Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Uttarakhand tragedy and Indian brand of Secularism

The scenes are moving – perhaps the reports are not accurate… the  tragedy at hills of Uttarakhand is assuming demonic proportions going by the reports.

There are many  heroes – some are unsung - topping that list for sure is our Army Jawans. Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which is deployed along the Indo-China border, was the first to reach and initiate rescue operations in Uttarkhand’s Kedarnath Valley, the worst affected by the floods unleashed by the onset of monsoon rains and the cloudburst on June 16. They have been doing a great job in reaching out to the worst affected regions and evacuate people when all connections – roads and bridges – had been washed away in the deluge.

Sadly another tragedy struck – this time at Gaurikhand on the rescuers themselves… very sad to read the news of an IAF Mi-17 helicopter carrying 20 people crashing during a rescue mission killing all those on board. The tragedy that Uttarakhand is faced with is neither new to the country nor something that was unexpected.  There have been gross violations, mindless chopping of trees, playing with nature all the time….and doing nothing to conserve it.

On another perspective, politicians, right from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh downwards, have been singing paeans to our armed forces heroes who have been putting their lives at risk all the time.   In a  CNN-IBN panel discussion. Col Anil Kaul pointed to this as exemplifying the “platitudes” that politicians offer the armed forces in times of crises – without doing anything substantive once the crisis fades away. He said that once the crisis is over, we are a forgotten tribe – until the next disaster strikes.” In particular, Col Kaul drew attention to the fact that while the cricketers who won the Champions Trophy on Monday had been given a reward of Rs 1 crore each, the relatives of the armed forces personnel who perished in the helicopter crash.  

Here is a right perspective provided by Mr Subramaniam Swamy. : Of hundreds of Army personnel working in rescue operations, the Times of India reporters found a muslim chopper pilot .

They ask him "How does it feel like, rescuing Hindus ?" Now here is a question to all such reports and newstime editors.

Kashmir has been under siege for past six decades. After the Muslims drove out all Hindus and Sikhs in 1990, Kashmir is entirely Muslim in population. Any soldier who dies protecting these Muslims is either a Hindu or a Sikh. Did they ever go and ask them in Kashmir.. .. "How does it feel like rescuing Muslims" ?

That is India’s brand of secularism…. Hindu bashing all the time

Saturday, 1 June 2013

VC eyes Merc - stopped by outcry.... when will same happen in Temples

The other day, a SUV drove through inside the Temple Compound and stopped much nearer speeding past the aged devotees walking on hot sand.... vehicle owned by the Temple... by the Lord, No; in service to the Lord, No......  Here is a  news item in TOI Chennai edition of date made a very interesting read; also triggered some thoughts…….

First the news item :::  ‘ VC eyes Merc, abandons plan after outcry - Sought To Spend 5.6Cr On Cars ‘

Coimbatore: It is normally considered the status symbol of the rich and famous and hardly something that an academician would want to acquire. But, a vice-chancellor of a government-owned university in Coimbatore decided to gift himself a Mercedes Benz by dipping into the varsity’s ‘surplus funds’.

Bharathiyar University vice-chancellor G James Pitchai on Thursday made public his decision to utilise almost 5.65 crore, collected in fees from candidates who took the state eligibility test (SET). The amount would be utilised to purchase a Mercedes Benz worth Rs 35 lakh for himself, and three Toyota Etios sedans, each costing Rs 7 lakh and more, for the university’s registrar, controller of examinations and director of school of distance education.

However, the immediate public outcry over the decision made the VC hurriedly scrap his plans. With the teachers’ union and other staff members voicing strong disapproval, Pitchai, who currently uses a Toyota Camry, changed tack and instructed officials not to go ahead with the purchase. “I never asked the university to get me a new car. The Mercedes Benz issue is part of a larger conspiracy to defame me,’’ the vice-chancellor told TOI. However, he admitted that the university syndicate had “discussed the matter orally”. “We never took a decision,” he said. “At present we are not planning to buy any luxury vehicles.”  But sources confirmed that the VC had decided on Thursday to shop for a few luxury cars, including a Benz from the fees collected from the state eligibility test, conducted by the university as the nodal agency for the examination.  “The VC said the money collected as fee by the SET could be used only for transportation needs,” said a member who attended a syndicate meeting on Tuesday. He said the agenda was to discuss the purchase of luxury cars and there was not much time for discussion.

“Usually the agenda is circulated before the meeting. But this time it was circulated only after the meeting began,” the member said. University sources also confirmed that officials had approached some distributors in the city, seeking quotations. In a bid to wriggle out of the controversy, Pitchai said the surplus funds would be returned to the government and it would not be used to buy any vehicle.
Good to read that a wrong action was stopped by the public outcry ! ~ sad to read that these are isolated events…

Devotees throng temple ~ there are thousands standing in the Queue – all of them put money in hundis and make donations thinking that they money so offered goes to the Presiding deity; the Temple would get richer; the money would be utilized for special poojas to Lord; more ornaments and belongings to the Lord and betterment of amenities in the temple, of which the devotees also will benefit.

In Tamil nadu, Temples are managed by HR&CE department and all the collection in the temple go to the Department only to be used for most uses not pertaining to the Temple and to the Lord………. in another manner, the officials managing the temple get big vehicles and the amount spent in maintenance and running [including private visits] have nothing to do with temple yet funded by the temple… it is another matter that these vehicles sometimes run inside the temple precincts too and get parked in special places which were once utilized for the Lord….. when will this end is the deep anguish of devotees

With deep concern…. Yours truly…