Indian Med. Assoc. Bull. of Sept. 14, 04 carried the story of a suit filed by David Franklin (an insider) against Pfizer on the charge of suppression of a 1998 study of results regarding the drug Gabapentin. It had shown that the drug did not work for the advertised Bipolar Disorder. This was sought to be done by lavishing perks on doctors, giving generous fees to thought leaders, using ghostwriters, and planting people to ask favourable questions. The study report had also mentioned that a 16 year old committed suicide while taking this drug. The company paid $ 240 million as criminal fine and another 152 million as fine to State & Federal Healthcare. ............... .More

The Impact of Globalisation on Indian Economic Development By Amit Bhaduri

I am deeply honoured to have been invited to deliver a lecture in the Frontier Lecture series on this occasion. I share with you the privilege to celebrate the memory of one of the most talented and distinguished economists who shaped to a considerable extent the economic thinking of India immediately after independence. Dr. John Matthai did it in many capacities, as a finance minister, as chairman of independent commission, and as a writer and as a life long teacher. What is more, he did it all with rare dedication, to the sole purpose of India's progress. Nothing stood in the way of his determined dedication. He was as happy to take up the responsibility as a finance minister as to give it up when he differed. The office did not interest him, only the bigger cause did. It appears we no longer have many persons of such integrity in public life. So while I am privileged to celebrate with you the memory of this exceptional intellectual, ....................... More

Public Statement On The Gujarat Carnage 2002

The recent Tehelka expose of the "Gujarat riots" of 2002, demonstrate very starkly that these were neither "spontaneous" nor "riots", but were in fact mass murder, loot and mayhem orchestrated and organized by the top echelons of the Gujarat units of the VHP, the Bajrang Dal, and the BJP with the full connivance and complicity of the Gujarat government headed by Narendra Modi. The Tehelka tapes show senior functionaries of these organizations and of the government bragging and confessing to their having committed and participated in committing heinous crimes like brutal mass murder, rape, burning, looting etc. Many of them claim and boast about how Narendra Modi explicitly encouraged the carnage and told the killers and rioters that they were being given a free rein of three days. These people also claim how several senior police officials not only aided and abetted these killers by their actions and inaction but in many cases themselves participated in the carnage.
These senior functionaries who boast about having committed these crimes also claim how Modi provided shelter to these people and even got inconvenient judges changed to ensure that these mass murderers got out on bail. They also boast about having successfully subverted the integrity of the Nanavati Commission. In short, the tapes reveal a horrific state of affairs in Gujarat, which seems to have gone beyond the pale of the rule of law, and the most basic norms of humanity. That it has become a State where the government is not being carried on in accordance with the Constitution.
It has become imperative that a special investigating team be immediately constituted to investigate the involvement of Narendra Modi and other senior functionaries in his government and the police in the killings, their abetment and the shelter and help given to the criminals. This SIT can be constituted by the Supreme Court and should be monitored on a regular basis and asked to compete their investigation within a few months. This would be one of the most important investigations ever undertaken in this country.
But most immediately, the persons shown on tape confessing to having committed crimes must be immediately arrested and those of them who are serving officials, must be placed under suspension. If the State government shows any hesitation in doing this, that will only reinforce the overwhelming evidence of their complicity in the Carnage.
The pending cases of Naroda Patia, Gulbarga society etc. which have been stayed by the Supreme Court, pending hearing of the applications for their transfer outside Gujarat for the last 4 years, must be immediately taken up by the court, ordered to be expeditiously reinvestigated by an independent agency and cases tried expeditiously.
We therefore call upon the Central government and the Supreme Court, whose duty it is to enforce the rule of law and protect the Constitution, to immediately take the above steps. We also call upon all right thinking people of Gujarat to come out in support of these demands. What is at stake is not merely the survival of Constitutional values and the rule of law but the survival of civilisation itself in this country.

Signed by:
Admiral R.H.Tahiliani (Former Navy Chief, Chairman Transparency International,India)
S.P. Shukla (Former Finance Secy, GOI)
Shanti Bhushan (Former Law Minister)
Muchkund Dubey (Former Foreign Secretary, GOI)
Ramaswamy Iyer (Former Water Resources Secy, GOI)
E.A.S. Sarma (Former Power Secretary, GOI)
B. George Verghese (Senior Journalist)
Madhu Bhaduri (Former Ambassador, GOI)
Medha Patkar (Social Activist)
Aruna Roy (Social Activist, Former member NAC)
Arundhati Roy (Writer, Social Activist)
Arvind Kejriwal (RTI Activist, Magsaysay awardee)
Sandeep Pande (Social Activist, Magsaysay awardee)
Major Gen. S.G. Vombatkere (Retd. Mysore)
Prof. Amit Bhaduri (Former Professor of Economics, JNU)
Prof. K.M.Shrimali (Department of History, Delhi University)
Arun Kumar (Professor Economics, JNU)
Prof. Girijesh Pant (School of International Studies, JNU)
Prof. Pramod Yadava (Professor, Dean, School of Life Sciences JNU)
Prof. Sujata Patel (Dept. of Sociology, University of Pune)
Prof. Achin Vinayak (Professor, Third World Academy)
Nasir Tayabji (Director, Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies, Jamia Milia Islamia)
Jean Dreze (Visiting Professor, Allahabad University)
Arshad Alam (Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies, Jamia Milia Islamia)
Shailesh Gandhi (Convenor, NCPRI)
Vikram Lal (Director, Common Cause)
Shabnam Hashmi (Social Activist, ANHAD)
Dunu Roy (Social Activist and Director, Hazard Centre)
Ravi Chopra (Director, People's Science Institute)
N. Bhaskar Rao (Director, Centre for media studies)
Dr. Ajay Mehra (Director, Centre for public affairs)
Manoj Mitta (Journalist)
Sundeep Dougal (Journalist)
Ajit Bhattacharjee (Journalist)
Sudhirendra Sharma (Journalist)
Smitu Kothari (Dir. Centre for Intercultural Resources, Co-Founder Lokayan)
Himanshu Thakkar (Centre for Water Policy)
Nandini Oza (Social Activist, M.P.)
Ashish Kothari (Founder Member Kalpavriksh)
Vinod Raina (Founder Eklavya)
Rohit Prajapati (Social Activist, Baroda)
Trupti Shah (Social Activist, Baroda)
S. Srinivasan (Baroda)
Sanjay Kak (Filmmaker)
Arshad Amanullah (Documentary Filmmaker)
Nikhil Dey (Social Activist)
Ashok Rao (Secy. National Confederation of Officers Association)
Kamini Jaiswal (Lawyer)
Prashant Bhushan (Public Interest Lawyer)

Climate change and social oppression leading to suicides in Bundelkhand – Study By Pragya Vats

Almost the entire Bundelkhand region except Jhansi has been covered under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme – a government program aimed not only to provide rural employment but also at restoring infrastructures in villages by undertaking water conservation, repair and upkeep of village tanks among other things. But so far, there are many blocks where not a single household has received 100 days of work or unemployment allowance.

"When the scheme was launched, people hoped that it will bring some relief to their problems," said Sanjay Singh of Paramarth, ActionAid's local partner, "Either people have no job cards or no jobs."

Pointing out the problems with the implementation of the scheme Singh said:

"Those who got job under the scheme barely had 20 days of work; even wages of many workers have not been paid for many months". ........Read More

New heights in outsourcing

West starts exporting its elderly to India for care
Families in the developed countries struggling to pay the spiralling costs of care for their elderly relatives would soon have a new cheaper option: outsourcing to India.

Extreme though the idea may sound, one man has already made the move successfully with his parents, and the concept is being regarded with interest by care charities.
Steve Herzfeld, a 56 year old American, was caring for his elderly parents for three years when, at his wit’s end over finances, he decided to relocate them to India in November 2006.
The three of them rented a house in Puducherry. With the help of a friend, Mr. Herzfeld organised a team of six to nurse, massage and care for his parents.
They pay £1,000 a month for the house, bills and medication–leaving them with money to put aside for a rainyday. Had they stayed in the US they would have faced nursing-home fees three times that amount. Mr. Herzfeld’s parents would not have been able to afford such charges–and any way, he could not face the prospect of putting them in a home.

Frances Herzfeld, 89, was suffering from advanced Parkinson’s disease and Ernest Herzfeld, 93, has Alzheimer’s. Mr. (Steve) Herzfeld had retrained as a nursing assistant, not so much to nurse them himself but to know enough to manage their care. However, by late 2006, he knew they were so fragile they could not continue as they were. In the Florida nursing home he found for his mother, he knew she would spend her time “in a wheelchair, with four or five others in a room, while a nurse read the paper all day.”
Mr. Herzfeld is a disciple of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation programme and since 1982 has been taking part in a long-term research project using advanced yoga techniques. The Maharishi encourages disciples to care for their family, so Mr. Herzfeld has taken time out to do this.

When a friend suggested the idea of relocating to India–for its far lower nursing costs and the promise of some quality of life for his parents-Mr. Herzfeld could see a lot of merit in the apparently outlandish idea. He had spent five years in India before, knew the country well and also could count on considerable help from his friend. So they moved to Puducherry.
Frances died in May, but Mr. Herzfeld still feels the move was worthwhile. “The big benefit was seeing my parents still had some dignity in their life,” he says.

However, he would only recommend that others took the same route if they had family or friends there or had lived in India before. “I don’t want to encourage people to do it when they could be very unhappy,” he says. “This is an environment that some Westerners thrive in and others don’t like particularly.”
Finding English speaking staff has been difficult, as most of them can get better paid jobs abroad.
Nonethless, wages for a nurse amount to about £125 a month and drugs cost a fifth of what they do in the US. Instead of using every cent to pay for care, the father and son are now actually able to put some away.
Despite his own reservations, Mr. Herzfeld is clearly a poineer and others–potentially millions-may want to follow him to warmer climes and more affordable care.
Nevertheless, there may be more pressure soon from a demanding baby-boomer generation of pensioners that is prepared to question authority and traditional stances.
U.K. property consultant King Sturge advises on the nursing home sector and senior associate Anthony Oldfield says: “There is scope in the next five years or so for British nursing home companies whose names are well known in the UK to expand abroad.”

When the issue starts being debated, it will have to be an international discussion, not a national one. Within Europe, pensioners are tending to move from northern countries–such as the UK and Germany–to the south, to Spain, Greece and Italy.
The Norwegian Ministry of Health already organises “health trips” for people with rheumatism and skin problems to Spain, Turkey and Montenegro. Sooner or later, this will need to be addressed on a European or global level. The world population of 80-plus year olds is set to soar from 90 million now to 400 million by 2050, according to the World Demographic Association.

In Puducherry, Mr. Herzfeld has been surprised to receive e-mails from people who want to pack their ageing spouses off to India on their own.
But while there is no infrastructure for that now, Mr. Steve (who has studied accountancy) says : “It appears to me that there is a potential industry here–in areas that are nice and quiet, with less pollution. You could staff them, even build rooms for family members to live in and provide Western comfort levels.”
{Courtesy : The Hindu, 31 August 2007}


In his deposition to the jury Supreme Court Advocate Prashant Bhushan presented evidence on how, since 1991, most of the key influential economic policy makers in India, including members of the planning commission, secretaries of the Finance Ministry and Economic Advisors to the Government have been people who have had stints at the World Bank. ‘They have moved seamlessly between the World Bank and the Government of India as if the latter were just a division of the former’, he said. Bhushan singled out the case of the current czar of economic policy Montek Singh Ahluwalia who spent the first 11 years of his career at the World Bank. Since then he has been Commerce Secretary, Finance Secretary and now Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. ‘There are several dozen such instances and it should be of little surprise that the Bank has been able to easily impose its ideology and policies in India’, added Bhushan.

A Letter To Justice Iyer

{Eminent jurist Justice VR Krishna Aiyer, issued a statement on Septmeber 3, 2007 which was published by The Hindu of September 4 with the title "Krishna Aiyer Welcomes Reliance Promis". The Content of the news item appeared to us as favouring Relinace Fresh. So we wrote a letter to Justice Aiyer. The letter and the reply given by Justice Aiyer are being published here. Editor}
Read More.........

These are Crocodile Tears

A news item appeared in various news papers including The Gaurdian of London and 'The Hindu' of India which evoked good sense of readers but simultaneously put them in a quandary. First see the news.
On August 23, in a public meeting to celebrate 200th anniversary of slave trade abolition, mayor of London Ken Livingstone with his eyes full of tears beged pardon on behalf of citizens of capital for atrocities committed on Black Slaves.

London mayor virtually wept while describing to the memorial meeting the atrocities committed on slaves transported from African continent during colonial period US human right activist and black leader Rev. Jasse Jackson had to console the mayor.
Anyone who will read this news, will say it is never too late. If progeny of those who did outragious deeds and committed untold atrocities not only on Africaners but also on Asians and Indians, for centuries realises its blunderous mistakes, pardon them and forget the history. Let a new chapter of relation begins.

However, has the mind of white man's child really changed, his heart reformed? The events occuring in our country and the world indicate otherwise. The tears of Ken seems to us the tears of a erocodile. Why?
Because, on these very same days a team of Englishmen is visiting India to commemorate what their encestors did in 1857. After having quelled our First War of Independence, Britishers massacred nearly 10 million unarmed people in North and Central India in 1857. Rememberance of these atrocities still causes quiver in our hearts. In our Allahabad, people were hanged on the trees and dead bodies were left there for days in the middle of the town. The visiting Englishmen have not come here to apologise for those crimes. Instead, they are here to offer floral tributes to those who committed that crime. If they were only to remember their encestors they could come at any time. But they have come at a time when whole nation is observing 150th aniversiry of our First War of Independence. Is it not like sprinkling salt on burn sore. London's Mayor should have stopped these Englishman from visiting India at this sensitive juncture.
But this is a minor event. These are the same Englishman who with Americans have killed millions in Iraq. Nearly 4.2 million Iraq families are rendered homeless and forced to go to other countries as refugee. These are the same Englishman who faught with Iraq people in 1991 too, and afterward forced UN to impose economic sanctions on Iraq which claimed another 8 lakhs children due to paucity of essential drugs. All the allegations put against Iraq were later found to be utterly baseless and false. The atrocities committed on Iraq are in no way less than those committed on slaves.

In fact the mindset of Englishmen, Europeans or Americans is not basically different from what it was at the time of slave trade. Two things are deeply sattled in their nimdset. First is, that all those who live outside Europe or America are uncivilised or barbarian and whitemen have a burdon to make them civilised. Second , all resources and money outside of Europe must come under their control. Earlier they attacked, their armies looted. Although they have changed their outer manners, inner spirit is still unchanged. Jasse Jackson rightly observes "they have stopped using ropes and bullets. Instead, they use World Bank, IMF (and WTO)." Aims are the same. Earlier it was state colonialism now it is corporate colonialism. These old colonialists make only 15% population of the world, but they consume 85% resources of the world. Where these resource will come from? Countries like us will sustain their affluence. By showing to us crocodile tears and false sympathy, they have entered into and are eating the vitals like industry, servieces and agriculture of our economy.

We mistook their motives. Even people like Raja Ram Mohan Rai believed english language a boon to the country. What we got in return was slavery and hunger. Today, in the same manner country's so called elite believe corporate system to be a boon to the country. However, they do'nt know what mistake they are committing. Country man, specially the youth should not, however, make the mistake.

Workshops to be organised by Swaraj Vidyapeeth

Workshops to be organised by Swaraj Vidyapeeth

1. Banglore

From December 24 to 30, 2007
Director : Prof. E. P. Menon, Phone 080 – 22269862
Topic : Globalisation : A critique and possibilities beyond present day order

2. Allahabad
Topics :  Indo-US Nuclear Deal Indo-US Knowledge Initiative on Agricultural Research, Education and Training SEZs Corporate/Contract Farming Retail Market and Corporate Houses Cooperative movement Vs Corporatisation.

Venue : IERT (Near Prayag Rly Station), Allahabad
From October 12 to October 15, 2007

Apart from above two big workshops, several small one day workshops are also to be held in Chandigarh, Jabalpur, Chitrakoot, Lucknow, Ballia, Hazaribag. The dates for these workshops are to be decided after consultation with concerned local Co-workers.

National Assets are for Sale ! By Dr. Krishna Swaroop Anandi

Public sector enterprises, once termed as ‘Modern Temples of India’ by Jawahar Lal Nehru, are now putting up their surplus (?) land for sale. This is being done in order to ameliorate them from chronic sickness. The following is the list of a few public sector enterprises which are readying themselves for the sale of their commercial land properties at prime locations in the country in order to revive themselves–
The government has already sold some of the commercial land properties of public sector undertakings like National Textile Corporation (NTC), Hindustan Antibiotics, HMT and Praga Tools Limited. It is now in the process of further sale of the surplus (?) commercial land properties of these companies. Out of the 26 public sector enterprises for which the government has approved the revival package, more than 15 enterprises have surplus real estates including commercial land properties, buildings,office spaces, hospitals, schools, etc.

Industrial Areas on a Decline

Some 120 years ago, a few dynamic and innovative entrepreneurs of Ludhiana started manufacturing different types of sewing machines for the region spreading up to Lahore. Now a days, this glorious industry of Ludhiana is on a decline due to the Taiwanese, Japanese and Chinese machines.
Chinese manufacturers are resorting to all sorts of unfair and foul trade practices with a view to uproot our sewing machine industry. “I was shocked to see my brand name V. Ratna and Company on Chinese machines during my trip to China as a part of a 30 member delegation”, said a Ludhiana based sewing machines manufacturer.



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