Friday, June 29, 2012

मुलाचा टर्नओव्हर १०० कोटी, आईचे काम उदबत्त्या करणे Son's turnover 100 crores and Mother make Incense - Agarbatti



अवघ्या ४ महिन्यात शंभर कोटी रुपयांची उलाढाल करणाऱ्या कर्तृत्ववान मुलाची आई काय करीत असेल ? ती उदबत्ती वळण्याचे काम करते. विश्वास बसत नाही ना ! त्यापेक्षाही धक्कादायक म्हणजे आपला टर्नओव्हर अब्जावधीच्या घरात आहे याची कल्पना सुध्दा मायलेकाला नाही....काही उद्योगपतींनी कोळश्याच्या धंद्यातील काळा पैसा पांढरा करण्यासाठी अशा किती तरी तरुणांना कोट्यधीश बनविले आहे. ते फक्त कागदावर.
मध्य भारतात मोठ्या प्रमाणात चोरीच्या कोळशाचा व्यवहार होत आहे. कोळसा खाणींसाठी ब्लॉक घेऊन त्याची परस्पर विल्हेवाट लावण्यात येत आहे किंवा तसेच पडून आहे. त्यामुळे सीबीआय , आयकर , विक्रीकर विभाग आदी विविध यंत्रणांचा ससेमिरा आता कोळसा खाण मालक व व्यापाऱ्यांच्या मागे लागला आहे. मुंबईतील विक्रीकर विभागाच्या वरिष्ठ अधिकाऱ्यांनी कोळसा व्यापाऱ्यांविरुद्ध पाश आवळला असून नागपूर , विदर्भातील उद्योगपती व व्यापाऱ्यावर छापे टाकून कर चोरी प्रकरणाची तपासणी सुरू केली आहे.
कामठी रोडवर सिद्धार्थ गौतम विहार येथे अरुणा कोल ट्रेडिंग कंपनी आहे. कंपनीची गेल्या दीड महिन्यातील उलाढाल २६ कोटी रुपये असून फेब्रुवारीपासून ती शंभर कोटी रुपयांवर गेली आहे. या कंपनीचा मालक नरेश तुपसुंदर आहे. विविध विभागांच्या तपास यंत्रणांनी गुरुवारी या पत्त्यावर भेट दिली असता झोपडीवजा घराच्या परिसरात नरेशची आई अरुणा उदबत्ती वळत होत्या. हे दृश्य बघून अधिकारी अचंबित झाले. चुकीच्या ठिकाणी तर आलो नाही , असा प्रश्न अधिकाऱ्यांना पडला. हे संपूर्ण बोगस प्रकरण असल्याचे तोपर्यंत अधिकाऱ्यांच्या लक्षात आल्याने ते लगेच सावरले.
मुलगा काय करतो , या प्रश्नावर तो खाजगी कंपनीत नोकरीवर असून कामावर गेला असल्याचे अरुणा यांनी अधिकाऱ्यांना सांगितले. तसेच , गेल्या अनेक वर्षांपासून आपण उदबत्ती तयार करून उदरनिर्वाह चालवतो , असेही त्यांनी स्पष्ट केले. उत्तर ऐकून अधिकाऱ्यांना सर्व प्रकार लक्षात आला.
शंभर कोटीची उलाढाल करणाऱ्या नरेश तुपसुंदर याच्या मागे कुणाचा वरदस्त आहे , कोणी-कोणी या कंपनीतून लाभ उठवले , याचे कोडे तपास अधिकाऱ्यांना पडले आहे. त्याच्या कंपनीची नोंदणी कुणी केली , रेजिस्ट्रेशन सर्टिफिकेट कसे मिळाले , या दिशेनेही तपास सुरू झाला आहे.
एका बड्या उद्योगपतीकडे काही वर्षांपूर्वीपर्यंत नोकरी करणारे दुर्गाप्रसाद सारडा यांच्याकडील नोकर अजय यादव व रवी यादव यांच्या नावे असलेल्या अनुक्रमे अजय ट्रेडलिंक व एस.एन. कोल अॅण्ड कोक या कंपन्यांची उलाढाल तब्बल २६६ कोटी रुपयांची असल्याचे अलीकडेच उघडकीस आले. या पार्श्वभूमीवर नरेशचा बोलवता धनी शोधण्यासाठी यंत्रणा कामाला लागली आहे.
..........................
चोरीचा कोळसा ओपन मार्केटमध्ये आणण्यासाठी हा सर्व डाव असल्याचा अंदाज असून त्या दिशेने तपासाची चक्रे फिरत आहेत. 
 
नितीन तोटेवार - नागपूर 

पायी वारी कशासाठी? Why we do walking warari?

पायी वारी कशासाठी?
) संसार व्यापातून थोडे दिवस तरी मुक्तपणे एका वेगळा आनंद घेण्यासाठी ही वारी करता येते . त्याग वृत्तीने ईश्वराची सेवा
) जीवनात जगताना वासना व विकार यातून उद्भवणारे मालिन्य नष्ट होते .
) आजच्या धकाधकीच्या जीवनात निर्सगाशी एकरूप होता यावे , या उद्देशाने दररोज काही मैल चालता यावे .
) वारीत राज्यातून तसेच परराज्यातून वारकरी सहभागी होतात . त्यामुळे तेथील वैविध्य अनुभवता यावे .
) मानसिक तप करून संसार सुख घेता यावे .
) विविध स्तरातील लोकांशी संपर्क येवून निरिक्षण शक्ति वाढते .
) चालीरिती समजतात .
) अडीअडचणींवर मात करण्याचे कौशल्य आत्मसात करता येते .
) निवार्थ वृत्तीने वारीत सामील झाल्याने परमार्थाची अनुभूती होते .
१० ) आपुलकीच्या भावनेने अनेकांशी प्रेम आणि जिव्हाळ्याचे संबंध निर्माण होतात .
११ ) आपल्याच स्वभावाची माणसे भेटून अध्यात्माची देवाण - घेवाण होते .
१२ ) सृष्टीच्या चराचरात समावणा - या भगवंताची अनुभूती होते .
१३ ) भक्तीचे रुपांतर प्रत्यक्ष कृतीत होते .


पालखी सोहळ्याचे नियम
) वारीत तंबाखू , बिडी , किंवा दारु पिऊ नये .
) माऊलींचा सोहळा सोडून पुढील मुक्कामी जाऊ नये .
) रस्त्याने एकमेकांशी भांडू नये .
) दुस - यांच्या वस्तू चोरू नये .
) दिंडीशिवाय चालणा - यांना गावांतील शाकाहारी किंवा मांसाहारी एकत्र असलेल्या खानावळीत जेवू नये .
) बाहेरचे पदार्थ खाणे शक्यतो टाळावे , स्वतःला झेपेल इतकेच सामान बरोबर घ्यावे
) इतरांना त्रास होईल असे वागू नये . मिळूमिसळून चालावे .
) सोहळ्यात दिंडी सोडून मागेपुढे राहू नये .
) आपलं नाव , पत्ता , टेलिफोन नंबर , दिंडीप्रमुखाकडे नोंदणीच्या वेळी द्यावा
१० ) स्वतःकडे जास्त पैसे ठेवू नयेत . तसेच दागदागिने बाळगू नये .


पालखी सोहळ्यातील सेवेकरी
) चोपदारः
माऊलींच्या पालखी सोहळ्यात रंधवे कुटुंब या सेवेत आहेत . पालखी सोहळ्यातील शिस्तीचे नियंत्रण यांच्याकडे असते . दिंडीविषयी मानापनाचा तंटा , वाद पंचाद्वारे मिटवण्याचे काम यांच्याकडे असते . या दिंडीत फारच महत्त्व आहे . हा मान वंशपरागत आहे
) रथाला बैलः
कुंडलीक मारुती कु - हाडेपाटील वरखडे , रानवडे , भोसले या घराण्याकडे माऊलींच्या रथाला बैल जोडण्याचा मान आहे .
) भोपेः मुकुंद कुलकर्णी , कचू कु - हाडे , महादेव टोपे
) भालदार
) छत्र चवरे
) जागर
) रथाला दररोजची सजावट करणारे
) माऊलींच्या पालापुढे वीणा पहारा करणारे
) माऊलींच्या अश्वाची व्यवस्था पाहणारे
१० ) नैवेद्य पूजा
११ ) पंखेवाले


समाज आरतीः

वाटचालीतील नित्याच्या मुक्कामात सर्व दिंड्या मिळून एकत्रितपणे संध्याकाळी आरती करण्याची परंपरा आहे . कोणतीही दिंडी परपस्पर आरती करीत नाही . माऊलींचा ज्या ठिकाणी मुक्काम असतो तेथील तळावर माऊलींच्या तंबूसमोर पटांगणात सर्व दिंड्या गोलाकार करून उभ्या राहतात . पालखी डोलत डोलत तंबूसमोर आणून मोठ्या चौरंगावर ठेवतात . थोडा वेळ जयघोष होतो . रस्त्याने भजन करीत वारकरी दमले भागले असले तरी येथे आणखी उत्साह वाढतोच . सर्व दिंड्यांतील भगवी पताके फडफडत असतात . अवती भोवती सर्वत्र जनसमुदाय , गावकरी माऊलीच्या स्वागतास आलेले असतात . तळावर ठराविक दिंड्यांच्या राहुट्या उभारलेल्या असतात . वारकरी डोलत नाचत उभे असतात .
समाज आरतीच्या वेळी चोपदार महत्त्वाचे काम बजावतात . दिंड्या माऊलींच्या तंबूपुढे तळावर सभोवती व्यवस्थित गोलाकार लावणे , पालखी वेळेवर आणून आरती करणे , सर्वांना सहकार्याने बरोबर घेवून लोकांच्या तक्रारीचे निवारण करणे , हरवल्या - सापडलेल्या वस्तूंची सूचना देणे . अशी महत्त्वाची कामे चोपदाराला समाज आरताच्या वेळी करावी लागतात . आरतीच्या वेळी त्याने चोप आरोळी देऊन वर करताच समाज स्तब्ध होतो . सगळीकडे शांतता पसरते काही सूचना केल्या जाता या वर्दी म्हणतात . आरतीनंतर माऊलीला तंबूत नेले जाते .


माऊलींचे न्यायालयः
पंढरीच्या वाटेवर वारक - यांना दिंडीत आलेल्या अडचणी , इतरांकडून झालेला त्रास अशी तक्रारी व्यक्त करण्यासाठी , त्या संस्थानाच्या , चोपदाराच्या नजरेत आणण्यासाठी समाजआरतीच्या वेळी चोपदाराचा चोप ( दंड ) जोपर्यंत उंचावत नाही तोपर्यंत सगळ्या दिंडीत टाळ वाजत असतात . आरतीसाठी चोपदारांचे चोप बंद होतात . सर्वत्र शांतता पसरते . अशा वेळी ज्या दिंडीची तक्रार असते त्या दिंडीत टाळ वाजत राहतात . आणि सगळ्या दिंड्याचे , संस्थानचे , चोपदारांचे लक्ष वेधले जाते . अशावेळी चोपदार त्या दिंडीत जाऊन त्यांची तक्रार ऐकून योग्य ते आश्वासन देऊन त्या दिंडीतील टाळ थांबवितात . नंतर सामानाच्या आल्या - गेल्याची सापडलेल्या व हरवलेल्या माणसांची व सकाळी निघण्याची वर्दी दिल्यावर आरतीसाठी टाळ वाजतात . अशी टाळ वाजवून तक्रार करण्याची वारकरी मंडळीत परंपरात पद्धत रुढ आहे . एरवी चोपदार , मालक संस्थान यांना व्यक्तिशः तक्रारी सांगितल्या जातात . त्यावर उपाय काढण्यास उशीर होतो . म्हणून लगेचच लक्ष वेधण्यासाठी ही पद्धत आहे
प्रशांत जाधव  

वारी थोडक्यात- Waari information in brief


- ज्ञानेश्वर माऊलींच्या पालखी सोहळा आळंदी ते पंढरपूर २२८ किलोमीटर
- सोहळ्याची परंपरा १७६ वर्षांची
- यंदा सोहळ्यात वारक - यांची संख्या दिड लाख
- सोहळ्यात १४ मुक्काम
- प्रत्येक मुक्काम सरासरी १२ किलोमीटरचा
- पालखीचा पुणे , सातारा , सोलापूर जिल्ह्यातून प्रवास
- सोहळ्यात चार गोल तर तीन उभे रिंगण
- सोहळ्याच्या नियंत्रणासाठी सहा चोपदार
- पालखीच्या रथापुढे २७ दिंड्या तर रथा मागील दिंड्यांना मर्यादा नाही . सध्या २२८ अधिकृत दिंड्या
- सोहळ्यात वारक - यांच्या अन्न , वस्त्र , निवा - या सोयीसाठी सुमारे ३ हजार अधिकृत वाहने .
- पंढरपुरात येणा - या प्रमुख आठ पालख्या . यात ज्ञानेश्वर माऊली , तुकाराम महाराज , निवृत्तीनाथ महाराज , मुक्ताई , जनार्दन स्वामी , एकनाथ महाराज , सोपानकाका आणि बाबा चैतन्य महाराज यांचा समावेश
- सोहळ्यातील प्रत्येक दिंडीत एक विणेकरी , पखवाज वादक , ४० - ५० टाळकरी , - ६ झेंडेकरी , एक चोपदार , दिंडीप्रमुख , तुळशी वृंदावन आणि पाण्याचा हंडा घेऊन जाणारी प्रत्येकी एक महिला आणि भजनात रंगणारे इतर वारकरी अशी एका दिंडीची रचना असते
 

What is Waari?


It's a vision that would melt the heart of the staunchest atheist. And it must be one of its kinds in the world; at one time, millions of people walk in Waari- a holy pilgrimage in Maharashtra. It's perhaps, the world's longest pilgrimage. Remarkable, in over 700 years of waari tradition, no stampede or chaos has ever taken place.

Waari is undertaken in the Hindu month of Ashadhi Ekadashi. Every year, millions of devotees walk along the 450-km route from Alandi (near Pune) to Pandarpur (near Kolhapur) in Western Maharashtra. They walk with one focus and that is to reach Pandharpur and offer their respects to Lord Vithal (reincarnation of Vishnu in the form of Krishna).
The waarkaris (pilgrims) are mainly agriculturists and the majority of them are poor.After travelling for almost 15-20 days, devotees reach Pandarpur to meet their favourite God, Vithal. This year Waari started on June 26 and draws to an end on July 14 th .
A chain of millions of men, women and children walking for miles with non-stop chants of Gyanba-Tukaram on their lips, is an incredible spectacle.

Origin and philosophy of waari

Devotees Carrying Saint Dnyaneshwar Maharaj idol

References of waari can be found as far back as one thousand years. Nobody knows anything about the original waarkaris. According to an account, parents of 13th century Marathi poet-saint Dnyaneshwar undertook this pilgrimage. And he did the same, later.
Sant Dnyaneshwar undertook this tradition where all along the route worshippers rendered traditional songs called Abhanga . He used to walk barefoot with a flag in his hands, keeping his fast throughout the journey.
The group is divided into dindi, which is a small group. All dindis combined is called Waari.
Seven centuries have passed, but worshippers from all the corners of Maharashtra still go for this holy journey. Most waarkaris observe fast. Some of them even walk barefoot; a spiritual belief propagating that the path to reach God is chock-a-block with obstacles and hardships. Devotees of all age groups form the Dindi and celebrate abandoning all tensions and problems. All the worshippers reach their destination; in spiritual terms "God", "Happiness" and "Freedom".
In1685, Narayan Baba, the youngest son of Tukaram and a man of innovative spirit decided to bring about a change in the dindi-wari tradition by introducing the Palkhi (palanquin), which is a sign of social respect. He put the silver padukas (footsteps) of Tukaram in the Palkhi and proceeded with his dindi to Alandi where he put the padukas of Dnyaneshwar in the same Palkhi. This tradition of twin Palkhis continued, but in 1830 there were some disputes in the family of Tukaram, concerned with rights and privileges. Following this, some thoughtful persons decided to break-up the tradition of twin Palkhis and organise, two separate Palkhis - Tukaram Palkhi from Dehu and the Dnyaneshwar Palkhi from Alandi.
Still, both the Palkhis meet in Pune for a brief halt and then diverge at Hadapsar to meet again at Wakhri, a village near Pandharpur and the last stop of waarkaris.
Along with times, the popularity of this ancient tradition soared. And a total of over 40 Palkhis, including Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram, visit Pandharpur every year. This year 275 registered dindis (it's more if one counts the unregistered dindis) and 2 lakh devotees are marching along the route to Pandharpur.
The total number of pilgrims is lesser than the previous year. It is due to scanty rainfall and high inflation that has made it unaffordable for poor who normally undertake this pilgrimage after the sowing season is over.

Foreign visitors' tryst with real India

Barrington de La Roche and Inesa Vaiciute from England specially came to India to see waari. They were struck by the sheer magic of it. "This is the real India I wanted to see," exults Barrington who belongs to a French royal family, settled in England for 100 years. "It's absolutely fascinating," adds his friend Inesa. This was their first visit to the country and they couldn't believe their eyes when they saw the worshippers trekking barefoot with flags in hand and prayers on lips.

They are filmmakers and were introduced to the idea by their 80-year old Indian friend Basant Chapekar who has lived in England for 63 years. Chapekar's late mother used to visit India every year for waari. This year he decided to honour his mother by undertaking this spiritual journey.

While walking with waarkaris, one undergoes a change and learns to adjust to any situation; it's tweaking life as you go along. The foreign couple is so taken in by Indian spirituality that they do not have much to complain. "It's only the toilets that we have some problem with," utters Inesa with a smile. As for the cultural shocks, "It happened when we arrived in Mumbai!" she replied. "We were so taken aback by the noise, the crowd and the chaos. Here (rural India), despite the crowd, it's so peaceful," utters Barrington who is filming the events at waari and intends to make a documentary.

When asked if they had understood anything about the philosophy of waari they replied, "We are still analysing. Each day, there is someone who tells us something new about it. Each one comes up with his own interpretations."

Sixty-four year old Barrington rues, had he been introduced to Indian philosophy and way of life earlier in his life, he would not have become a drug addict. "I am clean now but there was a (dark) phase I went through in my life."

An event the foreign couple eagerly described was when the dindis arrived at a place called Jejuri. The dindis reached the Khandoba temple and performed a "Bhandara". It's a ritual where the waarkaris place the Dnyaneshwar Palkhi (palanquin) on the steps of the temple and all the devotees throw turmeric powder on it. A smoke of yellow hue rose in the sky covering the Palkhi. It was great visual for the camera to capture.

Another event that made them speechless was the game of "Ringan". Devotees line up on either side of the road and two horses (one with a flag bearing rider) race across the stretch and then go back on the same route. This concept was designed as an entertainment to beat the monotony of tired devotees who walked non stop for 3-4 hours. Another form of amusement is "Fugdi" which the women play by joining hands and going round in circle. Such activities refresh and energise the devotees who carry on the journey with renewed vigour.

No division of caste, religion or status

At the campsite where Barrington and Inesa were staying, few paces away, sat seventy-five years old Jaitun Bi - bend with age but standing tall in spirits. Everybody was touching her feet. A Muslim, she became a Lord Krishna devotee at the age of five and ever since had been going on waari. She was introduced to this by her guru Sadguru Hanuman Das.

"Being a Muslim there was some opposition by my community. But I felt this magnetic attraction towards Krishna and threw myself wholeheartedly into His service," says the woman who faced a boycott by her community on account of her actions. Pressures were put on her to marry but she wowed herself to Brahmacharya (celibacy).

Waari knows no divisions of religion or caste says Jaitun Bi who has in her group several Muslim followers like Lalaji Abdul Sheikh (65) who does Kirtans and Bhajans (hymns). Jaitun Bi's brother Abbas Bhai too has joined her.

Jaitun Bi, who is fondly called "mataji", belongs to Malegaon in Baramati district. She first started waari in 1942 when India was under the British rule. And to honour the Indian Nationalists she began her first waari by placing a photograph of Mahatma Gandhi in her dindi. In 1947 her dindi was named after her and now it's called Jaitun Bi Dindi.

As Jaitun Bi holds court, fresh smell of chula made rotis waft through the air. There are several people sitting down to dinner of simple besan sabji and chapatti. Barrington and Inesa are invited to join the gastronomic treat, and they gladly accept it.

Inesa, a Lithuanian, looks every inch an Indian in a shalwar-kameez, plated hair and a bindi on her forehead. She said," I am living with these women and they treat me like a doll - someone is plating my hair and gives me tips on various topics. Over here, there is so much care and love."

There are stories galore when one goes on waari. One Ganpat Maharaj Jagtap, who lost his eye sight at a young age due to illness, started going for waari as a young boy. He decided to write the Bhajans (hymns) in brail so that the blind too could join in the singing.

Affinity towards all caste, creed and religion is evident when one walks in the waari. Muslim devotees from North India used to come for waari, earlier. As time passed it became increasingly difficult for them to join the waari every year. Hence, they said that they were finding it very difficult to join waari but their hearts were in it. Hence, a white flag was assigned to dindi No. 7 as a symbolic gesture of solidarity with and a mark of respect to their Muslim brethren.

Though majority of the people walking in the waari are poor, economic status is not important. There would be an affluent businessman walking alongside a poor farmer. Maharashtra's forest minister Babanrao Pachpute who goes for waari every year too was walking, and it did not disturb the momentum of the group.

Why walk for God?

When asked why they were walking, the waarkaris replied it just made them happy. Bhakti (devotion) just filled them with peace. A waarkari walks for the love of God. His focus is to reach Pandharpur, bathe in river Chandrabhaga, offer Puja to Dyaneshwar's paduka, buy Prasad (offering from God), go round the main temple that houses Vithal's deity and leave for his village, where he distributes the prasad among fellow villagers.

After weeks of walking he does not get to see Lord Vithal's idol inside the temple because it is too crowded for everyone to reach the inner sanctum of the temple. Yet, he feels blessed to have undertaken the pilgrimage to Pandharpur. Waarkaris do not ask for anything from the Lord.

Life now is easier for scribes

Over the years it has become easier for journalists to cover waari. Recounts freelance journalist Suryakant Bhagwan Bhise, who has covered the event for 19 years, "Things were very difficult in those days. There was no place to rest, bathe, eat or sleep. I have spent a number of nights in paddy fields, sitting the whole time clutching my bag with my meager belongings. As time passed, I developed good contacts and started arranging accommodations and meals for visiting journalists." Waarkaris set up camp anywhere. And so Bhise too had to follow.

Another sore point was the communication systems. Over a decade ago Bhise found it very hard to send his stories to his paper. "My stories used to reach my paper days later. And they were published after three days of filing them. I never got to read them."

For long distance phone call there were only trunk calls that one could make from rural Maharashtra. Then the STD phone facility made life easier. Gradually, with the advent of fax and internet, communications channel became so smooth that the stories began to be filed in real time. Over the years, media too started taking interest with more and more newspapers and TV channels sending their reporters for the coverage.

It's not an easy job. The pilgrimage goes on for nearly three weeks and one can experience fatigue, get bruised and sore all over.

When 25000 rotis were distributed in a day

Bhise narrates an indent showing the spirit of waari. Wherever the waarkaris pass his village, people touch their feet calling them "Maoli" (in the image of mother-father). It's a feeling they associate with Lord Vithal. And from each home, school children bring five rotis, some flour (besan) and peanuts to make chutney. They make a dish called Pithle (with besan) and distribute everything among waarkaris who do not accept any alms or food from anyone. But there are others in the group, who join the trek, and they accept it. With each home contributing food, in a day a mammoth 25000 rotis are distributed in a day. Armed with the spirit of waari, India may never know food crisis.

Lessons for corporates

A noticeable feature on the walk with waarkaris the similar names of mobile tea stalls by the road side. All had 'Saagar" emblazoned on them. It emerged that once someone started a tea stall by that name and since then everybody adopted the same name. So, there was Saagar tea-stall galore; a lesson in brand equity for management students!

The organisation, management and administration of the waari was the brain child of Haibatbaba Aarphalkar, a lieutenant of Maratha ruler Mahadji Scindia who designed with military precision the movement of the dindis.

The management, precision and administration of the group is a lesson that none of the management schools will ever teach in their course. But, it's a grass root lesson worthy of any education.

Dindis don't wait for anyone or any calamity. Rain, hail storm or VIP visit, they keep walking. So much so, a practical joke doing the rounds among scribes was that they were wary of sleeping in one of the tents pitched by waarkaris because if they are required to dismantle their tents at 3 in the morning they would do so and move on, leaving the person sleeping under the open sky.

No. 1 death

There have been incidences of old and infirm dying while walking. The group stops to arrange for the dead to be transported to its destination. And if the body remains unclaimed the waarkaris perform the cremation and move ahead. They never leave them unattended.

Then there is Audumbar Mahadev Chatake who spent 14 years doing waari and believes if one dies that on this spiritual journey then he is the lucky one to receive the "Number 1 Death." According to him such persons must not have sinned in their last seven births. It's only the fortunate who get this sort of death, believes Chatake.

Fine tuning life

Adjustment is evident at every step. To shield themselves from lashing rain waarkaris use colorful plastic sheets as it's cumbersome to hold umbrellas. Everybody makes "adjustments", even when it comes to using water. Since the
pilgrims are on the move, water is a rare commodity. A scribe narrated how he was asked to share his glass of water after he had used it to wash his hands and was about to throw away the rest.

At campsite, through satirical dramas like bharud, message like ills of smoking are brought forth. Dindi promotes the three-pronged philosophy of positive approach to health, environment and spiritual development.

Business as usual

When the waarkaris move, an entire village moves with them. There is a barber, grocers and others who walk ahead of the group and set up shop by the road side. Brisk selling takes place. Kabir Gaekwad (30) from Solapur sells basic eatables like peanuts and cucumber. Before the group reaches its destination he moves ahead and sets up shop on the ground. He buys supplies from the village or town that fall on his way; he keeps moving all along the route. "This way I earn my livelihood and also do my waari," says the nondescript man who earns around Rs 3 to 4 thousands during the pilgrimage.

Spontaneous hospitality

There are people like the elderly Jain businessman Doshi who throw open their doors for the pilgrims. His mother used to go on waari. "Twenty-five years ago, inspired by my mother's devotion, I started serving the pilgrims and continue to do so. Every year, when they pass by my house, I serve them with food, and allow them facilities like ablutions in my house."

This impromptu hospitality was seen right through the road that waarkaris traversed. Quaint houses along the dusty rural roads had allowed the pilgrims to make use of basic facilities.

Military like precision

Each dindi is led by saffron-flag bearers. They are followed by women holding the holy plant Tulsi on heads. Following them is a man playing the Veena . He is followed by another set of instrumentalists playing Mridang and singing Bhajans (hymns). The rest in the group follow those ahead. Each dindi is supervised by a Chopdar . Individual Chopdar coordinate with the main Chopdar who is regarded as the supreme commander of the dindis.

He enjoys immense authority. He carries a silver rod in his hand (akin to a rod of Jutscie). His influence is evident when one sees him in action. In a 100 acres field where lakhs of pilgrims assemble the Chopdar raises his rod just once and a pin-drop silence follows. Only the group with a grievance continues beating the drum. Thereafter, the Chopdar redresses the grievance of that particular group, and the entire assemblage moves on.

It takes all sorts to make the world go round

The sight of men and women bathing in the same pond, side by side and uninhibited was a staggering revelation. No lewd gestures were made and sexual harassment has never been reported. It is a tribute to the spiritual level of the waarkaris (pilgrims or devotees). Their thoughts are so pure that they see no evil, utter no evil and hear no evil.

Undoubtedly, dindis comprise waarkaris with a single-minded dedication to reach Pandharpur. But there are others who join them on the way. They comprised the riff-raffs, too who cannot brushing past a woman or stealthily run away with a devotee's belongings. Though such incidents do not happen too often, they are not totally unknown. However, no serious criminal offence takes place and the regular waarkaris keep a watchful eye to avoid any untoward incident during the pilgrimage.

When the group passes a town the lodges do brisk business; prostitution is known to take place at such times.

Legend of Pandharpur

As per the folklore a devotee named Pundalik lived in Pandharpur. Lord vithal once went to Pundalik's house to meet him. But Pundalik made Lord Vithal wait at his doorstep because he was attending to his beloved parents at the time. The Lord willingly stood outside and waited for Pundalik to finish serving his parents. The message is that Pundalik believed in Karama (deed) being greater than Bhakti (devotion) of the Lord whom he regarded as a friend. It's a belief that the Lord came to meet Pundalik at Pandarpur and stayed back. He resides there till date and all his devotees go to meet him at Pandharpur. The idol of the Lord inside the temple is depicted in the image of a shepherd clad in a loin cloth.

Dash for Pandharpur

When devotees approach Pandharpur, they make a dash for the temple. This is called Dhaava and even this is so well organised that no stampede has ever been reported.

After worshipping the Lord at Pandharpur a reverse waari starts but it's a smaller group of people who go back in the procession.

Lord is their Captain

Witnessing the energy of the pilgrims someone remarked that it's the faith that moves them. Even the city-bred among the waarkaris walk for miles before resting. In cities, they would not walk 500 meters without feeling tired. A young man from Mumbai was surprised that he had trekked with the pilgrims up to 8 km of Dive Ghat and descended 6 km down without a feeling to give up on the journey. The pilgrims clearly transcend to a higher plane. And it's an experience that even the ordinary people undergo. 
 
Vasundhara Sanger


 

विठ्ठल आणि गाणं अभिन्नच Vitthal and Song are integral



मी वारकरी घराण्यातलाच. त्यामुळे घरातच विठुरायाच्या भक्तीचं वातावरण होतं. विठ्ठलाच्या भक्तीचे संस्कार लहानपणीच मला मिळाले. त्यामुळे विठ्ठलाचं आणि माझं नातं अगदी खास असं आहे. मोठा होत जाताना हे नातं अधिक घट्ट झालं , जिव्हाळा अधिकच दृढ झाला. लहानपणापासून घरातच असलेल्या गाण्याचा विठ्ठलभक्ती हा स्थायीभाव होता. त्यामुळे विठ्ठलाची आराधना आणि गाण्याची साधना या माझ्यासाठी अभिन्न बाबी होत्या.
वयाच्या तेराव्या वर्षी माझा पहिला अल्बम प्रकाशित झाला , तो म्हणजे ' संतवाणी '. या अल्बमच्या माध्यमातून विठ्ठलानेच माझ्या करिअरच्या पहिल्या पायरीवरच एका परीने आशीर्वादाचा हातच माझ्या माथ्यावर ठेवला , असं मला तेव्हाही वाटलं होतं. विठ्ठलाचे अभंग असलेल्या या अल्बमचं पंढरपूरमध्ये विशेषत्वाने स्वागत झालं.
पुढे सारेमगसारख्या कार्यक्रमाने अगदी घराघरात प्रसिद्धी मिळवून दिली. सारेमगनंतर पुढली सलग तीन वर्षं मी माझ्या वाढदिवशी पंढरपूरला विठ्ठल मंदिराच्या गाभाऱ्यात संगीताचा कार्यक्रम केला. त्यासाठी मंदिर समितीने खास आमंत्रण दिलं होतं , हेही विठुमाऊलीने माझ्या डोक्यावर प्रेमाचं छत्र धरल्यासारखं वाटलं. पंढरीच्या विठुमाऊलीच्या गाभाऱ्यात जिथे वारकऱ्यांना दर्शनासाठीही जेमतेम काही सेकंद उभं राहायला मिळतं , आणि जिथे मोठमोठ्या दिग्गज कलाकारांनी गायन सादर केलंय , तिथे विठ्ठलाला भक्तिरसाने आळवण्याची संधी मिळाली , हे परमभाग्यच.
पंढरी , तिथलं मंदिर , चंद्रभागेचं ते वाळवंट हे सगळं लहानपणापासून माझ्यात भिनलेलं आहे. या भक्तीचा वारसा मला मिळालाय. मी शाळेत असताना वारीत काही अंतर चालत सहभागी व्हायचो. त्यावेळी हजारो , लाखो वारकऱ्यांच्या कंठातून एकमुखाने उमटणारा माऊलीचा जयघोष , पिंढरीच्या ओढीने वेगात पडणारी पावलं हे सगळं अनुभवायला मिळालं. या वारीत कोणी लहान-मोठा नसतो , गरीब-श्रीमंत नसतो. विठ्ठलभक्तीच्या समान धाग्याने एकत्र आलेले सगळे वारकरी एकमेकांशीही आपलेपणाच्या नात्याने जोडले जातात. प्रत्येक जण स्वतःचं अस्तित्व विसरून त्या भक्तीच्या प्रवाहात स्वतःला झोकून
देतो. त्या भक्तिसागरात सामावून जातो. एकतेचं , एकात्मतेचं , देवाशी आणि त्या देवाच्या अन्य भक्तांशी तादात्म्य पावण्याचं याखेरीज दुसरं उदाहरण नसावं...
वारीत मध्यमवयीन वा ज्येष्ठ भाविकांचं प्रमाण मोठं असलं , तरी तरुणांची संख्याही कमी नाही. अनेक जण आवर्जून थोड्या अंतरासाठी का होईना वारीत सहभागी होतात. आजच्या जगात बाहेर एवढी स्पर्धा असताना त्यातून वारीसाठी , विठ्ठल भक्तीसाठी थोडा का होईना वेळ काढणं हीच त्यांची भक्ती मानायला हवी. एरव्ही धकाधकीच्या या जीवनात विठ्ठलच त्यांच्याकडून ही सेवा करवून घेत असतो , असं या तरुणांचा प्रतिनिधी म्हणून मला आवर्जून सांगावंसं वाटतं. शिवाय , एरव्ही कॉलेज , अभ्यास , करिअर आदींमध्ये स्वतःला समर्पित करणारे तरुण- तरुणी आपल्या कामाशी , जबाबदाऱ्यांशी तादात्म्य पावून एका परीने विठ्ठलभक्तीच करत असतात , अशी माझी भावना आहे. दुसरीकडे पाहता , आज पंढरपूर , आळंदी यांसारख्या तीर्थक्षेत्री अनेक तरुण मृदुंग , भजन , संगीत शिकताहेत. या कलांच्या माध्यमातून भक्तिरसात रममाण होत आहेत. यातून कलाकारांची नवी पिढी घडतेय. या तरुणाईचे विठ्ठलाशी अतूट नाते आहे.
प्रत्येकाने एकदा तरी वारीत सहभागी व्हावं , असं मला अगदी मनापासून वाटतं कारण या आनंदवारीत मिळणारा सकारात्मकतेचा ठेवा जन्मभर पुरणारा , पुरून उरणारा असतो , हे नक्की. 

- मंगेश बोरगावकर  

Scientists to hold back time for one second on June 30

LONDON: The last minute of June 30, 2012, is destined to be 61 seconds long, as timekeepers will add a “leap second” to compensate for the wibbly-wobbly movements of our world. The ever-so-brief halting of the second hand will compensate for a creeping divergence from solar time, meaning the period required for Earth to complete a day.

Three Chinese astronauts set to return home tomorrow

BEIJING: China’s first woman astronaut and two of her colleagues, who successfully accomplished the country’s first-ever manual space docking, would return home tomorrow after remaining in the space for two weeks. The three astronauts will return to Earth around 10 am on Friday in Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft.

RAILWAYS TO ALTER TICKET SYSTEM TO KEEP TOUTS AT BAY

The timings for the purchase of advance reservation period (ARP) as well as tatkal tickets are likely to be segregated, Railway sources have said. Officials have also decided to set up separate booking counters for ARP and tatkal tickets in order to prevent touts from buying them in bulk.
Railway Board chairman Vinay Mittal issued orders to various railway zones and the IRCTC to ensure that separate booking counters are installed on a trial basis by Thursday. The new system is expected to be put in place within the next fortnight.

City of Joy author Lapierre in coma

Renowned French author Dominique Lapierre, whose seminal work City of Joy and subsequent humanitarian efforts have ensured a lasting connection with this city, is critically ill. The writer slipped into a coma a few days ago.
Pioneering film theoretician and founder of Chitrabani, father Gaston Roberge, told Hindustan Times that his long-time friend was currently in hospital being kept alive by life support systems. “He is showing no signs of recovery. Doctors have said he might die if the life support systems are taken off. They have also reportedly asked his wife to take him home, since there is little they can do for him.”
Sunil Lucas, president of Signis India, the World Catholic Association for Communication, said Lapierre had injured his head after a fall at his home in France.
A prayer meeting for Lapierre’s recovery will be held on Friday at the tomb of the Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata, at the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity. Lapierre, who will turn 81 on July 30, co-wrote the script for the first feature film on Mother Teresa, In the Name of God’s Poor, released in 1997.
His Kolkata connection, borne from his work, City of Joy, was sustained and enhanced by his charitable efforts. The writer ploughed the lion’s share of the royalties from this book back into various social service projects in the city and state, including the creation of floating dispensaries in the Sunderbans.
A prayer meet will be held at the tomb of the Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata, at the headquarters of Missionaries of Charity for the speedy recovery of Lapierre on Friday.

International study has found the alcohol content in colas to be 0.001% (around 10 mg per litre)

Here’s something that could take a bit of fizz off your Coca-Cola and Pepsi bottle. An international study has found the two soft drinks to contain small traces of alcohol, sparking concerns among teetotallers who abstain because of religious reasons and those who believe the worst that colas could do was cause a sugar and caffeine overload.
The Paris-based National Institute of Consumption’s study found the alcohol content in colas – measured as alcohol by volume – to be 0.001% (around 10 mg per litre), making them much safer than fruit juices (0.10.5%), beer (3-10%), wine (8-14%) and vodka and whisky (40%).
Most juices naturally contain 0.07-0.5% levels of alcohol through fermentation of sugar. The natural alcohol content goes up after a fruit is picked, depending on how it is stored.
“There’re no health concerns about alcohol in colas, even for children, but one needs to worry about the sugar and caffeine that mess with weight and sleep,” said nutritionist Ishi Khosla, director, WholeFoods.
The study found small alcohol traces in 10 out of 19 popular cola brands in France, including Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola, CocaCola Classic Light and Coke Zero.
“Some of these soft drinks contain minute traces of alcohol because of the ingredients used”, but the “Pepsi Cola recipe doesn’t contain alcohol”, UK’s Daily Mail quoted a Pepsi spokesperson as saying. CocaCola France said the Paris Mosque had issued a certificate that its products could be consumed by the Muslim community.

By turning a power struggle into an ideological war, Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi may lose the game even before the contest for prime ministership begins

Before a major heavyweight boxing title bout, there are sideshows on the day’s entertainment. Call it a teaser or a trailer, the aim is to whet the appetite of the fan for the real thing that is to follow. In political terms, we’ve just had our first taste of the electoral battle that is to follow in 2014: Nitish Kumar versus Narendra Modi may not be the final countdown, but the appetiser before the main course.
Only once, never again: Narendra Modi (left) and Nitish Kumar during the NDA’s rally in Ludhiana, 2009 On the face of it, Kumar and Modi have been positioned as rivals for the big prize: who will be the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate in the next general election? The truth is, both of them are setting themselves up for a contest in which neither of them may end up qualifying for the ultimate shootout. It may be attractive for the media to pit a Kumar versus a Modi: the legatee of Mandal politics versus the Hindutva hero is a clash that offers striking ideological contrasts. The reality is, both Kumar and Modi are rather similar individuals and, in many ways, represent an identical trend in Indian politics: the regional satrap as an independent power centre.
In Bihar, Nitish Kumar is the Janata Dal United. In the seven years in power, he has systematically eliminated all potential rivals within his party. A Sharad Yadav may be the NDA convenor, but has been reduced to a drawing room demagogue while Kumar strengthens his mass leader credentials. No other leader matters in a party that is now subsumed in the Kumar persona.
Narendra Modi in Gujarat is no different. For all the rantings of a Keshubhai Patel and other BJP dissidents, the fact is there is only one leader in the Gujarat BJP today. Ten years ago, a Praveen Togadia might have competed with Modi for the title of ‘Hindu Hriday Samrat’; today the VHP leader has been pushed to the margins. No central leader of the BJP has any control over Gujarat; Modi is truly an autonomous monarch of the state.
Their working styles, both personal and political, are not dissimilar. Modi left his home as a teenager to become a fulltime pracharak. Not for him the trappings of family life or a desire to pass the baton to a new generation. He is a loner, a hermit-politician solely driven by the single-minded pursuit of power. Kumar too, has determinedly kept his family away from public life, choosing again to be a political sanyasi with no real attachment to home.
Both are OBCs who have dismantled traditional power hierarchies in their state. Rather than rely upon fellow politicians, both Kumar and Modi prefer to work through the faceless bureaucracy. Their trust in bureaucrats and not partymen reflects a mindset which is uncomfortable dealing with political peers who might challenge their authority. It also enables them to reduce their dependence on the party apparatus and deal almost directly with the masses.
There are other similarities. Both Kumar and Modi have a reputation for financial integrity, administrative rigour and yes, astute brand management. There is little space for dissent in Modi’s Gujarat or Kumar’s Bihar; the media has been harnessed to build personality cults around the respective individuals. Any questioning of the carefully cultivated image is sought to be crushed with the ruthlessness of an autocratic leader.
So is the Kumar-Modi clash a confrontation between two strong regional potentates with similar personalities, or is it a clash of competing worldviews, one emerging from the caste cauldron of the Indo-Gangetic plain, the other from the Hindutva laboratory of western India? Yes, the political legacy of Kumar with its strong roots in the JP movement and of Modi with his RSS training have fundamental differences, but that alone cannot explain their fierce divide.
After all, Kumar’s deputy, Sushil Modi — the other’ Modi — is a long-serving RSS member, and yet seems to have developed a close rapport with the Bihar chief minister. If ideology alone was such a sticking point then how did Kumar succeed in building such a proximate relationship with the BJP leadership in the state?
Ideology is often a veil in a political tug of war, particularly in a coalition era where convenience matters more than conviction. In Bihar, the imperatives of coalition politics have forced Kumar to perform a delicate balancing act: co-habitation with the BJP but not at the cost of alienating the large and growing 18% Muslim population in the state. Conscious of the thin line he treads, Kumar cannot share a stage with the Gujarat chief minister because it would be seen as the ultimate ‘compromise’ with majoritarian politics.
On the other hand, as a potent symbol of Hindu assertiveness, Modi cannot turn his back on those who measure their identity in religious terms. He cannot, for example, appear contrite for Gujarat 2002 because it would be seen as a sign of weakness by his core constituency.
In a strange way, Modi and Kumar need each other to consolidate their respective vote bases. Kumar needs to pitch the battle as one between a ‘secular’ Bihar and a ‘communal’ Gujarat to define his own distinctive appeal. Modi needs to create a conflict between a ‘progressive’ Gujarat and a ‘backward’ ‘çasteist’ Bihar to strengthen his own credentials as a ‘modern’ leader.
But by pitching the stakes so high, and turning a power struggle into an ideological war, both Kumar and Modi run the risk of knocking each other out even before the main contest for prime ministership has begun. Strangely, not too many in the Opposition seem willing to play referee and call a halt to the punching. Maybe, those watching from the sidelines are hoping that a Modi versus Kumar bruising battle will enable a third face to slip through as a compromise candidate for the top job. The fun has only just begun!

Mhada lottery: 6,925 mill workers get low-cost houses

“After working and struggling in a textile mill for 30 long years, I have now managed to get a decent house for myself.” These were the words of an emotional Mahadeo Ahir, 59, as he bagged a low-cost house under the state government’s scheme of houses for mill workers. VIDYA SUBRAMANIAN/HT PHOTO Nearly 48,000 mill workers had applied for low-cost Mhada houses under the state government’s scheme.
The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) on Thursday allotted low-cost houses to 6,925 mill workers through the computerised lottery system at Rang Sharda auditorium in Bandra on Thursday. While some workers held demonstrations against the lottery, the others who did not win blamed Mhada for hurrying with the process. The police personnel prevented the occurrence of any untoward incident.
Deepak Kadam, 54, who worked at Standard Mills in Prabhadevi for 30 years, called the lottery a farce. “How can unemployed people pay Rs7.50 lakh for a house,” he asked. “We could not understand how the computer selected the winners. There should have been a draw of lots.”
Nearly 48,000 applicants had tried their luck to get houses in the areas of 19 mills spread across Mumbai. Cotton textile mills were a major manufacturing industry in Mumbai with around 2.5 lakh workers. The 1983 strike destroyed the industry, rendering the workers unemployed. In the 1990s, the state government came up with a policy under which any mill owner selling his premises or redeveloping it had to surrender a part of the land for housing mill workers. The lottery allotted houses under the scheme.
Gautam Chaterjee, housing secretary, Mhada, said: “After years of waiting, we managed to hold the lottery successfully. We also brought the total cost per unit from Rs12 lakh to Rs7.5 lakh to make it affordable for mill workers.”
“A special committee would be constituted to scrutinise the eligibility of the successful applicants and houses handed over to them in some time,” he said.

Found detergent in your milk? Take a sample, file a complaint

Complaints lodged by consumers can help authorities act against food adulterators, says FDA commissioner

MUMBAI: While steps are being taken to check the adulteration of food, active involvement of consumers in reporting such cases can help in controlling the menace effectively, the state authorities believe.
Mahesh Zagade, commissioner, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Maharashtra, has promised appropriate action on complaints regarding the presence of adulterants in food items and related matters. He has urged people to be more vigilant and come forward with their complaints.
Hindustan Times had, on Thursday, reported about the increasing usage of adulterants such as colour/dyes, chemicals like calcium carbide and even detergents in our daily food items such as vegetables, fruits and milk. Last month, FDA, Mumbai had seized 6,000kg mangoes that were artificially ripened using calcium carbide – a carcinogenic substance.
The FDA is a prime instrument in the state that ensures consumer protection. Under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which came into force on August 5, 2011, every area has food safety officers who are bound to act on complaints and carry out the requisite tests. The act consolidates the law relating to food and lays down science-based standards for food items. It also regulates its manufacture, storage and distribution.
Zagde said that the FDA carries out random tests and raids, but public should not just depend on that, and be more responsive and vigilant. Officials also advise institutions related to manufacture as well as distribution of food to undertake self-audit.
Health activists recommend that people should provide the authorities with exact information of the incident, bills and samples while filing a complaint.
Zagade said: “Whether the product is branded or not, people just need to file a complaint with the food sample, so that we can carry out the test and act accordingly.”
To reduce the health risks, activists suggest that consumers should avoid buying vegetables and fruits with spots and necrosis, or from an unknown vendor. Fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly. Also, people should refrain from buying or consuming fruits that are cut from open market.

Govt scraps Kondhane dam project

Decision taken after report sought by governor confirms work was undertaken by the contractor without fulfilling terms of administrative approval

MUMBAI: Admitting to irregularities in the controversial Kondhane dam in Raigad district that had seen the cost jump from Rs80.35 crore to Rs435 crore in a month, after the height of the dam was increased without any assessment, the state water resources department has terminated the contract for the project.
The action by the government follows an inquiry conducted by water resources secretary EB Patil on orders from governor K Sankaranarayanan.
Sankaranarayanan had sought a report on the project on May 2 after complaints made by India Against Corruption (IAC).
Patil wrote in his communication to the governor’s office on May 31: “Instructions are issued to executive director, Konkan Irrigation Development Corporation, to terminate the contract for the original work of the dam as it was taken up without fulfilling the conditions mentioned in the administrative approval. It is proposed to take action against concerned officers after enquiry into the matter.” The department has also cancelled the contract for the additional work given to the same contractor after the height of the dam was increased from 39 meters to 71 meters.
IAC complainants Anjali Damania and Mayank Gandhi had pointed out several illegalities in the project, including the flawed tendering process and absence of mandatory approvals from the forest department, Maharashtra water resources regulatory authority, and the Archeological Society of India (ASI) as the dam is close to Kondhane caves.
The water resources department is headed by NCP minister Sunil Tatkare, who has been facing allegations over the way irrigation contracts have been handed out, resulting in massive cost and time overruns. He is also facing allegations of having disproportionate assets, purportedly amassed through investments made by companies owned by his son and associates. Patil’s reply came after the governor sent a reminder letter to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on May 25, mentioning that he had asked for a report within a week but had not received any reply.

Bar inside residential colony to be shut, orders high court

Residents had challenged the state excise minister’s order to grant the bar a liquor licence in 2010

MUMBAI: The fundamental right of citizens to live a “good life” must be placed above everything else, observed the Bombay high court (HC) on Wednesday. The HC was directing revenue authorities to close a bar which was running in a residential colony at Nagpur despite strong opposition from locals.
“It is necessary that the government respects the wishes of citizens and takes care of their fundamental rights before exercising power to grant a FL-III licence (foreign liquor licence for a bar and restaurant),” said justice AB Chaudhari.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Shaila Badwaik, Sunita Mhaske and Swati Mahajan, residents of Vidarbha housing board colony at Nagpur. They had challenged the then state excise minister’s order on October 30, 2010 granting FLIII licence to Hotel Shobha running within the residential premises of the colony. The minister had granted the licence although both the collector and commissioner, state excise had rejected the restaurant owner’s plea on the basis of police reports.
The women contended that the minister had shown little regard for their fundamental right to live peacefully while granting a liquor licence for the restaurant in a housing colony. They further contended that the licence should not have been granted since the restaurant was not located on the main road where commercial activities were permitted.
On the other hand, it was submitted on behalf of the state government that the women had no reason to be aggrieved as they had not raised any objection to the restaurant, the licence for which had been granted six years ago. The argument, however, failed to impress upon the court.
Ultimately, the HC struck down the licence granted to Hotel Shobha and directed authorities to shut down the bar, which has been running for two years now, by July 12. The court also directed the government to pay, within four weeks, an amount of Rs25,000 to the petitioners as compensation for violating their fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India.

Elaborate telecom facilities set up in Karachi control room

DURING KASAB’S TRIAL, COURT NOTED THAT A DID NUMBER CONNECTS PUBLIC PHONES TO VOIP ACCOUNTS

NEW DELHI: Terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba had employed elaborate communication resources in its Karachi control room to stay in touch with the 10 Mumbai attackers, sources have revealed.
On the Pakistani side, Iftikhar Ali, an LeT operative from Faisalabad, had instructed two Islamabad-based persons – Mohammad Nawaj Naji and Shahzada Khan – to make a payment of $250 to Callphonex for procuring VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) connections.
Pakistan has informed India that Iftikhar Ali is absconding.
Another payment was made by one Javed Iqbal in Italy, who stated that though his identity was used, but he has no links with LeT. The operatives had opened the accounts in the name of Kharak Singh of India to cover their tracks. The VoIP connections were installed in four laptops by LeT handlers, to be used in the LeT control room.
According to evidence received from Pakistan on the 26/11 attacks and documents filed by Mumbai police in court, LeT operatives had created 15 computer-to-phone accounts (numbers of 40000000 to 40000014), 10 common client accounts (numbers 31000000 to 31000009) and five direct inward dialing (DID) Austrian numbers (4320880764 to 43720880768).
The five DID lines were connected to an equal number of computer-to-phone accounts (number 40000000 to 40000004). The five Austrian DID numbers were programmed to connect directly to computerto-phone account numbers “Such an elaborate arrangement can be made only with the help of state actors in Pakistan,” said a security source.
The session’s court judgment in the trial against lone attacker Amir Ajmal Kasab also dwelt on the issue. The judgment stated that the VoIP service allows one to make and receive telephone calls between any computer to computer, computer to telephone, and telephone to telephone, through the Internet. But a DID number allows public telephones networks to connect with a VoIP account.

No DNA tests conducted: Jundal’s mother

Suspected terror operative’s mother says photo released may not be of her son; relatives call for DNA tests to ascertain identity of arrested man

PUNE: Mother of suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Abu Jundal, on Thursday, claimed her son was being falsely implicated as a terrorist and called for a “proper investigation” into the case.
In her first public appearance four days after reports of her son’s arrest, 65-year-old Rehana Begum said her son “cannot do anything wrong in life”. “My son is a religious person. He cannot do anything wrong,” Begum said.
She denied reports that her family was subjected to DNA tests, thereby questioning investigators’ claims to the terror suspect’s identity. “It is absolutely wrong if the police are saying this. No DNA samples were ever collected,” Begum said. She even rejected the possibility that police may have collected blood or other samples of the family without their knowledge. Mukram Khan Pathan, Rehana’s relative who accompanied her to the press conference, also demanded that “DNA tests be conducted on her family and Jundal to ascertain his identity.”
When asked about Jundal’s latest photograph released by security agencies, Begum said she did not believe that the photograph was that of her son. However, she expressed her desire to meet “her son”, if the police permitted.
Syed Zabiuddin Sayyad Zabiuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jundal, who was deported to India by Saudi authorities, has been accused of being a handler for 10 gunmen who launched a terror attack on Mumbai in November 2008. Besides ferrying explosives in 2006 in Marathwada, Jundal has also been accused of training the German Bakery blast accused Himayat Baig in 2008.
After reports of Jundal’s arrests were released, Begum and her family temporarily moved to her brother’s house in the neighbourhood in Hatti Khana of Beed district.
The 65-year-old woman said the family has had a tough time over the past few days.
“After the media started reporting about my son, our relatives distanced themselves from us. [My son and I] last met in 2006.”
Begum denied reports that her son sent Rs50 lakh to the family during his stay in Pakistan.
She said she was confident her son was innocent. “But if he is guilty, he should be punished,” Begum said.

IB boss meets Jundal, grills him on ‘state actors’

Nehchal Sandhu, the director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), recently made a rare visit to the interrogation centre at an undisclosed location in Delhi to question Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, the 26/11 handler who was among those who allegedly coordinated the Mumbai attack from a control room in Karachi.
Accompanied by a special director, Sandhu, India’s seniormost IB official, spent several hours on Tuesday questioning Jundal on his links with ‘state actors’ — officials within the Pakistani establishment — police sources told HT. Sandhu has a fine reputation of being an operations man and he is now joining the dots in one of the worst terrorist attacks against India.
Despite the testimony of Pakistan-born US terrorist David Coleman Headley, Pakistan has been denying any official role in the Mumbai attacks. Headley had named several Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) officials who he had been in touch with, but Pakistan has refused to cooperate in the investigation.
Fresh information from Jundal is expected to strengthen India’s case. Sandhu, officials reveal, quizzed Jundal on various aspects including terror training camps operating on Pakistani soil, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) hierarchy and the level of proximity between the ISI and the LeT.
With the help of Google maps, Jundal apparently also explained the exact location of the Bait-ulMujahideen camp located in Pakistan’s Muzaffarabad. Jundal also gave details of the activity in this camp. Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving terrorist of 26/11, had also described the camp to his interrogators in Mumbai.

Union Carbide not liable for Bhopal claims: US court

Victims question verdict timing a month before Dow-sponsored Olympics

WASHINGTON: A US court has ruled that neither Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) nor its former chairman Warren Anderson were liable for environmental remediation (reversing or stopping environmental damage) or pollution-related claims by those living around its now-defunct plant in Bhopal, where a gas leak in 1984 killed thousands of people.
US district judge John Keenan in Manhattan on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit by Bhopal residents seeking to hold UCC, which is now owned by Dow Chemicals and Andersen responsible for injuries caused by toxic wastes from the plant.
The court ruled that it was Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL), and not its parent company UCC, that was responsible for the generation and disposal of the waste that polluted drinking water, and that the liability rests with the state government, according to wire reports.
Victims of the gas disaster and organisations working with them said they were expecting such a judgment, with the London Olympics – in which the present owner of UCC, Dow Chemicals, is a sponsor – one month away.
They also said the order was not surprising considering that the US district judge was hearing the lawsuit after dismissing it thrice on various grounds.
Keenan wrote in his order, “The plaintiffs embarked on a discovery expedition that was worthy of Vasco da Gama. More than two years and 12,000 pages of discovery later, defendants renewed their motion for summary judgment as to all theories of liability.”

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Laptop at low cost in India लॅपटॉप ४,९९९ रु. मध्ये....


लॅपटॉप ४,९९९ रु. मध्ये...




मुंबई - ब्रिटनमधील एसीआय कंपनीने भारतासाठी अत्याधुनिक लॅपटॉप तयार केला असून, हाय रिझोल्युशनचा हा लॅपटॉप भारतात फक्त ४,९९९ रु. मध्ये उपलब्ध होणार आहे. अलाईड कॉम्प्युटर्स इंटरनॅशनल (एशिया) लि. ही कंपनी मुंबई शेअर बाजारातील लिस्टेड कंपनी आहे.
- सर्व सुविधांनी युक्त अत्याधुनिक लॅपटॉप अगदी कमी किमतीत भारतीय बाजारपेठेत आणला असून, हा सुपर लो कॉस्ट लॅपटॉप लोकांच्या विशेषत: तरुणांच्या पसंतीस उतरेल, अशी अपेक्षा एसीआयचे व्यवस्थापकीय संचालक हिरजी पटेल यांनी सांगितले.
- पहिल्या वर्षी भारतात २ लाख लॅपटॉप विकण्याचा कंपनीचा
मानस असल्याचे पटेल म्हणाले. कंपनी चीनमधून सुटे भाग
आयात करणार असून, अत्यंत कमी नफा घेऊन भारतात हे लॅपटॉप विकणार असल्याचे पटेल यांनी सांगितले. किंमत कमी असली तरीही दर्जाबाबत कोणतीही तडजोड करणार नसल्याचेही कंपनीने स्पष्ट केले आहे.
- भारत व ब्रिटनमधील लॅपटॉपचा दर्जा सारखाच असणार आहे(In India, laptop quality will be same at UK), असेही कंपनीने स्पष्ट केले आहे. तामिळनाडू, उत्तर प्रदेशसारखी राज्ये विद्यार्थ्यांना कमी किमतीत लॅपटॉप देण्याची घोषणा करीत असताना या लॅपटॉपला चांगला प्रतिसाद मिळण्याची अपेक्षा त्यांनी व्यक्त केली.



LIBOR

LIBOR stands for the London Interbank Offered Rate and is the rate of interest that banks charge to lend money to each other. The rate is set daily by the British Bankers’ Association who work with a small group of large banks to set the LIBOR rate. Banks borrow from each other to meet their liquidity requirements. On any given day, some banks will have surplus amounts, while some others will need money to meet their customers' needs as well as other liquidity requirements. The LIBOR is the average interest rate that leading banks in London charge when lending to other banks. Over the years, it has assumed the role of a benchmark rate for international loans. Financial institutions track the rate which is released everyday at 11 am London time. When Indian companies borrow dollar or euro loans from foreign banks, the the interest rates on these loans are benchmarked to LIBOR. With domestic interest rates ruling at high levels, it is cheaper for companies to borrow from overseas banks.

DLF MAY SELL MUMBAI LAND FOR R2,500 CR

DLF, the country’s largest real estate company by market size, is learnt to be in advanced talks with Mumbai-based developer Runwal Group for selling a prime land parcel in central Mumbai for around R2,500 crore.
The KP Singh-led realty major had put the 17-acre textile mill land on the block earlier and several developers had approached the company at that time. “Then DLF was expecting around R3,000 crore, which buyers thought was too high. Now, DLF has agreed to lower the asking price and the deal is in final stages,” a person close to the development told HT.
The company has now reduced the asking price and the deal could be finalised within the current quarter, the source said. “At present, Runwal is the front-runner and the deal could be sealed within next couple of months.” As of now the buyer and the seller are discussing the terms of payment, the source added.
DLF had bought the land parcel in an auction in 2005 from National Textile Mill for R702 crore.
When contacted, a DLF spokesperson said, “We do not comment on market speculation.” A senior executive with the Runwal Group denied that the group was in talks for the land parcel.

E-voting a must for top 500 firms: SEBI

The capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Tuesday made it mandatory for top 500 listed companies to hold e-voting — a move that will widen shareholder participation in key decisions.
“In line with the Budget proposal, it has been decided to make the electronic voting mandatory for all listed companies in respect of those businesses to be transacted through postal ballot,” said the regulator in a statement.
It said the decision would be implemented in a phased manner, beginning with top 500 listed companies at the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange based on market capitalisation.
In order to enhance the quality of financial reporting, the regulator said that it would create a Qualified Audit Report review Committee (QARC) represented by accounting regulator ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) and stock exchanges.
The committee would process qualified annual audit reports filed by the listed entities with stock exchanges and reports where accounting irregularities have been pointed out by Financial Reporting Review Board of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI-FRRB).
“Cases wherein the qualifications are significant and explanation given by the company is unsatisfactory, would be referred to the ICAI-FRRB,” said SEBI. “If ICAI-FRRB opines that the qualification is justified, SEBI may mandate a restatement of the accounts of the entity and require the entity to inform the same to the shareholders by making the announcement to stock exchanges,” it said.
The regulator also relaxed norms for Offer For Sale (OFS) — a new route introduced by SEBI early this year to help companies increase their public shareholding. SEBI has allowed a minimum gap of two weeks between two OFS issuances.

Coca-cola to invest $5 bn in India ops

US-based beverages giant The Coca-Cola Company will invest $5 billion ( R28,500 crore) in its India operations in the next eight years. This is $3 billion ( R17,100 crore) more than what it had budgeted earlier and includes investments by the company’s bottling partners.
“We’re absolutely confident this is the right decision, given the vast growth opportunities here in India,” Coca-Cola chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent said. “Our India story is one of a remarkable turnaround. Six years ago, we were not strong here. Today, our India business aspires to be among the Top 5 countries by volume in the entire Coca-Cola system by 2020.”
The ongoing slowdown in India doesn't bother him very much. "It is wrong to say the world is slowing down. Don't forget the law of numbers. A 6% growth in India today delivers a much larger incremental GDP today than it did earlier."
Kent's key drivers of hope are India's young demographics, economic and social trends. Add the small base and his investments may be in the right place. Against a global average of 92 servings of Coke products a year, the number for India is 12 — the lowest among large economies like China (38), Russia (73), Brazil (230), South Africa (247) and the US (403).
Perhaps what India lacks on a per capita basis would be neutralised by its mass of 1.1 billion people. How will that story play out? “Every region of the world will have its own way to get to 2020. We assume we will be able to crack the calculus for growth.”
But for a world that is getting increasingly conscious of health, for how long can Coca-Cola survive by selling sweetened water? “We provide choices, marketing, labelling, awareness about energy balance and so on.

Govt to track major projects

Monitoring system to ensure speedy implementation of projects with major investments

NEW DELHI: The government on Tuesday said it will set up an ‘investment tracking system’ to ensure speedy implementation of major projects, a move seen as response to growing criticism of policy inaction that is hurting the broader economy.
A format for monitoring such projects in the private sector and under public private partnerships (PPP) has been developed and has been made available on the financial services department’s Website.
The government has asked PPP and private developers involved in projects worth more than R1,000 crore each to provide details of their projects along with reasons for delays, a finance ministry statement said.
The information will be updated on a monthly basis.
The government is “separately working on developing a Web-based system for the monitoring of such projects which will enable the stakeholders in updating the status on a regular basis,” the statement said.
The move comes barely 20 days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in a specially convened meeting, set ambitious targets to fast-track infrastructure projects spanning expressways and bullet trains.
India will require an estimated $1 trillion ( R57 lakh crore at the current exchange rate) to upgrade its roads, highways, ports and airports over the next five years as the government seeks to reverse the slowdown.
India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth crashed to a 9-year low of 5.3% during January-March 2012.
Time and cost overruns have been a major bane for India's infrastructure projects in recent times.
As of July 1, 2011, 758 PPP projects worth R3.8 lakh crore were under implementation.
The Prime Minister had asked all ministries to go the “extra mile” for implementing infrastructure projects and “very expeditiously resolve any inter-ministerial differences or turf battles that might arise.”
Industry captains have complained that delays in government approvals and stalled reforms have hurt investments.

Rio+20 and the road ahead

Going green is not enough. We need a new approach to development

A THREE-DIMENSIONAL APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENT IS CRUCIAL, ONE THAT COMBINES SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS
Rio+20 is a landmark for the future. As more than 190 countries gathered in Rio de Janeiro last week for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, we witnessed a historic moment. The recent global crisis shows that old-fashioned views about development are misleading. It is now time to rethink the very foundations of how we consider development, wellbeing and wealth.
Over the past four decades, the world has increasingly realised that our natural resources are under serious pressure.
A growing awareness of the need to ensure sustainability has led a new generation to consider the requirements of sustainable development in its decisions to produce or consume. This is no small achievement. Rio 1992 was a major step forward. Important legal texts on key issues were adopted. These conventions ensured important progress that we must maintain and build on.
We now face a complex challenge. Protecting the environment is not enough. We need to encourage public and private decision-makers to incorporate environmental and social concerns into economic planning and growth strategies. This will require a new thinking from policymakers, experts, business people, project managers and many other public and private actors in order to plan and implement sustainable development initiatives.
From now on, a three-dimensional approach to development is crucial, one that combines social, economic and environmental concerns. Rio+20 is the launch pad for this new development model. This is why one of the main topics of Rio+20 was to build consensus around the need for “sustainable development goals”. They offer a blueprint for international cooperation on sustainable development for years to come.
In order to achieve this result, Brazil decided to adopt new methods. Innovative tools for multilateral meetings were introduced, bringing national governments and global civil society together. Through an online platform, more than 1 million votes were cast, expressing views on 10 issues related to the conference. Topics ranged from energy and water to sustainable cities and food security. During four days in Rio, sharing the venue of the summit, experts, businessmen, activists and journalists engaged in live debates and streamlined the proposals that will be handed to the heads of state and government. It was so successful that the United Nations is now considering turning this initiative into a standard practice for future summits.
Rio+20 involves an assessment of the past 20 years and allows for a look into the next few decades. We are confident that this message will echo through the years, fostering new initiatives which can lead to a more sustainable future for all. Antonio Patriota is minister of
external relations, Brazil

The Abu Jundal case shows that Pakistan has no friends when it comes to terrorism

The lesson Pakistan should draw from the arrest of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative best known as Abu Jundal is that international tolerance for its sponsorship of terrorism is waning. His arrest and subsequent rendition to India is the consequence of a multinational operation in which Saudi Arabia, one of Pakistan’s closest allies, played a major role. The US has already made the jump when it comes to the LeT. It treats the militants as enemy organisation and extensively shares intelligence with India. Though Islamabad can count on China to block international sanctions against the LeT in bodies like the United Nations, even Beijing is not above expressing irritation at Pakistan’s inability to control the Frankenstein monsters it has created. The triad of US intelligence detecting a Pakistan-based terrorist, a third country apprehending the figure and India being the end recipient of the suspect or his confessions is now commonplace.
Pakistan should reflect on why the countries it counts as its closest friends have become increasingly willing to take India’s side on the terrorism issue. One is that fewer countries are prepared to differentiate between groups like Lashkar and al-Qaeda. The US now treats the two as peas in a pod. Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Abu Jundal’s arrest indicates a movement in the same direction. Second, Pakistan’s use of terrorism has spilt over into countries other than India. Beijing is infuriated that Pakistan’s safe havens have become homes for radicals targeting China. Kabul barely distinguishes between the Taliban and Pakistani soldiers. The US-Pakistan relationship would be a state of war with almost any other two countries. Third, there are few countries left who are prepared to sacrifice their interests in India for their interests in Pakistan. The US has broadly come to that point of view. The Abu Jundal arrest tells us how much Saudi strategic opinion about India has changed. There are reasons for this: the world’s biggest oil exporter is set to lose its most important client, the US, in the next few years. India and China are obvious new clients-in-waiting. This, ultimately, makes Riyadh willing to bend its long-standing strategic linkages with Pakistan and hand over a Lashkar operative to India.
Pakistan’s militant groups and their official sponsors will take comfort in the view that India remains too weak and the international community too distant to exert direct pressure on activities inside their borders. Even now, no one in India expects Abu Jundal’s confessions to make much difference to Pakistan’s lackadaisical prosecution of those behind the Mumbai 26/11 attack. Islamabad needs to recognise that the noose is tightening. Its own ability to withstand outside pressure is weakening, that India’s capacities are trending upwards. And at some point this contradiction will mean a reckoning of some variety.

Popular Posts

Total Pageviews

Categories

Blog Archive

Follow by Email