Monthly Archives: March 2012

Elected Chief Minister’s Visa is not private matter Mr. Consul General (DeshGujarat)

Elected Chief Minister’s Visa is not private matter Mr. Consul General

March 21, 2012   


File photo:Consul General Peter Haas with Gujaratis at Mumbai consulate

By DeshGujarat News, Ahmedabad, 20 March 2012

Again US Consul General was in Gujarat, and again he was asked a question about Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s Visa issue, and again he had the same answer that “we don’t comment on personal visa matters.”

Once upon a time there was a practice that American Consul Generals would meet Gujarat Chief Minister during their Gujarat visit, but for last some years Modi doesn’t give time to meet US Consul Generals and divert them to meet the Chief Secretary. Present Consul General Peter Haas is not exception.

While Chinese, Japanese and other consulate officials can meet the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the American Consul General are avoided, thanks to America’s policy of succumbing to pressure and propaganda of leftist anti-Indian groups lobbying against Narendra Modi in America.

“Its a long-standing US policy… We do not comment on private visa matters,” Haas said when asked if there was any change in the US policy with regard to granting of visa to Modi.

(Mr. Haas should know that it could be private visa matter for America, but for Gujarat, Mr. Modi is not a person living private life but he is in public life. He is the Chief Minister of a state, elected by over five crore people)

Talking about relations between US and Gujarat, Haas said that there was good cooperation and many American companies have set up plant in the state.

The relationship of US with Gujarat can be judged on the basis that Gujarati was the first Indian regional language to be included in the US Census, he said.

During his last visit to Ahmedabad, Mr. Haas was asked that while people to people relations are excellent, and trade relations between America and Gujarat are in the best time-phase at present, why government level relations are sour, and what America wants to do in this regard? Haas had replied that question, saying that he met the Chief Secretary of the state, and people to people relations were more important.

While Mr. Modi’s stature is growing nationally and internationally, America is likely to face major embarrassment over Visa issue in future. Such embarrassment is always visible on Consul General’s face when he faces question on Modi’s Visa issue.

It is other thing that nobody is dying to go to America and Modi had not demanded visa, but the way America behaved on Modi’s Visa issue under the pressure of few vocal groups in 2005 and then-after, funnily in the name of ‘human right violation’, it is neither forgettable nor forgivable, at least when it comes to state-state relations.

Updates:

The US Consul General during his Ahmedabad visit, went to a residential colony of 2002 riot affected Muslims and also met Archbishop in Gandhinagar. He also went to Adalaj stepwell and Sidi Saiyad mosque wearing Islamic skull cap. The Consul General visited DAIICT campus in Gandhinagar, met state minister Saurabh Patel, visited Bhadrakali mandir in Amdavad, American company Inductotherm in Bopal, and American corner at Ahmedabad Management Association.

 

http://deshgujarat.com/2012/03/21/elected-chief-ministers-visa-is-not-private-maater-mr-consul-general/

Women’s Dignity: Enough is Enough! Sign Petition to the Advertisers on Rush Limbaugh show

Dear Friends:

Namaste. In a democracy, difference of opinions, debates and discussions are important; they strengthen it. However, when all limits are crossed, one has to say “Enough is Enough” and take action. Such a moment has come with regards to Rush Limbaugh. Irrespective of one’s political beliefs, Rush has transgressed all limits of decency when he called George Town Law student, Sandra Fluke a slut and prostitute on his nationally syndicated radio talk show and continued his foul mouthed attack on her for three days. And what was Ms. Fluke’s sin? She dared to testify in font of Senate subcommittee in favor of a proposed rule that the insurance companies should be required to cover women’s contraceptives! She was denied the opportunity to testify in front of a House committee, which was made up of all males only. 

Rush Limbaugh went over the edge on the third day of his vile campaign when on his radio talk show he asked Ms. Fluke to video tape her having sex and post it on the Internet so that he and others could watch it! Erroneous and intentionally misguided premise was that the tax payers/ government was going to fund the cost of contraceptives. Even if it were so, would you want to see your mother/sister/daughter/wife’s sexual activities broadcast on the Internet?  And this from a man, who is OK with men using insurance covered Viagra!

Because of tremendous outrage across the country and intense pressure on Rush’s advertisers, some 140 advertisers and sponsors have either suspended their advertisement on his show or dropped him like a hot potato (pun intended). 

Please sign the petition here: {http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/limbaugh_appalling/index2.html} ( or left click with mouse on a highlighted area in the petition below and press Control key at the same time; a link will appear- click on it) and circulate it among your contacts; if you believe in decency in public discourse, act now! Remember, this is not a question of one party against the other or whether the proposed rule is good or bad, this is about dignity of women everywhere.

Rush Limbaugh is under intense pressure with more than 140 advertisers/sponsors dropping him.  He deserves to be out of public space for his day in, day out sexist, xenophobic, bigoted and hate filled diatribe on airwaves. Please sign the petition and circulate it to your friends. 

Thank you,
Gaurang G. Vaishnav
Take Action!
Clicking here will automatically add your name to this petition to Limbaugh’s remaining advertisers.
“Pull your advertising from the Rush Limbaugh Show immediately and permanently. Rush Limbaugh called a Georgetown Law School student testifying before Congress about women’s access to birth control a “slut” and a “prostitute.” His reprehensible remarks are an attack on all women, including women who are your customers.”
Automatically add your name:
Take action now!Learn more about this campaign

CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.Rush Limbaugh’s remaining advertisers: Fujitsu, Lifelock and Lear Financial

Dear Friend,

Our momentum in the campaign against Rush Limbaugh is generating impressive results.

Over 444,000 other CREDO Action members have sent the message to Rush’s advertisers not to fund his vile attacks on women. But we can’t take our short-term victory for granted. National advertisers Fujitsu, Lifelock, and Lear Financial are still supporting the show. And some of the advertisers who merely “suspended” their ads may return once the controversy dies down.

Help us get to 500,000 activists calling on advertisers like Fujitsu, Lifelock and Lear Financial to pull their support from Rush Limbaugh. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

Over 140 companies1 have pulled their advertising dollars from the Rush Limbaugh show. In fact the national advertising exodus has been so devastating, that Rush Limbaugh has had to resort to filling his advertising slots with free public service announcements and even minutes of dead air at some points.

And just yesterday, Premiere Networks, the subsidiary of Clear Channel that distributes the show, told local affiliates it was pausing national ads for two weeks, though they were free to air ads from two companies remaining loyal to Rush Limbaugh: Lifelock and Lear Financial.2

Help us get to 500,000 activists calling on Rush’s remaining advertisers to pull their support from his show. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

Rush Limbaugh is clearly feeling the pressure of our activism, and the emails we have received from major companies like Geico and Netflix after receiving petitions with your signature show that your activism truly does work. Both companies have instructed their advertising companies to ensure that their ads do not air on the Rush Limbaugh Show in the future.

But the campaign is far from over.

If we can’t keep up the pressure on his advertisers, Rush Limbaugh will bounce back. He has been the top commercial radio host in the country since 1991. The best way to hold Limbaugh accountable for his extreme, inappropriate, and offensive comments is to ensure that all of the remaining advertisers on his show stop supporting his attacks on women. Not just now but permanently.

Help us get to 500,000 activists calling on advertisers to pull their support from Rush Limbaugh not just for now but permanently. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

In the fight against the Susan G. Komen Foundation we proved that when women and the men who support them fight back against those who would restrict women’s access to healthcare, we can win.

Because of your pressure there was dead air on Rush Limbaugh’s Show this week where normally there would have been an advertisement. The momentum is on our side, but we need to keep the pressure on and ensure that the remaining advertisers drop their support of his show and advertisers that already withdrew their support don’t return once the media focus subsides.

When CREDO sends a national retailer a petition with over 400,000 signatures on it asking that they stop supporting attacks on women, we get their attention. Help us get to 500,000 and we’ll send your signature to the remaining national advertisers, to local advertisers who continue to support the program and to national advertisers who have only suspended their spots.

Please sign the petition now asking advertisers to permanently pull their support from the Rush Limbaugh Show. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

When women are attacked, CREDO responds. Together we are making a difference.

Thank you for your continued activism.

Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
1. “EXCLUSIVE: 140 Companies Drop Advertising From Rush Limbaugh,” Think Progress, March 12, 2012.
2. “BREAKING: Rush Limbaugh Syndicator Suspends National Ads For Two Weeks,” Think Progress, March 12, 2012.

© 2012 CREDO. All rights reserved.
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CAUSE TO CELEBRATE- Swapan Dasgupta on Gujarat after 2002 in Telegraph

– Peace and prosperity after bloodshed in Gujarat

Swapan Dasgupta

(The Telegraph, Friday, March 2, 2012)

 

It may sound callous, but there was something patently disgusting about the way the media and activists colluded to turn a grim 10th anniversary of the 2002 Gujarat riots into a celebration of victimhood. From star anchors rushing to Ahmedabad to hug victims to the overuse of the photograph of the unfortunate Qutubuddin Ansari pleading for his life, every tear-jerking potential was cynically exploited. What should have been a solemn occasion of remembrance, perhaps leading to a pledge to make sectarian violence a thing of the past, was, instead, turned into an all-too-familiar Indian tamasha, culminating in riotous television discussions.

The reason for this ugly turn of events should be obvious. Ten years after the arson attack on the Sabarmati Express in Godhra became the trigger for murderous violence throughout Gujarat, the issue of ‘justice’ has been transformed into a political blame game. The activists who have doggedly kept the issue alive, despite the apparent lack of responsiveness in Gujarat, have shifted their priorities markedly. The issue is no longer one of securing the punishment of the rioters and those responsible for inhuman conduct, but the political targeting of one man: the chief minister, Narendra Modi.

The unspoken assumption is that justice will be served if Modi can be prosecuted for personally facilitating the carnage. As an additional bonus, the framing of charges against Modi is calculated to ensure his exclusion from the political arena and consequently bring to an abrupt end any possibility of him being in the reckoning for the prime minister’s post. In short, if you can’t beat him, disqualify him.

Had Modi shown himself to be electorally vulnerable, the need to fight him judicially would have evaporated. A Modi defeat in either 2002 or 2007 would have prompted the self-satisfied conclusion that “Gujarat has redeemed itself”— in the same way as, it is proclaimed, Uttar Pradesh redeemed itself by rejecting the Bharatiya Janata Party after the demolition of the Babri shrine in 1992. However, the prospects of the clutch of activists moving on to the next available cause have dimmed following the realization that not only has Modi strengthened himself politically but that the Congress in Gujarat lacks the necessary qualities to mount an effective challenge. Consequently, the only way they see to fight Modi is to remove him from politics altogether.

There is another factor at work. Over the past 10 years, Modi has transformed Gujarat spectacularly. After winning the 2002 assembly elections in a communally surcharged environment, he has deftly shifted the political focus of Gujarat from sectarian identity issues to rapid economic development. Gujarat was always an economically vibrant state and entrepreneurship is deeply ingrained in the DNA of the average Gujarati. Modi has played the role of a great facilitator by creating an environment that is conducive to the double digit growth of the state’s gross domestic product. He has toned up the administration, improved the finances of the state exchequer, brought down corruption markedly and made every rupee expended on government-run schemes a factor in economic value addition. Modi has been the model rightwing administrator pursuing the mantra of minimal but effective governance. His election victory in 2007 wasn’t a consequence of Hindu-Muslim polarization; it was based on his ability to deliver good governance.

Secondly, Modi successfully shifted tack from Hindu pride to Gujarati pride. This meant that hoary grievances centred on sectarian hurt were subsumed by a common desire to take advantage of the dividends flowing from a prolonged period of high economic growth. The popular mentality of Gujarat has undergone a discernible shift in the past decade. In the 30 years since the Ahmedabad riots of 1969, which left nearly 650 people dead in just five days of mayhem, Gujarat had become a riot-prone state.

With its sharp communal polarization, Ahmedabad epitomized that trend. After the 1969 flare-up, there were riots in 1971, 1972 and 1973. Then, after a period of lull, rioting resumed in January 1982, March 1984, March to July 1985, January 1986, March 1986, July 1986, January 1987, February 1987, November 1987, April 1990, October 1990, November 1990, December 1990, January 1991, March 1991, April 1991, January 1992, July 1992, December 1992 and January 1993. This chronology, assembled by the political scientist based in the United States of America, Ashutosh Varshney, in his Ethnic Conflict and Civil Life (2002) tells a story of unending curfews, social insecurity and escalating hatred affecting the two communities. It was a story replicated throughout Gujarat, including the otherwise integrated city of Surat that witnessed fierce riots in 1993.

Since March 2002, Gujarat has been riot-free. Curfews have become a thing of a distant past. What has occasioned this exemplary transformation? The facile explanation, often proffered unthinkingly by secularists anxious to find fault with Modi, is that Muslims have been too cowed down by the sheer intensity of the post-Godhra majoritarian backlash. Such an explanation presumes that riots are invariably begun by a section of the Muslim community — a problematic proposition and not always empirically sustainable.

More compelling is the explanation that factors in the larger administrative and economic changes in Gujarat over the past decade. First, both the civil administration and the political leadership have internalized the lessons from their inability to control mob violence in 2002. The police have been given a free hand to operate without the interference of small-time politicians attached to the ruling party. There has been a crackdown against the illicit liquor trade and the underworld that gained its muscle power from its proceeds. At the helm, there is an unspoken understanding that another riot, with its attendant TV coverage, would extract an unacceptably high political cost. That is why there is special attention paid to curbing Hindu extremism — a phenomenon that will affect Modi most adversely.

The biggest change has, however, been at the societal level. Gujarat today is a society that is obsessively preoccupied with making money and taking advantage of the economic opportunities that have presented themselves. With the end of boredom, a happy present and an appealing future, the belief that riots are bad for dhanda has seeped into society. This is not to suggest that the bitterness of the past has been replaced by idyllic bonhomie between communities. Far from it. Sectarian conflict persists in cities such as Ahmedabad, and less so in Surat. But there is a distinction that Varshney makes between sectarian conflict and sectarian violence. One need not necessarily lead to the other if contained within the parameters of economics and politics. The Muslims of Gujarat don’t possess the political clout they enjoyed earlier under Congress rule. But this has been compensated for by growing levels of prosperity. Those who argue that the economic development of Gujarat has bypassed Muslims should look at the economic empowerment of communities such as the Bohras, Khojas and Memons.

To many, Gujarat’s obsession with economic betterment may seem an expression of denial for the larger societal involvement in the 2002 riots. This may be partially true, since Gujarati Hindus view the post-Godhra troubles as something they don’t want to be reminded of incessantly — a point which the state Congress has grudgingly acknowledged. But it doesn’t distract from Modi’s undeniable success in changing the agenda dramatically in 10 years to the point where hardened Hindutvawadis now regard him as an enemy of the cause.

The riots of 2002 were horrible. But the important thing to note is that 10 years after the butchery, Gujarat is basking in peace and unprecedented prosperity. Now, that is something to celebrate.


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