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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness has become one of the most reviewed books since and even before its publication in June 2017. The antici...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


RSS should bombard BJP hq and take over leadership: Shourie
TNN 25 August 2009, 07:46am IST

NEW DELHI: There is no stemming the blood-letting in BJP. On Monday, former minister Arun Shourie took the baton from expelled leader Jaswant Singh

as he launched a furious attack on the entire brass of the party and called for the RSS to “bombard the party headquarters” and replace the top leadership with 10-15 nominees of its choice. As a result, he now faces expulsion or at least suspension. In a TV interview and in an impromptu interaction with the media, Shourie savaged the leadership. He called the leadership “humpty-dumpty” and “Alice in blunderland”, while saying the party was adrift like a ‘kati patang’. He argued that BJP needed radical surgery, saying, “My prescription is jhatka (one swift execution) not halal (slow execution). Saare, saare (lock, stock and barrel). There should be a total transformation,” said Shourie. He said the party leaders were indulging in “mutual protection and projection.” He also said the party’s moral authority had depleted owing to involvement in cases like the cash-for-query scam. He asked the RSS to take charge while arguing that the Sangh had been “too democratic” and had given too much latitude to the party. He urged the RSS to remember that BJP was its most visible face, its “biggest instrument” and could not be left to its own devices in the current situation of drift. “It should keen an eye on the moral conduct of the party like an eagle,” he said. Concentrating his ire on all the central leaders ranging from L K Advani, Rajnath Singh, Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar, Shourie indicted all of them. The leadership responded to the assault by threatening disciplinary action. “He is seeking political martyrdom,” party spokesperson Rajeev Pratap Rudy said. A defiant Shourie dismissed both the threat and the spokesperson with disdain. “Do what you can,” he declared. He said that there was no space for dissent in the party which was being treated as a private property, and any criticism of the party was completely walled out and not discussed. The BJP is likely to call a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the latest eruption with indications that suspension or expulsion of the latest rebel may be on the table. But at a time when it is under fire for being intolerant and illiberal because of the expulsion of Jaswant, the party may be compelled to tread cautiously. Besides, they may also have to factor in Shourie’s praise for RSS which he said should be overseeing the party’s affairs, besides playing “BJP’s moral policeman”. Calling for a total recast of the party top hierarchy, Shourie said there was need to borrow from Mao’s tactics of “bombarding the headquarters. Clean up everybody from top. Bring 10-15 people from the states who are competent and honest and dedicated and reconstruct immediately.” He was quite secular in the choice of his targets, sparing virtually none. Though he named no names, he left few doubts as to who all were on the comprehensive hit list. For instance, while he denied that he wanted Advani to go, he forcefully argued that the Leader of Opposition went further than Jaswant in praising Jinnah. Then, he quoted Advani’s critic, Yashwant Sinha, to support Jaswant’s rubbishing of Advani’s claim that he was not aware of the decision to release terrorists in exchange for the release of passengers of IC-814. Shourie denied that his ‘humpty dumpty’ dig was meant for Rajnath. But his criticism of the decisions to axe B C Khanduri as CM and Vasundhara Raje as BJP group leader in Rajasthan when they had support seemed to be directly aimed at Singh.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

True picture of incompetent BJ (Jinnah) Party

Jaswant Singh's book, reaction in the party and literal washing of dirty linnen in public is pathetic but amusing spectacle. It must not be without reason that party of lunatics lost elections and hopefully will have completely disappeared by the time of next elections along with their apologists.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

BJP leader LK Advani quits as leader of Opposition

Hindustan Times

New Delhi, May 16, 2009
First Published: 18:34 IST(16/5/2009)
Last Updated: 18:42 IST(16/5/2009)

Hours later the people's verdict did not turn in the favour of Bhartiya Janata Party on Saturday, its veteran leader LK Advani has decided to quit as the leader of Opposition and possibly retire from active politics.
Talking to the reporters, BJP general secretary Arun Jaitely said that BJP board has not yet accepted Advani's offer to resign.
Till afternoon, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance was a distant second, with leads in just about 100 seats.

Great moment

One of the greatest moment in history of India. Fascists forces have been defeated! A celebration time!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

On Babri, it was BJP which made CBI crawl

Ritu Sarin Posted: Tuesday , May 05, 2009 at 0819 hrs IST
New Delhi: For all the moral high ground taken by the Bharatiya Janata Party that the CBI is the “Congress Bureau of Investigation” — especially after it brazenly took Bofors-accused Ottavio Quattrocchi off the wanted list — the fact is that the BJP-led NDA regime, in perhaps the most high-profile political case in its tenure, also over-ruled the agency reducing it to a rubber stamp. And, in the process, set the CBI up for another round of arm twisting by the UPA.
The matter: the decision of the CBI not to challenge the 2003 discharge of then Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani in the case related to his alleged inflammatory speeches during the Babri Masjid demolition.
Confidential files obtained by The Indian Express reveal how handling of the Advani discharge was as partisan as the CBI’s conduct in other politically sensitive probes reported by this newspaper in its ongoing investigative series. Top CBI officers, including at least two DIGs, one Joint Director and the Special Counsel proposed filing a revision petition after Advani was discharged by a Rae Bareli court. But it was once again the agency’s Director of Prosecution, S K Sharma, on whose opinion, the agency referred the matter to the Government’s top Law Officers.
And, in a bizarre turn, these officers, Attorney General Soli Sorabjee and Solicitor General Kirit Raval referred the matter to an outsider, Chennai-based lawyer N Natarajan. Clearly, the issue of expressing an opinion in a case involving the Deputy Prime Minister was too hot to handle.
The CBI’s Advani headache got worse when the Congress came to power in 2004. Perhaps, for the first time in the agency’s history, the CBI received several strongly worded missives from the Congress-led UPA, asking for written explanations on how and on whose advice Advani’s discharge remained unchallenged.
When the CBI defended its stand, via a letter dated August 12, 2005, CBI Director U S Misra was asked by the Department of Personnel to “send the opinions of Attorney General and N Natarajan with your comments.”
The saving grace for CBI was the fact that even as this correspondence was being exchanged, on July 6, 2005, the Allahabad High Court set aside the Rae Bareli Magistrate’s discharge and directed the trial against Advani and seven others to commence.
The CBI was also made a respondent in this case where two private persons, Haji Mehboob and Hafiz Siddiq, had challenged Advani’s discharge. And during early arguments — announcing its volte face in a changed political scenario — CBI’s counsel, this time with UPA at the Centre, argued just the opposite: that the discharge be quashed!
A scrutiny of the sequence of events in the NDA regime, as per official records, reveals the carefully calibrated manner in which the CBI was forced to abandon the appeal against Advani’s discharge:
n The tone was set by S K Sharma, a Joint Secretary in the Law Ministry who for several years has been holding the post of Director of Prosecution in the CBI. In a 15-page opinion dated December 4, 2003, he concluded: “I feel the impugned order is evenly balanced and, to a considerable extent, the prosecution is on a weak wicket. However, considering the important question of law and fact involved, we should seek the opinion of any of the law officers of the Government of India on the point of feasibility of filing against the impugned order.”
n In a one-page note, U S Misra (then Special Director) reveals how the agency’s officers pushed for challenging the discharge. “I have gone through the comments of DIG (M Narayanan), DLA (Deputy Legal Advisor), Special Counsel (S S Gandhi), DIG (Lok Nath Behra), Joint Director (Vivek Dubey) and the DoP,” he wrote. “(These) Officers...except the DoP have recommended filing of a revision petition in the High Court.”
n Barely two days before he demitted office — December 4, 2003 — then CBI Director P C Sharma endorsed the DoP’s stand. And signed off: “I doubt whether we have a prosecutable case. Taking resort to such a course, I am afraid will only prolong the proceedings...I agree with DoP that the matter should be referred to the Attorney General...”
n But Attorney General Sorabjee, on December 11, 2003, skirted the issue. “It would be advisable and prudent, in order to obviate needless controversy, that the CBI consult N Natarajan, who is an eminent senior counsel..and seek his opinion in the...matter and act in accordance with it,” he wrote.
n Natarajan’s opinion came in six days later with the conclusion: “I am of the view that his (L K Advani’s) discharge is justified in the circumstances of the case and it is not appropriate to file a Revision Petition against his discharge.”
n With the Attorney General out of the country, it was Solicitor General Kirit Raval who gave the green light to the CBI. In his carefully worded opinion, on December 26, 2003, he endorses Natarajan’s view and tries to distance himself from it: “I am in agreement with the opinion of N Natarajan and therefore the CBI should act in accordance with Natarajan’s opinion, as stated in the latter of learned AG...”
Given all this, few in the CBI were surprised when Misra, who had by then taken over as Director, ruled in a six-page note: “No revision is to be filed against the order of discharge of Shri Advani...”
Reprisal followed when the UPA came in and struck back. In a letter dated August 12, 2005, the Department of Personnel asked the CBI to explain: “internal deliberations;” “the sequence of events” leading to seeking the AG’s opinion; “at what level it was decided” not to file an appeal; “internal mechanisms” of filing appeals; why the case was called “complex and sensitive” and to submit all opinions “with comments” to the Government.
Meanwhile, in the Rae Bareli court, developments were on track as far as the UPA Government was concerned. With the revision being allowed, charges against Advani and seven others were framed on July 28, 2005 and prosecutors handling the case say hearings are being held every month or so although frequently interrupted by adjournments.
The CBI’s lawyers say that to date four witnesses have been examined and of their list of 40 witnesses, they propose to call around 20 to depose. The next hearing is scheduled for May 16 — when the results come in and another set of wheels starts moving in the Law Ministry and the CBI.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The reasons why Advani should not be Prime Minister

In India as electoral process is under way and the rightist groups led by BJP have been trying their best to capture power once again. Given the volatility of Indian electorate the right wingers might succeed in that and install their designate Prime Ministerial candidate into the chair. In a democracy, it should not pose any problem and it would constitute no big deal. However, a careful consideration of the record of previous NDA regime in which Advani was interior minister raises serious questions about his suitability to occupy the position of a Prime Minister. Advani through his own admission in his memoirs has confessed that he was not privy to the decision of handing over terrorists lodged in Indian jails to meet demands of hijackers of an Indian plane. That should speak volumes about his efficiency and also of the then government. It would be irresponsible to over look the consequences of that infamous decision of the NDA government because BJP brands itself as a party that is committed to fight terrorism. Two of the terrorists released in 1999 and escorted shamefully to Kandhar by the then external affairs minister Jaswant Singh were Azhar Masood and Omar Saeed Sheikh. Subsequent to their release, the name of Azhar Masood appeared in so many terrorist operations and many of which were directed again India. And Saeed Omar Sheikh infamously organized the kidnapping and subsequently brutal murder of The Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl. The civilized governments all over the world adhere to the principle of no-negotiation with terrorists under any threat, notwithstanding the seriousness of consequences. But one has just to recall how pitifully NDA government of the day crumbled under pressure and meekly surrendered. For all subsequent acts of terrorism by the released individuals, the part of blame, if not entirely, should belong to officials of that regime, which includes Advani. Advani was Deputy Prime Minister in that government and therefore should be answerable to some awkward questions that arose from the handling of that hijacking episode. How was the plane let to be flown from Amritsar? And who else was could be held responsible for that lapse other than the minister for internal security of the day, which was none other than Lal Krishan Advani. When and why was the decision to enter into negotiations with hijackers and surrender made? Why was the international standard of not any negotiations with terrorists shunned? And what was Advani as a member of the then cabinet doing if he was not aware of the decisions made as he has claimed in his book. It not only reeks of inefficiency but his earlier statements immediately after nuclear blasts by India also smack of immaturity. The age is no guarantee of wisdom and maturity and it is clear Advani is not up to the prime ministerial task that too in a period of complex international situations that require perseverance and maturity and not the outrageous view like scrapping of article 370.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The world view : Afghanistan

It is quite refreshing to see overall optimism and definitely a new sense of purpose on the world stage ever since Obama ascended Presidency of United States. The gratification stems from the fact that despite economic down turn one can see a glimmer of hope over the horizon. Down side of such a world view is that it can accompany complacency as the towering problems, regional imbalances and the wide spread chasm and deprivations cannot and will not disappear without being addressed squarely. The wrongs committed since time immemorial and aggravated and neglected during the Bush presidency due to lack of shear willingness or capacity to understand have created fragile situation which demand immediate genuine address. Unfortunately, there are no solutions, which can be pulled out by use of a magic wand but would require delicate hard work, willingness to understand and work towards assuaging the hurt sensibilities caused by years of ignorance and arrogance of powers to be. The region that requires immediate and without fail any attention is the conundrum in Afghanistan, which has has now almost overtaken much of polity and geography in Pakistan. One can be forgiven for being cynical about genuineness of the efforts being made, which brings the realization if problem is really understood. In the absence of basic and unbiased understanding no solution is going to have any lasting effect. Increase in the number of NATO troops in spring and a decrease in autumn, in an imitation of out of depth federal reserve and other world bankers in a desperate attempt to save capitalism, will definitely will not have any impact and will certainly not stop swelling of jihadi ranks. The impending implosion of Pakistan has its roots in its very creation and subsequent failure in establishment of a genuine political system and long unchecked periods of unbridled military regimes who did bidding for Western alliance up to the near end of cold war era. And the Western power while prophesying democracy had no scruples to deal with and encourage dictatorial military regimes in the country starting from Ayub Khan during to cold war era to Parvez Musharraf in the reign of war on terror. The parallel happenings in Afghanistan with deposition of King Zaheer in 1973 and subsequent violent changes of regimes until the ill conceived Soviet invasion in 1979 created a ground for the proxy battle between two super powers and both had no scruples in forwarding own interests at the cost of the fragile region including its impoverished population. The turmoil in Afghanistan spilled over to Pakistan in the form of refugees and the overlapping ethnic affinities in the frontier regions of two countries generated a common state of crisis, which regime in Pakistan set out to exploit to the hilt. The new found status as a front line state against spread of communism brought legitimacy to Zia-ul-Haq regime in Pakistan and opened the flood gate to Western and Middle Eastern aid in the form of cash and weaponry. Fighters of all hues, nationalists to fundamentalists, were all heavily rewarded for fight against soviet occupation and opium cultivation never was never a problem. In fact, the cash generated from the proceeds of drug pedaling was spent on arms for fight against Soviets. Westerner and Pakistan intelligence agencies joined hand in training jihadis. The scenario started unraveling aftere the collapse of soviet block and withdrawal of occupation force. Mujahideens and ward lords who had made profession out of their fight against communism, now turned on each and like never before a total chaos over took Kabul and rest of Afghanistan. This was the very oppurtune moment when west took its leave from the forsaken place and left it to fend itself.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Prime Minister in lurking: Narender Modi

Criminality always comes to haunt, notwithstanding the time elapsed. Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar will testify how their misdeeds over a quarter of century back refuse to be wished away. So the moral conclusion for Narender Modi should be very clear, whom sycophants have been trying to project as a latter day saviour of India. He cannot escape the day of reckoning for his crimes of either direct abetment or of criminal negligence of governance during 2002 Gujrat riots. The administration under his control watched congress MP Ehsan Jafri die and still apologists claim that Modi is innocent and he is the person who can lead India into future. If that is future India is heading, may be it is time to delve into the desensitized Indian conscience. If that was the fate of a MP, it should not take too much of an imagination to imagine happenings to less fortunate from minority community. That does not even concern corporate captains, who blinded by a common greed, see a visionary in Modi. The only problem with that so-called visionary is that his vision is flawed and bigoted.

BBC E-mail: Gujarat Muslims the 'living dead'

** Gujarat Muslims the 'living dead' **
The BBC's Soutik Biswas meets displaced victims of the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat for whom the Indian elections hold little meaning.
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/south_asia/8011615.stm >

Monday, April 27, 2009

Probe Narendra Modi's role in Gujarat riots: SC

New Delhi, April 27, 2009
Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, April 27, 2009

The Supreme Court on Monday asked a special probe panel formed by it to look into the allegations that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi along with over 50 other politicians and government officials had aided and abetted statewide communal riots in 2002.

A bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Asok Kumar Ganguly directed the panel headed by former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director R K Raghavan to particularly look into the allegations that Modi was involved in the killing of an MP in Ahmedabad's Gulbarga Society arson case.

The panel was asked to file its report within three months.

Monday, April 20, 2009


During the Indian election season one can frequently hear voices yearning to have Narender Modi as next Prime Minister. One cannot help being cynic to see the nation of Mahatma become desensitized to the extent that a person under whose government worst possible communal riots were perpetrated is being touted as a saviour of the nation. Those who think of that carnage as a casual incidence are recommended to see 'Firaaq' where Nandita Das has recreated the sorry saga of aftermath of Gujarat riots. Every time there is a mention of that carnage people, never affected by anything in their lives, start indulging in mindless discussion about who started what. The fundamental truth remains no matter who started those riots Gujarat under Narender Modi was allowed to burn with official state machinery watching from the periphery and minority community made hapless under the unprecedented communal assault. The worst dictators in the history, removed from scene after wanton losses of lives, were hailed by sycophants as a good administrators. In all the bleakness the silver line in the form people like Nandita Das remain on the horizon to remind after all everything is not lost.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Advani did it again

Obama bin Laden...oops Osama: Advani's gaffe
Indo-Asian News Service
Mumbai, April 17, 2009
In a glaring slip of tongue, Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate LK Advani on Friday uttered the name "Obama bin Laden" instead of the infamous Osama bin Laden but quickly corrected himself.
Advani, while addressing a press conference here, was referring to an initiative of US President Barack Obama's administration to target tax havens from where Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden may have been getting funds. But instead of Osama, Advani said “Obama bin Laden”!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Americans commit blunders, not mistakes
By H K Dua

We all have heard about good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. And doctors and nutritionists tell everybody to eat almonds and walnuts the best of which, incidentally, come from Afghanistan.

Now comes a strange bit of news from Washington that President Barack Obama, who has begun experimenting with foreign policy, has discovered that there are indeed: The ‘Good Taliban’, and the ‘Bad Taliban’. No one knows how he has landed on this distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ — which eluded George W. Bush, who with his one-dimensional psychology often talked, but with evangelical zeal, about the Axis of Evil, which he thought he had been ordained to fight.

President Obama is perhaps a more cerebral person; he wants to fight against only the ‘Bad Taliban’ and not the ‘Good Taliban’.

Essentially, the term ‘Good Taliban’ perhaps is the creation of policy wonks working in cosy surroundings of the official Washington and far away from the treacherous terrain of Afghanistan. And the way President Obama has readily accepted the distinction between the ‘Good’ and the ‘Bad’ shows that he has missed the point that the term ‘Good Taliban’ sounds well, but essentially it is an oxymoron which carries within itself its own contradiction.

Value judgements apart, President Obama does not perhaps know that there indeed is no such thing as the ‘Good Taliban’ – unless he has won some of the Taliban over to the American side through back channel diplomacy and that defines what is good and bad.

The Taliban was created by Pakistan, ironically, during Ms Benazir Bhutto’s Prime Ministership, under American auspices. It was meant to fill up the vacuum created by the exit of Soviet troops and help Pakistan acquire strategic depth it was seeking beyond the Khyber.

Iraq was George W. Bush’s priority. President Obama apparently has placed sorting out Afghanistan on the top of his agenda. US troops are to be gradually pulled out from Iraq. President Obama is certainly feeling uncomfortable with the situation in Afghanistan, and in areas bordering Pakistan which provide sanctuary to Al-Qaida and the Taliban. He apparently wants to make enough progress on the ground before thinking of a pullout from Afghanistan, which is caught in a deeper mess than there was in Iraq for his predecessor.

President Obama was being candid when he told The New York Times in an interview that the US was not winning the war despite his decision to induct another 17,000 troops into Afghanistan. Possibly, he could also be worried about the growing despair of the NATO countries which have sent troops to Afghanistan but, having developed battle fatigue, are keen to pullout.

As is given to extremists, most of the Taliban believe that they are always in the right and their mission is to wipe out all US influence from the region. Also, along with Al-Qaida, the Taliban has taken Samuel Huntington’s thesis of “Clash of Civilisations” rather seriously, although many Americans are questioning its validity.

Motivations of the Taliban and Al-Qaida and the doctrines of hatred they propagate are practically the same, with varying degrees of adherence. The two organisations may be working in concert even if there may be division of labour, meant more to destroy than to build.

President Obama’s move to give legitimacy to the Taliban has other serious implications for the world, and certainly India, which has suffered at the hands of the Taliban.

Possibly, Mr Obama has come to the conclusion that mere reliance on Hamid Karzai — whose term as President is coming to an end in the next few weeks — is no longer desirable and there is a need for a change of guard in Kabul.

It is likely Washington wants the so-called the ‘Good Taliban’ to join the government in Kabul under a new President, before or after the elections due in May. Branding a part of the Taliban as the ‘Good Taliban’ is the first step towards their induction into the government.

“Co-opt them, if you can’t fight them’, seems to be the thinking behind President Obama’s move which marks a radical departure from the earlier policy.

It has serious implications for India, which cannot be expected to make the kind of distinction between the ‘Good Taliban’ and the ‘Bad Taliban’ the way Obama and his men have tried to differentiate.

Attributes ‘good’ and ‘bad’ can be stretched for convenience by the Americans, but for India the Taliban brings memories of a traumatic and humiliating experience of a late December nine years ago when an Indian Foreign Minister handed over a terrorist leader to the hijackers of an Indian flight from Kathmandu in exchange for 160-odd Indian hostages.

With the agonising memories of that day and subsequent terrorists’ strikes against India by the Taliban and its allied groups, it will be expecting too much from the Indian people to derive comfort from seeing the Taliban joining a new government in Kabul. Also, it is hard to see the US gaining any advantage from the Taliban acquiring positions of power in Kabul. It is, however, easier to grasp that India’s strategic interests in Afghanistan will suffer immensely.

Also, any gain for the Taliban will embolden them to move deeper into Pakistan where the political establishment is already finding it difficult to resist their attempts to gain a stranglehold on the troubled country.

Americans, who are generally fond of looking for shortcuts in foreign policy, will then see the region getting into a deeper mess than that prevailing in Afghanistan.

The Americans do not make mistakes; being a superpower, they make blunders. This indeed is one of them.

My response:


It seems Mr. Dua in his editorial implies that Americans should not at all deal with Taliban diplomatically. Then the question is that what are the alternatives? History bears big evidence that no ethnic group can be made to disappear, notwithstanding the might of the force trying to do so. Mr. Dua also seems to conveniently forget that Taliban were not conceived under Benazir rather the training started during Zia regime. Moreover, Taliban are Pashtuns and very much part of Afghanistan who cannot be wished away. So the negotiations, which Obama seems to be contemplating, might be the only way out of the morass. And so far as the Indian humiliation by Taliban during infamous the hijacking episode is concerned, for that none other than the then NDA government is to be held responsible. Indians do have tendency to talk in abstract terms from which even Mr. Dua seems to not have escaped otherwise to-date there is no evidence of Talibans having launched a single terrorist attack on India unless everybody criticizing India is called a Taliban.

Rajiv Kumar

Heidelberg, Germany