Background of Alternative Politics in Orissa/Odisha


 

~ Prafulla Samantra & Rabi Das, Nov 2012

 

In the first decade in Independent India idealism, service and sacrifice had its impact on politics, which resulted in the process of nation building and strengthening the democratic institutions. The process gradually weakened and corruption affected state policy and administration; the mass discontent created by this was reflected in the anti-Congress campaign in 1969. The leadership was conscious that the country should not deviate from the fundamental principles of the freedom struggle. That is why in the decades of the ‘70s when authoritarianism and corruption raised its head, a mass movement developed against it. The people of the country confronted emergency and expressed a clear-cut opinion in 1977 to re-establish democracy. However, corruption engulfed the entire administrative system and the state and central leaders were neck deep in corruption, which resulted in a serious economic crisis in the country. Taking advantage of this situation, without the knowledge of the people, the economic policies of neoliberalism and globalization were imposed on them.

 

Under this economic regime, the impact of foreign and Indian capital, including the Indian and foreign companies, increased on politics and economy to the country. The foundation of this economy is dictatorial and the repressive administrative system, which is reflected in every aspect of the country. This is completely against the fundamental principles of the freedom struggle and democracy.

 

In this, the social, economic and political rights of the people are shrinking and the importance of capital and capitalists has increased. Most of the leaders and parties ruling the country and states work as their agents and have unleashed repression on the common people. Their only aim is handing over the precious natural and common resources to the companies and providing them lakhs of crores of profit and buying the public opinion by the help of their financial power. Due to their policies, poverty is increasing, farmers are committing suicide, colossal economic disparities are created and the natural environment of the country is being destroyed. In this condition, there is a need for creating an alternative politics and organization for re-establishing the values of the freedom struggle and defending the fundamental freedom and rights of the citizens. The leadership who have ruled and ruling our state Odisha for the past fifty years are not free of corruption. There is a gradual degeneration of the state administration due to the corruption of the leadership who have been ruling our state Odisha; the politics is also polluted. Today’s politics is governed by black money. As a result of this, more than 50% of the people are below the poverty line. 70% or 3 crore people of our state are Adivasis, Dalits, agricultural labourers, marginal and landless farmers, who are unable to get the necessary nutritional diet, education and health service. Politics has been gradually reduced to a business by the ruling parties. Democracy has completely vanished from the political parties. The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has been ruling Odisha for the past 12 years, who’s head Naveen Patnaik is unable to talk to the common voting public and people also do not understand what he says. Though the Chief Minister is getting votes, he is not able to recognize his own MLAs. It is said that Naveen is quite clean and above board, then how come in his rule thousands of crore rupees of corruption is happening in daal, water and mines.

 

The quantum and rate of corruption in police stations, Tehsil block offices and other departments have increased instead of decreasing. The property of ruling party MLAs, engineers, senior officers and ministers continues to increase. If the Chief Minister is free of corruption, then from where is the ruling party getting thousands of crores of rupees to spend on elections. Therefore, it proves that the corruption of the past 12 years rule is far more than the past 40 years. As a result of this, the politics of ruling BJD revolves around Naveen Pathak. The MLAs are neither free to speak in the legislation assembly nor to the Chief Minister about the problems of the people. Departmental secretaries have been given the scope to work sidelining the ministers, as a result of which there is whimsical governance in the administration and party by the boss. This type of anti-people and undemocratic politics is propagated as pro-development by the mass media who are financially controlled by the companies such that it becomes easy to plunder the natural resources of Odisha by the companies. Now this boss has been projected as a supremo by the mass media.

 

Now politics is only done for the profit of the companies. Common people have no place in this. The role of the main opposition political parties is the same. There has been severe allegation of corruption against the Centre, which is ruled by the Congress Party. This party blindly follows what is said by the high command. BJP has also adopted the economic policies of Congress, which devastates agriculture and farmers for the benefit of the companies. The BJP shared power with BJD for 9 years in Odisha; most of them are corrupted. The Congress at the Centre; BJD in Odisha; and BJP in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh; are equally responsible for the coal scam today. When agricultural land, river water, forest resources and mines are snatched from the people and handed over to the companies at cheap rates in our state, then the displaced farmers and Adivasis face police lathis and bullets when they democratically protest against these measures. But these main opposition parties are not ready to say a single sentence against these companies. Therefore, while the plunder of mines, water and land is portrayed as development by the Naveen Government in the name of industrialization, the two main opposition parties are unable to oppose the ongoing blind destructive industrialization. Contemporary politics is being corporatized and criminalized. This will drain the natural resources of the state. Mountains and rivers will be reduced to deserts; heat will increase with deficit in rainfall; agriculture will be devastated; farmers and Adivasis will lose their livelihoods, and the state will be become a food deficit state. Therefore, for the preservation of environment and along with alternative development, there is a dire need of a new political power. By a sustainable and balanced development, agro industries, construction of village industries, and small oil, sugar and spinning mills can be prioritized where it is possible to employ unemployed youth. The aim of this politics is to draw a prosperity line and provide the broad masses of people economic, educational and health services equally.

 

In the mainstream political parties in Odisha, farmers, Adivasi and Dalit leadership is totally absent. Though Adivasis and Dalits constitute 40% of the state’s population, in the political parties there has been no reflection of their voices in the leadership for the past 60 years. Instead of doing justice to agriculture and farmers, there is a conspiracy to finish off agriculture through senseless industrialization. By name, it is development, but in reality, it is the destruction of water, forests, agriculture and the livelihood security of crores of people who are dependent on them. In these parties, there is no place for the politics based on the socio-economic context of Adivasis, Dalits and farmers. In the entire state when the mass movements are going on for the preservation and security of agricultural land along with agriculture and forest resources, the ruling and main opposition parties are refusing to address the issues raised by them. It is because they get black money from companies for their politics. Where is the ruler of the state? He is there to provide security for the companies and for the repression of mass movements by engaging the police force. Today, in every nook and corner burglary, dacoity, murder and rape by antisocial goons are increasing day by day. Why is it not prevented? To save democracy today, it is necessary to unseat the parties and their leaders by 2014 that have pushed the people of the state towards anarchy by making the administration anti-people, undemocratic and corrupt; otherwise, life will be intolerable by the arrogance of this party.

 

After seeing all these, since the voters do not have any alternative during the elections, it is easy to garner votes using money and muscle power. Therefore, the biggest necessity of today is the politics, which can provide security for agriculture, farmers, fishermen, unorganized labour, Adivasis and Dalits, and create leadership by them. Hence, it is really necessary to create mass awareness for democratic politics in every village. The farmers of the villages have to question the political parties who come for their votes, from where they amass so much wealth? Today, when the condition of agriculture and farmers is precarious, then how MLAs, MPs, Chief Ministers and officials are becoming rich? Why can’t we be provided the pension drawn by a Class IV employee? Why education has been commercialized instead of making provision of common schools and teachers from villages to cities? Why are children discriminated? While asking these questions, politics has to be freed from black money by creating a new political force, which can provide education, health services and livelihood for everyone in Odisha. There is a need for a new political force and party where there will be no high command or a supremo in the party. There will be equal rights for every ordinary worker where there will be a collective leadership of Adivasis, Dalits and farmers to manage the affairs of the party. Gram Sabhas have to liberated from the high-handedness of the political parties.

 

Financial and organizational assistance will be sought by honest political workers on behalf of the people. To prevent astronomical expenditure in elections, people’s committees have to be constituted in every village. This type of political alternative will be able to implement alternative development policy for the farmers, agricultural labourers, forest workers and slum dwellers of Odisha. Otherwise, a leader like Naveen Patnaik who cannot speak the language of people, who does not have any emotional bond with the people, who runs the state like an emperor by the help of officials will ruin the state by opportunism, companification, commercialization and will pauperize the state by draining its resources and convert the state into a grazing meadow for the companies by corrupt administration and degenerate politics which will cripple our education and heath institutions, destroy our agriculture, land, rivers, oceans and forests. To prevent this, there is a dire need of an alternative political force, which can create an alternative political platform creating a united campaign, for the rights of people along with likeminded mass organizations. The main objective for a mass campaign for alternative politics is creating awareness among people regarding alternatives and developing people’s political organization in every Gram Panchayat. There is a need for a long struggle for the reflection of people’s power in the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha.

 

[Translated into English by Asit Das]

 

What politicians can learn from apps like angry birds #sundayreading


 

2 DEC, 2012, 06.58AM IST, ET

Strange as it may sound, Angry Birds, freemium and other ideas from the app world can change politics

Strange as it may sound, Angry Birds, freemium and other ideas from the app world can change politics
Alok KejriwalThink of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as apps. Clearly, Obama was “downloaded” (as in voted) many more times than Romney was. When the final downloads were totalled, Obama came on top and Romney was second. As a guy who makes mobile games for a living, I see a spectacular correlation between apps and politicians. Read on to enjoy my bizarre thesis and learn a thing or two about apps!

Be Like An Android

The least corrupt countries in the world are iTunes and Android. Why do I say that? It’s based on the way they function and how they allow their citizens called apps to live and thrive. Genuine citizens aka mobile apps go about their business (of getting discovered and downloaded) without intervention, rules, regulations, conditions and favours. For example, think of the game Angry Birds. Even if you haven’t played it, I bet someone close to you has.

Now consider how Angry Birds got downloaded. Angry Birds did not bribe iTunes or Android for “permissions” and “contracts” to do business and become popular and profitable. Angry Birds did not “acquire licences” at throwaway prices. Because to operate as an app in the app world, you don’t need a licence. All that Angry Birds did was to adhere to a standard code of conduct and dedicated itself to being creative and innovative!

The lesson politicians can learn from this is that self-regulating, non-intrusive and massively scalable economies such as iTunes and Android can exist and thrive. By killing rules, regulations, licences and permissions, model citizens can truly focus on inventing things, rather than on navigating the sticky cobwebs of politics.

The App World is Flat

There are no reservation quotas on app stores. You may be the son of Darth Vader or the illegitimate child of a politician of Uttar Pradesh or a farmer from Bihar, when you submit yourself on the app stores you are treated at par with everyone else.

No app gets preferential treatment. No officer from Apple calls the manager of iTunes “to move the file quickly”. Sure, if Angry Birds submits new apps, they do get noticed faster. But that’s like Viswanathan Anand asking for an urgent passport renewal so that he can go and thrash the Russians all over again. I doubt any Indian would grudge him that.

Politicians can get things done and that power is granted to them to be used for mass benefit — not for singular use. What politicians can learn from Angry Birds is that 1 billion people have downloaded the game (almost the population of India), without special status or being the son-in-law of someone. When good things are exposed, magic happens. In the same way, politicians must understand that the ordinary can become extraordinary, on its own merit!

 

Surviving in a world of men- #Gender #Discrimination


BY KALPANA SHARMA, The Hindu

Women have to develop a thick skin and hit back if they are to play an effective role in Indian politics.

Winter is in the air, and so are elections. And with them, the season of loose talk and personal attacks. Narendra Modi leads the brigade with his one-liners; his verbal arrows become particularly sharp when aimed at women. His constant attacks on Sonia Gandhi are now so old hat that one can ignore them. But what of his sudden lashing out at Sunanda Tharoor, wife of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor? Some other men from his party have joined in. Does this mean this is open season to attack women, even if they are associated with male politicians?

Modi’s jibes at Sunanda Tharoor were in such poor taste that they do not even merit a discussion. But what is worth discussing today, in the light of the forthcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, and a general election in the not-too-distant future, is the status of women in Indian politics.

Again, much has already been discussed about the powerful and visible women in Indian politics. Each has had a different, and specific, trajectory to the top. The factors that got her there cannot be replicated. But apart from this handful, what is happening to millions of other women who are in politics at various levels?

Ever since the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution were passed, guaranteeing one-third reservation (now 50 per cent) to women in panchayats and nagarpalikas, millions of women have been exposed to politics. Not all of them have flourished. Many remain mere tokens of their husbands. Despite their numbers, many do not attend meetings, do not have the courage to speak at meetings, and even if they do, what they say is not heeded.

But for every one woman who is a front for a man, there is at least another who has begun to understand what governance is all about. And at least half of these women should have been able to influence the process of governance at this lowest tier. That alone would add up to thousands of women spread across this country.

What happens to these women after they have had a taste of power, realising that they can be heard, that they can make a difference in their villages or towns? Do they subside once their terms are over and go back to the traditional roles ascribed to them, of being daughter, wife or mother? Or do they dream of moving up to a higher tier, perhaps to the State Assembly?

Stuck in a limbo

There is little data to establish whether women who have served several terms in panchayats, and who have been active participants, get picked up by local political parties to contest elections for the State Assemblies. If such a natural trickle-up process had begun to take place, we would have seen an increase in the representation of women in State Assemblies. Nothing of the kind has happened.

Meantime, as we know, the Women’s Reservation Bill remains stuck, having passed the Rajya Sabha last year, but moving nowhere since then. And with all the rhetoric about giving women a place in politics, there is little to show that major political parties are making any effort to recruit more women to their party ranks.

One could also ask whether the women who are in the political parties – and many of them have become visible faces on television talk shows – have any say in crucial matters in the party. Are they in the working committees, executive committees, election committees or politburos? Are their voices heard where it could actually affect the direction of the political party? If not, they remain mere telegenic faces for their parties at a time when the media has become such an important player.

So if the reality is that, barring a few exceptional women, an effective role for women in Indian politics still remains restricted, why are some men so worried that they would launch personal attacks against women who are not even in politics?

Modi’s misogyny is well known. But one has to ask whether his latest diatribe is a precursor to more such personalised attacks on women in public life. You might say that just as men have to learn to withstand such attacks, women must too. They too have to develop a thick skin. They too have to learn when to hit back and when to hold back. They have to reckon that politics is not just a full-time job – one that allows for no concessions to other commitments – but that it is a dirty game.

This is the reality that probably makes many women hesitate about taking the first step into State level or national politics. It is not as if politics at the panchayat or nagarpalika level is bereft of sexism. In fact, women mukhiyas and sarpanches have also had to face considerable violence in many States. It is possible that they realise that moving up the political ladder brings with it more of this. Yet these women are a valuable resource with their experience in grassroots politics. What a pity that entrenched misogyny and indifference to giving women a fair chance has resulted in us wasting this resource.

sharma.kalpana@yahoo.com

Change.org: We’ve Seen This Before


Wenonah Hauter

Executive Director, Food & Water Watch

Posted: 10/30/2012 6:16 pm

Recently, the Huffington Post reported thatChange.org has abandoned its progressive roots and apparently planned on doing it without telling anyone, according to documents leaked from a Change.org employee to Jeff Bryant with Campaign for America’s Future. (According to this petition on rival petition site Signon.org, that employee has nowbeen fired.)

So why is Change.org changing?

“[W]e as an organization have transitioned from an American cause-based organizing network with a largely progressive agenda into a global platform open to a wider diversity of participants and perspectives,” wrote Change.org founder and CEO Ben Rattray to his staff, in an email also leaked to The Huffington Post.

For the past three years, Food & Water Watch has run campaigns with Change.org, so we were outraged when we heard that they would now potentially be working with the likes of Monsanto, the American Petroleum Institute, and anyone else that wants to run a campaign with them.

We spoke with several leaders inside Change.org last week, including Ben Rattray himself. He tried to reassure us that their change in policy did not mean a change in values, and they would not start working with Monsanto tomorrow.

Our conversations did not reassure us.

Rattray characterizes this new “open” policy as a way to indicate that they are non-partisan and focused on empowerment as a tool of change. I pointed out to him that in many cases the issues we work on, from fracking and genetically modified organisms to privatization of our common resources and the destruction or weakening of unions, has been embraced by both major parties.

In fact, wouldn’t we hope that a platform like Change.org would hold Democratic Party officials accountable to their base, rather than the corporations that are buying votes and ultimately creating a situation where public policy is for sale?

And let’s talk about empowerment. We don’t want to see climate change deniers empowered. We have worked with Change.org to empower people with a vision of a better world that is economically and socially equitable and where the environment is protected.

We’ve experienced time and time again being outspent on campaigns by industry front groups that have slick messaging and PR campaigns that are meant to confuse and paralyze voters and the democratic process. We’re seeing this right now in California where we’re trying to pass Prop 37 to give citizens the right to know if their food contains genetically modified ingredients. The biotech and processed food industries are pouring more than $35 million dollars into campaigns designed to mislead voters, while the side fighting for Prop 37 has pennies to their dollars to educate voters about the truth.

Even after talking with Ben, I get the impression that their decision comes down to increasing their size and reach. This will mean more advertisers and higher revenues. We’re disappointed that Change.org has apparently decided that profit trumps progressive values. I think Change.org has become confused about what kind of change we want and what democracy really looks like.

This is just one more example of why it is so important to have a strong and vibrant public interest community that does not accept money from corporations and that keeps an appropriate distance because in a for-profit company, the pressure is always to increase earnings for shareholders and investors. As long as this is all above board and everyone understands the relationship, so be it. But it’s unseemly when an organization that claims to be progressive, and has built its organization on working with the progressive community, sells out like this.

Thankfully, there are other progressive groups that aren’t embarrassed about being progressive. Organizations like Care2, Credo Mobile, and Moveon.org who are working in this sphere are committed to the kind of change we want, and won’t compromise in the interest of increasing profits.

Recently there has been a lot of chatter about how our political system is so broken that we should just let business take the lead in creating social change. This is a dangerous sentiment. No matter how well-meaning companies may be, the pressure will always be on increasing market share and making a profit. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be some good companies that maintain their principles and make a fair profit. But, there will always be people who are willing to put aside their principles and original vision to attract investors and to increase profits. We will be watching to see what happens at Change.org and keeping our fingers crossed that they don’t weaken the very movement that they were formed to strengthen.

This post originally appeared on Food & Water Watch’s blog.

Related articles

Has Change.org compromised its values for ad revenue? #Benrattray #Mustshare


by  Oct 31, 2012, FIRSTPOST
Change.org has changed. And chances are that you might have missed it.

The social action platform, which is credited with hosting many online campaigns to bring about change, is facing criticism for replacing its ‘values based’ advertising policy for an ‘open’ approach in which advertisements are accepted based on the content of the ad, not the group doing the advertising, says a company document meant for internal circulation, but which got leaked before the company could go public with its re-branding strategy.

In effect, the company has allowed for advertisements from various quarters including corporate houses and political parties.

Screenshot from Change.org

What this means is that even anti-abortion, pro-gun, union-busting advertising and ads by political parties will be allowed on the site, marking a remarkable change in the overall outlook of the company.

Before the policy shift, according to the document, the company’s advertising policy was values based. It accepted clients case by case, one at a time, based on their alignment with its values as a company.

The new advertising policy is akin to those of many leading platforms, open by default to any group that wants to advertise with them. “We are open to organizations that represent all points of view, including those with which we personally (and strongly) disagree,’ reads the document.

As per the company’s original strategy, it was not to allow campaigns by political parties as, “there were a number of risks involved in allowing political ads, in particular around our brand and user experience.”

The decision to allow political ads, is based on the feedback from the team including staff from outside the US, reads the document. “One of the primary ways people get involved in civic participation is through politics and elections, and we don’t want to close door to political actors engaging in change.org- something which they can do through many channels, and which has the potential to increase their responsiveness to citizens overall.”

Kamayani Bali Mahabal, an online campaigner based in Mumbai, who has initiated many petitions on change.org, says that the company’s advertising policy shift demonstrates the potential perils of for-profit companies founded on progressive values, and shows the power of money.

Read more here-http://www.firstpost.com/living/has-change-org-compromised-its-values-for-ad-revenue-509088.html

Resist Silent Emergency!-‘People’s Hearing on FABRICATED CASES’-Sept28-29


Dear Friends,

Sub: Invitation to a ‘PEOPLE’S HEARING ON FABRICATED CASES’

Venue: Constitution Club, New Delhi

Dates: September 28 – 29, 2012, Friday, Saturday.

The nightmare of the infamous Emergency of Mrs. Indira Gandhi was supposed to be over in 1977 when it was lifted after two years due to large scale public protest. Political parties, institutions and individuals who defended Emergency were discredited. The sigh of relief evoked a hope for a functioning democracy in India.

But today, we are entering into a similar phase of authoritarian governance without any formal declaration of Emergency. This Silent Emergency has regulated, controlled and restricted all space for democratic public protests against ruling governments. Custodial deaths and encounter killings have become a routine phenomenon. Rape, murder, loot, torture and arrests in Manipur, Nagaland and other north eastern states as well as Kashmir have even crossed the excesses of the Emergency period. Many discriminatory laws have been enacted to silence the Media without a censorship. Several discriminatory laws were enacted to enhance and strengthen the power of the State over civil society and crush dissent.

Laws to facilitate the corporate control and loot over the resources of people are being enacted. This has also become a major reason for the human rights violations against adivasis, dalits, minorities, farmers, fisher people, workers, activists and human rights movements. The human rights defenders who take up burning issues of the people are being targeted. False cases are being fabricated against activists, people’s movements, media, theatre activists, minorities, self-determination movements, dalits and adivasis in a major way. Thus thousands of innocent people are languishing in Indian jails without any trial.

In this context of the Silent Emergency in our country we would like to invite you to attend the ‘PEOPLE’S HEARING ON FABRICATED CASES’ which has the following objectives:

1. To defend fundamental rights, human rights and the Indian Constitution to preserve our democracy

2. To popularize some of the most brazen cases of fabrication of false charges against political dissidents and members of the Muslim, dalit and adivasi communities

3. To facilitate further legal action for freedom of these innocent people

4. To generate pressure on the mainstream media to play a more socially responsible role

5. To generate pressure on the institutions of Indian State for the release of undertrials.

The Programme:

The organizers expect the participation of around 50 victims, their family members or friends whose testimonies will be heard by a jury comprising of judges, lawyers, journalists, human rights activists and artists. After listening to all the presentations the Jury will report their observations and conclusions with clear recommendations for various institutions of the Indian State.

Organisers: Solidarity Youth MovementKerala, Indian Social Action Forum – INSAF, PUCL, AISA, SIO, Right to Food Campaign, KSMTF (Kerala Swathantra Matsya Tizhilali Federation), PPSS (Anti Posco Movement), ICR, Focus on the Global South, Justice for Maudany Forum, Visual Search, Moving Republic, SAHELI, Pedestrian Pictures, National Campaign Against Fabrication of False Cases, http://www.fabricated.in, Jamia Teachers Solidarity Assiciation, Jamia Student Solidarity Forum, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, National Adivasi Alliance, Kabani – The Other Direction, Human Rights Alert, Dalit Human Rights Movement (DHRM) – Kerala, Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity, Action for Social Equality, INSOCO – Indian Solidarity Committee for freedom democracy & human rights, Center for Harmony and Peace – Varanasi, PUDR, Socialist Front, Student of Resistance.
People’s Hearing on Fabricated Cases

Sept 28-29 Constitution Club, New Delhi

Programme Schedule

28-09-2012, Friday

Inaugural Session: 10am – 11.30am

11.30am – 1.30pm
Issue
Speaker

1
Koodankulam Anti Nuclear
P K Sundaram

2
Anti POSCO Struggle
Abhay Sahoo

3
Jaitapur Anti Nuclear
Vaishali Patil

4
Farmers Group, Madhya Pradesh
Dr. Sunilam

LUNCH BREAK

2.30pm – 6pm
Issue/Case
Speaker

5
Journalist Mhd Ahmed Kazmi
Shauzab Kazmi

6
Soni Sori
Himanshu Kumar

7
Gujarat Fabricated Cases
Zakiya Soman

8
Faseeh Mahmood
Sabih Mahmood, Manisha Sethi

9
Journalist Shahina KK
Shahina KK

10
Seema Azad, UP
Seema Azad

11
Jharkhand
Dayamani Barla

12
Odisha
Prafulla Samantara

13
Chattisgharh
Ajay T.G

14
DHRM, Kerala
Suresh

15
Email Surveillance Victims, Kerala
T. Mohammed Vellom
29-09-2012, Saturday

10am – 1.00pm
Issues
Speaker

16
Kashmir & North East
Anjum Zamrud Habib, Babloo Loitongbam, Kaka D Iralu, Neena Ningombam

17
Abdul Nasar Maudany
Dr. Sebastin Pol, Omar Mukhtar
LUNCH BREAK

2.00pm – 3.30pm
Issues
Speaker

1
Prisoners Issue
SAR Geelani

2
Repressive Laws
Preeti Chauhan, PUDR

3
Increasing repressive state under neoliberalism
Colin Gonsalves
3.30pm – 6.00pm

Concluding Session: Comments from the Jury

Jury:
Justice Rajindar Sachar
Dr. Binayak Sen
Saba Naqvi
Ajit Shahi
Dr. Ram Puniyani
K Satchidanandan

Saffron vs Saffron: 200 RSS workers attack BJP office in Indore


 

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Indore/Bhopal, August 29, 2012

In what proved to be a major embarrassment for the party, about 200 Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party office in Indore on Tuesday night. For the RSS, the attack was to “teach the errant BJP a lesson”, but the BJP was at a loss to even react, not to  mention lodging a complaint.
A local RSS leader said, “If a child starts eating mud, what will the mother do? She will not watch quietly, she will slap the child. And that is what the RSS has done.” It turned out that the ‘parent’ was angry with the ‘child’ over the transfer of a police officer credited with acting against a criminal.

On Tuesday night, the Sangh workers barged into the BJP party office at Jaora compound and ransacked the three-storey office. The few office staffers and party workers who were present either hid or ran away. Angry RSS workers raised slogans against state industries minister Kailash
Vijayvargiya and MLA Ramesh Mendola and burnt chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s effigy.

Meanwhile, BJP leaders, including state president Prabhat Jha, chose to keep mum on the issue, given the sensitivity of the matter. This line of action, or rather inaction, was decided at a series of meetings held at the CM’s residence in Bhopal. Indore city unit president Shankar Lalwani was called to Bhopal to explain the situation. Apart from the CM, Jha and state BJP general secretary (organisation) Arvind Menon were also present at the meetings.

“This is an unfortunate incident. It is our internal matter. We briefed the CM about it,” Lalwani told HT
RSS workers, however, continued to be vocal. “It’s about peace and order. Goonda elements are dominating. What happened was a reaction to the same,” said RSS’ Malwa Prant Sanghchalak Laxman Rao Nawathe.
Why RSS is angry?

The RSS is angry over additional SP Rakesh Singh’s transfer around a month ago. Singh had booked Manoj Parmar, a criminal, who had earlier accused BJP MLA Sudarshan Gupta and Sangh Seva Pramukh, Indore Mahanagar, Gopal Goyal, among others, of shooting at him while he was taking part in a religious procession on July 23. Parmar is supposed to have acted at the behest of state industries minister Kailash Vijayvargiya and MLA Ramesh Mendola.

 

Vedanta made huge donations to both Congress and BJP


 

 

2012-07-28 -The cat is finally out of the bag the Vedanta group has given donation to the tune of `850 crore to the Congress party and `440 crore to the BJP. No sane person or company parts with such huge amounts without getting back something in return. There’s no such thing as a free meal.

Now it is quite clear why political parties go soft on mining companies. It is now also clear why both the major parties just seem to go through the motions when illegal mining is discussed in the assembly. You do not bite the hand that feeds you. It is quite clear why subsequent governments have turned a Nelson’s eye to illegal mining. Even if the local government is determined to take action the high command of both the parties will not allow it. In the end both the parties are happy and smug and it is the State of Goa and its people who are ultimately paying the price for these donations.

That Mining company donations to BJP or for that matter any party ruling the state will have no bearing on government decisions is something hard to swallow and will be believed only by the village idiot ! The very fact that the Vedanta group has given donations to both the main political parties makes it clear that this is not a donation based on the ideology of a political party. The donation is made on pure commercial reasons and with a quid pro quo in mind.

It is time that people wake up to the fact that mineral wealth belongs to the state and not to any political party and thus the benefits of such wealth should go to the people.

Contact Details:
Name:D C DIAS
Place:Taleigaon
Contact:

 

original post here http://www.targetgoa.com/helpd.php?id=87

 

Pathetic condition of Pardhi victims – an update


 

Present Status of the case

After the filing of the part charge-sheet by CBI at CBI court Jabalpur, we have filed a detailed petition at Jabalpur High Court to demand further investigation,   to implicate the leaders of BJP and Congress in rape case and murder case, and officers of dist admin in the case of loot and arson.

 History of mob lynching in Betul

आपको हम यह बता दे, की 2007  का पारधीकांड अपनेआप में कोई इस तरह की  अकेली घटना नहीं  है. सारी बात इस परिपेक्ष्य में देखना होगी , की पूरे म. प्र. में बैतूल जिला  ही एक एसा जिला है,  जहाँ,  2003 से 2007 के बीच, पारधी जैसी जाती के 13 महिला -पुरुषो को भीड़ द्वारा मार  डाला गया(either stoned or charred ). Before 2004 and 2008 assembly elections the anger against Pardhies was fueled by political parties and in both the elections MLA from Congress Sukhdev Panse won the election; first from Masod and later shifted to Sunilam’s constituency, i. e. , Multai . And the proposed Jusunwai in 2012 at Multai would have further fuelled the atmosphere against Pardhis before 2013 assembly election. यह पहली बार है की हमारे द्वारा इस मामले को उठाये जाने से इस पर रोक लगी वरना न जाने कितनी घटनाए और होती.

Not Targeting Dr. Sunilam

दूसरा  हम इस पत्र के शुरुवात में ही यह स्पष्ट कर दे की हमारा उद्देश्य पारधी जैसी देश की 150 denotified tribe (criminal tribe; fed up of their rebel Brtish notified them as a criminal tribes. Though, it was denotified in 1954, the attitude towards them never changed)  के प्रति हर जगह व्याप्त  biases  को उठाना है. हम   पारधीकांड, मुलताई मामले में डॉ सुनीलम को टार्गेट नहीं कर रहे है, हाँ यह जुरूर है की इस मामले में हमे उनका  व्यवहार एक प्रगतिशील आन्दोलनकारी  के विपरीत लगा, हमे  इससे व्यथित है,  हमने अपनी इस व्यथा को आन्दोलन के साथियो के बीच उठाने की लगातार कोशिश की है. विशेषकर जब उन्हें इंडिया अगेंस्ट करप्शन में और एन ए पी म में ख़ास भूमिका दी गई , तो हमे लगा की इस बात का इन आंदोलनों तक पहुचना जरुरी है.

This shows important of this case.

जब २००७ के गोलीकांड में अचनक उनकी भूमिका के बारे में स्थानीय पत्रकारों, व्हीडियो रिकार्डिंग और national dentotified tribe  commmssion की रिपोर्ट से मालूम पड़ा तो हम काफी दुविधा में थे, की PIL में उनका नाम डाले या नहीं. लेकिन कई लोगो से चर्चा के बाद हम इस निष्कर्ष पर पहुंचे की हम इस मामले पक्षपात नहीं कर सकते. हमे कोर्ट के सामने सारे तथ्य ज्यो के त्यों रखना चहिये. और हमने वैसा ही किया. 2007 से 2009 के बीच यह petition है कोर्ट में सूनी गई, प्रसिद्ध वरिष्ठ वकील एन एस काले इस केस को लड़ रहे थे. उनकी अचनाक मौत हो जाने से, २४ जुलाई 2009 को final argument मैंने किया, आपको शायद याद होगा की २३ जुलाई २००९ को शमीम पर मुंबई में जान लेवा हमला हुआ था, लेकिन इसके बावजूद मै जबलपुर में  24 July को इस केस की final argument कबाद ही मुंबई रवाना हुआ.

 

Our campaign  against CBI’ effort to save the leader  of Congress & BJP and Officers of Local Administration

इस मामले में अगस्त २००९ में है कोर्ट के आदेश पर सी बी आई ने investigatin शुरू किया. हमे थोड़े  दिनों में जब यह समझ आने के लगा की सी बी आई इस मामले में राजनैतिक दबाव में कांग्रेस और बीजेपी के नेताओ और अधिकारियों को बचने का प्रयास कर रहे है. तो हमने इसे लेकर ना सिर्फ जबलपुर हाई कोर्ट में एक और याचिका लगाई बल्कि सी  बी आई director को शिकयत कर, व्यक्तिगत मुलाकात भी की.

इन सारे पत्रों, शिकयतो में हमने सिर्फ कांग्रेस , भाजप और अधिकारियों के मिलीभगत की ही बात की है:

Intro of the first letter to director CBI dated 22/9/10

The CBI may be creating ripples in the political and administrative circles of Gujarat but in MP it is proving otherwise.  A case of rape, murder, loot, and arson on 10th and 11th September 2007 involving marginalised Pardhi community is under investigation by CBI’s Bhopal office for a year now and yet no one has been named in the FIR. The investigation officer of CBI additional S.P. M. S. Khan has been pressurising Pardhi witnesses into altering their statements as leader of Congress and BJP and higher officers are involved.

Minutes of the meeting with CBI director on 1/11/10 ; Dr. Premsingh of SJP had accompanied me

First of all I would like to begin with thanking you for giving us patient hearing and being cordial. Further to the discussion I am mentioning some of the following points of impropriety on the Part of your I.O. Mr. Khan –

  1. After having recorded  eye witness account of  Rishu Naidu (stringer with ETV)    (in third case of loot and arson)  I got a call from him ( IO)   for deleting Collector Arun Bhat’s name from the statement. He said “ usne kafi bade logo ka nam le diya hai aur uski jan ko khatra ho sakta hai, and on my asking he said he has named Collector”

Intro of the third  letter to director CBI dated 6/2/12

There has been continuous effort by successive investigation officers of CBI to ill-influence the investigation in the above mentioned cases, so as to save the main accused MLA of Congress from Multai, Sukhdev Panse, BJP’s vice-chairman of Betul Zila Panchayat, Raja Pawar, SDO of Police, Multai  D. K. Sakkle,  some of the key persons responsible for; the rape of 11 Pardhi women on the intervening night of 10th September 2007;  rape and subsequent murder of Dodebai Pardhi  along with her husband Bondru on the morning of 11th September 2007, followed by  instigation of mob into loot and arson of entire Pardhi settlement of Chotuiya village under Multai Police station. (Detailed letter attached).

Intro of the third letter to director CBI dated 20/9/12

Investigation by Central bureau of Investigation (CBI) into all the three incidents of rape, murder, and arson, occurred within the span of 24 hours from 10.9.07 evening to 11.9.07 at village Chotiya, district Betul, suffers from; favours, manipulation; concealing and misrepresentation of material facts, to save the influential politicians and officers of police and revenue in the district administration, which reflects very badly on premier investigation agency like CBI. CBI is acting under pressure in order to save the MLA of Congress Party from Multai, Sukhdev Panse; Betul Zila Panchayat Vice Chairman and leader of BJP, Raja Pawar , SDO of Police D. S. Sakkale in the case of rape and subsequent murder. CBI is also trying to save then D.M., S.P., and other officers of Police and Administration of Betul district of M.P. Moreover, in last two years none of the main accused name in the charge-sheet has been arrested, nor there any inclination shown by the CBI to apprehend them.

Dr. Suinlam’ Video Recording.

Etv Journalist Rishu Naidu has recorded the interview of Dr. Sunilam ; it can be seen in the video clipping. In his affidavit at the HC he has said that when he reached the spot around 11 am, along with the ladders of political party, Dr. Sunilam was also there and they all were instigating the mob.

U Tube link of Dr Sunilam Video

http://youtu.be/arHbAZM7eDg

he is also referring to the Khapakhateda Knd in which 8 people of Hnagari Lohar community were killed.

 

Other video linkages

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G08fGbD2pAc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUwavYzle3Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulZpslrcdUc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rav_B3-gR2Q5HA6rhs2A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVfG_IQ-AZo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2NuxQ0RvfQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2NuxQ0RvfQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmu8sn7JISY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0RoWm1EhA8

NCDNT Report

National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic TribesReport on the incident involving Pardhis, Madhya Pradesh,9-11 September 2007. The Commission represented by Sh. Balakrishna Renke (Chairman), Sh. Laxmibhai Patni  (Member) and Dr. Meena Radhakrishna (Director Research) visited Betul district in Madhya Pradesh on September 29-30, 2007 to investigate an incident involving Pardhis on September 9-11, 2007, and its aftermath.

DM, Betul’ Rehab Plan

The rehab plan proposed and submitted to the state government and Jabalpur High Court by then Collector of Betul,  for the victims rehabilitation shows the height of apathy:

It says that, the Pardhi Reahb-Camp will be fenced with barbed wire and enter and exit to the camp will be regulated and recoded for initial 5 years and extended accordingly if so needeed.

 

                 जहां हम system के खिलाफ विद्रोह करने वालो का सम्मान करते है, आज भी पारधी और उनके जैसी १५० चिर विद्रोही (born rebel ) जातियां , जिन्हें अंग्रेजों ने अपराधिक घोषित कर दिया था , आज भी इस दंश को झेल रही है. हम सबको इस मुद्दे पर कुछ करना ही होगा. इन जातियों के पास जो born -talent है उसके सही उपयोग करने से यह देश कही का कही पहुँच सकता है. लेकिन जहा हम एक तरफ स्कूल कालेज में talent हंट करते है, वाहे यह  born -talent बर्बाद जा रहा है. आज इन जातियों के पास जीवन का संकट है. We got to act.

Anurag /Shamim

sasbetul@yahoo.com

Pardhi Camp Betul

Raja Pawar with the gun, in his victory procession as a Zila Panchyat VC

 

   

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A call for support from PPSS Odisha


 

 

As you know, under the banner of POSCO Pratirodh Sangarm Samiti (PPSS), our people are making a relentless struggle against the establishment of integrated steel plant and captive port by POSCO, a South Korean company. We have been opposing this project for the last seven years and have chosen peaceful, democratic forms of struggle to express our resistance to this project and our refusal to give up our lands and livelihoods for it mostly because we all know that our resources fish, betel leaves and rice does not only feed us , but also will continue to feed all our generations to come.

There have been number of undemocratic tactics used by the POSCO company and the state government to break our democratic struggles. Instead of acting as a welfare state , the state government is very much interested for the welfare of POSCO thereby depriving the land and livelihood of more than 22,000 people.  The state police in collusion with the Posco sponsored goons have launched an assault on the peaceful protesters who have been fighting an exemplary democratic struggle for their survival (Jal, Jangal, Jameen) over the last seven years. After inflicting severe physical injuries on people, old and young, the administration has slapped numerous fictitious cases and booked a large number of them on these fictitious grounds.

 

We came to know from the media that our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had assured the South Korean government that construction of the project would resume from July 2012 and had directed the state government to complete the initial formalities, including land acquisition for the project, at the earliest.

The ground situation is already grave. Both the state administration and POSCO are now making dirty tricks to trap and divide the villagers. Our villagers have exposed this plan and caution the administration to refrain from making attempts to create divisions among the villagers.

However, at any point of time, the government police force will forcefully enter into our area and there is every possibility of blood-shed in the villages as the villagers are determined not to leave from their habitats.

At this juncture, we would like to request to you to provide a financial support to sustain the movement.  The support will help in  the following activities

1.  There is an urgent demand for medicines and doctors in the area. 3-4 days medical camp is needed to treat serious health problems. People, especially women, children and the elderly are suffering the effects of seven years of restricted medical access, and various gynecological problems, arthritic conditions, parasitic infections, skin diseases etc. are rampant.

The list of medicines which are needed: Azilla 500, Taxim 200, Norcofloxin T.Z, Daiclofenial, ceflimin-200, other antibiotics, paracetamols, cough syrups, antaacids, Betadin Ointment, pmol syrup ( for children), medicines for dysentery etc.

2. Organising lawyers to defend the activists being charged under false criminal offences. Till now 2 persons are in the jail, more than 200 false cases have lodged against the villagers and warrent order has been issued against more than 1500 people out of which 500 are women.

Here is a quick estimate of the of the money required for securing bail for the cases A sum of around Rs 1000-2000 is needed for securing bail in the session/ district courts. Rs-5000-10,000 is needed for the a bail for a person in the High court, while tens of comrades are under threat of getting arrested and each passing day the police is filing on false cases against activists and villagers.

3. Organising people at the community level in the areas related to proposed port, water and mining through promotion, meetings and mass protests. Particularly, at the face of current targeted threats by the police, goons of POSCO backed by administration and political touts to the villagers of Govindpur, PPSS initiated a ‘Campaign to Save Govindpur’ – which will have several meetings, rallies including a massive rally and meeting of 20,000 people.

 

We sincerely hope – you will consider our request and extend your valuable contribution to the movement.

Kindly forward it to Girija as we don’t have his mail id.

Expecting a positive response,

In Solidarity,

Prasant Paikray,

Spokesperson, POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti

Mobile no-09437571547

E-Mail – prashantpaikary@gmail.com

 

Tentative. Budget Requirements from July 2012 –  June 2013

1. Legal expenses Like Lawyer’s fees, petitions etc. Rs. 2,00,000

 

2 Medical aid   Rs. 1,00.000

 

3. Organizing people against plant, and port Honorarium for 10 workers

( Rs.3000 per month  x 10 worker x 12 months )

Rs. 3,60,000

 

 

    Total budget requested Rs. 6,60,000

 

 

 

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