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By Lalit Shastri
India-centric news and analysis with a global perspective
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Hyundai India facebook backlash over pro-separatist tweet by Hyundai Pakistan
A Twitter account of Nishat motors - a Hyundai dealer in Pakistan with the handle @hyundaiPakistanOfficial had posted a message supporting what they call 'Kashmir Solidarity' day with the message: "Let us support the sacrifices of our Kashmiri brothers and stand in support as they continue to struggle for freedom". In India, there is total outrage over the twitter post by the Hyundai dealer in Pakistan. #BoycottHyundai is trending on Twitter in India. People in India have bombarded the with messages asking everyone to go for total boycott of Hyundai cars in the country. To douse the fire generated by the the twitter handle @PakistanHyundai, Hyundai India said in a statement "Hyundai Motor India has been committed to the Indian market for more than 25 years now and we stand firmly for our strong ethos of respecting nationalism. The unsolicited social media post linking Hyundai Motor India is offending our unparalleled commitment and service to this great country. India is second home to the Hyundai brand and we have zero tolerance policy towards insensitive communication and we strongly condemn any such view. As part of our commitment to India, we will continue our efforts towards the betterment of the country as well as its citizens. " After the matter has flared up, the controversial post is now floating freely in a photo format on social media. @PakistanHyundai account of the Hyundai dealer in Pakistan says - its "Tweets are protected -  Only approved followers can see @PakistanHyundai’s Tweets." Sunday night, 6th January 2022, Ashutosh Soni, an Indian citizen tweeted "I booked #Hyundai Verna a month ago & it was due to be deliver this month but after seeing #HyundaiPakistan post, supporting separatism in #Kashmir,India, cancelled the Verna & called the Honda outlet and taken the delivery of Honda City today itself. That's it he went on to underscore with the hashtag  #BoycottHyundai
February 07, 2022
How Air India went into a nosedive
Lalit Shastri Speaks: Economic Times, today 28 Jan 2021, has aired concern and at the same time shared optimism over Air India's new journey to return to its lost glory under the Tata Group. The newspaper says the airline under the new ownership will be fraught with issues such as older aircraft, inferior cabin products and human resources. The concern notwithstanding, the ET report also points to experts and its global competitors who visualise that the airline would become a challenger in the international space. Now let's go back in time and do a postmortem of things that were responsible for Air India going into a nosedive and finally the disinvestment of the national carrier.  Coming to the issues of older aircraft and inferior cabin products  -  one cannot ignore the role of former Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel during UPA-1 and 2.  The moment he became the Civil Aviation Minister in 2004, Praful Patel spearheaded the decision to merge the two airlines – Air India and Indian Airlines – and gave a huge order to purchase aircraft – both to Boeing as well as Airbus. Of the eight Boeing 777-200LR acquired by Air India after Patel took over, five of these grossly under-utilised aircraft were sold to Etihad Airways in December 2013 as a part of the “financial restructuring” exercise. By mid 2017, CBI registered three FIRs against Air India and others. The first case was registered under Section 120-B read with 420 of Indian Penal Code and Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against Air India, “unknown” officials of Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and others to investigate the allegations relating to purchase of 111 aircraft for national airlines costing about Rs. 70,000 crore to benefit foreign aircraft manufactures. Such a purchase caused an alleged financial loss to the already stressed national carriers. The second case got registered under Section 120-B read with 420 of PC and Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of PC Act, 1988 against “unknown” officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation, NACIL, Air India and private companies and unknown others to investigate the allegations of leasing of large number of aircraft without due consideration, proper route study and marketing or price strategy. It was also alleged that the aircraft were leased even while aircraft acquisition programme was going on. The third case was registered under Section 120-B read with 420 of IPC and Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of PC Act, 1988 against “unknown” officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation, National Aviation Company of India Ltd. (NACIL) – the entity formed by the merger of Air India and Indian, Air India and other unknown private persons and companies to investigate the allegations for giving up profit making routes and profit making timings of Air India in favour of national and international private airlines causing a huge loss to the national carrier. A Preliminary Enquiry was also registered against unknown officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation and unknown others to enquire into the allegations relating to the issue of merger of the two national carriers -Air India and Indian Airlines – causing loss to the national exchequer. What is the outcome of these FIRs and Enquiry, no body knows.
January 29, 2022
Chattisgarh: When the slave and king both got roughed up
Lalit Shastri Speaks Up: When Chattisgarh was formed, Ajit Jogi was elected as the Congress Legislature Party leader and so he became the first Chief Minister of the new State carved out of Madhya Pradesh. Immediately after the Congress Legislature Party election at the Raipur Circuit House, Congress observers Prabha Rao and Ghulam Nabi Azad, both AICC general secretaries, along with MP Chief Minister Digvijay Singh drove to the farmhouse of another Congress senior Vidya Charan Shukla to placate him as he was also in the race for the CM's post. As Bureau Chief of The Hindu, I could smell the possibility of high intensity drama at Vidya Charan'e place and hence had taken position right there. When the Congress leaders' car entered the sprawling property and stopped at the main entrance, a huge mob of VC suporters swooped on it. I was an eyewitness to what followed. They pounced upon the Congress leaders as they came out and.gave a thrashing to Ghulam Nabi Azad and also Digvijay Singh, whom everybody calls Diggi Raja. After the situation had normalized and there was general calm, a number of journalists and TV reporters descended at VC's place. When a journalist asked Digvijay Singh whether or not there was any violence, he replied in the negative. At that moment, I was standing just besides Digvijay Singh. Pointing to the torn side pocket of his kurta, I had asked him, "how did this happen"? And he had responded by saying "oh, it got stuck in the latch when I was entering this place." Later, when a TV reporter took my bite, I had summed it up in a single sentence by observing: " Aaj to Ghulam our Raja dono pite"  (the slave and the king both got roughed up today).
January 27, 2022
Bharat Ratna, Nehru and Gandhis
Lalit Shastri Speaks: On 73rd Republic Day, no one has been given Bharat Ratna - the highest civilian honour - by the Modi government. Rajiv Gandhi was given this honour posthumously in 1991 by the Congress government led by PV Narasimha Rao. Rajiv's mother Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister of India at the time of receiving the award in 1971 after creating the Hydra headed monster of Bhindrawala, causing the death of countless hindus at hands of the Khalistan terrorists but riding on the crest of popularity post Bangladesh War. Before her, Jawaharlal Nehru, her father, who was less of a socialist and more of communist and had taken the short cut for building heavy industry by wooing the Russians and propagated the theory of Panch sheel only to be stabbed by China with Russians no where near to help when China attacked India. Very early in the day, even before he could pass the acid test, Nehru was a man in hurry and  had awarded himself the Bharat Ratna in 1955. The nation should not forget and I am making it a point to say this as public memory is short. It was Rajiv Gandhi who had sent the IPKF to Sri Lanka and caused the death of hundreds and hundreds of our soldiers. How can one forget the Sikh massacre, following the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984. That's when Rajiv Gandhi, who got catapulted as PM demonstrated how insensitive he was towards the Sikhs, with his remark - "When a big tree falls, the earth shakes". This is what he said on the mass slaughter of Sikhs in Delhi.  In mid-1988, the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) had launched a separatist insurgency for independence of Kashmir during Rajiv Gandhi's tenure as PM and this created the situation for ethnic cleansing of the Kashmir valley on radical religious grounds that culminated with the slaughter, rape and exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir in January 1990 just after Gandhi had lost power.  In 1985, drawing attention to the menace of corruption and lack of accountability in terms of those holding public offices, Rajiv Gandhi had said that of every rupee spent by the government, only 15 paise reached the intended beneficiary. His message, awareness and concern about the malaise notwithstanding, the travesty is that even after winning a 2/3 majority riding on the crest of a sympathy wave created by Indira Gandhi's assassination, Rajiv lost power before the full term and was defeated in the election that followed due to the Bofors scandal.  The Bofors scandal relates to illegal kickbacks paid in a big deal for the sale of field howitzer guns between the Swedish arms manufacturer Bofors and India when Rajiv Gandhi was PM.  Also, how can one cannot forget the shahbano case, the worst surrender to the forces of reactionary religious fanatics  - only for the sake of vote bank politics.
January 27, 2022
Republic Day and the ancient legacy of Ganas
India became a republic on 26th January 1950. Today, in year 2022, we are celebrating the 73rd  Republic Day. In the historical perspective, the concept of republics in ancient India is much older than that of Greece or Rome.  Mahabharata, Arthashastra and works of Panini, Katyayana and Patanjali provide us information about these republics. Reference of Ganas is found in Pāṇini’s works and Naradasmriti.  Ganas are also referred to in the Rig Veda in Mandala 3 Hymn 26, Verse 6, where there is reference to assemblies of warriors, when they say व्रातं व्रातं गणम् गणम् . In Chapter 107/108 of Mahabharata’s Shanti Parva, there is a detailed narration about the features of republics (called ganas) in India. It   states when there is unity among the people of a republic that republic becomes powerful and its people become prosperous and they are destroyed only by internal conflicts between the people. It shows that in ancient India there were not only kingdoms (like Hastinapur and Indraprastha) but also regions or ganas where there was no king but a republic. Sangam literature of Tamil dating back to 300 BCE to 300CE describes the offerings for Ganas  There is also historical information about the Ganarajya of ancient India provided by the Greek writers for north-western part of the Asian Sub-continent, and the Buddhist works for the north-eastern region of Bharatvarsh. Republics flourished mainly in north-western and north-eastern regions of India from 600 B.C. to 400 A.D., according to these texts. 
January 26, 2022
Avantika Shastri: The moving spirit behind Hindi Bhawan in Bhopal
Lalit Shastri Speaks: I am happy to share the story of the inception of Hindi Bhavan in Bhopal through the single-minded determination, commitment to the cause of Hindi and hard work put in by the first Honorary Magistrate of Bhopal my mother late Avantika Shastri. As Joint Secretary of Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti, Avantika Shastri single-handedly steered the entire Hindi Bhavan project and was instrumental in bringing the then President of India Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan to inaugurate the Hindi Bhawan building in Bhopal - the capital of the central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh. The grant for constructing the Hindi Bhavan building was received from the  central Government after Avantika Shastri had convinced MC Chagla, the then Union Education Minister (1963 to 1966) about the claim of Madhya Pradesh for a grant to build the Hindi Bhavan. The Union Education Ministry officials had briefed the Minister that since there was a new rule in place barring Hindi speaking States to claim any such grant, the application from Madhya Pradesh deserved to be turned down. Avantika Shastri was prompt in digging a hole in this argument. She told the Minister that the rule that was being quoted had been framed and adopted after the application from Madhya Pradesh already had been received by the Centre. ‘Why the State should suffer due to the delay by the Centre in taking a decision in the case Madhya Pradesh?’ she asked Chagla, who had earlier served as Chief Justice of Bombay High Court from 1948 to 1958. Responding to her observation that this was not a case of ‘Lex posterior derogate priori’–  i.e., rule of interpretation of laws that assists courts to resolve conflicts between laws – where, a latter law removes an earlier, the Minister immediately passed orders approving a grant for the Hindi Bhavan in Bhopal. Avantika Shastri was also among the first few women to drive a car on Bhopal roads with a regular driving license in the '50s of the 20th Century. She was the founder President of Aurobindo Society in Bhopal. As founder-President of Nagrik Kalyan Samiti, she had launched the Annual Dusshera Festival (symbolising the victory of good over evil) in new Bhopal. Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of the annual Dussehra festival at TT Nagar Stadium in Bhopal in the mid '60s. कोई भी राष्ट्र हो उसकी अपनी भाषा ही उसे प्रखरता प्रदान कर सकती है। अनेक समृद्ध भाषाओँ से महिमामंडित भारतीय राष्ट्र को एक सूत्र में बांधने का कार्य हिंदी के द्वारा ही संपन्न हो सकता है। इसी उद्देश्य को सामने रखकर राष्ट्र भाषा प्रचार समिति की स्थापना की गई थी जिसका प्रधान कार्यालय गांधीजी के आश्रम वर्धा में था। इस संस्थान द्वारा हिंदी के प्रचार प्रसार के लिए, विशेषकर अहिन्दी भाषी क्षेत्रों में महत्वपूर्ण कार्य किया गया है। नए मध्यप्रदेश के निर्माण के साथ ही इसका कार्यालय भोपाल में एक छोटे से दुकान-नुमा स्थान में पुराने भोपाल शहर के पीरगेट में खोला गया। संस्था के कार्यालय के लिए बड़ा स्थान अपेक्षित था। इसके साथ ही यह भी निश्चय हुआ कि स्वर्गीय पंडित रविशंकर शुक्ल के हिंदी सेवा के प्रति कृतज्ञता ज्ञापन के उद्देश्य से उनके नाम पर एक हिंदी भवन का निर्माण कराया जाए। राष्ट्रभाषा प्रचार समिति के मंत्री-संचालक स्वर्गीय बैजनाथ प्रसाद दुबे का मेरे पिताजी स्वर्गीय अनंत मारल शास्त्री जी से पूर्व परिचय था। दुबे जी ने आग्रह किया कि मेरी मां अवंतिका शास्त्री समिति के कार्य में हाथ बटाएँ। तत्पश्चात अवंतिका जी ने इस शुभ कार्य में अपना योगदान करने का निश्चय कर लिया। कुछ समय पश्चात दुबे जी की आंखें जाती रहीं। अखिल भारतीय राष्ट्रभाषा प्रचार समिति के मंत्री श्री मोहनलाल तब भोपाल आये और उन्होंने प्रस्ताव रखा कि दुबे जी के स्थान पर अवन्तीका जी सारे उत्तरदायित्व संभाल लें। पर अवन्‍न्तिका जी ने यह सोचकर कि यदि उन्होंने ऐसा किया तो दुबे जी संकट में पड़ जायेंगे तुरंत यह प्रस्ताव रख दिया कि दुबे जी अपने पद पर बने रहेंगे और वे संयुक्त-मंत्री के रूप में अवैतनिक रूप में समिति का सारा कार्य देखेंगी। इस पद पर रहते हुए अवंतिका जी ने समिति का कार्य सुचारु रूप से संचालित करने के साथ ही हिंदी भवन के निर्माण कार्य को पूरा करने का संकल्प भी कर लिया।
January 25, 2022
Tiger: Fighting a losing battle
Lalit Shastri Speaks- A News18 commentary on status of tigers in Madhya Pradesh screams: Tiger State Madhya Pradeah saw 43 of the felines die in 2021. The News 18 exclusive report by Vivek Trivedi at the end of 2021 points out that the central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh, after reclaiming the Tiger State tag by reporting 526 of the big cats in the 2018 census, continued to record high tiger mortalities in 2021 with 43 deaths, including 19 outside the protected areas (PAs), 21 inside tiger reserves, and three seizures of body parts. I have devoted a good part of my life to the cause of tigers and forest conservation. So for me it is more than just sad the way tigers are perishing or getting killed....I'm horrified by the fact that most of those who can act have abdicated their responsibility....lnstead they are busy counting their gains and falling to greater depths on being doled out lavish sinecures and positions that matter. By paying lip service to combat Wildlife crime and by going all out to allow reckless cattle grazing, logging, minor forest produce collection, mining and encroachment of forest land, they are thriving and at the same time driving the last nail in the coffin of this majestic species. Irony is that those who have carved a name for themselves as Apostles of Conservation have became larger than life and larger than the tiger itself. While the biotic pyramid, with the tiger that was supposed to sit comfortably at its peak, crumbles, the Lord's of democracy and their minions or the crony capitalists continue to bask in the glory of their ill-gotten, money, power and fame. This, while the voiceless tiger clings to the precipice of its once rich habitat for survival. 
January 25, 2022
When I had to kill the article by Mani Shankar Aiyar
It never surprised me not the least when photos had got splashed across sections of the media  and there were TV reports showing Mani Shankar Aiyar mingling.and hugging with such warmth the Hurriyat and secessionist elements in Kashmir....Once when I was editorial in-charge of a leading newspaper (at that time) in Bhopal and was responsible for the edit page content (1989-91), I was aghast by an objectionable piece with communal overtones, obviously written by Mani Shankar Aiyar for his regular Monday column to appease a section of minorities. I had no option but to tell the Editor that it cannot be printed as it turns a blind eye to the communal and disruptive forces. But the Editor/ proprietor, who was angling for a Rajya Sabha berth, told me in no uncertain terms that the piece had to go in print in its original form as Aiyar is a respected columnist. My response to that, after I had pointed out the flaw, was: "I'm leaving the article on your table. You do whatever you want. At least I have nothing to do with it." Saying this, I left the Editor's room. After some time, when I was in my cabin, the article in question landed on my table with the Editor's note saying: "Kill this piece and publish something else instead." That Monday, Aiyar's piece was missing from the top slot on the edit page 
January 25, 2022
आनंद प्रकाश की कलम से - भाजपा: नए प्रयोग, तस्वीर तो बदलेगी 
भारत के जाने माने वरिष्ठ पत्रकार, आनंद प्रकाश  जो पार्लियामेंट को कवर करते हुए संसद के सेंट्रल हॉल में अपने ओजस्वी व्यक्तित्व के कारण कई वर्षों तक अत्यंत लोकप्रिय रहे आजकल फेसबुक पर खूब लिख रहे हैं। उनके फेसबुक पेज " बस यूं ही" से प्रस्तुत है उनका चुनावों को लेकर  एक ताजा राजनैतिक विश्लेषण। आनंद प्रकाश लिखते हैं -  पांच राज्यों के चुनाव में कौन जीतेगा और कौन नहीं, इस बहस को अगर कुछ क्षण के लिए तिलांजलि देकर भाजपा की नई  चुनावी रणनीति का विश्लेषण किया जाए तो  चुनावों में वो कुछ नए पुराने मुद्दों पर परीक्षण कर उन्हें  जीत का आधार बनाने का प्रयास कर रही है। ये परीक्षण अगर सफल होते हैं तो आगामी चुनाव जिन नए मुद्दों पर लड़े जाया करेंगे, वे अधिक सार्थक भी होंगे और उनसे लोकतंत्र में घर कर गईं अनेक बुराइयों से भी निजात मिल सकेगी। भाजपा की इस नई परीक्षण शैली की सबसे स्पष्ट झलक उत्तर प्रदेश में देखने को मिल रही है ; जहां भाजपा ने इस प्रयोग के असफल हो जाने का खतरा उठा कर भी चुनावों में जात पात जैसे स्थापित मुद्दों  को नाकारा सिद्ध करने का मन बना लिया है। धार्मिक छवि की पृष्ठभूमि में 'सोच ईमानदार काम असरदार' के नारे के साथ मैदान में उतरी भाजपा के नए परीक्षण, प्रयोग या रणनीति के चार प्रमुख मुद्दे हैं: राष्ट्रवाद, सबका विकास, भ्रष्टाचार रहित शासन और बाहुबलियों उसे मुक्ति !
January 25, 2022
When I said to myself - Khadi never again
Lalit Shastri Speaks: When I was a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University in 1978, I had stopped wearing Khadi. Since then, I have not even touched it.  There is a story behind it. On 2nd October that year, I went to buy a set of khadi kurta and pyjama from Khadi Gramodyog Bhawan near Regal Cinema, at Cannought Place. Every year I used to buy my annual requirement of khadi Kurta Pyjamas from khadi bhawan around Gandhi Jayanti to avail the benefit of subsidised prices. While.trying to have my pick, I found that the cloth of what the salesman was showing me was too thick and course. when I asked him why he was not showing the shining white stuff like the one Sanjay Gandhi is seen wearing all the time. The salesman's reply threw me off balance. He told me that's also available but I would have to shell out Rs 1000 per meter and for one set of pyjama kurta, I would need 5 meters. That summed up my visit to Khadi bhawan. The next moment, I rushed out and never entered another khadi showroom again.
January 24, 2022
The Costly Suit
This was  sometime in the early 90s of the last century. The story revolves around what for me was an impressive suit length that I had received as wedding gift in January 1982. it remained nicely tucked in my wardrobe for many years. As it was an expensive gift I didn't want any Tom , Dick and Harry tailor of Bhopal to spoil it. Someone suggested that I should get my suit stitched by KK Bakshi attached to the Vimal showroom at Connaught Place in New Delhi. When I reached there, I had to wait for my turn as the master tailor, well in his 60s, was taking the measurement of an elderly gentleman, who was wearing a coat and a dhoti. Standing near him in attendance was a young man, who looked very dapper and I could make out they were father and son. The conversation between the tailor and these persons went like this....The tailor told them why go for a Raymond suit length ( incidentally I was also holding with much pride a Raymond piece). He suggested that they should go for the rarest of rare shahtoosh that's woven with the down hair of the Tibetan antelope. It can be purchased from a certain shop at South Extension for Rs.1 lakh a meter, he said adding for a suit , they would require 5 meters. So if they would be spending Rs.5 lakh on cloth, he would also be able to charge Rs 1 lakh as stitching charge. The tailor further informed them that senior Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla was his regular customer, who would always come to him with a shahtoosh suit length from the same shop. This solved the mystery.... as I always used to wonder, from where was Vidya Charan getting his extremely fine and cosy suits. After the two gentlemen had left and I stepped forward for measurement clutching my 'costly Raymond piece', I asked the tailor, who were these guys and he said they were the owners of Jindal Steel.
January 24, 2022
Bhopal Gas Disaster - The Untold Story / Lalit Shastri Speaks
Lalit Shastri Speaks I had quit a corporate job and spent more than a year studying and investigating the causes that led to the poisonous gas leak at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal in December 1984. Thousands perished and more than a hundred thousand citizens were critically wounded in this holocaust. My investigation took me from ground zero to every part of the affected area and the city hospitals from December 3, 1984 onward. My initial findings, based on primary sources, have been published in a book form. The first edition of my book appeared in October 1985. After that I had travelled to the US to correlate and compare the highly advanced Union carbide plant at Institute in West Virginia, with the level of safety provided in the outdated Bhopal plant that was a second hand obsolete contraption brought to Bhopal rom Danbury in USA only to cut costs. I also visited Switzerland in November 1985 and spent several days on exclusive research at the headquarters of World Health organisation and International Labour Organisation headquarters in Geneva. At WHO headquarters I had got the chance to meet Dr Desh Bandhu Bisht, the then Director, Programme Coordination & Information, World Health Organization in India. He was India's Director-General of Health Services at the time of the poisonous gas leak and was directly involved in addressing the medical emergency in Bhopal. After he had finished reading the first edition of my book in one sitting, his comment was - it's dot on and factually correct. The second edition of my book “Bhopal Disaster-An eyewitness account” was launched by the then president of India Giani Zail Singh at Rashtrapati Bhawan in August 1986. After this book had been released by the President of India, I became a full-time journalist with India’s leading newspaper - The Hindu. When I was conducting the investigation for my book on the gas disaster, two leading members of Sentinelles, including it’s founder Edmond Kaiser, met me in Bhopal in October 1985. Sentinelles is a Swiss charity organisation. They invited me to their headquarters. A few days later, when I met them at their headquarters at Lausanne, Edmond Kaiser offered me a sum of $2 million to organise a relief initiative for the Bhopal gas victims. He even tried desperately to convince me to drop the idea of writing a book on the gas disaster. When he was told how serious I was about my plan to visit the United States to carry forward my research for the second edition of my book, he had said all that could be deferred. I chose to turn down his advice and went to the US, where I got a brochure which said that the huge amount of money that Edmond Kaiser was actually given to Sentinelles by the US multinational Union Carbide Corporation. The brochure was handed over to me by Gerald j Williams, Attorney at Law with Slap, Williams and Cuker, when I had met him in his chamber at Franklin Plaza in Philadelphia during the fag end of 1985. Before returning to India from the US, I made it a point to make a stopover and meet the Sentinelles’ attorney in Geneva. I met him in his office and returned the air passage I had received earlier from Sentinelles at Lausanne. I took this step as I did not want to touch a single dollar linked to Union Carbide especially since I was of the firm opinion that the US multinational company should be tried for mass homicide. During 1987-1988, I had accepted the request made by Ajit Bhowmik, Secretary General of Indian Red Cross to serve as Public Relations Officer for the Medical Relief Gas Victims Project especially launched for more than 100,000 victims. In this position, I could help in building the image of the Red Cross project for the gas victims and this paved the way for continuous flow of funds, including the second installment of US $ 5 million from the American Red Cross for the special hospitals built for the gas victims. This became possible especially after a CBS 60 minute episode,
January 23, 2022
Sordid tale of Kauthu in Madhya Pradesh
Lalit Shastri Speaks up, talks about political clout and how it helped some tribals flex muscles against their own lot Jhabua, (now divided into two with the creation of a separate Alirajpur district) is a predominently tribal district, on the edge of the expanding modern day settlements. It lies in the West of the central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh bordering Gujarat. One could call it the Madhya Pradesh frontier. The ethnic tribals, who have lived in a blind alley or a cul-de-sac far from the madding crowd for centuries, deserved a better deal when India attained Freedom. Tragically enough, instead of widening the horizon of transition, social change and paving the way for the smooth development and progress of the tribals, our leaders who have been shouting from rooftops about their deep concern about the welfare of the tribals, have thrived and remained riveted to the seats of power through the use of muscle power and deceit. This news coverage of a violent and barbaric incident 26 years ago when Digvijay Singh was the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh presents a gloomy picture. "When I went to cover the incident in March 1994, it left me wondering whether I was in Independent India or the Wild West (American Frontier) that was much characterised by anarchy and violence in the second half of the 19th Century. - Lalit Shastri
January 22, 2022
कांग्रेस शासन के तहत इसरो की वाणिज्यिक शाखा अंतरिक्ष और देवास मल्टीमीडिया के बीच हुआ समझौता राष्ट्र के खिलाफ धोखाधड़ी थी
भारत के सर्वोच्च न्यायालय द्वारा देवास मल्टीमीडिया प्राइवेट लिमिटेड को बंद करने के नेशनल कंपनी लॉ ट्रिब्यूनल और नेशनल कंपनी लॉ अपीलेट ट्रिब्यूनल के समवर्ती आदेशों को चुनौती देने वाली याचिका खारिज करने के एक दिन बाद, भारत की वित्त मंत्री श्रीमती निर्मला सीतारमण ने एक प्रेस कॉन्फ्रेंस में कहा इसरो की वाणिज्यिक शाखा अंतरिक्ष और देवास मल्टीमीडिया के बीच2005 में कांग्रेस-पार्टी के नेतृत्व वाली सरकार के तहत हुआ समझौता धोखाधड़ी थी और इससे सरकारी खजाने को भारी नुकसान हुआ
January 22, 2022
The Frustrated Indian YouTube video on Meppadiyan
A hard hitting commentary on YouTube running on The Frustrated Indian (TFI National English) Channel with the title “Liberals and islamists hate the new movie Meppadiyan because it doesn’t defame Hindus” has received thousands of likes.
January 22, 2022
Daughters will inherit father's self-acquired property if the father dies intestate
The Supreme Court bench dealing with the legal issue concerning the right of the daughter to inherit the self-acquired property of her father, in the absence of any other legal heir, has ordered that daughters will inherit father's self-acquired property if the father dies intestate.
January 21, 2022
Deal between ISRO`s commercial arm Antrix and Devas Multimedia signed under the Congress regime was a fraud against the nation: Nirmala Sitharaman
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January 21, 2022
Great revolutionary Tantya Bhil
We pay tribute to Jannayak Tantya Bhil by observing 4th December as Sacrifice Day Tantya Bhil, due to his pro-people image was popularly  known as Mama. The great revolutionary Tantra Bhil made life hell for the British for many years and remained a challenge to them. From 1874, till his arrest, he plundered the government Treasury and distributed the money among the general public many times. The great revolutionary Tantya Bhil was later arrested by the British, who  hanged  him on December 4, 1889.
December 04, 2021
जननायक टंट्या भील - बलिदान दिवस
जननायक टंट्या भील को हम श्रद्धांजलि देते हैं 4 दिम्नम्बर को बलिदान दिवस के रूप में मनाकर। अपनी लोककल्याणकारी छवि के चलते मामा के नाम से प्रसिद्ध क्रांतिकारी टंट्या भील ने कई वर्षों तक ब्रिटिश शास्नन को चैन नहीं लेने दिया और उनके लिए एक चुनौती बने रहे। 1874 से अपनी गिरफ्तारी तक इन्होंने अनेकों अवम्नरों पर सरकारी रवजाने को लूटा और उसे जनसाधारण में बांट दिया। जीवन के अंतिम समय में अंग्रेजों द्वारा उन्हें गिरफ्तार कर लिया गया। 4 दिसम्बर, 1889 को अंग्रेजों द्वारा क्रांतिसूर्य जननायक टंट्या भील को फांसी पर चढ़ा दिया
December 04, 2021
Mamata dumps Congress
Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has blown into smithereens the relevance of Congress led UPA by saying there is no UPA and by questioning the leadership of Rahul Gandhi dubbing him as an NRI politician or a tourist who is mostly abroad.  Throwing the UPA into the dustbin, Mamata said “there is no UPA now” and it will be “very easy to defeat the BJP” if “all regional parties are together". She was speaking to media persons along with NCP chief Sharad Pawar after meeting him at his residence in Mumbai on Wednesday.
December 02, 2021
Refugees and national security
The Supreme Court of India has issued notice to the Government of India and several states on a PIL seeking food security for all refugees.
November 30, 2021
Life is Yoga...Sum total
I came across a tweet shared by a friend this morning. The tweet quotes Emily Mcdowell who wrote "Finding yourself is not really how it works. You aren't a ten-dollar bill in last winter's coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultura conditioningl, other people's opinions, and inacurate conclusions you draw as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. "Finding yourself is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, An excavation, A remembering who you were BEFORE THE WORLD GOT ITS HANDS ON YOU. I don't agree with this and therefore wrote: "Your life is Yoga. Yoga in Sanskrit means Sum total ...Sum total of all....You are what makes you different from all other species."
November 29, 2021
Lady behind Looms of Ladakh
This episode is also available as a blog post:
November 28, 2021
Ingress of Mediocrity
This episode is also available as a blog post:
November 28, 2021
Dialectics of historic change and ruling BJP
This episode is also available as a blog post:
November 28, 2021
Why WHO skipped Xi and chose Omicron
A snapshot of Greek alphabets has gone viral with the caption why WHO skipped Xi and chose Omicron for new variant of COVID-19
November 28, 2021