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RTI Activist Krishnaraj Rao To CM : Is MMRDA’s Rs 205 cr. Gift to Esselworld’s Subhash Chandra linked to Caste Politics in your administration?

10 August 2012 One Comment

RTI Activist krishnaraj Rao

RTI Activist Krishnaraj Rao has sent this letter to Chief Minister Mr.Prithiviraj Chavan, which seeks answers to queries.

To

Prithviraj Chavan,

Chief Minister of Maharashtra

Mantralaya, Madame Cama Road

Mumbai 400 032

MMRDA’s Free Gift of Rs 205.36 crore to Essel World’s Subhash Chandra:

Is it Linked with Caste Politics in your administration?

 Sir,

It seems MMRDA’s former Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad went out of his way to favour Taleem Research Foundation, a trust floated by Subhash Chandra, boss of Essel World and Zee TV. As per a letter from the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG), received by MMRDA in May 2012, “Fixation of lease premium at Rs 1,53,054 per sq m instead of the prevailing market rate Rs 5.04 lakh per sq m as quoted by a firm for allotment of another plot in the same vicinity has resulted in a loss of revenue of Rs 205.36 crore to MMRDA”. A footnote explains the loss as: (Rs 5,04,000 per sq m x 5,900 sq m) x  50 per cent – (Rs 1,53,054 per sq m x 5,900 sq m) = Rs 205.36 crore.

The audit note, which we found during a recent inspection of documents under Right to Information, places the onus squarely on the shoulders of Mr Ratnakar Gaikwad. “We noticed (March 2010) the the Metropolitan Commissioner while finalizing the draft tender papers had decided (June 2008) to relax the condition that the work area of bidder to Mumbai city in contravention to MMRDA Resolution of December 2007,” says the note, which also mentions how your predecessor, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan caused a further loss of Rs 4.80 crore to the exchequer by waiving late fees.

CAG audit note & MMRDA’s explanatory reply to CAG: http://tiny.cc/Gaikwad-Taleem-CAG

 

 

A question of motive arises: Was this just another routine land allotment? Or did Mr Gaikwad know Mr Subhash Chandra and deliberately favour him?

The two persons are joined by a common thread, namely their passionate advocacy of Buddhism and Vipassana. In the last decade, Mr Subhash Chandra has built the Global Pagoda, a magnificent Buddhist Visassana centre near Essel World in Mumbai, and Mr Ratnakar Gaikwad did much to send bureaucrats and government servants to Vipassana centres, and to further the agenda of Buddhism and Ambedkarism.

[Sir, please note that we are against neither Buddhism or Ambedkarism, and in fact, we admire and respect Vipassana meditation as a way of stress management and spiritual upliftment. What we are questioning here however is the misuse of government machinery in furtherance of this agenda, and the use of public money for a religious and casteist agenda.]

Kindly read http://globalpagoda.blogspot.in/2010/02/corruption-and-ancient-indias-reality.html

This blog describes Mr Subhash Chandra’s Global Pagoda project. It says, “The 325-feet high Global Pagoda celebrates its first anniversary, after India’s President Pratibha Patil – who has also undergone a Vipassana course – inaugurated it on February 8, 2009. Built to last a thousand years, the Global Pagoda will be one of Asia’s most visited tourist sites, with already thousands of weekly visitors. They receive information about Vipassana, Gotama the Buddha who rediscovered it 2,500 years ago, and the benevolent modern day chain of Vipassana teachers from Burma – from Venerable Ledi Sayadaw, Saya Thetgyi, Sayagyi U Ba Khin to present-day principal teacher Sayagyi U Satya Narayan Goenka who lives in Mumbai. Since 1969, when Goenkaji arrived from Burma and began teaching Vipassana in what was then Bombay, Vipassana has reached all sections of Indian society – from Professor P.L Dhar, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi; Ratnakar Gaikwad, commissioner, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority; industrialist Subhash Chandra, chief of Zee TV; D.R. Karthikeyan, former director of the Central Bureau of Investigation…”

For several years now, Mr Ratnakar Gaikwad has been visibly pursuing a combined agenda of Buddhism, Ambedkarism and Vipassana.

IS THIS BEHAVIOR CONSISTENT WITH IAS CONDUCT RULES 1968? The rules say:

“1. The Government of India have decided that although, under the Constitution of India, servants of the States are entitled in their private lives to profess, practice or propagate any religion freely, they should so conduct themselves in public as to leave no room for an impression that they are likely in their official dealings to favours persons belonging to any particular religion. Such an impression is bound to arise in respect of a member, who participates in bringing about or organizing conversions from one religion to another and such conduct would be even more reprehensible if, in the process, he makes use, directly or indirectly, of his official position or influence.

2. Although a specific provision in this regard is not made in these Rules, participation in proselytising activities may be treated as good and sufficient reason for taking disciplinary action against a member under the All India Service (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1955.

3. The provisions contained in the proceeding paragraph may be kept in view by the State Governments, while examining the conduct of members of the Service in this regard.”

See http://ipr.ias.nic.in/Docs/AIS_ConductRules1968.pdf

Now see the below screenshot from the website of Buddhist Revival Charitable Trust (BRCT), which shows a message from Mr Ratnakar Gaikwad, Chief Advisor, BRCT, saying, “I am sure that with the dedication of people like you, Ven Bodhipalo and world renowned Thai monk Ven Arayawangso, this Trust would go a long way in fulfilling the dream and mission of Babasaheb, “Sara Bharat Bauddhamay karin” (“I will make whole India Buddhist”.)”

Sir, was Chief Secy Ratnakar Gaikwad specially permitted by Maharashtra  government to hold positions in NGOs and trusts? Is it ethical for bureaucrats to do so?

RATNAKAR GAIKWAD’S PROSELYTIZING EFFORTS DURING HIS VARIOUS ASSIGNMENTS:

 1)      USE OF STATE MACHINERY AS CHIEF SECRETARY TO PROMOTE BUDDHISM. See this circular issued by Chief Secy Ratnakar Gaikwad on 14 Sept 2011, which is essentially a letter to the Chief Secy of Chhatisgarh, advising him to take up Vipassana. On page 2 of this letter, it says, “Considering the positive impact of Vipassana in government, I have recently issued a circular that all the Government Training Institutes in Maharashtra should incorporate Vipassana meditation in the schedule of Foundation trainings of various cadres”. Why is a personal letter between two chief secretaries issued as a state circular, unless the intention is to proselytize? Read this: http://cg.nic.in/gadonline/Circulardocs/2011/409.pdf

2)      AS CHIEF SECRETARY, MR GAIKWAD APPEALED FOR FUNDS ON BEHALF OF BUDDHIST REVIVAL CHARITABLE TRUST, a non-state entity that is linked to many other non-state entities such as Bahujan Hitay Sangh, where Mr Ratnakar Gaikwad plays a leading role. Mr Gaikwad’s letter, which is quoted verbatim by Mr C L Thool (apparently one of Mr Gaikwad’s close associates) in the appeal, concludes, “… as a humble Dhamma worker, I would be available 24×7 for carrying out any task assigned to me by the Trust.” Read this letter: http://tiny.cc/Gaikwad-funds-appeal

3)      AS DIRECTOR GENERAL OF YASHADA, in 2004, Mr Gaikwad changed the service rules of Yashada to facilitate employees to attend Vipassana Camps organized by Vipassana Research Institute, Dharnmagiri Igatpuri, Disc Nashik. Earlier, vide Govt. Resolution, Finance Department, GDM dated 21.07.1998 & 27.06.2003, a provision of 14 days commuted leave without a medical certificate was made for Govt. employees to attend Vipassana camps organized by this institute. See page 34 of this:   http://www.yashada.org/RTI/ConsolidatedPC2004.pdf

4)      READINESS TO USE STATE MACHINERY IN FURTHERANCE OF MILITANT AMBEDKARISM. Mr Ratnakar Gaikwad’s engagement with Buddhism or Ambedkarism does not sound necessarily peaceful. According to the report of a meeting that happened in September 2011, “The strategies were targeted against the  Caste based inequalities prevailing and the ultra-prejudices among elite quarters, those are far from the real fraternal actions. The Chief secretary reiterated that Maharashtra state would take lead in launching web-initiative. He further  contemplated that such actions should be properly coordinated though government agencies like BARTI (Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Research and Training Institute, Pune) and YASHDA.  Mr R K Gaikwad, Head BARTI, was present for the occasion”. Please read this report http://atrocitynews.com/2011/09/12/cabinet-secretary-to-take-head-on-anti-democratic-movements/

5)      IT IS EVIDENT THAT MR GAIKWAD HAS MANY PARTNERS IN THE BUREAUCRACY. As per a list of well-wishers given on an Orkut page soliciting memberships, Bahujan Hitay Sangh’s main well-wishers are “Subhashchandra Goyal – Chief Zee Group, Bhalchandra Mungekar, Member Planning Commission, Ratnakar Gaikwad IAS, Kishor Gajbhiye IAS, Harshdip Kamble IAS, PP Gaikwad IAS, Narendra Kawade IAS, Prof. Vilas Wagh, B.E .Nagrale IAS (Rtd)”. Was this page prepared by these well-wishers, who placed their names at the bottom? Kindly investigate. Please read this:http://tiny.cc/Orkut-Bahujan-HItay-Sangh

6)      AS CHIEF INFORMATION COMMISSIONER, THIS AGENDA CONTINUES. In July 2012, a month of his appointment as Chief State Information Commissioner, Mr Gaikwad took leave for about two weeks and went to Thailand. It is known in his office that he went in pursuit of his work connected with Buddhism.

So, Sir, in conclusion, we ask you to investigate: Was Mr Gaikwad’s dirt-cheap allocation to the boss of the Essel World – Global Pagoda, at a small fraction of the existing market rates, an honest mistake? Or did Mr Gaikwad knowingly make a big donation of Rs 205.36 crore from the public exchequer to Mr Subhash Chandra, possibly for furtherance of the Buddhist revivalist cause?

We earnestly hope that you will look into this matter.

One Comment »

  • haridas mandal said:

    I presume RTI ACTIVISTS NEWS is not an Ext.com of Youth For Equality which basically an upper caste interested group. I am sure Sri Krishna Rao will muster courage also to ask the Shankara Charyas with the crooked sticks with similar questions as lacs and crores are being stashed in the temples and Trusts for mis-using to built more and more such in-essential temples. Lacs and crores square meters of govt lands are donated to those so called religious institutes.
    If he can I have no option but to admire his guts and to salute RTI Activists Forum.But if it otherwise it is time to say good bye with a heavy heart.