|Sinna Mani, President of BOPIO, speaking at a rally in central London(Parliament Square) on Sunday 19/06/2011 said: ³It is a sad day for India and her friends overseas when five senior members of Manmohan Singh¹s government have to turn up to receive Swami Ramdev, who is just a yoga teacher however rich and powerful he may be.|
This in itself shows weakness on the part of the government for it fears any mass action in the aftermath of the Egyptian uprising.
It is a well known fact that some members of the Indian Government and Parliament are corrupt. One of its ministers, Mr Rajah, and his parliamentary colleague are in jail for allegedly swindling the Indian government of telecommunications revenue.
I do not consider it any of my business to criticize India from London. However, the Indian government must recognise the hard work of our members in this country and our associates in the United States, who have earned enormous good will for India, so much so that Indians are welcomed almost the world over not only for their vibrant cultural heritage, but also as providers of high quality manufactures, services, and investments.
It may come as a surprise to hear that India is the second largest investor in Britain and that Indian companies are the biggest manufacturers as well (eg Tata). Moreover, our children do very well in the British school system. As result, Indians are no longer associated with inferior goods (Duke of Edinburgh).
When modern India fails to live up to the expectations of its founding fathers, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru ji, and Babasaheb Ambedkar among others, we have reason to feel ashamed of our mother country. Therefore, I call upon the Prime Minister of India to do everything in his power to root out corruption².
Mani's speech was well received and the young people in the audience were especially enthusiastic (subsequently there was also much interest from India). He promised to hold a meeting in the Palace of Westminster some time
soon in order that the issues could be discussed in more detail. He was supported from the platform by the Chairman of BOPIO, Anil Bhanot, who spoke on the same theme.
Additionally Madhava Turumella of the organisation Action Against Corruption spoke in some detail, He said that 40% of Indians (over 450 million people) live in abject poverty in a country rich in resources. As a direct result more than 20,000 individuals die every day, mainly of malnutrition and health problems. He emphasised the fact that this is a human rights problem and that everyone has a right to life guaranteed by the Indian constitution.
He continued by saying that the Indian government spends only 1 per cent of its gross domestic product on healthcare facilities, forcing millions to struggle to get food, medicines and other basic necessities.
Quoting statistics published in a report by 'National Election Watch¹, Madhava Turumella said that the richer you are the more you were likely to win elections in India. As the 543 MPs of the current Lok Sabha are estimated to be worth Rs.80 billion, so the Indian Parliament had become a rich man¹s club. At election times there are those who buy votes from the very poor, thus making it in their interests to keep people in poverty in order to buy their loyalty at election time.
So where is all India's money going? Madhava Turumella said it was now time to wake up and insist that corruption be tackled head on at all levels, governmental, corporate, NGO, individual etc, etc., instead of behaving harshly towards those demonstrating against corrupt practices.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Press Statement by Mr Sinna Mani, BOPIO President
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