Mayawati launches projects worth Rs. 6,035 crore



Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati offering gifts to monks on the fifth death anniversary of BSP founder Kanshi Ram at the Kanshi Ram Smarak Sthal in Lucknow on Sunday.
PTIUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati offering gifts to monks on the fifth death anniversary of BSP founder Kanshi Ram at the Kanshi Ram Smarak Sthal in Lucknow on Sunday.

These relate to power supply, housing, technical education, among others

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati laid the foundation for 484 projects worth Rs. 6,035 crore on the occasion of the fifth death anniversary of Bahujan Samaj Party founder Kanshi Ram on Sunday.

The main function was held at the imposing Kanshi Ram memorial. The projects are related to power supply, housing for the urban poor, technical education, water supply and solid waste management.

Ms. Mayawati unfurled five power transmission centres built at a cost of Rs. 135 crore in different parts of the State and 42 sub-stations of 33/11 KV built at a cost of Rs.. 99.70 crore.

Power projects

The Chief Minister laid the foundation for power projects of over Rs. 2,000 crore. the total worth of the schemes and projects pertaining to water supply, sewerage and waste disposal was Rs. 2,104 crore.

Before unveiling the different schemes, floral tributes were paid to the BSP’s founder by Ms. Mayawati, Rajya Sabha MP Satish Chandra Mishra and senior government officials, including Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh and Chief Secretary Anoop Mishra. Buddhist monks were present.

The Chief Minister did not address a gathering of BSP supporters and left after unveiling the projects, but the memorial was thrown open to the assemblage after her departure.

A press release issued by the State Information and Public Relations Department later said that on the directive of the Chief Minister the memorial sites and monuments would remain open to the public from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the summer (March to October) and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. during winter (November to February).

Before arriving at the memorial, Ms. Mayawati visited the Prerna Sthal where the BSP founder’s ashes have been kept.

The central hall of the memorial houses 18-foot high bronze statues of Kanshi Ram and Ms. Mayawati and six large murals on the BSP founder.

The central dome (cupola) has a height of 54 metres.




OU students observe ‘Narakasura Vardhanti’


Osmania University, the nerve centre for Telangana movement, has also become a centre for crazy or perhaps dangerous thoughts these days. In a bid to show their utter contempt for the ruling party or the ruling classes, a section of OU students have started denouncing the Hindu festivals and worshipping demons. This trend was never before in the university and it started only this year. During the Dasara festival, these OU students boycotted the Bathukamma festival as well as Vijayadasami; and instead mourned the killing of Mahishasura. They put up a big portrait of Mahisasura in the Arts College premises and worshipped him, saying he was killed by the so-called upper class Durga only because he was a Dalit.

Now on the eve of Diwali, the OU students observed “Narakasura Vardhanti,” the death anniversary of demon Narakasura, who was supposedly killed by Lord Krishna and Satyabhama. They made a similar allegation saying Narakasura was a Dalit and hence, the Brahminical character Krishna killed him to suppress the revolt by Dalits against upper castes. They said in a bid to cover up the killing, the Brahmin sections portrayed him as “Asura.” So, the students called him as “Naraka Shura” rather than Narakaasura.

Well, if Telangana state is given, the entire mythological characters may undergo a change: gods will become demons and demons will become gods!


Why not a Dalit priest?

Deepavali in White House
Why not a Dalit priest?
By Kancha Ilaiah

Let not the NRIs work for creating religious frictions by presenting one
section’s festival as Indian festival.

The Non-Resident Indians of North America have
been trying to convince the White House that they should recognise the
Deepavali festival as American national festival by celebrating it in White
House. They made such efforts during the Bill Clinton period but failed. Then
they tried very hard during the George W Bush term and again failed.

However, they succeeded during this time in convincing the Obama
administration that it should celebrate the Deepavali festival in the White
House. On the Deepavali day, Obama attended a celebration organised by
Indians in the White House and lit a lamp. The main representative of India
on the dais, along with Obama was an Indian Brahmin priest with a shaven head
and semi-naked body covered with a Pattu Vastram and a dhoti. He also sported
big three fold Vaishnava ‘namam’.

Assuming that the NRIs were not willing to present a homogeneous Hinduism by
keeping a Shaivaite priest also, the basic question that does bother is: does
that priest represent Indian Dalits-Bahujans who hardly have any space in the
Hindu religious temple structures?

The NRIs living in America used Obama’s black background to convince him to
attend the celebration and give a respectability to Indian-Hindu culture.
What they have ‘hidden’ from Obama and his administrative staff was that in
India still the Hindu priestly caste does not allow millions of Dalits to
enter Hindu temples and they treat them as untouchables.

We were all a witness to Obama’s oath taking ceremony where the black pastors
played a key role, though there were white pastors side by side. In spite of
an attempt to raise a controversy around his own pastor Jeremiah Wright,
Obama refused to disown him.

Since Hinduism does not even give such a scope to Dalits and other backward
castes, they are forced to remain unequal and outside its ritual
celebrations. No Dalit-Bahujan is allowed to become a priest in any
mainstream Hindu temple.

For a long time the American blacks faced a similar denial of spiritual
rights (though there was no untouchability) within the white church. The
blacks fought for decades to fight such spiritual racism and over a period of
time they gained the right to go to the white church. But the blacks were not
allowed to ordain as pastors and lead the church system. To counter such
discrimination the blacks started their own churches, which have become a
whole religious system in themselves. All great black leaders emerged from
that black church.

Whether it were the first major black leader, Frederick Doglas of Abraham Lincoln’s
times, or Martin Luther King who emerged as the greatest leader of the civil
rights movement and won a Nobel Peace prize at the age of 38, all were black
pastors in black churches. Even Obama emerged as a political leader, while
working in the black community church.

When the Indian casteist forces celebrated the Deepavali in the White House,
the Indian community would have realised that it would have destroyed his
race neutral administrative apparatus if they did not take a Dalit priest to
the White House. They should have done that, at least, to tell the world that
the NRIs do not believe in caste discrimination and untouchability.

Some of these NRIs were raising objections as to why the Congress House
Committee of Human Rights (called the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human
Rights and International Operations in the United States House of
Representatives) heard the Indian delegation in 2005 about the existence of
discrimination based on caste and untouchability in India.

Back in India Sri Sri Ravishankar, Ramachandra Guha and others accused us
(myself, Joseph D’Souza, Udit Raj and Indira Atwale were the main deposers)
as people who were indulging in internationalising the internal problems. How
do these so called reform seers and intellectuals respond to celebration of
Deepavali in White House and that too with a Brahmin representing Indian
culture? Suppose the Kerala NRIs ask for celebration of Onam in the White
House, who will represent that festival? Would a Bali’s heritage Shudra
represent it or a Brahmin from Vaishnava tradition?

Do not these intellectuals, so called seers and NRIs understand that
Deepavali as it is being celebrated today is an anti-Dalit-Bahujan festival
as Narakasura, who was killed was a Shudra himself? How could a festival that
celebrates the death of an Indian Shudra be considered as a secular festival?
Secondly, how does Deepavali represent India as a cultural festival when
India is a country of multi-religious people?

The only festival that can represent all Indians is Independence Day (August
15) celebration. Let the NRIs not work for creating religious frictions by
presenting one section’s festival as Indian festival. Let the NRIs stop
globalising communalism and casteism also in this from. Let Obama’s
administration realise that there are 200 million Dalits who cannot celebrate
Deepavali as a festival in India.

This is the reason why the Obama administration should have asked for the
presence of a Dalit priest on the occasion of celebration of the Deepavali in
the White House.

King Narakasura is Dalit hero for Diwali


After terming Mahishasura a hero during Dasara festivities, Dalit scholars of Osmania University have now outraged orthodox Hindus by lionising Narakasura, whose killing by Lord Krishna is celebrated as Diwali.

These scholars contend that Narakasura, the son of the earth goddess Bhudevi, was no demon but a king who was defeated in battle by Lord Krishna and Satyabhama in a deceitful manner.

As people celebrated Naraka Chaturdasi on Thursday, a group of Dalits in the Osmania University observed it as vardhanti (death anniversary).

They also offered floral tributes to a picture of Narakasura in the Arts College Campus raising hackles among conservative Hindus.

The scholars asked people not to celebrate Diwali and claimed that Dalits belonged to the lineage of Narakasura and other so called “demon” kings who they say have been portrayed as evil by upper castes.

OU SC, ST, BC and minorities students also organised a seminar ‘Narakasurudu — Raakshasuda (demon) or Rakshasuda (protector)?” wherein participants claimed that history has been distorted to project all those who lost wars as demons.

“We are observing Narakachardashi as vardhanti (death anniversary),” said Mr Visarvardhan, a research scholar. “It is not an occasion to celebrate. We are trying to set right the facts. Narakasura is amaraveerdu (martyr) and not a womaniser.”

“Nowhere in the world does anyone celebrate a death,” said the Dalit scholar, Prof. Kancha Ilaiah. “Nowhere in the world have Gods killed people except in India.”

However, the BJP spokesperson, Mr N.V.S.S. Prabhakar, disagreed with Dalit views and said Diwali symbolised the victory of good over evil and was not related to the death of any individual

Dalits observe ‘Mahishasura day’ in JNU


New Delhi: A group of Dalit students came together at JNU on Monday to honour Mahishasura, the demon killed by Goddess Durga, even as the varsity sent a showcause notice to a student on his role in circulating an “offensive” poster that caused a row on the issue earlier this month.

Members of the All India Backward Students Forum (AIBSF) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had clashed two weeks back over posters that were found “hurtful” by a section of students.

Dalits observe `Mahishasura day` in JNU

The posters were circulated by students of the AIBSF, based on an article on ‘Dalit viewpoint of Durga-Mahishasura’.

The students under the banner of AIBSF said today they were honouring the “martyrdom” of Mahishasura, who belonged to the backward caste and was a “just and a powerful king”.

The University, which was conducting an internal inquiry into the incident of the clash, has meanwhile issued a showcause notice to Jitendra Yadav, a PhD student of Center of Indian Languages and president of AIBSF.

Dalits observe `Mahishasura day` in JNUThe notice said Yadav had been found guilty of releasing an “offensive” poster depicting a deity “in a derogatory manner which created considerable unhappiness and resentment among a section of students” that led to violent incidents.

The notice asks him to explain his act of “serious misconduct and indiscipline” and asks him to submit his reply by October 27.

Yadav said the University was playing into the hands of right wing groups and said the article their poster referred to had not insulted any deity but had asked Dalit and OBC youth to know who their heroes were.

The students also organised a seminar on ‘Mahishasur & Macaulay: The Limits of Post-Modernity’ on the eve of the birth anniversary of Lord Macaulay, the 19th century British historian and politician who was instrumental in introducing the English language as a medium of education in India.

A new painting of ‘Mahishasura’ by artist Lal Ratnakar was also displayed on the occasion.