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ANINDA GHOSH

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 8/15/2015 |





SONGSOPTOK: Let us forget for a moment the UN definition of ‘humanitarianism’. What is your personal definition? In what context would you apply the word?
ANINDA: Humanitarianism  is , to me, manifestation of  Humanism,  where  Man or Woman is  supreme & Radicalism  has  no place of reckoning. In a sense, what  is  happening in Palestine , or what happened in Nazist Germany, or  what  happened in Africa &  what is happening in Boko Haram’s  Nijeria, are linked & indifferent at root.  At soul, the  white  army planes  that  murder cold blooded  in Iraq and the  civilization that ran Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima n Nagasaki &  the  rule / admin that runs Guatemala Bay & Al Gareev prisons are similar  in humanity n humanism , compared  to ISIS, Talibans , Lashkar E Toiba. Somebody  commented,  had they  read Tagore…, they probably could have  been  better humans. I laugh at it, did  not Indira Gandhi  study in Shantiniketan??? How the cruelty of  Emergency regimes be perpetrated?  Did not Manu Roy n Runu Guhaneogy  read Tagore?  How could they slaughter 100s  so many nights?  In such battles n wars, both the  army or  the police or the force &  the Muzaheedins or  red comrades show similar  brutalities. And, off  the war, both show up the Noble  hearts.

SONGSOPTOK: What, according to you, are the specific types of events that call for humanitarian actions?
ANINDA:  I want to provide a  long answer.

All inhuman events call  for  humanitarian actions. 24*7. First, take food ,… annual wastage of  food in USA is 133bn Lb  + out of  430 bn  Lb availability. Other than dumping to sea millions of lb to maintain grain prices, each college student  generates a food waste of 142 lb . And  despite 40% + of food getting so wasted, 16% of citizens do not have any food security , even post Obamacare. As per TOI of 26.8.13, 17K MT of grains got wasted between 2010 & 2013 costing a whopping Rs 58K Crore. As  per DH , the fig stood at Rs 44 K crore. As per Hindu OF 12.2.14, FCI itself officially admitted to have wasted 194K MT in 1 decade. And over 7K Indians die out of hunger everyday . Above 21 crore people are hungry in India , living under abject poverty in shining India . And this is after all Food for all programs & NERGA schemes making right to food & job fundamental  rights. And 21 cr is 25% of  84 cr hungry people in the world.

Come to Shelter… Srilanka , a practitioner of Senonomics has killed around a lac of people & around the same no have  lost homes.

GENEVA, Aug 7 (UNHCR) – Some 124,000 refugees and migrants had arrived in Greece by sea at the end of July this year – a staggering 750 per cent increase on the same period in 2014, the UN refugee agency detailed on Friday.

UNHCR said that in July alone 50,000 new arrivals were reported, 20,000 more than the previous month -- an increase of almost 70 per cent -- mainly to the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Kos, Samos and Leros.

The number of refugees and migrants taking the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe is however increasing, with 137,000 people arriving in the first six months of 2015 compared to 75,000 during the same period last year.

The majority of those taking the Mediterranean Sea route to reach Europe are people fleeing war, conflict and persecution. A third of people arriving by boat in Italy or Greece are Syrians, escaping an ongoing conflict which has prompted more than four million people to flee their home country. UNHCR data shows the second and third largest groups are from Afghanistan and Eritrea.

What happened in Vietnam as one off event, is now regular in a bankrupt Greece @ 1000 per day. And, let us not forget the US concocted stories of  chemical weapons in Iraq that first stirred the mid-east. An unquenchable greed for oil fuelled first major war in not so unquiet  Mid-east.

Come to calamities &  ethnic clashes n crisis &  the events named as insurgency &  terrorism. In land locked nations & land locked states in nations like India, people cannot flee by sea & die. When Bodos attacked Bangladeshi migrants settled in Assam or Hindus killed Sikhs in 1984, or Hindus killed  Muslims in Ahmedabad post Godhra carnage,or Ulfa slaughtered Biharis, or  army / Police vs Maoist massacres are rampant in Jharkhand , Orissa n Chhattisgarh, these stand  more brutal than  calamities natural  Nepal’s earthquake or Ayla or Tsunami.

SONGSOPTOK:  Why, in your opinion, do countries and societies even need humanitarian actions, often initiated and coordinated by the so called first world economies?
ANINDA: With all due regards to UNESCO & its all sister orgns, most  of the inhuman conflicts are artificial & created by  US & other developed nations.  Starting with a very basic truth, the poverty & drainage of capital by British as spoke  Shashi Tharoor in UK, India’s share in global economy got reduced from 23% to 4% in 1947. So, had British not looted India, India would have been a developed nation. Instead of petty charity to India( .4% of Indian GDP) , they should return our drained weath, which was voiced by RC Dutta, Rajani Palm Dutta & Dadabhai Nowraji  & all leftist historians. Similarly, US is the Frankenstine for all  ills in mid –east  even after a 9/11 WTC fall .So, in essence  ethnic crisis in Muslim world is created by US capitalizing on internal rifts in Muslim world.

Total U.S. energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the electric power sector1 in 2014 were 2,043 million metric tons, or about 38% of the total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions of 5,404 million metric tons in 2014. Despite escalating instability and internal terrorism, Iraq is now swiftlyreclaiming its rank as one of the world's fastest-growing exporters, cushioning the impact of supply outages elsewhere and thus welcomed by OPEC. Back in 2008, Ellery had confirmed Allied ambitions to "raise Iraqi's oil production from 2.5 million bpd today to 3 million by next year and maybe ultimately 6 million barrels per day."

One can probably make US at least partially responsible for total global crisis n unrest as of today. It would have been a far better world without NATO nations off  war n imperial radar,  needs for charity & humanitarian aids  shall substantially reduce.

Coming to India,  “agitations against nuclear power plants, uranium mines, coal-fired power plants, genetically modified organisms, mega industrial projects (POSCO and Vedanta), hydel projects (at Narmada Sagar and in Arunachal Pradesh) and extractive industries (oil, limestone) in the North East. The negative impact on GDP is assessed to be 2-3% [per annum.]” poverty of Bihar is a result of  in -egalitarian society divided between rich bhumihars n poorest Dalits & 34% are poor. In Odissa, Chattisgarh n Jharkhand, all non-poor states, so very rich in minerals, 30--33 % of people are poor, bereft of agriculture, rights over forest, n rights over minerals under their  huts. Many cannot afford rice even twice a year. Even after 35 years of Left rule Lalgarh is so backward.  Yes, Kerala, TN, AP  & WB all have poverty around 10% owing to much egalitarian society & despite rich minerals & IT hubs, Karnataka has 20% poors. NGO / Charitable instns are means to make money several times.  Admin / legislature should eradicate the root malice so that naturally people become human beings by socialism concepts. And a CPIM govt should not conspire with industrial barons to uproot farmers off  fertile land. Good that another regime of poverty in NERGA less times is not allowed by opposition to be thrust upon masses. There are always certain hidden agendas of  the alien NGOs ; if govts are cleaner n lesser corrupt, needs for NGOs shall automatically reduce.

SONGSOPTOK: Can individuals play a significant role in initiating or participating in humanitarian actions? In what way?
ANINDA:  In 17 years Indian NGOs recd as high as Rs 94K crore. But still people defecate in open, manual scavenging is on, beggars abound in streets n near temples, 22% people starve. HDI is so very pathetic in India. Bonded labor & child labor are so very common as also abuses on humans…. Something is  drastically wrong, root causes are never cured with capital projects n sources to earn incomes. Just some respites  are provided.  So, answer is both Yes & No. Although primary responsibility of all  humanity falls upon admin , but in a non socialist  society public need to participate as per might. But, corruptions eat up much of  funds. Cos Act 2013 makes it mandatory to contribute to CSR , probably eyeing the ltd success of NGOs,  and  employees  are compelled to donate, too in case they do not volunteer. But  it is also true  that  at least 10  orgns are working well  & much with small public donations & in a country with almost nil social security, CRY, Smile, Goonj, Helpage, Nanhi Kali, Akshay Patra ,etc  are uplifting some HDI . But, again, corruption is eating up our tax generated funds as  also  funds of  NGOs & trusts. In all calamities by nature &  by cruelty of men, other than with money, so many people have physically joined hands in  developing nations to  restrict deaths &  ailments , whether in blasts, in riots, in floods &  in cyclones or in earth quakes.

SONGSOPTOK:  What should be the role of the world community, especially organizations like the UN, to encourage humanitarian actions in different countries, especially those suffering from internal war or external aggression? Do you think that their efforts are sufficient? If not, what else should be done to help the countries / societies / populations in need?
ANINDA: UN is run politically. UNSC has no power to stand against US. So, a reasonless war ravaged Iraq is partly a gift from a puppet UN. Starting from Iraq  Iran war, in 21 st century’s  Africa & Mid East are witnessing biggest violence, and Boko Haram is creating  a genre of terrorists . Kashmeerees are losing their nearest ones , and NE, NW &  mineral heart of India are ravaged by  force vs  rebel conflict n carnage, where innocent people are worst victims. We cannot find any role of  UN,  in total of Buddhist world also conflict-torn in parts. Newer  global power China is equally unmiffed  as US. Israel is daily attacking prison city of Gaza &  taking revenge of the genocide that Germans put them thru 75 years  back. In whole of  Africa & Islamic world, UN is a puppet spectator today. Much of  the war  is fuelled by oil n minerals , so nothing much can be done by a non profit body.

SONGSOPTOK: What should ideally be the role of the governments in humanitarian actions – both in afflicted countries and in the other countries of the world? Are government activities sufficient in this context?
ANINDA: Most  govts are partial. Govts are run by certain classes / colors/ religions & castes or creeds in all countries. In most conflicts, a majority govt takes a side. Again, in democracy, govt cannot do a Tien Ann Men square. In Cash rich Hongkong, same regime has to take a different approach. So, radicalism & non-Gandhism is the go of the day , whether it is India or abroad.  There are Khmer Rooj regimes across today’s globe, where all Arjunas are inspired by Krishnas to kill people to uphold n establish ideal radical n irrational  principles. How  can any govt so very unsecular n sectarian , be expected to reduce conflicts?  When  Christians were being slaughtered or harassed , Obama urged Indian govt to be tolerant / establish tolerance. GOI answered to the color conflict n intolerance in US. Both stts are true &  both govts must take  actions . But when Tagore n Tolstoy inspired  people cannot practice tolerance, how can others who have not read same???

SONGSOPTOK In your opinion, do religious institutions play an important role in humanitarian actions? In your own experience, what kind of actions have you witnessed that have been pioneered by religious institutions?
ANINDA: Definitely. The other day Dr Shetty from Manjunatha Swamy shrine in DK came to my place. For 40 years he is heading the mammoth charitable activities in Dakshin Kanada district. RK Mission, Missioneries of Charity, so many catholic orgns led by resp. churches, so many  mosques, temples like Adyapeeth,Gurudwara committees, Jain temples etc run human n charitable ventures. But compared to the huge no of  religious trusts, the amounts contributed for purely philanthropic causes ( not religious conversions)  may not  be too high. However,  religious conversions happened  in tribal n poor dalit belts, when food n edn n health were mapped to such conversions.  Rather, today another blogger was slaughtered in Dhaka & another lady, threatened ; so religious instns have been, to quite a great extent, been generally responsible for spreading radical venoms n hatreds that induce bloodbaths n ethnic crisis.

SONGSOPTOK:  Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) are often in the forefront of humanitarian actions and yet there have been widespread criticism about the efficacy and utility of NGOs in different countries, especially in Asia & Africa. What is your own experience? Should NGOs be given more power and independence where humanitarian actions are concerned?
ANINDA:  Already answered . There are good jobs done by Melinda Gates Foundation, Greenpeace, Unichef , Worldvision, Cry etc.  But India , with 1 NGO per 600 & around a lac of crore rupees at  disposal,  HDI has not  come up to the desired  levels. Even on women’s slavery & human bondage fronts or  on rape n sexual exploitation of girls  &  on  child marriages &  goth honor killings n girl fetus abortions, on dowry , had  they really worked hard, people’s  consciousness  would have risen conspicuously. Open defecation,  manual scavenging, unsanitated  living & schools n health centers are not so much in India , as it could have been. The way Grameen bank created a consciousness for cooperative movement for various daily life aspects incl power distribution, appears that funds have been misused.

SONGSOPTOK:  What should be the aim of humanitarian actions in afflicted countries – short term relief or long term actions that would help societies build up their own strengths and resources? Please share your knowledge or experience about long term actions undertaken anywhere in the world.
ANINDA: Capacity Building, as I have already harped on. In any ravaged state & torn society,  govt / state & NGO & CSR should join hands to  provide long term projects  &  contributions should enjoy 100%  IT exemptions.  Long term edn on specialty subjects, special disease cure,  good hospitals, women’s empowerment n girl child care, women’s eco  freedom, sanitation n cleanliness, good drinking water , cottage n small industry, --- all the SHGs  should be empowered  n crystallized; in some areas, good clubs should be estd as development planks.

SONGSOPTOK: It is often seen that the strongest help and support comes from within the communities affected by conflicts or natural disasters. How, in your opinion, can communities be empowered to successfully face such situations? What, in this context, could be the role of formal or informal grassroots organizations?
ANINDA: Local  committees &  clubs  acted   miracles  after  refugees influxed  into India both from Bangladesh & Pakistan. The colony refugees are today  estd in life greatly. Wretched of  all wea/ inlth in another nation, today  many are good businessmen / industrialists. Every year, there  are  floods  in many  states. Why?  Why cannot we have dams & hydel projects  & harvest rainwater &  develop horticulture extensively in arid areas?  How pathetic is to find water scarcity in rainfed areas simply because we do not catch the water? How so many talents go waste as the traditional art forms decay ? So many idols &  saris n clothes  are going to oblivion as  artisans  are still not getting markets?  Online, all  artisans should be connected to world  &  mandis made  for moneylender-less growth in trades . As Kashmiri pundits  rehabilitated , ethnic cleansing heat wave over,  all  refugees  should  be given earning avenues. 80% of bank funds are blocked in bad assets of 20% industries .  Proper  funding thru SME bank  should  be developed  to drive dying farmers to newer livelihoods.  Their  own SHGs &  cooperative societies shall be the best  tools in hand.

SONGSOPTOK: Women and children are most vulnerable in situations of conflicts or disasters. What, according to you, are the specific actions that need to be taken to ensure the safety and security of women and children?
ANINDA:  Martial  arts &  other  training that  internally  develops  one as  independent &  self-protective, should  be  imparted to  all women & children. Why  in conflicts n disasters?  Every hour a woman is raped/ abused / killed   &  70%  domestically n unreported.  They  must  be compulsorily  martial arts trained & need to believe that male dominance / abuse is unacceptable. How many & how long can you  cover by a police ? And when many in force are  cannibals ???  In a nation of Laxmibais, Matanginis, Preetilatas, Chand bibis & Razia Sultans , where Netaji created a Rani Jhansi Bahini,  women’s  forces  should be created  in all  societies, especially fragile & conflict ravaged.

SONGSOPTOK: How do you, as an individual, practice humanitarianism? Is it an important part of your value system & mental make-up? Please share your thoughts and experiences with us.
ANINDA: Humanism does not  need  a  celebration to wake up, so is the humanitarianism.  You need not  buy a Being Human  tee shirt to become Humanist  or humanitarian. This is petty commercialization … so many  days are  declared, can u remember?  You need to consult diary, &  before you  start  taking a constructive n conspicuous action,  you have to move on to the next agenda in your diary.  As if, only on Valentines day ,2 valentines should love each other;  or  only on father’s  day, tobacco day, Diabetes Day, Cancer Day, mother’s day, women’s day , girl child day etc , the specific  agenda to be commemorated.


ANINDA GHOSH: GENERAL MANAGER.
FINANCE  &  ACCOUNTS.  JSW STEEL.



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