Sarvajan Hitay Sarvajan Sukhay-For The Gain of The Many and For The Welfare of The Many
SC issues notices in Gomti Nagar flat allotment case
2 November 2007
The Supreme Court has issued notices to former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh, Mulayam’s brother Shivpal Singh Yadav and 30 others on a petition filed by the Uttar Pradesh government seeking cancellation of allotment of flats by the Mulayam Singh government in Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, in 2005.
The notice was issued when the application was mentioned for early hearing.
A bench comprising Justices C K Thakker and Altamas Kabir issued notices after hearing the counsel for Uttar Pradesh government, headed by Mayawati, who contended that the allotments were illegal and were made from the discretionary quota of the Chief Minister only to Samajwadi Party leaders and their favourites, violating all the rules and regulations.
The Uttar Pradesh counsel prayed for permission to register criminal cases against the 28 allotees, the then Chief Minister Mulayam Singh, SP leader Amar Singh, who was the chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Development Corporation, Shivpal Singh Yadav and the then top officials of the Lucknow Development Authority, who were involved in the scandal of allotting flats in the posh Gomti Nagar colony at throwaway prices.
The inquiry conducted by the Lucknow Development Commissioner has found the allegations of ‘nepotism and favouritism’ true and the report, submitted to the state government, has recommended cancellation of the said allotments and appropriate action against those involved in the scandal.
FIR against CBI chief by West Bengal police in Nithari row
NEW DELHI: The West Bengal police has registered an FIR against CBI director Vijay Sankar and two other officials in connection with mysterious death of Jatin Sarkar, a key witness in the Nithari serial killings in Uttar Pradesh.
Besides the CBI director, the FIR registered with the Behrampur Police Station under Murshidabad district has named two other officials - SJM Gillani (SP) of CBI and Dinesh Yadav, the suspended circle officer of Nithari sub division of Uttar Pradesh police.
Cases under IPC Sections 302(murder), 506 (criminal intimidation) 201 (causing disapperance of evidence) and 34 (common intention) have been registered against the three top officials.
Murshidabad Superintendent of Police Rahul Shrivastava confirmed that the FIR was registered on November 1. However, he refrained from giving further details on the issue.
The registration of FIR assumes significance as on November 1, the Supreme Court had sought a a response from the CBI on an allegation made by Bandana Sarkar that the CBI chief and some of its officers had connived with the main accused Moninder Singh Pandher to give the latter a clean chit in the serial killings that shocked the nation’s conscience.
New federal map
Set Up Second SRC To Break Behemoths Into Smaller States
By Sumer Kaul
Mayawati’s call for trifurcation of Uttar Pradesh may have evoked no political reaction and very little media attention but it certainly comes as a surprise. Several new states have been carved out of old ones since the States Reorganisation Commission revamped the post-independence federal map in 1955. One cannot recall any other case of a chief minister advocating division of his or her domain.
So what has prompted the BSP leader to suggest multiple partition of UP? After all, it is no ordinary state she is ruling (and how!). Even after Uttarakhand was hived off seven years ago, if UP were a country it would be the ninth most populous in the world. It sends the largest bloc of MPs to the Lok Sabha, which lends the dominant party in the state quite some clout in national politics as well as in politicking with the Centre, especially in these wobbly coalition times. This leverage will substantially weaken if the behemoth is broken up into smaller states.
UP into three
Be that as it may, this essay is not meant to be an analysis of Mayawati’s political motivation and strategy (instructive as that would be about present-day politics and politicians). My purpose is to examine the desirability of having smaller states, starting off with her suggestion of splitting UP into three. Let me say rightaway that I endorse it, as I endorsed the creation of Uttarakhand. In 1995 when the popular movement for a separate state for the hill districts of UP was gathering steam and was being widely opposed elsewhere in the state and outside, I wrote (in my column in the Hindustan Times): “Given these people’s long catalogue of woe and neglect… the question in all conscience is not why a separate state but why not.”
This question applies with equal validity to a further division of Uttar Pradesh. Among other considerations, woe and neglect continue to be the fate of people in vast swathes of the state. The basic fact of the matter is that UP has been a victim of abysmal governance over the decades. While the credit for this must primarily go to the kind of governments it has had, a major cause for the state’s general and largely abject backwardness has been, and is, its size and gargantuan population. Splitting it into three states will not transform the situation overnight but will facilitate and speed up development in each.
This is not a vain assertion; it is borne out by experience. The good old Assam-NEFA was broken into as many as seven states. While progress has been somewhat patchy, people as a whole are demonstrably better off than they were in the erstwhile administrative monolith. Punjab is less than one-third of the original Punjab but is now among the most prosperous states. When Haryana was carved out of it, many believed that the new state was so unviable that it would soon wither away. Haryana is doing pretty well, certainly compared to its sprawling eastern neighbour.
Given all this, why talk of UP alone? Absolutely right. There are other big states most of which, it is no coincidence, are also largely backward and ill-governed and, no coincidence again, face separate statehood movements in their regions. These too need to be split into smaller states. This is the call of good sense. But good sense is alien to those in and outside active politics who have vested interests in the status quo.
Unfortunately, there are also very many well-meaning people who see dire consequences in creating more and smaller states. Their main objections are: Proliferation of states will lead to balkanisation of the country; small states will make the Centre all-powerful and autocratic; more states will mean more inter-state disputes; and costs of administration will shoot up and that will put, still higher burden on tax-payers. These, as we shall see, are baseless or curable fears.
Nearly a dozen new states have come up since 1955. Has this in any way changed the Centre-state equation against the latter? Why should it change if, say, another one dozen states are created? Equally implausible is the argument that more states will necessarily mean more inter-state disputes. Such quarrels arise from complex factors, including and indeed accentuated by exigencies of party politics. If the conventional problem-solving spirit of give and take is not forthcoming in such matters, the answer lies in activating the Constitutionally-provided Inter-State Council and empowering it with the authority to give binding decisions.
As for the cost factor, the basic fact is that government expenditure in this blessed country has less to do with needs of governance and more with our political (and bureaucratic) culture of pomp and profligacy ~ and corruption. Yes, given the bloated and exorbitant character of ministries and bureaucracies, new states will mean new costs. At the same time, however, smaller states should also mean smaller outgo under various expenditure heads ~ for the new entities as well as the diminished mother state.
That apart and far more significantly, if we are honest about economy of costs, there are several ways to go about it and effect massive savings: Reduce by half the size of ministries from the present ceiling of 15 per cent and cut to reasonable levels the obscenely high perks and privileges given to ministers and legislators (and senior bureaucrats); abolish, where these still exists, the white elephants called Vidhan Parishads; make the hugely under-employed personages in those viceregal Raj Bhavans governors of a bunch of states ~ that is, if we don’t have the democratic courage to altogether do away with this redundant colonial institution. Highly desirable things to do in themselves, these reforms will release enough of the tax-payers’ money to meet a considerable part of a new state’s expenditure.
Finally, the balkanisation point. This is a bogus fear. There is no god-given figure of states a country can have. If a nation’s territorial integrity were contingent on the number of its provinces, then a country called the USA with its 51 very autonomous states should have dissolved long ago. Nor has the near doubling of states in India abridged its territory. (The areas lost to Pakistan in J&K and there and elsewhere to China, needless to say, have nothing whatsoever to do with the number or size of states.)
There are close to a dozen separate statehood movements brewing in various states, including Telengana in Andhra Pradesh. When the Telengana Rashtriya Samiti made an impressive showing in the elections three years ago, the Congress sought and secured its support at the Centre on the promise that a second SRC would be set up to consider, among other cases, the demand for a Telengana state. The Congress-led UPA government is still considering ~ setting up the commission!
Must we wait for and act only when things turn ugly ~ and then go about it piecemeal? Wisdom demands the setting up of a body of intelligent and far-sighted men and women to dispassionately examine the whole situation and evolve a new federal map, principally by slicing up unwieldy behemoths into smaller states. This will go a long way in bringing about more decentralisation, more democracy, more popular involvement with and check on administration ~ objectives that are ardently supported by enlightened public opinion and to which all political parties claim to be committed. Then why dither and delay?
The author is a veteran columnist and former editor
Puris banned in mid-day meals in UP
Puris have been banned with immediate effect in mid-day meals served in schools across Uttar Pradesh.
This follows a preliminary study that revealed that the bulk of the 600-odd children who fell ill in the current academic session had consumed puris during their mid-day meals in government-run primary schools in the state.
“The bulk of the cases occurred after consumption of meals on Thursdays when puris are served as a matter of routine. We have reasons to suspect that the cooking medium used for making puris was sub-standard. As such we have banned puris with immediate effect,” Uttar Pradesh principal secretary for basic education Rohit Nandan told IANS.
“We had already taken measures to disallow use of loose oil as the cooking medium,” he said. “In place of puris children will now get rotis or dalia (wheat porridge).”
Nearly 23 million children are covered under the daily mid-day meal scheme in the state.
While taking note of recurrence of illness among children after consumption of mid-day meal in the Uttar Pradesh schools, Chief Minister Mayawati shot off a letter a week ago to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh suggesting drastic changes in the entire mid-day meal exercise carried out by the central government.
Illegal cracker factory unearthed
Budaun: An illegal cracker factory was unearthed in the district and six persons were arrested in this connection, police said on Friday.
Acting on specific information, police conducted a raid and seized two trucks of crackers, they said.
The Blessed,Noble,Awakened One-The Tathagata
Setting at Savatthi. Then, in the morning, the bhikkhuni Vijaya dressed… she sat down at the foot of a tree for the day’s abiding.
Then Mara the Evil One, desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in the bhikkhuni Vijaya,
desiring to make her fall away from concentration, approached her and addressed her in verse:
You are so young and beautiful,
And I too am in the bloom of youth.
Come, noble lady, let us rejoice
With the music of a fivefold ensemble.
Then it occurred to the bhikkhuni Vijaya: “Now who is this…? This is Mara the Evil One… desiring to make me fall away from concentration.”
Then the bhikkhuni Vijaya, having understood, “This is Mara the Evil One,” replied to him in verses:
Forms and sounds, tastes and odors,
Tactile objects that delight the mind:
I offer them right back to you,
For I, O Mara, do not need them.
I am repelled and humiliated
By this foul, putrid body,
Subject to break up, fragile:
I’ve uprooted sensual craving.
As to those beings who fare amidst form,
And those who abide in the formless,
And those peaceful attainments too:
Everywhere darkness has been destroyed.
Then Mara the Evil One, realizing “The bhikkhuni Vijaya knows me,” sad and disappointed, disappeared right there.
Doctrine-True Practice of The Path Shown by The Blessed,Noble,Awakened One-The Tathagata
Knowing Oneself and Knowing Others
The Buddha taught us to contemplate our body, for example: hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin… it’s all body. Take a look! We are told to investigate right here. If we don’t see these things clearly as they are in ourselves, we won’t understand regarding other people. We won’t see others clearly nor will we see ourselves. However, if we do understand and see clearly the nature of our own bodies, our doubts and wonderings regarding others will disappear. This is because body and mind (Rupa and Nama) are the same for everybody. It isn’t necessary to go and examine all the bodies in the world since we know that they are the same as us — we are the same as them. If we have this kind of understanding then our burden becomes lighter. Without this kind of understanding, all we do is develop a heavier burden. In order to know about others we would have to go and examine everybody in the entire world. That would be very difficult. We would soon become discouraged.
Our Vinaya is similar to this. When we look at our Vinaya (Code of Monks’ Discipline) we feel that it’s very difficult. We must keep every rule, study every rule, review our practice with every rule. If we just think about it, “Oh, it’s impossible!” We read the literal meaning of all the numerous rules and, if we merely follow our thinking about them, we could well decide that it’s beyond our ability to keep them all. Anyone who has had this kind of attitude towards the Vinaya has the same feeling about it — there are a lot of rules!
The scriptures tell us that we must examine ourselves regarding each and every rule and keep them all strictly. We must know them all and observe them perfectly. This is the same as saying that to understand about others we must go and examine absolutely everybody. This is a very heavy attitude. And it’s like this because we take what is said literally. If we follow the textbooks, this is the way we must go. Some Teachers teach in this manner — strict adherence to what the textbooks say. It just can’t work that way.17
Actually, if we study theory like this, our practice won’t develop at all. In fact our faith will disappear, our faith in the Way will be destroyed. This is because we haven’t yet understood. When there is wisdom we will understand that all the people in the entire world really amount to just this one person. They are the same as this very being. So we study and contemplate our own body and mind. With seeing and understanding the nature of our own body and mind comes understanding the bodies and minds of everyone. And so, in this way, the weight of our practice becomes lighter.
The Buddha said to teach and instruct ourselves — nobody else can do it for us. When we study and understand the nature of our own existence, we will understand the nature of all existence. Everyone is really the same. We are all the same “make” and come from the same company — there are only different shades, that’s all! Just like “Bort-hai” and “Tum-jai.” They are both pain-killers and do the same thing, but one type is called “Bort-hai” and the other “Tum-jai.” Really they aren’t different.
You will find that this way of seeing things gets easier and easier as you gradually bring it all together. We call this “feeling our way,” and this is how we begin to practice. We’ll become skilled at doing it. We keep on with it until we arrive at understanding, and when this understanding arises, we will see reality clearly.
Spiritual Community of The Followers of The Path Shown by The Blessed,Noble,Awakened One-The Tathagata
Right view and right resolve continue to mature through the development of the path factors associated with sila, or virtue — namely, right speech, right action, and right livelihood. These are condensed into a very practical form in the five precepts, the basic code of ethical conduct to which every practicing Buddhist subscribes: refraining from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and using intoxicants. Even the monks’ complex code of 227 rules and the nuns’ 311 ultimately have these five basic precepts at their core.