Piyush Pandey and the Vedanta open letter


English: Piyush Pandey

Image via Wikipedia

Anant Rangaswami Feb 22, 2012FIRST POST, Feb 22, 2012

Kamayani Bali Mahabal, an activist-blogger, has posted an impassioned open letter to Ogilvy South Asia executive chairman and national creative director Piyush Pandey in the context of the campaign created by his agency for Vedanta and his role in the communication.

“After so many socially responsible ad campaigns by you I was aghast to see Vedanta’s “Creating Happiness” ad. Recently unveiling the campaign you said: “The Vedanta ‘Creating Happiness’ campaign is extremely close to my heart for it’s all about enabling India. I have worked on this campaign along with my team as an excited young copywriter and I look forward to the people of India not just appreciating Vedanta’s efforts, but getting inspired to do something on their own to make India a happier place.”


Read more here


‘Ten years of the Gujarat Genocide’

Invitation to a Commemoration Meeting in Mumbai:
‘Justice for Victims of 2002 Genocide’
Day/Date: Monday, February 27, 2012; 6-8 pm. (Meeting starts at 6 pm sharp)
Venue: St. Xaviers College Main auditorium, Next to Rang Bhavan,
5, Mahapalika Marg, Mumbai. (Phone: 22620661)

February 27/28 mark ten years both of the tragic death of 57 persons due to fire in a compartment of the Sabarmati Express near Godhra station and the criminal manipulation of this tragic incident as a pretext for the Modi government sponsored anti-Muslim genocide throughout the state.

On February 27, thousands of victim-survivors of the mass crime, lawyers, jurists, activists, artistes and intellectuals from all over the country will assemble at Gulberg Society, Ahmedabad for a commemoration. Through words and images, reminiscences and video-clips, photo exhibition, names of ‘Missing Persons’ enlisted on a ‘Wailing Wall’, honouring those who risked their lives to save neighbours who were the target, music and tears, the Crimes Against Humanity committed ten years ago will be recalled and the plight of the traumatised and the displaced highlighted. The survivors from Gulberg Society will lead the assembled people through the housing colony and recount the horrors of February 28, 2002. A collective resolve will be renewed to continue the struggle for justice to the victim-survivors and punishment to the perpetrators and masterminds of the carnage.

The entire programme at Gulberg Society, symbolising the Holocaust in Gujarat will be webcast for viewing Live on the afternoon/evening of Feb 27 and posted on U-tube subsequently so that we remember, never forget.

Simultaneous Commemoration Meetings are planned in several cities, including Mumbai and Delhi. For a part of the meeting on Feb 27, we hope to be able to view the programme webcast Live from Gulberg Society. The Mumbai meeting is being jointly organised by ALL justice and peace-promoting individuals/organisations and St Xaviers College. We urge you to be there and also publicise it widely within your circle of family, friends and colleagues urging them to be there too.

Convenor: Javed Anand, Citizens for Justice and Peace (M: 9870402556)


Dolphy D’Souza, Bombay Catholic Sabha (M: 9820226227)

Fr Lancy Pinto, Justice and Peace Commission (M: 9769814788)

Hasina Khan, Awaaz-e-Niswan/Forum Against Women’s Oppression (M: 9870162113)

Irfan Engineer, All India Secular Forum (M: 9869462833)

Noorjehan Safia Niaz, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (M: 9833072690)

Orissa – Police file false cases against Dandapani Mohanty, Nachika Linga and three other CMAS activists

 Feb 21, 2012–                                   A note received from Dandapani Mohanty

Chasi Mulia Sangha (CMAS) is going to hold a meting at Narayanpatna. All the tribal communities will be attending the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to save the tribal language, culture and territory. Also, the objective is to provide education up to the 8th class in tribal language. In this context, two tribal students Landa Tadingi and Chakra Tadingi along with Suka linga, the younger brother of Nachika Linga, came to Berhampur to contact guests and for preparing the leaflets for the meeting. While they were returning, they were arrested by Berhampur Police at the Berhampur railway station on 17th February 2012.

The police recovered from then the fortnightly newspaper named Janatantra (Regd. No. ORIORI/2001/5588), Swaviman (Regd No. RNI-70589/98), 2000 copies of the pamphlet titled “Adivasi Jeevan Vasa Sanskruti Surakshya Pai Samabas Ku Safal Karantu” (d. 21.2.2012) and three books written by the environmentalist Prafulla Samantray, one handycam, two sarees and one blanket. They were charged using a fabricated case no. GR/241/12 under Sec-10,13,18,20,39,40 UAPA 124/A/IPC. The FIR has been lodged against Dandapani Mohanty (convenor of Jana Adhikar Manch), Nachika Linga (CMAS President) and the other three who were arrested by police.

CMAS is a democratic organization, organizing the tribal people in a democratic manner in order to raise their voices for implementation of the government’s policy in tribal areas. Since last four years, CMAS has organized many meetings in a democratic manner. Many intellectuals, social workers have attended these meetings. CMAS is not at all a banned organization. Unfortunately, Odisha police has treated the democratic organization and democratic peoples as terrorists and are trying to suppress the democratic voices, The police has now foisted a fabricated case under UAPA act against Dandapani Mohanty & Nachika Linga. So I appeal to all the democratic minded people in country to raise their voices against state violence and demand before that the government must withdraw the fabricated case against the five of us.

Signature campaign against draft Indian National Water Policy 2012

English: child enjoying clean and safe drinkin...

Image via Wikipedia

Join People’s Campaign for Right to Water-Karnataka in opposing Draft National Water Policy 2012 prepared by Ministry of Water Resources and demand its immediate withdrawal.
Water is a life and precious resource, which should be carefully conserved and available for use by all living beings for now and in future. We oppose the introduction of the very concept of water as an economic good, we will strongly oppose the anti-constitutional approach of providing water only to those who can afford to pay for it. Water cannot be commodified and should not be traded.

It is the responsibility of the Government to provide clean and safe drinking water to rural and urban areas. Any attempts to privatise in the guise of public-private partnership, outsourcing of operations and management, or other functions amounts to abdication of this responsibility. In carrying out this responsibility the Government should ensure the Right to Water to every citizen. This right is linked with the Right to Food (security). Therefore such a right cannot be an outcome of tradable, competitive economic water rights. The policy should outline various measures to implement the Right to Water, with adequate funding and technology as required. This must lead to improved public health and human well-being.

The Peoples Campaign for Right to Water – Karnataka (PCRTW-K)

Demands :

1. The Government has a responsibility to provide clean and safe drinking water.

2. Public-private partnership, outsourcing of operations and management amounts to abdication of responsibility.

3. The Government must commit to time bound assured universal coverage with implementation through democratic elected local Governments in urban (ULG’s) and Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRI’s) in rural areas.

4. The Government is to work towards implementing the universal human right to water and sanitation including introduction of legal measures as required.

5. Policy and implementation to ensure that none can be denied water based on lack of affordability.

6. Water is not a commodity and cannot be traded or treated as economic good.

We invite you to join us in this campaign by signing the e-petition below as soon as possible and also encourage your friends to do so.The signatures and petition will be submitted to the Ministry of Water Resources and the Planning Commission, GoI.

Please sign petition here


Victory for Ghar Banao Andolan, Mumbai High Court Vindicates their Contention Agianst Hiranandani Developers

Mumbai High Court Indicts Hiranandani Developers; Orders Stopping of Further Construction

Accepts Criminal Fraud and Says Petitioners free to Initiate Criminal Proceedings against the State Government and Hiranandani Developers

Mumbai, February 22 : “It is a victory of the struggles of the working classes of Mumbai who live in slums, bastis and chawls, face eviction and are constantly termed as ‘encroachers’. The interim judgement of Mumbai High Court today vindicates our stand and once again proves the criminal nexus between builders, politicians and bureaucracy. We welcome the directions of the Honourable Court and hope the land will be returned to the original owners or used for the urban poor. It is ironical that the Government of Maharashtra was kind enough to give 300 Acres of land to Hiranandani at the rate of 40 paisa per acre but has continued to evict and break the homes of basti dwellers in Mandala, Sathe Nagar, Golibar, Kannamwar Nagar and others,” said Medha Patkar.

She was reacting to the interim judgement in a PIL filed by her against Niranjan Hiranandani for irregularities and fraud in development of Hiranandani Gardens, township in Powai. Mumbai High Court bench presided by Chief Justice Mohit C Shah and Smt Roshan Dalvi today ordered immediate halting of all construction and directed the developers not to sell any flats without the Court order. The case was argued by Advocate Ashish Mehta on behalf of the petitioner, Medha Patkar of Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan – National Alliance of People’s Movements. In earlier years the case was argued by senior advocate Y P Singh.

Court accepted criminal intent and illegality in land allotment to the Hiranandani Developers and building of the Hiranandani Gardens it said the petitioners are free to initiate criminal proceedings against the Developers, State Government and other Statutory authorities.

It ordered the developers to construct 3,000 flats (1500 flats of 400 Square feet and 1500 of 800 square feet) to be handed over to the State Government, which will allot it to the Lower Income Group and Middle Income Group people at the rate of 135 Rs / square feet, the rate prevalent in 1985. The land in question was, actually given on lease to Hiranandani for building houses for poor people but in gross violation of all terms and conditions it built sky scrapers, housing societies, Malls etc for rich and big businesses.

While posting the case for final hearing on March 29th 2012 Court directed MMRDA, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, State Government, Developers and Petitioners to jointly prepare diagrams showing the extent to which the FSI and TDR has been used and how much remains to be used. Court accepted the contention that huge losses has been incurred by the government due to violations by the Hiranandani developers but didn’t pass any judgement on that since there is a separate arbitration case ongoing in Mumbai High between the State and Developers.

Members of Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan expressed their satisfaction at the progress and said they will wait for the final judgement in March2012. Millions of working class people have a right to decent housing and it is time state government started evicting the big builders who have encroached upon the public and other land meant for housing of urban poor. Let government use the land above ceiling available in Mumbai for implementing of the right to housing. Let them implement Rajiv Awas Yojana. Our struggle against the Builders will continue and we will continue to expose their corruption.

Sumit Wajale, Prerna Gaekwad, Santosh Thorat, Madhuri Shivkar, Madhuri Variyath

Contact : 9423965153 / 981998059

Nuclear Effect: The Story of villages within the radiation zone

By Sayed Isthiyakh

KAIGA (KARWAR) – Kaiga located amidst dense forest of Sahyadri section of Western Ghats in Uttara Kannada District – one of the biggest districts of Karnataka State with abundant natural resources. The district has varied geographical features with thick forest, perennial rivers and abundant flora and fauna and a long coastal line.

Apart from natural resources the district has some man-made wonders. Supa Dam, Kadra Dam, Kodasalli Dam and Gerusoppa Dam are important among Hydro Electric Power Projects while Kaiga Generating Station is important Nuclear Power Project.

Kali Nadi Hydro Electric Project (KPCL) set-up across west flowing Kali River releases endless energy. Having origin at Diggi village in Western Ghats, joins Arabian Sea after completing journey of 160 kms.

The estimated power potential of the river is about 1700 MW with an annual yield of 6500 MU. Supa Dam, Kodasalli Dam, Kadra Dam are built in different phases having number of power generation units along with small dams across tributary rivers.

The main tribes of the district are Sidhi, Kunabi, Halakki Vokkaliga, Gonda and Gouli are spread across the district.

The five villages Balemane, Hartuga, Harur, Balase, and Sulageri come within five kilometers of radius of Kaiga Atomic Power Plant. The location of the villages and hamlets is that they are surrounded in one direction by Kaiga Atomic Power Plant, in another direction by Kali hydro power dam and its back water, and yet in another direction by the gigantic Sahyadri mountains.

This is a sensitive area wherein if any untoward man-made or natural disaster happens, it would be very difficult to protect the population residing in the area, it is even not possible to reach the area.

Read more here

Open letter to Piyush Pandey on Vedanta’s “Creating Happiness”


Executive Chairman &National Creative Director India and South Asia

Ogilvy & Mather Pvt Ltd

21st Feb, 2012

Dear Mr Piyush Pandey

Greetings !

You are the Icon of  Indian advertising Industry and I was delighted to know that you  have  been appointed as the brand ambassador for D&AD White Pencil Award. The new award from D&AD has been announced for an idea that raises awareness or changes behaviour around a pressing social, environmental or health issue. This is a significant initiative in the world of communication.

Your  mile sur humara tumhara’ for the National Literacy Mission in 1988  got etched in our collective Indian advertising  memory years ago. . As also your  anti smoking ads  for the Cancer Patient association  which won you  two Cannes Gold Medals in 2002. 

In 1999  “Bhopal Express” – a film based on the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984 that was co- written by you, acted as a catalyst in bringing to the forefront  the human rights violations committed by Union Carbide , a  corporate genocide. You supported the cause of Bhopal gas victims, and  I respect  you for that.

After  so many socially responsible ad campaigns  by you  I was aghast  to see  Vedanta’s  “Creating Happiness” ad . Recently unveiling the campaign you said The Vedanta ‘Creating Happiness’ campaign is extremely close to my heart for it’s all about enabling India. I have worked on this campaign along with my team as an excited young copywriter and I look forward to the people of India not just appreciating Vedanta’s efforts, but getting inspired to do something on their own to make India happier place. http://www.mxmindia.com/2012/01/vedanta-group-unveils-first-ever-national-corporate-campaign/

May I ask you, if you really know whether Vedanta has enabled or disabled India ?  Whether  Vedanta has protected the environment of the tribals in India, or has been on land grabbing spree and attacking peaceful protestors?

I urge you to visit Niyamgiri hills, I am sure you will love the paradise on earth, which  Vedanta is hell bent on destroying .

Niyamgiri Hills, named after the Niyamraja, the main deity of the Donagria Kondhs, are one of last untouched wildernesses of Orissa. Rising to a height of more than four thousand feet, it is the source of Vamshadhara river as well as major tributaries of Nagavali rivers. Niyamgiris form a distinct phytogeographical zone because of its height and its highly precipitous topography . It has some of the most pristine forests in Orissa. Niyamgiri flora is of ‘great phyto-geographical importance’ as the hilltops harbor high altitude plants with Himalayan/North Indian and Nilgiri/South Indian elements. Preliminary studies show that it has approximately 50 species of important medicinal plants, about 20 species of wild ornamental plants, and more than 10 species of wild relatives of crop plants .

The forested slopes of the Niyamgiri hills and the many streams that flow through them provide the means of living for Dongaria Kondh and Kutia Kondh, Scheduled Tribes that are notified by the government as ‘Primitive Tribal Groups’ and thus eligible for special protection. In addition, the Dongaria Kondh, whose total population is 7952 according to the 2001 census, are regarded as an endangered tribe. Schedule V of the Indian Constitution which enjoins the government to respect and uphold the land rights of Scheduled Tribes applies to the entire Niyamgiri hills region. While the Kutia Kondh inhabit the foothills, the Dongaria Kondh live in the upper reaches of the Niyamgiri hills which is their only habitat.

In the polytheistic animist worldview of the Kondh, the hilltops and their associated forests are regarded as supreme deities. The highest hill peak, which is under the proposed mining lease area, is the home of their most revered god, Niyam Raja, ‘the giver of law’.

They worship the mountains (dongar from which the Dongaria Kondh derive their name) along with the earth (dharini). These male and female principles come together to grant the Kondh prosperity, fertility and health.

According , ‘Report of the four member committee for investigation into the proposal submitted by the Orissa Mining Company for bauxite mining in Niyamgiri’, dated August 16, 2010, by Dr N C Saxena, Dr S Parasuraman, Dr Promode Kant, Dr Amita Baviskar. Submitted to the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India.

English: An ethnic Wife of Dhaneshwaran from t...

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”As Narendra Majhi, a Kutia Kondh from Similibhata village, said, “We worship Niyam Raja and Dharini Penu. That is why we don’t fall ill”. Sikoka Lodo, a Dongaria Kondh from Lakpadar village said, “As long as the mountain is alive, we will not die”. Dongaria Kondh art and craft reflect the importance of the mountains to their community— their triangular shapes recur in the designs painted on the walls of the village shrine as well as in the colourful shawls that they wear. All the Dongria and Kutia Kondh villagers that the Committee conversed with emphasized the connection between their culture and the forest ecology of the Niyamgiri hills. Their belief in the sacredness of the hills is rooted in a strong dependence on the natural resources that the mountains provide. Their customary practices in the area include agriculture, grazing and the collection of minor forest produce (MFP).All Dongaria Kondh that the Committee spoke to expressed their strong attachment to the Niyamgiri hills, their stewardship of the land, and the legitimacy of their rights arising from their long-standing presence in these hills. They strongly voiced their contentment with life and their opposition to any destructive change of the ecology threatening their culture. As Sikoka Budhga said, “We can never leave Niyamgiri. If the mountains are mined, the water will dry up. The crops won’t ripen. The medicinal plants will disappear. The air will turn bad. Our gods will be angry. How will we live? We cannot leave Niyamgiri.”

Research by Amnesty International and other local and international groups documents the serious and continuing pollution caused by the refinery’s operations. Despite the string of decisions against Vedanta, the company has failed to remedy the pollution.The latest high court verdict states that Vedanta cannot circumvent conditions issued by India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), stipulating that plans for expansion of the refinery should go through a fresh environmental and social impact assessment and a public hearing process. Residents of 12 villages who live in the shadow of the massive refinery – mostly Majhi Kondh Adivasi (Indigenous) and Dalit communities who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods – have long campaigned against the expansion.India’s great land grab continues, with police forcibly evicting tribal villagers in Orissa from land sold to UK-based Vedanta Resources to use as a toxic waste dump .

In your various interviews you have time again said you get creative insights from the people you interact with and also while you make ad campaigns you relate to the common man.I urge  you to go and find for yourself what Vedanta is doing to Niyamgiri Hills and talk to the tribals yourself to know the truth.

Meanwhile I would like you to see  activist Satyabadi Naik’s shocking video of police crackdown on a peaceful protest by women of Rengopalli and other villages against Vedanta’s toxic Red Mud Pond in Lanjigarh. This video was recorded on 23 Jan 2012. Watch the Video  urgent-villagers-protest-against-vedanta-red-mud-pond

Soem more films on the  REAL FACE OF VEDANTA

The Real Face of Vedanta

Niyamgiri – The Mountain of Law

iii. The Protector of the Streams

iv. Controversy over best environmental management award to vedanta

Now after reading my letter and watching  the videos you tell me , is  Vedanta “ Creating  Happiness “ or ‘ Faking  Happiness” ?


Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal



Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists


Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel


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February 2012
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