#India lags in transparency laws on drug firm-doctor dealings #healthcare



Rema Nagarajan,TNN | Jun 10, 2013,=
The trend towards greater transparency in interactions between the healthcare industry and healthcare providers, including doctors, is catching on globally with France being the latest in enacting a law to make disclosures of relations between healthcare professionals and industry.

The French law, dubbed Strengthening of Health Protection for Medicinal and Health Products, was brought into force in the last week of May laying down disclosure obligations, which affect all agreements concluded between healthcare professionals (HCPs) and companies, as well as every benefit in kind or in cash exceeding 10 euros. According to the decree implementing the law, a free public website with all the disclosures will be maintained by a public authority. This law is similar in intent to the US Physician Payment Sunshine Act, which came into force earlier this year.

Several other countries are ramping up their transparency laws regarding payments between healthcare companies and physicians even as India continues to have no laws to regulate companies that give doctors freebies. If caught, only doctors are penalized, not companies.

Disclosure under the French law will include all contracts such as R&D contracts, contracts for clinical trials or observational studies, consultancy agreements for being speakers or on advisory boards and invitations to scientific or medical events for which the costs such as registration fees, travel costs, meals and accommodation expenses are paid by the company. This disclosure obligation applies to every payment and contract issued from January 2012 onward.

The US law requires the healthcare industry to report annually to the secretary of health and human services certain payments or other transfers of value to physicians and teaching hospitals. All the information is to be posted on a public website expected to be ready by next year.

Slovakia, too, is reported to have enacted a similar law. Belgium is looking into the possibility of introducing a similar law. Already, in Belgium, companies that have marketing authorisation for medicines have to keep a record of all gifts or benefits offered to doctors.

In Germany, there are no similar transparency laws but insurers are demanding prison sentences of up to three years for doctors who accept bribes or other favours. This demand followed cases of doctors being allegedly paid to prescribe a company’s drugs and the publicizing of many doctors earning huge amounts of money for supposedly conducting observational studies, where pharmaceutical companies pay doctors to observe the side effects of new drugs, often a cover-up for paying them to prescribe certain drugs.

In the midst of this clamour internationally for greater transparency in drug industry ties with healthcare providers, the Indian government continues to ignore recommendations of the parliamentary committee on health, the Medical Council of India and several doctors

“To those who believe in resistance , who live between hope and impatience and have learned the perils of being unreasonable. To those who understand enough to be afraid, and yet retain their fury”

 

Renewable energy is clean, cheap and here – what’s stopping us?


 

Energies such as solar and wind have seen dramatic price falls. The revolution in non-grid energy should be embraced by the UK

Ashley Seager

Saturday  June 2013

guardian.co.uk

The report from the Committee on Climate Change arguing that investing in renewable energy would eventually save consumers a lot of money is spot on.

We are regularly told by conventional utility companies, many politicians and commentators that energies such as solar and wind are hopelessly expensive and reliant on enormous subsidy.

But this is simply wrong. Renewables have seen such dramatic price falls in the past few years that they are threatening to upset the world as we know it and usher in an almost unprecedented boom in the spread of cheap, clean, home-produced energy.

Solar will be the cheapest form of power in many countries within just a few years. In places such as California and Italy it has already reached so-called “grid parity“. Onshore wind, on a piece of land not constrained by years of planning delays, is already the cheapest form of energy on earth. These are not wild claims – those are figures from General ElectricCitibank and others.

Solar PV, the area in which my company operates, is a case in point. Three years ago firms like ours were paying about €3,600 per installed kilowatt of solar capacity on barn roofs in Germany. Today it can be done for just over €1,000 – a staggering 70% fall. That is seriously cheap and will just keep getting cheaper.

Thanks to a surge in global production to 60 gWp annually, (enough to supply British households – not offices or factories – with all their electricity) solar power has dropped dramatically in price. But there is more to come. Cambridge IP, a global innovation and intellectual property firm, says there is a surge of interest and R&D into two new forms of solar power which are likely to be available commercially by the end of this decade.

 

Newly built solar plants are already considerably cheaper than new nuclear plants per kilowatt hour of electricity produced and we are almost at the stage where we don’t need a guaranteed price (known as a feed-in tariff) because solar energy will compete head on with conventional energy.

True, there is an ongoing cost from the German government’s previous support for solar, but is much lower than the subsidies pumped by the western world into nuclear, coal, oil and gas over the past decades.

It is always amazing how a tax cut announced by George Osborne for North Sea oil and gas industry is greeted as somehow being good for Britain whereas any support for renewables is immediately dubbed a subsidy by the conventional energy companies wedded to their dying business model. A tax cut is a subsidy by another name. And remember the estimated £100bn plus cost to future taxpayers of disposing of Britain’s dangerous pile of nuclear waste.

And solar is starting to pay its subsidy back. Germany now has more than 30 gigaWatt peak (gWp) of solar plants installed, such that on almost all days in the spring, summer and autumn, solar energy surges into the grid at a time when demand is at is strongest (air conditioning etc is running like mad) and when spot market energy prices are at their highest.

This peak price is being forced down by solar, helping to reduce wholesale prices. The big energy companies hate this because this peak is where they make their money. Solar in Germany is almost down to wholesale prices – in sunnier countries it already is.

This brings me on to a really exciting development . Our company is starting to sell power directly from the barn roofs we have our plants on to the farmers who own the roofs and nearby towns wishing to rescue themselves from the grasp of the RWEs and E.ONs of this world.

Why? Because we can produce power at around half of what farmers are paying.

This so-called “distributed” (ie non-grid) energy is where the real revolution is taking place. Distributed energy not only saves on the huge amount of energy lost in grid distribution, but it helps lighten the load on the grid. Whole German towns are going completely renewable. The citizens get cheaper, cleaner power. If only Britain would get this.

Just to be clear – Germany (Europe’s biggest economy) now gets 25% of its electricity from renewables – a proportion that is increasing by the month. This is twice the level of the UK, although, interestingly, similar to that of Scotland on its own. Germany is also leading on figuring out how to overcome the problems of “intermittency” by storing renewable energy. I agree with the sceptical environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg that much of the world’s efforts to reduce emissions in the past couple of decades have been a waste of time. I also agree with him on the need for a surge in R&D to provide a cheap, renewable-energy-powered future. It is just that I think that future is already here, not decades away. And nuclear power is already a thing of the past.

 

#India- Warning – UID will create a digital caste System #Aadhaar #Aadhar


Biometric scanning of fingerprints during the launch of UID enrolment at the General Post Office in Bangalore

Biometric scanning of fingerprints during the launch of UID enrolment at the General Post Office in Bangalore

Interview with WikiLeaks activist, BS

Read more on:    UID | WikiLeaks | Jacob Appelbaum | Julian Assange | Digital caste system

Jacob Appelbaum, WikiLeaks spokesperson

He prefers that the audio recorder is not switched on during the interview because “whenever there’s an audio recording, there’s a file to be subpoena-ed”. And, he’s stuck a band-aid over the camera of the laptop he’s been working on. All these precautions are not without reason – Jacob Appelbaum, computer security researcher, hacker, activist, and a spokesperson for WikiLeaks, who also co-authored Cypherphunks: Freedom and Future of the Internet with WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, talks to Indulekha Aravind about the potential pitfalls of India’s ambitious UID project. Excerpts:

What is your view of India’s UID/Aadhaar programme?
UID will create a digital caste system because going by the way it is now being implemented, if you choose not to be part of the system, you will be the modern-day equivalent of an outcast. In theory, you are supposed to have the freedom to choose but in reality, the choice will only be whether to be left out and left behind.

What about the benefits it is supposed to offer, such as tackling corruption and protection against terrorism?
I don’t dispute that there will be benefits but I dispute whether UID will end corruption and whether one will be able to opt out of the system with dignity. Criminals will be able to subvert this system easily. In Germany, for example, a group of hackers were able to duplicate the fingerprint of Schauble (Germany’s finance minister, a proponent of collecting biometric data). And, it now costs less than a dollar to get a transferable fingerprint. About the question of containing terrorism, imagine a situation where a terrorist gets access to the central UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) database — he will be able to get all the details of every individual he wishes to target.

Considering that the programme has already been rolled out, what can the government now do to safeguard individual privacy?
First of all, there should be no centralised database. The information should be just on the cards. This can easily be done with smartcards. If you link all the information, that amounts to surveillance. There should also be legislation to prevent discrimination against people who have not registered with UIDAI.

What is your current involvement with WikiLeaks?
I like that to remain ambiguous (smiles). I’ve given talks on behalf of Julian (Assange) when he was unable to. After one particular talk I gave in 2010, my life changed. I was repeatedly harassed by US authorities.

What are the other projects you’re currently involved with?
I do computer security-related research, I work with human rights activists, and work with open software. I’m also involved with the Tor project, which aims at improving users’ privacy and security on the internet. If an Indian businessman goes to China, for example, and does not want his internet usage to be monitored, he can do that with Tor. (The Wall Street Journal termed Tor “an anonymous, and controversial, way to surf the Net”).

You have been dubbed a “hacktivist”…
I started working with open software and hacking before I was 15, after I realised I wanted to live in a world free from state surveillance. I’m a human being who does investigative journalism, research, and even works on international policy – I prefer not to be pigeon-holed.

 

Germany opposes death penalty for Devender Singh Bhullar


death-penalty
New Delhi, May, 10 (ANI): Germany has opposed the death penalty for Indian convict, Devender Singh Bhullar, who is facing the gallows for the 1993 militant attacks on a top police officer and also a political leader, claiming several lives.

Bhullar was extradited from Germany and tried by a court in India. German Ambassador to India, Michael Steiner said on Friday that they were against death penalty, as they don’t believe that it serves the cause of justice.

The Supreme Court had last month rejected a petition by Bhullar seeking that his death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment as his mercy plea had not been decided by the President for a long time.

Bhullar was given the death sentence for killing nine people with a car bomb in Delhi in 1993.

 

Germany marks 80 years since Adolf Hitler rose to power


The rise of the Nazis was made possible because the elite of German society worked with them, but also, above all else, because most in Germany at least tolerated this rise,” Merkel said.
After winning about a third of the vote in Germany’s 1932 election, Hitler convinced ailing President Paul von Hindenburg to appoint him chancellor on Jan. 30, 1933 — setting Germany on a course to war and genocide.
“This path ended in Auschwitz,” said Andreas Nachama, the director of the Topography of Terror.
Hitler anniversaryA poster, front center, showing Adolf Hitler, right, and Reich Chancellor Paul von Hindenburg, left, is pictured at the ‘Berlin 1933 – the way to despotism’ exhibition at the Topography of Terror museum in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

David Rising, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 6:57AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 11:18AM EST

BERLIN — On the 80th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to always fight for their principles and not fall into the complacency that enabled the Nazi dictator to seize control.

Speaking Wednesday at the opening of a new exhibit at the Topography of Terror memorial documenting Hitler’s election, Merkel noted that German academics and students at the time happily joined the Nazis only a few months later in burning books deemed subversive.

“The rise of the Nazis was made possible because the elite of German society worked with them, but also, above all else, because most in Germany at least tolerated this rise,” Merkel said.

After winning about a third of the vote in Germany’s 1932 election, Hitler convinced ailing President Paul von Hindenburg to appoint him chancellor on Jan. 30, 1933 — setting Germany on a course to war and genocide.

“This path ended in Auschwitz,” said Andreas Nachama, the director of the Topography of Terror.

The Topography memorial is built around the ruins of buildings where the Gestapo secret police, the SS and the Reich Security Main Office ran Hitler’s police state from 1933 to 1945. A stretch of the Berlin Wall along the edge serves as a reminder of Germany’s second dictatorship under the Communists in the 20th century.

Once chancellor, Hitler was able to use his position to consolidate absolute control over the country in the months to follow.

About a month after being appointed chancellor, Hitler used the torching of the Reichstag parliament building — blamed on a Dutch communist — to strengthen his grip on power. He suspended civil liberties and cracked down on opposition parties, paving the way for the police state.

By midsummer 1933, he had declared the Nazi Party to be the only political party in Germany. He later named himself “Fuehrer” or “Leader” of the country.

The fact that Hitler was able to destroy German democracy in only six months serves as a warning today of what can happen if the public is apathetic, Merkel said.

“Human rights do not assert themselves on their own; freedom does not emerge on its own; and democracy does not succeed on its own,” Merkel said. “No, a dynamic society … needs people who have regard and respect for one another, who take responsibility for themselves and others, where people take courageous and open decisions and who are prepared to accept criticism and opposition.”

Following the morning ceremony, Germany’s Parliament held a special session in tribute to those who died under the Nazi dictatorship.

Inge Deutschkron, a 90-year-old Jewish Berliner and writer, recalled Germans celebrating Hitler’s rise to power as she addressed lawmakers.

She remembered her family growing more tense over the subsequent weeks amid worries about Hitler’s paramilitary SA thugs who roamed the streets.

“Often, I couldn’t get to sleep in the evenings and listened for footsteps in the staircase,” she said. “If they were boots, I became afraid they could be SA men coming to arrest my father.”

Deutschkron’s father managed to escape to England shortly before World War II, while she and her mother were hidden by friends in Berlin for the final years of the war.

She recalled most ordinary Germans’ indifference to the fate of Jews, who were forced to wear yellow stars.

“The majority of Germans I met in the streets looked away when they saw this star on me — or looked straight through me,” she said.

And when she visited West Germany’s capital of Bonn after the war, she recalled that most “had simply erased from their memory the crimes for which the German state had set up its own machinery of murder.”

Deutschkron remembered West Germany’s first postwar chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, saying that most Germans opposed the Nazis’ crimes against Jews and that many had helped Jews to escape.

“If only that had been the truth,” she said.

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/germany-marks-80-years-since-adolf-hitler-rose-to-power-1.1135535#ixzz2Jdcot88x

 

RSS’ Tryst with Terrorism: Past and Present


Shamsul Islam

Despite shrill public denials by the RSS top-brass that its swayamsevaks or cadres never indulged in terrorist activities, the RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat, while addressing a meeting of the RSS members on January 10, 2011 at Surat (Gujarat) made a significant statement saying that

of the majority of the people whom the government has accused (in various blast cases), a few had left voluntarily and a few were told by the Sangh that this extremism will not work here so you go away.1

It was a candid admission by the supremo of the RSS who was naturally better informed about the happenings within his organization which works in a clandestine fashion that many of these alleged terrorists were part of the RSS. This statement raises few questions which RSS as an organization must answer. The first is that RSS must share the names of those terrorists who left ‘voluntarily’ or were asked to ‘go away’ with the people of this country and especially with the police investigating agencies of the Indian State. In fact, the latter should have by now put Mohan Bhagwat under scanner to seek the names of these ‘terrorists’ not only in order to verify whether the ones so far arrested were the same who were referred to by Mohan Bhagwat but also to know about others who may still be indulging in terrorist activities and have not been brought to book as yet.

The whole issue raises another pertinent question. When RSS claims that a particular person indulging in terrorist activities is not its member, how do we verify it? Do we have an authenticated list of RSS members which can be referred to in case of need? The reality is that there is no such list and in the absence of such a list for an organization which functions in a regime of secrecy it becomes a convenient alibi for the RSS to deny its actual linkages with the individuals and organizations indulging in terrorist activities.

The individuals and organizations indulging in recent terrorist activities having close linkages with Hindutva philosophy and organizations like RSS should not surprise anybody. Any sectarian and theocratic organization which is programmed to the cleansing of religious minorities and undoing of a democratic-secular India has to be intolerant and extremist in its ideological moorings as well as functioning. RSS is no exception to this rule. A careful perusal of the documents from the RSS archives makes it clear that terrorist activities being indulged by persons and organizations associated with it are the outcome of an ideological mould outlined by its mentors.

The RSS as flag-bearer of Hindu nationalism always believed in the superiority of the Aryan race like Hitler and the Nazis. Racism is the common tie, which binds them. Hindus happened to be Aryans belonging to the National race whereas Muslims and Christians were foreigners because they followed religions, which took birth in non-Aryan foreign lands. The RSS divided religions professed in India into two categories, Indian and foreign. Interestingly, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism were declared to be of the Indian variety but were not accorded the status of independent religions. These were simply treated as part of Hinduism. Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar (1906-1973), the most prominent ideologue of the RSS who came to head the organization after Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, naturally, inherited deep love for Fascism and Nazism from his seniors and stood for cleansing of the followers of religions which originated in foreign lands. He idealized the Nazi cultural nationalism of Hitler, which was nothing else but ‘ethnic cleansing’ of non-Aryans, in the following words which appeared in his book We or Our Nationhood Defined (1939); a book which became Geeta (or Bible) of the Hindutva politics:

 

The other Nation most in the eye of the world today is Germany. This Nation affords a very striking example. Modern Germany strove, and has to a great extent achieved what she strove for, to once again bring under one sway the whole of the territory, hereditarily possessed by the Germans but which, as a result of political disputes, had been portioned off as different countries under different states…German pride in their Fatherland for a definite home country, for which the race has traditional attachments as a necessary concomitant of the true Nation concept, awoke and ran the risk of starting a fresh world-conflagration, in order to establish one, unparalleled undisputed German Empire over all this ‘hereditary territory’. This natural and logical aspiration of Germany has almost been fulfilled and the great importance of the ‘country factor’ has been once again vindicated even in the living present. Come we next to the next ingredient of the Nation idea—Race, with which culture and language are inseparably connected, where religion is not the all- absorbing force that it should be. German Race pride has now become the topic of the day. To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races-the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan [sic] to learn and profit by.2 [Emphasis added]

While outlining the constituent elements of the Hindu Nation Golwalkar raised a significant question,

If, as is indisputably proved, Hindusthan, is the land of Hindus and is the terra firma for the Hindu nation alone to flourish upon, what is to be the fate of all those, who, today, happen to live upon the land, though not belonging to the Hindu Race, Religion or culture?3

He answered to his own query in the following words:

At the outset we must bear in mind that so far as ‘nation’ is concerned, all those, who fall outside the five-fold limits of that idea,4 can have no place in the national life, unless they abandon their differences, adopt the religion, culture and language of the Nation and completely merge themselves in the National Race.5

Golwalkar unhesitatingly glorified the Race theory propagated by Hitler and Mussolini and subsequent cleansing of non-Aryans or minorities in the following words:

 

It is worth bearing well in mind how these old nations solve their minorities [sic] problem. They do not undertake to recognize any separate element in their polity. Emigrants have to get themselves naturally assimilated in the principal mass of the population, the National Race, by adopting its culture and language and sharing in its aspirations, by losing all consciousness of their separate existence, forgetting their foreign origin. If they do not do so, they live merely as outsiders, bound by all the codes and conventions of the Nation, at the sufferance of the Nation and deserving no special protection, far less any privilege or rights. There are only two courses open to the foreign elements, either to merge themselves in the national race and adopt its culture, or to live at its mercy so long as the national race may allow them to do so and to quit the country at the sweet will of the national race. That is the only sound view on the minorities problem. That is the only logical and correct solution. That alone keeps the national life healthy and undisturbed. That alone keeps the nation safe from the danger of a cancer developing in its body politic, of the creation of a state within a state.6

 

Golwalkar as the most important ideologue of the RSS and Hindutva brand of politics forcefully argued for adopting the models of Hitler and Mussolini for getting rid off minorities from his kind of Hindu nation in the following words:

 

From this stand point, sanctioned by the experience of shrewd old nations, the foreign races in Hindusthan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence the Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation and must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment, not  even citizen’s rights. There is, at least should be, no other course for them to adopt. We are an old nation: let us deal as old nations ought to, and do deal, with the foreign races who have chosen to live in our country.7

Golwalkar did not mince words while expressing hatred for all those who differed with his notion of Hindu nation. For him all others were traitors or idiots. The use of this kind of intemperate language only showed to what extreme he and his followers could go in denigrating adversaries to be cleansed later.

Those, only are nationalist patriots, who, with the aspiration to glorify the Hindu race and nation next to their heart, are prompted into activity and strive to achieve that goal. All others are either traitors or enemies to the National cause, or, to take a charitable view, idiots.8

 

This kind of philosophy was not something of the bye-gone days of 1940s for RSS. It kept on resonating even after Independence. In fact, another basic book for the RSS cadres, Bunch of Thoughts, the compilation of the writings of MS Golwalkar, which appeared in 1966 had a long chapter titled, ‘Internal Threats’, (it continued to appear in all subsequent editions) in which the Muslims and Christians are described as threats number one and two respectively. The Communists get the status of being enemy number 3. This chapter opens with the following statement:

It has been the tragic lesson of the history of many a country in the world that the hostile elements within the country pose a far greater menace to national security then aggressors from outside.9

While treating the Muslims as hostile element number one Golwalkar went on to elaborate,

Even to this day there are so many who say, ‘Now there is no Muslim problem at all. All those riotous elements who supported Pakistan have gone away once for all. The remaining Muslims are devoted to our country. After all, they have no other place to go and they are bound to remain loyal…It would be suicidal to delude ourselves into believing that they have turned patriots overnight after the creation of Pakistan. On the contrary, the Muslim menace has increased a hundredfold by the creation of Pakistan, which has become a springboard for all their future aggressive designs on our country.10

Deliberating further on this enemy number one, Muslims,   Golwalkar presented his thesis in the following words which provided excuse to the VHP cadres for exterminating the Muslim localities in Gujarat in the year 2002:

Within the country there are so many Muslim pockets, i.e., so many ‘miniature Pakistans’, where the general law of the land can be enforced only with certain modifications, and the whims of the miscreants have to be given the final say. This acceptance, indirect though it may be, implies a very dangerous theory fraught with possibilities of the destruction of our national life altogether. Such ‘pockets’ have verily become the centers of a widespread network of pro-Pakistani elements in this land…The conclusion is that, in practically every place, there are Muslims who are in constant touch with Pakistan over the transmitter…11

While deliberating on the ‘Internal Threat’ number two, he stated that the Christians were indulging in activities which were not only irreligious but also anti-national.12  According to him the Christians residing in India were,

out to demolish not only the religious and social fabric of our life but also to establish political domination in various pockets and if possible all over the land.13

 

Golwalkar’s hatred for minorities specially Muslims was inexhaustible and never-ending. In this regard there was no difference in his views contained in We or Our Nationhood Definedin 1939, or his hatred for Muslims in 1960. In fact, this hatred got wilder. While addressing the leading RSS cadres of south India in Bangalore on November 30, 1960, he declared:

 

‘Right from Delhi to Rampur, Muslims are busy hatching a dangerous plot, piling up arms and mobilizing their men, and probably biding their time to strike from within […]’14

There was no substantiation or proofs offered for such a serious allegation against whole of the Muslim community residing in the western Uttar Pradesh. If this was so it should have been brought to the notice of the law and order machinery in the area. It was never done because Golwalkar and RSS were simply interested in poisoning the minds of its cadres. More importantly the Indian State took no action against Golwalkar for spreading such a canard against common Muslims. It is not difficult to understand that it was due to such hate preaching against Muslims and Christians by the top brass of the RSS that large scale cleansing of minorities could be successfully undertaken by its swayamsevaks.

 

The central publication house of the RSS, Suruchi Prakashan, Delhi, published a book in 1997, titledParam Vaibhav Ke Path Par (ON THE ROAD TO GREAT GLORY) penned by Sadanand Damodar Sapre, a senior RSS functionary. This book contained details of more than 40 organizations created by the RSS for different tasks but more importantly it described how many of these organizations are run in a clandestine manner for hidden agendas. This publication showed that the whole network ran like a well-organized mafia through its subsidiaries and satellites. There has always been a conscious attempt to create confusion about its different fronts which provide RSS with the opportunity to dissociate with any of these as per its convenience. For instance it used Hindu Jagaran Manch (HJM) for attacking Christians in late 1990s and when public opinion, media and Parliament seemed to turn against it, RSS denied any relation with HJM. However, according to this publication Hindu Jagaran Manch was created by the RSS as admitted in the above mentioned publication.

From the point of view of Hindu awakening this kind of forums [like Hindu Jagran Manch] at present are active in 17 states with different names like ‘Hindu Manch’ in Delhi, ‘Hindu Munani’ in Tamilnadu, ‘Hinduekjut’ in Maharashtra. These are forums, not associations or organizations, that’s why it is not required to have membership, registration and elections.15 [Emphasis added]

It is clear that such organizations with no record of membership, no registration and no internal elections are created by the RSS. Such an organizational model provides an opportunity to RSS to disown any individual or organization.

True to its nature RSS takes recourse to conspiracies often. It can be known by the following disclosure in Param Vaibhav Ke Path Par about a case in Delhi immediately after partition:

Swayamsevaks had posed to have adopted Musalman [sic] religion in order to gain the confidence of Delhi Muslim League for knowing their conspiracies.16

What these Swayamsevaks, impersonating as Muslims, on the eve of Independence were doing was made clear by none other than Dr. Rajendra Prasad who later became first President of the Indian Republic. In a letter to the first Home Minister of India, Sardar Patel, he wrote on March 14, 1948,

I am told that RSS people have a plan of creating trouble. They have got a number of men dressed as Muslims and looking like Muslims who are to create trouble with the Hindus by attacking them and thus inciting the Hindus. Similarly there will be some Hindus among them who will attack Muslims and thus incite Muslims. The result of this kind of trouble amongst the Hindus and Muslims will be to create a conflagration.17

 The following passage from the autobiography of the first Home Secretary of UP, Rajeshwar Dayal, ICS, clearly shows the sinister and criminal designs of the RSS to organize a pogrom of Muslims in the western Uttar Pradesh (the largest province in the Indian Union) and thus break the unity of the country just on the eve of Independence.

I must record an episode of a very grave nature when the procrastination and indecision of the UP Cabinet led to dire consequences. When communal tension was still at fever pitch, the Deputy Inspector General of Police of the Western Range, a very seasoned and capable officer, B. B. L. Jaitley, arrived at my house in great secrecy. He was accompanied by two of his officers who brought with them two large steel trunks securely locked. When the trunks were opened, they revealed incontrovertible evidence of a dastardly conspiracy to create a communal holocaust throughout the Western districts of the province. The trunks were crammed with blueprints of great accuracy and professionalism of every town and village in that vast area, prominently marking out the Muslim localities and habitations. There were also detailed instructions regarding access to the various locations, and other matters which amply revealed the sinister purport.

Greatly alarmed by those revelations, I immediately took the police party to the Premier’s [chief minister’s] house. There, in a closed room, Jaitley gave a full report of his discovery, backed by all the evidence contained in the steel trunks. Timely raids conducted on the premises of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) had brought the massive conspiracy to light. The whole plot had been concerted under the direction and supervision of the Supremo of the organization himself. Both Jaitley and I pressed for the immediate arrest of the prime accused, Shri Golwalkar, who was still in the area.

Pantji [G. B. Pant] could not but accept the evidence of his eyes and ears and expressed deep concern. But instead of agreeing to the immediate arrest of the ringleader as we had hoped, and as Kidwai would have done, he asked for the matter to be placed for consideration by the Cabinet at its next meeting. It was no doubt a matter of political delicacy as the roots of the RSS had gone deep into the body politic. There were also other political compulsions, as RSS sympathizers, both covert and overt, were to be found in the Congress Party itself and even in the Cabinet. It was no secret that the presiding officer of the Upper House, Atma Govind Kher, was himself an adherent and his sons were openly members of the RSS.

At the Cabinet meeting there was the usual procrastination and much irrelevant talk. The fact that the police had unearthed a conspiracy which would have set the whole province in flames and that the officers concerned deserved warm commendation hardly seemed to figure in the discussion. What ultimately emerged was that a letter should be issued to Shri Golwalkar pointing out the contents and nature of the evidence which had been gathered and demanding an explanation thereof. At my insistence, such a letter if it were to be sent, should be issued by the Premier himself to carry greater weight. Panditji asked me to prepare a draft, which I did in imitation of his own characteristic style. The letter was to be delivered forthwith and two police officers were assigned for the purpose.

Golwalkar, however, had been tipped off and he was nowhere to be found in the area. He was tracked down southwards but he managed to elude the couriers in pursuit. This infructuous chase continued from place to place and weeks passed.”                      

Came January 30, 1948 when the Mahatma, that supreme apostle of peace, fell to a bullet fired by an RSS fanatic. The tragic episode left me sick at heart.18

Rajeshwar Dayal’s shocking narration of Golwalkar’s evil design to cleanse western parts of Uttar Pradesh of all Muslims was further corroborated by another senior RSS pracharak(preacher or whole timer), Krishna Gopal Rastogi in his autobiography, Pracharak Jiwan (Life of Preacher).  While describing an incident in which he personally led a mob of armed Hindus against Muslims in Kaliar town situated between Roorkee and Haridwar went on to state without any remorse how he did not spare even a young Muslim girl. According to Rastogi’s heart-chilling version:

 

It was an old locality inhabited by the Muslims. They, armed with daggers, spears, guns were fully prepared to meet any situation. When I learnt of their intentions to attack some Hindu areas, I organized 250 people including some known gangsters and raided Kaliar. Then a strange thing happened. While we had been killing men in one of the houses, we spotted a very beautiful young girl. The assailants led by me were instantly enamoured. They even started fighting among themselves to take possession of the girl. I faced an extremely awkward situation and did not know what to do. I tried my best to get the assailants to focus on real issues. I abused and threatened them but they would not listen to me. And suddenly the solution came. The girl was after all causing this trouble and had to be eliminated. I took my gun and shot her. She died. My associates were shocked and returned to the work. Though it was against our principle to assault a woman, but it was done in an emergency and I still regret it.19

 

This autobiography was released with a laudatory preface by K. S. Sudarshan, the then head of the RSS. Incidentally, Rastogi was appointed in two committees of the Human Resource Development Ministry of the Government of India headed by Murli Manohar Joshi despite protests from more than 50 MPs.

 

The RSS immensely hates all those institutions and objects which symbolize a secular-democratic India. On the eve of independence when Indian Constituent Assembly adopted Tricolour as its National Flag, the English organ of the RSS, Organizer, in its issue dated August 14, 1947, denigrated this choice in the following words:

The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the Tricolour but it never be respected and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil, and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country.

The RSS has been demanding since its birth in 1925 that India should have saffron (bhagwa) flag of the Hindu rashtra as the national flag. Golwalkar while addressing a gathering of leading cadres on July 14, 1946 at the RSS headquarters at Nagpur stated that it was,

the saffron flag which in totality represented Bhartiya culture. It was the embodiment of God. We firmly believe that in the end the whole nation will bow before this saffron flag.20

The RSS has another pet-project and that is replacing the Indian Constitution by Manusmritior Codes of Manu. According to Golwalkar, Uttar Pradesh (the largest province in the Indian Union)

Our Constitution too is just a cumbersome and heterogeneous piecing together of various articles from various Constitutions of the Western countries. It has absolutely nothing which can be called our own. Is there a single word of reference in its guiding principles as to what our national mission is and what our keynote in life is? No!21

 

For RSS there was no ambiguity about this ‘national mission’. It was the enforcement ofManusmriti as the law of the land. The Constituent Assembly of India ratified the Constitution on November 26, 1949 and on November 30, the RSS organ Organizer editorially commented:

 

But in our constitution there is no mention of the unique constitutional development in ancient Bharat. Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia. To this day his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits that means nothing.

 

It is to be noted that Manusmriti is known for its derogatory and inhuman references to Shudras, Untouchables and women. It was for this reason that a copy of Manusmriti was burnt as a protest in the presence of B. R. Ambedkar during historic Mahad agitation.

 

The RSS, contrary to the principles of democracy, has been constantly demanding that India be ruled under a totalitarian regime. Golwalkar while addressing the 1350 top level cadres of the RSS at its headquarters at Nagpur in 1940 declared,

 

The RSS inspired by one flag, one leader and one ideology is lighting the flame of Hindutva in each and every corner of this great land.22

 

This slogan of ‘one flag, one leader and one ideology’ was directly borrowed from the programmes of the Nazi and Fascist parties of Europe.

The extreme hatred expressed against the National Flag, the Constitution and the democratic polity of the nascent nation was clearly aimed at poisoning the minds of common Hindus thus inviting them to overthrow a secular state. It is to be noted that spread of this kind of poison against Gandhi led to his murder by persons who were directly or indirectly related to Hindu Mahasabha & RSS.

The tag of terrorism on RSS is not something new. These were the anti-national activities of the RSS due to which the organization was banned on February 4, 1948. The government communiqué banning the RSS was self-explanatory:

In their resolution of February 2, 1948 the Government of India declared their determination to root out the forces of hate and violence that are at work in our country and imperil the freedom of the Nation and darken her fair name. In pursuance of this policy the Government of India have decided to declare unlawful the RSS.23

The communiqué went on to disclose that the ban on the RSS was imposed because,

“undesirable and even dangerous activities have been carried on by members of the Sangh. It has been found that in several parts of the country individual members of the RSS have indulged in acts of violence involving arson, robbery, dacoity, and murder and have collected illicit dacoity, and murder and have collected illicit arms and ammunition. They have been found circulating leaflets exhorting people to resort to terrorist methods, to collect firearms, to create disaffection against the government and suborn the police and the military.”24

It is generally believed that the then Home Minister, Sardar Patel, had a soft-corner for the RSS and he continues to be a favourite with the RSS. However even Sardar Patel found it difficult to defend the RSS in the aftermath of Gandhiji’s assassination. In a letter written to Golwalkar, dated 11 September 1948, Sardar Patel stated:

Organizing the Hindus and helping them is one thing but going in for revenge for its sufferings on innocent and helpless men, women and children is quite another thing…Apart from this, their opposition to the Congress, that too of such virulence, disregarding all considerations of personality, decency or decorum, created a kind of unrest among the people. All their speeches were full of communal poison. It was not necessary to spread poison in order to enthuse the Hindus and organize for their protection. 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. Under these conditions it became inevitable for the Government to take action against the RSS…Since then, over six months have elapsed. We had hoped that after this lapse of time, with full and proper consideration the RSS persons would come to the right path. But from the reports that come to me, it is evident that attempts to put fresh life into their same old activities are afoot.25

Hindu Mahasabha and RSS were jointly responsible for the murder of Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, was further corroborated by Sardar Patel in a letter to a prominent leader of Hindu Mahasabha, Shyama Prasad Mookerjee. On July 18, 1948. Sardar wrote:

As regards the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha, the case relating to Gandhiji’s murder is sub-judice and I should not like to say anything about the participation of the two organizations, but our reports do confirm that, as a result of the activities of these two bodies, particularly the former, an atmosphere was created in the country in which such a ghastly tragedy became possible. There is no doubt in my mind that the extreme section of the Hindu Mahasabha was involved in the conspiracy. The activities of the RSS constituted a clear threat to the existence of Government and the State. Our reports show that those activities, despite the ban, have not died down. Indeed, as time has marched on, the RSS circles are becoming more defiant and are indulging in their subversive activities in an increasing measure.26

As per police investigations and press reports the training for terrorist activities to the Hindutva cadres was imparted by military personnel connected with Bhonsala Military School, Nagpur. It may be relevant to note that this military school was the offshoot of Bhonsala Military School, Nasik which was established by Dr Balkrishna Shivramji Moonje (known as Dharamaveer amongst the RSS and Hindu Mahasabha fraternity) with the help of the British rulers for imparting military training to Hindu youth. Dr Moonje formed the Central Hindu Military Education Society at Nasik in 1935 and started the school on 12th June 1937. Interestingly he also idolized militarization of Italian Fascist dictator. Mussolini.

According to its website,

The school started functioning in the Surgana Palace in Nasik city with 90 students on its roll. The Maharaja of erstwhile Gwalior state, His Highness Shriman Jivajirao Scindia27 inaugurated the main building of the school…Such was the charisma, charm and aura of the founder, that he made the then Governor of Bombay State, Sir Roger Lumley to lay the foundation stone of the present main building of the school.

Importantly, this military establishment later supplied Hindu military officers to the British army in its campaign to crush the attempt by Subhashchander Bose led INA to liberate India from the clutches of the British rule in early 1940s. It is very clear that Bhonsala Military School was a collaborative project conceived and executed by RSS-Hindu Mahasabha, the British rulers and their Indian stooges; the rulers of Native India for militarization of Indian society in order to suppress the democratic aspirations of the Indian masses. It is a matter of concern that such sectarian, fascist, communal and pro-British establishments were allowed to exist and function in independent India. The Hindutva terrorism being witnessed today could reach to this dangerous stage because a fascist ideology was able to have at its disposal the lethal military mindset and machinery made available through establishments like Bhonsala Military Schools. The most unfortunate aspect of this developing gory saga is that all this has happened despite India being run under a democratic-secular dispensation. There is no denying the fact that it presents the greatest threat to a democratic Indian polity.

Shamsul Islam

notoinjustice@gmail.com

[This text appears as introduction in ‘Godse’s Children: Hindutva Terror in India’ by Subhash Gatade, published by Pharos Media & Publishing Pvt Ltd., New Delhi. www.pharosmedia.com]

 

 

 


1 ‘No place for radicals in RSS, says Bhagwat’, The Indian Express, Delhi, 11-01-2011, p. 3

 

2 MS Golwalkar, We Or Our Nationhood Defined, Bharat Publications, Nagpur, 1939, pp. 34-35.

3 Ibid, p. 45.

4 Interestingly, in Golwalkar’s writings there are found only four constituents of Hindu nation. While explaining the components of the Hindu nation he wrote: “In this country, Hindusthan, the Hindu Race, with its Hindu Religion, Hindu Culture and Hindu language, [the natural family of Sanskrit and her offsprings] complete the Nation concept…”,Ibid, p. 43.

5 Ibid, p. 45

Ibid, p. 47

7 Ibid. pp. 47-48.

8 Ibid. p. 44.

9 MS Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Sahitya Sindhu, Bangalore, 1996, p. 177.

10 Ibid, pp. 177-178

11 Ibid, p. 185

12 Ibid, p. 190

13 Ibid, p. 193

14 M. S. Golwalkar, ‘From Delhi to Rampur Muslims are Conspiring’ Organizer, December 12, 1960.

 

15 Sadanand Damodar Sapre, Param Vaibhav Ke Path Par, Suruchi Prakashan, Delhi, 1997.

16 Ibid, p. 86.

17 Rajendra Prasad to Sardar Patel (March 14, 1948)  cited in Neerja Singh (ed.), Nehru Patel: Agreement Within Difference—Select Documents & Correspondences 1933-1950, NBT, Delhi, p. 43.

18 Rajeshwar Dayal, A Life of Our Times, Delhi, 1999, pp. 93-94.

19 Cited in Khushwant Singh’s weekly column in The Hindustan Times, May 12, 2001.

20 M. S. Golwalkar, Shri Guruji Samagar Darshan, (Collected Works of Golwalkar in Hindi), Bhartiya Vichar Sadhna, Nagpur, nd, volume I, p. 98.

 

21 Bunch of Thoughts, p. 238.

 

22 Shri Guruji Samagar Darshan,  Vol. I, p. 11.

23 Cited in Justice on Trial, RSS, Bangalore, 1962, p. 64.

24 Ibid, pp. 65-66.

25 Ibid, pp. 26-28.

 

26 Letter 64 in Sardar Patel: Select Correspondence1945-1950, Volume 2, Navjivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, 1977, pp. 276-77.

27 He hailed from a family of native rulers which supported the British rulers in 1857 and played crucial rule in defeating Rani Laxmi Bai.

Nuclear Safari in Deutschland: A Waste Story of 2009


 

 
S. P. Udayakumar
Nagercoil, July 2009
Back in June 2009 I got a first-hand opportunity to face the nuclear demon that I had been fighting against all along. Deep in a hell-hole in a remote corner of a distant country!
I did not realize the seriousness of this trip until I saw my name in big bold letters on the door of a bathroom in the visitor’s building of Salt Mine Asse II. I was asked to strip naked and change the clothing starting with the underwear that they had kept ready there. The shirt and pants measurements and shoe size I had provided were helpful. As I dressed up, I was beginning to look more like an astronaut who was going into the depth of the Earth rather than flying into the space.
With a heavy hard helmet donning my head, a dosimeter was hung around my neck. With the hefty battery kit pulling my neck on the right side, a sturdy headlight was attached to the helmet. And then a very weighty oxygen kit was hung on my left shoulder. With all these safety accessories bogging me down, I could feel mild pain on my shoulders. The instructions given to deal with a possible fire or accident inside the mine was turning my stomach and caused palpitations.
When my friends from Argentina, Brazil and Germany and I were going down a rickety lift (do they still call it that when it is taking you down?) with a strong draft with so much noise and shake, I thought of the dangerous African safari I had undertaken a few years ago in the Kenyan jungles. But this nuclear safari was a lot more dangerous and deadly. If I was forced to pick one of the two safaris, I would certainly choose the African animals.
At 590 meters depth, we were at the mouth of the salt mine. And there was a small hand-carved St. Barbara grotto on one of the walls. Saint Barbara is the patron saint of artillerymen. She is also traditionally the patron of armored men, military engineers, gunsmiths, miners and anyone else who works with cannons and explosives. She is invoked against thunder and lightning and all accidents arising from explosions of gunpowder. She is venerated by every Catholic who faces the danger of sudden and violent death at work.
We all got onto an open jeep driven by a woman mine officer and her colleague. I could not completely understand the architecture as there were narrow passages going in all directions. But one thing was clear. That I was deep in the long and convoluted nuclear waste intestine of the German nuclear industry.
Our first stop was a hidden corner of the nuclear waste burial site. Beneath our feet lay hundreds of deadly and treacherous waste-containing barrels. The woman mine officer explained to us in German-tasting English that the barrels were mechanically downed through a narrow metallic hole and buried. We were standing some 6 feet above this deadly treasure on a heavy metal plate. The possibility of radiation was so alarming. The waste, plutonium, the clothing of the workers, metallic parts of the equipment, and everything else had been crushed and thrust into those barrels.
We were driven deeper into the mines. At one point, our guide stopped and showed us the crevices of the mines where salt water was dripping and forming into icicles. One could easily guess that not everything was right in the salt caves. At another place, more water was collecting with a steady and heavy flow. One liter of water was collecting every minute and this water was being taken out of the caves manually.
We went to another side of the caves at 625 meter depth. Some 8,000 low-grade waste barrels had been dumped there and were covered with 2 feet of salt blown mechanically. If you scratched with your bare hands, you could dig out the hazmat.
Most of the nuclear waste from the German nuclear power plants had been stored in the Salt Mine Asse II since 1967. Although the local people had objected to the project, the German government and scientists supported the project; went ahead and buried the wastes until 1978. The water flow inside the caves became much stronger in 1988 but the government still stubbornly rejected all opposition.
In June 2008, it was found out that the water in the mine was contaminated with Cesium 137. There was a suggestion to fill up the mines with water so that it would take the waste even deeper and make the whole depository safer.
As I heard all these disturbing stories, I was naturally worried about the nuclear waste management in India. With scary and sordid thoughts and feelings crisscrossing my mind and heart and soul, I stood there stunned. The nuclear safari was over.
At 650 meter depth, the mine authorities checked our radiation exposure level at the Hand Fuss Kleider monitor before exiting the mines. The lift ride back to the face of the Earth was quite uplifting in every sense of the word, and I had never been happier to see the light at the end of the (vertical) tunnel. We were asked to take another shower and change to our original clothing.
We all know shit happens. But we cannot understand the concept of making nuclear shit in order for it to happen in the future, to our own children and grandchildren and the umpteen numbers of unborn generations. One thing is for sure, though! Those who make nuclear shit will suffer the shame and stigma. Or, will they?

 

Hitler’s Strange Afterlife in India #sundayreading


Nov 30, 2012 , http://www.thedailybeast.com

Hated and mocked in much of the world, the Nazi leader has developed a strange following among schoolchildren and readers of Mein Kampf in India. Dilip D’Souza on how political leader Bal Thackeray influenced Indians to admire Hitler and despise Gandhi.

  • My wife teaches French to tenth-grade students at a private school here in Mumbai. During one recent class, she asked these mostly upper-middle-class kids to complete the sentence “J’admire …” with the name of the historical figure they most admired.

Hitler
Adolf Hitler speaks in 1936. (AP Photo)

To say she was disturbed by the results would be to understate her reaction. Of 25 students in the class, 9 picked Adolf Hitler, making him easily the highest vote-getter in this particular exercise; a certain Mohandas Gandhi was the choice of precisely one student. Discussing the idea of courage with other students once, my wife was startled by the contempt they had for Gandhi. “He was a coward!” they said. And as far back as 2002, the Times of India reported a survey that found that 17 percent of students in elite Indian colleges “favored Adolf Hitler as the kind of leader India ought to have.”

In a place where Gandhi becomes a coward, perhaps Hitler becomes a hero.

Still, why Hitler? “He was a fantastic orator,” said the 10th-grade kids. “He loved his country; he was a great patriot. He gave back to Germany a sense of pride they had lost after the Treaty of Versailles,” they said.

“And what about the millions he murdered?” asked my wife. “Oh, yes, that was bad,” said the kids. “But you know what, some of them were traitors.”

Admiring Hitler for his oratorical skills? Surreal enough. Add to that the easy condemnation of his millions of victims as traitors. Add to that the characterization of this man as a patriot. I mean, in a short dozen years, Hitler led Germany through a scarcely believable orgy of blood to utter shame and wholesale destruction. Even the mere thought of calling such a man a patriot profoundly corrupts—is violently antithetical to—the idea of patriotism.

But these are kids, you think, and kids say the darndest things. Except this is no easily written-off experience. The evidence is that Hitler has plenty of admirers in India, plenty of whom are by no means kids.

Consider Mein Kampf, Hitler’s autobiography. Reviled it might be in the much of the world, but Indians buy thousands of copies of it every month. As a recent paper in the journal EPW tells us (PDF), there are over a dozen Indian publishers who have editions of the book on the market. Jaico, for example, printed its 55th edition in 2010, claiming to have sold 100,000 copies in the previous seven years. (Contrast this to the 3,000 copies my own 2009 book,Roadrunner, has sold). In a country where 10,000 copies sold makes a book a bestseller, these are significant numbers.

And the approval goes beyond just sales. Mein Kampf is available for sale on flipkart.com, India’s Amazon. As I write this, 51 customers have rated the book; 35 of those gave it a five-star rating. What’s more, there’s a steady trickle of reports that say it has become a must-read for business-school students; a management guide much like Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese or Edward de Bono’s Lateral Thinking. If this undistinguished artist could take an entire country with him, I imagine the reasoning goes, surely his book has some lessons for future captains of industry?

Much of Hitler’s Indian afterlife is the legacy of Bal Thackeray, chief of the Shiv Sena party who died on Nov. 17.

Thackeray freely, openly, and often admitted his admiration for Hitler, his book, the Nazis, and their methods. In 1993, for example, he gave an interview toTime magazine. “There is nothing wrong,” he said then, “if [Indian] Muslims are treated as Jews were in Nazi Germany.”

It’s no wonder they cling to almost comically superficial ideas of courage and patriotism, in which a megalomaniac’s every ghastly crime is forgotten so long as we can pretend that he ‘loved’ his country.

This interview came only months after the December 1992 and January 1993 riots in Mumbai, which left about a thousand Indians slaughtered, the majority of them Muslim. Thackeray was active right through those weeks, writing editorial after editorial in his party mouthpiece, “Saamna” (“Confrontation”) about how to “treat” Muslims.

On Dec. 9, 1992, for example, his editorial contained these lines: “Pakistan need not cross the borders and attack India. 250 million Muslims in India will stage an armed insurrection. They form one of Pakistan’s seven atomic bombs.”

A month later, on Jan. 8, 1993, there was this: “Muslims of Bhendi Bazar, Null Bazar, Dongri and Pydhonie, the areas [of Mumbai] we call Mini Pakistan … must be shot on the spot.”

There was plenty more too: much of it inspired by the failed artist who became Germany’s führer. After all, only weeks before the riots erupted, Thackeray said this about the führer’s famous autobiography: “If you take Mein Kampf and if you remove the word Jew and put in the word Muslim, that is what I believe in.”

With rhetoric like that, it’s no wonder the streets of my city saw the slaughter of 1992-93. It’s no wonder kids come to admire a mass-murderer, to rationalize away his massacres. It’s no wonder they cling to almost comically superficial ideas of courage and patriotism, in which a megalomaniac’s every ghastly crime is forgotten so long as we can pretend that he “loved” his country.

In his acclaimed 1997 book Hitler’s Willing Executioners, Daniel Goldhagen writes: “Hitler, in possession of great oratorical skills, was the [Nazi] Party’s most forceful public speaker. Like Hitler, the party from its earliest days was devoted to the destruction of … democracy [and to] most especially and relentlessly, anti-Semitism. … The Nazi Party became Hitler’s Party, obsessively anti-Semitic and apocalyptic in its rhetoric about its enemies.”

Do some substitutions in those sentences along the lines Thackeray wanted to do with Mein Kampf. Indeed, what you get is a more than adequate description of … no surprise, Thackeray himself.

Yes, it’s no wonder. Thackeray too was revered as an orator. Cremated, on Nov. 18, as a patriot.

 

German nuclear exit delivers economic, environmental benefits-Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists


November 1st, 2012 in Technology / Energy & Green Tech

Following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in 2011, the German government took the nation’s eight oldest reactors offline immediately and passed legislation that will close the last nuclear power plant by 2022. This nuclear phase-out had overwhelming political support in Germany. Elsewhere, many saw it as “panic politics,” and the online business magazine Forbes.com went as far as to ask, in a headline, whether the decision was “Insane—or Just Plain Stupid.”

But a special issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, published by SAGE, “The German Nuclear Exit,” shows that the nuclear shutdown and an accompanying move toward renewable energy are already yielding measurable economic and environmental benefits, with one top expert calling the German phase-out a probable game-changer for the nuclear industry worldwide.

In his overview article, “From Brokdorf to Fukushima: The long journey to nuclear phase-out,” Princeton researcher Alexander Glaser puts the German nuclear exit in its historical context, which includes massive, civil war-like confrontations between antinuclear demonstrators and police. Because of longstanding public opposition to nuclear power, by the 1990s few in German political life seriously entertained the idea of new reactor construction. And, Glaser notes, Germany’s decision last year to pursue a nuclear phase-out was anything but precipitous; serious planning to shutter the nuclear industry and greatly expand alternative energy production began more than a decade ago. “Germany’s nuclear phase-out could provide a proof-of-concept, demonstrating the political and technical feasibility of abandoning a controversial high-risk technology. Germany’s nuclear phase-out, successful or not, is likely to become a game changer for nuclear energy worldwide,” Glaser concludes.

Also in the Bulletin’s special issue on “The German Nuclear Exit”: Freie Universität Berlin politics professor Miranda Schreurs says the nuclear phase-out and accompanying shift to renewable energy have brought financial benefits to farmers, investors, and small business; Felix Matthes of the Institute for Applied Ecology in Berlin concludes the phase-out will have only small and temporary effects on electricity prices and the German economy; University of Kassel legal experts Alexander Rossnagel and Anja Hentschel explain why electric utilities are unlikely to succeed in suing the government over the shutdown; and Lutz Mez, co-founder of Freie Universitӓt Berlin’s Environmental Policy Research Center, presents what may be the most startling finding of all. The shift to alternative energy sources being pursued in parallel with the German nuclear exit has reached a climate change milestone, Mez writes: “It has actually decoupled energy from economic growth, with the country’s energy supply and carbon-dioxide emissions dropping from 1990 to 2011, even as its gross domestic product rose by 36 percent.”

More information: “The German Nuclear Exit” by John Mecklin published 01November 2012 in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

“From Brokdorf to Fukushima: The long journey to nuclear phase-out”, by Alexander Glaser published 01November 2012 in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Provided by SAGE Publications

“Bulletin: German nuclear exit delivers economic, environmental benefits.” November 1st, 2012. http://phys.org/news/2012-11-bulletin-german-nuclear-exit-economic.html

 

ATTN #London-Stop Koodankulam protest,@24th Oct #Aldwych


Join us at Stop Koodankulam protest, Wednesday 24th October

Thosands rally against Kodankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu

Protest outside Indian high commission.
This protest is part of the international day of action.
Protests will also take place on the same date in Belgium, Germnay, Malaysia,India, Sri Lanka.

Wednesday 24 October
4pm to 7pm
India House Aldwych
WC2B 4NA
Nearest tube: Holborn
  • Stop the project to build a nuclear power station at Koodankulam immediately
  • Stop police brutality against Koodankulam campaigners. Defend the democratic right to protest
  • Abolish all nuclear projects in Tamil Nadu and all Indian states. We demand massive public investment into renewable energy, the sources for which are abundant in India, and in millions of green jobs, with decent pay and health and safety legislation
  • End western government investment in Indian nuclear projects. Solidarity with all those fighting big corporates involved in energy across the planet – people and planet – not big business profit – must be the priorities
  • Header image alt text

Solidarity For Koodankulam Struggle From UK

Thousands demonstrate at Koodankulam nuclear power plant, Tamil Nadu
20 October, 2012, http://www.foilvedanta.org/

A number of Foil Vedanta members were represented at this meeting in the House of Commons. We send our solidarity to those affected and fighting this dirty and dangerous technology being forced upon them.

Doctors, academics, legal workers and activists at a packed meeting in the House of Commons in London last night (18 October) declared their solidarity with the protesters against the nuclear power plants at Koodankulam, India and Hinkley Point, Somerset, UK and their opposition to nuclear power as a source of energy. The meeting was hosted by MP Caroline Lucas and organized jointly by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and South Asia Solidarity Group .

Caroline Lucas M.P. told the meeting that she was deeply worried about the situation in Koodankulam – both in terms of the nuclear plant and the treatment of local opponents. She also condemned David Cameron’s policy of exporting civil nuclear technology to India.

She said “In agreeing to lift a ban on the export of nuclear technology and components to India, Prime Minister David Cameron ignored official recommendations and shunned concerns that India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. The government also seems untroubled by the fact that the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, the organisation in charge of safety in all of India’s nuclear facilities, shares staff with, and is funded by, the organisations it is supposed to be regulating. This clearly compromises its ability to act independently and to enforce vigorous safety regulations. The fact that the nuclear establishment in India is under no obligation to disclose information on the nuclear power sector to citizens, nor does the country have a long-term radioactive waste disposal policy only adds to the concerns. I pay tribute to the campaign against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant, which is standing up for local people in the face of human rights abuses by the police and the authorities. By standing in solidarity together, we can send a clear and strong message that nuclear power is not a welcome solution to our energy needs.”

Poste