Shankargarh, an area falling in Allahabad district, has gained notoriety for being in news for all the wrong reasons. This area is infamous for illegal sand mining. If that’s not enough labourers in this area keep dying due to consumption of cheap liquor. We also often hear about fatal road accidents happening in this area, which make many families lose their only bread earner. Very recently, a police officer posted in Bara Tehsil of Allahabad was murdered by dreaded criminals in this region. And now it’s in limelight again after suicide of a worker named Ramesh Tiwari previous week. He was working for Bara Power Project, managed by Prayagraj Power Generation, a subsidiary company under aegis of Jaypee Group,
The exact reason for his suicide remains unknown. It’s learnt that he was working at this power plant since last two years. For past one year, he had allegedly been irregular at work due to medical reasons. His falling physical and mental health did not permit him to gain regularity, leading to financial crisis at his home. Incidentally at the same period a group of farmers, who had previously registered their protest for land acquisition done for construction of this power plant, entered into fresh sit-in-protests at the head office of this company situated at Bara Tehsil. Among many demands the most pressing was regularization of workers who have been working at this power plant. They also demanded for hike in their salary. To avoid the confrontation between management and workers attaining a vulgar shape, a meeting was convened by the company which made workers, management and local government officials sit together to solve the impending crisis arisen out of sit-in-protest. However, the talks failed. That led to pale of gloom among the workers.
It appears that Ramesh Tiwari on hearing about failure of talks became hugely depressed and before anybody could think of making him gain normalcy, he committed suicide. The farmers who were already agitated in regard to sad developments lost their cool on hearing about death of this Ramesh Tiwari-a farmer turned worker! They took possession of the dead body, not allowing the police officials to carry out the regular process. In the form of procession, they all reached to company’s main gate and there they staged a dharna (sit-in-protest) placing the dead body there. They wanted to have dialogue with company’s officials to seek assurances about proper compensation and job guarantee to one member of the deceased family. Strangely none of the officials of this company thought about diffusing the latest crisis. The company officials did not arrive on the spot to have words with the demonstrators.
Soon huge number of police officials appeared with Sub Divisional Magistrate who first ordered mild lathicharge, followed by the order to forcibly take into possession dead body of the worker. That’s how body was sent for postmortem. It’s a tragic coincidence that few weeks ago at the same power plant a welder named Lal Bahadur Singh met with serious accident. After preliminary treatment at local hospital, he got hospitalized in Allahabad, wherein he succumbed to his injuries. That time too workers had gone berserk, forcing the management to grant compensation of Rs Ten Lakhs.
This is travesty of natural justice that farmers who were first made to give up their lands in name of land acquisition are being made to face this sort of animalistic treatment once they have decided to be part of power plant as workers. They would have never imagined about receiving this sort of discriminatory behaviour, This area is also reeling under environmental crisis after this power plant came into operation. Many serious health issues seem to have started bothering residents of this area. However, people who made many sacrifices to make this power plant a reality, have been left at the mercy of fate!! In case of Ramesh Tiwari, an official of this company, on condition of anonymity, said that this worker had already left this company few months back and thus management can do nothing about him.
This has become order of the day that MNCs and some well-known Indian companies are prone to act of omission and commission in wake of fatal accidents occurring on their premises. Their immediate effort is to sweep the incident under the carpet. At this point I come to remember tragic death of Ambika, who died on 31st October, 2010. She was a permanent employee of Nokia Telecom Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Sriperumbadur in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu. She met with fatal accident after she was allegedly compelled to work at panel loading machine in the factory. Originally she was handling task assigned to a assembly line worker and she did not at all have the expertise to get involved with technical task associated with panel loading machine. Unfortunately, call her bad luck that she met with terrible accident which killed her. A joint investigation by State Labour Commissioner and Factories Inspectorate swung into action but management at that point of time decided to play safe by engaging in shrewd manipulations.
Coming back to suicide of this worker, I am not sure what’s going to be the fate of this case. However, right now the situation remains tense in Bara Tehsil of Allahabad. Shankargarh area is once again in grip of volatile developments. Let’s hope Ramesh Tiwari gets justice. Let it not be one of the cases wherein death gets unnoticed.
( With inputs from Shri Rajendra Mishra, Human Rights Activist And Senior Journalist, Kashiwarta,Varanasi )
The issue is that my blog, Indowaves, which appears on site blog.co.uk is, more often than not, selected as featured blog or, for that matter, blog of the day or blog of the week whatever it is. That has irked some of the British bloggers. An old lady blogger posted an objectionable post about it, wherein many bloggers entered in defamatory remarks. I had to intervene with a clarification. Thank God, I came to know about the drama in time.
Now I know when you emerge victorious as person of achievements, you end up paying a heavy price. I love to maintain a low profile and so always try not to flaunt my achievements in a big way with celebrations etc. However, I am really taken aback by set of gestures which take my simplicity for granted. To be honest, I was always aware of the fact that making one’s presence felt in a strong way on prominent foreign websites means a lot but I never got carried away. Indeed, it’s no joke to gain a larger than life presence amidst group devoid of Indian community. However, I was least aware of such vituperous outbursts.
It’s shocking. It’s not the first time I am facing such a veiled attack. I have frequently intercepted such veiled attacks in my long blogging journey. I started my blogging journey from this very blog.co.uk site, which was then in its nascent stage like my blogging. Luckily, both of us managed to taste the sweet fruits of hard labour. However, there were many rough episodes as well. In the very beginning, the hard hitting topics infuriated the English people and they accused me of “screwing them day and night”. When this did not work, they started finding fault with my grammar. Like always I managed them to convince in a stronger way that author’s ideas are of greater importance than his/her grammar.The explanation worked wonders.The critics turned silent. Later, they again raised their head and this time they called me “racist”. Once again I had enough arguments to prove otherwise. The noise makers /mischief makers once again got marginalized.
Now look at this new drama. Instead of appreciating my efforts, they are trying to prove it “automated”, calling it random. It’s really hilarious to watch how achievements leads to severe heartburn in hearts of under achievers! Look at the paradox. One of the prominent critic in this conversation, who treats the “featured blog” as “random” is himself lamenting that he just couldn’t have the pleasure of seeing his blog in that column as he was in Germany that time. The women who has initiated the debate treats it as a “lottery” even as she is furious as to why she couldn’t hit the jackpot? Isn’t that proves how insecure have we become since we just cannot anticipate/digest the success of others in right spirit? It’s surprising that most of the critics are the freshers- ones who fade into oblivion within a year or two. Anyway, I wish them good luck for their long blogging journey.
Anyway, coming back to the featured blog controversy, the explanation offered by me compelled the so-called critics to give way to defensive mode with weak justification like it was mere a curiosity and no such jealousy or cheap insinuation were behind the publication of her post. However, a close reading of her post and the comments published is enough to present true picture of the subliminal message echoed by the post. The very tone of the post, the type of conversation generated in the comment box and the implications conveyed contribute considerably to the overall complexity that she is being dishonest when she suggests that her post is merely an attempt to analyze the criteria meant for the featured blogs.There is more to it than what meets the eye.
The case is not that simple. It ’s quite apparent that real motive was to downsize the impact generated under the guise of ascertaining the criteria. Had that not been the case, the writer would dare not have implied on the basis incomplete details. For instance, if the writer is really ignorant about real factors, which make a blog attain the stature of featured blogs then how come she is so cocksure that selection is “random” or “automated” ? How come she ascribe the same reason in subtle way when she posts my article as an example? The impression she generates is that had the selection been a conscious one, the more deserving ones would find a place and not mine ones. Though she suggests in her comment that “researches” often delay the publication of post, it’s really frustrating that she just cannot realize this is the same reason which makes my posts gets delayed!
She states that there are many bloggers who are writing research oriented blogs daily but its mine and not theirs that are appearing in the featured section. Now look at her perverted pleasure. She expressed happiness that just after appearance of the post condemning selection made in the featured blog section her blog once again appeared in the featured blog column. Now it appears that “random” overnight turned into a respectable term, signifying merit. However, the day before, the very same selection process was flawed one. However, once her blog appeared, the automated gained a hallowed status! After all , she is a regular user in league with research oriented articles! Oh yes, she has coined one more parameter that only regular users should find a birth in featured section. Now one needs to ask her, what’s so amazing about posting daily that it should make the post find a place in featured blog section ? She boasts about research oriented articles but even a casual look at her articles will reveal the amount of research work done. The serious type of research work she boasts of is absolutely missing.
Even the most dull mind can see that her current post purportedly discussing criteria meant for featured blogs is in actuality is a veiled attack and a crude attempt to downsize the achievements. The harsh truth is that the discussion related with criteria is mere a facade. Was she sleeping till now that she didn’t came to notice the flaws ,if any, associated with the featured blogs? However,the moment she came to see my blog in the featured blog section for one more time, she all of a sudden gained realization that criteria fixed for featured blogs is flawed! All was right till I was not there. Only after my arrival the criteria became substandard. Interestingly , when I posted my comment there, the said lady gave the impression that she did a great favour by not deleting my comment. This very tone is missing when we find her virtually enjoying a casual remark that compares me in bad taste with another Indian blogger bearing somewhat the same name. At that moment, she never conveyed her displeasure to that blogger by stating that his personal remark would be deleted. However, she conveyed the same to me and others that she thought of deleting my comment. May I know why ?
Anyway,I must thank my admirers and supporters for acknowledging my worth in a right way. I must reiterate once again I am a simple person, who is merely interested in presenting thoughts that hit the mind and heart in a strong way. I am not carried away by loads of appreciation or depressed by waves of hatred. These are insignificant for me. However, the words of sincere admirers and critics shall always find a respectable place in my writing journey. They would continue to make me feel blissful, dejected and meditative!