Friday, September 2, 2011

The Cost Of War

The economy of the United States and the European giants like France, United Kingdom and Italy is going through tough times. Analysts predict the next few years will mark the end of European and American supremacy in the world.
The experts believe if there is no immediate stability soon the increasing unemployment frustration may lead to civil war in the U.S.
A few weeks back poverty struck and deprived citizens of once Great Britain came on the streets creating mayhem throughout London and in other cities. Suffering from unemployment the citizens of the country, which was famous for its dignified public behavior, resorted to looting and arson. All communities were involved in this show of frustration.
Italy has adopted a tough new austerity package hoping it would help tackle the huge public debt and balance its budget.
And a debt crisis is waiting to engulf France.
Israel has also seen anti-establishment demonstrations over the past few days over rising prices. The demonstrations were first of their kind when the number are considered—sometimes 3,00,000 of an estimated total 58,18,200 of the population.
Among many reasons for economic instability America, Britain, France, Italy and Israel are facing is their excessive involvement in war. Instead of investing the asset of public taxes into profitable business or public welfare schemes they have diverted a considerable chunk of the taxes in endless wars.
From Iraq to Afghanistan to Libya they not only sacrificed their men for nothing but also squandered state wealth for no good. The all time engagement of Israel with Palestine and the neighboring Arab countries is now showing in economic hardship.
The natural outcome of this war mania is the current situation in these regions. They are reeling under debt, their people are turning against them, and the peace in their society is becoming harder to keep as the days pass.

Media And Irresponsibility

Media is the fourth pillar of our democracy. As a mature democracy India gives complete freedom to the media. The media was supposed to fearlessly and independently publish news that is unbiased. It was supposed to criticize government policy, be the means of reaching public grievance to the government, raise a voice when public interests had been disregarded when policies were formulated, etc. A job for the ethical.
Though media had to go through a turbulent time during the 1975 emergency, it managed to survive. When the going got tough the tough got going. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi tried to suffocate independent media but they failed due to the brave men who ran the media. The atrocities of those times are recorded only due the work of the media. The media kept the democracy alive. As a result the Congress faced a humiliating defeat in 1977.
With the advancement of the time media has grown in strength. The monopoly of the government over the news broadcasting has ended and there are hundreds of TV channels and radio stations providing minute-to-minute updates to the audience. The industrialization and commercialization of the media and the resulted competition have extended its scope.
There has been an addition in a kind of “investigative journalism”. True to its name this has successfully unearthed many scandals and several people involved in these. For the government institutions assigned to check irregularities this would have been an uphill task. This journalism sometimes is ahead of the investigating agencies too. But there are the occasions when investigative journalism has influenced public opinion even before there was any evidence.
In electronic media, TV news channels are the most popular. Most of the channels are run by big corporate houses that naturally have business interests.
Consider the role played by the media after it has managed to expose any scandal; it now behaves as an investigating agency, presents its case as a prosecutor and the gullible viewer passes his judgment based on the one sided argument. Does this not affect the trial of the accused? The story forgotten and the next one is being prepared. The verdict of the media is passed. The verdict by the honorable courts will come later.
The media is expected to, at least, not do a TV trial of a sub judice case. The court should freely hear a case without external or public pressure. This is impossible in a case under media trial. Is this not Contempt of court?
Presumably our electronic media, after any incident of public outrage, construct a narrative that soon turns out to be completely bogus. Of late, its always the case that within hours of a blast the media starts mouthing terms like Huji, Let, IM and SIMI. As it turned out the media just made up its mind about who’ve done it.
Stereotypes shown by the popular media is polarizing society. Unknowingly, the electronic media is fuelling the agenda of forces who will eventually destabilize the country.

By A H Y

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rahul’s Gandhigiri For Dalits

Rahul Gandhi was quick to launch a padyatra for farmers whom he feels have been exploited by the UP government (state elections in 2012). But why did he not show this enthusiasm when it came to the victims of Forbesganj firing in Bihar. He remained silent when Muslims’ patience was put to test when police desecrated the Holy Qur’an in Moradabad in UP. Can he be called a national leader when he is behaving like a district level politician?

At a tea stall in a remote village of India politics were being discussed. Bholu Ram summed up what many intellectuals fail to understand. The discussion was about rajneeti of Bharat and being discussed was the bachelor Rahul Baba and his ‘kisan padyatra’ in Uttar Pradesh.
“If he (Rahul) stays at a Dalit’s house, he will get him sympathy of the Dalits (which for now is totally for Mayawati, the CM of UP). Tell me what a visit to a Muslims house will get him?” Bholu Ram tapped his left thigh with his right hand indicatingly.
Rahul Gandhi visited the farmers of Bhatta-Parsaul (some of whom lost their dear ones to the bullets of UP police and others lost their lands to what is called public interest; Yamuna Expressway), sat on dharna for them and even started a padyatra for their cause. I wonder why he did not attend the Muslim family that lost its son in the brutal police firing in Moradabad. Why he ignored the Muslim community the sentiments of which were hurt by the UP police when it desecrated the Holy Qur’an. And why he paid just a political visit to the victims of brutal police firing in Forbesganj?
Defying Hindu tradition of upper caste members considering the lower caste people as untouchable the Brahmin Rahul Gandhi has earned name and fame for his apparent good conduct with the Dalits of Uttar Pradesh (It should be seen in the background that the state is going to witness a general assembly elections in 2012 and the position of Congress is abysmal in the state as the Dalit leader Mayawati enjoys dominance). There have been times when Rahul spent a night with a Dalit family and took food with them. Most recently the media found in him the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi reinstated when Mr. Rahul devoted some o time to the farmers in UP who fell victim to the land acquisition for Yamuna Expressway.
The Muslim community, however, could not get due attention from Rahul, the prospective Prime Minister of India, though in every aspect of life it is being neglected by the government. Rather, sometimes Mr. Rahul has been found playing jokes with the community’s sentiments. What else should we call it that instead of extending help to Muslims to get back their Babri Masjid, Rahul asks them to forget it and concentrate on the issues that he says are more important than this. Of course, infrastructure, education and technology are more important. But giving into the demands of the terrorists who saw the seeds of communalism in India by demolishing Babri Masjid is akin to giving a free license to them for going on rampage at their will.
Because of the Muslims’ consistent attachment with the Congress for its claimed secularism, the Congress takes them as a permanent vote bank that does not require any appeasement through practical measures for their welfare. It is well aware that once the fear of communal elements becoming the ruler either in the centre or the states is inspired in Muslims they automatically turn to the Congress that claims practicing secularism. So whether it is the case of Moradabad police misconduct with Muslims or the brutal murder of the minorities in Forbesganj (Bihar) firing by police, nowhere Rahul Gandhi of Bhatta-Parsaul is seen.
One Syed A. Ali commented about Forbesganj firing, “Where is Rahul Gandhi now? In Bhatta-Parsaul, UP, he went there on motor cycle even when police had blocked the entry point of the village. Now this brutality of Bihar Police and Nitish government has left Bhatta-Parsaul incident behind but no Congress leader is there, because there is no use for congress leaders as no elections are due in near future there. It’s SHAME for the country.” It should be noted that it took Mr. Rahul one month to visit the Forbesganj firing victims. Until then he was busy with the farmers of Bhatta-Parsaul.
Like the electronic and print media that gets no interest in cases related to Muslims Mr. Gandhi too does not think them attention worthy. During the UPA-1 Muslims witnessed that Congress did something for them. Whether it is the formation of the Sachar Committee to find out the social, economic and educational status of Muslims and come up with suggestions and solutions to include them in the mainstream or the promise of the Andhra Pradesh CM from Congress late YSR Reddy to give 4% reservations for Muslims in Andhra Pradesh. But in the UPA-11 when Rahul Gandhi emerged as an influential figure in the party cadre no mention worthy steps for the Muslims have been taken by the UPA.
It is difficult to produce any justification for his silence over the Moradabad desecration of the Holy Qur’an except that to speak about it won’t bring any political benefit to him or the Congress. So why to face the blame of minority appeasement?
In Moradabad, the dirty mentality of the police was seen when it disgraced the Holy Qur’an. The police that failed to search an accused of teasing a girl vented its anger on a Muslim girl and the Qur’an she was reciting. In the subsequent agitation against the police misconduct one person had to lose his life. This shameful act of the police playing with religious sentiments of the minorities drew sharp condemnation from every quarter. Muslims expect that Mr. Rahul sat on dharna or started a padyatra demanding that the culprit policemen are brought to book and that no further incidents of such a nature takes place.
The incident in Moradabad is reminiscent of 80s communal riots when the Congress was in Centre and also Chief Minister was from the Congress. The victims of Meerut, Moradabad and Hashimpura anti-Muslim massacre could get nothing but lip service. The governments changed in the state and also in the centre but the culprit police and the communal elements did not get their due.
“The steps of Rahul Gandhi in UP have brought back live the memories of communal victimization of Muslims during his father’s days when Congress Chief Minister V.P. Singh’s PAC ordered shoot out of Muslims on Buta Singh’s orders. Meerut and Maliana I cannot erase them from my memory even after more than two decades of the barbaric tragedy. Why Rahul Gandhi chose to keep Silent on atrocities on Muslims of Moradabad is puzzling,” writes Ahmed Sohail Siddiqui who runs a news portal.
Going back to the question of Jumman, a practical reply is needed as to why Rahul did not attend the Muslim victims in Moradabad and why he paid just a formal visit to Forbesganj. Jumman is not alone in his thought. Rather the majority of the Muslim community thinks on this line even since independence. Long has been but the community could not come out of the ambit of thinking to take some practical steps that ensures it no longer is ignored by the political parties and their voices are heard and concerns taken care.

By A. Hameed Yousuf

Making Of A Bloody Decade

The continuation of the terror strikes in India shows its inability to tackle the menace effectively. Is it because the real perpetrators of the blasts are never caught and get encouragement to carry forward their anti-human agendas?
After making the first decade of the 21ST century a decade of bomb blasts, the terrorists seem to have started the process of making the second decade a copy of that.

The triple serial blasts that rocked the financial capital of India, Mumbai, on July 13 constitute the first major terror strike of the second decade. The blasts that took place during rush hours of the city at Zaveri Bazar, Opera House and Kabutarkhana in Dadar (West) claimed as many as 18 lives and injured 131 innocent citizens.
Prior to the blasts taking place, there have been intelligence inputs appearing in the media that the Al-Qaida-linked terror group HuJI might target the foreign office of Pakistan, its high commission in India and top diplomats if Islamabad does not stop sharing information about it with New Delhi. There were no intelligence inputs that anti-India elements would target any of its cities though.
Whenever there is a terror strike security lapses and intelligence failures are blamed. And the governments both in the Centre and the state promise that no such incidents will take place in future. The Mumbai serial blasts tell a tale of what the ground realities are.
Our security agencies have miserably failed to stop terror strikes. Writes the famous columnist M J Akbar, “One retired police officer who has spent most of his career in intelligence, and retired at the head of his service, told me a simple truth: that the only reason we are not attacked more often is either luck, or that there was no threat.” Commenting on Rahul Gandhi’s take on the Mumbai blast he adds, “Rahul Gandhi repeated — in fact, read out from a piece of paper — the rather facile argument that this attack represented the “1 per cent” that had succeeded rather than the “99 pe cent” who had failed. This is the sort of excuse that cannot survive marginal scrutiny. Where is the evidence of attacks being thwarted? If the police had succeeded in preventing an attack, then they should have a suspect and a story of what had been planned by the suspect. There has been none from the Mumbai police.”
After the Mumbai attack the Union Home Minister Mr. Chidambaram claimed, “There has been no intelligence failure. There was no intelligence warning about 13/7. Intelligence is collected every day, every hour. The blasts are not a failure of intelligence agencies.”
That the terrorists managed to strike at three places at a time and that too in Mumbai without the intelligence sensing this sinister act in itself is a big failure. The citizens who were told post 26/11 that additional security measures have been taken to ensure their safety are questioning what those measures are.
Also the senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley who termed the Mumbai explosions as “an attack on India's security” wondered why the government has failed to stop recurrence of such strikes despite the financial capital being a regular target of terrorists.
“It has become a custom for the terrorists to attack the financial capital of India. The terrorists know that attacking Mumbai would send a strong message across the world,” he said.
Demanding strengthening of the security set up, Mr. Jaitely referred to the announcements made after the 26/11 and wanted to know from the government concrete steps taken so far.
Besides it being a reality that the terrorists take advantage of the security lapses one more reason that the terror strikes could not be contained is that the culprits behind the blasts are left to roam freely. And those who are supposed to be the executors have nothing to do with the blasts. This allows the mischief mongers to create mayhem in the society.
After the Mumbai July 13 blasts the media gave news from the “sources” that it was a handiwork of Muslim named outfits like IM or HuJI. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr. Prithviraj Chavan and the union home minister P. Chidambaram adopted a cautious approach when they stated that it was too early to link any outfit to the blasts.
The media in the past have the record of victimizing Muslim youth in several blasts that in the light of the evidences surfaced later proved to be the handiwork of the Hindutva terrorists. The media feed not only that have its impact on the probing agencies but also on the political leaders as was seen in the German Bakery blast in Pune.
The Maharashtra ATS that investigated the case in the beginning linked it to some outfits with Muslim name. Seeing the IM angle in the blasts the ATS led by Rakesh Maria even arrested one Sammad Bhatkal who was told as having relations with the alleged founders of the IM Iqbal and Riyaz Bhatkal. Then it was turn of Maulana Shabir to face the music. The probing agency termed him as the financer of the blast. But to the embarrassment of the ATS the people of his hometown said that if he had no home of his own, how he could finance the blasts. Then there was the mastermind of the blasts Himayat Baig with the arrest of whose the ATS claimed to have cracked the blast case and it even received tap from the government. The case at last is that Samad has been released on bail as the agency could not link him to the blasts and the whole case has been handed over to the NIA as it remains unsolved.
Ever since the politics of riots was replaced by the politics of bomb blasts the accused behind any blast was a youth who happened to be born in a Muslim family. This instead of becoming an assumption is a fact that could be read in the pages of the history of investigation of the blasts that took place during the last few years.
In the Mumbai blasts too, according to the reports, the ATS along with many others questioned two Muslim youth under detention Mohammed Mobin Khan (32) and his cousin Ayub Raja Shaikh (28). They are alleged IM operatives whom the ATS arrested from suburban Mankhurd as they had allegedly provided vehicles that were used in 2008 serial blasts in Gujarat in which 56 people were killed and over 200 were injured.
Nevertheless, the union home minister Mr. P Chidambaram stated that, “We are not ruling out any angle. We will probe (the involvement of) every terror group...The investigations into the attack will not start on pre-determined assumptions,” he said.
“The man designated to keep Indians safe from terrorists, Home Minister P Chidambaram, who is usually good with words, lost track and traction when he asserted after the Mumbai blasts that as far as suspects go, he was ruling no one out, and ruling no one in either. That probably explains why the Maharashtra police immediately picked up two members of the Indian Mujahideen and seven Naxalites from Mumbai, and 10 Maoists from Pune. They have clearly expanded their circle of the usual suspects,” writes Akbar.
He goes on adding, “The chief minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan can think of nothing more original than passing the buck. It was his Home Minister R R Patil’s fault, he said, before he did the next thing that politicians are brilliant at: the somersault. Acrobatics cannot explain why the entire police wireless network that evening was jammed, among other things.”
The agencies probing the Mumbai blasts cannot forget that there exists a vast network of the fanatics who have been misusing the name of religion for their nefarious purposes.
They never want that India shares a pleasant relation with the neighbouring Pakistan as the latter is a Muslim-dominated country. Whenever there is a go ahead in peace talks between the two traditionally rival nations, India and Pakistan, a bomb blast comes to halt the process. In this backdrop, the timing of the blasts, days before India starts the foreign minister-level talks with Pakistan, assumes significance. Being asked whether the blasts were an attempt to derail the talks with Pakistan later in July, Mr. Chidambaram said, “I do agree that the Indo-Pak talks will be held this month, in ten days from now. We are not ruling out any angle. We will probe every angle,” he said.
It would have come as an embarrassment to the terrorist that the foreign minister-level talks with Pakistan will take place as scheduled. “They are (on schedule). There is no change in the scheduled visits of (US) secretary (Hillary) Clinton or the foreign minister of Pakistan,” external affairs minister SM Krishna said.
The possibility of saffron terrorism involvement in the blasts cannot be ruled out the senior Congress leader has stated. This is especially when blasts are used for gaining political advantage. In Uttar Pradesh where assembly elections are nearing the right wing Hindutva outfit Vishwa Hindu Parishad has already picked the issue and given it a anti-Muslim colour in a demonstration it recently held in Allahabad. The BJP needed this anti-Muslim oxygen badly to revive its sulking cadre in UP before the UP elections. It can be taken as an indicative that the blasts might have involvement of saffron terror groups who want to revive their hate ideology before the UP elections for better prospects in the elections.
Notable is that in the pre-Swami Aseemanand confession time, the probing agencies would try to solve the blast cases with a pre-determined assumption that it could be done only by Muslim terrorist. When Aseemanand’s conscious urged him to let the truth prevail before the world, it was known that the blasts in Malegaon, Samjhauta Express, Ajmer Dargah and Makkah Masjid were executed by the Hindu fanatics and that the Muslim youth locked behind bars in this connection were actually innocents.
Aseemanand’s confession did not reveal anything new. It only supported the reality the late Maharashtra ATS Chief Hemant Karkare had unraveled after an unbiased probe in the Malegaon blasts that were initially blamed on Muslim youth. Unfortunately for India Hemant Karkare who had hunted big fish of the filthy Hindutva network could not find enough time to destroy it as he was murdered just after big bosses of RSS were found involved in many blasts rocking India. Therefore to not take the confession of Aseemanand as an important clue to crack the network of terrorism on the pretence that his confession was due to duress is not wise. Regrettably after the news surfacing that the Swami’s confession was under duress no headway in the investigation of the blasts is known to public.
On March 11, 2010 the union Home Minister P Chidambaram indicated that seven terror related cases will be investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). These cases include Malegaon bomb blast that took place in the year 2006, Samjhauta Express blast in 2007, Makkah Masjid blast in 2007, Ajmer Sharif blast in 2007, Malegaon blast in 2008, Modasa blast in 2008 and Sunil Joshi murder in 2007. He also had hinted that there was one single network behind all these blasts.
Writes Majid Jahangir in his article titled “A Case Of Not Only Aseemanand, But Of A Larger Network” that Mr. Chidambaram had clearly indicated that it were the Hindutva terrorism behind all these seven incidents. But unfortunate is that so far none of the cases could be probed to its conclusion.
“With the arrest of Swami Aseemanand new names from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and other states had appeared in connection with the Hindutva terrorism. It got media coverage too. But until now, many a suspects are beyond the reach of the probing agencies. It raises question over their clean image. This is a case of a Hindutva terror network larger than Aseemanand. Without this network being destroyed Hindutva terrorism cannot be ended.”
By Staff Writer

Muthalik: The Trouble Maker Of The South

Before he catches the imagination of some troublemakers this creator of nuisance should be booked. The government must stop the advancing steps of Pramod Muthalik and his gang. He is recruiting a team of idle Hindu youth and indoctrinating them to his criminal agenda. As he tries to create a gang of trouble creators the government remains a mere spectator!

The man of many evils, Mr. Pramod Muthalik, the infamous right-wing rabble-rouser from Karnataka, who was kicked out of Bangalore (pink chaddi campaign), is upto mischief again.
He has been let loose by the state government to create division among peacefully living Hindus and Muslims. The inaction of the authorities gives him courage to put in practice what he preaches.
The bearer of an ideology that promotes terrorism has been cheating the common Hindus by christening his organization after Rama. Perhaps he does not know that Rama was a preacher of peace while his Ram Sene is always about hatred.
It is now an open secret that the Sene chief is a man of riots. Staging communal riots is his business.
People like Muthalik are directly helping foreign countries that like to see a country face internal security issues, which ensures the business of arms supply is profitable. The relation of Muthalik with Israel, the economy of which heavily depends on arms supply, is not hidden. The possibility of him being used by arms supplying countries cannot be ruled out. Riots do not bring any benefit to any community. Then why on earth does Muthalik and co. plan riots. Should not these people who plot riots be put behind bars or treated in the mental asylum.
Wasn’t it surprising when Muthalik was caught red handed taking money as payment to stage communal riots by using his dirty network spreading across many states? This was a first in the history of communal politics in India. Is it the religion zeal that drives these young boys or the easy loot of the helpless victims?
It is a shame of our times that the government jails anyone from the minority community merely on suspicion, is reluctant to punish this well known Goonda.
The Result? The confident Muthalik is preparing a new gang to create mayhem in society. According to the media reports, he has created an army of 100 youths to toe his line and has trained them in martial arts.
Some days back Muthalik’s Sri Rama Sene set up a week-long camp in Nandagaon village near Athani of Belgaum district in Karnataka. The purpose was to train these youth by four retired army personnel to fight fanatic elements in other community.
The youth at the camp were brainfed. They were shown video clips of earlier terror attacks, according to them, executed by Muslims. The gullible youth will forever distrust their fellow countrymen from now on.
Muthalik also approached the police to train these youth in handling firearms but the police did not oblige. The top brass of the police said they would never allow him to misuse the police machinery. The police refused to give arms training to Goondas that they should be sending to jail.
Since Pramod Muthalik & Co do not have permission to give the youth training in firearms, they want the youths to enroll for the civilian rifle training programme conducted by the police in Bangalore and other districts.
He says, “We do not have weapons. It becomes illegal if we train them in handling weapons. So, what is wrong in availing of something which is available to civilians? Why is a big issue being made out of it?”
Muthalik told a news daily, “We have told them to go to their respective districts and enroll for the civilian training programme, become experts in handling weapons and ammunition, then come back to us for taking on terrorists and protecting the motherland.”
Commenting on this the newspaper writes, “This is where the real worry begins for the police. If they give training to Muthalik’s men and they become Lt Col Purohits and Aseemanands, who are accused of carrying out blasts in Malegaon and Hyderabad, they will draw flak.”
When asked what they would do if Muthalik’s men come to them seeking weapons training, additional Director General of Bangalore police (law & order) R K Dutta said, “Under no circumstances will we allow them. If some organisation approaches us for this programme, we will screen their antecedents and reject permission if something is fishy. Our programme is for able-minded citizens of this country to protect themselves in self-defence.
“We cannot allow individuals or organisations to misuse police for their vested agendas. I will alert the SPs of all the district to remain alert about such people and not to give them any training.'”
Intelligence Bureau sleuths are watching Muthalik's camp. Information has been collected about the participants. It may be recalled that Muthalik had distributed trishuls to youth in the past to take on the nation’s ‘enemies’.
The sooner this menace is contained the better it would be.

By Hamid Siddharthi

Terror Visits Again

The statement by the union Home Minister Mr. P Chidambaram that we are living in the “most troubled neighbourhood in the world” would have been more realistic if the phrase “and in a troubled country” were to be added.
In the backdrop of Chidambaram’s statement that followed the Mumbai serial blasts are the fragile conditions of law and order in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both the countries are victims of both internal and external terrorism that put the lives of the citizens there at stake. A person going out of home in the morning wonders if he/she is nearing death with every advancing step.
In India, though we are an established democracy with law and order, we are not living in a far better condition than Pakistanis and Afghans, when safety of lives and properties is considered. Just some days back, we were targeted in Mumbai. The tall claims of the politicians that every possible steps were taken to enhance security measures fell short. Not only the Mumbaikars but all Indians are concerned about security.
If our leaders state that one per cent blasts would take place (just recall the statement of our prospective PM Mr. Rahul Gandhi that only 99% blasts can be contained) then who can be sure that this one 1% will not target him/her?
The 13/7 Mumbai blasts caught the intelligence agencies unaware. Since there was no intelligence input about the blasts it should not be termed an intelligence failure, claims Mr. Chidambaram, the man assigned to protect us.
Such leaders will say they did not have intelligence inputs that Pramod Muthalik was going to stage riots, so they cannot be held responsible for failing to contain riots. Though it a is well-known fact to them that Muthalik has been training hundreds of youth whose aim would be to create terror among minority communities living in India through riots. Muthalik and his goons serve as a permanent threat to the safety of everyone who believes in a cosmopolitan India. Tragedy is that the government is ignoring them on its own peril. Communalism and communal riots are the biggest threat to the safety of Indians.
Besides terrorism and riots we have many more things to which our precious lives would be sacrificed. Police torture, either while dealing with protesting lots or when in custody, off and on results in Indians losing their lives. Nitish government’s police butchered as many as five citizens in Araria district of Bihar. The killers are yet to face any action. The death of Faiz Usmani whom the Mumbai police interrogated as a suspect in 13/7 blasts was killed, the family alleges because of police torture; a claim as usual denied by the police. The wife Zubeida Usmani told media that when Usmani left home he was completely healthy, so the death must have been due to police torture during investigation. We have a long list of custodial deaths; one that of Khwaja Yunus got media attention and is being probed.
“I want justice. Strict action should be taken and the guilty should be punished,” Zubeida has demanded.
Though India is comparatively far more secure than its neighbours Pakistan and Afghanistan, but the looming sword of a terror attack, a communal riots and police torture always threatens the lives of Indians. They can only sit back and watch as India is made another Pakistan. The way big politicians are safe and are not killed either in riots or terror strikes; the life of the common man too should get equal security cover. But too sum it up, “Does anybody really care?”

The new weapon in politics: Corruption

With the Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran resigning from the Union Cabinet following his involvement in the infamous 2G spectrum allocation scandal, the speculation that Congress has been turning this scandal into an opportunity to settle old rivalry with the DMK are getting stronger. Maran is the second DMK minister and the third Karunanidhi family member who had to face the axe due to this scam.
Former Telecom minister of DMK Andimuthu Raja is already behind bars in Tihar jail only to be followed by Kanimozhi, Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (DMK) and daughter of Tamil Nadu ex-Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.
Rumours are doing rounds that the Congress has been exploiting this case to take revenge for the killing of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. Mr. Gandhi was assassinated by the LTTE.
Recently a top LTTE leader, Kumaran Pathmanathan, the former international arms procurer for the LTTE and the right hand man of its chief Prabhakaran, said “DMK’s ideology and its anti-Brahmin outlook were one of the main reasons that drove the group’s leader into assassinating the former Prime Minister of India Mr.Rajiv Gandhi.” This only strengthens the point of view which has some takers that there was a DMK hand in the assassination of Rajiv.
Some believe that the UPA-11 led by Sonia Gandhi is targeting Karunanidhi family in the name of curbing corruption. The CBI is unable to frame charges against business tycoons like Anil Ambani and Ratan Tata whose involvement in the 2G spectrum scam is substantiated by many evidences. They also try to know why the Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa is escaping the attention of the CBI despite him being immersed in such a well known scale of corruption .
Mr. Yeddyurappa is well known for his alleged involvement in corruption. He is also well known for putting up a defiant face when cornered with charges of corruption. He is facing a series of allegations in connection with the land-grabbing issues. He is accused of nepotism as he distributed sites to his daughters and sons-in-law ignoring the 52% poor population that is living in slums across Karnataka.
Stating that only 2% of slum-dwellers of Karnataka have got title deeds, the social activist Medha Patkar said, the CM's generosity towards his family is not only corruption, but also exploitation. “It is a new kind of corruption”.
The alleged land grab by Yeddyurappa apart from being an issue confined to one state is of national importance. The “financial interests of the Central Government” is involved in it. But the Centre is not ordering a CBI inquiry into the corruption. Yeddyurappa belongs to the opposition in the Centre the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Many believe that CBI’s clean chit to Ratan Tata and its decision not to file charge sheet against Anil Ambani is influenced by the Centre that is reluctant to take action against them. They are said to be providing corporate backing to the party.
One political analyst observed “Why are Ratan Tata and Sunil Bharti Mittal not being called for questioning? Tata Teleservices directly benefited with huge profits...Only those people are being summoned who are not supporters of Congress. In action against the guilty, Congress is fixing its opponents and helping supporters. Ratan Tata’s letter to Karunanidhi has appeared in media praising A. Raja because he released the licence to Tata Teleservices ahead of others despite the letter being submitted after the deadline.”
The CBI has given a clean chit to Tata Telecom and said that it did not benefit in any way from the massive telecom scam that saw companies getting licences at throwaway prices in 2008 for mobile networks.
“We’ve examined the issue in detail. There was no irregularity in the issuance of licences to Tata Telecom,” the CBI said.
However, the CBI is still studying the two other deals that the company entered into during 2008 and 2009 when the telecom scam was played out. Firstly, it was the Tatas who loaned Rs. 1,700 crore that allowed Unitech Wireless to acquire a telecom license from Mr Raja.
Unitech- primarily a real estate company till 2008 -has been listed as one of the biggest beneficiaries of the telecom scam and its promoter, Sanjay Chandra, is now in jail on charges of conspiracy and cheating. The loan from the Tatas has been read by some as a sign that Unitech served as a front for the Tata Group, which had already been granted a license to provide mobile services.
Secondly, the Tata Group owned a valuable property in Chennai that was transferred to Mr Karunanidhi's family at bizarrely low rates, according to the CBI. Investigators want to know if this was some sort of kickback for the DMK and Mr Raja in exchange for telecom licences.
Likewise, the CBI inquiry into the possible involvement of Anil Ambani, the Chairman of ADAG Group, in the 2G spectrum scam has also been doubted.
Questions have been raised on the way CBI is dealing with the Anil Ambani angle of the scam. In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court the NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) questioned as to why the probing agency did not chargesheet Ambani.
The NGO alleged that Ambani was making attempts to cover up his involvement by influencing his arrested employees. Ambani had paid a visit to the arrestee in Tihar jail and assured of legal assistance, a step some believe was to influence the employees so that they did not name him in the scandal.
Notably, three members of the group—Gautam Doshi; Group MD, Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, Hari Nair; Senior Vice-President of ADAG and Surendra Pipara; Senior Vice-President of the group and Reliance Telecom Ltd—are accused in the scam and are in Tihar Jail.
“The three persons chargesheeted are just the professional employees of the ADAG and are not the beneficiaries of this scam. The real beneficiary is Anil Ambani, who hold majority stake and is Chairman of the group companies.
“There is no possibility of an employee of the company having taken such an important decision of massive investments running into hundreds of crores of rupees,” the affidavit by CPIL said.
Notably, one of the three accused companies in the scandal is Swan Telecom/ Etisalat DB Telecom India Pvt. Ltd that is considered to be a front company of Reliance ADA Group. In Swan Company, along with the Shahid Balwa led DB Realty Group the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Telecom were equity holders.
The CBI had it that Swan was nothing but a front company of Reliance ADA Group, promoted by Anil Ambani, aimed to “circumvent” the policy which debarred the existing players to seek 2G licenses.
When Swan had applied for the Unified Access Service License in March 2007, the Shahid Balwa group was the majority stakeholder with 91.19 percent shareholding (Balwa controlled this equity through a holding company called Tiger Traders Pvt Ltd), while the Anil Ambani group had a minority holding of 9.81 percent.
The DoT policy allows an existing telecom company to have a maximum of 10 percent equity in another telecom company. So it is alleged that Balwa was acting as a front man for Anil Ambani as the latter could not have incorporated a new telecom company with a majority shareholding.
Reportedly in taking decisions about investments in Swan, the three ADA Group arrestees were crucial. But the question remains whether they could have decided without Anil knowing about it.
CPIL in its affidavit also has, “But Ambani has not been charge-sheeted. ADAG has reportedly claimed that these actions were done without the knowledge of Ambani. If this was true then he should have sacked the three charge sheeted employees.
The CPIL said, “he (Ambani) could have claimed to be a victim of their actions, since they used Rs 1000 crore of the company money to create Swan, because of which his company has been charge-sheeted, its reputation tarnished and its stock has drastically fell.”
“Instead, Ambani visits Tihar Jail to meet his three employees and assures them of all legal assistance. This was clearly an attempt to influence them so that they don’t talk of his involvement,” it claimed.
It is believed that Shahid Balwa, the group managing director of the Mumbai based Dynamix Balwas (DB) was instrumental in channelling the kickbacks allegedly received by the former telecom minister.
According to the media reports, there was a transaction of Rs 214 crore from M/s Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd to Kalaignar TV in 2009. The funds were arranged by Cineyug from DB Group companies, wherein family members of (Shahid) Balwa are directors or shareholders. The alleged payment to Kalaignar is seen as a possible quid pro quo.
Balwa has maintained his company wanted to invest in Kalaignar but the deal didn't take place and Kalaignar returned the money. Kalaignar TV claims the sum received from Cineyug was an “advance for transaction of shares”, and was returned with interest.
Vinod Goenka, Director, Swan Telecom (now Etisalat DB) and Shahid Usman Balwa, former Director of the company are behind bars in 2G scam.
The CBI has been accused of dancing to the tune of the government. Will it hold Anil Ambani and Ratan Tata guilty in 2G scam? Will the Centre act tough against the Karnataka CM Mr. Yeddyurappa or will it show action only against Karunanidhi family? Does it mean that if businessmen are corrupt they have to be on the right side.

Taliban Longing For 2014

The murder of Ahmed Wali Karzai, the younger half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, is a big jolt to both the Afghan government and the United States. He was killed by his own security guard in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban.

This comes at a time when the NATO countries have started the gradual withdrawal of their troops—that will expectedly complete by the end of 2014—from the country. The forces had invaded Afghanistan only to root out Taliban but till now seem to have failed miserably in their aim.
The so-called elected government of Hamid Karzai and the foreign forces led by the U.S. could not prepare a force of Afghans that would control the country after they have left. The Afghans anxious for democracy will have to live under the threat of Taliban fundamentalists after 2014 because Taliban still enjoy dominance.
It appears that the Taliban who had gone into hiding after the 2001 invasion are getting strength by the passage of time.
It was just days after the murder of Ahmed Wali Karzai that Jan Mohammad Khan, former governor of southern Uruzgan province and a key ally of the Hamid Karzai, was killed in the attack.
“He (Khan) was very close to Karzai. He was as important as AWK (Ahmed Wali Karzai)," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The reason behind Taliban rising could be found in the local support they have. The counter-Taliban efforts of the West time and again went in vain as the persons it trusted to penetrate into the network of Taliban turned out to be agents of Taliban.
The murder of many high profile officers assisting the allied forces in trying to contain Taliban threat is indicative of how strong their network is.
It was customary that Taliban penetrated into the organizations of the foreign forces working in Afghanistan, but the murder of Wali Karzai has unveiled another aspect; that Taliban have infiltrated into Afghan government structure and that once the allied forces have left the country, they will rule.
Wali Karzai was a very high profile target. He was the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan and acted as a regent and enforcer for his brother across the volatile region. Wali was the eyes and ears of Hamid.
Commenting on his influence in the region wrote Emma Graham-Harrison in a Reuter write up, “Ultimately though they seem to have decided that his influence was so ubiquitous, and his hold over politicians, officials and tribal leaders so strong that they were better working with him than against him.”
Western ambivalence about him was summed up last year by British Major General Nick Carter, then the commanding officer for southern Afghanistan, at a news conference.
“It's also my sense that, in relation to Ahmad Wali Karzai, he would tell you -- and he's either a candidate for an Oscar or he's the most maligned man in Afghanistan -- that he is trying to help his country, that he's trying to help us and he's trying to help his people,” he said.
Besides Hamid Karzai, Wali was equally important for NATO and CIA. He was considered to have been in the CIA’s payroll for various services including the recruitment of the Kandahar Strike Force, an Afghan paramilitary force run by the CIA in the Kandahar region. It also stated that he was paid for allowing the CIA and U.S. Special Forces to rent the former residence of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar.
Wali Karzai helped secure Kandahar for NATO interests by providing security and logistical aid to ISAF forces and its supply convoys.
What is more worrisome in this whole story is that Sardar Mohammad, the security guard of Wali Karzai who gunned him down, is said to have been a Taliban agent. The Taliban, who reportedly claimed responsibility for the killing, said Mohammad was their agent.
If it was so, then the infiltration of the Taliban into the Afghan government has reached to an alarming stage.
“Ahmed Wali Karzai, half brother of Afghan President of Hamid Karzai was entertaining his guests in his heavily secured Kandahar home on 12 July, long-time confidant Sardar Mohammad, an Afghan National Police (ANP) officer arrived with two weapons. While one was concealed, the other one was duly handed over to the guard, following a practice that allowed none to carry weapons inside the house.
Mohammad then took aside Ahmed Wali to an adjoining room to discuss a private matter and opened fire on him from his second pistol. Ahmed Wali was dead instantly, and so was Mohammad, after being fired upon by the alerted guards.
Soon thereafter Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing, saying that Mohammad was their agent. The Taliban have been quick to claim responsibility for many such high profile killings,” wrote Shanthie Mariet D’Souza, an Al-Arabia News Channel analyst and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore in Singapore.
Sardar Mohammad had worked for the Karzai family for at least seven years and was very close to it.
He also met American and British military officials, shared intelligence and had helped arrest scores of fighters. The relatives of Sardar Mohammad told The Washington Post that Mohammad, like Ahmed Wali, often worked closely with the US military to hunt insurgents, who consider Kandahar one of their strongholds.
Abdul Malik, a brother in-law of the killer, told the Washington Post: “If there was something Sardar could do that the Americans couldn't, they would ask him to do it.” “If American forces were suspicious of someone, they were asking Sardar to make the arrest.”
What urged him to turn against Karzai is still a mystery. Some say that Sardar was a Taliban agent who shot Karzai when Taliban instructed him to do so when any opportunity was available.
Mahmood Karzai, one of the president’s brothers, told reporters his family had learned Mohammad acted erratically in recent weeks, sleeping poorly, changing houses at night and acting suspiciously toward his men. He had also visited Quetta to meet insurgents in the past three months, he claimed.
“All of a sudden, he changed,” he said. “This is the work of the Taliban.”
It is a time of great worry for the alien forces in Afghanistan. They have to withdraw from there, prepare a force of Afghans in whose hands they could give the responsibility and ensure that the threat of Taliban is no more. The first work can be done but what about the last two? It won’t be an easy task. The work that could not be done in almost a decade, cannot be done within a short span of two three years.
Insurgency is on rise. It was in this year that the police chief in Kandahar was killed.
The death of Wali Karzai leaves a dangerous power vacuum in southern Kandahar province, birthplace of the Taliban and focus of recent efforts by a surge of U.S. troops to turn the tide against the insurgency.
In Kabul, senior officials warned that the psychological impact could be as significant as the actual impact, because the death of someone as powerful and well protected as Ahmad Wali Karzai implies no one can really be safe.
This is a troubled time for the United States and its NATO allies: it cannot afford more instability and more bloodshed just when countries like Canada and France are irreversibly drawing out of Afghanistan. Boots on the ground are increasingly spread thinner; and now a truly disruptive state of affairs looms on the horizon in Afghanistan.
Finally consider that just at the moment that NATO and its allies are trying to convince low and mid-level Taliban to switch allegiances to Kabul, the Taliban are likely to trumpet Ahmed Wali’s assassination as their doing, whatever the truth of that claim. They will point to this attack as their strongest signal yet that Kabul remains weak; that those who would support the Kabul government had best think twice. This propaganda victory, masked in claims of a moral victory, is sure to scare off Taliban leaders who until earlier today might have considered switching to Kabul in some hope that the Karzai clan headed by Hamid and Ahmed Wali might secure their futures.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jinnah’s Pakistan Vs Islamic Pakistan

The liberal Pakistani politician Governor Salman Taseer paid the ultimate price for trying to change blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Did he cross the laxman rekha drawn by the radicals, when he opposed the blasphemy law of Pakistan? Does this indicate to the west, that the fundamentalists are still the most feared in Pakistan?

The reaction of Pakistanis to the brutal assassination of Punjab governor Salman Taseer has come as a shock to the world. The billions of dollars the United States poured to combat extremism in the country failed to bring desirable fruits.

This assassination proves one point. Economic well being does not stop one from becoming a radical. That people tend to extremism due to their weak economic status seems to have totally been rejected by this incident in Pakistan. Mumtaz Qadri, the body guard of Taseer ,who assassinated him hails from a well-to-do family.

The growing influence of militant Islam in Pakistan and the ignorance of the feeling of the masses by the leadership has caused this incident.

Taseer had been a man of liberal views. No one bothered. But when he opposed Pakistan’s blasphemy law and called it a Kala Qanoon (Black Law), he bit more then he could chew. Presently under the law, people insulting Prophet Muhammad or desecrating Holy Qur’an are liable to strict punishment.

The stand taken by the governor that the blasphemy law should be scrapped, not amended, might had created an apprehension among the extremists that blasphemy would be a norm if there existed no punishment for the blasphemers. The governor was gunned down by the person who was assigned to safeguard him. Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the assassin, said he did it for protecting the honour of Prophet Muhammad.
Taseer is not the first person to pay for blasphemous remarks or activities. Section 295 C of Pakistan Penal Code prescribes death sentence with fine or without fine for any one insulting Prophet.

The reports say that say that between 1986—the year when the present shape of the law was introduced—and 2010 as many as 989 cases of blasphemy were reported. In 2009, around 112 cases of blasphemy—against 57 Ahmadi, 47 Muslims and 8 Christians—were filed. At least 35 of the accused have been killed extra-judicially. The murder of Taseer is only an addition to the long chain.

Taseer is believed to have been assassinated for relentlessly defending Aasiya Bibi. It was in November 2010 that an anti-terrorism court of Pakistan condemned Aasiya Bibi, a member of Christian minority, to death for having allegedly committed blasphemy to the Prophet Muhammad during her argument with two Muslim women in June 2009. She reportedly has moved to Lahore High Court against the decree.

Even Pope Benedict XVI has intervened in the case and demanded Aasiya be released. He said that he prayed God for any person facing such a circumstance that their human status and respect be considered.

There was every possibility that a higher court would possibly acquit her of the charge. This was the best and sure way to have Bibi rescued from the clutches of the blasphemy law. Many local courts decreed death sentences against the accused under blasphemy law, but none of the verdicts could be implemented till now.
Instead of waiting for the judicial process, Mr. Taseer approached Asif Ali Zardari for a presidential pardon to Bibi. He even proceeded to meet her at Sheikhupura district jail.
The extremists, who look for any pretence and chance to eliminate the liberals, found the behaviour of Taseer an enough reason. Time and again they took law and order in hand for executing the blasphemers.

Even though Taseer himself did not commit blasphemy, yet his unrelenting support for Aasiya Bibi in a show of liberalism proved fatal for him. As a matter of fact, Islam does not allow undue bloodshed. The killing of Taseer in the name of the religion, the analysts say, is against the peaceful teachings of Islam.

With extremism having crept in the Pakistani society, especially in the wake of the US-Afghan war, Pakistanis is all praise for Qadri. Except a few modern educated people, rest of the nation is either presenting Qadri as a hero of Islam or preferring silence over the murder of Taseer. No mention of condemning the killer.
Even the Pakistani media did not condemn Mumtaz Qadri in its strongest terms. “When Pakistan's television anchors and newspaper columnists describe Salman Taseer's assassination a tragedy, they are not telling us the whole truth. Because many of these very anchors and columnists have stated, in no uncertain terms, that by expressing his reservations about the blasphemy law, Salman Taseer had crossed a line on the other side of which is certain death,” commented Mohammed Hanif, a former editor of the BBC Urdu service.

Using the media some extremists showed support to Mumtaz Qadri and lauded him. “The situation has become worrying because people are coming on national television and justifying Taseer’s assassination,” said human rights activist Asma Jahangir.
A liberal legislator from Karachi, Sherry Rehman, who recently introduced a bill to amend the blasphemy law, has been politically isolated since Taseer's murder, threatened by protesters. For quite some days she had to be in seclusion at her home, under special police guard.

“I am amazed at the ferocity of the onslaught,” Rehman reportedly said. “I was trying to find a middle ground, but now no one wants to touch the issue. I think this retreat is going to set the country back for years to come.”

The murder of Taseer has silenced the liberal voices and the government for the time being bowing to the pressure of the Islamists agreed that no amendments would be made to blasphemy law. This, the fundamentalists see as their victory.

The common Pakistani praises Qadri for what they call is his bravery. Hours after the assassination of Taseer over 500 scholars praised Qadri and urged people to boycott the funeral ceremony of the “blasphemer or face the consequence”. The prayer leader of Lahore’s historic Badshahi Masjid declined the administration’s request to lead the funeral prayer.

Mass rallies were taken out in Qadri’s support and, thousands of supporters marched in the streets, praising him as a heroic defender of Islam.

“Mumtaz Qadri sacrificed himself to protect the sanctity of our prophet, and every one of us here is ready to do the same thing,” reportedly said Abdul Majid, a seminary student who was among tens of thousands of supporters who rallied in Karachi demanding that the country's blasphemy law be preserved.

A group of young lawyers even showered rose petals over Qadri, before his court appearances. And they enthusiastically took up his defense.

It was seen as a stark turnabout for a group that just a few years ago looked like the vanguard of a democracy movement. They waged months of protests in 2007 and 2008 to challenge Pakistan’s military dictator after he unlawfully removed the chief justice.

This shows how Islamization has worked among the Pakistanis. The appearance of hundreds of Facebook pages supporting Mumtaz Qadri is clear evidence that modern educated section of Pakistan too could not remain unaffected from the wave of Islamization. Usually, the Facebook users are not the students of madaris located in backward areas.

Even moderate Pakistani ulama, who are against taking law in their hand in the name of Islam, are not condemning what Qadri did when he killed Salman Taseer.
They, too, believe that blasphemy cannot be forgiven in any circumstances. Many local courts decree death sentences against the accused under blasphemy law, but none of the verdicts are implemented ever. They take this as a reason for justifying the extra-judicial killing of blasphemers.

On the occasion of Conquest of Makkah, when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came in power, he forgave everyone except 16 people. Among them were two women and two men who would pass satirical comments on the Prophet. He ordered that they must be killed even if found clinging to the cover of holy Ka’ba.

Likewise, two Jews of Madinah Ka’b Bin Ashraf and Abu Rafe were also killed for their blasphemous remarks. A blind companion of Prophet, killed a Jewish poetess who would insult Prophet in her poetry, and the Prophet praised him.

It is argued that blasphemy law is a highly sensitive issue for many Muslims in Pakistan, a deeply impoverished country of 180 million. But this law has also been misused and manipulated to target minority groups, including Christians and Shiite Muslims, and to settle personal scores. The government has assured that the blasphemy law will not be repealed, a demand made by some politicians, but it seems to likely go ahead with some amendments ensuring the law is not exploited wrongly.
Leaving aside whether or not the blasphemy law should be scrapped, the question arises why anyone should insult the religious icons of any community. Why to provoke anyone’s sentiments? Should freedom of expression be barred when it puts others in trouble and hurt their sentiments? The radical elements of a religion usually abstain from abusing other religion. While in the name of liberalism and freedom of expression, religious icons are often ridiculed.

Sometimes extremism is the outcome of provoking religious sentiments.

Speculations are also being made about political conspiracy behind assassination of Taseer. Federal law minister Babar Awan of the PPP described it as a “political assassination”. He said it raised several questions. Even before the statement of Awan the country was rife with conspiracy theories arising from what isn’t a secret in Pakistan—the Sharif brothers were known to have been at loggerheads with Taseer, a successful businessman with interests in media and telecom (he was the publisher of Daily Times and owned TV channels.)

Yet the majority opinion goes that Taseer was killed for his blasphemy. In the words of Hanif “The line that Governor Taseer is supposed to have crossed did not get drawn just by the text of a fatwa, or by the orders of Gen. Zia who promulgated the blasphemy law as it exists now. Religious groups are not the only ones responsible. The op-ed writers whose work reads like bloodcurdling fatwas are also not the only ones to blame.”

What the whole story speaks about is that the extremists have entered nearly every part of Pakistani society, even the rank-and-file in security forces, as the assassination showed. And it is now near to impossible to cleanse Pakistan from them. Better to leave them unprovoked especially as regards their religion.

By: A Hameed Yousuf

Letter To The Editor

UPA Not Government Of People

Sir, The cover story “UPA-3: The Dream Of Congress Ends With 2G” (MS, January Issue) made a good reading. Corruption is all that describes the UPA government. Though ruling as a representative of common people, yet UPA is more concerned about corporates. It strikes arms deals worth millions of dollars with other countries while in its land people are committing suicide as they do not have anything to eat. Can it not spend the same amount for feeding poor? The sooner people understand anti-poor policies of the UPA the better it would be. Anjali, via email

Hindus Don’t Believe In Violence

Respected Sir, This is with reference to the article “In The Name Of Rama” (Media Scan, January 2011). The writer seems to be of a communal mindset. I wonder how such an article spreading communalism has been given space by Media Scan. To my knowledge, the magazine is secular in nature. There is nothing new in the article. Just old theories exploited by the extremists to create hatred regarding the Hindu community. Ignoring the developmental activities carried out by Hindu organizations, the writer has taken into consideration only some incidents that could give a bad name to the community. Rama was the messenger of peace and all Hindus believe in peace. P. Kumar, Gujarat

Act Tough On Terrorism

Apropos to the editorial of January issue, it is evident that terrorism cannot be bound with any religion or colour. The use of the terms like saffron terrorism, Islamic terrorism, Christian terrorism and Naxal terrorism is utter injustice to these words. Actually the word terrorism itself needs to be defined. In the view of public, the police are the protectors of their lives and properties while the same police terrorize the thieves and the criminals. Tough action is needed against terrorism. Md. Nawaz, Bangalore

Barring Freedom Of Expression

Dear Editor, By slapping criminal charges against the Tehelka reporter K. K. Shahina, the Karnataka police have set a bad precedent of suppressing the voice of truth. Freedom of expression must be respected by everyone. What was the fault of Shahina if she had tried to investigate whether the police version about Madani being involved in the Bangalore blasts was correct or not correct? If his implication is based on factual grounds, the police should not feel troubled by independent investigation in the case. Abu Bakar, Kerala

SIT Cheated People’s Expectations

Respected Editor, That SIT reportedly gave clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is unexpected and shocking. Modi was completely involved in the Gujarat 2002 riots. He was the CM of the state and it was his duty to protect its citizens. He did not do it. So Modi must be held responsible for his shortcoming. We had a lot of expectations from the Supreme Court appointed SIT regarding justice in the riots case, but the agency too seems to have fallen in the hands of the communal elements. It should be kept in mind that a community disappointed from justice resorts to violence and extremism. In their view, by doing so they individually are able to punish those meting out injustice to them directly or indirectly. Ashfaq Ahmad, via email

Eliminate Corruption

Sir, With reference to the article “Third Pillar Of Democracy Crumbling” (Media Scan, January), it is tragic that even judiciary has become corrupt. It illustrates how the government has failed to fight corruption almost in every department. So far, for the citizens judiciary has been the last resort for justice, but if the judges too are affected by “uncle judge” syndrome, then where should we go for justice? I do not say that every judge is corrupt, but there ARE some, who are damaging the reputation of the judiciary. They must be recognized and punished for their doings. Rubia, Lucknow, U.P.

Why Should The Gujjar Protest Concern Us

The Gujjars’ movement emanating from the feeling that they have been ignored by the government represents the increasing anger of the farmers throughout India. Will the government wake up?

The Gujjar movement in Rajasthan has ended. But it gave a lesson. I wonder if the government will ponder upon it. First we should know the reason why Gujjar launched their agitation.

Gujjars are farmers whose lives depend on cattle. Breeding livestock and selling milk are their main sources of income. They have been breeding cows and sheep for centuries. Gradually cattle breeding transformed into buffalo breeding. And buffalo milk dominated the market. Earlier, Indians did not breed buffalos.

It was after 1950 that Milk Co-operative Movement started with the help of ADDP. The criterion for judging the quality of milk set at the time changed completely the direction of cattle breeding and the market of milk. The quality of milk was judged as per the percentage of fat in it. The more the fat the better milk. Interestingly, the criterion of fat was made because it can be measured easily by lactometer. To our officers, this was the easiest way to measure quality of milk.

With the start of the post-fifth decade-Milk Co-operative Movement, the use of milk was mostly done in preparing tea. The tea with thicker milk was considered better. These two reasons led to more usage of buffalo milk compared to that of cow.
The demand of buffalo milk increased in the market. The meaning of breeding livestock changed in the country to only buffalo breeding. It led to a greater change.

If we compare between the price of forage for buffalos and the price of milk during last 25 years, we come across a huge difference. For some years it was in the ratio of 1/3. To elucidate, if Rs.One was spent on buffalos’ feed, it would produce milk worth Rs. Three. Thus, the Gujjars benefitted.

But the last ten years changed the scenario. The price of forage increased. The ways of cultivation changed. Crops changed. The production of forage decreased. Water started disappearing. This went hand in hand with the increasing price of fat.
The farmers began feeding food concentrate forage to buffalos. Food concentrate forage is made out of oil cakes. Oil became expensive and so was oil cake. The forage for the buffalos automatically became more costly. But the government viewing the interests of urban consumers checked increase in milk price.

The other reason for trouble was the introduction of synthetic milk in the market. Consequently, the price of milk could not become as much as it should be according to the demand and supply rule of the market.

Besides, the ghee business too became a bane for Gujjars. The business of impure ghee is larger than of pure ghee. It, too, stopped the increase in milk price. For the last ten years, Gujjars have been in constant loss.

The less income put Gujjars in anxiety. Gujjars felt they were getting poor due to their old business and that it brought them inadequate income. In such a situation, if a political party or leader promises a bright future for them, these impoverished peasants will naturally support them. But it is not the farmers of only Rajasthan but also those of the rest of India are angry.

Railway tracks and roads are blocked not only by Gujjars but also by the farmers in Andhra Pradesh districts of Nellore and Kadapa. They demand the government should come up with a solution to their problems.

Unseasoned rain and less price of produce by farmers made their lives a torment. As the first step the farmers negotiated with the government but having this failed they resorted to agitation. The Andhra farmers enjoy the support of the opposition. In Tamil Nadu, too, farmers face difficulties. The farmers of sugarcane and silk are meted out discrimination. Their land have been allotted to builders and the farmers were not given due compensation. Sugarcane farmers do not get suitable price for the produce. The only option left before farmers is to launch a movement.

Karnataka farmers are in a different situation. The price of the seeds cultivated through traditional way has decreased. The farmers who would cultivate Bio-Cottons have to sow B. T. Cotton. The farmers in Kolar district of Karnataka are leading a movement against the deputy commissioner over tomato price. Due to tomato price, a farmer in Dharwad has committed suicide.

The Kerala farmers growing coconut are in more abysmal condition. In 1996, the price of a 100 kg of coconut was Rs. 5553. Since then it has been on continuous decline. Farmers are incurring loss.

The famers associated with rubber and tea farms have been undergoing the same problem. Everywhere the expenses on the crops are increasing while at the same time the price of the produce becoming less.

Throughout the country, the famers of tilhan (oil crops) face the heat of the government policies. During 1980 and 1993, the product of oil crops had doubled but the government now imports cheaper oil seeds from abroad under its liberal policies. India is the biggest country to import oil seeds. The price of seeds has decreased and the farmers are no more interested in cultivating oil crops seeing its unavoidable loss.

In the seventies Mahendra Singh Tikait led a kisan movement in Western U.P. He got strong support of the farmers. The farmers of that time cultivating sugarcane, wheat, barley and grams faced the situation tantamount to that of today’s Gujjars. The expenses over sugarcane, wheat, barley and gram increased and the government had controlled their prices. Cultivation was proving harmful to farmers. Later on when the situation changed, the kisan movement stopped.

Today, the farmers are facing increasingly worse situation all over the country. The turnover from the crops is miserably little. Their farms are acquired by the government in the name of highways, expressways, industries, SEZs and development.

Dadri, Nandigram, Agra and Aligarh are some of the regions where farmers are wakening. If the government does not adopt any solid approach to solve the problems of the farmers, the whole country will do what Gujjars are doing today.

Since 1991 India witnessed personalization and liberalisation. People were told everything will be ok within 20 years and we will get developed. But, the effect of those policies has appeared in rich becoming richer and poor growing poorer. The subsequent distance between the urban and rural India has pushed the country into anarchy. The stock exchange of the country is in good condition but the farmers throughout the country are resorting to suicides.

Maharashtra tops the states as regards suicide cases. Strangely, on one hand Maharashtra has the economic capital of the country (Mumbai) in it. If the state is abode for most of the billionaires in the country, then it is also where poor farmers live who do not have any other option but to kill themselves.

The farmers of Andhra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh follow those of Maharashtra in committing suicide.

Have a look at the statistics and you will be astonished to find that between 1997-2001, around 15,747 farmers committed suicide ever year. And this number increased to 17,366 per year during 2001 to 2007. After 2007, the suicide ratio of farmers has been increasing. The farmers of Vidarbha cultivating cotton are most vulnerable to commit suicide.

The expense over one hectare farm of cotton in the rest of country is Rs. Sixteen thousand, while in Vidarbha it is around twenty to twenty two thousand rupees. In the region, marginally 146 kg cotton is produced in one hectare and it is sold in the market for Rs. 35-48 per kg! (It brings maximum Rs. 7, 008 per hectare.) The cotton farmers are in economic loss. The situation has worsened to an extent that they have no options left. Most of the deaths are in the 25 to 45 age range.

Whether they are the cotton farmers of Vidarbha, tomato peasants of Andhra or farmers of Kerala growing coconut and tea, they all have been feeling that the government policies have pushed the traditionally employed people in to unemployment.

So, the Gujjar movement should not be taken merely as an agitation for reservation and a movement of a certain community. Or it will be a fatal mistake. Some days ago Gujjars launched a movement. But tomorrow other farmers will do the same. And if it happens, the country will no more remain stable.

Santosh Bhartiya

Swami’s Confession Leaked: Why?

The leaked confessional statement by Swami Aseemanand has been given wide coverage as it could prove crucial in solving the blasts mystery. But to an equally important aspect there have been little attention: why and how the statement was leaked.
RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav alleged that CBI deliberately leaked the confession. “This deliberate leaking of document confirms further the alleged interest of agencies is not to probe cases but malign the reputation of the organisations and individuals,” he said.

The selected leakage of confidential documents has been a headache for the Indian government.

At a time when the investigating agencies are reaching out to the black sheep among Hindu brethren—also the alleged executors of the blasts—the disclosure may play a spoiler.
Swami may be convicted based on his confession, but the other Hindutva elements can easily escape from the clutches of the probing agencies.

From the time their names were leaked to the time the agencies will crack down on them, they will find enough time to destroy evidences. Could this leakage become possible as there are RSS sympathizers in the agency who do not want to see the outfit in trouble?

Or the leakage was done because some impartial officers in the agency feared that truth might be suppressed as was done in the Gujarat riots cases.

Allegations have been made that behind CBI not investigating Gujarat Chief Minister Modi in the Gujarat 2002 riots cases, there was a Congress hand. It is said that the UPA-2 conveyed to the BJP that they would not pursue a CBI inquiry against Modi and in return BJP agreed to acquiescence on the nuclear liability bill.

RSS And Assassination Seva

Recently, the role of many RSS members involved in the blasts rocking India has been revealed. Will the government declare it an outlawed organization or try to appease hindus and remain silent.

The confessions of Swami Aseemanand that Hindutva elements are behind many blasts has brought a lot of troubles for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the umbrella organization of Sangh Parivar. From demands for having a close watch over RSS shakhas to demands for immediately banning the outfit have surfaced.

Former Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare had long back suggested ban on the radical outfit Abhinav Bharat, which carries forward the RSS mission, when he came across some Hindutva faces during probe of Malegaon 2008 blasts. But now, RSS itself once more is under scanner of the investigating agencies. It remains to be seen what steps the government takes to heal the cancer before it is too late.

The efforts of Karkare had unmasked the Hindutva terrorists who at some time in past were associated with RSS. And now the nefarious acts of active members of the outfit have come forth as a result of probe in right direction.

Some analysts have been opining that the RSS members assigned to give India a bloodbath, first separated themselves from RSS and then formed their own organizations to carry out blasts across the country. The founder of Jai Vande Matram Jan Kalyan Samiti, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur arrested in connection with the Malegaon 2008 blasts was once an active member of the RSS. Likewise Pramod Mutalik, the Ram Sene Chief who has been active in vandalizing South India had been a member of Bajrang Dal’s Karnataka unit.

The involvement of the former members would have not been so harmful to RSS, if the hands of some active members like Indresh Kumar, Swami Aseemanand, Ramchandra Kalsangra, Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma and Sandeep Dange had not been unveiled in several blasts.

RSS pracharak Ram Chandra Kalsangra alias Ramji is alleged in terror strikes in different places between December 2002 and 29 September 2008and has been absconding since October 2008.

A member of the RSS Central Committee Indresh Kumar is said to have mentored and financed the RSS pracharaks behind Malegaon, Samjhauta Express, Ajmer and Makkah Masjid terror strikes.

Another senior RSS pracharak Sandeep Dange was a key figure in the long running conspiracy to bomb Muslim places of worship and Muslim neighbourhoods.

While Devendra Gupta, the RSS vibhag pracharak from Bihar, has been accused of having provided logistics to Hindutva terrorists for terror strikes.

And Lokesh Sharma is said to help in triggering the bombs at Makkah Masjid and Ajmer Sharif.

In the wake of the proofs emerging of RSS being actively involved in the anti-nation activities, many organizations have called for a ban on the outfit. According to them, the demand of justice is that RSS too should be banned the same way SIMI was outlawed.

The chairman of the Popular Front of India E.M. Abdul Rahiman urged the investigating agencies to expose and bring to book all the top leaders of RSS ‘which is the power house of terrorism in India”. “The confession statement of Aseemanand is proof enough for the role of RSS central leadership in the recent incidents of terror such has Malegaon, Makkah Masjid, Ajmer and Samjhauta Express. It is shocking that the RSS central leadership has constituted a core group to carry out blasts across the country and entrusted the task of executing the same to its National Committee member Indresh Kumar. But surprisingly the investigating agencies have not yet arrested him or they are not even willing to expose other RSS leaders involved in this anti national terror conspiracy,” he said.

He also demanded a thorough watch on RSS shakhas and their programmes from top to bottom throughout the country in the best interest of the society and nation.

Contrary to its claims, the RSS does not represent Hindus nor is it patriotic to India. It is a group of Hindutvadis who do not worship the idol of Ram nor follow his teachings of peace and tolerance. Hence the propaganda by a section of the media that crackdown on RSS is crackdown on Hindu community is baseless. RSS does not have anything to do with Hinduism. Its philosophy is Hindutva in which violence is a recommended work.

On the national or shakhas offices of RSS the Indian tricolour flag does not wave. They have their own agendas of terrorizing minorities and killing peace loving Hindus in India (Goa blasts on Diwali eve); earlier by orchestrating riots and now through changed modus operandi of bomb blasts.

It is said RSS never took part in freedom movement. But it takes the credit of killing father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi. And now they are murdering innocent Indians.

Arguments may be made that the terror blasts were the work by individuals and they cannot be attributed to the organization. Recently, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat stated that there is no place for radicals in the organisation. “RSS has always asked members with extremist views to leave,” he said.

But the high degree of sophistication in the planning and devices used, with RDX and complex bomb designs being deployed in several of them, it is almost indigestible that it can be done on an individual level. So, the questions like “Given that most of the foot-soldiers accused for these blasts are of very humble backgrounds, is it possible that they could execute these blasts without support and sanction from the top?” are doing rounds. When strictly hierarchical and disciplined nature of the organisation is a well established fact, is it possible that they were acting without the knowledge of their superiors?

Evidences about the involvement of RSS pracharaks in a series of blasts, are growing continuously.

It is by time that either the RSS does a cleansing within and mete out the stringent punishment against its members involved in terror blasts.
Or the inner voice of all the Hindutva extremists—the executors of blasts—who caused many innocents being put behind bars should prompt them to do prayschit (penance) as did Swami Aseemanand.

Aseemanand, according to the media reports, made his confessional statement only after his conscious prompted him to let the world know the reality after he found his innocent co-inmate in the jail one Kaleem being punished in Makkah Masjid blast case.

According to Aseemanand, he made this statement “so that real culprits can be punished and no innocent has to suffer”.

However, the confessional statement by Aseemanand shows how systematically and easily the Hindutva terrorists executed their plans. How they brainwashed Hindu youth, spread a vast network across India and gained every type of support without the probing agencies letting have any clue about their plots.

Though saffron leaders have accused the UPA of misusing the CBI and other probing agencies but it does not affect the result these agencies reach after investigation.
Tragically, many so-called secularists are making the terrorism threat by RSS light by trying to portray it as a political issue between the Congress and the BJP. It is tantamount to undermining a dangerous threat to India’s stability. Time is to act tough against terrorism. It is in the interest of India to stop playing politics on this serious issue.

The result of the recent probe in the blasts cases though is startling but not unexpected. For its anti-nation activities RSS has been banned earlier. But when let roam free its members are busy destroying India. The sooner the outfit is banned for ever the safer India will be.

Vellayappa Ajay

Bomb blasts not a monopoly of Islamic militants

On 8th May, 2002, in Karachi, a suicide bomber rammed his car into a bus killing himself and 13 others including 11 French engineers working with Pakistan to design Agosta 90B class submarines for Pakistani Navy.
Al-Qaeda was blamed for the blast and according to the reports, later on one Sharib Zubair, who was believed to have masterminded the attack, was arrested. In 2003, two men were sentenced to death for the bombing by a Karachi court. There were several convictions in the case. In all, it was also taken as another addition to the blasts the Islamists executed in Pakistan.
Nevertheless, recently there have been speculations that the blast was political in nature. Now, the media reports suggest it was done in retaliation against French government cancelling the huge kickback it promised to offer to Pakistan in connection to a 1990s submarines deal between the two countries.
At the time, beating the rival offers by Swedish and German contractors, French defence contractor, the DCN, had succeeded to sell three Agosta-90B submarines for 825 million euros (an estimated $1.23 billion) to Pakistan. It was the second stint in power of Benazir Bhutto between 1993 and 1996 and her husband Asif Ali Zardari, now Pakistani president, was then a key minister in her cabinet.
The media reports talked about suspected widespread scam surrounding the deal and France ordered judicial investigation in the case.
As a result of the developments in the investigation of the case some official Pakistani documents have been found. According to the documents published by the French website Mediapart, Zardari benefited from massive, secret payments amounting to several millions of euros connected to the sale of French submarines.
However, with the change of government in France the payback was stopped. Increasing evidence suggests that the cancellation of the commissions, ordered by former French president Jacques Chirac, was decided after it was discovered they were in part re-routed back to France to fund political activities of Chirac’s principal political rival, Edouard Balladur.
In November 2010 a Pakistani newspaper wrote, “The implication is that he (Zardari), and key pals, organised the attack as an act of revenge over the stoppage of kickback payments after a change of government in France - a mafia-style action aimed to ensure that promises of kickbacks were not broken.”
Allegations against Zardari may or may not be true. But it least provides a logical point to the demands that a parallel investigation, to the assumption that every terror act must be handiwork of Islamic radicals, should be done. Islamic terrorism has been used as a scapegoat for political revenges.
Blasts politics has been in use also for creating divisions among different communities both in Pakistan and India. On his visit to India, once the general secretary of JUI and member of National Assembly of Pakistan, Hafiz Husain, was asked why Shi’ah and Sunni Muslims were engaged with each other in Pakistan. “We (the Shi’ah and Sunni) , at top level, try our best to live in peace, but they are the people (neither from Shi’ah community nor from Sunni) who carry out terrorism against the personalities and holy places of both the communities and the media successfully paint it as Shi’ah-Sunni conflict,” he replied.
The recent confession by RSS leader Swami Aseemanand too has that the blasts in Ajmer Dargah was aimed at diverting Hindu devotees from visiting the Dargah. While in the words of the union home ministry it was an attack by radical Salfi Muslims who are against Sufi Islam.
There is need to understand the harms of stereotyping Islamic terrorism. It not only shakes the confidence of a certain community in the government but also lets the self-interested terrorists rampage through the peaceful society.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Case Of 09/11 News

The BBC Urdu news website was at it again. When as usual I opened the BBC Urdu website and scrolled down the page to “Is Waqt Ki Maqbool Tareen Khabren” (Most Popular News Items Of the Time), I was shocked to find a news item “Nawjawan Ladki Ko Sar-e-Aam Kodon Ki Saza (Young Girl Flogged Publically) featured in them.
Immediately, I could recollect a barbaric scene, a video clip of a young girl being flogged in public by the Taliban. About two years back, BBC Urdu reported an incident of the same nature in Swat Valley of Pakistan and claimed that some Taliban-like people lashed a young girl ( between 12 & 17 years of age) with more than 15 lashes in public view.

The incident was reported after the Pakistani troops signed a peace agreement with the Taliban of Swat Valley in February 2009 facing criticism by West. In May 2009, the Pakistani troops and the Taliban again fought with each other as the treaty was reportedly broken.
Though the BBC report did not mention any sure reason behind the punishment, yet some of the media reports suggested that the “married girl” had been “living with her father in-law without her husband’s permission”.
On January 17, 2011, the BBC publishes a similar report dealing with the same kind of incident. I thought to myself, “What kind of people are these Taliban! They were thrown out of rule long back in 2001. They were made to flee into caves and mountains by the U.S. troops and left shattered. It marked the end of their struggle for establishing Islamic rule. But whenever they find any chance they do not miss it to implement what they call Shariah Law. They flogged an innocent girl some years back and now they have done it again.”
I clicked the news headline and a news item with a video popped out. I started reading and when after reading some paragraphs it seemed to me that I had read this news article before, I checked the date. “Last updated” on “Thursday, 2 April, 2009, 17:19 GMT 22:19 PST”, the news read.
Oh! So this was the same news i had read two years earlier. Perhaps, for some technical reasons it featured as one among BBC Urdu’s Most Popular stories of January 17, 2011: “Aishwarya Denies and Salman Quits Wine”, “Nawaz Sharif in Sindh”, “Photos of Golden Globe Award”, “Pakistan Leads By 11 Runs” and “Young Girl Publically Flogged”.
But such type of mistake is impossible by a well organized and professionally handled BBC! Especially when the authenticity of the video itself on which the news is based was questioned in the past. In the words of BBC Urdu, the Taliban (Pakistan) spokesperson Muslim Khan when contacted had said he did not know about this incident. He had also maintained that the video was morphed and that the Taliban did not punish publically.
What may be the reason that a 2009 story reappeared in 2011. Just as it grabbed my attention it must have attracted a lot of readers. So this is how BBC Urdu increases the readership. People are interested in such news item. The common man reads the news and forms his views on certain issues without even bothering of the authenticity of what he is reading.

By: A H Y

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Letter To The Editor

Voting For Development
Respected Sir, With reference to the editorial “Governance Trumps Caste Politics In Bihar”. The Bihar assembly elections mark a turning point in Indian politics. That the voters of Bihar voted for development indicates now they are fed up with caste and religion based politics. It is a good sign that India in future will be one the super powers in economy. Voters will be interested in developmental activities leaving behind politics of religion and caste. And they will find more time to invest in constructive activities. Reportedly, many Muslims voted for BJP; a party which they would abstain for its communal agendas. It shows that voters do not stand by a specific party. What they give importance is better infrastructure and higher life standards which Nitish Kumar in his first term successfully provided to Biharis. Aamena Khatoon, U.P.

Micro Finance Credits Ruin Poor Lot

Sir, As long as there were only NGOs in the micro finance filed the poor developed. But the intrusion of the commercial institutions in this field has marred the lives of economically poor people due to high interest rates. Sometimes, the interest rates become more than the source loan, making it near to impossible the repayment of the debt. The Andhra Pradesh government did the right thing when it issued an ordinance in the interest of pubic. If the institutions are really concerned about the betterment of poor, they should spend some money from their pocket and provide interest free loans. NGOs in many countries are doing so. They should be taken as role model. Juhi, Gaya, Bihar

MFIs Mark Economic Revolution In India

Micro finance has brought economic revolution in the life of poor people. It is due to its virtue that people who had to struggle for two-time bread are running business today. The allegation that MFIs charge high interest rates is bogus. Consider a person gets the loan on their doorstep and they have not to visit the offices time and again for repaying the loans. This saves their money which otherwise would be spent on long journeys to the offices. These loans are also easily available without the clients doing long documental procedures. The AP government’s ordinance that seeks every MFI should have itself registered, is meant only to put them in trouble. The government fears MFIs has become a strong competitor to its appointed Self Help Groups. Muhammad Khalid, M.P.

Corruption Everywhere

Dear Editor, This refers to the article “Disgusting Indian Politics: The PM’s Role in the Rs 1.76 Lakh Crore Loot!” (Media Scan, Dec 10). Corruption is all that describes today’s political system of India. It is astonishing to know that the Congress in order to get the support of the DMK agreed to allot the telecom ministry portfolio to the already tainted minister A. Raja. It depicts that to occupy the rule these parties can go to an extent of selling the country. Public has to bear the brunt of all things. Pre-independence India was looted by the British and now the politicians are the plunderer of the independent India. Abdur Raheem, Mumbai

Take Everyone Into Confidence To Fight Terror

Sir, Apropos to the article “War On Terror: The Way Forward” (MS, Dec 10), I fully agree with the writer that war on terror cannot be fought unless those in its forefront manage to convince the lot it is not against a certain community. Unfortunately, so far this phenomenon could become a reality. The Muslim community always finds itself on the receiving end of the presumption that terrorism can be practised only by Muslims. It in the turn provides terrorists from the other religions with an opportunity to avoid punishment. Unless, all the terrorists are dealt with strictness the world will continue face peace crisis. Sangita, Via mail

Hindus Must Denounce Terrorist Swamis

Respected Sir, This is with reference to “Swami Asimanand May Be Involved In Gujarat’s Modasa Blast” (Media Scan, December). It is painful to know that some self-styled swamis who claim to be the saviours of Hinduism are found involved in terror activities. The Hindu community must come forward to denounce these black sheep. Or they will continue defaming the religion. Anil Kumar, Jharkhand

Dalits Bearing The Brunt Of Vedic Categorisation

Sir, With reference to the news item “Atrocities On Dalits Continue IN Maya Regime” (MS, December), it should not be surprising that torture on Dalits is committed in a state that is ruled by Dalit leader, because politicians are concerned only about their personal interest. After ascending to the gaddi they forgot those who helped them reach there. It is Dalit community that is a permanent vote bank for Mayawati. But since she became CM she seems to be interested only in erecting statues.
However, Mayawati solely should not be held responsible for this. Looking down upon the lower Dalits by the upper class community is also based on some Vedic interpretations that term the Dalits as the lowest of the human beings and created only to serve the upper class. That Dalits, too, are progressing with the advancement of the world, is an eye sore for upper communities who do not miss any time to trouble the Dalits. Ramesh, Lucknow

Varanasi Blast: False Flag Operation?

The blasts in which now the Hindutva terrorists are wanted once more were supposed to be the handiwork of some outfits with Muslim names. This was successfully done as a part of false flag operation by Hindutva terrorists. The Varanasi blast, too, is of such nature, argues the writer.

Israeli intelligence agency MOSSAD is notoriously famous for deceptive operations literally termed “False Flag Operation”. These are the operations in which those people are accused who in no way are connected to them while the real perpetrators escape attention.

Tragically in India, too, some Hindutva elements who go after Islam madly and blindly are trying to follow the footprints of Israel and its intelligence agency MOSSAD, their aadarsh (role model). We have several examples to elaborate this point:

• Efforts were made to make the September 27, 2008 Malegaon Bhikku Chowk blasts—executed by the members of the Hindutva gang Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and lieutenant colonel Purohit—a False Flag operation and hence mislead the investigating agencies. The most apparent tactic applied for the purpose was to replace the chassis number of the motorcycle where bomb was planted, with an Islamic sticker (Tughra). The bike was in the possession of Sadhvi. The culprits thought it the easiest way to get the responsibility of the blasts fixed over SEMI and some innocent Muslim youth.

They had parked the bike exactly beneath the SEMI office at Bhikku Chowk; a trick, people say was meant to misguide the police which wrongly would conclude it was but the handiwork of SEMI. (Luckily for innocent Muslim youth, the then ATS chief was Hemant Karkare who did not follow these misguiding leads. Had there been any one other than him, he would have easily fallen prey to this trick.)

• The second major evidence of Hindutva terrorists being involved in False Flag operations is Goa blasts. Behind this blast are around 25 people—out of which only 6-7 have been arrested— associated with Sanatan Sansatha. Had the conspiracy hatched regarding this blasts been successful, the accused would have been Lashkar-e-Taiba and Muslim groups. The selection of Goa, a favourite hub for Israeli and foreign (Western Countries) tourists, was the part of a well planned strategy. On October 17, 2009 Diwali festival was being celebrated with fanfare and this is the day the terrorists chose for striking. The site for planting the scooter bomb and other time bombs, too, was where thousands of Hindus gather to celebrate the festival. Besides, one day prior to the blasts, the Israeli intelligence had issued warning to its citizens to remain alert and abstain from visiting India, especially Goa. The agency had apprehension the Lashkar-e-Taiba and other Pakistani terror outfits might strike at Goa on Diwali.

While planting bomb in Margao (Goa), a top official of Sangli (Maharashtra) unit of Sanatan Sansatha Malgonda Patil was killed along with a Sahdu (saint) colleague of the Sansatha. This was an incident that unveiled before time the evil intention of Hindutvadis. Had Goa, visited in a large number by Israelis and western tourists, unfortunately been stricken by 4-5 blasts, Muslims would have been the absolute accused.

By issuing a terror alert from Tel Aviv one day before the blasts, the Israeli intelligence had made a cautious atmosphere. (This indicates that Hindutva elements active in India are in some way or the other linked to Israel.) God forbid, had the blasts planning been executed successfully, not only dozens of Hindus would have lost their precious lives but also many Muslim youth in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu etc.—who are on the radar of Indian intelligence and whom the police records enlist as associated with SIMI, Indian Mujahideen or other outfits—would be behind bars.

• A bomb exploded in Varanasi on 7th December 2010. Varanasi city is the next target after Ayodhya. In Ayodhya, Babri Masjid was demolished. Now, in the name of constitution and law two-third of the (so-called disputed) Babri Masjid site has been grabbed. The Hindutvadis expect they will manage to also encroach upon the remaining one third.
Therefore, they are in search for another Ayodhya to keep fire of self-interests burning. For them, Varanasi is another Ayodhya. How this issue can be fuelled is a question the answer to which comes “by terrorism and bomb blasts”. If the blasts today constituting a need of these elements will turn into a new type of profitable business (either of politics or religion) in future, then why will they not place bombs in temple? They are not concerned at all about Hindus or Muslims.

Did you not see they tried to murder in Goa people celebrating Diwali festival in the night of October 17, 2008? Suppose the bombs, 2 to 4, exploded then who would be the victims? Muslims? No, not at all. The terrorists of Sanatan Sansatha, the self-styled protectors of Hindus, lay in ambush for murdering their Hindu brethren and then tried in vain to make Muslims responsible for this. How the elements who plead adherence to Hinduism and even then kill Hindus merely for trapping some Muslims in fake cases of terror, be true Hindus and their rakshak (protectors)? This is a question that, in the light of the facts revealed after failed conspiracy of Goa blasts, should be asked by Hindu brethren from the so-called contractors of religion who use religion for instigating Hindus against Muslims.

To sum up, Goa blast case is clear evidence that Hindutva elements are busy conducing False Flag Operations to implicate Muslims in terror cases. The training and method they have imported from their role models sitting in Israel.

It will be logical to conclude that the recent Varanasi blast is a part of False Flag operations. The email sent from Mumbai allegedly by Indian Mujahideen is an attempt to misguide probing agencies.

Swami Asimanand is as great a mastermind of Hindutva terrorists as was Sunil Joshi or have been Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and lieutenant colonel Purohit. He has been arrested from Haridwar . CBI, RNI, Rajasthan ATS and other agencies are behind his Hindutva mastermind colleagues who are wanted in Goa, Ajmer, Hyderabad, Samjhauta Express and other blasts. It means that the work started by Hemant Karkare is going forward silently. The arrest of Asimanand testifies to it. The silently advancing steps of the law are becoming intolerable. At a time when the Wikileaks expose have heated the global atmosphere, is the Varanasi blast an attempt to save the Hindutva terrorists? The probing agencies should take this point in to account.

By Saeed Hameed