Sunday, December 25, 2011

No Reservations in Lokpal Please! Let one Act be for All Indians

It is clear now. Nobody wants the Lokpal Bill to be passed in Parliament. The ruling party has always betrayed unease at the prospect of a strong Lokpal for reasons not difficult to fathom. The Opposition, although seemed committed to the idea of an institutional mechanism to combatinstitutionalised corruption, is apprehensive of the motives of the Government. Some stakeholdershave problems with the haste in passing it - wanting it to be passed in just three days; others have problems with certain sleight of hand tactics of the ruling party like the introduction ofreligion-based reservations through backdoor. Team Anna meanwhile has its own concerns, the primary one being their belief in the finality of their own wisdom which the Government draft wishes to negate. Passage of the Bill using the characteristic brute power by the Government may do double damage - it will take  the wind out of the issue while at the same time render the entire 8-month old movement redundant. The Left parties have a point when they question the tearing haste with which the Bill is sought to be passed. Such an important legislation should have been discussed sufficiently before it is passed. But the Government has no time. Anna's threat of another fast and another nationwide movement looms over the Government. It can't risk this at a time when it is heading for crucial elections in the coming months. However, Gurudas Dasgupta's comment that 'the Government is scared of an ex-bureaucrat, an ex-cop and someone who pretends to be the modern-day Mahatma' is quite uncharitable. He should instead have questioned the motives of the Government for bringing this Bill before the House at the fag end of the Winter Session. There can't be any justification for this delay. This is the simple and age-old technique of procrastination that all governments follow with legislations that they don't really want to pass. That the leaders of the Government were never interested in this Bill became obvious on several occasions in the last few months. Their handling of anti-corruption movements, be it led by Anna or Ramdeo, clearly betrayed their utter antipathy to the idea of Lokpal. It got reinforced by their farcical negotiations with Team Anna. Team Anna had to finally walk out of the negotiation room realising that the Government is just not interested. Naturally for the Government all that is needed is an excuse to not pass the Bill. The way it was drafted and the craftiness with which the irrelevant issue of Minority reservations got tagged to it bares the real intentions of the Government. Senior and respected Minister Pranab Mukharjee tried a trick in the Parliament when he insisted that the question of Minority reservations as part of Lokpal Bill is a question of Legislative competence of the House. This is an utterly fraudulent argument. Firstly, the Lokpal is not an institution for empowerment. It is an institution for eradicating corruption. What we needed were provisions to pick up people with enough profile to tackle corruption irrespective of caste, creed, language, sex or religion. All these considerations are necessary only when we promulgate laws for affirmative action. In that sense Pranabda's argument of Legislative competence is misleading. Secondly it is a wise trap in which it appeared that even the Opposition had initially walked into. The line of argument of some Members of the Opposition that the courts will reject such legislation indicates this amply. What needs to be made clear is that the question is not whether the courts will uphold the provision or not; the question is whether the Constitution permits such a legislation to be passed. In that sense the Legislature is not competent to promulgate or pass any Law that goes against the Constitution. Reservations based on religion have no sanction in our Constitution. Enough discussion took place on this subject in the Constituent Assembly and a decision was taken to extend reservations only to the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. The courts too have reminded this aspect to the governments several times before. The courts have additionally stipulated that reservations shouldn't exceed 49% in any given situation. Yet for the Government to propose that there will be a 50% reservation for SC, ST, OBC, women and minorities in Lokpal appointments is sheeraudacity. As opined rightly by the BJP, this is an attempt to bring in minority reservations by the back door. This unconstitutional act must be resisted. Unabashed Minorityism has taken a heavy toll on our national unity and integrity. It can't be allowed to continue for narrow political gains. It doesn't help the minorities either. They better realise it. Some parties, especially the Congress, have the habit of flaunting this Minority card every time they are in trouble or they need some electoral dividends. Before the previous round of State elections they raised the false bogey of Ranganath Mishra Commission report and made promises to the minorities. Elections were over and everybody forgot about it. Just before the last General Election they again raised the issue of Sachar Committee Report. Lot of din followed. Elections were over and the Government forgot about it. Now since the ruling party is in trouble they started this cacophony about minority reservations again. Even the proposed Communal and Targeted Violence Bill is a desperate act to mislead the gullible sections of the minority community. Let the members of those communities realise this game of the Congress party and its allies. Let the Government also be clear that the country won't tolerate such politics anymore. The larger question to be asked at least now is that can't we think of Indians even once to pass a legislation like Lokpal which wants to tackle the humongous problem of corruption that affects every citizen of our country irrespective of whether he is a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian; or whether he is a Brahmin or a Thakur or a Baniya or a Harijan? If we make caste, religion or sex a criterion for selection in Lokpal committee we are falsifying the very constitution of it and creating divisions at the very inception level itself. How can then the committee be expected to be impartial? The very logic of selection through sectional representation will lead to protection of sectional interests. And that will be the nemesis of the Lokpal. (Views expressed here are my own)

Saturday, October 15, 2011


They are popularly known in the North East as Reangs. They are the non-Christian tribe, whose original name is Bru. They inhabited the southern parts of the Christian dominated state of Mizoram. Being non-Christian in a Christian state had its price. Repeatedly subjected to persecution at the hands of the Mizo population as well as the political dispensation the Reangs - or the Bru people - were finally hounded out of the state during prolonged communal strife in 1997. It is 14 years since they had become refugees in their own land. Escaping from the marauders thousands of Reangs - men, women and children - fled into the neighbouring state of Tripura. For the last 14 years they have been living there in 7 different relief camps. A total population of nearly 35,000 these Reang refugees today lead a pathetic life. Internally Displaced Persons - IDPs - are supposed to be the responsibility of the Union Government. However the Government at the Center is too busy placating the gun-weilding terror groups in the North East and it has no time for these hapless Reang refugees. The Tripura State Government tries to do its little but that is grossly insufficient for the thousands of Reangs. They live in most inhospitable mountainous region in the North Tripura distrct along the Mizoram border. There is no water or electricity facility. Thousands of thatched huts dot hill after the hill in the region. Obviously there are no schools or hospitals. For living they depend mostly on the forests in the region. Able men and women venture into the forests and fetch firewood or teak and sell it in the nearby town to make some earning. But that too is not possible during mansoon months and in any case very few among the refugees can endure such physical labour under such had conditions. The ration that they get is shockingly low - Rs. 5 per day and 450 gms of rice per day for elders and half of it for the children. How on earth can anyone survive with Rs. 5 a day? A total of around 35,000 people survive on that meagre ration in these inhospitable jungles today. There are seven camps in total. Details of the refugee population in the camps are as follows: Camp Families Persons 1. Nayasinha Pada 3052 17668 2. Asha Pada 982 5000 3. Hazachera 770 3000 4. Kaisaka Pada 599 3800 5. Khakchang Pada 208 1300 6. Hansa Pada 312 1925 7. Naisau Pada 231 1500 The travails of these Reangs began the day they demanded a separate Autonomous District Council for them in Mizoram. Sometime in the middle of 1997 organisations like the Young Bru Association (YBA) and Bru Social Cultural Organisation (BSCO) started talking about this Council. No sooner had this demand reached Mizo organisations the retaliation began. Groups like Young Mizo Association (YMA) and Mizo Zyalai Powl (MZP), a local Christian Mizo group, started threatening the Bru people to withdraw the demand for autonomous council. Thereafter began the assault on the hapless minority Reangs. Their houses were attacked and ransacked, burnt down, looted, cattle were killed, elders were harassed, women folk abused and all this happened in front of the Government which chose to turn a blind eye. It is a known fact that several such autonomous councils exist in the states of the North East for various tribes. In that sense there was nothing unconstitutional about the demand of the Reangs. In fact there was a reason behind Reangs making this demand. For a long time they had been facing acute hardships at the hands of the majority Mizos in the areas where they traditionally lived. This discrimination reached its crescendo when the lists containing the names of the Bru people as voters had been mysteriously burnt down in a fire accident. In the subsequent re-enumeration names of hundreds of Bru people were deliberately omitted. This forced the Bru leaders to go in for the demand of autonomous council in order to protect and preserve their identity. Yet they had to face the brunt of the Mizo people and run away into the neighbouring state of Tripura seeking refuge. For the last 14 years they have been living in the jungles of the Kanchanpur sub-division of Tripura North district. Tripura Government under Sri Manik Sarkar does extend a lot of support to these refugees. In June this year a devastating fire had destroyed the thatched huts of these refugees in the densely populated Nayasinh Pada refugee camp. 24 Reangs lost their lives while thousands became home and hearthless. The Tripura State Government immediately arranged for relief and rehabilitation. District Collecter Ms. Soumya Gupta camped in the forest for ten full days to ensure that the refugees are properly rehabilitated. When I visited the camp in August this years the refugees were full of gratitude for the Government and especially the District Collecter. What struck me the most was that in the meagre rations that they receive the Reangs have saved enough money collectively to build two temple - one for Bhagwan Shiva and the other for Bhagwan Ram. They were building those temples through their own contributions and voluntary labour. The District Administration is arranging for schools, water, rough roads etc. However the central issue of their repatriation remains unanswered. The Central Government shows least interest in the plight of these refugees. Various international agencies too visit them from time to time but do little. For example representatives of the European Union visited the camps after the fire disaster. Many promises ensued. But nothing ever reached them. Their leaders understand that they shouldn't expect anything from these international bodies as they are non-Christians and their tormentors are Mizos. Whatever help they get is from the Tripura State administration and organisations like the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram only. Even after the recent fire accident also the Kalyan Ashram has arranged for substantial relief material to help the victims. Apathy of the Central Government and reticence of the Mizoram Government make solution to the problem of the Reangs difficult. Last year the Mizoram Government succeeded in dividing the Reang leadership and buy over a section of the leaders. It came up with a oral repatriation plan according to which the people who return to Mizoram would be provided Rs. 80,000. Representatives of the Central Government force the refugees to accept the offer and return to Mizoram. However the Reang leadership is genuinely concerned about this offer. Firstly it is just an oral offer. Secondly except the meagre sum of Rs. 80,000 the Mizoram Government is not giving any other assurance to these people. For example they want to go back to the constituencies and districts where they can create enough numerical strength to ensure their own safety. But the Government refuses to allow them to change their native district or constituency. The Reangs know nothing exists in their native villages for them. They had to flee those villages precisely because they lacked any support. Now they are being forced to go back to the same places. The Government is not even assuring return of their old property. That means they have to go back and work as labour in the very fields which perhaps they owned some 20 years ago. The Reang leaders want a proper repartiation and resettlement plan. It should be properly written and documented. Talks for drafting this plan should be held in a free and fair manner. So far the tripartite talks between the Mizoram Government, Central Government and the Reang leaders used to take place in Aizwal only. In an intimidating atmosphere in Aizwal the Reangs fear that they can't get justice. The talks should take place in Agartala or Guwahati so that there can be free and frank discussion. The political rights of the Reangs need to be safeguarded in any such agreement failing which the entire community would loose its identity. Failure of the governments for years in finding a solution to their pathetic plight led to some Bru youngsters turning to the gun. They had a brush with terrorism through Bru National Liberation Front (BNLF) which made matters worse. While those who opted for the gun had been won over by the Mizoram Government through various offers and an MoU, those who wanted a peaceful and democratic settlement faced the brunt of it by way of sidelining of the real problem that the refugees face. Reangs are another case of religious persecution after the Kashmiri Pandits. Both have been persecuted for being a religious minority in their respective states. But there is a major difference. The world knows about the plight of the Pandits. They have some rights in their state in which the majority of them live. Although refugees for almost same period the Reangs have not been successful in selling their story to the outside world. Hence they suffer.... mostly silently in a remote corner of our country.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011


Text of my forthcoming book on the UPA Government's proposed Bill titled Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Justice and Reparations) Bill - 2011 is available at the link given below:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Statement issued at a Press Conference at Agartala, Tripura


Sri Ram Madhav, Member, Central Executive, RSS



The country has witnessed an unprecedented upsurge of patriotic sentiments against the corrupt and arrogant political leadership of the country. Led by eminent non-political leaders like Sri Anna Hazare, Sri Ramdeo Baba and others this popular upsurge has demonstrated the unthinkable - that the power of the united society is paramount and the Government of the day must heed to the peaceful voices of millions of the countrymen - young and old, rich and poor, men and women.

The RSS has, through a resolution passed at Puttur, Karnataka in March this year, exhorted it's Swayamsevaks to fully support all the initiatives in the country against corruption in all forms. Following that resolution the RSS members have been actively supporting all these movements.

The RSS fully endorses the demand for a strong Lokpal that covers the office of the Prime Minister as well. The Government and some leaders of the ruling Party have demonstrated uncalled for arrogance in addressing the issues raised by Sri Anna Hazare. The RSS condemns this attitude and calls for sincere efforts by all parties to bring in effective Lokpal at the earliest.

While the Lokpal addresses one major dimension of the problem of corruption, there are several other dimensions to it like the black money. More importantly the fight against corruption will succeed only when it also includes fight against the corrupt. The RSS calls upon the countrymen to continue this campaign against corruption and extends full support from it's cadres to all the future initiatives in this direction.


Attempts by a section of the intelligentsia, under the garb of the National Advisory Council - NAC, to bring in a dangerous and draconian Bill with the above title are highly reprehensible. The NAC is just an NGO lacking any locus standi. It consists of a bunch of pseudo-intellectuals whose only credentials happen to be their anti-Hindu rhetoric and intimacy with Smt. Sonia Gandhi.

The Bill that they intend to force on the people of the country is dangerous for our already fragile social harmony situation. It is explicitly biased against the Majority community i.e. the Hindus. It projects them as solely responsible for the communal violence in the country.

Where a sincere effort to bring all the communities closer is urgently needed, there this Bill does just the opposite. It attempts to widen the gulf and acrimony between communities and thus is a fodder for anti-national and anti-Hindu forces.

The RSS warns that the country will not take this monstrous Bill lying down and resist it on all forums including political and popular ones.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Government Should Accommodate Anna's Suggestions in the Lokpal Bill

Anna Hazare's decision to go on fast once again from 16 August is going to stir up nationwide reactions. It is clear from the response of the Government that there is enormous anxiety over how the proposed fast would turn out. Would it attract same attention nationally as it did before or it would fizzle out this time? Of course people in the Government would sincerely wish it fizzled out.

But the national mood doesn't seem to suggest that. Recent Times of India poll showed that about 80% urban youths strongly support Anna Hazare's campaign. That is bad news for the Government. It is the urban crowds - including film stars, young professionals, sportsters, university-going boys and girls - that attract maximum media attention. Our media's weakness for urbane things is too well-known. In fact Anna's fast on the previous occasion was a major success partly due to the attention it attracted from the media.

That is not to suggest that he doesn't command the support of rural populace. Corruption in our country has become so frustrating to every ordinary citizen - an urbanite and a rural man alike - that today anyone seen fighting against it will immediately receive the support of the whole country. No section in the country is spared of this national disgrace. Corruption has become so virulent that the fed up nation jumps at any bandwagon that is seen to be a bulwark against it. People don't even want rationale - whether a particular form of protest is justified or not etc. They just don't want to tolerate this utterly corrupt regime for a single day more.

In fact Anna's agitation is a product of this public frustration and anger, so were the other agitations like that of Baba Ramdeo etc. The support they enjoy had been spontaneous and across the board. Some in the Government and the political establishment tried to give knee jerk reactions but ended up befooling themselves. They resorted to silly and superfluous campaigns like linking the popular anger against the corrupt that has manifested in Anna's and Ramdeo's movements to the RSS. They claimed, quoting intelligence sources, that the RSS was behind the movements and the leaders were only their 'mukhota' - frontmen. They even tried to justify their Fascist and unconstitutional midnight crack down on Ramdeo's supporters with the fictitious claim that they had intelligence inputs about massive mobilization by the RSS to further Baba's campaign.

As Pratap Bhanu Mehta stated in one of his articles, they were only enhancing the prestige of the RSS by making such allegations. The RSS has historically been playing an important role in all such public agitations. In seventies when Loknayak Jaya Prakash Narayan launched his historic campaign against the corrupt in the political establishment the RSS cadres too joined his campaign. The ABVP played a very important role in Loknayak's campaign. Later when Indira Gandhi imposed draconian Emergency and curbed all the fundamental rights of the citizens of the country the RSS cadres actively opposed her undemocratic rule and again joined the Lok Sangharsh Samiti campaign in big numbers. Even the BBC acknowledged the crucial role played by the RSS during those trying times to save our democracy describing it as "the only non-Leftist force".

But it must be noted that those movements were supported by many other sections of the society too, like the Socialists, the Gandhians etc. Even a section of the then Congress Party also finally joined Loknayak's movement.

This time too the RSS cadre have been playing a similar role only. They are not 'behind' anybody nor is anybody their 'mukhota'. They are WITH every movement that reflected and manifested the determination of the patriotic people to throw out this corrupt political establishment. They will continue to do so. Even in the forthcoming renewed agitation of Anna the RSS cadres, along with millions of other countrymen, would do thier utmost to make it a success.

Though there is a Government sponsored Lokpal Bill before the Parliament the agitators led by Anna say that it is just a hogwash. Government's steadfast opposition to including the Prime Minister, who is the first among the equals in the Cabinet, in the ambit of the Bill raises suspicions in the minds of the people about the intentions of the Government. Simply put, biggest strength of Anna and others is the utter lack of credibilty of this Government on the question of combating corruption. People believe Anna more than they believe even the Prime Minister whose facade of personal honesty stood thoroughly exposed today.

Anna's movement starting from Aug 16 is bound to attract huge support from the people. Government seems hell bent on crushing it. Any such misadventure will certainly recoil on the Government severely. Memories of the brutal crackdown on Ramdeo's supporters are still very fresh in the minds of the people. Reaction to it's highhandedness would be very serious this time. In stead the Government should try to accommodate the suggestions of Anna and others in it's draft Bill and then refer it to the Parliament. Even Anna agrees that the Parliament is the supreme authority in passing or not passing the Bill. In either case the Members will be answerable to the voters in their respective areas. That is the only option left for the Government now.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Liberal Fascists

This is an old technique of our pseudo-intellectuals. Attack and abuse.. but never engage in a debate or discussion over the issues raised or the arguments made.
Sesham Kopena Poorayet…. goes an old adage. What remains when you run out of arguments is anger and abuse.
What Dr. Subramanian Swamy had written in an article titled “How to wipe out Islamic terror in India” are his views. One may or may not agree with his views. The article was found fit for publication by the editor of a prestigious Mumbai-based English daily.
Ideally our intellectuals should have responded by countering Dr. Swamy’s arguments and opinions. Instead what we hear are endless invectives. I am not giving any opinion on the content of the article here. But how can I or anybody else deny Dr. Swamy his right to articulate his views?
In fact the political mission of many Islamists is under scrutiny all over the world. Tons of literature can be found in US and Europe over political Islam. In the most liberal parts of the world issues relating to Islam and its political ambitions are debated freely and opinions freely expressed. But in our country it is a complete taboo.
I am not surprised about the reactions from politicians like Digvijay Singh. In fact we can ignore them. For, they are just merchants of votes, rather unscrupulous. They don’t read books that they go to release. We don’t need to imagine that they had read Dr. Swamy’s piece before condemning him. They are knowledge-proof and information-proof. All that they know is to cynically exploit every opportunity for their narrow vote-bank politics. In fact they must be cribbing and wallowing that ‘Osamaji’ had not telephoned to them before getting killed so that they could have declared a grand nexus between the CIA and the RSS in eliminating ‘Osamaji’ – ‘part of a global anti-Muslim conspiracy’. Ignore them.
But what about our intellectual brigade that lungs out choicest sobriquets at Dr. Swamy for daring to write that article? What about our Minority Commission which is ‘seriously considering’ taking legal action against him?
Don’t forget these were the very same people who vigorously defended using their full vocal might M.F. Hussain when he painted Durga Mata, Sita Mata and Bharat Mata in the nude and obscene. That was described as ‘artistic freedom’. And these were the ones who were defending seditious bellows of Arundhati Roy and Jeelani etc. That was freedom of expression. Why then can Dr. Swamy not enjoy that freedom?
But that is how our pseudo intellectuals operate. They did it before too, several times, with several others. When Syed Shahabuddin was attacking Js. Krishna Aiyer on Shahbano judgment or when he was haranguing against Salman Rushdie – remember, without even reading the book Satanic Verses - these intellectuals were not seen anywhere to stop him. They were mute spectators to the fundamentalist Muslims’ targeting of Taslima Nasreen and their hurling of choicest invectives at her. Even to this day she runs from pillar to post every six months to ensure that the Indian Government doesn’t throw her out under the pressure of the fundamentalist groups.
In all these cases the refrain of these pseudo intellectuals is that the sentiments and sensitivities of the Muslims must be kept in mind. Let me recall that when Ayatollah Khomeini declared fatwa of death against Rushdie the great American Democrat and former President Jimmy Carter didn’t ask for the Ayatollah or the Muslims to show greater sensitivity to the right to freedom of expression of other people. Instead he only called for greater Western sensitivity to Muslim feelings. So did Margaret Thatcher of the UK.
Our pseudo intellectuals don’t bother when a Derek van Gogh is murdered or a Geert Wilders is made to make umpteen number of rounds of the courts or a Scandinavian magazine office becomes a target of repeated attacks for an ordinary cartoon depicting the Prophet or an Ayan Hirsi Ali is hounded out of Netherlands. Their freedom of expression doesn’t count. They pounce on Dr. Swamy in the similar manner for using a platform to express his views. He must be thrown out of Harvard; he must be prosecuted.
Now are they not the real Fascists – the Liberal Fascists?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Norwegian Mass Murder - A Warning to the World

What is interesting about the Norwegian who murdered scores in cold blood in the name of some ideology is his description by the European media as a ‘Christian Fundamentalist’. Which, of course, he is.
 His so-called Manifesto refers repeatedly to a medieval movement called ‘Knights Templar’. Anders Behring Breivik, the mass murderer, believed that there would be a 21st century version of the Knights Templar to save Europe from being run over by Muslims. Knights Templar was an armed Christian movement created in 12th century by Christian fundamentalists with blessings and support from the Catholic Church. It waged number of battles with Muslims of the times and had a bloody history.
While the media in Europe rightfully highlight this aspect of Breivik’s ideological background some in India found it appropriate to link him to the Hindutva movement. In his 1500-page so-called Manifesto Breivik does refer to India, and according to the media reports in more than 100 pages. He does mention about some books authored by Indians. He also makes several other observations – some history related and some about the contemporary political situation in India. But to insinuate that Breivik was inspired by the Hindutva propaganda is misleading and motivated.
Breivik’s act of killing innocents is reprehensible in strongest possible words. But the attempts to link it to Hindutva movement are also equally reprehensible. For, ideologically speaking, his views are more akin to hordes of conservative writers and thinkers of both sides of the Atlantic. In fact, he profusely quotes from the writings of respected conservative writers. His ideological position on issues like immigration, multiculturalism etc is no different from that of the likes of UK Prime Minister David Cameroon or German Chancellor Angela Merkel or French President Nicholas Sarkozy.
Each one of them have condemned his act of mass murder, so did many conservative thinkers. The duplicity of our ignoramuses is conspicuous in their attempt to blame the Hindutva movement for Breivik’s despicable act but their complete silence on his core Christian fundamentalist ideas. Also, this ‘guilt by association’ theory (there is no association, except some references from writings) is peddled out by these people selectively. By the same logic we have to blame Koran for the acts of Islamic terrorists; banish Marx, Mao, Lenin and Che etc up to Arundhati Roy, for, they are the ideological motivators of the Maoist terrorists. Breivik was also an admirer of the ‘Tea Party’ of Sarah Palin and of course his role models include Putin. Are they to blame for his acts?
It is important to note that this attitude of contempt and condescension of the Left-Liberal cabal is what is responsible for such heinous happenings. Issues that the conservatives raise, which today capture the imagination of a large section of the Europeans – thinkers and commoners alike, are dismissed and derided by these worthies rather than discussed and debated honourably. In fact the conservative writers, who are the biggest losers of Breivik’s horror, have been repeatedly warning the West about this impending disaster.
Breivik’s gory act should be condemned by everybody. But that is not enough. It is time we sit up and discuss the issues like multiculturalism, immigration, problem of Islam’s assimilation with Liberal Democracies etc without any malice. By refusing to do that and by indulging in witch-hunting we would only be inviting many more such tragedies.
Tail Piece: For this horrendous crime of killing around 80 people Breivik can get a sentence of just 21 years in jail. Norway, under the influence of the Liberalist campaign, banished death penalty. It is now interesting to see what these so-called champions of human rights would say when it comes to punishing Breivik. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ulta Chor Kotwal ko Dante…. !!!!

When they are cornered the politicians, like wild cats, tend to go berserk. Same thing seems to be happening to the likes of Home Minister Chidambaram. How else can we explain his utterly ridiculous statement today that the BJP is targeting him because he pushed forward hard with the investigations against the Hindu groups in terror cases?
Now the context is entirely different. A. Raja, the now infamous former Telecom Minister, has said in the Patiala House Courts on 25 July that the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister Chidambaram were very much in the know of the 2G spectrum allotments. Chidambaram was the Finance Minister when the allotments took place. Raja’s contention was that whatever decisions were taken by him in the 2G-spectrum allocation matter were with the full knowledge and approval of the Prime Minister and Chidambaram. In other words he has questioned the logic of keeping him in Tihar jail while his colleagues and collaborators still occupy North Block and South Block.
The BJP has demanded the resignation of both the Prime Minister and Chidambaram. Naturally the Congress could have responded in a mature and politically befitting manner to the BJP.
In stead Chidambaram chose to ‘Diggyise’ the issue by raising the bogey of Hindu terror. His answer (if it can be called one) to BJP’s criticism was that the Party was targeting him because he went after the Hindu groups in the terror investigation. Now, the BJP has not made any allegations against Chidambaram by itself. The allegations came from a very important former colleague of Chidambaram and former Union Minister A. Raja. Does Chidambaram mean that A. Raja too was influenced by Hindu forces to blame him?
Chidambaram’s foot-in-the-mouth reaction establishes the guilt in him. The guilt is two-fold; one, of course, is what A. Raja has revealed – complete connivance in the spectrum scandal; second, by his own admission he was directly responsible for targeting and trying to wrongfully implicate Hindu groups in the terror investigation.
Now the cat is out of the bag. It was Chidambaram’s scheming; to falsely implicate Hindu groups in terror cases so that the attention of the nation can be diverted from the horrendous looting and corruption indulged in by him and his colleagues.
It is the other way round!!
Ulta Chor Kotwal ko Dante…. !!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


It is well-known! Their history and antecedents… Justice Rajinder Sachar, Kuldeep Nayyar, Dilip Padgaonkar, Harish Khare, Angana Chatterjee, Ved Bhasin…. The Indians have known their seditious views on Kashmir for long. They have always been the best friends of Pakistan and their views music to its ears. They have all along been the apologists for assorted Indian separatists. They have been known enemies of the very idea and essence of India.
In fact millions in India are familiar with their anti-India candle light marches many times in horror. Many have questioned their subtle or not-so-subtle propaganda against India and its integrity umpteen number of times. Their sins of omission and commission have been well documented too. One such commendable work was by a Chennai based intellectual group called Vigil. Edited by Radha Rajan, Vigil’s publication a couple of years ago exposed treachery of several of these individuals and the NGOs they spawned.
Actually it is a matter of little surprise that many of them were on the payroll of Ghulam Nabi Fai, the man who has fallen to disgrace after the FBI arrested him for acting as an ISI agent. Fai or no Fai, it is always believed that not just these individuals, but many more in India have been on the ISI payroll. You will find them marching with candles in hands at the India-Pakistan border. You will find them in anti-India conferences in various Pakistani cities. Worse, you will find them in the TV studios in Delhi. They pass off as Liberals; enjoy huge patronage from sections of media; and shamelessly propagate their secessionist and seditionist agenda in our own backyard and under the very nose of our government.
So the right question to be asked is, if it is a crime in Washington DC to use ISI money to propagate anti-India views, how come it is not a crime to do the same in India? If Fai can be arrested, why should there be no action against any of his collaborators?
But sadly, the collaborators are very powerful in India, where patriots are branded anti-nationals and subversionists and secessionists are honoured with plum posts. You will find these friends of ISI in important positions… in the PMO and elsewhere. That is why the Government brushes it aside saying it is a ‘personal matter’. Is sedition a ‘personal matter’?
That is why the perpetrators are brazen. One dismisses saying he didn’t know the background of Fai. Another goes one step further and cheekily declares that he would go anywhere to propagate his views. Take it for a moment that perhaps they didn’t really know the antecedents of the man who was calling them. Many of these Liberals have a common trait. They are very fond of free foreign jaunts where they can enjoy star facilities and wine and dine with their breed at free of cost. But they are invited NOT because they are knowledgeable about the subject – there are many more in India who are real experts on, in this case, Kashmir secession - but precisely because they are on the same side of the fence as the man who was inviting them. Hence their claim of innocence should be taken as just a pretence.
What is the bigger offense? For an American citizen to campaign in his country against India with ISI money or for an Indian citizen to do that in his own country as well as abroad? Then why these worthies are not being made to answer for their acts that are tantamount to sedition? Don’t they owe an explanation and at least an apology?
In fact the arrest of Fai should serve as an example to us. We have far too many in our country who continuously engage in India bashing all over the world. They have several excuses to attack India; dalit issues, women’s issues, Narendra Modi, Sangh Pariwar, minorities. Tonnes of money is available for these India-bashers. Their sponsors include Chruch groups, western phony charity agencies, Vatican and of course pseudo-Liberal and Left academia in the universities and think tanks in the West. At the instance of cash-rich missionary groups these pseudo-intellectuals indulge in crass anti-India campaign on a regular basis. Thanks to these traitorous junkies, today country after country in Europe is attacking India in the name of caste and other social issues. It is these people who propagate world over that the caste in India is the Indian version of racism in Europe and the West.
Like the friends of the ISI these friends and foot soldiers of the western Church agencies too occupy important positions in India today. They can be found in the NAC of Sonia Gandhi; HRD of Kapil Sibal and of course they are omnipresent in our English media. They run phony NGOs that get unaccounted money in hordes to unleash their seditious campaigns.
It is time all these people are made accountable. It is time they are brought to book. We have tolerated their anti-national rubbish for far too long. It is time they are shown their place.
One caution though. I, for one, refuse to buy that the FBI could find out about the objectionable activities of Ghulam Nabi Fai only in the last few weeks. He has been in that country for more than 20 years. He has been in the lobbying business for almost 2 decades. In Washington DC the K Street is an adda of  countless lobby agencies. Lobbying is legal in that country. By fulfilling a few formalities anybody can get into the business of lobbying.
With its elaborate network of spies and agencies it is unbelievable that the US couldn’t have had any inkling of what Fai was doing all these years. Those who know how the US operates would vouch for the fact that Fai’s arrest at this particular point in time must be a part of some larger design. It must be a precursor to something else. What that something else could be is difficult to predict now. May be the US has plans about tackling ISI or it has new designs about Kashmir.
Hence while Fai’s arrest by the FBI must be taken with caution, one important lesson that we can deduce from the arrest is that our own home-grown versions of Fai must be dealt with sternly. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011


 All indications are that this Mumbai blast too would end up at the bottom of the list of countless such attacks in the past, which have not seen the conclusion of the investigation and punishment to the perpetrators. There have been many in the last one decade; three for Mumbai alone. On Aug 25, 2003 Mumbai was rocked by powerful explosions in cars at two places killing 60 people; again the First Class compartments of the famed Mumbai Metro system were attacked in 2006 killing more than 200 people. 26 Nov 2008 saw worst ever attack that went on for three days killing more than 250 people. Last week’s attack was the fourth.

We all admire the spirit of Mumbai. But we forget the fact that several other cities too experienced similar attacks in the last decade. Pune was the latest victim last year. Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Delhi, Varanasi – many cities… and many incidents. What is common about most of these incidents is that the investigations have proceeded nowhere. Except in the Parliament attack case and 26/11 Mumbai attacks case the investigating agencies could hardly achieve any breakthrough in the investigations in all other cases of terrorism.

All that we hear from those who are responsible is helplessness and despair. Home Minister Chidambaram’s statement that there was no intelligence failure perplexed everybody in the world. On one hand he admitted that there was no prior intelligence input about the impending attack. Yet he is not willing to accept that there is some failure.

There was no security failure either. All that the Chief Minister of Maharashtra was ready to bemoan about was that the Home Ministry was not in his control. The Mumbai ATS Chief would appear on TV the whole day but only to tell people that they were still clueless about the perpetrators.

No wonder ruling party politicians become apologists and the opposition the attackers. Apologists would reassure you that ‘behind each success of the terrorists there were ninety-nine successes of the security agencies which go unsung’. Which are those ‘ninety-nine unsung successes’ of the agencies? There was not a single terrorist attack in US after 9/11. Coming September marks the tenth anniversary of 9/11 attacks. The entire world knew that the US is ‘enemy number one’ for the jihadists. It is also a fact that there were numerous attempts by the terrorists to attack America. But each time the US was successful in thwarting the Jihadi attempts. Last one was just last year when a rogue Pakistani parked his car near Times Square and attempted to detonate it. Another rogue Pakistani hatched a huge conspiracy in 2009 to blow up a number of US-bound planes from London. But the British agencies could not only prevent that disaster but arrest the entire gang of terrorists too.

Our ignoramus leaders would then try another argument. ‘Oh, the Americans are attacked in Iraq and Afghanistan regularly’, they say. Pity that they don’t understand the difference between a war and civilian terror. Also, they want to compare India with Afghanistan and Iraq. Thank god, they are not our rulers yet. They will certainly bring India to that brink if allowed to become one.

Then come the irresponsible ones. It is better to ignore them. Digvijay Singh is not the first to talk nonsense. Five years ago in 2006 another Congress leader Arjun Singh kicked up a storm in his own Party’s teacup when he blamed the Mumbai terror attacks on the RSS in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Singh. Arjun Singh too was known for his pastime of RSS-bashing. Digvijay Singh climbed a few notches above his senior in his oral diarrhea. Also, Arjun Singh wouldn’t have probably misbehaved with a girl at a Kshatriya Maha Sabha event; or kicked and rained blows on a hapless youngster in the Congress Party office in Delhi; or perhaps ran after some youths like a street bully chasing them in Ujjain; which his oral diarrhea successor would do in full public and media glare. It is another matter that he gets away with all this because nobody takes him seriously or people pity him for insanity with growing age and plummeting clout.

There is one worrisome lot though, whose writings and statements, knowingly or otherwise cause some concern. This lot includes strategic experts, men in the agencies and column writers. Several of them have started declaring that India has entered the age of what they call as ‘indigenous jihad’ or ‘domestic/home-grown terrorism’. Is this true? Is the phenomenon of Indian Mujahidin the reason enough to conclude so? If the local support to the acts of terror perpetrated from across the border is what we are describing as the home-grown terror, then it has always existed. But if we were to presume that terrorism in the hinterland in India is a product of the domestic network only, we would probably be walking into a well-laid-out trap by the perpetrators in our neighborhood.

This raises the serious question of why we lack full understanding of the nature of terror in India. While the world outside is into full blown action in dismantling this terror network, we, the worst victims of terror according to the US National Counter Terrorism Center in Washington DC, are still debating as to what form of terror it is; whether it is home grown or externally sponsored.

Herein lies the greatest failure of our security establishment in general and the Home Minister in particular. In the last three years the direction in which he conducted the Internal Security apparatus has only culminated in confusion among the agencies, demoralization or marginalization of the Law and Order machinery in the States and creation of agencies like the NIA which lack knowhow or ‘know-why’ yet entrusted with tasks that they are ill-equipped to handle. It is not enough to pump in money in the name of Police modernization; the Home Ministry needs vision, which the present incumbent seems to be lacking.

The result is we are in utter confusion with regard to the very identity of the perpetrators of these crimes. There is SIMI; there is Indian Mujahadin; and then there surfaced another gang called ‘Deccan Mujahadin’ at the time of the Mumbai blasts of 2006. Are they really home grown? This phenomenon of using loosely organized groups with fictitious identities has started long ago. Any good intelligence officer would say that this will be text book tactic of an insurgent group; to create an impression that terrorism is home grown; if possible to create terror modules in which not just the Muslims but even the Hindus would be members. Richard Headly is a test in case. A Pakistani born in America and acquired complete American identity including a name, Headley turned out to be working for the ISI. Can we rule out the possibility in the case of the IM or SIMI or other organisations?

Problem with these outfits is that they are quite amorphous. Even after almost a decade nobody knew fully what this IM is all about. Interrogation of the SIMI cadres revealed that it essentially branched out of SIMI. SIMI is mandated to undertake selective killings while the IM will indulge in mass killings through terrorism. Riaz Bhatkal, Md. Tauqeer, Md. Faisal, Amir Raza Khan…… these are some of the names associated with this outfit. But nobody has any clue as to what the hierarchy is.

For those who talk about the home grown terror it must be remembered that almost all these leaders are suspected to be either in Pakistan or safe havens arranged by ISI elsewhere like Dubai and Nepal. Most of the IM operatives come from one school in Azamgarh, the favorite destination of their friend Digvijay Singh. They have active liaison with LeT, JiM and HUJi.

Our agencies grope in dark due to lack of intelligence and knowledge about these outfits. And for self-seeking leaders this confusion is an opportunity to indulge in petty politicking.

Once again the terrorists must be laughing in their sleeves over our ineptness – in identifying the perpetrators, in bringing them to book through tight laws, in punishing them, and most importantly in implementing that punishment.

As eminent writer Brahma Chellany commented in a recent article: “The ugly truth is that transnational terrorists see India as an easy target because it imposes no costs on them and their patrons”.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


World Council of Churches
GENEVA 27-31 MAY 2008


Available at:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lecture at the WCC Conference

World Council of Churches, a Geneva-based umbrella body 
of hundreds of Church denominations, has held a decennial 
conference at Jamaica, West Indies on 18-25 May 2011. 
Attended by Church representatives from a large number 
of countries this conference deliberated upon a document 
called "Just Peace". 

The WCC has invited responses from representatives of 
world religions. An invitation was received by me to 
present Hindu response to the Document on Just Peace. 

Text of my address at the Conference in Jamaica on 
20 May is available at:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kalka Mail Accident

A pleasant surprise awaited us yesterday. We were all at the all-India meeting of the Prant Pracharaks (Provincial Organisers) of the RSS. This meeting was held at a far off North Eastern town of Tinsukia. The meeting was being held at a very serene and scenic school complex of the Vivekananda Kendra. This one was one of the oldest schools started by the Kendra in the North East.

We were cut off from the rest of the country and the world for the duration of the meetings. There were about 175 of us - all the senior functionaries from the RSS and several important full-time organisers from various like-minded organisations like the VHP, BMS, ABVP, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Vidya Bharati and the BJP.

North East wakes up early. By 4 in the morning you would witness daybreak. Sun sets off early too, latest by 6 in the evening. Ideally Bharat should have two or three time zones like the US. At least the East and North East Bharat should have a +1 hour time zone from the rest of the country. That would save a lot of energy and time for this region.

We were completely cut off from the developments in the rest of the country not only due to the distance and allied factors like occasional poor mobile network coverage etc but also due to the intense deliberations taking place on various important issues and plans being drafted for future campaigns. It is normal with Sangh functionaries because of the back-to-back nature of the meetings and the insistence upon diversionless attention on the work at hand.

It is natural that in such a scenario we would miss the news about a tragic accident like the one happened to the Delhi-bound Kalka Mail on 10 July morning. It had apparently happened at around noon on that day. However I was alerted by an NDTV mobile alert when I turned it on at around 2 pm. Our session was to commence soon. So I rushed to locate the Prant Pracharak of Kanpur with the news. The accident area falls in his province. Somehow I couldn't find him before the start of the session.

Finally at 3.30 pm we could meet. I told him to activate our Swayamsevaks near the accident place as also the other nearby paces for necessary help to the affected passengers. It was a ghastly accident. Two general compartments were very badly mangled. We got the information that at least 60 people have died and hundreds injured. What appalled us was that till 4 pm the Railway Accident Relief train had not reached the site of the accident although it was just a 4-hour normal train run time away at Allahabad. It speaks volumes about the inefficiency of our system.

What made us feel satisfied was that the RSS Swayamsevaks were already there at the site of the accident for several hours helping the railwaymen and other security personnel. They were there at the railway station near the dead bodies. They were there in hospitals where the injured have been transported. They were there even in Kanpur attending to the seriously injured.

Our phone went to the key functionary in Kanpur. He was so busy that he could barely speak to us for a minute; he was rushing to the hospital where several injured had arrived. He had already asked a number of Swayamsevaks to reach there anticipating need for blood and other help. We tried for the district secretary of the organisation in the affected area. It took a while, series of phone calls back and forth, to locate him. For several hours he was busy organising relief at the site along with more than hundred Swayamsevaks. Lastly we tried to reach out to the local head of the organisation, a doctor by profession. He told us that he was busy attending to the injured people in his own hospital as dozens of them had arrived.

Should we not feel happy? Here is a voluntary group of socially-conscious individuals which is in full force attending to the victims. They didn't wait for the orders to come from above in the command structure, which in this particular case is far removed from the event. They didn't even bother to inform the so-called higher ups. Only thing that occupied their thoughts at that moment was perhaps the duty to help the suffering passengers. Contrast this with the delays in the response of the Government machinery. It happens mostly because of the command structure.

By evening it was all over in the news. For a change the TV channels were showing visuals (which they would normally avoid by turning their cameras away) of Swayamsevaks involved in the relief activity. True to their intrusive style they managed to interview a couple of Swayamsevaks also. Ideally we would have expected our Swayamsevaks to avoid media bytes etc in such situations. But sometimes the intrusive style of the media becomes too much and one or two end up in minor violation of that fine line of the organisational culture.

I am writing this not to suggest that only Swayamsevaks respond in such times of calamity. Many other socially conscious individuals too do. But the Swayamsevaks enjoy a distinct advantage. They are mentally better trained and equipped due to their RSS background to respond to such situations. Also, they have an organisational structure to maintain orderly management of such otherwise chaotic situations. Perhaps the military enjoys this advantage besides the Sangh. Thirdly and most importantly the RSS has a network that can handle all the needs in such situations - doctors, blood donars, helpers, transport, food, security. You name it and you have people in the organisation who can be immediately put to work. This network of inspired individuals is what the RSS has created as an asset for the country.

They will be there wherever and whenever required. I am reminded of the day after the police crackdown on Baba Ramdev's Satyagraha camp at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi. At 5 in the morning on 5 June I saw more than 200 Swayamsevaks at the Jhandewala HQ of the organisation in Delhi. They were to disperse in various directions - to railway stations, hospitals, public parks - to extend help to the victims of the Police brutality. While all the leaders were busy making statements here was a band of young men which was silently scouting the streets of Delhi and helping the victims.

In the true tradition of the RSS, of course.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Save Lord Padmanabha from neo-iconoclasts

Lord Padmanabha’s wealth belongs to Him only

Goddess Lakshmi resides where Lord Padmanabha is. For, the Lord is an aspect of Lord Vishnu himself, whose consort is Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. No surprise that such huge amount of divine wealth has been unearthed in the locked up chambers of Lord Padmanabha's temple in the present day Thiruvananthapuram, earlier known as the capital city of the Royalty of Travancore.

After finding such enormous wealth the right question to be asked first is as to how come a relatively smaller temple of Lord Padmanabha had so much wealth while much more popular shrines like the Balaji at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh or for that matter the Guruvayurappan temple in Kerala itself seem to have much less? No one can dispute the fact that these two temples have been much more popular and have attracted many times more devotees for centuries. Nobody can also dispute the fact that they must have attracted lot more of public endowment in all these centuries. What happened to all that wealth of these temples?

Therein lies the answer to many issues being raised by the overzealous over the recently unearthed wealth of Lord Padmanabha. It is safe only and only in the hands of the Lord, and none - not even the Government-run trusts - deserve to handle it. By now it has become common knowledge that the wealth is the accumulated offerings by the successive kings of the royalty of Travancore and many other kings, rulers - Indian as well as foreign, traders and commoners.

One should acknowledge the enormous commitment of the royalty to Lord Padmanabha in safeguarding this wealth. I have had personal acquaintance with the royals of Travancore. It is known to many in Kerala that the royal family's financial fortunes have dipped considerably in the last few years to an extent that they were finding it difficult to manage the temple affairs too. It has resulted in some problems between the temple priests and other staff and the royals who manage the temple. I am told that there were several such occasions earlier too when the royalty had faced acute financial strains. Yet they never dared to touch the temple wealth, an iota of which would have met many of their needs.

It is nobody’s case that we should condone the omissions and commissions of the royals, if any, in managing the temple affairs. However it must also be borne in mind that successive kings of Travancore deserve rich tributes for protecting this vast wealth with utmost devotion and sincerity. The British had looted several temples in the country and transferred all the booty to the Royal Palace in London. In fact the Queen must in great sorrow after the news of this unearthed wealth and cursing for sure the inefficient officers of the British Raj for failing to do that when they had the chance.

However the rapacious political leadership that succeeded the British has meticulously completed their unfinished task in the last 6 decades. Temples like Tirupati and Guruvayur and many more are a standing example of this domestic loot. The story of the loot of Hindu temples in India by our political masters post-Independence pales Ghori and Ghaznvi into obscurity.

On January 17, 1750 the then ruler of Travencore Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma stood before the Lord Padmanabha and offered his entire kingdom at His altar. After that the successive rulers had rechristened themselves as Padmanabha Daasa – vassals of Lord Padmanabha. Like loyal soldiers they not only protected the kingdom and the temple but also the enormous wealth it had earned over centuries.

Loot of Hindu temples by the political masters in post-Independence India has acquired humongous proportions. Lands and other property of many a temple have been nibbled away by the goons of local and sometimes provincial political termites. Jewellery, cash and artifacts including antique sculptures have been stolen from the museums directly or sometimes through sleight of hand by taking them to overseas destinations in the name of India exhibitions and replacing the valuables with duplicates and sending them back while the originals found their way into international markets for huge sums. There are serious allegations that this kind of loot has made several politicians billionaires while the temples have turned into paupers.

The ongoing litigation that has led to the opening of the locked chambers at the Padmanabha temple appears to be motivated by some such sinister designs only. There is no dearth of treacherous Hindus in our country. They become easy tools in the hands of greedy politicians – a breed for which too there is no dearth in India. The entire game plan appears to be to loot the wealth of Lord Padmanabha by hook or crook.

In a way this litigation has brought back into focus the critical issue of the control of Hindu temples by the political establishment. Temples and their entire wealth – whether it is lands or offerings or antiques – should belong to the Hindu society only. There is a need to amend or discard the Hindu Endowment Act so that the religious places of Hindus become the property of the society rather than the government. Travancore proved that devout Hindus can safeguard temples better than unscrupulous politicians.

Chief Minister of Kerala was sensible in declaring that his government has no interest in taking over the wealth or management of the Padmanabha temple. Suggestions by sections of the media and intelligentsia like creating a museum or trust are also too premature. What is needed is for the entire Hindu society including the saints and spiritual leaders to vociferously oppose any move to take over the temple or its wealth. Let it be protected by the management as before and let there be a larger discussion over the management of Hindu temples by Hindu society itself.