Tuticorin deaths: Focus on the facts, not fiction

Sydney, 3 June, 2018

Sterlite Copper smelter in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin), Tamil Nadu (TN), India has been seeing protests for years. This year, however, protests became more intense, because Vedanta Group, the owner of the smelter, started to expand the site.

On 100th Day of the protest, 22 May, 2018, protesters were marching towards the District Administration HQ, despite orders under section 144 of IPC to not do so. When warnings by the authorities to stop the march were not heeded, Tamil Nadu Police fired, leading to deaths of 13 protesters.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoothukudi_massacre

Any loss of life is sad, but we must understand the perspective and the background.

Police resorted to firing to stop the massive crowds from marching to the HQ of the administration.

Chief Minister (CM) of the state Mr Edappadi K Palaniswami initially justified the Police firing.

After further protests and demands from the opposition, the TN Government has now ordered permanent closure of the smelter.

https://www.google.com.au/amp/www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/sterlite-copper-to-be-permanently-closed-says-tamil-nadu-government/article24014605.ece/amp/

As I said above, no loss of life can be justified, but we must understand the facts and the background.

My condolences and sympathies are with the victims and their families. Like others, I am saddened.

The protest in Sydney a few days ago was brought to my attention by several people, including Tamil Australians.

Thiru Arumugam from Sydney said “Firstly my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. 13 people sadly died in the protest. My humble request to all Indian Tamils in Australia is not to jump into the conclusion that Indian Government is killing Tamils. It happened in Tamil Nadu, which is ruled by a Tamil CM. Blaming Indian Govt is not right. Everyone of us are responsible in Australia for any representation of our motherland. We should remember that use of violence or breach of law never achieves our demands.”

Aspects of this protests, especially placards, are objectionable.

A couple of facts need to be considered.

  1. The protesters in Tuticorin shouldn’t have marched towards District administration’s HQ when section 144 of IPC to not do so was in place.
  2. What other option was available to the Police to control the difficult situation? Once you break the section 144, you are not a peaceful march. No Government can allow anarchy.
  3. TN CM supported the Police action.
  4. If Copper smelter is causing so much health issues, why was it not shut down earlier? Which Governments is/are responsible?
  5. This Smelter was established in TN in late 1990s, when UPA was running the Federal Government in India, and BJP has never ruled TN. https://youtu.be/_fdA_bfCZFI
  6. TN government is run by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) party, not BJP or NDA.
  7. Police firing was unfortunate, but it can’t be called terrorism, forget “State terrorism”.
  8. Anybody who demands The UNO investigation on this matter is anti-India and is intellectually bankrupt. India has a rule of law and is not a tin pot dictatorship.

Sydney protest has the presence of about 50-60 people, some of whom either don’t understand the matter well, or worse, are anti-India. Looking at the pictures of the people, I can recognize only two people, who belong to Indian community. Rest of them appear to be Tamils of non-Indian background, many of whom may have a grudge against India due to India’s perceived hands off approach in ethnic conflicts in India’s neighborhood a few years ago. Looking at the placards in the hands of these two Indians (Anagan Babu and Renga Rajan), I can say that I am very concerned about their ability to understand what they were doing there. I doubt they even took time to read the placards they were given to hold. They were perhaps too busy in getting their pics taken for Facebook posting! (PS: Rajesh Kumar from Sydney says that the most of the protesters in Sydney were from TN, and he personally knows them. I stand corrected. The basic thrust of my commentary however will not change.) I post Rajesh Kumar’s comment below. 👇👇

While people have their right to hold a protest, I too have a right to form an opinion. There is no defamation here. This protest was a public protest, not a private protest. Pics were posted on social media with privacy settings to allow public to see them. Throwing the word “defamation” is childish, immature and ill-informed, and I am least worried about it.

Hugh Mcdermott (MP for Prospect) and Mehreen Faruqi (Greens MLC) are politicians. Politicians can and will do politics, whenever they can. That’s what politicians do for votes.

My issues with this protest is not because of protest per se, because people have a right to protest.

Having said that, I am not sure as to what people achieve by organizing protests in Australia on matters happening in their country of their birth. Many including I believe that such protests achieve nothing except giving some transient self-satisfaction of pics on Facebook and coverage in ethnic media.

My concerns are against the blatant politics, and misrepresentation and distortion of facts of the incident by the vested interests. Contrary to the claims by the protesters, the facts are that Tuticorin firings have no relevance with The UNO, terrorism, State-sponsored terrorism, BJP or “India killing Tamils” nonsense. It has everything to do with law and order problem inside Tamil Nadu, whose CM is obviously a Tamil, and whose Police is also Tamil, who fired on Tamil protesters, who breached section 144 of Indian Penal Code despite the warnings to stop doing so.

It’s a sad & unfortunate situation and I am saddened with the loss of lives, but I am equally sad with blatant and ill-informed politics being played by some people.

I urge people to focus on the facts, not fiction, and stop running an anti-India campaign!

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/DoctorYafuSingh

PS: An earlier post about Anagan Babu is here. https://yadusingh.com/2014/07/08/indaus-going-for-fresh-elections-on-20th-july-2014/

You can learn HINDI in Sydney

Sydney, NSW

25 November, 2016

 

I am pleased to inform everyone that Consulate General of India, Sydney has agreed to our request to start Hindi teaching classes during weekends. Our campaigning has succeeded.

Hindi learning can be useful not only for kids of Indian Australian background but also for people of general Australian community. It is a fun language, besides being the language of a big proportion of Indians.

Details:

  • Saturdays

  • 2.30-4.30 PM

  • Students will pay only $5/hour ($40 for 10 lessons of one hour duration)
  • Teachers will be paid a reasonable hourly rate which will be commensurate  with their experience and training
  • Address: Indian Cultural Centre, Level 1, 265 Castlereagh St, Sydney NSW 2000 http://cgisydney.org/

Please contact icc-moumita@indianconsulatesydney.org

or

hindi@indianconsulatesydney.org for enrolment, and also, if interested to teach Hindi.

Potential teachers should send their CV to the emails above.

Gratitude and sincere thanks to Consul General, The Hon B. Vanlalvawna for his help, support and assistance.

Consulate is willing and able to do its job, for which they deserve thank you. These classes can start within weeks once they have at least 10 students. They already have 4 students. It is our and your job to make this facility known to interested people.

Let us disseminate this information to all and sundry.

Happy to help, if needed. Don’t hesitate to contact and network.

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

fianinc1@gmail.com

 

Consular grievance management system is a great service for overseas Indians

Sydney, NSW

22nd April, 2016

Consular grievance management system is an initiative by Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

Sushma Swaraj EAM.jpg

This will be useful for overseas Indians. Do use it, if needed.

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Details are here: http://www.madad.gov.in/AppConsular/welcomeLink


Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

FIAN organised a rousing welcome reception for new Consul General of India in Sydney and visiting ministerial delegation from India

More

Press release: Sydney, 4/4/16

Federation of Indian Associations of NSW (FIAN) hosts a rousing welcome reception for new Consul General of India and visiting ministerial delegation from Uttar Pradesh.

GOI authorities requested us to organize the welcome event for the visiting delegation and provided required assistance and resources.

Madison Function Centre in Dural, NSW was immersed in serious political colours with the presence of visiting ministerial delegation from Uttar Pradesh (UP) and new Consul General of India, Mr B. Vanlalvawna and his wife, Dr Rosy Vanlalvawna on Friday, 1st April, 2016. Delegation from UP included senior ministers, Mr Azam Khan, Mr Raghuraj Pratap Singh (Raja Bhaiya), Mr Om Prakash Singh, Prof Abhishek Mishra, Mrs Arun Kumari and 10 members of UP Parliament.

Dr Yadu Singh, President of Federation of Indian Associations of NSW, conducted the proceedings in his trade mark flair, spontaneity and endearing style, enlivening the audience.  After welcoming the dignitaries, he described the love which Indian community has for India. He described how India is deep inside our hearts. He outlined the fact that Uttar Pradesh is the heart of India, besides being the most populous state, sending 80 MPs to Indian Parliament.  UP Chief Minister, Mr Akhilesh Yadav’s visit to Banda city for the inauguration of a Medical College there in March 2015, for which Dr Singh accompanied the Chief Minister, and CM’s studies in Sydney University in late 1990s were mentioned to bring a context for Uttar Pradesh and Australia connections. There was ample praise for Australia too, and its successful multiculturalism, as well as unshakable love and loyalty of the community for Australia.

Consul General of India and his wife were welcomed formally and assured of full support from the community in whatever way it is necessary.  Mr B.Vanlalvawna assumed charge as Consul General of India in Sydney on 19 February 2016. He was educated at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1998 and served in Indian Missions/Post in Tokyo, Shanghai, Brussels and Cairo. His wife, Dr Rosy Vanlalvawna is a medical doctor and a writer.  She is a graduate from Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi. More details here. http://tinyurl.com/zx9rmb6

Head of the delegation, Mr Azam Khan, thanked the community for their love for India. He praised India for its democracy and egalitarian ethos, where even a common man can be a minister, chief minister or Prime Minister. He hoped that overseas Indians will remain connected with India and will continue to serve the country of their current residence as well as the country of their birth, not only now, but also in the future. During his speech, he used “Shayari” generously, enthralling people in the audience and making many as his fans.

David Clarke, Parliamentary Secretary to NSW Government outlined his praise for India and the commonalities between India and Australia, which extends not only to Cricket, but also to the fields of trade, security, transparency, rule of law, multiculturalism and democracy.

Cultural programme, conducted by noted poetess Rekha Rajvansi, comprised of performances from top artists from the community and included Jyoti Dixit, Khurana sisters (Cheryl and Michelle), Murali Venkatraman and Arun Nanda.
Visiting delegation praised and enjoyed sumptuous and delicious dinner, catered by popular and multiple award winning, Maya Da Dhaba, which is owned by Ajay Raj.

Capacity crowd of 200+, which included who is who of Sydney, key community representatives and Indian media, stayed right up to the end of the event, enjoying every minute of the evening, and called it one of the best events from the community. Ministers and MLAs too, as well as Consul General, mingled with people, enjoying the occasion and creating a lasting and positive impression on people with their simplicity and easy going nature.

Further contact:
Dr Yadu Singh
President, Federation of Indian Associations of NSW
Fianinc1@gmail.com

http://www.Facebook.com/FianInc

http://www.Twitter.com/FianInc

All Premiers and Chief Ministers are supporting Australian Republic

 

I did not know until recently that all State Premiers and territory Chief Ministers are in favour of Australian Republic and an Australian as our Head of State.

We too should support Australian Republic Movement! https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/we-are-supporting-australian-republican-movement/

It’s about time!

PS: I have this tweet FYI. OzRepublic FitzSimon ‏@Peter_Fitz 19m19 minutes ago

He’s a republican. He just declined to sign.

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Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/4th March, 2016

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.Facebook.com/dryadusingh

Congratulations to new assistant minister for multicultural affairs, Craig Laundy

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Press release
Sydney, NSW
15th February, 2016

The Federation of Indian Associations of NSW (FIAN) congratulates Craig Laundy MP for his appointment as new Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs in the Turnbull ministry.

Craig Laundy
Craig has been a member of the House of Representatives for the seat of Reid in West Sydney since 2013, representing a diverse community of various ethnicities and religions.

He is a popular MP.

FIAN also takes the opportunity to thank the outgoing minister Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells for her excellent work in this area. We are pleased that she has been given a well-deserved promotion in the ministry

Craig has contributed significantly and meaningfully in the area of multiculturalism with his principled stance and his part in the debate around race, refugee intake and multiculturalism in this country. His appointment is a further proof and recognition of his significant contributions.

We remember with appreciation Craig’s stand in March 2014, when he joined other Liberal backbenchers in opposing the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act’s section 18c.

FIAN extends the Minister and the Turnbull government our full support and cooperation in the matters, relevant to multicultural communities, and looks forward to working with him to achieve our common objectives to make our society more just and harmonious and one that is based on human rights and mutual respect.

Like his predecessor, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, we hope that Craig will continue to consult and network with multicultural communities throughout the length and width of this great nation to help make Australia a better, fairer and more inclusive nation in all fields and manners.

Dr Yadu Singh

President, Federation of Indian Associations of NSW

http://www.fian.org.au, http://www.facebook.com/FianInc, http://www.twitter.com/FianInc

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http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

This is simply ignorant and racist

Sydney, NSW
15th December, 2015

The Cartoon by Mr Bill Leak in The Australian newspaper on Monday, 14th Dec, 2015 is ignorant and racist.

Courtesy The Australian newspaper

Courtesy The Australian newspaper

It depicts a few poor Indians in India trying to eat the solar panels, with Mango Chutney. The message from the cartoon is that Indians don’t know what the Solar Panels are for or that Indians need to worry about Food, instead of high tech Solar Panels.

Bill Leak is wrong on both aspects.

Solar Panels are increasingly used in India, because of plentiful supply of sunshine, subsidy by the authorities and erratic supply of conventional energy. I know that a few people in my own village in Uttar Pradesh State have been using it for variety of purposes for many years.

Indians are fully capable of handling technology. Mobile Internet and Mobile Phones are every where, even in the remote parts of the nation. Social media is quite common everywhere.

India needs energy ie electricity. Coal-fire powered thermal power centres are the most common source for the energy, but India is making progress to diversify into Nuclear energy and Solar power. This is a responsible step because it will reduce pollution and help in climate change.

India is the fourth biggest source of global pollution. Anything which will reduce this undesirable contribution is a welcome step.

India is a developing economy but is not a economic backwater. It is 3rd biggest economy on PPP basis. It is a global leader in IT and is the fastest growing economy since last quarter of 2014, surpassing China. The days of primitive nature of economy are long gone, but people like Bill Leak seem to be stuck on the state of India in 1950s.

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Economic growth in India surpassed China this year

(Source: Charles Schwab, International Monetary Fund data as of 11/20/2015.

China’s growth rate is widely expected to decline. The IMF forecasts GDP will slow from around 6.8% in 2015 to 6.3% in 2016. However, the IMF forecasts India’s growth rate of about 7.3% in 2015 is expected to reach 7.5% in 2016 and continue to rise to 7.7% by 2020.)

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Undoubtedly, India has many poor people, but it also has approx. 300+ million strong middle class, which has the knowledge, money and interest in, and will happily benefit from, newer sources of electricity. After all, India has plentiful of sunshine.

Bill Leak probably does not know that Indians have been the number one source of migrants to Australia over last few years. They are coming as the skilled migrants too, thus contributing to the Australian economy.

There are about 450,000 people of Indian heritage currently in Australia.

I read the article in The Australian today (15th Dec, 2015). Like others, I felt offended with the inherent racist message in the Cartoon. Bill Leak has, in the past, claimed that freedom to express is a fundamental right and that right includes right to offend. It may be true on the theoretical basis, but it is equally stupid to say or convey something which is without sufficient basis or conveying something which is unwarranted.

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Yadu Singh ‏@dryadusingh Dec 15 

, I hope you know about it.

, you are ignorant & racist. Please read up about India. should apologize.

Indian HC in Aus ‏@navdeepsuri Dec 15

Fully aware and doing what is required. Thanks

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I remember a Cartoon in Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) a few months ago, stereotyping Jewish people in a very adverse way, leading to significant outcry. This forced the SMH to apologise for the Cartoon.

Will Bill Leak and The Australian newspaper do the same in this case is something which we would wait and watch.

Further info:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/14/australian-newspaper-cartoon-depicting-indians-eating-solar-panels-attacked-racist?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/cartoons/bleak-gallery/image-gallery/ee8a4ef1032a9da5a37c87ecb7f34c5c

Dr Yadu Singh
http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh
http://www.Facebook.com/dryadusingh