Wednesday, May 8, 2013
VELLORE DISTRICT MUSLIM WOMEN AID SOCIETY
(Registered Under The Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act,27 of 1975)
Assalamu Alaikum warahmathullahi wa barakathuhu
We the office bearers (The District Collector being its President) of Vellore District Muslim Women Aid Society are in the role of noble cause in campaigning fund raising drive from philanthropist of your calibre.
As we all aware that Tamil Nadu Government under its
Minorities Welfare Scheme has been funding matching grants in the ratio of 1:2 bases, which was earlier 1:1.
To simplify the fact, if all philanthropists from Muslim Women Aid Society contribute Rs.Ten Lakhs, the Government of Tamil Nadu sanctions Rs.Twenty Lakhs as matching grant per district per year. This is an opportunity that the augmented funds, a sum of Rs.Thirty lakhs could be well utilised for the community development.
This scheme is for total of 32 districts of Tamil Nadu, but the successful story is very bleak in almost majority of districts, except four districts which are in full compliment, rest of the districts are either defunct or in oblivious in awareness.
Vellore District although has many distinct features in history education and industry, it is far behind not fully involved to utilise the funds in full compliment.
Now the re-aligned office bearers are, keen and profound to be as live wire to implement the structure and pattern in the Vellore District.
Most important factor is you are driving force and energizers behind us, and Insha Allah Vellore District will be the lead master, as in all the factors, and also in the task of helping the
deserving Muslim women in need.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”
To eliminate school drop outs, paying fees for the deserving.
To curb drop outs from college level.
To help stand in their own legs by various beneficial schemes.
Setting up tailoring training centres in Vellore, Ambur and Vaniyambadi,and training the aspirants for six months, with a monthly basic stipend.
After the successful training they will either have a placement in any of the nearest shoe factories will be provided in collaboration of shoe factories or tanneries. Or if the trainee has infrastructure, a sewing machine will be presented freely with a training certificate for an independent enterprise. This will apply for embroidering, dress making, Burqua tailoring etc.
Disabled and destitute:
Disabled and destitute women will be given monthly pension. Cost of Medical facilities for senior women and children will be taken care.
Scholarships to women students who have opted job oriented courses will be considered, payable direct to the institute.
Graduate women below 25 years will be given stipend if they undergo IAS, IFS (Indian Foreign Service), and to those wish to government job oriented courses will be given first preference.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
When on this (14th April 2013) anniversary of Dr. Bhimrao Babasaheb Ambedkar, we pay tribute to his yeomen services towards the cause of social justice and bringing to fore the values of democracy; we also need to think as to how his dream and vision of annihilation of caste can be taken further. Where do we stand in this direction six decades after the Independence and after the formal implementation of Constitution of India, which gives us the values of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity?
Caste has been the major marker of Indian, particularly Hindu, society. While world over the serfs were under the bondage of feudal lords, we had religiously ordained system of Varna-Jati (Caste). Many theories of caste prevail, the racial theory, superior Aryans versus the natives, now stands debunked. The hypothesis of Morton Klass argues that it was a way of adjusting of tribal to the system of production, which generated surplus. This understanding indicates towards the understanding that caste evolved with the particular system of production in India. Kosambi looks at origin of caste as being due to the continuous process of fusing of tribal into general society. The major contribution to the understanding of genesis of caste comes from Ambedkar as per whom caste-varna came into being due to ideological-religious factors. According to him caste system came into being as the result of ideologies of Dharmshatras, which was part of Brahmanism.
In Indian society the interesting point is that caste is prevalent not only amongst Hindus, it also prevails in other religious communities. The difference being that amongst Hindus, the caste is prescribed in the holy books, while in other religious communities; it is a social phenomenon, like Ashraf, Ajlaf and Arzal amongst Muslims and different denominations amongst Christians and Sikhs. The first challenge to caste system came from Lord Gautam Buddha, who talked of Samta, equality. This concept of Samta, equality became very popular and was accepted by large number of people till Buddhism was attacked and wiped out from India in eighth century by those who wanted to restore the varna-caste. During medieval period the Bhakti saints in particular talked against and questioned the system of graded inequality, but their voice though a powerful articulation of the plight of the low caste, remained just an expression of pain and sorrow of the poor, and was strongly opposed by Brahmin clergy.
The rule of Muslim Kings and British did not change the social structure of the subcontinent, though during British rule due to the industrialization and introduction of modern education, the caste system started being questioned, opposed and socially challenged. The edifice of caste started loosening up. During the rule of Muslim kings the social structure remained intact. With the British rule the half way process of industrialization and modern education came in. At the same time the caste-varna also continued on the side, though its legitimacy started being questioned in a more serious way. In the changed situation starting form Jotirao Phule the movements for caste abolition found grounding in society, though they were not able to uproot the phenomenon of caste in the full measures as the feudal production system ran side by side with the process of modernization. The process of secularization, abolition of the hold of landlord and clergy, remained incomplete and so the process of caste transformation remained half way through.
All the struggles started by Ambedkar aimed for social justice, social equality and democratic values. He led the movements like Chavdar Talab, for right to have access to public drinking water, Kalaram Mandir, right to enter temples and also the burning of Manusmriti, as symbolic of the rejection of religiously ordained caste hierarchy. The resistance to these led to his conclusion that he had to leave the Hindu fold, which is dominated by Brahmanical values of Varna. The social political base to his movements was provided by the national movement, which was aspiring for throwing away the British colonial power and also struggling for democratic values. Here Ambedkar rook off from this movement, but the national movement was not adequate to give him total social justice as this movement also had upper castes in good measure. So here we see the dilemma of Mahatma Gandhi versus Ambedkar. Gandhi was not able to go beyond the limits posed by the participation of all castes in freedom movement. He kept talking of varna system in a more refined form while taking up cudgels against untouchability.
Gandhi also opposed the separate electorate, provided by communal award of MacDonald in 1932. The Poona pact between Gandhi and Ambedkar led to the reserved Constituency and the provisions of reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Ambedkar’s vision was that reservations and inter-caste marriages will be steps towards annihilation of caste. Today both these face serious obstacles on social ground. The rigidity of caste is increasing and inter-caste marriage is facing serious obstacles from conservative forces. While freedom movement led by Gandhi was half way conceding to the needs of dalits, the other ideology, the one of religious nationalism was waiting in the wings with the concept of Hindu Rashtra, Hindu nation. Ambedkar did realize that acceptance of religious nationalism, formation of Pakistan on that ground will be a disaster for dalits as it will pave the way for Hindu Rashtra, the slavery of dalits. Today while most of the commentators are attacking Gandhi, they need to focus more attention to the impact of the politics and ideology of Hindu religious nationalism, which is a major obstacle to caste abolition today.
The reservations for dalits led to newer caste equations. On one hand the section of rising middle class stood to oppose these reservations, tooth and nail. The anti reservation violence has been witnessed in the Gujarat in particular in 1980s. Also since the overall development process is not accommodative of all, the inner competition for reservation has led to a strange situation where different communities are vying for status as a particular reserved category. The overall future for the youth is dismal and it gets reflected in the form of movements for particular castes getting recognized in this or that category. The other major obstacle to caste transformation is the politics of Hindutva. On one hand it talks of Samajik Samrasta (social Harmony), that all castes should have harmony amongst them. The Hindutva’s concept of ‘Integral Humanism’ emphasizes on different castes continuing their professions for smooth social functioning. The social engineering by religious political forces is co-opting the low caste through various mechanisms, to the extent of using them as foot soldiers of their anti minority violence. A section of dalits also is influenced by the process of Sanskritization, aping at upper caste and imitating them for their future trajectory. As a logical corollary; the cultural mechanisms, the TV serials, the preaching’s of hoards of God men are promoting the values of Manusmiriti in a more sophisticated form.
At the same time a serious layer of progressive and dalit intellectuals are trying to restore the core values and principles of struggles against caste-varna. The situation today is very complex and caste as a social phenomenon is far from extinct. Today’s political scenario is a conflict between the values of democracy on one hand, and the values of religious nationalism; the politics representing the defense of caste and gender hierarchy; on the other. The process of social equality; caste annihilation and values of democracy need to be brought in through a fresh series of multilayered struggles for a truly democratic society. That alone will be a tribute to the life and work of the legend of this great visionary, Bhimrao Babsaheb Ambedkar.
Issues in Secular Politics
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Monday, 15 April 2013
Hyderabad, April 15:
SALEM, April 15, 2013
Laxmi with the newborn. Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan
Couple allege an employee demanded money to attend to her
In a shocking incident, a 27-year-old woman was delivered of a baby near a drain after she was forced to leave the Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital here on Sunday, as she could not pay Rs. 1,000 allegedly demanded by an employee in the maternity ward.
Laxmi, her husband, Samuel (30), and two children, Venkatesh (5) and Naveen Gopal (2), who hail from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, had been in the city for the past two years.
The couple, working as labourers, used to take shelter on the veranda of Corporation’s Commercial Complex on the Old Bus Stand premises at night.
When Laxmi developed labor pain at around 4 a.m., Samuel with the help of a 55-year-old woman Bannari reached the hospital by foot.
Laxmi was allotted a bed in the maternity ward at around 5.30 a.m. An employee allegedly demanded money for the delivery. As the couple did not have money, they were forced to leave the hospital. With the help of Bannari, Laxmi was delivered of a male child at around 11 a.m. near the drain on the Commercial Complex premises.
Members of the media fraternity who rushed to the spot called the 108 ambulance and the mother was admitted to the maternity ward, while the child was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.
Dean Dr. R. Vallinayagam told The Hindu that an inquiry would be conducted on Monday.
CHENNAI, April 15, 2013He sent telegram to CIC following execution of Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab
S. Vijay Kumar
The Central Information Commission (CIC), New Delhi, will hear the petition of A.G. Perarivalan alias Arivu, one of the three convicts facing death penalty in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, through video-conferencing on Monday. The hearing pertains to a Right to Information (RTI) petition filed by him seeking to know the grounds for the rejection of his mercy petition by the President, sources in the Prison Department said. Perarivalan and the other two convicts, Murugan alias Sriharan and Santhan, are lodged in the Vellore Central Prison in Tamil Nadu.
Perarivalan had petitioned to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in 2012 asking for the reasons why the President rejected his mercy petition. Since there was no response, he sent a telegram to the Chief Information Commissioner stating that his plea should be treated as urgent and heard on priority.
“The telegram was in the backdrop of the secret executions of Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab. The hearing through video-conferencing will take place on Monday and Perarivalan will explain how he was denied access to certain crucial information relating to his case,” Rajiv Rufus, one of the advocates for Perarivalan, told The Hindu on Sunday.
Recalling the petition of advocate K. Mayilsamy in 2011 to the President’s Secretariat and the MHA seeking, among things, the copy of the mercy petition rejected by the President and copies of the complete correspondence, file notings etc., relating to the mercy petitions filed by Perarivalan, Murugan and Santhan, Mr. Rufus said the CIC had given specific directions to the respondents that they should provide the copies of the mercy petitions that were rejected and disclose copies of the file notings not forming part of the ministerial advice to the President after removing the names and other references regarding the identities of the public servants.
Despite the specific directions, the MHA had not disclosed certain vital documents. For instance, on Page 25 in the bunch of documents given by the MHA, it had been mentioned that no investigation was conducted about the bomb supposed to have been used in the case and that the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Authority (MDMA) was directed to enquire into it, he said. The MHA said it might seek the MDMA’s comments on the making of the bomb before processing the mercy petition. “But we have not been given any copy of the correspondence conducted by the MHA with the MDMA of documents showing the results of such an investigation conducted by the MDMA...,” he said.
Also, the MHA had failed to supply any document pertaining to the correspondence with the Tamil Nadu Prison Department relating to the conduct of the convicts in prison. This correspondence to ascertain the behaviour of convicts on death row was part of a normal procedure while processing their mercy petitions, Mr. Rufus added.
The Supreme Court has issued notice to Centre and State governments on a plea seeking its direction to restrain them for spending public money on glorifying political leaders through advertisements on their birth and death anniversaries.
A bench of justices C.K. Prasad and V.G. Gowda granted four weeks time to governments to file their response.
The court passed the order on a plea of an NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, seeking its intervention on the issue as crores of tax payer’s money are spend by the governments and public sector units to glorify personalities of ruling political parties by way of advertisements.
“It is submitted that the Governments and State instrumentalities are continuously and in routine manner misusing the public funds to glorify personalities of ruling political parties by way of advertisements,” advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, said.
He said “such a blatant and misuse of public fund by Governments in routine manner is not only breach of public trust and violation of the rule of law but it is also damaging the democratic set up of the country.”
“The political parties in power are blatantly squandering taxpayers’ money to highlight their achievements and to glorify their leaders of present or past. Such a practice is either aimed to avail unfair advantage in elections by political parties or to assert loyalties towards the political leadership of the party in power. This wasteful and wholly unnecessary exercise cannot be justified in any manner,” the petition said.
The bench, after hearing his plea, issued notice and asked the governments to file response within four weeks.
First Published: 15:37 IST(15/4/2013) | Last Updated: 15:40 IST(15/4/2013)
US Secretary of State John Kerry has proposed a 16% cut in the American aid to India, reflecting the transition from a traditional "donor-recipient" relationship to a "strategic partnership" between the two countries.
"With respect to India, for the fiscal year 2014, the State Department request is $91 million. This represents a 16% decrease from the fiscal levels 2012 (the previous actual spending)," a senior State Department official said.
This is in continuation of the trend that has emerged over the past few years.
In 2010, the United States aid to India was $126.7 million, which drooped to $121.6 million in 2011 and $108 million in 2012 and was proposed to $98.3 million in the current fiscal of 2013, which ends on September 30.
"That (drop in US aid to India this year) reflects the ongoing transition we had under way from the more traditional donor-recipient kind of relationship to much more of a strategic partnership," the official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the press.
"It is a partnership that is addressing India and increasingly global developmental challenges. I think the signature initiative there is the Agency for International Development Millennium Alliance," the official said.
Of the US aid to India, the largest portion - two/third - of that is slated for the health sector.
"The biggest programme is in global health. About $61 million is going to the health programme. India still has quite a number of health challenges," the official said.
In 2012, the US aid to India in the health sector was some $76 million.
Overall the State Department budget request for FY-2014 was $47.8 billion, which is a six% cut from the previous FY-2012 of actual spending.