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Monday, March 22, 2010

The Pope And The Prime Minister's Office - Unfortunate Similarities

The following comment was published in:

The Guardian.co.uk Saying sorry is not enough

Online Wall Street Journal: Scandal Shakes Catholics In Bavaria

Newsweek: Pope Benedict's Underwhelming Response

telegraph.co.uk: Cardinal Brady Must Go


Global Post - Connor O'Clery: Ireland Greets Pope's Apology With Skepticism


Reuters - US Edition - Faith World - Religion Faith And Ethics - Pope-victims gap is tip of iceberg of incomprehension in Catholic Church

Telegraph.co.uk: Damian Thompson - More Catholic-baiting from The Times


The Independent: Leading article: A landmark for Ireland, if not yet for Catholicism

The Independent : Bruce Anderson: Only a different leadership can save the Irish church

timesonline:Richard Owen - Vatican and Nico Hines Pope Benedict XVI 'knew child abuser allowed back to work'


cnn: connect the world


npr news blog:the two way-Punish Pope, Other Church Officials: Sex-Abuse Victim

The Daily Beast: Dirk Johnson - A Shocking Priest Abuse Tale


US News & World Report:John Aloysius Farrell - Catholics, Police Must Act to Stop Sexual Abuse in the Church


The American Spectator: Joseph Lawler - Benedict And The Media


The Economist: Papal Vulnerability - Pope Benedict XVI is losing popularity

India is crisscrossed by schools and other institutions run by Jesuits.

Yet thanks to India’s dodgy editorial class very few in India know that the Vatican has paid out close to a hundred million dollars to compensate for victims of child sexual abuse by albeit “a small minority” of priests.

The Indian media has barely reported that story.

Was the media’s heinous silence an act of concern for Indian children or a hideously wrongheaded act of leaving well enough alone ?

Abuse of power often happens in plain sight, since to the busy and self absorbed lay person, the powerful appear glamorous and formidable and their prey appear to be rebellious, despicable and in many ways, asking for it.

As somebody who has conscientiously refused to do business the way it “normally” is in so called democratic societies - I will not pay bribes - and who has been almost destroyed for my pains, I am able to feel deep appreciation for the heroes who spoke out and for those who heard them, felt outrage and who together managed to extract a measure of accountability from one of the most powerful and ambitious organisations on this planet.

Since the past two decades, the Government of India, the Government of my own state, Andhra Pradesh, the Andhra Pradesh High Court , the Chief Information Commissioner and State Information Commissioner have combined to impress on me that what works in India is what I have called the “patronage paradigm” – the paradigm of shoddiness, irresponsibility, cronyism and corruption” – and that ideas of the rule of law and democratic processes are merely spectacles to lull the gullible.

I have been denied the recognition that were commended to me by one former Chief Minister of my state, one former minister of home affairs, one speaker of the Lok Sabha, several prominent ministers of the central cabinet, eminent intellectuals and freedom fighters.

I have been unable to earn a decent living.

The office of the Governor of Andhra Pradesh incited my neighbours to cut off my water supply.

The information commissions in the state and at the centre denied me my right to information on spurious, brazenly illegal grounds and punished me for daring to object.

The high court denied me my right to competent counsel and punished me for complaining.

Even as we speak, Dr Manmohan Singh”s office, “Daredevil” Pratibha Patil’s Rashtrapati Bhavan, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, State Information Commissioner CD Arha are all locked in a most perverse and ignominious conspiracy of silence to deny me justice.

Even as the Prime Minister’s Office maintains a guilty silence in my case, it appears to have jumped through hoops to heap honour on a businessman alleged to be a serial swindler.

India’s editorial class is as dense, amoral and narcissistic.

Variations of this comment have appeared in almost every major Indian online publication plus in a few abroad.

However, not a single editor or reporter has had the professionalism to pick it up and make it “impact”.

My credentials are strong and I have taken much trouble to meet many editors personally, usually on impeccable referrals.

Our “know-it-all-in -chiefs” have had nothing but smirks to offer.

When I sought the solidarity of the press, Shekhar Gupta (editor in chief of New Indian Express) advised me, “You cannot go around taking pangas (quarrels) with people, yaar.”

Even my comments are mutilated.

Vinod Mehta’s “Outlook” has banned my comments on risible grounds.

The Hindu crawled.

It published “spin” by corrupt officials and got hissy with me for pointing out, with evidence, its craven, yellow soul.

The Indian Press (with a solitary exception) blacked out the fervent open letter written by Padma Vibhushan Kaloji Narayana Rao.

That dear man , clear as a bell in his nineties, had laid his head on my shoulder, hugged me and wept.

What about “civil society” in India ?

Since close to a year now, I have written to the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Campaign for Judicial Accountability And Reform, Forum For Judicial Accountability, MKSS (Aruna Roy)and Anna Hazare regarding this cascading delinquency of constitutional bodies in India.

There has not been one constructive response.

They all appear to be in helpless denial of the awful truth that an innocent citizen has been hounded and humiliated since two decades, not for any bad behaviour or wrongdoing, but for resisting the dilution of the values of the Indian constitution and standing up for the correct administration of the Right To Information Act 2005.

Please visit and participate at http://sathyagraha.blogspot.com/ :

Andhra Pradesh High Court’s Pernicious Rebellion Against The Law .05/29/09

RTI Act 2005 Abuse In Andhra Pradesh- SIC Cheats! Chief Secretary Lies!05/07/09

Prejudiced CIC Laps Up PMO Lies 05/05/09

Compelling Criminality. Divakar S Natarajan and Varun Gandhi Cannot Both Be Wrong ! 01/28/09

And India’s editorial class will not report the story!

News and views from Divakar S Natarajan’s, “no excuses”, ultra peaceful, non partisan, individual sathyagraha against corruption and for the idea of the rule of law in India.

Now in its 18th year.

Any struggle against a predatory authority is humanity’s struggle to honour the gift of life.

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