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There is lot of hue and cry over the recent decision of the National Green Tribunal putting curb on the infinite number of visitors going for Goddess Vaishno Devi Darshan by issuing directives to curb the number of regular visitors to fifty thousand at a time instead of myriad number of devotees thronging at the historical spiritual Shrine considered extremely pious and miraculous by billions of HINDUS globally.

Even the emperor of India Jalalludin Akbar three centuries ago visited Godess Vaishnodevi Dham bare footed and presented a magnificient silver CHATRA in reverence to the Godess after he heard tales of the miracles of Godess Durga stationed here. In its order the NGT has issued number of directives in order to improve and maintain the deteriorating environment in and around the Vaishno Devi Shrine vicinity and reducing the inconvenience of the devotees, the tribunal has asked the Vaishno Devi Shrine Board to apply brakes on the unaccounted number of devotees visiting here and confine it to 50000 numbers on Daily basis.

Orders have also been issued for maintaining cleanliness in the vicinity and the fine of Rs. 2000 fixed on anyone spittng or throwing rubbish in the open in KATRA township and else where , from where the YATRA from VAISHNO DEVI DHAM starts. The NGT has also issued orders for forthright ban on pony ferrying the devotees and instead has ordered for ferrying them in the battery operated vehicles till the shrine. It has in addition banned the future constructions in and around the Shrine areas till Katra.These orders are being implemented from today itself.

However there is lot of resentment among the devotees of Mata Vaishno Devi who’ve opposed this move of NGT, not entirely but a number confining order that confines the daily limit to only 50 thousand devotees asking the government in protest as to where would the remaining thousands of devotees go in view of the arbitrary ban. It may be recalled that bllions of people visit Vaishno Devi Shrine everyday and about 77 lakh devotees visited for Goddesse’s blessings in the year 2017.

SUNILNEGI

198

The spate of incidents of ugly behaviour and misconduct towards its commuters by the employees of private Indigo Airlines has proved beyond doubt that they are indispensible and no law of the land can penalise this airline for its staff’s immoral, unethical and intolerable behaviour with their travellers. Just few days ago the India badminton star of international ranking, champion PV Sindhu had complained about the misbehaviour and rude conduct of its staff with her and she was constrained to lodge her protest in the media after lodging her complaint with higher authorities.

But today what has happened is something beyond expectation in a civilised society when the media channels of the country are literally airing visuals showing the Indigo staff in uniform badly thrashing an old commuter on the tarmac of the airline as if he is a thief, history sheeter or a criminal. The repeated beating or a physical assault of the passenger with powerful fisticuffs and leg pushings without caring for any penalisation thus showing rebuff to the laws and law enforcing agencies of the land unambiguously speak of the fact that the management and staff of this Airlines whose shares are knocking down is in the stage of frustration having no respect for its valued passengers.

This highly condemnable, uncalled for and criminal behaviour and act by the Indigo staff with its passenger in broad daylight is an act that warrants most stringent action from the side of the government authorities no less than rigorous imprisonment. This is not the first such shameful incident has happened but in the past too its passengers were dealt with utterly bad and uncivilised behaviour and the recent case is with the internationally recognised badminton player PV Sandhu.

This shameful action of the Indigo employees have compelled even the former chairman and managing director of Air India and currently the chairman of Railway Board Ashwani Lohani who is also a prolific writer, write a post on facebook expressing his immense concern and shock on this uncivilised behaviour and act of the Indigo staff which is as following:
The shameful manhandling by two airline (indigo) employees in beating up a passenger on the tarmac is inhuman, disgusting to say the least and not at all acceptable in a civilized society. The subsequent action of the airline in sacking the whistleblower is the icing on the cake of gross misconduct.

It is apparent that such an act is borne only out of the false sense of pride that the company has started displaying since their market share has started knocking on 50%. Indifference towards the very passengers who took them there is indeed sad. That the role of the national carrier in maintaining a sense of sobriety in airline operations and also fares may soon come to a halt in light of the ongoing disinvestment process is also a cause of concern in light of such incidents.

What happenned on the tarmac is just unacceptable and the government needs to step in with a very heavy hand and that too without delay./ Ashwani Lohani/ Chairman Railway Board
Sunil Negi, PRESIDENT UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM

164

The Gujarat election which has become a prestige issue more for prime minister Narendra Modi than the Nehru Gandhi family scion and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has now assumed tremendous significance, particularly in view of the open declaration of support by the Gujarat’s most popular and well acclaimed 24 year old youth leader of Patidar community Hardik Patel.

Till yesterday, the attitude and temperament of Patel was sort of a zig zag nature as he was not in a position to outrightly decide whether to go with the Congress Party or not. But after the formal entry of the Rajput leader having his say in the Dalit and OBC community as well, Kalpesh Thakur in Congress and sharing joint political stage with Rahul Gandhi compounded with the soft corner of Jignesh Bhavani and perhaps internal pressures from the powerful Patidar community he has finally decided to support the Congress in this election. In view of the the support of Bhivani, Kalpesh and Hardik to Congress in Gujarat it seems for sure that a solid and credible combination of Dalits, Patidars, Rajputs and the OBC would be paving a direct and formidable challenge to the centrally and state ruling party BJP which had been succesful to keep the 135 year od Congress Party out of power in Gujarat for 22 protracted years.

Gujarat election is also significant from the point of view of deciding the future of the 2019 general election in which the Bhartiya Janata Party and Prime minister Narendra Modi are extremely confident of again staging a victory hands down thus compelling the main opposition Congress to bite the dust as declared by Modi and Amit Shah in their number of public meetings. While Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has emerged as a more dynamic and dashing leader in the context of Gujarat campaigning this time with countering every move of prime minister Narendra Modi by vociferously denouncing him and his government on the issues of demonetisation and GST acknowledging tremendous support and applauds from the audience in largely attended public meetings the BJP chief Amit Shah and PM Modi are trying to win the hearts of Gujaraties by accusing the Congress as anti Gujarat and anti Gujarati MANUSH and terming this election as the election of Gujarati pride and choice between dynasty or development, by announcing various pre election sops worth of rupees 11000 crores that includes massive employment opportunuties apart from the over all development of Gujarat.

These sops are in addition to the already declared over ambitious projects like hi speed bullet train and the completed, long expected Sardaar Sarovar Dam project. This election will also decide the fate of the patidar community leader Hardik Patel who’ve extended his whole hearted support to Congress Party without contesting a single seat but solely banking on the Congress Party’s assurances of giving reservation to the forward patidar community after they return to power in Gujarat.

But how, or will it be really fulfilled is anybody’s guess as the honourable Apex court has already rejected this proposition as the reservation could not exceed the 50% limit legally and constitutionally. However, though internally extremely apprehensive of the growing political influence of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi whose graph on twitter and Gujarat has magically gone on acendense, its leaders like Amit Shah n PM Modi are still highly confident of winning Gujarat keeping in view their spate of previous victories in 9 states out of 14 where elections were held after the BJP’s historic coming to power at the centre.

If political analysts are to be believed the anti incumbency factor majorly plays a pivotal role in each election except in some exceptional cases. And since Bjp is ruling the state for the last nineteen years, it’s not necessary that it can’t loose. The chances of Rahul seems to bright while that of BJP bleak. But if BJP really wins as is undeniable as well, it’s bound to repeat power by winning the 2019 elections, hands dow. What do you say friends?

SUNIL NEGI

393

The seventeen year old Uttarakhand State is truly in a mess. The health sector particularly is in tremendous deteriorating condition with lack of medical facilities in the ill equipped government hospitals having negligible or in some even no doctors, compounders or even medicines.

The block headquarters of the state have no health centre or dispensaries or even if they do exist then the doctors are conspicuous by their absense. The ambulance service is negligible and rather unavailable with pregnant women delivering their babies in utterly shock conditions either on swinging bridges or midway on way to hospital.

This most pathetic conditions of lack of hospitals and health centres at the decentralised level and complete absense of ambulances in critical circumstances have made everybody to think ultimately that was it for this chaos , our movement activists have laid down their precious lives during the Uttarakhand movement or after all what for are we electing our successive governments in Uttarakhand for the last so many years.

A picture of a distressed pregnant woman in Chakrata, the constituency of the state Congress president and five time MLA compelled to give birth to her baby on the way in the absence of health facilities and being discarded by the nurse, posted in facebook is going viral which unambiguously exposes the poor status of health facilities in Uttarakhand state and non responsive attitude of the authorities concerned to come to the rescue of such hapless pregnant women.

According to the news reports on 24th October a women gave birth to a baby in critical circumstances in a bridge with blood splattered all around. The shocking incident happened in Block Kalsi, Tyuni in Chakrata Tehsil. When the 24 year old woman groaning in excessive pain went to local Tyuni Hospital, the nurse directed her to go somewhere else as the doctor was not available in the hospital at that point in time. Despite the repeated requests of the pregnant mother groaning in pain to admit her, the nurse did not relent and was asked to go.

The woman in traumatic pain ultimately gave birth to a child on a swinging bridge in utmost pathetic condition with blood splattered all around. Such is the pathetic condition of the hospitals and its complacent and erratic staff in entire UTTARAKHAND despite the state government’s repeated claims of doing its best to improve the health services in the state.
Sunil Negi, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM