‘Nisan’ Speaks out
Lecturing is easy but working in the field is tough. People staying in urban center must stop lecturing poorest of poor of this country on how and which way they should protest, said Arundhati Roy, famous author and activist. She was speaking to a gathering in Bhubaneswar. She categorically said that debate and discourse on violent or non-violent medium of protest is futile. Only the people who are marginalized in the remotest forest of this country know which medium is best suited to ventilate their feelings of protest. Speaking to a mixed gathering of activists, writers and artistes organized by Odia literary magazine ‘Nisan’ Arundhati lauded the tribals of Niyamgiri for their heroic stand to protect Niyamgiri hill from the clutch of highly influential Vedanta Alumina. Arundhati said that the tribal has shown the world the best art of protest by taking toughest stand against a multi-national company. ‘Nisan’, a quarterly literary journal in Odia has been undemocratically targeted and harassed by state police branding the magazine as pro-Maoists. Nisan editor Lelin Kumar narrates his ordeals he faced to print his magazine and informed that no press in Odisha dares to print ‘Nisan’. Talking on the Art of protest Film maker Sanjay Kak said that hurdles by state or power center strengthen the will power of protestors. Lada Sikoka, leader of Niyamgiri movement bluntly spoke that they are ready to shed their blood and life, but won't allow Niyamgiri to die. An emotional Sikoka asked the urban audience if they cannot demolish their man made temple in Puri, how can they allow a company to devastate a natural temple, the holy abode of Niyam raja. Veteran Odia fiction writer Bibhuti Patnaik and poet Ashutosh Parida also addressed the gathering. Nisan literary awards were conferred upon fiction writer Basanti Mohanty and poet Pabitra Mohan Dash. Poet Akhil Nayak presided over the meeting.
A Reader, Bhubaneswar
Public fund, Private gain
Siphoning of government-funds for Non-Government-Organisations (NGOs) by influential ones in political and bureaucratic circles for benefit of NGO's run in name of their family-members is quite common. These NGOs pay lucrative salaries and perks to their officers who are either relation to power-filled politicians and bureaucrats, or of persons running these NGOs. Buildings built on land allotted on concessional rates to NGOs should become government-property because of large-scale funding already done to these NGOs by the government.
Apart from stopping any kind of direct or indirect funding of NGOs at public-expense including from funds at discretion of Parliamentarians and state-legislators, those getting foreign-funding should be under a strict vigilance-scanner also because many NGOs are tools to divert foreign-funds of individuals. However in the meanwhile all NGOs should be under purview of 'Right-To-Information' (RTI) Act and also proposed Lokpal Bill.
Subash Chandra Agrawal, Delhi
Narendra Damodardas Modi owes his position to the Constitution of India. In 2002 he failed to honour his pledge to protect and serve the people of the state he stil rules over. The use of official apparatus to spy on a private individual shows that he considers Gujarat to be his personal fiefdom. This is a feudal attitude which has no place in today’s world.
Mukul Dube, Delhi 110091
Vol. 46, No. 24, Dec 22 -28, 2013
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