Press-Release / TAHRIR / 30 December 2014 / Lucknow , Uttar Pradesh , India.///Death Toll In Uttar Pradesh Due to Cold has Rises to 125 but instead of doing something concrete to stop the homeless from dying due to cold, UP Govt. is busy providing 'Right to Entertainment' to Safai.
Recently, Uttar Pradesh's biggest rural festival, Saifai Mahotsava, being held at the native village of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, organised by the Samajwadi Party MP Tej Pratap Yadav was inaugurated by Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan. Ruling Yadav clan of Uttar Pradesh was present in full force at Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav's home district Mainpuri last Friday to launch the 17th edition of Saifai Mahotsav.
In 2013, the extravagant festival was criticised in view of the Muzaffaranagar riots. Facing flak over the festivities in Saifai, Last year Uttar Pradesh Government went too law to ban media from Saifai Mahotsav from covering the event.
However, that did not deter Samajwadi Party Government to celebrate the festival this year. Mulayam Singh Yadav went ahead and said that not only the people living in urban centers have the right to enjoy dance, but rural folks also take pleasure in it. Mulayam linked it to 'right to entertainment'.
Mulayam Singh's nephew Ranbir Singh used to hold an annual wrestling meet in Saifai but after his demise in 1997, the party started organising the event as Saifai Mahotsav every year so much so that the event became a state financed event whenever Samajwadi party was in Power in Uttar Pradesh.
This year also, Uttar Pradesh's Culture Department Secretary Anita Meshram might have made media statements that state government has approved Rs. 1 crore for the mahotsav but the fact is that the state funded Saifai mahotsavs are closely-guarded secrets for UP government so much so that Culture department's spineless officials are forced to make lame excuses and play 'Hide & Seek' with info-seeker's RTI pleas just to avert disclosure of info even when sought under RTI act.
A year ago, on 26-12-2013, this Lucknow based Social Activist Sanjay Sharma had shot off a RTI plea to the PIO of CM office of UP. On first point, Sanjay sought documents contained in files related to the whole processes from proposal to decision making regarding organizing of all Saifai Mahotsavas to which Dr. Lavkush Dwivedi of Culture Directorate of UP, on 18 December 2014, has informed Sanjay that Information sought by him is not clear. On Second point, Sanjay sought info of Money spent from state coffers on all 'Safai Mahotsavas' ( Starting from very first Mahotsava ) to which Dr. Lavkush Dwivedi has written that it was not clear in RTI plea as to details of which year were sought by Sanjay. On Third point, Sanjay sought Money earned by state Govt. from organizing of all 'Safai Mahotsavas' ( Starting from very first Mahotsava ) to which Dr. Lavkush Dwivedi has written that No such points related to income from organizing of all 'Safai
Mahotsavas' are concern of Culture Department.
"Saifai mahotsavs are closely-guarded secrets for UP government so much so that Culture department's spineless officials are forced to make lame excuses and play 'Hide & Seek' with my RTI plea just to avert disclosure of info even when sought under RTI act, so I have every reason to doubt intentions of SP Govt. in organizing such Mahotsavas" said Sanjay.
Sanjay told that on 13 January 2014,he had filed another RTI application in the office of the district magistrate, Etawah but this has got no response till date. This application sought response on the money spent in holding the event, guest list, programme list, money spent by district administration and state government and frequency of flights that operated to bring guests to the venue but on none of the eleven points information ever came. "Even UP state information commission, full of sycophant info-commissioners, refused to listen to my complaint and same was dismissed by Information commissioner Vijay Shankar Sharma" said Sanjay.
With grim picture being painted by UPSIC, the highest authority in RTI matters in UP, Sanjay feels that info on loot of public money on such events shall always remain a secret.
Terming State Govt's illogical viewpoint of providing 'Right to Entertainment' to Safai @ deprivation of 'Right to life' to homeless of UP as tragic, inhumane and autocratic, Sanjay condemned spending on Safai Mahotsava from State coffers as a shear wastage of public money and that too only to quench of thirst of unending Ego of political rulers of UP and referring the Death Toll In Uttar Pradesh Due to Cold as 125, demanded the Govt. to ensure 'Right to Life' to each n every homeless of UP before going to Safai like events.
Sanjay told that he is approaching Raj Bhavan of UP to personally meet the Governor and apprise him of this high handed approach of rulers of UP in this matter in detail to bring things to their logical ends.
RTI, RTI reply & Memo can be downloaded from given link :
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