Jan Sahas released 52 Bonded Labourers from brick kiln industry including children and women




Evidences of prevalence of the illegal practice of bonded labour were observed some days ago in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh, where 52 labourers from Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were working as bonded labourers including children and women. They were freed on February 22 and 23, 2013 by the Jan Sahas under the “The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976”. Thereafter, they were given “released certificate” and immediate relief amount and the process of their rehabilitation in Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh has begun. These workers were being used as bonded labourers by the brick manufacturers of Morena, Madhya Pradesh.

Six workers of Chhattisgarh ran away in January after being exploited by two brick manufacturers of Jalalpur village (Thana Jaura) of Morena called Rinku Tyagi and Mahavir Tyagi. Family members of workers filed a police complaint against this in their village Barbhatha which comes in the district of Jaanjgeer. The Superintendent of Police (SP) of Jaanjgeer informed Morena police about this matter on January 19, 2013 but no action was taken against the culprits. When Jan Sahas was informed about this, it’s activist of Centre Social Justice and Equality and Bonded Labour Liberation Campaign raided the work place along with the police and liberated 22 workers. 22 more workers were freed the next day by raiding one more place nearby, while 8 labourers got freedom the other day.

The liberated workers belong to Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. After talking to them, we came to know that labourers were sold to Rinku Tyagi and Mahavir Tyagi in October 2012 by a contractor called Daataram in three lakh rupees.

These labourers told us that they had to work from 6 o’clock in the morning till 9 o’clock in the evening and each worker was paid Rs. 400 to 500 in 15 days to month. Many a times they had to work empty stomach, while they were beaten and threatened too. Rinku Tyagi kept an eye on the labourers and they were kept under vigilance even at night. Women bonded labourers were in a pitiable condition and they were not left alone even for using toilets. They were not allowed to go to market while their children were also forced to work. These labourers were enduring this inhuman behavior for the past 4-5 months.

We got these workers liberated and gave “released certificate” through the district administration including immediate relief amount. These workers have now moved to their villages in Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where we are trying for their rehabilitation with the help of local organizations. Dialogue with the local administration is also being made.

Times of India: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-02-24/bhopal/37269558_1_labourers-brick-kiln-joura


The myths in power generation

E. A. S. Sarma

Power problems are attributed to shortage in generation capacity, not inefficiencies in the supply chain.

From thermal power generation to end-use appliances, energy inefficiency can be reduced. — Raju V

From thermal power generation to end-use appliances, energy inefficiency can be reduced. — Raju V
Distance Energy Courses – Apply, Study & Get Certified Online 1yr PG Diploma & Certificate Course


It is a myth that increase in per capita energy consumption measures “development”. The Integrated Energy Policy (IEP) report of the Planning Commission projects the energy needs of the country on the premise that GDP growth and the increase in energy needs are closely correlated.

IPE uses “elasticity coefficients” to estimate future energy needs. Is it a reliable basis?

In his path-breaking book Soft Energy Paths-Towards a durable peace, Amory B. Lovins (1977) provided the following insights into the way the per capita primary energy consumption levels in Denmark varied over the last five centuries.

Denmark’s per capita primary energy use evidently declined between 1500 and 1900, not because of any negative economic growth but on account of the combined effect of a shift in the fuel base and the improvements in efficiency.

The increase in the per capita primary energy use between 1900 and 1975 and the decline between 1975 and 2004 were the compound outcomes of the growth in Denmark’s GDP, the fuel shifts and the efficiency improvements.

These trends show that the per capita energy use is not necessarily linked exclusively to the rate of increase of GDP.

What matters in terms of the quality of life is the per capita useful energy use, not per capita gross energy use, as the latter hides the inefficiencies down the supply chain of electricity from the generation station to the end-use appliance.


The other myth is that “electricity development” is synonymous with “setting up new generation projects”. The end product of electricity is different in different sectors. It is luminosity in lighting, lifting water in irrigation, turning the wheel in industry, circulation of wind in fans and space cooling in air-conditioning. The energy required for this can come from a new MW based on a renewable or a non-renewable resource or from a saved MW through efficiency improvement.

In other words, setting up a new generation project is one among the several alternatives available and it may not be the most optimal from the point of view of cost and long-term sustainability.

If the unit cost is high, the poor cannot access electricity. If the resource is non-renewable, energy security is threatened. The challenge, therefore, lies in choosing the alternative that ensures an affordable cost and long-term sustainability.

Our electricity system is based primarily on large projects generating electricity that is conveyed over long distances to remotely located consumers through an extensive system of transmission and distribution (T&D) network. The investment we have made in T&D has not kept pace with the investment in generation.

As a result, more than one-third of the generated electricity is lost in T&D and the electricity finally supplied to the consumer is of poor quality.

Within the generation sector itself, the investment we have made in peak-load hydro generation has not kept pace with the investment we have made in base-load thermal projects, causing an unhealthy imbalance.


It is an expensive way to provide electricity to the consumers whose cumulative demand has diurnal and seasonal variation. Thermal generation (coal, combined-cycle gas, nuclear) can best cater to the steady component of the demand, whereas the peaking stations (largely storage hydro) can optimally meet the peak load.

As a result of the imbalance in thermal-hydro mix, the thermal capacity, though available, is not utilised fully and the shortfall in peaking capacity has resulted in peak-time shortages that have crippled the economy.

These distortions have imposed a heavy cost burden on the consumer who is not only forced to pay for the high T&D losses but also forced to invest on voltage stabilisers and inverters.

The high cost barrier has stood in the way of electricity reaching the poor. No wonder that it is usually the existing affluent consumers who use highly inefficient electric appliances and grab most of the additional electricity generated in the country. Meanwhile, the poor seem to remain where they are!

Between 2001 and 2011, the country added 85,000 MW of new capacity. The number of rural households who had no access to electricity in 2001 was 7.5 crore. In 2011, it was 7.8 crore! Similarly, in 2001, the number of urban households who had no access to electricity was 0.6 crore. It increased to 0.7 crore in 2011!


We have a spacious building constructed recently in Visakhapatnam, standing majestically in the salubrious environment of the beach. It is sealed on all sides with heavily tinted glass, letting in neither natural light nor fresh wind. It uses hundreds of inefficient electric lamps to illuminate within and a large number of heavy duty ACs to cool the space. It is a veritable energy guzzler.

If we mine coal with 100 units of heat value to start with, at the end of the supply chain that feeds into an incandescent lamp, the luminosity we get is equivalent to 0.39 units of the original heat energy. The rest, i.e. 91.61 per cent of the original heat energy of coal, is wasted. If we can double the efficiency of the lamp, we can do with coal of 50 units of heat value and reduce displacement of people by 50 per cent!

The corresponding savings in the generation capacity would have avoided the displacement of people at the site of the generation project by 50 per cent. Going one step farther, if we replace the conventional lamp by a solar PV-based LED, we can avoid coal mining altogether and do away with displacement of people at both the coal mine and the thermal power project.

Prayas, in its Discussion Paper on Thermal Power plants on the Anvil – Implications and need for rationalisation, pointed out in August, 2011, that 7,01,802 MW of coal and gas power plants had either been cleared or about to be cleared by the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MOEF) and they were most likely to be set up during the next few years!

This worked out to thrice the capacity addition required to meet the needs of the high-renewable, high-efficiency scenario for the year 2032 projected by the Planning Commission’s Integrated Energy Policy (IEP) study.

This will pre-empt all efforts to remove the existing imbalance in the thermal-hydro mix and compound the problems of both peak-time shortages and the high cost of electricity.

Prayas’ study further reveals that these capacity additions are largely concentrated in areas that are already categorised as “critically polluted industrial clusters” by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Plants of 30,470 MW and 24,380 MW capacity will come up in two districts of Chattisgarh, namely, Janjgir-Champa and Raigarh respectively, followed by 22,700 MW within 10 km of Krishnapatnam Port in Nellore district in AP.

In the districts of Rewa, Sonbhadra, Sidhi and Allahabad on MP-UP border, plants of 51,218 MW will come up in close proximity!

The capacity additions proposed include projects that are located in precious wetlands, irrigated tracts and fragile regions rich in biodiversity. The social costs imposed by such projects far exceed the social benefits.

(The author is former Union Power Secretary.)

Excerpts from the recent Girish Sant Memorial Lecture, organised by Prayas, Pune.

(This article was published on February 24, 2013)


Gujarat Revenue Minister knows the rates of even country liquor that flows easy in the Dry State

Look Who is saying this and What?

Gujarat Government’s Revenue Minister and a reportedly confidante

of Mr. Narendra Modi freely talks about ‘Potli’

and how to squeeze your Impact Fee

Bilkul News, Ahmedabad, Feb 27: Mahatma Gandhi’s Gujarat is a dry state, but State Revenue Minister Anandiben Patel, known to be close to Chief Minister Narendra Modi, seems to know the rates of even country liquor that flows easy in the State.

At a function in Ahmedabad’s labour-dominated Bapunagar area on Monday evening, where she inaugurated an MLA office, she asked the audience, “You must be drinking potli (small polythene bags containing country liquor) everyday, does it cost Rs 20 per bag? How many of them you consume everyday?”

(File photo of Anandiben Patel at an inauguration ceremony …

such leaders are leading Gujarat!)

And a few from the crowd comprising mostly labourers shouted, “paanch potli” (five bags). The senior Cabinet minister responded, “So you waste Rs 100 a day, that means Rs 3,000 a month and Rs 36,000 a year. But still you must be getting sleepless nights for the fear that the (Ahmedabad Municipal) Corporation officials will demolish your illegal construction.” The Hindu is in possession of the video of the minister’s function.

it goes without explanation that when the esteemed minister is asking the crowd how many ‘potlis’ do they consuem everyday, she is very much aware about the fact that liquor is available in Guajarat and nto only that but she is also aware of the type of it and the slang used for it.

She exhorted the audience to pay Rs 2,000 impact fees and get their illegal construction regularised. Gujarat Government has imposed various rates of, what it calls, impact fees on those who wish to get their illegal construction legalised.

Patel went a step further to tell the gathering, “No minister will advise you this but I am doing so. Even if you have 10 metres of illegal construction, show just two metres on paper, afterall it is self-assessment. In any case, we don’t have enough staff to come and check if what you have furnished is correct or false.”

She then told the crowd that it was in their interest to pay up the impact fees, whatever amount it may be.

It may be recalled that the Gujarat Government had introduced a bill proposing capital punishment or life imprisonment for (lattha) hooch manufacturing and peddling in the aftermath of a hooch tragedy in Ahmedabad city in 2009 that left over 140 people dead.

But it is public knowledge that country liquor flows easily throughout Gujarat and is consumed mostly by labourers, who cannot afford illicit Indian-made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) that is also known to be available in the state.



How the other half dries

P. Sainath, The Hindu

  • MAN-MADE DROUGHT: In Maharashtra, even tigers do not have
    MAN-MADE DROUGHT: In Maharashtra, even tigers do not have “an attached forest reserve.” A hoarding on the Mumbai-Pune Highway. Photo: P. Sainath
  • MAN-MADE DROUGHT: In rural Maharashtra, you take water when you find it, wherever you find it. Photo: P. Sainath
    MAN-MADE DROUGHT: In rural Maharashtra, you take water when you find it, wherever you find it. Photo: P. Sainath
  • MAN-MADE DROUGHT: In rural Maharashtra, you take water when you find it, wherever you find it. Photo: P. Sainath
    MAN-MADE DROUGHT: In rural Maharashtra, you take water when you find it, wherever you find it. Photo: P. Sainath

How we use water can be as important as how much water we have. Who owns or controls that water will prove crucial

“Every apartment is a dream come true — the coronet that tops the king-sized lifestyle of true blue blood.” So run the ads. Yup. The blue bloods do it big. Each apartment has its own private swimming pool. These are, after all, “super-luxurious, supersized designer apartments.” The kind that “match the royal lifestyles.” There are also the villas the builders proudly announce as their “first gated community project.” And yes, each of them ranging from 9,000 to 22,000 square feet also offers its own private swimming pool. In yet other buildings coming up, the duplex penthouses will each have, you guessed it: private swimming pools.

These are just in Pune alone. All of them with other amenities needing still more water. A small but proud trend — with the promise of more to come. All of them in regions of a State lamenting their greatest drought in 40 years. In Maharashtra, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s view, one of our worst droughts ever. In a State where thousands of villages now depend on visits from water tankers. A daily visit if you’re lucky. Once or twice a week if you’re not. Yet it’s as if there is no connection between the swimming pools and the drying lakes. There’s very little discussion about it, for sure. As little as there was during two decades when the State rejoiced in the spread of dozens of “water parks” and water-theme entertainment parks. At one point, a score of them in the Greater Mumbai region alone.

Major diversions

Across the drought-hit regions of the State, despair grows. Over 7,000 villages are drought or scarcity-hit. Officially. Thousands of others are also in a bad way but are not classified as drought-hit. Of those declared as affected, some will get a bit of help. The government runs water tanker visits for them. Thousands of others make direct deals with private tankers. Close to half-a-million animals are dependent on cattle camps. Distress sales of cattle go on briskly, too. Water in many reservoirs is below 15 per cent. In some it is close to dead-storage levels. But far more than the searing drought of 1972, this is a man-made one.

There have been huge diversions of water in the last 15 years to industrial projects. And to private companies also in the lifestyle business. To cities from villages. Blood has been shed over such transfers. As in Maval in 2011 when police fired on angry farmers, killing three and wounding 19 others. They were protesting the government acquiring their land for a water pipeline from the Pavana dam to Pimpri Chinchwad. The scale of water loss this implied drew thousands more into the protests as well. The State’s response at the time was to book around 1,200 people for “attempted murder.” And for rioting as well.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar also did his best to lock in the control of industry over irrigation. He even tried to amend for the worse, the already regressive Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority Act. One new clause on his agenda would have barred any challenge to water-distribution policies.

The trends in diversion for lifestyle-entertainment though, are not new. In 2005, a huge “Fun & Food Village Water & Amusement Park” popped up in Nagpur (Rural) district. That, in a period of real water stress. The Fun “Village” had 18 kinds of water slides. It also had “India’s first snowdrome” along with an ice rink. It is not easy to maintain snow and ice in 47° heat. That took huge amounts of electricity in a region seeing 15-hour power cuts. It also guzzled massive amounts of water.

Lavasa and agriculture

This is also a State that added quite a few golf courses in the past decade or so. It now has 22, with more in the pipeline. Golf courses use huge amounts of water. This has often sparked conflicts with farmers in the past. Golf courses worldwide also use vast amounts of pesticide that can seep into and affect the water of others as well.

Besides, this is a State where we’ve seen angry protests over the water soaked up by private projects like Lavasa, “Independent India’s first hill city.” Sharad Pawar has drawn applause for ticking off his own party’s minister, Bhaskar Jadhav, for wasteful spending on a family wedding in a time of drought. But the Union Agriculture Minister has always been gung-ho about Lavasa. The project’s website noted quite a while ago that it has “permission to store” 0.87 TMC. That is — 24.6 billion litres of water.

No State has spent more money to create less irrigation. The Economic Survey 2011-12 found that land under irrigation had gone up by just 0.1 per cent of land in a whole decade. Which still means that less than 18 per cent of cropped area in the State is irrigated. That’s after spending tens of billions of rupees to produce many millionaires and very little irrigation. The major transfers of water to industry also come in a time of agricultural decline. (A 23 per cent fall in foodgrain in 2011-12 according to the Economic Survey.)

Even as foodcrop declines, fully two-thirds of Maharashtra’s sugarcane is grown in drought-prone or water scarce areas. At least one Collector had called for sugarcane crushing in his district to be suspended during this crisis. The sugar factories there together use up to 90 lakh litres a day. Given the power the sugar barons wield, the Collector is more likely to be suspended than the crushing.

The water needed for one acre of sugarcane can irrigate 10-12 acres of foodcrops like jowar. More than half of Maharashtra’s irrigation water goes to this crop which takes just six per cent of the cultivated area. Sugarcane requires “180 acre inches of water.” That is, 18 million litres per acre. Eighteen million litres can meet the domestic water needs of 3,000 rural households for a month (That’s based on a modest 40 litres a day per person). This in regions where the water table falls every year. That has not deterred Maharashtra from encouraging Rose cultivation — a very tiny trend but growing swiftly with the promise of more to come. Roses need even more water. They need “212 acre inches.” Which is — 21.2 million litres of water per acre. Indeed, rose cultivation, small as it is, has been a cause for some celebration in the State. Exports this year went up by some 15-25 per cent. The rupee’s slide, an extended winter — and “Valentine’s Day” — gifted rose growers this happy situation.

In the last 15 years, the only regulatory frameworks the State has put in place lead to greater privatisation of water. To quicker loss of community control over this natural resource. One that is rapidly depleting. At the same time, the unchecked exploitation of groundwater has made things a lot worse. Maharashtra worked hard to get to the crisis it now faces. Private swimming pools amidst oceans of dry despair. For the rich, there is never a scarcity. For so many of the rest, their hopes evaporate by the day.



Press Release- Letter to MoEF Immediately cancel the Environmental Public Hearing #mustshare

Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti

c/o 37 Patrakar Colony, Tandalja, Vadodara 390 020, Phone/Fax: 0265-2320399

Email: tokrishnakant@gmail.comrohit.prajapati@gmailc.om

BY Email & FAX

Most Urgent – Most Urgent – Most Urgent

27 February 2013


Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan

Minister of State for Environment and Forests

Paryavaran Bhavan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110 003


The Secretary

Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India
Paryavaran Bhavan, CGO Complex,  Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110 003.


The Chairman

Central Pollution Control Board

Parivesh Bhawan, CBD-cum-Office Complex, East Arjun Nagar, DELHI – 110 032


The Member Secretary

Central Pollution Control Board

Parivesh Bhawan, CBD-cum-Office Complex, East Arjun Nagar, DELHI – 110 032


The Zonal Officer

Central Pollution Control Board

Parivesh Bhawan, Opp. VMC Ward Office No. 10, Subhanpura,

Vadodara – 390 023


The Chairman

Gujarat Pollution Control Board

“Paryavaran Bhavan” Sector 10-A, Gandhinagar – 382 010


The Member Secretary

Gujarat Pollution Control Board

“Paryavaran Bhavan” Sector 10-A, Gandhinagar – 382 010


The Regional Officer

Gujarat Pollution Control Board

Plot No. 1154/2, B, Ghogha Circle,

Pattani Road, Bhavnagar – 364 002


The Chairman / The Collector

Environment Public Hearing Committee of Bhavnagar


Subject: Following serious anomalies in the EIA report for the Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant prepared by Engineers India Limited, request to immediately cancel the Environmental Public Hearing.


Reference: Our letter dated 22 February 2013 – Demand to cancel the scheduled Environmental Public Hearing as well as rejection of the EIA report of the Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant prepared by ‘Engineers India Limited’ consultants for ‘Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited.’ Engineers India Limited do not have necessary accreditation.

Madam/ Sirs,

This follows our earlier representation dated February 22, 2013 pointing out how an un-accredited consultant, Engineers India Limited(EIL) was appointed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited to prepare the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report for proposed 6000 MW Nuclear Power Plant at Mithi Virdi area of Bhavnagar district, Gujarat.  While we seek the cancellation of the public hearing for the plant, we bring to your notice serious anomalies which have come to fore.

First, the Terms of Reference for the MoEF at point no. 7 clearly mention that The study area should cover an area of 10 km radius around the proposed site for conventional pollutants and 30 km radius for radiological parameters.” Instead the EIA report categorically mentions that 30 Kms for radiological areas of the study will be undertaken in future, the radiological survey is yet to be carried out for 30 Kms area and have not been carried out as stipulated by MoEF in the Terms Of Reference (TOR).

But this has been clearly violated. No villager/village panchayat in the 10-30 kms radius has been informed or served notice for the public hearing as the rules stipulate by the concerned authorities.

The EIA report clearly states that the study has been done only within 10 km radius and it is in future further studies will be conducted. The report itself mentions:

Page 283

“Areas Surveyed

Radiological survey will be done up to a radial distance of 30 km around the plant. Generally, samples from various environmental matrices will be collected from the survey area. The indicator organism like goat thyroid will be collected from selected area (as per the requirements of AERB). Different types of samples will be collected from the terrestrial and aquatic environs of the 30km study area covering, soil, cereals, pulses and vegetation samples. Typically around 1000 samples will be collected and analysed every year. List of sampling locations, frequency of sampling and different types of samples to be monitored during post project period in different area will be worked out as per the requirements of AERB.

Page 383


Comprehensive radiological survey will be conducted by Health Physics Division (HPD) of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in the zone of radial distance of 30 km and the same will be continued till the life of Mithivirdi NPP for monitoring of radiation impacts and to establish that the radiation dose, in the public domain are within the prescribed limits of AERB.

Thirdly, the EIA report mentions that a detail of the de-commissioning of the plant is explained in the section 4.3.11 of Chapter 4, as stipulated.

But there is no section 4.3.11 in the Chapter 4 of the EIA report and the sections are only upto section 4.3.10. We understand that the said details have not been gathered and the study remains incomplete as there is no mention of that in the EIA report.

Sr. No. TOR of MoEF TOR Compliance Our contention
7 The study area should cover an area of 10 km radius around the proposed site for conventional pollutants and 30 km radius for radiological parameters Study on conventional pollutants  covered in  Section 3.4 of Chapter – 3 & Study on radiological parameters covered in  Section 3.5.11  of Chapter – 3 of EIA report The study is incomplete, villages in the area 10-30 kms not notified about public hearing.
35 Issues relating to de-commissioning of the plant and the related environmental issues should be discussed De-commissioning of the plant is explained in  Section 4.3.11 of Chapter – 4 The study is incomplete, section mentioned is not in the report.


We demand that:

  1. The concerned authority should immediately cancel the EPH as EIA is incomplete.
  2. The concerned authority should immediately reject the EIA of Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant of NPCIL prepared by EIL as EIA is incomplete.
  3. The concerned authority should apologise to the people of Gujarat for such a grave mistake allowing EPH on an illegal and incomplete EIA.
  4. The concerned authority should pass stricture against NPCIL and consultant EIL for such an illegal action on their part.


Expecting your positive and prompt response.

Krishnakant        Rohit Prajapati          Swati Desai
Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti



The people who are “seditious” and are “waging war against the state” !!!

Join Protest in Solidarity With People’s Struggle  Against Koodankulam Nuclear Plant @10thoct

The Idinthakarai Experience:

Best Practices in Peaceful and Nonviolent Protests
Indefinite hunger strike of a huge group of people including women and youth
Relay hunger strike – every single day 10 am to 5 pm
Inviting a prominent political, religious or cultural leaders for day-long hunger strikes
Meeting officials and submitting memorandums
Dialogue with government officials, scientists and others
Organizing seminars on nonviolence, democracy, development etc.
Organizing massive conferences
Organizing all party meets
Having political leaders meet with the Chief Minister, Prime Minister etc.
Inviting supporters from all over the country for solidarity public meetings, hunger strikes
Reaching out nearby villagers and youth with outside volunteers and campaigners
District-wide teach-ins
State-wide agitations
Nation-wide campaigns
Sending back voter identity cards
Boycotting elections
Supporting a specific party/candidate in the elections
Asking the local MP, MLA to resign and facilitate by-elections
Observing Independence Day as Black Day
Refusing to accept government schemes
Refusing to let government officials into our villages
Laying siege in front of the nuclear plant entrance
Preventing workers from entering the workplace
Laying siege to harbors
Laying siege to the State Assembly
Blocking trains
Blocking roads
Organizing continuous agitations of various types for a week/month
Burning national flags of visiting international leaders’ countries
Burning effigies of visiting leaders
Bandh all over the district/state (future plan)
Agitations in distant towns and villages
Bike rally through neighboring villages and towns
Rallies to nearby towns and villages and agitations in those places
Congregating in a particular village and rallying to a nearby village or town
Commemorating national and international leaders’ births and deaths
Remembering activists’ deaths and sacrifices
Ringing Church/Temple bells and congregating people
All night religious vigils
Organizing yagnas and special poojas
Prayer meetings
Candle light processions
Celebrations such as “Asserting Freedom, Celebrating Resistance”
Celebrating religious festivals
Celebrating cultural festivals
Composing and singing struggle songs
Poetry recitals
Guarding the village entrances
Guarding the struggle leaders’ residence
Collecting signatures on petitions
Writing letters to embassies
Writing letters to human rights organizations
Writing letters to international organizations
Floating letters on the sea
Sending ‘Thank You’ letters to international supporters
Refusing to let rooms and houses to nuclear plant workers
Refusing to sell food stuff to nuclear plant workers
Congregating on the sea
Singing and dancing on the beach
Marching on the seashore
Human chain on the seashore
Boycotting fishing
Jal-satyagraha (striking in neck-deep waters)
Burying ourselves in the sand
Living in cemeteries
Shaving heads off
Wearing black shirts and/or black ribbons
Deserting the village temporarily (future plan)
Burying “time/history capsules” all over the state (future plan)
Women canvassing support in villages and towns
Women leaders travelling to distant places all over the country
Women speakers speaking in public meetings and campaigns
Women braking alcohol bottles and driving away bootleggers
Women abstaining from sex and pregnancy to convince their menfolk
Women meeting District Collector and submitting memorandums
Women holding press meet
Sending children on marches and rallies
Children writing thousands of postcards to authorities
Children meeting District Collector and submitting memorandums
Children submitting memorandum to the Chief Minister at the Secretariat
Children visiting foreign embassies and submitting memorandums
Children holding press meet
Children boycotting school
Youth organizing cultural programs
Youth organizing colleagues in neighboring villages
Youth guarding the village, roads etc.
Empowering women with newspaper and book reading during hunger strikes
Publishing Newsletters
Publishing handbills, pamphlets, booklets, books
Organizing photo exhibitions
Painting walls with specific protest messages
Pasting posters
Email campaigns
Social Media campaigns and canvassing
Forming social media friends’ circles
Internet-based streamlining, live telecast, documentaries etc.
TV interviews
Radio interviews
Magazine interviews
Regular Press Releases and Updates
Filing cases with the High Court
Filing cases with the Supreme Court
Filing cases with the National Green Tribunal
Using court appearances of prisoners for campaigns
Legal education campaigns
Organizing blood donation camps
Organizing food donations
Serving meals for campaigners
Replacing round bulbs with CFL bulbs
Supporting ‘New Energy’ schemes
Promoting solar panels
Promoting windmills
3P Principle: Purity, Patience, Perseverance
3H Policy: Never Hurt, Harm or Homicide
3T Formula: Things Take Time
3O Strategy: Organize, Organize, Organize
Compiled by
S.P. Udayakumar
February 26, 2013



NAC members raise concerns over direct benefit transfer scheme #Aadhaar #UID

Concerns raised over the efficiency of banking networks and on-the-ground preparations for the schemeAnuja & Liz Mathew   Liz Mathew , livemint.com
First Published: Tue, Feb 26 2013. 09 52 PM IST
NAC members argue that public services should not be denied to those who do not have an Aadhaar number. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
NAC members argue that public services should not be denied to those who do not have an Aadhaar number.
Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint


Updated: Tue, Feb 26 2013. 09 59 PM IST
New DelhiA section of the Sonia Gandhi -led National Advisory Council (NAC) is not happy with the government “rushing into” the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme, expected to be the flagship programme of the ruling Congress party in the national election scheduled for next year.
At a meeting of the NAC on Tuesday, where Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairmanNandan Nilekani made a presentation on Aadhaar and DBT, some members flagged concerns on the efficiency of banking networks and on-the-ground preparations for the scheme. They argued that no public services should be denied to those who do not have an Aadhaar number.
According to five members in the 11-member committee, the members warned the scheme cannot be implemented in a hurried manner without proper mechanism and preparations.
State governments, ministries and departments should not rush into direct cash transfers without assessing whether or not they are appropriate and whether the preconditions are in place,” said A.K. Shivakumar, NAC member, adding that a legal framework within which the identity numbers are being issued needs to be in place.
The United Progressive Alliance government, which has been in election mode for some time now, recently launched the DBT, which aims to directly transfer cash subsidies using Aadhaar to beneficiaries of several government welfare schemes. A pilot was rolled out in 20 districts for 26 schemes on 1 January. Finance minister P. Chidambaram and rural development minister Jairam Ramesh announced that programme from a party platform, which indicated the Congress’ intention to use it as an election plank. Party leaders also coined a slogan for the scheme, “Aapka paisa aapke haath” (your money in your hands), an indirect reference to Congress’ election symbol.
Nilekani told the members that 280 million Aadhaar numbers have been issued so far and by 2014, the authority expects to enrol 600 million people. DBT is expected to plug leakages, reduce wastage and bring down discrepancies in the beneficiary list. However, the members also raised questions about making Aadhaar compulsory. “The council appreciated UID as a concept but some issues were raised. The main concern was that while UID was voluntary, the interpretation made at the state level was that it was mandatory for access to certain social service schemes. While it is not intentional, it is playing out differently on the ground,” said Mirai Chatterjee, member of the council.
Another NAC member N.C. Saxena said that while in general there was a view that Aadhaar was a “good scheme”, there were transition problems and the ministries should not be in a hurry to make it compulsory.
Another member who did not want to be identified said that concerns over the banking network and linkages to it were also raised.
NAC member Aruna Roy was critical of the scheme, saying in the meeting that the idea of DBT was an “experiment on the poor” and a “failed experiment being pushed through”. “The new architecture of using the UID to access existing cash benefits through the bank has only added an extra layer of complicated and complex procedures and has burdened both the programme as well as the beneficiary with little apparent advantage,” a release from Roy’s office quoted her as saying.
In response to concerns that UIDAI had not been given legal sanction by Parliament, Nilekani’s presentation highlighted that the authority has been functioning under executive notification issued by the Planning Commission in 2009, which is valid under law, the same member said. The Bill pending before Parliament is just to strengthen the authority by giving it statutory status in order to impose obligations and penalties, Nilekani said in his presentation.
A senior government official aware of the development, who did not want to be identified, said most of the NAC members were supportive. However, concerns raised by some on operational issues related to cash transfer were legitimate. “They are being addressed,” the official said.
The Congress is pushing the DBT scheme as one of its key achievements. In the presidential address last week listing the government’s agenda for the coming year, Pranab Mukherjee said it will be a “trendsetter” and will “cut leakages, bring millions of people into the financial system and lead to better targeting of beneficiaries”.
Surabhi Agarwal contributed to this story.
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First Published: Tue, Feb 26 2013. 09 52 PM IST


Condemn the spate of arrests in Kerala under the UAPA! Demand unconditional release

Joint statement issued by intellectuals and human rights activists against the arrests being conducted under the guise of Maoist hunt

Condemn the spate of arrests in Kerala under the UAPA! Demand the immediate, unconditional release of arrested activists!

On 15 February 2013, CK Gopalan, a former State Council member of the Porattam organization, was picked up and arrested from Wayanad by the Kerala police on the charge that he possessed posters and notice printed to commemorate the Comrade Verghese Martyrdom Day.

For the last 42 years, several Marxist- Leninist groups including Porattam, and other mass organizations have observed Comrade Verghese Martyrdom Day in memory of a leader who was shot point-blank by the police during an anti-Naxalite operation. Although Porattam had police permission to observe this day, C.K.Gopalan was arrested and charged under sec.153(b) of I.P.C. It is learned that procedure to book him under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act is in progress. Another three activists, Shanto Lal, Vinod and Usman were also picked up from Mananthavadi and also charged under s.39(1) a(1)of UAPA on the allegation that these activists were campaigning for furthering the activities of CPI(maoist).These three detenues are members of porattam and they werearrestted while protesting against the sudden ban of there com.varghese martyrdom day public meeting.

Another activist Ismail was arrested from Malappuram on 20 February 2013.He was taken to Kozhikode and after hours long interrogation he was released. Swapnesh Babu, an artist who works withNjattuvela, a cultural organisation was arrested on 21 February 2013. This has been the latest arrest so far. He is also charged under s.39(1)a(1) of UAPA and s.153(b)of IPC.

We also like to point out that Porattam, the mass organization whose members have been subjected to arrrest from various parts of the state, is not even a banned organization in Kerala, or any part of India. All these arrests under the UAPA seem to have been primarily made with the aim of creating a Maoism scare in the state.

Recently, on 29 December 2012, the Kerala police arrested seven activists from a lodge in Mavellikkara on the allegation that they were Maoists. Those detained for suspected Maoist links also included two children who were subsequently released. The other five, including a well-known civil liberties activist Scientist Gopal, are now lodged in prisons in Kerala and cases have been framed under the UAPA in their case too.

These arbitrary and baseless arrests cannot be dismissed as mere diversionary tactics of the state machinery. One has to understand this in the context of Operation Green Hunt. The global war on terror is the military movement of globalization, and in this framework, Wayanad in Kerala is strategically important. These arrests are a pre-emptive action to quell any future dissent in Wayanad where several big projects like the aerodram,cricket stadium,and private medical college, have been planned and where there could be widespread eviction of people from that region.

The usage of a draconian law like the UAPA to silence dissent, to deny the freedom of expression, to victimize members of leftist organizations, and to threaten people’s movements deserves to be condemned. We, the undersigned rights activists, writers, artists, and others, condemn these arbitrary arrests under the UAPA and request the police to immediately and unconditionally release the arrested activists and drop all the charges against them.

K Satchidanandan
Anand Patwardhan
Meena Kandasamy
A Vasu
J Devika
B R P Bhaskar
Kamayani Bali Mahabal
K P Sethunath
C S Murali
P A Pouran
Thushar Nirmal Sarathy

Maldives girl gets 100 lashes for pre-marital sex #Vaw #WTFnews

26 February 2013 Last updated at 20:26 GMT

MaldivesRights groups have urged the government to abolish the punishment

A 15-year-old rape victim has been sentenced to 100 lashes for engaging in premarital sex, court officials said.

The charges against the girl were brought against her last year after police investigated accusations that her stepfather had raped her and killed their baby. He is still to face trial.

Prosecutors said her conviction did not relate to the rape case.

Amnesty International condemned the punishment as “cruel, degrading and inhumane”.

The government said it did not agree with the punishment and that it would look into changing the law.

Baby death

Zaima Nasheed, a spokesperson for the juvenile court, said the girl was also ordered to remain under house arrest at a children’s home for eight months.

She defended the punishment, saying the girl had willingly committed an act outside of the law.

Officials said she would receive the punishment when she turns 18, unless she requested it earlier.

The case was sent for prosecution after police were called to investigate a dead baby buried on the island of Feydhoo in Shaviyani Atoll, in the north of the country.

Her stepfather was accused of raping her and impregnating her before killing the baby. The girl’s mother also faces charges for failing to report the abuse to the authorities.

The legal system of the Maldives, an Islamic archipelago with a population of some 400,000, has elements of Islamic law (Sharia) as well as English common law.

Ahmed Faiz, a researcher with Amnesty International, said flogging was “cruel, degrading and inhumane” and urged the authorities to abolish it.

“We are very surprised that the government is not doing anything to stop this punishment – to remove it altogether from the statute books.”

“This is not the only case. It is happening frequently – only last month there was another girl who was sexually abused and sentenced to lashes.”

He said he did not know when the punishment was last carried out as people were not willing to discuss it openly.


A Sour Mail- #Nardendramodi

By: Akshay Pathak

(Akshay Pathak, having worked with the publishing industry for five years, is an independent consultant now)

An email invite landed in my inbox yesterday. A garishly designed and grammatically flawed invitation to hear the “honourable” and “enigmatic” ‘Narendra Modi ji’, who has been elected chief guest to the All India Federation of Master Printers’ (AIFMP) annual conference, “Romancing Print”, on March 2, 2013, in New Delhi. How fitting as we approach the eleventh anniversary of the Gujarat pogrom.

Many in the print and publishing world are outraged by this. I am sure many are equally eager to be blessed by a vision of the king himself, and partake of his “remarkable ability to transform dreams into reality”—as the brochure written by some sycophant, or most likely by his PR agency, informs us.

I belong to the former, the outraged set of people. Perhaps not a very large number, but surely a set of people loud enough to not let the “the supreme dream” that Modi says he has—“to regenerate and transform the state of Gujarat”—be touted around yet again. And this time, to the world of print and publishing. Some of us have already signed and sent a letter to the organizers denouncing this decision of theirs. A petition is being planned. In fact as I write this a welcome email hits my inbox where PrintWeek, their media sponsor has withdrawn from the event. The editor Ramu Ramanathan has since been receiving threats from members of the federation.

The event being titled “Romancing Print,” perhaps the organisers deemed it fit to invite the poster boy, the hero of the macho men of India, who, the brochure says, has the reputation of being “a hard taskmaster and strict disciplinarian and an embodiment of strength and compassion”. Since reputation is the word they chose to associate the “enigmatic” chief minister with, it would be fitting to identify other tags attached to that “reputation”. And, compassion, yes, it is a lovely word indeed—to be used for a man who, while he finds it easy to suck up to European Union officials, refuses to acknowledge even once, forget apologize, the carnage of 2002 where Muslims were brutally attacked, murdered and displaced on his watch. Did that also fit in with the dream of this supreme dreamer, whose vision, we are told, fosters “agricultural research, protection of the environment, infrastructure as the lifeline of industry and global investments”? The fact that the development story of Gujarat is a selective promotional exercise churned out by the Modi government and the corporate houses that benefit from it, is not news anymore.

A year ago, at roughly around the same time, I received a phone call from someone representing the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. In my capacity as the Director of German Book Office, New Delhi, then, I was invited to a “core meeting” to discuss publishing. The AMC was planning to host a book fair, and wanted to discuss ideas and “learn from international experience”. Curious to know more about the proposed fair, and also because my job demanded it, I attended the meeting. It was held at the Gujarat Bhavan in New Delhi, and I saw some men from among the publishing circuit of Delhi sitting in a room stinking of damp sofas and perhaps some other unidentifiable stench.

The meeting began with a representative from the National Book Trust, New Delhi, introducing the new fair that they would be organizing in Ahmedabad in collaboration with the municipal corporation. We were shown grand 3D plans of a makeshift book fair tent on the banks of the River Sabarmati. There was an uneasiness in the room. Not because of the stench, I can say for certain. Surprisingly, in all this time, the “M” word was not mentioned once. The presentation was made by Powerpoint-savvy bureaucrats, the rare breed that a lot of urban yuppies imagine to be their ideal “public servants”.

At this time, I had already quit my job at the GBO, and was serving my notice period, and I was quite disillusioned with the world of publishing (something I have written about previously. But, for once, I was almost proud of the old men of publishing, men of my grandfathers’ age, who habitually grope young women after they have raided the bar sufficiently at book fairs and festivals. These men—for that room only had men—categorically asked if the proposed book fair had anything to do with the Gujarat Government (read “Shri Narendra Modi ji”). Never mind that the NBT and the AMC perhaps forgot that publishing is also made up of women, many women in fact. Or perhaps this was a demonstration of the true face of the vision and mission of the supreme dreamer, being emulated by his orderlies. I was glad that the “M” word was brought up by the publishers before I could do it. The officials, after quickly exchanging glances, insisted that it was the municipal corporation’s event. One still could not dare to convince people to associate with anything to do with Modi. After much cross-questioning, the officials admitted to wanting to create a “Jaipur-like event.” Here, DSC Jaipur Literature Festival can be proud yet again. The “greatest literary show on earth” has the supreme dreamer taken in by it too. Now that Kapil Sibal has stopped inflicting poetry on us (or has he?) in Jaipur, they have a candidate for next year’s list of VVIP guests. It can also assure them of enough scandal.

My engagement with the AMC-NBT event ended then and there. The first “Ahmedabad National Book Fair” went ahead, though not in a Jaipur-like manner, nor with similar results, I am told. It was a seven-day affair in an air-conditioned canopy on the banks of the Sabarmati. All over the venue, larger-than-life backdrops of the supreme dreamer himself (in one of the stalls alongside those of Steve Jobs) greeted visitors, something that wouldn’t surprise anyone any more. They dwarfed guests and invitees who were invited on stage, as well as the audience that sat to hear them speak. Some of notable Gujarati writers attended, and all the big Gujarati publishers and booksellers reported brisk sales. A handful of booksellers from neighbouring Rajasthan and Maharashtra, and a few from New Delhi too, had taken stalls. An Indian Express article dated May 2, 2012 describes all this and quotes Modi who inaugurated the book fair saying, “When we say German or Yahudi (Jews), we conjure up specific images of them but when it comes to Gujaratis, the image that comes to mind is people with taraju ya vyapaar (weighing scale or business). But the arrival of this fair will change this image.” A large statue of Vivekananda was also to be seen the moment one entered the fair. It was earlier advertised that the event would be opened by none other than Sri Asaram Bapu, clearly the most literary of all figures we have in India today. The PR companies must have realized the danger of that in time for this plan to be abandoned.

Narendra Modi, many say, has visions of taking this country “ahead”, something the organisers—and a section of the print and publishing industry too—seem to endorse. What do we read into this? The comically titled conference, which by its own admission derives inspiration from Bollywood, with sessions titled Jab Tak Hai ‘CARE’, promises to be a drab event. But the organisers, AIFMP and PRESSIdeas, urge us to be “inspired to do better business in our chosen field of printing.”

Does this mean that the print and publishing worlds, having first succumbed to the corporate world’s sin-bins—the many lit-fests and think-fests—are also now succumbing to the designs of a man whose political biography should have to be printed in blood?



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