I WOULD HAVE BEEN UNHAPPY HAD MODI BEEN DEFEATED

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It is sad for India that a man like Narendra Modi who justifies communal killing has bagged a fresh mandate in Gujurat. But I would have been unhappy had he been defeated; because thereby the anti-Indian and pro-American steps Congress has taken with Dr. Man Mohan Singh as Prime Minister could have looked like approved by the people of at least a province.

Reacting to Congress defeat in Assembly polls in February this year, in an editorial on March 05, 2007 I had written:

“The people in two-third of the provinces that went to Assembly polls last month have refused to give a fresh mandate to the Congress.

It is not that the rejected provincial governments were not working for the benefit of their people. But they had to go because of their inability to save the people from the misrule of Dr. Man Mohan Singh that the Congress has imposed on the entire country.

The Congress should feel fortunate because the country as a whole had not gone to the polls. Otherwise it would have suffered a complete route.”

I had further noted:

“The Communists, who had not hesitated to question the timing of ‘Quit India call’ in 1942 as to them that call at that time was detrimental to the concentrated efforts against fascism, were not hesitant to extend their support to Dr. Singh if thereby the neo-fascists under the saffron color could be kept away from further polluting the motherland. But this finer thread of leftwing politics has failed to help the people as was expected. Singh has taken full advantage of communists’ obsessions against BJP and the pro-imperialism economic system that he has clamped on the country has been allowed to run relentless. Result is what the Congress President has partially comprehended after the poll debacle.

“Congress cannot change the track unless it gets rid of Man Mohan Singh. And unless it changes the track, people will change its government.”

I am happy that my prediction is proving correct.

Sonia and Singh have been playing havoc with India hand-in-glove with USA in the nuke deal.

Gujurat has shown that the wordy acrobatics they and their obedient acolytes like Pranab Mukherjee have played so far, despite their porters abundantly active in the media and amongst the intelligentsia, have failed to hoodwink the common Indian.

Voters of Gujurat would be mistaken if they are taken as supporters of Modi.

Silent majority of Gujurat is totally averse to him. Modi knows this. Therefore his body language during the first phase of the campaign was indicative of his lack of confidence. BJP also knows this; therefore its top brash was hesitant to campaign for him and was conspicuous by its absence during electioneering. As confusion had gripped the BJP camp, Advani, who had vainly tried time and again to replace Vajpayee in the chair of his dreams, succeeded in organizing a declaration in his own favor that he would be the Prime Minister if BJP wins the Loksabha. As an observer of BJP’s modus operandi, I can say, Advani must have gnawed upon the party predicament in order to catch the choice for the top post saying that if people of Gujurat are made to know that Modi’s patron saint may be the Prime Minister, they may vote for him. As such, and as Advani’s premature coronation in BJP’s imagined Prime Ministerial chair in the eve of Gujurat polls unambiguously suggests, majority of Gujurat voters was and therefore is against Modi.

Against this backdrop, it is positively significant that Congress has not succeeded in taking advantage of the BJP ordeals. This is because, it has been rejected by the people of India residing in Gujurat.

It is obvious that Congress has emerged as a greater danger to the country than the genre of Narendra Modi.

People of Gujurat have preferred to tolerate religious vandalism than tolerating subjugation of India to USA interests.

So, the spree of rejecting the Congress by people of India in silent protest against Dr. Singh’s pro-USA policies is continuing unabated.

Indians will never allow their independence to be jeopardized by pirates. They had rejected BJP because of Vajpayee’s capitalistic misrule. They will reject Congress entirely if Sonia-Singh combine continue their pro-USA campaign in India.

General members of Congress may take a note again.

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ORISSA’S PER CAPITA INCOME DECLINED DUE TO INDUSTRIAL OVERDRIVE: CSE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

�Orissa�s per capita income has actually declined during the second half of the 1990s — precisely the period when the state went on an industrial overdrive�, says New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in its 356-page 6th State of India�s Environment Report, titled Rich Lands, Poor People — Is Sustainable Mining Possible?– released by Orissa Governor M.C.Bhandare at Bhubaneswar on December 22.

Orissa that accounts for 7 per cent of India�s forests and 11 per cent of its surface water resources, 24 per cent of India�s coal, 98 per cent of its chromites and 51 per cent of its bauxite, has earned the dubious distinction of clearing the maximum amount of forestland for mining in the country, says the report.

But for all its mineral wealth, the state performs very poorly in terms of human development indicators. The state has a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.404 — worse than that of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh or West Bengal. This is evidenced from the fact that all the mineral-rich districts of the state feature in the list of 150 most backward districts of the country.

In Keonjhar, the most mined district in the state, 62 per cent of the population lives below poverty line.

In Koraput, the bauxite capital of India, 79 per cent live below poverty line.

�Statistics indicate that the income from mineral extraction rarely benefits the regions from where these minerals come — in fact, poverty is increasing in many of these districts,� point out the writers of the report.

Indicating how the State�s hilly terrains, with their natural springs, are being destroyed by mining, the CSE report cites that Orissa�s second largest river, the Brahmani, is one of the 10 rivers in India most polluted �due to the large-scale mining operations on its banks�.

The state�s 6 million strong tribal population has borne the brunt of these environmental impacts in as much as 500,000 people (mostly tribals) in the state have been displaced due to mining, the report states.

It brings out a horrific picture of the devastation that has been wrought by mining in the country. The statistics are shocking:

Between 1950 and 1991, mining displaced about 2.6 million people — not even 25 per cent of these displaced have been rehabilitated.

For every 1 per cent that mining contributes to India�s GDP, it displaces 3-4 times more people than all the development projects put together.

Forest land diversion for mining has been going up. So has water use and air pollution in the mining hotspots.

Mining of major minerals generated about 1.84 billion tonne of waste in 2006 — most of which has not been disposed off properly.

All governments justify mining arguing that the sector will provide employment, but this is a chimera. The report using government data shows how employment has fallen in the mining sector as a whole.

The fact is that the modern mining industry does not require people.

Between 1999 and 2005, the value of mineral production in the state increased three-fold � at the same time, employment reduced by 20 per cent.

�Modern industrial growth requires resources of the region � minerals, water or energy. It does not require people. In other words, it does not necessarily provide local benefits. If it provides employment benefits, it is outside the poor region in which it is based. In other words, inclusive growth will require ways to value local resources � be it water, minerals or energy � so that it gives back more than it takes. The mineral industry degrades the land, uses local water, but does little to return back wealth. Worse, the royalty on minerals goes to state exchequers, not to local communities.�

NAVIN’S REIGN: A J.E. BECOMES MULTI-MILLIONAIRE, PEOPLES WANE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Vigilance wing of Orissa Police has embarrassed Chief Minister Navin Patnaik once again.

When he is anxious to be known as the ablest and cleanest Chief Minister the State has ever had, the Vigilance Police, unable to slough over whistleblowers, has time and again discovered that in his reign corruption has created multi-millionaires even amongst low-paid government servants like never before in Orissa.

Finding a multi-millionaire in a Junior Engineer (J.E.) in the pay scale of Rs.5000/- on December 22, 2007 may be cited as the latest instance.

This latest discovery of Vigilance was sequential to insistence of a whistleblower aware of how inhabitants of Nuapada have been waning away in starvation even as officials in charge of execution of developmental works are swindling away 90% of project funds by sharing the booty with controllers of administration at Bhubaneswar.

J.E. Kamadev Dip, placed in Sadar Block of Nuapada District where people perishing under starvation were caught in camera while trying to overcome the eerie effect of hunger by eating a sort of lime stone, and where, according to the Comptroller and Auditor general of India corruption is more a practice than aberration and where according to a study by CEFS, condition of the people is worse than Sub-Saharan Africa, has become so bold in acquisition of property that over and above an array of real estates he has built up a five-storied market complex in a prime location of Bolangir Town at its busiest point, the college square.

Vigilance raid, partially conducted, has, by the evening, unearthed property worth Rs. Seventy lakhs, pending evaluation of Bank Lockers and Benami acquisitions.

If a J.E. has swindled public funds to this extent, just imagine what his superiors and the godfathers at Bhubaneswar have done.

This is Orissa, run by Navin Patnaik, who according to his puppets in the Press and amongst the intelligentsia is the cleanest chief minister ever to have taken over the reins of government.

How should one react?