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Tuesday 7 August 2012

Calcutta’s ‘splendid’ isolation

Calcutta's 'splendid' isolation

Calcutta, Aug. 1: If minimal exposure to global markets saved India from the Southeast Asian economic crisis in 1997, a somewhat similar situation helped Calcutta stand out like a beacon on Blackout Tuesday.
Not being fully synchronised with the eastern grid — staying connected to the grid at one point instead of four —appears to have played a crucial role in the success of CESC in sparing its 26 lakh consumers the trauma without break that the rest of Bengal and many other states underwent yesterday.
At the time of the collapse, at 1.01pm yesterday, CESC was connected with the eastern grid, which collapsed along with the northern and northeastern grids.
But the connection was at just one point — through its receiving station at Garden Reach (known as Southern) with the Howrah substation of the state-run distribution utility and then with the eastern grid. The distributor is the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL).
At the three other substations of the distributor at Kasba, Liluah and Titagarh, CESC was connected to the network of the WBSEDCL but not with the eastern grid.
"As CESC is also not fully synchronised, which helps in maintaining a free flow of power, with the eastern grid, it is easy for the utility to snap ties during such crises to prevent a cascading impact," said a senior power department official.
According to him, the one-point connection with the grid and the absence of full synchronisation allowed CESC to isolate itself from the eastern grid in a split second when the collapse took place yesterday.
The isolation allowed CESC to serve the 567sqkm spanning Calcutta and Howrah. "Whichever utility faced a blackout yesterday was only because it was fully synchronised and thoroughly connected with the regional grid," said the official.
In contrast to CESC, which was connected at one point, the distributor was linked at 103 points in Bengal.
"It's really easy to isolate yourself when you're connected with the grid through just one point. The isolation technology available with CESC is basic and commonly used in India and elsewhere in the world," the power department official said.
The situation was more or less similar to that in India during the Southeast Asian economic crisis of 1997. Fifteen years ago, India's scant exposure to the global markets in the early days of liberalisation spared it the domino-like ramifications of the crisis.
However, CESC did succeed in spotting the problem on time — one of the most crucial and difficult tasks in transmission management. For some reason, others did not. (Raj Rao, an American electric company executive, told The New York Times that "my hunch is, somebody fell asleep and they did not cut off" the excess load.)
The power department official clarified that he was not grudging the achievement of CESC, which displayed remarkable alertness and came up with a rapid response, but putting matters in perspective.
When the collapse took place, the isolators at the circuits of CESC's Garden Reach-based Southern receiving station kicked in, detaching CESC from the eastern grid in less than a second.
Till 1.01pm, CESC was successfully meeting demand of around 1,460MW with its own generation of around 1,200MW and imports from the WBSEDCL. After the collapse, CESC was forced to resort to loadshedding because imports were not possible and it had to supply over 150MW to the state-run utility to help keep some essential services alive. That was the reason for phased power cuts in parts of the city, though there was never a blackout in Calcutta yesterday.
"We are not trying to take credit, but everyone's seen what happened yesterday. We were the only utility that functioned and we worked on a war footing to minimise inconvenience to our consumers," said CESC managing director Sumantra Banerjee this afternoon.
"We owe our performance on days like yesterday to large volumes of investment in technology and infrastructure over a decade and a half. We have an excellent team handling system operation. This cannot be achieved in a short time," he added.
Other sources in the power department pointed out that not being fully synchronised is "a bad idea", except on rare days like yesterday.
Some power distribution veterans said cascading failures in grids are rare phenomena whereas other glitches —which require support from the grid — take place at frequent intervals.
"If you are not fully synchronised, not connected at all four points, you cannot be rescued by the grid on days when you need support. There are at least six to seven such days every year," said an expert. "Days like yesterday are very rare. Investments in infrastructure should be made to connect fully with the grid to better protect yourselves from crises in areas you serve," he added.

Assam Violence: A Wake up Call ISP I August 2012

Assam Violence: A Wake up call
Ram Puniyani
The raging violence in Assam's Bodo Territorial Autonomous Districts, Khokrajhar and Chirang (July 2012) has shaken the conscience of the nation. The Prime Minister has rushed to the area and called it as a Kalank, a shame for the nation. He also reprimanded the Chief Minister from his own party for the violence. There was some inexcusable delay in deploying the army in the area, which resulted in worsening of the issue. In this case of violence while on one side there is a great loss to the lives of people, still the larger tragedy is that lakhs of people have been displaced from their areas, home and hearth, just around the sowing season. The refugee camps housing them are grossly inadequate and not having enough facilities so far. Still at another level this violence has been presented to be one between Bodos and 'illegal Bangala Deshi infiltrators' majority of whom happen to be Muslims.
While this is not the first time that such violence has hit Assam, impact wise, this violence is one of the major tragedies of the area. The strife between ethnic groups and Muslim minority, that are labeled as 'Bangala Deshi Infiltrators' has been going on from last many decades.  The local issues have been given the color as if the problems are due to the illegal migrations. It is propagated that the time bomb is ticking. Such a propaganda is accompanied by the slogan 'Assam for Assamese', this is very similar to the one floated by the parochial Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, which has been doing violence on the slogan of 'Maharashtra for Marathis'. The roots of this Assam conflict have been in the society, which have been ignored by the state and central governments.
The first major catastrophe in this direction occurred when All Assam Students Union started the agitation on the issue of electoral rolls, to exclude the 'Bangla Deshi infiltrators' from the lists. This was backed up by BJP through and through. During this time a massive violence was unleashed against the minorities, the Nellie massacre, when over three thousand Muslims were done to death within a matter of few hours. In the wake of these; two things happened. One, All Assam Students Union AASU, now Assam Gana Parishad, came to power, and two and inquiry commission in to Nellie massacre, Tribhuban Das Tiwary Commission was instituted. AGP, after coming to power dropped all the criminal cases against the culprits of Nellie massacre and the report of Tiwary Commission was not made public.
A decade later, series of violence took place, the victims of which are still living a pathetic life in the refugee camps. During early part of first decade of this century, the demand of Bodos was met with the formation of Bodo Territorial Autonomous Districts after the treaty with Bodos. The districts covered in this territory are Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalgiri. As per agreement the Bodo militants were to surrender their arms which they did not do, with the result many of them continued intimidating others. The percentage of Bodos in these districts varies from 22 to 29% according to different estimates. The others are the Santhals, Rajbangshis, Adibashis and Muslims. Despite being in the minority, with full powers in the region, the Bodos initiated policies where by non Bodos have been neglected in different aspects of their lives. The condition of these groups is very bad and they are against the formation of Bodo Territorial Council. In this area, the present carnage was preceded by the rumor that people from Bangla Desh have come with large number of armaments. This got triggered into violence leading to the present tragedy. The Chief Minister of Assam has denied any such 'foreign hand'. The real issue has been the pressure on land and jobs due to the natural rise in population over a period of time. This pressure has been deflected by saying that it's all due to the Bangla Deshi infiltrators, a phrase very popular all over the country and more so in Assam. True, the overall lopsided development has caused the pressures on employment all over the country. In a place like Mumbai, this got presented as being due to immigration of non Marathis into Maharashtra. While in Assam the added part of parallel politics is that the problem is projected on to the foreigners. Is that true?
The Bengali speaking people in Assam are a sizeable part of the population. Amongst these also the majority are Muslims. Have they come recently or have they come to infiltrate for political motive? Have they come during last few decades? The myth of Bangla deshi immigrants has been the major plank of communalists all the time. It has become a sort of 'social common sense' all over the country. This pet theme of Bangla Deshi immigrant is quite a myth to a large extent. While some immigration of Bengalis into Assam began in last quarter of 19th century, the seeds of this issue were sown by the British in the first decade of twentieth century. That was the time when neighboring Bengal was over populated and politically a very aware state. Famines were one of the symptoms of overpopulation of Bengal. Assam was grossly under populated not giving much revenue to British. The British resorted to 'Human plantation program', where by the people from Bengal were encouraged to migrate to Assam, with lots of incentives. British also wanted to pursue their core policy of Divide and rule here' so they allowed this migration with a 'line system', where by the immigrants and the natives were kept in separate areas. This migration of Bengali speaking Muslims went on for quite some time and by 1930s a good chunk of Assamese population was constituted by these Muslims. In post independence India the Muslim population of Assam has shown decadal growths which match with other states of India. (Source: 'Muslims in India by S.U.Ahmed', based on analysis of Census data)
One is very clear about the census figures of Assam and the number of Muslims during that period. During the Pakistan army atrocities in East Pakistan many a Bangla Deshi did emigrate. After that also the economic migration might be going on as is the case in most of the regions. The question is how this immigration is looked at. For example the immigration to India by huge number of people from Nepal is never looked down or demonized. Even the Hindus' coming from Bangla Desh were treated as immigrants, while Muslims coming from Bangla Desh were seen as infiltrators, threat to security of India and what not. In whole of North Eastern states trade is by and large controlled by Marwaris from Rajasthan. There are good numbers of Biharis also in Assam.
The BJP associates' propaganda about the 'infiltrators' is based on political calculations, not on reality. As in other parts of the country they have used medieval history to demonize minorities here they are using the Bangladeshi factor. The worst part of the scenario is that even National Council of Churches in India spokesperson has also been so taken in by this propaganda that he went on to say the Bangal Deshi infiltrators are occupying 10000 square kilometers of land in Assam! From the time of India's partition Assam had a good deal of Muslim population. Later of course some migration did take place from Bangla Desh for economic reasons, it sounds to be large as after the carving out of other six states from Assam, the majority of Muslims remained in Assam, so percentage wise it sounds larger. 
The propaganda by communal forces about so call infiltration by Bangle Deshis has assumed huge proportions. It has become the part of the mind set in India; it was also at the backdrop of many agitations in Assam. Surely the basic issue of lack of development in Assam has been deflected by political groups including communal groups as being the issue of displacement of locals from their lands by infiltrators. Case of Assam has a mix of Mumbai's Shiv Sena politics, mixed with 'communal-foreigner' tones. The issue has also been the one related to Adibashis, the ethnic component has also been a part of the whole thing. Crucially right from Nellie to the present violence, in which displacement is the most dominant factor, the infiltrator propaganda has prepared the ground for carnage.
What is required today is to disarm those having arms of various types, to rehabilitate the refugees and to ensure that they are able to go back to their own areas to catch up with the sowing season. If this is not met, surely a bigger disaster of food deprivation is baying for all the year. What is also needed is that the myth of infiltrators is to be debunked for good by scholars and activists who have observed the pattern of population profile during last one century. The communal forces have misused this very word of Bangla Deshi infiltrator. And lastly the wounded psyche of communities needs to be healed by a process of dialogue and justice. 

Politics of Apolitical Civil Society Boosts Hindutva Nationalism as Never Before!

Politics of Apolitical Civil Society Boosts Hindutva Nationalism  as Never Before!

Palash Biswas

Indicating steps towards forming a political party, Team Anna today announced launching of a "movement" and putting up candidates in the 2014 elections.I had been writing and saying that the Anna brigade Movement is nothing but Anti Reservation Anti Constitution Movement with Brand Equity Anti Corruption which is sponsored by the Corporate India as well as the Open Market Capital Inflow where in Corruption roots in. The Finance ministry is a dead institution and it is managed by Extra Constitutional elements representing World Bank, IMF and WTO and dictated by Washington. The only fiscal policy which is implemented continuously is all about recycling the Black Money. This Free Market Economy is closely associated with Hindu Nationalism which is nuclear aligned with Corporate Imperialism and Zionist Global Order.The Ressurection of Hindutva is coincidental with Builder Promoter Mafia Raj best known as Neo Liberal age. I had also been writing that Dr Manmohan Singh and company have succumbed in its role to launch Second Phase of Economic Ethnic Cleansing defined as Economic Reforms. The Ruling Hegemony fed best by the Open Market Economy which sustains the Manusmriti Rule based on Discrimination,Apartheid, Exclusion, Excommunication and Ethnic Cleansing had no Option to get an Escape avenue out of Policy Paralysis or Political Compulsion of governance a well as Economy but an Indian Spring which would clear decks for Orthodox Ethnic Micro Minority Supremacy of Brahaminical Hindutva as it happened in Middle East and Africa with Blooming Muslim Brotherhood.Corporate Imperialism lives on Hegemony Rule worldwide which is essentially Zionist.

Kejriwal said, "It is time to topple the government. Our party will tour the country and people will help select our candidates. If the government passes Lokpal we don't need to join politics."

Announcing the formation of a political party, Anna Hazare and his team said that they were forced to go the political way as the government had become unresponsive. Anna Hazare and his three team members Friday ended their fast and spelled out a political alternative to provide a "clean and corruption-free" government. Indicating steps towards forming a political party, Team Anna today announced launching of a "movement" and putting up candidates in the 2014 elections. "This is not a party. It will be a movement from the street to Parliament. Congress today said Team Anna's decision to launch a political party was a face saver to end the fast as the issues raised by the activists were "completely hollow" in substance.On the other hand,In the wake of Team Anna stating that it is considering a political alternative, BJP on Thursday said the civil society group has every right to form a political party and nobody has the authority to prevent anybody from contesting the elections.

Dismissing suggestions that Team Anna may pose a threat to the prospects of BJP if it emerges as a political alternative, the main opposition maintained there have always been several parties in the political battlefield.'

"There are more than 60 political parties and seven national parties in India. Everybody has a right to form a party and to contest the elections. Nobody has the authority to prevent anybody from entering the fray," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.

Team Anna has ended its 10-day-long fast at Jantar Mantar. General VK Singh offered a glass of water to Anna Hazare to end his fast.

6.05: Addressing the gathering at Jantar Mantar, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has said that he will travel across the country and make them aware.

Anna said he would back his team's party, but clarified that he would not contest elections.

Justifying the decision of Team Anna to join politics, the veteran social activist said that they were challenged by the government itself to come into Parliament.

Now the cat is out of bag.Anna Hazare and his team members broke their fast at Jantar Mantar on Friday evening. Former Army chief General VK Singh offered coconut water to the Gandhian. Gen Singh also offered the same to his other fasting members, Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai. Civil Society is the best tool of Open Market Economy which favours De Control and Deregulation boosting Free Capital Inflow. It had to be apolitical for its credential, But the power Politics Equations changed so vehemently that it has to give up the apolitical mantle. The Global Order has been using Civil Society since Cold War time to Export Democracy.Anna Brigade has showcased the most hardcore Hindutva with slogans like Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata ki Joy which invoke the Hindu Rashtra.

The Phenomenon of hindutva Politics is nothing new in India. only the baton is changed time to time. Since 1952 General Election Congress succeeded to represent Hindutva and Hindu Nationalism.Poona Pact deprived the Majority Masses Representation in politics resultant in Exclusion from the Economy. This Exclusion is redefined as Inclusive development in Free market Economy.Until Operation blue star and sikh Genocide, it was Congress which subordinated the Sangh parivar in its political game of Aggressive Hinduva.But the Ram Janmabhoomi Movement and finally demolition of Babri Mosque and Gujarat Genocide resulted in the Resurrection of Brahaminical Hindu nationalism in its Crude Form. The President of India is identified with his elite Brahaminical credentials and has to perform the vedic rituals to represent the Hegemony, it is the climax.

We have seen the practice of Hindutva by the Marxists while ruling Bengal and Kerala. Sachhar Commitee report has Exposed the Marxists secularism while in Bengal , it was not Marxist, not even Left, it was all round Brahaminfront Government while all powers in every sphere of life vested in Brahamins only. Even the Maoist Revolutionaries do follow the Hinduva line. All General secretaries of Marxist ,Communist and Maoist parties had been and are Brahamins only.

But the picture is not over as yet. Despite Gujarat Genocide and Narendra Modi`s success to merge indigenous and aborigine ethnic identities into Hindutva and making the SC, ST and OBC  communities, the Foot soldiers of Hindutva, BJP the political face of Sangh Parivar follows the Soft Hindutva line which is not enough to acomplish the task of Ethnic Cleansing to expand Free Marke in the Heart of Rural India and Exploitation of all kinds of natural resources ejecting out the aborigine indigenous brotherhood out of its homeland on which the Future of the sustenance of Global Zionist Hindu Inhuman satanic Order depends. Hence, it must be aggressive Hindutva to take over the Baton. Anna Brigade is doing exactly that. The topmost priority of the Anna Brigade is to Kill the Constitution which guarantees Reserevation , Social Justice, Secularism, Fraternity and Equilty and ensures specific rights of the indigenous aborigine communities on Natural Resources. Without killing the Constitution , you may not Exploit the Minerals and resources at will and it is the Hindernace in the advancement of Monopolistic aggressive corpoarte imperialism in India. Hence, the Corporate India and Corporate Imperialism have opted for the Civil Society to boost Hindutva as never before.

Just see Wikipedia!

Critics and activists currently often apply the term civil society to the domain of social life which needs to be protected against globalization, and to the sources of resistance thereto, because it is seen as acting beyond boundaries and across different territories.[16] However, as civil society can, under many definitions, include and be funded and directed by those businesses and institutions (especially donors linked to European and Northern states) who support globalization, this is a contested use.[17] Rapid development of civil society on the global scale after the fall of the communist system was a part of neo-liberal strategies linked to the Washington Consensus.[8] Some studies have also been published, which deal with unresolved issues regarding the use of the term in connection with the impact and conceptual power of the international aid system (see for example Tvedt 1998). On the other hand, others see globalization as a social phenomenon expanding the sphere of classical liberal values, which inevitably led to a larger role for civil society at the expense of politically derived state institutions.

A huge crowd of Anna supporters and others were present to witness Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai break their fast. The last three had begun their fast July 25 and were joined by Anna on July 29.Former Army chief Gen (Retd) VK Singh was on the dais with other Team Members. Gen Singh was among 23 eminent personalities who had written a joint letter to Team Anna appealing them to end their fast and instead work towards providing a political alternative to the country.

5.30: Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal has said that the agitation has completed its first stage, and will now enter its second stage, saying it is the time for a total revolution.

Announcing his political party, Kejriwal said that the agitation would now be both on the streets as well as inside Parliament.

Talking about the political party of Team Anna, he said that the party would not have any high command and the candidates would be selected by the people, adding that they would travel across the country to spread awareness.

He further said, "We will make all our donations and spending public and challenge other parties to do the same. Our candidates will be decided by people, we will challenge others to do the same."

The Team Anna member also asked the people to suggest a name for their political party, urging students to become a part of the political movement.

5.08 pm: Former Army Chief General VK Singh has congratulated Team Anna for fighting against corruption, supporting their decision to provide a political option to the people.

Addressing the gathering at Jantar Mantar, Singh said, There are many problems in the country, one of that is black money...the governance is finished and we are directionless."

He further said that Team Anna must be prepared to face "opposition from those who do not believe in democracy."

Throwing light on the way forward, Anna Hazare said, "I did not break fast because we got scared of the government. I am breaking fast by the hands of the people who are clean."

Referring to the 2014 General Elections, Anna said that he will tour the whole country and will create awareness among the people.

Anna also said something which he has said before, "I have no bank balance, live in village. I did not marry but I have a big family." "People who live only for themselves die. Those who live for the nation, actually live," he said

Anna reiterated that he will continue his fight till his last breath.

The announcement of the formation of the political party was earlier made by Arvind Kejriwal who said that they will form their 'own party'. "Public will suggest the name of our political party and what the manifesto will be," he said. "We will tour the country to select clean candidates. This is the time for total revolution," he added. "Many ministers in the cabinet are scared of the Lokpal Bill," he said.

Also speaking on the occasion General VK Singh said, "We appeal to Team Anna that the fast is fine but if they want to bring a change they have to enter the political arena."

"It seems that the nation has become directionless. We have to join Anna and give a political alternative to the country."

"If the youth want, they can change the fate of the nation. Attempt will be made to dissuade good people but you have to carry on," Singh added.