State-wise Cases Reported, Persons Arrested, Charge-Sheeted and
Convicted in Custodial Rape in India (1998 to 2000)

State-wise Incidence of Rape (upto Available Month) in India (1998
to 2000)

State-wise Incidence of Sexual Harassment and Total Crime Committed
Against Women in India (1998 to 2000)

State-wise Number of Complaints handled by the National Commission
for Women in India (1998 to 2000)

State-wise Rape Cases Reported, Chargesheeted and Convicted in
India (During 1999-2000)

State-wise Trade of Girls for Prostitution in India (1999 and
2000)

Disposal of Crimes Against Women Cases by Courts in India (1997 to
1999)

Disposal of Crimes Against Women Cases by Police in India (1997 to
1999)

State-wise Incidence of Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, Indecent
Representation of Women (Pre.) Act, Dowry Prohibition Act Committed
Against Women in India (1999) - Part III

State-wise Incidence of Molestation, Sexual Harassment (Eve-
Teasing), Importing of Girls Committed Against Women in India (1999) -
Part II

State-wise Incidence of Procuration of Minor Girls, Selling/Buying
of Girls for Prostitution in India (During 1998 to 1999)

State-wise Incidence of Rape, Kidnapping and Abduction, Dowry
Deaths and Cruelty by Husband and Relatives Committed Against Women in
India (1999) - Part I

Percentage Distribution of Various Crimes against Women in India
(1998)

State/Cities-wise Motives of Murder and Culpable Homicide Not
Amounting to Murder (C.H.) in India (1998) - Part I

State/Cities-wise Motives of Murder and Culpable Homicide Not
Amounting to Murder (C.H.) in India (1998) - Part II

State-wise Incidence of Immoral Traffic (P) Act, Indecent Rep. Of
Women (P) Act, Dowry Proh. Act Committed Against Women in India (1998)
- Part III

State-wise Incidence of Molestation, Eve-Teasing, Importing of
Girls and Sati-Prevention Act Committed Against Women in India (1998)
- Part II

State-wise Incidence of Rape, Kidnapping and Abduction, Dowry
Deaths and Cruelty by Husband and Relatives Committed Against Women in
India (1998) - Part I

Incidence and Rate of Crime Committed Against Women

Offenders Relation and Proximity to Rape Victims

Victims of Rape under Different Age Group

Releted Links
Indicators on Other Attainment

http://www.indiastat.com/crimeandlaw/6/incidenceofcrime/130/crimeagainstwomen/17911/stats.aspx

Foetiside

Figures at All-India / State level : (Currently showing India with
State Level consolidated figures) Rajasthan |

(Data table headings are shown Year-wise in descending order)

Selected State-wise Number of Ultra-Sound Machines Sealed for Non-
Maintenance of Records/Non-Registration under Pre-Conception and Pre-
Natal Determination Techniques Act (PC & PNDT) in India (2005 and
2006)

State-wise Incidence of Female Foeticide in India (1994 to 2007)

State-wise Incidence of Female Infanticide in India (1999 to
2007)

State-wise Number of Bodies Registered, Court/Police Cases and
Machines Seized/Sealed under Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic
Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act 1994, in India (2005)

State-wise Number of Complaints Filed in Courts against Violators
of PC and PNDT Act/Rules in India (As on 31.7.2005)

State-wise Number of Bodies Registered, Court/Police Cases and
Machines Seized/Sealed under Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic
Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act 1994, in India (As on
31.3.2004)

State-wise Cases of Foeticide/Female Infanticide in India (2001 to
2003)

http://www.indiastat.com/crimeandlaw/6/incidenceofcrime/130/foetiside/207039/stats.aspx

State/City-wise Incidence and Rate of Crime Committed
Against Women in India

(2000)

1 State/City
2 Incidence
3 % of Contrib.to All-India Total
4 Est.Mid -Year Pop.(In Lakh)
5 Rate of Cognizable Crimes
6 Rank*
7 Rank**

Andhra Pradesh

1 2 3 4 5 6

14299 10.1 758.5 18.9 4 3

Arunachal Pradesh

143 0.1 12.0 11.9 16 21

Assam

3732 2.6 263.0 14.2 11 13

Bihar

6299 4.5 1005.6 6.3 25 8

Goa

100 0.1 16.1 6.2 26 24

Gujarat

6140 4.3 484.9 12.7 14 9

Haryana 2.3 199.3 16.6 7 14

Himachal Pradesh

842 0.6 67.4 12.5 15 18

Jammu & Kashmir

1634 1.2 99.9 16.4 8 17

Karnataka

5852 4.1 523.0 11.2 19 10

Kerala 3.5 323.5 15.4 9 11

Madhya Pradesh

17902 12.7 802.3 22.3 2 2

Maharashtra

13177 9.3 914.3 14.4 10 5

Manipur

74 0.1 25.4 2.9 29 25

Meghalya

69 0.0 24.5 2.8 30 26

Mizoram

133 0.1 9.6 13.9 12 22

Nagaland

22 0.0 17.0 1.3 32 28

Orissa

4717 3.3 359 6 13.1 13 12

Punjab

2156 1.5 236.2 9.1 21 16

Rajasthan

12942 9.2 538 7 24.0 1 6

Sikkim

21 0.0 5.6 3.7 28 29

Tamil Nadu

13732 9.7 619 3 22.2 3 4

Tripura

330 0.2 38.1 8.7 24 19

Uttar Pradesh

18920 13.4 1715.4 11.0 20 1

West Bengal

7043 5.0 793.3 8.9 22 7

Total States

138572 98.0 9852 4 14.1 - -

Total (All-India)
141373 100.0 10021.4 14.1 - -

Cities

Ahmedabad
510
3.0
42.8
11.9
18
10

Bangalore
1255
7.5
57.1
22.0
7
3

Bhopal
320
1.9
16.9
19.0
10
15

Chennai
4037
24.0
67.5
59.8
1
1

Coimbatore
283
1.7
13.0
21.8
8
17

Delhi (City)
2122
12.6
120.6
17.6
11
2

Hyderabad
1227
7.3
71.5
17.2
12
4

Indore
372
2.2
14.6
25.6
5
13

Jaipur
804
4.8
22.1
36.4
3
7

Kanpur
956
5.7
24.8
38.6
2
5

Kochi
125
0.7
18.3
6.8
21
23

Kolkata
558
3.3
130.6
4.3
23
9

Lucknow
683
4.1
26.7
25.5
6
8

Ludhiana
289
1.7
17.3
16.7
13
16

Madurai
380
2.3
12.8
29.6
4
12

Mumbai
888
5.3
187.1
4.7
22
6

Nagpur
443
2.6
20.9
21.2
9
11

Patna
212
1.3
13.0
16.3
14
21

Pune
352
2.1
35.9
9.8
20
14

Surat
243
1.4
24.4
10.0
19
19

Vadodara
240
1.4
16.6
14.5
17
20

Varanasi
206
1.2
13.1
15.7
16
22

Vishakhapatnam
282
1.7
17.8
15.8
15
18

Total (Cities)
16787
100.0
985.4
17.0
-
-

Note : * : Rank on the basis of rate of total cognizable crime.
** : Rank on the basis of Percentage share.

http://www.indiastat.com/6/specimen.aspx

Crime against SC/ST

Figures at All-India / State level : (Currently showing India with
State Level consolidated figures) | Andaman & Nicobar Islands | Andhra
Pradesh | Arunachal Pradesh | Assam | Bihar | Chandigarh |
Chhattisgarh | Dadra & Nagar Haveli | Daman & Diu | Delhi | Goa |
Gujarat | Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu & Kashmir | Jharkhand |
Karnataka | Kerala | Lakshadweep | Madhya Pradesh | Maharashtra |
Manipur | Meghalaya | Mizoram | Nagaland | Orissa | Pondicherry |
Punjab | Rajasthan | Sikkim | Tamil Nadu | Tripura | Uttar Pradesh |
Uttaranchal | West Bengal |

(Data table headings are shown Year-wise in descending order)

Selected State-wise Central Assistance Released and Utilised under
Provision of Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and Scheduled Castes
and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989) in India
(2005-2006 to 2007-2008)

Crime-wise Disposal of Persons Arrested for Committing Crimes
Against Scheduled Tribes by Court in India (2006)

State-wise Incidence (I), Rate (R) and Percentage Contribution (P)
of Crime Committed Against Scheduled Tribes in India (2006) - Part I

State-wise Number of Cases Ending Conviction under Scheduled Castes
and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act. 1989) in India
(2004 to 2006)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered under Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 in India (1998
to 2006)

Crime-wise Disposal of Persons Arrested for Committing Crimes
Against Scheduled Tribes by Court in India (2005)

State-wise Funds Released Under Protection of Civil Rights Act,
1955 and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of
Atrocities Act, 1989) in India (1997-1998 to 2004-2005)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered (CR), Persons Arrested (PA),
Persons Chargesheeted (PC), Total Persons Tried (PT), Persons
Convicted (PV) and Persons Acquitted (PQ) under Hurt of Scheduled
Castes (SC) (In Conjunction with SC/ST (P) of Atrocities Act) and PCR
Act in India (2005)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered (CR), Persons Arrested (PA),
Persons Chargesheeted (PC), Total Persons Tried (PT), Persons
Convicted (PV) and Persons Acquitted (PQ) under Hurt of Scheduled
Tribe (ST) (In Conjunction with SC/ST (P) of Atrocities Act) and PCR
Act in India (2005)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered (CR), Persons Arrested (PA),
Persons Chargesheeted (PC), Total Persons Tried (PT), Persons
Convicted (PV) and Persons Acquitted (PQ) under Kidnapping and
Abduction and Dacoity of Scheduled Tribe (ST) (In Conjunction with SC/
ST (P) of Atrocities Act) in India (2005)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered (CR), Persons Arrested (PA),
Persons Chargesheeted (PC), Total Persons Tried (PT), Persons
Convicted (PV) and Persons Acquitted (PQ) under Murder and Rape of
Scheduled Tribe (ST) (In Conjunction with SC/ST (P) of Atrocities Act)
in India (2005)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered (CR), Persons Arrested (PA),
Persons Chargesheeted (PC), Total Persons Tried (PT), Persons
Convicted (PV) and Persons Acquitted (PQ) under Robbery and Arson of
Scheduled Castes (SC) (In Conjunction with SC/ST (P) of Atrocities
Act) in India (2005)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered (CR), Persons Arrested (PA),
Persons Chargesheeted (PC), Total Persons Tried (PT), Persons
Convicted (PV) and Persons Acquitted (PQ) under Robbery and Arson of
Scheduled Tribe (ST) (In Conjunction with SC/ST (P) of Atrocities Act)
in India (2005)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered (CR), Persons Arrested (PA),
Persons Chargesheeted (PC), Total Persons Tried (PT), Persons
Convicted (PV) and Persons Acquitted (PQ) under SC/ST (P) of
Atrocities Act Only and Other Crimes Against Scheduled Castes (SC) in
India (2005)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered (CR), Persons Arrested (PA),
Persons Chargesheeted (PC), Total Persons Tried (PT), Persons
Convicted (PV) and Persons Acquitted (PQ) under SC/ST (P) of
Atrocities Act Only and Other Crimes against Scheduled Tribe (ST) in
India (2005)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered , Persons Arrested , Persons
Chargesheeted , Total Persons Tried , Persons Convicted and Persons
Acquitted under Kidnapping and Abduction and Dacoity of SC (In
Conjunction with SC/ST (P) of Atrocities Act) in India (2005)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered, Persons Arrested, Persons
Chargesheeted, Total Persons Tried, Persons Convicted and Persons
Acquitted under Murder and Rape of SC (In Conjunction with SC/ST (P)
of Atrocities Act) in India (2005)

State-wise Number of Murder Cases Registered Against Scheduled
Caste and Scheduled Tribe in India (2005)

Crime-wise Disposal of Persons Arrested for Committing Crimes
Against Scheduled Tribes by Court in India (2004)

State-wise Number of Atrocities Cases Registered under Scheduled
Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 in
India (2002 to 2004)

Crime-wise Disposal of Persons Arrested for Committing Crimes
Against Scheduled Tribes by Court in India (2003)

Number of Cases Registered under SC/ST (POA Act 1989 and PCR Act,
1955) in India (1997 to 2003)

State-wise Cases under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
(Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 in Regard to Disposal of Cases by
Courts, Cases Ending in Conviction and Cases Pending in Courts in
India (1999 to 2003)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered by Police, Charge Sheeted in
Courts and Cases Disposed Off by Courts under Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 in India
(2003)

Crime-wise Disposal of Persons Arrested for Committing Crimes
Against Scheduled Tribes by Court in India (2002)

Selected State-wise Showing Disposal of Cases by Exclusive Special
Courts Booked Under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention
of Atrocities) Act, 1989 in India (31.12.2002)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered by Police, Charge Sheeted in
Courts and Cases Disposed Off by Courts under Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 in India
(2002)

State-wise Police Atrocities Against Tribals in India (2000 to
2002)

State-wise Murder Committed Against SC/ST by Non-SC and ST in India
(2001 Upto available Months)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered by Police, Charge Sheeted in
the Courts and Cases Disposed off by Courts Under the Scheduled Castes
and the Secheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) in India Act,
1989 (2001)

Number of Crimes Against Scheduled Castes in India (1991 to 2000)

Percentage Share and Variation in IPC Crimes Against Scheduled
Castes in Total IPC Crimes in India (1992 to 2000)

State/UT with Maximum Percentage Contribution to Crimes against
Scheduled Caste in India (2000)

States with Maximum Percentage Contribution towards Various forms
of Crimes Committed against Scheduled Tribes (2000)

State-wise Number of Cases Acquital under Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 in India (During
1998 to 2000)

State-wise Number of Cases Chargesheeted in Courts under Scheduled
Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 in
India (During 1998 to 2000)

State-wise Number of Cases Conviction under Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 in India (During
1998 to 2000)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered, Charge Sheeted in the Courts
and Cases Disposed off by Courts Under the Scheduled Castes and the
Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) in India Act, 1989 in
India (2000)

State-wise Number of Cases Registered, Charge Sheeted in the Courts
and Cases Disposed off by Courts Under the Scheduled Castes and the
Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) in India Act, 1989 (1999)

Cases Registered with Police under Different Crimes Head and
Atrocities on Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in India
(1995 to 1997)

Disposal of Cases for Committed Crimes Against Scheduled Castes by
Courts/Police

Disposal of Cases for Committed Crimes Against Scheduled Tribes by
Courts/Police

Disposal of Persons Arrested for Committing Crimes Against
Scheduled Castes by Courts/Police

Disposal of Persons Arrested for Committing Crimes Against
Scheduled Tribes by Courts/Police

Incidence of Crimes Against Scheduled Castes

Incidence of Crimes Against Scheduled Tribes

http://www.indiastat.com/crimeandlaw/6/incidenceofcrime/130/crimeagainstscst/17913/stats.aspx

Juvenile Courts

Figures at All-India / State level : (Currently showing India with
State Level consolidated figures) Gujarat | Maharashtra | Meghalaya
|

(Data table headings are shown Year-wise in descending order)
Crime Head-wise Juveniles Apprehended under IPC and SLL Crimes by
Age-Group and Sex in India (2007)
Incidence and Rate of Juvenile Delinquency under IPC in India (1988
to 2007)
Juveniles Apprehended Under IPC and SLL Crimes By Age Groups in
India (1993 to 2007)
Crime Head-wise Juveniles Apprehended under IPC and SLL Crimes by
Age Groups and Sex in India (2006)
Crime-wise Juvenile Delinquency IPC Cases in India (1995, 2000 to
2006)
Juvenile Delinquency (SLL) Under Different Crime Heads in India
(2000 to 2006)
Juveniles Apprehended by Age Group and Sex in India (1971, 1981,
1986, 1987, 1988 and 1991 to 2006)
State-wise Number of Juvenile Justice Boards and Homes Setup under
Provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act,
2000 in India (2006)
State-wise Number of Juveniles Staying in Observation Homes Set up
under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 in
India (August, 2006)
Crime Head-wise Juveniles Apprehended under IPC and SLL Crimes by
Age Groups and Sex in India (2005)
Disposal of Juveniles Arrested under IPC and LSL Crimes in India<