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February 2012
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16 02 2012 LESSON 526 Dhammapada Verse 71 Ahipeta Vatthu Sin Is Like Sparks Of Fire Hidden In Ashes
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02 2012 LESSON 526 Dhammapada Verse 71 Ahipeta Vatthu Sin Is Like Sparks Of
Fire Hidden In Ashes




a Sutta a Day Keeps Dukkha Away

71. Sin Is Like Sparks Of Fire Hidden In Ashes

As milk, is evil kamma done,
so slowly does it sour.
Smouldering does it follow the fool
like fire with ashes covered.

Explanation: When an ignorance person commits an act of sin, it
does not immediately yield bad results. This is like the freshly extracted
milk, which does not curdle immediately on being extracted from the cow’s
udder. The sin that has been committed remains concealed like the sparks
covered with ashes, and continues to follow and burn the doer of sins.

Verse 71
Ahipeta Vatthu

Na hi papam katam kammam
sajju khiramva muccati
dahantam balarnanveti
bhasmacchannova pavako.

Verse 71: An evil deed does not immediately bear fruit, just as
the newly-drawn milk does not curdle at once; but it follows the fool burning
him like live coal covered with ashes.

The Story of Ahipeta*

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered
Verse (71) of this book, with reference to a peta-ghost.

The Chief Disciple Maha Moggallana was on one occasion going on
an alms-round with Thera Lakkhana in Rajagaha. On seeing something, he smiled
but said nothing. When they were back at the monastery, Thera Maha Moggallana
told Thera Lakkhana that he smiled because he saw a peta-ghost with the head of
a human being and the body of a snake. The Buddha then said that he himself had
seen that very peta-ghost on the day he attained Buddhahood. The Buddha
also explained that, a very long time ago, there was a paccekabuddha, who was
respected by many. People going to his monastery had to traverse a field. The
owner of the field, fearing that his field would be damaged by too many people
going to and from the monastery, set fire to it. Consequently, the
paccekabuddha had to move to some other place. The disciples of the
paccekabuddha, being very angry with the land-owner, beat him and killed him.
On his death he was reborn in Avici Niraya. In his present existence, he
was serving out the remaining term of the evil consequences (kamma) as a peta-ghost.

In conclusion, the Buddha said, “An evil deed does not
bear fruit immediately, but it invariably follows the evil doer. There is no
escape from the consequences of an evil deed.”

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

71: An evil deed does not immediately bear fruit, just as the newly-drawn
milk does not curdle at once; but it follows the fool burning him like live
coal covered with ashes.

* Ahipeta = Ahi + peta; ahi
 = snake + peta  =  peta-ghost, an ever-hungry
spirit or ghost. In this instance a ghost with the head of a human being and
the body of a snake.


Rs. 1 crore seized: President’s son in a spot

Days ahead of the Municipal Corporation polls in
Maharashtra, the state Congress has been caught in an embarrassing situation
over the seizure of Rs. one crore cash by the police. President Pratibha
Patil’s son and Congress MLA Raosaheb Shekhawat has said that the money was
meant for distribution among the financially-weak candidates for the local
civic polls on February 16.

President’s son comes to take
charge of Rs 1-cr ‘Cong poll fund’

MUMBAI, 13 FEB: More than Rs 1 crore seized by the
Amravati police from a mysterious Ford Endeavour SUV during late-night
patrolling on Saturday (about 2 a.m.) remained unclaimed for over 12 hours
until local Congress MLA Mr Rajendra alias Raosaheb Shekhawat, son of the
President, Mrs Pratibha Patil, came forward to take charge of the cash, which
he described as “party fund” sent by a functionary from Nagpur for use in the
Amravati municipal corporation election due on Thursday.

This belated explanation ~ after a prolonged suspense and wild speculation ~
was submitted by Mr Shekhawat in a letter to police commissioner Amitesh Kumar.
The letter did not say why the MLA took 12 hours in his attempt to come out
clean. Police have refused to hand over the confiscated money unless a court or
the Maharashtra Election Commission asks them to do so. City police chief was
criticised in the last state Assembly election for allegedly using unfair
covert practices in favour of the President’s son. Apparently in this case Mr
Kumar prefers to act from a safer distance since the entire episode is in
public domain and the voters are normally aware where such cash is used during
election time.

The cops on night patrol intercepted the Ford SUV ~ MH 31 D 4744 (Nagpur
registration) and arrested two persons identified as Mr AM Bodhankar and Mr PD
Mesram carrying unaccounted cash. Both failed to provide satisfactory answers
to police queries. In the meantime, police found out that the vehicle belonged
to a minister of state from Nagpur who is believed to have sent more than Rs 1
crore in cash to allegedly target and woo vulnerable voters. The police chief,
Mr Kumar, said the arrested duo would be charged under suitable provisions of
the Indian Penal Code and the money seized deposited in the district treasury
under the Amravati collector. He said although the Congress MLA and a party
functionary, Mr Ganesh Patil, have written to him, the cash would not be
returned to them unless they obtained a court order.

The car carrying “the Congress party fund” was seen
earlier on Saturday morning in chief minister Prithviraj Chavan’s cavalcade
during his visit to Amravati to address voters in several parts of the city.
Police have traced the owner but declined to confirm his identity as he is an
important Congress leader. Deputy chief minister and Nationalist Congress Party
leader Ajit Pawar has raised some uncomfortable questions. He demanded an
investigation into the origin and the probable end user of the unaccounted cash.
“If this was meant for the Congress nominees in Amravati why send it
surreptitiously in wee hours,” Mr Pawar asked. He alleged that the Amravati
police were involved with the Congress MLA in “a big cover-up operation”.
Accusing the cops of not performing their election duties honestly, the deputy
chief minister sought to know details of the police commissioner’s cell phone
records since the consfication of the cash and the car. The Congress and the
NCP are fighting the Amravati corporation election independently and against
each other.

In the letter to police, Congress leaders have said the cash was for 87 party
candidates. Each was to receive Rs 1 lakh and the balance Rs 13 lakh was for
sundry expenses. Police have forwarded these letters to the state election
commissioner and have apprised the Income-Tax department of the seizure. The
BJP said it would file a complaint with the SEC.

Indians have stashed $500 b
abroad: CBI

FEB: Indians are the largest depositors of black money in Swiss banks,
said the CBI director, Mr A K Singh, adding an estimated US $500 billion
belonging to Indians are deposited in tax havens.

Economically, India has
suffered from the flow of illegal funds to tax havens mainly Mauritius,
Switzerland, Lichtenstein, British Virgin Islands, the CBI director
said. “We need to relentlessly pursue asset recovery strategies to make such
illegal acquisitions a ‘no profit high risk’ proposition,” Mr Singh said while
addressing the inaugural function of the first Interpol global programme on
anti-corruption and asset recovery.

 Information about such illegal transactions is a time-consuming process
as investigators have to peel each layer by sending judicial requests to the
country where such deposits have been made, the CBI chief said, while
highlighting the problems encountered during such investigations especially
relating to trans-border issues.

 According to World Bank estimates, the cross border flow of money from
criminal activities, including corruption and tax evasion, is around US $1.5
trillion annually, Mr Singh said. And around $40 billion of this flow is on
account of bribes paid to public  officials in the developing countries,
he added.

Yet, it is only US $5 billion in stolen assets that has been repatriated over
the past 15 years, the CBI director said. “That leaves a wide gap between the
outflow from the developing countries and its subsequent repatriation,” he
added. “Tracing, freezing, confiscation and then repatriation of stolen assets
is a legal challenge. Managing the asset recovery investigation is complex,
time consuming, costly and most importantly requires expertise and political
will,” Mr Singh said.

“Fifty three per cent of the countries said to be least corrupt by the
Transparency International Index are offshore tax havens, where most of the
corrupt money goes. The tax havens include New Zealand which is ranked as the
least corrupt country, Singapore is ranked number five and Switzerland number
seven,” Mr Singh said.

 He said there is a lack of political will in the leading tax haven states
to part with information because they are aware of the extent to which their
economies have become “geared to this flow of illegal capitals from the poorer

What They Said: Election Commission vs Khurshid

Earlier this month, Law Minister
Salman Khurshid suggested that the Congress party would grant a quota of 9% of
government jobs and educational seats for so-called “backward minorities” if it
came to power in Uttar Pradesh, the sprawling northern state that is currently
holding elections.

He reportedly made his controversial remark while
campaigning for his wife, Louis Khurshid, in Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh, where
she is contesting as a Congress candidate.

The statement infuriated the Election
Commission, which claimed his statements were a violation of the Election Model
Code of Conduct and reprimanded him.

The matter escalated when Mr.
Khurshid announced in another election meeting in
Farrukhabad that even if the Commission “hangs him or does anything else, he
would ensure that people of Pasmanda community get their rights.”

The Commission did not take
kindly to the statement and wrote to the President to complain about the
“defiant and aggressive” Law Minister. It sought the President’s immediate and decisive

After Mr. Khurshid expressed regret over his remarks Monday, the
commission reportedly decided to close the matter.

Here’s what national newspapers
had to say about the issue.

The Indian Express in an editorial on Monday condemned the Law Minister’s
defiance of the Election Commission and justified the Commission’s stand
against him by saying that his statements had “demeaned his office and his

The newspaper’s editorial
published under the headline “Code of Misconduct” also expressed surprise at
the Law Minister’s actions by saying that he was usually articulate and well
aware of the law and of due process and said “it is hard not to interpret his
defiance of the Election Commission as premeditated or deliberate.”

The Asian Age also found Mr. Khurshid’s conduct in the
past few days to be surprising, saying that he was “known to act and speak with
restraint in coping with awkward situations.” The national daily concluded by
suggesting that pulling Mr. Khurshid back from campaigning in Uttar Pradesh
might be a way out of the sticky situation.

In an editorial published Tuesday, The Times of India commended the actions of the Election
Commission and said “EC is a constitutional body, and its strictures deserve to
be treated with greater respect.” The piece lauded the many achievements of the
Commission and opined that, as Law Minister, Mr. Khurshid “has a responsibility
to conform to the letter and spirit of the model code.”

In an opinion piece published by The Hindu, the national daily firmly  stated that
Mr. Khurshid’s defiance of the Commission must be put to an end. Pointing out
that Mr. Khurshid’s promise of a quota for minorities was not in the Congress
election manifesto as he claimed, the editorial said the “issue has become much
too contentious and significant to be brushed under the carpet.” After citing
the significance of the Commission in the country, the editorial concluded that
“ it was imperative that the Central government and the Congress demonstrate
their respect for the Election Commission and accept its rulings.”

Muslim voters
say Mr Khurshid has shown political immaturity by opting for a see-through
agenda. Development remains a distant hope here, and bijli-sadak-paani
(electricity, roads, water) are all that matters.  A middle-aged doctor,
Zubair Ahmed, shares, “Whatever Salman has sowed, his wife Louise will
reap the losses. He has done nothing in the past two years. Why should we vote
for his wife?”

failed to translate swaraj the country had gained post Independence into
development despite remaining in power for so many years,”

India] KMSS condemns Jayanti Natarajan for wildlife clearance given to Lower
Demwe Project - Assam

Roma ;

Message from Akhil Gogoi - Secretary Krishak
Mukti Sangram Samiti, Assam


KMSS condemns Jayanti Natarajan for wildlife
clearance given to Lower Demwe Project

Press Statement, KMSS


14th February 2012

In a
press statement of released today Akhil Gogoi, secretary and Raju Bora of
president of KMSS says that despite protest from the people of Assam and the
concerns raised by the Assam government the MOEF has finally given wildlife
clearance to the Lower Demwe project citing the need for development. This has
again proved how insensitive the Indian government is and also how helpless the
Assam government is. The KMSS reacts to this and says that nowhere in the
ministry’s order the concern of Assam has been mentioned and sincerely

laments that the Assam government can only protest. The Assam government has
been unable to bring justice. Mrs. Jayanti Natarajan, country’s Minister of
Environment who has never visited the chars in Assam now claims that the
dam will have only minimum impact. She also claims that the animals learn to
live in the new situation and hence no need to worry. She virtually condemns
the Dr. Asad Rehmani of Bombay Natural History Society, who earlier highlighted
how disastrous this project would be for Assam, for not understanding this
issue. It must be mentioned here that Dr. Rehmani submitted a full length
report on the Lower Demwe citing massive ecological damage in the downstream.
In the 24th meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Board
of Wildlife which met on 13th December 2011 all the non-official
members supported Dr. Rehmani’s proposal for rejection of this project. Dr
Rehmani also suggested for additional studies in the coming years. The report
especially mentioned the formation of an independent consortium of scientists
to review the project. The Ministry’s order simply ignores these critical
issues. The KMSS condemns the fact that the Ministry also forgets to mention
that people also live downstream.

claims this again proved how the Assam is the worst victim of the present hydro-power
policies. The Indian government completely ignored the presence of Assam in
downstream of this project. Not only that the government gives clearance to the
project by strongly saying that the IIT Roorkee will only study any future
environmental study for this project. The KMSS condemns the fact that the
Ministry’s position that any such study will begin only after construction

says that this order of the Indian government finally proved the issues raised
by it for long. That in the name of development and dam building Assam is not
going to get anything and Assam’s problems cannot be solved unless policies are
changed. The KMSS demands that the Assam government must immediately protest
against this. The KMSS reiterated that the government of India must stop this
mockery and engage with sincerity about the concerns of the people of Assam.

NFFPFW / Human Rights Law Centre
c/o Sh. Vinod Kesari, Near Sarita Printing Press,
Tagore Nagar
District Sonbhadra 231216
Uttar Pradesh
Tel : 91-9415233583, 05444-222473
Email : romasnb@gmail.com

BJP believes “In
west a person’s intelligence is gauged by measuring his IQ (Intelligence
Quotient) and later the concept of EQ (Emotional Quotient) too arrived. But Indians
were known worldover for one more thing and that is for their SQ (Spiritual

[IHRO] Sleaze Blitz

Abhijit Sengupta ;

Sleaze blitz

Red-faced over three legislators caught watching pornographic
footage inside the Karnataka Assembly, the BJP is lying low in the state for
the moment, writes tyagaraj sharma 

When Srinivas Kulkarni, TV 9’s cameraman and his colleague from Suvarna
TV, assistant cameraman Prashanth, readied their cameras to cover the Karnataka
Assembly proceedings from the visitors’ gallery on 7 February, 2012, they
expected a routine, dull affair. After all, nothing exciting was listed for the

That is, till Srinivas saw minister for cooperation, Mr Laxman Savadi,
looking furtively at the visitors’ gallery while holding his cellphone.

This happened once too often prompting an alert Srinivas to zero in on the
minister. A keen Prashanth also realised something was cooking and he too
focused his camera on the minister who, by then, had been joined by Mr C Patil,
minister for women and child development.

The two media professionals also noted that the duo was sitting behind chief
minister Mr Sadanand Gowda and law minister Mr Suresh Kumar. The cameramen shut
out everything else, even the discussion that had started on the controversial
hoisting of a Pakistani flag by activists of the Sree Ram Sene. They started
rolling the cameras to capture what they realised was a big story.
the job, they quickly sent the tapes to their outdoor broadcast (OB) vans
even though the vehicles were capturing the cameras’ feeds from inside the
Assembly. But the cameramen did not want to take a chance and ensured that
their tapes reached their OB vans as well. After that, all hell broke loose as
the channels telecast the all-important footage, immediately putting the
ruling party in the state and its central leadership to shame
. Predictably,
the telecast led to a furore with BJP leaders running for cover.

With the Opposition also going on the offensive, a red-faced government sought
to buy peace by forcing the tainted ministers to resign immediately. For
good measure, it also ordered a probe with a report expected by 12 March, 2012.
Till then, the three legislators caught watching pornographic footage on
their cellphones would need to stay away from the Assembly.

Significantly, “Porngate” as the affair has come to be known, could not have
come at a worse time for the BJP which is trying hard to make a comeback in
Uttar Pradesh, where crucial Assembly polls are under way. With the general
election too expected to be held in the next one year, the puerility of its
three Karnataka legislators comes as a self-indictment for the party whose
tendency to commit hara-kiri is all too well known.

Admittedly, the BJP has moved fast in an attempt to address the nationwide
outcry against the tainted Karnataka legislators. To that extent, it may have
done a limited damage control. Yet, considering its inability and its
unwillingness to act against growing indiscipline in the party, especially when
it comes to former chief minister Mr BS Yeddyurappa, the BJP’s decision to
penalise the errant ministers took even the offending lawmakers by surprise.

That apart, the party’s record in the state has not been too encouraging what
with almost 15 of its legislators already having come under the scanner on
charges of rape, corruption and closing illegal deals and much more. Topping
the list is none other than Mr Yeddyurappa
who quit on 31 July, 2011
following his indictment by the then Lokayukta, Mr Justice  N Santosh
Hegde  for encouraging rampant illegal mining in the state.

Incidentally, last week’s resignation of the three Karnataka legislators also
takes the total number of BJP ministers who had to quit their posts on charges
related to immoral/corrupt conduct to four, adding to the party’s
embarrassment. Mr Haratalu Halappa was the first to quit in 2010 after his friend’s
wife accused him of raping her.
Other than Mr Yeddyurappa, Katta
Subramanya, Mr SN Krishnaiah Setty and the Bellary behemoth, Mr Gali Janardhana
Reddy are being tried for having committed alleged acts of corruption. This is
not all. Industry minister Mr Murugesh Nirani and housing minister, Mr V
Somanna, too have come under the scanner as has party spokesperson, Mr CT Ravi
and Mr Yeddyurappa’s son and MP, Mr BY Raghvendra. In other words the “party
with a difference” has gone overboard to show how different it truly is!

The double standards of the “Porngate” lawmakers, particularly, Mr C Patil,
have come under severe scrutiny. He had hit the headlines a month ago for
suggesting a dress code for women as he felt that skimpy attires invited sexual
assaults. And then, the same worthy was caught watching a video of women in
various stages of undress inside the Karnataka Assembly!

Of course, his colleague Mr Palemar seems to have got embroiled in the
controversy unwittingly. It appears that outside the Assembly, Mr Savadi had
approached him, seeking to understand the meaning of a “rave party” given the
recent commotion at a state-sponsored show in Udupi. Mr Palemar could not
provide a proper explanation and instead offered to show Mr Savadi clippings
of the uninhibited party that foreigners had indulged in on 3 February, 2012 in
This was the same function over which the Opposition had hauled the
ruling party over the coals. According to information available with The
Statesman, Mr Palemar then handed his cellphone to Mr Savadi so that his
colleague could watch the video that he had received before being called to the
Assembly to reply to a question. Mr Savadi followed him into the Assembly and
started watching the video along with Mr Patil.

Interestingly, the three tainted legislators are known to be supporters of Mr
Yeddyurappa. It is also learnt that notwithstanding their conduct, they may go
scot free as, according to a senior police officer, the existing cyber crime
legislation has many loopholes that the offending ministers can exploit to get
away. But then, a criminal case could be registered against the trio as
watching pornographic material in public is an offence.

A senior lawyer told The Statesman that the former ministers could be booked
under Sections 290 (public nuisance), 292, (selling and public exhibition of
sexually explicit materials) and 294 (obscene acts and songs) of the IPC.
Another advocate , however, claimed that it was difficult  to register a
case as too many legal issues had to be resolved first. To begin with, he said,
it needed an aggrieved party to come forward for a case to be registered. In
this instance, however, no one was affected. Besides, given the absence of a
concrete definition of obscenity in this country, it would be difficult to
build a case against the trio.

Legal opinions apart, the fact remains that some BJP legislators have got away
with similar behaviour in the past with the party even going so far as to
promoting them. A case in point is that of the Honnali MLA, Mr MP Renukacharya.
He was promoted by Yeddyurappa as excise minister 20 months after a nurse
accused him of sexually exploiting her.

Be that as it may, the red-faced BJP is maintaining a low profile for now.
Which is why it has suspended all official organisational activities till the
end of this month. To start with, regional conferences scheduled to be held in
Belgaum and Bijapur have been postponed. Likewise, a few other meetings planned
across the state have been put off. A senior leader said: “One thing is clear.
We are not ready for another jolt.”

The party bosses, however, are confident that the picture would become clearer
by end of the month at the two-day conference of BJP legislators and
Parliamentarians beginning 24 February, 2012. In this conclave, controversial
issues ranging from “Porngate” to indiscipline in the party to leadership
crises would be discussed. It is all but certain that the BJP’s central
leadership would now utilise the opportunity to issue strict guidelines to rein
in legislators till the time the next Assembly election, which is barely a few
months away now, is held.

Meanwhile, as an immediate offshoot of the embarrassing act of the ruling
party’s members, the Karnataka legislature is all set to have its proceedings
telecast just as it is done in Parliament. The state government proposes to
spend about Rs 30 crore on the project. The advantage of such an investment:
the feed would be made available to all channels with the government censoring
it first! Until that time, the BJP would fervently hope that no other member
embarrasses the party.

The General’s birthday

~ The controversy involving the Chief of the Army Staff, General VK Singh, and
the government has gone on for far too long. This is very unfortunate both for
the civilian administration and the military.

Why did the government want the General to accept an incorrect date of
birth at the time of promotion? Is it because the UPA government didn’t want an
upright officer to move up? If the General hasn’t accepted it, then I am sure
the present government wouldn’t have promoted him to the post of army chief.
Certain critics claim that General Singh erred in going to court, considering
that he had already accepted the DOB for his promotion.

  If he was aggrieved, he should have fought at that point in time and not
now. His third extension and the existence of two different records about his
DoB suggest that the government had seen the point of his grievance. The
General accepted his promotion after pointing out the anomaly in the
If one had expected him to settle the issue before accepting the
post, that would never have happened. By the time an intricate issue relating
to promotion is settled, the officer retires.  The honest usually
suffer. General V K Singh may have paid the price for forwarding an adverse
report on the Adarsh housing scam.

Yours, etc., Amjad K Maruf, Thane, 12 February.

BJP exposed

SIR, ~  The editorial, “BJP’s pressure (12 February) is valuable and worth
preserving. It could not have been better timed, coinciding with the elections
in Uttar Pradesh. It has  unmasked the BJP on the basis of facts and
figures. The real, unprincipled face of the party, has been exposed. Which is
to say that the BJP encourages corruption in Karnataka where it is in power,
but poses as a crusader against it in Parliament and at the Ramlila Maidan.

  The party interfered with the judicial process in its anxiety to bail
Jayalalitha out of a corruption case. This has now been exposed through your
editorial. Its loud protestations  of honesty and integrity must ring

The tenets of democracy have had no impact on the ways of Jayalalitha. Your
editorial mentions the figure of Rs 66 crore. You have rightly pointed
out that she belongs to an elite brand of politicians who can amass wealth at
will, without regard to the law of the land. Your detailed account of how
she evaded the wealth cases against her for 16 years proves that she had made a
mockery of the law and democratic institutions.

The rule of law is in danger of being overshadowed by the rule of the few.
There may be hope yet as people still have faith in the judiciary.
Yours, etc., Chanchal Banerjee, Kolkata, 12 February.

No SEZ please, this is Bengal!

SIR, ~ This is with reference to your report, “Infosys sets terms for Rajarhat
deal” (12 February). Mr Narayana Murthy, founder chairman of Infosys, should
have realised by now that the West Bengal Chief Minister is unlikely to
approve his project with a SEZ label. And yet that three-letter tag is
essential in terms of investment and corporate interests.
The Assembly
election manifesto of the Trinamul Congress had ruled out Special Economic
Zones. Mamata Banerjee will not amend her manifesto, let alone alter its
provisions by wilting under pressure.

Unlike Mr Ratan Tata, Mr Murthy should spell out his conditions if he wants
to avoid an ignominious exit. Mr Tata took Miss  Banerjee very casually
and had to pay a heavy price
. The Trinamul leader had demanded to know
every detail of the Nano car project, but the Left Front government never conceded
that demand.

Mr Murthy would like his project to be accorded the SEZ status by the state
There must be no ambiguity on such issues as job
potential and the land requirement.  According to Mr Murthy, this is
entirely dependent on the state government. An  SEZ project can be a
white elephant in the sense that it does not pay tax to the state exchequer.

Yours, etc., Gokul Burman, Chakdaha, (Nadia), 13 February.

An institution

SIR ~ This is with reference to Krishnan Srinivasan’s review of Iliya
Troyanov’s review of The Collector of Worlds (12 February). Any research that
sheds fresh light on the life and times of the remarkable Englishman, Sir
Richard Burton,
explorer extraordinary, a polyglot and a linguist, a
chronicler of the times and an author of many an esoteric book, is heartily
welcome. In a word, he was  an institution to boot. The word ‘Erotologist’
is exquisitely appropriate. Iliya Turganov, the Bulgarian litterateur, presently
domiciled in Germany, has crafted a seminal work on Burton. He was awarded the
Leipzig book fair prize in 2006. Burton’s magnum opus Alf Laila wah Laila
[Arabian Nights] is too well known to comment upon. Perfumed Gardens is
considered to be a must read for serious scholars. It recounts the salacious
history of aphrodisiacs. His brilliant essay on homosexuality has stood the
test of time.
Mr Srinivasan’s book review, ‘Flash- forwards and backwards’, traces the
explorer’s visit to Mecca and  his hazardous journey to discover the
source of the Nile in Africa. To have a book burnt by  Britain’s royal
hangman is posthumous honour. His widow had sought and received permission to
destroy his Falconry in the Valley of the Indus. He is in the august company of
Lord Byron whose autobiography met a similar fate.
Yours, etc., Arindam Bandyopadhaya, Kolkata, 12 February.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh (RSS) activist Kamal Chauhan was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA)
for his involvement in Samjhauta express train blast case.

“The arrested person is a
close associate of RSS leaders and has confessed to planting a bomb in the
Samjhauta Express train. RSS and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were
communalising the issue and that if the suspects were Muslim, then their
Right Wing stance would have been different.

“ He has
acknowledged his association with the RSS. His father has accepted the fact
that he is from the RSS. Chauhan also confessed that he was one of the persons
who planted the bomb in Samjhauta Express,” “this has been
under NIA’s investigation for quite sometime, the agency acted after it had
clinching evidence”.

It is ‘Sanghi Terror’.

“Earlier the NIA had also questioned the senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar after
another accused Aseemanand had confessed that Kumar had prior information of
the blast, but he had not been arrested since the investigation is still
underway”. There was a nexus between Bajrang Dal and
Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) on anti-national activities in the country.
“Bajrang Dal and SIMI are two sides of the same coin, like Mohan Bhagwat and
Maulana Syed Ahmed Bhukari.”

“A SIMI activist arrested
from Khandwa (Madhya Pradesh) three months ago had disclosed that he was
staying in the house of the district Bajrang Dal president to evade arrest. A proposal was sent to the
Centre to ban both Barjang Dal and SIMI. The then NDA government, accepted the
proposal for SIMI but rejected the Bajrang Dal [option].

Kamal Chauhan, a
disgruntled RSS worker arrested by the NIA, had on Tuesday 14 February, claimed
that he had planted bombs in Samjhauta Express in 2007 that left 68 people,
mostly Pakistani nationals, dead. “Yes, I have done it on my will,” Chauhan had
told the media as he was being taken out after in-camera proceedings in the
Panchkula court in Haryana , which granted the NIA his custody till February 24
for questioning him on his role in the blast.

Singh has asked for a
“close vigil” on the RSS but said banning the organisation was not possible.
“It would be hard to ban any Hindu fundamentalist outfits in the present
scenario as there are around 150 such groups in the country”. The Congress
general secretary also demanded that the SIT report in Gujarat should be made
public so that people know the reason behind letting off Chief Minister
Narendra Modi in connection with a Gujarat’s communal riots.

The biggest challenge the Samajawadi party is facing is a
negative public perception.

Their earlier stints in power were associated with
a surge in gang violence when thugs threatened shopkeepers and harassed women.

“During Mulayam Singh’s rule, chain
snatchings, thefts were common, people had to pay protection money to
goons,” says journalist Ashwini Bhatnagar.

“Serious atrocities were committed against SC/STs and other low-caste people and memories of those years are very strong
in [the] public mind and people fear that petty crimes will go up if the party

Critics point out that many of his party
candidates have criminal records and some of them are contesting from inside
the jail.

They say that if the Samajwadi Party is elected,
it will be back to the old days of muscle-power ruling the state.

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