PERUMAL MURUGAN IS A COWARD

Perumal Murugan, the writer is dead. As he is no God, he is not going to resurrect himself. He also has no faith in rebirth. An ordinary teacher, he will live as P. Murugan. Leave him alone,

since January 13th 2015 this Facebook post has generated considerable debate in the Indian media , The controversy over his novel Madhorubhagan, first published in December 2010 ,and his subsequent decision to quit writing is often portrayed as the brutal attack on freedom of speech guaranteed by our constitution by right wing groups . In the intellectual circles he is often equated with the victims of Charlie Hebdo massacre that took place in Paris on January 7th 2015 . .Comparing him with those brave souls who stood by their views till the end is nothing short of a crime , The magazine have stood by the cartoon of prophet Mohammed it published in 2006 and 2012 in face of all opposition including the attacks of 2011 . Though most of its editorial board were killed in the 2015 attack , it still fights the intolerant society that finds it hard to interpret its message . Perumal Murugan on the other hand quit writing at the slightest of provocations . According to him “a writer cannot function under threat or fear ”  and that was the reason of him writing his own obituary as a writer . This is nothing short of cowardice , as we are entitled to freedom of speech , so is our moral responsibility stand by it .He should have shown the courage to fight the communal forces conspiring against him and must have taken up the issue at the national stage . The biggest mistake he did was to attend the “peace meeting ” on the 12th of January with his caste and religious groups , rather than boycotting it .His unconditional apology thereafter was the greatest shame to the Indian constitution than what he is blaming others for . Post Independence , the constituent assembly was a battle field , the Hindu right opposed the Hindu Code Bill with all its strength both inside and outside the house , but our founding fathers never gave in , which in turn brought the religion out of its coffin.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Humanity has a general tendency to oppose dissenting voices as soon as they here them , it will take time for them to debate and finally to understand . A true writer is one who not only creates works like  Madhorubhagam but also stands by it .We would find it hard to understand the practices prevalent in the past like the one at  Sri Arthanareeshwarar Temple , Tiruchengode , but it is for people like Perumal Murugan to present it to us . For example , the new generation among  Nair caste of Kerala are often ignorant about the practice of sambadham which was prevalent till a few decades back. If told about the polyandrous nature of their women in the past ,the first reaction would be the similar to what Mr Murugan received .But it will never alter the reality . A writer must be the brave conscience of the society , that is why Mr Perumal Murugan’s following affidavit at the Madras high court shows his cowardice.

I published my own obituary in my Facebook account. Whether others believe in the death of Perumal Murugan as a writer or not, I believe in it. A writer cannot function under threat or fear,

Advertisements

LAND ACQUISITION ACT

Today (17/3/2015) as i write this article (5:50 PM)  , the joint opposition led by Mrs Sonia Gandhi is making its way to the parliament house from Raisina hill  . This rare show of opposition unity is a part of the ongoing campaign against the amendments to The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 ,made by the NDA government through an ordinance in December 2014. To understand the issue  , let us analyze the various land acquisition bills so far.

1.Land Acquisition Act, 1894

The Land Acquisition Act of 1894 came into effect on March 1st 1894 . After independence the law was extended to the rest of India excluding the state of Jammu And Kashmir .The highlights of the bill are:

  • The act is divided into 8 parts , each relating to various procedures involved .
  • Part 2 deals with acquisition which include  preliminary notification in the official gazette by the district Collector , Hearing of objection , Declaration of land for public purposes (after objections are taken into account) , marking out and measuring of land and the final allocation of land .
  • In cases of urgency the collector can acquire the land without any of the following procedures after just 15 days of notification . In case of unforeseen emergency the period can be as short as 48 hours. The quantum of compensation in these cases would be determined by the collector himself.
  • Part 3 explains the reference to the court if compensation was found in adequate .
  • The quantum of compensation depends on – market value and the damage sustained by the owner. But these are to be neglected in urgency .
  • part 5 deals with the payment of compensation.
  • part 7 deals with acquisition of land for companies , which must be public sector enterprises or co operative bodies where the government holding is over 51% of share.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2 .The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013

This act which came into effect on January 1 , 2014 , was aimed at giving a humane , participative , informed and transparent face to the procedure of land acquisition. The highlights are:

    • It applies to public sector undertakings , infrastructure projects ,public private partnerships and private companies under taking public projects  .
    • For private companies consent of 80% of the affected families is required for acquisition while public private partnerships requires consent of at least 70% of the families.
    • The act is divided into 13 chapters,
    • chapter 2 explains the determination of social impact and public purpose . A social impact assessment study is to be undertaken in consultation with the local government ( panchayats and municipalities ) , which must be made available to the public . The authority responsible for the social impact assessment study must also prepare a social impact management plan to address the impact of the project.
    • The social impact assessment report will be evaluated by an independent multidisciplinary expert group , whose recommendations will be made available to the public.
    • chapter 3 restricts the acquisition of irrigated multi cropped land to safeguard food security.
    • chapter 4 speaks about the notification and acquisition along with the preparation of rehabilitation and resettlement scheme . It also explains the determination of the quantum of compensation along with the guidelines to adjust it to the market value.
    • chapter 5 deals with the rehabilitation and resettlement awards for the affected families , including mandatory employment to the members of such families.special provisions are provided for the SCs and STs .
    • In cases of urgency the collector can acquire the land without any of the following procedures after just 30days of notification . In case of unforeseen emergency the period can be as short as 48 hours.
    • chapter 6 explains the manner and procedure of rehabilitation and resettlement under a commissioner for the purpose.
    • chapter 7 says about the constitution of Monitoring Committees For Rehabilitation and Resettlement at the state and national level.
    • chapter 8 deals with the setting up Land Acquisition , Rehabilitation and Resettlement Authority.
    • chapter 10 explains the payment procedure.
    • If the land acquired remains unutilised for 5 years it would be returned back to the family or to the land bank of appropriate government.
    • The provisions of this Bill shall not apply to acquisitions under 13 existing legislations including the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005, the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, the Railways Act, 1989, etc.

3 The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition,Rehabilitation and Resettlement(Amendment) Ordinance, 2014.

  • The provisions of the Bill was extended to apply to acquisitions under 13 existing legislations including the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005, the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, the Railways Act, 1989, etc.
  • Exemption from social impact assessment , consent and food security provisions for the process of land acquisition for strategic and development activities such as national security or defence of India including preparation for defence and defence production; rural infrastructure including electrification; affordable housing and housing for poor; industrial corridors; infrastructure
    and social infrastructure projects including projects under public private partnership where the ownership of the land continues to vest with the Government .
  • In order to ensure better health and educational facilities in the country, it is proposed to include private hospitals and private educational institutions in the definition of ‘public purpose’.

The amendment is being criticized for taking away the social impact assessment , consent and food security provisions . But the government stands by its decision as it believes these provisions would make the acquisition process faster , without loosing its pro poor appeal. The 2013 act is one of the finest pieces of legislation ever made in the field of land acquisition anywhere in the world , hence it is up to the current government to keep the true essence of that legislation in whatever decision it takes

INDIA’S OCEAN

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the two Indian ocean island nations of Seychelles and Mauritius may not have got the media buzzing . But strategically speaking , they are by far the most important ones he have undertaken . As our aspirations are expected to grow over the years , a better relation with our Indian ocean neighbors could prove a game changer in the long run . We are the only country in the world to have an ocean named after us , though the nomenclature may be accidental , geography has it that there is not a single landmass of notable size south of kanyakumari , making us the prime care taker and possibly the potential benefactor of its resources . With the rising east , the trade through this route is only set to increase , making us not just a global power but a significant player in the future multipolar world.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The primary objective  of any nation is self preservation , with hostile neighbors to the north and west , India cannot have its coastline left undefended . unlike the pacific or the atlantic oceans , the level of militarization of the Indian ocean is still low , Though this could facilitate uninterrupted  free trade but in the longer run it could have fatal as seen with the rising piracy over the horn of Africa .T The united states and Britain do have a military base at Diego garcia in the Indian ocean , but the assertion of power over the entire region was limited, china was the first to initiate a long term military cum trade agenda for the region through the “string of pearls ” initiative . India had never shied away from showing its unease at the opening of a potential hostile front in the south , with the conflict over the control  of the south china sea now heating up ,  India  is compelled to assert itself in the region through its own security initiative. The SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) initiative , aimed at greater engagement with the Indian ocean region was initiated by The Prime Minister , under which the Indian government have signed MoUs for the development of assumption island( Seychelles) and agalela island  (Mauritius)  as trade and defense outposts . The Prime Minister’s visit also coincided with Seychelles and India launching a Coastal Surveillance Radar Project and commissioning of Barracuda into the service of the Coast Guard of Mauritius ,  our first steps to ensure maritime security in the region.

Indian ocean could indeed be India’s ocean if we could use its abundant resources to fulfill our growing demands , The blue economy project aimed at harnessing these resources was extended to these countries , so that our interests are met without harming the nations over the ocean’s rim nor the ocean’s ecology. our passive demeanor over the race for arctic resources has already put us in the back foot . A similar situation in the Indian ocean will be unacceptable , hence pioneering the blue economy initiative to explore the bounties of the ocean is the right step towards India’s resource self sufficiency.

The prime minister’s previous foreign visits were more hyped than the one discussed above , yet his subtle initiatives this time are going to reap huge dividends in the future for India as a nation.

SOCIAL MEDIA REVOLUTIONS – WHY DO THEY FAIL ?

If you are familiar with my blog , it would not be a surprise to know the fact that I am not a huge fan of social networking .For me it is a world far away from reality where everyone assume fake identities to fulfill their perversions . It is like a village assembly in a universe of masked men  , where these men shout their throat out for no reason , as nothing could be tracked back to any particular person , Sadly , the proponents of social media are quiet vocal about the democratization their medium have brought about in the society. This platform they say ,have given voices to millions of grievances , resulting in political upheavals against oppressive regimes and autocratic rulers.  What they fail to recognize is the fact that a crowd of masked men without a convergent ideology is nothing short of a herd of wild animals , which when allowed to roam free will first kill others and then start fighting one another resulting in unending strife.

These social media revolutions start with a sane voice (masked though) , who meticulously analyze a situation and raises her voice against what is the root cause of degradation . initially the analysis is shared among the like minded anonymous members  , Later it is picked up by one or many propaganda machines who adapt it to their whims and fancies , hence growing into a movement  , With every additional member the initial idea gets distorted and when the simmering explodes , sane voices are drowned by a roar , one which makes no sense .Though started in Tunisia in 2011 , it was Egypt that took it to the next level with the power of social media being celebrated at the tahrir square , Millions of Egyptians who took to the streets demanding better economic conditions , soon turned into an anti regime protest , culminating with the resignation of  President Hosni Mubarak . The new Muslim Brotherhood government divided the movement right in the middle turning it into two camps – the brotherhood and the secular . Coptic Christians were the first targets , then the Sunnis started turning on themselves , killing each other in the most barbarous of ways . These fissured lines were used by the people at helm of the previous regime ( The Army) to return to power . Though a full blown civil war was averted , nothing special was gained , Syria was not as lucky . President Bashar Al Assad is no Hosni Mubarak , and like his father he is ready for a long drawn conflict .

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Due to the so called “mass involvement” these social media revolutions  tends to get undue coverage in the real media  . It may also be due to the fact that the mainstream media these days finds sanity irrelevant in front of eye balls .Indian elections last year were the most celebrated in the history , with it Facebook and twitter broke new grounds . Live tweets filled with abuses scrolled our tv screens for over 6 months.  If they were to be believed the Indians would have voted NOTA as our Prime Minister , but at the polling stations masks came off and the country elected a government with a clear mandate for the first time in 30 years . India Against Corruption and its leaders fizzled out at  jantar mantar sittings itself leaving behind the AAP . Though started as a platform on social media aam admi party seems have learnt the lessons of responsible governance leaving behind the utopian society it once preached . Today , Mr Kejriwal , according to me is on the right path as he restructures the AAP  into a political party with himself at the helm .

A narrow , purpose driven revolt without an ideological backbone or a charismatic leader is a recipe for disaster , as is the case with Arab Spring . Many competing ideologies will survive under a single banner in the long run only with a leader of excellent caliber or a team of leaders with a shared vision . The social media makes each and every user a leader , who over time become a liability to the whole purpose in hand . They want change but never really comprehend what this actually means to them , frustrations of all sort are directed against those in power , the resulting anarchy leads to a power vacuum  which ultimately destroys itself.

READ MORE:

SEE GANDHI AS A MAN https://valluvanadtimes.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/the-man-behind-the-idol/

A REAL REVOLUTION https://valluvanadtimes.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/manjhis-bihar/