Archive for August, 2008

Combat Terrorism : Faces of Terrorism in India – By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi

August 22, 2008

Combat Terrorism : Faces of Terrorism in India

Fri, 2008-08-22 01:28

By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi

Terrorism is a political virus. Greed for power, injustice and intolerance breed terrorism. No one in the world is immune from the direct or indirect affect of terrorism now.

History of Terrorism

According to sociologists and experts on terrorism the French Revolution provided the first uses of the words terrorist and terrorism. The use of the word terrorism began in 1795 in reference to the ‘Reign of Terror’ initiated by the Revolutionary government in France during the French Revolution. The agents of the Committee of Public Safety and the National Convention that enforced the policies of “The Terror” were referred to as ‘terrorists’.

The French Revolution provided an example to future states in oppressing their populations. It also inspired a reaction by royalists and other opponents of the Revolution who employed terrorist tactics such as assassination and intimidation in resistance to the revolutionary agents. Systematic use of terror as a policy is first recorded in England in 1798.

The words terrorism and terrorist were first used as political terms to describe atrocities of an occupying establishment – say colonial government.

Researches done on the history of terrorism reveal that ‘terrorist’ in the modern sense dates to 1947, especially in reference to Jewish tactics against the British in Palestine – while earlier it was used for extremist revolutionaries in Russia (1866). The tendency of one party’s terrorism said to be another’s guerilla war or fight for freedom was noted in reference to the anti-British actions in India (1857), Cyprus (1956) and the war in Rhodesia (1973). The word terrorist has been applied, at least retroactively, to the Marquis resistance in occupied France in World War II.

The Britain has first used the terms ‘terrorism and terrorist’ to describe anti -establishment forces or those who used hit-and-run practices against British colonialism.

It is relatively hard to define terrorism albeit it is not a new phenomenon for the world. A Western writer argues, ‘Terrorism has been described variously as both a tactic and strategy; a crime and a holy duty; a justified reaction to oppression and an inexcusable abomination.’ Obviously, a lot depends on whose point of view is being represented. Terrorism has often been an effective tactic for the weaker side in a conflict. As an asymmetric form of conflict, it confers coercive power with many of the advantages of military force at a fraction of the cost.

Definition of Terrorism

World’s popular online encyclopedia — Wikipedia, notes ‘The word “terrorism” is politically and emotionally charged, and this greatly compounds the difficulty of providing a precise definition. A 2003 study by Jeffrey Record for the US Army quoted a source (Schmid and Jongman 1988) that counted 109 definitions of terrorism that covered a total of 22 different definitional elements. Record continues “Terrorism expert Walter Laqueur also has counted over 100 definitions and concludes that the ‘only general characteristic generally agreed upon is that terrorism involves violence and the threat of violence.’ Yet terrorism is hardly the only enterprise involving violence and the threat of violence. So does war, coercive diplomacy, and barroom brawls.”

The lack of agreement on a definition of terrorism has been a major obstacle to meaningful international countermeasures.

Faces of Terrorism in India

The media and and law inforcement agencies’ onslaught with assumptions and deliberate repetitions of Muslim names after each terror attack in India made a penetration into common hearts and it ultimately implies that terrorism is a Muslim specialty in the country.

In India, the terrorists in Kashmir are Muslims. But they are one of several terrorist groups operating in the country. The Punjab terrorist are Sikhs. The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) is a Hindu terrorist group. Tripura has a history of rise and fall of several terrorist groups, and so have Bodo terrorists groups, mostly Christians which killed hundreds of Muslims in 1993 for autonomy, some of them are now in Assam’s Tarun Gogoi’s cabinet as ministers. Christian Mizos mounted an insurrection for decades, and Christian Nagas and Manipuris are still heading militant groups. They have bombed trains, assassinated hundreds of innocents men, women and children. This year they called a boycott in at least five states out of seven northeastern states of India to disrupt 15th August (Independence day) celebrations of India.

But most important of all are the Maoist terrorist groups that now exist in no less than 150 out of India’s 600 districts, according to a report in a national English daily. They are attacking police stations, and killing and razing innocents villagers who oppose them,and there is nothing Muslim about these groups.

In September 2, 2006 another national English daily published from Mumbai reports elaborately about few dozen ‘Hindu Mujahideen’ working with Hizbul Mujahideen of Kashmir for years in Jammu and Kashmir. The newspaper publishes statistical information with real Hindu names, age and year of attachment with H M along with their native locations in Jammu region. Similarly in some other non-Muslim outfits such as ULFA in Assam, Muslim members are not barred from joining theedir resistance.

On 24th February 2008, bomb blasts occurred in the RSS office and the Bus Stand in Tenkasi, Tamil Nadu, one of India’s southern states. The media carried big stories about the blasts. The Sangh Parivar organised demonstrations in various parts of the state, demanding the arrest of Muslim ‘terrorists’, who according to them had committed the crime. However the Tamil Nadu police acted sensibly. A special team led by Mr. Kannappan, DIG, Tirunelveli range made a thorough investigation and arrested 3 persons S Ravi Pandian (42), a cable TV operator, S Kumar (28), an auto driver, both from Tenkasi, and V Narayana Sharma (26) of Sencottai, all Sangh Parivar activists. The last accused had assembled 14 pipe bombs in the office of Ravi Pandian, as excposed in press reports.

A Mumbai daily newspaper ‘Urdu Times’ reported (18 April 2008) about Malegaon police raid in a patho-laboratory which is situated in basement of a private hospital and recovered revolver, RDX and fake currency note of one thousand rupees. Police have arrested 3 terrorists, Nitish Ashire (20) Sahab Rao Sukhdev Dhevre (22) and Jitendar Kherna (25). The last one is the owner of Smith Pathology Laboratory which is situated at the basement of More Accident Hospital of Camp Area. One pistol, 5 live RDX bombs, 3 used RDX cases, four fake notes of one thousand rupee, laptop, scanner, 5 thousand cash rupees and 2 mobiles were recovered during the raid, detailed the newspaper report.

After the Jaipur serial blasts on 13th May the police were reportedly on the hunt for a woman who allegedly promised Rs.100,000 to a rickshaw puller to carry out the terror attacks.

“We are looking for a woman, identified as Meena, who tried to lure a rickshaw puller, Vijay, to carry out the attacks,” a police officer said on the condition of anonymity, according to a report in the press.

Vijay, allegedly a resident of Mumbai, said before Ajtak TV channel camera, “Stop the lady (Meena) or she would explode bombs at Katwali”. By that time a bomb was already exploded at Katwali area. Vijay was detained just hour after the Jaipur blasts who also told the police that Meena lives near one of the blast sites.

What happened to Meena and Vijay, and what the police later got from Vijay is still unreported – the Jaipur case is still unsolved.

The Maharashtra Police on 16th June arrested two people from Navi Mumbai in connection with a series of bomb blasts in the area in which seven people were injured. The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) reportedly swooped down on the Sanatan Ashram and nabbed the two men, identified as Hanumant Gadkari (50) and Mahesh D. Nikam (35).

Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare said the duo belonged to the Hindu Jan Jagriti Manch (HJJM) and between February and June were responsible for three bomb blasts in the Navi Mumbai area.

Two bombs exploded outside a theatre June 4 on the eve of T20 Indian Premiere League finals. Two others were exploded in Navi Mumbai May 31 and in Panvel February 20. The ATS also seized a motorcycle registered in Ashram’s name and the vehicle’s logbook entries enabled the investigators to zero in on the prime accused. The motorcycle had been extensively used in January-February for reconnaisance trips in Navi Mumbai and other areas for identifying sites to set off the explosions.

The HJJM, led by Jayant Athavale, had also protested in 2002 against celebrated artist M.F. Husain’s paintings of Hindu deities.

In July 2008 Mumbai High Court freed the accused in Nanded blast for insufficient evidence where two Bajrang Dal activists were killed in April 2006 while preparing bombs. Later, one of the survivors of the Nanded episode during narco-analysis asserted, “We Hindus should also do the acts of terror”. The same statement was publicly reconfirmed by Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackery and his shivsainiks through his mouth-piece ‘Samna’ and posters in Mumbai appeared in June after the arrest of Hindu Jan Jagriti Manch activists for Navi Mumbai blasts.

In late July 2008, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Surat were struck with exploded and unexploded serial bombs. The police investigating the case, which killed at least 42 and injured more than 200 people, traced an email claiming responsibility to a Mumbai apartment.

But at the address, rather than seizing terrorists from the ‘Islamist’ group which said it carried out the attack, they found an American — 48-year-old Kenneth Haywood– a Christian preecher in Mumbai high profile society.

The IP address for the email claiming responsibility for an obscure group called the Indian Mujahideen was traced by police to Haywood’s laptop. “He has never been detained, but we have called on him and questioned him as part of the investigation,” said Parambir Singh, a senior officer in the anti-terrorism squad. Now Haywwod has already flown from India even after a ‘No-go’ warnning from Mumbai’s ATS!

If the same laptop had been in possession of a Muslim, would the ATS officers demonstrate the same caution, a genuine question every conscious person should ask?

The hunt for those behind the blasts in Ahmedabad and Surat should be centred on Mumbai. Since some of Mumbai’s politicians have given a green signal to terrorism a month ago in June this year. And more so the police also believe the plot was hatched in the suburb of Navi Mumbai, from where four cars used in the attack were stolen.

Terrorism is a political virus. Greed for power, injustice and intolerance breed terrorism. No one in the world is immune from the direct or indirect affect of terrorism now. Terrorists have a common goal — attack and create fear — in whichever way that easily leads to their nefarious ends. Their religion is terrorism and nothing else. This one formula can at least lead Indians to a solid counter terrorism measure.

M. Burhanuddin Qasmi is editor of Eastern Crescent and director of Mumbai based Markazul Ma’arif Education and Research Centre.

– Asian Tribune –

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The SIMI question: Indian democracy’s acid test

August 21, 2008

The SIMI question: Indian democracy’s acid test

 

                                                              

By Amaresh Misra

 

 

          The lifting of the ban on SIMI by the Special Tribunal constituted under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 2006, headed presently by Justice Geeta Mittal, needs to be welcomed by all secular Indians.

 

The persecution meted out to SIMI cadres during the past 15 years is nothing short of a legal scandal; the recent Tehelka story on the subject paints a frightening story of deliberate negligence, blatant disregard of the rule of law, violation of constitutional and civil rights of Indian citizens and cynicism towards the secular ideology of the Indian nation-state, by functionaries of Indian State agencies themselves. In the name of combating SIMI, ordinary Muslims were demonized, picked up from their homes in broad daylight, given third and fourth degree tortures and made to `confess’ to `crimes’ that were never proven. It is therefore painful to see so called secularists like Javed Anand taking—at this juncture, when some legal relief to beleaguered Muslims of India seems to be in sight, and when it is becoming apparent that the bomb blast phenomenon in India is a handiwork of communal elements in State services and the RSS-Sangh Parivar—the Urdu media and Muslim organizations to task for welcoming a plainly legal judgment!

 

          The Supreme Court since then has stayed the lifting of the ban—and this seems to give comfort to Mr. Javed Anand! Mr. Anand has failed totally in distinguishing between support for SIMI’s ideology and opposing persecution of Muslims in SIMI’s name. One can remain deadly opposed to SIMI’s ideology—but if a secularist or a leftist fails to welcome the lifting of the ban on SIMI then he or she is either willfully ignorant or willfully supportive of the Indian brand of fascism.

 

          Several quotes form Lenin and Mao can be presented to prove the point that leftists have to stand up for persecuted religious minorities irrespective of the ideologies of their representative or fringe organizations. But in India of late some pseudo or fake version of secularism has gained currency. Mr. Anand raises the question of going beyond the `law’ and seeing the SIMI threat on the `ideological’ plane; Mr. Yogendra Yadav in his reply to Mr. Ghulam Muhammad’s very reasonable riposte to Mr. Javed Anand goes one step further to say that there is `truth’ beyond `law’!

 

          Come on, people—are we discussing philosophy, the nature of truth etc. here? What kind of ridiculous levels are we descending to? Mr. Javed Anand and Mr. Yogendra Yadav ought to answer two questions: whether the ban on SIMI was justified on legal grounds? Just a simple Yes or No—and whether the lifting of the ban is as per the spirit of the Indian constitution—again a simple Yes or No; there are no other issues involved—the Urdu media has been at the forefront of fighting all anti-national conspiracies; it is more patriotic than the Indian English media for sure. There are several stories which the Urdu media highlighted and which the English media picked up later—the Urdu media began the whole debate around the non-implementation of the Sri Krishna committee in 2007-2008; the English media picked up the theme later.

 

          When the Urdu media welcomes the lifting the ban on SIMI, it is acting not as a `Muslim media’ but as a responsible `Indian media’ conscious about the constitutional rights of all Indian citizens. The Urdu media was vocal about Muslim persecution in India not because Urdu is spoken and read largely by Muslims, but because they realized the unconstitutional nature of that persecution. The Urdu media in the 1990s has also been very vocal on atrocities on Dalits and the OBCs. It has carried long campaigns against several ills within the Muslim society, including the spread of ideas which even faintly suggest terrorism of any kind. Its nationalist and secular credentials are beyond doubt. The Government of India has had to consistently support the Urdu media and shield it from vicious attacks from communal forces because of this very reason.

 

          There was an attempt by communal elements in the Maharashtra State administration to book a journalist called Danish Riyaz in July 11 2006 Mumbai blasts; Danish was used to put pressure on the Urdu Times, which had spoken out consistently against minority persecution in general; one can cite several such instances.

 

          It is people, like Javed Anand who need to be a taught a lesson in secularism. They represent a section which makes fun of Muslim religious beliefs in the name of secularism—they shed crocodile tears over Muslim persecution without once daring to confront the RSS head on—have Javed Anand or Javed Akhtar or Yogendra Yadav been able to stand up against the RSS on any public platform? The RSS loves them for they represent some caricature of secularism, which can easily be used to paint secularism as against religion and Muslim appeasement.

 

          Defending the constitutional rights of Muslims is a political question—today in India, the ideology of SIMI etc is a non issue. The real issue is whether we will allow the RSS-Sangh Parivar and other fascist forces to derail the idea of India as a secular republic.

 

Mr. Javed Anand therefore stands guilty of creating an issue where there is none and therefore helping the RSS indirectly. Anti-religiosity has never been the hallmark of Indian secularism—in fact in the Indian context anti-religious secularism has always ended up as being friends of fascism which too is anti-religious; in fact, the pseudo-westernized culture of the Indian secular elite has been responsible to a great degree for the rise of the RSS; what India needs is indigenous secularism, of the Ganga-Yamuni Tehzeeb variety.

 

Recently, when the Shankarcharya of Puri attacked Narendra Modi for dividing Hindus and Muslims and for planting bombs in Gujarat to defame and persecute Muslims, Mr. Javed Anand or Mr. Yogendra Yadav did not come forward to welcome the statement. Here was a golden opportunity to harness the liberal tradition within the mainstream, the anti-RSS majority Sanatan Dharma Hindu element, to the cause of secularism. But people like Mr. Javed Anand and Mr. Yogendra Yadav of course, have no conviction in the power of the Shankaracharyas to fight the RSS. They do not realize that India has remained secular for so long, that in a Hindu majority country like India, Hindutva fascists have failed to secure more than 20% votes ever, because of the pro-Muslim nature of Sanatan Dharma, which had allied with Islam during the Mughal era and in 1857.

 

          Papers like Indian Express stand guilty of going against their own traditions of fearless journalism. I have contributed a lot to Indian Express’ edit page, mostly on themes like 1857. But any article against Muslim persecution has been shot down. I am saying this openly and blaming the Indian Express edit page editor Saubhik Chakravarty and Shekhar Gupta for their subtle and not so subtle anti-Muslim biases. Somewhere down the line, every pseudo-westernized Hindu holds an unexplained grudge against Muslims. This translates into biases in the media. I am a member of the Governing Council of the ICSSR. And if I can be published on several issues and rejected on issues of Muslim persecution, then you can imagine the treatment a Muslim journalist gets in the Indian Express.

 

          So it is true that the Indian `secular’ English media suffers from a pro-Hindutva bias. Even a rookie journalist will tell you that. A legal case has to be brought out against the Indian Express and the Times of India. India needs tough anti-defamation and anti-discrimination laws, where people would have the right to sue the Indian Express and the Times of India.        

 

One has to understand that in India secularism has been protected by the `illiterate’, non-westernized peasants and the common sense of the ordinary Indian. Indian/Hindu modernism and modernists have surrendered before fascism; on the contrary Indian/Hindu tradition and traditionalists have fought against the RSS. This dialectics needs to be understood—the soul of India needs to be understood in the fight against fascism. For fascists are pseudo-modernists of a different variety. And they fear not modernism but the everyday religious-traditional-political consciousness of the Hindu and Muslim Indian peasant.   

 

         Right now also it is not some so called secularist but a traditional politician like Digvijay Singh, the ex-CM of MP, who in an interview given to Tehelka, has openly spoken about the BJP-VH-RSS making bombs in India—Mr. Singh has said also that he has direct evidence in this matter. But of course, why would Mr. Javed Anand or Mr. Yogendra Yadav write on this, or welcome Mr. Singh’s statement or demand an enquiry into the role of RSS in the bomb blasts that have been rocking India? And why would the Indian Express publish any such thing?  

DON’T LET SIMI GO – By Ghulam Muhammed

August 21, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

 

DON’T LET SIMI GO

 

According to a front page report in Mumbai’s Inquilab Urdu daily, there is a definite connection between the Supreme Court case hearing and UPA Government’s counter affidavit against SIMI’s exoneration by the Unlawful Activities tribunal. People were bewildered less by the sweep of the arrests of so-called SIMI activists on the suspicions of being involved in the recent Ahmedabad and Surat explosions, but more by the timing of the depth and sweep of media coverage of the mass arrests, giving out so many details on each and every person supposedly involved in the crime. Pages on pages in The Times of India were blackened on the details written out by their own staff. The whole media preparation that has gone into the project is mind-boggling.

 

As in the case of the now infamous Arushi murder case, the jugalbandi between Police authorities, this time of various states remarkably cooperating with each other for the ‘national cause’ of demonizing Muslims and the very obliging media lapping up the extensive material supplied by the investigating agencies. None of the media editors bothered to check if the media sentencing of innocents and character assassination of whole community on the basis of a few ‘usual suspects’ arbitrarily picked up by police with big hoopla, without any proof and without any authority to denigrate them, is entirely legal. In fact, in strict judicial terms, with such an organised adverse publicity by the media, the whole case against SIMI in court can be thrown out as mistrial.

 

The time has come when trial by media should stop.

 

The other strange fact is that with so much information with the investigating agencies on the supposed culprits, how the alleged criminals were able, or allowed to go through with their nefarious plans, if any.

 

Now, the cat is out of the bag.

 

A strong feeling among the dissenting people, whose majorities are getting greater and greater by the hour, is that UPA government, under pressure from their own internal extremist Muslim-haters and for consolidation of their own Hindu Vote Bank, have organised this farce of a grand drama of using summary arrests of so-called SIMI terrorist, so that their case with the Supreme Court, could be successfully processed.

 

The simpletons are under the impression that the august Supreme Court will be as gullible as the Media, to accept all summary charges made by the investigating agencies and stay the lifting of the ban of SIMI as a student organisation working within Muslim community.

 

If Supreme Court has the recent Arushi case under observation, where both police and media had gone on a frenzy of spreading concocted stories about the whole murder scenarios, the recent hoopla organised through the medium of pliant media by the UPA government, will fall on its face.

 

The most glaring aspect of the whole UPA imbroglio is that their own coalition partners, all non-Brahmins, like Lalu Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, and Ram Vilas Paswan are openly questioning the unjustified arrests and demonisation of SIMI. The stark division between Brahmins and non-Brahmins in the political circles over the subject has never been so public.

 

It is time Prime Minister should gather courage and stand by the truth.

 

You can fool some of the people some of the time. Not all of the people all of the time.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

THE STRANGE CASE OF ATS AND US CITIZEN KEN HAYWOOD FLEEING INDIA

August 19, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

 

THE STRANGE CASE OF ATS AND US CITIZEN KEN HAYWOOD FLEEING INDIA

 

Times of India redeem ED its credibility when it published as its front page banner headlines, the shocking news of Haywood leaving India despite a lookout notice. Haywood had been under Anti Terrorist Squad’s scrutiny, over the matter of the infamous Email supposedly sent out in the name of a fictitious organisation calling itself ‘Indian Mujahideen’, traced to Key Haywood’s laptop. For over weeks, while ATS had questioned reportedly 1000 people and searched neighbourhood apartments, trying to figure out, how Ken Haywood’s laptop could have been hacked, if at all. A narco test on Haywood too had been carried out. According to ATS, Haywood has not been arrested. In Muslim circle, this glaring discriminative practice is a matter of much debate and heartburn, that just because Haywood is a US citizen, he is being given preferential such kid glove treatment. If a similar case had been observed involving an Indian Muslim, the accused would have been summarily incarcerated and given third degree while questioned. Back in US too, Indian citizens have been given similar harsh treatment, when suspected of even peripherally being associated with some terror incident.

 

ATS has asked him to be available for questioning and a lookout notice has been issued to the immigration authorities. Still, the man, possibly through US consular help, was able to hoodwink immigration authorities at New Delhi airport and flew off to the US.

 

So much for the spine of Indian authorities who are being harangued to cooperate with the US over global terrorism and for their discriminative behavior when it involves two different nationalities, on their own!

 

Ken Haywood’s background is reported to be anything but straight forward.

 

The Indian Express carries a report: ‘The curious case of Kenneth Haywood’, published on Thursday, August 14, 2008:

 

( http://www.indianexpress.com/story/348646.html )

 

The curious case of Ken Haywood

 

Posted online: Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 0052 hrs

 

As the American undergoes lie detector test, the Anti-Terror Squad is trying to figure out the man behind his personae

 

Sagnik Chowdhury, Smita Nair & Johnson T A

 

Mumbai/ Bangalore , August 13: Ken Haywood, the American national from whose Internet Protocol (IP) address the terror e-mail was sent prior to the Ahmedabad serial blasts, underwent lie detector tests on Wednesday, a senior police official said in Mumbai. Maharashtra’s Anti-Terror Squad (ATS), which is probing the case, traced the e-mail to Haywood’s flat in Navi Mumbai and found that his background and job were “of a slightly dubious nature”. But the information available so far is not good enough to charge him or suggest his involvement in the case.

 

 “We have conducted inquiries on Haywood’s background and his company. These are of a slightly dubious nature, and even the company he works for and its office are a bit suspect,” ATS chief Hemant Karkare told The Indian Express. “However, this does not directly link him with the case in any way. After all, having a suspicious background, or even working for a bogus company is not enough to book anyone for involvement in terror activities,” he added.

G S Hegde, Haywood’s lawyer, said: “The ATS has not said anything about Haywood’s personal life, or his involvement in any criminal activities. We maintain he is innocent.”

 

The police in Mumbai and Bangalore have said there is primary evidence to show that Haywood’s wi-fi account was hacked into and compromised, resulting in the terror e-mail on July 26 — five minutes before the blasts. Questions remain as to who did it and how they picked on Haywood’s computer network.

 

Haywood is supposed to be a corporate training manager and general manager with a company called Campbell White, which describes itself on its website as a “premier executive soft skills trainer”.

 

On the corporate side, Daniel Rubianes is the managing director of the company with its main office at the first floor of the M S Plaza in east Bangalore. Rubianes, like many other employees of Campbell White, wears a second hat. On Thursdays and Sundays, he is pastor Dan Rubianes, the head of the Door Christian Centre — a church with origins in Arizona in the US but relatively new to India. Door Christian Centre is a part of the Pentecostal Christian Fellowship Ministries, also known as the Potter’s House. Haywood is a functionary of the Potter’s House in Mumbai.

 

The Indian Express found that the Mumbai office of the MNC is located in two small adjoining rented rooms on the ground floor of Sanpada railway station complex in Navi Mumbai. The two rooms also serve as prayer rooms on Sundays and Thursdays for the Potter’s House. A notice pasted on the wall says the community service has been cancelled until further notice and is signed by Haywood.

 

Brother Richard D’Souza, the contact person for the centre, said, “We have been running our prayer service for the last one year from these premises. It is only this year that Campbell White opened its branch here.” He said 20 students learn English from Haywood.

 

Campbell White has, meanwhile, removed details regarding its employees from its website to protect “workers and their families from malicious intents by anyone”. “Campbell White will continue to support police authorities with full cooperation… We have emphasised to them that they should work diligently and quickly to find suspects and bring them to justice so that Mr. Haywood may return to his normal course of business,” it says.

 

ATS officials raided Haywood’s residence on July 27. Ten computers from neighbouring houses and Haywood’s residence were sent to the Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory for analysis.

 

Physical and Internet-based checks on other past and present employees of Campbell White like Scott Grabowska, a former Mumbai-based international protocol trainer, David Curwen-Walker, a senior operations manager, and Jonathan Heimberg, a senior information services manager, both in Bangalore, have shown links to the church. For instance, Curwen-Walker and Heimberg head the Door churches at Kammanahalli and Koramangala in Bangalore.

 

However, Campbell White and the Door church officials have remained elusive on the links between the two entities. When contacted Michael White, an Australia-based director for Campbell White, refused to comment on the India operations. “You must speak to Dan Rubianes in Bangalore,” he said.

 

Some churchgoers at the Door Christian Centre in Cox Town in Bangalore said Rubianes had left for the US on August 3 to attend a Bible conference in Arizona.

 

“Campbell White is a business that pastor Dan runs. We as churchgoers are not aware of its nature,” said Hemanth Kumar, an engineering student, who has been associated with the church since it began three years ago. “Being American, pastors are equipped to work as accent trainers. In Bangalore, many such people work in churches,” added Ravi Kumar, a member of the church in Bangalore.

 

Incidentally, Joseph Campbell, who is listed as the US director of Campbell White, is believed to be the seniormost pastor of the Door church in Arizona.

 

editor@expressindia.com

 

 

 

It is therefore strange that one clue, that could have possibly turned the whole direction of bomb blast investigations to foreign elements, was so callously handled. Even for media, this is most unusual and has created great suspicion in the minds of people that a bogey of SIMI line up of usual suspects had been used to camouflage, the possible link of a sleeper cell posing as Christian Missionaries that could have been behind the overall organisation of the serial bomb blasts, in Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Surat, through their local agents.

 

Some more surprises were in the pipeline, when one fine day last week, columns and columns of print media space, in Times of India and other newspapers, written out by possibly each and every of their writer staff, doing overtime work, to have come out with the greatest fiction story of the arrests and involvement of SIMI suspects, without any need to provide any hard facts over such allegation. Given police record, people are most skeptical about their Goebbellian propaganda bringing out the true facts. Police credibility is at its lowest ebb. And if the media is hand in glove with such dubious exercises, it will not only lose its own credibility, but would do a great disservice to the nation.

 

Under such an atmosphere of press bending to political and police pressure to break fake stories on the gullible public, Times of India’s strong exception to the flight of Kenneth Haywood, is certainly laudable. This proves that there are more to the affairs of the state than that is revealed to the public. The dangerous game that some rogue elements are playing in demonizing a preferred victimized community cannot bring peace to the nation. The real culprits with international agenda of destabilising country after country, for self-serving objectives, should be brought to justice. But before that the people should be dutifully informed with the stark facts and nothing but the facts.

 

Kenneth Hayward’s lead should not be left out of the investigation of serial bomb blasts in Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Surat. His possible accomplices, if any, should be traced and exposed. India cannot afford to go soft on terror, coming from sources other than those conveniently preferred by a prejudiced police and investigative force. All leads should be dutifully pursued in the interest of the security, integrity and communal harmony of the nation.

 

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

 

Idea of India

August 19, 2008

Idea of India

 

In the following article, the author, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, a very level-headed commentator, has harked backed to the Idea of India. I would think, that’s all for the birds. The real movers and shakers were the Western Powers, who had cut up India, to get a piece of land as their last army post on the subcontinent, for their own global strategic needs against the expanding ambitions of Soviet Russia and to protect their own oil interests in the gulf.

 

In India, the Brahmins, who dominated the Hindu brigade, came out with an Idea of India, which had no place for the Muslims.

 

Muslims were fooled into believing that Pakistan was an Islamic country carved out of the body of India, as a big favour to them. In fact, Pakistan has remained a Western satellite country, with Western military aid all over the years, bolstering its only powerful institution, the Army that has no brief with its people. People of Pakistan were merely the side show.

 

The wheels of fortune had made a new turn. Indian subcontinent is once more the most coveted piece of real estate for the western axis powers of US/UK/Israel. For all practical purposes, India has gone under. It is the Axis that is moving the pieces on the grand chessboard. It is the US axis that wants Kashmir free. Gullible Muslim leaders, like Geelani, Mirwaiz Farooq and others, call them Islamists or separatist, are once again chasing the chimera of a Islamic paradise on earth. They will not get anything better than an exchange of one yoke with another of the similar kind.

 

On the other hand, India has completely succumbed to the hubris promised by America, and however much its thinkers and planners may exert their brain power and come out with another version of Idea of India, in this globalised world, their old limitations have now been taken over by much more debilitating limitations.

 

No army of king’s men and horses will ever succeed in putting the humpty dumpty together again. Not at least in this century. Meanwhile both the Brahmins and Muslims will pay for their folly.

 

I would invite my readers to read the following article in the context that I have laid out for study and comments:

 

 

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/350345._.html

 

The question in Kashmir

 

 By Pratap Bhanu Mehta

 

Posted online: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 0007 hrs

 

 

Can the idea of India overcome the Indian state’s limitations?

 

 

 

 I do not know how to address Kashmiri leaders. All the appellations that would be used to establish a connection, common citizenship, shared nationhood, cultural bonds, pragmatic affiliations, appear to be little more than rhetorical pretences, hollowed out by unmeaning overuse. I also cannot address them without a guilty conscience: the Indian state has so often let Kashmiris down. I cannot imagine what it is to live like under half a million troops, a standing reminder that no matter what our politicians claim, our bonds are sustained more by force than by spontaneity. I cannot imagine what it is to raise a new generation entirely under the shadow of violence and suspicion. I cannot imagine what it is like to have one’s identity held hostage to competing nationalisms: to be mercilessly used by Pakistan to disguise its own crisis of legitimacy, and subjected to Indian anxiety that everything it stands for will come unravelled at the slightest hint of dissent in Kashmir. I can imagine what it is like to have the electoral process subverted. But I cannot imagine the depth of distrust that repeated violations have produced. I cannot imagine what conducting politics under constant threat of assassination is like, or what the disabling of all questions of justice under the garb of national security means. I cannot understand the wrenching of a cultural equilibrium destroyed, by Islamisation and ethnic cleansing of the Pandits. The chasm that divides us is perhaps that our daily lives are less marked by the distrust, betrayals, violence and suspicion than mark yours; our invocations of shared citizenship seem scarcely up to the task of overcoming them.

 

 

We had hoped that time would heal wounds; that a modicum of a political process, while not compensating for past ills, would at least hold out the possibility of a different future. But two issues reopened old wounds. Amarnath went from being a showcase of cultural harmony to a reminder that there is no such thing as an ordinary administrative transaction in Kashmir. The agitation in Jammu was a reminder that another region of the state had now successfully constructed its own narrative of victimhood, resentful of the special status it perceived the Valley to possess. But these issues, for the most part tractable by small compromises, became moot. They were surpassed by the depth of feeling in Kashmir, as if the entire weight of modern Indian history had once again chosen to explode in the Valley: the green flags of Pakistan, militant sub-nationalism, the failures of Indian democracy, the anxieties of Indian nationalism. Long unresolved questions burst to the surface, in the same entrenched categories that had made them unresolvable, in the same hardened rhetoric that sees even the slightest hint of compromise as a betrayal.

 

 

Who should one blame? The original terms on which India and Pakistan were carved out, that still haunt them? Nehru, whose own sense of legitimacy could get so overweening that he stopped listening? Hindu nationalists, who under the garb of nationalism make minorities, feel insecure? The Indian state for promising a plebiscite it knew it could not deliver? The Valley politicians, who for most of history, have had a better sense of how azadi can raise the political temperature, than they have ideas about how it would work in practice? We can blame Pakistan for fomenting violence. We can blame the politicians in the Valley for behaving like most Indian politicians do: lazy when in government, ardent rabble rousers when out of power, more interested in provocation than peace.

 

 

We can blame the current government. After all, the prime minister did promise to restore Kashmir to its natural geography. All he gave Kashmir instead was a limited, measly bus service that has a long waiting list. He did not have the courage to override his national security apparatus and make good on his promises. His government chose not to provide effective means of assuaging Kashmir’s anxiety over the so called blockade. We can blame the “all party” committee that confuses being all party with all people. We can blame the general sense of anarchy being let loose across India, where even the smallest group can hold the state to ransom simply because they can block a highway. We can blame shadowy militants, for whom the cause is merely a pretext to unleash terror. We can blame the Indian security forces, and state officials, who as always, are working without political direction.

 

 

Some will blame the special status of Kashmir. Instead of bringing security, it has permanently suspended it in a nether zone: unable to integrate with India and access its power structures, unable to visualise a future of its own. On the one hand we have not got peace. On the other hand many wonder whether the special dispensations Kashmir has got — excluding outsiders from ownership, the Indian state’s unprecedented solicitousness for the Valley’s demographic composition (just contrast that with Pakistan), the high per capita flow of funds — may have served only to heighten distances, rather than create stronger bonds. There are people who understand the ways in which the Indian state has failed Kashmir. But fewer are able to fathom why, if all those special safeguards are honoured and a genuine representative process is put in place, azadi should rear its head again.

 

 

The Indian state has a legitimacy crisis in Kashmir. But so tangled are the thread of our identities that it is hard to know what warps and wrinkles pulling at one thread will produce. Every one is looking for formulas, but when trust has broken down formulas are pointless. There is also a colossal presumptuousness in doling out advice at this juncture. It is not clear by what authority anyone can give advice. The question is: who will have the political courage to overcome the past, to break this impossible equilibrium, where practical common sense is sacrificed to chimerical abstractions on all sides? But this is a moment of reckoning. Can the idea of India transcend the limitations of the Indian state? This is one question Kashmiri politicians have to answer for themselves. If the answer to this question is a resounding no, then India has to ponder its options. India has in the past sacrificed democracy in Kashmir to its own nationalism. What would it say for the idea of India, if it cannot elicit voluntary allegiance in Kashmir? Will it live with the permanent rebuke to its democracy that Kashmir represents, or will it risk a new paradigm that might achieve what this endless cycle of mutual suspicion has not?

 

The writer is president, Centre for Policy Research, Delhi express@expressindia.com

 

August 18, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

 

IS THIS OUR INDIA?

 

 

http://www.countercurrents.org/khan131007.htm

 

RAW: An Instrument of Indian Imperialism

 

By Isha Khan

Countercurrents.org   13 October, 2007

 

The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), created in 1968, has assumed a significant status in the formulation of India’s domestic and foreign policies, particularly the later. Working directly under the Prime Minister, it has over the years become an effective instrument of India’s national power. In consonance with Kautilya’s precepts, RAW’s espionage doctrine is based on the principle of waging a continuous series of battles of intrigues and secret wars.

 

RAW, ever since its creation, has always been a vital, though unobtrusive, actor in Indian policy-making apparatus. But it is the massive international dimensions of RAW operations that merit a closer examination. To the credit of this organization, it has in very short span of time mastered the art of spy warfare. Credit must go to Indira Gandhi who in the late 1970s gave it a changed and much more dynamic role. To suit her much publicized Indira Doctrine, (actually India Doctrine) Mrs. Gandhi specifically asked RAW to create a powerful organ within the organization which could undertake covert operations in neighboring countries. It is this capability that makes RAW a more fearsome agency than its superior KGB, CIA, MI-6, BND and the Mossad.

 

Its internal role is confined only in monitoring events having bearing on the external threat. RAW’s boss works directly under the Prime Minister. An Additional Secretary to the Government of India, under the Director RAW, is responsible for the Office of Special Operations (OSO), intelligence collected from different countries, internal security (under the Director General of Security), the electronic/technical section and general administration. The Additional Secretary as well as the Director General of Security is also under the Director of RAW. DG Security has two important sections: the Aviation Research Center (ARC) and the Special Services Bureau (SSB). The joint Director has specified desks with different regional divisions/areas (countries):

 

Area one. Pakistan: Area two, China and South East Asia: Area three, the Middle East and Africa: and Area four, other countries. Aviation Research Center (ARC) is responsible for interception, monitoring and jamming of target country’s communication systems. It has the most sophisticated electronic equipment and also a substantial number of aircraft equipped with state-of- the art eavesdropping devices. ARC was strengthened in mid-1987 by the addition of three new aircraft, the Gulf Stream-3. These aircraft can reportedly fly at an altitude of 52,000 ft and has an operating range of 5000 kms. ARC also controls a number of radar stations located close to India’s borders. Its aircraft also carry out oblique reconnaissance, along the border with Bangladesh, China, Nepal and Pakistan.

 

RAW having been given a virtual carte blanche to conduct destabilization operations in neighboring countries inimical to India had to seriously undertook restructuring of its organization accordingly. RAW was given a list of seven countries (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Pakistan and Maldives) whom India considered its principal regional protagonists. It very soon systematically and brilliantly crafted covert operations in all these countries to coerce, destabilize and subvert them in consonance with the foreign policy objectives of the Indian Government.

 

RAW’s operations against the regional countries were conducted with great professional skill and expertise. Central to the operations was the establishment of a huge network inside the target countries. It used and targeted political dissent, ethnic divisions, economic backwardness and criminal elements within these states to foment subversion, terrorism and sabotage. Having thus created the conducive environments, RAW stage-managed future events in these countries in such a way that military intervention appears a natural concomitant of the events. In most cases, RAW’s hand remained hidden, but more often that not target countries soon began unearthing those “hidden hand”. A brief expose of RAW’s operations in neighboring countries would reveal the full expanse of its regional ambitions to suit India Doctrine (Open Secrets. India’s Intelligence Unveiled by M K Dhar. Manas Publications, New Delhi, 2005).

 

Bangladesh

 

Indian intelligence agencies were involved in erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh since early 1960s. Its operatives were in touch with Sheikh Mujib for quite some time. Sheikh Mujib went to Agartala in 1965. The famous Agartala case was unearthed in 1967. In fact, the main purpose of raising RAW in 1968 was to organise covert operations in Bangladesh. As early as in 1968, RAW was given a green signal to begin mobilising all its resources for the impending surgical intervention in erstwhile East Pakistan. When in July 1971 General Manekshaw told Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that the army would not be ready till December to intervene in Bangladesh, she quickly turned to RAW for help. RAW was ready. Its officers used Bengali refugees to set up Mukti Bahini. Using this outfit as a cover, Indian military has sneaked deep into Bangladesh. The story of Mukti Bahini and RAW’s role in its creation and training is now well-known. RAW never concealed its Bangladesh operations.

 

Interested readers may have details in Asoka Raina’s Inside RAW: the story of India’s secret service published by Vikas Publishing House of New Delhi. The creation of Bangladesh was masterminded by RAW in complicity with KGB under the covert clauses of Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation (adopted as 25-year Indo-Bangladesh Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation in 1972).

 

RAW retained a keen interest in Bangladesh even after its independence. Mr. Subramaniam Swamy, Janata Dal MP, a close associate of Morarji Desai said that Rameswar Nath Kao, former Chief of RAW, and Shankaran Nair upset about Sheikh Mujib’s assassination chalked a plot to kill General Ziaur Rahman. However, when Morarji Desai came into power in 1977 he was indignant at RAW’s role in Bangladesh and ordered operations in Bangladesh to be called off; but by then RAW had already gone too far. General Zia continued to be in power for quite some time but he was assassinated after Indira Gandhi returned to power, though she denied her involvement in his assassination (Weekly Sunday, Calcutta, 18 September, 1988).

 

RAW was involved in training of Chakma tribals and Shanti Bahini who carry out subversive activities in Bangladesh. It has also unleashed a well-organized plan of psychological warfare, creation of polarisation among the armed forces, propaganda by false allegations of use of Bangladesh territory by ISI, creation of dissension’s among the political parties and religious sects, control of media, denial of river waters, and propping up a host of disputes in order to keep Bangladesh under a constant political and socio-economic pressure ( “ RAW and Bangladesh” by Mohammad Zainal Abedin, November 1995, RAW In Bangladesh: Portrait of an Aggressive Intelligence, written and published by Abu Rushd, Dhaka).

 

 

Sikkim and Bhutan

 

Sikkim was the easiest and most docile prey for RAW. Indira Gandhi annexed the Kingdom of Sikkim in mid-1970s, to be an integral part of India. The deposed King Chogyal Tenzig Wangehuck was closely followed by RAW’s agents until his death in 1992.

 

Bhutan, like Nepal and Sikkim, is a land-locked country, totally dependent on India. RAW has developed links with members of the royal family as well as top bureaucrats to implements its policies. It has cultivated its agents amongst Nepalese settlers and is in a position to create difficulties for the Government of Bhutan. In fact, the King of Bhutan has been reduced to the position of merely acquiescing into New Delhi’s decisions and go by its dictates in the international arena.

 

Sri Lanka

 

Post- independence Sri Lanka, inspite of having a multi-sectoral population was a peaceful country till 1971 and was following independent foreign policy. During 1971 Indo-Pakistan war despite of heavy pressure from India, Sri Lanka allowed Pakistan’s civil and military aircraft and ships to stage through its air and sea ports with unhindered re-fueling facilities. It also had permitted Israel to establish a nominal presence in its intelligence training set up. It permitted the installation of high powered transmitter by Voice of America (VOA) on its territory, which was resented by India.

 

It was because of these ‘irritants’ in the Indo-Sri Lanka relations that Mrs Indira Gandhi planned to bring Sri Lanka into the fold of the so-called Indira Doctrine (India Doctrine) Kao was told by Gandhi to repeat their Bangladesh success. RAW went looking for militants it could train to destabilize the regime. Camps were set up in Tamil Nadu and old RAW guerrillas’ trainers were dug out of retirement. RAW began arming the Tamil Tigers and training them at centers such as Gunda and Gorakhpur. As a sequel to this ploy, Sri Lanka was forced into Indian power-web when Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987 was singed and Indian Peace-Keeping-Force (IPKF) landed in Sri Lanka.

 

The Ministry of External Affairs was also upset at RAW’s role in Sri Lanka as they felt that RAW was still continuing negotiations with the Tamil Tiger leader Parabhakran in contravention to the Indian government’s foreign policy. According to R Swaminathan, (former Special Secretary of RAW) it was this outfit which was used as the intermediary between Rajiv Gandhi and Tamil leader Parabhakaran. The former Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, J.N. Dixit even accused RAW of having given Rs. five Crore to the LTTE. At a later stage, RAW built up the EPRLF and ENDLF to fight against the LTTE which turned the situation in Sri Lanka highly volatile and uncertain later on.

 

Maldives

 

Under a well-orchestrated RAW plan, on November 30 1988 a 300 to 400-strong well trained force of mercenaries, armed with automatic weapons, initially said to be of unknown origin, infiltrated in boats and stormed the capital of Maldives. They resorted to indiscriminate shooting and took high-level government officials as hostages. At the Presidential Palace, the small contingent of loyal national guards offered stiff resistance, which enabled President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to shift to a safe place from where he issued urgent appeals for help from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Britain and the United States.

 

The Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi reacted promptly and about 1600 combat troops belonging to 50 Independent Para-Brigade in conjunction with Indian Naval units landed at Male under the code-name Operation Cactus. A number of IAF transport aircraft, escorted by fighters, were used for landing personnel, heavy equipment and supplies. Within hours of landing, the Indian troops flushed out the attackers form the streets and hideouts. Some of them surrendered to Indian troops, and many were captured by Indian Naval units while trying to escape along with their hostages in a Maldivian ship, Progress Light. Most of the 30 hostages including Ahmed Majtaba, Maldives Minister of Transport, were released. The Indian Government announced the success of the Operation Cactus and complimented the armed forces for a good job done.

 

The Indian Defense Minister while addressing IAF personnel at Bangalore claimed that the country’s prestige has gone high because of the peace-keeping role played by the Indian forces in Maldives. The International Community in general and the South Asian states in particular, however, viewed with suspicious the over-all concept and motives of the operation. The western media described it as a display of newly-acquired military muscle by India and its growing role as a regional police. Although the apparent identification of the two Maldivian nationals could be a sufficient reason, at its face value, to link it with the previous such attempts by the mercenaries, yet other converging factors, indicative of involvement of external hand, could hardly be ignored. Sailing of the mercenaries from Manar and Kankasanturai in Sri Lanka, which were in complete control of IPKF, and the timing and speed of the Indian intervention proved their involvement beyond any doubt.

 

Nepal

 

Ever since the partition of the sub-continent India has been openly meddling in Nepal’s internal affairs by contriving internal strife and conflicts through RAW to destabilize the successive legitimate governments and prop up puppet regimes which would be more amenable Indian machinations. Armed insurrections were sponsored and abetted by RAW and later requests for military assistance to control these were managed through pro-India leaders. India has been aiding and inciting the Nepalese dissidents to collaborate with the Nepali Congress. For this they were supplied arms whenever the King or the Nepalese Government appeared to be drifting away from the Indian dictates and impinging on Indian hegemonic designs in the region. In fact, under the garb of the so-called democratization measures, the Maoists were actively encouraged to collect arms to resort to open rebellion against the legitimate Nepalese governments. The contrived rebellions provided India an opportunity to intervene militarily in Nepal, ostensibly to control the insurrections which were masterminded by the RAW itself. It was an active replay of the Indian performance in Sri Lanka and Maldives a few years earlier. RAW is particularly aiding the people of the Indian-origin and has been providing them with arms and ammunition. RAW has also infiltrated the ethnic Nepali refugees who have been extradited by Bhutan and have taken refuge in the eastern Nepal. RAW can exploit its links with these refugees in either that are against the Indian interest. Besides the Nepalese economy is totally controlled by the Indian money lenders, financiers and business mafia ( RAW’s Machination In South Asia by Shastra Dutta Pant, Kathmandu, 2003).

 

Afghanistan

 

Since December 1979, throughout Afghan War, KGB, KHAD (WAD) (former Afghan intelligence outfit) and RAW stepped up their efforts to concentrate on influencing and covert exploitation of the tribes on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. There was intimate co-ordination between the three intelligence agencies not only in Afghanistan but in destabilization of Pakistan through subversion and sabotage plan related to Afghan refugees and mujahideen, the tribal belt and inside Pakistan. They jointly organized spotting and recruitment of hostile tribesmen and their training in guerrilla warfare, infiltration, subversion, sabotage and establishment of saboteur force/terrorist organizations in the pro-Afghan tribes of Pakistan in order to carry out bomb explosions in Afghan refugee camps in NWFP and Baluchistan to threaten and pressurize them to return to Afghanistan. They also carried out bomb blasts in populated areas deep inside Pakistan to create panic and hatred in the minds of locals against Afghan refugee mujahideen for pressurizing Pakistan to change its policies on Afghanistan.

 

Pakistan

 

Pakistan’s size, strength and potential have always overawed the Indians. It, therefore, always considers her main opponent in her expansionist doctrine. India’s animosity towards Pakistan is psychologically and ideologically deep-rooted and unassailable. India’s war with Pakistan in 1965 over Kashmir and in 1971 which resulted in the dismemberment of Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh are just two examples.

 

Raw considers Sindh as Pakistan’s soft under-belly. It has, therefore, made it the prime target for sabotage and subversion. RAW has enrolled and extensive network of agents and anti-government elements, and is convinced that with a little push restless Sindh will revolt. Taking fullest advantage of the agitation in Sindh in 1983 and the ethnic riots, which have continued till today, RAW has deeply penetrated and cultivated dissidents and secessionists, thereby creating hard-liners unlikely to allow peace to return to Sindh. Raw is also involved similarly in Balochistan.

 

RAW is also being blamed for confusing the ground situation is Kashmir so as to keep the world attention away from the gross human rights violations by India in India occupied Kashmir. ISI being almost 20 years older than RAW and having acquired much higher standard of efficiency in its functioning , has become the prime target of RAW’s designs, ISI is considered to be a stumbling block in RAW’s operations, and has, therefore, been made a target of all kinds of massive misinformation and propaganda campaign. The tirade against ISI continues unabated. The idea is to keep ISI on the defensive by fictionalising and alleging its hand is supporting Kashmiri Mujahideen and Sikhs in Punjab. RAW’S fixation against ISI has taken the shape of ISI-phobia, as in India everyone traces down the origin of all happenings and shortcomings to the ISI . Be it an abduction at Bangalore or a student’s kidnapping at Cochin, be it a bank robbery at Calcutta or a financial scandal in Bombay, be it a bomb blast at Bombay or Bangladesh, they find an ISI hand in it ( “RAW :GLOBAL AND REGIONAL AMBITIONS” Edited by Rashid Ahmad Khan and Muhammad Saleem, Published by Islamabad Policy Research Institute, Asia Printers, Islamabad, 2005).

 

RAW over the years has admirably fulfilled its tasks of destabilising target states through unbridled export of terrorism. The India Doctrine spelt out a difficult and onerous role for RAW. It goes to its credit that it has accomplished its assigned objectives due to the endemic weakness in the state apparatus of those nations and failure of their leaders.

 

http://www.countercurrents.org/khan131007.htm

 

 

Independence Day for Kashmir – By Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar – TOI

August 17, 2008

RARE SHOW OF COURAGE BY THE TIMES OF INDIA

 

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Columnists/S_A_Aiyar_I-Day_for_Kashmir/articleshow/3372132.cms

 

Independence Day for Kashmir

 

17 Aug 2008, 0338 hrs IST,

 

By Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar

 

On August 15, India celebrated independence from the British Raj. But Kashmiris staged a bandh demanding independence from India. A day symbolising the end of colonialism in India became a day symbolising Indian colonialism in the Valley.

 

As a liberal, i dislike ruling people against their will. True, nation-building is a difficult and complex exercise, and initial resistance can give way to the integration of regional aspirations into a larger national identity — the end of Tamil secessionism was a classical example of this.

 

I was once hopeful of Kashmir’s integration, but after six decades of effort, Kashmiri alienation looks greater than ever. India seeks to integrate with Kashmir, not rule it colonially. Yet, the parallels between British rule in India and Indian rule in Kashmir have become too close for my comfort.

 

Many Indians say that Kashmir legally became an integral part of India when the maharaja of the state signed the instrument of accession. Alas, such legalisms become irrelevant when ground realities change. Indian kings and princes, including the Mughals, acceded to the British Raj. The documents they signed became irrelevant when Indians launched an independence movement.

 

The British insisted for a long time that India was an integral part of their Empire, the jewel in its crown, and would never be given up. Imperialist Blimps remained in denial for decades. I fear we are in similar denial on Kashmir.

 

The politically correct story of the maharaja’s accession ignores a devastating parallel event. Just as Kashmir had a Hindu maharaja ruling over a Muslim majority, Junagadh had a Muslim nawab ruling over a Hindu majority. The Hindu maharaja acceded to India, and the Muslim nawab to Pakistan.

 

But while India claimed that the Kashmiri accession to India was sacred, it did not accept Junagadh’s accession to Pakistan. India sent troops into Junagadh, just as Pakistan sent troops into Kashmir. The difference was that Pakistan lacked the military means to intervene in Junagadh, while India was able to send troops into Srinagar. The Junagadh nawab fled to Pakistan, whereas the Kashmir maharaja sat tight. India’s double standard on Junagadh and Kashmir was breathtaking.

 

Do you think the people of Junagadh would have integrated with Pakistan after six decades of genuine Pakistani effort? No? Then can you really be confident that Kashmiris will stop demanding azaadi and integrate with India?

 

The British came to India uninvited. By contrast, Sheikh Abdullah, the most popular politician in Kashmir, supported accession to India subject to ratification by a plebiscite. But his heart lay in independence for Kashmir, and he soon began manoeuvering towards that end. He was jailed by Nehru, who then declared Kashmir’s accession was final and no longer required ratification by a plebiscite. The fact that Kashmir had a Muslim majority was held to be irrelevant, since India was a secular country empowering citizens through democracy.

 

Alas, democracy in Kashmir has been a farce for most of six decades. The rot began with Sheikh Abdullah in 1951: he rejected the nomination papers of almost all opponents, and so won 73 of the 75 seats unopposed! Nehru was complicit in this sabotage of democracy.

 

Subsequent state elections were also rigged in favour of leaders nominated by New Delhi. Only in 1977 was the first fair election held, and was won by the Sheikh. But he died after a few years, and rigging returned in the 1988 election. That sparked the separatist uprising which continues to gather strength today.

 

Many Indians point to long episodes of peace in the Valley and say the separatists are just a noisy minority. But the Raj also had long quiet periods between Gandhian agitations, which involved just a few lakhs of India’s 500 million people. One lakh people joined the Quit India movement of 1942, but 25 lakh others joined the British Indian army to fight for the Empire’s glory.

 

Blimps cited this as evidence that most Indians simply wanted jobs and a decent life. The Raj built the biggest railway and canal networks in the world. It said most Indians were satisfied with economic development, and that independence was demanded by a noisy minority. This is uncomfortably similar to the official Indian response to the Kashmiri demand for azaadi.

 

Let me not exaggerate. Indian rule in Kashmir is not classical colonialism. India has pumped vast sums into Kashmir, not extracted revenue as the Raj did. Kashmir was among the poorest states during the Raj, but now has the lowest poverty rate in India. It enjoys wide civil rights that the Raj never gave. Some elections — 1977, 1983 and 2002 — were perfectly fair.

 

India has sought integration with Kashmir, not colonial rule. But Kashmiris nevertheless demand azaadi. And ruling over those who resent it so strongly for so long is quasi-colonialism, regardless of our intentions.

 

We promised Kashmiris a plebiscite six decades ago. Let us hold one now, and give them three choices: independence, union with Pakistan, and union with India. Almost certainly the Valley will opt for independence. Jammu will opt to stay with India, and probably Ladakh too. Let Kashmiris decide the outcome, not the politicians and armies of India and Pakistan.

 

 

 

Javed Anand’s ideologically driven diatribe against SIMI

August 17, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

 

Javed Anand’s ideologically driven diatribe against SIMI

 

 

Of course! It is a question of law

 

 

By Ghulam Muhammed

 

 

It is one thing to be factually correct. It’s altogether another thing to be ideologically driven. Javed Anand’s diatribe titled: ‘Suspect SIMI? Of course’ — published by The Indian Express, on Saturday, August 16, 2008 seeks life beyond law.

 

At that level, what is a difference between a religiously driven SIMI and a Leftist fighting a war in the name of Karl Marx, denigrating everything that goes under the umbrella of religion, the supposed ‘opium of the masses’.

 

If religion is the opium of the masses, anti-religious Marxism too is a heady brew that saps the intellectual faculties of even the most sensible people.

 

The key sentence that gives out Javed Anand’s subterranean insecurity goes like this: “But is it merely a question of law?”

 

Of course! It is a question of law.

 

India as a nation is a legal construct. It is based on law. If you have to find life beyond law, you are on a very shaky territory.

 

In fact, Javed Anand’s frustration over his gross inability to interpret the law of land by sanctifying the terms ‘secularism and democracy’, in the mould of Marxist logic, while neatly bypassing and ignoring the constitutional fundamental rights of freedom of religion and freedom of speech in drawing up a charge-sheet against SIMI, is so apparent, that it is surprising, he is so unaware that his slip is showing.

 

Secularism in Indian context does not stand for the denial of religion. India is not a replica of the erstwhile Soviet Russia, where the communist dictators had destroyed and/or closed down all churches and mosques. For over seventy years, people of faith had to undergo endless pogroms, purges, banishments, not to mention the ghastly gulag existence. India’s secularism has to be defined by its deeply ingrained religious ethos.

 

Javed Anand is ready to accommodate Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad, for their support of SIMI, when he writes that ‘Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad’s welcoming of the lifting of the ban on SIMI can be explained away in terms of vote bank politics. Why should he begrudge if mainstream Muslims too have welcomed lifting of the ban on SIMI. Are Muslims not entitled to be part of vote bank politics, just because they are Muslims?

 

Banning of SIMI, was a motivated political exercise, by the Hindutva extremists/opportunist of the ilk of the then Home Minister, L. K. Advani and the then Maharashtra State home minister, Chhagan Bhujbal, an old Shiv Sena protagonist. It was a grand conspiracy to consolidate Hindu vote bank, around demonizing of Muslims, by choosing a suitable candidate to focus on and by implication demonise the entire 150 million Muslims of India. Evidently, this too would be generously treated by Javed Anand, as merely vote bank politics!

 

Of course, there were hotheads in SIMI, as there are in every grouping, including the Marxists and the Hindutvadis. But the law cannot be so applied that it cannot stand judicial scrutiny. If on presentation of facts, the court is not convinced that SIMI is guilty as charged, why should Muslims not rejoice in being liberated from the conspiracy of the Hindu extremists?

 

The real problem for Javed Anand stems from his pretentious posturing of becoming the voice of the Muslims. His frustration at witnessing crowds of 20,000 to 200,000 gathering at public meetings called by religious figures is quite understandable. He fails to understand the real pain of the Muslims. Given proper interaction, even a maverick like Mamta Bannerjee could gather a mind-boggling crowd of 400,000 Muslims in the heart of a cosmopolitan city like Kolkata. But you cannot strip the Muslim of his religious identity and hope to achieve leadership of a neutered crowd.

 

The very fact, that Indian Express has published Javed Anand’s article denouncing SIMI, is proof enough that he is sleeping with the enemy. Let him write a similar diatribe against RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and get it published in Indian Express, or Times of India, or even in the new avatar of ‘The Hindu’, if he is rooting for non-discriminatory justice. That will show him the limits of his journalistic prowess, if any. His ability to get published by a mainstream English broadsheet on Muslim-bashing shows how far he is treated by the media, as not with the mainstream Muslims. The mainstream media is merely using his mixed Muslim name (Javed Akhtar + Anand) to carry on their commercial commitment to demonizing of Muslims. Muslims would rather be vicitmised than become beholden to dubious benefactors with ulterior motives.  

 

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

 

August 7, 2008

Thursday, August 07, 2008

 

WHAT A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE IN INDIA!

 

ON THE BASIS OF A POLICE OFFICER’S REPORT, A MUSLIM STUDENT’S ORGANISATION IS BANNED BY THE EXTREMIST HINDUTVA LEADER L. K. ADVANI, WHOSE OWN ORGANISATION HAS PLAYED HAVOC WITH PEOPLES LIFE. ADVANI HIMSELF IS TO BE PROSECUTED OVER HIS ROLE IN THE DEMOLITION OF BABRI MASJID AND THE MASSACRES OF MUSLIM THAT FOLLOWED. SINCE WHEN A POLICE OFFICER’S WORD HAS BECOME LAW OF THE LAND!

 

THIS POLICE OFFICER’S REPORT WAS NEVER JUDGED FOR VERACITY AND OVER THE ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF JUST FOUR INDIVIDUALS, THE THEN HOME MINISTER, L. K. ADVANI, BANS AN ALL INDIA MUSLIM ORGANISATION ON THE SPURIOUS ALLEGATIONS OF TERROR.

 

SUBSEQUENTLY, HUNDREDS OF SIMI MEMBERS WERE ARRESTED AND TORTURE FOR POSTHOMOUSLY BELONGING TO A ‘BANNED’ ‘TERRORIST’ ORGANISATION.

 

INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS SHOULD NOT BE A PARTY TO A WITCH-HUNT OF INDIAN MUSLIMS AND FOLLOW THE CRIMINAL ABUSE OF POWER BY THE BJP LED NDA COALITION GOVERNMENT OF THE PAST.

 

IT SHOULD DO JUSTICE. IT SHOULD NOT GET BROW-BEATEN BY FASCIST PARIVAR TO SUBVERT THE LAW OF THE LAND, IN LETTER AND IN SPIRIT.

 

GHULAM MUHAMMED, MUMBAI

 

 

 

 

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Daily/skins/MM/navigator.asp?Daily=MMIR&login=default

 

 

 

SIMI was banned on the basis of this officer’s report

   

SP SARANG AWAD

 

Then Deputy Superintendent of Police Sarang Awad’s report had revealed SIMI’s involvement in anti-India activities

 

DEEPTIMAN TIWARY

 

 

   The Delhi High Court order on Tuesday lifted the ban on Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The news shocked Sarang Awad, Superintendent of Police (Highway Patrol), the officer on whose report the Centre issued a notification banning SIMI under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in 2001.

 

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

 

The Nagpur police in 2000 had got information that terror elements were planning to blow up the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters in the city. After explosives were found at the site, a hunt was launched to find the people behind the act.

 

   A breakthrough in the case came when the Jalgaon police headed by then Dy SP Sarang Awad in May 2001 arrested four men with explosives and subversive literature. On interrogation, they revealed that they were SIMI activists, and that one of them, Sheikh Shakeel Sheikh Annan, was the president of SIMI’s Jalgaon unit. They also revealed that before planting the explosives near the RSS headquarters, they had crossed the border at Kashmir and received training from terror outfits.

 

   Awad who was the complainant and investigating officer of the case said, “We found a lot of subversive literature in Urdu and Arabic urging Muslims to join a jihad. We also found a diary with names and phone numbers of people from across the border.”

 

   Police investigations also revealed that the operatives had exchanged emails with groups across the border. Later, many operatives who were involved in the conspiracy, were arrested from Kashmir and Delhi.

 

REPORT CAUSES BAN

 

After filing the charge-sheet, Awad made a report on SIMI’s increasing involvement in subversive activities, which was forwarded to the Union government. When the Union Home Ministry, then led by L K Advani, received the report, establishing SIMI’s involvement in anti-India activities, it issued a notification banning the organisation for two years. Awad said, “We established that the accused were active SIMI members as their bank accounts were receiving funds from the SIMI unit in Delhi and Bihar. We showed SIMI’s links across the border and its activities inside the country. We had shown how educated youngsters had been imparted training in making bombs. We had solid evidence which would stand in any court and that’s why most of the accused got convicted in the case.” Awad concluded by saying, “The outfit has been a big threat to our internal security — at least that’s what I found when I prepared the report.”

 

TIMES OF INDIA DOES IT AGAIN – VI : Has The Times of India, become ‘his master’s voice’?

August 4, 2008

Sunday, August 03, 2008

 

 

TIMES OF INDIA DOES IT AGAIN – VI

 

Has The Times of India, become ‘his master’s voice’?

 

See how it picks up the new guidelines laid down by US States Department, hires a writer with a Muslim name but with famously known extreme Leftist orientations (check his writings), and gets a hatchet job on the so-called Muslim terrorists in India.

 

The article written by Mohammed Wajihuddin was published by Sunday Edition of The Times Of India, on Aug 3, 2008 under the title: ‘Don’t give KILLERS a halo’.

 

In nutshell, it vexes, on the use of terminology of Jihad, Jihadis and counsels Times readers in India and abroad, that by naming the Killers as Jihadis, they are giving some kind of religious halo, to the killers and it should be stopped.

 

Now read a quote from ‘Human Events’, a widely circulated US internet newsletter, in which Robert Spencer writes in his May 5, 2008 article: ‘No Jihadi here’:

 

Quote:

 

Last week, the State Department, the Department of Homeland security and the National Counter Terrorism Center issued new guidelines forbidding personnel from using the words “jihad” or “jihadist” in reference to Islamic terrorism and its perpetrators. A Homeland security report tellingly titled “Terminology to Define the Terrorists: Recommendations from American Muslims” explains that this initiative comes from a concern not to offend moderate Muslims. By calling the terrorists “jihadists,” American officials could be “unintentionally portraying terrorists, who lack moral and religious legitimacy, as brave fighters, legitimate soldiers or spokesmen for ordinary Muslims.” Using the term “jihad” may not be “strategic.” Why not? “Because it glamorizes terrorism, imbues terrorists with religious authority they do not have and damages relations with Muslims around the world.” American officials “should not concede the terrorists’ claim that they are legitimate adherents of Islam.”

 

Unquote—

 

(http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=26256&keywords=No+Jihadi+here)

 

 

Now it is for all Indians to judge, if Times of India, like a bonded slave, following the dictates of US State Department, US Department of Homeland Security, has agreed to carry out a campaign on behalf of the US warmongers?

 

The worst part of Times of India brand of proactive journalism is to let his writer use quotes from obliging Muslim commentators, who are possibly unaware of the wider designs of Times of India’s collaboration with a foreign nation.

 

One is sure that liberals like Dr. Zeenat Shaukat Ali, Asghar Ali Engineer, A.G. Noorani, Dr. J. S. Bandukwala as well as conservative Islamic scholar, Maulana Abu Hassan Nadvi Azhari, would be the first to be objecting to any involvement with a US Government based effort to influence Indians one way or other. None of them is clearly in the pay of the US Administration. They may be critical of so many incongruities in Muslim world. However, all of them are on record condemning the US, for its illegal invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. The writer Wajihuddin had taken them for a ride, without giving full background to his motivation to follow the US line on how to deal with the Muslim at large through their deliberative change of official policies while he used their name and quotes to tailor his own agenda.

 

In his article Wajihuddin’s history starts with Syed Qutub, Hassan al Banna and Maulana Abul Ala Maududi.  Wajihuddin has failed to go back in history, when even in earlier centuries the imperialist powers had dreaded the very word of ‘Jihad’. British colonists supported Gulam Ahmed Mirza, the Ahmedi /Qadiani leader when he carried out his campaign against Jihad. British were most supportive of the ever increasing popularity of the earlier Tabligi Jamat movement, whose adherents toured every nook and corner of India, to exhort Muslims to strictly restrict themselves to prayers and shun Jihad, as any part of Islamic teachings.

 

It should not be surprising, that Wajihuddin/TOI has used the first title of the article as UNHOLY WAR. Since Wajihuddin has not bothered to write a single word against US war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would be presumed that possibly he is convinced that President Bush is fighting a HOLY WAR in Iraq and Afghanistan and whoever opposes him, and that should include an overwhelming majority of world’s population, as clearly made out by a US poll, are in fact fighting an UNHOLY WAR against the US.

 

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

http://www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

 

 

PS: TOI’s article:

 http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Daily/skins/TOI/navigator.asp?Daily=TOIM&login=default&AW=1217769790390

 

 

UNHOLY WAR

 

 

‘Don’t give KILLERS a halo’

 

 

 

The Indian Mujahideen and others like them have shorn jihad of its moral and spiritual robe, says Mohammed Wajihuddin

 

 

 

 

   Two weeks ago, Zeenat Shaukat Ali, who teaches Islamic studies at Mumbai’s St Xavier’s College, screened Khuda Ke Liye, the widely acclaimed Pakistani film, for her students. During the subsequent discussion, many students asked Ali whether jihad, as the moderate Maulana Wali (Naseeruddin Shah) so passionately explains in the film, is not a war against infidels. “I am constantly asked whether killing of infidels and forced conversions are part of a jihad,’’ says Ali. “Every year, I give two lectures on jihad alone.’’

 

   That Ali’s students know so little about jihad is no news. Though this term is overused, no Quranic word has been more misinterpreted and misquoted than jihad and its derivative mujahid (one who undertakes jihad). Even those who bombed Bangalore and Ahmedabad last week chose to identify themselves as the Indian Mujahideen. Like their fellow travellers in Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Harkat-Ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HUJI), the Indian Mujahideen, if they exist at all, have conveniently misappropriated a sacred Islamic word for un-Islamic acts. Outside the Muslim world it is as loosely used—noted security experts, including B Raman, called the Indian Mujahideen among the “Indianised jihadis’’.

 

   “The word jihad appears 44 times in the Quran. Nowhere has it been used in the sense of a war,’’ says Islamic scholar Asghar Ali Engineer who has deeply studied the exact contexts of jihad in the Quran.

 

   Derived from the Arabic word ‘juhd’, jihad literally means to strive, to struggle. For war or battle, Engineer explains, the Quran has words like ‘qatal’ and ‘harb’.

 

   Engineer, like most Islamic scholars, both progressive and conservative, blames the media for loosely using the term jihadis for mass murders or terrorists. “Jihad is the media’s pet word today. Unknowingly or otherwise, the media gives the merchants of death a halo when it calls them jihadis,’’ he says. The brutal bomber is perhaps gloating when he is called a jihadi or a mujahid because that gives him a religious sanctity, elevates him to a pedestal he doesn’t deserve.

 

   If a “prejudiced’’ media has distorted terms like jihad and mujahid, Muslims themselves, especially the clergy, are no less irresponsible. Bhiwandi-based noted cleric Maulana Abu Hassan Nadvi Azhari accepts that the Muslims have failed to explain many things, including the concept of jihad, to the world. “Prophet Muhammad participated in 27 battles. But none of his warfare was offensive. He was forced to engage in battles where he had to defend himself and his then nascent community. This needs to be explained widely,’’ says Maulana Azhari, who trained at the Cairo-based famous Islamic seminary Al-Azhar.

 

   Maulana Azhari cites a classic example from the Prophet’s life where the founder of Islam articulated the importance of peace over war. On returning from a battle in Tabuk, outside Medina, the Prophet declared: “We return from the little jihad to the greater jihad.’’ “To engage in a combat is little jihad, but to fight the evils within, to overcome envy and spread peace is a greater jihad,’’ explains Maulana Azhari.

 

   Jihad was never the central tenet of Islam. It’s not even among the five pillars of Islam: Kalima (belief in Allah and His Prophet), namaz, roza, haj and zakat (charity).

 

   Jihad, even if it is used to describe conventional warfare for purely defensive purposes, can only be declared by qualified ulema (clerics), not by some misguided youths avenging real or imaginary injustices. “A war for territory like the Palestinians’ struggle to get their occupied land back cannot be called a jihad. That doesn’t mean the Palestinians don’t deserve their land,’’ says Vadodara-based scholar-peace activist J S Bandookwala who miraculously escaped the wrath of a marauding mob during the genocide of Gujarat 2002.

 

   Some scholars are worried at how a handful of hardcore political thinkers have hijacked jihad, denuding it off its spiritual and moral robe. Noted legal luminary-scholar A G Noorani has, through his writings, often opposed the so-called jihadis for misusing the ideal of jihad. After 9/11, a deeply anguished Noorani penned a slim book called Islam and Jihad where he named three personalities who misused jihad: Hasan al-Banna (1906-’49) who founded Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; Syed Qutb (1906-’66) who succeeded him on al-Banna’s assassination in 1949; and Maulana Abul-Ala Maududi (1903-’70) who founded Jamaat-e-Islami in Lahore on August 26, 1941. These ideologues propounded the theory that jihad could be used as a weapon to realise the dream of an Islamic State.

 

   “Maududi was opposed to the Muslim League’s demand for Pakistan on the ground that nationalism was against the Islamic concept of the unity of the ummah,’’ writes Noorani. Interestingly, Maududi went to Pakistan after Partition. Noorani refers to Frederic Grare’s seminal book Political Islam In The Subcontinent which says: “He (Maududi) demanded a universal jihad, which he declared to be the central tenet of Islam. No major Muslim thinker had ever made this claim before.’’

 

   Decades later, a group of Maududi’s followers founded the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), now banned. “Jamaat-e-Islami distanced itself from SIMI when they deviated from the Jamaat’s principle. But anyone who fights injustice is a jihadi,’’ says Aslam Ghazi, Jamaat-e-Islami’s spokesperson in Maharashtra.

 

   Call them what you may, but don’t call mass murders jihadis or mujahideen.

 

TNN

mohammed.wajihuddin@timesgroup.com