Any close observer of the happenings in modern India would easily confirm that secular governments have unleashed a sort of war against Hindu saints. They have been framed in number of heinous crimes right from sexual crimes to crimes against national security. The paid media ensures that one-sided coverage gets highlighted not only within Indian landscape but also in International arena. In such matters wherein Hindu saints are involved, a striking feature is that news coverage is full of lies and twisted truths spread by secular press. None of the mainstream media dares to reveal both sides of the story in an impartial way.
One important reason is that most of the Indian media houses are in some way controlled by hidden powers in Western nations. How can we then expect truth to make its presence felt? After all, the mainstream media which harps about involvement of Sadhvi Pragya in blasts never found it important enough to report in same candid fashion about severe violation of rights of prisoners, about inhuman treatment meted out to her inside the jail! The same media is so hyper-sensitive about rights of Devyani who made mockery of India’s honour in West but yet she is being portrayed as if she committed no crime at all! That’s because she is part of the system. But anybody who dared to expose the misdeeds of government was branded as criminal in a well-planned manner!
What I am trying to ascertain that we have given way to era wherein propaganda has become more powerful than version close to truth. One of the most important job of media is to reveal the real picture but exactly opposite has taken place: Media has become carrier of falsehood and distorted versions. It’s main agenda has become to shield dubious powers in rule. Like a prostitute it keep changing its loyalty or, in other words, it generally speaks the language of rulers! Remember the arrest of Kanchi Shankaracharya Swami Jayendra Saraswati in year 2004 in most humiliating manner for allegedly playing a role in murder of Sankararaman, manager of the Sri Varadarajaswamy Temple. The then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu,J Jayalalithaa, in an attempt to appear more secular than others and to give an impression that no one is above law ensured his arrest! The Kanchi seers were charged with” criminal conspiracy, misleading the court by giving false information, criminal trespass and supply of funds to carry out the criminal activity.”
The head of a 1,000-year-old Brahmin monastic order was presented as petty criminal in mainstream media and even before case was put to trial he was portrayed as accused. Let’s remember that Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham is one of the oldest Hindu mutts in the country and Shankarcharyas belonging to this mutt command a great respect among Hindu communities across the globe. In fact, Swami Jayendra Saraswati is a highly respected figure having profound knowledge of Hindu scriptures. He like his predecessors provided new heights to this mutt established in 9th century by Sri Adi Shankaracharya, enjoying similar status the way Vatican enjoys amid Christians. However, clash of interests between J Jayalalithaa and DMK chief Karunanidhi, who represented anti- Brahminical movments, ensured that this highly revered pontiff got disgraced.
Prominent media analysts of that period conveyed the impression that “police would not have acted unless they had sufficient evidence.” Ironically, the prosecution at that time was supremely confidant about involvement of Kanchi seers in abetting murder of Sankararaman, claiming that it had “incriminating evidence”. The investigating officer Prem Kumar came out with version that made mutt head appear guilty: “We have strong evidence about the involvement of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi in Sankararaman’s murder. There has been animosity between the two for the past four years and further investigation is on to corroborate the evidence collected on the involvement of the Kanchi Acharya.” The allegations had deepened with revelations of Tamil magazine Nakkeeran. Amid these bizarre turn of events, the case got transferred to Pondicherry to ensure fair trial. To make the matters worse for Kanchi mutt head, even allegations of sexual exploitation surfaced. (The Hindu)
However, the truth had the last laugh when verdict delivered by a special court in Pondicherry acquitted all the accused involved in this sensational murder. The verdict was delivered on November 27, 2013 after nine years of suspense and drama of all sorts. They were acquitted of all the charges which included “criminal conspiracy, misleading the court by giving false information, criminal trespass and supply of funds to carry out the criminal activity.” The main witnesses failed to corroborate the prosecution’s theory. More than 80 witnesses went against the story presented by the prosecution.
Well, it’s true that Kanchi seers got acquitted but in the process it caused irreparable damage to the reputation of an institution, which represented the collective psyche of Hindus. This “collective psyche” of Hindus made its presence felt again the way Kanchi Mutt Head responded to this verdict: ” Dharma has prevailed. Truth has won. That is what matters…I have been trained by my Guru to bear everything. There is no question of situation being tough. Times were challenging because we were facing completely new set of situations. ..There are several invaders who vandalized our temples. Today when you see the disfigured temples you remember the invaders and their acts of vandalism. What was perpetrated on the mutt has been termed as an act of vandalism by several people.” (Kanchi Sathya Org)
It’s really saddening that moments allegations against Hindu saints surfaces, the whole mainstream media goes berserk and paints them in wrong colours, forgetting that its main task is to report the incident and not to conduct trials. Worse, when the allegations are found false and saints get acquitted the same news item does not get prominence. Acquittal is never important than false stories planted by vested interests. No wonder acquittal of Kanchi’s Shankracharya did not get the same coverage. After all, it strengthens cause of Hindus, which is antithetical to secular spirit of this nation. The mainstream media is more interested in propaganda than emergence of truth.
The secular forces always convey the impression that no one is above law. And so will they dare to arrest Shahi Imam Syed Ahmad Bukhari against whom so many cases have been registered? Will they dare to bring in open and convict Christian missionaries involved in conversion of tribals in remote corners of India? That will never take place. The law exists only for Hindu saints. It’s an instrument of oppression for Hindus and all that which represents self-pride of Hindus. It’s there to support propaganda and not to sustain truth.
The terrific response which the part one of the travelogue generated really overwhelmed me. It confirmed the sentiment that travelogues, loaded with good photos, leave an everlasting impression on all the sections of people, no matter to which nation they belong.
Photographs are like time machine since the flight of imagination, after viewing them, transcends the normal course of time to move either backward or even forward in an unusual way. They record the present moment for the posterity. That’s why the same photograph viewed at a later stage tells a different story to each viewer. That’s one of the reason why I am pretty conscious when I am dealing with camera. I was sad that I did not use a good camera, but in the aftermath, I felt happy that somehow I managed to get real good pictures.
The part two of this travelogue has awesome views of Siddhnath Ki Dari, a place one kilometer away from Shakteshgarh Fort; glimpses of landscape around that place; images of ancient Goddess Durga temple and images of Ganges flowing by the side of Chunar Fort. Although Part II of the travelogue unleashes some personal sentiments, it nevertheless never misses to create an universal appeal.
Like to inform the readers that Siddhanath Ki Dari is a place known for its huge waterfall, which comes alive in rainy season. However, it belonged to a Yogi (saint) named Siddhanath who in ancient times used to meditate here. I shall not forget a hilarious incident which occurred at this place, when my friend and I were held hostage by lots of monkeys. They did no harm to us but left us only when their gang leader came to us, searched our pockets and got in possession of few mangoes which we had kept inside our pockets! The gang leader did that in a very smart fashion without harming us!
I had no time left to have the photographs of Chunar fort, which as per legends was built by the king of Ujjain Maharaja Vikramaditya in 56 B.C. for his brother Bhartihariji- a great yogi who took samadhi inside the fort! The fort later came to be associated with Babar, Humayun, Shershah Suri, Akbar, and finally it came under the rule of Britishers. Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General of Bengal, came to take refuge here for quite some time. It’s a matter of pride for me that my mother’s residence is adjacent to this fort situated on the banks of Ganges.
The Place Intimately Associated With Me During My Childhood…Now It Lies In Tatters….I Remember In My Childhood The Place Was Full Of Lively People! The Owners Left This Place And Now It’s An Abandoned Place!
My Tryst With Vindhya Mountains: An Interaction With Breathtaking Beauty Of Deep Jungles! ( A Photo Story)
Writing is a hugely taxing affair, especially if you are doing it in unfavourable conditions. I always meet tough resistance from so many forces during penning of important posts. That makes it imperative for creative souls to venture into isolated corners away from the maddening world. That not only refreshes them but also tunes their mind to receive new insights. No wonder when writing affair starts turning into a routine affair, instead of being a source of joy, I take a short break and get lost in unheard corners of mother earth. Usually, I visit my village and mother’s original residence since both these places being set against great scenic backdrop offer solace needed by my soul.
However, this time I decided to move into valleys formed by Vindhya Mountains. “The Vindhya Range (Sanskrit: विन्ध्य) is a range of older rounded mountains and hills in the west-central Indian subcontinent, which geographically separates the Indian subcontinent into northern India (the Indo-Gangetic plain) and Southern India.”
I came to visit Shakteshgarh, located in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh, nineteen kilometers away from Chunar, which is mainly known for Swami Adgadanandji’s Aashrama. He is a well known saint in this area, who has penned a commentary on Srimad Bhagvad Geeta known as “Yathartha Geeta”. The localites informed me that a visit during the monsoon period is more appropriate since gorgeous waterfalls falling in these region come alive at that point of time. Anyway, I found that even during the odd period, the places like Siddhanath Ki Dari, one kilometer away from Shakteshgarh, which encaptures the the charm and the seduction of a huge waterfall, appear so breathtaking.
During the end of this very beautiful and memorable journey into awesome valleys, full of mystic appeal, I came to capture beautiful images of Ganges flowing by the side of Chunar fort, adjacent to my mother’s residence in Chunar. Over all, the visit really uplifted my sagging spirit. For my readers, I have captured this beautiful images from not so good camera, yet I feel they would come to realize photographic sense is not dependent on a costly camera! You need mind’s eye and not a very costly camera to click a good image! I hope they also come to realize that India is really so beautiful that we need not to venture outside the nation to trace real beauty. The area I visited was haunted by Naxal terror, yet in the end only divine beauty prevailed in form of ancient temples like Durga Temple and etc.
Globalization Is A Great Leveller: Patterns Of Exploitation And Corruption Now Become Same In India And Peru!
Globalization has reduced differences in geographical terms. But, at the same time, it has also changed the geography in a crude way by mindless destruction of flora and fauna. The sad thing about whole affair is that the stories depicting better aspects of globalization do reach us regularly but the negative sides either get censored or, for that matter, fail to get extensive coverage. Just to take an example, the commercials promote McDonald’s pizzas and burgers but are there enough advertisements which highlight the negative effect of consuming them? Globalization believes in the fact that “all that glitters is gold”. It has nothing to do with pains of exploited workers who work in MNCs like a caged parrot, having no power to execute their discretion other than one serving the interests of global masters.
Sometimes back S Ambika, a 22 year old woman factory-worker, permanently employed at Nokia Telecom Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Sriperumbadur in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu, got killed in a tragic way when she tried to repair the jam inside the loader machine. It proved to be fatal exercise for her since she was not a technician, but she still came to do that to meet the production targets. A wait for the technicians meant slowing the pace of production! That’s one of the stories, which reveal in sad way the plight of people working in MNCs.
Vaibhav Mani Tripathi, a by-product of Jawahar Lal University (JNU), in his research paper titled, “Democracy and globalization: Are they really compatible”, highlights the ways and means employed by the MNCs to ensure growth in democracies across the globe. ” In democracies of third world, which are new and have lesser degree of accountable governments; methods of bribery, and loot system were adopted by MNCs, in order to get established. By dealing in such ways MNCs get some illegal relaxations and manage to cut cost by getting cheapest labour and denying rules of pollution control etc. In democracies, which are most established and transparent, MNCs change their techniques. By promising high taxes and employment to countrymen, they demand for special industrial estates or special economic zones. This is the biggest irony of Globalization. They demand tax relaxations in order to get established and they promise government to pay huge aid for fighting poverty, pollution and social evils like AIDS!”
One having a close look at the progress stories of various countries, especially the nations trying to emerge as economic giants, one would find that exploitation of workers along with rapid destruction of ecological balance are the integral part of every such story! Before I contrast the happenings in two different countries, India and Peru, to highlight the woes of globalization, I wish to highlight grave tale of negligence which suggests that so-called progress is not only destroying cherished values but also destroying cultural artifacts. One of Belize’s largest Mayan pyramids, which remained in existence for more than 2,300 years, got destroyed by a construction crew involved in a road project.The company used the structure’s limestone walls as road fill! In fact, Time Magazine reports that “much of the monumental architecture at Belize’s San Estevan site, which dates back to 800 B.C., was bulldozed during the late 1990s to provide material for roads.”
From Belize in Central America, now, let’s move to Peru in South America to notice the impact of gold rush in amazon! The lust for gold in other nations keeps increasing but the heavy price other nations pays to satiate the lust never becomes subject of discussion in mainstream media. True, there is lack of jobs and illegal gold mining ensures survival of large number of families but then how can one ignore the dangerous consequences of deforestation in Amazon? A report issued by NASA says that ‘with the price of gold skyrocketing (360 percent in 10 years from 2001 to 2011), unlicensed miners began pouring into Peru’s Madre de Dios. They cleared 12,500 acres from the forest between 2003–2009. Landsat images showed local deforestation increasing at a rate of 26 percent per year.”
The report also highlights the fatal consequences of mercury used in the mining process. The extracts of mercury which after vaporization turn airborne contaminate the water resources, which later enter into the bodies of residents. A very recent study suggests “unsafe levels of the toxic metal in almost 80% of adults and 60% of fish sold at local markets” in Peru. The Peru’s mining department taking stern steps against illegal mining began raiding Madre de Dios. That has led to tense formation between miners, environmental activists and the authorities. However, it appears that such strict steps are now a necessity to reduce the loss of forest area in amazon, which has already lost 18,000 hectares. Needless to state, that Peruvian amazon is remarkable for its large degree of biodiversity.
India is also facing severe consequences caused by deforestation. One of the major causes of deforestation has been depletion of forests to extract minerals of various types. Expansion of agriculture, timber harvesting and shifting cultivation are some of the prime reasons for loss of forest area in India. However, another grim consequence has been displacement of tribal people, leading to militant movement like Naxalism. It establishes something quite well that pattern of exploitation in India and Peru is one and the same and in both the places original inhabitants are in direct conflict with the authorities. If Peru is tormented by illegal gold mining, India is haunted by illegal coal mining and diamond mining! The “Coalgate scam” has clearly revealed that how sensitive rulers of this nation have been while dealing with mineral resources of this nation. In other words, globalization has ensured huge profits for government and private bodies but the same profit never got distributed to tribal people-ones who were responsible for protecting these resources. On the contrary, they got displaced and faced bullets instead of receiving rewards for their indigenous efforts. Now if we see such developments in light of environmental issues, like erratic weather pattern in Indian subcontinent, the situation is pretty grim.
It’s good that people, the ones affected by government’s poorly planned projects, have learnt to come in conflict with the authorities. Nandigram bears testimony to the fact that the Special Economic Zones, not taking care of interests of people in judicious way, shall always meet fierce opposition from people. The farmers in Uttar Pradesh also entered in violent protests in year 2011 over land acquisition policy framed by the state government. The trend pattern involved is that big corporate houses either forcibly acquire the land or they come to acquire it in fraudulent means by keeping in dark the actual content of the deal. The Allahabad High Court staying Ganga Expressway project, expressed deep anguish the way it got initiated without having environmental clearance! This project involving JP Group required acquisition of huge lands situated in the alluvial belt and still no homework was done on part of state government.
One can notice that how rules get manipulated to benefit big corporations, caring a damn for the interests of people. In fact, the concerns related with environment also get neglected. It’s not hard to decipher that two nations even if they are situated in different continents could still exhibit similar pattern of exploitation and corruption. Globalization has not only roped in similar lifestyle patterns across the globe but also introduced identical methods of corruption. And who is the victim? The underprivileged, who never gets a chance to visit McDonald, who never gets a chance to buy gold ornaments, and who also never gets a chance to drive SUV on Expressways! Noam Chomsky sounds quite right when he says that ‘ Market discipline is perfect for poor people in El Salvador, or working mothers in the slums. They have to learn responsibility, but not the rich and the powerful. They have to be protected.”
“Democracy and globalization: Are they really compatible”- An article by Vaibhav Mani Tripathi in Aavartan.
In one of my previous articles’ A Huge Blunder On Part Of Supreme Court To Grant Bail To Binayak Sen‘, I had expressed my deep frustration over the leniency exhibited by the Supreme court in granting bail to Binayak Sen. I had then clearly stated that this would not be seen as a good precedent in history of criminal justice system. It would not only be demoralizing for the investigative agencies involved in trapping hard-core criminals but also leave a very bad impact on lower courts, which do a tough task of arriving at proper conclusions in light of evidences and arguments.
I am not going to discuss once again whether Supreme court was right or wrong in granting the bail. I am, at present, really taken aback by the recent strange move of the Central government. It has given a place to Binayak Sen in Planning Commission’s Steering Committee on Health as a member. Binayak Sen as one of the representatives belonging to civil society will advise the panel on the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012-2017). Interestingly, the move to make him part of the Planning Commission came very soon. He had got bail just couple of days back.
I am really surprised that though all the major newspapers mentioned the appointment of Binayak Sen, they avoided placing the appropriateness of this decision under the lens. That in my eyes is highly baffling. The media which raises hue and cry over seemingly insignificant gestures of celebrities, belonging to various fields, remained silent over this stunning development. It never bothered to raise this question in a prominent way as to why Binayak Sen was granted a place in Planning Commission despite being convicted of committing a serious crime?
Can convicts be allowed to become part of reputed institutions even as the matter is being heard in Court? I mean the Indian media which loves to get involved in ridiculous sting operations, not leaving even chaddhi-baniyan (private life) of the celebrities, chose to treat it as insignificant development. Why did it fail to make it an issue? Doesn’t this prove one thing that media is, in actuality, hand in glove with its favourite bashing boy-the government? That it loves to criticize and praise with some vested interests in mind?
There is also a peculiar aspect involved in this shady development. This aspect is quite disturbing for all souls, who love to see two plus two as four quite often in life. Now just have a look at this pretty intriguing connection. The way Binayak Sen was granted bail by the Supreme court was not praised in many legal circles. However, the protests remained within limits of decency as the decision maker was Supreme court! Anyway, many dared to believe that there was more than meets the eye! For instance, the role of power centres in getting a desired judgment became a subject matter in private conversations. The government’s move to have him in the Planning Commission gives strength to such wild assumptions. After all, what was the urgency to have him as a member within weeks of getting bail? It’s really appears so strange that a person convicted under such serious charges is fit enough to be part of such a reputed government body and that too when matter the matter is sub judice.
Are the laws interpreted as per stature of person? The influential people manage to find thousand ways to have a bail in serious charges but an ordinary citizen spends many days in jail as under-trial even in a case, wherein it’s certain that person involved had no connection with the crime at all. I wish to know what message are we conveying to people of this nation via appointment of such dubious people in prominent institutions? Are we aware of the repercussions of such disastrous gestures?
Should the people remain silent merely because important bodies are involved in making of such decisions? The answer is emphatic no. It’s time that all thinking souls become vocal about such shady activities taking place with help of hi profile people and big institutions. Let’s not remain silent. Let’s learn to act as a watch-dog, which has the capacity not only to bark loudly but bite as well.
The bail granted to Binayak Sen would have a detrimental effect on the criminal justice system. The verdict is being perceived as a testimony to the perfect Indian legal system. I am afraid that it’s far away from the truth. This man should have been denied bail in light of facts that are associated with this case. The Supreme court has been astonishingly liberal in dealing with the facts associated with this evil doctor. Surprisingly, it has nothing else to state other than treating the Sen as mere ” sympathiser(of Naxalites)” and, therefore,“ no case of sedition is made out against him and the evidence is baseless”. The bench comprising of Justice HS Bedi and CK Prasad stated: “ We are a democratic country. He may be a sympathiser (of Naxalites) but it did not make him guilty of sedition. He is a sympathiser. Nothing beyond that.”
Ignoring the fact that this man has close contacts with likes of Narayan Sanyal, the Supreme court bench came up with the flawed opinion that the possibility to pass information to jailed Naxal leaders Narayan Sanyal and Piyush Guha is absolutely impossible. “Visitors are screened and searched by the jail staff. Jailors are there to oversee all these things. So, the question of passing letters or documents doesn’t arise.” Anybody who knows the Indian jails know quite well that all big criminals are operating from inside the jails. The contract to kill (Supari) is being ordered from inside the jails via the mobile. A surprise raid in any Indian jail would always lead to discovery of drugs, weapons, mobile phones and other prohibited things.
If one goes by the logic of Supreme court, these things should never be found in possession of the prisoners. However, the reality is otherwise. The bench decided to ignore this obvious reality is really bothering to a thinking mind like me. Is it not aware of the fact that high profile prisoners are living a luxurious life inside the jails ? How is that possible unless they are being supplied with prohibited articles in a secret way? It’s indeed baffling that Supreme court bench weakened and twisted the grounds projecting Sen as guilty.
Interestingly, it finds no meaning when one meets hardcore criminals. I never imagined that conspirators and co-accused are not equally guilty as accused. The verdict to grant bail to Binayak Sen demolishes the elements inherent in law related to conspiracy. One of the principles involved in making of a conspiracy is quite clear that “it is not necessary that each conspirator must know all the details of the scheme nor be a participant at every stage.” It’s really strange that when one meets with hardcore criminals so many times in jail it amounts only to being a “sympathiser “. Now who is Narayan Sanyal ? He was the active member of ” Naxalite movement led by Charu Mazumdar in late 1960s and was a member of Kolkata’s Dalhousie local committee. He was a founder member and politburo member of the CPI-ML (People’s War).”
What’s the need for Police to arrest the aides/accomplices of main accused/criminal? They should be ignored as mere symapthisers. The police should not waist time in nabbing them. However, the reality is that police may or may not pick the main accused but it readily arrests many on grounds that they provided helping hand in direct or indirect way to the accused. If that’s the case, the person like Binayak Sen found guilty of helping the Naxalites should not have been given any room to prove otherwise. Look at this two evidences. There are letters besides electronic documents that show correspondences with the banned organizations. He has the guts to meet with hardcore Naxalite leader Naryan Sanyal more than 33 times in jail. He also possesses banned literature but Court downplays its importance with its remark that ” If Gandhi’s books were found in my house, would that make me a Gandhian?” This simplistic take on the whole issue is quite amazing.
One would love to know in what capacity Sen was in touch with hardcore Naxalite leaders? Was he Sanyal’s advocate that he met so many times with him? The fact that he not only owned Naxalite literature but also in touch with dangerous Naxalite leaders are enough to hail him as guilty. These are sufficient material evidence and therefore the stand of Supreme court that ” state could not slap sedition charges on Sen unless there was material to show that he was actively preaching or propagating Maoist ideals ” is not appropriate. What else one should produce in name of material evidence ? Even circumstantial evidences are enough to prove anybody guilty and here we have strong evidences but still there is want of material evidence? Isn’t it sound strange when Supreme court demands more material evidence?
The High court while dismissing the bail plea of Binayak Sen had absolutely agreed with the arguments of prosecution and prima facie found Binayak Sen guilty. The prosecution had convinced the bench that Binayak had strong links with the Maoists. The prosecution had argued that “the trial court has already convicted Sen on charges of sedition. The documents seized and the circumstances in totality qualify for the requirement for conviction on the charges of sedition.” His organisation “Rupantar” had members having links with the Maoists making it clear that “it’s not just a simple case of a doctor engaged in social service.”
The way Supreme court has gone out of the way to grant bail is pretty disturbing as we find that this very Apex court has earlier rejected the bail plea of Binayak Sen in December 2007. The Bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhan and D K Jain had rejected the contention of Sen’s defence counsel that there was no evidence to suggest that he was involved in naxal activities.The bench had then dismissed the petition stating that “sorry, we do not agree with you.” It’s really surprising that now Supreme court has taken such a liberal stand against a person who is guilty of acting as a courier between dangerous minds like Sanyal. It preferred not to give strong reasons why it felt that way other than posing awkward questions to prosecution. The verdict dangerously paves the way for treating a co-accused as simply “sympathisers”.
One needs to anticipate this present judgment very consciously. This is very discouraging for all the people who are involved in war against the anti-India elements. This is not a way to fight war with the wrong elements. One need not to provide oxygen to wrong forces in anyway. Let’s have the guts to call a spade a spade. Let’s expose and punish the people disguised as gentlemen but in reality are the agents of Satan(devil). The decision of Chhattisgarh government to pursue this case seriously is, indeed, a heartening news.