Posts Tagged ‘India’

Has Congress gobbled up more than it can chew, much less digest? – By Ghulam Muhammed

June 3, 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009 / Wednesday, June 03, 2009

                                                                                                       

Has Congress gobbled up more than it can chew, much less digest?

 

As if, a tsunami has struck the Indian political island and only two peaks jutting out that have survived the avalanche: dynasty and power; both peaks interconnected by an inverted rainbow bridge that never curves to touch the lowly grounded masses. The dazzled masses have yet to figure out how their future will change – when will they ride the rainbow.

 

The most awesome sight is the trooping of all the humbled aspirants of exclusive powers at the top, who are seeking the shelter of the victorious dynasty. Be that Sharad Pawar, Mayawati, Lalu or Paswan. Sages like Lord Meghnad Desai, whose sympathies with the Hindutva forces is not a secret, all of a sudden is prominent among the cheerleaders, who wants NCP and the Communists, both to merge with the Congress. In his weekly Indian Express column, he exhorts CPI (M) to ‘make peace with the Congress, change your spots, and merge’.

 

However, for Congress, these are like honeymoon days. Only time will tell, if Congress has gobbled up more than it can chew, much less digest? Though it is commonly believed that the Grand Old Party itself started up as a grand old coalition party; it remains to be seen if it has gathered the same across the board goodwill and unity of purpose to nurture and nourish an egalitarian India that would care for all its people in equal measure. However, as past history shows, how greed for power, exclusivity, egoistical one-upmanship,  gravy train corruption, polarisation of people as divide and rule strategies and high handed dynastic power trips, eroded the gloss that had held the coalition together. All these demons are still sheltering under the Manmohan Congress umbrella and it would not take time for them to raise their heads, at the first sign of the faltering of the top triumvirate.

 

The greatest challenges will come both from abroad and from within.

 

Skeptical observers correctly question the entire surrealism of the new Congress that is manifestly not supported by any upward mass upswing. The hoopla is more of a media creation.  Congress hand seems to hide a foreign hand. The technical fait accompli may be tested at various levels as time progresses. Just as US Vice President had publicly declared that Obama will face grave challenges in his presidency, so to, the trio will be put to severe tests. Their apparent strengths are also their weakness. They are too top heavy to be immune to buffeting from ground up. The team that the trio has collected in their cabinet does come out with rare display of a genuine gung-ho spirit to tackle challenges ahead.  Key ministers are well- experienced and well-tested. However, the rank and file that in fact runs the machines of the governance is yet to show that they are willing to accept the trio as their new masters who mean business. Heads should role, at first sign of laxity, compromise and chalta hai attitude. In that Manmohan should take a leaf from Mayawati, who demonstrably shows how a tight ship she captains. Sycophancy should be treated as poison. Favouritism and cronyism should be publicly derided. And any sign of collaboration with foreign powers to compromise on the integrity, security and prime interest of the nation, should be ruthlessly pursued and punished. All ministers with even a shade of corruption, actual and/or suspected, should be put on guard. Moves in foreign affairs should be reoriented towards India’s own longer term associations. An emerging nation, as India is, in the new economic power reshuffling, has to choose its friends and foes judiciously and not under foreign pressures and alien agenda. The recent storm in the tea-cup when known hawks were given the opportunity to bring in new colours of demonisation of our neighbours has been mercifully blown away for the time being. But the danger is lurking that India will be dragged into foreign adventures or misadventures, on the open and relentless demands of its supposedly strategic partners, that is bankrolling its economic turnaround. India will have to choose between a war economy and a peace economy. If it chooses a war economy, it would be thrust into a war, sooner than later. The national ethos of Indian people does not support it. The devastation on a mass scale will be so destabilising, that people may revolt against their government, though widely believed to be elected with a broad mandate.

 

With economists at the top echelons of Congress government now taking office, it is a moment of great challenge to choose, if India should be forced in to a war economy, when war could be looming large over the northern horizons. India could through astute diplomacy buy time for the economy to strengthen its grass root stability and not get entangled in any international Great Game to help other economic powers to thrust their agenda on our poor masses. India has survive the meltdown much better than the West and even China, due to its economy still heavily oriented towards its own people and resources. The foreign investments and entanglements have yet to percolate into the system to affect our economic life, to the degree that globalisation and liberalization has brought to the Western economies. Thanks to the erstwhile coalition partners from the Left, unbridled expansion was judiciously checked. The danger now is that that coalition partner has been cleverly taken out of all the reckoning, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be pressurised to open us further ‘reforms’. However, the choice of Pranab Mukherjee, with his past experience in planned economy, should be able to steer the country away from any reckless experimentation and close the loop holes that gave the opportunities to people like Satyam Chief, to play havoc with peoples’ resources.

 

On the internal organizational front, though the Congress decision to throw off the yoke of coalition partners has manifestly succeeded in returning Congress to once again at the helm of affair, and with much better head-count, Congress is essentially riding a troika, where the Rightist, Centrists and Leftists from within the Congress stables, are being harnessed to ensure a smooth journey. However, the pull of independence cannot be discounted for long. All three groups that had tasted freedom will maintain their linkages and might try to form or encourage alternative formations, to give vent to their ideological and/or regional aspirations. Congress cannot please all the people all the time and the whip of dynastic sycophancy and discipline will be tested again and again. The temporary strength of centralized power cannot last for ever and it will call for immense resilience on the part of Manmohan Singh and Sonia, to appease the troika in not dragging the party in all directions.

 

Congress as a party has yet to acknowledge the voluntary participation of Muslim voters in some of the most crucial face-off constituencies. In the session of Parliament, where Smt. Meira Kumar was elected first Dalit woman speaker of the Lok Sabha, by unanimous vote endorsement from all political parties, the live telecast of the entire proceedings, appear to those from the 150 million Indian Muslim community that happen to watch, as throbbing with some unanimous conspiracy to ignore and bloat out the very existence of Indian Muslims as citizens of India, without any right to be represented in the affairs of their country. A few Urdu couplets read out by Trinamol Congress Chief Mamta Banerjee and a prominent Sikh MP, were the only forced and indirect recognizance that Muslims had some relevance to the historical proceedings that the nation was so reverentially witnessing.

 

Congress insensitivity towards Indian Muslims is appalling. It appears that it is still deeply committed to the 2-nation theory, while only paying lip service to the secular and democratic constitution of India.

 

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hindu rate of BJP growth – By Shekhar Gupta – The Indian Express

May 9, 2009

ABOUT THE 800 POUND GUERRILLA IN THE ROOM THAT IS INVISIBLE TO BOTH BJP AND CONGRESS

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/hindu-rate-of-bjp-growth/456485/0


Hindu rate of BJP growth


Shekhar GuptaPosted: Saturday , May 09, 2009 at 2301 hrs IST


You can drive around the country in the course of this five-week election, and the one thing on which you will find remarkable unanimity among the thinking classes is that this is an “issue-less” election. Or, that in the absence of a real pan-national issue, the election is being fought entirely on local concerns, as if this was municipal or panchayat election by another name. It is tough to argue against this yawn-inspiring view. The failure of both national parties, the Congress and the BJP, to build a pan-national contest is phenomenal, and disappointing at a time when voter fatigue is increasing with small parties — the spoilers and spoil-hunters of split verdicts. This failure has reduced the leaders of both parties to being like admirals or generals who command vast fleets and armies, and have great ambitions, but have wound up fighting in penny pockets, for minor pickings.

 

If we continue, seeking parallels in military science (because electoral politics is war by another name, only more vicious), our politics, for exactly two decades now, has been a kind of stalemated, stationary trench warfare. The unlocking of the Babri Masjid, and the shilanyas of Ram Janma-bhoomi in the last months of Rajiv Gandhi’s prime ministership, made secularism the centre-point of our natural politics, particularly in the Hindi heartland; combined with a Mandal-ignited OBC surge, it led to the destruction of the Congress in the entire Gangetic plain — even today, it can barely hope to touch 20 in India’s most politicised zone, from Uttarakhand to West Bengal, out of a total of 167. The BJP was able to harvest this for some time, as the Ram Temple fervour overwhelmed caste. But it declined shortly thereafter, as the promise of building a grand new temple for Lord Ram did not quite have the oomph that the idea of destroying an old mosque did. As history, ever since man discovered God, shows, destroying has always held much greater sex-appeal than building. So the Ram Janma-bhoomi-Babri site has remained frozen in time since 1992, and so has our politics. This new polarisation is loosely defined as secular versus communal, or who can afford to join hands with the BJP and who cannot. Its corollary is that it enables parties with total ideological, philosophical and even political conflicts to come together on the principle of secularism or anti-BJP-ism. This is the now-fossilised state of our politics, and that is why the boredom, issuelessness, sameness and indecisive verdicts. There has to be a reason why the same voters who give us such utterly clear verdicts in the states give us such muddled ones nationally.

 

 

 

The BJP would say this analysis is simplistic, even hypocritical. They will say: the secular-communal discourse is just a camouflage for a large number of political parties effectively handing out to Muslim voters a veto on who can rule India. Any party that needs (and has a realistic chance of getting) the Muslim vote, will “blindly” oppose the BJP, they say. That is why, according to them, the BJP and the NDA have to build their politics in a field with a maximum of 325 out of a House of 543, since at least five parties — the Congress, the Left, the SP, the RJD and the NCP — can have nothing to do with them. That is the line of untouchability in our politics. Or perhaps the line that separates the rival trenches, and political mobility, therefore, is confined to hopping from one trench to another, mostly on the same side — barring some small, serial defectors like the Gowdas, Paswan, Ramadoss and Ajit Singh, the entirely mobile operators blessed with total ideological fungibility.

 

You can feel sorry for the BJP. But this is a problem for the BJP to fix. No political party can grow, even survive, by only feeling sorry for itself. Beginning in 1989, the polarisation had helped the BJP. By 1998, it had peaked. It was for the party’s vastly experienced leadership to read the writing on the wall. And probably it did, but did not quite have the conviction, the fibre to lead a change, an evolution that would have repositioned the BJP as a party of the centre-right rather than a party of the Hindu Right.

 

Vajpayee, the BJP leader most respected by the minorities, tried, but lost his nerve at the most decisive moment, a moment that, if seized, would have placed him among India’s great statesmen for ever, in fact our first real statesman of the Right, or may be the second, if you place Sardar Patel somewhere there. This moment was the killings of Gujarat in 2002 — on the flight to Goa, for the party national executive meeting, when he had to decide on sacking Modi after his “Raj-dharma” speech. But he blinked. In the process, he diminished himself, and his party, and gave its opponents Modi as their second rallying point after Ayodhya.

 

That Advani tried to address the same ideological isolation subsequently, with his statement on Jinnah, underlines the fact that, deep down, political wisdom does exist while the will and conviction are lacking. He has tried to re-position his party closer to the centre in a slightly more complex, but fascinating manner. The alliance with the Akalis in Punjab and with Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh, he thought, had helped move his party to the centre; and while the Muslims may still not vote for it, if he could simply persuade them not to treat the BJP as their permanent enemy — that needed to be defeated by voting tactically against it all over the country — he could change its politics fundamentally. But neither had he prepared his party and its ideological mentors, nor had he the audacity and conviction to bash on regardless. So this break-out from the trenches remained short, half-hearted and a failure. Yet again, Advani and his BJP blew an opportunity presented by Varun Gandhi’s speeches. Imagine if, instead of rushing to his defence and demanding a forensic examination of the DVDs, Advani stated unequivocally that he abhorred such language and politics and dropped Varun as his candidate? In one stroke, it would have brought his party closer to the centre, given it wider acceptability, and enhanced his stature in a manner that no website or ad-campaign, howsoever brilliant, could ever have done.

 

 

 

Indian democracy is not unique in having to deal with such a divisive issue of history and legacy. Race and segregation was a divide that determined American politics for a long time. But the Republicans cut their losses in the course of time and so it ceased to be the central issue. Surely, many more Blacks still vote for the Democrats but the Republicans totally dumped the race issue, giving America its most prominent Black public leaders in Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice — and the Supreme Court justice, Clarence Thomas. And while the larger majority of voters of colour were still on the “other” side, and there was no foreseeable prospect of those “vote banks” shifting, remember how even George Bush (junior) dealt with Trent Lott, the Senate Republican leader who, in a 2002 fund-raiser to celebrate Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday, made remarks that appeared to raise the race-issue again. (He said “problems” could have been avoided had Thurmond’s 1948 presidential bid succeeded; Thurmond had based that campaign on a racial segregation platform.) Bush dumped Lott immediately, and two weeks later he had lost his job.

 

The beauty of democratic politics is that such opportunities do arise every now and then. Smart leaders seize them, particularly when it is an opportunity to rectify fundamental imbalances in the national political debate. Vajpayee had his big moment once, with Modi; Advani has had his, twice, with Jinnah and Varun. But the BJP, and Indian politics, are now paying the price for those long marchers having blown all three. And that is why their politics, or India’s, remains frozen. That is what will give at least three other possible “fronts” space to try setting up a “secular coalition” after May 16, the only factor overriding all enmities and contradictions among likely new partners being the “exclusion of the BJP.”

 

Until the leaders of the BJP accept the inevitability, and the wisdom, of moving closer to the ideological centre-right, and of growing out of the fantasy of one day reaping the harvest of Hindu resurgence, there will be, to steal the words of one of its own stalwarts (Jagmohan), no unfreezing this political turbulence. Of course, the Congress too has had its failures and lost opportunities to break out of this low-150s stagnation. But let that be an argument, a sermon for another day.

sg@expressindia.com

Readers’ Comments – Online Indian Express:

AssumptionsBy: fromusa | Saturday , 9 May ’09 19:16:50 PMReply | ForwardAnalysis is based assumption that religious minority vote can be trusted to factor good things and change their mind. And congress allows that to happen. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan tried that. Media has luxury of not being accountable. They can get away with keeping painting BJP in a particular way rather than highlighting governance given by BJP and ruining of institutions by Congress.

INDIA SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM US/PAK’S TALIBAN TRAP – By Ghulam Muhammed

May 8, 2009

Friday, May 08, 2009

 

INDIA SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM US/PAK’S TALIBAN TRAP

 

It is no secret that Taliban is the creation of the US and PAK-ISI. Still the US senator Richard Lugar, who is the co-author of the bill with Sen. John Kerry to extend a 15 billion dollar package for Pakistan, is either naïve or trying to fool American public by asking, the connection between ISI and Taliban. In the same press conference, attended by the visiting Presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan, a call was made for India to help out. If Indian authorities are alert and listening, they can easily make out that India is being dragged by both US and Pakistan in this never ending imbroglio to become a convenient scapegoat at later stage, on one pretext or other. Besides involving our forces into any such spurious exercise, India is bound to lose its global prestige with non-aligned people as well as Muslim world. With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a widely believed to be a US sympathiser, openly professing his love for Bush, there is an imminent danger, that he will bow to US pressure. There is only a 50/50 chance of Congress with Manmohan Singh coming to power after May 16 results. To take into account this phenomenon, the Congress government may rush in, as in the case of Quattrocchi, to give the US what it demands. Since Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi is supporting the UPA government from out side, it too will bear the responsibility of any hasty decision on entanglement in US-led AFPAK war that could have serious repercussion on India and its own integrity, security and social stability. People and political parties, therefore should be alert to see that no far-reaching irreversible commitment by this lame-duck administration is made, to the detriment of the coming generations.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

Are Obama, Hillary Clinton, Gates, Petraeus and Holbrooke ready to face an international war crimes trial if AFPAK war leads to genocide?

May 6, 2009

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Are Obama, Hillary Clinton, Gates, Petraeus and Holbrooke ready to face an international war crime trial if AFPAK war leads to genocide?

 

Nobody doubts that the US/Nato has the firepower, especially, air fire power to destroy the entire 40 million population of Pakhtoonistan, populated in the area that straddles on both side of Afghanistan/Pakistan border.

The ‘enemy’ that the US —- not EU —- has identified is effectively the entire population of the area. No amount of drones or Pak armed efforts can subdue the rightful inspiration of the indigenous people of the area. The only alternative for the US to achieve its goal, however carefully defined by the present administration to fool its own people, in not the world at large, is to destroy the entire Pakhtoon people with a scorched to earth bombing spree.

Short of that solution, the US forces will be engaged in a prolonged operation in this area that will destroy the peace and potential prosperity of the region for decades to come. And if the gradual increment in US war aims finally leads to indiscriminate bombing of Pakistan, even Pakistani civilian casualties will be involved. That is a sure case of attempting the genocide of the people of the region.

In case of carnage on such a scale, US administration leaders from Obama down to Holbrooke should better be prepared for a war crime trial, either by their own courts or an international court. This is besides the anger of the Muslim world. Obama had repeatedly declared that Bush has done a blunder in getting involved in Iraq war and neglecting Afghanistan is the US war against terror. Now that he is in charge, he should get another set of analysts, other than the neo-con infested or rather impregnated thinkers that had taken the US to a path to disaster in the Bush years, in every meaning of the word. He has been given a rarest of rare opportunity to set the course to a more peaceful, more prosperous and equitable world. He should not lose this opportunity by being handicapped by Bush era foreign policy dead ends. It’s absurd to hope that either Zardari of Pak army, or even Indian army, if US has any such designs in future, to subdue the enraged people of Pakhtoon. History is on their side. They can be bought, but they cannot be fought. Unless, by invading Afghanistan and indulging in hot pursuit, the neo-con designated strategy is to take over the entire subcontinent in a neo-colonial upsurge, Obama should stick to diplomacy to solve the problem.

Let there be a regional conference of all neighbours, to propose peaceful means to pacify Pakhtoon and start building up the subcontinent in a larger economic zone, setting a invigorated pace to integration at all levels. The future of 2 billion people, a third of the world population is at stake. War or peace; the choice remains with Obama, as the buck stops at his Oval Office table.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

Mumbai Carnage: The final Nail in Mumbai Police’s Coffin – By Amaresh Misra

December 24, 2008


Monday, December 22, 2008

Mumbai Carnage: The final Nail in Mumbai Police’s Coffin

By Amaresh Misra

It is 11.41 PM in India on 22nd December 2008 in India. Barely an hour ago, the Mumbai Police have come out with a statement, on the last day of the Indian Parliament, after AR Antulay, the Indian minority affairs minister was getting increasing support from all secular, Left and even BJP backed parties for his questioning of circumstances surrounding Hemant Karkare’s death and demand for a probe into the same.
The Police statement sounds like a Post Mortem report—but it not one, we are told—it is a statement on the kind of bullets Karkare received on his body. The statement says “four bullets were found on Hemant Karkare’s body; none of the four bullets found on Karkare’s body were from a Police weapon; Karkare was shot by terrorists and his death has nothing to do with the Malegaon blast investigations”.
I leave it to readers to draw their conclusions on the cruel joke which the Mumbai Police and the establishment behind it is playing with Indian, Muslim, Hindu and Marathi sentiments. Have you ever heard of a Police statement which explains that `none of the bullets found on Karkare’s body came from a Police weapon?’ And that his death had nothing to do with Malegaon investigations?
This is not a statement. It is a foolish defense—an epic slip of the official whip—of an indefensible truth—that Karkare was indeed killed by a Police weapon and that his death was a direct result of Malegaon Blast investigations.
The establishment—not just the RSS minded forces but also the pro-US, pro-Israel lobby in Congress and other `secular’ parties—seems frightened, especially by the stand taken by Muhammad Salim, the CPI-M MP, who along with Sandeep Dixit of the Congress, gave one of the best speeches in the Parliament when the debate on the Mumbai carnage began. Muhammad Salim is the young, modern face of the Indian Muslim and his coming out in Antulay’s favor was `dangerous’.
I am not drawing this conclusion—it is emerging from reading the Police version backwards, from the perspective of Edgar Allen Poe, Dashiell Hammett and Ibn-e-Safi. Common sense has deserted the Mumbai Police. This if any is God’s justice and nature’s revenge on killers and rapists like Rakesh Maria, the Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Police, and surprisingly and shockingly the chief investigator in the Mumbai carnage.
By issuing this statement when only a day is left for Parliament’s winter session, when both Antulay and this author were getting increasing support from ordinary Hindus and Muslims for their `conspiracy theories’, the Mumbai Police has admitted its guilt. If the Indian judicial system fails to punish the Mumbai or whichever Police killed Karkare, then God’s and people’s justice will take over.
The Police statement fails to address the basic questions: who sent Karkare, Salaskar and Kaamte to Cama hospital to get killed? Where is Karkare’s mobile phone? Who is the person he was talking to when his last footage was shown on TV? Why have Karkare’s calls not been traced through the satellite system? Karkare was given Z security—where was the Z security when Karkare went into the field? How can an ATS chief enter into a battle with terrorists without at least a dozen members of his 400 strong ATS team, equipped with semi-automatic weapons? Where was the Mumbai ATS team? There are three versions of the chain of events leading to Karkare’s death—which version is true which false?
Karkare was unveiling the uncomfortable truth that terror has a different side to it; according to Karkare’s investigations into the Malegaon blasts, terrorists did not come merely in the shape of `Muslim’ skull caps or beards or Pathan suits. They could also don the tika and pseudo-Hindu, anti-national, anti-Sanatani, anti-secular saffron robes.
For the first time since Independence, Karkare was not just taking the ever alive RSS backed Hindutva terrorism head on; he was wittingly or unwittingly challenging American and Israeli backed Islamophobia. Karkare was challenging directly CIA and Mossad—people who do not take this seriously, whether or not they believe in any `theory’, are simply dumb.
Imagine the repercussions had Karkare been allowed to go ahead with the full probe on Malegaon investigations. Imagine Praveen Togadia behind bars; imagine Narendra Modi behind bars; imagine even Sudarshan and LK Advani behind bars—above all imagine the nightmare of New York Times, Washington Post, Time magazine, Newsweek, The Economist and all pseudo-liberal newspapers who have gone along and played the American-Israeli game of demonizing Islam and creating the image of the `Islamic terrorist’, only and only because, after the demise of the Soviet Union, Islam is the only ideology left in the world possessing a concept of jihad or dharmayuddhya, i.e. a fight against injustice, and the only barrier in the way of the American-Israeli loot of Asian resources.
Imagine the discomfiture of even the Guardian newspaper for which Arundhati Roy’s generalized, superficially anti-American but pro-western-liberal-Imperialist stance, of a pseudo-girlish `oh-my-God’ kind of horror at dirty Indian realities—realities created by the west, but which the West prefers to look condescendingly at, an attitude Arundhati Roy never questions—is the most comfortable kind of third world liberalism that they can live with.
As the Government of India prepares for war with Pakistan at American-Israeli behest, a small happening, Hemant Karkare’s Post Mortem non-report/report, Mumbai Police’s `forced confession’, is standing in its way.
The battle for India’s souls has just begun—tomorrow do not believe a word of what headlines of leading Indian newspapers will scream. They are dead serious about their lies and half-truths—and they know it.
Just 500 meters away from Nariman House, there is a station of the Grenadier Battalion; it was ready to go into action at 11 PM on 26th November; timely action by this force could have saved hundreds of lives—but this battalion and other army units were not pressed into action till 5or 6 AM after the NSG arrived. Why this deliberate callousness? Who is responsible for these orders? Shouldn’t he or she, or hees and shees, be publicly hanged?
Mumbai Police is one of the strongest bastion, of RSS-underworld-Mossad-US alliance, which uses the ISI and a part of RAW as tools. Sonia Gandhi must realize this before it is too late. These forces killed her husband and her mother-in-law. They will not spare anyone. The CPI-M should also realize that as the Congress fails the historic duty of saving India from disintegration, chaos and fascist/colonial takeover rests on its shoulders. Let all Left, secular and patriotic forces see in the Mumbai carnage the first direct assault Mossad-CIA backed ISI, underworld and Hindutva agents on India’s sovereignty.
For those who do not believe that RSS can use Dawood (now a CIA asset) or Vice versa or that ISI can use RSS or Vice versa, what about Indranesh, an accused in the Malegaon Blast investigations taking Rs 3 Crores from the ISI, something mentioned by Karkare in the Malegaon file?

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India: Civil Rights or Civil War? By Amaresh Misra

October 1, 2008

India: Civil Rights or Civil War?  

 

                                         By Amaresh Misra

 

 

 

        The recent series of bomb blasts that have rocked India―a series which has become a proverbial dark tunnel where no end is in sight―denote a new pattern. Till now communal riots were engineered by communal forces and the fascist part of the Indian state machinery to polarize society. This trend reached its apogee in the Gujarat 2002 riots.

 

        The communal forces both inside and outside the Indian State machinery learnt some important lessons from Gujarat; chiefly that in this time and space, in the 21st century, it is very difficult to get away with organized pogroms―ultimately you have to pay a political price which the BJP did in the 2004 elections.

 

        The communal forces then conjured a new phenomenon―why not start engineering bombs first in Hindu dominated areas, and then in Muslim areas?

 

        The trend began with the July 2006 Mumbai serial train blasts in `Gujarati Hindu dominated’ first class compartments of the Mumbai metro rail; soon there were blasts in Muslim areas of Malegaon and Hyderabad.

 

In 2008, with elections just around the corner in April-May 2009, and the BJP getting relegated to the third position in electoral calculations in the post-nuclear deal vote phase, the bomb blast phenomenon has become endemic. From July 2008 at the time of writing this piece here have been several blasts―in the past week, blasts have occurred almost daily.

 

One thing is clear―it is not that bomb blasts are being engineered to create communal riots. That (communal riots following bomb blasts) simply has not happened―the new mantra seems to be of bomb blasts replacing communal riots. This means that if in the past riots were engineered to create communal polarization the same kind of polarization is being sought to be created by engineering bomb blasts.

 

So the pattern―4 blasts in a Hindu dominated area; then one or two in a Muslim dominated area―soMalegaon and Modesa after Bengaluroo, Ahmedabad and the two blasts in Delhi.

 

This is a foreign pattern for even Indian communal forces; this trend has been seen in areas where Mossad and CIA operate; a similar/exact phenomenon was seen in Lebanon where Beirut, a beautiful and cosmopolitan Asiatic city was turned into an arena of sectarian Muslim-Christian conflict with bomb blasts being engineered every day in respective Muslim-Christian areas, something which now even Hollywood films (see Spy Game) admit as a CIA ploy to destroy Lebanon.

 

The post-American invasion Iraq situation too sees a similar thing―of sectarian Shia-Sunni violence being generated by the bomb blast phenomenon, engineered by the CIA, private US mercenary firms like Blackwater and the US forces.

 

A third region is Pakistan where too blasts take place respectively, in Shia or Sunni, Sindhi or Mohajir, NWFP or Punjabi or Baluchi areas alternately and with regularity. Here the western game is clear―America andIsrael have been working for decades to dismemberPakistan and control its nuclear arsenal.

 

India was spared of this ordeal till 1991 as Prime Ministers like Jawahar Lal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, and even Rajiv Gandhi, did not allow Mossad-CIA penetration.

 

Before liberalization during Narsimha Rao’s regime, Indian passport holders could not travel to two places: Israel and South Africa. India was at the forefront of the International crusade against apartheid and the denial of a homeland for Palestinians.

 

Why is it that after liberalization, which was initiated soon after Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, India recognized Israel and established diplomatic relations―and then the Babri Masjid demolition incident occurred?

 

So three things are related―liberalization of the Indian economy, the change in Indian foreign policy from an anti-Imperialist, pro-Third World position to a pro-American, pro-Israel stance, and the increasing persecution of Muslims, in an institutionalized form.

 

See that these three developments occur side by side―and now in 2008 we see India being turned into another Lebanon.

 

The biggest delusion of the RSS-BJP is that by blaming organizations like SIMI or Muslim `terrorists’ for the recent blasts they are doing some service to the nation. On the contrary, by not exposing the foreign Mossad-CIA hand, they are going against the interests of India. Why did the BJP-RSS not cry foul over the flight of Ken Haywood from India after the email sent by the so called `Indian Mujahideen’ group was traced to his computer in Navi Mumbai? Why was there no demand for a probe into the role of this dubious American national with shady evangelical, anti-Hindu and anti-Muslim connections in America

 

These connections can be seen by clicking on links like http://www.phillyimc.org/en/node/71510  or http://www.stlimc.org/newswire2008/yahooindiabombingkenneth-haywoodcampbell-white039s-computer-and-strange-fox-news039-fr orhttp://www.indianexpress.com/story/348646.html  or http://szamko.gnn.tv/blogs/29130/Haywood_Escapes or

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hvHOJNxzhM&feature=related and on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaZejnHLhrc&feature=related

  

This is a question I would like to put before people like Javed Anand―did they write anything on the Ken Haywood angle?

 

This is a question I would like to put before Yogendra Yadav―we were engaged in a debate over SIMI and the wider Muslim question in India―a debate in which Shri Yadav differed on several points but agreed on one that innocent Muslims are being persecuted and liberals, secular forces or any religious group with a conscience ought to fight against the persecution.

 

Now the question is: Is Shri Yadav ready to demand a probe and come out on the streets on the issue of the Ken Haywood angle or the Bajrang Dal angle (that they were caught making bombs which exlodd in their faces)? Is he willing to write as a member of the Governing Council of the ICSSR or otherwise against the total lack of concern in the Indian security agencies towards the Ken Haywood angle and the total failure to investigate into several instances where Bajrang Dal and Hindu Munaani and other RSS outfits have been found making bombs?

 

Another question: Are people like Tavleen Singh, who speak about `Islamic terrorism’, ready to even consider discussing the Ken Haywood or the Bajrang Dal angle in the recent bomb blasts and violence against Christians in Orissa and Karnataka?

 

If Tavleen Singh is not willing to discuss the foreign or the RSS angle then there is something seriously wrong somewhere―I have mentioned earlier that SIMI or the Indian Mujahideen is a fiction, a phantom like the WMDs in Iraq―why can’t the liberals see this?

 

I was reading Shashi Tharoor’s piece in the Times of India; I have also seen Karan Thapar writing against violence perpetrated by VHP on Christians in Orissa. All this is very good and welcome―but why haven’t Shashi Tharoor or Karan Thapar ever written on violence against Muslims in India? Why hasn’t Karan Thapar ever written on the Ken Haywood angle? In the Times of India piece, Shashi Tharoor makes it a point to condemn `both’ types of violence―he is again placing the fictitious `Islamic terrorism’ and the invented `Indian Mujahideen’ at par with Bajrang Dal and the VHP―he does not even mention the RSS―what kind of a secularism and liberalism is this?           

 

Let me be very clear and cloud―today, supporting the persecution and the arrest and the torture of thousands of Muslim youth, is tantamount to being anti-national. Today being anti-Muslim is tantamount to being anti-national. All newspapers and people in the media have to realize this―including people like Rajdeep Sardesai, Sagarika Ghose, Vinod Mehta―that you will be held accountable personally for Muslim persecution―and for not exposing the Bajrang Dal-Ken Haywood angle in the deaths of countless Hindus and Muslims during the `bomb blast season’ underway―by nationalists―and this is coming from me, a left and a religious Sanatan Dharma Hindu figure, not a rootless, westernized pseudo-secular personality.

 

   What India needs today are not just protests―we need a special prevention of atrocities against minorities act―something which makes refusal of housing and flats to minorities, refusal by a Police officer to register a FIR by minorities, or to act in their protection, failure of a District Magistrate or a Senior Superintendent of the Police to prevent a riot or a bomb blast, the picking up of Muslims and other minorities without a formal charge, the very idea of detention of Muslim youths after blasts, or encounter killings, the calling of Muslms by the nameLaandiya or Katua, a stringent crime with due punishment.

 

India already has a prevention of violence/atrocities against Scheduled castes act―it is a crime to call a Dalit a Chamar; or not to register his or hers FIR. Why can’t a similar act, be enacted for the minorities?

 

In India the so called war against terror, against SIMI or the Indian Mujahideen is a fictitious, bogus war―the recent bomb blasts were engineered by security forces, and foreign agencies and RSS-Bajrang Dal. The real war is against Muslim/minority persecution, the appropriate response to Batla House type fake encounter killing, and the extension of civil liberties guaranteed in the Indian constitutionSee the history of nations―in America and Europe mere constitutional guarantees were not enough―specific new laws had to be enacted from time to time to abolish slavery, protect minorities, and end persecution, segregation and racism.

 

America passed through its civil rights moment in the 1960s―India has to confront its own civil rights moment now. There is a simple message to Indian liberals―either support, the demand for a special civil rights act for minorities or perish―for soon the fascist forces persecuting Muslims will turn against you.

 

If there is a civil war in India on this issue―so be the case; in any case with direct American intervention in Pakistan, conflict between America and India is very near. Liberals do not understand this but the Indian army does―so there is bound to be a double civil war in India―one against foreign intervention in the Indian sub-continent and the other against anti-national fascist forces.

 

Where do liberals stand in this fight? The anti-national forces want India to be invaded―that is why they are launching Muslim persecution so that when NATO forces  attack India, the country is weak internally.

 

They are of course deluded―as the history of 1857 shows, Indian Muslims are the single most nationalist forces alive in India today―persecution or no persecution, they will fight foreign invasion.

 

 But what is our duty? The best course is to launch a mass movement now to end persecution and guarantee civil rights to Muslims and other minorities; otherwise a civil war, a military response against Modi and the RSS to save the Indian constitution and the Indian republic is imminent. Choose what you want…                  

                                                             

 

VIEW FROM BANGLADESH- Bombing in India: RSS engineering ‘Islamic terrorism’?

September 24, 2008

VIEW FROM BANGLADESH:

 

Bombing in India: RSS engineering ‘Islamic terrorism’?
 
 
London 18 September 2008. Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh expressed new realism when he told a meeting of governors of states yesterday, “The role of Pakistan-based terrorist groups cannot be minimised but the involvement of local elements in recent blasts adds a new dimension to the terrorist threat,” and he added, “We have reports that certain Pakistan-based terrorist outfits are constantly seeking to set up new terrorist modules within our country”, according to report bybdnews24.com/Reuters today (18 September 2008).
 
The reporter remarked, ‘Singh’s comment is an explicit, high-level acknowledgement home-grown groups were now carrying out bombings in India, which has traditionally blamed Pakistan for violent attacks on its soil.’
 
For many years now, in the wake of bombings by ‘suspected’ Islamic groups, India in the absence of concrete intelligence, has been pointing their fingers at external operatives such as ‘Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-i-Tayeba’, ’Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-BD)’, etc. They dished out many make believe stories of bombing operations, which many observers suspected to be concocted in the research chambers of RAW. This kind of blame-mongering, and the desperate and reckless police actions by India in the aftermath of bombings, has been likened to “a flailing state” by Harvard economist Lant Pritchett, the word ‘Flailing’ meaning moving vigorously or erratically, such as arms flailing helplessly in the water while drowning, according to reports by Avijit Ghosh in the Times of India yesterday (17 September 2008). Another report of the Times of India yesterday highlighted Dr. Manmohan Singh’s despair about the gap in government intelligence as they reported: ‘Reflecting Government’s concern over the recent serial bomb blasts in Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Delhi, Singh admitted that there were “still vast gaps in intelligence” that needed to be overcome’.
 
Thus, Dr. Singh’s new realism with his inward look is the right approach and it would be quite revealing to him, if only he seriously does a retrospective soul-searching about the conditions of the Muslims in India, who constitute 13 percent (16 percent according to other views) of the population, and if only he looks into the grievances of this repressed, downtrodden and marginalized community, who have been massacred, brutalised and terrorised by thousands of most callous riots perpetrated in front of the eyes of the world, over a decade more than half a century.
 
In the social fabric, ridden by caste system with unequal status and unequal rights by birth and for life, the other deprived communities in India fare no better, as the treatment of the Muslims by the 15 percent cast Hindus compares very well with similar treatments of the Dalits, the near Dalits, the Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and other minority communities and minority nationalities, in this much vaunted hypocrisy touted as the so-called largest democracy.
 
It was indeed Dr. Manmohan Singh, who at the start of his premiership, appointed the Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee for preparation of a report on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community of India. The committee prepared a 403-page report that was tabled in Parliament on 30 November 2006 – 20 months after obtaining the terms of reference from the Prime Minister’s Office. Now, for the first time, it was shown with statistics, how marginalized the Muslim community have been in India. Even the ‘Ananda Bazar Patrika’ exclaimed that in many respects the conditions of the Muslims are worse than those of the Dalits. What choices do they have then, if they are relentlessly pushed against the wall only to be shot? Will they not launch any struggle to survive??
 
Peter Foster in his dispatch titled ‘India: how safe is it now?’ in thetelegraph.co.uk on 15 September 2008 drew bold and correct conclusions: “In the longer term, .. , India will have to do more for its marginalized Muslim minority if it wants to choke off recruits to the Jihadi cause. If you look at the socio-economic statistics, the only category Muslims top is the number held in prison. On literacy, social welfare, government jobs etc, Muslims continuously languish in the lower reaches of pretty well every set of indicators you care to choose.”
 
Good and sound conclusion. But the big question is: Who is going to tame the Hindu fundamentalists? The Hindu fundamentalists not only whip up communal tensions and perpetrate thousands of riots, but according to reports, they have also been engaged in engineering ‘Islamic terrorism’.
 
On 15 September 2008, Shabnam Hashmi, Member, National Integration Council and Dr. Ram Puniyani, Social Activist and writer, jointly circulated ‘An Open Letter to the Prime Minister of India’, showing case by case that the RSS have been involved in making and blasting bombs in the guise of ‘Islamic terrorists’, so that communal tensions and violence can be whipped up and these can be used in order to mobilise votes for the BJP-RSS group. The letter was published in the ‘Communalism Watch’ on 15 September 2008 and posted tohttp://www.twocircles.net/ on 16 September 2008. The activists and writers of the letter asserted, ‘If we look at the timing of the terror attacks it is very clear that one and only one political outfit is gaining from it and that is Sangh. With their eyes on the central government their agenda of polarizing the voter is going ahead successfully’.
 
With the sinister and murderous scheme of things against them as they are, the Muslims in India are bound to respond, if they refuse to be silently bulldozed. Call it Jihad, call it struggle for physical survival, call it struggle for economic, social and cultural emancipation, the Muslims have been left with no other alternative except for uniting and politically fighting for their rights, and whether these fights for rights can be conducted peacefully will depend on the government and the powerful Hindu fundamentalists. The best thing for the Muslims in India would be to unite with all the other deprived sections and communities of India and launch a united great struggle for the great task of the economic, social and cultural emancipation of the people of India, the kind of struggle which are much needed throughout the under-developed world, including of course our beloved country Bangladesh.


 

__._,_.___

The fall of the house of cards By Ghulam Muhammed

September 18, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

 

 

The fall of the house of cards

 

 

Delhi bomb blasts have completely destroyed the elaborate fiction line that police, investigating agencies, media and politicians all together, deliberately or inadvertently (take your pick) had been dutifully following after each bombing incident all over India. This time around the people were somehow got tired of the old line of blaming SIMI, which seems to have acquired nine lives, now that even two of its masterminds, as declared by ATS, are behind bars and still there is no let up in the bombings.

 

A big change in people’s thinking was brought about by Ajay Sahni’s meticulous investigative articles in Tehelka that exposed the fake demonisation of a ‘chosen’ enemy, as a convenient ploy to cover up the real culprits that were beyond of pale of law, due to apparent political consideration.

 

The disarray started in the UPA camp itself, when three prominent coalition party leaders, publicly expressed the doubt in SIMI could have been involved in all these series of bombing.

 

By the time of Delhi bombings, the storm blew up in the face of the Home Minister, Shiv Raj Patil, who is widely believed to have soft corner for an opposition party, that is most suspected of being involved.

 

The media took the hint of the adverse winds, and started concentrating on the real job of investigative reporting.

 

Following is just one example of how the hints are out, that ‘Indian Mujahideen’ could be an invention of some non-Muslim organisation, out to defame and demonise Muslims and prepare grounds to foment communal riots.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

 

 

 

www.dnaindia.com

 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

 

Page: 1

 

Terror mail writers may not be madrassa products

 

Handwriting analysis shows they are urban-bred and may not know Urdu

 

Aditya Kaul. New Delhi

 

The emails sent before the serial blasts of Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Uttar Pradesh have been signed by three individuals, but one of them was only trying to copy the signature of the group leader just before Jaipur blasts, according to one of Indias leading graphologists.

 

The graphologist, who has helped the police in several investigations, believes that all the signatories are urban bred, English-speaking individuals, who may have had almost no madrassa education, if they are Muslims. It is quite possible that the three persons who have signed the documents do not know Urdu language. And thats because the strokes in the signature of a person who knows how to write and read Urdu are distinctively different. There is no reason to conclude that all of them are Muslims, he said.

 

These people are well educated men and have been born and brought up in metros. They have sound family backgrounds and have been brought up in families with a modern outlook, the handwriting expert said.

 

DNA had over the past two days consulted with some of Indias leading psychologists and handwriting experts to try and figure out the men, and women, if any, who could be playing a key role in the terror groups that are wreaking havoc across Indian cities. Yesterday, DNA carried detailed psychological profiles of the writers of the five terror mails, in which the psychologists surmised that the writers were in the age group of 20-50 and suffered from anti-social personality disorder. They were highly educated.

 

DNA has now been given a detailed analysis of the signatures on the documents. Four of the five emails have been signed — two of them have been signed as Guru Al Hindi and Al Arbi, the third has been signed only by Al Arbi. The fourth carries a signature faked by someone else for Guru Al Hindi.

 

The handwriting expert says there are primarily two people who have signed four of the five emails. These two people — Guru Al Hindi and Al Arbi — are personalities in contrast. One is a confident energetic extrovert individual, while the other is an extremely shy introvert.

 

The two have received assistance from a third person, or more, in drafting the emails. The third person whose signature is on the email sent just before the Jaipur blasts seems to have tried to copy Guru Al Hindis signature and he is only an understudy, if he is part of it.

 

The original Guru Al Hindi looks like the real executive director of the group. He is calm in the head and thats his plus point, says the graphologist.

 

The expert, who studied the email independent of the group of psychologists whom DNA consulted earlier, has agreed with several of their conclusions, including the fact that the emails were prepared by a small group of at least three people. There have been five emails which have credible links to the terrorists — four of them sent just as the explosions were to happen in the Uttar Pradesh courts, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Delhi. The fifth was sent to rubbish the Gujarat polices claims that Simi was behind the Ahmedabad blasts.

 

 

Different strokes in terror mails

 

Handwriting experts say that al Arbi who signed one of the emails may not be a proper follower of Islam

 

Page: 10

 

Aditya Kaul. New Delhi

 

Guru al Hindi and al Arbi, the two persons who signed the terror emails sent just before some of the recent serial blasts across the country, are very contrasting personalities, according to a leading graphologist.

 

DNA had got the handwriting expert to analyse the signatures on the PDF formatted emails sent after the blasts. Four of the five emails have been signed — two of them as Guru al Hindi and al Arbi, the third only as al Arbi. The fourth carries a signature faked by someone else for Guru al Hindi.

 

The expert says Guru al Hindi is a person full of bubbling energy and enthusiastic to achieve something ASAP [as soon as possible]. He is riding high on confidence. And this confidence isnt over-confidence.

 

He knows exactly what he is doing. He is sharp. Kind of an upcoming genius and it would be very tough to trap him. With his kind of sharpness and energy, our agencies stand nowhere as of now.

 

On the other hand, al Arbi is a complete introvert, who is shy of the world and cant speak out much in the open. He is “definitely” a young male, says the graphologist, who has in the past assisted agencies in investigating sensitive cases. al Arbi’s is the only signature in the email sent out rubbishing the Gujarat police claims on the Ahmedabad bombers. Along with Guru al Hindi he has signed the mails just before the Ahmedabad and Delhi blasts. The email sent before the Uttar Pradesh serial blasts does not contain any signatures.

 

Al Arbi puts a lot of effort to hide his real self to anyone around him, but at the same time he is fairly literate and likes to read a lot. This youngster is short-tempered but covers up his anger in front of others. A completely emotionally unstable person and, if he continues to be so, the chances are he might just vanish or come out in the open if ignored, says the analyst. Therefore, the best way to catch him is to show that no one is trailing him, the graphologist, who has an enviable record in assisting crime investigation, suggests.

 

Chances are that al Arbi, a loner by nature, is the only child in his family or the youngest with some elders putting a lot of peer pressure on him. He comes under mental stress easily and yet loves that stage all the time as well.

 

In an interesting twist to the investigations, the graphologist suggests that this young member of the terror group is working and writes a lot and takes down notes regularly. The person could also be into painting, graphic designing or website designing.

 

From the emails it is clear that the writers have extensive knowledge of the Indian media scene, and they invariably carry detailed analysis of some newspapers and events in their mails. The sentence construction, the selection of email IDs of news organisations and other factors too point towards the possible media background of some of those involved in writing these mails and bombings. The graphologist does not deny this possibility in his analysis.

The graphologist suggests that al Arbi is dangerously getting into the habit of breaking rules. Probably he is not even a proper follower of Islam, or not even a Muslim in the first place itself.

 

On the emails, the graphologist said, there is a definite involvement of at least three different people in these documents signed. And there still could be more because the emotions and the tactics to scare and threaten drastically change, which dont match with the characters of the persons signing them.

 

aditya_k@dnaindia.net

DON’T LET SIMI GO – By Ghulam Muhammed

August 21, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

 

DON’T LET SIMI GO

 

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

 

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

 

The time has come when trial by media should stop.

 

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

 

Now, the cat is out of the bag.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

August 18, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

 

IS THIS OUR INDIA?

 

 

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

 

RAW: An Instrument of Indian Imperialism

 

By Isha Khan

Countercurrents.org   13 October, 2007

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Bangladesh

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Sikkim and Bhutan

 

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

 

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

 

Sri Lanka

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Maldives

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Nepal

 

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

 

Afghanistan

 

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

 

Pakistan

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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