Monday, March 29, 2010
This needs government’s clarification. If true, as the report suggests, the shift in India’s Afghan policy must be explained to the people and foreign minister must answer the raison d’être` of showing a willingness to have a dialogue with the regressive elements that have been working for the ISI and their anti-India operations have bled us for the last two decades.
Talking to Taliban reverses all that India has stood so far. They are Osama’s men, they push their women behind veils and stop them from going to schools, their world is a world of darkness, far removed from that of democracy and pluralism, bringing the society to medieval ages. They survive on drug money and their main sources of support include, principally Pakistan’s ISI. Their Jihad against India is too well known.
Its naïve to plan a post-US strategy believing US may leave Afghanistan very soon. So far India has invested more than 1.2 billion dollars in Afghanistan. It is logical that we should know what India wants to achieve there, where continuously Indian role has been marginalized by an overpowering US presence and its actions.
Besides this, Gulbuddin Hikmetyar’s group Hizb e Islam is reduced to a no-consequence conglomeration of a few without any influence. Its noteworthy that Hezbi-Islami was founded by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, in Pakistan in 1975 with ISI and CIA help to fight the Soviet liberation of Afghanistan. Reports say that since the events of September 11, 2001 Hekmatyar, an ethnic Pashtun, formed an anti-coalition alliance with Taliban leader Muhammad Omar and the remnants of the al Qaeda group in the country. He was designated a terrorist by the U.S. in February 2003 for his past support to al Qaeda. On 19 February 2003 it was announced that the US Government had information indicating that Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has participated in and supported terrorist acts committed by al-Qa’ida and the Taliban. Because of his terrorist activity, the United States designated Hekmatyar as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. Indian intelligence intercepts also revealed that ISI officials were in constant touch with not just LeT but also other groups in Afghanistan to carry out attacks against Indians and Indian establishments in Afghanistan. The first of these was in Kunar in September last year in which LeT played host to ISI, Taliban leaders and other groups like Hizb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) which is headed by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an ISI lackey and rabid India-baiter.
These are the same people who indulge in giving summary punishments like stoning to death, execute by hanging from the lampposts, destroy Bamiyan. They were responsible for the killings of Indians in Kabul. Should they be engaged in a dialogue with the government of India?
Indian strategy, if there exists one for Afghanistan and Pakistan must be primarily to safeguard Indian interests and to ensure annihilation of anti-Indian terror groups. Not the dialogue with bloodthirsty elements. After failure on Headley issue and a meaningless dialogue with Pakistan under US pressure, engaging Taliban comes as another shocking feature of UPA's unending compromises with the anti-India elements.
Brother (Beradar in Pashto, the language the Taliban speak) Pakistan. Sounds so good. Hence Hillary Clinton wasn't lagging behind in this season of brothering Islamabadi jihadis. The warmth and the cosiness reflected the earlier Chinese and Afghan superlatives. And then was the turn of our dear "ally" in the global war against terror": Obama. First the civil nuclear deal was stated by the US ambassador to Islamabad to be "open for consideration", the hesitant rollback notwithstanding. Then we saw Washington's democratic powers establishing parity with the terror factory and the victim at the proposed Washington Nuclear Summit next month. See what a scene that would be: Gilani and good old friend Manmohan Singh sharing the plateful of concerns on terror. And now having stuffed Allah's army with infidel dollars, Hillary's statement comes as the icing on the cake with a layer of "Honey, you are fighting my war".
• Despite the arrests of Mullah Beradar and other Taliban leaders (which were either inadvertent or self-serving), Pakistan's overall strategy of protecting the Afghan Taliban leadership has not changed.
• Pakistan is threatened by the 2011 drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan, which it believes will leave behind an Afghan state with strong ties to its rival India.
• A true change in Pakistan's strategic calculations requires Islamabad to accept that the Taliban - and not India - are the greatest threat to success in Afghanistan.
• The lack of US leadership at the January London conference on Afghanistan allowed reconciliation with the Taliban to become a centerpiece of the endgame of international involvement.
• Pakistan's recent arrest of a few Taliban leaders is meant to exert control over the reconciliation process that Pakistan believes is imminent.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Instead of strengthening dictatorial power centre supported and bolstered by the Army and ISI in Pakistan, US would have done better by asking Pakistan’s Dollar grabbing leaders to be actively helping India in its war on terror. Going by Hillary’s statement, one wonders who is India’s honest ally in its struggle to protect democracy from terror attacks? Senator Hillary shouldn’t be unaware of what the senior strategic affairs analysts, like Ashley Tellis are writing about the ‘real nature’ of Pakistan’s struggle. I am quoting a few lines from a recent piece by him, “Recent arrests of high profile Afghan Taliban leaders by Pakistan do not indicate a strategic change in Pakistan’s counterterrorism strategy. In reality, Pakistan wants to assume a leading role in negotiating and reconciling with the Afghan Taliban to ensure a friendlier neighbour after the United States withdraws.”
Despite the arrests of Mullah Beradar and other Taliban leaders (which were either inadvertent or self-serving), Pakistan’s overall strategy of protecting the Afghan Taliban leadership has not changed.
Pakistan is threatened by the 2011 drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, which it believes will leave behind an Afghan state with strong ties to its rival India.
A true change in Pakistan’s strategic calculations requires Islamabad to accept that the Taliban—and not India—is the greatest threat to success in Afghanistan.
The lack of U.S. leadership at the January London conference on Afghanistan allowed reconciliation with the Taliban to become a centerpiece of the endgame of international involvement.
Will Secretary of State Hillary like to comment on it?
When US were struck on 9/11, it was willing to go to any corner of the earth and “smoke out the culprits”. But in regard to 26/11, it wears a saintly preacher attitude exposing its double standards. Did Secretary of State Hillary take up India’s 26/11 with Pakistan and urged it to cooperate with India?
(Introduction to Ashley Tellis -A senior associate in the Carnegie South Asia program. He specializes in international security, defense, and Asian strategic issues and helped the U.S. State Department negotiate the civil nuclear agreement with India. Previously, he was a senior adviser to the U.S. ambassador to India and was a special assistant to the president and senior director for strategic planning and Southwest Asia in the National Security Council.)
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Pakistan do not fall in the hands of anti India terror groups
American funding of Pakistan has gone on unabated during Obama’s presidency. All this has gone on without any attempt on the part of US administration to allay our genuine fears that these funds often are siphoned off for anti-India activities by terror groups. And now, instead of reassuring us that this would not happen, comes the highly disturbing news that on the eve of the Nuclear Security Summit to be hosted by President Obama in Washington DC on April 12 and 13, the so called civil nuclear deal that US has inked with India may be inked with Pakistan too.
The US funding of Pakistan is simply mind-boggling. I quote a report from The Guardian, “February 3, 2010 by Delcan Walsh. The Guardian/UK- President Obama's public aid to Pakistan is transparent: $1.5bn a year for the next five years, mainly to boost the civilian government. But behind the scenes the US is engaged in other ways. Over the past decade it has given over $12bn in cash directly to the military to subsidize the costs of fighting the Taliban and al-Qaida. The program to train the Frontier Corps, which the killed soldiers were involved with, is estimated to be worth $400m more over several years.’
It’s therefore imperative for India, surrounded by two hostile nuclear powers, to demand that US must assure India that its billions will not, in any situation whatsoever, fall in the hands of terror groups working against us. We need a fool-proof mechanism to get convinced of US monitoring of its aide to Islamabad.
Pakistan has a history of facilitating terrorist groups using US dollars, as has been widely reported by the American officials. It is no secret to even the Americans that the US help to Afghan Taliban is being diverted to groups inimical to India. The neighbour with a nuke and being run by a number of ‘state’ and ‘non sate’ players is a potential threat to India’s security and regional peace. To strengthen it with billions on any pretext must necessarily raise our levels of concern. US has a responsibility to assure India about the tight monitoring of its billions to a fluid state like Pakistan and assure regular report to us on it.
If US let down India on Headley case, South ‘sharm el shaikh' Block too has let Indians down by its sheer lackadaisical attitude on security and war on terror. US has never concerned itself with addressing Pakistan’s support to terror groups against India, while solely concentrating on the western front. US duplicity in its war against terror is in fact making India more vulnerable to Pakistan based and state supported terror groups. But ultimately it’s our war, and Obama is the President of his country. Why should we be playing second fiddle to US interests? The proposed Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010, (CLNDB) is another example of Indian rulers working against Indian interests under US pressure.
US admit that Pakistan is an unreliable nuclear state, which has been in the forefront of nuclear proliferation and is vulnerable to nuclear pilferage by ‘non-state actors.’ Still Pakistan continues to play ‘help me to help you’ card using Taliban to garner billions from Washington.
We only hope that Dr. Manmohan Singh’s Washington visit in April to attend the above mentioned summit doesn’t create scene of another shameful yielding to the foreign pressure like we saw in Sharm el Sheikh that was later nauseatingly visible in the India-Pakistan foreign secretary level talks.
To give an example of the vacillating South Block’s ‘I don’t know what’s in my mind’ governance, marked with the counting of body bags of civilians and soldiers without a firm policy on Qasabs and Afzals, here are some ‘gems’ from the ruling coalition leaders about Pakistan. Just match them with their deeds and talks and one wonders what kind of this absent minded governance is all about which publishes the pictures of Pakistan Air chief and Delhi in Pakistan on official government advertisements.
Selective approach not acceptable-“We should not harbour any illusions that a selective approach to terrorism, tackling it in one place while ignoring it in others, will work,” he said.( Dr.Manmohan Singh, at WASHINGTON – Nov 23, 2009. In an address to the Council On Foreign Relations (CFR), a leading US think-tank.
Needed a cast iron guarantee Jan 04, 2009 at New Delhi Chidambaram said:.
"What we now want is cast iron guarantees that no state actors or non-state ones will be allowed to use Pakistani soil or sources to launch an attack on India”, Home Minister P Chidambaram said.
"Guarantees have to come from those who control the levers of power and that means, the elected civilian government, plus the army. These are not guarantees that you can execute on a piece of paper. These are guarantees that have to be given to the international community," he told a television news channel.
Epicenter of terrorism Feb 23, 2010: Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram termed Pakistan as the epicenter of terrorism in the world, and said Islamabad has been forced by the Indian policy to admit that its soil was being used for terrorist attacks on India.
"Pakistan is the epicenter of terrorism. Our policy has forced Pakistan to admit that its soil was being used for terrorist attacks on India.
No meaning full dialogue--- a video appearance, MEA SM Krishna , in no uncertain terms said; " Meaningful dialogue with Pakistan [is]impossible unless Pakistan stops cross-border terrorism", "Pakistan is not prosecuting even terrorists against whom all evidence is available"
Monday, March 22, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Tarun Vijay calls for media introspection
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
India needs a leader like Putin
His list includes commercial contracts for the joint development of fifth generation fighter and multi-role transport aircraft. An agreement to sell India additional 29 Mig-29 Ks carrier-based fighter jets costing $1.12 billion-plus for the Indian Navy. Aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov., which got into controversies for the delay and finally raising the cost, will be discussed and delivery route finalized. Russia’s fifth-generation fighter aircraft developed by Sukhoi Corporation is on the shopping list of the Indian Air Force (IAF), which would acquire 50 single-seater fighters and would induct 200 more two-seater fighters around 2016, according to reports. Under the 2007 intergovernmental agreement, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has been identified as the nodal agency for the project and a commercial deal on setting up a JV is expected to be finalized during Putin’s visit. And much more. Here are a few points doled out by government sources and lapped by observers from various quarters:
Russia will sign defence deals worth $4 billion (over Rs 18,140 crore). India and Russia will invest $600 million (about Rs 2,720 crore) to set up a joint venture to produce a medium-lift transport aircraft for the armed forces. The final agreement for a $600-million joint venture between Bangalore-based state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and Russia’s United Aircraft Cooperation (UAC) to make new-generation fighter planes. According to the delivery agreement for Admiral Gorshkov, New Delhi would shell out an additional $2.35 billion for the upgrade of the carrier and training of Indian naval crews.
An agreement on detailed cooperation on the development of a new generation of satellites linked to the Russian Glonas navigation system.
Separate commercial contracts for two more civil nuclear reactors of 1,000 MW each would also be signed during the visit, for the Kudankulam site in Tamil Nadu, where Russia is already building two reactors and had promised to build another two. This brings the number of reactors at Kudankulam to six (at 1,000 MW each). Another site, at Haripur in West Bengal, had already been allotted to the Russians, with the accompanying promise that they could build six more reactors there.
Moscow had, in fact, already agreed to provide nuclear reprocessing and that the language of the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA), initialled by the two PMs during Manmohan Singh’s visit to Moscow in December – the same agreement will now be signed between the two sides — allows for its sale and transfer.
Other agreements include two MoUs on cooperation in joint ventures in pharmaceuticals, and an agreement on standardization in pharmaceuticals. When Putin meets Manmohan Singh he would oversee the signing of more than $10 billion in deals. Definitely this long awaited thaw in the India-Russia relations is a result of a well pursued diplomacy by Manmohan Singh and the credit should go to him. He has visited Russia six times during his tenure as the Prime Minister. The present Putin visit and the high-profile strategic accords on the agenda are the result of a series of talks and efforts. We were looked upon as part of the American camp, not to be trusted as an independent Asian entity. The traditional warmth between Russia and India was waning and Moscow saw Delhi as a part of the US gameplan to divide the planet into a two polar unit. In Moscow, Manmohan Singh declared that the India-Russia friendship was "rock solid" and "time tested". Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao described the chemistry between Manmohan and Putin aptly: "They are on the same page on Afghanistan, Pakistan and other global issues like economic downturn and climate change."
Putin expressed “solidarity and support” for India’s concerns on Jihadi terrorism and endorsed India's contention that Pakistan was yet to bring to justice the perpetrators of Mumbai terror attack.
"The joint declaration at Moscow in 2004 had expressed Putin’s support of Indian candidacy in an expanded UN Security Council and New Delhi’s 'full membership in the SCO' recognizing that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is 'an important regional organization promoting peace and stability and fostering economic development in the region'."
Agreed all this is not just radiant with a white area of angels. A series of MiG crashes, dubiously earning them the nickname of flying coffins, corruption and bribes in deals, pushing old, outdated machinery and endless delays in the supplies of vital parts to the defence sector are the flip side of this otherwise "time tested" friendship. But whose responsibility is it anyway to have the corrective measure taken, ensure transparency and buy hardware on our terms? Neither Putin nor Obama can be entrusted to guarantee India's defence. It needs an Indian character. If we have it , show and move ahead. If not, don't complain.
The regrown closeness is certainly helpful to India in keeping its balance of power in favour of national interests. Too much closeness with the US has never helped us. With China getting aggressive by the day and Pakistan not knowing what to do with its withering state as Washington and Taliban both stake major claims in its running, India has to find dependable and long-term allies, a gap which Russia fulfils maturely. Its fight against the terrorist elements is a lesson for us. Putin became a hero in his home not just for nothing. He saved Russia from the mass annihilators and brought back the Russian confidence. Young, sporty and at times vicious, he holds the key to multipolarism the world needs today. There is hardly is other world leader who can stand up to the US hegemonic attitude.
India is facing its worst crisis of terrorism in a spineless manner. Blasts after blasts, attacks after attacks have become a routine affair. In such a scenario what India needs is a leader like Putin who can not only use strong language but also take harshest possible steps to root out terrorism while taking all sections of society along without being revengeful to common citizens in whatever way. He has also introduced special measures to develop Muslim-dominated areas in Russia where he found lack of infrastructure is also one reason pushing locals into jihadi groups. Last week he was in Russia’s Ingushetia region to announce projects worth $1.44 billion through 2016 to develop the region which is considered a violent area where according to analysts poverty is also pushing civilians to join Islamist rebels. Last December after the train blast in Moscow, he reassured the public that the authorities would act "very harshly" against rebel groups, and took a vow to "break the spine" of terrorism. Before that during the G8 summit press conference in early 2008, his answer to a question from a French journalist stunned everyone into silence .
FRENCH JOURNALIST: ...Don't you think that by trying to eradicate terrorism in Chechnya you are going to eradicate the civilian population of Chechnya?
VLADIMIR PUTIN: If you want to become an Islamic fundamentalist and be circumcised, come to Moscow. We are multiconfessional. We have very good specialists. I can recommend one for the operation. He'll make sure nothing grows back.
He may be called an extremist. But in times like these it's better to be one rather than hold meaningless candles and keep counting body bags of those whose protection was your duty.
ये संत गरीबों में अपना ईश्वर क्यों नहीं ढूंढते?
जिस देश में बच्चे रोटी और कपड़े के मुफ्त वितरण में यूं झपट पड़े कि अकाल काल के ग्रास बन जाएं, उस देश के किस देवता को हम अपना नैवैद्य अर्पित करें? जिस देश में भुखमरी, कंगाली और बदहाली बच्चों से उनका बचपन छीन ले और बूढ़ों को फुटपाथ पर मरने के लिए छोड़ दें, उस देश में कौन से मन्दिर किसकी पूजा, किसका मठ और भागवत कथा ईश्वर स्वीकार करेंगे?
उत्तर प्रदेश फिर समाचारों में छाया और इस बार समाचार थे बच्चों की अकाल मृत्यु के। यह मुद्दा कि वे किसी धार्मिक स्थान में गए, या कि वहां अव्यवस्था थी, अथवा प्रशासन मुस्तैद नहीं था, सन्दर्भहीन है। यह वह क्षेत्र है जहां बुंदेलखण्ड के अकाल, सूखी धरती, मानिकपुर के जनजातीय दरिद्र, पूर्वांचल की अथाह गरीबी किसी को संतप्त नहीं करती। इस कुहासे में अथाह, बदबूदार धन के मालिक जनता की कमाई पर बदसूरत ऐश्वर्य के नए-नए अपयश-मान निर्माण करते दिखते हैं। यह वह प्रदेश है जिसने देश को अधिकतम प्रधानमंत्री दिए, जहां जिस पार्टी का भाग्य प्रबल न हो वह देश पर राज करने लायक नहीं मानी जाती। यह वह प्रदेश है जहां के तीर्थ, जहां की गंगा और यमुना का स्मरण मात्र सारे देश को पवित्र करता है।
और उस प्रदेश के बच्चे, स्त्रियां हल्का, अति-सामान्य भोजन और बेहद सामान्य कपड़े का एक टुकड़ा लेने के लिए ऐसी भगदड़ मचाने को मजबूर दिखे कि 26 नौनिहाल जान खो बैठे। राहत देंगे? सांत्वना देंगे? सरकार या राजनेताओं को कोसेंगे? होगा क्या? क्या वे बच्चे वापस अपनी मां की गोद में आ पाएंगे? गरीब के बच्चे थे। इसलिए थोक में ही जान गंवाते हैं। उनकी जान गंवाना एक राहुल महाजन की दुल्हनियों के जुगुप्साजनक टीवी शो से ज्यादा कभी अहमियत नहीं पाता। गरीब के बच्चे किसी दिल्ली-सुल्तान के दिल में राजनीति से परे दर्द पैदा नहीं करते। वे मायावती को कोसेंगे, पर सच यह है कि यहां हर कोई अपने भीतर एक मायावती का रूप लिए बैठा है - एक ने मूर्त्तियों का वितण्डावाद कर गरीबों की छाती पर अट्टहास किया तो दूसरे अपने-अपने तरीके से गरीबों का वोट बैंक सहलाकर अपने बंगले सजाते हैं।
उत्तर प्रदेश, बिहार, उड़ीसा, बंगाल, ये प्रदेश भारत के सबसे गरीब प्रदेश क्यों है? लद्दाख की -40 सेल्सियस की सर्दी में भी क्यों बिहार, उड़ीसा और उ.प्र. के मजदूर जान गलाकर मजदूरी करने पहुंचते हैं? सरकारी पैमाने के अनुसार यदि शहरी गरीबी का स्तर प्रतिदिन 29 रुपये में जीवन चलाना है तो ग्रामीण गरीबी के लिए यह स्तर मात्र 14 रुपया है।
दिल्ली में जो बुखारा की एक कटोरी दाल के लिए 450 रुपये देते हैं और प्रति व्यक्ति 1200 से 2500 तक के डिनर देकर राजनीति पोसते हैं, उन पर जिम्मेदारी रही है कि वे भारत की गरीबी व्याख्यायित करें और उसे दूर करने के उपाय खोजें।
एक बार गरीबी हटाओ का भी नारा उछला था। सत्ता में तो तब इन्दिरा गांधी आ गईं पर गरीबी तब से अब तक बढ़ी ही है। इसके पीछे भारत की नितान्त अपरिपक्व और अमीरों का प्रतिनिधित्व करने वाली पत्रकारिता, वोट बैंक राजनीति का ऐश्वर्य और भोगवादी चरित्र और भ्रष्ट अफसरशाही है।
आइएएस, आईपीएस के सदस्य संविधान द्वारा रक्षित होते हैं। उन पर राजकीय नीतियां क्रियान्वित करने का दायित्व होता है। पर वे हर भ्रष्ट नेता के दरबारीपन में अपना मोक्ष ढूंढते हैं। यदि वे तय कर लें कि किसी नेता के गलत काम में साथ नहीं देंगे, तो कोई उनका कुछ बिगाड़ नहीं सकता। पर वे फिसलते हैं, क्योंकि वे फिसलना चाहते हैं। अब तक के उनके राज में न गांवों में शौचालय पहुंचे, न हैंडपम्प चले और न ही परीक्षा के दिनों में बच्चों को 24 घंटे बिजली मिल पाती है। जिनके पास पैसा है, वे जेनरेटर लगाकर बच्चों को गिटपिटिया अंग्रेजी स्कूलों के ए.सी. वातावरण में पढ़ाकर समाज विमुख विलासी पीढ़ी की ऐसी जमात तैयार करते रहते हैं, जो गरीबों की गरीबी को अपनी अमीरी बढ़ाने का उपकरण बनाती है। जिनके पास पैसा नहीं, वे मोमबत्ती, लालटेन या गली के लैम्प पोस्ट के सहारे पढ़ाई करते हैं और एक दिन अचानक किसी अमीर नेता के जन्मदिन पर बंटती साड़ियां लेते हुए लाइन में जान खो देते हैं।
ये सामंती प्रकृति के नेता वास्तव में जनता, धर्म और राष्ट्रीयता के शत्रु हैं। किसी के पास बिना किसी ज्ञात स्रोत के असीम पैसा आ गया तो वो खैरातें बांटकर अपने चेहरे पर लिखी कालिख धोने की कोशिश करता है। जनता जस की तस रहती है।
ऐसी स्थिति में क्या भारत के उन महान धार्मिक नेताओं, संतों और प्रवचनकारों का यह कर्तव्य नहीं बनता कि वे भारत की भूखी, गरीब जनता में अपना शिव, अपना नारायण ढूंढे? विद्रोह का शंख गुंजाएं और देश का हर मन्दिर यह सुनिश्चित करें कि उसके प्रभाव क्षेत्र में कोई भूखा नहीं सोएगा। मन्दिर और संत क्यों नहीं भ्रष्ट राजनेताओं के खिलाफ आवाज उठाते? कृष्ण के पूजक यदि कंस की सेवा में रत दिखेंगे तो गोबर्द्धन कौन उठाएगा?
जिसने संसार त्याग दिया, उसे संत कहते हैं। जो वीतरागी हो गया, जिसकी आंखों में स्वर्णमुद्रा और धूलिकण बराबर है, वह साधु कहलाता हैं। पर देखिए, आज क्या हाल है? राजनेताओं को अपने आश्रम में एक बार बुला लेने भर को साधु-संतों में यूं होड़ मची रहती है, मानो उनका आश्रम राजपुरुष की चरणधूलि से पवित्र हो जाएगा। उनके आश्रम ऐश्वर्य की चमक से चुंधियाते हैं और किसान अपने गांव के किनारे के शिवमंदिर में जाकर रोता है कि, हे प्रभु! अन्नदाता तो मुझे कहा जाता है, पर जीवन अब जीने लायक नहीं दिखता। गन्दी गंगा, प्रदूषित यमुना, सड़े-गले मन्दिर, अशिक्षित पंडों की लूट, ज्ञानियों का तिरस्कार, संस्कृत और संस्कृति का अपमान, फिर भी हमारा धर्म महान? धर्म तो निश्चय ही महान है, पर धर्मानुयायी जब राष्ट्र के साथ राम-भक्ति का सम्बन्ध जोड़ें तो बात बने।
इस क्षेत्र में स्वामिनारायण सम्प्रदाय, गायत्री परिवार, राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ, पुट्टपार्थी साईंबाबा जैसे अनेक सामाजिक-आध्यात्मिक संगठन सक्रिय हुए हैं जो भारत के भविष्य में आशा जगाता है। यह भाव और बढ़े, मठ, मन्दिर और आश्रम गांव, और गरीब के लिए भी सक्रिय हों तो असली श्री रामदर्शन होंगे।
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
|CULTU & SO|
CULTURE & SOCIETY
Balancing Change Continuous
THE SECOND DISCUSSION IN THE SERIES COMMEMORATING FIVE YEARS OF TEHELKA BROUGHT TOGETHER AN ARTICULATE PANEL THAT DEBATED TRADITION, MODERNITY AND THE INDIAN. PHOTOS: SAGGERE RADHAKRISHNA
|The Panel (from left) Ashis Nandy, Jaggi Vasudev, Shobhaa Dé, Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury, Karan Johar, Sarika and Tarun Vijay|
Talking Heads Tarun Vijay (from left) has his say as Karan Johar, Shobhaa Dé and Sarika listen in. Sitting next to Jaggi Vasudev Ashis Nandy speaks his mind on whether our transformation from the traditional to the modern has only been skin deep — the theme of the panel discussion
‘We Are The Worst Hypocrites’
|Photo: SHAILENDRA PANDEY|
Do you think of India as a modern nation?
I think India is one of the most modern nations on this planet. I can cite examples of 50 countries where modernity was accepted at a very late stage, if at all. Modernity means to be able to adapt with the tune of the times and to change with the era. Adaptability is the best in India because of its Hindu ethos and culture.
When young people are attacked by right-wing groups, is it because your ideas about change and an adaptable Indian culture have not trickled down to the grassroots within the Sangh Parivar?
We have never supported these attacks. Never. Secondly these attacks are also a reaction; a precipitated anger caused by the vicious attacks of a section that calls itself ‘secular’. This ‘secular’ section goes against Hindu sensibilities and attacks the Hindu worldview. This is fashionable and simply unacceptable. These are Talibanised secular groups who think that encouraging the calendar marketing of women, to use them to sell beedies, tyres, furniture, whiskey are permissible and acceptable labels of modernity and women’s empowerment.
What about discriminatory practices that seem very specific to India such as the caste system? Or expectations of women in our personal lives?
We are the worst hypocrites as a society. We worship Durga for power, we worship Lakshmi for wealth, Saraswati for knowledge and yet we’ve become the worst murderers of the devi. We keep our temples dirty. We say that we are Hindus but we don’t give an honourable and exalted place to Sanskrit scholars. ‘Pandit’ has become a hated name, even among the elite and English speaking, de-Indianised sections. We are adapting to modern values. We are forgetting the soul of this country.
The forgotten fifty-nine
I am least interested in the cases, the lies, the scandalous twists, the influencing of the case makers, the politics and the horrendous behaviour of those who become members of India’s central law-making body, Parliament, by virtue of an adult franchise.
My eyes were searching for an indicator, some information to know what happened to those families whose bread earners, parents, sole supporters and dearest relatives were suddenly brought dead in body bags.
There were little kids like Gayatri Panchal, who lost her two sisters, mother and father in that inferno. Sudha Rawal, an 82-year-old granny, Neelima, Lakhu Bhai, Bhimji Bhai……
Why they have to die a torturous death? And why the stalwarts, the leaders, the conscious keepers of the land never ever tried to approach them to know, how February 27 changed their world view and lives?
The next carnage, equally condemnable and horrifying, never included the dead of February 27. Both were Indians. I thought dead bodies do not have any religious prejudices. But here we saw, dead too can be made victims of the coloured attitudes.
Is there any answer to the question why Godhra is always, necessarily excluded from Gujarat? Why ‘Gujarat’ is simply and essentially a Muslim tragedy? Though one third of the killed were Hindus?
Why can’t we wail and lament for the Indian, whatever the religion, who dies whether in Godhra or ‘Gujarat’? The mental subjugation, the coercive secularism, the aggressive NGO-funded shrill voices, none of them takes into account the human side of the tragedies. Flags, headbands, the famous picture of the tailor with folded hands, half truths and pure lies in the courtyards of justice, nothing could demystify why Godhra occurred. Rather it has been pushed into the blind well of a secular Talibanistic edit that prohibits even an analytical, objective discussion on the February 27 carnage. Which occurred just eight years ago?
When the perpetrators of 1984 still roam free and the protectors are decorated, an Indian analysis and an Indian inference of Godhra may take decades. But it also throws up the same issue of a self-denial, our leaders in media and politics are delving into. Deny that it ever happened. Deny that the hurt was universal.
Indians are targeted today for various reasons — in Kashmir, Jammu, Bastar, Dantewada, Kohima, Pune, Mumbai. The list is growing by the day. Still the missing identity is Indian.
Recently I was in a discussion in Bangalore and the participants, all noble elitist drum beaters of freedom of expression and objectivity, simply focused on communally oriented themes of persecution, backwardness and atrocities. None of them even once spoke of the Indian pain — they would have been forced to talk of inconvenient truths like Kashmiri Hindus’ exile. And of course Godhra.
The exclusion is as painful as was the massacre. An activist, who works among tribals, showed the gathering pictures of dead bodies of people who he claimed were killed by the security forces . He din't show a single picture of the policemen killed by Naxalites or of those more than 10,000 common citizens brutally murdered by the red marauders.
Aren’t the policemen Indians? And those who were targeted by the Naxalites? Why romanticize the brutal murderers and exclude the agony of others? This dishonesty on part of the "secular, peace-loving" tribe is killing and shows off Stalinist traits.
The burning alive of Graham Staines was horrendous. But so was the killing of the octogenarian Swami Lakshmananand. Why exclude Lakshmananand and refuse to look dispassionately at the other side?
Nothing will be discussed and allowed to be printed till the Shahs of the secular Mecca deem it fit to be approved. Why?
Accept Valentine’s day, as if the day is the new constitutional order of the republic, a new national anthem. Otherwise be prepared to be lampooned and declared an uncivilized moron.
The end of dissent and inclusion is also the end of civility.