Posts Tagged ‘L. K. Advani’
A shadow PM: Advani signals ‘main hoon na’
By Rajeev Sharma
IT was a deft political stroke that cerebral politician L K Advani made today while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was undergoing coronary surgery at AIIMS: the leader of Opposition convened a meeting with some three dozen noted security experts and commentators. Advani’s message to the nation was: main hoon na! At a time when the Prime Minister was under the knife at AIIMS, the BJP made two moves. One, its Prime Minister-in-waiting held a meeting of his advisory council on national security matters, timing it brilliantly with the ongoing Indo-Pak diplomatic tug-ofwar in the wake of 26/11. Many of those who attended Advani’s meeting are prominent members of his shadow cabinet.Two, the BJP orchestrated media leaks that it has found a new ally in Uttar Pradesh and the name of this political party with which the BJP would contest the AprilMay general elections would be announced next week. The BJP also reminded the media about its performance in the just-concluded assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, saying it won 40 Lok Sabha seats, got 300 MLAs and got 34 per cent vote in these three states as against 280 seats and 32 per cent vote share of the Congress. The BJP also maintained that the Congress retained only a city-state and won in Rajasthan because of the BJP’s failure at micro level management.
Those who attended Advani’s national security affairs-related meeting were from four spheres: (i) political: Advani, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Arun Shourie; (ii) top journalists and commentators : M J Akbar, Chandan Mitra, Brahma Chalani and Swapan Das Gupta; (iii) 13 from civil services including Vijay Kapoor, Anil Baijal, Ajit Doval, Yogendra Narayan, KPS Gill, K P Singh, Satish Chandra, B Raman and K Santanam; and (iv) 14 from defence— former Air Chief Marshals- A Y Tipnis, S Krishnaswami and S P Tyagi, former Naval Chief Arun Prakash, and ten Lt Generals.
The mission objective of the conclave was that the BJP-led NDA government-in-waiting was here to fill in the vacuum created by the sudden absence of Manmohan Singh from the Congress and the government scene. The idea was to convey to the people of India that it was not just Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but the Congress too was under the knife as the Congress has no face for governance other than Manmohan Singh. Advani’s meeting also set the agenda for governance if the BJP were to return to power. Today’s deliberations also threw up some important points from the BJP’s perspective which the party would be incorporating in its election manifesto. At the meeting, concern was expressed on the defence preparedness and also post- 26/11 situation. M J Akbar felt that British foreign minister David Miliband was trying to link terrorism with the Kashmir problem and the danger was that the Barack Obama administration too could toe this line. Akbar stressed that India needed to be tough. Former defence top honchos expressed concern on slowing down of the weapons procurement process and resentment in the armed forces over the implementation of 6th Pay Commission. They lamented that the Group of Ministers after the 1999 Kargil war had suggested a number of measures to beef up national security but most of these could not be implemented. One suggestion that came up was that before the Crisis Management Group meets to decide upon a development impinging on the national security, there should be a person who can take immediate decisions the moment the crisis breaks out. Mumbai terror attacks and their security fallout were discussed in detail and a recent study of the US think tank Rand
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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FRONT-PAGE AND EDIT PAGE NEWS AND ANALYSIS FROM MUMBAI’S URDU NEWSPAPERS TRANSLATION FROM URDU FREE SERVICE FOR WORLD MEDIA
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Rashtriya Sahara, Urdu Daily, Mumbai
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Front Page News
CIA, MOSSAD HAND BEHIND SANGH PARIVAR’S EXTREMISTS!
Central Intelligence Agencies vigilant investigating in the aftermath of Malegaon blast; Enquiry being held into the February 2007 visit of prominent Israeli religious delegation and meetings with Hindutvadi Sadhu, Sanths and political leaders; Mossad infiltration a cause of deep concern for Intelligence officials
New Delhi, November 25: (Agencies) – According to an exposé in a national daily published from Madhya Pradesh and several other cities, in the aftermath of the arrests of Sadhu, Sadhvi, and other extremist Hindutvadis as involved in the Malegaon bomb blast, Intelligence agencies are now concentrating on foreign connections of the radical Hindutvadis.
In an special report published by the national daily, it has exposed this sensational news that in central intelligence agencies are to be believed, extremist Hindutvadis have got support and motivation from Israeli secret agency, Mossad’s operations against the Arab and Muslim countries in the past.
The newspaper writes that relations between Mossad and CIA are world known. Report mentions that intelligence agencies are worried about the infiltration of Mossad and CIA in the country. According to undisclosed sources, Indian intelligence agencies are now examining the full details of the visit of Israel’s religious leaders to India and their meetings with Sadhu, Sanths. Intelligence agencies are investigating all those Hindu and Muslim leaders that the Israeli religious delegation had met.
According to the newspaper, it was during the rule of BJP’s Atul Behari Vajpayee; a beginning was made for the visits of Hindutvadis, and especially Sadhus and dharam gurus of the Sangh Parivar to Israel. These visits have been on the increase. It was during Vajpayee’s time, that the visits to Israel and consequently the relations and contacts of Sangh Parivar Dharam gurus and Hindutva leaders with Israel increased manifold.
According to the newspaper, for last ten years, the central intelligence agencies have been closely studying and analyzing the growing strength of Hindutvadi and Sangh Parivar organisations and the increasing violence through these organisations against Muslims, Christians, and minorities in Gujarat, Orissa, Karnataka and other states. Intelligence agencies have disclosed that the visits of Jews and Israeli rabbis was not very frequent in the past, but it has increased to worrisome proportions, during last few years. Of all, the most studied is the February 2007 visit to Delhi of the delegation of Israeli Jewish religious leaders. The delegation was headed by Israel’s Chief Rabbi, Yonah Metzger.
In this delegation, Jewish religious leaders from Israel as well as others rabbis from Belgium and Spain too were included. In India, the Israel Jewish religious delegation met important Hindutva leaders, which included especially the RSS Chief K. S. Sudharshan, President of VHP, Ashok Singhal, VHP leader Vishnu Hari Dalmia.
After the meeting of the Sadhu Sanths and Jewish leaders, both delegations had issued a common manifesto.
In this meeting, Jewish Rabbis expressed grave concern over the details of the terrorist attacks allegedly carried out by Muslims, as narrated by Hindu dharam gurus. Secret Service sources disclosed that at the invitation of Israeli Jewish religious leaders, a delegation of Hindutva leaders had visited Israel this year. In this, some leaders of Sangh Parivar too were included.
The national daily, published from Madhya Pradesh and other places, in its report has exposed that the officials of the national intelligence agencies have categorically stated that American secret service agency, CIA together with Israel’s secret organisation Mossad, has carried out several secret operation all over Asia.
And now that the bomb blast of Malegaon and Modasa had involved the names of the fake Shankaracharya Amaranand alias Dayanand Pande, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, enquiries and investigation of relations between Jewish and Hindutva religious leaders from Israel and India are being severely felt and is being analyzed. This was disclosed by the newspaper report.
(Translation from Urdu)
Rashtriya Sahara, Urdu Daily, Mumbai
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Front Page News
Why investigation of Israeli connection of Hindutvadis?
New Delhi, November 25: The way ATS has arrested Hindutva extremists belonging to Sangh Parivar, in connection with Malegaon bomb blast, facts have emerged of international networking and support to Hindutva radicals. This has alarmed national intelligence community. India’s internal and external intelligence agencies and RAW have got busy trying to figure out if there is some big international conspiracy is being hatched behind the activities of hardline extremists of Sangh Parivar. According to secret sources, back in February 2007, an Israeli delegation headed by Israel’s Chief Rabbi, Yonah Metzger, and accompanied by several high ranking Jewish religious leaders, had visited India. This Jewish Religious delegation held meetings with many Sadhus, Sanths and Dharam gurus. The delegation also met some Muslim leaders. Now intelligence agencies have started investigations of the meetings of the Israeli delegation and local Sadhus, Sanths and dharam gurus. It is mentioned that the delegation of Israeli Jewish religious leaders has met leaders and dharam gurus from RSS, Sangh Parivar, VHP and BJP. Lal Krishna Advani had arranged a dinner for the visiting Israeli Jewish religious leaders’ delegation and others included in the delegation, at his own residence. According to high official, though the meeting of Sangh Parivar’s leaders to Israeli delegation is not of undue importance, but the way America’s secret service, CIA and Israel’s secret agency, Mossad, are infiltrating in Central Asian and South Asian countries, it is giving strength to the suspicions that in such delegations, members of foreign intelligence get included and through interaction and infiltration, secret operations are carried out. Those organisations that organise and support such visits and meetings, may or may not be aware of the secret mission of foreign agencies, the truth can come out only on investigations. For this reason, the national agencies are now concentrating on investigation of Sangh Parivar and its connections with Israeli lobby and Mossad.
(Translated from Urdu)
Our terror, their terror
Counterpoint | Vir Sanghvi
Hindustan Times (Nov. 22, 2008)
Shortly before LK Advani spoke at the HT Summit on Friday, I was
chatting to Ajit Doval. Though he is not yet a household name, Doval
is a former director of the Intelligence Bureau who was close to
Advani when the latter was Home Minister and he will probably be
National Security Advisor if the BJP comes to power.
As Advani has – by his own admission – been reluctant to say very much
about the allegations of terrorism against various militant Hindus, I
asked Doval how he viewed the arrests and the claims made by the Anti
Terror Squad (ATS).
Doval’s response was that the term ‘Hindu terror’ worried him. There
were, he said, two dimensions to any battle against terror. The first
was law and order. You should treat all terrorists as murderers
regardless of their religions, ethnic origins or whatever.
But the second one had to do with their cause. You always avoided, he
said, any nomenclature that helped terrorists broaden their
constituencies. So, in the 1980s, you never ever used the phrase ‘Sikh
terrorists’ no matter how many bombs exploded. And in the 21st
century, care was taken to refer to ‘Jehadi terrorists’. If you said
‘Muslim terrorists’, you suggested, however subliminally, that the
terrorists represented all Muslims – which of course, they do not.
It was a perceptive point and one that Advani also made in his speech
at the Summit. Though he refused to be drawn further on the subject –
despite an excellent question from an IBN7 correspondent – Advani said
that he was unhappy with the phrase ‘Hindu terrorists’.
I have no real problem with Advani and Doval’s position. The bombers
do not represent Hindus, and yes, there is a danger that Hindus may
subliminally feel that the terrorism was conducted on their behalf if
we refer to those accused of the killings as Hindu terrorists.
But listening to Doval, I got to thinking about the extent to which
the allegations of ‘Hindu terror’ have changed all the rules.
I have always been suspicious of the claims advanced by various police
forces about their successes in the fight against terror. One simple
fact should illustrate why I believe my skepticism is well-founded:
the police keep changing their minds about who is behind the blasts –
and yet, each time they claim to have cracked a case, they advance
these claims with an air of certitude.
Take the Samjhauta Express bombing. When it took place, we were
assured with great authority that the bombers were jehadis, acting
under instructions from Pakistani terror outfits. Now, we are being
told that they were the Hindus who the ATS has in custody.
To go from blaming Pakistani jehadis to pinning the blasts on militant
Hindus is a 180-degree about-turn. Yet our security services show no
embarrassment about the complete shift in stance.
Or, take the example of the last spate of bombings. Four different
police forces have arrested four different ‘masterminds’. Men who were
described as being in the Osama bin Laden league are suddenly not
talked about at all.
All this is indisputable. And if you enter the more controversial area
of encounters, the police come off even worse. Nobody seriously
disputes that many of the people killed in so-called encounters have
actually been shot in custody. The dispute is over whether they were
ever terrorists to begin with. Once a suspect is dead, the police
don’t have to bother with evidence. They make whatever claims they
like and when you challenge these, they resort to the obviously bogus
explanation: “If he was not a terrorist, then why was he firing at the
police?”(Which, of course, he wasn’t….)
There’s more. None of us doubts that torture is routinely used to
extract information from suspects. And, by and large, this practice
has widespread public support.
Consequently, when any of the suspects or their lawyers or human
rights organisations protest about torture, we pay no attention. Of
course, the police are going to use third degree methods, we say. It’s
a question of saving lives.
Such is the attitude of many of India’s politicians – and especially
those in the BJP – that to raise even the most obvious questions about
claims advanced by the police, is to act in an ‘anti-national manner’.
How dare we demoralise our security forces, we are told.
I know this from personal experience. Every time I have raised
questions about encounter-killings or excessive claims made by police
forces, I have been roundly condemned.
The most notorious instance was the famous Ansal Plaza encounter where
the police took two suspects to the parking lot of a shopping mall and
shot them. Then they announced that they had foiled a terrorist
strike. Advani was Home Minister (and Doval was number two in IB) and
he congratulated the police and associated himself with that ‘triumph
in the war against terror’.
When the HT queried the police version, even those BJP leaders who
should have known better called us anti-national and questioned my
We do not know yet whether the recent Batla House encounter was
conducted in the way the police claim it was. But given that there
were legitimate questions to be raised, and given that the police have
a record of lying, it was entirely understandable for people to ask
for explanations. But even then, those who raised questions were
I was reminded of all this while listening to Advani and Doval because
the Sangh Parivar has now conducted a 180 degree about-turn on the
police version of terrorist arrests. Worse still, the BJP now says
that the Anti Terror Squad frames innocent suspects.
To recognise how astonishing the BJP’s about-turn is, think of it this
way. Suppose those accused of terrorism were not Hindus but Muslims.
Suppose it wasn’t a sadhvi but an imam.
How would the BJP have reacted?
First, it would have emphasised the ‘jehadi conspiracy against India’
angle to make Hindus insecure. Then, it would have condemned those of
us who questioned the arrests as traitors.
Assume now that Muslim organisations had banded together to attack the
police in the way that the Sangh Parivar and assorted sadhvis and
sants recently did. We would have been told how shameful it was that
Muslim leaders had ‘communalised’ the situation. The BJP would have
suggested that the Muslim leadership actually approved of the
terrorism. And it would have been said that the spectacle of mullahs
and politicians coming together to question the institutions of a
secular state demonstrated that Muslims had no real loyalty to India.
And yet, the way in which the BJP has responded to the arrests goes
far, far beyond anything that Muslim organisations have done or said.
If it was anti-national to question the Ansal Plaza encounter, then,
by that same yardstick, Rajnath Singh is a traitor for running down
our anti-terrorist squads.
Even Advani, who clearly recognises that there is a double-standard
involved, has written to the Prime Minister complaining about the
torture of one of the suspects. But if a Muslim politician had
demanded that the Delhi police do not torture a Muslim blast suspect,
the BJP would have vilified him.
It is not my case that the Hindus accused of violence are guilty –
they are innocent until the police can prove otherwise in a court of
law. But the BJP cannot take the line that when the cops arrest
so-called Muslim terrorists, they are never to be challenged.
It’s only when they arrest Hindus that we can accuse them of framing
That shameful double-standard exposes the hypocrisy and prejudice at
the root of the BJP’s approach to terror. The party is not really on
the side of the police at all. All that sanctimonious nonsense about
how it is ‘unpatriotic to question our brave security forces’ is
quickly forgotten the moment Hindus are arrested.
We can now see what the BJP’s message to the police really is: arrest
all the Muslims you want; we will back you unthinkingly. But if you
dare arrest a Hindu for terrorist violence, we will attack you from
the highest platforms.
So yes, Advani and Doval are right. We should not use the phrase
‘Hindu terrorists’. But that’s because we shouldn’t communalise
terror. Not because no Hindus are terrorists. Or because all Muslims
And one more thing: now that the entire Sangh Parivar says it is our
patriotic duty to claim that the police tell lies, frame innocent
people and fabricate cases, can all of us who were called
anti-national for merely raising a few questions get an apology
It’s the least Rajnath Singh can do.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Violence in Indian politics commands premium
India’s democracy is cursed. It can only function if violence is unleashed. The group that can wreck peace of the nation is lauded by its own constituency as their saviour, their protector, their brave ideal. L. K. Advani, whose BJP had 2 seats in Parliament, was gifted by a US source with a doctoral dissertation, outlining how aggression can be converted into power. He organised the demolition of Babri Masjid and went on to so improve its electoral power in a subsequent election, as to win highest number of Parliamentary seats and put its own leader as coalition Prime Minster of India. Gujarat Chief Minster reportedly organised a genocidal communal riot against his state’s Muslims, and won subsequent election by thumbing majority. Since independence Congress has been using communal riots targeting Muslim minority in various states, to push a double game of first killing Muslims and pillaging their properties and later coming on the scene as saviors of Muslims, by promising offers of hefty relief and recompense, so Muslims vote them in. All their successes have been directly related to this murderous violence to secure Muslim votes.
Now it is the turn of a new generation, when a budding Raj Thackeray, has shown how mobilising goons on streets to terrorize law-abiding citizens, with minimum of efforts, thanks to free media publicity, is poised become a new winner in Maharashtra’s fractured political polity. Though he has been charged with fomenting several acts of violence, the way his popularity is being measured by the same media which on cue denounces him as a menace to civil society, it is now beyond possibility that he will increase his political strength in the coming election, to claim a big share of corruption pie that goes in India with the electoral victories.
The beauty of the whole operation is that the same people that are supposed to control and prevent his fascist violence, terrorizing people in the state, are handling him with kid gloves, in a strategy of their own, to split the votes of their adversaries and thus make sure they return back to rule the state. So it is open secret, that both Vilas Rao Deshmukh Congress and Sharad Pawar are not unhappy that Raj Thackeray is able to make a dent into Shiv-Sena/BJP combine. Sharad Pawar had gone cynical brushing aside his coalition partner, Lalu Prasad Yadav’s demand to ban Raj Thackeray’s MNS party, with the retort, that Election Commission has hardly any political party registered and how can it ban one that is already registered. That means even with a fascist strategy and a divisive agenda, according to Sharad Pawar, Raj Thackeray’s MNS is providing a vital backdrop to the nation’s other main political parties, who are not averse to go for, encourage or tolerate such undemocratic outfits, with the word Sena (army) as their very open face of violence, as long as they provide some counterbalance to their electoral strategies.
Possibly, this is the reason that Maharashtra’s Samajwadi Party, under its firebrand leader, Abu Asim Azmi, is appearing to be pushed by both Congress and NCP, to add up representation of North Indians to its old Muslim constituency in Maharashtra and come on the streets with a Sena of its own.
A mock Mahabharata will be arranged and the victory will go to the ‘masterminds’. The misery of the people and social and economic cost of such destructive politicking is hardly the subject that will interest the oligarchs in power.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Advani’s book – a pack of lies With the excerpts and reviews published as soon as Advani started one more yatra to peddle his book personally by taking the opportunity to impose on the hospitality of even his political rivals, a general idea could easily be made that Advani has made a Goebblean attempt to package a pack of lies and sell it as the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Those who have observed Advani under media glare for decades past, would not need any persuasion to believe how spin doctoring comes easy for all Sangh Parivar wordsmiths and in particular to L. K. Advani. One can always depend on him to come out with most original contortion of the most simple and obvious fact, as long as it serves his need of the hour. His account of Ayodhya and Modi’s Gujarat carnage is the first of the many manipulations to hoodwink the gullible. His role in sabotaging Musharraf-Vajpayee Agra talk, is so well-known to the people of India, who were glued to TV channels and were practically present in all the meetings, is another black deed that he keeps denying. His reasoning for shooting down the agreement between Musharraf and Vajpayee is an lame excuse, in as much as, it was in effect an ego problem with him, for the agreement to have been approved by Vajpayee, without his intervention. Insisting on Musharraf agreement on terrorist camps was like putting the cart before the horse. Advani was intelligent enough to know that could never be swallowed by Musharraf. His denial of any knowledge as to how Jaswant Singh went on a plane journey to deliver notorious terrorists from our jails to Kandahar in exchange for hijacked Indians is another bland lie. The then Defense Minister and Convener of NDA, has publicly contradicted Advani account, by asserting Advani was in the meetings when Kandahar was approved. J&K’s Farooq Abdullah has come out very strongly against Advani’s assertion that he backed down on autonomy resolution in the J&K Assembly. He says it is untruth — a polite way of saying — it is a lie. Following is a book review from Sardar Khushwant Singh, who happened to be one of the earliest gullible to hold Advani as a straight person. By the end of his review of Advani’s book, he ends it with a short but devastating verdict: Perish the thought ….. (If Advani should ever become the Prime Minister of India): http://www.outlookindia.com/section_v5.asp?secname=Books
|Ghost Burial That Wasn’t to Be|
|A must-read memoir it sure is. But if you are looking for answers, there are none.|
MY COUNTRY, MY LIFE
by L.K. Advani
Rs 595; Pages 986
|There is some justification for his publishers describing L.K. Advani’s memoirs as a “must-read”. Advani redrew the political and communal map of India. Whether it was for the good of the country will be a matter of debate for years to come. It’s a massive tome running up to nearly a thousand pages. I thought it best to read his views on matters which were of vital interest and so decided to consult the index and see|
if it had something to say about me. I do not have an ego problem, just that for a brief period I played a role in promoting his career. Advani writes: “Khushwant Singh became a good acquaintance of mine after the Emergency. I admired his writing and substantial scholarship on many subjects. He in turn admired our party for its work in fighting the carnage in Delhi in 1984, in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination. However, our relationship soured after the Ayodhya movement when he became quite critical of me.”
It is a fair assessment but something is missing. After the 1984 pogrom of the Sikhs when Advani stood for election to the Lok Sabha, I signed his nomination paper. The Sikhs were determined not to vote for the Congress because its leaders and cadres were involved in the killings and yet not sure of the BJP. They were undoubtedly influenced by the publicity given to my signing Advani’s papers. Advani won and came to thank me. I visited Advani’s home a few times. I was charmed by the congenial atmosphere. They watched Hindi films, welcomed anyone who dropped in. I felt comfortable. I also admired him. There was not a breath of scandal about money, nepotism or extra-marital affairs about him. He was a puritan: he neither drank, nor smoked nor womanised. He was clear-headed and modest. My disenchantment began after he launched his rath yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya. I turned critical. At a public meeting at which I was presiding, he was the chief guest. He was then home minister and arrived with a retinue of Black Cat commandos. I said on his face, “Mr Advani, you sowed the dragon seeds of hatred in this country….” And much else. In his address, he said he would answer my charges at a more appropriate time. I hoped to find them in his autobiography; they are not there. I turned the pages to see what he had to say about Mahatma Gandhi who remains the national touchstone to test political and moral decisions. He tells us that the RSS held Gandhi in high esteem and he, in turn, praised its military discipline. When Gandhi heard that cadres of the RSS were also involved in communal riots and took on Muslim hoodlums in street battles which erupted periodically, he sent for the sarsanghchalak. The latter explained, “If we object to the conduct of some Muslims in our society, it is not because they follow Islam but rather because of their lack of loyalty to India. The partition of India has proven us right. Therefore to call the RSS anti-secular is to show one’s ignorance of what secularism stands for and what the RSS stands for.” Advani adds: “This was my first lesson in secularism. I was twenty-one then.” Gandhi did not pursue the matter further. He might well have asked: “If the RSS is secular, how many Muslims and Christians does it have on its rolls?” Advani was 14 years old when he enrolled himself as a worker of the RSS in Karachi. His views on secularism are naive beyond belief. He tries to equate Gandhi’s concept of Ram rajya in which all religions will be treated with equal respect—sarva dharma samabhava—with the RSS concept of Hindutva, “a noble concept,” according to him. The RSS was suspect in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. His assassin had been a member of the organisation. Advani tells us that on Gandhi’s murder the RSS was ordered to observe 13 days of mourning.
The gesture did not help: the RSS was declared illegal and many of its leaders put behind bars.
The one event that pitchforked Advani to the centrestage and reshaped India’s politics was his yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya leading to the destruction of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992. He, more than anyone else, sensed that Islamophobia was deeply ingrained in the minds of millions of Hindus and it only needed a spark to set it ablaze. The choice of Somnath as a starting point and Ayodhya as the terminal were well-calculated. Mahmud Ghazni had destroyed the temple at Somnath; Ayodhya was believed to be the birthplace of Sri Ram (the year of his birth is unknown). It was bruited about that a temple to mark the birthsite had stood there till Babar destroyed it and built a mosque over the ruins. This is disputed by historians and the matter was being pursued in law courts. Advani ignored legal niceties and arrived with great fanfare at the site. Since he was determined to build a new Ram temple at the same spot, the fate of the mosque was sealed. What happened there on the fateful day was seen on TV by millions of people round the globe. In his book, Advani claims that breaking the mosque was not on his agenda and he actually sent Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharati from the dais to plead with the breakers to desist. If that is so, why were the two seen embracing each other and rejoicing when the nefarious task was completed? We don’t have to wait for the verdict of the Liberhan Commission to tell us what happened: we saw it with our own eyes. The destroyers were Shiv Sainiks and members of the RSS and they boasted about what they had done. Advani records the jubilation that followed at the site and along his triumphal return to Delhi. Repercussions were felt over the world: Hindu and Sikh temples were targeted by irate Muslims from Bangladesh to UK. Relations between Hindus and Muslims have never been the same in India. There were communal confrontations in different parts of the country: the serial blasts in Mumbai, the attack on Sabarmati Express in Godhra and the massacre of innocent Muslims in Gujarat can all be traced back to the fall of the Babri Masjid. However, the BJP reaped a rich electoral harvest, won many of the elections that followed, and eventually installed Atal Behari Vajpayee as prime minister and L.K. Advani as his deputy. He is now their candidate for the top job and asserts that he will not allow Babri Masjid to be rebuilt.
The one time Advani faltered in his steps was when he visited Karachi the last time and praised Jinnah’s speech to the Pakistan Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947, as “a classic exposition of a secular state”. It might well have been so but it was delivered at a time when millions of Hindus and Sikhs were being driven out of Pakistan with slaughter and an equal number of Muslims driven out of India. It was the bloodiest exchange of populations in which over a million died and over 10 million were uprooted. Advani’s eulogy must have pleased Pakistanis; it was badly received in India, particularly by his RSS and BJP colleagues. He was severely censured and asked to step down from the leadership of the party. It seemed as if his political career was at an end. He bounced back and within a year was again on the centrestage.
What now stands between Advani and his ambition to become prime minister is the Sonia Gandhi-Manmohan Singh partnership. He is doing his worst trying to create a rift between them. He continues to harp on the issue of her Italian birth, her tardiness in taking Indian citizenship and being close to a fellow Italian, the scamster Octavio Quattrocchi. He has described Manmohan Singh as a nikamma (useless) prime minister because the seat of power is not 7, Race Course Road, where he lives but 10, Janpath, where Sonia and her family reside.So far his attempts to create a rift between the two have flopped. Sonia has proved an astute politician who has so far not made a single wrong move. Likewise, Manmohan Singh has played his role as a nominee prime minister with skill. He has many more plus points to his credit than any of his predecessors. The partnership has worked well with Sonia looking after political matters and Manmohan the administrative. The country has prospered. Advani has quite a lot to say about Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat. He exonerates him from the charge of allowing the massacre of innocent Muslims following the attack on the Sabarmati Express at Godhra. It is a symbiotic relationship: Modi helps Advani win elections from Gandhinagar in Gujarat; Advani stands by Modi whenever his conduct comes under question from the higher echelons of the BJP. The importance of Advani’s memoirs is not in their literary quality but in the possibility of the author becoming India’s man of destiny. Either we remain a secular state envisaged by Gandhi and Nehru or we succumb to Advani’s interpretation of it and become the Hindu Secular Socialist Republic of Bharatvarsha. Perish the thought.
You be the judge.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai
Sunday, March 23, 2008
A LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
ADVANI’S DUPLICITOUS AGENDA
While watching NDTV’s Walk and Talk programe’s Shekhar Gupta interviewing BJP’s newly proposed prime ministerial candidate, if and when BJP or NDA coalition is able to form next, or next to next central government, the hypocrisy of Advani’s own thought processes cannot be ignored, when he is trying to see that Pakistan, under President Musharraf, could and should become a secular state, given Musharraf’s early years spent in Turkey, the seat of Muslim Caliphate, that was very forcefully transformed into a non-religious and secular state by Mustafa Kamal Pasha and was the role model for President Musharraf, at least clearly mentioned by Musharraf on his inaugural speech, when he assumed power in Pakistan.
While Advani was on to secularize Pakistan through the medium of an unelected and army backed dictator, he never attempts to repudiate the fundamental fascist Hindutva ideology of BJP and Sangh Parivar, while projecting Ram Rajya, as their ideal for a multicultural, multi-religious pluralist country like his own country,India.
In fact, at this point of time, BJP’s RSS plank is fundamentally opposed to the very basics of Indian constitution and as such this political party cannot be allowed to participate in the elections.
A Supreme Court judgement, accepting Hindutva or Hindu plank as cultural rather than any religious identity, has given BJP the temporary opportunity to win elections on the basis on fomenting inter-religious strife and anti-Muslim hate propaganda.
That Supreme Court judgement was never contested. It is certainly open for review at Supreme Court, with a larger bench, in the light of more factual data that is now available, as to the true ideological and factual nature of BJP’s unconstitutional identity.
Each and every statement of the leadership of BJP, RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal form the data that is available for the Supreme Court to review and decide, if the Sangh Parivar confirms to the constitution of India and if should be allowed to take part in Indian elections.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai
Monday, July 08, 2002
A LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Foreign-born to rule India?
Though there are many a slip between the cup and the lips, BJP’s hard-line leader, L.K. Advani is poised for the number one spot in the next shake-up of the national kaleidoscope. It would be quite a coincidence that both largest national parties, Congress as well as BJP will then be led by leaders, both born outside independent India’s territories. Whatever may be their commitment to India, the people of India have to right to discuss if their extra-territorial birth will be in anyway effecting and compromising the big issues that face our nation. If , because of his birth in Sindh province, which is totally cut off not only from the boundaries of modern India, but neither plays or nor should play any high-priority role in the governance of the country, Advani should hold any obsessive agenda that could harm the peace and security prospects of future India, then the people have to be fairly warned in advance. Similarly, if Sonia’s Gandhi’s Italian birth, at some stage colours her policy or value judgments that could not be in line with the general consensus of the people of India, there should be some avenue where such eventualities could be publicly thrashed out. Gone are the days, when Kings and Generals born in foreign countries can, by the quirk of marriage or lack of public awareness and empowerment, could be manipulated by foreign powers to effectively rule countries by proxy. In this republican age of people’s rights to choose their own leaders through effective democratic processes, and hold them accountable and tuned to popular sentiments and wishes, any chance or probability of abnormal situations, specially developing with a longer term pace, which may rob them of the full and unfettered exercise of their democratic rights, should be widely debated and an informed consensus evolved for all time to come to guide the future generations.
GHULAM MUHAMMED, P.O.BOX: 16685, BANDRA WEST, MUMBAI – 400 050