[SID & GHHF] Halderman of US and Ronggiip of Netherland (the associates of Hari K Prasad) were detained in New Delhi Airport; Following 18 hours intense efforts, they were admitted
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization. Winston Churchill
Alex Halderman of USA and Rop Gonggriip of Netherlands were detained for about 18 hours at Indira Gandhi International Airport without valid reason. Many people from India and USA were on the phone with several officials demanding the reason for their detention at the Airport. Several calls to the Election Commission and Home Department made the difference – they were finally allowed to enter India. They were held from Monday (13th) thru Tuesday (14th) morning. Please read below newspaper and electronic media coverage on this matter.
We want to express our appreciation to Alex and Rop for going through so much physical strain, sleeplessness, tiredness and above all uncertainty. Thanks
Why were they detained at the Airport?
As many of you know that Hari K Prasad came to Dallas area on November 21, 2010 and gave a presentation on the Tamperabaility of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). In February 2010 Hari K Prasad of Hyderabad, Alex Halderman from USA and Rop Gonggriip of Netherlands were able to publicly demonstrate that EVMs are tamparable in New Delhi and Chennai against the conviction of the Election Commission of India and the present government. What these three researchers were saying along is that the government should make sure these machines are verifiable, accountable and transparent so that there is no scope for manipulation and tampering. USA based organization “Save Indian Democracy” coordinating this event that took place in February 2010.
Indian Government and Election Commission were not happy with the demonstration since they have been claiming that their EVMs were safe and cannot be tampered. It was too much for the Government to swallow. It is not easy to accept that they were wrong in believing they no can body can hack their machines.
Of course you all know Hari K Prasad was arrested by Maharashtra government and imprisoned for eight days for refusing to reveal the name of the person who brought government EVM for him to demonstrate. The case is still pending.
In order to bring awareness among people in USA and the potential for misuse of the EVMs irrespective of which party is n power, Save Indian Democracy (SID) and Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) organized eight-city tour for Sri Hari K Prasad in October – November 2010 to make presentations on the EVMs. All those who were able to attend his presentation were very much impressed with the presentation. As mentioned in our previous communications that Sri Hari K Prasad was awarded the PIONEER AWARD by Computer Frontier Foundation on November 8, 2010 in California.
Please know that SID and GHHF are not against the government or the EVMS. Our position is that every vote should be counted in the elections. There should not be any scope for manipulation of the EVMs. If there are any doubts or suspicions about the election results, there should be a viable mechanism to recount the votes and they should be verifiable. We feel thatEVMs are vital in improving the efficiency of vote count in any democracy. If properly used with a set of guidelines, the EVMs can reduce the uncertainty with regards to election results.
Global Hindu Heritage Foundation
14726 Harmony Lane, Frisco, Texas 75035
Phone: 601-918-7111 M/ 601-856-4783 H/ 601-856-1068 F
December 20, 2010
Sri I Y Krishna Rao, IAS
Executive Officer, TTD
TTD Administration Building
Tirupathi, AP 51750
Dear Sri Krishna Rao:
Subject: High Court Verdict on Housing Sites; 16 concerns/questions
Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) which is based in USA, expresses it’s appreciation for introducing a number of changes in the issue of Arjita seva tickets, especially requiring the devotees who are purchasing the tickets for darshan to be physically present to take their pictures so that no third person will be able to sell the tickets on the black market. We heard that you and Specified Authority are trying to bring few changes in the administrations of TTD although there is a lot of resistance from the employees.
High Court Stay Order defied by some TTD employees
The main purpose of writing this letter is to bring to your attention about the illegal construction of housed started on the land although High Court issued a Stay Order on November 29, 2010. Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samithi and TTP Parirakshana Samithi have written letters bring to your attention about this illegal, unlawful construction of these houses on this disputed lands. Sri Subrahmanya Yadav, Sri D. Narendra, Sri Narra Munichandara and others have met with you personally and requested your office to intervene and stop the illegal construction of the house sites.
As you are aware that Sri Subramanyam Yadav, the Vice-president of Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samithi, in consultation with the President Sri Kamal Kumar Swami, has submitted a letter indicating that a PIL was filed in the High Court seeking it’s decision on GO 1153. On November 29, the High Court issued a stay order directing TTD not to proceed with the construction work on the five sites listed in the case. These are the lands that were donated / gifted to Lord Venkateshwara centuries ago by rulers, philanthropists, devotees, etc. for temple related activities and the maintenance of the temple. The letter also pointed out that some of the employees started the construction of their houses at S V Poor Home lands.
Their action to start the construction of houses on the sites defying the High Court’s stay order is inexcusable, unforgivable and unpardonable. Their deliberate, daring, calculated, pre-planned attempt to start the construction on these lands should be investigated. It is sad to know that these employees who are working to preserve and promote the dharmic values through serving Lord Balaji would dare to defy the values they are supposed to uphold. Whoever has started the construction is punishable by court of law for openly challenging the court’s decision.
Your immediate response in directing your officials to stop the illegal construction is appreciated and as of today these organizations found no new construction of houses following your orders.
GHHF Expresses concerns
Following are some of the concerns /questions pertaining to the Stay Order, subsequent unlawful construction, your proposed action against the alleged culprits and the qualifications of the Trust Board.
1) TTD administration should investigate the employees who have started the unlawful construction of houses in the S V Poor Home area. Identify all the employees who have defied the courts order.
2) As an EO Officer of TTD, you should take appropriate action such as suspension of the employees, impose fines or terminate the employment if the employees violate the court decree or engage in activities that disrupt the normal functioning of TTD.
Please note that if EO does not take appropriate action knowing the defiance of the court order, there may be legal implications to the EO.
Unless EO takes necessary and appropriate action against these employees, they would not obey or respect the position of EO. Further more EO will be encouraging them to undertake more and more deceptive activities undermining the integrity of the TTD administration, if no concrete disciplinary action is taken.
3) What kind of protection the administration has from being harassed and humiliated with a threat of strike, agitation and or protest by the employees? Does the administration is empowered to negotiate the demands so that the interests of TTD and the devotees are preserved rather than yielding to every demand they insist upon?
4) EO can be charged with contempt of court if he does not strictly enforce the disciplinary action against the employees who knowingly violated the High Court Order.
5) Employees of TTD from top to the bottom are the servants of the Lord Venkateshwara. TTD is the most sacred Temple on planet earth for the Hindu devotees. EO and all the administration should abide by high morals, and greater consciousness of serving the devotees. Serving the devotees must be the ultimate goal of all the employees. Are there any guidelines to this effect in the operation of TTD so that service is the motto instead of salaries and the house plots?
6) TTD is a religious institution. It is the most sacred place a Hindu can ever visit. It is not a government institution. It is not a commercial institution. It is neither a factory nor a steel plant. No UNIONS should be allowed to form and function on the premise of the religious institutions like TTD and they should not be recognized. Notices should be issued indicating the non-recognition of the Unions.
7) Any employees who participate in the agitation or demonstration should be removed from their position. A clause should be included in the Guidelines if it is not already included.
8) TTD should demolish these illegally constructed house structures by the employees as well as the roads, electrical lines that were laid out by TTD. What is the time schedule to demolish these structures?
9) These lands should be used to raise cows so that milk can be supplied to the Temple and also start a flower garden so that the flowers can be supplied to Balaji and other deities.
10) Employees have been threatening TTD with a strike every time their demands are not met. In order to avoid the conflict with the employees TTD authorities have always yielded to their demands for purely political reasons. This kind of appeasement cannot go on forever. We request you to prepare a document where every employee would sign and pledge that they would not declare any strike against TTD – that is the devotees.
11) Do you have any plans to get other Hindu religious organizations involved in training the volunteers to help during peak seasons or to use them in case the employees engage in strike? Do you have any back up plan to continue the darshan lines uninterrupted?
12) There would be many people who would like to volunteer their services free of charge or for meager compensation to Lord Venkateshwara. They consider this opportunity to serve as a God given blessing. Do you have any plans to start a Volunteer Wing and train them to serve as and when needed?
13) Please know that the Endowment Act itself is illegal, unconstitutional and against the Hindu religion. The Corruption at all levels, land grabbing, looting of funds, misuse of funds, neglect of temple renovations, government’s total control of the management, etc are the major problems facing the Hindu Temples. Of course you are aware that no such Endowment Act would apply to Mosques and Churches. The government is a puppet in the hands of these two other religions. Is there any discussion about the legality of controlling Hindu Temples under the Endowment Act?
14) How much money is contributed to the government form all the sources income such as hundi money, ticket sales, jewelry, land lease etc. What percent of TTD funds goes to the government?
15) What are the qualifications of the members of the Trust Board for TTD? Are there any qualifications the members must have before they can be considered for appointments on the Boards?
16) Since TTD is purely a religious organizations, what role the Acharyas, Peethadhipathis, Swamijis of different ashrams play in making religious decisions with regard to the functioning of the Temple, construction of new structures, remodeling of the existing structures, demolition of the historical structures? How often do you meet with them to seek their guidance? How often do you meet with them?
This is the partial list of our concerns and questions either directly or indirectly related to the Stay Order of High Court with regard to the allotment of House sites to TTD employees. We would appreciate your response as soon as possible.
Please know that NRI’s across the globe are concerned about the plight of Hindu Temples and the unlawful control of them by the government. We are mainly interested in preserving the integrity of the Temples; restoring the freedom for all Hindus to manage their own temples, abolishing the Endowment Act; re-establishing the independent nature of the temples; helping Hindu religious leaders to take major responsibility in directing the management of the Temples; demanding the government to appoint qualified Hindus to the Trust Boards instead of appointing liquor barons, politicians and people with criminal backgrounds; using the temple resources mainly for the preservation and propagation of Santana dharma; and assisting Hindu pilgrims to express their voices in managing the temples.
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