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1. Interview with Lynne Jonell

SignCatFolks, one of the things I love about this job is the fact that I get to watch authors’ careers bloom and blossom.  I see authors starting out or at the beginning of their careers and watch as they garner praise and flourishes throughout the years.  Today’s example is author Lynne Jonell.  Back in 2007 I very much enjoyed her book Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat.  She’s written so much since then, but her latest is the one that caught my eye.  Recently Kirkus said of The Sign of the Cat in a starred review that, “Intriguing, well-drawn characters, evocatively described settings, plenty of action, and touches of humor combine to create an utterly satisfying adventure.”  The book follows the adventures of a boy who can communicate with cats.  So, right there.  You’ve got me.  Add in Lynne’s amazing answers to my questions (come for the interview, stay for the reference to a “squishing machine”) and you’ve got yourself a blog post, my friend.

Betsy Bird: Hello, Lynne!  So let’s just start with the basics from the get go.  Where did this book come from?  I mean to say, what was the impetus that made you want to write it?

Lynne Jonell: Hi, Betsy! The first and shallowest impetus for the book was that, back in 2006, I had sent a book off to my publisher but was still in full-steam-ahead writing mode. I wasn’t up for starting a whole new novel just yet, but I thought I could manage a chapter book.

Secondly, as a child, I had always wished I could speak the secret language of animals. Very quickly, a concept took shape—there would be a boy (I had never written about a boy, and it seemed like a new challenge), he could speak Cat (I love cats, plus it seemed that they would be privy to a lot of information—cats go everywhere, and no one worries about whether or not a cat is going to repeat what it hears), and he didn’t know what had happened to his father (every story needs a problem, right? I knew that much.)

Concepts won’t sustain a book for very long, though. For me, there has to be something underneath, some deeper thing that drives me to write a particular story. I usually have no idea what this thing is, or where it is rooted, but I can tell when it is there because I will have an image in my mind—something that haunts me.

EmmyIncredibleWhen I have a vivid picture—no matter that it makes no sense yet—I know there is power somewhere, there is energy enough for an entire book. Then I will begin to write toward that image. For example, Emmy & the Incredible Shrinking Rat started with a dream of a piece of green paper with a curved line, and later an image of a cane carved with the faces of little girls.

When I was beginning to toy around with The Sign of the Cat, I saw a boy and a kitten in the sea, struggling to stay afloat as the ship they’d been on sailed away into the night. There was a man on deck of the ship, too. He watched the boy without expression, and he did not give the alarm.

Soon more images began to come—a tiger, a squishing machine, Duncan hiding in a closet and watching with horror as a man dug into a pie—and I couldn’t fit them all into a chapter book. I picked up the story from time to time, playing around with it, but it wasn’t until 2010 that some of the pieces came together and I began to work seriously on the book. Now, of course, I know what the book means to me—and it’s full of personal references—but at the beginning, I didn’t have the faintest idea where it was going.

BB: You’re no stranger to the world of fantasy, but sometimes I feel like you tend to keep one foot rooted in the real world as well.  You’re not quite a magical realism writer, but when fantastical elements appear in your books they seem to happen in a world very much like our own.  Is there any particular reason for that, do you think?

lynnejonell-2011LJ: Yes, absolutely. My favorite books, as a child, were ones in which magical things happened to ordinary children, going about their ordinary business. Then suddenly—wham! The chemistry set made them invisible, the strange coin they picked up off the street gave them wishes, the nursery carpet turned out to contain the egg of a phoenix, the toy ship purchased in a dark and dusty shop could grow to carry four children, and fly… I loved the idea that maybe, just maybe, it might someday happen to me.

Children today may seem more sophisticated than we were, but that’s superficial… deep down, they are developmentally the same, and they believe in the possibility of magic a lot longer than you might think. I have had ten year olds ask me, very shyly, if the magic in my books was real.

That’s why I love to make the world of the book close to the child reader’s world. It seems as if the magic could happen to them, too, someday. And rather than magical realism, perhaps you could call my books “magical science”, because I always base the magic on some scientific concept, to make things even more plausible. For instance, in The Sign of the Cat, I was fascinated with the concept of critical periods of brain development.

There’s a famous study where normal kittens had their eyes covered for a few months after birth. When the covering was removed, the kittens were blind. Their eyes were normal, and there was nothing wrong with the optic nerve, but the connections between the brain and the optic nerve hadn’t been made during a crucial period. There are critical periods with hearing, too, and attachment (think imprinting, with baby ducks), and the acquisition of language.

I thought, what if there’s a critical period where humans had the ability to learn Cat? We wouldn’t know it, because cats can’t be bothered to teach anyone anything, and the chance would go by forever!

BB: What kinds of books did you read when you were a kid?  I’m crossing my fingers for the name “Edward Eager” to appear, just so’s you know.

PhoenixCarpetJL: Oh, sure, Edward Eager, of course—but his inspiration was E. Nesbit, and I loved her books even more. The Phoenix and the Carpet, and Five Children and It—masterpieces. I also adored Eleanor Cameron, anything by Ruth Chew (I loved The Wednesday Witch), Hilda Lewis (The Ship That Flew), Bedknobs and Broomsticks, the Narnia books of course, The Hobbit, anything by Elizabeth Enright, Eleanor Estes, Rudyard Kipling; I could go on and on…

I also had an abiding fascination with fiction about Native Americans—the different tribes, how they lived, the various cultures. I had a deep and secret longing to go back in time, before European settlers arrived, and be a Dakota boy. I wanted to be a boy because, in the books, they always had the adventures—and I also decided I would have to have perfect vision, because I was terribly nearsighted and I knew I couldn’t steal horses and count coup when I couldn’t see past my nose. I think this period was at its height when I was in fourth grade, and I remember many summer mornings where I’d grab my favorite stick and go off to some vacant lot or field where I would become that Dakota boy for hours on end.

BB: I once ran a children’s bookgroup and held up a new fantasy for them to peruse. One of them groaned audibly when they saw the number on the spine. “No more series!” she cried.  I don’t know that that kid was exactly the norm, but she did at least prove to me that there are kids out there that prefer standalone novels to series books.  Is The Sign of the Cat a standalone or the first in a series?  How did you come to make that decision?

 JL: The Sign of the Cat is a stand-alone. I don’t know how that decision was made, actually—it seems that the book made the decision for me. A reviewer said that Cat was a good “series starter” and I wondered where that came from! But I suppose that everyone, when a book ends, likes to wonder what happens next.

BB: Would you call yourself a “cat person”?  If so, do you think a non-cat person could ever write a book of this sort?

JL: I’m more a cat person than a dog person. I like the way cats are a little aloof, and don’t slobber all over you with their affection, and aren’t very needy—but they are capable of deep attachment once you get to know them. I like their independence.

rat-cookieBut I don’t own a cat, and I don’t think I needed to be a cat person to write this book. I am most definitely not a rat person, yet I wrote three books about rats!

BB: If you could speak the language of any kind of animal besides cats, what would it be?

JL: Birds. I would so love to fly… I think they might speak very poetically about flight, and they could come to my windowsill and tell me all about it.

BB: And finally, what are you working on next?

Castle_MenziesJL: I’m working on a time-travel book based in Scotland. And yes—there was an image with this book, too. The first was a postcard of Castle Menzies. My grandfather, whose clan it was, showed me the picture when I was a child, and I never forgot it.

The second image came 45 years later; I had a vivid mental picture of an acorn rolling out from a stone wall. I didn’t know what it meant, but I knew that the stone wall was part of the castle, and I also knew that it was time to get to work on that particular book.

BB:  Well, many thanks to Ms. Jonell for joining us today.  Now about that “squishing machine” . . .


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2. #everybrilliantthing

Image result for every brilliant thing 
Browsing around today I came across Irene's list of little things to be grateful for.  June has been a hard month, in a #firstworldproblems kind of way, but as Irene says, "Nothing like a little gratitude to pull one from a funk, right?"  So I'm taking antifunk action with this list of 30 brilliant things that have visited me in June:

1 rabbit rabbit
2 lentil soup by the case
3 my son cooking pasta
4 taking political action
5  Squeals on Wheels
tomato blossoms
7  a compliment from my daughter
8  flip-flops
9  digital everything
10 Kindergarten End of Year Program
11 blowing bubbles
12 poppin tags at the Goodwill
13 Pride
14 floaty summer dresses
15 kind colleagues
16 my parents
17 the beach
18 knowing the answer
19 laughing till you wet your pants
20 Chesapeake Bay Bridge
21 The 14th Annual Summer Solstice Picnic
22 cardboard boxes
23 nectarines
24 k.d. lang
25 when good sense prevails
26 when love wins
27 donation pick-up trucks
28 my minister
29 bumblebees on the "weed" flowers
30 US Women's Soccer team  

It was harder to choose than to think of things.  That's my first brilliant thing for July.

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3. Ghost Connection

Manelle Oliphant Illustration - Illustrator and Writer

Here is my latest Tales Fantastic Story. My brother volunteered to read the story and I think he did a great job. You can listen to it on the video or read it below. If you’d rather read it later on your kindle or ipad you can download this story free from smashwords.


Ghost Connection

A short story by Manelle Oliphant

I’ve been haunted by two things since I was born, my red hair, and a ghost. This is the story of how my sister Emily’s Halloween obsession helped me become uh… un-haunted.

Let’s start with the ghost. She’d been around from my earliest memories. She was white and glowy. She wore a flowing dress, had long hair, and looked a little old fashioned. She followed me around in a kind of smoke. Her presence brought a feeling of desperation. Like she wanted to be my friend and had to struggle every moment to make it happen.

As a kid, I talked about her all the time. I didn’t realize seeing a ghost wasn’t normal. I told everyone how she looked and things she did. My family called her my “imaginary ghost friend”. The only reason I stopped talking about her was because of my red hair.

I’m the only redhead in my whole family. No one, not even a cousin has a hint of it. When I was eight, my older brother Jake told me I didn’t fit in because I was adopted. Maybe I shouldn’t have believed him, but I did.

I asked my mom about it. She was doing laundry at the time and looked at me with her arms full of dirty sheets, “Of course your not adopted, Clayton. My mom had red hair just like yours.” That relieved me quite a bit, but when I asked more questions, Mom looked sad then shoved the sheets into the washer double quick. “She died around the time you were born. Please don’t ask me anymore about her”.

I was ok with that. I’d heard what I wanted. Triumphantly I told my brother about our dead grandma with red hair.

He laughed at me. “Have you ever seen a picture of her?”


Jake smirked “Then how do you know it’s true? I think Mom made the whole thing up to make you feel better. You really were adopted. I remember when they brought you home so I would know.”

At this point, tears threatened at the corners of my eyes. “You were only three. How could you even remember?”

He smirked at me. “Oh, I remember. Trust me. You’re adopted.” Then he ruffled my hair like I was a cat. “Don’t worry little brother, I’m sure they won’t give you up. ‘Course if you keep going on about that imaginary ghost they’ll have to take you to an asylum. Probably the same one where your real mom lived when she had you.”

I kicked Jake’s shin. “It’s not true.”

He just smirked at me, “That’s why she had to give you up you know- because she thought she saw ghosts. Just like you.“

I tried to punch Jake in the arm, but he blocked it. So, I ran to my room and cried. My ghost appeared and tried to comfort me. The gesture didn’t help. Her desperate feelings always overpowered everything else. I felt so angry because the fact that I could see her made me feel crazy. I decided right then I wouldn’t talk about her ever again. I wouldn’t look at her. I would ignore her until she went away.

After that, Jake didn’t tease me as much, and my parents no longer looked at me with worried expressions. My ghost got more annoying than ever, though. The more I ignored her the angrier she got. Instead of gliding she dashed about from place to place. Sometimes she disappeared only to reappear right in front of my face. She made lights flicker, rooms colder, and did everything a ghost could do to get my attention. I ignored this constant ghosty tantrum like a pro. That’s how things stood with us for years. Then came my sister’s wedding.

Weddings are supposed to be fun, but they aren’t. Like I said, my sister Emily was obsessed with Halloween. She loved ghosts, wearing black, and found some guy to marry her who loved that stuff too. Since I actually saw a ghost all the time, I didn’t get what the big deal was but Emily was knee deep in it. As a consequence, she wanted her wedding to be on Halloween in a graveyard. Weird.

Emily couldn’t get permission to have the party in the actual cemetery, but she reserved the park next to it. So, while she “got ready” for her big day, me, Jake, Mom and Dad, and anyone else we could get, set up tables, hung old looking photos in the trees, and put up lights. Then we cleaned ourselves up just to sit through a wedding. By the time we got to the reception, which was supposed to be the fun part, I just wanted to fall asleep.

I found a bench away from everyone where I could be by myself. I slumped down, breathed in the crisp air and shut my eyes.


When I opened them again, my ghost floated in front of me. Her dress billowed out in all directions. The air grew colder, and wisps of ghostly light reached toward me. She stared at me with empty black eyes and wailed. Her feelings of anger, hurt and desperation overwhelmed me. I think Halloween, or the graveyard, or both made her more powerful.

The thing of it is, even though I felt her presence stronger than ever, I was exhausted. I’d seen her throw so many ghosty fits this just felt like one more tactic to get attention. It didn’t work. I stood and walked back toward the party. She wailed louder and whirled around me so fast I felt a breeze. I pretended not to notice. I figured once people surrounded me again she would leave. But it didn’t work out that way. When I stepped into the lights of the party, the band stopped, and everyone looked at me. Then they all freaked because they could see her too!

I’m not sure what happened next. I got caught up in the chaos until I hid under a table with my cousin Ryan. He’d stolen some of the cake. People and a ghost screamed all around us, but I just sat there under the table and ate cake, no point of it going to waste.

Once things had quieted down I crawled out from under the table. Most of the guests had fled. My sister looked delighted by their unexpected wedding guest. Mom sat very still on one of the few upright chairs, and Dad directed anyone still there to start cleaning up.

I walked over to Mom. “Are you ok?”

She looked at me. She’d been crying. “Clayton, I saw a ghost.”

“Yeah, my ‘imaginary ghost friend.’”

“Oh…well, I know who she is.”


“Yeah, my mom. She died a week before you were born. Cancer. I’d hoped she’d at least meet you before she died. You are her first and only grandchild with hair as red as hers.”

She put her arm around my shoulders. “All these years I’ve tried not to think about how she missed out on meeting you and seeing all you kids grow up.”

I patted her on the back. “Well, she hasn’t actually missed out on all that much. My first memory of her is at my second birthday party.”

Mom smiled. “Really?”

“Yes. I’ve always wondered who she was.”

Mom squeezed my shoulders again. “Let’s get this mess cleaned up, and then I’ll tell you about her.”

When we got home, Mom pulled out some old photo albums. Dad and Jake joined us as Mom told us about Grandma. She showed us the wedding photos first.

I pointed at the first picture. “That’s the same dress.”

My mom smiled. “Yes, we buried her in her wedding dress.”

Seeing my ghost in full color was weird. She had the same dress like I said, the same face, and the reddest of red hair.

I smiled. “See Jake, not adopted.”

Jake just laughed.

Relief washed through me. I’d told myself many times Jake had been kidding about me being adopted, but I think I didn’t really believe it until I saw that photo.

We looked at pictures for a few hours while my mom told stories about growing up. By the time we went to bed I felt like I really knew my ghost, and Mom looked happier than she had in a long time.

I only saw the ghost once more after that, she appeared in my bedroom a day or so later.

I smiled at her. “I’m sorry for ignoring you.”

She nodded. The feelings of desperation were gone. I felt connected to her now, even though she was old and dead. I saw her mouth form the words “See you later.” Then she faded away. I don’t know if she meant she’d come back sometime, or if I just have to wait until I’m dead to see her again. I’m good either way, as long as I don’t die for a good long time.

The End

If you enjoyed this story I hope you’ll share it with your friends.

Learn how you can support the creation of more like it at www.patreon.com/manelleoliphant

Manelle Oliphant Patreon

The post Ghost Connection appeared first on Manelle Oliphant Illustration.

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4. radio show: art in bars

Todd and Nancy are the charismatic duo behind the New Haven epicenter of the weird, wonderful and winsome Fashionista vintage clothing and costume store extrodinaire. They know the Haven underground art scene like no one else, and now they have a radio show about it on WPKN: New Haven Mavens. I was lucky enough to be invited on to the second episode about art in bars, to talk about puppets. It's a great show, not because of me, but the other guests who are all awesome friends: Dot Mitzvah, Craig Gilbert, Robin Banks, and Anatar Marmol-Gagne.

You can hear the entire show online, archived here.

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5. Free books, receptions, networking, and more at #alaac15

#alasc15 is officially done! I can’t believe another conference has wrapped. It’s an event that I look forward to all year long! There is no better opportunity to reconnect with grad school friends, committee/group members, and meet new friends!!

Takeaways from this year:

Book fever/ Book FOMO were real conditions! Even though it was not my first exhibit, I felt myself (along with my peers) get swept up with book fever or FOMO (fear of missing out)! I kept grabbing books like a Black Friday shopper! As my conference roomie pointed out, the exhibit hall felt like the arcade scene from Percy Jackson– you could lose time and life force as you walked along!
After shipping back three boxes– I realized next time I need to have more discretion and pack an empty suitcase!

Award Receptions:
I won a scholarship this year to attend #alaac15 from the Freedom to Read Foundation. http://www.ftrf.org/news/232420/FTRF-names-Amy-Steinbauer-and-Gretchen-LeCheminant-as-Conable-Scholarship-recipients.htm
Since they paid for all the big expenses, I treated myself to three paid events- the Printz Award reception where I got to get loads of face time with one of my favorite authors-Jandy Nelson! If you love YA- this is a cool event to hear from YA authors and meet other librarians!


As I’ve reported before, I also went to the Bookmobile Lunch and the Caldecott/Newbery Awards receptions.

In the future, I may not be able to go to all– but if there’s an area you really love- treat yourself to a special event! They are lots of fun!

I have two mentors- one from NMRT’s conference mentoring program last year, and one from the ALSC mentoring program. Annual is a great time for face to face interactions with them!

But, there are opportunities for networking everywhere at annual! Walking lost through a hotel, waiting for a shuttle, or geeking out about an author! Carry your business cards and your smile– and they will take you far! Having a ribbon with my Twitter handle gave me real connections with Twitter people– which was really fun!!

#alaac15 was awesome! Can’t wait to do it all again next year! Thanks for reading all my adventures!!

Amy Steinbauer is an Early Childhood Outreach Librarian in Beaumont, CA. Follow her on Twitter @Merbrarian

The post Free books, receptions, networking, and more at #alaac15 appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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6. Passive Picture Book Programs

As a first year librarian, I was constantly looking for new passive programming ideas.  We had a passive “mystery box” program, that the children could participate in once a week. I was getting burnt out on trying to find 5 new items every Monday to fill the box, and the kids were getting frustrated that they had to wait a week to play again.  At other libraries, the mystery box works well when most children come just once a week, but our children come to the library every day after school and in the summer.  I felt like this type of passive programming was not as enriching as it could be.

Early this January, a new book came by my desk called, “28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World” by Charles R. Smith.   I flipped through this and immediately wanted to turn this into a daily passive program.  Each page of this book has an illustration of a famous black person, the date of the important event, a poem describing the person and event, and a paragraph at the bottom giving more detail.  I planned to put the book out on the reference desk, turning the page every day to reveal a new person and event during the month of February to celebrate Black History Month.  First, I created a handout to give children with general questions that could be applied to any page of the book; who, what, when?  The kids had to read the page, write the name of the famous person, what they did to change history, and when did it happen.  After they completed the questions, I would go over their answers and the page to make sure they fully understood the events and why they were so important.  They then would get a small reward of a piece of candy.  Other kids would come up, seeing a crowd around my desk, asking what was happening. I collected all answer sheets to tally the participation numbers.  The passive program was so popular that I would collect 80 answer sheets weekly.

After the end of Black History Month, I brought the old mystery box back out, and the kids actually requested for the book to come back! I had to think quick and just my luck; another new book came my way, “Maps” by Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinski.  This fit one of my goals for the children perfectly; to teach them about world culture and that we are all world citizens. Each page has a different country with illustrations of historical buildings, native plants and animals, cultural food, sports, etc.  I created over a dozen questions that could pertain to any country’s map. The children would choose a random answer sheet with 4 questions. The first two questions were always the same on all the papers; country and capital.  The last two questions were different, so one child could potentially read the same map page multiple days, but answer different questions each time. The other questions were to name specific animals, food, historical buildings, famous people, bodies of water, ethnic food, sports, natural formations, major cities, language, size, and population.  The children would turn their answers, I would initiate a discussion about the country (would they like to visit, what about the culture is interesting to them), then they would receive a small prize. This, again, was very successful and popular.

slide1With the Summer Reading Challenge coming up, I created a passive book program.  I have two book clubs, one is preschool to second grade and the other is third to sixth grade. Each club has their own short picture book; I chose Iron Man books because of our superhero theme. Children can come up to the desk to get their club’s book, read it, and then answer a few short questions.  I have multiple sheets with different questions pertaining to each group’s book and the children will be able to participate once a day, choosing different questions for each new day.

I am very pleased with how successful these passive book programs have gone and I am excited to discover new books that will produce fun and education programs in the future.


Courtesy photo of guest blogger

Courtesy photo of guest blogger

Our guest blogger today is Angela Bronson. Angela has a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio. This is her ninth year working for the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, and is currently a Children’s Librarian at Kent Branch Library. In the past, she was a Preschool Art Teacher for Bowling Green State University. She illustrated her first picture book this year titled, “Alora in the Clouds.” 

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

The post Passive Picture Book Programs appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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7. Bảo tàng Văn học Việt Nam

       Việt Nam News reports that First Vietnamese literature museum opens to public.
       Apparently: "construction did not begin till 2004" on the three-story building -- and it seems it took over a decade, until now, to get it all done.
       The first floor covers the 10th through 19th centuries, the second "writers of the early 20th century", the "third floor is reserved for writers of the anti-French revolution period (1945-54)". Apparently there's no room for anything resembling contemporary literature -- or it's been relegated to the basement ..... Read the rest of this post

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8. Remembering Albus Dumbledore

Today we honor the death of one of the greatest literary characters ever created. Though Albus Dumbledore may have never breathed in real life, he was always alive in our hearts. His great wisdom reminded us that “happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.” For “it is the unknown that we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more,” and we “should not pity the dead; [we should] pity the living, and above all, those who live without love;” especially when “[failing] to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been [our] greatest weakness.” Dumbledore taught us how to have the courage to be ourselves, and not pretend to be anybody else: “it is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” Dumbledore talked of love and acceptance; of others as well as ourselves because “differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” We must not forget the power of goodness, forgiveness and love, even in hard times: for even when “dark times lie ahead of us…there will be [times] when we must choose between what is right and what is easy.” We must not get caught up in flights of fancy; we must not dwell on what we want, or do not have, but be grateful for what we do have, because “it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

Please join us in honoring the bravery, wisdom, and love Dumbldore taught us throughout the Harry Potter series. For even though he lived in our hearts and our imaginations because “of course it is [all] happening inside [our] heads, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?”

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9. ‘A More Perfect Union’ by The Rauch Brothers

When Theresa Burroughs came of voting age, she was ready to cast her ballot. But in the Jim Crow era, she had a long fight ahead of her.

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10. Gratitude

#alaac15 is all over. I’m back home in Denver, catching up on sleep, non-conference emails, and enjoying non-restaurant food. This is also a great time to reflect on all the amazing things that happened while I was at conference. The day before the conference began, my husband and I took the BART to downtown Berkeley and ate a delicious meal at Cafe Gratitude. The vegan menu requires diners to order their meals with gratitude. “I’ll have the I am Honoring [nachos] and the I am Luscious [chocolate smoothie].” It might sound cheesy (or should I say “non-dairy cheesy”?), but looking back on my conference experience there are so many things for which I’m grateful.

I am Rejuvenated [wheatgrass cleanser]
The spirit of sharing and collaboration at ALA conferences is one of the reasons I return each year. Sessions like Program-a-Looza, Guerrilla Storytime, and Diversity Dynamism: Mixing Resources and Making Connections have given me so many ideas to try at my own library or tuck away for future use.

I am Magical [black bean burger]
Hearing the inspiring words of so many authors and illustrators at award ceremonies and publisher events was magical. I was especially touched by the speeches at the Coretta Scott King Awards Breakfast and the Newbery-Caldecott Banquet. These artists impressed me with their dedication to their art and to young readers everywhere.

I am Passionate [Orange, carrot, ginger juice]
There are so many passionate, intelligent, and thoughtful individuals who attend ALA conferences. I look forward to wonderful discussions with my colleagues from across the country. This year was no exception. From favorite books to programming ideas, from diversity to the ethnics of reviewing, I have gained a deeper understanding of many topics through the passionate words of others.

Thanks ALA and ALSC for such a wonderful conference! I’m sad that it’s over, but I’m looking forward to more rejuvenation, magic, and passion at Midwinter! Hope to see you all in Boston!

The post Gratitude appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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11. The Defence of Lawino review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of A New Translation of Wer pa Lawino by Taban lo Liyong, his translation of Okot p'Bitek's The Defence of Lawino.
       I reviewed p'Bitek's own translation, and it's always interesting to compare translations; certainly, these make for a great comparative case-study.

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This book is one off-the-beaten-track for me. It's definitely a MG chapter book, and skews quite a bit younger than the books we usually review here -- but I'm reviewing it anyway, because I'm excited that I'll have the opportunity to meet the... Read the rest of this post

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13. Writer Wednesday: When Organization Becomes Clutter

Okay, so I've been keeping a secret from all of you. I've taken on a new job that I can't quite tell you about yet. My contract is signed and delivered, but I'm waiting for the official announcement to tell you all what it is. 

What I can say is that I've become insanely busy! My writing desk looks like a case of Post-It notes threw up on it. Seriously, I'm talking those big Post-It pads with lines on them stuck EVERYWHERE! My desk has three shelves on it, and they are serving as places to stick my notes. Not to mention the notes covering the actual desk portion where I work.

So what I've realized is that my organization has turned into clutter. If you saw my desk (and no, I'm not going to subject you to pictures of my chaos), you'd think I was the messiest writer ever. But…it works for me because I love crossing things off my notes and then ultimately crumpling them up and tossing them when I've accomplished everything on the notes. That's a good feeling.

I guess in a way, the Post-It notes make me feel like I'm somewhat in control and they give me a sense of accomplishment when I can toss them in the trash.

How do you handle being busier than busy? Do you have an avalanche of Post-Its, too?

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14. I'll be at Loud in the Library at Broadbeach Library on July 12!

From 1p.m. till 3p.m. on Sunday July 12th, I'll be appearing at Broadbeach library here on the Gold Coast! Here's what the event is all about:

Take over the library with authors Tristan Bancks, Steph Bowe and Brian Falkner. Share pizza and soft drink and find out why they write, how they write and whether you could write books too.

(OF COURSE YOU COULD WRITE BOOKS TOO, is what I'm going to say. Writing books is the greatest and everyone has awesome story ideas if they have a go at it.)

It's for 12- to 17-year-olds! I am always excited about events for teenage readers (and writers) being held here on the Gold Coast, so this is pretty awesome (I'm looking forward to the pizza!).

SO: if you're a teenage reader on the Gold Coast and wondering what to do on the twelfth of July, you really should come along.

You can register on the library website here.

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15. Counting Nina's

The Historical Museum*
Has a wonderful collection
Of the drawings done by Hirschfeld,**
Waiting there for your inspection.

As you view his work you’ll realize
He’s the Caricature King;
From his sketchpad and his pencils,
Magic images would spring.

He could capture a celebrity
With just a few quick strokes.
Most were honored to be subjects
Of his playful, artful pokes.

But the fun in all his sketches,
Once his daughter was alive,
Lies in looking for the Nina’s,
(Starting 1945).

For her name was always hidden
In the lines upon the page,
Giving viewers quite a challenge,
In which many would engage.

Sometimes there’d be many Nina’s
In which case he’d let you know
By a number written next to
His cool signature below.

If you visit the exhibit,
You can sit in Hirschfeld’s chair
And pretend you’re hiding Nina’s,
With his humor and his flair.

*New York Historical Society
**Al Hirschfeld

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16. Cover Pages of Books

BOOK COVERS 7 finalCover Pages of Books

अभी तक मेरी लिखी सात पुस्तके प्रकाशित हो चुकी हैं. जिसमें से दो नेशनल बुक ट्रस्ट की ओर से प्रकाशित है. किताबों मे व्यंग्य, नाटक, बाल कहानियां, स्वच्छता, प्रेरक जीवनी पढने को मिलेगीं

The post Cover Pages of Books appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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17. Why I Can't Wait To Get My Hands on When We Collided by Emery Lord...

From Becca's Sleep-Deprived Brain... Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where you can spotlight an upcoming release you're eagerly anticipating! This week I'm itching to read: WHEN WE COLLIDED  by Emery Lord Hardcover: 352 pages Publisher: Bloomsbury  Releases on: April 5th, 2016 Goodreads | Amazon  Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose

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18. स्वच्छता के नारे

स्वच्छता के नारे

स्वच्छता हम सभी के लिए बेहद जरुरी है जानते हैं हम सब पर फिर भी मानते नही है और गंदगी फैलाए चले जाते हैं. ये कहना भी सही नही है कि गंदगी गांव के असभ्य और अनपढ लोग फैलाते हैं.

गंदगी पढे लिखे लोग भी बराबर की ही फैलाते हैं. हैरानी की बात तो तब हुई जब गांव के लोगों मे स्वच्छता की अलख जगाई गई उन्हें खुले मे शौच जाने से होने वाली बीमारियों के बारे मॆं बताया गया तो ना सिर्फ उन्होने घर में शौचालय बनवाया बल्कि दूसरों को भी प्रेरित करने के लिए नारे भी बना दिए.

ये स्वच्छता के नारे बनाए हैं हरियाणा में  जिला  सिरसा के गांव वालो ने … और स्वच्छता को एक नया आयाम दिया …

sawacchta  book by monica gupta


नारे स्वच्छता अभियान के

गाँव वालों ने तो स्वच्छता  अभियान को नर्इ दिशा देने के लिए ढ़ेरों नारे बना दिए।
• मूँगफली में गोटा, छोड़ दो लोटा।

• ना जिलें में, न स्टेट में, सफार्इ सारे देश में

• 1-2-3-4, कुर्इ खुदवा लो मेरे यार

• सफार्इ करना मेरा काम, स्वच्छ रहें हमारा गाँव।

• सुन ले सरपंच, सुन ले मैम्बर, कुर्इ खुदवा लें घर के अंदर

• बच्चें, बूढ़े और जवान, सफार्इ का रखो ध्यान
• आँखों से हटाओ पटटी, खुले में न जाओ टटटी

• खुले में शौच, जल्दी मौत

• सफार्इ है जहाँ, पढ़ार्इ है वहाँ

• गाँव-2 में जाना है, गंदगी को दूर भगाना है।

• नक्क तै मक्खी बैन नी देनी, खुल्ले में टट्टी रहन नी देनी

• लोटा बोतल बंद करो, शौचालय का प्रबन्ध करों।

• मेरी बहना मेरी माँ, खुले में जाना ना ना ना….

• सफार्इ का रखो पूरा ध्यान
गाँव को बना लो निर्मल ग्राम

• स्वच्छता है जहाँ, जिन्दगी है वहाँ
• खुले में शौच नही जाना है
गाँव को निर्मल बनाना है

• सफार्इ है जहाँ, खुदार्इ है वहाँ

• ताऊ बोला तार्इ से, सबसे बड़ी सफार्इ सै

• साफ पानी पीऐंगे
सुरक्षित जीवन जीऐंगें

• बच्चें, बूढ़े और जवान
खुले में शौच से सब परेशान

• जब गंदगी को जड़ से मिटाऐगें
तभी अच्छे नागरिक को कहलाऐगें

• मिल जुल कर छोडो़ चिंगारी
स्वच्छ हो जाए दुनिया सारी

• खुले में शौच, पिछड़ी हुर्इ सोच

• हर गाँव में ज्योति जगाऐंगें
देश को स्वच्छ बनाऐेंगें

• पिछला जमाना बीत गया, अब नया सवेरा आया है
हर घर में शौचालय हो यही समझ अब लाया हैं

महात्मा गांधी भी स्वच्छता पर जोर देते रहे और पंडित नेहरु भी स्वच्छता की अहमियत जनता को समझाते रहे.

महात्मा गाँधी

स्वच्छता स्वतंत्रता से भी महत्वपूर्ण है
स्वच्छता में ही र्इश्वर का वास होता है

पं0 जवाहर लाल नेहरू

जिस दिन हम सबके पास अपने प्रयोग के लिए एक शौचालय होगा मुझे पूर्ण विश्वास है कि उस दिन देश अपनी प्रगति की चरम सीमा पर पहुँच चुका होगा।


The post स्वच्छता के नारे appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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19. Heroes: Reborn Gets a Synopsis, Trailer, and Character Portraits!

Swiftly following last week’s debut of the “Where are the Heroes?” teaser trailer, NBC has released a flurry of Heroes: Reborn promotional material to get audiences excited about the return of the show.  First off, here’s our first glimpse of the heroes, some of whom you might recognize, in action:

Then there’s the official plot synopsis:

A year ago, a terrorist attack in Odessa, Texas, left the city decimated. Blamed for the tragic event, those with extraordinary abilities are in hiding or on the run from those with nefarious motives.

Two such vigilantes include Luke (Zachary Levi, “Chuck”) and Joanne (Judith Shekoni, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2”), who are seeking to avenge a tragic loss.

Noah Bennet, aka H.R.G. (Jack Coleman, “Heroes”), has gone off the grid but conspiracy theorist Quentin Frady (Henry Zebrowski, “A to Z”) finds him and opens his eyes to the truth behind the Odessa tragedy.

While in hiding, some are discovering their newfound skills. Awkward teen Tommy (Robbie Kay, “Once Upon a Time”) just wants to be normal and win the girl of his dreams, Emily (Gatlin Green, “Criminal Minds”), but normalcy is virtually impossible after learning of a new ability that terrifies him. Coming from a very sheltered upbringing, a bold and ethereal teenager, Malina (Danika Yarosh, “Shameless”), has been told she is destined for greatness. In Tokyo, a quiet and unique young woman, Miko (Kiki Sukezane, “Death Yankee 3”), is trying to track down her missing father while hiding an extraordinary secret that will make her a force to be reckoned with. Elsewhere, a different type of hero is emerging through former soldier Carlos (Ryan Guzman, “The Boy Next Door”).

Odessa, from the word “Odyssey,” was the home of Claire Bennet and the very first place we ever saw in the Heroes universe.  It will be interesting to see the show return home and hopefully see the series return to form.  In addition to the aforementioned H.R.G. (Jack Coleman), a number of other characters from the original series have signed on to return, including Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), Angela Petrelli (Christine Rose), Rebel/Micah Sanders (Noah Gray-Cabey), Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy), Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), and The Haitian/René (Jimmy Jean-Louis).

Finally, we have a set of character portraits which feature old and new cast members:


Ryan Guzman as Carlos, an army veteran who has just discovered his abilities


Jack Coleman as HRG/Noah Bennet, father figure and government agent


Danika Yarosh as Malina, a “sheltered” girl who has just discovered that “she is destined for greatness”


Francesca Eastwood as Molly, a mystery character as of right now.

The 13 episode Heroes: Reborn miniseries will debut this fall.

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20. CWA International Dagger

       They announced the winners of the (UK) Crime Writers' Association yesterday, and the CWA International Dagger, for a crime-book "not originally written in English and has been translated into English for UK publication during the Judging Period" went to Pierre Lemaitre's Camille, in Frank Wynne's translation.
       Among the titles it beat out is Leif GW Persson's Falling Free, as if in a Dream, the last in his under-appreciated trilogy, and Deon Meyer's Cobra.

       (Bonus points and big applause for the CWA listing all the entries in the various categories: why can't all book prizes do this ?)

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21. Titan at SDCC: Assassin’s Creed, The Blacklist, Heroes, Lenore and, of course, Doctor Who!

Titan has announced their full line-up of SDCC activities, and there’s lots to choose from with ten signing sessions and two panels, as well as a bunch of exclusive covers, merchandise and sneak-peaks of their upcoming titles.


Their Doctor Who line gets it’s own panel this year, where details of a brand new Doctor Who miniseries will be announced, including which of the Time Lord’s many regenerations will star in it. From Titan:

Titan Comics gives you a sneak peek at the next chapters for the Doctor in all his incarnations – including sneak peeks at the direction of Year Two featuring the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors! Writer Cavan Scott and artist Blair Shedd discuss the smash-hit Ninth Doctor mini series! Writer Paul Cornell gives you a sneak peek at August’s comics cross-over event! Writers George Mann and Cavan Scott and cover artist Alice X. Zhang take you behind-the-scenes of the Twelfth Doctor SDCC exclusive short story edition. Plus, we reveal the next brand-new mini series – which Doctor is it going to be? Come along to find out! All attendees receive a FREE Doctor Who comic + prizes to win!

The Titan Doctor Who Comic panel is on Saturday July 11th from 3:30PM-4:30PM in room 5AB.



Fans of Assassin’s Creed can look forward to Titan’s global premiere of  artwork from the upcoming comic series based on the hugely popular video game franchise at Titan’s other comics panel on Thursday July 9th from 2:30-3:30PM in Room 4. In addition, the panel features TV producers and writers from Heroes Reborn and The Blacklist who will discuss their work on series tie-in comics. Roman Dirge, creator/writer and artist of the cult-smash series Lenore will also be on hand to talk about his planned new work. From Titan:

Titan Comics takes you behind-the-scenes of major new projects including Assassin’s CreedHeroes and The Blacklist! See the global premiere of artwork from the new Assassin’s Creed comics, plus be the first to find out about the launch storylines and the all-new Assassins! Heroes Reborn Supervising Producer Seamus Fahey gives you a sneak peek at the new Heroes comic and special SDCC ashcan. The Blacklist TV show writer Nicole Phillips talks about writing the new The Blacklist comic series, which debuts at SDCC! PLUS! The artists of the creator-owned hits of tomorrow will be in attendance! Cult writer Roman Dirge gives you a ghostly glimpse at Lenore and his upcoming new projects! Artist Des Taylor takes you undercover of hit series Scarlett Couture! Harvey award nominated writer Mark Wheatley discusses his new remastered edition of Breathtaker! Plus, more comics talent and prizes to win!


Want to grab an author-signed copy of that gorgeous, SDCC exclusive Heroes ashcan with art from Paul Pope? How about one of only 200 FREE Doctor Who: Four Doctors art cards signed by four Doctor crossover series writer Paul Cornell? Here’s the complete signing schedule, all signings taking place at the Titan booth #5537:




Writer/Artist DES TAYLOR signs copies of Scarlett Couture from 12:30PM – 1:30PM


Writer/Artist ROMAN DIRGE  will be signing copies of Something at the Window is Scratching, The Cat Really with a Really Big Head and Lenore Pink Bellies: 4:00PM — 5:00PM



Heroes Reborn Supervising Producer Seamus Kevin Fahey will be signing copies of the Heroes comic SDCC ashcan with exclusive art from Paul Pope from 12:00PM — 1:00PM


The Blacklist TV show writer Nicole Phillips and cover artist Alice X. Zhang will be signing copies of The Blacklist #1 from Time:  2:00PM – 3:00PM


Writers George Mann and Cavan Scott and cover artist Alice X. Zhang will be signing copies of Doctor Who: Twelfth Doctor SDCC exclusive short story edition from 4:00PM — 5:00PM

Did you miss Roman Dirge’s 7/9 signing? No problem. he’s back at the Titan booth on 7/10 signing copies of Something at the Window is Scratching, The Cat Really with a Really Big Head and Lenore Pink Bellies5:30PM – 6:30PM



Writer Cavan Scott and artist Blair Shedd will be signing copies of Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor series from 11:30AM – 12:30PM.

Writer Paul Cornell will be signing a FREE Doctor Who: Four Doctors art card. Only 200 available! From  1:30PM – 2:30PM.

Did you miss Writers George Mann, Cavan Scott and cover artist Alice X. Zhang on 7/10? Fear not, they’re back at the Titan booth signing more copies of Doctor Who: Twelfth Doctor SDCC exclusive short story edition from 5:00PM – 6:00PM.


Writer Max Davison, artist Matt Hebb, colourist Tracy Bailey and inker Jason Worthington will be signing copies of DreamWork’s Home #1 comic from 12:00PM – 1:00PM.

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22. Kafka manuscripts to National Library of Israel (probably)

       One of the more entertaining literary estate trials of recent years may have run its course, as a Tel Aviv District Court has rejected an appeal by the not-quite-heirs of Max Brod's remaining Kafka holdings (further appeals are, apparently, possible, however); see reports:

       As you might recall, Esther Hoffe wound up with a suitcase (and millions of dollars') worth of Kafka-papers from Max Brod -- and then lived forever (well, past the century mark, anyway). She sold some of them, and then passed on the rest to her daughter (the appellant here); the court seems to have frowned upon the cashing-in efforts - albeit with the rather curious argument:
"As far as Kafka is concerned, is the placing of his personal writings, which he ordered to be destroyed, for public sale to the highest bidder by the secretary of his friend and by her daughters in keeping with justice ? It seems that the answer to this is clear," wrote the judges.
       But, rather than doing right (finally !) by Kafka and ordering the long-overdue bonfire the papers are (probably) going to the National Library of Israel.
The court said Hoffe had no rights, and could not have any such rights -- as well as not having rights to any royalties -- for the documents Brod took from Kafka's apartment after his death. As for her holding on to such documents after Brod's death, she did do illegally and had no right to decide on the fate of the estate
       This is presumably correct, going by the letter of the law (well, the facts suggest there is some wiggle room here, legally speaking ...); the fact that Brod surely had no right (morally as well as by the letter of the applicable laws) either to do all the things he did with Kafka's manuscript unfortunately was not up for debate.
       I find it fascinating that everyone seems to be willing to give Brod the benefit of an overwhelming amount of doubt -- wink, wink, we all know what Kafka really meant (why ? because that's what we want to believe) -- while no one is willing to give Esther Hoffe the same courtesy: who is to say, after all, that Brod didn't intend for her to be the true beneficiary (he left her the papers, for heaven's sake, so she was already the nominal beneficiary), to be able do as she wished with the papers ? After all, if he hadn't, surely he would have seen to the proper disposal, one way or another, of the papers when he had the chance, rather than expecting the ambiguous testamentary dispositions he made to resolve things -- that's the argument re. Kafka, isn't it ? isn't it ?. (Even if Brod's instructions seem clear (and they really aren't), they are still nowhere as clear as Kafka's very precise instructions to Brod were: burn the stuff ! all of it !)

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23. Comic-Con 2015: Nine Animation Events We’re Excited About

Cut through the clutter with our handy guide to the must-see animation events happening in San Diego this year.

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24. व्यापम बनाम व्यापक धोटाला

cartoon vayapam by monica gupta      

व्यापम बनाम व्यापक धोटाला-

घोटालो की घुट्टी-

सरकार कोई भी हो पर धोटाले सभी में होते … बेशक नाम अलग होते हैं चाहे  वो 2 जी हो 3जी हो व्यापम हो … हाल बुरा बस जनता का होता है और किसी का कुछ नही बिगडता


जीप घोटाला – स्वतंत्र भारत का पहला घोटाला – सन 1947 में देश को स्वतंत्रता मिली और उसके साथ ही देश भारत और पाकिस्तान में बंट गया। उसके मात्र एक साल बाद यानी 1948 में पाकिस्तानी सेना ने भारतीय सीमा में घुसपैठ करना शुरू कर दिया। उस घुसपैठ को रोकने के लिए भारतीय सैनिक जी-जान से जुट गए। भारतीय सेना के लिए जीपें खरीदने को भार व्हीके कृष्णा मेनन को, जो कि उस समय लंदन में भारत के हाई कमिश्नर के पद पर थे, सौंपा गया। जीप खरीदी के लिए मेनन ने ब्रिटेन की कतिपय विवादास्पद कंपनियों से समझौते किए और वांछित औपचारिकतायें पूरी किए बगैर ही उन्हें 1 लाख 72 हजार पाउण्ड की भारी धनराशि अग्रिम भुगतान के रूप में दे दी। उन कंपिनयों को 2000 जीपों के लिए क्रय आदेश दिया गया था किन्तु ब्रिटेन से भारत में 155 जीपों, जो कि चलने की स्थिति में भी नहीं थीं, की मात्र एक ही खेप पहुंची। तत्कालीन विपक्ष ने वीके कृष्णा मेनन पर सन 1949 में जीप घोटाले का गंभीर आरोप लगाया था। उन दिनों कांग्रेस की तूती बोलती थी और वह पूर्ण बहुमत में थी, विपक्ष में नाममात्र की ही संख्या के सदस्य थे। विपक्ष के द्वारा प्रकरण की न्यायिक जांच के अनुरोध को रद्द करके अनन्तसायनम अयंगर के नेतृत्व में एक जांच कमेटी बिठा दी गई। बाद में 30 सिम्बर 1955 सरकार ने जांच प्रकरण को समाप्त कर दिया। यूनियन मिनिस्टर जीबी पंत ने घोषित किया कि ‘‘सरकार इस मामले को समाप्त करने का निश्चय कर चुकी है। यदि विपक्षी संतुष्ट नहीं हैं तो इसे चुनाव का विवाद बना सकते हैं।‘‘ 03 फरवरी 1956 के बाद शीघ्र  ही कृष्णा मेनन को नेहरू केबिनेट में बगैर किसी पोर्टफालियो का मंत्री नियुक्त कर दिया गया। ‘‘समरथ को नहिं दोस गुसाईं‘‘ यदि उस समय ही 80 लाख रूपयों के जीप घोटाले के लिए उचित कार्यवाही हुई होती तो अब तक इस देश में कुल रूपये 91,06,03,23,43,00,000/ इक्यानबे सौ खरब के घोटाले प्रकाश में न आये होते और मजे की बात तो यह है कि इन घोटालों के कर्ता-धर्ताओं को कभी कोई सजा भी नहीं मिली।

साइकिल घोटाला – अब जीप के बाद बारी थी साइकिल की, जो साइकिल इंपोट्र्स घोटाले के रूप में सामने आयी। 1951 में वाणिज्य एवं उद्योग मंत्रालय के सचिव ‘एसए वेंकटरमण’ थे। गलत तरीके से एक कंपनी को साइकिल आयात करने का कोटा जारी करने का आरोप लगा। इसके बाद उन्होंने रिश्वत भी ली। इस मामले में उन्हें जेल भी भेजा गया लेकिन ऐसा भी नहीं था कि हर मामले में आरोपी को भेजा ही गया।

  • मो0 सिराजुद्दीन एण्ड कंपनी – साइकिल घोटाले के 6 साल बाद ही यानी 1956 में यह खबर आयी कि उडीसा के कुछ नेता व्यापारियों के काम करने के बदले उनसे दलाली ले रहे थे। जब इस संबंध में छापेमारी हुई तो पूर्वी भारत के एक बडे व्यवसायी मुहम्मद सिराजद्दीन एण्ड कंपनी के कोलकाता और उडीसा स्थित कार्यालयों में भी छापे मारे गए। पता चला कि सिराजद्दीन कई खानों का मालिक है और उसके पास से एक ऐसी डायरी बरामद हुई जिससे साबित हो रहा था कि उसके संबंध कई जाने-माने राजनेताओं से थे। लेकिन इस संबंध में भी कोई कार्यवाही नहीं हुई थी। कुछ समय बाद जब मीडिया के माध्यम से खबर फैली तब तत्कालीन खान और ईंधन मंत्री केशवदेव मालवीय ने यह स्वीकार किया कि उन्होंने उडीसा के एक खान मालिक से 10 हजार रूपये की दलाली ली थी। बाद में नेहरू के दबाव में मालवीय को इस्तीफा देना पडा था।

बीएचयू फण्ड घोटाला – यह आजाद भारत का पहला शैक्षणिक घोटाला था। 1955 में किए गए इस घोटाले के तहत विश्वविद्यालय के अधिकारियों पर 80 लाख के करीब फंड हडपने के आरोप लगे थे। आप स्वयं अंदाजा लगा लीजिए कि उस दौर में 80 लाख की कीमत क्या रही होगी ? इस घोटाले का पर्दा फाश नहीं हो सका क्योंकि उस दौर के नेता और मंत्री इस पूरे घोटाले को घोलकर पी गए। तब भी केन्द्र में कांग्रेस की सरकार थी।

हरिश्चंद्र मूंध्रा काण्ड -1957 में फीरोज गांधी ने एक सनसनीखेज काण्ड का खुलासा करके संसद को हिला दिया। उन्होंने बताया कि उद्योगपति हरिदास मूंध्रा की कई कंपनियों को मदद पहुचाने के लिए उनके शेयर भारतीय जीवन बीमा निगम एलआईसी द्वारा 1.25 करोड रूपये में खरीदवाए गए। निगम द्वारा शेयरों की बढी हुई कीमत दी गई। जांच हुई तो उस मामले में वित मंत्री टीटी कृष्णामाचारी, वित सचिव एचएम पटेल और भारतीय जीवन बीमा निगम के अध्यक्ष दोषी पाए गए। मूंध्रा पर 160 करोड रूपये के घोटाले का आरोप लगा। 180 अपराधों के मामले थे। दबाव बढा तो वित मंत्री को पद से हटा दिया गया। मूंध्रा को 22 साल की सजा हुई। कृषामाचारी को तो उनके पद से हटा दिया गया।

  • तेजा लोन घोटाला – वर्ष 1960 में एक बिजनेसमैन धर्म तेजा ने एक शिपिंग कंपनी शुरू के लिए सरकार से 22 करोड रूपये का लोन लिया था। लेकिन बाद में धनराशि को देश से बाहर भेज दिया। उद्योगपति धर्म तेजा को बिना जांच के ही 20 करोड का कर्ज दिलाने का आरोप पंडित जवाहरलाल नेहरू पर लगा था। जयंत धरमतेज को जयंत जहाजरानी कंपनी की स्थापना के ऋण के रूप में 22 करोड लिये लेकिन कंपनी की स्थापना के बिना वह पैसे के साथ भाग गया था। बाद में उसे यूरोप से गिरफतार किया गया था और 6 साल की कैद हुई थी।

कैरो घोटाला – आजाद भारत में मुख्यमंत्री पद के दुरूपयोग का यह पहला घोटाला था। 1963 में पंजाब के मुख्यमंत्री सरदार प्रताप सिंह कैरो के खिलाफ कांग्रेसी नेता प्रबोध चंद्र ने आरोप पत्र पेश किया था। आरोप पत्र में ये बातें शामिल थीं कि पंजाब के मुख्यमंत्री प्रताप सिंह कैरो ने मुख्यमंत्री पद पर रहते, हुए अनाप-शनाप धन संपत्ति जमा की। इसमें उनके परिवारीजन शामिल थे। मसलन, अमृतसर को-आपरेटिव कोल्ड स्टोरेज लिमि0, प्रकाश सिनेमा, कैरो ब्रिक सोसायटी, मुकुट हाउस, नेशनल मोटर्स अमृततसर, नीलम सिनेमा चंडीगढ, कैपिटल सिनेमा जैसी संपत्तियों पर प्रताप सिंह कैरो के रिश्तेदारों का मालिकाना हक था। जब जांच हुई तो रिपोर्ट में कहा गया कि कैरो के पुत्र एवं पत्नी ने पैसा कमाया है लेकिन इस सब के लिए प्रताप सिंह कैरो को साफ-साफ बरी कर दिया गया।

नागरवाला काण्ड – यह दिल्ली के पार्लियामेंट स्टीट स्थित स्टेट बैंक शाखा में लाखों रूपये मांगने का मामला था जिसमें इंदिरा गांधी का नाम भी शामिल था। हुआ यूं कि 1971 की 24 मई को दिल्ली में एसबीआई संसद मार्ग शाखा के कैशियर के पास एक फोन आया। फोन पर उक्त कैशियर से बांग्लादेश के एक गुप्त मिशन के लिए 60 लाख रूपये की मांग की गई और कहा गया कि इसकी रशीद प्रधानमंत्री कार्यालय से ली जाये। यह खबर बाद में तेजी से फैली कि फोन पर सुनी जाने वाली आवाज प्रधानमंत्री इंदिरा गांधी और पीएन हक्सर की थी। बाद में पता चला कि यह तो कोई और ही था। रूपये लेने वाले और नकली आवाज निकालकर रूपये की मांग करने वाले व्यक्ति रूस्तम सोहराब नागरवाला को गिरफतार कर लिया गया। 1972 में संदेहास्पद स्थिति में नागरवाला की मौत हो गई। उसकी मौत के साथ ही मामले की असलियत भी जनता के सामने नहीं आ सकी। बाद में इस मामले को रफा-दफा कर दिया गया।

कुओ ऑयल डील -इंडियन ऑयल कार्पोरेशन ने 3 लाख टन शोधित तेल और 5 लाख टन हाई स्पीड डीजल की खरीद के लिए टेंडर निकाला था। यह टेंडर हरीश जैन को मिला था। जैन की पहुंच राजनैतिक गलियारों तक थी। इस सौदे में 9 करोड रूपये से भी ज्यादा की हेराफेरी का आरोप लगा। जांच भी हुई लेकिन कहा जाता है कि प्रधानमंत्री कार्यालय से ही इस मामले से जुडी फाइलें गुम कर दीं गईं। तत्कालीन पेटोलियम मंत्री पीसी सेठी को इस्तीफा देना पडा था लेकिन बाद में उन्हें दोबरा मंत्री बना दिया गया।

अंतुले ट्रस्ट- 1982 में महाराष्ट के मुख्यमंत्री एआर अंतुले का नाम एक घोटाले में सामने आया। उन पर आरोप था कि उन्होने इंदिरा गांधी प्रतिभा प्रतिष्ठान, संजय गांधी निराधार योजना, स्वावलंबन योजना आदि ट्रस्ट के लिए पैसा एकत्र किया गया था। जो लोग, खासकर बडे व्यापारी या मिल मालिक टस्ट को पैसा देते थे, उन्हें सीमेंट का कोटा दिया जाता था। ऐसे लोगों के लिए नियम-कानून में ढील दे दी जाती थी। ऐसे लोगों के लिए नियम-कानून कोई मायने नहीं रखते थे। इस मामले में मुख्यमंत्री पद से एआर अंतुले को बाद में हटना पडा था। इसके बाद इस दशक के सबसे हाई प्रोफाइल घोटाले से लोगों का परिचय हुआ।

चुरहट लॉटरी काण्ड – अर्जुन सिंह के गृह नगर चुरहट में बाल कल्याण समिति नाम की एक संस्था अपने आर्थिक साधन बढाने के लिए लॉटरी भी बेचने लगी थी। इसमें शामिल लोगों पर 4 करोड रूपये खाने का आरोप लगा था। वरिष्ठ कांग्रेसी नेता अर्जुन सिंह पर भी इस मामले में शामिल होने का आरोप लगा था लेकिन इसकी जांच का नतीजा आज तक नहीं निकल सका है।

बोफोर्स घोटाला – 1987 में यह बात सामने आयी थी कि स्वीडन की हथियार कंपनी बोफोर्स ने भारतीय सेना को तोपें सप्लाई करने का सौदा हथियाने के लिए 80 लाख डालर की दलाली चुकायी थी। उस समय केन्द्र में कांग्रेस की सरकार थी, जिसमें प्रधानमंत्री राजीव गांधी थे। स्वीडन की रेडियो ने सबसे पहले 1987 में इसका खुलासा किया था। आरोप था कि राजीव गांधी परिवार के नजदीकी बताये जाने वाले इतालवी व्यापारी ओत्तावियो क्वात्रोक्की ने इस मामने में बिचैलिए की भूमिका निभायी थी। इसके बदले में उसे दलाली का बडा हिस्सा भी मिला था। कुल 400 बोफोर्स तोपों की खरीद का सौदा 1.3 अरब डॉलर का था। आरोप है कि स्वीडन की हथियार कंपनी बोफोर्स ने भारत के साथ सौदे के लिए 1.42 करोड डालर की रिश्वत बांटी थी। इतिहास काफी समय तक राजीव गांधी का नाम भी इस मामले के अभियुक्तों की सूची में शामिल किए रहा लेकिन उनकी मौत के बाद नाम फाइल से हटा दिया गया। सीबीआई को इस मामले की जांच सौंपी गई लेकिन सरकारें बदलने पर सीबीआई की जांच की दिशा भी लगातार बदलती रही। एक दौर था जब जोगिंदर सिंह ने तब दावा किया था कि केस सुलझा लिया गया है। बस देरी है तो क्वात्रोक्की को प्रत्यर्पण के बाद अदालत में पेश करने की। उनके हटने के बाद सीबीआई की चाल ही बदल गई। इसी बीच कई ऐसे दांव-पेंच खेले गए कि क्वात्रोक्की को राहत मिलती गई। दिल्ली की एक अदालत ने हिंदुजा बंधुओं को रिहा किया तो सीबीआई ने लंदन की अदालत से कह दिया कि क्वात्रोक्की के खिलाफ कोई सुबूत नहीं हैं। अदालत ने क्वात्रोक्की के सील खातों को खोलने के आदेश भी जारी कर दिए। नतीजतन क्वात्रोक्की ने रातों-रात उन खातों से पैसा निकाल लिया। बाद में रेड कोर्नर नोटिस के बल पर 2007 में अर्जेनटीना पुलिस ने उसे गिरफ़्तार कर लिया। वह 25 दिन ही पुलिस की हिरासत में रहा। सीबीआई की ढील की वजह से क्वात्रोक्की जमानत पर रिहा होकर अपने देश इटली चला गया।

सेंट किट्स घोटाला – ऐसा माना जाता है कि सेंट किट्स घोटाला बोफोर्स घोटाले की ही उपज था। इसकी शुरूआत कुछ इस प्रकार हुई कि जब बोफोर्स का भंडा फूटा तो प्रधानमंत्री सहित अनेक अन्य बडी हस्तियों की चमडी बचाने के प्रयत्न आरंभ हुए। इस प्रयास में वरिष्ठ कांग्रेसी नेता नरसिंह राव की मुख्य भूमिका रही। मामले को दबाने के इस प्रयास को ही सेंट किट्स घोटाला कहा गया। बोफोर्स की बातें तब सामने आयीं जब राजीव गांधी के चुनाव हारने पर विश्वनाथ प्रताप सिंह प्रधानमंत्री बने। वीपी सिंह का मुंह बंद करने के लिए नरसिंह राव ने चंद्रास्वामी की सहायता से जाली दस्तावेज तैयार करके यह सिद्ध करने का प्रयास किया था कि वीपी सिंह के बेटे ने स्विस बैंकों में कई करोड रूपये जमा करके रखे हैं। बाद में पता चला कि जिन दस्तावेजों के सहारे वीपी सिंह को फंसाने की कोशिश की गई थी उन पर अंग्रेजी में हस्ताक्षर थे, जबकि सच्चाई यह थी कि वीपी सिंह किसी भी सरकारी दस्तावेज पर अंग्रेजी में हस्ताक्षर करते ही नहीं थे; नतीजतन वीपी सिंह इस मामले में निर्दोष साबित हुए थे।

जैन हवाला डायरी काण्ड – 1991 में सीबीआई ने कई हवाला ऑपरेटरों के ठिकानों पर छापे मारे। इस छापे में एसके जैन की डायरी बरामद हुई थी। इस तरह यह घोटाला 1996 में सामने आया। इस घोटाले में 18 मिलियन डॉलर घूस के रूप में देने का मामला सामने आया था जो कि बडे-बडे राजनेताओं को दी गई थी। आरोपियों में से एक ‘लालकृष्ण आडवाणी’ भी थे, जो उस समय नेता विपक्ष थे। इस घोटाले से पहली बार यह बात सामने आयी कि सत्ताशीन ही नहीं, बल्कि विपक्ष के नेता भी चारों ओर से पैसा लूटने में लगे हुए हैं। दिलचस्प बात यह थी कि यह पैसा कश्मीरी आतंकवादी संगठन हिजबुल मुजाहिदीन को गया था। कई नामों के खुलासे हुए लेकिन सीबीआई किसी के भी खिलाफ सबूत नहीं जुटा सकी थी।

बॉम्बे स्टॉक एक्सचेंज घोटाला (1992) – वर्ष 1992 में शेयर बाजार में घोटाले का तहलका मचाने वाले शेयर दलाल हर्षद मेहता पर लगे आरोपों के बाद इस जेपीसी का गठन किया गया था। आरोप था कि सार्वजनिक क्षेत्र की कंपनी मारूति उद्योग लिमिटेड के पैसों का मेहता ने दुरूपयोग किया था। मेहता के वायदा सौदों का भुगतान न कर पाने की वजह से सेंसेक्स में 570 अंकों की गिरावट आई थी। लेकिन करीब पांच साल बाद 1997 में ही जाकर विशेष अदालत में प्रतिभूति घोटाले से जुडे मामलों की सुनवाई शुरू हो सकी और केन्द्रीय जांच ब्यूरो यानी सीबीआई ने करीब 34 आरोप लगाये। सीबीआई ने लगभग 72 अपराधिक मामले दर्ज करने के अलावा 600 दीवानी मामले चलाये लेकिन इनमें से महज चार मामलों में ही आरोप पत्र दाखिल किए गए। सितम्बर 1999 में मेहता को मारूति उद्योग के साथ धोखाधडी के आरोप में चार साल की सजा हुई लेकिन जेपीसी की सिफारिशें न तो पूरी तरह से स्वीकार की गईं और न ही पूरी तरह से लागू हो पायीं।

सिक्यूरिटी स्कैम (1992) – 1992 में हर्षद मेहता ने धोखाधडी से बैंकों का पैसा स्टॉक मार्केट में निवेश कर दिया, जिससे स्टॉक मार्केट को करीब पांच हजार करोड रूपये का घाटा हुआ था।

तांसी भूमि घोटाला (1992) – 1992 में जयललिता पर तमिलनाडु की मुख्यमंत्री रहते हुए स्माज इंडस्ट्रीज कार्पोरेशन की जमीन औने-पौने दामों में जया पब्लिकेशन को आवंटित करने का आरोप लगा था। आरोपों की जांच के बाद स्थानीय पुलिस ने 1996 में जयललिता और उनकी सहेली शशिकला समेत 6 लोगों के खिलाफ चार्जशीट दाखिल की । इन पर राज्य को साढे तीन करोड रूपये के नुकसान का आरोप लगा। बाद में स्थोनीय अदालत ने इन सभी को आरोपी बनाते हुए कानूनी कार्यवाही शुरू की और 2000 में जयललिता को दोषी करार देते हुए तीन साल की सजा सुनाई गई। 2003 में सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने अपने फैसले में जयललिताा को पूरी तरह से सभी आरोपोंब से बरी कर दिया गया। इस घोटाले के अलावा इनके खिलाफ लगभग आधा दर्जन दूसरे केस भी दर्ज किए गए थे लेकिन सभी की नियति तांसी जैसी ही रही।

चीनी आयात घोटाला (1994) – नरसिम्हाराव के समय झारखण्ड मुक्ति मोर्चा के नेता शैलेन्द्र महतो ने यह खुलासा किया कि उन्हें और उनके तीन सांसद साथियों को 30-30 लाख रूपये दिए गए, ताकि नरसिम्हाराव की सरकार को समर्थन देकर बचाया जा सके। यह घटना 1993 की है। इस मामले में शिबू सोरेन को भी जेल जाना पडा था। 1994 में खाद्य आपूर्ति मंत्री कल्पनाथ राय ने बाजार भाव से भी मंहगी चीनी आयात का फैसला लिया। यानी चीनी घोटाला। इस कारण सरकार को 650 करोड रूपये का चूना लगा। अंततः उन्हें अपना त्यागपत्र देना पडा। उन्हें इस मामले में जेल भी जाना पडा था।

जेएमएम सांसद घूंस काण्ड (1995)– जुलाई 1993 में पीवी नरसिम्हाराव सरकार के खिलाफ संसद में अविश्वास प्रस्ताव 14 मतों से खारिज हो गया। आरोप लगा कि सरकार ने अपने पक्ष में वोट करने के लिए झारखण्ड मुक्ति मोर्चा के चार सांसदों समेत कई सांसदों को लाखों रूपये की रिश्वत दी थी। नरसिंह राव के सत्ता से बाहर हो जाने के बाद सीबीआई ने इस मामले में राव समेत कई आरोपियों के खिलाफ एफआईआर दर्ज की। लगभग आठ महीने में जांच पूरी कर सीबीआई ने सांसदों की खरीद-फरोख्त के लिए नरसिंह राव, बूटा सिंहख् सतीश शर्मा, सिबू सोरेन समेत कुल 20 हाई प्रोफाइल आरोपियों के खिलाफ चार्जशीट दाखिल की लेकिन 1998 में सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने अपने फैसले में रिश्वत लेने वाले सभी नौ सांसदों के खिलाफ कार्यवाही पर रोक लगा दी। 2000 में स्थानीय अदालत ने फैसले में केवल दो आरोपियों नरसिंह राव और बूटा सिंह को दोषी करार दिया लेकिन 2002 में दिल्ली हाईकोर्ट ने इन दोनों को भी आरोपों से बरी कर दिया।

जूता घोटाला (1995) – 90 के दशक में घोटाले भी अजीबोगरीब शक्ल लेने लगे, जैसे – जूता घोटाला। सोहिन दया नामक एक व्यापारी ने मेट्रो शूज के रफीक तेजानी और मिलानो शूज के किशोर सिगनापुरकर के साथ मिलकर कई सारी फर्जी चमडा को-आॅपरेटिव सोसायटियां बनायी और सरकार धन लूटा। 1995 में इसका खुलासा हुआ और बहुत सारे सरकारी अफसर, महाराष्ट्र स्टेट फाइनेंस काॅपरेशन के अफसर, सिटी बैंक, बैंक आॅफ ओमान, देना बैंक आदि भी इस मामले में लिप्त पाये गए। इन सबके खिलाफ आरोप पत्र दाखिल किया गया लेकिन कोई नतीजा सामने नहीं आया।

यूरिया घोटाला (1996) – 1996 के यूरिया घोटाले में पूर्व प्रधानमंत्री पीवी नरसिंह राव के पुत्र पीवी प्रभाकर राव का नाम सामने आया। बात 1996 की है जब देश में यूरिया की आपूर्ति करने के लिए एनएफएल यूरिया की 2 लाख टन की वैश्विक निविदा मंगाई गई थी। इस सौदे में बिना किसी बैंक गारंटी के कंपनी को 133 करोड रूपये का आवंटन कर दिया गया। नेशनल फर्टिलाइजर के एमडी सीएस रामकृष्णन ने कई अन्य व्यापारियों, जो कि ननरसिंह राव के नजदीकी थी, के साथ मिलकर 2 लाख टन यूरिया आयात करने के मामले में सरकार को 133 करोड रूपये का चूना लगा दिया। सीबीआई को शक था कि इन सबमें प्रभाकर का हाथ है, बावजूद इसके प्रधानमंत्री के चलते प्रभाकर पर किसी ने हाथ तक नहीं डाला।

सुखराम काण्ड (1996) – यह एकमात्र मामला है जिसमें हाई प्रोफाइन आरोपी को सजा हुई है। 1996 में सीबीआई ने तत्कालीन सूचना मंत्री सुखराम के सरकारी आवास पर छापा मारकर 2.45 करोड नकद बरामद किए थे। उसी दिन हिमाचल प्रदेश के मण्डी स्थित उनके घर पर छापे में सीबीआई को 1.16 करोड रूपये मिले। इसके आधार पर सीबीआई ने आय से अधिक संपत्ति का केस दर्ज कर जांच शुरू की। सुखराम के खिलाफ दिल्ली की तीस हजारी अदालत ने 1997 में चार्जशीट दाखिल कर दी थी। लगभग 4 करोड की नकदी बरामद होने के बावजूद अदालत में 12 साल तक सुनवाई चलती रही। अंततः 2009 में उन्हें 3 साल की सजा सुनाई गई। वैसे सुखराम ने इस फैसले के खिलाफ हाईकोर्ट में अपील की थी और जमानत पर रिहा हो गए।

चारा घोटाला (1996) – 1991 में लालू प्रसाद यादव के मुख्यमंत्री बनने के बाद पशुपालन विभाग में हुए 950 करोड रूपये से अधिक के घोटाले की जांच पटना हाई कोर्ट के आदेश के बाद 1996 में शुरू हुई। इस मामले में सीबीआई ने 64 अलग-अलग मामले दर्ज किए। इन सभी की जांच कर 2003-2004 में आरोपियों के खिलाफ चार्जशीट दाखिल कर दी। इनमें 37 मुकदमों में अदालत अब तक 350 से अधिक आरोपियों को सजा सुना चुकी है। हालांकि जिस मामले में लालू यादव आरोपी हैं, उसमें अभी तक अदालत में सुनवाई चल रही है।

पेट्रोल पंप आवंटन घोटाला (1997) – पीवी नरसिंह राव सरकार में पेट्रोलियम और प्राकृतिक गैस मंत्री रहे सतीश शर्मा पर पेट्रोल पंप आवंटन का आरोप लगा। 1997 में सीबीआई ने शर्मा पर 15 केस दर्ज किए लेकिन सीबीआई को शर्मा के खिलाफ चार्ज शीट दाखिल करने के लिए गृह मंत्रालय के जरूरी अनुमति नहीं मिली। इसके आधार पर नवम्बर 2004 में सीबीआई अदालत से सभी 15 मामलों को बंद करने की अर्जी लगाई। सतीश शर्मा पेट्रोल पंप आवंटन के घोटाले के आरोपों से बेदाग बच निकले।

तहलका काण्ड (2001) – तब तक देश 21वीं सदी में पहुंच चुका था। अब घोटाले कैमरे पर भी होने लगे थे और सीधे दुनिया ने इसे होते हुए देखा। इसका एक उदाहरण तहलका काण्ड है। एक मीडिया हाउस तहलका के स्टिंग आॅपरेशन ने यह खुलासा किया कि कैसे कुछ वरिष्ठ नेता रक्षा समझौते में गडबडी करते हैं। भाजपा के राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष को रिश्वत नेते हुए लोगों ने टेलीविजन और अखबारों में देखा। इस घोटाले में तत्कालीन रक्षा मंत्री जाॅर्ज फर्नांडीज और भारतीय नौ-सेना के पूर्व एडमिरल सुशील कुमार का नाम भी सामने आया। इस मामले में अटल बिहारी वाजपेयी ने जाॅर्ज फर्नांडीज का इस्तीफा मंजूर करने से इंकार कर दिया। हालांकि बाद में जाॅर्ज ने इस्तीफा दे दिया।

बराक मिसाइल घोटाला (2001) – बराक मिसाइल रक्षा सौदे में भ्रष्टाचार का एक और नमूना बराक मिसाइल की खरीददारी में देखने को मिला। इसे इजराइल से खरीदा जाना था सिकी कीमत लगभग 270 मिलियन डाॅलर थी। इस सौदे पर डीआरडीपी के तत्कालीन अध्यक्ष डा0 एपीजे अब्दुल कलाम ने भी आपत्ति दर्ज करायी थी। फिर भी यह सौदा हुआ। इस मामले में एफआईआर भी दर्ज हुई। एफआईआर में समता पार्टी के पूर्व कोषाध्यक्ष आरके जैन की गिरफतारी भी हुई। जाॅर्ज फर्नांडीज, जया जेटली और नौसेना के पूर्व अधिकारी सुरेश नंदा के खिलाफ प्राथमिकी भी दर्ज हुई। सुरेश नंदा पूर्व नौ सेना प्रमुख एसएम नंदा के बेटे हैं। जांच आज भी जारी है।

स्टाम्प पेपर घोटाला (2003) – वर्ष 2003 में 30 हजार करोड रूपये का बडा घोटाला सामने आया। इसके पीछे अब्दुल करीम तेलगी को मास्टर माइंड बताया गया। इस मामले में उच्च पुलिस अधिकारी से लेकर राजनेता तक शामिल थे। तेलगी की गिरफतारी तो जरूर हुई, लेकिन इस घोटाले के कुछ और अहम खिलाडी साफ बच निकलने में अब तक कामयाब हैं।

ताज कॉरिडॉर मामला (2003) – ठसी कडी में एक और घोटाला सामने आया ताज काॅरिडोर का। 175 करोड रूपये के इस घोटाले में उत्तर प्रदेश की मुख्यमंत्री मायावती पर लगातार तलवार लटकी और अब भी लटकी हुई है। सीबीआई के पास यह मामला अब भी विचाराधीन है लेकिन राजनीतिक दांव पेचों की वजह से कभी जांच की गति तेज हो जाती है तो कभी मंद। कुल मिलाकर इस घोटाले के आरोपी अपने अंजाम तक पहुंचेंगे या नहीं, यह कहना अब तक के घोटालों को देखते हुए बहुत मुश्किल है।

छत्तीसगढ विधायक खरीद काण्ड (2003) -दिसम्बर 2003 में छत्तीसगढ के तत्कालीन मुख्यमंत्री अजीत जोगी पर भाजपा विधायकों को खरीदने का आरोप लगा था। सीबीआई ने विधायकों को दिए गए धन के स्त्रोत को भी ढूंढ निकाला था। फाॅरेंसिक लेब की रिपोर्ट में टेलीफोन की बातचीत में आवाज और समर्थन पत्र पर हस्ताक्षर के रूप में मामले में अजीत जोगी के शामिल होने के सुबूत भी मिल गए। सबूतों के बावजूद सीबीआई अजीत जोगी के खिलाफ 8 साल बाद भी आठ साल बाद भी चार्जशीट दाखिल नहीं की है।

तेल के बदले अनाज (2005) – तेल के बदले अनाज, वोल्कर रिपोर्ट के आधार पर यह बात सामने आयी कि तत्कालीन विदेश मंत्री नटवर सिंह ने अपने बेटे को तेल का ठेका दिलाने के लिए अपने पद का दुरूपयोग किया। उन्हें इस्तीफा देना पडा, हालांकि सरकार ने उन्हें बिना विभाग का मंत्री बनाए रखा था। एक के बाद एक नेता घोटालों के सरताज बनते जा रहे थे।

सत्यम घोटाला (2008) – कार्पोरेट जगत इस बहती गंगा में हाथ धोने से पीछे क्यों रहता, तो सामने आया सत्यम घोटाला। कार्पोरेट जगत का शायद सबसे बडा घोटाला। 14 हजार करोड रूपये के इस घोटाले में सत्यम कम्प्यूटर सर्विसेज के मालिक राम लिंग राजू का नाम आया। राजू ने इस्तीफा दिया और वह अभी भी जेल में है। मुकदमा चल रहा है।

मधु कोडा (2009) – राजनीतिक घोटालों की कभी भी खत्म न होने वाली श्रृंखला में एक और नाम शामिल हुआ मधु कोडा का। मुख्यमंत्री रहते हुए कोई अरबो की कमाई भी कर सकता है, यह सच साबित किया झारखण्ड के मुख्यमंत्री मधु कोडा ने। 4 हजार करोड से भी ज्यादा की काली कमाई की कोडा ने। बाद में इन पैसों को विदेष भेजकर जमा भी कराया और विदेशी पूंजी में निवेश भी किया। इस मामले में भी केस दर्ज हुआ और कोडा को जेल। जांच आज भी चल रही है।

खाद्यान्न घोटाला (2010) – उत्तर प्रदेश में करीब 35 हजार करोड रूपये का खाद्यान्न घोटाला वर्ष 2010 में उजागर हुआ। दरअसल, यह अंत्योदय, अन्नपूर्णा और मिड-डे मील जैसी खाद्य योजनाओं के तहत आने वाले अनाज को बेचने का मामला है। यह घोटाला वर्ष 2001 से 2007 के बीच हुआ था। राज्य में इन योजनाओं के तहत आवंटित चावल की भी कालाबाजारी की गई। कुछ अनुमानो के मुताबिक इस तरह 2 लाख करोड रूपये के वारे-न्यारे करने का आरोप भी है। इस घोटाले में मैनपुरी जनपद में ही तकरीबन 8 करोड के आसपास के गबन का आरोप है। एक बीएसए केडीएन राम के खिलाफ तो सीबीआई जांच भी चल रही है।



  • हाउसिंग लोन स्कैम (2010) – सीबीआई ने नवम्बर 2010 में हाउसिंग स्कैम का भी पर्दाफाश किया। सीर्बीआइा ने परे घोटाले को करीब एक हजार करोड रूपये का बताया। इस घोटाले के आरोप में एलआईसी हाउसिंग फाइनेंस के सीईओ रामचंद्रन नायर के अलावा विभिन्न बैंकों और वित्तीय संस्थाओं के कई अधिकारी गिरफतार किए गए। इन अधिकारियों में एलआईसी के सचिव नरेश के चोपडा, बैंक आॅफ इण्डिया के नरल मैनेजर आरएल तायल, सेंट्रल बैंक आॅफ इण्डिया के डायरेक्टर मनिंदर सिंह जौहर, पंजाब नेशनल बैंक के डीजीएम बैंकोबा गुजाल और मनी अफेयर्स के सीएमडी राजेश शर्मा गिरफतार किए गए।



  • एस बैंड घोटाला (2010) – एस बैंड स्पेक्ट्रम घोटाला करीब 2 लाख करोड रूपये का बताया जा रहा है। आरोप है कि इसरो की कारोबारी इकाई अंतरिक्ष ने निजी कंपनी देवास मल्टीमीडिया प्राइवेट लिमिटेड के साथ दुर्लभ एस बैंड स्पेक्ट्रम बेचने का समझौता किया। बिना नीलामी के कंपनी को स्पेक्ट्रम देने का फैसला हो गया। कंपनी के निदेशक डा. एमजी चंद्रशेखर, जो पहले इसरो में ही वैज्ञानिक थे। अब यह डील रद्द करने की बात चल रही है और अंतरिक्ष के चेयरमैन को भी हटाया जा रहा है। पूर्व कैबिनेट सचिव बीके चतुर्वेदी की अध्यक्षता में मामले की जांच के लिए समिति भी बन गई है। इस मामले में कई कंपनियां संदेह के दायरे में थीं। ये कंपनियां इन अधिकारियों को रिश्वत देकर करोडों रूपयों के कार्पोरेट लोन स्वीकृत करवा लेते थे। जो कंपनियां संदेह के दायरे में हैं उनमें लवासा कार्पोरेशन, ओबेराॅय रियलिटी, आशापुरा माइनकैम, सुजलोन इनर्जी लिमिटेड, डीबी रियलिटी, एम्मार एमजीएफ, कुमार डेवलपर्स आदि हैं।



  • आदर्श घोटाला (2010) – यह घोटाला पुराने मुंबई टाउन के संभ्रांत कोलाबा इलाके में समुद्र पाटकर विकसित बैकवे रेक्लेशन एरिया के ब्लाक 6 में 6490 वर्ग मीटर के भूखण्ड पर कायदे-कानून को ठेंगा दिखाकर आदर्श को-ऑपरेटीव हाउसिंग सोसायटी नाम की 31 मंजिली इमारत बनाने का है। कारगिल में शहीद हुए जवानों के परिजनों को देने के लिए मुंबई में बनायी गई आदर्श सोसायटी के करोडों के फलैट लाखों के भाव में मंत्रियों, संतरियों सहित सैन्य अधिकारियों और उनके रिश्तेदारों के नाम कर दिए गए हैं। इन फलैटों की कीमत 60 लाख रूपये तक है। मौजूदा बाजार मूल्यों के अनुसार इनकी कीमत 8 करोड रूपये तक है। मामले में मुख्यमंत्री अशोक चाव्हाण का नाम आने पर उतना अचंभा नहीं हुआ जितना कि तीन पूर्व सेना प्रमुखों – जनरल दीपक कपूर, जनरल एनसी विज और एडमिरल माधवेन्द्र सिंह के नाम आने से हुआ। ईमानदार फौज के प्रमुखों का यह कारनामा बेहद शर्मिदगी भरा है। नेताओं की क्या बात करें, ये तो बनते ही लूटने के लिए हैं।

समझ से बाहर है कि देश मे धोटालें हैं या धोटालों मे देश है ..



  Regional News – Samay Live

मध्यप्रदेश के स्वास्थ्य मंत्री और सरकार के प्रवक्ता नरोत्तम मिश्रा ने व्यापम मामले में 41 आरोपियों की मौत की खबरों को आधारहीन बताया.

मध्य प्रदेश सरकार ने व्यापम घोटाले में 41 आरोपियों की मौत से जुड़ी मीडिया की खबरों को आधारहीन करार देते हुए कहा कि सात जुलाई, 2013 को इस मामला का खुलासा होने के बाद से इससे संबंधित सिर्फ 14 लोगों की मौत हुई, जबकि 11 अन्य मौतें इससे पहले हुई थीं.

स्वास्थ्य मंत्री और सरकार के प्रवक्ता नरोत्तम मिश्रा ने कहा कि घोटाले का खुलासा होने के बाद से जिन 14 लोगों की मौत हुई, उनमें चार लोगों की मौत मध्य प्रदेश के बाहर हुई तथा संबंधित राज्यों की पुलिस को इन मौतों के मामले में कोई साजिश नहीं मिली.

मिश्रा ने कहा कि 41 आरोपियों की मौत की खबरें ‘गुमराह करने वाली और सत्य से परे’ हैं.

मंत्री ने कहा कि 14 लोगों में छह मौत दुर्घटना में हुई, दो ने खुदकुशी की और छह की मौत बीमारी से हुई. Read more…

The post व्यापम बनाम व्यापक धोटाला appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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25. Book Review: The Wrong Man by Kate White

From Goodreads:
She wanted to be more daring, but one small risk is about to cost her everything­—maybe even her life.

Bold and adventurous in her work as owner of one of Manhattan's boutique interior design firms, Kit Finn couldn't be tamer in her personal life. While on vacation in the Florida Keys, Kit resolves to do something risky for once. When she literally bumps into a charming stranger at her hotel, she decides to make good on her promise and act on her attraction.

But back in New York, when Kit arrives at his luxury apartment ready to pick up where they left off in the Keys, she doesn't recognize the man standing on the other side of the door.

Was this a cruel joke or part of something truly sinister? Kit soon realizes that she's been thrown into a treacherous plot, which is both deeper and deadlier than she could have ever imagined. Now the only way to protect herself, her business, and the people she loves is to find out the true identity of the man who has turned her life upside down.

Adrenaline-charged and filled with harrowing twists at every turn, The Wrong Man will keep readers riveted until the final page.
I hate to say it, but I was pretty disappointed with the quality of the writing here.  I had hoped that, with her latest release, White would have tightened up on some of the issues that I found in her earlier book.  There is still way way way too much writing for the story.  I felt like we were dragged through every second of Kit's day, when only 60% of what we read was relevant to the story.  It could have easily lost fifty pages of Kit walking places, making coffee, or riding in airplanes.  It definitely didn't help that the plot and characters were over-the-top unbelievable and the dialogue was cringe-worthy.  I was really unimpressed in terms of writing.

Entertainment Value
It was more entertaining than it was well-written, but I have to say that even here I expected more.  I read the author's book The Sixes and, while I also found it to be over-written, I enjoyed the read.  In this one, however, I figured out the "twists" well ahead of time and didn't find myself caring all that much about the characters and what would happen to them.  I did like that the author also used cliff-hanger chapter endings in this book, but I felt like some were very anti-climactic.

I had hoped for more.  I enjoyed my read of The Sixes despite some issues with the writing, but I found the writing in this one to be so distracting that I couldn't get past it and lose myself in the story.  I also found the characters less compelling and never really attached to them, making it hard to care whether or not they made it out of their mess alive.  I have one other book by the author, and I do still plan to read it and see if it's more like The Sixes or more like The Wrong Man before giving up on the author.  This is a potential read for those who are fans of very light and easy to follow romantic suspense, but probably won't capture the attention of those like me who are still looking for the next Gone Girl read-alike.  I'd probably recommend passing on this one for the time and picking up The Sixes instead.

Thanks to TLC for providing me with a copy to review!  Click here to see the other stops on the tour.

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