Posts Tagged ‘Indian’

Why Leela Samson has been shrouded with controversies wherever she went?

December 16, 2019

 

Why Leela Samson has been shrouded with controversies wherever she went?

Leela Samson booked by CBI

Secularism versus communalism: In India, because of the “secularism” cult, misnomer and handling of the issues with deceit, many times the real secular issues are communalized and the secular ones also slowly communalized. The Mohammedan Khilafat, Muslim appeasement, Jihadi manipulations and ultimately ISIS holy war, and today’s burning of trains and railway stations by the Mohammedans prove the disease. Certain groups under the guise of secularism, have always been creating problems in India running riots. Leela Samson, in spite of her talents in Bharata Natyam, unfortunately, indulged in certain unprofessional activities in Kalaskhetra proving her inbuilt communal bias.  Being minorities, it is intriguing and shocking to know why and how the Mohammedans and Christians intrude and infiltrate government organizations and institutions to harass, affect and exploit majority Hindus by all means. Here, though Leela Samson is considered as an individual, the issues around her expose serious issues with ramifications.

Leela Samson, Priyanka Vadra

Leela Samson has been close to Sonia family: Samson is known for her proximity to the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty of the Indian National Congress, as she was the dance tutor of Priyanka Vadra. Samson held six key positions in the 10 years of Congress-led United Progressive Alliance regime. Many papers including the Indian Express alleged favouritism regarding her appointment as the chairperson of the censor board by UPA govt in 2011: Leela Samson’s appointment as chairperson of the Censor Board has raised the question as to whether the well-known Bharatanatyam dancer will have time to devote to her new assignment. In 2010, Samson was appointed chairperson of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, another prestigious position. The academy is the apex body for the performing arts. Samson is also ex-officio head of the south zone cultural centre. Apart from these commitments, she has a full-time job as director of Kalakshetra in Chennai. Samson, who was once Priyanka Gandhi’s dance teacher, has no particular connection with the world of cinema. After her appointment, Samson candidly admitted that she seldom watches films.

Leela Samson with MSG censor board

Censor Board controversy questioned her credibility: Samson’s tenures at Kalakshetra, Sangeet Natak Akademi and the censor board were mired with many controversies amid allegations of corruption, illegal appointments and arbitrary awarding of contracts, financial irregularities, Samson was criticised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad when she passed the 2014 Aamir Khan-starrer movie PK without any cuts, even after two board members resigned after it was granted certification, due to content allegedly designed to ridicule Hindu religious philosophy and hurt Hindu sentiments. Veteran Bollywood actor and a former chairperson of the censor board Anupam Kher criticised Samson for playing politics by making partisan allegations while tendering her resignation. This criticism was made highlighting the history of CBFC under her leadership which agreed to make cuts in Entertainment after protests by Muslim groups[30] and also agreed to make cuts in Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal after protests by Christian groups, personally assuring them that “necessary action had been taken”.

Leela Samson at Kalakhetra

Leela Samson involved in controversy from the beginning – 2005[1]: Leela Samson’s sudden exit as director of  Kalakshetra Foundation came despite the fact that she had the backing of the government to continue in the post. While Samson stated in her resignation that the Union government and the foundation’s governing board did not want her to continue in the post after the age of 60, the Union government had, in fact, defended her in court over the past year, even disregarding advice from the additional solicitor-general in the matter and filing a counter-affidavit to protect her post. In June 2011, C S Thomas, a retired teacher at Kalakshetra, had filed a writ petition in the Madras high court challenging the legality of Samson remaining director of the foundation after the age of 60, the statutory retirement age for Central government employees. After she resigned on April 12, 2012, Samson said the issue had come up in a board meeting on April 10 and she saw no reason to stay on in the post if she did not have the support of the ministry, the chairman and the board[2].

Leela Samson with Ambika Soni, christian nexus

UPA supported her legally: Following a counter affidavit by the Union ministry of culture, the high court instructed the additional solicitor-general of India to seek instruction in the matter and inform the court whether the retirement age of 60 applied to the post of the director of Kalakshetra Foundation. In response, the undersecretary to the government of India had informed him that “Leela Samson, director, Kalakshetra Foundation should have retired at the age of 60 years even though the age of retirement is not mentioned in the Kalakshetra Foundation Act, or in the recruitment rules for the post of director nor in the order of appointment (notification) dated February 28, 2005”. However, in a show of support to Samson, the Centre disregarded this instruction and filed a counter affidavit in the high court in August 2011 stating that the post of director of Kalakshetra had to be treated differently from that of a government employee. “Leela Samson was appointed to the post of the director through a search committee after the government took over the institute and her appointment was different from that of the other employees. So the Central government rules did not apply to her,” said a source in the culture ministry. Samson filed a counter in the HC in July 2011, stating that she had been “appointed to the post of the director of Kalakshetra Foundation on the basis that she was a former student of the school and had been taught by Rukmini Devi, the founder”. According to the Kalakshetra Act, appointments to the post of a director are governed by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Department of Culture, Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai, (Director) Recruitment Rules, 2002. Although the rules specify 55 as the upper age limit for a person to assume the post of director, they do not mention a retirement age.

Leela Samson secular censor board

In 2019, CBI booked case: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a case of corruption and criminal breach of trust against Padma Shree awardee Leela Samson, former director of Kalakshetra Foundation, and four others for financial irregularities in the renovation of Koothambalam Auditorium on its wooded Chennai campus[3]. The CBI FIR, based on a complaint from secretary and the chief vigilance officer of the union ministry of culture, names four suspects and says they spent Rs 62.20 lakh more than the estimated amount of Rs 7.01 crore on the project[4].

The accused persons are –

  1. Leela Samson,
  2. TS Murthi, the then chief accounts officer at Kalakshetra Foundation,
  3. S Ramachandran, accounts officer and
  4. V Srinivasan, an engineer at the Foundation, besides and
  5. Ravi Neelakantan, proprietor of M/s CARD and
  6. M/s Chennai Engineers[5].

CBI received the complaint dated May 31, 2017, about ‘unfruitful expenditure’ of Rs 7.01 crore made on the renovation of Koothambalam Auditorium at Kalakshetra Foundation. It alleged that work order for the renovation was awarded by the Foundation officials at a higher rate through the architect-consultant ‘Centre for Architectural Research and Design’ (CARD) without following the General Financial Rules (GRF)[6].

Leela Samson at Kalakhetra, questioned 3 crore fraud

From CAG finding, the fraud got exposed: The Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) audited the expenditure of the Foundation and brought out various lapses in executing the renovation works. It was also pointed out that the renovation works were undertaken without formal sanction of the governing board and finance committee of the Foundation. This led to a huge controversy after which Samson resigned from the post of director and member of the civil works panel in 2012. Thereafter, the matter was referred to the CVC of the Ministry. The Central Public Works Department team in Chennai inspected the work in 2016 and assessed that the Foundation had spent approximately Rs 62.20 lakh more than the estimated amount. The team also found that the contracts were awarded at a higher rate and payments made to the contractors. In 2017, the vigilance department of the ministry forwarded the complaint to the CBI after which a preliminary enquiry was carried out.

Leela Samson at Kalakhetra, questioned

The auditorium controversy: Samson was the Director of the Foundation between May06, 2005, and April 30, 2012. It was felt in 2006 that the auditorium built by the Foundation in 1985 needed renovation, they said. The project aimed to upgrade the sound system of the Koothambalam auditorium, built-in 1985, followed by civil engineering works, electrical works, air conditioning and architectural features, the CBI FIR said. The 33rd Governing Body meeting held in 2009 decided to form a civil works advisory committee and PT Krishnan, Leela Samson and Madhavi Mudgal were to prepare necessary estimation based on the recommendations of the Governing Board, it said[7]. The civil works committee appointed CARD as consultant architect in 2010 which gave contracts for 28 renovation works to five contractors while the committee also selected some contractors, it said[8]. The ministry alleged in the complaint that the open tender process was not followed in awarding the contracts. It also alleged that Samson failed to apprise the non-official members of the Works Committee about the GFR norms and inform the Works Committee about the CAG Inspection Report received in August 2011[9]. “Instead, approval of the Works Committee was obtained for two major expenditures in September and December 2011. She failed to place the CAG Inspection Report in the meeting of Finance Committee and General Body meeting held on January 23, 2012, and January 24, 2012, respectively and kept these bodies under dark,” the agency has alleged[10]. The FIR, citing reports, alleged even if there were only limited sources of supply of sophisticated equipment for sound, stage lighting, these were not justified in the file notings for resorting to limited tender, and hence there was no justification in not resorting to open bidding. She was allegedly responsible for the losses incurred by the Foundation on account of not opting for open tendering as also mandated by the General Body, it said.

Leela Samson PIL questioned 2012 India Today

Has propaganda war started?: Now again, secular categories could question the actions and proceedings as communal, as the Hindutwa government has been at the centre. Even, they could go to the extent of criticizing that the right-wing nazist and fascist forces have been trying to trample the human rights of the minorities. The rule of second term of NDA has started just now, but, the issues have been multiplied and problems created have been running riots. Instead of concentrating on the economic and other progressive issues, parliamentary debates have been becoming political platform speeches and emotions are whipped up based on race and linguistic fanaticism. How then, rulers could concentrate on the welfare of people as a whole?

© Vedaprakash

16-12-2019

Leela Samson with Congress Digvijay singh

[1] Times of India, Samson had Centre’s backing to continue, Sharanya Gautam | TNN | Updated: May 1, 2012, 5:42 IST

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Samson-had-Centres-backing-to-continue/articleshow/12945323.cms

[2] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Samson-had-Centres-backing-to-continue/articleshow/12945323.cms

[3] Times of India, CBI registers corruption case against Leela Samson, 3 other Kalakshetra officials, Selvaraj A | TNN | Updated: Dec 14, 2019, 17:09 IST.

[4] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/cbi-books-ex-sangeet-natak-akademi-chairperson-leela-samson-over-irregularities/articleshow/72591891.cms

[5] Indian Express, CBI books ex-Sangeet Natak Akademi chairperson Leela Samson over irregularities, Dec 14, 2019, 17:09 IST.

[6] https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chennai/cbi-books-ex-sangeet-natak-akademi-chairperson-leela-samson-over-irregularities-6166593/

[7] News.18, CBI Books Ace Bharatnatyam Dancer Leela Samson Over Irregularities in Spending on Chennai Auditorium, PTI, Updated:December 14, 2019, 3:27 PM IST

[8]  https://www.news18.com/news/india/cbi-books-ace-bharatnatyam-dancer-leela-samson-over-irregularities-in-spending-on-chennai-auditorium-2424007.html

[9] FirstPost, CBI books dancer and Padma Shri awardee Leela Samson, three others for ‘unfruitful expenditure’ on Chennai auditorium, India Press Trust of India Dec 14, 2019 18:43:52 IST.</p>

[10] https://www.firstpost.com/india/cbi-books-dancer-and-padma-shri-awardee-leela-samson-three-others-for-unfruitful-expenditure-on-chennai-auditorium-7782751.html

Marring Metallica, diehard fans, poor Indians, running riot and fooling India!

October 30, 2011

Marring Metallica, diehard fans, poor Indians, running riot and fooling India!

 

Government money spent for the bash? The Headlines-today reporter was describing that the event was great to have very huge crowd, as if she does not see huge gatherings of public in India. Lakhs / millions of Indians used to gather without any secuirity, arrangement etc., during periodical / seasonal festivals, Gumbha-melas etc., but the gathered crown would be disciplined. However, here the elite, educated and westernized people come, and it is surprising that three-layered barricades are required for them!  The Police Commissioner was so enthusiastic, as he has provided strong barricade to stop the crowd if they try to run riot. Why should government should for some 10,000 to 15,000 rich people to enjoy their own of choice of music, which may not be liked by cbillions of Indians. Then how they could spend the exchequer money for this type of “tamasha”. The foreign media[1] has started spreading stories that the Indian fans rum amuck, damaged stage, and so on.

 

Money is not an issue / problem for Metallica diehard fans[2]: And for these fans money is the last thing on their minds. “I’ll be spending something more than `15,000 for the concert and flight tickets. The only monetary saving grace is that I’ll be staying at a friend’s place in Bangalore.” Adds Craig Quadros, 23, accounts manager, “I’ve already spent around six grand on two concert tickets, and with travelling and lodging, it will easily be around `20,000. But, it’s Metallica – a band that I’ve been a fan of since I was 12, so it’s all cool.”  For some, a few thousands don’t matter. “This will be larger-than-life so I have no qualms spending some money to watch them play,” says 39-year-old Vikram Varma, who is shelling out `50,000-60,000 for tickets, lodging, flight tickets and bus tickets. “It isn’t everyday that Metallica comes to India, so when they do, you should definitely catch them in action.” And while some are spending hard cash, there are some who are trying to make big bucks from the Metallica frenzy that has gripped fans.

 

Tickets sold in black: Either the so-called fans must have been very rich or they get money just like tha to spend. Why then they blame Indians for being poor? Tickets for the Gurgaon concert on October 28 are being sold in black for a whopping `8000, though they’re still available on the ticketing website. Says 23-year-old Anup Jain, “A friend got in touch with me asking if I wanted to buy a ticket for `8000 in black since they were sold-out. I heard the amount and I ran! Thankfully, I found out that they’re still available online.” That means, there has been another type of gambling going on.

The organizers arrested for breach of trust and cheating: The national capital has missed its date with Metallica, as the organisers finally announced that the Thrash Metal band’s concert that was postponed for a day would not happen at all. This led to the arrest of four officials of DNA Networks on charges of cheating[3].

  1. Rajesh – general manager of DNA Networks,
  2. Umesh
  3. Ashok Singh
  4. Savio Faleio

Rajesh, was arrested along with team members —Umesh, Ashok Singh and Savio Faleio. The four were presented at the district court, which remanded them in custody for five days[4]. The administration has also seized the Rs 1 crore security money deposited by the firm[5]. “We will interrogate them on what led to the cancellation of the show. We were not informed before the cancellation of the show and we received complaints from the people about it,” SS Deswal, commissioner of police-Gurgaon, said. The four officials have been arrested under section 406 (breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code.

Without permission tickets sold, crowd gathered: There was still confusion regarding the return of money to the people and fans will have to wait for the advertisement to know the procedure. “I want my full money back. When the Bryan Adams show was cancelled in February, the organizers had deducted Rs 200 as service tax. Why should we pay anything as service tax when no show happened?” said exasperated Rajesh who had bought a ticket for Rs 1,650. Metallica on its official website mentioned the reason of cancellation of the concert as fans’ security. “Immediately at the end of our afternoon press conference, we were notified that there was a serious question as to whether the show could proceed with regard to the safety of the concert audience. And our first and foremost concern is always for the safety of you, the fans,” read the statement on Metallica’s website. The band will perform in Bangalore on Sunday.

The decent rogues run riot: It wasn’t quite “Kill ‘Em All,” but when Metallica and a concert promoter postponed the metal band’s first concert ever in India, angry fans reacted with a “Seek and Destroy” mentality. They rioted, trashed instruments even tore apart parts of the stage, according to The Huffington Post. The promoter, DNA Entertainment Network, reportedly announced right before the gig was supposed to start at Leisure Valley Park in the city of Guragon that they would have to postpone it for a day due to a problem with security measures at the venue. But some 25,000 fans had already pushed their way into the concert, and their angry reaction delivered the kind of carnage that one might expect from a crowd that loves bludgeoning music with punishing volume levels and lyrics about rage. Fans set banners on fire and trashed instruments on the stage, according to HuffPo. Videos like the one below have already surfaced online showing fans swarming the stage and throwing items into the crowd and at security members. But Hold your horses Napster-lovers, this can’t all be blamed on Lars Ulrich. NDTV reports that four people, including a senior executive from DNA Entertainment Network, have been arrested in the wake of the debacle and charged with cheating ticket buyers and a breach of trust. Authorities allege that the promoters sold tickets far beyond capacity and did not inform authorities of the cancellation.

The way the decent diehard fans behaved: The so-called elite, educated and sophisticated crowd behaved like rogues or uncilized, barbarics. They very often criticize Indians for one or the other reason. Now what they say about their conduct? “As soon as the organisers announced that the show has been postponed, the crowd went berserk… people started pushing each other, broke barricades, started shouting and throwing water bottles,” Pankaj Kaushik, who waited for three hours for the show to begin, said. The venue was vandalised by upset fans, some of whom even ran around the ground shirt-less as a mark of rebellion. They threw bottles at the security personnel, who formed a human chain on the stage. Technical equipment was destroyed as angry fans threw chairs at the LED wall. “People have come from across various countries – Malaysia, China, Nepal, Indonesia, Singapore… but everybody is feeling robbed,” said Anurag Sharma, another disappointed fan.

Permission to conduct not obtained, but tickets started selling!: A permit to hold the concert on Saturday (30-10-2011) could not be obtained on short notice, and the show was subsequently canceled. That means, the organizers had taken the authorities for granted or they might tried to bribe them with huge money. Promoters said they would refund all ticketholders. So much for “…And Justice For All.” In a statement posted to the band’s website, Metallica wrote:

Once we, along with DNA, the promoters of the show, determined that there was a failure of a security barricade in front of the stage that could not be adequately repaired, the promoter reluctantly announced the postponement of the show until Saturday. Unfortunately, on such short notice the promoters were unable to secure a permit for a show on Saturday…We are deeply disappointed with this news as we were looking forward to our first experience in India as much as you guys were.”

Note, for him, he is not bothered about permission etc., but tickets were already sold, and they are sold on-line with “black-marketing” loaded. However, he accuses that the “barricade” was not repaired! Why he could not secure the permit on 29-10-2011, when the tickets were already stared selling?  Not exactly the best way to “Fade to Black.” Couldn’t somebody have just appealed to the “Master of Puppets”? Hopefully Metallica’s new nickname in India won’t be “The Unforgiven.” Ok, we’ll stop now, we promise. Sorry. We couldn’t resist.

Metallica gig mismanaged from the word go[6]: Now, comes the real story. It exposes the arrogance of the “Metallica” group also as they behaved like the cpolonial rulers.  Unfortunately, our “young idiots” do not understand and tell the facts.  After the Metallica gig in Gurgaon was cancelled on Friday evening, the reason cited by the organizers and the management of the band was a broken front barricade. But according to the people at the venue, the real reason was gross mismanagement and neglect on part of the organizers right from the beginning. Arjun Paruthi had reached Leisure Valley Park by 2pm. “The ticket said the opening acts were supposed to begin by 4pm. I didn’t want to miss out on anything.” But by the time the gates opened, it was already 3, and people swarmed the streets by thousands. “There was already chaos at the gates, and then people just rushed inside. The venue was quite full by 3.30pm,” he said. Arjun took his place right at the front like hundreds of others, leaning against the barricades. And then one of the barricades, which was particularly fragile, gave in. Vivek Seigell, who was in the audience with his 14-year-old daughter, recalled that as he took his place, not far from the stage, the venue was already packed beyond its capacity. “At the security gates, there were no checks. Nobody was checking the tickets. Many entered the venue without any ticket,” he said. Vivek added that nobody checked the bags at the gates, too, and many even sneaked in alcohol bottles. The crowd soon swelled so much that any movement within the venue became impossible. “So it is only understandable that one of the barricades gave in as the pressure from behind was immense,” he said. The crowd, he added, was already restless because of the delay. Soon, it was announced that the show would begin, followed almost immediately by another announcement that the team was trying to fix a “technical snag”. “The iron barricade had broken early on and for two hours, they tried to fix it by tying rods and poles,” said Karthik, who had entered the venue at 3.30pm. Around this time, crew members and organizers tried to push back the people near the broken barricade[7].

‘Move back you buttheads! Move back’,” – Oh Indians could you understand what it is? Oh clashing, arguing, rioting Indians move back, that is how the man shouted at the Indians. “This is the time when a crew member of Metallica, dressed in a grey T-shirt, says ‘Move back you buttheads! Move back’,” Rahul Sarin, a blogger who attended the concert, mentioned in his blog.  Around 6.15, the crew members of Metallica started dismantling their equipment set-up on the stage, seeing which the crowd started losing it. “By 6.30, they announced that the show was postponed by a day, and people started moving away. Many started booing, and some threw empty bottles on the stage,” said Pulkit, who came with his brother. He added that when the crowd booed and refused to leave the venue in disbelief, another announcer took the stage and said: “If you behave this way, Metallica won’t play tomorrow also.” This further riled the crowd up. “But even then, most people started to leave. And only about 20-30 people jumped the barricade, got on to the stage, and started tearing things apart,” said Atish, who came from Chandigarh. He said if the security people were present near the stage, the vandals could have easily been stopped. “The security was nowhere to be seen, and most of those who were present seemed least interested in what was happening until all hell broke lose,” he said. When nothing was done legally, why blame the security? For looters it has become a funny business[8].

Metallica has the notoriety of “running riot”: Metallica and rioting have been synonymous perhaps. The rioting has been associated with Metallica, as could be seen in the past programmes[9].  

During Metallica’s show in Bogota Colombia in March 2010, Wednesday, March 10, a riot broke out when a group of ticketless fans showed up to crash the gates and barriers.  Rumors has it that Facebook posts encouraging fans to crash the gig. Because of this, police and 1500 officers were deployed to monitor the event.  Meanwhile, Metallica was not wavered with the chaos happening outside, instead they made the 30,000 fans satisfied with their electrifying heavy metal hits. Hundreds of ticketless fans were desperate to catch a glimpse of their metal heroes, causing them to go mad. The police used water hoses and tear gas while the rioters responded by throwing bricks at the officers. The protesters caused a lot of damage such as traffic signals, properties around the park. They even demolished walls to use rocks as missiles. According to reports, four fans and four police officers were injured,  one person suffered from a knife wound. At least 160  people were arrested[10] and 8 people were injured. Metallica last played in Colombia in May 1999. In  January, the band’s concert in Chilean capital Santiago was also spoiled by rioters, with 120 fans arrested after wild encounter with police. 

In the Latin American countries, Metallica has the same notoriety – Columbia, Chile[11] and elsewhere[12]. Thus, there is nothing surprising that the same thing happened in India and the Indians have been made fools without informing about their precedence of discipline and good behavior. As a consumer, any fan of diehard or not-hard or soft-hard should know about his rights, instead of falling in line with the rogues and behave accordingly, as we Indians have age-long tradition of discipline. Even, they themselves have analyzed the reasons for the misbehaviour, misconduct etc[13]. The foreign media knows fully about the pattern as could be seen from their way of reporting, videographing the riots etc[14].

The modus operandi of the Metallica” appears to be like this: The modus operandai has been simple –

  1. Do not respect the law of the land.
  2. Be arrogant, do not get permission, but print tickets and sell.
  3. Sell tickets by any means, duplicate, black market and so on.
  4. Make the diehard fans to get gathered.
  5. Do not bother about the capacity of the hall / place etc.
  6. Make them “mad”.
  7. Call them “buttheads”,………………..
  8. Provoke them to run riot
  9. Arrest the fans, as they paid to get arrested
  10. Blame government / country for the security lapses
  11. Run away with loot.

Vedaprakash

30-10-2011