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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dishonest intellectuals of Bolshevism

Tarun Vijay

21 Nov 2007

In the year of the 90th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, which inspired millions across the world as a hope for peasants and workers and exploited-classes, and which soon turned into a monstrous state totalitarianism defeating the very purpose it was claiming to serve in its initial stage, we saw Nandigram massacre and its justification by the pale shadows of Stalinism. It is also a statement on the seriousness and analytical minds governing the media and political debate that hardly any in-depth study has been done or commissioned to re-evaluate Bolshevism and its impact on the Indian society and polity. Trivia rules Delhi and immediate concerns of winning an election dominate political activities with bubbles of protests or justification for massacres like the one that occurred at Nandigram, creating headlines and filling editorial scrap books. Violence and physical eliminations form an essential part of the Communist ideology and though the Bolshevik Revolution promised the rule of the proletariat, bread and equal economic growth, land to the peasants and grass-root democracy through multi-party Soviets to the Russians who were sick of high prices, non-governance with a rude and anti-people bureaucracy, soon, the entire party apparatus was turned to control administration and be a tool to serve leaders beginning a new regime of subjugation and dictatorial state policies. Lenin's rise, the history of the Mensheviks and the Right and Left Socialist Revolutionaries, the end of the Trotsky era in the course of the Revolution need to be revisited in the light of a what we see as an enormous dishonesty of the Left-wing intellectuals demonstrated so 'bravely' in Kolkata recently bemoaning the Marxist government's anti-people policies. Hardly anything has changed since the first red revolution took place in 1917. There is no doubt that the Bolsheviks' organisational flexibility, openness, and responsiveness to popular aspirations, as well as their extensive, carefully-nurtured connections to factory workers, soldiers of the Petrograd garrison and Baltic Fleet sailors gave birth to an enormous magnetic attraction and raised hopes of immediate peace. Exactly the same happened in India too. The October Revolution was quintessentially the intellectuals' accession to power. Creating well-defined socio-economic groups, the Leftist intellectuals promoted a statist system as 'the ideology of the new ruling caste', and the Soviet system was 'nothing other than the construction of a new class domination over the producers, the establishment of a new socialist power over them', the plans for which having been 'elaborated and prepared during several decades by the leaders of the socialist democracy'. What it turned our ultimately was a complete reversal of the promises and the brute rule of the moneyed party Commissars followed with a force. Falsification of history, gossip presented as state documents, deceit, deception and intellectual dishonesty marked with a stylised political demagogy became the hallmark of the Bolshevik 'revolutionaries' who were enjoying the fruits of a mass uprising, hijacking the Russian Revolution to become the new ruling elite. West Bengal has witnessed the same historical phenomenon with a difference that India has a large population with the continuity of Hindu civilisational flow that powers their silent yet powerful resistance to un-Indian attitudes in its own way. So the Marxists have never been able to increase their influence directly and have found just a few corners using their skill of maneuvering state power through the back door and terror tactics. Those who claimed any kind of intellectualism at the Kolkata rally to denounce the CPM's atrocious barbarity at Nandigram have further compromised the reputation of their residual ruins of Bolshevism. Their angst and disenchantment with the party they loved so much all their life is not because of the Nandigram massacre but because of the media outcry over what had become a thoroughly-indefensible episode. It stunned them suddenly to come to the roads with a singularly private mission to safeguard their personal positions, however falsely though, in a society that's civil enough in spite of a long Marxist rule, due to the influence of reformers like Vivekananda and Ishwar Chand Vidyasagar.
These Left intellectuals with a stiff upper lip and a typical 'rebellious' brand value showcasing a set of symbolism in their exterior postures never felt agonised over any number of barbarities perpetrated by the Marxist goons from Bihar to Bengal and Kerala to Maharashtra. When the teachers were hacked to death before students in a class room by SFI goons, they kept reciting poems of revolutionary love in Mukta Dhara auditoriums. When Nepal's Maoists were getting protection by JNU's jhola-chhap Left extremist groups they were happy in donning highly beneficial positions in akademis and literary circles. When Kashmiri Hindus were raped, maimed, killed and their temples razed, the same intellectuals condemned them for spreading 'rumours' and sang songs of peace and international brotherhood to earn free tickets to Soviet Russia and Beijing. Now, just to steal the thunder and outdo the genuine voices of pain and anguish emerging out of Nandigram, these intellectuals have tried to overwhelm them with their own noises of moral turbulence over what was always a hallmark of their ideological patrons. If bullets and sickles were physical on the Nandigram people, they had the same brutalising effect through academic dishonesty. Nandigram was bruised both ways. West Bengal has seen the most hateful ideological apartheid practised in India under these worthy intellectuals. It was in their Communist regime that Ramakrishna Mission had to declare itself a non-Hindu institution in order to save its educational centres, schools and colleges from the assaults of CPM's unions. With a dismal land distribution and industrial growth rate, farmers, labourers and industrial workers have faced the worst situation due to Marxist monopoly over state policies and programmes. The way they 'win' state Assembly elections through guns and goons is an open secret. From the days of 'China's Chairman is our Chairman' and betraying the nation in 1962, supporting the Emergency in 1975 and aligning with forces who ruthlessly eliminated their co-ideological travellers, Naxals, during Siddhartha Shankar Ray's Congress regime in the 70's, Marxist intellectuals had no qualms denouncing Taslima Nasreen and demanding not to extend her visa, just because she had espoused the cause of Hindu minorities in Bangladesh and depicted graphically the sorry state of Muslim women under the yoke of Islamic rule. These intellectuals who feel 'sad' at the government's handling of Nandigram are not ashamed of the fact that they had supported a totalitarian ideology for the last several decades that justified the division of motherland and welcomed the unfriendly Muslim infiltrators from Bangladesh. They never denounced the jihad and taught Marx and Lenin in the text books denouncing Gandhi, Vivekananda and Subhash Chandra Bose. As if Russian and Chinese Communist leaders were more Indian than those who espoused the cause of Indian nationalism, Independence and spiritual wealth. When the Communist mouthpiece depicted Subhash Chandra Bose as lackey of Tojo and hurled abuses on Gandhi and Nehru, no Marxist intellectual felt anything bad about it. They support the continuation of Annexure 370, separating Kashmir from the rest of the country, never ever sympathised with the victims of jihadi or Maoist violence in Jammu &, Kashmir, Telengana, Bihar, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand. In fact when an extremist fringe of the Communist tradition won hands down in JNU defeating official CPM candidates, it shocked the leadership. The competition to emerge as sole spokesperson of the Left stream is so strong that it can only accelerate the killing spree amongst them. Leftist poets and writers are angry that the West Bengal government is not acting according to the ideological moors and they would like to form the real Left which is pure and follows the line of thought propounded by Stalin, Lenin and Mao. Their world view and inspirations are still across the border and nothing within this motherland that gave birth to them, inspires them. They kept mum when the Soviet tanks entered Hungary and Afghanistan because 'they were brotherly actions of fraternal comrades'. They never protested when Pakistan occupied illegally two-thirds of Kashmir and China refused visas to our Arunachali citizens. Poverty, subjugation, deprivation and darkness of a static social milieu help them to write and earn. In fact more the deprivation, more their revolutionary zeal is fuelled and a strong poetry emerges out of it. Like political maneuvering, the Left intellectualism, too, thrives in backwardness and not in finding and guiding solutions to remove it. Hence, take a pause, the Left intellectuals' 'sadness' shouldn't be taken as their willingness to purge their ideology of the un-Indian traits too. Marxism is dead. Long live the 'bourgeoisie' intellectualism.

Partition's ghost haunts Pakistan

Tarun Vijay

November 06, 2007 01:05 IST

Two headlines on The New York Times this week caught my attention. One said, 'Hello, India? I Need Help With My Math.' It was about how Indian tutors sitting in cities like Chennai are helping American children in Washington and California get good grades in math.

The other headline, about America's blue eyed regime, screamed, 'Pakistan Rounds Up Musharraf's Political Foes' and detailed the state of emergency clamped there.
What a difference between two State powers that were born simultaneously!
One was separated because it did not want to remain 'shackled' to a Hindu majority nation. 'We are a separate Qaum (identity), we are Muslims,' roared Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Even Iqbal, the poet who wrote Sare Jahan Se Acchha Hindustan Hamara ('Our India is the greatest'), wrote a foundational theory justifying the creation of a separate nation and redrafted his immortal lines into 'Sare Jahan Se Acchha Pakistan Hamara'.
Mahatma Gandhi is still anathema in Pakistan though he fasted unto death, annoying both his disciples Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel, forcing them to give Rs 52 crores -- Rs 520 million, a mammoth amount in those times -- as a 'loan' to newborn Pakistan. But Iqbal, the arch supporter of our motherland's division, remains a much revered icon in India in whose memory all governments -- including the Bharatiya Janata Party's -- are pleased to give high awards to Urdu poets.
An all-inclusive Hindu majority nation with an astounding continuity of tradition that defines applied democracy and freedom of thought remains a helpless spectator to the plight of its neighbour, which was considered an inseparable part of India till 60 years ago, and which has fought four bloody wars with us.
Pakistan's Islamic dream has gone sour miserably.
It got further divided in 1971, giving birth to another jihad factory, Bangladesh. Like any other Muslim majority country the world over -- Turkey provides an exception, for many other reasons although -- it has an Islamic obsession to wield the gun and teach the West and the Hindu-Jewish combine a lesson.
In Karachi, the brave journalists keep writing books like Who Owns Pakistan? Or Pakistan -- Between America, Army and Allah (in that order), and Taliban-a Bane or a Boon?
Those who care for a reasonably modest Islamic republic have accepted intermittent periods of a nascent democracy, army rule and judicial games -- giving a semblance of constitutional regime -- while human rightists present well-prepared papers in Delhi seminars and give wishful speeches at glamorous media summits.
A leader is allowed in, ostensibly because Big Brother in Washington 'approved' her politics and the other is shunted off from the airport itself, exiled to a State run by the protector of two holy mosques.
India, the nation they derided and disapproved of, is emerging as the genuine friend and 'apne log' to the common Pakistani. Indians find warmth and light in a living democracy where every shade and colour finds a space to shine, notwithstanding fringe extremism in stray corners.
Pakistanis are bewildered to see a prominent road in Aurangzeb's memory and almost a ban on naming any important point after Dara Shikoh! 'I can't believe it,' exclaimed a Karachi-based journo, our guest.
That's India, a Hindu majority, attacked and assaulted by Pakistan immediately after a Partition that Hindus didn't want. The kind of gory massacres and loot that occurred during Partition and then in Mirpur and Muzaffarabad, beginning October 27, 1947, is a holocaust that is still etched in the minds of survivors.
Yet, the average Indian exudes warmth and closeness to a Pakistani citizen, and vice versa.
For Indians, it is an unbelievable experience to find common Pakistanis reaching out to them in pure affection. My Karachi, Lahore and Balochistan trips are full of such unforgettable memories of welcome.
And none of the visits was government sponsored.
The same happen when a Pakistani visits us. Indians try to walk the extra mile to show their neighbours love and a trust in unbreakable ties.
Isn't it surprising? Two people separated by faith and mistrust, yet longing to see each other and willing to forget the unsavoury past?
It is culture that binds Delhi, Karachi and Dhaka. Common festivals like Basant (spring) and even our choices of cuisine and couture unite us.
That's why when I meet Pakistanis, often they say, 'Unless we leave these goras (foreigners) and bond, we can't progress.'
India and Pakistan as friends can make progress together and leave the Europeans far behind. We have everything -- brilliance, youth, strength of a hardworking attitude, a land rich in resources and strategic location.
The hate, which in the name of a faith separated the worldview and turned twins into deadly foes, is now pointing the gun at their neck. We call it the Bhasmasur syndrome -- the demon that turns against its own.
The Lal Masjid, Taliban, judicial 'firing,' frequent emergencies, hanging leaders, exiles and an uncertain course ahead. Was it this that Jinnah and Iqbal visualised?
Blood brothers live with a foreign colonialism to 'teach a lesson' to the next-door neighbour, but can't accept what remains their own just because of a change in faith? Is that not reason enough to pause and ponder?
Partition has become more visible 60 years later, and is showing its bloody colours to the children who never created it.
It is a lesson for all of us; hate and extremism can destroy, but they can never help a people bloom.

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Tarun Vijay

November 20, 2007

Nothing surprising in it. Nandigram was Stalinised the same way Stalin had Siberia-ised Soviet Russia, and justified it too. So West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya accepted 'paying in the same coin.' He and his loyal Red Guards were honest and transparent as far as their deeds are concerned.
The honour of being the biggest mass annihilators has been bagged by Communists the world over. So they couldn't have afforded to lag behind in the last and residual bastion of the ideology still so highly revered in every single party convention with portraits of Stalin and Mao overseeing the struggling crowd of comrades.
Everywhere they have eliminated the 'enemy' for 'protecting' the rights of the proletariat, maintaining 'peace' and defeating the 'forces of hate and divisive anti- social' tendencies. After all, 'counter revolutionaries,' 'revisionists,' 'agents of the Western evil empire,' 'lackeys of capitalism' have to be eliminated for a 'peaceful, progressive, friendly and fraternal socialist government of the revolutionary masses' functioning dedicatedly from the interiors of the red bricked Writer's Building.The ministry of home affairs testifies their single-minded dedication to the cause. In its 2007 annual report, passed and authenticated by Home Minister Shivraj Patil, it says, 'The Communist Party Marxist Leninist-Peoples' War (CPML-PW) and the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI) have continued to spearhead the Naxal violence in the country, accounting for about 91 per cent of the country-wide violence and 89 per cent of the resultant deaths.' (*Source: Ministry of Home Affairs)*.The violence spearheaded by the Communists in India has surpassed even the bomb blasts and attacks of the Islamic jihadis. Those who are supporting the UPA government to survive so that the 'communal' saffron party is kept at bay and the country 'saved,' adheres to the same ideology that is being practiced by the killer Maoists and Naxals and Leninists. They share the perception and portraits and prognosis about the nation's ills.
Their conventions proudly display portraits of Stalin and Mao and they show the same allergy and hate for Gandhi and Subhas and would never hang their portraits in the corner of a wall at their exit door. And they show utmost respect for Che Guevara and Fidel Castro and share their prescriptions with another great Communist leader known as Pol Pot.Public memory is very short and with large media houses being run on the impulsive showmanship encasing the 'big mouths who matter in the contemporary power corridors' as their respected public face of opinion and debate, the Left is presented to readers as the sole repository of peaceful propagators fighting for communal harmony and the rights of 'victims of State terrorism' like Afzal Guru and the providers for the poor, hungry and disadvantaged.
While another ideology, Hindutva to be precise, is caged in a manufactured imagery of violent, hateful, divisive, anti-woman, obscurantist, anti-minority stream of lumpen. Remember all these words are used by secular columnists in their daily sermons on how to run the country.It would be not inappropriate to recall what the icons and luminaries of the Communist tradition, who still inspire our seculars so much that one of them, named his son, not after any Indian, not even after Periyar or Dalit reformers like Shahuji Maharaj or Ambedkar or Buddha but after Stalin, the erstwhile Communist ruler of Soviet Russia.Josef Stalin. What a leader was he?He reminds us of Gulags, Siberia's labour camps and, of course, Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn. According to the declassified Soviet archives, during the worst excesses of Stalinist power, in 1937 and 1938, Russia's secret police, the NKVD, detained 1,548,367 victims, of whom 681,692 were shot -- an average of 1,000 executions a day.
Historian Michael Ellman claims the best estimate of deaths brought about by Soviet Repression during these two years is in the range 950,000 to 1.2 million, which includes deaths in detention and those who died shortly after being released from the Gulag as a result of their treatment in it.The other Communist icons are Mao, Lenin, Che, Fidel and Pol Pot. Every one is credited with conducting summary trials and executions of opponents. During the Cultural Revolution and the 'Great Leap Forward' lakhs were killed.
About 14 million to 20 million deaths occurred due to starvation as a result of Mao's 'Great Leap Forward'. Besides the historical sites, manuscripts, artifacts, and civilisational places were completely destroyed by the Red Guards.Pol Pot left Hitler and Idi Amin behind in barbarities with mass killings in Cambodia during his Khmer Rouge regime. More than 19,400 mass graves have been identified and 167 former prisons documented. The discoveries by the Cambodian investigators estimated the number of victims of the Khmer Rouge from 1.7 million to 2.5 million.Now the followers of his legacy proudly call themselves Maoists and execute teachers, labourers, policemen and farmers in the name of a Communist revolution in India.
A RSS teacher was hacked to death in the classroom before tiny tot students in Kannur, Kerala, and another student, belonging to the ABVP, was forcibly drowned in the Pampa river in Kerala by the 'red revolutionaries.' The reason -- a different ideology's influence was not tolerated.
More than a hundred workers of the RSS, BJP, VHP and ABVP have been killed by CPI-M cadres and its student wing members in Kerala. Hundreds have been maimed, and brutally assaulted.
In West Bengal CPI-M workers have been 'punishing' villagers for supporting Mamata Banerjee's Trinamul Congress with rape, dismembering limbs, and murder after barbaric torture. Mamata had paraded such victims and made several pleas to the government and media, yet the Left remains a blue eyed favourite of secularists in every field like a religious order.The menace of Communist terrorism has become so grave that a Standing Committee was constituted under the chairmanship of the Union home minister with the chief ministers of 13 Naxal-affected states as its members. The second meeting of the Standing Committee was held on April 13, 2006 in New Delhi under the chairmanship of the prime minister.An inter-ministry group headed by the additional secretary, home ministry, has been constituted. Another empowered group of ministers, headed by the home minister and comprising select Union ministers and chief ministers, has been set up to monitor the spread of Naxalism and evolve effective strategies to deal with it.Still further, a Naxal management division, headed by an additional secretary, has been set up by the home ministry to ensure periodic reviews and close monitoring of the action plans drawn up by the states to deal with the Naxal problem.Of the total 12,476 police stations in the country, Naxal violence has been reported from 395 police stations (2006). It is bleeding India both physically and economically. Just read these lines from the home ministry's latest report, 'In order to enhance the capabilities of the Naxal-affected States... the central government had included 55 Naxal-affected districts in 9 states under the Backward Districts Initiative (BDI) component of the Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana (RSVY) and had provided financial assistance of Rs 2,475 crores... under the Police Modernisation Scheme to modernise their police forces... the central government has released an amount of Rs 3,677.67 crores to the Naxal-affected States.'Incidents of Communist-Naxal terrorism2003 ???
Number of incidents: 1,597Number of civilians killed: 410Number of policemen killed: 105
Number of incidents: 1,533Number of civilians killed: 466Number of policemen killed: 100
Number of incidents: 1,608Number of civilians killed: 524Number of policemen killed: 153
Number of incidents: 1,509Number of civilians killed: 521Number of policemen killed: 157
(** Reconciled figures for 2005 (source ministry of home affairs 2006-2007 report) *The Communist Party of India (Maoist) have been trying to increase influence in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand. The Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), set up in May 2005 has been enlarged into the People's Democratic Front of India (PDFI).
The Naxal outfits have been targeting the police posts, railway stations, forest checkpoints and other government and private properties. Followers of the Communist ideology are affecting the nation's development by forcing the government to spend huge amounts of money, public money, on combating Communist terror and reimbursing cash-starved states expenses incurred on plans to face Communist, jihadi and other types of terrorism like the one spearheaded by NSCN groups in the Northeast.Special police units raised by states for combating Naxal operations are being provided specialised training in jungle/guerrilla warfare. The Greyhounds Training School in Hyderabad is being used for this purpose. So far, the central government has released an amount of Rs 3,677.67 crore to Naxal-affected states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.Under the Security Related Expenses (SREs) Scheme which reimburses expenditure incurred by the states on ammunition, training, upgradation of police posts etc in Communist terrorism affected areas, 76 districts in 9 states, badly affected by Naxal violence, are covered.This is how Communist ideology and its adherents are affecting the nation's growth, peoples' development and infrastructure. They are destroying the atmosphere to make economic progress affecting only the poor and disadvantaged sections and helping exploitative rich classes to make big money.Hence, should one be surprised at what happened at Nandigram? What else can one expect from a government that proudly declares its allegiance to those who are known globally as the hardcore perpetrators of mass killings, intolerance and violence?The Left with all its burdens of an ideological shamanism needs a democratic purge -- the Indian way to make it suitable for the Indian environment. It understands this language only and unless it is de-Stalinised, it can't acquire a human face.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Do a Putin in India

15 Nov 2007, 0448 hrs IST ,

Tarun Vijay,prtpage-1.cms

A dinner at Kremlin with President Vladimir Putin and our Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee remains an unforgettable experience. Our table was fourth to the left of the table where Putin and Vajpayee -- the two giant leaders sat. The whole atmosphere was celebrative and exuded warmth in that fabulous palace with stunning artwork in pure gold that's indescribable, with Russian orchestra playing lilting tunes from Raj Kapoor films like Awara - a great hit in Russia. While we chatted, Russians were clearly showing their appreciation for India under a firm coalition emerging fast on the global scene as a powerful nation. On my table were some scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and perhaps impressed with my praise for Putin one of them said, if you have so much of love for him, go get his signatures on this evening' s menu. In a sudden impulse, I straightaway reached Putin in a second and got his autographs -- still a prized possession. I remember Vajpayee smilingly saying - 'he edits the paper I edited once'. Putin signed and returned the smile politely. His liveliness and a desire to remain India's closest ally impressed us all -- nationalists and internationalists both. Sadly, this time Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Moscow was too short and couldn't register the traditional warmth and vivacious factor that has always marked our ties. This time Kremlin was used for a press briefing and dinner was skipped. Though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose government survives on the support given by the forlorn Indian children of the Bolshevik Revolution, visited Moscow at a time when the residual Communists are celebrating its 90th anniversary, he neither offered a wreath at the tomb of Lenin nor paid tributes to the Revolution. This is how a revolution which 'inspired' Stalin and Mao to annihilate millions of their citizens and throttle the voices of a different colour inhumanly, has gone invisible in less than seventy-five years of its birth, leaving behind a legacy of tortures, Gulags and Siberias. On the ruins of Soviet Russia's falsified and inflated claims of economy and a painful dismemberment of its constituents, Vladimir Putin has emerged as the hero of the Russian people, walking in the shadow of legendary ruler, Peter the great. He is young - just 55 - has definitive ideas for making Russia regain its strength and an independent say in global affairs, rejuvenated the economy and ruthlessly eliminated the terror groups, mostly of the Islamic jihadi variety. He had inherited from his predecessor Boris Yeltsin, the first democratically-elected President of the Russian Federation post-Communist era, a tottering economy, when bagful of roubles (check the spelling please) fetched dollars less than what fingers could count and a virtual parallel rule of the ex-KGB mafia goons from airport to downtown areas. Putin restored Russian confidence by single-mindedly campaigning against terrorism and his catch words were -'eliminate terrorism without talking to rebels'. Chechnya provided a testing time for his will and prowess and he emerged victorious with flying colours. The 1999 military campaign in Chechnya to defeat decisively the incursion of Chechen rebels into Dagestan in August 1999 demonstrated Putin's steel willpower. "The absence of law and order in the republic led to terrorism, kidnapping and all kinds of illegal activities, which crept into southern Russia and constituted a threat to the surrounding area...What in August 1999 was presented as an operation to deter Chechen aggression against Dagestan, had in October become an effort to seal rebellious Chechnya off along the river Terek; in November to "eliminate the terrorists," and finally in January 2000, a military operation in defence of Russian territorial integrity'. Putin refused to hold negotiations with Chechen rebel leaders, saying that "negotiations are out of the question because they are senseless''. Today Russia claims hard currency reserves of $303 billion (234 billion euros), the third largest in the world and the government's Stabilization Fund -- used to soak up extra oil revenues and keep a tight leash on inflation -- is close to $100 billion (77 billion euros). Oil production is expected to reach 540 million metric tonnes per year by 2015, up from 482 million at present. During the Communist regime, hundreds of Churches were demolished and the places of Russian civilisational pride were turned into garbage centres. Putin began a massive reconstruction movement involving people and corporates to rebuild those structures, which included famous Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, demolished during the Soviet period.

A black belt in karate, whose bare-chested photos created a stir in Russia recently, Putin will relinquish office in March 2008 paving the way for his successor, but people still love to see him run the national affairs. And while he has become the lone brave voice against US hegemony, Washington accuses him of nursing dictatorial policies and a complete centralisation of power in his hands. Russians, ask in return, is that Bush administration speaking who has unleashed a global military campaign to 'democratise Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and has Iran next on its list? Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met this man and reaffirmed the 'time-tested friendship' between the two nations. The visit, though merely spanning 28 hours, is significant in view of the drama being played regarding the India-US nuke deal by the remnants of Bolshevism, Indian Leftists.

India purchases 70 per cent of its military hardware from Russia and though the US has never helped India in times of crises, remember its Seventh Fleet during the 1971 war of Bangladesh liberation, friendship with Russia, in the words of Manmohan Singh, "has passed the test of time." But, of late, Russians feel that South Block still looks at Russia through a Leftist-Cold War era prism and has tilted its preferences in favour of the US which is trying to use India for its regional strategic goals. Hence, a renewed emphasis on creating an India-Russia-China block. Last year in July, on the sidelines of G8 meeting in St. Petersburg (which was renamed as Leningrad in Soviet Russian era), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Putin and Chinese supreme leader Hu Jintao, talking about strengthening relations between the three giants. Predictably, it created a lot of heat in the West. Putin has been openly critical of a uni-polar world and trying to work with India to strengthen the troika to move towards a multi-polar regime that suits us too. In this background, the deals with Russia look impressive. India gets 80 Mi-17 helicopters, an agreement towards the joint development of the Ilyushin 214 military transport planes and Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) show the renewed levels of trust. Putin had plans to build four more Russian nuclear reactors in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Under an existing deal, he had agreed to install two reactors in Tamil Nadu with a capacity to produce 1,000 megawatts of atomic energy a day, but strangely enough, the agreement in this sector couldn't be signed during Manmohan Singh's visit and the reason cited was that the nuclear trade with India is still banned till it moves ahead finally with the Indo-US nuke deal. Yet an important agreement for cooperation in space puts the relations again in an extraordinary category. Russia's Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) and the Indian Department of Space have agreed for a joint lunar research and exploration agreement, which was signed by Roskosmos chief Anatoly Perminov and Madhavan Nair, the secretary of India's Department of Space and chairman of the Space Commission. Russia would launch an unmanned mission to the Moon, Luna-Glob, in 2010. The second mission, which will include putting a new-generation 400-kg Lunokhod unmanned rover on the Moon, will start in 2011. "The first mission will be solely Russian, but the second will be carried out in conjunction with India," Russian reports said. India will provide a rocket and a flight module for the mission, which will be launched from an Indian space centre.

Well, so far so good. But the question remains - why can't we too do to the traitors and annihilators of people's just movements what Putin did in Russia?

We are shamelessly silent on the Nandigram massacre, listening to the justification of mass killings by CPM hoodlums by a state Chief Minister, talking endlessly to the rebels eating away the vitals of the nation and remain indecisive about vigorously persuing national goals. No nation on earth is so complacent on security issues and eliminating terror as we are. The kith and kin of martyrs who laid their lives defending Parliament returned their gallantry awards and it didn't shake the conscience of any political master. On the contrary, the culprit, who had his death sentence confirmed by the highest court of the land, was defended openly to please a 'majority' in the Valley.

There are daily news reports regarding killings of innocent citizens by Stalinist Maoists and jihadis , the nation's civilisational moors become a matter of jokes and denigration by rulers and an ambition to lead the world remains elusive at the political level.

Putin providing military hardware is fine, but our leaders should also take a few grams of courage and a ruthless decisiveness for restoring peace and national pride from him.

Is that light, the way and the truth?,prtpage-1.cms

7 Nov 2007

Tarun Vijay

In a time when we are surrounded by sordid dramas in the neighbourhood, where anarchical sounds of dictatorship, violence and separatism from Islamabad, Kathmandu, Dhaka and Colombo combine with a perspiring and disillusioned Prime Minister in Delhi trying to find his feet, the strength to look joyous and light lamps of hope on Diwali can be derived only from sources that have defined and enlightened our land since ages.
On a mundane level, the question often asked is 'where is the light'? A painter who is in self-exile fearing reaction to his nude paintings of Sita, Mother India, Durga and other religious icons, was honoured with a doctorate at the Jamia Milia Islamia on October 30 in Delhi with three thousand students and a glitterati, consisting of a large number of Hindus too. The vice-chancellor, in the presence of the Vice-President of India, described Husain thus -' Maqbool Fida Husain, the most respected artist of our times'. An art gallery, too, was dedicated to this painter. The vice-chancellor described Husain's paintings as "a profound encounter with civilisational archetypes where the mythic and the secular collide". What is mythic and what is civilisational was not explained but one can try to learn these terms seeing Husain's paintings. It's difficult to understand what Mr. Husain has painted unless we see them. A student from Jamia has e-mailed me pictures of a couple of his paintings which perplex a connoisseur as to why such a 'top-end earning' name in arts should choose a nude style only when he has to paint Hindu goddesses? A few paintings' introductions go like this - Durga in sexual union with Tiger, Lakshmi naked on Shree Ganesh's head, naked Saraswati with Veena, Shri Parvati nude, naked Brahmin and naked Bharat Mata (can be seen on my blog- ), while other paintings describe a well-clothed mother of the painter, a fully attired Muslim lady etc. Why this se divide? Isn't it shocking and unacceptable? Would they show the same liberalism if the cartoonists from Denmark were also invited to a university here and conferred doctorate for their 'distinguished services to the world of art and caricature'? The spectre of India's seat of power and the elite in self-denial and a silence of the powerful reminds of that infamous 'private purgatory' period of Bush senior in the nineties. When US President George H W Bush was in office, an Associated Press article quoted a White House spokesman about punishing those expressing disagreement with the President's policies, threatening they would "suffer in their private purgatories.

Purgatory, of course, in Roman Catholic doctrine, is just like hell, only temporary - a place where souls suffer for minor, venial sins until they are sufficiently cleansed to enter heaven.
Are Hindus being subjected to such a hell through continuously making them suffer indignation and humiliation in a land which bears their mark unquestioningly on every inch of her vastness? Is it too much to recall one of those songs of agony read years ago with painful lines -

Eminent destruction of my body, Is this the deliverance I was expecting? Plunging my hands in my stomach... Waiting for the final butchery! Still continuing my pogrom on myself, Such horrible thing to taste, I'll never reach the end! Am I, blaming myself again! Sinful actions, I'm falling in despair!!! This terrible thing took my body and my soul! In a land which prayed for the good and happiness of all on this earth without discrimination - Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Niramaya (let all be contended and healthy) Hindus are refugees post-Independence, targeted by jihadis , Maoists and Christian rebels (in the NE), their tormentors are given state awards, and a continuity of light and wisdom brought to this era through a vicissitude of assaults and invasions is again threatened and mocked at by their own blood brothers. Those who find the assertive Hindu inconvenient, try to superimpose their own beliefs and ideas of their civilisation over the native one. Why?
Never in the history of mankind has a civilisation lived so long in a continuity that baffles the western observer, who is accustomed to look at universe in a 2000-year-old time frame. Hindus, alone are the people on this earth who are training their spaceships for a voyage to the moon while living traditions that go beyond the imaginable realm of five-thousand-year-old statistical data and literature. From birth to death, whether it's the commissioning of a new naval ship or muhurat of a Bollywood film, a huge mall for world class IT software or a new track laid for railways - the mantras that are uttered with the breaking of coconut and sprinkling of holy water are the same that were chanted during Mahabharata and Ramayana, during Vikramaditya's coronation and Shivaji's Rajyabhishek - enthronement. It's so obvious and natural to us that we fail to see the significance of the thousands of years' unbelievable continuity that we live in our daily lives - in our homes and offices. When the Chief Election Commissioner of India does his duty most elegantly, going beyond any doubts, he also sports the mark of this centuries old civilisational continuity on his forehead - in the shape of a Vaishnav tilak - a sign of his spiritual school of thought. The same mark was visible on the forehead of Guru Vashishtha, Guru Vishwamitra and ancient sages millenniums ago, who would be, ironically in today's secular days, asked to prove their existence through birth certificates. Our President shows the same mark of cultural flow on her forehead with pride. Sorry to say, all this is being subjected to go extinct in a methodical way helped by the same forces who destroyed Somnath. Hindus, in the land of Lakshmi, Durga and Kali, can't accept this destruction of their self in cowardice. And there are reasons to cheer up and light a lamp. A nation lives through her glorious past and the highest levels of academic achievements of their ancestors and not by denying or denigrating them. Why can't we be happily proud of our cultural ethos and the pursuits of our forefathers, and why a secularism is being imposed on us that demands to dispossess us of our spiritual wealth dismissing all that as 'myth' and 'communal obscurantism' while the world looks at us with admiration for those very values? Recently, Washington Shakespeare Company 'proudly' presented 'The Divine Drama Series- A Festival of Classical Sanskrit Theatre' with these words in its introduction - Like Greek drama and the works of Shakespeare, Sanskrit drama, which flourished in India from the first millennium BC to the first millennium AD, belongs neither to time nor place nor specifics of situation - it achieves universality through incisive specificity. Sanskrit drama allows the audience access to the fundamental essences of humanity through a process of stylized, meditative ritual...... Characters are often tested but for the most part remain unchanged. Heroic Romances, Epic Fables, Symbolist Fantasies, Political Intrigue and Urban Secular Dark Comedies - Washington Shakespeare Company's (WSC) "Divine Drama Series" has it all. Gaurav Gopalan, the imaginative producer-director at WSC hails from Delhi who studied Sanskrit before going to the US for realising his dream to 'produce Sanskrit Drama in the states'. He told me about his wonderful idea that drove him to places,-- 'I spent a year researching the canon and selected representative works to introduce Washington audiences to this rich theatrical tradition (Sanskrit plays from India written from 2 century BC to 12 century AD - or thereabouts form the longest continuous theatrical tradition in world drama and in its time the only significant drama occurring in the world (being preceded by the great Greek Classical Theatre and followed by Classical Chinese Drama) - a continuous and vibrant tradition lasting nearly 1200 to 1500 years; in comparison Greek Drama lasted around 300 to 400 years and England's Renaissance Drama - of which Shakespeare was a crowning achievement - lasted less than a century).' He met Christopher Henley, Artistic Director of WSC, who 'has a deep interest in world classics' and the ground was set for something unprecedented. He says, 'We started with performance and discovery workshops on the Divine Drama in early September. This included local professional actors who had shown an interest in the series. The discovery workshops focussed on The Abhigyan-Shakuntalam and were a detailed study of text and dramatic presentation. In the series I direct the reading of Shakuntala (which was a wonderful success), and the other Kalidas piece - the romantic court comedy Malavika-Agnimitram , along with the Little Clay Cart by Shudrak. Last week Jessica Lefkow directed two one-act plays adapted from the Mahabharata by Bhasa - the earliest extant Sanskrit playwright. We selected Duta-vakyam (The Messenger's Speech) and Uru-Bhangam (The Shattered Thighs) which book-end the great epic war of the Mahabharata and trace the fall of Duryodhana from a proud boastful king to a broken man. It was very successful and moving.' Isn't it ironic to see our genius being appreciated in Washington but humiliated in Delhi?
It's India that gave the oldest and the most scientific language Sanskrit to the world, our ancestors gave mathematics, invented zero, measured the circumference of the earth and the speed of light and evolved the science of medicine that encompassed surgery and the art of keeping healthy. Today, just to earn dollars, an atheist government invites tourists for 'Ayurvedic tourism' that has existed here since time immemorial in 'god's own country'. The numerals are still called Indian numerals or Hindse (in Arabic) because they are our gift. The most practical solutions to the problems of environmental degradation are found in the Upanishads and millions in this land still find it worthwhile to study the ancient wisdom even if it doesn't bring any Gurgaon-Bangalore type lucre and prestige in an era when destruction of Hindu icons is considered a sign of modernity and progressivism. More than one hundred and twenty newspapers and magazines in Sanskrit are published and villages and colonies are emerging where every one speaks in Sanskrit. ( Private spiritual channels are flourishing each day and the most 'secular' marketeers find it beneficial to produce millions of Sanskrit audio-video cassettes and CDs and start columns on Dharma. But it's only for a market and when it comes to state policies and vote banks, the reverse happens. A government which pursues a policy of indigenous language annihilation on a scale greater than the brutal pogroms of savages occupying Americas post-Columbus' discovery of an 'India', can't raise the levels of confidence and honour of a people in whose genes worshipping Lakshmi every Diwali as an invocation to light and prosperity intertwined with Dharma and culture is embedded inseparably. This Diwali let's pray for wisdom that would empower our nation on our foundation and not on a borrowed one. Eternal, ancient foundation, for an eternal modern outlook.

Some selected readers’ Opinions

Write to Editor
Is that light, the way and the truth?
1 2 3 4

Namita , Indonesia , says: As an Indian woman, I would like to ask Hussain and all our so called intellectuals a simple question. We consider our goddesses a part of our families and our homes. If this was your mother, sister or daughter, would you paint her in the nude and display her in a five-star hotel or art gallery?(8 Nov, 2007 0840 hrs IST)Seema , Dallas, USA , says: What an article Tarun ji! Happy Diwali first of all. Shame on Jamia Milia for "honouring" Hussain for his bigot and derogatory paintings of Hindu Goddesses. How would they feel if we honour Rushdie or that Danish cartoonist in the name of art and journalism. It is a pity state of our nation and hard times for Hinduism that we have no self-respect left and are being insulted left and right. Also, it is a pity that media is not standing up against such bigots like Hussain and Karunanidhi. These people should be stripped of their Indian citizenship.(8 Nov, 2007 1120 hrs IST)Ham TVNS , Hyderabad , says: M F Hussain, the painter reminds me of Ghazni. He gets at this age the perverted pleasure by painting the Hindu mother goddesses of Vedas in nude. The Hindus in America, who helped the Bush Government to recite the Upanishad shlokas in the Senate, shall take up the cause. The Indian government, could not take any action but without shame boasted that they are tolerant. In fact, the mother goddess Saraswati represents the arts, literature, education (spiritual as well as academic) and the art of painting. This artist, it seems, has no belief in his art of painting. On behalf of Mr.Tarun I am submitting this and I hope this sees the light on the occasion of the festival of lights and makes all concerned bold and courageous to shower some sort of enlightenment on this misguided painter at least now. (8 Nov, 2007 1810 hrs IST)Ashok , Derby,UK. , says: Dear Tarunji, your brilliant article has certainly enlightened my Diwali, sitting here alone in front of my laptop in Derby in the UK. It's a cold blustery evening here but my heart was warmed by your inspiring article. I, however, remain an optimist about Hinduism and India. Hinduism is too vast, too big, too great, too powerful to be slighted by a man (great artist for his followers) like Hussain or a bunch of pseudo secular persons trying to honour him. (9 Nov, 2007 0208 hrs IST)
Kaustav Chatterjee , Chennai , says: Persons like MF Hussain come and go and are forgotten within 50 years or so but my eternal India lives on with its gods and goddesses for zillions of years. My urge to the fellow country men is not to despair as our culture alone will triumph in the end. [13 Nov, 2007 1240 hrs IST]manik , bangalore , says: Dear Tarunji, please start writing where and how Hindus need to improve. You have travelled to so many countries and learned about a variety of religions, cultures. For example, teach people how to bring more spirituality/conscience/reason and purity in celebrating Diwali, Holi, Vijaydashmi.[11 Nov, 2007 2153 hrs IST]ktej , usa , says: Wonderful article. Hats off to dear Tarunji and TOI. If these words do not open the eyes of the dishonest government politicians, I do not know what would. Thanks again. [11 Nov, 2007 0716 hrs IST]Dinesh , mumbai , says: Dear Tarun ji, Please accept my best wishes on the festival of light. We need people like you who keep doing work like this for empowerment of our great nation BHARAT. A great article. [10 Nov, 2007 1431 hrs IST]Pradeep , U.A.E , says: Shree Tarun Ji, all your articles are mind opening. Because of great souls like you Hindus are realising the value of their culture and taking pride in their religion. I hope such writings will continue in future also. [10 Nov, 2007 1055 hrs IST]Vijay Kumar Shrivastava , Morrisville,NC,USA , says: It is a great article by Tarunji at the time of festival of light. May God bless Mr. Hussain along with all other Indians.[9 Nov, 2007 2109 hrs IST]

Bridges are not impossible

2nd Nov. 207

Tarun Vijay

How should have Muslims taken an Id greeting from the RSS chief? Or is it more pertinent to ask how would Hindus have reacted to it? Was the greeting a sincere gesture of friendship or simply a PR exercise?
This has to be seen more as a question of perception than reality. The RSS is perceived, thanks to the continuous political and media blitzkrieg, to be an anti-Muslim organisation. It is seen as a hard-core anti-minority outfit, though any number of facts can be quoted to disprove this perception. Let us not forget that statistics and the Sachar report have shown that the minorities have fared the worst in states where the "secular" parties have ruled. Muslim girls' education has the lowest numbers in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. More riots and terror attacks have taken place in states run by non-BJP governments than in BJP-run states. The highest number of Muslim-Hindu dialogues has been held by the RSS affiliates, not by those who dole out all sorts of quotas to Muslims, thus creating rifts between communities.
An increasing number of Muslims are realising that any gesture of goodwill extended by the RSS is sincere and can bring Hindus and Muslims together. This is because the RSS won't fake its intentions like the politicians would do.
History tells the truth that no society can be purchased or appeased for long. Empowerment is a result of harmonious intermingling and climbing the ladder of professional abilities. After all, Shah Rukh Khan, Azim Premji or Sania Mirza didn't achieve what they did because of any Muslim-only support system or reservations. There are many such bright examples.
Hence when the RSS chief says Id Mubarak and combines it with his Vijaya Dashami greeting, it assumes significance beyond cosmetic peripherals. Sarsanghchalak Sudarshan even quoted Ghalib's famous lines underlining the existence of one God and the futility of false egos.
The RSS, often described as the biggest organised Hindu movement in the world, entered its 82nd year on Dussehra last week. The RSS was founded in Nagpur in 1925 by Dr K.B. Hedgewar. The RSS' Dussehra programme comprises an impressive march-past by its uniformed members and a speech by the sarsanghchalak on the nation's affairs where he gives direction to the faithful about the future course of action and programmes.
This time, the sarsanghchalak spoke of how terrorism is affecting us all, Hindus, Muslims and Christians: "(It is) not that only Hindus are being targeted. On 11 October a bomb exploded in Ajmer Sharif ... killing two and injuring 20. Before that Samjhauta Express and the mosques in Malegaon, Hyderabad and Aurangabad were targeted and those who were killed and injured were Muslims. And on 17 October the traders who received parcels containing 36 detonators hidden inside CD players as presents were also Muslims. This proves that the terrorists, whether Hindu, Muslim or Christian, or those who claim to be followers of Sikh Gurus, are bereft of all religious values."
He spoke of how Indians were being targeted by terrorism, of the Left's hypocrisy and of the scientific and security aspects of the Ram Sethu. He ended with the plea to adopt new methods to improve agriculture and get more yield per acre through multiple arrangements of crops.
Of late the sarsanghchalak has made it his mission to initiate schemes for water preservation, to start new units to manufacture bio-diesel and encourage the use of mother tongue in our daily conversations. He wants parents to speak to their children in their own language and not in English, as is the case in many neo-rich upwardly mobile families. To promote his ideas he meets leaders belonging to diametrically opposed ideologies. He says that for the good of the society and the nation, we should not believe in any sort of apartheid or segregation.
Few know that the sarsanghchalak is a keen student of Islamic history and its journey. He has addressed large exclusively Muslim congregations in Jaipur and Ajmer and has declared that the Muslims who join a jihad against Hindus go against Prophet Muhammad's teachings.
In his speeches he narrates at length Islamic stories about Mecca and Medina and often quotes from the 1905 conversation between Swami Ramtirtha and Lucknow's maulanas. He talks about the bloody fights between various Arabian tribes, their blind adherence to idol worship without knowing its significance. He narrates how the Kaaba was made the unifying factor for all by Prophet Muhammad who tried to bring in a harmonious way of living by getting rid of hatred and conflict.
One must understand that every religion gives certain instructions which are eternal (shashwat). And then there are other values that hold true only for certain times (yug dharma). The wise know this distinction, and should interpret their scriptures in a manner to ensure that respect and appreciation for different viewpoints are not lost. Make genuine efforts to know each other, share the positive side of all faiths and keep the dialogue open in every situation — that's the Hindu way of looking at a different ideology. After all, in India, Hindus, Muslims and Christians belong to the same race, and share their ancestors, language, culture, attire and social rituals. They are not "different" people.
The sarsanghchalak said, "Minorities are those who were uprooted in their own countries and took refuge in this country. That way, only the Jews and the Parsis may be called minorities — they came to Bharat 2,000 and 1,000 years ago from Israel and Iran respectively. The leaders of both communities refused Constitutional reservations and said that they were quite happy merging with the mainstream. We see that they did not suffer any disability whatsoever (for this). Our two generals, Gen. Jacob and Gen. Manekshaw, one a Jew and the other a Parsi, brought victory to our country during wars. Who can forget the role played by Dadabhai Naoroji and Madame Cama during our freedom struggle or the contribution of Jamsedji Nasarvan Tata in the industrial field?"
The maulvis of Lucknow had told Swami Ramtirtha in 1905, for us nation comes first because the place of birth and our ancestors are chosen for us by Allah and we must respect His wish. Mecca is holy because of our religion, and Bharat is holy because Allah has chosen this land for Muslims born here.
An organisation of young Muslims, Rashtriya Muslim Manch, is trying to propagate these ideas. Its members are campaigning for raising the level of education among Muslim girls. They are demanding the scrapping of the triple talaq system. They want it replaced with a modern system that will empower Muslim women. Since nowhere in the Quran cow slaughter is necessarily mandated, the Manch is collecting several lakh signatures from Muslims nationwide demanding a ban on cow slaughter.
Try seeing this new phenomenon without blinkers, and a bridge across the divide of fossilised hate doesn't look impossible. To deride or divide is easy. To include or appreciate needs the courage of conviction.

Band-aid state

29 Aug 2007, 1130 hrs IST ,
Tarun Vijay,prtpage-1.cms

Bombs are deadly. They suddenly blast and even before you could know what has hit you, your body would be scattered all around in a hundred pieces. You may be having fun at a local food joint or preparing to solemnise marriage the next morning. Everything goes off in a second. Marriages turn into mourning and the enquiries are ordered. That's the system requirement. A democratic state needs enquiry reports. But bombs do not arrive uninvited. They are invited and sheltered and facilitated. The biggest facilitation comes from the state apparatus through the creation of an atmosphere where blasts become a routine affair so much so that people stop counting or reacting to them. The blasts, the condemnations, the expressions of deep sorrows and the steel resolves –'not to be cowed down by such dastardly acts' become so standardised like the cyclostyled copies of the municipal payment receipts we used to see in childhood days, that nobody read. Yet they are kept as sacred documents, readily producible in future if asked –did you pay your bills? Yes, sir. So if someone would ask our worthy leaders what did you do when your people were killed, they would smartly produce the newspaper cuttings – we condemned the incident in strongest words. Band-aid solutions. Never eliminating the cause of the hurt, never finding the permanent solutions. Just a first-aid and the matter ends like an ill-equipped public hospital treating a wounded pedestrian. Do we remember how many of them have occurred so far? Jammu, Gandhi Nagar, Varanasi, Bangalore, Delhi, again Delhi and yet again....Hyderabad, Kolkata, Imphal, Guwahati, Coimbatore... The one who did it in Delhi was condemned to death penalty by the Supreme Court but secular politicians wanted him to be set free. The other, a rogue politician himself, caught for the Coimbatore blasts was felicitated in a public function by the entire cabinet of a state government run by the Leftists, with the home minister in the lead, when the accused was freed on technical grounds, mainly because the state apparatus that was supposed to present proof of his involvement in the bloody incident 'failed' to do so. Have you ever heard a state cabinet felicitating a soldier's family who gave his life for defending India? A Taslima is attacked and the victim herself is booked for the 'instigation' like a rape victim in Pakistan being accused of 'instigating' rapists to commit the act! A party in power, which takes decisions calculating an electoral win and safety of political power rather than the lives of people it is supposed to rule and protect, would even go to the extent of hobnobbing with the anti-nationals to secure their support for staying afloat in governance. The Muslim League (ML), under Jinnah's leadership, was responsible for India's division and the subsequent massacres. Post-Independence, ML survived, though it was a political pariah like the Communist party and Lenin's memory had become in Russia. It was helped revive by the Left parties in Kerala to get Muslim votes and the first district based on a religious group's majority, a Muslim one, was created and named Mallapuram in the late fifties. Now, for the first time in our post-Independence history, the UPA invited ML to join the central government. Parties which would show no qualms in hating any group with a Hindu tag or inclination, go an extra mile to accommodate a communal Muslim party which didn't think to change its name after its condemnable role in the nation's partition. Suppose the Hindu Mahasabha, which was against Partition, was revived by Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh, saying it's a different party now, would any of them be allowed to join the mainstream?
Recently, several thousand Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators were caught by the Arunachal Pradesh government and thrown out of the state. Immediately, the All-Assam Minorities Students Union, Assam, issued a warning that unless they are 'accommodated', they will push out all Assamese (read Hindus) from three Muslim-dominated districts of Assam – Dhubri, Goalpara and Barpeta. In no time Assam's Chief Minister issued a statement that all of these Muslims, ousted by the Arunachal government, belong to Barpeta and so shall be accommodated there. There was no enquiry that on what basis the Arunachal government has declared these people as Bangladeshis and unless the matter is settled between two Indian provinces, nothing decisive should be spoken for those declared aliens. The central government maintained a studied silence. In Assam the prevailing perception is that any Bangladeshi can claim his or her citizenship to Barpeta, because it's a city run and controlled by Bangladeshi illegal infiltrators. Assam is the only place on this earth where a native government enacted a foreigners' registration act which put the onus of proving a person's nationality on the police or the complainant rather than on the suspect! It was known as the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act 1983 applicable to one state only so that Bangladeshi illegal infiltrators are facilitated to sneak in. The irony was that on a highway, on the left side, Assam, had one foreigners' registration act and on the right side, Meghalaya had a different one. It was struck down by the Supreme Court (SC), which admonished the government in harsh words. But with state elections nearing, a shameless government, through an executive order, amended the act, which had become uniformly applicable all over India after SC's orders, to keep the same discarded IMDT Act in vogue through backdoor. It was against the spirit of Supreme Court's orders, against the national interest, against the people of Assam. Yet it was created to get Bangladeshi infiltrators' votes. Thanks to judiciary, that amendment too was struck down by the court. But by that time the damage had already been done. Like the central government, Assam's Congress government depends on Muslim voters to stay in power. Hence the Bangladeshi infiltrators might be aliens, but till they vote an Indian political party to stay in power, they are most welcome to grab land, take fake identity cards, and increase their population so much that now a Bangladeshi Muslim majority pocket in Assam has demanded a separate autonomous status for it so that they can run their affairs according to their wishes. If the political parties, responsible for safeguarding the nation from aliens, act this way, who is going to stop the terrorists in an effective manner? Just before the state elections were held in Andhra Pradesh, Naxals and Maoists were given lavish dinners by the party in power and made to stay in government guest houses in Hyderabad. Their help was also sought in winning the elections. Can a Chief Minister take action against those bandits now? What worth are his words that assure action against terror outfits when his connections and his bowing before the lawbreakers who control his vote bank, is public knowledge?
A nation living on a self-denial mode can never defeat gun runners. A polity that declares Ishrat Jahan innocent even before a police enquiry begins, which allows secessionists in Nagaland to open and run their 'free republic' headquarters and celebrate 'Independence Day' separately, which turns aliens into voters, thrives on a self-obsessed people who remain as engrossed in their routine of earning and dying as they were in the East India Company's babudom. Strong nations move on their heritage and civilisation, whether it's Russia, China or the United States. They know who they are and who the enemy to their existence is. But here, we have a state which tries to de-recognise its civilisational moors, rather demoralises the patriotic forces ( from Kashmir to Kohima) and sleeps with the foes of our ancestral past so much so that we love to honour the memory of a bigot like Aurangzeb, the ideological 'great grand pa' of today's Taliban, by naming a major road in the Capital after him, but fear to honour Dara Shikoh, the learned scholar of Upanishads and a bridge of love between Muslims and Hindus( Japanese PM Abe quoted him in his address to Indian Parliament recently). Dara Shikoh was jailed and killed by his brother Aurangzeb and his grave lies unheard, uncared for in the precincts of Jama Masjid, New Delhi, where even the fashionable heritage-walkers of the NDMC-Habitat variety do not visit. The state finds it fulfilling to guard the remnants of those who assaulted Indian civilisational state, romanticise the memories of conquistadors-who razed temples and build mosques over it like the one called Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque popularly known a Qutub Minar, where an introduction by the Archaeological Survey of India tells all, but fails to reinstate temples destroyed by jihadis in the Valley or protect a shrine and a bridge connected with the memories of Ram. So, after every blast, band-aid prescriptions and similar analyses are of no use unless the real spirit of the nation is recognised and nourished. Huntington wrote 'Who are We ? and answered the character of the American nationhood without apologies. Do we know who we are and the destiny of the nation that we are entrusted to realise? Then alone the state can fulfil its commitment to eliminate the hands that turn marriages into mourning. And this can be achieved with a united front of all- no matter which religion or province one belongs to. Because the battle is between Indians and India-haters.