Monthly Archives: June 2010

** India under eclipse

India under eclipse: the political folly – June 7

Nancy Kaul

For a Nation the people, the constitution, the armed forces and sovereignty along with territorial integrity are non-negotiable; the political leadership with its policies and decisions must abide by this. Each and every elected member of the Republic takes an oath to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation.

The folly of the leadership and political set up in the country is leaving little in the way of those who are hammering at the very nationhood of India – its people, culture, historical and civilisational moorings, economic and geo-political strategic contours.

The long term strategy of Pakistan is to dismember India, while adding a thousand cuts through the terror network. In this strategy, unconventional warfare and Jihadi terrorism are tools of warfare.

Separatists add to this multi-dimensional war by terror. On November 1, 2001, Syed Ali Geelani, a separatist leader in the Valley, said, “’It is an unrealistic claim to say Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.” Geelani’s remarks show that the sinister design has not been given up but only made deeper inroads.

It is therefore not surprising that separatists, secessionists and their Pakistani supporters go to the extent of comparing the ongoing terrorist and Jihadi violence in Kashmir to a freedom struggle. The spurt in Jihadi terrorism across the country for the last few years is to be perceived as part of Pakistan’s ‘grand design’ against India.

Valley based politicians in different voices hammer at the nation State of India. Proposals of Self Rule, Autonomy, and Greater Autonomy all have their genesis in a US report. One of the proposals that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf considered during the Agra Summit was opening of the Muzaffarabad-Srinagar road for another Indo-Pak bus service, leading to some kind of a free trade zone in the long run. The Pakistani President and Chief Executive Officer, Gen Pervez Musharraf clearly said he wanted concessions of these kind and more.

These demands of Autonomy, Self Rule and Greater Autonomy are part of a 1998 Kashmir Study Group Report, titled “Livingston Proposal: Kashmir, A Way Forward.” Also known as the Farooq Kathwari report, the document aims at diluting Indian sovereignty in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The US political establishment had offered some insights into its vision of settling the Kashmir dispute through this report, which speaks of a degree of autonomy to the region.

The report contained ways and means of creating a sovereign entity of Kashmir. It first envisages creation of two Kashmir entities – one each on either side of the LoC, each with its own government, constitution and a working relationship with either India or Pakistan or both.

The second proposal talks of a single Kashmiri entity with its own constitutional framework and government. As per the report, the new entity will have its constitution as well as citizenship rights, flag and a legislature. Kashmiri citizenship may allow them to acquire entity passports, the report suggested, while giving six working formulas of the sovereign entity which differ only in detail. All formulae aim to further dilute the relations of the State with India and are on communal lines.

The report includes a memorandum, prepared by Hurst Hannum, professor of International Law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, US. It is divided into three sections, dealing with issues of legislation, citizenship and currency, in its first part, followed by options of the Kashmiri entity, and the final section suggesting how an agreement on Kashmir can be given legal standing through an India-Pakistan treaty.

Where in the world does one find a sovereign entity within a sovereign country as is being propounded by the report? All the confidence-building measures that Pakistan wants India to take are actually aimed at further alienating Jammu and Kashmir from the country. The agenda of this report is to alienate Jammu and Kashmir from the Constitution of India.

This agenda got a flip when the Centre passed the Sager Ahmed committee recommendation envisaging autonomy for the State. It is not just going to define what and how autonomy of the State as perceived by National Conference, its Kashmiri Muslim-centric wants, and indifference to other regions and populations, but will also define how Indian leadership wants the world to see its sovereign and territorial frontiers – in terms of south and central Asia and the emerging world order.

Today, as the Prime Minister readies to go to Srinagar for another two day visit, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq wants a political package for Kashmir. He is actually batting for Pakistan and the Jihadi terrorists, “If you are saying that we have to wait for the last gun to fall silent, that’s not going to happen. Even the Jihad Council or the parties outside the council are maintaining the minimum number to attack installations of the Army or paramilitary forces.”

Mirwaiz of Hurriyat is joined by Mehbooba Mufti of PDP who now wants devolution of the Preamble and the Constitution, as her self rule propaganda envisages. Her wish-list wants semi-sovereign status for the State in future, “Jammu and Kashmir enjoys the status of a semi-sovereign state and gets unified with the other Kashmir (POK).”

State Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is a proponent of the honourable return of Kashmiri terrorists from Pakistan, whereas his government and the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board levied a Jazia-like tax on Amarnathyatra, raising startling questions.

The reins of power are fast corrupting the corridors of power. In a recent visit to Ramban and Doda, DGP Kuldeep Khuda called it a visit to Chenab Valley (March 3, 2010)! This is in conformity with the Greater Autonomy Committee report of the National Conference, which proposes to divide Jammu & Kashmir into eight regions along ethnic-religious lines –Kamraz, Nundabad, Maraz, Chenab Valley, Jammu, Pir Panjal, Kargil and Ladakh.

Though the DGP did not waste a moment to confer awards and recommendations with employment in JK police to Ruksana for fighting terrorists, he was found faltering in the case of the brave Sunita Kumari of Kalakote, who killed Hizbul Mujahedeen terrorists as they attacked her house, killing her father and injuring her along with her sister. Sunita is now hiding and trying to save her life from the HM terrorists as the State Government then led by Farooq Abdullah reneged on the promise of job with the state police department. Such aberrations of State policy do not auger well in terms of governance.

In the light of the above, if the Government passes recommendations on the Autonomy Committee report, greater autonomy, self rule, without giving thought to its long-term implications in terms of law, States and jurisdiction, it would term hurtle towards greater damage in terms of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the unity of the country.

Kashmir-centric politicians and their sympathizers with these demands and proposals are neither new nor different – but are with the agenda of devolution of Indian sovereignty, territorial integrity and constitution: with the aim of strengthening the stranglehold of separatist identity and creating a Muslim sphere of interest and the Balkanization of India.

The blanking out of other regions of the State in terms of development, governance, employment and political aspirations by Valley-centric politicians is intrinsic to this mindset.

Will the Prime Minister and the Government continue the dichotomy towards interests of strategic importance, governance, sovereignty and territorial integrity, for no nation survives on weak knees and spinelessness!!

Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing it, What the results might be, and Will I be successful. As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it. An enemy should be destroyed without a trace” – Chanakya

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** Politics of Corruption

The Politics of Corruption

M.V. Kamath


What is even more sickening is Mayawati’s attempts to spend Rs 3.8 crore of public money on eight statues of hers and Rs 3.37 crore for seven statues of her mentor Kanshi Ram to be installed in Uttar Pradesh and worse still, to spend Rs 52.20 crore to set up 60 statues of elephants-the election symbol of the BSP-in the State. It is total misuse of public money in an obvious case of self-aggrandisement. But who cares?

IF there is one thing the average Hindu would want to feel proud of, it is that he is not intolerant.

Think of this: The ruling party is today headed by an Italian-born Roman Catholic who runs the country. The Prime Minister is a Sikh. The Vice-President is a Muslim and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, not to speak of the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are dalits.

The Speaker besides, is a woman, which other country, pray, can show such liberalism? Not a single country in the world. The so-called upper caste Hindu, besides, suffers from an enormous guilt complex vis-à-vis dalits, for treating them for centuries as untouchables, no matter what various social reformers like Dasaveshwara in Karnataka have striven to change the mind-set of people.

That is why, one suspects, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in her fourth term can get away with anything. Mayawati is a dalit and she has been exploiting the guilt-complex effectively. She must be one of the most corrupt Chief Minister India ever had, but she gets away scot-free. But it is time the truth about her assets is revealed even if, presently, she has got a reprieve. The CBI has already told the Supreme Court that it has ample evidence of her illegal wealth. Much of it is available in a remarkable biography of the lady, entitled Behnji, authored by Ajoy Bose and published by no less a firm than Penguin/Viking.

It must be remembered that Bose’s findings have never been challenged. But what are they? The CBI listed the immovable assets of Mayawati and her family as follows: 41 agricultural plots, 16 residential plots, 7 shops, three orchards, two shops-cum-residences located in and around Delhi; a mansion in her ancestral village of Badalpur, described by NDTV as a mini-Taj Mahal, buit on a sprawling 30,000 square yards estate.

According to a CBI list filed in 2003, Mayawati then had assets worth Rs 36.5 million in one bank account and Rs 2.345 million in another. In 2004 she had Rs 1.5 million in cash and Rs 97.8 million in bank accounts and jewellery worth Rs 3.09 million. In 2007 her moveable assets included Rs 5.02 million in cash, Rs 128.8 million in bank deposits and jewellery worth Rs 5.08 million. Giving further details of her jewellery, Mayawati listed 1035.260 grammes of gold 76.040 grammes of diamonds and 18,500 kgs of silver. She also admitted owning murals worth Rs 1.5 million. According to Mayawati’s own self-evaluation from two affidavits her financial worth including both moveable and immoveable assets jumped from Rs 160.7 million in 2004 to Rs 520 million in 2007.

Bose says that in the late ‘90s, the BSP ran a year-long collection drive so that they could give birthday gifts of Rs. 6,50,000 to Kanshi Ram her mentor to celebrate his 65th birth-day and Rs 420,000 to her to celebrate her 42nd birthday. How nice. Comments Bose: “There is no credible explanation why these large donations, even if contributed by party workers, have been used for mansions, farm houses, commercial plots, jewellery and bank deposits in the name of Mayawati and her close relatives.” Bose adds: “Condemnation of Mayawati’s vast wealth and lavish spending must be tempered with the recognition of the general absence of any kind of moral code in Indian politics, when it comes to money- most of them, if investigated as rigorously as the BSP leader, would also stand exposed of accumulated properties, money and jewellery beyond their obvious means. It is a malaise that affects the country’s political system as a whole-”

And, by way of proving it, Bose credits the Tamil Nadu leader Jayalalithaa with assets worth Rs 240 million, followed by M Karunanidhi with Rs 220 million and Andhra Pradesh’s Chandrababu Naidu with Rs 210 million though Bose admits that none of them have even half the wealth that Mayawati who was born in a lower middle class dalit home of a government clerk with many dependents, has. How did she manage to accumulate that much wealth? Will the CBI kindly elaborate? What is even more sickening is Mayawati’s attempts to spend Rs 3.8 crore of public money on eight statues of hers and Rs 3.37 crore for seven statues of her mentor Kanshi Ram to be installed in Uttar Pradesh and worse still, to spend Rs 52.20 crore to set up 60 statues of elephants-the election symbol of the BSP-in the State. It is total misuse of public money in an obvious case of self-aggrandisement. But who cares? Fancy the Chief Minister spending Rs 1.55 crore a piece on a 24-ft high bronze statue of herself and another similar of Kanshi Ram! The issue may have been taken to the Supreme Court but by and large the people of Uttar Pradesh have taken the matter lightly.

After all Mayawati is a dalit, isn’t she? And dalits in the past have been ill-treated, haven’t they? So what is wrong with Mayawati taking her revenge? What is wrong, indeed. Our attitude is one of chaltha hai. Anything goes. Till recently the CBI was breathing down her neck in the disproportionate assets and Taj corridor cases but she has received a breather now because she has rushed to the UPA government’s support on the cut motion issue. If she had gone against the government the CBI would probably have got at her throat; she has now temporarily saved herself and never mind what the public thinks of the UPA.

The same thing happened in the case of Shibu Soren who ditched the BJP to keep the UPA government going. There has been a criminal case against Soren, but these can wait. After all, he is a tribal, isn’t he? Like Mayawati being a dalit, isn’t she? How can anyone blame them? But then we learn from an RTI failed by The Times of India that governments headed by leaders of various parties have withdrawn criminal cases against 51 political leaders in the past ten years, the beneficiaries including Ministers, MLAs, former Ministers and former MLAs. In most cases the State Government withdrew cases using its power under Section 321 of the Criminal Procedure Code. We live in a sick society which provides political parties to forgive crimes if thereby they can continue to stay in power. It is as plain as that. Does the media have a role to play in this connection? Yes, it has. Does it play it? No, it doesn’t. Why should it when by playing it, it invites retribution? Mayawati saved the UPA government in time, she has been amply awarded. So what’s there to talk about?

Also Read:

UPA Cozy with Traitors

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