Saturday, April 17, 2010

[socialactionfoundationforequity:0 Governments should bolster links with private sector, top UN official in Asia-Pacific region urges

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Governments should bolster links with private sector, top UN official
in Asia-Pacific
region urges

Bangkok (UN ESCAP Information Services) -- The top United Nations
official in Asia and
the Pacific is urging governments in the region to develop stronger
ties with the private
sector in order to deliver more robust public services and "social

"Efficient economic and social infrastructure and services, and
enhanced national and
regional connectivity can have a major role to play in helping
countries emerge from this
latest [financial] crisis stronger and in a better position to promote
development for all,"
Noeleen Heyzer says in remarks prepared for a ministerial conference
on public-private
partnerships (PPP) for infrastructure development to be held Saturday
in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The high-level meeting is the conclusion to a four-day event that has
drawn more than 1,300
delegates – including representatives of the World Bank, MEC Holdings,
the Asian
Development Bank (ADB), the Export-Import Bank of the United States,
General Electric
and Intel Corporation – and nearly two dozen Ministers and Vice
Ministers from Asia-
Pacific countries.

An exhibition is also being held alongside the conference, and has
Mitsubishi Corporation,
Lovells LLP, Hitachi, Grundfos, PT. Jasa Marga, Mitsui Co. Ltd., Nokia
Siemens Networks,
Sumitomo Corporation, Total Indonesie, PT. Trakindo Utama, PT. Wijaya
Karya, Doosan
Engineering & Co., and Siemens Indonesia among the exhibitors.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia said in his opening
address Thursday at
the "Infrastructure Asia 2010 Conference," that while infrastructure
was a top priority of the
country to support its capacity to increase global competitiveness, it
was also a key to
improving people's productivity, developing a healthy environment,
boosting the economy
and reducing poverty.

Dr. Heyzer noted in her own remarks that new drivers of growth based
on increasing
intraregional trade – especially with larger markets within Asia – are
now emerging strongly
but there is a "desperate need" for more investment in capacity and

According to recent estimates, "Asia needs to invest about $750
billion per year in
infrastructure from 2010 to 2020 to meet the strong growth of
populations and economies,"
said Dr. Heyzer, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive
Secretary of the
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

This challenge demands a shared approach between the public and
private sector, and
including businesses is not only a way to finance projects, but more
importantly enhance the
delivery of roads, public utilities, schools and hospitals, she said.

Dr. Heyzer noted that countries of the region still faced a number of
barriers hindering the
progress of public-private partnerships in infrastructure development,
including a lack of
awareness about PPPs among government officials.

There also needs to be more effort directed towards addressing
capacity building in both the
public and private sector, and existing experience, training
institutes and universities as well
as PPP units and programmes should be deeply involved in those
activities, she said.

Well-defined governance structures that allow for an appropriate
distribution of duties and
responsibilities to all players are needed to overcome the lack of
administrative and
regulatory frameworks necessary to ensure an environment conducive to
PPPs in many
developing countries of the region, she added.

"At the policy level, partnership between government and private
investor still needs to be
nurtured. Promoting policy dialogue between the public and private
sectors to identify, and
then address, barriers can promote and strengthen public-private
partnership in
infrastructure development," she said.

For more information please contact:
Mr. Barry Cable
Director, ESCAP Transport Division
Tel: +66-2-288-1371
Mr. Mitchell Hsieh
UN ESCAP Information Services
Tel: +66-2 288-1862
Mobile: +66-81 835-8664

Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth. - Mohandas Gandhi

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[socialactionfoundationforequity:2429 CSIR's unique public health initiative

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CSIR's unique public health initiative

Not silver-haired experts, but 150 students are involved in a project
to crack the TB gene. The fruits of the research will be shared
widely, without IPR glitches.

The CSIR Director-General, Dr Samir K. Brahmachari.

P. T. Jyothi Datta

From the backwaters of Alleppey to Kashmir, students from small towns
across the country logged in to the Connect to Decode (C2D) project.

Several of them still in the process of completing their education,
they strained information scattered world-wide and mapped the
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) genome.

Never mind the sceptics, waiting for the C2D project to trip up on its
online adrenalin, which, in fact, powered the launch of the Open
Source Drug Delivery (OSDD) project.

The OSDD project — a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
(CSIR) initiative — is exciting for reasons beyond being a
comprehensive mapping of the TB-causing organism, or its goal to
develop faster and holistic drugs to tackle TB.

The project is exciting because it has shown a new way of doing
science, says CSIR's Director General, Dr Samir K. Brahmachari, who is
also Chief Mentor, OSDD. And one couldn't agree more with his


Scientific research has in the past been associated with anachronistic
hierarchies, and silver-haired researchers, working behind closed-

So, to have 19-21 year-olds plug into a project led by team-leaders
who averaged 25 years of age, is in itself a refreshing, democratic
approach to science.

Of course, they were under the overall tutelage of experts like the
CSIR chief and former and present ICMR (Indian Council of Medical
Research) heads, besides other seasoned scientific hands.

But using social networking sites and messaging software Skype to talk
to each other and come up with the final annotation of the gene, is an
illustration of how young minds and technology can be harnessed, with
game-changing implications. All that was needed was an out-of-the-box


In the words of OSDD Project Director, Mr Zakir Thomas, the project-
network is like "face-book for scientists" at the front-end, but at
the back-end are databases that are connected, so scientists can ask
more complex questions across databases, something that is not
possible at present.

The final lot of 150 students on C2D sifted through possibly more than
20,000 papers of literature on TB present anywhere in the world, in
four months. They pursued individual authors and took permissions — it
has all been done ethically and voluntarily, explains Dr Brahmachari,
returning a call at past 9 pm to speak at the end of a day that has
been long and busy, following the excitement generated by the new

The project is different from the Human Genome project, where too,
information was placed in the public domain, or the recently-conducted
Big Bang project, he says. They were conducted by experts.

In the C2D project too, all information on the TB gene and future
developments will be placed in the public domain. But the project is
entirely being done by students, by novices who had no prior exposure
to systems biology, he points out. And, there is no exploitation, he
says, pre-empting any queries on labour being "cheap" in India.

Students were trained on-site in systems biology, and, in fact, the
final participants in the project have been gifted a lap-top each, a
gesture by a philanthropic organisation, at no cost to Government of
India, he adds.

Students now have hands-on training in systems biology, having worked
on a prestigious CSIR project, and they return home owning laptops, he

Observers agree that the hands-on training in systems biology with
CSIR will look good on the students' job applications, improving their
prospects of employment with government or the pharma industry.


But the project will have to sustain this initial excitement, enticing
drug companies to pick up the leads that could emerge from the
research and develop them further into possible drugs.

Though a tangible prospective molecule is still years away, the plan
is that a consortium of four or five drug companies will be given four
or five leads to be further developed into prospective drugs.

They will put in 4 per cent each of investment (or a total 20 per cent
of the cost), while the Government will put in the remaining 80 per
cent investment cost.

There will be no royalty or intellectual property protection and it
will be licensed to as many companies who choose to make the product,
he explains, adding that the competitive generic approach will keep
prices in check.

The market for TB drugs is about $300 million and when a huge market
is not there, an IP model (where innovative medicines are given
exclusivity on sales by patent protection) will not work, adds Mr

But with government support of Rs 146 crore, the C2D project has shown
how alternate approaches can and need to be devised to crack the
public health deadlock of developing drugs for neglected diseases or
tropical diseases.

As businesses go, the pharmaceutical industry too is profit-driven and
dictated by the interest of shareholders.

Innovative models are needed to attract them into segments they
otherwise fear to tread.

But the CSIR chief is optimistic after the response to the project and
encouraged by the abilities of young researchers "to learn, execute
and wait" — qualities required in a risky pursuit like drug-discovery

And as the students rush back to take their graduate or post-graduate
exams, armed nevertheless with a CSIR certificate and a laptop, Dr
Brahmachari hopes their experience will ignite more minds to plug into
such initiatives that harness technology for public health.

Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth. - Mohandas Gandhi

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[socialactionfoundationforequity:2429 Patil for equal justice

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Patil for equal justice

- President stresses affordability & access

President Pratibha Patil being welcomed with a japi as Assam chief
minister Tarun Gogoi looks on in Guwahati on Saturday. (PTI)

Guwahati, April 17: President Pratibha Patil today made a strong case
for making litigation affordable and timely, apprehending that lack of
opportunities for equitable access to justice could divide society
into those who had access to justice and those without it.

Patil spoke of the growing concern about the poor and the
disadvantaged not being able to approach the courts for relief without
legal aid as litigation had become an expensive option.

To her, a legal system structured on timely delivery, affordable
justice and non-cumbersome procedures was best designed to provide
access to justice. Along with socio-economic policies and programmes,
a holistic and a well-coordinated approach towards access was the need
of the hour.

"We must look at how to make justice more affordable, whether in terms
of court fees or laywer's fees. At the same time, we need to make our
legal aid system robust, effective and competent. Low level of legal
awareness also impede access," she said in her inaugural address at
the two-day conference on Access to Justice and Socio-economic
Development of Northeastern States here this morning before a
gathering that included senior judges, intellectuals, governors,
journalists and lawyers.

Patil's concerns were earlier raised by Assam chief minister Tarun
Gogoi and Governor J.B. Patnaik.

Gogoi said he could neither think of approaching the Supreme Court nor
the high court to fight a case because of prohibitive fees while
Patnaik said judicial courts had "failed" to achieve the twin
objectives of cheap and expeditious disposal of cases.

Patil also expressed concern about the large number of cases pending
in various courts, which, according to her, should uphold the
provisions of the Constitution and ask itself about the role of
judiciary in the 21st century.

The President suggested that subordinate courts should use the
potential of information technology to post their cause list and case
status on websites like the high courts to make the judicial processes
more transparent.

Ostensibly to drive home the point that she was familiar with the
constraints and problems of the legal system, Patil said she took a
"deep" interest in legal affairs as she was a lawyer herself before
entering public life. "I have always emphasised two essential points.
One, that the rule of law is the very foundation of justice. Secondly,
a legal system should not only meet the requirements of individual
justice but fulfil the broader role of being an instrument of legal
empowerment for society and the nation," she said.

Patil dubbed the Northeast a "special part of the country, its people
brave and hardworking". "They represent what is India — a diverse
nation, which deeply respects pluralism. I can assure you that the
development of the region is among the topmost priorities of the
nation. NER Vision 2020 is a document that reflects the collective
desire to work towards the development and prosperity of the people of
the region," she said.

Earlier, Gogoi in his speech said the President had, during an
official dinner yesterday, enquired about the insurgency situation in
Assam and how the state was dealing with it. "She had also asked about
Naxal insurgency. I said we were according topmost priority to
education, health and economic empowerment."

Patil left immediately after the inaugural function.

The function was followed by sessions on Right to Education: A North
Eastern Perspective; North-east and Media; Environment and Sustainable
Development; Drug Trafficking and AIDS — Measures of Control; Rights
and Maintenance of Senior Citizens; and Terrorism and Human Rights in

The panelists unanimously agreed that only a collective effort would
help ensure access to justice for all as well as overall development.

Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth. - Mohandas Gandhi

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[socialactionfoundationforequity:2429 Your time starts now

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Your time starts now

Kareena Gianani / DNASunday, April 18, 2010 4:08 IST

Mumbai: One speaker. Five minutes. 20 slides that auto-advance every
15 seconds. A new Mumbai event, Ignite, promises to give the concept
of presentations a whole new meaning. DNA meets the group who'll talk
a blue streak this week.

On a regular day, amateur stand-up comedian Karan Talwar makes good
conversation. He tells you about his job at a shipping company that
can get quite mundane, his stint at a US school or how one's first
stand-up show must bomb so you know better the next time.

But how exactly he will argue that for a woman in rural India the most
important criterion for selecting a prospective suitor is a home with
an indoor toilet is something he will reveal only on the stage later
this week. He will also prove how the Indian male's reluctance to
choose a right-sized condom leads to women contracting AIDS rapidly.

Talwar will have exactly five minutes to do all this with the help of
20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. He and eight others will
speak at the new city event, Ignite Mumbai that kicks off this
Saturday at Bandra's Café Goa.

Ignite is a global event started by O'Reilly's Brady Forrest and Bre
Pettis at Seattle in 2006 (the city had organised 9 Ignite nights till
date). It is now held in more than 50 cities the world over, including
Dublin, Vancouver, Seoul, Strasbourg and Sydney, with 150-800 people
egging on 10-15 speakers as audience almost everywhere. In India,
Chennai, Pune and Bangalore have held Ignite events over last year.
Its motto, aptly so, is 'Enlighten us, but make it quick'.

Mumbai ignited
As I meet the Ignite Mumbai group at a lounge, the organisers and
participants seem to be treading carefully. "Well, I know we are kick-
starting an event that's all about talking non-stop, but, you see,
some of us are meeting each other for the first time…" says Aviraj
Saluja, organiser and business developer at a web services company, a
tad sheepishly.

The next moment, Saluja realises the delight in the situation and
adds, "That's what Ignite does. You spread the word that anyone who'd
like to speak can jump on to the stage and so many sign up without any
qualm." Last year, after attending the Ignite event at Boulder, where
he was studying MBA, Saluja says he just knew he had to bring it to
this city. His friends Maneesh Madambath, founder of a digital media
agency and Suyash Trivedi, a scriptwriter, doubled up as co-

Within days the word spread and an eager bunch of speakers came
together. "People I hardly knew were keen to participate - and most
hadn't even heard of Ignite," he says. Some signed up because of the
event is similar to Pecha Kucha (a similar style of presentation
started by two architects of the Tokyo-based firm, Klein Dytham
Architects in 2003 to help designers, creative heads and architects
network better). A few others had watched Ignite videos online.

Sixty passes were booked in a matter of hours last week. "And no, we
haven't given out passes to just our friends to fill the space," quips
Saluja. Ignite Mumbai will be organised every two-three months, and
half the speakers for the subsequent events will be chosen through
viewer votes. Once Ignite Mumbai finds a foothold, tickets for the
events will be sold at a nominal rate.

Get, set, speak
For most speakers, the excitement beats the anxiety. Mansi Trivedi, a
strategic planner at an advertising company, says she's too keen to
speak about a pet topic to let her nerves get the better of her.

"When I was studying abroad till two years ago, I realised I wasn't
the only who felt displaced in a new city. So I started an online,
collective story-telling forum ( where people
explored their relationship with their cities. Ignite will be an
important platform for me to tell people to not just live in a city,
but to listen to it too." Tweeting and blogging she adds are not the
same experience as watching a live audience listen to your point of

Expectedly, Trivedi gets a few nods from the group itself (which is
now loosening up).

The topics, as I gradually discover, are emotional, cheeky (How to
hack a BEST bus seat/How to prevent a couple fight from becoming a
break-up fight) or intriguing (Power of Online communities: The wisdom
of the crowd/Not another NGO —Building a modern social movement in
India/Interesting observations about urban India behaviour).

Amanda White, a programme and communications associate at Shop for
Change Fair Trade, who will speak on how NGOs can further their causes
by building a positive public image, came to Mumbai last year. Apart
from professional networking, her motivation for participating in
Ignite is to meet a creative crowd and share the idea that social
change needn't depend on the charity model alone.

"Today, change is all about how you use your strategy and activists.
The NGO sector here can teach and learn a lot more," she explains.
White says she is glad that Ignite is about meeting people and sharing
ideas — and doesn't double up as a platform for professional pitches.

Aditya Rao, who will speak about the power of online communities,
agrees with White. "Imagine, you can keep your audience interested
even as you tell them how to break a chocolate slab perfectly or why
Super Mario Brothers is the best game ever.. I've chosen to speak
about the wisdom of the crowd by referring to Star Wars and Isaac
Asimov — and how communities will decide the future. Today, for
instance, Starbucks depends on communities of customers to vote for
its menu and products. Wikipedia has only 32 employees and depends on
the 'crowd' for its content. I want to share this idea at Ignite, and
hopefully inspire someone in those five minutes," he says.

Whether Rohan Joseph can use Quentin Tarantino's wisdom from Pulp
Fiction (f*** pride) to salvage a relationship fight, or Asfaq Tapia
can ensure that you do manage to grab that BEST seat, Talwar says he's
sure of one thing — there will be no yawns
during the evening.

For details, log on to To participate in upcoming Ignite events, submit
your entries at

Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth. - Mohandas Gandhi

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Medarticles need article

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dear group members i need this article.......please help me

thank u

J Chromatogr A. 2004 Jul 23;1043(2):323-7.

Solvent-free microwave extraction of essential oil from aromatic herbs: comparison with conventional hydro-distillation.

Lucchesi ME, Chemat F, Smadja J.

Laboratoire de Chimie des Substances, Naturelles et des Sciences des Aliments, Faculté des Sciences et Technologies, Université de la Réunion, 15 Avenue René Cassin, BP 7151, F-97715 Saint Denis Messag Cedex 9, La Réunion, France DOM.


Solvent-free microwave extraction (SFME) is a combination of microwave heating and dry distillation, performed at atmospheric pressure without added any solvent or water. Isolation and concentration of volatile compounds are performed by a single stage. SFME has been compared with a conventional technique, hydro-distillation (HD), for the extraction of essential oil from three aromatic herbs: basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), garden mint (Mentha crispa L.), and thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.). The essential oils extracted by SFME for 30min were quantitatively (yield) and qualitatively (aromatic profile) similar to those obtained by conventional hydro-distillation for 4.5 h. The SFME method yields an essential oil with higher amounts of more valuable oxygenated compounds, and allows substantial savings of costs, in terms of time, energy and plant material. SFME is a green technology and appears as a good alternative for the extraction of essential oils from aromatic plants.

PMID: 15330107 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Biotechnology Division
U.P. 226015

Mob. +919369304198


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Opportunity to Participate in World Bank Website Research!

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Help the World Bank Improve Its Website: A new World Bank website is coming soon, and we need your input!

The World Bank Website User Research team will be conducting interviews in early May, 2010, to help improve the usability of the website, and to gather feedback on new designs for We are searching for individuals who use the "Countries" area of the website, or individuals who use development economics data and statistics in their day-to-day work. Participants will be able to preview the new website designs before the general public and play a role in making the site more useful for everyone. Interviews will be conducted at World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC (for those who already reside in DC), or remotely via web conference (for those who reside outside of the DC area). We will work with selected participants to find a mutually agreeable time in their schedule; the discussion will last approximately 45-60 minutes. If selected for an interview, participants will receive an gift card (US participants), or a gift from the World Bank InfoShop (non-US participants).

CLICK HERE TO INDICATE YOUR INTEREST (takes less than a minute!)


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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: aniruddhya borkar <>
Date: Sat, Apr 17, 2010 at 7:15 PM
To: Neha Ling <>, Mukul Lovalkar <>, Mayuresh <>, Aprajita Mishra <>, Mobina <>, Neha Mungekar <>, Robin Nadar <>, Abhijit Nagaraj <>, Gokul Nair <>, Sangeeta Nair <>, Prerna Nayar <>, Nikita <>, Piyusha Pagare <>, Dhanya Palani <>, Girish Anand Paranjape <>, Jayesh Parker <>, Nirali Patel <>, Ujwal Patil <>, Atul Pawar <>, Amit Pednekar <>, Sugosh Prabhu <>, Priyanka <>, Ritu Raheja <>, Rajat <>, Piyush Rane <>, Anushri Rao <>, Ddivya Rawal <>, Rupesh <>, Mrunal Sabnis <>, Prasad Sabnis <>, Sachin <>, Sachin <>, Smita Sahu <>, Satyajeet Salgar <>, Sanjay <>, Karan Shah <>, Neel Shah <>, Parin Shah <>, Urja Shah <>, Ankit Shah <>, Faiz Shaikh <>, Sugandh Sharma <>, Shekhar <>, Bhushan Shelar <>, Sukruta Shenoy <>, Nitin Shete <>, Poonam Shinde <>, Venkatakrishnan Subramanium <>, Jayashree Subramanium <>, Nikhil Suri <>, Vinit Suri <>, Venky <>, Priyadarshani Verma <>, Nikhil Vithalani <>, Wasim <>, Yatinraj <>

A young second generation Indian in the US was asked by his mother to explain the significance of "Diwali" to his younger brother, this is how he went about it...


" So, like this dude had, like, a big cool kingdom and people liked him. But, like, his step-mom, or something, was kind of a bitch, and she forced her husband to, like, send this cool-dude, he was Ram, to some national forest or something... Since he was going, for like, something like more than 10 years or so... he decided to get his wife and his bro along... you that they could all chill out together. But Dude, the forest was reeeeal scary shit... really man...they had monkeys and devils and shit like that. But this dude,Ram, kicked with darts and bows and arrows... so it was fine.


But then some bad gangsta boys, some jerk called Ravan, picks up his babe (Sita) and lures her away to his hood. And boy, was our man, and also his bro, Laxman, pissed... all the gods were with him... So anyways, you don't mess with gods. So, Ram, and his bro get an army of  monkeys... Dude, don't ask me how they trained the damn monkeys... just go along with me, ok...


So, Ram, Lax and their monkeys whip this gangsta's A*s in his own hood... Anyways, by this time, their time's up in the forest... and anyways... it gets kinda boring, you know... no TV or malls or shit like that. So,they decided to hitch a ride back home.... and when the people realize that our dude, his bro and the wife are back home...  they thought, well, you know, at least they deserve something nice....   and they didn't have any bars or clubs in those days... so theycouldn't take them out for a drink, so they, like, decided to smoke and shit... and since they also had some lamps, they lit the lamps it was pretty cooool... you know with all those fireworks...

Really, they even had some local band play along with the fireworks...and you know, what, dude, that was the very first, no kidding.., that was the very first music-synchronized fireworks... you know, like the 4th of July stuff, but just, more cooler and stuff, you know. And,so dude, that was how, like, this festival started."


The mother fainted.



Ujwal Patil
B.Pharm,Bombay College Of Pharmacy,
M.Tech,Institute of Chemical Technology,Matunga, MUMBAI,

Medarticles need this papers pls

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1. Uterine artery ligation to control postpartum hemorrhage

2. Uterine artery ligation in the control of postcesarean hemorrhage.

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[socialactionfoundationforequity:2428 Narendra Modi- Travials of Travel ISP II April 2010

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Narendra Modi: Travails of Travel Abroad



Ram Puniyani


While law of the land is trying to catch up with the acts of commission and omission in the Gujarat carnage, another set of laws, the global ones have been very clear about permitting the entry of a person like Narendra Modi into their country.


Recently (April 8, 2010), a group of German MPs justified the denial of visa to Modi. They advocated a ban on his visiting Europe.  This parliamentary delegation was on a two day visit to the city of Ahmedabad to study the state of minorities in Gujarat. It concluded that the European Union (EU) decision not to grant visa to him was justified. They went to the extent of banning his trip to Europe in near future. They pointed out that "the Chief Minister of Gujarat has a radical tone to his politics and is described as dictatorial. He has a wrong perception of religious freedom." This four member team has been closely following developments in the Gujarat riot cases.


One member of delegation pointed out that he was shocked by parallels between Germany under Hitler and Gujarat under Modi. Incidentally in Gujarat school books Hitler has been glorified as a great nationalist. Modi, in response to this has written to Prime Minister to seek apology from the German delegation for tarnishing the image of democratically elected head of state. The Congress Government endorsed Modi's view and clarified that the EU had put a ban on Modi's visit in the aftermath of Gujarat carnage but that has been withdrawn. Also that it was not an official delegation. Whatever that be, the opinion of the members of the delegation does reflect a deeper truth of our political phenomenon.



That apart, this is not the first time that such a thing has happened. Modi was earlier denied visa to US. On March 18, 2005 in a severe rebuke to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the United States denied him entry to America. US Consular division had taken a strong stand against Modi, the Hindutva icon. They denied him diplomatic visa apparently holding him responsible for communal carnage of 2002. In addition, his tourist/business visa which was already granted was revoked under a section of US Immigration and Nationality Act since he was not coming for a purpose that qualifies for a diplomatic visa.

In response to the query that he was already holding a tourist-cum-business visa, the Consulate pointed out that the "existing tourist/business visa has been revoked under Section 212 (a) (2) (g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act." According this section
any foreign government official who was responsible or "directly carried out, at any time, particularly severe violations of religions freedom" is denied the visa. The decision of US authorities was based on the observations of India's National Human Rights Commission findings and other independent Indian sources.  

The observation of German delegation raises one additional major point about the state of Gujarat being similar to that of Germany under Hitler. Who will know it better than Germans who have suffered the political tragedy of fascism for bad many years? Modi's point that he is an elected person again matches so well with Hitler. One recalls, Hitler came to power through democratic means and then he gradually eroded liberal-democratic norms from inside to bring in worst type of fascist state. The parallels are unmistakable. There are some differences from German fascism here but all the same the basic phenomenon is the same. Fascism is a politics where the liberal democratic space is abolished in the name of targeting some section of society for the supposed cause of National interest. In case of Germany the process was accompanied by a cultural paradigm shift and political aggression against communists, then trade unionists and then the Jews. Millions of Jews were subjected to the gas chambers, one of the greatest tragedies of the human history of twentieth century.


The politics of Hitler, and his clone Mussolini was praised by M.S. Golwalkar the ideologue of RSS, the organization where Modi has been indoctrinated and trained. Golwalkar's formulations of aggressive nationalism and relegating minorities to second-class citizenship are being actualized by Modi and company in different ways.


While the similarities with German case are so glaring, there are some differences as well. The German fascism began to take social roots after the economic crisis generated in the aftermath of First World War. The cultural offensive in the field of arts, music, literature and the 'glorification of ancient past' picked up rapidly. In one of the major assaults on democracy, the fire at Reichstag was attributed to having been done by Communists, and physical violence was unleashed against them. Analogies with Godhra train burning are unmistakable.


Here the ascendance of Modi comes on the background of the economic crisis of the decade of 1980s, the adverse effects of globalization picking up, the loss of jobs of the downtrodden due to closure of textile mills, the attacks on the dalits OBCs in the name of anti reservation riots. The cultural manipulation began with Ram Temple movement, and spreading of hate against minorities, Muslims first and then the Christians, who by now have been relegated to second class citizenship in Gujarat and some other states and the trend in other states is going in that direction.


While in Germany whole of the Nation came under the grip of fascism, the saving grace in India is that the electoral face of 'Indian fascism', BJP, has not been able to come to absolute majority in the center by itself. That's not to say that fascism is not marching. In Germany the defeat of Germany in Second World War led to the collapse of the nation along with the edifice of fascism with the fascist-in-chief committing suicide. In India here it has gripped Gujarat in full, while in other states like Karnataka, Orissa, MP its presence is getting strengthened by and by. At national level though BJP might have faced two electoral debacles, the infiltration of fascist ideology through the pores of Indian democracy is going on in various ways. The phenomenon is creeping slowly though section of media, communalization of education, and infiltration of the followers of this ideology in different section of state. The gradual attempt to erode the liberal and plural values is a dangerous portent for democracy. Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit's alleged involvement in Malegon blast may just be the tip of the iceberg. The judicial pronouncements that 'Gita should be our national book' are also reflective of the same phenomenon.


Indian fascism is a slow growing one, capturing different aspects of society one by one. It is not for nothing that Modi is the darling of big capitalists, who stand to gain maximum from the fascist type set ups. One can label Indian phenomenon as a chronic fascism, going in a step ladder pattern. Those of us relived because of electoral debacles of BJP at center need to wake up and realize that fascism is marching, irrespective of BJP's electoral debacle in last two general elections.


The incidental observation from German delegates report is that since Germany went through such a painful period of history, many Germans realize and can sense the symptoms of fascism so easily. Same applies to many Japanese joining anti-Nuke protests and campaigns against Nuclear weapons. Who knows better than them as to what a nuclear weapon can do to the society?  


So while here in India the justice to Modi ilk is elusive, globally there are norms which do recognize the nature of incidents happening here, the politics which abuses religious identity to come to power is in essence a variant of fascism whatever be its other characteristics.



Issues in Secular Politics

II April 2010

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