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/

OFBJP Australia plays community politics and harms BJP

Sydney 8th July, 2014

It is disappointing to see OFBJP Australia, especially Balesh Dhankar, playing politics inside the community and in the process, is harming the BJP. OFBJP Australia should operate above and away from the politics among and inside community associations, but unfortunately, visionless leadership of OFBJP Australia is unable to understand this simple fact.

I explain the matter below. 👇👇

INDAUS Inc had some difficulties due to issues inside the Executive Committee. Since it became impossible to resolve them, it called an Executive Committee meeting on 18th May, 2014, after Secretary, Mr Anagan Babu refused to call an EC meeting despite repeated requests. Not only did Mr Anagan Babu and Mr Stanley D’Cuz not attend the meeting, but also they tried to sabotage it. They were calling others to not attend it.

So, What is their agenda?

Not calling an EC meeting, not attending an EC meeting, telling others to not attend it, not doing anything on behalf of INDAUS and writing to people outside INDAUS seem to fit with their agenda to destroy INDAUS.

People had had enough and were not prepared to be blackmailed by these two. You expect Public Officer to play a constructive role, but he was very much part of this destructive game. Mr D’Cruz is in fact the mentor of Mr Babu in their destructive games.

This was an extra-ordinary situation, needing extra-ordinary steps.

EC meeting was called by the President and Vice President. See below.

EC Meeting passed an unanimous resolution to dissolve the committee and request an independent person and Lawyer, Mr Navjot Singh, to be returning Officer for the election on 20th July, 2014. Members will elect a new team then. There was no other option. The dysfunction created by these two had to end.

We have the unfortunate situation where these two disgruntled persons, Mr Stanley D’Cruz and Mr Anagan Babu, whose contributions have been negligible, if not negative, have tried to damage us by writing a public email to our adversaries and media. Some of our senseless adversaries, especially OFBJP Australia, are running a social media campaign against us.

There is no office bearer in INDAUS right now, until 2oth July election. There is no President or Secretary anymore.

Mr Babu wrote himself as the secretary, which is not correct. There is no Executive Committee anymore until 20th July, 2014.

Contrary to their claims, INDAUS is not under the supervision of Dept of Fair Trading or anyone else. It is a disgusting and untrue claim.

Harming INDAUS of which they held high positions is exactly the behaviour of what Jai Chand and Mir Zaffer did in our Indian history. This is an ultimate disloyal conduct. This is an outrageous and despicable act on behalf of Mr D’Cruz and Mr Babu.

This indiscipline and their anti-INDAUS activities will not be tolerated and actions will take place in due course.

I enclose the EC meeting notice dated 5th May, 2014 and the Minutes of our EC meeting dated 18th May, 2014.

EC meeting request 5th May, 2014
————————————————————————————————————-
5th May, 2014
To
The EC members of INDAUS Inc
(By email)
Despite many requests to secretary to call an EC meeting, an EC meeting has not been called.
Similarly, despite several requests to Secretary, the list of INDAUS members has not been given to
the EC members. This is harmful to INDAUS and is clearly not satisfactory or acceptable.
We are therefore calling the EC meeting:
At 4 PM, 18th May, Sunday, 2014, Wenty League, 50 Smith St, Wentworthville NSW 2145
Agenda:
1. Payment approval for pending invoices and expenses incurred on INDAUS behalf
2. Financial statement and status
3. List of INDAUS members
4. Complaints about INDAUS members
5. Setting the process for Constitutional amendment to overcome the clause stating that the
first Executive Committee will work for 3 years
6. Any other issue with the approval from the Chair
Secretary, Mr Anagan Babu, and Treasurer, Mr Anil Sharma, are requested to bring all relevant
documents/statements in hard copy form to the meeting. Public Officer is requested to bring the
papers he has submitted to Dept of Fair Trading Dept, after AGM.
All EC members are requested to attend this important EC meeting.
Best regards
Dr Yadu Singh Mr Gurdeep Singh
President Vice President
INDAUS INDAUS
—————————————————————————————————————–
—————————————————————————————————————–
INDAUS Inc Minutes 18-5-14

Minutes of Executive Committee Meeting, Sunday, 18th May, 2014, Wenty League, Wentworthville, NSW.

Present:
1. Dr Yadu Singh, President
2. Gurdeep Singh, Vice President
3. Mr Jagdish Lodhia, Committee member
4. Venkata Prasad Ragipani , Committee member
5. Chidanand Puttarevanna, Committee member
6. Sarath Madhavapeddi, Committee member
7. Arun Nanda, Committee member
8. Mr Anil Sharma (who could not attend the meeting physically but came over phone, heard the resolutions and agreed with them, and who had sent an SMS earlier in the day favouring dissolution of EC, and holding fresh election)

Apologies:
1. Mr Abhilash Narendran (via Sarath Madhavapeddi)
2. Anagan Babu (who sent a long SMS with many words including “Anyway, I am not available today”)
Absent:
1. Mr Stanley D’Cruz
2. Dr Ray Pallath
3. Mr Gaurav Nirwal (currently overseas, but has earlier expressed his desire in writing to resign from his position in EC)

Chaired by Mr Jagdish Lodhia

Meeting Chair welcomed members and declared that the quorum (which is 5 for INDAUS EC meetings) is met, and that the meeting is constitutionally valid and proper meeting. Mr Gurdeep Singh was little late but took part in all resolutions and decisions.

Background of the today’s Executive Committee was outlined as below.

On 5th May, 2014, President (Dr Yadu Singh) and Vice President (Clr Gurdeep Singh), called for an Executive Committee (EC) meeting to be held on May 18, 2014, after repeated requests for an EC meeting were not acted upon by Secretary (Mr Anagan Babu). Requests from EC members for INDAUS membership list was also declined by Secretary (Mr Anagan Babu) and Public Officer (Mr Stanley D’Cruz). It is clear that current EC is grossly dysfunctional. No EC meeting has taken place since Dec, 2013, despite numerous requests, no activity has been done by INDAUS since Aug, 2013. There is a serious question mark on the survival and reputation of INDAUS now. INDAUS is in extra-ordinary situation.

All agreed that the current EC is not functioning at all and everyone, including those who were not in the meeting today, wants the current EC to be dissolved and fresh elections to be organized to elect a new Executive Committee.

It was also debated and agreed that Community Justice Centre (CJC) route to get rid of current EC is not practical because CJC cannot force attendance of anyone without their consent. It was felt that Mr Stanley D’Cruz or Mr Babu approaching CJC on behalf of INDAUS is not appropriate because EC has not given any such authority or direction to either of them. Executive Committee (EC) meetings are the right forum to discuss, debate and decide issues in any association.

It was also debated and agreed that removal of current EC via Special General Meeting (SGM) is also not practical or necessary for various reasons, including availability of easier and more practical route of an EC meeting.

It was debated and agreed that the best, the most practical and the least harmful/disruptive option is to dissolve EC via an EC meeting, and organize fresh election under supervision of a neutral person. After all, everyone including those who were not in the meeting today wants to have current EC dissolved and new one elected.

All accepted that there is no other practical option to deal with gross dysfunction and infighting inside INDAUS EC, except to dissolve it and order fresh election under supervision of a neutral person with legal background.

Following resolutions were passed unanimously, signed by members.

1. Treasurer, Mr Anil Sharma, is requested to pay Maya Da Dhaba and Website providers within 7 days from today.
2. Current EC is hereby dissolved effective from close of business (COB) on 30/5/2014 and fresh election is to be held within 30 days, under supervision of a neutral person (Mr Navjot Singh), who is also a practising legal professional and is not a member of INDAUS.
3. Mr Navjot Singh is appointed as the Public Officer, and previous Public Officer Mr Stanley D’Cruz is removed from this position.
4. Mr Navjot Singh will take over the responsibility immediately and will complete formalities with Dept of Fair Trading Dept.
5. Mr Navjot Singh will be the returning Officer who will supervise the election, to be conducted within 30 days from 30/5/2014.
6. Mr Navjot Singh will supervise and execute the process of notice for election of INDAUS Executive committee, seeking help from outgoing President and secretary.
7. EC dissolution will be effective from COB of 30/5/14.
8. Fresh election of EC to be held on/before 30/6/14.
Mr Anil Sharma (Treasurer) came over phone, heard above resolutions, and agreed with them.

Executive Committee also decided to authorize Dr Yadu Singh (current President) to deal with any and all urgent matters, including media enquiries involving INDAUS, while new committee is getting elected. (This part was passed by everyone except Sarath Madhavapeddi, who had left the meeting by this time.)

Meeting minutes written by Dr Yadu Singh

Signed by Meeting chair: Mr Jagdish Lodhia
——————————————————————————————————————-

I urge OFBJP Australia’s Balesh Singh Dhankar, Nitin Gupta, Vijeth Shetty and others to be balanced in their commentary and include INDAUS EC meeting minutes if they can not stop from making senseless comments against us.

This is not a core OFBJP job to abuse community associations and people in them in their mad rush to become community leaders themselves. OFBJP Australia needs to stay away from politics among and inside community associations, and work with all associations for the interests of BJP. If they do not mend their ways, they will be harming OFBJP Australia and BJP.

I am ashamed to have trusted Mr Stanley D’Cruz and Mr Anagan Babu, but that is life.

I did not wish to wash internal laundry publicly but have no option but respond in this manner.

I am happy to answer any question.

Finally, OFBJP Australia guys, with hardly any community service, contribution, or presence, are trying to do what is not their core job. In their mad hurry to be recognized, they get involved in the politics in/among community associations. This is a gross disservice to the interests of BJP. I condemn their behavior.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/8th July, 2014

India House in Sydney: what is this about & why do we need it?

INDIA-House2

(See an important update at the end of this post)

The Indian Australian community in Australia comprises of about 400,000 people, out of which about 150,000 reside in New South Wales. Ours is a growing community and about half of our people have migrated to Australia during the last ten years.

Every community is unique and has its special characteristics and requirements.  In this sense, we are no different from the other multicultural communities in Australia.   Many of these requirements can be fulfilled by a Community Centre, which acts not only as the centre for all community/social interactions and mentoring/guiding services, but also for entertainment activities.  Private family occasions like weddings and other events can also take place there.  Any such centre should have sufficient space and facilities to cater to a range of activities.  This Centre should be able to self-sustain financially, and should be run professionally.

Despite being a major community, we do not have this  community Centre, which is in total contrast with other communities like Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Serbian, Croatian and others, many of which are smaller than ours, but do have such community premises.

India House has been talked about for more than 20 years but nothing obviously has happened. Talks and visions should have moved to something realistic and something fruitful by now, but it is yet to happen. We believe that it did not happen only because serious and sincere efforts were never made.

Projects of this nature require huge capital to make it happen.  We strongly believe that finances can be raised if there is a group of dedicated & committed people in our community who have integrity, vision, determination, perseverance, willingness and capacity to work on the plan for 3-5 years. The fund raising components must have multiple components, and it should include fairs, charity drives, direct contributions from the community, and also sponsorships from governments and businesses.

Our initial spadework informs us that there is sufficient goodwill for this huge venture in our community. We recognise that the biggest hurdle in this huge task is the distrust community members have towards community groups/leaders because they have not been transparent, accountable and result oriented, and in fact, some have used their groups for financial benefits. To make it worse, some have become branches of political parties. It is a common knowledge that finances generated from events, small and large, have often been mismanaged and possibly misused. The fund sourcing process therefore must remain ethical, transparent and must be supervised by at least two reputed finance professionals. This fund-raising must have the charity status and tax concessions.

We wish to take this project earnestly and start the process by donating the entire amount saved after expenses from the INDAUS FAIR on Sunday, 11 August 2013, which will take place at Rosehill Gardens, Rosehill Race Course, Rosehill, NSW. We will outline our detailed plan and the process of fund raising soon.

Our plan is to have a nodal group of 10 people who will do the initial work, using the expertise in law, planning, project work, finance, Real Estate, accounting and marketing among others.

This will be followed by a meeting with community representatives/leaders and members of media with the purpose of brain storming, exchanging ideas, revising and fine tuning the project. Media is so essential for this project and this project will be an “inclusive” work as far as practicable.

The Project will be super headed by a management committee, Board of Trustees and Advisory Council, and will have membership with defined benefits of such membership. The guiding principle will and must always be transparency, accountability and proper governance with an added motto of “service with integrity”.

More info from dryadusingh@gmail.com, www.yadusingh.wordpress.com  and www.indaus.org.au

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/2nd May 2013

President, Indian Australian Association of NSW Inc

————————————- UPDATE: 31st Aug, 2014 https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/india-house-in-sydney-update/ ————————————-