Return pratima in London museum to Bhojshala: Swamy

Idol kept in London museum belongs to Bhojshala: Swamy

SUNDAY, 29 JANUARY 2012 00:24 
Reviving the controversial Bhojshala issue, Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy on Saturday claimed that the shlokas in Sanskrit language were engraved at a place where idol of Waghdevi (Goddess Saraswati) was earlier installed in the sanctum-sanctorum.
“After visiting the Bhojshala and personally inspecting the place where the idol of Waghdevi was established by the Raja Bhoj, I found that shlokas in Sanskrit language were engraved at that place,” he said, adding that similar shlokas in Sanskrit language in the idol proves that the idol kept in London museum belongs to Bhojshala.
He was addressing a dharm sabha organised in Dhar on Saturday. Swamy said that he had proved in London court that the idol belongs to India. “I have proved this to the London court and archaeologists,” he informed.
He informed that the country needs to convince the London court on two more points which would create no hurdle in getting the idol back. The first point is that the idol should not be kept in museum after reaching India. On the contrary, it should be kept in Bhojshala only for offering prayers as sentiments of the people are connected to it.
Similarly, the Government needs to ensure that no dispute would take place over the installation of the idol. For the purpose, a letter of assurance from Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh would be submitted to the London court. For the purpose, he would go to London in April, he informed.
Swamy had filed a petition in the London court regarding return of the Waghdevi idol to India from London museum. Earlier, Swamy had won the case against destruction of Ramsetu in the US court. Similarly, with his efforts, devotees are able to visit Kailash Mansarovar that is in Chinese territory.


A famous friendship. A famous fallout. There has been a seismic political rupture in Tamil Nadu. This is the inside story of why it happened. Ambition. Betrayal. Fact. And fiction. Jeemon Jacob has it all

Jaya and Sasikala

this abruptly, at least not ones of such long standing. The corridors of power in Chennai are agog with the sudden, inexplicable blood feud that has broken out between AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa, chief minister of Tamil Nadu, and Sasikala Natarajan, her closest friend and political lieutenant.

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Debendranath Sarangi
DGP K Ramanujam
Trusted men Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi (top) and DGP K Ramanujam

A little over a month ago, on 17 December 2011, in a dramatic and sweeping move, Jayalalithaa expelled Sasikala and her brood from her legendary 36 Poes Garden house in Chennai (The Posse is out of Poes Garden, by Sai Manish, 31 December 2011), triggering a Byzantine story of thwarted friendship, overweening ambition and political vendetta that perhaps has no equal in India. The sheer seismic nature of this rupture — and the huge political ramifications it is likely to have — can only be understood if one recalls the sheer depth and spread of the relationship.

Over the past 25 years, ever since the death in 1987 of her mentor MG Ramachandran — or MGR, as the late chief minister of Tamil Nadu was known — no one has been closer to the enigmatic Jayalalithaa than Sasikala. She has been everything: soulmate, housekeeper, political confidante. And a tremendous but unelected power centre.

In this time, Sasikala’s family — the ‘Mannargudi mafia’, as it is disparagingly called, the name referring to the small town in Tiruvarur district that Sasikala comes from — has become extremely controversial and influential. The family includes her husband M Natarajan, her brothers, nieces, nephews and brothers- in-law. In 1995, in one of the most flamboyant displays of their friendship, the wedding of V Sudhakaran, Sasikala’s nephew, was presided over by Jayalalithaa. It was a staggeringly ostentatious event, with tens of thousands of guests, and became an election issue the following year, when Jayalalithaa was voted out of office.

Much of this is part of Tamil Nadu folklore. The legendary friendship had even withstood the many dark cycles of political wilderness, when Jayalalithaa would lose power and stay largely out of public eye. This time round, when the AIADMK swept back to office in the summer of 2011, it seemed the good times were back for Sasikala and her family. They were in business again.

Yet, barely six months into power — and into the perceived good times — and the two are at daggers drawn. To many, it just doesn’t seem to make sense. Yet, in the intricate political circles of Chennai, there are some who know the story — or at least elements of the story. The result, as TEHELKA finds, is a fascinating mix of fact and myth, of conspiracy and unverifiable truths, and political rumours so bizarre, it’s almost as if they could only be true.

SINCE JAYALALITHAA’S sudden ambush on 17 December, Sasikala — once known to loyalists as Chinnamma or Little Mother — has had the police at her doorsteps. A case has been registered against her brother VK Divakaran (nickname: The Boss) and he is on the run, evading arrest. Rumours in the state say he is already in illegal custody. The case against Divakaran relates to a complaint by one Kasthuri Balasubramanian of Rishiyur village in Tiruvarur district.

Kasthuri has alleged that her house was demolished on 28 November 2011, by seven persons and some local officials, at the behest of Divakaran. In response, the police raided Divarakan’s house in Mannargudi as well as his office in the nearby Sengamala Thayar Arts and Science College that he runs.

There is a perception the mafia was hoping to replace Amma (Jayalalithaa) with Chinnamma, and install Sasikala as the CM

That’s not all. Ravanan RP, married to Sasikala’s cousin, has apparently been tortured by the police in the course of anti-corruption investigations. The Tamil Nadu Directorate of Vigilance is believed to be preparing to act against many members of the Sasikala clan. The long queues of favour-seekers and hangers-on have disappeared. Ousted by Jayalalithaa, the Mannargudi mafia is in deep trouble.

Why did this happen? The grapevine is hyperactive. There is a perception that Sasikala, 55, is guilty of planning a palace coup, and of the Mannargudi mafia hoping to replaceAmma (Jayalalithaa) with Chinnamma, and install Sasikala as chief minister. Allegedly, the disproportionate assets case that Jayalalithaa has been travelling to Bengaluru for — she is being questioned by a special trial court there — gave the Mannargudi group ideas. An unfavourable judgment or remark by the court and an orchestrated political campaign, it was felt, would have put pressure on Jayalalithaa to resign and hand over the government to somebody she could trust.

IT SOUNDS like a wild conspiracy, but worse has happened in Tamil Nadu politics. Also, though Jayalalithaa has been so dependent on Sasikala all these years, she may have been smelling something fishy. Till a month ago, her Poes Garden residence was full of Sasikala’s men. (When Sasikala had first moved in with her in 1989, she had brought 40 servants from Mannargudi to Poes Garden to run Jayalalithaa’s house. All maids, cooks, securitymen, drivers and messengers at Poes Garden were hired from Sasikala’s hometown.)

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For a decade, nobody had access to Jayalalithaa without Sasikala’s permission. All independent assistants had been slowly but systematically moved out. It had reached such a stage that ministers were discussing policy issues with Sasikala. Civil servants were briefing their chief minister in the presence of Sasikala. Her words were considered Jayalalithaa’s command. She was the unstated deputy chief minister.

She also had a grip on the party structure. The AIADMK organisation is divided into regions, and most of the regional directors were Sasikala’s relatives. As such, MLAs were either chosen by the Mannargudi mafia or tried to ingratiate themselves to it.

Jayalalithaa had created a Frankenstein’s monster. It was she who had initially told party workers to meet Sasikala if they wanted to bring issues to her notice. Sasikala grabbed the opportunity and began to filter what information went up to the chief minister. Jayalalithaa became a prisoner of the Sasikala coterie.

So how did Jayalalithaa find out? According to an AIADMK insider, it was Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi who alerted the lady in Poes Garden and warned her about the Mannargudi mafia. Modi apparently told Jayalalithaa to keep a watch on her inner ring. He is believed to have indicated to her that big investors were avoiding Tamil Nadu because of the extortionate demands of Sasikala and her family.

Specifically, an NRI businessman who came to Tamil Nadu with a project had to shift to Gujarat because the Mannargudi mafia had sought a 15 percent cut.

Jayalalithaa was allegedly given sedatives and chemical substances that had small quantities of poison by a nurse appointed by Sasikala

The degree and brazenness of Sasikala’s operations were a shock for Jayalalithaa. She could not have been unaware that members of the Mannargudi mafia were taking money for transfers and postings in the state bureaucracy and from local business groups — for party affairs, among other things — but Modi’s cautionary story told her of corruption of a far higher order: she was being kept out of the loop by Sasikala.

Shortly after the conversation with Modi, there came the episode of the Chennai monorail project. The chief minister was keen to put it on the fast track and favoured awarding it to a Singapore company that she felt was best equipped. She told Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi to begin the paperwork. At the end of the process, when the file reached the chief minister, she found a Malaysian company had been put on top and the Singapore company downgraded. She called Sarangi and questioned him.

It was Sarangi’s turn to be surprised. He told her he had received the file with a note from her saying the Malaysian company was potentially the best choice. Jayalalithaa asked for the entire correspondence related to the monorail project and was surprised to find her signature on a note favouring the Malaysian company. It was forged. Furious, Jayalalithaa summoned Sasikala, who denied any involvement.

Following another tip-off, Jayalalithaa sought independent medical opinion on the medicines she was being given. Without telling Sasikala, Jayalalithaa apparently went to see a well-known doctor. Her tests revealed, the story goes, that she was being given sedatives and chemical substances that had small quantities of poison. Her nurse at home had been appointed by Sasikala, and served the chief minister fruits and medicines at regular intervals.

By now Jayalalithaa had realised she had to act fast. She was also beginning to sense the unease in the bureaucracy and picking up murmurs of protest against the Mannargudi mafia. For instance, ever since re-election, she had planned to charge senior DMK leaders in land-grab cases. Several senior DMK leaders had been arrested and a case filed against MK Stalin, son of former chief minister M Karunanidhi.

Jayalalithaa had told the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) to implicate the Karunanidhi family only when it had solid evidence. Nevertheless, the case against Stalin was a weak one. When Jayalalithaa asked Pon Manickavel, the then Inspector General (IG), Intelligence, he told her the case had been filed following consent from Sasikala. Jayalalithaa could smell trouble and a secret deal between the Mannargudi mafia and the DMK family.

It was K Ramanujam, Director-General of Police (DGP), Tamil Nadu, who put the last nail in the coffin. Ramanujam was alerted by Shanker Bidari, DGP Karnataka, about a secret meeting of the Sasikala family in Bengaluru in the first week of December. Apparently, intelligence officials in Karnataka had bugged the room where the meeting took place and the tapes made their way from the state police HQ in Bengaluru to its counterpart office in Chennai.

Sasikala’s husband Natarajan
On the warpath Sasikala’s husband Natarajan is inching closer to the DMKPhoto: A Shankar

According to police sources in Tamil Nadu, the tapes revealed details of the conspiracy against Jayalalithaa. The meeting in Bengaluru is believed to have been attended by Sasikala, Natarajan, Ravanan (married to Sasikala’s first cousin), Midas Mohan (Natarajan’s business partner), VK Sudhakaran, TTV Dinakaran (Sasikala’s nephews) and M Ramachandran (Natarajan’s brother). At the meeting, Jayalalithaa’s troubles relating to the disproportionate assets case were discussed, and names of potential successor chief ministers thrown about.

After listening to the tapes, Jayalalithaa decided to get going. For five days, the state police kept a close watch on individual members of the Mannargudi mafia. Ravanan — his father-in-law and Sasikala’s father were brothers — was tracked in Singapore, where he had gone for a business meeting.

It was a meticulous operation. The DGPwas tasked with gathering evidence against the Sasikala cabal. A private detective agency was hired. Phones of the Sasikala family members and their close associates were allegedly tapped. Daily reports were sent to the chief minister directly.

Nobody had access to Jaya without Sasikala’s nod. It had reached such a stage that ministers were talking about policy issues with Sasikala

At the end of it all, Jayalalithaa had a thick dossier on the Mannargudi mafia but also realised its tentacles were all over her party and government. They had the men and resources to seriously challenge her. It was not going to be easy to strip away their influence. Changes were made in the state police’s intelligence wing, which was believed to be a hotbed of Sasikala loyalists. Jayalalithaa posted Thamarai Kannan as the Inspector General (IG), Intelligence, as she wanted an officer who had no links with the Mannargudi mafia.

Next, the chief minister made changes in her personal security. Her personal security officer (PSO), Thirumalai Swami, had been serving her for the past 10 years, brought into the job from the state police in 2001. It is believed Sasikala used him to monitor the chief minister’s movements. Swami too has been transferred.

Finally at a Cabinet meeting, Jayalalithaa made it clear ministers would receive instructions from her alone and should not act on messages delivered, allegedly on her behalf, by Sasikala or others.

Many ministers took this lightly, presuming Sasikala and Amma had had a temporary tiff. The Mannargudi mafia, however, was alarmed. It was beginning to see a pattern.

On her part, Sasikala was confident that she could win back Jayalalithaa through emotional blackmail, and that the chief minister needed her around in Poes Garden. It was a fatal miscalculation. The ground had shifted.

On 17 December came the moment of truth. Jayalalithaa asked the Mannargudi clan to pack up and leave her house. Some of these people had been staying in Poes Garden since 1989, when Jayalalithaa became Leader of the Opposition. No amount of pleading would get her to change her mind. Meanwhile, police and legal teams, as well as chartered accountants, began investigating the Sasikala family’s investments and started the process of recovering money.

Ravanan was picked up as soon as he landed from Singapore. A raid at his house recovered Rs 50 crore in cash. Ravanan — or Ravanan Ratnaswami Pichai, to give his full name — heads the Coimbatore-based Midas Golden Distilleries, which supplies liquor to the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation. Sasikala set up the distillery in 2002 when Jayalalithaa was in power, but it is understood that the company continued to get lucrative contracts through the DMK years as well.

Modi alerted Jayalalithaa that Sasikala was extorting money from businessmen
Chief adviser Modi alerted Jayalalithaa that Sasikala was extorting money from businessmenPhoto: AP

Ravanan holds the key to Sasikala’s business empire. It is estimated to be worth at least Rs 5,000 crore. “That is certainly not an overestimation,” says a senior politician, “in fact, it may be an undervaluation. The chief minister doesn’t have much money with her. Her household, government and party were run by the Mannargudi group.”

Even tickets for the 2011 Assembly election were sold, and Sasikala is alleged to have collected 300 crore in this manner. Of course, the tickets were sold to Mannargudi sympathisers, and thereby the deal was doubly beneficial.

One example cited is that of Sivarajamanickam, former district Congress president in Tiruvarur, who was given the AIADMK ticket from Divakaran’s home constituency. As it happened, he lost to TRB Raja, son of TR Baalu, former Union minister. Even so, Divarakan’s plan had been to get a weak man to represent Tiruvarur and so control the constituency himself.

Jayalalithaa is also believed to have identified 13 ministers who may be dropped soon. An overhaul of the bureaucracy is already on the anvil

IN THE six months the AIADMK has been in power, the Mannargudi mafia has been very busy. According to some observers, it may already have earned Rs 1,000 crore — largely from the bus fare hike (which benefited private operators who paid kickbacks) and the liquor price hike (which helped Sasikala’s own companies).

“The Mannargudi mafia was very organised and well structured,” says an AIADMK functionary. “They had persons tracking ministers and key bureaucrats. With every minister, one personal assistant would be attached to monitor him. There is a saying in Tamil Nadu that we have a minister wearing a dhoti (the real minister) and a minister wearing a pant (personal assistant). The pant minister is often more powerful than the dhoti minister.”

On 18 December, Jayalalithaa expelled leading members of the Mannargudi mafia from the party. She also transferred 38 personal security officers attached to ministers. Among those expelled were Sasikala and her husband Natarajan. Also out were Divakaran, S Anuradha (Sasikala’s niece and the managing director of Jaya TV), Sudhakaran (once called Jayalalithaa’s foster son), Ravanan and others.

However, Jayalalithaa did not touch any of her Cabinet colleagues, not even those regarded as close to Sasikala and her brother. In mid-December, Public Works Department Minister KV Ramalingam called on the chief minister. She greeted him with a disarming smile and then threw a barb: “Welcome, future chief minister of Tamil Nadu.” Ramalingam allegedly turned pale.

Ramalingam, 54, is a former Rajya Sabha member. In the 2011 Assembly election, he was given a ticket from Erode (West) constituency on Sasikala’s insistence. Ramalingam is well-regarded for his astrological skills and knowledge of tantra. It is understood he carried out rituals in early 2011 to facilitate the AIADMK’s victory in the Assembly election.

It is here that the story gets murky. Jayalalithaa now believes that in the past few months, Ramalingam was told to depute a Kerala astrologer to perform tantric and other occult rituals to help Sasikala replace Jayalalithaa as chief minister. Ramalingam apparently double-crossed Sasikala, and got the rituals and pujas performed not to help Sasikala but to help himself. Trusted by none, Ramalingam could soon lose his job in the Cabinet.

Now the heat is on the Mannargudi mafia. Sasikala herself may be arrested in a Coimbatore land-grab case. The account books of Jaya TV reveal many discrepancies, and Anuradha too may be arrested in this connection. Divakaran has apparently been offered a deal: return the money and buy freedom. He is still bargaining, insiders say.

Ilavarasi Jayaraman, Sasikala’s sister-in-law, has already been detained and interrogated by the Tamil Nadu Police.

Jayalalithaa is also believed to have identified 13 ministers who may be dropped soon. Already, Agri SS Krishnamoorthy has been removed as Minister for Commercial Taxes and placed in the School Education Department. The ministries of industries, electricity, transport, public works, revenue, prohibition and excise, and forests have been identified for a purge. The veteran O Panneerselvam, Minister of Finance and former chief minister, is also said to be jittery.

An overhaul of the bureaucracy — especially in the Revenue Department and other key economic departments — and in the upper echelons of the police is already on the anvil.

Tickets for the 2011 Assembly polls were sold to mafia sympathisers, and Sasikala is alleged to have collected Rs 300 cr in this manner

One source says the chief minister is planning changes in the Legal Department and could replace many prosecutors handling sensitive cases. The future of Navaneetha Krishnan, Tamil Nadu’s advocate general, is also under question in political circles.

Nevertheless, all this is just the tip of the iceberg. The Mannargudi mafia is believed to have investments not only in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states, but also in Singapore, Malaysia and Dubai. It was so comfortably ensconced in business affairs of the party and of Jayalalithaa personally that Sasikala was acting as printer and publisher of Namathu MGR, the AIADMK publication. As she was shown out of Poes Garden, Sasikala was forced to sign documents relinquishing the publisher’s post in favour of Jayalalithaa.

That was the easy part. “To recover the money looted by the Mannargudi mafia,” says a senior politician, “needs a lot of work.”

On its part, sections of Sasikala’s family are understood to have established contact with the Karunanidhi family and sought the DMK’S protection. Things will come to a head only after the court in Bengaluru decides on the corruption charges against Jayalalithaa.

THE NATURE of this fallout between the two most powerful women in Tamil Nadu cannot be fully understood unless one recalls their beginnings. Sasikala came from humble roots, and ironically, from a family across the political divide: the DMK.

Today, Mannargudi, a sleepy town 34 km from Thanjavur, is famous as Sasikala’s home territory, though she was not born there. Her family actually comes from Thiruthuraipoondi, 28 km away from Mannargudi, where Sasikala’s grandfather Chandrasekharan ran a medical shop. His son Vivekanandan took over from him and was known to be a DMK sympathiser.

Vivekanandan’s elder son Sundaravadanam, who worked in the State Bank of India, was transferred to Mannargudi in the late 1950s. He constructed a house there and moved his brothers and sisters to help them get a better education. Sasikala was the fifth among the siblings. She grew up as something of a local beauty. The entire family had strong DMK moorings but the idyll ended when Sundaravadanam was caught for diverting loans meant for poor families to his mother’s account and pocketing the subsidy. Following this, he was shunted out of Mannargudi.

In 1974, Natarajan, a DMK youth leader, wanted to marry Sasikala. Sundaravadanam objected because Natarajan’s government job was only a temporary political appointment. However, Natarajan approached Sasikala’s brother-in-law Vivekanandan, and permission was finally given. Ironically, Sasikala was blessed at her wedding by DMK supremo Karunanidhi, who had been impressed by young Natarajan’s oratory. No one could have foreseen at the wedding that Sasikala would wind up as the confidante of Karunanidhi’s most bitter political opponent.

During the Emergency, Natarajan was sacked from his job. He took his dismissal to court and Sasikala sold her ornaments to pay the lawyers. It was a hard life. Shortly afterwards, she opened a video rental shop in Chennai to make ends meet. She purchased a video camera and learnt to shoot social functions and weddings for a fee.

Around this time, there was a woman called V Chandralekha, who was district collector of Arcot, and Jayalalithaa was already a powerful figure in the ruling AIADMK. Natarajan, who knew Chandralekha, approached her to put in a word with Jayalalithaa, so that his wife could record Jayalalithaa’s public events. Chandralekha obliged. The introduction changed Sasikala’s destiny. Sasikala impressed Jayalalithaa with her skills as a cameraperson. Chandralekha remembers her as being “shrewd, hard-working and determined”. She certainly was.

In the late 1980s, as MGR began to weaken and then passed away, there was a power struggle within the AIADMK. Jayalalithaa was harassed by RM Veerappan, then acting chief minister, and extremely isolated. It is during this time that Sasikala moved closer to her and finally into her residence.

Sasikala provided Jayalalithaa emotional and managerial support. Natarajan, an old hand in politics, masterminded Jayalalithaa’s comeback. The rest is well known.

DESPITE THE rupture now, the Mannargudi mafia is not giving up. On 17 January, Natarajan addressed a Pongal gathering in Thanjavur and sent veiled threats to Jayalalithaa. “Now, I have become a complete leader,” he said. “Now, I’m a leader without strings or fetters… Many people have come here expecting to hear decisive announcements from me. I will take the decision at an appropriate time. I changed the government in Tamil Nadu. Many feel that someone else is reaping the reward for my efforts. I’m silent because the decision I take should not adversely affect the peace and harmony of the state…”

Clearly provoking the chief minister, he also exclaimed he needed Rs 50 lakh to build a memorial for the “martyrs of the Tamil Eelam war” in Sri Lanka. The money was raised in a matter of minutes. First, Natarajan sold his Nissan car, with its VIP number plate, for Rs 20 lakh. Next his Rolex watch was sold for Rs 5 lakh. Third, his Hyundai Sonata and Ford Endeavour SUV were sold for Rs 10 lakh each. Natarajan was still Rs 5 lakh short, and resorted to theatrics. He called an NRI businessman in Dubai and demanded a donation of Rs 5 lakh — which was duly given.

Financial resources, political clout, community mobilisation, the Eelam card (indicating an obvious synergy with the DMK): Natarajan was sending multiple signals in Thanjavur that day. The question is, has he worried Jayalalithaa at all?

Jeemon Jacob is Bureau Chief, South with Tehelka.

Kasaragod: One lakh people participated in massive protest rally against demolition of Kumble Temple

Kumble- Kasaragod, January 24: Protesting against demolition of Sri Kumble Kanipur Gopalakrishna Temple, pro-hindu organisations demonstrated a massive rally in Kasaragod city. There was a march organised which began from Kumble ended at Kasaragod, over one lakh public from Kasaragod participated in this protest.

Sri Pejawar Vishweshwara Swamiji of Udupi, Sri Delampady Balakrishna Tantri of Agalpady, several other socio-religious leaders, Subbayya Shetty, Convenor of Temple conservation committee, Congress MLA’s N.A.Nellikkunnu and PB Abdul Razak, BJP leaders Surendran, Ramesh and others headed the protest rally.

Raising above vote bank politics, all Socio-Political leaders representing all classes of social spectrum, indulged in this rally to strengthen the voice of a common man.

As a part of road widening in NH-17, the Kanipur Kumble Gopalakrishna Temple was facing a threat of extinction. Situated at a narrow place in between Arabian Sea and Temple, the National Highway Authorities decided to demolish the temple, as per the sources.

Self inspired public shown registered their protest coming to the streets.  There was a picketing at the office of the District Collector, Kasaragod. The protesters submitted a memorandum signed by several religious heads.

25/01/2012 01:24:33
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RSS Karnataka North organises ‘Hindu Shakti Sangama’ on January 27, 28 and 29, 2012 at Hubli

25/01/2012 01:05:43‘hindu-shakti-sangama’-on-jan-27-28-and-29-2012-at-hubli-0

Hubli, Karnataka: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Karnataka Uttara Pranth is organizing a mammoth camp “Hindu Shakti Sangama” on January 27, 28 and 29, 2012 at Hubli. Tens of thousands of Swayamsevaks from thousands of villges and hundreds of towns will participate in the camp in full Sangh uniform (Ganavesha). Sangh Sarasanghachalak Shri Mohan Rao Bhagwat, General Secretary (Sarakaryvaha) Shri Bhayyaji Joshi (Suresh Joshi) along with other senior leaders of the organization will participate and guide the Swayamsevaks.

Sangh Pracharak Daadaarao Paramarth started the first ever RSS Shakha in Karnataka at Chikkodi in 1935 heralding Sangh Work in the region. On January 16th, 1937, Dr. Keshava Baliram Hedgewar visited Chikkodi of Karnataka. Year 2012 will be the 75th year of Dr Hedgewar’s visit to Karnataka.

In 1996, to provide impetus to social transformation through the expansion of organizational work, Karnatka Uttara Pranth was formed. In the last 15years, Sangh is spreading its roots with an increased pace. During national emergencies and in the immediate aftermath of natural calamities, thousands of Swayamsevaks have extended their helping hand in a coordinated manner. During 2009, North Karnataka faced floods due to incessant rains. More than 2500 Swayamsevaks participated actively in relief operations. In 9 villages belonging to 5 districts, more than 1300 houses are being constructed under the aegis of Sewa Bharathi. 850 houses have been distributed to the flood victims

S angh Swayamsevaks are leading many social initiatives in Uttara Karnataka Pranth. Balakalyana Kendra in Hubli for destitute children, a school for disabled and specially abled children in Gadag, Jagruthi – a self reliance center for destitute women, Ashraya Dhama – a home for destitute children in Bagalkot, tution centers in more than 18 slums of Gulbarga and Bagalkot, mobile health unit in Guledagudda, effective interventions by Dharma Jagarana in Bidar district to prevent illegal conversions, programs for forest residents (Vanavasis) by Vanavasi Kalyana in Uttara Kannada and Dharawar districts – are some of the prominent initiatives led by Swayamsevaks of Uttara Karnataka.

Hindu Shakti Sangama to be held at Hubli on 27, 28 and 29 Jan 2012 is expected to enhance self confidence of the society with a renewed hope towards a brighter future. It is also an occasion for Swayamsevaks to reiterate their resolve towards Hindu values.


Jan 26, 11am, Inauguration of Exhibition by RSS Gen Sec Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi

Jan 27, 10.45am, Inauguration of Hindu Shakti Sangama by RSS Gen Sec Suresh Joshi.

January 28, 4.30pm Patha Sanchalan route march at major streets of Hubli

January 29, 5.00pm Public Function, RSS Sarasanghachalak Mohanji Bhagwat will address the gathering

Mass conversions: For Matli’s poor Hindus, ‘lakshmi’ lies in another religion

The mosque of Bait-ul Islam seminary in Matli, where many families live after converting to Islam. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS
The seminary has a ‘hospital’ along with a 24-hour doctor and free medication. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

Children and adults inside the madrassa recite the Holy Quran as some learn it by heart after converting. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

The madrassa records all the information about the people who have been converted to Islam, their new names, village, and the amount of debt the group has paid off for them. The seminary has a ‘hospital’ along with a 24-hour doctor and free medication. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

Mass conversions: For Matli’s poor Hindus, ‘lakshmi’ lies in another religion

Published: January 21, 2012

Money, jobs and a debt-free life: It sounds like a sweet deal for many of the Hindu labourers in Matli, but it comes with strings attached — convert to Islam.
Hundreds of Hindus in the area have converted to Islam in the past few years, courtesy seminaries, mosques and self-styled preachers.
Switching religions comes with an upgrade in social status and material benefits – Hindu converts said they could easily get Watan Cards and National Identification Cards, aid, and were given land and assistance by the organisation helpfully walking them over to the other side.
But these material benefits aren’t available for everyone. For the Hindus of the Bheel caste, who were converted by the Barelvi group Tanzeem Ulema-e-Islam, life is still restricted to the land that they are squatting on in Tando Mohammad Khan.
Abdul Hameed, who was once known as Pyaro, still works as a labourer and earns a pittance. He was converted by Maulana Taj Mohammad Kamboh via an introduction by Jan Mohammad, a small-time landowner who has been ‘preaching’ to Hindus for almost 15 years.
Jan Mohammad is insistent his proselytising isn’t tied to material benefits. “We did not want to publicise this. I just want these families to get Watan Cards or some money,” he says. “We were told by the National Database and Registration Authority in Matli that it would be easier to get this done if these people were Muslims.”
The same motivations are cited by Maulana Taj Muhammad Kamboh who has been playing a leading role in the conversions. “They had no place to live in,” he told The Express Tribune. “I am trying to get a plot for them and will construct houses for them with the help of my friends. I don’t want to see them as beggars.” He insists that now that they are Muslims they should live their lives according to their own will. “We will not impose anything on them,” he adds. “They are also free of any sect.”
The converts shrug. When their minders are out of earshot, they say their life hasn’t changed much. Pyaro, for example, points out that he was already following many Muslim practices and as far as being a Hindu was concerned, he had never been to a temple or studied any of the religious texts. “Our nikahs were conducted by a Muslim. We ate chickens slaughtered by a Muslim.” His relatives in Mirpurkhas and other districts in Sindh have also converted to Islam, and had encouraged him and his wife Nazira (formerly Koraan) to also convert.
Another convert, Abdul Rasheed (previously known as Haroon), pointed out another advantage. “Now there is no difference between our friends’ traditions and culture,” he says, admitting, however, that it will take time to learn the ropes. But here too, the underlying economics surfaces: “We need a permanent shelter now and without that it would be hard to concentrate on the new religion.”
In order to press them in this direction are men like Hafiz Asadullah Memon, who heads the Tanzeem Ulema-e-Islam in Matli. He wants them to start saying their namaz regularly and reading the Quran.
Seven children from the converted families are now being taught basic religious lessons at a mosque on the property. Seven-year-old Aziza, who is being schooled at the Deedar-e-Mustafa mosque, rattles off the Kalima. “Yes, we are Muslims now but my friends still call me by the same name, Appi,” she says. “I remind them again and again that my new name is Aziza.”
The young boys wander around the plot in their new green prayer caps. “These children study happily,” says their teacher Hafiz Mashooq Ali. “I don’t hit them or anything.”
With new Muslim names and a vow to adopt religious rites, they are only hoping that someone will be impressed enough to offer them land and social security.
These desires have been fulfilled at the Madrassa Baitul Islam, a Deobandi seminary in Matli which meticulously maintains a log of the conversions. The first entry is dated November 1, 2009. The most recent is December 22, 2011, when they converted the 428th Hindu to Islam.
The seminary – which has received kudos from religious-political parties including the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and is affiliated with the Darul Uloom in Karachi – also pays off the debts of Hindus converting to Islam. Based on the entries in its records, this can range from a few thousand rupees to over Rs50,000.
The Bheels who live in the lower parts of Sindh, including Tando Muhammad Khan, Umerkot, Mirpurkhas, Tharparkar, Badin and Thatta, are considered to be peace loving and humble, and are rarely found involved in crime. “We don’t have money or land, so what would we fight with anyone over or who would make enemies of us? We have to do our own work,” explains Allah Bux Shaikh, a fresh convert in his mid-30s.
In a classroom, dozens of children rock back and forth as they recite the Holy Quran, and Ali Ahmed, a Hindu convert, is brought out as a model student. He has already memorised five Siparas of the Holy Quran and aims to become a hafiz. “His family will get a stipend of Rs200,” seminary teacher Qari Abdullah tellsThe Express Tribune. Students, including converts and Muslims in neighbouring areas, are provided lodging and expenses.
The register also notes the caste of the converts, as well as how much of their loan has been paid off. A newly converted family is given Rs5,000 as well as a copy of the Holy Quran, and housing for three to four months. During this time, they are given a religious education and taught how to live their life according to the Islamic code. There is an on-call doctor and a hospital on the premises and an ambulance is available to move serious patients. Another seminary in the city educates female converts.
“When we were Hindus, we were nothing,” say converts Khan Mohammad and Hawa Bibi. But as they begin to share about how their life hasn’t really changed, two Muslims walk in, and they fall silent.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2012.

Akbaruddin Owaisi, MLA of ‘MIM’, planning to convert Bharat into ‘Islamistan’

January 24, 2012

Magh Shukla Pratipada, Kaliyug Varsha 5113

Says, ban should be imposed on processions taken out on ‘Ram-Navami’ and ‘Hanuman Jayanti’

Bhagyanagar (Hyderabad) : MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi of ‘MIM (Majalis Ittehadul Muslimin)’, a Muslim organization, has demanded to impose ban on processions taken out on Hindu festivals viz. ‘Ram-Navami’ and ‘Hanuman-Jayanti’. Hindu organizations are angered due to such demand by Owaisi. (In a country where Hindus are in majority, a Muslim MLA, demanding ban on processions taken out during Hindu festivals, indicates that Hindus are staying in Pakistan and not in India. Today, Muslims are demanding ban on Hindu processions; tomorrow, they will demand for demolition of Hindu temples and will, later, demand that Hindus should become either Muslims or leave their womenfolk behind. Lack of unity among Hindus is responsible for such situation and there is no alternative for Hindus to establish a Hindu Nation to change this situation. – Editor SP)

  1. Owaisi’s anti-Hindu demand has been strongly condemned by Mr. Raja Singh, a councilor from Mangalhat area, Shiv Sena, all India Hindu Mahasabha, Janasangh Party, Ramrajya Parishad, ‘Shatdarshan’ Saints and religious leaders through releasing respective press releases. (Hindu organizations should not just stop at registering protest but they should form a strong expansive unification and create awe so that no Hindu-hater would dare to make such demand in future. – Editor SP)
  2. On one hand, this anti-Hindu Muslim has made a demand to ban Hindu festivals and on the other hand, he has demanded assistance from the State Congress Government for celebration of ‘Milad-Un- Nabi’, a Muslim festival on large scale. Owaisi’s MIM party is a partner in ruling Congress-led front in A.P. Both the parties jointly rule Municipal Corporation of Bhagyanagar.(Owaisi seems to be quite sure that Congress Govt. in A.P. would take no action against him even if he does anything against Hindus; therefore, he can dare to say such things. In short, Hindus need to remember that under Congress regime, the way in which Hindus genocide took place in North, in the valley of Jammu and Kashmir, similar condition would be faced even in South. Hindus now need to unite for their survival. – Editor SP)
  3. In old Bhagyanagar area, there is ‘goonda-raj (rule of criminals)’ of MIM. In this ‘goonda-raj’, Congress Govt. is playing equal part. Two years back, action of ‘MIM’ workers was the cause of riots in the old city. Mr. Raja Singh, the councilor of Bhagyanagar Municipal Corporation has stated that trying to create obstacles in processions of Hindus on ‘Ramnavami’ and Hanuman Jayanti by the Government will generate furor among Hindus and the Government would be responsible for the same.
  4. Akbaruddin Owaisi’s statement has been strongly condemned by Shiv Sena, All India Hindu Mahasabha, Janasangh Party and Ramrajya Parishad in a joint meeting. If the Congress Government and MIM tried to cause obstacles, all organizations would take to road; but in any case, the procession would be taken out. No permission is required to be taken from anyone, says the joint circular letter issued by all parties. Mr. B. Mahesh Chander, the area-President of Shiv Sena chaired the meeting. The other participants of the meeting were B. Vishal Toshniwal, Bhagatram Agrawal, D. Devendra, Divyang Singh Lodh of Hindu Mahasabha, Damodar Reddy, Rajbhushan Rao, A. S. Prakash Rao and Pravin Soni etc.
  5. Dr. Binduji Maharaj of ‘Shatdarshan Sant-Mahant Sangh’, a spiritual organization said in a meeting at ‘Nirmal Akhada’ of RSS that the demand made by Akbaruddin Owaisi was spreading venom in society and he should be arrested under National Security Act. Leaving such persons free, who are trying to provoke people, would disturb peace. Even during the program of‘Milad-un-Nabi’, watch should be kept over Owaisi.
  6. BJP has also protested against the statement made by Owaisi and has said, “Statement made by Owaisi will cause rift between minority and Hindus. The State Government should take stringent action against Owaisi.” (Hindus should note that none of the parties barring Shiv Sena and BJP, has protested against the statement of Owaisi. Congress rulers and Opposition party viz. Telugu Desam are keeping quiet on the issue. Even powerful Hindu organizations like VHP and RSS are also keeping quiet. Hindus should not expect anything from such parties and undertake a strong fight, in lawful manner, for protecting their rights; else their existence will be in danger. – Editor SP)

Congress Govt.’s ‘Aurangzebi Fatwa’ in Bhagyanagar

Ban on ringing bell in Sri Bhagyalakshmi Temple in Charminar area
Ban on ringing bell in Sri Bhagyalakshmi Temple in Charminar area
Bhagyanagar (Hyderabad) : Anti-Hindu Congress Government in Andhra Pradesh has banned ringing of bell in Sri Bhagyalakshmi Temple in Char Minar area in Bhagyanagar. The Government has also imposed ban on performing ‘Maha-aarti’ and has deployed police force to implement the ban. (This shows that Congress Govt. is trampling sentiments of Hindus only to appease Muslims. Today, there is ban on ‘aarti’, ban on ringing bells in temple; tomorrow, these Hindu-hater rulers of Congress will issue a ‘fatwa’ that Hindus should adopt Islam. How long are Hindus going to tolerate such Congress rulers who are making them experience how living in Pakistan would be. Now at least Hindus should unite and undertake a strong agitation, in lawful manner, against those imposing curb on their religious rights and save their existence ! – Editor SP)

Source: Dainik Sanatan Prabhat

Creeping emergency type situation in the country; catalyst to undermine democratic freedoms: Ms. Sonia Gandhi – Dr. Swamy

January 24, 2012.

                                    Statement of Dr. Subramanian Swamy,
                                    President of the Janata Party.
            The Congress Party-led UPA Government needs to be thoroughly condemned for the sneaky way they prevented Salman Rushdie from speaking through video link to the Jaipur LIT Fest gathering.  To me it is no surprise that given the Fascist parentage of Ms Sonia Gandhi, and later her being weaned on the authoritarianism of the Soviet system, she at the first opportunity would undermine democratic freedoms especially when her position was threatened electorally.
            But the writers, and intellectuals who assembled in Jaipur should now recognize that freedom of expression is not divisible.  These affected people in Jaipur had kept their stony and loud silence when a Op-Ed article of mine in the DNA newspaper was targeted both nationally and internationally by the same forces to curry favour with wealthy Muslim fanatics.
            The fight for democratic freedoms can succeed only when there is eternal vigilance and a commitment to defend even those with whom we do not agree. As of now there is a creeping Emergency type situation in the country and the catalyst for it is Ms Sonia Gandhi.  We should no more pretend that it is not so.
                                                                        ( SUBRAMANIAN  SWAMY )

Puja in govt offices won’t hurt secularism: HC

CHENNAI: Is conducting Ayudha Puja or Saraswathi Puja in government offices a non-secular activity deserving to be banned? ‘No’, the Madras high court has ruled.
“Showing respect to the place of work and the objects of work will in no way offend the feelings of others or affect secularism. Ayudha Puja is referable to prayer, reverence or respect given to objects through which an individual performs his profession or occupation. Ayudha Puja in its real terms transcends all religion,” a division bench of Justice R Sudhakar and Justice Aruna Jagadeesan has said.
Dismissing a public interest writ petition, which sought a direction to the government to prohibit “all sorts of religious activities within the precincts of government offices”, the bench said an individual showing respect to his occupational tools cannot be said to offend the secular nature of the state.
“Irrespectvie of religion, Ayudha Puja is a reverence shown by cobblers, weavers, farmers, autorickshaw drivers, rickshaw-pullers, carpenters, shopkeepers, chartered accountants, advocates, doctors etc., to objects which they use to earn their livelihood,” Justice Sudhakar, who wrote the judgment for the bench, observed.
Similarly, Saraswathi Puja is referable to showing respect to education, knowledge and the script, the judge said, adding: “The form of worship or veneration to files and records at the close of the working day preceding the Ayudhua Puja or Saraswathi Puja holidays cannot be called as religious activity by the government, affecting the secular nature of the state.”
The judges pointed out that Ayudha Puja and Saraswathi Puja fall on holidays and it could not be concluded that it was the state which performed these pujas at office. “In government offices, if an individual shows respect and reverence to the materials, books, files or records which are being handled by the individual, it will be referable to his individual freedom and there is nothing to show that it affects the secular nature of the state.”
The petitioner, S P Muthuraman, cited a government order issued in 1993 and a circular dated April 22, 2010 to seek a ban on religious activities in government offices. In December 1993, a government order said no construction of any new structure for religious worship or prayer within the office campus or modification of any existing structure should be permitted. This was reiterated by a division bench order of the high court in March 2010. It was following the HC order that in April 2010 the government sent the circular.
Justice Sudhakar, however, pointed out that the government order and the circular related to construction and enlargement of structures within government office complexes and had nothing to do with an individual’s right to offer puja for the place of work or tools. An individual’s right to freedom of conscience is permitted in Article 25 of the Constitution, he said, adding: “If the relief sought for by the petition is accepted, it is likely to cause disharmony among various groups.”

CEC sees polls as biggest source of corruption

Low voter turnout a threat to India’s democracy’

Elections are the biggest source of corruption in the country. When a candidate spends Rs. 5 crore to Rs.10 crore for getting elected, the first thing he does is call officials and ask them how they’re going to help him recover his expenditure.

This was stated by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) S.Y. Quraishi here on Monday.

Mr. Quraishi was speaking at a special meeting called to ask for the media’s help to boost voter awareness.

The Election Commission had made significant progress in making the electoral process more transparent, but only a vigilant electorate could stamp out corruption, he noted.

Mr. Quraishi said low voter turnout had emerged as a fundamental threat to the country’s democracy. “If 30 per cent of people vote and one of them wins with 12 per cent of that, both the quality of the representation and the legitimacy of governance will suffer.”

To boost voter participation, the Commission had taken slew of measures such as appointment of community-based booth liaison officers, hand-delivery of voter slips prior to the election day and running of awareness campaigns in the media, he said.

These measures had helped bring about a record voter turnout of 84 per cent in Tamil Nadu and ensured a steady improvement in electoral participation across the last seven elections.

“I am particularly pleased we have succeeded in making sure more women than ever are voting. In Bihar, there were more women voters than men. We have also added 3.8 crore in the 18-19 age-group to the electoral rolls through special campaigns, which means about 35 per cent of this age-group are now registered to vote,” he said.

However, Mr. Quraishi pointed out that voters in most cities other than Kolkata and Chennai remained apathetic. “People in urban areas incessantly complain about how corrupt their politicians are, but won’t queue up to vote and choose better ones,” he added.

Hizb ut-Tahrir, group behind failed Bangla coup plot, growing in stature in India

NEW DELHI: Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), the aggressive political group behind the recent failed Bangladesh coup, has been active in India for at least two years.

According to sources in the Muslim community and security establishment, HT that advocates a Caliphate (Islamic state) and has figured in several controversial developments around the world has been active among Indian Muslims. The group has a particularly strong presence in the national Capital, and largely among students.

A senior Muslim leader said he was worried about the growing clout of HT among his community members. “I am aware of them organizing seminars and protests in Delhi,” he said.

Some 16 Bangladesh military officers, who were members of HT, are accused of planning to overthrow Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government. After the security agencies cracked down on the coup plotters, HT claims to have organized public speeches outside mosques across Bangladesh calling upon people to “protest against the Hasina government’s plot to subjugate the Muslim Army of Bangladesh to US-India”.

A source in the security establishment said HT may have started operations in India around 2010, but seems to have lost the momentum. According to HT’s website, its India chapter organized a demonstration in June, 2010, against Israel’s alleged atrocities. The demonstration was at Batla House, New Delhi, that was attended by about 1,000 people.

“My information is that they are not operating as a group in India because they are a political organization. Intellectual and political debate is a permissible norm but to espouse violence is absolutely not acceptable,” said Abdul Rashid Qureshi, a Supreme Court lawyer who is active in Muslim forums.

HT is banned in several countries like Pakistan, Turkey, Russia, Germany etc, and it was banned in Bangladesh in 2009.

According to HT’s own statements in the wake of the failed Bangladesh coup, its members have been claiming that Hasina “was brought to power by the Americans, in partnership with India. The Americans have a design to prevent the return of the Islamic Khilafah in this region and contain the rise of China. For this purpose she prefers a strategic partnership with India in order to secure her strong presence in this region and tighten her grip over the Muslim countries within the region. These two enemy countries are using the government, the opposition, and some in the military leadership in Bangladesh as agents to solve the long standing issues with India which will free India’s hands.”

The HT called on “sincere officers in the army to remove Hasina and the current ruling regime from authority at once; and to transfer the authority to Hizb ut-Tahrir which is a sincere and aware political party. Hizb ut-Tahrir will establish the Khilafah state which will eject USA, Britain, India and their allies from Bangladesh. The Khilafah will build this country as the starting point for becoming a global super power. This is by securing the basic needs of the people and solving the long running problems faced by the people such as poverty and unemployment, industrializing the country’s economy, building the army as a strong and advanced fighting force, and unifying with the Muslim Ummah.”