Ashwin Shukla 4 Vik Samvat 2068. Yugabda 5113: October 1, 2011

1. FESTIVAL: Dhanteras, the first day of the five-day Diwali Festival is also known as "Dhantrayodashi" or "Dhanvantari Triodasi" and falls on the Aashwin Krishna 13, October 24 this year. Dhan means wealth and the "Owl" form of Goddess Laxmi is worshiped to provide prosperity and well being. It holds special significance for the business community due to the customary purchases of precious metals on this day.
According to another popular legend Dhanvantari (the physician of the Gods and an incarnation of Vishnu) emerged carrying a jar of the elixir from Samudramanthana on the day of Dhanteras.
To mark this day, houses and business premises are renovated and decorated, small footprints are drawn with rice flour and vermilion powder all over the houses to indicate arrival of Lakshmi. Another interesting story is of the sixteen year old son of King Hima who was doomed to die by a snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage. His young wife saved him from clutches of death by blinding Yama with dazzling display of gold ornaments and numerous lighted lamps. Since then this day of Dhanteras came to be known as the day of "Yamadeepdaan" and lamps are kept burning throughout the night in reverential adoration to Yam, the god of death.
2. RELIEF WORK IN SIKKIM: Sikkim, a favored tourist destination in Himalayas was jolted by an earthquake of magnitude 6.8 on Richter scale on September 18. The death toll is reported at 50 which includes’ 25 in Sikkim, and others in Poschimbanga, Bihar, Nepal and Tibet. Coupled by the incessant rains the landslides due of earthquake are severely hampering the relief work. 7-10 villages in Sikkim have been totally vanished and some 32 are worst affected.
As early on 21st September, 3 days after the quake, some 60 odd volunteers of Sewa Bharati have reached Sikkim with necessary relief material and a base camp has been established at Singtam. Plans are underway to reconstruct a couple of villages also. Sewa USA has releasesd $10,000 as an immediate aid. Sewa International has appealed for donations from benevolent in this hour of tragrdy. For more information please write to
3. RSS WARNS AGAINST GRANTING MORE CONCESSIONS TO J&K: Terming the Kashmir problem as a national issue, RSS Sarsnghachalak Dr. Mohan Bhagwat warned against giving more concessions to the state. While interacting with intellectuals of Jammu on September 25 during his five day visit in J&K, he outrightly rejected the demand to restore the pre-1953 position or granting greater autonomy to the state and also rejected the proposal of self-rule.
He said the RSS would not allow the government to compromise with the integrity of the nation. “The accession of the state with Bharat is final”, he added. Expressing grave concern over China threatening Bharat and tampering with the borders, Dr. Bhagwat accused the Centre of lacking the will to fight external and internal threats.
4. SEWA DAY AROUND THE GLOBE: Sewa day – a day dedicated to service - was observed on September 25 in about 17 countries. Started as National Sewa Day in UK by Sewa International UK, it spread its wings around the globe this year. Sewa Volunteers joined hundreds of people on that day to give back to the community. About 40 people took part in Croydon – London where they cleared rubbish from an un-tended part of Matthews Gardens, New Addington, worked to improve a nature reserve Purple Haze, also in New Addington, and spent the day at Tudor House care home, South Croydon. Sewa USA volunteers numbering 45 in Colorado USA helped to clean the Sanatan Mandir temple in Brighton.
5. GANESH FESTIVAL IN THAILAND: This year Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated in Thailand at two places—Shiva temple in Raminthara (Bangkok) and Ganesh Temple at Nakhon Nayok, about 200 km from Bangkok. About 38ft tall Ganesh idol was ceremoniously worshipped by Shri Phararaj Koson, chancellor of Buddhist University Bangkok at Nakhon and Shri Mae Khu Von Seng, head of Raminthara Temple. The places wore festive look with colourful saffron flags, banners and flower decorations.
A ceremonial procession was taken out on the streets of Thailand on the eve of Ganesh Visarjan. Devotees with saffron and local attire and flags chanted bhajans, kirtans and shouted slogans of Ganapati Bappa Moraya all along the route. Many Thai bands also participated in the processions.
Over the years, the festival is attracting not only the Hindus but also the local Thai population in a big way. This year, a group of 28 Thai devotees came to Mumbai along with a Ganesh idol for Anant Chaturdashi visarjan at Chowpatty under the guidance of Dr Khun Khom Krit (Haridas), additional dean of Shilpacon University and Pandit Brahmananda Dubey.
6. ICCS CONFERENCE AT TAOS, NEW MEXICO, USA: The conference organized by International Center for Cultural Studies USA was attended by 42 participants from Cherokee, Lakota, Hopi, Kipatsi (Peru), Hindu traditions and others.
It started with prayer ceremony by SD Youngwolf. Speakers included Jose from Santo Domingo pueblo who blessed the gathering. This was followed by a nice presentation on colonization in Peru by Kipatsi Indigenous group based in Albuquerque, NM. LaxmiNarayan ji from HSS shared experiences on Balagokulams in USA.
Doug Connell from earth walks organization spoke about the need for maintaining balance in eco system; Dr.Yvotte Rosser (Ram Rani ji) was the final speaker. She quoted several incidents from History on how indigenous traditions are threatened and how Bharat is stopping the onslaught from aggressive faiths. She emphasized the need for unity and coordination among native indigenous traditions to stay united and work together.
7. CHOPPY WATERS: Despite expected protest from China that sees the South China Sea as its exclusive sphere of influence, Bharat has done well to hold its ground and declare its intention to press ahead with oil and gas exploration in two offshore blocks claimed by Vietnam. The latest spat was the highlight of foreign minister S M Krishna`s recent visit to Hanoi and comes on the heels of a Bharatiya warship being buzzed by the Chinese navy off the Vietnamese coast. For Beijing to argue its indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea — which has a plethora of stakeholders including Vietnam, Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia — is specious. Notwithstanding Bharat`s concerns China has pressed ahead with infra-structure projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, also a disputed area. It provides "all-weather" aid to Pakistan which includes diplomatic, financial, military and nuclear elements, despite that country harbouring anti-Bharat terror groups. For it to object to New Delhi`s growing ties with Hanoi is a bit rich.
It would be far more prudent to focus on areas of cooperation and growth in Bharat-China ties. China is Bharat`s largest trading partner with two-way trade expected to reach $100 billion by 2015. New Delhi has taken a positive step by allowing Bharatiya companies to borrow in yuan. It should make the case that Bharat provides a far more stable and vibrant market for Chinese investment and trade than a country like Pakistan. If Beijing sets aside one-upmanship such as issuing stapled visas and blocking Asian Development Bank loans for projects in Arunachal Pradesh, it could pave the way for a new era in Bharat-China cooperation. That would be truly congruent with Beijing`s strategic interests as well as its stated policy of peaceful development. (Editorial, Times of India, Sep 19, 2011)
8. BHARAT TEST FIRES N-CAPABLE PRITHVI-II MISSILE: Bharat on September 26 successfully test fired Prithvi-II -- its indigenously developed, nuclear-capable ballistic missile -- told S.P. Dash, director of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) of Chandipur in Balasore district – Odisha.
The launch of the missile with maximum range of 350 km was carried out by the Bharatiya armed forces, and monitored by the scientists of DRDO. "It was a fantastic launch. The missile met all the mission objectives and it was a perfect text-book launch,” Mr.Dash told.
The medium-range missile, with flight duration of 483 seconds and reaching a peak altitude of 43.5 km, has the capability to carry a 500-kg warhead.
Prithvi uses an advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring capabilities and comes within metres of its target. Bharat has successfully test fired Shourya, its surface-to-surface ballistic missile, from the same test base two days before.
9. RAMDEV BEGINS 10,000-KM SWAMBHIMAN ANTI-GRAFT YATRA: Aiming to “awaken people about corruption and black money”, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev on Tuesday started the 10,000-km-long Bharat Swambhiman Yatra from Jhansi.
“My yatra, 2012 Mahasangram, will awaken people in the entire country on the issue of black money and corruption. The Mahasangram, which started from the land of Veerangana Rani Lakshmi Bai, will reach Parliament from roads one day,” he said on the first day of the yatra. After covering about 10,000 kms, the yatra will end at Prayag in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, his supporters said. Earlier, Ramdev held a two-hour yoga camp in the district.
10. BHARATIYA-AMERICANS NAMED FOR TOP US SCIENCE HONOURS: Three Bharatiya-Americans figured among the 12 scientists named by US President Barack Obama for the country's top awards in the field of scientific research and innovation.
They are Srinivasa S R Varadhan from the New York University for his work in probability theory; Rakesh Agrawal from the Purdue University for improving the energy efficiency and reducing the cost of gas liquefaction and separation and B Jayant Baliga from the North Carolina State University for development and commercialisation of the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor.
11. PAKISTAN SIKHS SEEK CITIZENSHIP: Niranjeet Kaur and her schoolmate Satya have completed plus two from a local school but are clueless about their future prospects because they have been summoned again to their native town of Peshawar in Pakistan for visa formalities before seeking admission in a college. Their elders, who have been on petty jobs for over a decade here, would have to accompany them them back to Peshawar to furnish documents to seek extension for their stay in Bharat.
On September 26, 20 such Pakistani Sikh families, assembled at the Durgiana Temple complex in Amritsar urging the Bharatiya Government to grant them Bharatiya citizenship on the plea that they had been living here for over 15 years now.
“We are scared. Whenever we go back to Pakistan, Life over there is hell, especially for girls. The education scenario is very bad. We demand that the Bharatiya Government grant us citizenship”, said 18-year-old Niranjeet, who came here when she was three.
12. GUJARAT ASSEMBLY PASSES BILL ON COW SLAUGHTER : A Bill seeking a seven-year jail term for cow slaughter or even transporting the animal for that purpose was passed unopposed in the Gujarat Assembly on Tuesday, with the Opposition Congress extending support to it. As per the provisions of the Gujarat Animal Preservation Act (GAPA) 1954, which prohibits cow slaughter, there is no provision to prevent transportation of the animal for slaughter.
Tabling the bill Agriculture Minister Dileep Sanghani said, “Stringent punishment for violation of the provisions has been proposed in the Bill. The six-month jail term has been extended to seven years on conviction and the fine has been increased to Rs. 50,000 from Rs. 1,000.”
13. CHINA GIVES NORMAL VISAS TO KASHMIRIS: Sending a positive signal to Bharat, China has given normal “pasted” visas to 12 Kashmiri youths who are visiting the country as a part of a 500-member contingent on a government-sponsored exchange programme. The delegation is visiting Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou between September 21 and 29.
The 12 Kashmiris, all aged under 35, have been chosen from the newly-elected panchayats and institutions of higher education.
However, this is the first government-selected delegation to visit China since December when Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao came to Bharat. A similar delegation also has been visted China in the last week of September.
14. GREEN INITIATIVE BY VIVEKANANDA KENDRA: The Vivekananda Kendra established by Eknathji Ranade some 40 years back has several projects including hundreds of schools, hospitals, and service projects throughout the country with special emphasis on the North-East. The Kendra has been taking up projects concerning environment and ecology in a massive way. The bio-gas generated electricity project of Vivekananda Kendra in Mahabalipuram, a notable tourist destination near Chennai, famous for Pallava age stone carvings and sculptures, has drawn all-round applause.
With a population of only 12,000 in 400 households, tons of food waste and other wastes are being treated in a 100-Cubic meter volume bio-gas plant.
As a result health of place improved and there is cleanliness and hygiene everywhere. About 10 KW power generated through the bio-gas plant is used for operating the solid waste management plant and for lighting street lamps.
The Natural Resources Development Project of Vivekananda Kendra (NARDEP) has been doing research and field work in the area for the past 10 years and is credited for developing low volume bio-methanantion plants that are suitable for rural and urban households. It has also developed bio-gas slurry based agro-inputs package and made dissemination of this technology efficient.
For further details please visit
15. BHARAT TO DEVELOP TORPEDO CENTRE IN KYRGYZSTAN: Bharat is planning to develop a facility in Kyrgyzstan to produce state-of-the art torpedoes in order to strengthen its under-water attack capabilities. The Torpedo Testing Centre located at Issyk Kul lake in Karakul province, 250 km away from the capital Bishkek, is considered one of the best locations to launch and recover torpedoes fired during test trials. DRDO Chief Controller William Selvamurthy said.
The centre has a network of sensors which can monitor the speed, velocity, homing in and direction of the torpedo once it is fired. This enables scientists to make necessary modifications in the navigation system to make the missiles more accurate and fool proof.
16. HINDU COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA has been celebrating Deepavali in Sydney since 1999 and in Federal Parliament in Canberra since 2003.
Last year Deepavali Fair in Sydney attracted over 15,000 people. The program consisted of Bhajans, cultural programs by local artists originating from Bharat, Bali, Nepal and Bangladesh and also over 100 stalls of food, general merchandice, banks, IT and Phone companies etc. This year the council will be organising Deepavali Fair on Oct 30 and expect even greater number of people.
17. BARC DEVELOPS SPENT FUEL AUTOMATION SYSTEM: The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre has designed and developed the first of its kind advanced automation system for transferring spent fuel bundles of pressurised heavy water reactors for nuclear reprocessing plants.
"Introduction of this automation system for reprocessing plant is aimed at transferring the fuel bundles directly from fuel handling area (FHA) of storage pool to the dissolver cell in an automated way, without the necessity of using charging cask," Director of Remote Handling and Robotics and Design, Manufacturing and Automation Group of BARC, Manjit Singh said.
18. SAMSKRIT BHARATI TRAINING HELPS 90 LAKH TO SPEAK IN SANSKRIT: “Samskrit Bharati, through Samskrit Sambhashan camps, trained over 90 lakh people in Sanskrit speaking during the last 30 years. Today, it is an organisation which is active in 19 countries of the world for propagation of Sanskrit and also to make Sanskrit a language of the masses.
Besides this, over 300 books and different CDs and DVDs, etc. have also been prepared,” said general secretary of Samskrit Bharati Shri CM Krishna Shastry. He was speaking at the concluding function of a ten-day Sanskrit Sambhashan camps at Parishkar College auditorium in Jaipur on September 11. Shri Devkrishan Saraswat, president of Samskrit Bharati, Jaipur Prant, and many other eminent Sanskrit scholars were also present on the occasion.
The elected students’ representatives of 25 Sanskrit colleges were also honoured on the occasion.
19. VAISHNO DEVI SHRINE TO HAVE MATERIAL, PASSENGER ROPEWAYS: The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, at its 50th meeting held in New Delhi on September 22 under the chairmanship of Governor NN Vohra, who is also the Chairman of the Shrine Board, approved two major projects, costing over Rs 65 crore for setting up a material ropeway from Siar Dabri to the Bhawan and a passenger ropeway between the Bhawan and the Bhairon Temple.
The establishment of the passenger ropeway between the Bhawan and the Bhairon Temple is estimated to cost over Rs 55 crore while the material ropeway between Siar Dabri (near Katra) and Bhawan will involve an expenditure of about Rs 9 crore.
20. GOVT, HINDU OUTFITS DECRY MARXISTS’ TAKE ON TEMPLE WEALTH: The Kerala Government, the Congress party and Hindu organisations have rejected the CPI(M) theory that the amazing collection of treasures found in Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram are public wealth that should be managed by a committee containing nominees of political parties.
According to Keral CM Oommen Chandy, the treasures belonged to the temple itself. State Congress president Ramesh Chennithala said that atheists, “who could say anything”, need not bother about management of wealth belonging to places of worship. Reiterating that the treasures belonged to the temple alone, Hindu Aikya Vedi general secretary Kummanam Rajasekharan said that Pinarayi’s statement was in effect an infringement on the rights of the believers as well as a humiliation to them. He called for permanent treasures to protect these as temple property.
21. ABVP ACTIVISTS HOIST TRICOLOUR NEAR BANGLADESH BORDER : BSF jawans on September 9 prevented Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists and local farmers from hoisting the tricolour in the “disputed” Lathitila area of Karimganj district which has been handed over to Bangladesh by Bharat through a land swap deal signed in Dhaka on September 13, 2011. However, they hoisted the National Flag in no-man’s land near the place in question later.
22. BHARAT’S FIRST BAMBOO MUSEUM TO OPEN DOORS: The country’s first ‘bamboo museum’ is all set to be ‘formally’ inaugurated at the Institute of Himalayan Bio-resource Technology (IHBT) in Palampur (Himachal Pradesh). The museum will house a workshop and a laboratory. It will also display bamboo products.
The cantilever-based structure happens to be the largest bamboo structure in the country and uses bamboo for reinforcing the walls.
Bamboo in Uttarakhand and elsewhere is fast emerging as a housing substitute in areas with undulating terrains. Low-cost, middle-end and even high-end houses can be constructed with bamboo, say experts. A 1,800 sq feet low- cost bamboo house is likely to cost Rs 4.5 lakh, whereas a middle-end house of the same size would come up at a cost of Rs 15 lakh. A fancier and stronger structure of the same size may cost up to Rs 54-60 lakh. Bamboo is flexible and corrosion resistant and structures made up of this wood can withstand earthquakes and floods too.
23. MINI UAVS TO ASSIST TROOPS IN J&K: Troops on ground in Jammu and Kashmir will soon have their own “eyes in the sky”. The Army is procuring 20 miniature unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to be deployed in the operationally sensitive Northern Command.
These UAVs, sources said, would be used for general surveillance along the Line of Control as well as in certain volatile areas in the hinterland. These would also be used during anti-terrorist operations for providing real-time intelligence and for detecting intrusions as well as for limited search and rescue.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) also recently demonstrated its capability to produce a mini UAV, which has been christened Netra. Besides the Armed Forces, it has also been offered to the state police forces for security management and handling law and order situations.
24. DELHI METRO EARNS UN PRAISE, Rs. 47 CR IN CARBON CREDITS: The Delhi Metro has become the world’s first Metro rail and rail-based system to earn carbon credits — Rs 47 crore annually for the next seven years. The United Nations has hailed the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for helping reduce pollution levels in Capital by 6.3 lakh tonnes a year.
As many as 20 lakh people use the new-age pollution-free transport system a day, he said. The figure of Rs 47 crore may go up with the increase in number of passengers. No other Metro in the world has been able to get carbon credits as the conditions set by the world body are stringent.
25. NOW WATCH RAMLILA LIVE AT HOME, ON PHONE: Centuries old Ramlila is going to don a new look this season. Come September 27 and the stage theatre based on Hindu mythology is all set to hit the web platform with live webcast. The audio of the grand show will also be available on mobile phones through podcasts. What’s more? “The times have changed and in order to attract young audience, we have to innovate. We’ll be going live this year on our website. We have a large Bharatiya diaspora living in the UK, the US, Canada and other European countries. We have to cater them as well as they are more into their culture,” said Rahul Sharma of Shri Dharmik Lila committee which organises the show at the Red Fort ground.
26. PAK TEAM WANTS ANNA'S HELP IN FIGHTING GRAFT: Social crusader Anna Hazare could well take his battle against corruption across the border. On September 21, a two-member delegation from Pakistan came calling on Hazare at Ralegan Siddhi with a request that he travel to their country to guide them on fighting corruption. Hazare agreed to go to Pakistan when he was "fit to travel".
The delegation comprised retired Pakistan Supreme Court judge, Nasir Aslam Zahid and Karamat Ali, trade union leader and peace activist. Ali, who also spoke to reporters, said, "Like Bharat, we too are beset with corruption. Unlike Bharat, however, we do not have an Anna Hazare. We want him to visit Pakistan, which will create pressure on our government. "
27. BIONIC BOON FOR THE BLIND: For millions of Bharatiyas who suffer from loss of vision due to retina damage and age-related macular degeneration, there is now hope. A bionic eye which would help them see is going to be developed indigenously. The visual device would use eyeglasses fitted with digital cameras and a retinal implant and has been successfully tried on patients abroad.
The co-inventor of the global project, Dr Rajat N Agrawal, assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of Southern California, says he wants to make the implant affordable here and will work to bring down the cost of the implant to Rs 5 lakh from its present cost of Rs 45 lakh (approx).
28. BHARATIYA BOURSES BEAT GLOBAL LEADERS WITH CEO PAY HIKE: The Bharatiya stock exchanges may not rank high on international charts in terms of the volume of business done, but they have beaten global market leaders in terms of pay hikes given to their top executives.
The two largest stock exchanges of the world -- the NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq OMX Group -- cut down the remuneration paid to their respective CEOs last year. At the same time, the annual remunerations paid by Bharatiya bourses rose during the financial year ended March 31, 2011.
NSE’s Ravi Narain was the top-paid CEO, with gross remuneration of about Rs 7.35 crore followed by BSE MD and CEO Madhu Kannan (Rs 2.04 crore) and MCX-SX chief Joseph Massey (Rs 1.80 crore).In contrast, NYSE Euronext CEO Duncan Neiderauer saw his total compensation decline to $ 7.05 million (about Rs 31 crore) from $ 7.2 million in the previous year.
29. TWO IITIANS AMONG 400 RICHEST AMERICANS: Two IIT alumni have made it to the Forbes' list of the 400 richest Americans, topped for the 18th year in a row by Bill Gates with Warren Buffett in second spot.
According to Forbe’s list Bharat Desai with $1.35 billion gets the 329th spot with Vinod Khosla two notches below at 331st place with $1.3 billion.
Kenya born Syntel co-founder Desai (58), an IIT-Mumbai graduate, founded the outsourcing outfit in 1980, took the company public in 1997 and now has some 16,200 employees. Shares have jumped 20 per cent over the past year. Fellow IITian Vinod Khosla (56), The Bharat -born engineer, who made his early fortune as co-founder of Sun Microsystems, recently vowed to give away half his fortune to charity when he signed Bill Gates' and Warren Buffett's Giving Pledge last April.
30. BHARATIYA SCIENTIST DISCOVERS DRUG FOR ALZHEIMER’S SUFFERERS: Making a breakthrough in drug research to improve the quality of life of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, a Bharatiya scientist has discovered an anti-Alzheimer’s drug that has been extracted from citrus fruits. Dr Mahaveer Golechha, senior research fellow, Department of Pharmacology, AIIMS, has been awarded the prestigious Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation’s, USA Young Investigator Scholarship Award.
“This drug Naringin is a bioflavonoid. Naringin exerted its effects through multiple mechanisms, like anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic. This drug has been discovered from citrus fruits,” added the doctor.
31. ORGANIZER & PANCHAJANYA WEBSITES REDESIGNED: “We should use new web media to reach millions of people worldwide and convey positive information about our activities”, said RSS sahsarkaryavaha Suresh Soni. He was speaking at a function in New Delhi on September 29, to launch websites of Organizer and Panchajanya in its new user friendly avtar. Others present were Delhi prant sah sanghachalak Shyamsundar Agarwal, Vijay ji General Manager – Bharat Prakashan and Milind Oak – senior Sangh prachark who played key role in designing these websites.
32. 106TH ANNIVERSARY OF VANDE MATARAM CELEBRATED: The sky over Yashwant Stadium in Nagpur was filled with Vande Mataram recited by 60,000 students coming from 210 schools of the city on September 6, braving heavy showers and unfriendly weather.
The programme was jointly organised by Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), Maitree Parivar, and School Education Department to commemorate the 106th anniversary of Vande Mataram, the legendry song that inspired thousands during freedom struggle and which became a war cry of Anna Hazare’s movement recently.
Addressing the students and others gathered at the Stadium, Shri Nitin Gadkari, national president of BJP said that recitation of such patriotic songs always inspire the individual.
33. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Visitors: Devanand and Brahmadesh students-Agra, Ganesh Mishra -Nepal, Jagdish Sehwani – USA. Pravas: Shri Ravikumar, sah samyojak Vishwa Vibhag will return Bharat from USA enroute HongKong. Shri Shyam Parande, secretary Sewa International will visit Myanmar in first week of October.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: If you know what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way. – Bhagwan Buddha



Mamata terms it suicidal
When there is a clash of interest between two countries – especially between Bharat and Pakistan, or Bharat and Bangladesh or for that matter between Bharat and any Muslim country of the world, Bharatiya government always take a back seat perhaps to show off their magnanimity or liberalism at the cost of their country’s interest.
In the first week of September, Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of Bharat had visited Bangladesh with a long list of agenda to be discussed and ultimately pact or pacts have to be signed. At the very first stage of this initiative, Smt Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal, took a very stern attitude regarding sharing of Teesta river water with Bangladesh. Her voice was sounded very much discordant in the orchestration of the PM’s party to Bangladesh. She was very clear in her utterance, “I have nothing to say against Bangladesh. But I must be truthful to the commitment towards our countrymen. I have no right to betray them. Our people of North Bengal are suffering from paucity of water. Agriculture in this area is worst sufferer for this reason.”
At the initial stage Mamata was ready to allow 18,000 cusecs of Teesta water to Bangladesh. Then after some persuasion she agreed to increase the figure up to 25,000 cusecs. But when Central government officials insisted on allowing them at least 33,000 cusecs Mamata said, ‘this far and no further’. Mamata then declared her decision of not to accompanying the Prime Minister in his trip to Bangladesh because she does not want to be a party to this kind of suicidal pact. Not only that, this would damage if not doom the future of North Bengal.
Sharing of river water with the then East Pakistan and presently known as Bangladesh has a long history. There are 54 rivers including Teesta which have this water sharing problem between two countries. This controversy persisted since the days of East Pakistan. In the year 1976, Teesta water sharing issue has been taken to the UNO for an amicable settlement. Then in 1979, when Bangladesh had constructed a barrage in Dalia on Teesta, Bharat by way of a retaliatory action constructed a barrage in the up-stream of Teesta at Gajaldoba, Jalpaiguri in 1993. This had given a good lesson to Bangladesh. But they were not ready to reconcile. It is a fact that the UN rule is to allow at least 16 per cent water from upstream to downstream belonging to a different country. Bharat had never defied this rule. So Mamata was well within the legal parameters as well, when she had stuck up to her point of not damaging the country’s interest. Although diplomatic circle of both the countries have cast a serious note of Mamata’s non cooperation in this regard and Dr. Manmohan Singh was put in a very awkward position in Bangladesh, Mamata was unperturbed because she thought that it was nation’s interest which had to be considered first.
There is a political angle in this matter. Mamata’s party Trinamool Congress (TMC) holds a commanding position in the ruling UPA conglomeration with twenty MPs. So it is not very easy to take any action against Mamata Banerjee because that would risk the very existence of UPA government. Hence, Dr. Manmohan Singh had to bow down and had to find out ways and means to make an adjustment with Mamata Banerjee.
This was not the case when Jyoti Basu was chief minister of West Bengal because he used to put little importance on national issues. He used to enjoy a ‘blue eyed boy’ position in the Congress. For example, in 1996 the then Prime Minister of Bharat Devegowda signed a pact with Bangladesh on sharing Farakka-Ganga water keeping Jyoti Basu in good humour. At that time, Devegowda government allowed 40,000 cusecs of Ganga water to Bangladesh. Jyoti Basu did not oppose the pact. He was happy because Bangladesh government promised him to preserve his ancestral house at village Baradi under Dhaka district of Bangladesh. Only dissenting voice, at that time, was of Bikram Sarkar’s. He was Chairman of Calcutta Port Trust at that time. He was protesting the Bharatiya government’s decision to divert 40,000 cusecs of Ganga water from Farakka to Padma river because he was very much worried as this would kill both Calcutta Port and Haldia Port. Inder Kumar Gujral, the then External Affairs Minister asked Jyoti Basu over telephone to shut down the mouth of Sarkar. Jyoti Basu abided by the order of Gujral and Bikram Sarkar could not assume the post of Chief Secretary of West Bengal. But the fact remains that both Calcutta Port and Haldia Port are now gasping for life for want water. Jyoti Basu did not bother. Now Bikram Sarkar is an MP belonging to TMC.
In this connection one should not forget that Bangladesh government is very much careful to preserve their rights. They did not agree to allow us the right of unhindered Bharatiya goods transit through their land and they did not allow Bharatiya ships to enter Chittagong Port and Mangala Port. And the latest news highlighted in the context of terrorist attack on Delhi High Court premises, is that the suspect fidayeens took part in that blast were trained in Bangladesh madrasas. Their belligerent attitude towards Bharat is a common knowledge.
The Calcutta edition of Hindustan Times published a story on 12 September 2011 under the headline “Bangla Madrasas into arms training” said, “Amid the furore created by the blast on the Delhi high court premises, the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB) has learnt that more than 250 madrasa students of Bangladesh, under the aegis of the al-Qaeda and terrorist outfits have started receiving fidayeen training from this month to carry out terror strikes at several places in Bharat.”
“According to the sleuths, these Bangladeshi madrasas are located mainly in districts such as Chapai Nawabgunj, and Rajshahi adjacent to such West Bengal districts as Murshidabad and Maldah”. (By Asim Kumar Mitra Organiser 25 Oct 2011)