Archive for March, 2009

SC rejects Muslim’s plea to sport beard, says no ‘Talibanisation of India’ – The Times of India

March 31, 2009

 

After the old Shahbano case, Supreme Court has given a very far-reaching and controversial judgment on Indian Muslims’s fundamental constitutional right to practice their religion as they deem it fit. Supreme Court has tried to arbitrarily superimpose Talibanism on Indian Islam. That will never be acceptable to Indian Muslims. The judgment should be reviewed and corrected.


Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai
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SC rejects Muslim’s plea to sport beard, says no ‘Talibanisation of India’

30 Mar 2009, 2302 hrs IST, PTI
 
 
NEW DELHI: Rejecting the plea of a Muslim student that he should be permitted to sport beard in his convent school, the Supreme Court on Monday 

 

observed secularism cannot be overstretched and that “Talibanisation” of the country cannot be permitted. 

“We don’t want to have talibans in the country. Tommorow a girl student may come and say that she wants to wear a burqa, can we allow it,” Justice Markandeya Katju speaking for a bench headed by Justice Raveendran observed. 

Asserting that he was a secularist to the core, Justice Katju however said religious beliefs cannot be overstretched. 

“I am secularist. We should strike a balance between rights and personal beliefs. We cannot overstretch secularism,” the judge known for his incisive remarks said. 

Justice Katju passed the obsesrvation while dismsissing the petition of the student. Mohammad Salim of Nirmala Convent Higher Secondary School, a government-recognised minority institution in Madhya Pradesh, has sought quashing of the school regulation requiring students to be clean-shaven. 

Challenging a Madhya Pradesh High Court verdict that had earlier dismissed his plea, Salim submitted that every citizen was entitled to follow his religious principles and that no one should restrain him from doing so in a secular country like India. 

Salim’s counsel Justice (retd) B A Khan argued before the bench that sporting beard was an indispensable part of Islam. 

But Justice Katju was apparently not impressed with the argument and quipped “But you (Khan) don’t sport a beard?” the judge asked the counsel. 

The apex court then said that a minority institution has its own set of rules and rights provided by Article 30 of the Constitution and the same cannot be breached by any person. 

“If there are rules you have to be. You can’t say that I will not wear a uniform I will only a burqa,” the bench observed. 

The court further said if the student was not interested in following the rules then he has the option of joining some other institution. 

“You can join some other institution if you do not want to observe the rules. But you can’t ask the school to change the rules for you,”Justice Katju observed. 

Appearing for the student, senior advocate B A Khan said that Article 25 of the Constitution guaranteed protection to Salim to pursue his religious practice of keeping a beard and the regulation providing for shaving it off was violative of this provision. 

He said the act of the principal to force the student to leave the school for keeping a beard was against “his religious conscience, belief and custom of his family”. 

Pointing out that Sikh community members were allowed to keep a beard and sport a turban, Salim alleged there was a clear discrimination on part of the school to force him to be clean shaven and this rule was violative of his fundamental rights.

 
 

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Ulema want Cong-NCP to field at least five Muslims – TOI | Ulema vow to defeat CONG-NCP – Jyoti Punwani

March 29, 2009

http://m.timesofindia.com/PDATOI/articleshow/4329075.cms

Ulema want Cong-NCP to field at least five Muslims

29 Mar, 2009 0303hrs IST TNN[ Mohammed Wajihuddin ]

MUMBAI: Muslim clerics, representing almost all the Sunni sects like Deobandis, Barelvis and Ahl-e-Hadees, have raised the banner of revolt against the Congress-NCP combine in Maharashtra. The ulemas have unanimously given an ultimatum to Congress-NCP leaders to field at least five Muslim candidates for the Lok Sabha polls in the state failing which they will campaign against the UPA candidates. At a meeting, attended by over 50 imams of different mosques in the city and heads of dozens of faith-based Muslim organisations, at Islam Gykmkhana on Saturday, the ulemas passed a resolution which can add to the woes of the Congress-NCP combine. “Muslims constitute over 12% of the population in Maharashtra and we had demanded that Congress-NCP should field at least five Muslim candidates. But we’ve got just one, that too an 80-plus A R Antulay from Raigad whose winnability is doubtful due to his recent controversial remarks on the killing of Hemant Karkare in the 26/11 terror attacks,” said Maulana Athar Ali, head of the All India Ulema Association, which had convened the meeting. Maulana Athar took a pledge from all other clerics and imams for appeals from the mosques to vote for SP’s Abu Asim Azmi (Mumbai North-West) and BSP’s Mohammed Ali Shaikh (Mumbai-South) and non-Congress and non-NCP secular candidates. When asked if the clerics’ call to Muslims will end up strengthening the saffron alliance, Maulana Athar clarified: “Muslims have been kept under this psychological fear of the saffron parties coming to power. We were better off during the Shiv Sena-BJP rule in Maharashtra than we’re now under the Congress-NCP. Even the Sena-BJP will be forced to tone down their anti-Muslim agenda if they see our support coming their way.” The clerics who had invited several Muslim NGOs and activists for consultation debated the strategy—vote at any cost, if not for the victory of other secular candidates, then to defeat the Congress-NCP.

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http://www.mumbaimirror.com/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=15&contentid=2009032920090329044207893e34abee9 (A TIMES OF INDIA PUBLICATION)

Ulema vow to defeat CONG-NCP

Say they will root for rivals unless ruling combine gives tickets to at least five Muslims from state by April 2

By Jyoti Punwani Posted On Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 04:42:07 AM

Samajwadi Party’s Abu Asim Azmi and (below left) Mohd Ali Shaikh from the Bahujan Samaj Party Angry with the Congress for not giving tickets to Muslims, and for not accommodating Muslim candidates from other ‘secular’ parties, a section of the city’s ulema on Saturday resolved to work for the defeat of the Congress-NCP combine – unless it declared the names of at least five Muslim candidates from Maharashtra by April 2. The meet, called by Maulana Ather Ali of the All India Ulema Council, who had contested as a Samajwadi Party candidate in the 2004 Assembly polls, also vowed to ensure the victory of the two prominent Muslim candidates from Mumbai: the Samajwadi Party’s Abu Asim Azmi, standing from Mumbai North West, and the BSP’s Mohammed Ali Shaikh, contesting from Mumbai South. Maulana Ather Ali criticised the lone Muslim candidate put up by the Congress in Maharashtra – A R Antulay. He was too old; his own MLAs were against him, and he had done nothing for Muslims, he said. On the one hand, said Ather Ali, the Congress had fielded Antulay; on the other, it had spurned Amar Singh’s request that the Mumbai North West seat be left for Abu Asim Azmi, to prevent a split in the ‘secular vote’. This, despite the fact that the Congress had no strong contender there. Meraj Siddiqui of the Samajwadi Party exhorted the ulema to use their clout in the community. For starters, they could use the Friday sermon to hammer home the importance of voting instead of staying home on polling day. He also held up the BSP as a role model. For years Kanshiram kept fielding BSP candidates, knowing they would not win. But he ensured the defeat of the ruling party, till every ruling party was chastened into asking for the BSP’s support. About 50 imams from masjids across Mumbai attended the meet held at Islam Gymkhana. But beyond the rhetoric, lie two harsh facts: a section of the ulema, led by Maulana Dariyabadi, general secretary of the Ulema Council, have decided to go with the United Democratic Front led by Maulana Ajmal. Secondly, privately, many ulema admit there’s little chance of the BSP candidate Md Ali Shaikh winning Mumbai South.

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BOTH ABU ASIM AZMI AND MOHAMMED ALI HAVE DEEP GRASS ROOT SUPPORT IN THEIR CONSTITUENCIES AND DESERVE TO BE ELECTED TO LEAD MUSLIM CAUSE IN INDIAN PARLIAMENT. THEIR VOLUNTARY COMMITMENT TO THE WELFARE OF AAM AADMI IS WIDELY KNOWN AND ACKNOWLEDGED.

GHULAM MUHAMMED, MUMBAI

‘India told us to keep deal secret’ – Israel Aerospace Industries

March 28, 2009

Is it not contemptible that no newspaper other than DNA should have picked up the most ignoble act of illegality perpetrated by the Congress government, if DNA story is correct. Is nobody in the country alarmed at the blatant corrupt practice of collecting 6% commission on deals involving the defense of the country. Are all good people dead? Is this deal finalised mainly to collect the 6% commission needed to fund the coming parliamentary elections by the ruling party? Questions Indian National Congress must answer to deserve the trust of the people of India.


Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai
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‘India told us to keep deal secret’

Josy Joseph
Saturday, March 28, 2009 2:45 IST
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New Delhi: Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the defence firm that was awarded a controversial Rs10,000 crore contract for the joint development of medium-range surface-to-air missiles (MRSAMs), confirmed on Thursday that it had indeed signed the deal. But it made a surprising disclosure: the deal was kept under wraps at the insistence of the government of India.

The contract was signed on February 27, just days before the Lok Sabha elections were announced. IAI was told that premature disclosure could lead to problems, and even termination of the contract. The deal includes suspicious clauses, including one for the payment of 6% “business charges”, which many observers believe could be a camouflage for commissions. The payment of commissions and middlemen are banned in Indian defence deals.

Following the DNA expose over the last three days, IAI had no option but to come out into the open. IAI told an Israeli daily that India had asked it to keep mum.

DNA reports exposing controversial arms deal worth Rs10,000 crore have forced the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to comeout with the facts.

According to a report in Globes, an Israeli financial daily, “IAI stated that it delayed announcing the contract until now because the customer (i.e., the Indian government) informed the company that early disclosure was liable to cause material difficulties in execution of the contract, and even result in its cancellation.”

The report did not say why a formally negotiated deal between India and IAI, approved by the cabinet committee on security, should be cancelled just because it was made public. The IAI statement also raises questions about the conduct of the Indian ministry of defence over the entire deal.

The opposition parties, and especially the Left parties, are making hay over the DNA reports. It has become an election issue in Kerala, where defence minister AK Antony will have a tough time defending it. The Left is also using the report to display its opposition to Israel, presumably to score points with the Muslim electorate in Kerala and West Bengal, where it faces tough challenges from the Congress.

The ministry of defence has not officially made any reference to the deal. The Congress, however, protested its innocence. Said senior Congress leader and minister of state for external affairs Anand Sharma: “We absolutely reject any suggestion of wrongdoing. How can anyone even suggest any such thing could happen under a person of such integrity as defence minister AK Antony or in a government led by Manmohan Singh?”

Adding further weight to suspicions that the deal may not have been entirely above board, IAI also said that “it felt that this risk (of the contract being cancelled) would be substantially reduced once the advance payment was received,” Globes reported.

In reports published between March 25-27, DNA exposed the dubious basis on which the contract was entered into despite specific defence ministry guidelines about dealing with IAI. The 
Israeli company is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the Barak missile deal in which bribes of Rs 400 crore were allegedly paid. The missiles to be developed by IAI under the MRSAM contract are part of the same family.

IAI said the new deal was worth $1.4 billion (Rs7,000 crore), which is its share of the Rs 10,000 crore contract. The Defence Research & Development Organisation gets the balance Rs3,000 crore.

IAI said a part of the payment for the systems would be made during the development period, and the balance during the 66-month delivery period, Globes reported. According to the report, deliveries of the MRSAM would begin “90 months from the date the advance payment is received.” The report also said that no advance payment had yet been received.

 

 

Europe overwhelmingly against US persistence with armed solution to Afghanistan

March 28, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

 

Europe overwhelmingly against US persistence with armed solution to Afghanistan

 

In a internationally televised BBC Live debate at Brussels Forum, speaker after speaker hedged their full support to US over its continued reliance on armed solution to AF-APK problems. This follows immediately after US President Obama’s new policy announcements where he laid out that the US focus will be on fighting the ephemeral ghost of Al Qaida on the eve of dispatching of further 17000 troops and a contingent of another 4000 to train Afghan police and military personnel. State Department’s Anne Marie Slaughter had come over pressing Europeans in the name of the transatlantic share destiny, to do more to take the joint challenges of global environment, terrorism and economic issues. British, Swedish officials did confirm their full commitment to transatlantic alliance, but debate again and again veered towards the frustrated hope that Obama will come out with new soft options rather than get overwhelmed by his military commanders and their department of defence supporters. As New York Times reported about a long session of top level internal debate in White House situation room, which was participated by Vice- President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary, Robert Gates and Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, US president Obama took a full week to come to his ‘signature foreign policy’ decision to continue with the Bush policies, though with renewed vigour. It is apparent to observers, that Obama has felt cornered and could not come out with any new initiative to change the course in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as he had scant support from his own administration, which is barely able to come to grips with the continued crisis at various levels. For all practical purposes, he appeared to rubber stamp what ever his war cabinet dictated. That was the easy way out for him at this juncture. He has so many problems and he felt it will take the burden off his head, if his military team is given what they are asking. In contrast, it had alarmed his European partners, that instead of expecting a change for soft option, they are being now pressed for further active involvement both in troops, civilian technical support as well as funding.

 

European issue of differences in strategic thinking did come out and it was a big change that US representatives did not appear to be as haughty and arrogant as those in Bush era. But the message was clear to the European that US expect them to sign on the dotted line.

 

BBC anchor brought in an Indian journalist, Shekhar Gupta, in to the discussion as a courtesy to India now being part of the greater western alliance. Shekhar Gupta ill-prepared for the moment, could only come out with a less than serious comments about he is enjoying the whole debate as an observer. In fact, India is being pressed in so many ways to go of its way to join US efforts to ‘fight terrorism’ in the neighbourhood. Indian officials are now a bit lukewarm in fully supporting US efforts, as they find, they whole focus of strategic partnership between US and them, is totally geared to US interests and has no space for Indian concerns.

 

A fleeting observation could not be suppressed that Obama presidency may be under some mixed feeling in European circles, who have yet to find any enthusiasm for the US public’s open embrace of an Afro-American President. It is rather too much to expect old Europe to shed its old prejudices so soon. If this trend is not countered, US will be at a vast disadvantage to get as full cooperation from Europe that its Anglo-Saxon presidents could command in the past.

 

All through the debate, US Senator John McCain, who lost to President Obama in last presidential elections, sat it out in the front rows, trying to add the weight of his neo-con inspired war arguments to prop up US pressure on Europe.

 

It did not appear to have worked.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama orchestrating from the same old Bush music sheet – By Ghulam Muhammed

March 27, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Obama orchestrating from the same old Bush music sheet

The adage that the more things change, they remain the same, is holding true with the US. With lot of fanfare about Change and We Can Change, Obama ignited hope not only in his own nation, but all around the world. Bush warmongering had touched raw nerves all around the world. America and Bush were the most hated words in world vocabulary. However, Obama’s public address today over his plans for Afghanistan and Pakistan, have dampened the hope for any change for the better. Obama asked a question: why US was in Afghanistan? His own answer to that simple question was as convincing about the presence of Al Qaida in Afghanistan and Tribal areas of Pakistan as Bush allegation of WMD in Iraq. Bush was not able to fool the world over his simplistic harangue over Sadaam’s non existent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Obama himself does not appear to be convinced of the Al Qaida menace, while enunciating his plan to tackle terrorism that ‘threatens’ US and its allied countries in the world. The whole warmongering rationale is pat and stale. When he says: “I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda.” This is like chasing a mirage.

Of course, there are radicals in the targeted area. But Obama fails to understand that the radicals are radicalized mainly over US presence in the Muslim world and this presence is imperialistic, imposed and apparently unending. The more Obama will introduce and activate foreign presence in this quagmire, the more he will sink, possibly never to ever come out.

Obama’s cosmetic improvement in his laid out plan, stresses the addition of more reconstructive focus on US efforts to help common people in the region enjoy better living condition, so that they would realise how benevolent and well-meaning US stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan is. However, the more visual part that affects the psyche of the Afpak people is America’s high-handed hunting of Al Qaida, that not only kills innocent people, but is highly damaging to their self-respect, their pride, their national sovereignty. The time lag between US aggression and any future development that the measly 1.5 billion per year as promised will bring to the civilians is so pronounced that prima facie, the whole US effort is a non-starter. Besides, US aggression is planned to sow seeds of civil war in the region. That has its own dynamics. The US is digging a new hole to fill up the old hole. This brings out the un-tenability of Obama’s new plan.  Obama must strive to pacify both countries first. The more stress is on peace, the more distant will be the days of war on much larger scale.

Obama can and should change both Afghanistan and Pakistan in a new Marshall Plan like grand strategy but it can only be successful, if its forces disappear from the visible horizon and both nation’s national pride is restored. America’s constant obsession to identify its adversaries in terms of Islam and radicalized Islamism is most counterproductive and must be checked in real-time. America must make peace with Islam and make it an ally in bringing peace to the region. Islam is here to stay, and the sooner Obama can convince his adviser to change their strategies that has been focused through neo-con influences on fighting Islam and Islamists, the sooner he will win the hearts and mind of the people of the region.

Obama must change his music sheet.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

 


Secularists aren’t saints – By Madhu Purnima Kishwar – The Times of India

March 27, 2009

The headline of the following opinion piece published on the Edit page of The Times of India, print edition, Mumbai, on March 26, 2009, is a gross injustice to the ‘Secularists’ in India in as much as the real culprit of such devious politics is none other than Indian National Congress. It may be unparliamentary language for TOI or even Madhu Kishwar to add the title of Congress to the headline, but in the process both have damaged the credentials of other secularists that make up the big chunk of Indian politics and who are the real inheritors of future of India. Mercifully other secularists like CPM, CPI, Lalu, Mulayam, Nitish, Ram Vilas Paswan, Mayawati, and their counterparts from the south and west, will never resort to communal violence to win votes. An exception is Sharad Pawar whose secularist credentials are on par with the dubious secularism of Indian National Congress. On this singular count, both Congress and BJP should face strict strictures from guardians of justice, be they in judiciary or Election Commission. Both Congress and BJP should be debarred from taking part in Indian elections, with their past record and their potential for poll violence.



GHULAM MUHAMMED, MUMBAI

Secularists aren’t saints

26 Mar 2009, 0010 hrs IST, MADHU PURNIMA KISHWAR
 
 
Congress leaders are understandably the most vociferous in displaying righteous outrage at the unfortunate speech delivered by Varun Gandhi, 

just as they spare no occasion to castigate Narendra Modi for the Gujarat riots of 2002. However, their words would have more credibility if they expressed comparable shame at the fact that their party led the way in showing that riots and massacres can be used as means to manipulate vote banks. Apart from the infamous massacre of Sikhs in 1984, the 1970s and 1980s witnessed a series of communal riots presided over by the Congress party in places like Meerut, Malliana, Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Bhiwandi, Bhagalpur, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. 

The arrest of Congress leader Meghsingh Chaudhary at the instance of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigative Team for his active participation in the Gulbarga Society massacre in Ahmedabad in 2002 confirms what knowledgeable people in Gujarat have for long alleged that many Congressmen enthusiastically joined hands with members of the sangh parivar in the anti-Muslim riots of 2002. 

Without doubt, serious problems do arise when politicians decide to use select religious symbols and manipulate religious sentiments of people in order to acquire power. However, history is witness to the fact that religion and politics do not make as lethal a mix as do politics and violence. 

We would do well to remember that many of the highly venerated political figures of the 20th century have been those who brought the best values of their faith traditions to uplift politics to new moral heights. By contrast, many of those who claimed to be secular and, therefore, treated matters of faith with disdain, caused massive genocides and human suffering. 

The US is secular but that has not prevented it from polarising global politics on religious lines. Stalin did not use a religious justification while carrying out his genocide of the Soviet Union’s peasantry. He did so in the garb of a secular cause, namely, “collectivisation of land” and the uprooting of those he called “kulaks”. Nor did he confine his waves of assassinations and purges to those with religious beliefs. He claimed that he killed people in the name of building a secular and socialist republic. 

Jinnah was not religious minded. He too merely used certain religious symbols and Islamic slogans to mobilise Muslims against the Hindus as a political force. Jinnah’s aim was secular in so far as he acquired political power for himself. Though claiming to defend the political and economic interests of Muslims of the subcontinent, he left behind many more millions of Muslims in India as a mistrusted minority than could be accommodated within the absurd geographical borders of the new ‘Islamic’ state he created for them. 

By contrast, Mahatma Gandhi’s politics and world view were rooted in Hindu Sanatan Dharma. Gandhi chose truth and non-violence as his guiding principles, not any ideology or “ism”. He drew some of his inspiration from the bhakti-Sufi traditions rather than the ideology of modern-day secularism, as defined by the West. That did not prevent him from being a historic global role model of ethical politics. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan derived strength from his unshakeable faith in Islam. That did not prevent him from becoming Gandhi’s most valued colleague in promoting the cause of communal harmony and freedom from colonial rule. Aung San Suu Kyi and the Dalai Lama make no secret of the fact that they draw inspiration from their Buddhist world view. Martin Luther King drew his strength from Christianity. 

It is worth noting that even Marxists and socialists in India have had to deploy the wisdom of men like Kabir, Nanak, Bulleh Shah and Namdev whenever they decide to spread the message of communal harmony as a counter to the divisive agenda of some Hindutvavadis. All these bhakts and Sufis derived their world view from their deep connection with the Divine who they saw manifested in every living being, rather than through secular education. In short, despite the inspiration the leaders discussed above took from their religious ideals, they remain outstanding examples of politics based on compassion and humane values. 

The writer is a senior fellow at CSDS.

Europe’s Shifting Immigration Dynamic by Esther Ben- David

March 26, 2009

Europe’s Shifting Immigration Dynamic

by Esther Ben-David
Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2009

http://www.meforum.org/2107/europe-shifting-immigration-dynamic

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Western Europe has gone through two major stages in its recent immigration history. In the first stage, European leaders misjudged the effects of immigration and, in the second, they miscalculated how hard it would be to stop an immigration dynamic.

 

The arrival of families changed the immigrants’ attitudes towards religious and cultural values, transplanting honor culture, modesty standards, and attitudes toward women to the West. Veiled women have now become a common sight on U.S. and European streets.

Beginning in the mid-twentieth century, European countries have changed from net sources of emigration to attractive destinations for immigration. Today Muslims, many from rural traditional areas, comprise the bulk of non-European immigrants to Europe. Even those who have settled in cities retain a village mentality and are seen as backward by the business and cultural elites in their home countries. Moroccans who settled in the Netherlands and Belgium, for example, are mostly Berbers from the Rif mountains, not the Arab cultural elite[1] from Casablanca, Rabat, or Fez. These immigrants came to Europe in order to build railroads, work in the coal mines, clean streets, and do the jobs that Europeans did not want to do.[2] Both “push” and “pull” factors affect immigration. Push factors are those that lead the immigrant to leave his homeland while pull factors are those which attract him to a different country. Europe and other Western liberal countries exert a strong pull on immigrants. However, stopping immigration is not easy, if at all possible, since the same European liberal laws that attract immigrants also prevent states from acting to stop them from coming or, later, to deport them. 

Background

After World War II, countries such as France, Belgium, and Germany started to allow and even entice foreign workers to come. The economic boom in those countries attracted immigrants, first from poor southern European countries such as Italy and Spain, and then from the far shores of the Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Middle East. The United Kingdom attracted immigrants from throughout the British empire: Indians and Pakistanis came to Britain from the 1950s on, Bangladeshis from the 1970s. France, Germany, and the Netherlands also attracted immigrants from their former colonies. The host European governments understood these migrants to be temporary guest workers as did many of the migrants themselves.

The economic downturn in the early 1970s led European policymakers to realize that immigration was not always a positive phenomenon. Many immigrants were suddenly unemployed, but they did not go back to their home countries. As fears grew that foreign workers sought permanent residence, between 1973 and 1975, Western European governments instituted an “immigration stop,” introducing restrictive measures to deter immigration and to put a stop to recruiting foreign labor.

This immigration stop had unforeseen consequences. Migration of foreign workers dwindled, but the migration dynamic nevertheless continued. Migrants residing in Europe could continue to sponsor their extended family’s immigration and, indeed, relaxation of restrictions on family reunification encouraged further immigration. The time between the first proposals for a halt and their implementation exacerbated the problem as immigrants hurried to bring over their families, fearful that the doors to Europe would soon close forever.

Ironically, in the decades that have passed since the halt to immigration, more immigrants have come to Europe than in preceding decades. Indeed, by looking at the number of immigrants in various countries, it would be difficult to determine how far back the block had been implemented in practice. In the Netherlands, for example, the number of first- and second-generation Moroccan and Turkish immigrants has increased almost tenfold (see Table 1) since the 1974 halt.

Researchers have long sought to chart the immigration dynamic and to predict future trends. When Poland joined the European Union, forecasts of the number of Polish workers who would immigrate to the United Kingdom underestimated reality. The British government expected 15,000 immigrants a year from the newly-admitted European Union countries but instead approved close to 430,000 applications in two years, a figure that does not include self-employed immigrants who could resettle without applying for a work permit.[3]

Even when the trend is known, forecasts tend to miscalculate reality. A Dutch study from 1994, for example, thought marriage immigration had already peaked.[4] However, a study from 2005 by a Dutch government agency, Statistics Netherlands, shows that between 1995 and 2003, marriage immigration of Turks almost doubled, increasing from slightly less than 2,000 per year to close to 4,000. Marriage immigration of Moroccans in the same period tripled, increasing from slightly over 1,000 a year to about 3,000. This same study expects marriage immigration to peak by the mid 2020s, as second generation immigrants age.[5]

Table 1: Moroccans and Turks in the Netherlands.

Source: “Ruim 850 duizend islamieten in Nederland,” Statistics Netherlands, Oct. 24, 2007; Jorgen S. Nielsen,Muslims in Western Europe: Islamic Surveys (Columbia University Press, Oct.1992), pp. 60-1.

Table 2: Turks in Germany, 1973-2006

Source: Deutsche Welle (Bonn), Mar. 1, 2008; Jorgen S. Nielsen, Muslims in Western Europe: Islamic Surveys(Columbia University Press, Oct.1992), pp. 25-6.

In Germany, while the Turkish population stabilized briefly in the 1980s,[6] it later increased steadily despite the 1973 check on immigration (see Table 2).

Table 3: Muslims in Norway, 1979-2005

Source: “Islam I Norge,” based on data from Knut A. Jacobsen, Dagfinn Rian, Kari Vogt, Verdensreligioner i Norge(Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 2005); Jorgen S. Nielsen, Muslims in Western Europe: Islamic Surveys (New York: Columbia University Press, Oct. 1992), pp. 84-6.

And a 1997 study by the Norwegian Statistical Bureau found that 50 percent of immigrants had arrived since 1989, and that 30 percent of the total immigrant community had arrived in just the past five years.[7]

And, according to the lowest available estimates, the number of North Africans in France tripled since the government started restricting immigration in 1974 (see Table 4).

Table 4: North Africans in France, 1957-2003

Source: Michele Tribalat, “Counting France’s Numbers—Deflating the Numbers Inflation,” The Social Contract Journal, Winter 2003-04; Jorgen S. Nielsen, Muslims in Western Europe: Islamic Surveys (Columbia University Press, Oct.1992), pp. 8-9.

An Immigration Dynamic

While North African and Middle Eastern immigrants to Europe initially focused on filling the labor market for short periods of time before returning home after a few years, after the immigration stop the new immigrants were whole families—husbands, wives, and children—who left their homeland behind to settle permanently in Europe. The arrival of families both changed the scale of immigration and the entire character of the immigrant communities. Immigrants now grew concerned about schooling, health care, and proper housing.

Families also changed the immigrants’ attitudes towards religious and cultural values. Whereas single workers either isolated themselves or sought to experience the more liberal lifestyle of Europe, the arrival of families led immigrants to transport their honor culture and modesty standards to the West and to put into practice their attitudes toward women. And while temporary workers accepted basement mosques as a temporary solution to their communal prayer needs, with increasing numbers and the presence of families, these were no longer adequate. Immigrant parents brought their children to the West to give them new opportunities, but they did not want them to fall prey to Western temptations.

Immigration is a personal decision. However, once many people make the decision to leave their home country, the flow of immigrants takes on a life of its own. This immigration dynamic is hard, if not impossible, to stop. Immigrants choose to go to destinations with which they are acquainted and about which they have heard from friends and relatives who immigrated previously. Such destinations provide informal support structures and social networks. This leads to a situation where immigrants from a certain home area all congregate in a certain area in the host country, thereby leading to immigrant ghettoes. In the United States, for example, Minneapolis-St. Paul has become an unlikely immigrant ghetto for Somalis, and Los Angeles—”Tehrangeles”—is an immigrant destination for Iranians.

In Belgium, similarly, immigrants from the Turkish city of Emirdağ and its vicinity settled in Brussels and Ghent.[8] According to one emigrant from Emirdağ, it is common knowledge that family and friends live on the same street or neighborhood in Belgium as they do “back home.”[9] In the Netherlands, many of the Moroccans come from the Rif mountain town of al-Hoceima; Bangladeshis, mostly coming from the northeastern Sylhet area, came to the United Kingdom and settled in the East London boroughs, particularly in Tower Hamlets. Pakistanis, mostly from Kashmir and the Punjab, settled in Birmingham, with another large concentration in Bradford. The immigrants who first came to the country set the way for their compatriots to follow. Pakistanis, Vietnamese, and more recently, Iraqis, are the largest groups of non-European immigrants in Norway. North Africans and Albanians make up the largest groups in Italy.

The more people emigrate from a certain town or village, the more likely it becomes that their neighbors or their neighbors’ children will follow in their path. The immigration dynamic means that entire generations of children in villages and towns across the Third World grow up knowing that they are likely to immigrate in the future, either by marrying a cousin or by other means.

Europe today offers unique possibilities. It is much closer to North Africa and Turkey than other immigration countries such as the United States, Canada, or Australia and can be reached without air travel. Additionally, freedom of travel within Europe enables immigrants to start in the most accessible country and later make their way to their true destination. This is especially true with asylum seekers, who may arrive in Greece or Italy, for example, but then try to make their way to “easier” countries like Sweden or Norway.[10]

Technological advances have also changed immigration. Travel accessibility has transformed journeys of months or years into hours or days. Major European air carriers offer direct flights connecting Europe to the Middle East and Asia. Even after the immigrant has arrived, he can keep in constant contact with his home country: by phone and the Internet or via satellite television.[11] He can also return for summer vacations. Whereas immigrants of the past had little choice but to assimilate into their host countries, today, they can retain their native identities to the exclusion of the national identity of their new home.

In many cases, the immigrant “sojourns,”[12] living in both countries, setting up two residences and splitting his time between his new country and his homeland. Sojourning not only retards integration but also ensures continuation of the immigration dynamic since the immigrant’s countrymen back home are continuously in touch and reminded of the wealth that immigration offers.

Immigrants tend to invest back in their home country, building palatial residences to show their success in Europe. There are entire neighborhoods in some countries that were built by emigrants who rarely live there: “Little Norway” in Gujarat, Pakistan,[13] or the “Belgian Neighborhood” in Tangier.[14] These neighborhoods usually only come to life in the summer when the immigrants return for annual vacations.

Investing in the home country also means less money to invest in day-to-day life in their new country. Immigrants might still be living in squalid conditions in Paris or Amsterdam, but their relatives in Morocco and Turkey can be satisfied with their success. Among Turkish immigrants in Belgium, there are those who borrow money to buy an expensive car for the summer trip to Turkey in order to show that they have succeeded in Europe. They then sell the car upon their return to Europe.[15] The “Belgian neighborhood” in Tangier was supposedly built with the savings and child benefits of the immigrants. [16]

Current Immigration: Family Reunification

Currently, immigration to Europe is possible through several channels: through an employment or student permit for skilled workers, by marriage immigration and family reunification, or asylum and illegal immigration. Skilled foreign workers and students are considered the ideal immigrants though this immigration has a negative effect on their home countries. Third World countries need trained doctors, engineers, and academics to push their economy forward. The “brain drain” encourages further immigration and retards progress.

Family reunification is one of the most common ways to immigrate to Europe today. This means that immigration laws in host countries have transformed immigrant youth into virtual human visas. The commonality of cousin marriages to aid the extended family or to keep resources within the family encourages marriages between immigrants and family members back in the host country. The Western legal system reinforces tribal marriage patterns by giving families incentives to use marriage to work around the European immigration system. In Norway, for example, the proportion of cousin-marriages within the Pakistani immigrant community is greater than in Pakistan itself.[17]

Marriage immigration also perpetuates itself. Studies show that the age at which an immigrant woman first becomes a mother increases and the number of children decreases the longer her family is in Europe.[18] That is, a first generation immigrant would exhibit behavior closer to her native country while a second and third generation immigrant would tend to be more similar to the local population. Marriage immigration therefore ensures a continued high level of fertility among the immigrant population.

Many forecasts regarding the Muslim immigration to Europe expect that immigrant Muslims will eventually integrate into society. However, marriage immigration ensures that the immigrant population never progresses past the stage of first and second generation immigrants, frustrating integration. Also hampering demographic forecasts is the fact that many second generation immigrants prefer to marry spouses from their parents’ home country. Studies among Moroccan and Turkish youth in Belgium show that they often prefer to marry spouses from “back home” rather than marrying a fellow second generation immigrant like themselves.[19] Boys, dissatisfied with what they see as the Westernization of immigrant women, opt for more traditional women from the home country. Moroccan immigrant youth visiting their home country are often accosted with offers of sex and money in exchange for a visa by local girls desperate to get to the “Promised Land.”[20]

Girls, on the other hand, are dissatisfied with what they see as the lower-class behaviors of many immigrant men and their attitudes towards marriage and women and, therefore, opt for a more “open,” gentlemanly, and educated man, also from back home. The market value of legal immigrant women is especially high.[21] In Norway, marriageable Muslim girls are sometimes called “gilded paper” or “visa.”[22] Marrying a husband from the home country has the additional benefit that the wife can be quite sure her new in-laws will not interfere in her marriage. This is important as it is traditional among immigrants for the new couple to live in the house of the husband’s parents and under their authority until they have children.

Current Immigration: Asylum Seekers

Traditionally, asylum was reserved for those who fled persecution. Before the immigration stop, some asylum seekers came as economic migrants without bothering to go through the official process of being recognized as refugees. After the immigration stop, the process changed and many economic migrants started posing as refugees as a “consciously planned act of subversion.”[23] Asylum seekers enter the country as illegal immigrants, destroying their papers and lying as much as necessary to achieve their objective—a new life in Europe. Today, those who cannot immigrate through marriage often choose the asylum process regardless of their situation back home. Only a minority of asylum seekers are quota refugees for whom the United Nations has recognized their status during a stay in refugee camps ahead of their travel to Europe. Most refugees enter Europe illegally, which requires paying smugglers and sometimes obtaining fake documents. These refugees make their way to the country most likely to accept their application. In recent years, Iraqi and Afghan refugees crossed several European states in order to claim asylum in Sweden and Norway, countries which have more liberal asylum laws. And many of those seeking asylum exaggerate or fabricate persecution claims creating an absurd situation whereby asylum seekers, claiming shelter in Europe, spend holidays on vacation in their countries of origin.[24]

Still, there are real cases of political persecution. Beginning in the 1950s, many Muslim students arrived in Germany not only to take advantage of the technical education in German universities but also to escape political persecution by secular, military leaders such as Gamal Abdel Nasser, bent on eradicating Islamist groups back home.[25] One of these exiles was Said Ramadan, son-in-law of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, and father of Tariq Ramadan. Said Ramadan was granted asylum in Switzerland where he continued working for Muslim Brotherhood interests. The trend has accelerated into the 1980s and 1990s as Islamist activists fled intensified domestic crackdowns in Syria, North Africa, and Egypt. However, unlike many asylum seekers who sought to flee oppression, these refugees sought to replicate it, plotting the replacement of secular dictatorships with religious dictatorships. They cared little for the values of liberal democracy even as they sought to utilize it for their own purposes. European officials, perhaps for reasons of moral equivalency, granted such activists asylum without regard to what caused the persecution against them in the first place. Using their new European base, many of these Islamist activists continued in their struggle for regime change in their homelands, creating networks that at times became the basis for today’s European Muslim terrorist networks. As one Egyptian official said, “European countries like Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, England and others, which give sanctuary to these terrorists should now understand it will come back to haunt them where they live.”[26] The idea of “refugee” has degenerated so much that, during the war in Afghanistan, British officials granted asylum to Taliban fighters.[27]

Conversely, Islamic countries can also produce refugees who flee strict application of Islamic law, individuals such as homosexuals, converts from Islam to other religions, or members of persecuted minorities, such as the Ahmadiyya in Pakistan, or the Jews in Yemen who may face capital punishment for their beliefs or actions.[28]However, such a trend can encourage fraud. For example, after the Norwegian government granted automatic residence permits to persecuted homosexuals, fifty Iranian asylum seekers claimed to be persecuted homosexuals. At least one married in Iran and after receiving asylum proceeded to request family reunification. Several others reported doubtful stories but were given asylum anyway.[29]

Likewise, the decision to grant automatic residence permits to converts from Islam—even those who converted after arriving in Europe—encourages more abuse.[30] In Norway, one hundred Afghan refugees converted to Christianity after the rejection of their initial asylum claims.[31]

While European governments do reject the applications of many asylum seekers, this does not mean the individuals leave or are deported. Perhaps 80 percent of asylum seekers stay in Europe after the rejection of their application.[32]

There are many reasons why asylum seekers are not immediately deported. The West’s liberal court systems allow for appeals and for further review after a decision by the first instance of justice. Death sentences in the home country, seen as inhumane by the Europeans, or refusal by the home country to accept its own citizens back can also prevent deportation. Others simply disappear, continuing to live in the country as undocumented illegal immigrants. The result is that those detained in camps for months or years before the completion of court processes are removed from productivity and learn to live at public expense.

In the years of legal battles, prospective asylum seekers are willing to do everything in order to ensure their stays. Children are kept as virtual hostages without knowing their own family abroad, without learning their original mother tongue, and without being able to integrate in their original homelands as a last resort for a residence permit on grounds of humane consideration should the asylum battle fail.[33]

Those who live illegally do not pay taxes and cannot enjoy the full benefits of a welfare society. However, as more illegal immigrants arrive in a country, pressure grows to regularize them by awarding them amnesty and residence permits. Though regularization deals with the humanitarian aspects of the illegal immigrant’s situation, it also gives incentives for illegal behavior and further immigration. In Belgium, for example, illegal immigrants have protested in recent years for regularization. Such protests have involved squatting in churches and climbing high-rise cranes. This creates an irony in which state attempts to stop immigration are thwarted by institutions—such as churches—that are subsidized by the state itself. The Belgian protests are aided by pro-immigrant groups, many of which the state also subsidizes.

The Challenge of Stopping Immigration

European governments are aware of the problem. Since the immigration stop of the 1970s, there have been several attempts to halt or slow down the immigration flow. Some European governments seek to discourage emigration by improving the life conditions of the prospective emigrant in his home country or by trying to scare prospective immigrants through ad campaigns that show the horrors of life as an illegal immigrant. In 2007, Spain ran an ad campaign in West Africa warning Africans not to risk their lives in futile illegal immigration.[34]

Ignorance contributes to immigration. Researchers studying Turkish marriage immigrants who immigrated to Belgium found that children and adults growing up in Turkey in an emigration town, that is, a town where most of the residents either emigrated or wanted to emigrate, were unaware of the basic facts of European life. They knew about the high unemployment benefits but were not aware that basic necessities were much more expensive. One marriage-migrant interviewee admitted frankly that life in Belgium was not what he had expected. However, when he tried warning the youth in his hometown of the hardships of immigration, he was accused of wanting to keep new-found wealth to himself.[35]

The problem with both methods is that a European lifestyle is based not only on material wealth but also on the rights and privileges of a liberal democracy. Even if it were easy to try to create jobs and affluence in countries such as Tunisia—which it is not—it would be harder to change the fabric of the legal system in a liberalizing direction.

Several countries have also tried unsuccessfully to convince immigrants to leave their new homes by offering incentives and continued welfare support for those who return to their native countries. Two such programs in France, the first in 1977 and the second in 2005, ended in failure. Creating incentives for departure might also backfire by encouraging migration for the purpose of collecting the offered benefits and by convincing those in the home country that Europe is drowning in cash, ready to be exploited.

As many countries become aware that the long-term effects of a brain drain outweigh any short-term benefits from remittances, some have themselves begun to discourage emigration. The Algerian Ministry of Religious Affairs, for example, issued a fatwa (religious edict) decreeing that illegal immigrants who die at sea have committed suicide, a sin in Islam.[36]

Tightening immigration laws is an obvious strategy but one that is undercut by inconsistent regulations among EU states. Sweden, long the destination of choice for Iraqi asylum seekers, saw claims drop after it tightened its regulations although there was an increase in asylum claims in neighboring Norway during the same period. Tough marriage immigration laws in the Netherlands likewise encouraged the creation of the “Belgian Route,” in which the non-EU spouse first comes to Belgium, using that country’s laxer marriage-immigration laws. After the couple stay in the country for the minimum amount of time required by EU law, they move to the Netherlands. A recent EU Court decision, however, scrapped the requirement for a minimum stay and rejected any national restrictions on free movement.[37] Judicial activism compounds the problem when courts create new legislation by imposing their own opinions on elected lawmakers.

In two such recent cases, for example, courts struck down laws intended to prevent immigration. A court in Amsterdam rejected a requirement for immigrants from certain countries to undergo integration testing and to prove their knowledge of Dutch language and culture in their home countries before receiving a visa to the Netherlands for marriage immigration.[38] The high court in Belgium struck down a law preventing the children of polygamous marriages from immigrating to Belgium in order to reunite with their father and, thereby, opened the option for the polygamous spouse to do the same.[39]

As these countries are EU members, they also subordinate national law to European Union directives and to the decisions of the European Court. For example, in recent years, both Denmark and the Netherlands have passed laws limiting family reunification. In both cases, marriage immigration dropped significantly from about 60 to 38 percent in four years, 2001-05, for Denmark,[40] and from 56 to 27 percent for Dutch Turks and 57 to 23 percent for Dutch Moroccans over a five year period beginning in 2001.[41] However, in July 2008, the European Court prohibited member states from denying residence permits to non-EU spouses of EU citizens or residents.[42] This ruling caused a political crisis in Denmark, but it holds for all other countries as well, and in practice prevents them from stopping marriage immigration.

Conclusion

It will be far more difficult to stop immigration than it was to initiate the immigration flow. A unified European approach, slashing the time to process requests and achieve final adjudication might help to decrease immigration. Immigration to Europe might have developed differently with tougher, more restrictive immigration policies, but as long as Europe offers opportunities for work, education, and personal safety, and as long as it offers a liberal democracy with the rights and privileges such a lifestyle entails, it will continue to attract mass immigration.

The West has always been proud of its moral standard of protecting human rights and giving refuge to persecuted individuals. Referral to human rights has catalyzed immigration. For example, the right to marry is recognized as a fundamental right that in many European countries brings conveyance of citizenship. However, in a society where arranged marriages are the norm and forced marriages are common, the right to marry can easily place the law on the side of the aggressor who coerces somebody else to marry rather than the victim. Redefining refugee status by creating so many categories that fulfil it renders that status meaningless. Not only does it encourage economic immigration, it actually hurts those who truly need refuge.

Esther Ben-David is an independent researcher of Islam in Europe. Her blog atislamineurope.blogspot.com offers translations of news stories and studies from various European sources.

[1] Anja van Heelsum, “Moroccan Berbers in Europe, the US and Africa and the Concept of Diaspora,” Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, University of Amsterdam, June 20, 2003.
[2] Ural Manço, “Turks in Europe: From a Garbled Image to the Complexity of Migrant Social Reality,” Centre d’Etudes Sociologiques, Facultes Universitaires Saint-Louis, Brussels, Belgium, accessed Dec. 30, 2008.
[3] BBC NewsAug. 22, 2006.
[4] Hans Van Amersfoort and Rinus Penninx, “Regulating Migration in Europe: The Dutch Experience, 1960-92,”Strategies for Immigration Control: An International Comparison [Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science] (London: Sage Publications, 1994), pp. 133-46.
[5] Maarten Alders, “Prognose van gezinsvormende migratie van Turken en Marokkanen,” Bevolkingstrends, 2nd quarter, 2005, pp. 46-9.
[6] Jorgen S. Nielsen, Muslims in Western Europe: Islamic Surveys (New York: Columbia University Press, Oct.1992), pp. 25-6.
[7] Unni Wikan, Generous Betrayal: Politics of Culture in the New Europe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), pp. 234, ftnt. 24.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid., p. 201-2.
[10] The Local (Stockholm), Nov. 29, 2007.
[11] BBC NewsAug. 16, 2006.
[12] Wikan, Generous Betrayal, p. 194.
[13] Ibid., p. 242, ftnt. 76.
[14] Hind Fraihi, Undercover in Klein-Marokko, Achter de Gesloten Duren van de Radicale Islam (Leuven: Uitgeverij Van Halewyck, 2006), p. 78.
[15] Hilâl Yalçin, Ina Lodewyckx, Rudy Marynissen, and Rut Van Caudenberg, Verliefd verloofd..gemigreerd. Een onderzoek naar Turkse huwelijksmigratie in Vlaanderen, (Antwerp: Steunpunt Gelijkekansenbeleid, University of Antwerp-University of Hasselt, 2006), p. 186-91.
[16] Fraihi, Undercover in Klein-Marokko, p. 78.
[17] Dagens Medisin (Oslo), Mar. 8, 2007.
[18] Joop Garssen and Han Nicolaas, “Fertility of Turkish and Moroccan Women in the Netherlands: Adjustment to native level within one generation,” Demographic Research, July 18, 2008, pp. 1249-80.
[19] Ina Lodewyckx, Johan Geets, and Christiane Timmerman, reds., Aspecten van Marokkaanse huwelijksmigratie en Marokkaans familierecht (Antwerp: Steunpunt Gelijkekansenbeleid, University of Antwerp-University of Hasselt, 2006); Yalçin, et. al., Verliefd verloofd..gemigreerd. Een onderzoek naar Turkse huwelijksmigratie in Vlaanderen, p. 160.
[20] Fraihi, Undercover in Klein-Marokko, p. 54.
[21] Van Amersfoort and Penninx, “Regulating Migration in Europe: The Dutch Experience, 1960-92,” pp. 133-46.
[22] Wikan, Generous Betrayal, p. 216.
[23] Ibid., pp. 39-41.
[24] Aftenposten (Oslo), May 15, 2007.
[25] Lorenzo Vidino, “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Conquest of Europe,” Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2005, pp. 25-34.
[26] The Houston Chronicle, Sept. 24, 1995.
[27] Lorenzo Vidino, Al Qaeda in Europe: The New Battleground of International Jihad (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2006), pp. 46-7.
[28] See, for example, Andrew Hollin, “Dissident Watch: Mehdi Kazemi,” Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2008, p. 96.
[29] VG Nett (Oslo), June 6, 2006.
[30] Nederlands Dagblad (Barneveld), July 4, 2008.
[31] Dagbladet (Oslo), July 18, 2008.
[32] Wikan, Generous Betrayal, pp. 39-41.
[33] AftenpostenJuly 27, 2007.
[34] BBC NewsSept. 20, 2007.
[35] Yalçin, et. al., Verliefd verloofd..gemigreerd. Een onderzoek naar Turkse huwelijksmigratie in Vlaanderen, pp. 186-91.
[36] Adnkronos International News, Apr. 29, 2008.
[37] Metock and Others, Case C127/08, The Court of Justice of the European Communities, July 25, 2008.
[38] De Telegraaf (Amsterdam), July 15, 2008.
[39] HLNJuly 10, 2008.
[40] The Copenhagen Post, Nov. 7, 2007.
[41] “Minder migratiehuwelijken Turken en Marokkanen,” Netherlands Statistics, The Hague and Heerlen, Jan. 7, 2008, accessed Jan. 16, 2008.
[42] Metock and Others, Case C‑127/08.

Related Topics: ImmigrationMuslims in Europe | Spring 2009 MEQ

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UPA govt signs Rs10,000 cr Israel missile deal on the sly

March 25, 2009

http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1242337 

 

UPA govt signs Rs10,000 cr Israel missile deal on the sly

Josy JosephWednesday, March 25, 2009 2:20 IST

On the eve of the general election, the UPA government has quietly signed a massive, legally opaque, Rs10,000 crore defence deal with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), ignoring a continuing probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and initial vigilance concerns.

The contract, to supply medium-range surface-to-air missiles (MRSAM), has raised worrying questions of propriety, with key bureaucrats and former defence officers playing influential roles in creating and pushing the deal through.

The deal, which was signed into a contract this month, comes at a time when India already possesses a more powerful missile in the same class — the advanced air defence (AAD) missile, part of India’s anti-ballistic missile shield.

DNA investigated the deal by accessing documents, tapping innumerable sources, and interviewing key military officers. A key point that emerged was that legal opinion did not conclusively favour the deal.

The deal, which is being kept under wraps, could sound the death-knell of the indigenous surface-to-air Akash missile system, into which hundreds of crores have been invested over the years. More importantly, the deal ignores the success of the AAD missile, which could be deployed as a surface-to-air missile and used exactly like the Israeli MRSAM.

DNA’s investigation suggests that some former officers of the Indian Air Force (IAF) played a key role in limiting the large-scale induction of Akash into the force, pushing instead for the Israeli MRSAM. At least one of them is suspected to be working for the Israelis from New Delhi, say several military sources.

Joint development of the MRSAM between IAI and India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) was cleared in July 2007 by the cabinet committee on security (CCS). But defence minister AK Antony did not give it his final administrative clearance because of the CBI’s continuing investigation into the Barak missile scam (see box p20). The CBI had by then filed an FIR on the purchase of the Barak missile system in 2000 from IAI and Rafael, naming former defence minister George Fernandes and then navy chief Sushil Kumar.

Despite CCS approval, a cautious Antony sought vigilance opinion on the file. The defence ministry’s vigilance department cited the CBI investigation to suggest that the deal should not go through, two different sources told DNA. So, the defence minister asked the DRDO to keep the file pending.

But some time in the last week of March 2008, the DRDO was ordered to move the file again for CCS approval. This happened even though the CBI was still investigating IAI and had, in fact, found more evidence of Israeli firms engaging arms dealers for the 2000 deal with the Indian Navy.

Asked why the government did not blacklist the two firms despite the CBI’s FIR, a senior official remarked: “What do we do when we are neck-deep with the Israelis?”

In the past, whenever allegations about the involvement of arms dealers have cropped up, the government has moved quickly to blacklist the firms involved. These include Bofors, HDW, and Denel. In all three cases, the blacklisting was done even before the CBI had filed FIRs.

A senior defence ministry official, who defended the government on the contract, said the MRSAM file was sent to the solicitor-general, who felt that the CBI’s FIR was not a bar and the government could go ahead with the deal if it considered the missile essential. Similar, vague opinions favouring the deal were obtained by the ministry from other agencies. The Central Vigilance Commission said the deal could go through if it was in the national interest.

The defence ministry sought the opinion of the law ministry, which said much the same thing: if the equipment was essential to national security, the deal could go ahead.

After fishing for favourable legal opinion, the “IAF was asked to confirm that it was absolutely essential” for national security, the defence ministry official told DNA. The IAF gave this in writing.

It’s worth noting that none of the legal opinions specifically cleared the deal. They essentially lobbed the ball back to the defence ministry, asking it to decide if the MRSAM was essential for national security. The DRDO used the grey area of national security to prepare a supplementary CCS note, which was approved in December 2008. The DRDO and IAI representatives signed the deal into a contract just days before the elections were announced.

The deal was done despite a defence ministry guideline that virtually bans dealings with IAI and Rafael. An order issued on October 3, 2008, “with the approval of the Hon’ble RM (Raksha Mantri)”, laid down details about how to handle IAI and Rafael. In dealing with them, the defence ministry’s order said, tenders in which the two firms were the only competitors should be withheld. Tenders in multi-vendor deals could be given to the two firms, but they would have to be withdrawn if the CBI filed any charge-sheet. In procurements already underway and involving the firms, vigilance clearance had to be sought afresh. It also said repeat orders for Barak should not be issued since the FIR had already been lodged on the original purchase.

These are precisely the guidelines the defence ministry has breached. IAI was the only competitor for the MRSAM deal. Ideally, the deal should not have been processed.

But, in 2008, despite the CBI investigation, vigilance guidelines, and lack of multiple vendors in contracts, the government and the air force pushed through several deals with IAI and Rafael. Besides MRSAM, it approved two others: a repeat order for Aerostat radars, and low-level quick-reaction missiles (LLQRM) to protect existing Aerostat radars. Both these purchases were cited as reasons for approving the MRSAM deal.

The fact is that there was no open tendering in any of these three contracts. IAI was the only participant from the beginning in the MRSAM contract, and no comparative pricing was done in the international market.

Six Jewish Companies Own 96% of the World’s Media

March 25, 2009

Six Jewish Companies Own

96% of the World’s Media

The power of lies, deceptions and disinformation as Americans pay the price of collective stupidity.

“You know very well, and the stupid Americans know equally well, that we control their government, irrespective of who sits in the White House. You see, I know it and you know it that no American president can be in a position to challenge us even if we do the unthinkable. What can they (Americans) do to us? We control congress, we control the media, we control show biz, and we control everything in America. In America you can criticize God, but you can’t criticize Israel…”

Facts of Jewish Media Control

Electronic News & Entertainment Media


ok_dees

The largest media conglomerate today is Walt Disney Company, whose chairman and CEO, Michael Eisner, is a Jew. The Disney Empire, headed by a man described by one media analyst as a “control freak”, includes several television production companies (Walt Disney Television, Touchstone Television, Buena Vista Television), its own cable network with 14 million subscribers, and two video production companies. As for feature films, the Walt Disney Picture Group, headed by Joe Roth (also a Jew), includes Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, and Caravan Pictures. Disney also owns Miramax Films, run by the Weinstein brothers. When the Disney Company was run by the Gentile Disney family prior to its takeover by Eisner in 1984, it epitomized wholesome, family entertainment. While it still holds the rights to Snow White, under Eisner, the company has expanded into the production of graphic sex and violence. In addition, it has 225 affiliated stations in the United States and is part owner of several European TV companies. ABC’s cable subsidiary, ESPN, is headed by president and CEO Steven Bornstein, a Jew. This corporation also has a controlling share of Lifetime Television and the Arts & Entertainment Network cable companies. ABC Radio Network owns eleven AM and ten FM stations, again in major cities such as New York, Washington, Los Angeles, and has over 3,400 affiliates. Although primarily a telecommunications company, Capital Cities/ABC earned over $1 billion in publishing in 1994. It owns seven daily newspapers, Fairchild Publications, Chilton Publications, and the Diversified Publishing Group. Time Warner, Inc, is the second of the international media leviathans. The chairman of the board and CEO, Gerald Levin, is a Jew. Time Warner’s subsidiary HBO is the country’s largest pay-TV cable network. Warner Music is by far the world’s largest record company, with 50 labels, the biggest of which is Warner Brothers Records, headed by Danny Goldberg. Stuart Hersch is president of Warnervision, Warner Music’s video production unit. Goldberg and Hersch are Jews. Warner Music was an early promoter of “gangsta rap.” Through its involvement with Interscope Records, it helped popularize a genre whose graphic lyrics explicitly urge Blacks to commit acts of violence against Whites. In addition to cable and music, Time Warner is heavily involved in the production of feature films (Warner Brothers Studio) and publishing. Time Warner’s publishing division (editor-in-chief Norman Pearlstine, a Jew) is the largest magazine publisher in the country (Time, Sports Illustrated, People, Fortune). When Ted Turner, a Gentile, made a bid to buy CBS in 1985, there was panic in media boardrooms across the nation. Turner made a fortune in advertising and then had built a successful cable-TV news network, CNN. Although Turner employed a number of Jews in key executive positions in CNN and had never taken public positions contrary to Jewish interests, he is a man with a large ego and a strong personality and was regarded by Chairman William Paley (real name Palinsky, a Jew) and the other Jews at CBS as uncontrollable: a loose cannon who might at some time in the future turn against them. Furthermore, Jewish newsman Daniel Schorr, who had worked for Turner, publicly charged that his former boss held a personal dislike for Jews. To block Turner’s bid, CBS executives invited billionaire Jewish theater, hotel, insurance, and cigarette magnate Laurence Tisch to launch a “friendly” takeover of the company, and from 1986 till 1995 Tisch was the chairman and CEO of CBS, removing any threat of non-Jewish influence there. Subsequent efforts by Turner to acquire a major network have been obstructed by Levin’s Time Warner, which owns nearly 20 percent of CBS stock and has veto power over major deals. Viacom, Inc, headed by Sumner Redstone (born Murray Rothstein), a Jew, is the third largest megamedia corporation in the country, with revenues of over $10 billion a year. Viacom, which produces and distributes TV programs for the three largest networks, owns 12 television stations and 12 radio stations. It produces feature films through Paramount Pictures, headed by Jewess Sherry Lansing. Its publishing division includes Prentice Hall, Simon & Schuster, and Pocket Books. It distributes videos through over 4,000 Blockbuster stores. Viacom’s chief claim to fame, however, is as the world’s largest provider of cable programming, through its Showtime, MTV, Nickelodeon, and other networks. Since 1989, MTV and Nickelodeon have acquired larger and larger shares of the younger television audience. With the top three, and by far the largest, media companies in the hand of Jews, it is difficult to believe that such an overwhelming degree of control came about without a deliberate, concerted effort on their part. What about the other big media companies? Number four on the list is Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which owns Fox Television and 20th Century Fox Films. Murdoch is a Gentile, but Peter Chermin, who heads Murdoch’s film studio and also oversees his TV production, is a Jew. Number five is the Japanese Sony Corporation, whose U.S. subsidiary, Sony Corporation of America, is run by Michael Schulhof, a Jew. Alan Levine, another Jew, heads the Sony Pictures division. Most of the television and movie production companies that are not owned by the largest corporations are also controlled by Jews. For example, New World Entertainment, proclaimed by one media analyst as “the premiere independent TV program producer in the United States,” is owned by Ronald Perelman, a Jew. The best known of the smaller media companies, Dreamworks SKG, is a strictly kosher affair. Dream Works was formed in 1994 amid great media hype by recording industry mogul David Geffen, former Disney Pictures chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, and film director Steven Spielberg, all three of whom are Jews. The company produces movies, animated films, television programs, and recorded music. Two other large production companies, MCA and Universal Pictures, are both owned by Seagram Company, Ltd. The president and CEO of Seagram, the liquor giant, is Edgar Bronfman Jr., who is also president of the World Jewish Congress. It is well known that Jews have controlled the production and distribution of films since the inception of the movie industry in the early decades of the 20th century. This is still the case today. Films produced by just the five largest motion picture companies mentioned above-Disney, Warner Brothers, Sony, Paramount (Viacom), and Universal (Seagram)-accounted for 74 per cent of the total box-office receipts for the first eight months of 1995. The big three in television network broadcasting used to be ABC, CBS, and NBC. With the consolidation of the media empires, these three are no longer independent entities. While they were independent, however, each was controlled by a Jew since its inception: ABC by Leonard Goldenson, CBS first by William Paley and then by Lawrence Tisch, and NBC first by David Sarnoff and then by his son Robert. Over periods of several decades, these networks were staffed from top to bottom with Jews, and the essential Jewishness of network television did not change when the networks were absorbed by other corporations. The Jewish presence in television news remains particularly strong. As noted, ABC is part of Eisner’s Disney Company, and the executive producers of ABC’s news programs are all Jews: Victor Neufeld (20-20), Bob Reichbloom (Good Morning America), and Rick Kaplan (World News Tonight). CBS was recently purchased by Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Nevertheless, the man appointed by Lawrence Tisch, Eric Ober, remains president of CBS News, and Ober is a Jew. At NBC, now owned by General Electric, NBC News president Andrew Lack is a Jew, as are executive producers Jeff Zucker (Today), Jeff Gralnick (NBC Nightly News), and Neal Shapiro (Dateline). The Print Media After television news, daily newspapers are the most influential information medium in America. Sixty million of them are sold (and presumably read) each day. These millions are divided among some 1,500 different publications. One might conclude that the sheer number of different newspapers across America would provide a safeguard against Jewish control and distortion. However, this is not the case. There is less independence, less competition, and much less representation of our interests than a casual observer would think. The days when most cities and even towns had several independently owned newspapers published by local people with close ties to the community are gone. Today, most “local” newspapers are owned by a rather small number of large companies controlled by executives who live and work hundreds or ever thousands of miles away. The fact is that only about 25 per cent of the country’s 1,500 papers are independently owned; the rest belong to multi-newspaper chains. Only a handful are large enough to maintain independent reporting staffs outside their own communities; the rest depend on these few for all of their national and international news. The Newhouse empire of Jewish brothers Samuel and Donald Newhouse provides an example of more than the lack of real competition among America’s daily newspapers: it also illustrates the insatiable appetite Jews have shown for all the organs of opinion control on which they could fasten their grip. The Newhouses own 26 daily newspapers, including several large and important ones, such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Newark Star-Ledger, and the New Orleans Times-Picayune; the nation’s largest trade book publishing conglomerate, Random House, with all its subsidiaries; Newhouse Broadcasting, consisting of 12 television broadcasting stations and 87 cable-TV systems, including some of the country’s largest cable networks; the Sunday supplement Parade, with a circulation of more than 22 million copies per week; some two dozen major magazines, including the New Yorker, Vogue, Madmoiselle, Glamour, Vanity Fair, Bride’s, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, Self, House & Garden, and all the other magazines of the wholly owned Conde Nast group. This Jewish media empire was founded by the late Samuel Newhouse, an immigrant from Russia. The gobbling up of so many newspapers by the Newhouse family was in large degree made possible by the fact that newspapers are not supported by their subscribers, but by their advertisers. It is advertising revenue–not the small change collected from a newspaper’s readers–that largely pays the editor’s salary and yields the owner’s profit. Whenever the large advertisers in a city choose to favor one newspaper over another with their business, the favored newspaper will flourish while its competitor dies. Since the beginning of the 20th century, when Jewish mercantile power in America became a dominant economic force, there has been a steady rise in the number of American newspapers in Jewish hands, accompanied by a steady decline in the number of competing Gentile newspapers–primarily as a result of selective advertising policies by Jewish merchants. Furthermore, even those newspapers still under Gentile ownership and management are so thoroughly dependent upon Jewish advertising revenue that their editorial and news reporting policies are largely constrained by Jewish likes and dislikes. It holds true in the newspaper business as elsewhere that he who pays the piper calls the tune.

Three Jewish Newspapers

The suppression of competition and the establishment of local monopolies on the dissemination of news and opinion have characterized the rise of Jewish control over America’s newspapers. The resulting ability of the Jews to use the press as an unopposed instrument of Jewish policy could hardly be better illustrated than by the examples of the nation’s three most prestigious and influential newspapers: the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. These three, dominating America’s financial and political capitals, are the newspapers which set the trends and the guidelines for nearly all the others. They are the ones which decide what is news and what isn’t, at the national and international levels. They originate the news; the others merely copy it, and all three newspapers are in Jewish hands. The New York Times was founded in 1851 by two Gentiles, Henry Raymond and George Jones. After their deaths, it was purchased in 1896 from Jones’s estate by a wealthy Jewish publisher, Adolph Ochs. His great-grandson, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr., is the paper’s current publisher and CEO. The executive editor is Max Frankel, and the managing editor is Joseph Lelyveld. Both of the latter are also Jews. The Sulzberger family also owns, through the New York Times Co., 33 other newspapers, including the Boston Globe; twelve magazines, including McCall’s and Family Circle with circulations of more than 5 million each; seven radio and TV broadcasting stations; a cable-TV system; and three book publishing companies. The New York Times News Service transmits news stories, features, and photographs from the New York Times by wire to 506 other newspapers, news agencies, and magazines. Of similar national importance is the Washington Post, which, by establishing its “leaks” throughout government agencies in Washington, has an inside track on news involving the Federal government. The Washington Post, like the New York Times, had a non-Jewish origin. It was established in 1877 by Stilson Hutchins, purchased from him in 1905 by John McLean, and later inherited by Edward McLean. In June 1933, however, at the height of the Great Depression, the newspaper was forced into bankruptcy. It was purchased at a bankruptcy auction by Eugene Meyer, a Jewish financier. The Washington Post is now run by Katherine Meyer Graham, Eugene Meyer’s daughter. She is the principal stockholder and the board chairman of the Washington Post Co. In 1979, she appointed her son Donald publisher of the paper. He now also holds the posts of president and CEO of the Washington Post Co. The Washington Post Co. has a number of other media holdings in newspapers, television, and magazines, most notably the nation’s number-two weekly newsmagazine, Newsweek. The Wall Street Journal, which sells 1.8 million copies each weekday, is the nation’s largest-circulation daily newspaper. It is owned by Dow Jones & Company, Inc., a New York corporation which also publishes 24 other daily newspapers and the weekly financial tabloid Barron’s, among other things. The chairman and CEO of Dow Jones is Peter Kann, who is a Jew. Kann also holds the posts of chairman and publisher of the Wall Street Journal. Most of New York’s other major newspapers are in no better hands than the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The New York Daily News is owned by Jewish real-estate developer Mortimer B. Zuckerman. The Village Voice is the personal property of Leonard Stern, the billionaire Jewish owner of the Hartz Mountain pet supply firm.

Other Mass Media

The story is pretty much the same for other media as it is for television, radio, and newspapers. Consider, for example, newsmagazines. There are only three of any note published in the United States: Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report. Time, with a weekly circulation of 4.1 million, is published by a susidiary of Time Warner Communications. The CEO of Time Warner Communications, as mentioned above, is Gerald Levin, a Jew. Newsweek, as mentioned above, is published by the Washington Post Company, under the Jewess Katherine Meyer Graham. Its weekly circulation is 3.2 million. U.S. News & World Report, with a weekly circulation of 2.3 million, is owned and published by Mortimer Zuckerman, a Jew. Zuckerman also owns the Atlantic Monthly and New York’s tabloid newspaper, the Daily News, which is the sixth-largest paper in the country. Among the giant book-publishing conglomerates, the situation is also Jewish. Three of the six largest book publishers in the U.S., according to Publisher’s Weekly, are owned or controlled by Jews. The three are first-place Random House (with its many subsidiaries, including Crown Publishing Group), third-place Simon & Schuster, and sixth-place Time Warner Trade Group (including Warner Books and Little, Brown). Another publisher of special significance is Western Publishing. Although it ranks only 13th in size among all U.S. publishers, it ranks first among publishers of children’s books, with more than 50 percent of the market. Its chairman and CEO is Richard Snyder, a Jew, who just replaced Richard Bernstein, also a Jew.

The Effect of Jewish Control of the Media

These are the facts of Jewish media control in America. Anyone willing to spend several hours in a large library can verify their accuracy. I hope that these facts are disturbing to you, to say the least. Should any minority be allowed to wield such awesome power? Certainly, not and allowing a people with beliefs such as expressed in the Talmud, to determine what we get to read or watch in effect gives this small minority the power to mold our minds to suit their own Talmudic interests, interests which as we have demonstrated are diametrically opposed to the interests of our people. By permitting the Jews to control our news and entertainment media, we are doing more than merely giving them a decisive influence on our political system and virtual control of our government; we also are giving them control of the minds and souls of our children, whose attitudes and ideas are shaped more by Jewish television and Jewish films than by their parents, their schools, or any other influence.

Additional Research:

The Protocols Of Zion – A one page summary

Zionist, Jewish Hollywood’s Brainwashing Of America

How Jewish is Hollywood?

No One Talks About Israel’s Spying On America!

“Release Madoff or Risk War”, Israel Warns US

Is Geo TV (Jew Tv) a CNN affiliate or is it the psy-ops wing of the CIA?

Video: Illuminati Exposed!

Video: The Arrivals Series (Compiled)

The International Jew – by Henry Ford

Who are the Israelites & Jews and Who is their real Target

The United States of Israel

The Tribe That Controls America

The ‘Jewish Question’ Now A Global Issue

Israeli Spokesman Says We Control Stupid Americans

The Mossad’s Infiltration Of America

“We, The Jewish People, Control America”

Video: How American News Media Works In Favor Of Israel

Israel Is Nobody’s Friend

Lights, Camera… Covert Action: The Deep Politics of Hollywood

Reprint: Some Things You Need to Know before the World Ends

A Message To The World On The Obama Inauguration



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33 Comments

  • Revolution is the Solution!!!

  • many blogs seemed to have now succumbed to the influence of the Zionists.

    Stating any facts about Israel which the Zionists do not approve of results in posts being deleted, or the usual screeching of ‘anti-semite’.

    I fear soon we will all be locked up if we do not swear obedience to Israel.

  • anon, you have pointed to a high possibility of Pakalert being stifled under this or that “anti-hate” policy that, we all know, is only selectively applied. of the millions of islamophobe pages on the web not a single one has been taken down.

  • One correction. Rupert Murdoch is Jewish, as his mother Elisabeth Joy Greene, was Jewish.

  • Some people also have firm (and total) control of the world economy.

    Tom Dennen, March, 2009.

    On average, every forty-six years, for the last three hundred years, there has been a commodity peak in the world’s stock markets, followed by a crash, followed by a depression (and the theft of a generation’s wealth.)
    (The statement is paraphrased from “The Great Reckoning” by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg, Sidgwick & Jackson published, yes, in 1993).
    Theft is my interpretation of their observation of these last six events because once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a Declaration of War. Four times is the realization that the Declaration fell on deaf ears, five times is simple daylight rape and plunder – the sixth time is perhaps a lesson finally learned.:
    There is a nine-year period between the commodity peak and the crash. Add forty-six years to that (the average number of years between market crashes) and you have a boom-bust cycle twice every hundred years or once a generation, meaning every generation for the last three hundred years got good and plucked:
    From The Great Reckoning:
    · First Time: Commodity prices peaked in London in 1711 (Long before America came into the economic picture). The South Sea Bubble burst nine years later in 1720. Depression followed.
    · Second: Producer prices peaked in London in 1763. The London stock market crashed again in 1772 (nine years later). Depression followed.
    · Third: Commodity prices peaked in London in 1816.The London stock market crashed in 1825 (nine years later). Depression followed.
    · Fourth: Wholesale prices peaked in New York in 1864. A worldwide assets crash began in May 1873 (nine years later). Depression followed.
    · Fifth: Then followed our beloved Great Depression in the 30s, about which much has been said, from which, little learned.

    · Sixth: Commodity prices peaked some fifty years later in Tokyo, in 1980. The Tokyo stock market peaked in 1989 (again, nine years later) and crashed in 1990. The depression following that crash is now upon us.
    Is there room for a loaded question here?
    Look around you and do the math: The last depression is called The Great Depression.
    I call this one ‘Grand Theft Planet’ ©.
    Loaded Question: Given that (our only scapegoat for this theft) Bernie Madoff will not be tried, the question, “where is the money?” will not arise and there is every possibility that the American government will reimburse his victims.
    If, however, Madoff was head of just another finance company that went bust, tough on his investors – Why?
    Leave it hanging.
    Change is essential to the development of any thinking.
    ‘A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous and then dismissed as trivial, until finally, it becomes what everybody (already) knew’ – William James, brother of novelist Henry.

    Here then is not a new idea, but one of which you are already fully aware, so forgive any small self-indulgence – a whiff of arrogance, by chance – on my part in the presumption that you are already here with me in this observation of the obvious:
    I call it my General Field Theory of Economic Behavior, for lack of anything more worthy, simply because no economic thinking that I am aware of has ever been applied to this repetitive global economic behavior (’boom-bust cycles’) in this light – all studies, observations and theses have been just that, from Smith’s “hidden hand” to the Laizer-Faire Austrians, to Keynes’ “use The Hand to fiddle with the system” – theories.
    Nothing more, and certainly never applied to the real world of actual economic behavior in the marketplace where I gamble on the prices of corn, pork bellies, sorghum, potatoes, grapes, oranges and sometimes antique collectables called Credit Default Swaps.
    As far as I know there have been no attempts in universities or in any other similar think tank type establishments at an understanding of the how of which in a million ways people complicate the use of money and, again which, until now, remains a field that appears to be untilled, unseeded and unharvested, yet terminally exploited once a generation has accumulated some.
    Until this observation of mine opens it, hopefully, to at least some gleaning.
    Economic literature is much like the literatures of psychology where ‘Freudian’ theory, ‘Existentialist phenomenological’ theory, (Neurolinguistically speaking) make people think that there is substance in the reduction of speculation to the written word.
    Nothing wrong with theory, of course; so, having boarded the train, this, like any other uniform ‘theory’, my General Economic Theory has to apply to every aspect of the complications people can possibly make in the use of money.
    And it has to be just as simple as E=Mc2:
    And it is: Money = Food.
    From Peasant to Prince: In all of history, food must be on both tables for any society to function.
    Now, I could discourse at length here; go into discussions involving philosophy, politics, religion, and then argue for some time in every one of those categories and more.
    But not for too long for without a good breakfast and a cuppa, dear, you will not be capable of rebuttal however unintelligently I might seem to you to argue.
    Food.
    Equals.
    Life.
    CONTROL THE FOOD AND YOU CONTROL THE POPULATION – Henry Kissinger, circa 1970.
    Aristotle’s belief that touching was required for one object to exert a force on another object together with his ideas that a constant velocity requires that a constant force be exerted held back ideas of gravity for nearly 2000 years!
    Held back?
    Yup. Gravity does not ‘touch’ you, so a great philosopher’s thinking actually held back the arrival of a great truth – Newton’s theory of gravity – for two thousand years.
    So: Life equals energy, which equals matter multiplied by the speed of light squared, a truth that arrived about a hundred years ago in the mind of one Mr. Albert Einstein, who also observed (since this is my opening salvo on economic reality) that “the greatest force in the universe is compound interest.”
    Einstein’s theory of gravitation was completely different to Newton’s, and certainly in opposition to Aristotle’s: Rather than believing gravity to be a mysterious force that simply attracted objects towards one another he saw gravity as a warping of the shape of space and the flow of time (commonly referred to as the space-time continuum).
    He described a gravitational field as a curvature of space-time caused by the mass inhabiting that continuum.
    He also believed that as energy is equivalent to mass (from E = mc2) it would be possible for a gravitational field to interact with the energy of light in the same way that he saw it interacting with mass, with the result being the bending of light in strong gravitational fields all of which were relatively congruent.
    One physical, abrupt, observable and applicable function of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity:
    Hiroshima.
    So what has held back the idea that general wealth is available with our Garden of Eden resources?
    Usury, also called compound interest.
    A simple idea that kept general wealth from everyone in every nation.
    Money is much simpler than Relativity, but should not blow you up. What happens instead is that it gets stolen every fifty years or so – when it accumulates again – because the victim generation somehow ‘forgets’ to tell the next one about debt: the result of illegally forcing compound interest and usury on innocent civilians.
    This is being written – with many comments and criticisms hopefully expected – with the idea that the next generation, the one we will not allow to suffer another Grand Theft Planet, because its population – we will no longer be here – will finally be educated and know how to hold on to its wealth.
    Money equals the solar energy contained in food in one sense, but it is really just a vehicle of transaction from one state of energy to another state.
    Everything else money is used for that does not walk on a direct path from the peasant farmer’s produce to the Priest / Prince who eats that farmer’s wealth, is speculation on the nature of money which, by itself, is nothing more than a temporal transactional smoothing substance equivalent to a good lubricant – and, because “you can’t take it with you” it’s essentially worthless, especially if one agrees that the most valuable thing you can own is your next breath.
    Food is everything.
    Carbon dioxide is the food of our food, the plants we eat absorb carbon dioxide, ‘global warming’ is just another scam to take some of your wealth in ‘carbon taxes’.
    In support of this, please read what remains of Hammurabi’s Code.
    And then, in the light of Hammurabi’s contribution to my theory, consider the Ten Commandments.
    And then, with those two suggestions in mind, think about this: The Law we live under today is based on one, and only one, principle – embedded in Hammurabi’s Code, the Ten Commandments and in today’s harsh remnants of Roman Dutch law: it boils down to the reality of living:
    “Thou shalt not interrupt the chain of commerce that brings the farmer’s produce – our collective wealth – to the prince’s table.”
    That is the fundamental law of economics.
    And the ‘gravity’ that makes us obey the fundamental law? Two French words: Mort (death) gage (cage).
    E=mc2.
    QED.

    (For a very interesting reference, see Tacitus’ “The Annals of

  • George in Toronto
    March 19, 2009 at 11:19 am · Edit

    CORRECTION: Six Jewish Companies Own 96% of all NATO countries media.
    :^(

  • Those who do not learn …… There are REASONS they have been evicted froma all countries …… The TORAH is the Jewish MEIN KAMPF. It is a HATE manual teaching “the TRIBE” to despise all NON-tribe members. If you are not “of the tribe” you are bad,

  • Interesting observation, George, given that Obama would now like us to dismantle the UN (not necessarily a bad idea) and give the power of global governance (law enforcement) over to NATO (not necessarily a good idea).

    *The UN has been a thorn in Israel’s side with those annoying resolutions. Ignoring them is becoming tedious.

    *The UN is inclusive of countries with populations of color.

    *The UN gives Islamic countries a venue to point out publicly the deplorable behavior of Israel.

    These things are simply not acceptable to Zionism, so the UN must go. Since the new president and administration are wholly owned subsidiaries of Tel Aviv… hello you wonderful white NATO goyim cannon fodder and your largish armories. Islam need not apply for membership.

    In related news; Yesterday, Sarkozy, much to the anger of a great many French, began a full court press to rentrée France back into NATO. His handlers in Israel will be very proud of him. His electorate is not, but since when did that matter to a right wingnut ideologue?

    One New World Order comin’ up, with NATO getting its marching orders from you know who.

  • Well. this interesting but quite accurate. We as white Americans deserve not quite new role, just recently evident status s slaves of the Jews. We were stupid enough to fall for the trick, and some of us continue, of hating black Americans who have done us no harm in all of our history. When we dupped and are eagerly follow Jewish media manipulation and local Jewish agents directing to hate black people all is well; but when that same media manipulation is aimed against us, oh how horrible are the manipulators. Hating black got us in this situation. First we hated them without reason, soley because of our own stupidity, now white people hate white people, and our women hate our guts. Hate fills the country. We started this evil mess so we clearly deserve our new staus as white slaves to the Jew. We have no one to blame but our own stupid hateful selves.

  • Thank you for a very well written article.

    Ironically, it was Benjamin Franklin who came up with the idea of newpaper advertisements. He also did not want America to include Jews. Given the facts that they’re the main factor in the fraudulent collapse of Wall Street and they’ll likely lead us into a nuclear war AFTER the demise of communism, it’s hard to argue against his point.

  • It is and interesting fact that many news organizations have been losing their readership to the internet as of late and have found themselves dealing with chapter eleven issues. The movement of persons getting their news from blogs may be the answer to stop the monopolization of paper and visual media and force these companies to change their ways. My view is that as the people we must force our legislators to create legislation that has the force of law to break up monopolies especially those that operate in the interest of foreign governments. With the advent of the internet and personnel held communication devices the news dissemination by the internet clearly does not have the constraints exerted by advertisers governments domestic or foreign and restricts political propaganda by those with special interest, . It takes a long time for the general public to gain confidence in a news media but the news media seemed to have managed to undo what hundreds of years of good public service had accomplished in a very short time. As to the fact that ownership of the news is controlled by the Jewish population It is up to all of us to use the proper filter when it comes to drinking from their news fountain.

  • Although I agree with your premise….many of your facts are wrong.

    For instance, Michael Eisner, who you describe in the first sentence of your piece is no longer CEO of Disney. Bob Igor is….and yes, he’s also a jew.

    Please check your fact so you make a more effective argument.

  • Material Witness #1
    March 19, 2009 at 4:23 pm · Edit

    Interscope Records, through Jerry Heller, another Jew, gave birth to ‘gansta-rap’ with the group called ‘NWA’. This type of music didn’t promote nor add to violence of blacks towards, but rather black on black crime greatly increased due to the promotion of ‘gangsta-rap’. This type of music belittled the African-American struggle in poor neighborhoods and promoted the vices that held the community at-large down. Black women were called bitches and hoes and hedonism was promoted. Thus, producing a violent over-sexed generation who had no sense of social progression. This is the fruits of the Jewish Moguls, not black on white crime. Get you facts correct! You may have studied it, but I lived it!

  • Thanks for the information. The Jews are controlling the minds of every one who watch TV or go to the movies.

  • I find your use of obese people sitting in front of a t.v. stereotypical and ignorant. Do you really think thin people are any better at critical thinking. You certainly are NOT! There is also a difference between the state of Israel having too much political influence and individual Jewish business people, all who have diverse opinions. Are all Americans responsible for Bush? Then again, stereotypes seem to be what you are best at!

  • Therefore when you question the validity of the gassings stories of the Holocaust, you are questioning the validity of the media which should research and prove or debunk these serious debates, and since Jews own the media, you are questioning their validity. (Which is why that’s illegal in most parts of the world.)

  • I wish that people who write these articles would put their lists of sources (and use very good and verifiable sources).

    When I go to talk to people about this they always want to know “Where did you hear this”? and When I say from an article on such-and-such a site they ask “what sources did they get their materials”?

    So, my whole conversation gets discredited. I am not sure how to find these answers except by researching each and every fact. I am sure this article is accurate, just need sources!!

  • You’ve missed out the BBC – Jewish ethnicity dominates behind and in front of the microphone and camera.

  • “Interscope Records, through Jerry Heller, another Jew, gave birth to ‘gansta-rap’ with the group called ‘NWA’.” What a load of nonsense – if Dre et al could hear you say that they would piss their pants laughing. Don’t make stupid points – stick to the facts please. that branch of rap has absolutely nothing to do with Jews and would have found a markey no matter what.

  • Now I know why the fraud perpetrated on me by University of Toronto cannot be reported in any mass media, not a single word!
    Just kidding – I knew this many years before, and I wrote about it in 2000 and I distributed 11000 leaflets on my nine months of demonstration on campus.
    See it: “University of Toronto Fraud” at
    http://ca.geocities.com/uoftfraud/
    with over 50 documents!
    One thing I should tell you, though: Jews attack other Jews, not only Gentiles, and with even more pleasure as they do not expect that another Jew will expose them. In my case the Jewish gang was damn wrong: I am Jewish by birth, but I am giving them what they deserve.
    We have a huge problem – Jewish gangsters escape punishment. Something must be done here. Of course, mass media in Jewish hands is the cause of it all.

  • Rupert Murdoch’s mother is jewish

  • @Bob(March 19, 2009 at 2:56 pm ) is absolutely right, we ended up hating all potential enemies of the Jews. We hate Arabs, Russians, Serbs, Blacks,Iranians – all people who have done us no harm. There is now Jewish propaganda raging against Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales because they had guts (and decency) to break diplomatic relations ,over Gaza,with the murderous state of Israel. The saddest thing , though,is that we have permitted Jews to be go-betweens in relations with our Blacks, which has created this poisonous rascist atmosphere. Thanks Pak Alert for doing the excellent job exposing the blatant conspiracy, which our controlled corporate media do not dare.

  • Eric Trevisani
    March 21, 2009 at 7:36 pm · Edit

    The US laws are totaly based in the Torah. The book called by “a hate manual” is the first part of the known bible. If anyone find in the Torah (in hebrew manuscripts) that you are bad if you are not jewish, do whatever you want. If anyone else wanted to be part of the people, the requeriment was just to join!
    Maybe you are using Microsoft Windows in your Dell laptop and found this website by researching in Google?
    You guys are grudger because jews have such inteligence and they have owned some of the most important companies.
    Perhaps would be New York anything important without Jews? And US? What would be the world without Einsten or Freud?
    I’m not a jew, but I’m man enough to understand that they have made. Some people don’t.

  • […] a telecommunications company, Capital Cities/ABC earned over $1 billion in publishing in 1994. Artikkelen fortsetter her: pakalert.wordpress.com Categories : New World Order | […]

  • […] “Six Jewish Companies Own 96% of the World’s Media” – title a bit off, should be ‘American Media’ – appears to be an updating and reworking of “Who Rules America?”, from a source that some would question. Nevertheless, the conclusions are essentially correct. Not to mention amazing. As a mind experiment, say that 96% of the American media was owned by Poles, who spent all their time misleading Americans and misreporting the news in order to trick Americans into fighting wars and assisting Poland to fight wars and commit massive crimes against humanity in order to build up a Polish empire, based on a crazed idea that some Poles have based entirely on mythology and wishful thinking that Poland should control most of Europe. Do you think that kind of media control might become a political issue in the United States? The Jews so dominate the American media that they are even able to suppress talk about their dominance!   […]

  • Hey Everyone,

    Just want to say how much I am enjoying the site.
    Keep up the good work.

  • […] above article can be found at: six-jewish-companies-own-96-of-the-worlds-media For more information on longstanding Jewish control over Hollywood in particular, see the excellent […]

  • I do not understand how you can hate on Jews so much. The people written about in this article are born Jewish but in no way observe the Jewish Faith. They are just people like the rest of us.

    And as for the observant Jews, they are taught to be good and just like Christians, Muslims, Budhists, and every other religion. However, not everybody is and we cannot generalize based upon the actions of a few in high power positions.

    P.S. We must give them credit for coming to the United States around 1950 after World War II and working hard to make something of themselves.

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LET THE WORLD BE THE WITNESS HOW INDIA’S POLITICAL PARTIES PLAY GAMES WITH THEIR PEOPLE

March 24, 2009

LET THE WORLD BE THE WITNESS HOW INDIA’S POLITICAL PARTIES PLAY GAMES WITH THEIR PEOPLE

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Congress manifesto for General Elections ’09

 

TimePublished on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 13:45, Updated on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 13:51 in Politics section

 

Aam Admi Ke Badhte Kadam

Har Kadam Par Bharat Buland

Lok Sabha Elections 2009

MANIFESTO

Of the Indian National Congress

I. Preface

Elections to the 15th Lok Sabha are to be held shortly.

This is the time for you to choose your government at the Centre.

The Indian National Congress respectfully seeks a renewed mandate from the people. We pledge to continue our work to ensure a life of security, dignity and prosperity for every citizen.

The Indian National Congress seeks this mandate on the strength of the performance of the Congress-led UPA government during 2004-09.

We made promises in our manifesto of 2004.

We have delivered on them in a very substantial measure.

The Indian National Congress seeks a fresh mandate on the basis of its core values and ideology — secularism, nationalism, social justice, and economic growth for all, especially for the aam admi.

We seek a fresh mandate on the basis of our heritage, record of service and vision of the future. We reaffirm our unflinching commitment to the welfare of all our people, especially to the well-being of the weaker sections of our society.

The Indian National Congress is the only party that appeals to, and derives its strength from, each and every section of our society.

The Indian National Congress is the only party that believes that economic growth and communal harmony, and economic growth and social justice, are two sides of the same coin and must always go hand-in-hand.

The Indian National Congress is the only party that combines experience and youth, wisdom and exuberance, achievement and ambition.

II. Why Congress?

These are national elections.

While there will be regional, state-level and local issues that are important, these are elections for a government at the Centre, one that will govern all of India in its many diversities and fulfill its multitude of hopes and aspirations.

It is only the Indian National Congress that is anchored in the larger vision of India as a nation, while at the same time being sensitive to regional and local sentiments.

It is only the Indian National Congress that has demonstrated its commitment to a strong Centre, to strong States, and to strong panchayats and nagarpalikas. India’s political system must have space for institutions at each of these three levels. Each has a vital and specific role to play.

The Indian National Congress is fighting these elections in alliance with like-minded parties in some States. These parties share the progressive vision and values of the Congress. Over the past five years, the Indian National Congress has managed a coalition government at the Centre, accommodating the views of its partners but without compromising on any of the essential principles of nation-building.

Even so, what India needs most today — what every Indian needs most today – at the national level is a party with an All-India perspective and with an All-India presence. The Indian National Congress is the only such party.

The Indian National Congress is the party that, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, led our people into freedom from colonial rule. It is the party whose leadership, by the admission of Dr. Ambedkar himself, made our Constitution possible.

The Indian National Congress is the party that, under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, established the foundations of the modern Indian nation-state with its abiding commitment to parliamentary democracy, secularism, economic development, and science and technology.

Learning from experience at every step, the Indian National Congress is the party that has responded creatively to the challenges of the times through the establishment of a vast public sector manufacturing base in the fifties; through bank nationalization and the Green and White Revolutions spearheaded by Indira Gandhi in the late-sixties and seventies; through prudent liberalization and the IT Revolution created by Rajiv Gandhi in the eighties; bolder economic reforms in the nineties; and unprecedented economic growth over the past five years. It is the only party that is forward-looking, the only party that believes a better future is the right of every Indian.

The achievements of India since 1947 are the achievements of its people – of its farmers and farm labour, its organized sector and unorganized sector workers, its managers, its scientists and engineers, its teachers, doctors and other professionals, its entrepreneurs and businesspersons. It has been the privilege of the Indian National Congress to have provided the political leadership that heralded these accomplishments under the Prime Ministerships of Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Narasimha Rao and Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Congress vs BJP: Secular, Liberal Nationalism vs Narrow Communalism

The Indian National Congress has always been in the forefront of the battle against those forces that seek to divide and fragment our society.

The Indian National Congress has always been the bulwark against the four “isms” that threaten to tear our country apart — communalism of all kinds, linguistic chauvinism, regional parochialism and casteism.

At the national level, the BJP has sought to position itself as the main political rival of the Indian National Congress.

The Indian National Congress rejects this presumptuous posturing since the BJP is simply not present in large parts of our country.

Even so, the contest between the Indian National Congress and the BJP is not just a fight between two political parties.

It is, in essence, a clash between two competing visions of Indian nationalism, between two competing visions of what India should be.

The Indian National Congress’s secular and liberal nationalism has an equal place for each and every Indian. It is an inclusive vision. The BJP’s narrow and communal nationalism denies equality and equal rights to large sections of our people. It is an exclusionary doctrine.

The Indian National Congress’s secular and liberal nationalism is founded on a celebration of India’s many diversities. The BJP’s narrow and communal nationalism rejects many of these diversities and seeks to impose an artificial uniformity on our people.

The Indian National Congress practices the politics of consensus and cooperation. The BJP practices the politics of divisiveness and discord. Instinctively, the Indian National Congress unites, while the BJP divides.

Third Front – a recipe for chaos

There is also the so-called Third Front, a grouping of opportunistic parties. These parties have neither consistency nor clarity. They have neither competence nor commitment. This Front, grounded in the politics of convenience, is nothing but a platform for personal ambitions. It speaks of “alternative polices” without spelling out what these alternatives are. Parties of the Third Front do one thing when they are in power and quite another when they are rejected by the people.

The Left Parties, who are prime movers behind the so-called Third Front, supported the Congress-led UPA government for over four years. They attempted to exercise authority without taking on any responsibility. At every step, they violated the discipline, restraint and sobriety so very essential for running a coalition smoothly. At every step, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, briefed them on all important issues. The Left Parties withdrew their support on the issue of the civilian nuclear agreement even though it had been negotiated and concluded on our own terms. They adamantly refused to listen to reasoned arguments that convincingly demonstrated that the agreement was in India’s supreme national interest.

The Left Parties and their present partners pride themselves on being secular. On the contrary, it may be recalled that they had actively aligned with the BJP in the past. They are, in fact, responsible for the electoral growth of the BJP.

As past experience has shown, the Third Front is a recipe for political instability. Lacking a natural national anchor, it is a recipe for chaos, not cohesion.

Only a united India can fight terrorism

The integrity and security of India are paramount. Terrorism threatens many countries, including India.

Terrorism knows no religion and it respects no political boundary. It is, as has become painfully evident, not confined to any community or any political persuasion. Its method is the mindless use of violence directed at the innocent in the most cowardly manner.

Let it be very clear — terrorism must be fought relentlessly, intelligently and wisely, and without fear or favour.

Terrorism can be fought only by a united people, not by a people divided by religion. Religious polarization that is intrinsic to the BJP severely erodes our capacity to combat terrorism.

It is only the Indian National Congress that can deal with the scourge of terrorism squarely and decisively but without weakening the delicate strands that have, together, bound our society for centuries.

Dealing with terrorism aided and abetted from across our borders does not require a “muscular” foreign policy as advocated by the BJP. The country knows the heavy price that was paid for such a “muscular” foreign policy—stupor in Kargil, surrender in Kandahar and stalemate in Operation Parakram.

What India needs is an intelligent and wise foreign policy, a foreign policy that is rooted in our traditions, gives us strength through our unity and common purpose, and radiates confidence.

After the November 2008 attacks on Mumbai, the Congress-led UPA government mounted a forceful diplomatic campaign. It was this campaign that led to Pakistan admitting, for the first time, that Pakistani citizens were responsible for the attacks. That admission was a notable victory for our well thought out foreign policy.

The Middle Path – the Congress’s way

Balance—or the middle path—has always been the hall-mark of the policies of the Indian National Congress.

As the world experiences a severe recession, it is this balance that is standing India in good stead.

It is a balance between the public sector and the private sector, with an important role assigned to cooperatives and self-help groups.

It is a balance between building a modern economy and imparting a new thrust to traditional industries.

It is a balance between promoting employment in the organized sector and protecting livelihoods in the unorganized sector.

It is a balance between addressing the needs of urban India and improving the quality of life and standard of living in our villages and towns.

It is a balance between taking advantage of globalization and ensuring that these benefits flow to local communities.

It is a balance between regulation by the government and unleashing the creative spirits of our entrepreneurs and professionals.

It is only the Indian National Congress that cherishes and practices this balance in all spheres of our national life including in the conduct of economic and foreign policy.

This balance is needed now more than ever.

III. Achievements of the Congress-led UPA Government

The tireless campaign of Smt. Sonia Gandhi, President of the Indian National Congress resulted in its return to the 14th Lok Sabha as the single largest party after eight years in the Opposition. She took the initiative to give shape to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) comprising of the Indian National Congress, its pre-poll allies and supporting like-minded parties. As chairperson of the UPA, Smt. Sonia Gandhi, along with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, negotiated a Common Minimum Programme that became the basis of governance of the coalition.

The May 2004 mandate was for a government that would be responsive to the concerns of the aam admi and to the needs of the poor, the deprived and the disadvantaged.

This has been achieved in very substantial measure.

The May 2004 mandate was for a government that would accelerate economic growth but with a focus always on livelihoods and jobs, on inclusive growth and on social justice.

This has been achieved in very substantial measure.

The May 2004 mandate was for a government that would take forward the agenda of empowerment of the weaker sections of society in a forthright manner with emphasis on education.

This has been achieved in substantial measure.

The May 2004 mandate was for a government that would bridge all divides, that would bring all sections of society together, and give them voice.

This has been achieved in substantial measure.

We let the record speak for itself.

The Major Accomplishments: 2004-2009

The accomplishments of the Congress-led UPA government since May 2004 have been tangible and visible. The manifesto of the Indian National Congress for the 2004 Lok Sabha elections provided the foundation for the National Common Minimum Programme that formed the basis of governance during the past five years. The pledges made in this manifesto have been translated into reality by the Congress-led UPA government.

·         It has restored secular and Constitutional values in governance. It has also made administration markedly more transparent. The Right to Information Act, 2005 is a historic legislation. It is enabling lakhs of our citizens in villages, towns and cities to demand responsiveness and accountability from public officials and government at all levels.

·         It has enacted the path-breaking National Rural Employment Guarantee Act which is being implemented in all districts to provide 100 days of legally guaranteed employment to each rural household seeking employment in public works programmes. Not only has livelihood security been provided to many lakh poor rural families but durable community assets have also been created.

·         It has started and achieved considerable progress on the ambitious Bharat Nirman programme to transform rural India by expanding and providing irrigation, all-weather roads, houses for the poor, drinking water, electricity for all poor families and phone connectivity in all villages.

·         It has brought comfort and hope to crores of our farmers and their families by (i) increasing the MSP and procurement prices; (ii) by waiving loans to the tune of Rs 65,000 crores; (iii) by increasing three-fold credit from banks and reducing interest rates on crop loans; and (iv) by extending irrigation facilities.

·         It has launched the National Rural Health Mission which has already made a positive impact by improving the quality and accessibility of primary health care in villages. More children are now being delivered under the care of trained health professionals. Around six and a half lakh women have been trained and posted as accredited social health activists (ASHAs).

·         It has significantly empowered the weaker sections of society by (i) giving scheduled tribes and traditional forest dwellers rights over land they cultivate in forest areas; (ii) by providing reservations for OBC students in all professional institutions; (iii) by passing a new law to protect women from domestic violence; (iv) by giving women equal rights to inherit property; and (v) by enhancing hugely the scholarships for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, minorities and OBCs to pursue college and university education.

·         It has imparted a new momentum to the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan for primary education. It has also introduced a cooked mid-day meal scheme in all primary schools that feeds 15 crore children every day. At the same time, it has for the first time in five decades, increased the number of colleges, universities, and institutes of technology, management and information technology. The investment in higher education in the XIth Five Year Plan (2007-08 to 2011-12) will witness a huge increase – five times the investment in the previous five years.

·         It has delivered five years of record economic growth. This has enabled an unprecedented step-up in government spending particularly on (i) education and health; (ii) on agriculture and rural development; (iii) infrastructure like power and railways; and (iv) municipal services in towns and cities. This economic growth has enabled the introduction of the Aam Admi Bima Yojana (life insurance cover) for one and a half crore landless households, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (medical insurance cover) for six crore unorganized sector workers living below the poverty line and the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension scheme for elder citizens over 65 years of age and living below the poverty line.

·         It has initiated the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) with an outlay of Rs.1 lakh crore in 63 cities for upgrading infrastructure and for providing basic services to the urban poor. Work amounting to over Rs.42,000 crore is in progress covering areas like water supply, sanitation and urban transport. 14 lakh houses for the poor are under construction. Governance reforms under JNNURM has increased the availability of housing in the 63 cities. A major programme for improving power supply in 1,420 towns and cities has also begun.

·         It has ensured that all States in the country received financial resources from the Centre for development schemes and programmes at a scale never known before. Unlike the NDA’s record during 1999-2004, no State has faced discrimination in the matter of funds from the Central Government. Sensitive States of the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir have benefited enormously and are seeing development activities on a very large scale. For the first time, the Backward Regions Grant Fund with an annual allocation of over Rs 5000 crores for 250 of the poorest districts is being implemented through panchayats.

·         It has earned for India a new respect and stature internationally. Civil nuclear agreements have been entered into with many countries entirely on our terms. India has today a place of honour in every global forum. The sustained campaign led by the Congress President has resulted in the declaration of Gandhi Jayanti as International Day of Non-Violence by the United Nations.

·         It has considerably strengthened the country’s capacity and capability to deal with both external and internal security challenges. New battalions have been raised and new hubs for anti-terrorist forces created across the country. A new National Investigation Agency has also been established. Significant success has been recorded in the fight against insurgency in some northeastern States and J&K. The record turnout in the recent assembly polls in J&K by people braving calls of boycott and threats of violence is a tribute to their desire for peace and a vindication of the approach adopted by the Indian National Congress and the Prime Minister personally. The security forces have also successfully foiled the plans of Naxalites to expand their nefarious activities. We have raised our level of preparedness to meet any terrorist threat or attack.

V. The Way Forward

The Indian National Congress says what it means and means what it says.

The Indian National Congress promises what it can do and will do what it promises.

The Indian National Congress is irrevocably committed to ensuring that government functions in the interest of the people for whom it exists and for whom it works.

The Indian National Congress has always believed that the correct approach to governance is to address the daily concerns of the people and solve their problems. It is to be responsive and accountable to the needs of the people. It is that governance is a partnership between the electors and the elected and that the perceived gap between the people and those in power must be significantly narrowed.

Dr Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister has led the country with dignity and firm resolve. His integrity, maturity and wisdom, together with his unique expertise and experience, makes him best qualified to lead the nation and handle the many challenges that India faces, both at home and abroad.

Towards faster and more inclusive growth

The Indian National Congress is fully aware that the world economy faces the worst crisis in 50 years. This crisis has been caused by a failure of financial markets in the USA and in other developed countries. However, the Indian economy has shown considerable resilience under the most adverse international circumstances. This is the outcome of the policies of successive Congress governments. This is the direct result of a vibrant public sector that is the legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru, government ownership of banks that is the legacy of Indira Gandhi, and a strong private sector that matured and flowered during the tenure of Rajiv Gandhi and thereafter.

The average rate of economic growth during the self-declared India Shining period of the BJP was just 5.8% per year, as compared to 8.5% during the five year tenure of the Congress-led UPA government. 2008-09 has proved to be a difficult year for growth, yet the Indian economy will grow at about 7%. That is why our immediate priority is to revive the economy and restore the high growth witnessed in the first four years of the Congress-led UPA Government.

The Indian National Congress will put in place measures to ensure that the momentum of growth is maintained. Three stimulus packages have already been announced. Interest rates have been reduced. Credit flows to industry have been encouraged and assured. The impact of these policies will be felt in the coming weeks and months.

The focus of the new measures will be to stimulate demand in the domestic economy and to ensure that there is more purchasing power in the hands of the people and more liquidity in the hands of companies. Public investment in agriculture and infrastructure, which has increased appreciably over the past five years, will be stepped up further. Within 45 days of forming the new Government, the Indian National Congress will present the regular Budget for the year 2009-10 with the basic objective of returning to the path of faster and more inclusive growth, which is so essential for fulfilling all our social and economic objectives.

In keeping with the promises made in our 2004 Manifesto, the Congress-led UPA government had set up a number of very important commissions including the Administrative Reforms Commission, the National Commission on Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector, the National Farmers Commission, the National Knowledge Commission and the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council. Their valuable recommendations will be taken up for implementation in a systematic manner and without any delay.

The Work Programme: 2009-2014

In addition to consolidating and taking forward the numerous missions, programmes and schemes launched during 2004-2009, the Indian National Congress makes the following solemn promises to the people of our country.

We will guarantee the maximum possible security to each and every citizen.

Our policy is zero-tolerance towards terrorism from whatever source it originates. We have already initiated the process of equipping our police and other specialist security forces with the latest weapons and technology to meet terrorist threats. This process will be taken forward vigourously. More specialist battalions will be raised and positioned in key locations across the country.

Citizenship is a right and a matter of pride. With the huge IT expertise available in our country, it is possible to provide every Indian with a unique identity card after the publication of the national population register in the year 2011.

We will ensure the highest level of defence preparedness and also take further steps for the welfare of the defence forces and their families.

During the BJP-led NDA government, over Rs 24,000 crores of funds meant for defence modernisation were simply not spent. In the last five years, modernisation of our defence forces has resumed substantially. This will continue at a rapid pace. The Indian National Congress also pledges to make India’s defence forces technology-enabled and equipped with modern weapons, aircraft, ships and delivery systems to repel any threat from land, sea or air.

Recognizing their special concerns, a new and separate department of ex-servicemen’s welfare was established in 2004 by the Congress-led UPA Government. Ex-servicemen constitute a large cadre of dedicated and trained persons. We will utilize them extensively in crucial nation-building tasks.

We will accelerate the process of police reforms

The Indian National Congress recognizes the imperative of police reforms. A clear distinction between the political executive and police administration will be made. The police force will be better provisioned especially in the matter of housing and education facilities; the police force will be made more representative of the diversity our population; and police recruitment will be made more effective and training professionalized to confront new and emerging threats. Accountability of the police force will be institutionalized.

We will build on the success of the NREGA and take the scheme forward

The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, first promised by the Indian National Congress in its 2004 Lok Sabha elections manifesto, has been an outstanding success.

While drawing on the lessons of various social audits, the Indian National Congress now pledges at least 100 days of work at a real wage of Rs 100 a day for everyone as an entitlement under the NREGA.

Along the lines of NREGA, we will enact a National Food Security Act

The Indian National Congress pledges to enact a Right to Food law that guarantees access to sufficient food for all people, particularly the most vulnerable sections of society. The Indian National Congress pledges that every family living below the poverty line either in rural or urban areas will be entitled, by law, to 25 kgs of rice or wheat per month at Rs 3 per kg. Subsidised community kitchens will be set up in all cities for homeless people and migrants with the support of the Central government.

We will guarantee health security for all

The National Rural Health Mission has already begun to make a noticeable impact and will be implemented with an even greater sense of urgency. The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) introduced by the Congress-led UPA Government offers health insurance for poor families. Expenditure on health is a major cause of indebtedness, particularly in rural areas. The Indian National Congress pledges that every family living below the poverty line will be covered by the RSBY over the next three years. Every district headquarters hospital will be upgraded to provide quality heath facilities to all.

We will ensure comprehensive social security to those at special risk

The Indian National Congress will ensure a comprehensive cover of social security to all persons who are at special risk including (i) single-woman headed households; (ii) disabled and the elderly; (iii) urban homeless; (iv) released bonded workers; (v) members of primitive tribal groups; and (vi) members of designated “most backward” dalit communities.

We will be make quality education affordable to everyone

India today has one of the largest educational loan programmes in the world. Over the past five years, over fifteen lakh students have received loans totaling more than Rs 26,000 crores and are pursuing various professional courses.

The Indian National Congress now pledges that all students admitted to any recognized course in any recognized college/university will be provided, on a need basis, either a scholarship or an educational loan without collateral repayable over a very long period.

In order to ensure quality school education for all children, we have already made a beginning by approving the setting up of one model school in every block of the country. Every year, over the next five years, we will add one more model school in every block.

The Indian National Congress pledges to focus more sharply on outcomes and achievement levels in education and not just on enrolment. It also pledges a major programme for training of teachers and improving the physical environment in schools.

A massive expansion in higher education has been undertaken in the past two years—8 new IITs, 7 new IIMs, 5 new Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, 30 new Central Universities, 20 new Indian Institutes of Information Technology and 374 new colleges in educationally-deprived districts. The Indian National Congress pledges to ensure that these expansion plans are implemented fully with their twin focus on excellence and affirmative action.

We will implement a nation-wide skill development programme

India is a young country with 70% of the population below the age of 35. To reap the “demographic dividend”, the Indian National Congress believes that there is an urgent need to put in place an extensive skill development programme so that the employability of youth is enhanced. The Congress-led UPA government has already put in place a National Skills Development Mission. Rs 30,000 crore will be invested in this mission which is of crucial importance for the future of our youth. Funds will be provided to ensure its widest possible coverage. A wider and more comprehensive spectrum of skills will be imparted.

We will expand schemes for improving well-being of farmers and their families

In addition to continuing the programmes that were launched over the past five years, the Indian National Congress pledges that every small and marginal farmer in the country will have access to bank credit at lower rates of interest. While the massive loan waiver scheme has already been implemented and 3.68 crore farmer-families have benefited from it, the Indian National Congress now pledges to extend interest relief to all farmers who repay bank loans on schedule.

The Indian National Congress is determined to ensure that farming becomes a profitable occupation. All measures in support of this objective will be taken. Programmes for agricultural diversification, agri-processing and rural industrialization will be pursued systematically. Dairying, aquaculture, fisheries, horticulture and sericulture will receive an additional boost. The special needs of crops like tea, coffee, rubber, spices, cashew and coconut will be met. A renewed emphasis will be placed on wasteland development and afforestation.

The Indian National Congress will implement comprehensive crop insurance schemes and will also examine the feasibility of direct income support to farmers in the ecologically vulnerable regions of the country. Minimum Support Price (MSP) and procurement will be ensured at the doorsteps of farmers.

All controls on the free movement of farm commodities and processing of agricultural products and all regulations that depress incomes of farmers will be systematically eliminated.

The Indian National Congress is firmly committed to ensuring that farmers get, at a very minimum, market rates for the land that is acquired for industrial projects. The Indian National Congress also believes that farmers should be given an option to become stakeholders in such industrial ventures. As a matter of priority, the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2007, that could not be passed because of the obstructionist tactics of the BJP, will be taken up for passage in the 15th Lok Sabha. The Land Acquisition Act, 1894 will also be amended to ensure that the interests of land-owners are more than adequately protected.

We will democratize and professionalise the functioning of cooperatives

The Indian cooperative movement comprising about 5 lakh cooperatives with more than 22 crore members is the largest such movement in the world. It plays a crucial role in our development. The Indian National Congress has always stood for its democratic, autonomous and professional functioning and this will be ensured by enacting appropriate laws, including making a Constitutional provision.

We will give even greater impetus to the empowerment of weaker sections of society.

The empowerment of the weaker sections of society — scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, OBCs, minorities and women — has been an article of faith with the Indian National Congress. This will be carried forward with emphasis on education, particularly skill-based and professional education.

Education at all stages — primary, secondary and university — will be free in all respects for boys and girls belonging to dalit and adivasi communities.

Coaching fees for all entrance exams for at least one lakh scheduled caste/scheduled tribe students every year will be paid by the Central Government. National scholarships for boys and girls belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes will be further increased.

The Indian National Congress will take steps to ensure that allocations under the Special Component Plan for scheduled castes and the Tribal Sub-Plan for scheduled tribes (first introduced by Indira Gandhi over three decades ago) are made in accordance with their proportions in the population.

An unprecedented special drive was launched by the Prime Minister and over 53,000 vacancies in government have been filled through direct recruitment or promotion of members belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. This drive will continue.

The Indian National Congress is deeply committed to pursuing affirmative action for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the private sector. It has already initiated a national debate on this issue. It also pledges to carve out a reservation for the economically weaker sections of all communities without prejudice to existing reservations for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and OBCs.

For the first time, a separate Ministry of Minority Affairs was created in May 2004 and the Rajinder Sachar Committee was set up to look into the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community in the country. The implementation of the recommendations of the Sachar Committee is already under way and an Equal Opportunity Commission will be established by law. Nearly four lakh scholarships have been awarded over the past two years alone for pre-matric, post-matric and professional courses, with more than 50% of these being awarded to girl students. The Prime Minister’s 15-point programme was launched in June 2006 with physical and financial targets for minorities in all welfare programmes of the Central Government. A special development package for the 90 minority-concentration districts in different states has been introduced.

The Indian National Congress is irrevocably committed to ensuring that the Constitutional rights of all minorities are protected fully, that the representation of minorities in public administration increases substantially, and that minorities recognize that the government is working for their welfare at all times. The Indian National Congress has pioneered reservations for minorities in Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in government employment and education on the basis of their social and economic backwardness. We are committed to adopt this policy at the national level. A Wakf Development Corporation will be established to develop wakf properties. A National Unani University will be set up. The corpus of the Maulana Azad Educational Foundation will be doubled.

The Indian National Congress introduced reservation for women in panchayats and nagarpalikas. Today, about 40% of the elected representatives in panchayats are women, compared to a reservation of 33% mandated for them. This is nothing short of a quiet revolution. The Indian National Congress will ensure that the Bill for reserving 33% of the seats in the Lok Sabha and the State legislatures is passed in the 15th Lok Sabha and that the elections to the 16th Lok Sabha are held on the basis of one-third reservation for women.

Over the next five years, the Indian National Congress will endeavour to ensure that at least half of the country’s rural women population will be enrolled as members of self-help groups linked with banks and that they will get loans from banks at moderate interest rates. The Indian National Congress also proposes to reserve one-third of all central government jobs for women.

The Indian National Congress believes that, in addition to education, business development programmes are needed on a larger-scale for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and women. Preferential policies will be adopted in government contracts to stimulate entrepreneurial activities amongst these groups.

Social security schemes for occupations like weavers, fishermen and fisherwomen, toddy tappers, leather workers, plantation labour, construction labour, mine workers and beedi workers will be expanded.

The Indian National Congress is deeply committed to ensuring equality of opportunity and full participation of persons with disabilities, including the blind, in all sectors of life. To begin with, a comprehensive review of laws and programmes will be undertaken and the shortcomings noticed in their implementation will be removed.

We will combat communalism of all kinds and caste atrocities with determination

The Indian National Congress reiterates its unflinching resolve to combat communalism of all kinds and to deal ruthlessly with those perpetrating atrocities on weaker sections like dalits and women. The Indian National Congress believes in ensuring the right to compensation and rehabilitation for all victims of communal, ethnic and caste violence on standards and levels that are binding on every government. The Indian National Congress will propose a law that empowers the National Human Rights Commission to monitor investigation and trial in all cases of communal and caste violence.

The Indian National Congress will bring school curricula of various communal and sectarian organizations — regardless of their affiliation —under the regulatory purview of an empowered national body.

We will bring a sharp focus on the special needs of children, especially the girl child

For the first time, a National Commission for Protection of Child Rights was established in 2006. The Commission’s mandate is to ensure that the welfare of children as guaranteed by various laws is protected and promoted. New laws have also been passed to prohibit child labour and child marriage. New schemes to improve the nutritional status of children, especially girls, and to educate them have been launched in the past five years. Over 18 lakh anganwadi workers and helpers have benefited from an increase in their remuneration last year.

The Indian National Congress commits itself to the universalisation of the ICDS by March 2012 and to provide an anganwadi in every habitation and full coverage of children up to the age of six for food, nutrition and pre-school education. The special requirements of children of migrant workers in towns and cities will be met through new programmes in association with civil society organizations. A number of programmes have already been launched to combat the still widely-prevalent phenomenon of child malnutrition and these will be infused with an even greater sense of urgency.

The Indian National Congress will introduce special incentives for the girl child to correct the adverse sex ratio and to ensure education of girl children. Girl children in districts that have an adverse sex ratio and/or low enrolment of girls, monetary incentives will be given to the girl child to be credited to the girl child’s account on her completing primary school, middle school, secondary school and higher secondary school.

We will make elected panchayat institutions financially strong

Thanks entirely to the tireless efforts of Rajiv Gandhi, there are some 2,50,000 elected panchayat bodies all over the country with almost 32 lakh elected representatives. It is through such institutions that we will ensure inclusive governance which is essential for inclusive economic growth. The Indian National Congress is unwavering in its commitment to full Constitutionally-mandated devolution of funds, functions and functionaries to the panchayats. The annual allocations to gram panchayats that can be used for purposes designated as priority by the gram sabha will be substantially stepped up.

The Indian National Congress will also upgrade the technical capabilities of panchayat institutions and ensure that information technology is used extensively to enhance their effectiveness.

We will connect all villages to a broadband network in three years time

While connectivity across the country has increased manifold in recent years, the Indian National Congress pledges to bring the fruits of the IT revolution to more cities and towns. It also pledges to connect every village to a broadband network within three years. This will help locate new, non-agricultural jobs in villages and open vast new opportunities for our rural youth. Thus the vision of Rajiv Gandhi — the use of IT for rural transformation — will be realized in even greater measure. Already, IT is being used in areas like computerization of land records but we now promise a bolder, time-bound initiative.

We will give special focus to the small entrepreneur and to small and medium enterprises

Small and medium enterprises and the self-employed are the backbone of our industrial and service economy. They are the major generators of productive employment for our youth. The Indian National Congress pledges a “new deal” for SMEs and for first-generation entrepreneurs by assuring them greater access to collateral-free credit, liberating them from the multiplicity of laws and forms, and freeing them from the clutches of inspectors.

The Indian National Congress pledges a targeted cluster-based approach to the growth of SMEs. There are a very large number of such clusters already in different areas like textiles, food processing, handlooms and handicrafts, consumer goods, khadi, coir and other traditional industries, and engineering. These clusters, mostly in small and medium towns, will be given access to finance, technology and marketing and will be provided vastly improved infrastructure.

We will maintain the path of high growth with fiscal prudence and low inflation

As the experience of 2004-09 demonstrates so vividly, rapid economic growth creates opportunities for increased government expenditure in vital areas like education, health, agriculture, social security and infrastructure. Average growth in the first four years of the Congress-led UPA government was 9% per year for the first time in our history. We will strive to maintain this momentum with a relentless emphasis on growth that accelerates the generation of productive jobs for our youth. The Indian National Congress is also firmly committed to maintaining high growth with low inflation, particularly in relation to prices of essential agricultural and industrial commodities.

The Indian National Congress reiterates its commitment to the path of fiscal responsibility so that the ability of the Centre to invest in essential social and physical infrastructure is continuously enhanced. This will require that all subsidies reach only the truly needy and poor sections of our society. The Indian National Congress will continue its efforts to create and implement a national consensus on this issue.

Both the public sector and private sector are essential for India’s continued high growth success story. The Indian National Congress rejects the policy of blind privatization followed by the BJP-led NDA government, but believes that the Indian people have every right to own part of the shares of public sector companies while the government retains majority shareholding. Public sector enterprises in the manufacturing sector (like energy, transport and telecom) and in the financial sector (like banks and insurance companies) will remain in the public sector and will be given all support to grow and become competitive.

The manufacturing industry in India has seen a revival in recent years and this will be sustained and deepened, particularly labour-intensive manufacturing. The emphasis in all foreign investment policies will be maximization of local value-addition and export potential. The Indian National Congress will ensure that the policies it has put in place for attracting private investment for oil exploration will also be followed for other mineral resources, including coal and iron-ore.

The Indian National Congress remains committed to ensuring the highest standards of corporate governance in private companies, especially to protect the interests of small shareholders and small investors. Regulations will be made to ensure good corporate governance, ethical business practices and accountability to all stakeholders.

We will introduce the goods and services tax from April 1, 2010.

The Congress-led UPA government successfully implemented VAT throughout the country. This has brought abundant revenues to all States. The Indian National Congress now pledges to take the next decisive step and introduce a moderate goods and services tax (GST). Once GST is implemented, all other central and state-level indirect taxes such as VAT, excise duty, service tax, entertainment tax, luxury tax, etc. will stand abolished and bring substantial relief to the aam admi. GST will create a seamless national common market for our farmers, artisans and entrepreneurs and will boost employment. State finances, and more importantly the finances of panchayats and nagarpalikas, will be put on a sound foundation.

We will give a completely new look to urban governance

While the bulk of our population still lives and works in villages, India is rapidly urbanizing. But the provision of basic infrastructure in towns and cities has not kept pace with its requirements. A massive programme of low-cost social housing and sanitation is needed to make our urban areas more livable. Recognizing that our towns and cities are engines of creativity and innovation, the Indian National Congress pledges to create a new model of urban administration with financially-viable self-government institutions as the pivot.

We will offer a new deal to our youth to participate in governance

The Indian National Congress has always been the party that has reposed its confidence in youth. It was Rajiv Gandhi who gave all 18 year-olds the right to vote and it was he who declared Swami Vivekananda’s birthday on January 12th as National Youth Day. The IT revolution that has spread in our country has opened up whole new avenues for our youth.

The Indian National Congress will design and launch a voluntary national youth corps which would enable young men and women in the age group of 18-23 to serve up to two years in constructive nation-building activities for which they will be suitably compensated.

The Indian National Congress will also make a beginning to induct youth into organs of government. As a beginning, it will reserve a proportion of seats in panchayats and nagarpalikas for men and women below the age of 35 years without detriment to the existing reservations for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, OBCs and women.

The Indian National Congress has periodically renewed itself by inducting young men and women into the Party and entrusting them with responsibilities. Under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, the Indian National Congress has launched a unique exercise to bring youth from all sections of society and all walks of life into the political mainstream through the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) and the National Students Union of India (NSUI). For the very first time in any political party, there are hundreds of elected youth leaders in Punjab and Uttarakhand. This exercise is now being conducted in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu and will soon encompass other parts of the country. This is a practical demonstration of the deep commitment of the Indian National Congress to open new political space and opportunities to our youth.

We will protect India’s natural environment and take steps to rejuvenate it

The Indian National Congress has declared the sacred Ganga as a “national river”. The Ganga River Basin Authority has been established with the Prime Minister at its head for ensuring that development needs are met in an ecologically sustainable manner. This Authority will be accorded the highest priority. Water security is of paramount concern to the Indian National Congress and steps will be taken to enhance it measurably for local communities.

India has an enormously rich biodiversity that is under threat on account of various reasons. The Indian National Congress commits itself to strengthening people’s movements whose objective will be to protect and preserve our bio-resources and ensure their sustainable use.

Climate change has now emerged as a serious challenge for the world community. India too has begun to feel its impact in different ways. The Congress-led UPA government has already unveiled a National Action Plan for Climate Change. It is an acknowledgment of our responsibility to take credible actions within the overall framework of meeting the development aspirations of our people for higher economic growth and a higher standard of living. This action plan will be implemented in letter and spirit.

We will carry out a massive renewal of our extensive science and technology infrastructure

One of the most outstanding legacies of Jawaharlal Nehru is the vast infrastructure for science and technology that Indiapossesses and which has made so many far-reaching contributions to the country’s progress — in agriculture, nuclear energy, defence, space, industry, energy, telecom and IT. The Indian National Congress is firmly commited to extend full support to the modernization and expansion of our science and technology institutions and will ensure that they attract and retain the best talent from India and abroad.

We will pursue judicial reforms to cut delays in courts

Although delays in the Supreme Court have come down appreciably in recent years, delays in High Courts and district courts are still unacceptably high. The Indian National Congress has always been of the view that justice delayed is justice denied and will therefore pursue judicial reforms to ensure timely completion of the hearing and disposal of cases. As a reflection of this priority, the Gram Nyayalaya Act, a key promise of our 2004 Manifesto, was passed by Parliament last year. Setting up of Gram Nyayalayas at the headquarters of the intermediate panchayats and mobile courts in the rural areas will bring to the aam admi speedy, affordable and substantial justice.

We will continue to be sensitive to regional aspirations

The Indian National Congress is aware that in some large states the persistence of intra-regional imbalances in development has given rise to the demand for separate states. While it has introduced several programmes to redress these disparities, recognising the legitimacy of these concerns and acknowledging that the solution may vary from one state to another, the Indian National Congress will find pragmatic solutions to deal with these demands.

We will ensure energy security for our country

The last two years have seen a very sharp turnaround in the addition to power generating capacity. This momentum will be maintained and it will be ensured that the country adds at least 12,000-15,000 mw of capacity every year through a mix of sources—coal, hydel, nuclear and renewables. Rural electrification and reduction in distribution losses will be given the highest priority. The Indian National Congress promises a very significant increase in the share of nuclear power, both through domestic and imported technology which has now been made possible by the civil nuclear agreements. The pace of oil and gas exploration will be intensified. India’s oil diplomacy will be pursued aggressively. The Indian National Congress will implement a scheme to supply energy to poor families at affordable prices.

We will take further steps to preserve and promote our heritage

India has an extraordinarily rich heritage going back centuries. The Indian National Congress will take further steps to protect, preserve and promote this heritage and ensure that its value is fully appreciated, especially by the younger generation particularly. A statutory National Heritage Sites Commission will be made fully operational. This will be an important instrument to strengthen the foundations of our pluralistic culture and inheritances.

We will continue to pursue an independent, pro-India foreign policy

The Indian National Congress has always upheld India’s supreme national interests and has often braved criticism and opposition both at home and abroad in defending the country’s interests. At the same time, the Indian National Congress has always believed that it is India’s historic destiny to be engaged and connected with the rest of the world and, in particular, with the countries ofAsia.

The foreign policy followed in the past five years has yielded handsome results: the foremost example is the agreements on civil nuclear cooperation signed with the USARussiaFrance and Kazakhstan.

India’s well-thought out foreign policy and its patient but forceful diplomacy has obliged Pakistan to admit that its citizens were responsible for carrying out the dastardly attacks in Mumbai in November 2008. The Indian National Congress has striven for an enduring peace and for close economic relations with Pakistan. The Indian National Congress has also encouraged extensive people-to-people contacts between the two countries, particularly amongst the younger generation. But the Mumbai attacks have cast a long shadow on the on-going dialogue and engagement process. It is now entirely upto Pakistan to break the impasse by taking credible action against those responsible for the carnage in Mumbai. If it does so and dismantles the terrorist networks that operate from its soil, a Congress-led government will not be found wanting in its response.

The long-held policy of the Indian National Congress is that the Government of Sri Lanka should find an honourable solution to the strife in that country and ensure that all communities, especially the Tamil-speaking people, are guaranteed and enjoy equal rights within the framework of a united Sri Lanka. The Indian National Congress offers to help the parties reach an agreement as envisaged in the India-Sri Lanka Peace Accord of 1987 which remains the only basis for a politically negotiated settlement.

The Indian National Congress welcomes the return of multi-party democracy to Bangladesh and Nepal. It will work with both countries to deepen bilateral ties across a wide spectrum of areas for demonstrable mutual benefit. The Indian National Congress also believes that the two countries must take note of India’s security concerns in a more meaningful manner.

The Indian National Congress has always championed the legitimate and peaceful aspirations of the long-suffering Palestinian people and urges that a viable Palestinian state be established at the earliest.

India’s relationships with countries like the USARussiaChina and Japan and with countries of Europe have been transformed by sustained diplomatic efforts since 2004. These relationships will be further deepened. India has begun a whole new process of engagement with the countries of Africa where there is great appreciation of what India has to offer to them. This engagement will be expanded.

The Indian National Congress will intensify the involvement of overseas Indians in development

The Indian National Congress takes great pride, as does the entire country, in the outstanding accomplishments of overseas Indians in different fields. The Indian National Congress also acknowledges the vital role remittances by overseas Indians play in bolstering the country’s finances. The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs was created in May 2004 to reflect the priority that the Indian National Congress places on maximizing the contributions of the overseas Indian community to our country’s economic, scientific and technological progress. A number of measures have been taken to protect the interests of lakhs of Indian workers in the Middle East. This will continue to be a matter of priority. New opportunities will be created for overseas Indians to play their rightful role in the renewal of institutions of higher learning and in starting new ventures and businesses. Four new universities will be established with 50% of the seats reserved for PIO/NRI students.

V. An Appeal

The Indian National Congress has been central to the public life of our country for almost 125 years.

It embodies the very idea of India like no other party.

Throughout its long history, the priorities, policies and programmes of the Indian National Congress have been anchored in a vision of an economically prosperous, socially just, politically united and culturally harmonious India.

Steadfastness to basic principles has never impeded responsiveness to new and emerging challenges.

The people of our country have, time and again, placed their trust and confidence in the Indian National Congress.

It has been the relentless endeavour of the Indian National Congress to fulfill the expectations of our people.

Much has been accomplished in the past six decades.

But much more remains to be done.

The Indian National Congress comes before the people of India with utmost humility, proud of its achievements but always conscious of the tasks awaiting us as a nation.

The Indian National Congress appeals to the people of India to vote for it on the strength of its contributions, its convictions, its concerns and its charter.

Through this manifesto, the Indian National Congress renews its resolve to remain the foremost instrument of socio-economic transformation based on conviction, commitment, competence and compassion .

Through this manifesto, the Indian National Congress rededicates itself to the politics of service and the politics of strengthening the foundations of the modern Indian nation-state.

Through this manifesto, the Indian National Congress pledges to the people of our country its determination to implement its promises with a single-minded sense of purpose.

Vote for the Idea of India: Vote Indian National Congress

Vote for Unity through Diversity: Vote Indian National Congress

Vote for Economic Growth with Communal Harmony: Vote Indian National Congress

Vote for Economic Growth with Social Justice: Vote Indian National Congress.

Vote for Security, Stability, Continuity and Integrity: Vote Indian National Congress

A Vote for the Congress is a Vote For Your Future and the Future of Your Children.