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UP Elections - Mayawati proves wrong all Exit Poll surveys

POLL: Defying all Exit Poll surveys and political analysts, Mayawati’s BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party) romped home victorious with a majority on her own in UP, the biggest State in India, by winning 206 out of 400 seats. BSP was founded by Kanshi Ram, a dalit (low caste) leader, to empower low castes and Mayawati was handpicked by him to lead the party.

For the first time since 1991 any single party has been able to get majority in UP which means relief from the highly demanding small groups and independents and it should help to bring semblance of governance in the state whose people in the last fifteen years had to put up with all that which defies governance and development.

It turned out to be a battle between the Yadavs, a dominant caste amongst OBCs, who have their leader in Mulaym Singh, and other castes in the State and to see that Yadavs who had become law unto themselves, are shown the door, people of other castes including Brahmins had joined hands with Dalits and voted for the most viable alternative BSP.

Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), the main constituent of opposition NDA in the centre which off late had been on the winning spree, faced a huge blow and got only 50 seats while the performance of Congress was still more pathetic, it won only 22 seats despite the hard work done by Rahul Gandhi in the last two months.

The election results have proved that both Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi do not have even a fraction of mass appeal what late Smt Indira Gandhi had and there is no leader left in Congress party who can be called a leader of the masses..

Mayawati who was virulently opposed to the upper class till a few years back realised the ground realities and fought this election by giving maximum tickets to upper class Brahmins and has emerged as the brightest star on the horizon of Indian politics.

The outcome of these elections will have neither any immediate repercussion on the stability of the Govt. at the center nor can much inference be drawn since the behaviour of voters differs from State to State.

For example Tamil Nadu and Kerala are two neighbouring States, while in Tamil Nadu politics revolves around film personalities, in Kerala it is Communist versus the rest.

Law at last catches up with Don MP

At last, law has caught up with Mohammed Shahabuddin, a Member Parliament, known as Don MP for having been accused in 35 cases of treason, illegal arms of foreign make, murder and attempt to murder. He is sentenced to Life imprisonment for kidnapping and suspected killing of a political worker.

Incidentally, this four term MP, is of the RJD party which is a coalition partner of Congress in the center and he was groomed and protected all these years by no man other than a very senior cabinet Minister in the Center.

Not long ago, no body in his constituency (he represents about 2 million people as a member parliament) could speak up against him and if it happened, that person could not leave his constituency with all his limbs intact.

The fact that he won all the elections hands down speaks of the terror he had created all these years.

He has refused to resign from Lok Sabha on moral grounds since he feels that he is not the only MP to be in this type of situation. His grouse is that he is being targeted because he is a Muslim otherwise there are many who are moving freely even after having committed crimes of greater intensity.

Here it is not out of place to mention that only a couple of months back, another MP who apart from being the President of a Political outfit JMM, a coalition partner of Congress in the center, was also a Cabinet Minister, was convicted in a murder case.

Using his clout with the Govt. which needs support of every single MP for its survival, he has managed to move from a prison to a Nursing Home-cottage with all five star facilities and is ruling Jharkhand State through one of his stooges.

Under the situation, how can anyone expect Shahabuddin to resign on moral grounds?

Facelift for monasteries in Kinnaur

Entire Himalayan range from Himachal Pradesh to Assam has beautiful Monasteries. Those in Sikkim have a special attraction and importance.

One needs at least fifteen days time to visit all of them as the distance from Himachal Pradesh to Arunachal Pradesh is anything around 2500 km and these monasteries are on a hilly terrain.

Here, I am talking about the monasteries in Kinnaur, a remote town in Himachal Pradesh, a State bordering Tibet on Himalyan range, at a height of more than 10000 feet from the sea level.

Kinnaur has number of Monasteries and other places of Buddhist interest which include Kamru fort, Nag Sahib temple at Sangla, heritage village in Kalpa and Jangi.

It is fast emerging as a preferred tourist destination for foreign Buddhists. To promote Buddhist tourism Himachal Pradesh Govt. has sanctioned Rs 5 million for the refurbishment and development of these sites.

Not only this, the state govt. has even made it easier for them to get an inner line permit to visit hinterlands of the district. Kinnaur is about 500 Kms from New Delhi towards Tibet connected by road as well as by air.

Cricket

India started its campaign against so called minnows Bangladesh with same seriousness as is generally visible when India takes on mighty Australia. Thanks to some Umpiring decisions going against Bangladesh, India could save the repeat of World Cup in the first one dayer.

India’s confidence level is certainly very low but after one or two victories, it will be a different side, provided a few big names are kept out of the team.

Coming to the World Cup- any sporting event has a meaning to number of agencies, the most important being spectators, viewers and sponsors. The world cup in West Indies has given a reason to smile only to Australia.

Not even to Sri Lanka because in the end they are also feeling let down by umpires and weather God and now use of a squash ball by Gilchrist as a batting aid is creating a feeling in them that it was not a fair play.

Sri Lanka is right and justified in lodging a complaint with ICC but even if it is found to be a part of unfair play, I will not castigate Gilly. Had it been so he wouldn’t have disclosed it voluntarily? Again now when Gilly has demonstrated, let us see how many batsmen can play strokes like him even after using the squash ball.

Most, who are associated with the game felt fatigued and bored. It is being felt that forty five days for an event that arouses interest hardly in twelve cricket playing countries, is too long a period. Then there were hardly three matches which had an exciting finish.

Both semifinals as well as the final failed to rise to the expected level of competitiveness. It is being blamed on the prowess and invincibility of Australia. But, then Australia was not there in the semi final between Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

To start with, two unexpected set backs forced the exit of India and Pakistan whose continued participation would have made the tournament lively. Then the murder of Coach Woolmer marred the spirit of the game. Now, South African team is receiving death threats.

For Indian viewers, the most irritating aspect was the over-commercialisation of the telecast so much so that it was not possible to see even six balls being played.

It was irritating, absurd to see an advertisement being squeezed in just because the bowler had not reached the top of his run up or captain was having counseling with his bowler. Steve Waugh who was in India during this period rightly said that telecast in India was un-watchable.

Let us hope that now when some foreigner and that also a man of Steve’s stature has come out harshly our Board will do some thing to save the game from over commercialization. Last West Indies could not present that spectacle of cricket frenzy which one sees in this sub continent.

There has been a dramatic fall in the viewership in India after India’s unexpected exit. Viewership Index which had peaked to 8.5 in a do and die encounter with Sri Lanka fell to just 2 on average in other matches.

It touched 7 only in the final match. Because of the sudden eruption of negative public opinion about cricketers and brand endorsements, not many advertisers came forward for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh. Consequently Neo sports, the host broadcaster for the series was finding itself on a sticky wicket.

Country of great paradoxes and extremes

India grows 11% of all the world vegetables and 15% of all fruit but despite being a low cost producer, India’s share in the global market is abysmally low at 1.7%. in vegetables and 0.5% in fruit. India also imposes a 30% or more import duty on all horticulture products to safeguard the interest of the Indian farmer.

Total sale of vehicles in India in 2006-07 was 10.2 million which includes 1.38 million cars and 7.9 million two wheelers and 0.92 million other vehicles.

Country has officially 301 million below the poverty line-which in reality means the capacity per individual to spend daily being only Rs 12 in rural areas and Rs 18 in urban areas. Only passing reference is given to the fact that the number of years the average child spends in the school is not even four.

India’s maternal mortality rate is the highest in South Asia, 540 deaths per 1,00,000 live births.

Nearly 45% women in the country are married off before they reach eighteen. Maximum 60% being in Bihar a State with lowest literacy rate only 44%.

As many as 50,000 Indians are smuggled out every year. Indians form the largest number of illegal immigrants to Europe.

A Reformer sage

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati is the greatest reformer sage of the nineteenth century which is known as a period of renaissance in the Indian contest. After acquiring knowledge of Vedas under the tutorage of Swami Virjanand of Mathura, he started his crusade against those, who in the name of religion were fooling the illiterate masses.

He proved how scripture was being practised diametrically opposed to the true interpretation of Vedas. He trampled underfoot the orthodoxy that prohibited the study of Vedas by Dalits (Lower castes) and women and said all human beings had the right to study Vedas, which transcended caste, faith and geography.

To him ‘Arya’ was not a caste but a man of superior principles and character and Arya Samaj he founded was the assembly of good people. His concept of God was formless, reachable by meditation.

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati was equally bold in his crusade to improve the condition of women, deplorable in India at that time. He placed before people that Vedas sanctioned most dignified and exalted status to women at home and in society and women had as much right to education and place in judiciary, legislative assemblies and State administration as men.

He strongly opposed child marriage and the custom of self immolation by a widow at the time of the death of her husband and upheld widow-remarriage and woman’s right to choose her life partner. (Till nineteenth century, doors of education were almost closed for women in India, 98% used to be married off before they reached the age of sixteen.

Child marriage was very common; a girl of six could be married off to an old man not capable of even supporting himself.

At the time of the death of the husband, wife was coerced to join her husband in the burning pyre and those who wouldn’t oblige, had to lead a life of recluse. While the male could marry as many times as he wanted, a child widow would not be allowed to remarry.

Reformers like Swami Dayanand Saraswati of Arya Samaj and Ram Mohan Roy came out strongly against these social evils and the present day face of Indian Woman is the result of crusade, these people launched in nineteenth century, rightly called a period of renaissance in Indian context.)

From Manu Samruty

‘Yater naryastu pujayante ramante tater devta Yaterita tu ne pujayante sarwa tatrafalla kriya.’- Sanskrit- almost like Pali

Meaning

Sages and noble persons take birth in the family where women are worshipped. Efforts do not fructify, no prosperity takes place and there is only devastation where women are shown disrespect.

Sage Manu

‘Matriman, Pitriman, Acharyavan Purusshova’

That man reaches at the pinnacle of glory who has the advantage of three good tutors viz mother, father and teacher. The mother’s influence for good on children surpasses that of everyone else.

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