Thursday, November 28, 2013

Assassinations of Indian nuclear scientists a smoking gun

Please read this article:

Some quick points from there: The following deaths have been branded
as accident or suicide and no further investigation has been done by
1. two high-ranking engineers—KK Josh and Abhish Shivam—on India's
first nuclear-powered submarine were found on railway tracks by
workers. They were pulled from the line before a train could crush
them, but were already dead. No marks were found on the bodies, so it
was clear they hadn't been hit by a moving train, and reports allege
they were poisoned elsewhere before being placed on the tracks to make
the deaths look either accidental or like a suicide.
2. When nuclear scientist Lokanathan Mahalingam's body turned up in
June of 2009, it was palmed off as a suicide and largely ignored by
the Indian media.
3. Five years earlier, in the same forest where Mahalingham's body was
eventually discovered, an armed group with sophisticated weaponry
allegedly tried to abduct an official from India's Nuclear Power
Corporation (NPC). He, however, managed to escape.
4. Another NPC employee, Ravi Mule, had been murdered weeks before,
with police failing to "make any headway" into his case and
effectively leaving his family to investigate the crime.
5. A couple of years later, in April of 2011, when the body of former
scientist Uma Rao was found, investigators ruled the death as suicide,
but family members contested the verdict, saying there had been no
signs that Rao was suicidal.
6. the case of M Iyer, who was found with internal haemorrhaging to
his skull—possibly the result of a "kinky experiment," according to a
police officer. After a preliminary look-in, the police couldn't work
out how Iyer had suffered internal injuries while not displaying any
cuts or bruises, and investigations fizzled out.

My thoughts on the case:

I think we're settling for a very low-brain-usage, quick-fix
resolution of the issue by blindly tagging the case with Indo-Pak

The writer has done a good job of bringing the mysteries together and
highlighting the facts that cleary point to a conspiracy; that there's
been a deliberate cover-up by the government to keep the people from
knowing that Indian nuclear scientists are being targeted and
assassinated. But I feel he doesn't delve deep enough into finding out
or even pointing at the why's.

The motive behind killing someone who's not famous on the national
scene or who doesn't hold a critical military or governmental
position, but is privy to high-level technical information, is not to
pave way for war or not to destabilize the country. The country
should, but couldn't care less.

The motive behind such kinds of killings is to hide something that
hasn't come out into the spotlight yet; to prevent it from catching
too many people's attention. And because this is targeted at a small
group of professionals : Indian nuclear scientists, these killings
serve to silence everyone in the whole group through fear of being
"next". The absense of any real official investigation into the
killings, the callous dismissals by the government, serves to tell
them that their own government is complicit and no one is going to
protect them.

In such a situation it becomes the duty of the people from whom
certain truths are being kept away, to reach out and uncover those
truths. The best way to defeat these malicious elements doing the
killings, is to bring out the things that they've been so desperately
trying to hide : To make them fail in their mission.

So, let me set out my theories.
I think that this is not about nuclear weapons.
It's about nuclear energy. It's about the nuclear power stations that
the Indian govt is setting up, in ways that violate most international
nuclear regulatory safeguards.

The primary element of the Indo-US nuclear deal was the zero-liability
arrangement, under which in the event of something going disastrously
wrong, the companies making and operating the power plants cannot be
held reliable. This was the critical and most hotly debated element :
without this, there's no deal.

To bring this arrangement into perspective, recall the Bhopal gas leak
disaster : the deadliest industrial accident in recorded human
history. Today we have extensive coverage in the media and civil
society and public discourse about how the Indian govt has failed to
bring the people who caused this disaster to justice, and how the
companies who caused this, who willingly neglected safety have
treated Indians like expendable trash and refused to give any
compensation whatsoever to the victims despite the fact that they make
billions in profits each year.

If a zero-liability arrangement had been legislated to cover chemical
factories prior to the disaster, it would have been ILLEGAL for India
or Indians or any civil society group representing the kin of the
people who died or were injured, to get either justice or compensation
for the Bhopal gas tragedy. No matter how clearly the case may point
to responsibility for such an accident on the people who own and
operate the plants and who profit from cutting costs on safety
measures, we will be legally prevented from pursuing justice or
accountability. The owners can be as irresponsible as they want and
just leave when things go wrong, leaving us to clean up any mess they

Now, there's been an overdrive from the Indian govt and nuclear
establishment to repeatedly convince the people that the nuclear power
plants are going to be super-duper safe, that there is absolutely no
possibility of anything going wrong. There are several nuclear
scientists going all around the place emphasizing this. They've even
roped in India's rocket scientist, APJ Abdul Kalam, to certify that
it's all good. With all due respect, APJ is no longer in a technical
capacity to be saying anything about this subject. There are several
scholars and researchers and scientists from all around the world
opposing nuclear who know much more about the industry than he does.
But keeping that aside, I think it's clear that there is a consistent,
full-on campaign to convince the public that these power stations are
going to be as solid as a rock and are no threat to the public.

So, just contrast the zero-liability arangement with the safety
assurances. If nuclear power was as safe as is being campaigned, why
would a zero-liability arangement be needed? Let's bring this down to
a tangible level:
Would you buy a house if the guy you're paying to build it, it puts a
zero-liability condition on it? No. There can be no safety without
responsibility. For the house, you might be able to use an insurance
cover. But there is no insurance company in the world that is ready to
cover the Koodankulam, Jaitapur and other nuclear power plants being
set up in India. The Koodankulam reactor has 30 million people living
in its immediate risk zone. This is why the zero-liability arrangement
was needed. Because for them this is serious, they have taken the
trouble of really assessing the risks involved and have come to a
conclusion that they will lose all their money if they cover these
projects. An insurance company wouldn't give you accident insurance
cover for your car if they were certain that you cannot be trusted to
drive it safely and there is a high chance that you'll have an
accident. I would like to allege that it's been a similar case with
the nuclear power plants. With this in mind, all the public
reassurances fall flat. They can talk safety all they like and make
all kinds of castles in the air : if they're not taking responsibilty,
if it's not backed up with solid actions and legally bound guarantees,
they're as good as lying. Abdul Kalam isn't going to do squat if
Koodankulam blows up and kills over 30 million people while
irradiating the Bay of Bengal and destroying fisheries-dependent food
security of most of South-East Asia.

There's been very little to no opposition to these projects heard from
the Indian nuclear scientist community. The ones who are expressing
concerns, are being not-published by the media and being ridiculed,
yes, but even among the civil society networks there are few to no
nuclear scientists coming out in opposition to nuclear power. What do
the people make of this? Simple. These guys are THE guys who would
know, for sure, if a nuclear power plant being set up in my country
poses any risk. Since there are quite a number of them coming out in
support of nuclear power, and so few to none coming out in opposition,
the average person can hence assume that the opposition to nuclear
power is unjustified and that the grassroots movements and civil
society organisations protesting, don't know what they're doing and
should not be supported.

This is where the assassinations of Indian nuclear scientists comes
into the picture and serves as a smoking gun. What if the reason why
we're not hearing any objections from the scientists is because of the
assassinations, because the ones who are still alive and know some
inconvenient truths have been intimidated into not telling the people?
What if the truth that is being prevented from getting out, is that
all the assurances being made on safety and no-risk of nuclear power,
are false? The fact that there are targeted killings happening in this
crucial group throws into question any official statements coming out
of this group. The truth is more likely to be the opposite of what the
status quo is asserting.

Further reading:

Condition of Tribal areas prior to onset of modern development

I'm copy-pasting this from an email from another person: I think the
content is important to note here:

My association with ecology and human community-cultures developed
rather accidentally over 30 years ago when I reached Bastar in the
course of my work and wanderings with some Gandhians, many of whom I
still fondly remember and admire. Once in Bastar, I got into
field-research project (1980-85) in Abujhmad region of Bastar on the
thematic of Adivasi world view and the modern world. Spread over 4000
sq kms of, at places, impenetrable vegetation and with a somewhat
stable population of 13000, Abujhmad is the 'back of beyond' in
Bastar. It had had little or no contact with the outside world. More
interior villages as Ehnaar had never known the impact of wheels. The
small community lived on food gathering and hunting, with shifting
cultivation as a supplement. In a somewhat primeval stage it had
neither trade, nor industry, livelihood, occupation or other modern
apparatus. But neither was there hunger, starvation, beggary or
lingering disease.

There are big promises by development agencies and governments to make
people's lives better by bringing in modern infrastructure, commerce,
education, modern amenities etc to places that didn't have them. But
there is, till date, not a single "modern" system that has clearly
been able to provide to its people a system where there is no hunger,
starvation, beggary or lingering disease. When we talk about
modernization today, we are destroying thousands-year-old systems that
were delivering on these, and replacing them with systems that have
repeatedly failed the people AND harmed the environment which our
future generations need.

Here is my assertion: All that glitters is not high-tech; just because
something is new doesn't make it better. We are imposing inferior,
immature, unsustainable and self-destructive technologies upon people
who don't want or need them. Our high-tech gadgetry, our technology,
our chips and wires and wireless... is all INFERIOR to the natural
systems. Not superior; inferior. For the simple fact that it's all so
pathetically dependent, wasteful, non-regenerative,
non-self-sustainable and it has no future once certain limited
resources run out. We have taken shortcuts to accomplish things, and
those shortcuts are at too high a cost to be used again and again. We
are using inferior technology. We have a long way to go still in
developing it further. There is no reason to impose an inferior
technology on anyone; it will only cause more damage.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How non-hierarchical and consensus-based structures worked to pull off the largest civil protests in history

This article explains in-depth what led to some of the largest citizens protests witnessed in history, which happened in Brazil earlier this year.

Some of the findings should come as a surprise to those that think that consensus-based decision-making, and non-hierarchical structures cannot achieve anything.

An excerpt:
One hundred sixty activists from 13 collectives participated in the gathering, formulating a federal structure based on the principles of horizontalism, autonomy, independence and decision-making by consensus. They agreed to set up working groups based around communication, organization and legal support as well as a study group on transportation issues. Among the attendees was the engineer Lúcio Gregori, Secretary of Transport in São Paulo from 1990 to 1992 in the municipal administration of the then militant Worker's Party leader Luiza Erundina. Gregori held the view that transport should be a public service and therefore free. He argued that from the moment a fare is charged, a mechanism is established to divide those who can use it and those who can not, and therefore, the imposition of a fare represents the privatization of something that is common to all, public transport. He pointed out that just as health and education are free public services, so too the costs of transportation should be borne by those who benefit from the service, "the ruling class which needs public transport for employees to get to the workplace."

Kimberly Rivera's story : being punished for acting on conscience

This story form IVAW, Iraq Veterans Against the War, comes as a stark reminder that I must not associate the evils of the military-industrial complex with the people it exploits to get its job done. It also brings out the culture of abuse and injustice... the institutional violence inherent in the way governments operate today.

Kimberly Rivera chose to join the Army when her job at Walmart failed to provide enough income to cover her family's basic needs. "I still felt like a 24-year-old loser because our jobs were not paying the bills for the apartment, food, car, car insurance, health insurance, and credit card bills."

The Army offered job security, sign-on bonuses, a food and clothing allowance, medical benefits, housing allowance, "Everything I needed, they had," she said in a 2007 interview with Courage to Resist.

Multi-billion dollar corporations are continually increasing the gap between rich and poor. Their CEOs salaries continue to grow while worker's wages remain stagnant. Poverty is one of the biggest contributors to military recruitment - nearly half of all military recruits come from lower-middle-class to poor households. The conditions created by corporations like Walmart make it nearly impossible for people to find employment options that are more appealing than the military.

Kimberly was called upon to deploy to Iraq in 2006. She witnessed injustice and violence waged against ordinary people and it was more than she could bear.

In January 2007, upon returning to the US on leave from her deployment, Kimberly and her family made the difficult decision to flee to Canada and refuse participation in an unjust war of choice.

Last year, Kimberly and her family were deported from Canada. She was tried by court martial and sentenced to 14 months in prison. 

This Thanksgiving while Walmart executives prepare to get richer, workers are being asked to leave their families over the holiday weekend to provide the necessary labor for an unfair wage, and Kimberly Rivera is in jail, preparing to deliver her baby. She is considered a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International and has applied for clemency - if denied, she will have her baby in prison and be forced to immediately relinquish custody.

A message from IVAW:

Stop giving your money to corporations who perpetuate militarism by keeping their workers poor. Instead, help fund social change. Consider participating in #GivingTuesday by making a donation to IVAW on Tuesday, December 3.

Inline image 1

Take Action to Support Kimberly Rivera

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cowardice of objective reporting, legal protests

Excerpted from an amazing website that I've just come across,
And, of course, I fully endorsed the opinions expressed below.
I also liked the idea of giving a lot of interesting links all together in a "links of the month" article. Want to try it sometime.

Greenwald and Hersh Take Aim at the Once-Respectable NYT: Glenn Greenwald, perhaps the best hope for the revival of true journalism in Western society, responds brilliantly to NYT Bill Keller's pathetic defence of that newspaper's disgraceful and subservient reporting of the Iraq war, Wikileaks, NSA surveillance, and more. Excerpt:

But [the NYT and other mainstream newspapers have] produced lots of atrocious journalism and some toxic habits that are weakening the profession. A journalist who is petrified of appearing to express any opinions will often steer clear of declarative sentences about what is true, opting instead for a cowardly and unhelpful "here's-what-both-sides-say-and-I-won't-resolve-the-conflicts" formulation. That rewards dishonesty on the part of political and corporate officials who know they can rely on "objective" reporters to amplify their falsehoods without challenge (i.e., reporting is reduced to "X says Y" rather than "X says Y and that's false").

Worse still, this suffocating constraint on how reporters are permitted to express themselves produces a self-neutering form of journalism that becomes as ineffectual as it is boring. A failure to call torture "torture" because government officials demand that a more pleasant euphemism be used, or lazily equating a demonstrably true assertion with a demonstrably false one, drains journalism of its passion, vibrancy, vitality and soul.

Sy Hersh, investigative reporter extraordinaire and frequent New Yorker contributor, goes even further than Greenwald, describing the NYT and other mainstream media as "obsequious" cowards who dutifully report outrageous government lies as facts, and asserts that Obama is "even worse than Bush". And meanwhile, Tom Englehardt urges other whistleblowers to come forward despite the risks, echoing what I wrote prophetically in one of this blog's earliest articles way back in 2003.


An Open Letter to Peaceful Protesters: Bineshii explains that modern, banal, "legal" protest demonstrations accomplish nothing, and what is needed is a return to true non-violent direct action, which is inherently and increasingly not "legal". Thanks to Khelsilem Rivers for the link.

Could Community Meshes Survive Collapse, and Defeat the NSA?: Community mesh networks, communication co-ops that cut out the giant price-gouging (and surveillance-complicit) ISPs, work on the same principle as the Internet itself — decentralized and co-owned by users responsible only to their communities. Thanks to Generation Alpha for the link.

Non-profit Industrial complex

This video blows the whistle on big nonprofit foundations, funding,
etc. A lot of people who want to make a positive change in the world
are ending up becoming agents for these guys and then doing
whitewashing instead of actually addressing the core issues. There are
far better ways to do good things in this world; plundering Rs.1000
from the people and then making a big show of returning Rs.1 isn't
really the best option.

This does NOT mean all of the funders or NGOs out there are bad; it
only means we have to exercise responsibility and find out where the
money's coming from; and what are the strings attached. Instead of
looking for corporate-style reports and efficiency and hi-fi facades,
you have to switch over to looking for autonomy of the people you want
to assist or work with; you have to look for the personal connections.

This should also answer a question a friend of mine had asked me in
exasperation, "If there are so many NGOs and social workers
everywhere, why are there still bad things happening?" There is a
lapse in the way we connect these things.


Here's a comment I posted on the video page:
Thanks for putting this out so clearly. An educational NGO I worked
with, and publicly walked out of in a year, fits exactly this
description of non-profit industrialists. They exploited my will to do
something good for society and channeled it into something that would
only strengthen the status quo. So many wonderful people I know are
trapped inside such situations. NGOs in India are becoming careers
now, with huge salaries being given to the management and the internal
structure mirroring those of corporates. At the same time there are
wonderful grassroots, seemingly "unprofessional" orgs doing really
good work. Look for autonomy from funders in the organization you want
to assist or join; and always keep the larger picture in mind.

Further Reading:
This book explained some intricate parts about professional workforces
and how the structure of it precipitates some pretty nasty things:
Disciplined Minds by Jeff Schmitt

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Call For a Crowdsourced Worldwide Wave of Action
Posted on November 17, 2013 by WashingtonsBlog

Preface: This new message from Anonymous was emailed to us.

The modern paradigm may still seem insurmountable "because it
possesses an outward front, the work of a long past, but is in reality
an edifice crumbling to ruin and destined to fall in at the first
 – Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind

The decentralized movement toward freedom is raging across the world.
It cannot be stopped. The tipping point is near. Despite the lack of
coverage in the mainstream media, actions are springing up on an
increasing basis. A wave of transformation is rising. The zeitgeist is
shifting in our direction.

At this point, given all the nonviolent direct actions that are
currently being planned, it makes strategic sense for us to organize
them, in a decentralized way, in a way that the mainstream media
cannot ignore. A slightly more coordinated approach is all it will

The Awakening Wave

The last time we all rallied together in a loosely knit collective
fashion, the Occupy movement was born and the 99% meme brought the
corruption of our political and economic system, along with the
grotesque inequality of wealth, into mass consciousness in a profound
and lasting way. It was the opening act, the awakening wave.

Since the Occupy camps were crushed by brutal police state force, the
movement has splintered in many different directions. This is now
proving to have been a blessing in disguise. It gave us time to learn
from our mistakes, figure out what worked best and forced us back into
the autonomous actions that built the movement in the first place. We
have now experimented with different tactics and thought through
longer-term strategies.

Meanwhile, the repressive conditions that inspired Occupy in the first
place have become even more oppressive. Now more than ever,
governments no longer have the consent of the governed. A critical
mass has lost faith and trust in our existing institutions. The
present paradigm has outlived its usefulness. It has been overrun with
corruption and rendered obsolete. Our political, economic and legal
systems are doing much more to limit our potential than enhance it.

It's Time For A Worldwide Wave of Transformation

Let's pick a three-month span, perhaps throughout this coming spring,
and unite our collective actions into an unprecedented Worldwide Wave
that cannot be ignored by anyone.

Let's crowdsource a relentless global wave of action that protests the
corrupt, while also rallying around and celebrating effective
alternatives and solutions to the vast problems we are confronted by.
Imagine thousands of nonviolent guerrilla armies swarming corrupt
targets and rallying for viable solutions for a sustained three-month
cycle. If we begin preparing now, a massive spring offensive can lead
to a summer of transformation.

Staying true to the vital nature of the movement, you lead, in your
own way. Pick whatever issues concern you most and run with them,
knowing that likeminded people throughout the world will also be
fighting in solidarity, in whatever way they can, at the same time you

Not Focused Enough?

In an attempt to dismiss and undermine us, status quo propagandists
will once again criticize us by saying that our message of systemic
change is not focused enough or lacks coherent goals. This feeble
attempt to keep people from joining in with us will be overcome by our
widespread and consistent actions, which will lead by example and
inspire the cultural shift in mass consciousness that we urgently
need. Our diverse crowdsourced actions will boldly demonstrate our
will to expose, fight and overcome tyrannical systems. By rallying
around viable solutions and protesting what we are against, the goals
and freedoms that we aspire to will organically become self-evident to

Throughout history, when people have fought against tyranny and
oppression, they didn't have one perfect utopian model outcome agreed
upon beforehand. They just knew that the invading and old systems were
detrimental to their wellbeing and had to go. We are now in that

Don't let the propagandists fool you. We do not need corrupt
corporations or aristocratic government rulers anymore. They are
obsolete. People throughout this interconnected technological world
have already come up with much more effective systems to replace the
tyrannical one that is currently dominating our lives. There are
already many effective solutions to our problems, solutions that are
held back by the entrenched forces of shortsighted greed. Once a small
percentage of us withdraw our participation from corrupt entities and
opt out of tyranny, the old and obsolete systems of rule will quickly
fall away.

Extensive empirical evidence demonstrates that nonviolent movements
toward freedom result in positive outcomes. Research has proven that
it only takes approximately 3% of the population engaging in various
forms of nonviolent action to create significant meaningful change,
for the betterment of society. We now have the necessary critical mass
of aware people who are ready, willing and capable.

Guerrilla Tactics

This time the police state will not be able to crush us. We will not
have stationary targets. We will be everywhere, fluid and evasive. The
movement will be an unstoppable crowdsourced, decentralized and
autonomous revolutionary force.

We will engage in a diversity of nonviolent tactics, from large-scale
mobilizations to small daily acts. Most of you already know the
actions and tactics that are needed. Without revealing too much
strategic information, here are a few basic actions to get a fire
going in your mind:

> Mass gatherings, demonstrations;
> Marches, parades;
> Flash mobs, swarms;
> Shutdown harmful corporate and governmental operations;
> Worker Strikes;
> Hunger strikes;
> Sit-ins;
> Strategic defaults, debt strikes;
> Foreclosure prevention;
> Boycotting corrupt corporations;
> Move your money out of the big banks and the stock market;
> Use alternative currencies and economic systems;
> Cancel your cable television and support independent media;
> Use independent online tools that don't sell your info and protect your privacy;
> Online civil disobedience, Anonymous operations;
> Leak information on corruption;
> Use alternative energy;
> Build your own urban and hydroponic farms, or get your food from them;
> Support local businesses;
> Join local community organizations;
> Take part in food banks and help develop community support systems;
> Start or join intentional and autonomous communities;
> Experiment with new governing systems, Liquid Democracy;
> Host teach-ins;
> Organize socially conscious events;
> Make conscious media;
> Guerrilla postering, messages on money;
> Help inspiring groups and organizations spread their message;
> Random acts of kindness and compassion;
> Mass meditations, prayer sessions and spiritual actions.

The list goes on and on. You know what you can do to play a part. Do
whatever you feel inspired to do. Amplify what you are already doing.
Think about what you are willing to do to be the change that we
urgently need to see in the world, and then do it.

Don't get bogged down in infighting and caught up in negativity.
Ignore the saboteurs. Collaborate with people who inspire you. Keep
moving forward with an indomitable will, a compassionate spirit and
radiate a positive attitude. Moods are contagious. Be passionate and
have fun!

Our ability to take part in civil disobedience is multiplied by our
ability to easily record the actions on video and spread them
throughout the Internet. By flooding social media with these inspiring
videos, we will create a positive feedback loop that translates into
more action on the ground.

Radical change is urgently needed, so let's make transforming the
world the cool thing to do. Let's create a culture of transformation.
Let's blaze a contagious nonviolent wave of action through mass
consciousness, signaling the end of the old world, ushering in a new

Now is the time.
Ride the Worldwide Wave of Transformation

Friday, November 22, 2013

Philippines representative on hunger strike at world climate talks after superstorm devastates his nation

Yeb Sano, Climate Commissioner for the Philippines and the
government's lead negotiator at the the Warsaw climate talks, has just
seen his hometown and his country devastated by Superstorm Haiyan.
That record-shattering natural calamity has been directly linked with
climate change being caused by fossil fuel consuming industries around
the world. He has started a hunger strike, at the climate talks, to
demand action from global leaders, and started this petition calling
upon people everywhere to demand responsibility from their leaders.

Disrespecting the counterarguments

Shared this a few days ago.
Thought for the day : to achieve anything of significance in life, it is necessary to give some degree of disrespect to the counterarguments.

Expanding further:
If you live in a culture of constant criticism, cynicism and nay-saying, appropriate countermeasures are needed to be able to move forward. Why do we see many problems around? Because so many people have been convinced that they can't do anything about them thanks to the armies of credible, experienced and perfectly respectable people certifying with unbeatable logic and foolproof arguments how this is not possible, that can't be done...

Why do we see good things around? Because every now and then someone comes along with the nerve to disrespect all those people.

Globalization Vs Localization

Some definitions we ought to get right:

globalization. n.
1. the deregulation of trade and finance in order to enable businesses and banks to operate globally.
2. the emergence of a single world market dominated by transnational companies.
(Often confused with international collaboration, interdependence, global community.)

"Globalization is really a code name for corporatization. It's an attempt by the largest corporations in the world, and the largest banks in the world, to re-engineer the world in such a way that they won't have to pay decent wages to their employees, and they won't have to pay taxes to fix potholes and to maintain parks, and to pay pensions to the old and handicapped." 
~ Paul Hellyer, former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada

1. the removal of fiscal and other supports that currently favor giant transnational corporations and banks.
2. reducing dependence on export markets in favor of production for local needs.
(Often confused with isolationism, protectionism, the elimination of trade.)

"When production and consumption both become localized, the temptation to speed up production, indefinitely
and at any price, disappears. All the endless difficulties and problems that our present day economic system
presents, too, would then come to an end."~ Mahatma Gandhi, 1934

"Drawing in our economic boundaries and shorten[ing] our supply lines… permit us literally to know where
we are economically. The closer we live to the ground that we live from, the more we will know about our
economic life; the more we know about our economic life, the more able we will be to take responsibility for it."
~Wendell Berry

Sourced from :

Thursday, November 21, 2013

night and day

Sharing this coz I'm feeling like this right now... (with genders suitably interpolated, note)

"The Look" by Sara Teasdale
Strephon kissed me in the spring,
 Robin in the fall, 
But Colin only looked at me 
And never kissed at all. 
Strephon's kiss was lost in jest, 
Robin's lost in play, 
But the kiss in Colin's eyes 
Haunts me night and day.
- From:

Fwd: Kejriwal's letter to Anna

Whichever way this goes, I'm happy for the precedent set.

Respected Anna Ji,

Last night, while returning after our election campaigning, it was brought to my notice that we received a letter from you. At first, I felt very happy, as every message from you is like a blessing to me. But after reading your letter, I must say that I felt sad and disappointed.

You have mentioned in your letter that some groups have approached you to complain against me. Many serious questions have been raised by you through your letter. I have great respect for you. I hold you in high esteem, respect you as my teacher, and regard you as a father figure. It is my responsibility to answer the questions raised by you.

Issues raised by you have already been addressed extensively in the past. You had been satisfied with the answers to those questions. I was concerned because I wonder who is spreading these false and baseless accusations and what their intentions might be. However at the end of the letter you write - "I believe that these statements will not be truthful". You continue to trust me, I am happy about that.

Your letter asks three questions. The first question is about how we can promise to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Assembly Elections. Anna, as you know, Prashant Bhushan, myself and many other members understand the intricacies of the laws. Obviously the bills passed by the Delhi Assembly will not apply to the Prime Minister, Members of Parliament or employees of the Central Government. We have not promised any such law. You might remember that when Uttarakhand agreed to pass this bill, you yourself supported the Chief Minister Khanduri at a press conference. On 29th December we intend to pass the same bill that will apply in the Delhi State area. The Chief Minister, ministers, Members of Legislative Assembly and all officers and workers of the Delhi government would be under its purview. I hope that you will bless us with your presence on this occasion. I also believe that we can soon pass this bill in the parliament with the support of the people of India.

Your second question was if our party is using your name in our campaign fundraising and campaign related activities. I do not know who is fabricating these lies and what motives they might have. As soon as you made a public appeal that we do not use your name in our campaigning, we have respected your request. We have not used your photograph in any of our campaign materials including posters and films. We do say that in 2011 there was an Anna Movement. This is a historical fact, which no one can deny, not even you.

With respect to the "Anna Card," the Aam Aadmi Party is not involved in it in any way. You may not remember this, but this card was issued with your full knowledge and permission in February 2012. This card was worth 25 rupees and the funds raised as a result were used to send movement related SMS. We received 1,59,415 rupees through the sale of these cards in Feb-March 2012 and 7,67,115 is April-July 2012. The funds collected from the card campaign are clearly mentioned in the audit accounts of the PCRF (Public Cause Research Foundation). The sale of these cards was stopped many months before the formation of the party. Further, the funds that remained unused were even refunded to the people. Hence there is no question of the Aam Aadmi Party using even a single paisa from the proceeds of the Anna Card.

Your third question was how much funds have been raised during Jan LokPal movement, and whether if we are using this fund for Delhi Elections? Anna, according to Income Tax law, we definitely cannot use the funds raised during a movement in elections. This would defy the law of Income Tax, and we would be strictly prosecuted if we ever do so.

You have also mentioned in your letter that you are unaware of the funds raised during the protests at the Ramleela Maidan and at Jantar Mantar. Anna - Of all your questions and statements, this one has hurt me the most. We have discussed this not once, but several times, both formally and informally. Multiple audits have also been done. You had sent a special team to audit our accounts who has checked everything to ensure that you are satisfied and informed about the accounts. Even after that, if you raise the same question, you can imagine how painful that would be for me, personally. Its possible that you may not remember each point from our previous conversations, discussions and audits. So I am re-iterating the key ones here.

1. 'India Against Corruption' is not a legislative organization or constitutional entity, so the entire transactions have been brought under the purview of PCRF (Public Cause Research Foundation).

2. Right after the protest at Ramleela Maidan, under your guidance, IAC's core committee gathered for a meeting on 10th and 11th of September, 2011. According to the outcome of this meeting, starting from April to September, auditing of income and expenses of the social movement have been conducted. On 1st of November 2011, the results of this audit have also been posted on website, and the same report has been handed over to Income Tax department even though no one asked for it.

3. In May 2012, we have requested you to personally examine the accounts of PCRF records.You had constituted a special team comprising of your representatives Sh. Suresh Pathare, Dad Pathare & some other people. This team had audited complete PCRF accounts and found them to their satisfaction.

4. Also, besides the Income tax law that I cited previous, there is no question of the Andolan money being used. PCRF accounts (audited as mentioned above) clearly show that on April 1, 2011 (before the start of the Andolan), PCRF has Rs 54 Lakh (approx). The money that I got from the Magsaysay award was also added to this to help the Andolan. In August 2012, when the Anshann got over, there was only 14 lakh left in the PCRF account. This proves that, not only was the money raised Andolan completely spent, but PCRF ended up contributing another 40 lakh in addition to my Magasay award grant towards the Andolan.

Anna - All this happened with your knowledge, consent and direction. Whenever questions were raised on the finances of the andolan, after consultation with you, complete audit was carried out. With your blessing, this Andolan established new benchmarks of financial transparency in public life.

If, in spite of and after all this, you have questions, its my duty to answer them. We want the politics of India to be clear & transparent. Therefore, we would like to be the first ones to be audited & investigated in full public view, so that there are no questions that remain unanswered.

My proposal, if you agree is this. Let someone of the stature and credibility of Justice Santosh Hegde (or any other person who you trust) audit the accounts of IAC, PCRF and the Aam Aadmi Party. Justice Hedge would also for any complaints against us from the people as well. To carry out this investigation, whatever he needs from us will be provided to him. I want that Justice Hedge finish this investigation next week itself.

I assure you and the entire nation that if Justice Hedge's investigation reveals financial irregularities with IAC funds, or its use for AAP operations, then I will withdraw my candidacy from Delhi Assembly elections.

If no irregularities are found after investigation, it is not only my hope but the country's hope that you will come to Delhi to campaign for AAP.

Anna, like you I am always mindful that those in public life have to be extra careful of how they use the public's money. That is why, despite all the devious and malicious plotting by our opponents, there is not a stain on the record of the movement or of AAP. I sincerely believe that this investigation will settle once and for all that I have abided by your high ideals that I respect greatly.



Saturday, November 9, 2013

Love Vs Financial security

Dear Men,

A woman who loves you truly will
never ask you to buy her
expensive gifts or take her to
expensive places...

She won't ask for diamonds, rubies or a promise to
bring her a
world of luxuries...

She just wants
your love, care and attention..
She wants you to spend a lot of quality time with her..
and appreciate her for all that she
does for you out of love and
Every woman is unique
in her own way...
Value her.

My rejoinder...
Thanks for sharing... it's nice to actually hear this from the women
once in a while.

Just wondering... what about the "financial security/stability" term
used on men to justify abandoning our dreams and passions to settle
for a boring, life-draining, soul-destroying career?

First they're ordered to compromise away their souls and morals for
money if they ever want to have a life partner (that's what's being
told to me right now), and then they're asked to show love, care and

Friday, November 1, 2013

Community Level Sanitation Initiatives

1. Nirmalgram, Nasik

(Not to be confused with govt's nirmalgram program which started much
later) They've done good work on eco-friendly, sustainable and useful
toilets design.

I stayed there recently. We used normal-looking indoor toilets inside
the dormitories, and found out later on that rather than going into
drainage or septic tank, they lead to 2-pit compost systems that
convert the excreta into manure and this manure is used in the organic
farm located at this place. First time I used modern, clean, indoor
toilets that create manure rather than disposing of it toxically.
Previously, in Auroville I've used, and cleaned out, a compost toilet
located outside the residence which is a little difficult /
inconvenient to use; but these at Nirmalgram were just like simple
modern toilets and till our last day there we had no clue it wasn't
going into the typical drainage / septic tank.

2. Safai Vidyalay, Ahmedabad
I've visited them twice; again, inspiring work, and the technologies
they've researched and published (openly) really ought to be adopted
on a large scale.

Both these places conduct tours, trainings and have a "toilet museum"
on their premises where we can see all the models for real.

Gift Economy

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