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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Darjeeling IIT plan in Delhi - Mamata wants premier institute for north Bengal’s growth.... GJMM positive on resolution of Hills issue.... Morcha nod to three, sees pass..... GJM-West Bengal talks remain inconclusive... फुटपाथ पसलेहरूलाई 8 तारिकभित्रमा पसल हटाउने अन्तिमेत्थम्‌

Darjeeling IIT plan in Delhi- Mamata wants premier institute for north Bengal’s growth
TT, Calcutta, June 6: Bengal higher education minister Bratya Basu today said he had submitted a proposal to Kapil Sibal to set up an IIT or an IIM in Darjeeling “for the people of the hills”. He has also urged the Centre to expedite the process of setting up 18 model colleges across the state.
Basu, who is in Delhi to attend a conference of higher education ministers and secretaries from across the country, told Star Ananda: “We had proposed to the Centre to set up either an IIT or an IIM in Darjeeling for the people of the hills… It was a very positive discussion and the HRD minister has agreed to consider our proposals.”
Sources close to Basu said he had also urged Sibal, the HRD minister, to release the Centre’s share of arrears to pay the college teachers their revised salaries under the Sixth Pay Commission.
Higher education department sources said chief minister Mamata Banerjee had asked Basu to submit the proposal to set up an IIT or IIM in Darjeeling district.
Sources said the Centre had earlier announced its plans to increase the number of IITs in the country. “So, Mamata now wants an IIT in Darjeeling because it will add to the development of north Bengal,” said the source.
“There is no quality engineering institution in north Bengal. After coming to power in Bengal, Mamata Banerjee has given special emphasis on all round development of north Bengal and an IIT is in her scheme of things,” sources in the higher education department added.
As for the model colleges, the Union cabinet had approved in January last year plans to set up model colleges in 374 educationally backward districts of the country.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had in 2007 announced that the government would set up model colleges in districts — where the gross enrolment rate in colleges is below the national average. A University Grants Commission panel had the same year identified 374 districts as educationally backward. Several of these districts are in Bengal.
In 2008, the erstwhile Left Front government had submitted the proposal to set up model colleges in Bengal.
“A model college will be an institution with quality infrastructure and certain facilities appropriate for the respective area where it will be set up. According to the Centre’s proposal, two-third of the cost will have to be borne by the state government and the rest by the Centre. The cost to set up such a college would be around Rs 8 crore,” said a source in the higher education department.
Talks begin on new hill council
TNN , Jun 7, KOLKATA: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the West Bengal government on Monday took the first steps towards formation of a new hill council for Darjeeling, replacing the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council that had been formed in 1988. It is expected that a new council would pave the way for return of normality in the Hills.
A GJM delegation led by its general secretary Roshan Giri and including four MLAs of the party had a meeting with state government officials led by chief secretary Samar Ghosh where the details about the formation of a new council were discussed. The meeting would continue on Tuesday to thrash out the the issues that needed to be settled before a council could be formed.
Giri said the talks focused on two main issues — the territorial jurisdiction of the proposed council and the transfer of the office of land (locally called "tauji") under the jurisdiction of the council. "Today's meeting was held under a cordial atmosphere. Our points are on the way to be solved," he said. The delegation raised seven points, he said. The GJM general secretary made it clear that while they were not giving up the Gorkhaland demand, they were not pressing the issue either.
GJM wanted inclusion of areas in the Terai and the Dooars, besides the three Hills subdivsions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong. If the discussion progresses satisfactorily, the formula worked out would be taken up in a tripartite discussion at the political level in which representatives of the Centre would also be present.
The state government would have to take into account the feelings of adivasis living in the Dooars and the Terai before a deal is concluded.
Earlier, in negotiations with the Left Front government, GJM had demanded that the whole of the Terai and the Dooars be included in the proposed interim council, but had later scaled down the demand to only the Gorkha-majority areas in these places.
According to sources, however, identification of the mouzas in the Terai and the Dooars where Gorkhas are in a majority would take some time. On an earlier occasion, it had been planned that a committee would be set up to do this identification.
The territory of the earlier DGHC formed in an agreement between the Jyoti Basu government and the GNLF comprised the three hills subdivisions and 14 mouzas in the Siliguri subdivision. Following the rise of GJM in the hills and the marginalization of GNLF, however, DGHC has practically ceased functioning.
Since the formation of GJM, the Hills have been in a state of almost continuous paralysis because of bandhs and agitations.
GJM-West Bengal talks remain inconclusive
Marcus Dam, TH, Kolkata: The secretary-level talks between the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leadership and the West Bengal Government on, among other issues, the territorial jurisdiction of a new regional set-up for the Darjeeling hills ended inconclusively here yesterday. They will be resumed on Tuesday.
The GJM has been demanding the inclusion of those areas in the Terai and the Dooars where the Gorkhas are predominant within the jurisdiction of the new set-up. This is arguably the most contentious of the outstanding issues, one which the GJM leadership has described as involving the “question of identity”.
“The issue of territorial jurisdiction is the most important demand at this stage”, GJM general secretary, Roshan Giri told The Hindu after the meeting.
“We have already scaled down our demand on the territorial issue. Unlike earlier times when we had been demanding the entire Dooars and Terai areas be brought within the purview of any new body being considered for the region, what we are now looking at is the inclusion of 196 mouzas in the Dooars and 106 in Terai”, senior GJM leader, Harka Bahadur Chettri, said.
“Let the government set up a neutral commission to verify and check our stand (that these mouzas have a predominantly Gorkha population). Let the jurisdiction be finally demarcated. The matter of nomenclature can be discussed later”, Dr. Chettri added.
The GJM leadership last week called on the Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram to inform him of the points that it intended to take up with the State Government. Mr. Chidambaram had then suggested that it try to “find as much common ground possible” and “be cooperative” in the course of its meeting with the State Government.
That the GJM has not given up its demand for a separate state but only set it aside for now, was once again evident. While Mr. Giri, on the subject, said that “the demand is always there”, another GJM leader pointed out that the setting up of a regional setup for the Darjeeling hills and the Gorkha-dominated areas in the Dooars and the Terai could be “a penultimate stage of the movement (for statehood)”.
Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh and Home Secretary G D Gautama were among those present at the talks.
GJMM positive on resolution of Hills issue

SNS, KOLKATA/Darjeeling, 6 JUNE: The official level talks between the state government and Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) today centred around the formation of a board of administrators to discharge the power and duties of Darjeeling Gorkha Autonomous Hill Council (DGAHC) till the interim authority is set up.
The GJMM leaders led by Mr Roshan Giri today discussed “seven points” with the state officials including chief secretary, home secretary, administrator of DGAHC and district magistrate of Darjeeling.
While it was decided that the board would comprise three MLAs of the GJMM it would also include the present administrator of DGAHC and the district magistrate of Darjeeling. The board of administrators will enjoy all the powers of the present DGAHC and will continue till the new interim authority is formed.
Although Mr Giri said that “the demand for Gorkhaland will always be there”, they seem to have moved away from their earlier stand of rejecting the interim authority altogether as they did during the last days of Left Front's regime, particularly after the incident at Sipchu.
The talks also revolved around the territory of the proposed interim authority. While Left Front government had totally rejected any expansion of territory, the issue of identifying the Gorkha dominated areas in the Dooars also featured in the talks today.” Talks on territorial jurisdiction will take place tomorrow as it is a major issue that will require time,” said Dr Harkha Bahadur Chettri, the spokesperson of GJMM and a part of the seven-member team today. The issue of granting lease to the tea gardens also came up for discussion as did GJMM'S demand for being granted forest management rights.
The GJMM also wants to be declared as scheduled tribe and hence the matter would be placed before the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes. Later, Mr Giri said: “ The talks are incomplete. We will again sit tomorrow to resolve the issues.” The GJMM also raised the demand of regularisation of more than 6,000 causal workers under the DGHC in today's meeting. Miss Banerjee has promised to resolve the problem at the Hills in the next three months and she is likely to visit Darjeeling later this month.
GJM positive
PTI, Kolkata, June 6 : The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today expressed optimism on the resolution of the Darjeeling problem saying most of its demands were being looked into by the West Bengal government.
The organisation had an official meeting with the West Bengal government on the issue.
"We had a very cordial meeting. The points we raised are on the way to be resolved," GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told reporters after the meeting at Writers' Buildings.
"We raised seven points. The talks remained incomplete and will resume tomorrow," said Giri, who was accompanied by GJM MLAs Harkabahadur Chhetri and Wilson Champari besides party central committee member L B Pariar.
To a question, he said that the GJM raised a demand for control over tea gardens.
Asked about their main demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland, Giri said "it still stands" but declined to speak further on the issue.
Morcha nod to three, sees pass
VIVEK CHHETRI , TT, Darjeeling, June 6: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today said the Mamata Banerjee-led government has shown signs of “passing the preliminary test”, with sources in the party indicating that agreements had been reached in three specific areas.
Morcha spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chhetri said over the phone from Calcutta: “The discussions were positive and the government has shown signs of passing the preliminary test.”
Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri, who had led the seven-member delegation to Writers’ Buildings, told journalsits in Calcutta after the meeting that the discussions were “fruitful” and “we will take it forward tomorrow from 1pm”. The government side included chief secretary Samar Ghosh and home secretary G.D. Gautama.
“The talks on the seven points remained incomplete. Which is why I cannot tell you what they (were on) today. But the discussion was fruitful…,”Giri said.
Asked if Gorkhaland was discussed, Giri said: “Of course. Gorkhaland will always be in the fore of such talks. But there were other important points as well.”
Sources said the issues discussed today included the territorial jurisdiction of the new administrative arrangement and the transfer of the tauzi department to the body. The tauzi department is in charge of the land records. The two sides also discussed the legislative powers of the new set-up and the regularisation of jobs of the 6000-odd causal workers of the DGHC.
A Morcha leader told The Telegraph of the seven, there has been an agreement on three specific areas.
“A committee of state government officials and Morcha representatives has been formed to look into the demand of the transfer of the tauzi department. The committee will submit its findings within two weeks,” he added.
L.B. Pariyar, former principal secretary of the DGHC and a member of the Morcha’s study forum who attended the talks, is on the committee. The details of the state nominees are not yet known.
It was also agreed that the government would write to the Centre to seek clarification on whether it had the power to delegate the management of reserve forests to the new hill authority. “Since it is a matter concerning the Centre, we have agreed to the state’s suggestion,” the source added.
The third issue agreed upon is with regard to the regularisation of the jobs of the DGHC workers. “The state was of the opinion that since the regularisation of all DGHC workers involved legal and technical issues, the modalities have to be worked out accordingly,” said the source.
It is also learnt that even though the Morcha raised the issue of territorial jurisdiction at the meeting, no thorough discussion could take place today. “This is the reason why the talks will resume once again from 1pm tomorrow,” the source added.

फुटपाथ पसलेहरूलाई 8 तारिक भित्रमा पसल हटाउने अन्तिमेत्थम्‌
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 7 जून। नगरप्रशासन नगर सुन्दरीकरणमा जुटेको छ। नगर प्रशासनको पक्षमा बोलाइएको एउटा सभामा नै निर्णय लिइएको थियो अब नगर सुन्दरीकरणको प्रक्रिया शुरू हुनेछ। यसको आरम्भिक पहलमा नै फुटपाथमा पसल राख्नेहरूलाई अब पसल राख्न दिइने छैन। उनीहरूको पसललाई पनि हाटबजारमा नै ल्याइनेछ।अर्कोतिर पारषमणि हाटमा पसलेहरूले अनावश्यकरूपले बढाएको पसललाई पनि नियन्त्रणमा ल्याइने भएको थियो। यसको निम्ति पसलेहरूले अनावश्यकरूपले पसल बढाएर वृद्धि गरेको घुइँचोको कारण पसलेहरूले पनि असुविधा नै भोगिरहेका थिए उपभोक्ताले पनि। यीनै असुविधाहरूलाई मात्र होइन बजारलाई सुन्दर बनाउन नगर प्रशासनले आजदेखि आफ्नो पहल शुरू गरेको छ।
नगरप्रशासनको पहललाई हाटबजार व्यापारी सङ्गठनले पनि भरपूर सहयोग पुर्‍याइरहेको छ। नगरप्रशासन अनि सङ्गठनको संयुक्त पहलमा आज हाटमा नगरप्रशासनले दोकानहरूको निम्ति सीमाना कोर्‍यो। नगरपालिकाले कोरेको सीमाना काटेर अब कसैले पनि पसल लगाउने पाउने छैनन्‌। सीमाना कोरिएकोले हाटका पसलेहरूले हाट फिजाउने पलङहरू छोट्याउन शुरू गरिसकेको छ। अब चिटिक्क र तोकिएको सीमाक्षेत्रमा मात्र पसल फिजाउन पाउने छन्‌। यसो भएको खण्डमा बजार निक्कै खुल्ला र फराकिलो हुनेछ जसको कारण उपभोक्ता अनि पसले दुवैलाई किनबेचमा सहजता आउनेछ। अर्कोतिर मेनरोड लगायत अन्यत्रका फुटपाथमा राखिएका खुद्रे पसलेहरूले पसल फिजाएको कारण यातायातमा भइरहेको असुविधालाई पनि नगरप्रशासनले निक्कै गम्भीर मुद्दाकोरूपमा लिएको छ।
फुटपाथमा पसल थाप्नेहरूलाई नगरप्रशासनले 8 जूनसम्मको मियाद दिँदै पसल उठाउने अन्तिमेत्थम्‌ दिएको छ। अब जताततै फुटपाथे पसलहरू देख्न पाइने छैन। नगरप्रशासनले यसप्रकारको पहललाई नगर सुन्दरीकरणको पहल बताएको छ। फुटपाथमा पसल राख्नेहरूलाई अब हाट बजारमा ल्याइने छ। तर यता फुटपाथे पसलेहरूको भनाइ के छ भने, यसरी हाटबजारमा सारिए पनि ठीक ठाऊमा पसल भएन भने विक्रिबट्टामा नै असर गर्ने छ। जसको कारण आर्थिक हानी बेहोर्नुपर्ने स्थिति आउन सक्छ। यस समस्यालाई नगरप्रशासनले सक्दो समाधान गरिने बताएको छ भने हाट बजार सङ्गठनले पनि उनीहरूको पसल व्यवस्थित बनाउन सहयोग पुर्‍याइने छ।

Headlines, KalimNews:
Kolkata Talks between GJM and West Bengal govenment is adjourned and will continue to  tomorrow at 1 pm .
Padam Chhetri, BJP leader of Sikkim detained by Sikkim police.
Darjeeling still hot pick for tourists - Strife fails to stop traveller flow
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, June 6: Brand Darjeeling continues to shine in the tourism sector despite crumpling infrastructure and an air of uncertainty.
In May, Darjeeling witnessed a sudden spurt in the number of travellers desperate to beat the sweltering summers in the Indian plains.
In fact, getting a hotel accommodation for flying tourists — those who do not have prior bookings — had become a tall order and so were booking taxis in town.
Pradip Lama, the secretary of the Darjeeling Association of Travel Agents (DATA), said: “Even though there are no figures with us to show the number of tourists who came to Darjeeling, we can safely say the inflow in May was of the highest in recent years.”
People associated with the tourism sector in the hill town say four lakh tourists used to visit Darjeeling every year before the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha revived the agitation for the separate state in 2008. “We used to get around 3.5 lakh domestic tourists and 25,000 to 30,000 foreigners every year,” said Suresh Periwal, the chairman of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (Darjeeling-Sikkim chapter).
Almost 60 per cent of the tourists would visit the hills during the March-June period, while the rest would come after the Durga Puja.
“This has definitely been a record season for us. Almost 500 vehicles visit Tiger Hill every day and many tourists could not reach the hilltop to see the sunrise and had to be satisfied seeing the sunrise from a much lower altitude,” said Lama.
Tourism had taken a beating after June 2008 when the Morcha had called a flash strike and asked the tourists to vacate the hill town within 24 hours.
The tour operators had kept their fingers crossed even early this year. “People generally firm up their travel plans about three months in advance. This year, there was an indefinite strike in the hills in February and we were apprehensive,” said a tour operator who did not want to be named.
However, the rush that was witnessed in May belied all apprehensions.
Sources in the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park said the daily number of tourists who visited the facility recently was almost 3,000. “The number has gone down in the past couple of days, but it has been a good season this year,” said a source in the park.
The tourism stakeholders, however, refuse to give any credit to the state government for the high tourist footfall.
“The government has done nothing. We basically convinced our counterparts in the rest of the country and even in Calcutta that the situation looked positive. We also took a risk to accept bookings and it has worked well,” said Lama.
The hills have nothing to boast about as far as infrastructure is concerned. Roads are crumpling and tourist spots like Rock Garden and Gangamaya Park, which were huge draws, have not yet been repaired after the devastation caused by Cyclone Aila. The Shrubbery Nightangle Park was opened only this month after the revival.
“Most of the tourists are visiting Darjeeling to escape the summer heat,” said Periwal. The average temperate has not gone beyond 25 degrees Celsius this year.
Many tour operators say the model code of conduct imposed before the Assembly elections helped create a semblance of peace in the hills.
“Even the political parties have acted responsibly this time. Even though they (Morcha) called a general strike in May, transport was kept out of the bandh’s purview and this helped a lot in boosting the confidence of the tourism sector,” said a travel agent in Darjeeling.
Tea Board cell for small growers
AVIJIT SINHA, TT, Siliguri, June 6: The Union ministry of commerce and industries has decided to open a separate cell in the Tea Board to look into various problems faced by small growers in terms of price of the produce and the quality of brew manufactured by bought-leaf factories.
“Considering the growing number of small tea growers in brew belts across the country, it was decided that a separate cell should be formed in the Tea Board to look into an array of issues related to the development of small tea plantations, growers and their self-help groups. The cell will monitor the production in bought leaf factories (BLFs) to ensure that good quality tea is made from tealeaves supplied by the small growers,” G. Boriah, the director (tea development) of the Tea Board of India, told The Telegraph over phone from Calcutta today.
There are around 1.6 lakh small tea growers in India and their produce accounts for the 26 per cent of the total brew manufactured in India. The cell will function under the directorate of tea development in the Tea Board and will have four offices.
“There will be one office each in north Bengal, Assam and Tamil Nadu, where the concentration of small growers is high. The head office will be in the Tea Board headquarters in Calcutta. Each office will be headed by a joint director and there will be employees in other ranks also,” said Boriah.
Sources said the Union commerce and industry ministry had sanctioned 95 posts. “There will be 82 technical posts and 13 non-technical posts. The recruitment process will begin once the offices are set up,” said a source.
Boriah said the main task of the cell would be to ensure that the small growers got appropriate prices for tealeaves supplied to the BLFs. The farmers often allege that the BLFs pay them lower amounts, although tea made from the leaves provided by them are sold at higher prices.
On the other hand, the BLFs say the leaves supplied by the small growers are of poor quality and hence, the price is also low.
“The cell will have the power and resources to check the account books of the BLFs, keep tabs on the sale of tea through auctions and accordingly, find out whether the growers are paid proportionately,” said Boriah. “The number of employees to be appointed in each office will be finalised on the basis of the concentration of small growers in the region where it is located.”
Survey reports show that there are around 70,000 growers in Assam and 22,000 in north Bengal. The majority of the remaining growers are in south India and a few in Himachal Pradesh and Tripura.
The small farmers have welcomed the formation of the cell. “We had always felt the need for a separate government body to solve the problems faced by us. Now that the Centre has decided to form the cell, we expect that the impediments to the growth of the small tea sector will be removed soon,” said Bijoygopal Chakraborty, the president of the Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers’ Associations.
Salwar mark of respect: Ramdev
PHEROZE L. VINCENT, TT,  Haridwar, June 6: Scoffed at for donning a salwar-kameez to save his skin, Baba Ramdev today defended himself by citing his respect for women.
“I respect women more than men. I wore a salwar- kameez to save my life for the nation,” he said at his Haridwar ashram, averring he would rather die as a soldier on the border than by a central conspiracy.
The explanation may not convince many in a state with a long martial tradition, where fleeing from one’s “karmabhoomi” in disguise is a matter of shame.
The whisper on the streets of Haridwar and nearby Roorkee today was: “Thank goodness he isn’t a pahadi (of hill stock), else the state’s honour would have been soiled.”
Even a government college teacher, who said he supported the Baba’s Ramlila grounds agitation, regretted the yoga practitioner’s sneak-away bid after the post-midnight police crackdown early on Sunday.
“We were all shocked at the police action, but Baba shouldn’t have tried to flee. It has affected his image. If he had courted arrest, the police wouldn’t have got an opportunity to beat our supporters,” said the teacher, who requested to be identified only by his initials, “RPS”.
In New Delhi, Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi rubbed it in.
“A satyagrahi does not run away stealthily wearing women’s dresses. A satyagrahi is always ready to sacrifice his life. Such a person is being compared to Mahatma Gandhi and Vivekananda.... Gandhiji never said he feared for his life from the state,” he said.
Ramdev had yesterday alleged a government plot to have him killed in an encounter and accused his police captors of nearly “strangulating” him with the white dupatta with which he had covered his face while fleeing.
A slew of has-beens have called on the Baba since last night to express solidarity with his cause and criticise the police action. They included former chief ministers N.D. Tiwari and Nityanand Swami of Uttarakhand and Uma Bharti of Madhya Pradesh.
State BJP president Bishan Singh Chufal and chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank too dropped in this afternoon even as police officers, speaking off the record to The Telegraph, hinted at an RSS link to the Ramdev drama.
During a casual chat, officers who have served in the Baba’s security detail said that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s men had been frequenting the ashram for the past few months.
Bhagwat tonight said in Nagpur that the RSS had extended all support to the agitation and asked its cadres to join it.
Congress veteran Tiwari, who came last night, said that though he supported the idea of bringing black money back home, he bore no grudge against the Congress and hoped the matter could be resolved by talks. Tiwari is seen at all Uttarakhand government events and is said to be on cordial terms with local BJP leaders.
The ashram crawled with police and Ramdev’s private security guards today. The state government provides the yoga televangelist with Z-plus category, which means being guarded by 36 policemen round the clock.
Asked if the state police had leaked Ramdev’s itinerary to their Uttar Pradesh counterparts, allowing them to prevent the Baba from entering the state yesterday, an inspector said: “Even if we had, it was for his own safety.”
He explained: “All Z-plus protectees have to disclose their travel plans to the police.”
The input could have come from anyone, he added, saying it is common for police forces to have informants in bordering states ---- in other words, there could be a UP police mole within Baba’s coterie.
Police Circle Officer Pankaj Bhatt, who oversees Baba’s police detail, clarified: “He is free to travel anywhere. We don’t inform the UP police of his movements. Please understand that when such things are done, they happen at a much higher level. We (district-level cops) wouldn’t know.”
At the ashram, the Baba continued his sermons on democracy, recommending a national commission for farmers and a presidential form of government and advising the Prime Minister “to serve the nation, not Sonia”.
He spent much of his time attacking Sonia Gandhi’s Italian roots, as his flock of followers expanded to around 400. They all claimed to be fasting.
Ramdev had announced a news conference at 5pm but vanished for a loo break just as the clock struck five and did not appear till 6.30.
After he returned, he denied any rift with Anna Hazare and said he would work with him to end corruption. “The government doesn’t want to see enlightened people like us together; so they are creating rumours of a rift.”
He claimed there were “responsible people” in the government who wanted to talk to him and warned the Centre: “If the people of India revolt against the atrocities on sanyasis and common people fighting against corruption, the government will be responsible.”
Ramdev today watered down his claim of 5,000 supporters missing in Delhi to 500. He signed off for the day saying: “A ray of light into our future plans will come to you tomorrow.”
But before that he showed himself in a new light. When a photographer complained about not getting a good visual, Ramdev shocked his audience by retorting in chaste English: “It’s your problem. I don’t know what to say.
Dangers Of Ramdev's Rhetorics
Vidya Bhushan Rawat, 06 June, 2011, : Delhi police in the midnight forcibly evicted the Ramleela ground where Baba Ramdev and his fiftty thousand devotees were fasting against bringing 'black money' from abroad. Baba was over excited. He wanted that he will not sit in AC untill each Indian has an AC. He was in Land Rover and later shifted to Scorpio. I hope he would not say that I would not sit in Land Rover or Scorpio unless each Indian gets one.
Baba's rehterics are immense. Once Laloo used to do this but then Laloo really was a great orator and his understanding of Indian masses was too large than Baba Ramdev. Baba, on the other hand know that his clientale is local Marwaris and upper castes who have generously donated for this great campaign. They all want get India's money back. One must tell Baba that a parellel economy exists in India itself and most of those who have donated him may not have clean hands yet since anything that is coming to Baba is becoming clean so we must accept that everything Baba does is clean.
I had maintained from the very begining that the Varnavadi forces lead by the Sangh Parivar and there Hindutva lumpoons are behind Baba. Long back MN Roy wrote that Indian facism may not be violent but it would be cultural fascism. We are witnessing corporate fascism today when our farmers are being brutally beaten up for protesting their land grab, students are beaten up when they ask for their rights and quota.
Baba Ram Dev can make some of our issues truely national. When our friend Udit Raj fast unto death for reservation in government services, most of us term it as purely politics and do not even come to support. Why is that Baba Ramdev continue to desist the issue of Dalits and OBCs. Well, he knows that if he raise these issues he will not be able to bring likes of Ashok Singhal, Rithambhara on his platform. Watching them and their faces makes one wonder that what is this hue and cry over corruption.
What is corruption Babaji. Simply because you belong to a shudra community does not give you a licence to claim that you must be working for their rights. In fact, you are converting the new assertive shudras to again bow to brahmanical Hinduism which is the aim of such forces lead by the Hindutva. They want shudras to forget asking their rights, political and economic power. They want to use Shudra's power to actually hit at the bottom of Dalits. They want to make shudras as the gate keepers of brahmanical system which Ambedkar had long back rightfully commented.
You can look who are the people around Baba. and you can undersatnd what do they want.
yes, Baba want to change our constitution. He want a direct election of prime minister like the presidential form of govt. We all know Indira Gandhi started this long back and then Adwani also wanted it as they are afraid of the regular coalition governments in India. They are afraid of no stable government. Kanshi Ram used to say that the non stable governments are best suitable for all the Dalit Bahujan masses.They will listen to their voices only then. In the presidential form of the government, it is the politicians, who have media, mafia and money with them, will win the elections. We all know who have these with them. Dalits-Bahujan know it well. But then Baba is working on RSS iagenda who always wanted to scarp our secular constitution.
Yesterday baba said that I condemn rape on women when a journalist asked him question. He said that he eat at the homes of Harijans and Balmikis. How great he is. He was actually unable to hide his discomfort on the question itself. He must know that money can not be black as it is the money of the people who are pushing him. He must know that our temples and muths are dens of corruption. In this country, an average Indian has .6 hectare of land.Most of the Dalits do not possess land but you can have huge track of land in the name of cows and any damn gods. There is a ceiling law where an individual can not procure over 18 acres of land. It is different in different states yet it is not over 18-20 acres of land yet for different Gods, we can have thousands of acres of land. All the corruption in India stemp from brahmanical corruption. The illicit money in these temples need to be exposed. We must tax all the money in these temples and mutths. Government must bring out a law to regulate these temples like the SGPC in Punjab and other parts of the country.
Baba Ramdev, just want to know why you need such huge track of land. Why you need helocopter. You have become speaking of rehtrorics. We all want to fight against corruption. It is a serious issue. Do not make it non serious through your rehtorics. After all, nether the hard working Aajeevak masses of Dalit Bahujan have these illicit money. Even the socalled corrupt leaders of theirs do not have this much of money to send to Swiss Bank. This illicit money and I refuse to say black money as I respect the power of blacks.. I respect the color of black.. and I refuse to call black as the symbol of illicit things. For me black is symbol of revolt.. it is colour of Dalit Bahujan. Do not attack our colours. Ask all your donors who are giving you handsome donation as where is their money coming from. I can vouch that Dalit Bahujan Adivais do not need your Yoga as they are hardworking masses.. and they are not in a position to pay you handsome donation baba.
Mahatmas have come and gone, said Dr Ambedkar on Gandhi's Fast. He blamed Gandhi did fasting for everything but not a single fast for the emancipation of Dalits. The only fast Gandhi did related to Dalits was for denying them the rights under seperate electroate. So many years after Gandhi, when our Dalits and OBCs are asserting and seeking their role in power politics and rejecting the castiest Varnashram dharma, the danger of Baba Ramdev is that they try to evade theese issues and damage the forces of social justice.
We condemn the police brutalities in Ramleela ground. But then dont we know how our police behave. How our governmeent behave. When this police beat up Muslim boys, cook up stories about them, leak them to media, we jump and report those as gospel truth. When they inflict brutalities on the Adivasis in Chhatishgarh and Jharkhand, we keep conspicuous silent and say they deserve it. Why are we so angry. Is it because most of these devotees belong to upper caste middle classes?
And finally, if Baba want to do politics, he must join it and claim it. He must clear his agenda. Every one has a right to start a campaign for himself. Dont use your Yoga classes and Vandemataram for politics. This is absolute communal agenda from backroom and again putting the brahmanical agenda on the top of our head. We must be careful.
Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at

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