Dailies 2012, Issue 4
Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bangalore
Hackers target Kapil Sibal
Science event held at Jawaharlal Nehru Planetorium Hackers from Anonymous have been launching attacks against government website since early last year. By Rohan .P & Romana D’Souza
Garbage burnt inside Majestic Health Center premises
A group of global internet activists hacked into and defaced the webpage of the Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal today. The hackers attacked Mr. Sibal’s personal website and stated: “He (Mr. Sibal) thought he could mess with the internet and let the elite of his party suppress the freedom of speech.” The group responsible, Anonymous, claims the hack was carried out in retaliation to the Minister’s efforts to limit internet freedom across India. In the "About Kapil Sibal" section of the minister’s website, activists wrote: “Kapil Sibal is the world’s biggest retard born with a below 60 IQ he thought he could mess with the Internet and let the elite of his party suppress freedom of speech.” They also mocked up a popular game show screen grab and ridiculed Sibal on his own site.
When the minister’s press secretary, Sunil Sharma, was asked about the hack, he said: “When did this happen? We don't know about this. Maybe you should call the IT department.” Anonymous said that it was retaliating against section 66A of the Indian IT Act, which was used to arrest two girls from Maharashtra, for posting comments against Bal Thaceray on Facebook recently. The group claims that the government’s recent action to modify the law enables it to censor dissidents. As part of OpIndia, Anonymous hackers also attacked the website of the government of Mizoram, in support of the Free Software Movement of India’s protest. The website now has a message spread across its page stating: “The time to sit silently is gone. Call your friends and get them to protest.”The hack coincided with protests which have been
planned at Bangalore in Karnataka, Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh and Chennai in Tamil Nadu, against Section 66A of the Indian Penal Code. A member of the group involved in the operation, said: “We are always in their servers. They are not able to get our shells out of their servers, and yet they are trying to govern the IT Laws of country.” Mr. Kapil Sibal’s website had been defaced for over 16 hours before being taken down by the authorities, while the website of the government of Mizoram, with Anonymous’ call to action still plastered across the homepage, is still online. According to Anonymous group members, they decided to take down the websites as the government was trying to use the laws against the citizens of the country, in order to silence them, and stifle dissent. The group launched attacks on several Israeli government websites in what it said was a response to Israeli aggression against Gaza.
Please read, Comment and if you like RT on The Great Indian Tamasha of IT ACT http://www.yclickit.com/thegreat-indian-tamasha-of-itact/ … #india @prasannavishy
Oh yaa. Justice Kabir didnt know that IT act was brazenly misused before Palghar episode @opindia_revenge
Join the protests aginst IT Act #66A Details are at. Check the page for updates
Yeddyurappa resigns from BJP; to launch new party Page 6
BESCOM officials’ apathy causes frequent power outages
By Sneha Banerjee B S Yeddyurappa filed his resignation at Vidhan Soudha putting to rest speculation that it was all just a publicity stunt. BR Patil, Congress MLA and former Deputy Chairman of Legislative Council, Jabbar Khan Hunalli, former Congress minister and M D Lakshminarayan, member of Janata Dal also submitted their
resignation and have decided to join the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP). Addressing a gathering at Freedom Park this morning, Yeddyurappa declared that his new party, the KJP will be a secular party. He said: “I am going to remove all discrepancies made on the basis of caste and community in the state as I have complete support from all the
minority communities.” Explaining the reasons for his early resignation, he said: “Someone’s play inside the party has forced me to resign. I was and always would remain an innocent leader.” He also brushed aside every allegation made against him and said that the opposition did not have to work so hard in proving him guilty and could have directly asked for his
seat.Yeddyurappa had immense faith in public support and was confident that he would have lakhs of people to support him. Yeddyurappa claimed that during his leadership Karnataka remained in the forefront in every sector. He claimed to be responsible for the development of the Value Added Industry in Karnataka.
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The Daily Observer
Astrologers blame youth for divorce spike
age factor and due to human vices they tend to go to extremes. In the pressure they hasten to get married and finally the result is 18,000 divorce cases found in Bangalore.” Mr. Vasumurthy, astrologer at bharat Jyotish Vidyalaya, said: “Our ancient sages in astrology suggested many ways and means to judge on pre-hand, whether the boy and girl can lead a compatible happy married life or not. In case the compatibility is not satisfactory many remedial measures are suggested to overcome the problem.” Mr. Vasumurthy says that unfortunately our youths in particular and public in general are either ignorant of it or becoming a prey of pseudo astrologers.
The global internet activists who call themselves “Anonymous” have been labeled by many governments as a serious cyber threat. They are all web experts and have an extremely decentralized structure, allowing for hundreds, if not thousands of hackers from all over the globe to converge and attack websites. Their actions are lauded across social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, which they use as protest platforms. In 2009, Anonymous launched a cyber attack against the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), for prosecuting a torrent site called The Pirate Bay. IFPI wanted them shut down because they offered free music downloads. The Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) was also opposed by the group. It claimed the Act enabled governments to censor the transfer of information, and helped free-speech activists stage protests across the globe. Recently, the hackers, or “hacktivists” as they are called, declared war on Syrian government websites. The group said that it believed that the Syrian government of Bashar Al-Assad was responsible for the internet blackout in the country.
New book on HIV out soon By Krishna Prasad
The document which is going to be released soon will have two versions, the kannada and the English. Chandran .A, co-ordinator at RVIM said: “It is very important for people to know about the AIDS. Especially the youths, so that they can prevent the future disasters that may affect the health of the mankind. We are very soon going to come up with the document or a book on Study on Legislations on AIDS around the world, which tells us the role of Legislations in providing awareness to the society”, he added.
Anonymous, a loose coalition of hackers. They have also claimed responsibility for defacing the website of the court which convicted three members of the Russian Rock Band – Pussy Riot. Increasingly, the group has become more involved in organizing protests on the ground. Billed by many to be anarchists, the group of hackers has helped organize protests in New York City as well as in Toronto. In spite of being termed “Cyber Terrorists” by many governments and corporations, the group used social networks to ensure that Occupy protests remained peaceful. The group also hunted down alleged internet predator, Chris Forcand, in 2011, while also launching operations against re-
Highs • 1970-Began his political stint and was appointed as Karyavaha (Secretary) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's Shikaripur unit in • 1972-Elected as Shikaripura Taluk president • 2004- Yeddyurappa-led BJP became the single largest party with 79 seats. First installation of BJP rule in south in 2008. Became the Chief Minister of Karnataka.
Continued from page 1
A. Chandran along with the students of RVIM, addressing the press conference
ligious institutions with questionable financial backing such as the Church of Scientology. They had also earlier attacked the website of the Westboro Baptist Church for their tirades against homosexuality. One of the offshoots of the group’s motto is – “We are anonymous. Anonymous is legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget.” And with their war against GM seed giant, Monsanto, the group’s war against Corporations with questionable interests have been firmly established. In 2012, the group hacked into computers of the former manufacturer of Agent Orange and made the information of over 2,500 employees public.
Fluctuating political graph of Yeddyurappa
The R.V. Institute of Management today announced its initiative against AIDS on the eve of World Aids day. A group of students pursuing MBA in the institute have taken the initiative to create awareness about AIDS. They also addressed the society about the prevention of AIDS against new infections. The Rastreeya Sikshana Samithi Trust’s RVIM also said that one has to be aware of the legislations in order to create awareness among people.
“Nowadays AIDS has become so widespread. Around 35 lakh people in our state are suffering from this. And they are in the age group of 15 – 30. People think that one gets affected by AIDS by just touching the infected person which is not true. They also are humans and one should show humanity towards them”, said Hiranmayee, a student from RVIM. The RVIM has also planned to bring out a document or a book under the title “Study on Legislations on AIDS around the world” in a simple language understandable by common man.
By Rohan D. Premkumar
Unarmed and Dangerous
The pannel of astrologers who discussed marital astrology He added: “Because of the By Debanti Roy The fourth astrological international conference on marital astrology blamed the youth for 18,000 divorce cases in Bangalore. Dr. TS Venkatesh, vice chancellor of Sanskrit university Bangalore said: “Astrology is an ancient science which judges the human behavior, success and failures and suggests remedial measures to overcome failures in all spheres of life.” Dr. S Krishnakumar, astrologer said: “In the present day society, we are observing that in the name of independence and rights, ladies and gents are mingling with each other with or without valid reason breaking the dictums given by our ancient masters.”
November 30, 2012
Yeddyurappa requested the opposition not to disturb him for the remaining five months. He said, “Fifty candidates have already been decided and I am confident of having candidates to contest from all the 224 seats.” He hinted that some of his own party members had joined the opposition to plot against him. But now with the formation of a new party, he would now have the liberty to implement schemes for the rural develop-
Lows • 1975-1977 He spend in Bellary jail and Shimoga jail during the emergency period. • October 2007, Yeddyurappa and his party members were forced to resign. • Yeddyurappa declared his assets estimated at Rs. 11 crore –His assets were declared to be Rs. 1.82 crore in 2008, indicating a 500% increase in two years • October 2011-Surrendered before the Lokayukta Court was sent to judicial custody. He was issued an arrest warrant in connection with alleged land scams. • 27th Feb. 2012 on his 70th birthday he put the cake in the child’s mouth with a knife • March 2012-Appeared before the Lokayukta court in connection with an illegal land denotification case on on • November 2012-Submitted resignation at Vidhan Soudha, decided to join Karnataka Janata Paksha ment, the minorities and get Karnataka back on track. He blamed the ruling party for the lack of development in the state. Talking to K H Srinivas, Vice President of KJP and former MLA of Kolar district told Observer: “Only a person like Yeddyurappa had the capability of rising from scratch and begin a new career in politics.” Srinivas also said that Yeddyurappa hasn’t forced any MLA to resign and everyone was voluntarily supporting him.
The Daily Observer
November 30, 2012
By Satyajih GD Hundreds of teachers across the state are to be trained to teach teenage school children about sex. Special training camps will be created and 300 teachers selected for the camps will be taught the psychology of the teenage mind, according to the State Government. They hope the campaign, announced just ahead of World Aids Day on Sunday, will reduce the number of sexually transmitted diseases in the state and even cut down on child abuse and trafficking. ‘Adolescence Education’ will be taught in high schools across Karnataka from next year. Female teachers will speak to girls and male pupils will be taught by men. There are fears that the new campaign will spark an outcry among the various religious groups in the state and everything is being done to counter that, according to organizers.
A 16-hour training manual will see students learn about adolescence, what their bodies are experiencing and how to avoid infection. Sashindran of the Karnataka State Aids Preventive Society (KSAPS said: “We are doing a total health care awareness program, we are not concentrating on HIV/AIDS.” “Apart from that we are teaching them why health is important for their well being, personal hygiene , for adolescent girls to learn about their menstrual cycle.” “So our training module is we are talking about all these things along with how to keep away from HIV said Sashindran According to 2011 CNN/IBN data Karnataka had 2.5lakhs HIV infected people. Prevalence rates among young adults are very high. Kiruthiga, from the Communication for Development and Learning (CDL), a city based NGO, said: “I am a mother of two and I feel
Sex education for schools by next year
Students now have more trainers to guide them through their adolescence. Adolescence Education should be implemented in schools and it should be a part of the curriculum. There are merits and demerits but the merits win.” G.N.Lingaiah, vice-principle of Kengeri Higher Secondary School, said he believed it was a good initiative from the
government but they were awaiting notification about when it would be implemented. Sanjaykumar, a class ten student of Kengeri Govt Higher Secondary School, said: “We have a lot of doubts. Most of the time the information we get is wrong, now it won’t happen.”
Science students flaunt their innovative minds
35 students demonstrated their experiment at exhibition. School children got the chance to show working scientists their experiments during a hands-on event today. ‘Science In Action’ was inaugurated by Dr. G.K. Ananthsuresh, a research associate from the Indian Institute of Science. He spoke to children from
CAO of IIM remains scot free By Debanti Roy Even after a mass protest at IIM Bangalore no action has been taken against the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) A mass protest was held against LY Rafesh the CAO of IIM Bangalore , yesterday. Police justifying their silence said, “We cannot take any action against him right now as the victim has not yet filed any complaint to us.” Vimochana, a women’s right group, held a protest yesterday in front of IIM Bangalore demanding action against the accused. Dona Fernandes of Vimochana hopes a judicial enquiry will be taken against the accused.
eight Bangalore schools at the Jawaharlal Nehru planetarium. Mrs. Sailaja, director of the planetarium, presided over the inauguration. The event focused on imparting practical knowledge in any form of science and it had an exhibition of model based experiments. The students showcased their practical
experiments being shown.The chief guest was happy with the answers the students gave him on the question he asked related to the experiment. The children very excitedly demonstrated their experiments with a lot of enthusiasm. They were pleased to answer the questions being posed by Dr. Ananthsuresh. Surabhi and Gayathri, class nine students of Shishu Vihar High School said: “We are very happy to present our experiments here. This is our first time and it gives us a great chance to interact with eminent people.” Ms. Priya Peter, the science teacher of Shishu Vihar said: “It is a very well organized event and it is an honor for our students to be participating in this event.” Mr.Madhusudhan, a member of the organizing committee added: “This event is held annually and many schools participate in this event. We select the best participant out of all the entries that we get.”
By Pushkar Banakar
A team of scientists in Bangalore are building a machine they say could reduce malaria deaths across the globe. Dr. G. K. Ananthsuresh, a research associate at the Indian Institute of Science, believes his team’s invention could lead to a real breakthrough in the treatment of malaria, the scourge of under-developed nations across the globe. His team are developing a quick and effective way of diagnosis of malaria.
We are finding a way to measure the intensity of rigidity of the cell membrane of the RBC.
Dr. Ananthsuresh Research Associate, IISc
Although a mechanical engineer, he works with the elasticity related issues of cells at IISc’s biological science department. According to the World Health Organization about 3.3 billion people – half of the world's population – are at risk of malaria. In 2010, there were about 216 million malaria cases and an estimated 655 000 malaria deaths. Dr Ananthsuresh and his team have identified that the red blood corpuscles (RBCs) become very rigid when an individual is infected with malaria. “We are finding a way to measure the intensity of rigidity of the cell membrane of the RBC when it is infected with the malarial parasite. We are working on designing an instrument for measuring this quantity. “Today biology has become very quantitative and the even measurement of something as abstract and minute as cell membrane rigidity has become something of prime importance.” When the device is ready for public use, the diagnosis of malaria would be very quick and effective, he added. The invention of this device could potentially lead to the decrease in the number of malarial deaths as malaria can be detected at a very early stage among patients.
Dalit Samiti demand ownership of their land from BBMP By Sowmya Rao Karnataka Dalit Sangharsha Samithi organized a protest outside Mayor’s office in the BBMP today. The BBMP demolished the Samithi’s State Committee office in Queen’s road without any prior notice to the members. The BBMP, apparently, had already issued tenders regarding the land to the corporates. Raj Gopal, State Convener of Dalit Student federation, said: “We have owned this land since 1991 and it is our land. These people have no right to demolish or give tender on our land. “It is very odd to be in our own native land, Karnataka,and
yet be discriminated for no reason. We still don’t know why they demolished our buildingthey have no right to do so. The whole point of this protest is to show that we are being racially discriminated, even though our country propagates the fact that discrimination is not good and so on. ” A BBMP official said: “We will look over the issues by calling a meeting with the concerned authorities and will work according to what will be decided.” Mavalli Shankar, State Convener of Karnataka Dalit Sangharsha Samithi, , said: “I have been working for this
By Pushkar Banakar
knowledge via their experiments. In his address, Dr. Ananthsuresh said: “There is a close relation between science and technology. There is the need of technology for the advancement of science. He also shared his personal experiences and addressed the school children on how he made the transition from being a mechanical engineer to doing research in biological sciences. He also emphasized the stress on having practical knowhow apart from being very strong in the theoretical aspect of education. After his inaugural address, he had a look at the exhibition and also tried his hand at a few experiment being demonstrated by the children. The experiments ranged from physics to chemistry mainly biological sciences. The children enthusiastically showcased their practical knowledge and the chief guest reciprocated by actively participating in some of the
Quick diagnosis for malaria
KDSS held a protest outside mayor’s office. Samithi for more than 20 years and now these people have acquired our land without any notification. “We demand the Mayor to look into the petition that we filed for our land.”
The protesters demanded the Mayor to consider their petition .The protest continued for four hours outside the mayor’s office, while they awaited his decision.Mayor will look into the matter.
The Dailies Observer
November 30, 2012
BMTC clamps down on lazy bus drivers By Krishnaprasad S
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ALMOST 500 city bus drivers too lazy to pull into marked bays for passengers were fined in a joint operation today. Stunned drivers were pounced on whenever they failed to pull off the main road. The practice of stopping on the main roads around Bangalore leads to huge traffic jams as smalled vehicles get stuck behind. In a joint operation between the Bangalore Traffic Police, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation,477 cases against the bus drivers were registered in a single day. The operation was launched after complaints from customers. “They are absolutely useless people. I don’t know how such people are still there in the department. They don’t deserve to be bus drivers, instead they can be called as logjam”, said Puttaswamy, one of the complainants. The officials on the spot in the “SARATHI” van, a special van of the officials of the BMTC, fined the drivers and issued a warning notice stating they would be prosecuted if caught again.
Mayor opens new handicraft enterprise
“We have taken this initiative because we received a lot of complaints from the people saying that these buses were not stopping at the prescribed bus stops and they were creating huge traffic jams for the people to travel. We have booked 477 drivers till now for the same and issued notice to them. We will continue the joint operation until this traffic problem in the city is solved,” said an official from the special team. The operation seems to have bought a sense of fear among the drivers of BMTC and KSRTC. The bus drivers who once did not care to stop the bus at the bus bays have now started to follow the rules. “This operation will soon be extended to other parts of the city. This is a warning to all the drivers of BMTC and KSRTC, and if they do not follow the rules, they wont be allowed to drive the buses anymore and legal actions will be taken on them”, said a top official of the BMTC. “We are now under strict scan of the BMTC and the BTP joint operation. We won’t be able to stop in bus bays because of the crowd of the people there”, said a driver.
Heated exchange between members of Bangalore University at blacklist debate
By Nupur Gour The Karnataka State handicrafts Development Corporation Limited (KSHDCL) held a press conference at Jayanagar today. It was held as a part of the inauguration ceremony for adding another showroom under its chain. It was inaugurated by the mayor of Bangalore, Mr. Venkatesh Murthy. The online shopping facility of the showroom was inaugurated by Mr. Narsimha Nayak, the Minister for Small scale industries. The other dignitaries present in the ceremony were Mrs. Lalitha Rani Sreerangadevarayalu, Chairperson (KSHDCL), Mr. Ramachandra Gowda, MLC and Mr. S.K Ravi Kumar, director (KSHDCL). There was a live demonstration of various crafts by craftsmen to give the audience a better idea about their diverse craftsmanship. Mr. Ravi Kumar said “KSHDCL has achieved a turnover of Rs. 46 crore in the last fiscal year and a profit of Rs. 3.30 crore.” He also said that the KSHDCL also exported handicrafts worth Rs. 1 crore in
The blacklist debate turned into a war of words. The meeting between academic council members of Bangalore University and Management members of the B.Ed colleges turned into a battle of words. The meeting was centered around two agendas. The first one being the convocation of degree certificates for 21, 458 thousand students and the second agenda was academic council meeting on task force report. These two agendas were tabled for today’s meeting. Academic council had approved the task force report recommended of blacklisting the 25 B. Ed colleges. One of the council members, DR. R. Nagarajiah, a retired official of Department of Education casted his doubts by asking whether the academic
council is the right body to take a call on affiliation. Dr. Nagrajiah said, “How can we be sure whether the academic council will take the correct decision on the affiliation issues, looking at its past records.” Dr. N Prabhu Deva, Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University, had appointed the Academic and Audit committee (AAC) to supervise the academic work of B.Ed colleges in 2009.The committee had categorized the colleges in Karnataka into three groups according to the performance; colleges with satisfactory performance, colleges whose performance needs to be improved and colleges with gross irregularities. There were 33 colleges listed under the last category.Since the formation of this committee did not bring the
Mohammed, an artisan the last fiscal year. The opening of the new showroom is expected to increase the sale by contributing around Rs. 6 crore per year. The KSHDCL provides the artisans with raw materials like sandalwood, zinc at a subsidized rate. The subsidy is as large as 50%. The corporation has come out with a very innovative idea ‘Gurukulas’. These are institutes which impart training in carving and offer a certificate course. As of now around 30 students are attending the course. The lodging and boarding is provided free. The artisans are also provided with facilities like periodic health check up. They are provided with tool kits.
I .K. Gujaral Illegal sale passes away
of tobacco on the rise
By Reshma Tarwani
By Satyajith GD
desired result, the Vice Chancellor Mr. Prabhu deva set up a task force to monitor college conduct of practical examination. The primary purpose of the task force was to monitor and examine the quality of education.Mr. Karana Kumar academic councilor member blamed the task force committee for bleaching the whole issues to the media.The meeting that was conducted this month was a much awaited meeting. In the meeting, the committee approved the task force report. The task force headed by BU council member Karan Kumar had submitted the final report to the acting vice chancellor N Rangaswamy. Following the institutes approach to the court, the court however did not quash the task force and upheld its findings.
The illegal sale of tobacco on the streets of Bangalore is on the rise. Government has banned the sale and consumption of tobacco but still street vendors are selling the tobacco products. Street vendors from Avenue Road, Kormangala and Yashwantpura are dealing the tobacco product which is considered to be illegal. Raju Narayan dealer from Ratna provision stores in Bangalore said:“Government has banned the tobacco but we sale the products according to the customer demand because tobacco business has high profit margin so we sale according to our profit ratio.” S. Shreedhar Marketing manager of Mafatlal and Company (small scale tobacco industry, Bangalore) said: “Tobacco business have high profit margin, these street sellers are our regular customers we can’t stop selling them tobacco product it will affect our business.” Srikant Patil, AssistantManager, Bangalore Kirana Merchant Association, said: “Business of tobacco products in the streets is illegal but the hawkers and vendors have very limited source of income that’s why they are doing these business.” The big question is yet to be properly answered by the government.
By Pushkar Banakar Former Prime Minister I.K. Gujaral passed away today in a Gurgaon hospital. He was 92. He was often referred to as the gentleman politician. Gujral was arrested in 1942 during the quit India movement. He later then served in the Indira Gandhi government as the information and broadcasting minister. He also served as the Indian ambassador to the Soviet Union. After quitting the congress he joined the Janata Dal. His first cabinet rank came as the Minister of External Affairs in the V.P. Singh government. When the United Front coalition came to power, he was elected the Prime Minister but his government could not last its full term. His most controversial decision was when he recommended President’s Rule in Uttar Pradesh.
Boy stabbed in failed robbery attempt By Debasree Purakayastha A 16 year-old-boy , was stabbed and slightly injured yesterday by an unknown man outside Osteen College in Chamrajpet. Jabiull, a first year preuniversity student was standing outside the college gate when he was attacked. The attacker was accompanied by four men, who .tried to snatch his wallet. When Jabiulla refused to give him money, he stabbed him in the back and fled.
The Daily Observer
November 30, 2012
Most Gram Panchayats dodge taxes
Magnate Mukesh Ambani retains his crown as India’s richest By Krishna Prasad The world’s richest Indian
Panchayat members sitting outside Panchayat Office- J.P.Nagar
OVER 5000 gram panchayats haven't paid any tax for the last four years according to hard-hitting research. A Center for Budget and Policy Studies (CBPS) report states that of 5624 gram panchayats in the state only 424 of them maintained any kind of accounting data for payment of tax. Karnataka is considered to be the worst state in India for its fiscal policies and has zero fiscal decentralization as compared to other states in India, according to researchers. More than 4000 Gram Panchayats are economically weak and don’t have proper sources of income to generate any more tax.
Meenakshisundaram, former secretary, Ministries of Rural Development said: “We have 60% of the population which belongs to the rural part of this state and we have more farmers than industrialists. It is necessary for Gram Panchayats to pay.” The report states the Karnataka government gets just four per cent of its total revenue from the rural councils. Rajalaxmi Kamat, a professor of public policy at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, said: “Being a researcher of micro finance I have seen that officials of Gram Panchayats in Karnataka don’t know about taxation. Basically they are not at all aware about the water tax,
Karnataka most corrupt and run by gangsters allege Congressmen
vehicle tax, income generating tax”. Srinivas Kumar, a member of the Fiscal Policy Institute of the Government of Karnataka said: “This state has a higher percentage of population which belongs to the scheduled cast and highest numbers of farmers and they never maintained any written record for their expenses. 75% of gram panchayats don’t have a written record of all the taxation, they don’t even know about income tax.” He added: “There is no flexibility in the official body of Gram Panchyat. Every six months they have new officers and new directors and every new director implements his own rule for the payment of taxation.”
India portrayed through a lens By Udita Chaturvedi
By Nijhum Rudra KARNATAKA is run by gangsters and is the most corrupt state in India.According to congress members who held a protest today. Congress party members were in Bangalore protesting against the corruption and lazy officers of the Bangalore Development Authority as well as other corrupt BJP and BDA bosses. Senior members of Congress claim that BDA officials are totally corrupt. Daniel D, a senior member of the congress told that, said: “Karnataka is dominated by BJP, the most corrupt party in India, from the year 20092012.Bangalore is totally corrupt because of the BJP. “This protest is totally against the BJP government and the BDA officials who are ruining the state by corruption and many other illegal activities like capturing lands from the poor and selling the lands to the builders for building malls and multiplex.” “This is the worst party in India. 90% of BJP leaders are cheaters and fraud, Starting from the 2G spectrum to coal scam, you name it they are involved in it. It is why we are carrying out this protest so that BJP
should quit as a ruling party and I am sure very soon it will take place.” BDA official Roshan Raj, said: “Most of the officials are very boorish; they do not have simple etiquette or know how to speak politely with people who come for help. Some of the senior officers take money from people for talking although they are not allowed to take it. SM Ayub, President of congress minority department Padmanagar Assembly constituency added: “ I stood for 2010 election in Banshankari ward 180, I stood for election because the BJP leaders are very corrupt, they are doing nothing for the city. This event is against officials of BDA who belong to the BJP party, they are not doing anything. They are not taking the complaints of the people seriously. People wait for long hours to talk to them and even if they agree they charge excessive money from them. “In case of accident they are supposed to contribute some money to the people especially to the poor, instead of doing that they are taking their houses and land and these poor people cannot approach court in order to file a case as they need money which they cannot afford.”
Mallya still holds his position by ranking well against Naresh Goyal of Jet Airways, who has been ranked 94th by Forbes with a net worth of 600 million. The gain in India’s wealth follows key decisions taken by the government in sectors like retail, insurance and aviation, according to analysts.
Derry Moore has captured the last three decades of India on his camera rolls. His work, that has previously been exhibited in Kolkatta and Ahmedabad is now displayed in Tasveer Art Gallery in the city. The photography exhibition, which started on October 15, will end tomorrow. Nathaniel, Creative Director of Tasveer Art Gallery, said: “The response has been really good especially from the press. Moore articles have been published in magazines and newspapers than any previous exhibition.” A lot of people had come to visit the gallery and works of Moore Moore started this project in 1976 when he first came to India. Since then, on his various trips to India, he has been capturing the country through his lens. A display board in the gallery had a small message from Moore. Moore believed a lot has changed in India in the past three decades. Towers had replaced houses and other buildings; even the way people dressed had changed. The message from Moore read that when in India people had given up wearing traditional
clothes like kurta and started dressing up like anybody in the West, the kurta was being taken up by designers in the West. The photographs, 60 of them, are available for sale ranged between Rs. 90,000 and Rs. 2,00,000. “We had ten copies of each photograph and so far I think we have sold at least three copies of each,” said Nathaniel. Moore next plans to take this exhibition to Mumbai and Delhi
earlier next year. UK based Derry Moore, the twelfth Earl of Drogheda, is known for having photographed European aristocracy, including Queen Elizabeth II and the late Queen Mother. Many of his books have been published and his works can be found in museums and galleries of New York, London. Derry Moore was unavailable for a comment as he is currently not in the country. Udita Chaturvedi
Mukesh Ambani has retained his position for the fifth year in row. While Mukesh’s net worth was declared to be around 21 billion dollars, Ambani beat the steel baron Lakshmi Mittal and IT czar Azim Premji to top the list, putting Mittal and Azim in second and third respectively. Mittal’s net worth was declared to be around 16 billion dollars which places him in second position, according to the recent Forbes annual ranking of 100 wealthiest Indians. Azim premji was third with a net worth of 12.2 billion USD. The Tata Group’s major shareholder Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry’s net worth comes to 9.8 billion USD and Sun Pharma’s Dilip Shangvi’s net worth is 9.2 billion USD, putting them in the top five lists. Anil Ambani, who heads the telecom sector of the Reliance Group, was ranked at eleventh spot with a net worth of 6 billion USD. He moved up two positions from 13th in 2011. The other top 10 included Adi Godrej at sixth slot with an estimated net worth of 9 billion US dollars, followed by Savitri Jindal with 8.2 billion US dollars, Shashi and Ravi Ruia with 8.1 billion US dollars, Hinduja Brothers with 8 billion US dollars and Kumar Mangalam Birla with 7.8 billion US dollars.
Even though the net worth of the top barons declined this year, the wealth of India’s richest 100 rose by 3.7 per cent i.e. 250 billion USD, according to Forbes. The number of billionaires rose to 61 from 57 last year. 11 newcomers entered the list including the Hinduja brothers. The youngest newcomer was 40-year-old Ranjan Pai at 63rd with his Manipal Group turning into a global brand in Education with 975 million USD. Savitri Jindal, Indu Jain, Anu Aga, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Shobana Bhartia were the five women who made it into Forbes this time. Sunil Mittal, chairman of Bharthi Airtel and Gautam Adani of the Adani group, dropped out of the top 10 as controversies rage agains them. Vijay Mallya of the United Breweries (UB group) has lost his billionaire tag because of the on-going crisis in his aviation business. He is now ranked 73rd with a net worth of 800 million USD, which shifted him from 49th place to 73rd in one year.
Creative Director of Tasveer Art Gallery, Nathaniel
November 30, 2012
Patients sent out for medicine Debanti
Multimedia Vs Print by Deepu Aby Verghese
Burning waste behind the hospital By Debanti Roy Patients in a government primary health centre have to go outside to buy their own medicines. The hospital is in such a state that they can no longer afford to stock their own. Dr. Swami Veyankatesh, senior doctor at the hospital said: “The fund provided by the sate government is too less for us to get all the basic medicines.” T. Krishnappa, father of a 7 years old patient, said: “The hospital prescribed few medicines for my daughter as she is suffering from dysentery, but the medicines are not available in the hospital.” He added, “The prescribed medicines costed me Rs. 300 and I should have got them for free.” Patients are also being put at risk as huge piles of garbage are routinely burned next to the clinic, which has no window glass and no money to replace them.
Piles of garbage are burnt everyday at the back of the Majestic Primary Health Centre which chokes the patients and staff members. The authority is reluctant to take any action to stop this. Dr. Swami Veyankatesh, “The garbage is not only dumped by the hospital but also by the local residents.” He added, “No one comes to collect the garbage and so we have no option but to burn it.” J. Gayetri, 12, a patient suffering from viral fever, said: “The gases choke me and I cannot stop coughing.” She added, “Once I complained to the doctor but she did not payany attention.” Dr. Nirmala Jayanthi said: “This hospital is run by the state government and you know that government never bothers to take any action irrespective of our complaints.” “Most of the garbage is dumped by the local residents and I think they are the ones
who should be aware of such difficulties faced by us,” she added. Dr. Nirmala says the garbage is burnt in the morning and it keeps burning till noon. “The gas produced by burning the garbage definitely causes serious health problems to our patients,” she said. Mr. Ramesh, a local resident, flatly denied that the residents dump the garbage there. “Why would we dump our garbage at the backside of this hospital? Neither I nor the residents can do so. We have some civic sense” Said Mr Ramesh. The government run hospital faces many other major problems. The building is in complete shambles with no proper toilet or staff room facility. The availability of medicines is also restricted, forcing the patients to buy medicines from outside. The windows have no glass and the gas easily enters into the rooms of the hospital, choking the patients.
As electronic and new media start growing, especially in India, the battle lines are forming over whether advertisers will prefer to sell their wares via print or online. According to a report by Dr. Harendra Kumar, the secondmost dominating sector in India is the print media. The sector is projected to grow by 7.4% over the period 2010 - 2014, reaching to Rs. 230.5 billion in 2014. In India, newspaper readership is much more than that of television or internet. According to the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2012, while the highest readership for a newspaper is 76.43 crore (The Times of India), it has reached only 3.99 crore in the new media. Suganth Muralidharan, a reporter for Times of India, said: “No one is opposing the existence of e-media and its reach. Unfortunately, a bare fact is that print was the first medium of India. It dominated the media industry for ages and will continue to do so. “Simply because the e-media is expanding, it does not mean that the print sector will die. In India, as the rural population is more than the urban, internet has not extended its roots in the rural area and it will, for sure, take at least a decade or more for all the rural localities to go ‘digital’.” The print industry only just dominates the media in the United Kingdom or the United States of America but it is failing as a model while social media is gaining ground daily.
Shalin Thomas, sub-editor, the Hindu, said: “What is negative about the electronic media is that most of the time they repeat the telecast of a single event for days together, which is not necessary at all. Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s delivery or the Anna Hazare movement or the worsecatfights among top celebrities and business tycoons would be good examples of that. I personally feel that the internet is better off than television but print will always be my top priority.” Moving on to the advertisements section, a general assumption is that advertisements are moving on to the electronic and new media platform. But in India it is not the case. Though advertisers are gradually shifting to new media, it is not a win-win situation for them. According to an IRS report, advertising worth Rs 21,000odd-crore is done in the Indian print industry (advertising plus pay). At over 110 million copies sold every day, India is one of the largest newspaper markets in the world. It is also one of only a handful of markets that are growing in double digits. Sunil, advertising chief at Galatta.com, said: “It is easier to get advertisements for our magazine but very difficult for the web portal. “We need to lower the costs so that people agree to advertise with our portal. Even though there is a huge amount of population that has gone online, a major chunk of population is still under the poverty line.”
By Nijhum Rudra Old electric transformers in a city ward are short-circuiting causing massive power outages and threatening the lives of locals. The transformers, in the Domlur ward No. 112, are very old with no repair and maintenance and were built in the 1980’s. Residents claim they have not been serviced since by the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM). There are total of five transformers in the ward. Raja Sen, resident of the ward said: “Me and the people of my locality are fuming because of the electricity supply in Bangalore. The transformers are very old, most of the transformers were set up during the late 1980’s and from that time it has got very little maintenance, and at this present situation we only think of repair. “It is short-circuiting a lot. There are lots of power cuts. We told this to the engineers in BESCOM, but every time they say they will replace the transformers.” It has been surveyed by
BESCOM in Bangalore, and it has been found that Domlur is the place where there is a massive power shortage, because most of the transformers and wiring is very old and even the coating of the wire has corroded. A bakery shop owner, Rajesh at Domlur, said: “The wires hang precariously, we complained about this to the authority many times but nothing happened. Many times we stay without electricity for about five to six hours.” The Chief Engineer of electricity at Metropolitan Zone, Ashok Angad, said: “I received a lot of complaints for the past two years regarding bad conditions of transformers and wires. The whole of Bangalore is facing this problem. “The transformers of Domlur are very old. We repaired the transformer three times in the area, but after four to five days of repair it is again giving the same problem, we need to replace it with a new one. “There are several reasons why a transformer stops functioning properly like insulation issues, lack of
Short-circuiting transformers endanger locals
Dangling wires endanger residents maintenance, and moisture. The main problems with Domlur transformers are that the magnetic flux inside the transformer which controls the power and voltage are not
functioning properly and as a result it is failing to produce good voltage which is giving power shortage and sparking and it is very costly to repair it.” A minor transformer fault at
Domlur in the month of July5th 2012 injured two pedestrians badly. The chairman Narashima Raju of BESCOM (KR circle) said: “It is very sad. Bangalore, being the IT capital of India, we receive lots of complaints regarding poor condition of the electricity. Most of the transformers were built in the 80’s and are not repaired properly; still we try our best to solve the problem. “BESCOM with the help of BBMP will replace the old, ugly transformers with the leaner ones and we plan to start it from the end of December. The plan is to replace the two pole transformers with single pole transformers,” he said. Regarding the cost of single pole transformers MR Narashima told that the support structure for a two-pole transformer costs Rs 88,000, while a single-pole transformer costs Rs 1, 00,000. It will be done under the influence of Jayanagara MLA BN Vijaaya Kumar and the entire work will be done by BESCOM under its Managing Director P Manivannan.
The Daily Observer
Shell finds its roots in India, thanks to FDI Sidharth
By Sidharth Shekhar Foreign Direct Investment in India has paved the way for international oil major Shell to spread its roots. The country, at the heart of Shell’s policy to be the world’s most innovative energy company, saw another investment of 470 billion dollars in August 2012 for their new STCB center .Shell established a Bangalore technical centre in 2006 and it currently has 900 research & development staff split across two leased facilities. The centre is one of only three in the world. The others are in Amsterdam, Netherlands and the US, each with about 1,200 researchers. The pace of the city’s growth will make the centre here one of the biggest in three years. The company has already bought 40 acres of land at Devanahalli Business Park and it will shift all its facilities there by 2015. Though bosses have refused to divulge investment details of its new centre, it had indicated to the state government during the global investors meet in ` 2010 that it would invest about
Farce Development Investment Rs 1,376 crore at the time of signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU). According to Padmini Mahatre, Project Manager, Shell Technology Center, Bangalore (STCB): “In order to reduce costs, Shell is transferring additional office jobs from Houston and elsewhere to India to cut its operating cost, this process gained momentum after the global recession.” In India, Shell is involved in multiple businesses with focus on four broad fields– retail business: bitumen, petrol, diesel, ATF (aviation turbine fuel) and
lubricants; gas business: LNG terminal, re-gasification and marketing. Shell has a technology centre in Bangalore which delivers to all Shell companies around the world in areas from petroleum engineering, refining, research and development. Its business services centre in Chennai is involved in providing financial support to the group worldwide. It is the only global oil major to have a fuel retail license in India. They also trade crude oil and chemicals. With the influx of FDI in India,
foreign companies are eyeing it as a major business hub because of its cheap labor workforce and easy access to resources. BP has already formed alliances with Reliance Petroleum for natural gas business. The company has not disclosed its 40 acres land acquisition at Devanahalli Business Park, beside that the construction hasn’t started yet. Royal Dutch Shell which is notorious for its environmental record has been involved in oil spills across the globe and has been fined twice for violating the Clean Air Act in the USA. Between 2008 and 2011 the US branded the company a "high priority violator.” Mr. Mrigendra K. Sinha, General Manager, Geology department, ONGC said: “FDI has led to lots of JV’s (Joint Venture) between Indian companies and foreign oil firms; ONGC has formed a JV with Cairn India for exploration in Rajasthan oil fields. This JV contributes more than 20% to India’s crude oil production”. If we analyze the FDI inflow in India of the last 5 years the
country which tops in investment is Mauritius. Tax havens like this attract shell subsidiaries. Under the exploration policy, FDI up to 100% is allowed for small fields through competitive bidding; up to 60% for unincorporated JV; and up to 51% for incorporated JV with a No Objection Certificate for medium size fields. M. Malleshappa, Public Information Officer (RTI) Karnataka State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (KSIIDC) commenting on investments said: “the company has invested Rs. 800 crore up to now, they have acquired the land but the construction hasn’t started yet.” When asked about the rate at which the land was purchased he refused to make any comments. The government has been in deadlock with opposition parties for the past few months on FDI in retail sector. But with FDI already in energy sector its expected oil giants like Shell, Total, BP and others will jump on the bandwagon and fight for oil licenses and research in this country.
Les D’Souza, the editor By Hansa. V “Anglos in the Wind- Let’s get connected’ reads the title of the world’s only magazine dedicated solely to the Anglo-Indian community. What is this ‘Anglos in the Wind’ (AITW)? “It is a journey into the world of everything an Anglo-Indian is,” said Harry Maclure, the magazine’s editor. The founder of the magazine, Mr. Les D’Souza, has stood by it through all its ups and downs. And he has never regretted his decision for a second, says Mr. Maclure: “Les just wanted a forum through which Anglo-Indians all over the world could connect with each other. “ When the first issue rolled out in 1998, it looked more like an in-house journal than a magazine. In the course of time, AITW grew to be much more. With articles from writers all over the world, the magazine gained so much popularity and eventually the administration took it global. The profiles of the community’s grand people and star youths, the stories on the heritage that this community has created in India. The focus on issues that affect Anglo-Indians, the collage
of events that the community held in the pockets where the Diaspora has settled down-United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the Gulf- and the tit bits on weddings and obituaries—this magazine packs a lot between its creative covers. In 2008 AITW celebrated its tenth anniversary in a very Anglo-Indian way. Vintage music, dancing and a play scripted by the editor himself, formed a part of the day’s festivities. “It was a glorious day and I will always remember it,” he said, “It was special not only because we reached a milestone, it also proved to us and the rest of the community that we were here to stay.” The anniversary issue was considered as a “collector’s special,” featuring an article from world- renowned writer, Ruskin Bond. Harry Maclure, being an artist, has used his creative genius and made each of the issues unique in its own way. Though the magazine features many writers, Mr. Maclure makes sure that he is involved in most of the main stories. He participates in all the Anglo-Indian events held in Chennai and tries to cover Anglo-Indian events across the world as well. “It gives me such an amazing experience which I then try and give it to the rest of the community,” he exclaims with a smile. The magazine also sponsors concerts and plays that have an Anglo-Indian theme. Recently, an Anglo-Indian band, Blazing Guitars, performed in Chennai with the support of the magazine. The concert was a huge success and it has become another feather in
the editor’s cap. The magazine is now ready to go online by launching its own website, www.aitw.in. “We have started working on the site but it is not out yet,” he said, showing the designed page, “we hope to get it running in a month or two. But if you need anything regarding the magazine, all you have to do is log onto Facebook and go to our page.” “A friend of the magazine was kind enough to start the page for us and all I have to do is give her the content. She takes care of the rest.” Mrs. Dorothy Maclure said that she can’t believe it’s been thirteen years since her husband started editing the magazine. Mr. Maclure said that his wife has been a “strong pillar of support” for him through all these years, understanding that his aim to bring the community together was a noble one. “I don’t know what I would do without her,” said the editor. With support from his global family, Harry Maclure seeks to continue creating a forum through which the community can communicate with each other. “Yes, we have the internet now, “he says, “but I doubt many Anglo- Indians are comfortable with computers. Nothing beats a hard copy.” Thirteen years and counting, the magazine is gaining popularity at an unbelievable pace and boasts of being the only magazine the community has. Harry Maclure certainly deserves a round of applause, simply because bringing out a magazine for a small community, excelling in its quality and sustaining it for a decade is very difficult.
Down’s syndrome not in “Anglos in the Wind”- one of its kind health dept. priority list
Kids suffering from Down’s Syndrome By Kakoli Mukherjee Children suffering from Down’s syndrome are being neglected by the state government because officials say they are “lacking in resources.” Despite the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 applying to all disabilities funding is so tight health officials say they are forced to prioritise. Dr. B N Dhanya Kumar, Director of Health and Family Welfare Services, Karnataka, said: "We are more concerned with dealing with primary health concerns like malnutrition. Such patients are referred to our tertiary care services, but we are lacking in resources."Children affected by Down's syndrome suffer from a degree of mental retardation. We have an acute shortage of psychiatrists all over the country. “There are few hospitals here like Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, and another one coming near Dharwad that deal with such patients, but our reach is limited."One in every 8001000 babies is born with Down's Syndrome, and there are around 10,000 children in Bangalore who are affected by this genetic disorder. Dr. Shobha Narayan, a professor of Genetics, explains:
"A child is affected by Down's Syndrome when he has three copies of chromosome 21 instead of the normal two. Such children generally suffer from congenital heart defects, delayed motor skills development and speech difficulties." The professor added that Down's Syndrome is incurable, but can be prevented through pre-natal genetic screening, but the level of awareness among Indian parents about this condition is very low. Mrs. Esther Thomas, Founder and Principal of Divya Down's Development Trust in Bangalore, said: "There is no support available to such children from the Indian government. Even if there is any, we refrain from approaching them because of the bureaucracy involved. In countries like the US, such children receive lot of social security benefits." The founder, who is the mother of a Down Syndrome affected daughter herself, said there is a need for better rehabilitation centers for such children as they cannot lead independent lives, but such facilities are difficult to come by in the city.
The Daily Observer
By Aheli Raychaudari
Bangalore is a cosmopolitan city with many faces. Just when you think you have it pegged as the biggest rock capital of India, it shows an unexpected, tender side; its art galleries and museums. There are many art galleries in the city but there are two which stand out. One is the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat and the other is the National Gallery of Modern Art. Both of these galleries are maintained by the Government of India. The Chitrakala Parishat has around 17 galleries, of which 13 are permanent. The permanent galleries are those that exhibit artists’ work throughout the year. Apart from plain old wonderful art, these galleries include spaces for sculpture, international painting, Mysore traditional painting and leather puppets. Chitrakala houses some senior artists on an annual basis like Krishna Reddy. Works of other artists such as Sunil Das, Anjaleela Mennon and Rabindranath Tagore are also exhibited. Government galleries are not short on income when compared to private art galleries. According to Mr. Gangadhar who runs Karnataka Chitrakala Parichat
(KCP): “The annual grant is approximately Rs. 50-60 lakhs. Apart from that, the rental received from artists for exhibiting their work and running a Fine Arts College (affiliated with Bangalore University), there is no shortage of cash flow.” The National Gallery of Modern Art is another such example. Although it is a gallery, the paintings are not for sale. It would be more appropriate to term NGMA as a museum. When asked about the funding, Ms. Tejshvi Jain, the assistant curator said: “I do not know about the annual fund that we receive as it comes under the administrative section.” “However the artwork exhibited here is not of commercial value; they are only for exhibition. The paintings at NGMA are loaned or borrowed from museums and art galleries all over the world. Recently there was a Rabindranath Tagore exhibition where the exhibits were borrowed from NGMA, New Delhi. Private art galleries too earn by selling their paintings and renting out the gallery to artists to help them exhibit their work. According to Mrs. Shreen Malani: “We are selling two or three paintings a month. The price range varies from Rs. 10,000 – Rs 1 lakh.”
Some of the paintings at Chitrakala Parishat
HIV on the Rise in Yelbarga Taluk By Udita Chatuvedi There are still over a quarter of a million HIV positive people in the State of Karnataka despite a long-running programme to tackle the problem. The figures mean Karnataka is the fifth worst affected state in India, giving some insight into the real scale of the problem in the country. The Ante Natal Clinic HIV Sentinel Surveillance states that there are over 2.5 lakh HIV positive people in the state. One of the taluks of Karnataka, Yelbarga, is also affected by HIV/AIDS. Despite government measures, the figures of those tested are not going down. There are a high number of HIV+ and malaria cases reported in Yelbarga every year. The United Nations states ‘combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases’ as one of its Millennium Development Goals. However, despite government and NGO efforts in Yelbarga, there seems to be no reprieve in the number of cases. This year alone, up to October, 58 patients have tested positive for HIV. The previous year’s was 50. There were 40 cases in 2010 and 54 in 2009. The government runs schemes and policies to help create awareness among people about HIV/AIDS. There are also NGOs that are actively involved in the same. NACO (National AIDS Control Organisation), under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, is a leading organisation that works towards creating awareness, preventing and controlling the spread of AIDS. ICTC (Integrated Counseling and Testing Centre) is another project by NACO that has a twofold function – to counsel people before and after being tested
Art Galleries of Bangalore
November 30, 2012
Despite Govt’s efforts, HIV is on the rise in Karnataka for HIV and to test people to check if they are carrying the HIV virus. It has centres in Karnataka and one in the Yelbarga government hospital as well. Under the ICTC guidelines, all pregnant women are tested for HIV/AIDS. If found to be carrying the virus, the mother is given a ‘niverpine’ tablet right before delivery and the child is given the same in syrup form at the time of birth. Taluk Health Officer, Dr. Prashanth Babu, said: “There is a 35% reduction in transmission of the virus after this medicine is given to the mother and child.” ICTC Counselor, Kadappa Badigair, said there were NGOs in the district that worked towards prevention and control of HIV/AIDS. “Samrakhsha organizes camps every month in various taluks and a village for target people like sex workers while Karuna Test organizes a camp for general and target people,” said Badigair. Malaria is another health issue in Yelbarga. Dr. Shranappa of Yelbarga Government Hospital, said: “Water borne diseases is one of the major concerns of Yelbarga. Water here is often contaminated
Beyond the barriers of caste By Sumit “Where the world has not been broken up into fragments, by narrow domestic walls,” wrote Rabindranath Tagore. The child in me never understood the meaning hidden within these lines. It was years before I was born that Tagore jotted down the epic ‘Where the mind is without fear’ poem for his Nobel-winning Gitanjali. We are yet to understand the essence of Tagore’s words. I grew up in a conservative family of North Indian Brahmins. Our surnames were displayed like brands, and being a Brahmin, I had a brand value. The sense of being superior caste-wise was predominant in me and a bit of nurturing was enough to let me flaunt it. I was taught to discriminate not to differentiate. It was not a new thing as most of us get the initial lessons of our lives in pretty much the same way. However, a tryst with a poem from the Gitanjali changed things for me forever. It was the same, ‘where the mind is without fear’ representing Tagore’s dream of the new, independent India. It was the August of 2000 when I laid my hands on a book from my father’s personal library. By the time I finished reading this particular poem, I had decided
never to use my surname again. For me it was a baby step towards a society free from the barriers of caste. It was a personal journey I undertook for the defragmentation of the society. There were galactic distances I had to cover, I knew, but to finish an expedition you need to start one. And mine started that August. The exclusion of my last name was not a welcome decision, my parents were quite vocal with their disapproval. “You carry forward a legacy with your surname. People know who you are only when they know whose family you belong to” were the exact words of my father. The traces of that first verbal battle are still etched vividly in my memories. I still keep repeating the sentence uttered on that cold December night standing in front of my father. It helps me remember the itinerary of my journey. “I am Sumit. That is how people will remember me,” and my words were followed by an icy silence that still prevails between the two of us. The resistance at the home front, thus, ended. But the battle was carried forward and fought on several occasions, sometimes leaving me vanquished and sometimes bringing victory. However, it took another icy encounter for me to
leave out my surname legally. A class of fifty-two young minds was attending their roll calls. It was a couple of days to go and the classes would be suspended for the preparation leave. Excitement could be easily sensed in the corridors of the ground floor. Admit cards were to be handed to the students appearing for the tenth grade examinations. And simultaneously they were to be handed out based on the rudiments of the caste system and reservation policy. Today, these students were to be categorized as per their castes. Certificates would be issued to them to authenticate their adherence to some tradition or caste before becoming a part of humanity. “Roll number 50,” called the class teacher. I pulled myself out of a trance. “Yes sir” was a pretty quick response from my side. Being a sportsperson always helped me with quick reflexes. “What is your name?” I admit I was not the cynosure of my class teacher’s eye but my shenanigans had made me equally famous. So, how could he possibly forget my name? “I am Sumit, sir” I smiled. “I know Sumit. Tell me your full name.” Oh, here I am. They want to brand me once again. But
I was not going to let it be so easy for them. My silent glances, however, had no effect. He came back again, this time in a much more soothing voice. “Go ahead, you need not be ashamed. We are a class.” “But why would be I ashamed of my name, sir?” asked the inquisitive side of me. “Leave your arguments aside Sumit and answer what I am asking you. Do you understand?” No elder would like to be cornered by a kid’s question. So, his response was not something unpredictable for me. “I am Sumit Dwivedi, sir.” My brand was superior; I hope my surname established this fact for him. This was what he or rather the educational system wanted of me. They would not have to toil hard for segregating us anymore.“Well, you are a Brahmin. It is good.”“What is so good in being a Brahmin, sir?” I slapped the question right across his face. I say slapped because indeed it was a slap for him and all those who were proud of the Brahmanism cultivating within. I still continue being Sumit. Excluding my surname was a personal decision but its repercussions may be seen someday when the world would not be broken up into fragments, by narrow domestic walls.
and that affects the health of the people.” Some 33 cases of malaria are reported every week, onaverage, in the Yelbarga Government Hospital. Dr. Prashanth Babu said: “Lack of hygiene is a reason. People don’t carry their own water from home but drink anywhere. Also, Panchayat does not chlorinate the water enough.” The Health Officer informed that water pipelines in some areas had broken and water was being contaminated in some areas. A Panchayat spokesman said the pipelines had since been repaired. “IEC – Information, Education and Communication - is needed to fight these health problems,” said Dr. Shranappa. “Our children keep falling sick here. We have often complained to the Panchayat but so far nothing has been done,” said Hamid Begum, whose son is suffering from malaria. Achieving the Millennium Development Goals seem a little far at the moment. The government needs to ensure more awareness about HIV/AIDS and also local governing bodies need to ensure a supply of clean drinking water in Yelbarga.
The Observer IIJNM PUBLICATIONS Printed by: Lotus Printers Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website:http://www.iijnm.org/m edia_uploads/observer/2012_13/ For private circulation only Editor Deepu Aby Varghese Chief Sub-Editor Rohan D. Premkumar Photo Editor Kriti Khandelwal Page Editors Priyanka Roy Pyusha Chatterjee Nikita Malusare Urmi Sengupta Shreya Mukherjee Vintu Augustine
Proof Readers Sumit Sidharth Shekhar Amrita Ray