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The Buddha’s great renunciation
Bhikkhu Bodhi Thera
Buddha had the capacity to read deep into people’s minds and discern
the maturity of their spiritual faculties and their potential for
achieving liberation. When he encouraged others to go forth into
homelessness, he generally recognised that such people had the capacity
to attain final realisation in the present life.
Just about all
versions of the Buddha’s biography tell us that the Buddha made his
great renunciation of the household life shortly after his wife gave
birth to their first and only child, the boy Rahula. According to the
classical story, he departed late at night on the very same day that
his wife gave birth, slipping out of the palace undetected while
everyone else was asleep. Many Western students of Buddhism find this
action hard to empathize with; some even consider it a breach of duty,
so contrary does it run to our own sense that a man is obliged to
remain with his family at least until the children reach maturity. Yet,
for traditional Asian Buddhists, part of the appeal of the Buddha’s
life story rests on the resoluteness with which he heeded the call to
the spiritual quest even when this demanded that he leave behind his
wife and newborn son.
For Buddhist tradition, justification for
this decision hinges on two presuppositions embedded deep within the
Indian cultural view of the period; first, that one’s wife (or wives)
and children are one’s personal assets (upadhi); and second, that one’s
wife (or wives) and children are generally the personal assets to which
one is most attached. For this reason, leaving them to embark on the
spiritual quest becomes the most difficult act of renunciation a man
can make, a true display of detachment and determination. One who can
so act thereby testifies to the strength, sincerity and loftiness of
his yearning for enlightenment, and thus to his right to attain
Indeed, according to the Jatakas, the relinquishing
of wife and children in previous lives in one of the “five great
relinquishments” a bodhisatta must make to fulfill the perfection of
giving (danaparami). The Gotama Buddha fulfilled this requirement in
his life as Prince Vessantara, who handed over his children and wife to
a cruel brahmin. (The brahmin, it turned out, was the chief god Sakka,
who assumed this guise to test Vessantara’s resolve and returned the
family members after Vessantara passed the test.)
Buddhism often say that the Buddha could give up his wife and child
because he was intent of finding the way to liberation for all the
world, and thus that the universal good he sought took precedence over
his private obligations to wife and children. This argument, however,
is not supported by the most archaic texts, which do not explicitly
highlight an altruistic motivation behind the Buddha’s embarking or his
These sources do not endorse the idea that the
Buddha left behind home and family in order to find the path to the
Deathless for the whole world. As they depict his renunciation, his
primary purpose was to find the way to release from old age, sickness
and death for himself. It would thus not be legitimate to try to
justify Prince Siddhartha’s renunciation by a principle of beneficence.
This interpretation of the renunciation is more typical of later
literature, when the figure of the Buddha was being glorified and his
quest was given a more distinctly universal dimension.
if we grant to the Bodhisatta such an altruistic motive, we still run
up against the somewhat discomfiting fact that after his enlightenment,
as the Buddha, he encouraged others to give up their wives and children
and take the homeless life, a point illustrated by such archaic sources
as the Suttanipata, the Dhammapada, and the Samyutta Nikaya (see e.g.
Dhammapada 345-346). During the first phase of his ministry,
householders even launched a protest against the Buddha, complaining
that “the ascetic Gotama gets along by breaking up families,” by luring
men away from their wives and children and ordaining them as monks.
took some effort on His part to convince the people that he was acting
in accordance with Dhamma. A well-known sutta in the Udana (I,8)
depicts a young monk sitting in mediation. His former wife comes to him
with their young son and says, “Support me and our son, ascetic.” Three
times she makes this appeal, but he does not even look up at her.
Finally she gives up and walks away. The Buddha, who has been observing
this, does not advise the young monk to disrobe and return to his
family. Rather, he recites a verse praising the man’s unshaken
Those who might find this side of early Buddhism
disturbing should understand that the Buddha had the capacity to read
deep into people’s minds and discern the maturity of their spiritual
faculties and their potential for achieving liberation. When he
encouraged others to go forth into homelessness, he generally
recognised that such people had the capacity to attain final
realisation in the present life. From his perspective, a man faces two
obligations - one towards his family and clan, the other towards
himself and the weightiest duty he has toward himself is to secure his
permanent liberation from the suffering of repeated birth and death.
Buddha would probably not encourage a man to leave his family if its
members were utterly dependent upon him for their living. In fact, the
Buddha speaks eloquently and convincingly about the duties a husband
should fulfill towards his wife and a father towards his children (see
e. g. the Sigalovada sutta, Digha Nikaya 31) Thus he does not encourage
the husband or father to neglect the welfare of his family.
much we might feel that a young son should have regular contact with
his biological father - or with a surrogate father - figure in his
immediate family - Indian tradition did not accept this as an
absolutely binding obligation,. Our own commitment to it, too, is not
as unqualified as we might imagine. We would have no trouble accepting
the decision a man might make at a time when his nation faces a genuine
threat to its security to leave his family and join the armed forces,
even when by doing so he might risk death, thereby orphaning his
children and widowing his wife. Most people would regard this as an act
of courage and self-sacrifice. So why then should we feel such a
decision is unwarranted when a person seeks to gain full enlightenment
and unshakable liberation - an achievement that would bring vast merit
to his family if they accepted his decision with love and trust?
our efforts to understand Prince Siddhartha’s decision, it becomes
clear from the suttas that the Buddha regards one’s obligation to one’s
highest spiritual destiny, that is, to win release from the bonds of
samsara, as more compelling than one’s obligation to one’s mundane
parental and marital commitments when pursuing such a goal does not
cause one’s family members harm. Nevertheless, it is very rare in Asian
Buddhist countries today to find a young man who would leave his wife
and children to become a monk.
The general ordinance, implicitly
accepted by just about everyone, is that a family man must wait until
his children have grown up and become independent before he can leave
the home life to become a monk. The same, of course, applies to a
mother who wishes to become a nun. ( Courtesy - Inquiring Mind)
Buddha’s insights on effective communication U’ve got 2 find what u love…. If u haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle -STEVE JOBS, CEO, APPLE INC. Dream on
Prof. Sunanda MAHENDRA
Sanathana of the Bowalawatta monastery invited me to deliver a short
speech recently. It happened to be the day we give alms to the monks to
mark the death anniversary of my parents too. The invitation was
abrupt, and I was at a loss for an appropriate subject to deal with. At
length I could put my finger on a Sutta with an interesting account of
the Buddha’s interpretation of communication.
The message was first transmitted orally
Sutta is found in Anguttara Nikaya (part five, Tripitka Granta Mala
No22 78-79 pp). This contains some eternal concepts for the welfare of
the monks who performed the function of a duta or a messenger. The term
‘messenger’ concept is not too apt since it looks rather materialistic
and vague. I always feel that a term that transcends the mere meaning
of ‘messenger’ or ‘message’ would be more appropriate in this context.
a term more suited would be either ‘messenger sage’ or ‘prophetic
messenger’, where the terms could be utilized for a higher purpose of
the dissemination of the teachings.
At the very inception of
meeting the five great disciples - namely Kondanna, Vappa, Assaji,
Mahanama and Bhaddiya - the Buddha wanted them to go forth for the sake
of welfare of masses (charatha bhikkhave charikan charamano, bahu jana
hithaya, bahu jana sukahaya). In this process, the intention of this
wayfaring was to disseminate not only the message of the Buddha, but
also to perceive more on social issues in order to address them more
suitable equipped with a better understanding of the human behaviour.
such the Buddha is said to have requested the disciples to listen
(sunatha) and grasp (dharetha). These two concepts look more practical
than the blissful speculations later for the monks had the advantage of
holding better grasp on discussions with the Buddha.
sensitive and intimate grasp of discussions led the Buddha to deliver
five types of sermons: Digha Nikaya; long section, Majjhima Nikaya;
middle section, Anguttara Nikaya; partitioned section, Samyutta Nikaya;
compact section and Khuddaka Nikaya; short section. Perhaps a scholar
will have to take entire lifetime to master these great segments. In
each of the Nikaya sections, one will find overlapping as well as
repetitions. But they should be regarded as necessary at the time of
the delivery depending on the subject and experience. The repetitions
are perhaps deliberate requiring to stress on a particular issue.
Buddha singles out a particular monk who is skilled in all these eight
aspects. He is no other than Venerable Sariputta. Moreover the Buddha
adds two more interlinked factors: sternness in the verbal behaviour
(vadan nonasima in Sinhala) and the physical behaviour. When all these
are taken as a single entity, a particular monk is qualified to take up
the functions of a Duta which is denoted by the term Duta Mehevara
(Duteyya gantuma ra hati).
The Buddha as a last comment, states
that such a Duta is the person who truly represents the Sasana. A great
message when passed down from one person to another or to a group of
persons should not be altered or distorted. As such the function of a
messenger of a sacred message becomes significant. Not only the Buddha,
almost all the great teachers needed pupils who possess the ability to
pass down a message in the best possible manner. The discussion in
small groups in the manner implemented by the Buddha, helps gauge in
the intensity of what is disseminated bas a message, and who listens to
it, and how it is passed down.
Long before mass media
channels were utilized, most sacred message similar to the saying of
great teachers were passed down orally by monks known as Bhanaka. These
Bhankas happen to be great followers of their respective Masters. The
Buddha had a great retinue of followers scattered wherever he dwelled.
One of the main functions of these followers happened to be the
dissemination of the message of the Buddha, may it be the Four Noble
Truths or Eight-fold Noble Path. But the suitability on the part of the
person who disseminates the message (duta) became significant.
factor of training a duta may have been a significant factor in the
very process of messenger training. Those who listen and those who
allow others to listen are now termed in the modern world as a
listening skill where the techniques of sound are utilized.
messenger of a sacred message cannot afford to be harsh or irritable or
shaky. He or she has to utilize a language that suits the listenability
which is now assessed as an announcer skill. The messenger of a sacred
message learns and grasps what he learns. Followed by this comes the
concept of vigna and vignana which also envelopes such factors as
knowledge and knowledgeability. These have come to stay as oriental
The Buddha lays down eight salient factors that go into the making of a good Dhamma Duta. What are these eight factors:
1. In this order there are monks who listen to the doctrine.
2. There are those who make other listen.
3. Those who grasp the doctrine.
4. Those who allow others to grasp.
5. Those who impart the Dhamma
6. Those who are cognitive
7. Those who are stern both in mind and body.
8. Those who avoid disputes (by way of the process).
Guiding light to youth
Title: Budu Sasune Pihita Labana Pinvath Neganiyani
Author: Ayodhaya Weerasinghe
Publisher: Mihira Publishers, Rajagiriya
Price: Rs. 220
Page count: 136 pages
Weerasinghe’s book, part two of the same title, was meant for the
females in the modern society but covers a wide spectrum of matters
both religious as well as practical in moulding the character of
everyone with direct references to the teachings of the Buddha who had
gone into meticulous detail about the mind and its potential and the
impediments that inhibit the achievement of an enlightened human being.
as a journalist has written a large number of features for Tharuni our
sister weekly women’s newspaper targeting its readership and the book
was aimed at the women readers.
Written in clear and readable
language in grammatical Sinhala - that most contemporary writers seem
to be ignorant about. It proves a useful book not only for women but
also for men and children to understand the social fabric with
universal human reactions, weaknesses, strengths or attitudes that
could make personal and social life meaningful.
The analyses of
the present day society that one calls modern or post modern, still
beset with the weakness or strength of human nature is discussed in her
writing. The book is not only readable but should prove a useful guide
to the youth of either sex though it was meant for the females,
especially the youth among them.
The Enlightened One
Born into the royal Sakyan clan
Living in the lap of luxury
Enjoying great happiness
Splendour and compost
Blissfully unaware of the
Vicissitudes of life
Outside the palace gates
While going around the city
Accompanied by his
Faithful charioteer Channa
He espied an old man
With bent body, sans teeth
And matted hair his
Body covered with a
Dirty ragged cloth
The next sight was
That of a sick man
Body ulcerous with pus
And blood oozing
The third sight was
A dead boy lying
On a pyre
Being unexposed to
All these frailties of life
He was baffled and intrigued
So he questioned Channa
Who explained that
All living beings are subject
To old age, sickness and death
The fourth and last sight
Was that of a holy man
In yellow robes
Calm and tranquil
All these sights he saw
Made him extremely
Introspective and pensive
He pondered and ruminated
In the futility of and impermanence
Of life and all sensual pursuits
Causing a radical change
In his outlook of life
Thus he made the
For the good and benefit
Of all mankind.
Indranee Karandawala Wijesinghe
ABHIDHAMMA IN A NUTSHELL - XXVI:
‘Four Great Essentials’ were described in detail in the last episode.
It was evident that these four contains in any kind of material.
Derived from those four essentials there are 24 more Rupas, which are
prominent as materials. This episode would illustrate these
‘derivatives’ or Upadaya Rupas.
Sensitive parts of Five Organs (Pasada Rupa) - 5
this series five sense organs (eye, nose, tongue….), five types of
sense-doors (Chakkhudhvara, Sothadhvata, ……) five types of
consciousness arise on these organs (Chakkhu Vinna, Sotha
Vinnana……) were described. There, the objective was to understand
how Mind works. Now it is time to understand the material aspect of
Eye is an essential organ in our body. It enables
us to see. Eye consists many parts and performs a complex process.
Retina is one of the most important parts in eye. The sensitive part in
the middle of retina has the capability to receive visible objects and
enable one to see them. This is called as Chakkhupasada. This is
basically the instrument causes the Eye-door thought process. This
complex process is supported by many other material qualities within
the eye while Chakkhupasada being one of the most important ones.
second pasada rupa is Sothapasada which is the sensitive part in Ear
which enable ones to hear. Similarly Ghanapasada, Jivhapasada and
Kayapasada are the sensitive material parts in nose, tongue and body
which enable ones to odour, taste and touches. With respect to body,
Kayapasada is spread all over the body except for the places such as
hair, nails and some other areas of skin.
The Sense-fields (Gochara Rupa) - 5
grabs visual objects. Ear grabs sound. Nose grabs odour. Tongue grabs
taste and Body grabs touches. Objects grabbed by five sense organs are
also Rupas. These object supports in arising cognition. These are also
Rupas and those are known as Gochara Rupa or Visaya Rupa. The five
Gochara Rupas are Rupa, Shabdha, Gandha, Rasa and Sparsha.
Rupa - 1
object has a colour. It may also take some kind of shape. Colour and
shape help identify a particular object. What is meant by rupa here is
the colour and shape of an object.
Potthabba - 1
objects are either tangible or intangible. The tangible objects which
are derived from four great essentials can be felt by the sense of
touch. The properties of the four great essentials are sensed by
touching a particular object. This sensual characteristic is known as
Bhava Rupa - 2
There are two main categories
of human: male and female. These two categories deviate from each other
by specific features. The two main matters which cause this difference
are known as bhava rupa and those are sthribhava (matter of femininity)
and purushabhava (matter or Masculinity). For example, the two types of
bhava rupasestablish different and required physical characteristics of
male and female for the process of reproduction. These two rupas cause
features in male and female to distinguish them from each other.
Hadhyvatthu - 1
is the seat of mind or consciousness? This has been a question which
has been answered throughout this series. Mind travels everywhere and
it has many types, features and characteristics. There is no one place
where mind retains. However, consciousness or mind is highly associated
with heart. Therefore in Abhidhamma ‘the heart’ or the hadhayavatthu is
considered as the seat of consciousness. This is just meant to say that
mind is strongly coupled with heart.
Jivithindriya - 1
and Matter constitute a being. In thought process it was explained how
the cycle of consciousness works. Apart from consciousness the other
essential part of a being is Matter which means the physical life. The
Matter of Life or the Jivitha Indriya is the material group which forms
a being which simultaneously arise with rebirth-consciousness and flow
together with thought processes.
Ahara Rupa - 1
to sustain a physical body of a being food is required. The element of
nutritive essence or Oja which is required to sustain the physical body
is known as the Kabalikara Ahara Rupa.
Next episode will be on rest of the derivatives.
‘A Manual of Abhidhamma’: VenNarada Maha Thera
From Mara’s desk
Cindy Mettika Hoffman
years ago I was at Abhayagiri and had the opportunity to see Ruth
Denison, my heart teacher, who was visiting for the day. After the meal
I sat with Ruth, guests and members of the community. We were relaxed,
comfortable and glad to be with each other.
Ruth asked me the meaning of ‘Mettika,’ I said that it means, ‘One with loving kindness,’ taken from the word ‘metta.’
Then Ajahn Amaro said in his inimitable way, ‘We couldn’t find the Pali word for ‘grumpy.’ Everyone laughed, including moi.
The next week I was back at the monastery and Ajahn Amaro said they had found the Pali word for ‘grumpy.’ I asked what it was.
replied, ‘Dosika.’ In the far back of my mind I knew the word but
didn’t want to wait for the definition to arise. Ajahn provided it for
me: ‘One filled with aversion.’
Everything went still and quiet.
This was the perfect opportunity for Mara to slip in, as quick as a
flash and fill my heart with overwhelming fear, shame, pride and
embarrassment. Mara is the great master of doubt, shame, fear,
confusion, denial, angst, stress, greed, anger and delusion. ‘Ajahn
really does know all my nasty qualities,’ I thought. For the next
several weeks, meditation and everyday thoughts were filled with the
concept of dosika. Scenes of anger manifesting in thoughts, words and
actions arose and passed away rapidly. It was very painful to remember
A few weeks later I was at Spirit Rock Meditation
Center in training with 60 other people from all over the country. I
walked out of the dark interior of a building into the brilliant
sunshine and saw Ajahn Amaro sitting on a bench at a picnic table
directly facing me. He greeted me with ‘Hello Dosika’.
home and reflected deeply on dosa/dosika and realised that anger was
part of the three poisons and it was everyone’s responsibility to deal
with these poisons. The Buddha’s teachings offer the perfect way to
train the mind and heart toward wholesome thoughts, words and deeds. I
realised that metta/mettika was the wholesome side of the picture and
dosa/dosika was the unwholesome. It could be called the shadow side of
personality. It runs on automatic pilot, difficult to see in yourself,
but obvious to everyone else.
At that point in time I made the
intention to work with the wholesome and unwholesome through the use of
my name. So now when I realise that something I think, say or do could
be more skilful I can use the words ‘mettika’ and ‘dosika’ and act
accordingly. Ajahn Amaro has never again called me that name beginning
with a ‘D.’
Courtesy : Fearless Mountain Newsletter
Choose a job u love
& u’ll never have 2 work a day in ur life
Entrepreneur Mukta Darera helps people find their groove
U’ve got 2 find what u love….
If u haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle
-STEVE JOBS, CEO, APPLE INC.
She is an engineer with a degree in Kathak. An entrepreneur who
moonlights as an RJ. When Mukta Darera was in high school, she with a
group of friends, gathered interesting material from the Internet and
elsewhere to draw up a newsletter. The youngst
ers then set about printing copies of the same and convinced their
peers to buy it, rather than read it for free.
“Maybe, it’s in my blood” says 24-year-old Mukta, of this
entrepreneurial streak. Like many academically-proficient students,
Mukta, who hails from a business family, started off on the
conventional route. First-rate marks in school, an engineering degree
and a dream posting with an IT major. Two years into her job, and
despite being part of many activities at her workplace, she felt the
experience was not fulfilling in terms of “all the things I wanted to
do in life”. “I also saw peers not living the dreams they had always
had,” she observes.
The customary next step at this stage was to try and get into a
B-school and Mukta succeeded here too. The thought of doing an MBA
however, didn’t really excite her. The school, which had offered her
admission, also offered a programme for those wanting to start their
own business and this is when Mukta felt something click. While it was
too late to apply for this particular programme, a search led her to
the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore’s program for women
entrepreneurs, and she enrolled. When it was time to come up with a
business plan at the end of the course, Mukta presented an idea which
had sprung up from her days at the tech firm.
Hence was born iReboot. According to Mukta, iReboot is about
“helping people live their dreams, even if it is only for two days”.
One of the services iReboot offers is workshops and counselling for
those who want to asses the pros and cons of taking up a new
profession. To begin with, a quick survey gave Mukta an idea of the top
dream jobs today, with careers like travel writing, photography, and
restaurateur figuring prominently on the list. The young entrepreneur
then set about looking for experienced professionals in these fields.
“I look for someone with an ability to connect with the audience”, says
Mukta of her constant search for mentors to guide the many enthusiasts
who attend her workshops. But the overriding criterion, she says, is
the passion the mentors display for their work.
Mukta is also extremely passionate about providing students with the
exposure they need to make career choices. “When I was a student,
nobody guided me”, she notes, “I was good academically and took
engineering like everybody else”. And Mukta’s own dream job? “This is
my dream job” she retorts, of her work at iReboot. The ex-techie
understands well what a career change brings with it. While her family
was initially hesitant, she says, they came around after she explained
to them that this was what she wanted to do, and this was the best time
in her life to do it. But Mukta admits that in the beginning it was
difficult to adjust to life without a monthly pay check. “I couldn’t
just go into a mall and pick up what I wanted” she points out. “But I
am much happier now”, she counters.
Drawing from all this, Mukta does not recommend an immediate career
change for those who attend her workshops. “There are families to go
back to, EMI s to be paid”, she notes. The process, according to her,
is a gradual one.
For more information about iReboot. visit www.ireboot.in or call 9886295353. If you want to listen to Mukta the RJ, tune into FM Rainbow 101.3 Tuesdays, at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
This column features those who choose to veer off the beaten track.
Prabuddha Bharath’s Election will Empower ‘Queen Of The SC/STs’ - THREE BASKETS STUDY CIRCLE
In the U.P. of 2009, there is overwhelming trend.
In U.P., the BSP continue to be the major players
largely because of the continuing loyalty of their core voters — SC/ST-Jatavs (12 per cent).
The 2007 buzz around the BSP was still glaring . The SP, which cut an election-eve deal
with the former BJP leader, Kalyan Singh, hoping to achieve an Other
Backward Classes (OBC)-Muslim consolidation. This strategy was intended
to place Mulayam Singh in an unassailable position but obviously the SP
chief did not calculate the “Kalyan impact” on Muslims.
Though Muslims have never voted en bloc in U.P., the SP has over the
years got the major share of the Muslim vote. In 2007, nearly half of
all voting Muslims voted the SP, even though this was a seven
percentage point drop from 2002. This time, the Muslim vote seemed to
have going to the BSP.
BSP will do well. It would be because of the SC/ST vote advantage and due to many perceptible achievement of the Mayawati regime.
Tamil Nadu’s SC/ST vote
Suresh Mane, national general secretary, says, “Our party
alone has the vision to make the oppressed share political power.”
SC/STs want to be decision-makers and have a share in political power,
declared Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, during a rally in
Madurai. The Bahujan Samaj Party leader, who is trying to expand her
reach, has put up candidates for all the 39 seats in the State.
Her party, with the changing pattern of the SC/ST vote since Independence is a
cause for hope. Twenty per cent of the State’s population, SC/ST
largely voted the Congress in the early years after Independence.
However, in the late 1960s, they shifted loyalty to the DMK and later
SC/ST intellectuals in the State feel that the Dravidian parties
with their populism have failed to retain the SC/STs within their fold.
The emergence of SC/ST parties after the birth centenary of B.R.
Ambedkar indicates the failure of the social pluralism preached by the
Dravidian parties, they say.
Atrocities at the hands of intermediate castes made a section of the SC/STs organise themselves.The BSP, with its social engineering and politically astute seat
Voting enters last lap; 35 pc polling in TN till noon
New Delhi (IANS): Election 2009 entered
its final lap Wednesday with the last of India’s 714 million electorate
in seven states and two union territories voting in a rapidly changing
political scenario that saw the lines between foes and friends getting
In Tamil Nadu, over 35 per cent of the 4.16 crore electorate used their franchise till noon.
Most of the 86 constituencies saw
steady voting with people coming out in large numbers to choose their
Lok Sabha nominees from among the 1,432 candidates.
A total of 108 million voters are
eligible to exercise their franchise Wednesday. Tens and thousands of
police and paramilitary forces have been deployed to guard 121,632
A local functionary of DMK was today
stabbed to death near a polling booth in Dindigul Lok Sabha
constituency, even as over 35 per cent of the 4.16 crore electorate
used their franchise till noon in Tamil Nadu.
Tension gripped the area following the incident but situation was soon brought under control, they added.
In Chennai Central constituency,
supporters of DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi’s
(MMK) Hyder Ali clashed in front of a polling booth, over allegations
of bogus voting, in which a man was injured and few vehicles, including
that of Ali, were damaged, police said.
In Cuddalore constituency, six persons
were injured in a clash between AIADMK and DMK workers near a polling
booth over allegations of money being distributed by the DMK, they
Barring few incidents of clashes, polling was by and large peaceful, they added.
As polling began, voters stood in long
queues since morning, braving the summer heat, to choose their
representatives to Lok Sabha from among 824 candidates in Tamil Nadu,
official sources said.
IANS report further says:
Jammu and Kashmir is voting for two Lok
Sabha seats, Punjab for nine, Uttar Pradesh for 14 and West Bengal for
11. There is one seat each in Puducherry and Chandigarh.
With Wednesday’s election signalling
the end of the five-phase exercise that began April 16 and results only
three days away, the numbers game to get a majority in the 545-member
Lok Sabha hotted up.
As political parties confabulated, elections proceeded with reports of violence in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
In Tamil Nadu, where 20 percent voter
turnout recorded in the first three hours till 11 a.m., after sporadic
incidents of violence in various parts of the State.
In West Bengal 19-20 percent voting was
reported in the first three hours amid reports of clashes between the
ruling CPI-M and the Trinamool Congress and delayed polling in some
areas because of malfunctioning electronic voting machines (EVMs).
On Tuesday night, Khejar Ali, claimed
to be a Trinamool Congress activist, was killed in Rajarhat on the
outskirts of the capital Kolkata during a violent clash with the ruling
rival CPI-M during which bombs were flung, said state Inspector General
of Police (law and order) Raj Kanojia.
However, Wednesday was most mostly
peaceful except for Jadavpur where the two parties fought following the
CPI-M’s allegations that its camp office was damaged by opposition
Trinamool Congress supporters, police said.
Polling could not begin in 101 booths
in Mathurapur constituency in South 24 Parganas district as the EVM
machines, wet due to Tuesday’s rains, did not function.
In Himachal Pradesh, where the highest
polling station has been set up at an elevation of over 15,000 feet at
Hikkam in Lahaul and Spiti district and where the Kaa polling station
in Kinnaur district has only 19 voters, 13 percent of the voters turned
out in the first three hours of polling to elect the four MPs from the
In the hills of Kashmir, where the
Baramulla and Ladakh constituencies were holding elections, voters came
out in large numbers. In the first four hours, 15.83 percent of the
voters had exercised their franchise in Baramula and 16.82 in Ladakh.
In Punjab and Chandigarh, long queues
could be seen outside polling booths. Till 1.30 p.m., 40-45 percent of
the electorate had voted.
It was similar in Uttar Pradesh, where
the last of 14 Lok Sabha constituencies saw 32.29 percent voting until