This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
MUMBAI | TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2010
www.dnaindia.com | epaper.dnaindia.com
People descend on Chaityabhoomi, lakhs pay tribute to Dalit visionary
Dressed in white, devotees stand in a 2km queue, stretching up to Worli, to get darshan at the memorial near Shivaji Park
Manoj R Nair
The narrow beach, where the memorial of Dr BR Ambedkar is situated, and the roads leading to it turned into a human sea as lakhs flocked the Chaityabhoomi on Monday on the architect of Indian Constitution’s 54th death anniversary . People stood in a 2km-long queue, stretching up to Worli, to have a glimpse of the memorial. Many had started begun queuing up from Sunday On Monday afternoon, thousands . more joined the queue, hoping to reach the samadhi by midnight. It took over six hours for people to get to the memorial. Dressed like many others in white shirt and trousers with an Ambedkar badge and waiting to join the queue with his two sons, Sharad Yadav, a Chembur resident, said that a visit to the memorial was an annual pilgrimage for his family. “I have not missed it even once in the last 20 years. I take a day off from work to come here,” he said. Those who do not have the time to wait in queues create their own little memorials in the wet sand. The beach was decorated with makeshift shrines decorated with flowers and lighted with candles and incense sticks. Later, the crowds gathered at the Shivaji Park ground for a public rally . Most shops around Shivaji Park remained closed. Amid posters welcoming the pilgrims, there were boards announcing a new feature film on the life of Ramabai, Dr Ambedkar’s wife. The streets were filled with hawkers selling literature on Dr Ambedkar, his portraits and plaster busts. Artists tattooed his images on people’s arms for Rs50. Police had estimated that a crowd between 1.5 to 2 lakh would visit the Chaityabhoomi throughout the day. To control the huge crowd, police officials barricaded the areas with tin sheds. Earlier, police used bamboo to fence the area but people would often jump over it thus damaging it. Additional Commissioner of Police, Central Region, Vineet Agarwal said, “Tin barricades helped considerably Only four gates kept open for . entry and exit from where our officials could control the movement”. “Our officials also went around with decibel meters to ensure that noise levels at the rally did not cross the permissible limits. Warnings had been issued to representatives holding public meetings that if they do not adhere to the permitted noise levels, a case would be registered against them,” said Agarwal.
NGO demands Ambedkar image on currency notes
As the country paid rich tributes to Dr BR Ambedkar on his 54th death anniversary on Monday, a little-known organisation in Mumbai has suggested that the Government considers carrying the Indian Constitution architect’s picture on currency notes. At Chaityabhoomi, Ambedkar’s memorial, the tens of thousands of his followers, who thronged the shrine, saw large banners promoting the cause. Ironically, the demand has no been put forth by any Dalit group. Muslim volunteers of an NGO have come up with the demand. “Ambedkar was not only the leader of the downtrodden but was also the architect of modern India. And what better way to honour his contribution than to give him an esteemed place on the Indian currency,” said Saira Patel, general secretary of Mumbaikar Asanghatith Gharelu Kamgar Union, a non-governmental organisation working with Dalits and Muslims in Andheri. Patel added that they have sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. “We will approach Dalit leaders for support and are considering a tie-up with mobile phone companies to initiate a public voting campaign through SMS,” she said. She added that unlike in the West, where several leaders are featured on currency notes, in India we only have Mahatma Gandhi’s picture. “Gandhiji is no doubt the most recognised face of the Indian freedom struggle. But we think that Dr Ambedkar also deserves to be on the Indian currency Patel said. ,” Mohammad Patel, another member of the group said, “We are not saying that Gandhi’s pictures should be taken off the notes. However, Dr Ambedkar’s pictures can appear on at least some denominations.” Though the demand for Dr Ambedkar’s to feature on currency notes has been made by a Muslim group, there is support aplenty from Dalit organisations. Rajendra Gavai, national general secretary of the Republican Party of India said, “Dr Ambedkar is the architect of the country’s constitution. We will support the demand.”
The younger the child, the deeper is the mobile radiation penetration as their skulls are thinner
Cellphones may put your child at risk of brain tumor
Absorption of electromagnetic radiation from a cell phone (frequency being GSM 900 MHz) penetrates the skull of an adult by 25%, that of a 10year-old by 50% and a fiveyear-old by 75%, says a report on cell tower radiation which has been submitted by an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay professor to the , Department of Telecommunications (DOT). “The younger the child, the deeper is the penetration due to the fact that their skulls are thinner and still developing. Hence, it’s critical that children under 16 use cell phones only for short essential calls as they have much bigger danger of getting a brain tumor,” said the 30-page report written by Girish Kumar, electrical engineering department, IIT, Bombay . Stating that currently there are over 50 crore cell phone users and nearly 4.4 lakh cell phone towers to meet the communication demand in India, the report recommends tightening the radiation norms, which must be simultaneously cost-effective without causing inconvenience to the users. “A person should not use a cell phone for more than 18 to 24 minutes daily. This information is not commonly known to the people in India, so millions use cell phones for over an hour per day without realising its associated health hazards,” states the report. “In India, we have adopted very relaxed radiation norms
RAY OF TROUBLE
> Both a pregnant woman and her foetus are vulnerable because RF radiations continuously react with the developing embryo and increasing cells > Irreversible infertility > Electromagnetic fields have been shown to affect the brain physiology > People living near mobile phone base stations are also at risk for developing neuropsychiatric problems as headache, memory loss, nausea, dizziness, tremors, muscle spasms, numbness, muscle and joint paint and depression; severe reactions include seizures, paralysis, psychosis and stroke > Cellular telephone frequencies can lead to damaged DNA
of 4.7 W/m2 (watt per metre square) for GSM 900, whereas serious health effects have been noted at as low as 0.0001 W/m2. It’s not just human beings, cell tower radiation can also adversely effect birds, animals and the environment. Though cell operators continue to claim that there are no health issues, it’s time we realised the seriousness of the health hazards due to radiation from cell phones and cell towers,” said Kumar.
Crowd gives cops a tough time
Lakhs of followers of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar descended at Chaityabhoomi in Dadar to pay homage to the architect of India’s Constitution on his 54th death anniversary . Railway police had a tough time as suburban trains and incoming trains were jam-packed with followers, headed towards Dadar, and later in the evening at CST, to catch outstation trains. “We asked followers to form queues so that there would be no chaos while entering the trains,” a senior official said. The long queues at the CST occupied the entire space on the mainline terminus and between platform number 7 and 8. The traffic police had closed and diverted many roads near Dadar throughout the day The Mumbai police had made . elaborate security arrangements to ensure that the day passes off peacefully without any untoward incident.
A woman defaces the Dadar station signboard while demanding the station to be renamed —Swapnil Sakhare DNA
I have not missed this annual pilgrimage even once in the last 20 years. I take a day off to come here
an Ambedkar follower
Being the architect of Indian Constitution, Ambedkar also deserves to be on the Indian currency
—Saira Patel, general
secretary of an NGO
Dadar signboard blackened
Activists of a little-known organisation blackened the signboard of Dadar station, demanding it be renamed after Babasaheb Ambedkar station.
Dalit leaders rethink state politics
The indication that Dalit politics in the state is in a churn came on the big day when Dalit intellectuals came under a forum and discussed Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s unique social engineering backed by developmental politics which resulted in a massive victory . The Republican Party of India (RPI) led by Ramdas Athavale reckons that tagging along with the ruling Congress-NCP has become detrimental to the party’s independent identity. The ill-treatment meted out to Athavale in the last assembly polls that led to his defeat at the hands of Congress-NCP and the failure to find a place for him in the Rajya Sabha has not gone down well among the RPI followers. Noted Dalit writer Arjun Dangle said, "Unless politics is driven by people-oriented programmes, it will not strike the right chord. How long can one survive on ideological sermons? The poor Dalit's big concerns are food, education and employment." Dalit organisations reckon that rampant corruption, disintegration of the cooperative movement and shrinking social welfare schemes are an outcome of the policies of the Congress and the NCP. Prakash Ambedkar, who leads the Bharip Bahujam Mahasangh (BBM), believes the Congress is responsible for the backwardness of Dalits because of its wrong economic policies. The Dalit leadership is also worried about the fact the younger generation is getting disillusioned with established leaders. While they want their leaders to be more pragmatic, they no longer consider the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena as untouchables.
KEM denies lapse led to donor’s death in liver transplant case
KEM hospital denied any negligence on its part that led to Sindhu Waikar’s death on Sunday. Waikar, 53, had donated a part of her liver to her son Rahul, 33, on November 5. It is the first time that a donor has died in a liver transplant operation, since the transplants started in the city five years ago. “It is an unfortunate incident. Sindhu was prone to infection due to old age. She was alive for a month; that shows there was nothing wrong with the surgery. She got infected later,” said a senior doctor from KEM hospital. Her death is the second blow for the family, as Rahul passed away on November 8. Waikars are poor fruit-sellers from Pune, and had sold their house to fund the operation. Experts feel that such things shouldn’t happen and the hospital should investigate A doctor, who had donated blood to Rahul during the operation, said, “Rahul surviving the operation was a miracle in itself. He had internal bleeding. We needed more than 67 units of blood bottles and 104 units of platelets. No other hospital could have saved him then.” While Jaslok Hospital was the first to set up the facility in 2005, followed by Fortis Hospital the next year, KEM started in June this year. In Mumbai, liver transplants are done only at KEM, Jaslok and Fortis hospitals. Jaslok and Fortis, with 14 and four operations, have a clean slate in terms of donors’ condition.
Another road slumps, leaves crater
A portion of the road at Lalji Pada Junction on Gosalia Road at Kandivli caved in on Monday afternoon, leaving behind a three-foot-deep, one sq-m crater. The collapse caused chaos during peak hour, following which traffic has been diverted and one lane has been closed. Immediately after the incident, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) got down to repair the road. The hydraulic department was rushed to the spot to detect the leakage. According to the hydraulic department it was very difficult to find the leakage on the pipeline as the line was discharged, Now the exact point will be located once the supply is started in the evening or in the morning.
into this. “We had informed the patients about the risks involved. Infection is a major risk in live liver transplant cases. Extra precautions will be taken henceforth. This is the third liver transplant in the hospital,” the doctor said.
The caved-in road at Kandivli on Monday —BL SONI DNA
EIGHTEEN YEARS AFTER THE BABRI MASJID DEMOLITION, MOST YOUTH IN THE CITY FEEL THAT RUEING THE PAST WILL TAKE THE COUNTRY NOWHERE
Generation Next wants to forget Ayodhya, focus on future
When the historical Babri Masjid was pulled down in 1992, Aamir Bazmi had just stepped into his teens. “I was too young to comprehend why there was so much blood being shed over an ancient structure. But as I grew older, I began to understand how big the issue was for both the Hindus and the Muslims and how much it had divided the country and its people along communal lines,” reflects Bazmi who works as an accountant in a shipping firm. However, 18 years after the mosque was demolished and a few months since the Ayodhya verdict, the debate seems to have toned downed its inflammatory note. “All of us had decided that we will accept the Supreme Court verdict. And though it was disappointing that the Muslims got only one third of the disputed land, for me the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi is
SHOWING A WAY OUT
While most Muslims, including the intelligentsia and clerics, demand that the masjid should be rebuilt at its original site, youth believe that it is time for the community to move on. Not swayed by the talk of peace and tolerance, some believe that the matter has to be resolved in a manner that gives neither the Hindus nor the Muslims any right over the Ayodhya site
a closed chapter,” said Arshi Patel, a hair stylist. Events manager Rafiya Khanum says she is glad that the youth holds a completely different view the on the subject. “My parents and their friends would often talk about how the Babri Masjid was a metaphor for tolerance and secularism. They felt that rebuilding it would be a great example of justice and equality for all. But for me and my friends, the important thing is to co-exist peacefully with people who may or may not share our beliefs,” she said. Youth in the city believe that it is time for the community to move on. There are those who are not swayed by the talk of peace and tolerance and believe that the matter has to be resolved in a manner that gives neither the Hindus nor the Muslims any right over the Ayodhya site. “The ‘two for Hindus and one for Muslims’ is a silly idea. Let there be no religious structure at all. Why not build something of mutual interest, like a hospital or school instead,” said Sadiya Ahmed, a school teacher.
Make efforts to save Constitution, secularism, appeal Muslims
Members of the Muslim community along with other activists have appealed to the people to actively make efforts to spread awareness on the Babri Masjid issue and save the country’s Constitution and secularism. Speaking in a meeting organised at the Marathi Patrakar Sangh on Monday, Sarfaraz Arzoo, editor of the Urdu, said: “There is an increasing disparity between the idea of an India we dreamed of and the one that we live in. The India of our dreams seems to be diminishing and with it the Constitution and secularism. Our country is not fascist and
Calling it a conspiracy to attack the social fabric and the Constitution, some speakers said that the date seemed planned for the demolition
there are laws which state that someone’s property cannot be taken by force, nor can it be demolished.” Some speakers found a corelation between the incidents that took place in Ayodhya and the government. “Idols were placed there during Congress rule. Though Nehru and Pant objected, there had been
a soft Hindutva approach and inaction prevailed. If a chief minister (Mulayam Yadav) can stop the demolition, what stopped a prime minister from doing so,” asked Zuber Azmi, who runs a Urdu language centre. Calling it a conspiracy to attack the social fabric and the Constitution, some speakers said that the date seemed planned for the demolition. “The demolition happened on the Mahaparinirwan Diwas which is associated with Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. It seems that people chose this day with an intention to do things against what Constitution guarantees,” said Farid Khan, member of the community.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.