In your interest.
Online Personal Finance Magazine
No beating about the bush.
The eminent professor said coconut oil contains mono-lauric acid, the same fatty acid that mother's milk has. Until the 1930s, even bread in the US was made using coconut oil. Things changed after that and the ghost of cholesterol was given birth to flourish today as the best business, Prof Dr Hegde says
Ask any Keralite for the benefits of coconut oil and you will be presented with a long list. Barring the southern part of India, everywhere else coconut oil has been off the food list for a long time. Nutritionists and doctors’ have been advising everyone to avoid for the saturated fat it contains, allegedly linked with many diseases.
Contrary to popular perception, Prof Dr BM Hegde, a renowned doctor and a Padma Bhushan awardee, says that coconut oil is in fact the best source for treating skin diseases and as well as Alzheimer’s diseases.
Busting the myths propagated by doctors and nutritionists over coconut oil, Prof Dr Hegde says, “I am surprised when people say coconut oil is poison. If a doctor says that it contains cholesterol, it means he has not gone to any medical colleges. First thing they taught you in any medical school is biochemistry, where students learn that cholesterol comes from animal source. How can a plant like coconut could then become source of cholesterol?”
“After realising this mistake, they (doctors and nutritionists) started saying that the coconut oil contains saturated fat and hence it is bad. The larger question here is that one should inquire what coconut oil contains and not directly label it as bad,” the “people’s doctor”, said.
According to Prof Dr Hegde, coconut oil and mother’s milk are the only two things that get digested in the mouth of a baby. “Both, coconut oil and mother’s milk contains sodium monolaurate, which is monolauric acid and forms the basis of human immune system.”
He also said that feeding milk, other than the mother’s to an infant is not good option and instead we should use coconut oil. He said, milk from larger cows like the Jersey type, provokes severe anti-body response from the human system as its milk protein is foreign and is antigenic. Unfortunately, the same antibodies also recognise the beta cells in the pancreas as foreign and attack them. “In short, cow's milk is not a good food for a baby and, certainly, not for adults who, in addition, do not have any enzyme to digest any kind of milk after they have stopped taking mother's milk,” Prof Dr Hegde said.
Warning that milk from any foreign source is only a time bomb waiting to detonate in the not too distant future, he however admitted that the milk (dairy) industry is very powerful and it is very difficult to speak the truth. He, however said the industry should concentrate more on selling denatured milk, in curds, buttermilk and Ghee which are good food instead of milk.
Prof Dr Hegde said, “Ayurveda describes clarinated butter (Ghee) as the best food which gives Ojus, highest form of health. Butter is not as good as it still has cow's protein but, ghee is pure fatty acids only-mainly butyric and caprionic acids, devoid of any protein from the cow or buffalo.”
In the US, infant food has coconut oil as main base. “Americans after having done the propaganda against coconut oil, has now accepted it for treating many diseases,” he says.
Prof Dr Hegde explained that coconut oil is also being used widely to treat Alzheimer’s diseases as it is digested in the mouth and gets converted into ketones. Brain cells damaged due to Alzheimer, can live on these ketones. “If you take coconut oil your brain cells won’t die. Even if they are dying that they can get rejuvenated,” he added.
Coconut oil is also best cure of many skin diseases. “It is a natural fat. Apart from curing skin diseases, it can be used for softening skin,” says Dr Lata Joshi, professor with MGM Medical College in Mumbai.
Even severe form of skin infection can completely healed by just applying coconut oil according to Prof Dr Hegde. Sharing an anecdote where coconut oil cured a skin problem, he said “One of my friends developed a peculiar skin problem. After approaching a dermatologist he was advised for Bio Oxy. Though nothing happened, the infection got pus. Merely on applying coconut oil, it got healed completely.” He also explained the benefits of coconut oil for hair loss, dandruff problem.
According to Prof Dr BM Hegde, coconut oil in any form is good but one should use virgin coconut oil for treatment. It is extracted from fresh coconut kernel without any chemical processes and is the purest form of coconut oil.
Prof Dr BM Hegde also appealed Kerala government to sell virgin coconut oil. “I am glad that government has now started selling it under the name of Kerala Amrit.”
He believes that every part of coconut tree is useful and biodegradable.
So enjoy your coconut chutney and eat an idli too, if you like!
The dues are pending since Champions Trophy in 2006 and IPL matches played in 2011 and it appears like the Rajasthan police are unable to take action against its own debtors
Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) and Rajasthan Royals, the state’s franchise for the Indian Premier League (IPL), are yet to cough up Rs4.5 crore and the interest thereupon as security charges to Jaipur Police.
Reply to an RTI application by Subhash Chandra Agrawal reveals that since Champions Trophy in 2006, RCA has refused to pay for the security arrangements. However, another confusing entry shows that Rs50 lakh is due, which may be for security arrangements for IPL matches played in Jaipur in 2011.
As per the information given by PIO of Jaipur Police, for six days during the 2006 Champions Trophy 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th and 21st of October and 2nd November, RCA was billed Rs1.14 crore for security arrangements. The Cricket Association is to pay Rs17.87 lakh for a one day international played against South Africa on 21 February 2010, Rs83.60 lakh for three IPL matches played in the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in 2010, Rs2.2 lakh for an India-New Zealand ODI on 1 December 2010 and Rs1.79 crore for all matches hosted at Sawai Mansingh Stadium during the 2011 season of the IPL. The total dues against RCA stands at Rs3.98 crore.
However, the PIO also included details of dues owed against Rajasthan Royals, but it is not clear as to for what purpose. The table lists names of eight IPL teams, Kochi Tuskers, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bengaluru, Pune Warriors, Mumbai Indians, Delhi Dare Devils and Rajasthan Royals, and shows some amount as dues pending. The dates mentioned in another column of the table indicate the dues were incurred during 2011 season of the IPL. The table looks like charges for security for the seven matches played in Jaipur. However, the total amount of Rs50.99 lakh has been billed to Rajasthan Royals.
Since long, Jaipur Police and the state Cricket Association have been exchanging written and verbal communication over the issue of unpaid bills for the Champions Trophy held in 2006. Rumours say that police had prepared the bills only as paperwork, since IPL’s former chief Lalit Modi shared good rapport with Rajasthan’s the then chief minister Vasundhara Raje and may have availed the services for free.
However, during the audits, the matter gained prominence, and Japipur Police demanded payment from the Cricket Association. The Association however refused to pay any money saying that all charges were supposed to be paid by Mr Modi and not by them.
When Mr Modi was the chief of the IPL his rivals used to talk about unpaid dues to Police. Now, Mr Modi is neither associated with the Cricket Association nor with the IPL and most key posts of RCA are now occupied by his opponents. And yet, they have kept mum on the dues issue forgetting that they themselves had raised the issue when they were on opposition benches at the Association.
Besides attempting to strangulate transparency by slow appointment of information commissioners, is the post of Maharashtra CIC is now being favoured for a particular bureaucrat?
Vijay Kuvalekar held two posts simultaneously – that of Pune division’s State Information Commissioner as well as Acting State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC). He retired on 7th February. The question is who is going to be the next SCIC? The Right To Information Act (RTI) clearly mentions that, “The Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners shall be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance.’’
However, in Maharashtra, as else where, we find Chief Ministers with connivance of opposition leaders, who are part of the selection committee, constantly tipping a bureaucrat, sometimes a corrupt one, to don the sacred chair of information commissioners.
State Information Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari who was sacked (thanks to citizen pressure groups) after his involvement in the infamous Adarsh Scam case (in his role as principal secretary, urban development department) was revealed. On 11 October 2010, Anna Hazare wrote a letter protesting against the appointment of Vilas Patil as SCIC, as Mr Patil in his earlier role as information commissioner had let off many public information officers (PIOs) with a mere warning, instead of penalizing them. Despite that, he was made the SCIC and showed utter indifference in disposing off the huge pile of second appeals.
Thereafter, the Maharashtra government continued to burden information commissioners with additional charge of another division. This means five information commissioners were looking after nine divisions. However, with the retirement of Mr Kuvalekar on 7th February, the number has come down to four.
Now, allegations are flying thick and fast, that the SCIC post is being reserved for one particular bureaucrat – Maharashtra Chief Secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad, who is retiring in the next six months. If this is true, then it violates the very norm prescribed in the RTI Act, that, complete transparency has to be adopted, by giving equal opportunity to potential candidates from several fields like “in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance.’’
This again brought the citizen pressure groups into action. Last week Mumbai based social activist Raj Awasthi filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court, seeking supervision by the Court in appointment of Information Commissioners in the state. The final hearing is scheduled on 16 April 2012.
Besides, another Mumbai-based RTI activist, Krishnaraj Rao, along with several other citizen groups have dashed off a letter on 3rd February to Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan, demanding transparency in appointment of the SCIC, questioning alleged favouritism to Mr Gaikwad to don the mantle of SCIC and taking objection to short tenure of SCICs.
Mr Rao says that his protest is based on reliable sources in the Mantralaya of a certain lobby pushing Mr Gaikwad into becoming the SCIC. It is also based on the fact that Bhaskar Patil, present information commissioner of the Amravati division will take over as SCIC for next six months and would retire thereafter. In the meanwhile, Mr Gaikwad who has been given extension of six months in his present position as chief secretary will also retire and take over as the next SCIC.
The letter written by Mr Rao states, “It is with great anguish that we are writing this letter to you. We have learned from the inner circles at Mantralaya that the Right to Information movement in our beloved State is being held hostage to the personal ambitions of influential bureaucrats. The Chief State Information Commissioner’s post is being involved in the inside-politics of Mantralaya.”
“Specifically, we learn with shock and concern that the seat of Chief Information Commissioner is being kept vacant for Mr Ratnakar Gaikwad, so that he can take it up after he retires in November 2012 (retirement in May, plus six months extension).”
“To keep the seat warm for Mr Gaikwad after the present Acting Chief SIC Vijay Kuvlekar retires on February 7, SIC Bhaskar Patil of Amravati Bench is to be made Acting Chief SIC. Very conveniently for Mr Gaikwad, SIC Bhaskar Patil is due to retire in nine months.”
“Sir, Maharashtra is suffering due to this game of musical chairs. Since the retirement of Chief SIC Suresh Joshi in October 2010, there have been two short-term chiefs, namely Chief SIC Vilas Patil (nine months) and Mr Kuvlekar (seven months).”
“Short-term chiefs and shortage of Information Commissioners are causing hardships to the Commission staff, who are unable to perform their duties. In the prevailing confusion, the pendency has crossed 20,000 and is rising at an alarming rate of 2000 cases per month. After Mr Kuvlekar’s retirement this week, there will be only four Commissioners manning nine posts or benches (Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Amravati, Nagpur, Konkan, Brihanmumbai, plus Chief SIC’s post). This means that the pendency will rise even faster.’’
Krishnaraj Rao also pointed out that in the case of the appointment of the controversial PJ Thomas as Central Vigilance Committee (CVC), the Supreme Court had mandated that such posts should go through a transparent procedure. (summary and highlights of the case: http://tinyurl.com/SC-Verdict-CVC-appointment). Subsequently, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issued a circular on 29 October 2011, calling for applications from the public for the posts of Central Information Commissioners (CIC). This has resulted in 214 applications for the post of CIC. Activists say a similar method should be followed for the post of information commissioner in Maharashtra as well.
However, several other non-government organisations (NGOs) are recommending specific names to the Chief Minister for the post of the SCIC. Leading RTI activist from Pune, Vijay Kumbhar states, “…by recommending specific names, the NGOs are making the same blunder as the politicians who are inadvertently or deliberately showing favouritism to one particular individual and so NGOs should refrain from such recommendations which kill fair play and transparency.’’
Mr Kumbhar too alleges that the Maharashtra government is indulging in ‘political convenience’ by not adopting the transparent method of seeking applications from public for the post of information commissioners and by appointing SCICs suitable to them. He says, “In various aspects the state as well as the central government has time and again shown that it wants to strangulate the RTI Act. Except for outwardly tom-tomming about the Sunshine Act that they have brought in, they have shown little regard for recommendations made by a pool of RTI activists across the country for transparency of selection of information commissioners.’’
As of now, there are nearly 20,000 second appeals pending with various information commissioners of Maharashtra. By not showing urgency in appointing the full quorum of information commissioners, clearly the power of the Sunshine law is getting diluted. Perhaps, the government is more bothered about its own vested interest in keeping official secrecy than in citizen interest which demands transparency and good governance as dictated by the RTI Act.
(Vinita Deshmukh is a consulting editor of Moneylife. She is also an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte. She can be reached at [email protected])