Returning to Hindu fold in Odisha
Returning to Hindu fold in Odisha
By Debashis Tripathy
In an unprecedented event of the like nature, about 3,127 coveted Christians came back to Hinduism on February 23, in Sundargarh. Out of the total number, 1513 are men and 1,614 are women. This was achieved through paravartanjajna (Homecoming) organised by the VHP in which VHP’s International Working President Dr Pravin Togadia was present as the chief guest.
While thanking villagers who returned to their ancestors’ religion, Dr Togadia said, “Vanvasis are the sons of the soil. They are the custodians of our age old rich traditions and culture. We all must do good to protect them and their interests. The facilities which the Vanvasis are entitled to get for their sustainable development, has been hijacked by the evangelists. Many Christians are availing of the quota meant for the poor Vanvasis depriving them from their legitimate rights, jobs, loans, lands etc. This should immediately come to an end. Christians should immediately be delisted from the reservations meant for the Tribals. Those who convert to Christianity from Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes should not be given the benefits of reservations.” “In 1975, a Bill for amending the Constitution to this regard was brought in by Shri Kartik Urav who was a Tribal from Odisha. About 300 Members of the Parliament had signed the Bill agreeing that the Tribals who got converted to Christianity should be de-listed from the reservations. The amendment was about to be passed but got shelved for unknown reasons. It should be brought back again and be passed immediately.
Dr Togadia appealed to all to support activities to educate, empower and enable Tribals to prosper. VHP is running over 40,000 schools, residential schools, colleges for tribal children in tribal areas all over the country, which produce doctors, top government officers and successful scientists. VHP provides medical facilities including hospitals, ambulances, blood banks and primary health care centres for Tribals in their native areas for quick medical help. There are self help centres and vocational guidance units where women and men are being imparted with education how to live a dignified life in the society.” Dr Togadia said. He also appealed to the public for regular contribution towards protection of dharma, culture and heritage.
Dr. Togadia also inaugurated the new building of ‘Ahalya Nivas’ a destitute home run by the VHP in Cuttack. In a press meet in Bhubaneswar, Dr Pravin Togadia said the newly formed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) by the Central government is an “eyewash” and an attempt to “grab” powers enjoyed by the State governments. Talking to reporters Togadia asked: “If the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was so sincere about fighting terror, why it removed Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), conferred Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan, shared power with a government which withdrew special power to the army which is combating terror in Jammu and Kashmir?”
Dr Togadia said the Central government was not at all serious about countering terror and only wanted to usurp the law and order powers of the states. If the Central government is serious about countering terrorism, it should first show its sincerity by coming out with a law stronger than POTA, he said.
“Let the Central government first protect the police and army personnel who are fighting against terror,” Dr Togadia said, demanding that the NCTC in its present form, the “brain child” of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, be withdrawn immediately.
Government fails in Economic Development Mission
Biju Janata Dal (BJD) headed by Shri Naveen Patnaik has failed to accomplish its proposed election manifesto for substantial economic growth and infrastructure development. A latest official report shows that the State government fails to bring out economic development in general and rural development in particular which is quite shocking one.
In the 21st plan period, during 4 years of time, the economic growth rate of the State remains in 8.49 per cent. The real per capita income of the State has been reduced to 61 per cent, which was 90 per cent in 1950-51 plan period. Service sector contributes 57 per cent, industry contributes 26 per cent and agriculture makes a contribution of only 17 per cent towards GSDP of the State. What is shocking is that rural areas are being worst affected in comparison with urban and semi urban areas. Agricultural growth is very miserable and daunting. Due to faulty agriculture polices of the State government, work of cultivation has become a matter of risk and uncertainty. Intermediaries in crop-purchase activities affect the farmers a great deal, resulting under-rate sell of crops. It is the reason for which farming activities are getting jolts. The numbers of farmers are gradually diminishing. In 1991, the percentage of farmers was 73 per cent which was reduced to 58 per cent in 2001 and again alarmingly trim down to 43 per cent in 2010. In many districts Consolidation of Lands operations have become unsuccessful, which is one of the big cause of negative prospect in agrarian activities. The cost of living standards of the people of Odisha remains poor than the people of other states. The rate of employment in public sector has been reduced considerably in comparison with private sectors. The standard of living of the farmers of Odisha is very poor than other states.
The government has failed to curb down child labour and bonded labour which is evident from the fact that till end of 2010, about 50,792 bonded laborers were identified in the State out of which about 41 per cent belong to undivided KBK districts. This concludes and establishes the fact that the rural Odisha stays unreachable from the arms of the administration.