Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Education is not for earning money" asserts Dr K V S Habeeb Muhammad

There is no alternative to education.  Education is more important than any other thing, including natural resources. We must remember that once Muslims were great scientists and scholars. But time changed and a time came when the Arabs were not even aware of their own natural resource oil because of their lack of knowledge. It was the educated Americans who told them about oil, entered the Arab world and have been exploiting it for their advantages.

Indian Muslim community which is more backward than schedule castes needs education and our country needs educated communities for development, progress and prosperity. Education and education alone can bring good results for our dignified existence in the world. Why is it that we have forgotten the holy Qur’ānic assertion that an educated and an ignorant person cannot be the same and its exhortations for gaining knowledge? We should note that even a country like Spain is more developed than the oil rich Arab countries because more educated people are engaged in so many developmental activities there. It is only education which brings reputation and laurels to a community.

Some Muslims are giving lame excuses for their backwardness in education. They say that they are not getting jobs here. It is not correct. There are many companies which require talented people. Meritorious students are able to get placements in our country easily whatever may be their caste or religion.  Our students should work hard and prove their mettle. We can earn more in our own country. There are also opportunities for them in some other countries, including the Arab countries, if they are interested and not able to get the jobs of their choice here. But one should not think that all the jobs available abroad are always good. Quite a large number of Indian people employed abroad are suffering due to some reason or the other. We must prefer jobs in our country. 

There are also some Muslims who say that ours is a mercantile community and hence our educational backwardness. This is also a wrong notion. Education is not only for earning money. It is for overall development. We can be in business after getting good education for its better performance.
Education is equally necessary for women too. We cannot keep them who constitute 50% of our community ignorant. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) said if one has three daughters and educate and marry them well, he will go to Jannah. Education is also necessary for the present day woman to give good training and education to her children. Parents should sacrifice their luxury, entertainment and wasteful expenditure for the sake of education of their children. The Jamaats of the Mohalla mosques should create cordial atmosphere for education, help poor students and prevent drop-outs which are as high as 20% among Muslims in some areas in Chennai according to the survey conducted by the SIO.

Education also helps one in family managements. Parents should take troubles in educating their children, and students should work hard to get better education and come out with flying colours without wasting their time in seeing useless TV programmes or films. Students should work hard to achieve their goals. 

From a speech given by Dr KVS Habeeb Muhammad in a public meeting organised by SIO in Chennai. Full report of the event by V M Khaleelur Rahman is available in Radiance and in his blog. More here and here

Bhopal Gas Tragedy : What about the poisonous gas of hypocrisy?

Twenty-five years and a half later what Bhopal exposed is our collective hypocrisy. It is not just a case of too lenient a punishment given by a single judge, but the failure of the entire system. Our Parliament, Judiciary, Executive – both political and permanent – and of course the Press all let us down.
And now we are all enacting a drama titled The Bail-out of Warren Anderson.
The media barons – not just young reporters and sub-editors – think that the readers or the audience are the greatest fools, therefore, should be bombarded with all the old stuffs just to dramatise the situation and earn some fast buck through advertisements. So whatever is appearing in the Press is a sort of re-mix of a quarter century old songs, of course tragic ones. All what is appearing about Anderson is nothing new.
Everyone who matters – and old enough – is aware that he was ushered back into his own country with full state honour by the Indian state.
We all know that we are not going to get the 89-year old Anderson. For a moment, suppose that he is extradited by the United States. What are we going to do with him? After all what have we done to the remaining eight Indian officials – one in fact died in the prolonged legal battle. Two years imprisonment and then bail. If Anderson is being demanded for this much then we must be generous enough to pardon him!
The issue is just not the accidental leak of poisonous gas, but how is it that an industry of such a nature got established in the densely populated part of Bhopal. Why did the government not force the industry to shift from the place?
India is a unique country where industries are situated in the heart of many cities while schools in the suburbs. Or if that is not the case the population is allowed to grow around the industries, which actually were in outskirts.
In many of our cities schools are set up 10-20 or even more kilometres away from the population because most of the private institutes are opened by businessmen who get cheap farm land in the outskirts of the town. Therefore, children are made to travel more than a couple of hours daily inhaling all sorts of gases on way and back.
In contrast, industries are situated in the heart of towns because the government lacks vision and planning. Not to speak of Warren Anderson or anyone else, we cannot influence or force our own industrialists to shift their bases outside, nor can we prevent the growth of population near the industries. The nexus between the ruling class – not just politicians – the industrialists and the land mafia plays a key role in accidents like the one which took place in Bhopal.
What we all need to tell the people frankly is: Yes we cannot bring Anderson because he was the boss of an MNC. No, even our own industrialists are above the law. And that Bhopal is just a small price for the ‘development’ of the country.
Yet one thing should be kept in mind that we were in the Soviet camp then and opposed to the United States’ design in the world. In spite of that the American influence proved so influential. Today when the Soviet Union does not exist and India is wholly in the US camp the amount of pressure the lone Super Power can put on us in any given circumstances can only be imagined.

From Soroor Ahmed's article in Radiance. More Here.

Deve Gowda, Allama Iqbal and a photo


Here in this photo an overly reverential party worker does not hesitate to show Janata Dal (Secular) national president H.D. Deve Gowda‘s his diving skills at a meeting of the party in Chikamagalur on Tuesday.

Allama Iqbal said:

Yeh ek sajda jise tu giraan samajtha hai!
hazaar sajde se deta hai aadmi ku najaat
You find it very labourious to submit and surrender before God
It will liberate you from thousands of prostration
Those who do not fear God, fear EVERYBODY AND EVERYTHING. Those who fear God alone. fear nothing. They don’t have the need to bow before other humanbeings.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How in the world did Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi find time for that?

Today men, materials, and ideas can be moved from one place to another at an astonishing speed. The tasks that used to take months and years can be finished in minutes. And yet there is something ironic about all this development. Despite the tremendous explosion in timesaving gadgets, life has become busier than ever before. Overall we can't show much for all the time that has been saved.

We are very busy, but at the end of the day we can't tell what we have been busy doing. Where all the saved time has gone? In what way our lives have become more productive? Just imagine how Internet has made it possible for information to move all over the world in seconds. And then see how the same medium is being used to waste countless hours in frivolous discussions in chat rooms or meaningless net surfing! The juxtaposition of the time saving and time wasting nature of the same tool brings in full focus the basic problem with the prevalent ideas of time itself.

One may think that the metaphor is not to be blamed for this waste. After all "Time is money" would seem to suggest that no time should be wasted. Actually belittling time by equating it with money allows whiling it away when one has made the money he needs! So people talk about "killing time" and the need for the gadgets that let them kill time. One has to consider time to be much more important than money not to waste it like this!

To put things in perspective a quick historic comparison is in order. Consider the period of early Muslims when none of these technological marvels were available. There is a common notion that people then leisurely lived in sleepy little towns and had little to do. Actually that was a period of unprecedented activity in all aspects of life! Theirs was a period of intense military and political activity during which nearly half the known world came under the banner of Islam. Coming from a most backward part of the world, they introduced a new civilization to the world that was proud of its civilization and its military might. In personal life they used to spend a lot more time in worship than we do, most of them spending big parts of their nights in individual prayers.

This would seem to leave a lot less time for other pursuits in life. We also know that means of communications were so poor then, that sometimes they had to travel on horseback for weeks or months to go to another area, say, to collect a report of a hadith from someone who had heard it directly from the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. Yet during this period and despite all the logistics problems, together they collected the hundreds of thousands of ahadith that have been compiled into various collections and are available today! And this is just one aspect of their work! How in the world did they find time for that?

The answer is simple. They were driven by a different metaphor for time. They valued it as the gift whose proper or improper use would determine the outcome for the eternity. They had listened to the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, when he said: "There are two blessings that most people are deluded by. Health and available time." [Bukhari]. They took his advice very seriously when he said: "Value five things before five other things: Youth before old age; health before sickness; affluence before poverty; leisure before becoming too busy; and life before death." [Tirmidhi]. Abdullah bin Hasn (Radi-Allahu unhu) reports that whenever two companions met they would not depart till they had recited sura al-Asr to each other reminding themselves of the eternal loss that everyone faces if we waste away our time in foolish pursuits. They did not waste any moment of their life in gossips, useless talks, or meaningless pursuits.

The difference is clear. We may have a fast car, but if we are riding it for the joy of speed driving, not because we want to get there, we'll never get there. The success of our elders or salaf lies in their overriding sense of purpose and accountability and their concern with using their time very carefully.

Coming closer to our own period we find other examples of a similar nature. Consider the case of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, who died about sixty years ago. On the surface he just ran a small monastery and a religious school and was given to spending long periods of time in individual worship. But he also authored about 1200 publications ranging from small booklets to encyclopedic works like "Bahishti Zevar", which has seen millions of copies in print. He also used to answer all his mail everyday, which consisted of dozens and sometimes hundreds of pieces. And he taught many generations of scholars! His secret? A strict discipline born of a deep concern about accountability for time.

We are becoming older every day. One day our time will be up and we'll leave this world forever. What happens afterwards will depend solely on how we used all the moments available to us before that certain but unknown moment comes. Time is life. What is at stake is the entire eternity.

From Khalid Baig's timeless article in Albalaqh. More Here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

What is wrong with the Indian media?

Bihar’s police blinded a dozen undertrials with cycle spokes and acid in Bhagalpur (the story of this casual act of punishment took weeks to emerge). Government engineers on deputation regularly abused tribal women, and there was no end to stories about the barbarism in the Indian village (there still is no end).

But there was always something missing from this journalism, and it is this: You could read Indian newspapers every day for 30 years and still not know why India is this way. The job of newspapers is, or is supposed to be, to tell its readers five things: who, when, where, what and why. Most newspapers make do with only three of these and are unlikely to really tell you “what”. This is because urban Indians are tired now of reading the horror stories that come out of our villages. Only a couple of newspapers, such as TheIndian Express, persist in reporting news that isn’t pleasant, and they haven’t much circulation.

No newspaper at all can tell you “why”, because they do not know themselves. The same stories from 30, 50, 100 or 500 years ago keep repeating here, and the peasant will still murder his daughter for falling in love. The happenings in the city are also difficult to understand. The news from May was that Delhi University sold radioactive Cobalt-60 as scrap. This killed the merchant who bought it and crippled another. The university, which is supposed to be a research body, had unthinkingly buried some of the other Cobalt-60 earlier and this will poison the ground.

Why are we so casual? Nobody can say, and there will be an explanation along the lines that it was an accident. But this will happen again, of course.

Union Carbide’s plant in Bhopal was owned by Americans. But it was managed, staffed and run by Indians. Its foreman was Indian and its workers were Indian. Why were they so casual about their own safety? The media doesn’t know, but it is convinced the solution lies with getting Warren Anderson.

From Aakar Patel's article in Livemint. More Here.

Bhopal Gas Tragedy : The REAL Issues missed by the media

The real issues therefore got pushed into the shadows, while the spotlight stayed on Anderson:
1. How and why did the government agree to settle for an eighth of the compensation it had initially demanded from Carbide? No questions asked, and so no answers given.
2. Why was even this absurd sum not distributed promptly among the victims? No questions, and no answers.
3. How and why did the Supreme Court do what it did, in reducing the charge to a less serious one? Ahmadi was questioned by Barkha Dutt, he came out with carefully bland answers, and it was left to her  to expose the then Chief Justice by getting the then CBI director, Madhavan, on the same show to tell it like it was.
4. And why, after 25 years, had the government not done its basic duty by the Bhopal victims, irrespective of whether Carbide had paid and whether Anderson was living out a peaceful retirement? No questions again, therefore no answers.
That these were the real issues became clear towards the end, as the new group of ministers got down to work on precisely the issue of relief and rehabilitation. Ministers who might have been in the dock for the post-Bhopal scandals of betrayal and neglect, could get away scot free while the Congress and the government got exercised about protecting Rajiv's fair name on a non-existent charge.
Not to worry, though. The TV news channels got their required quota of a scandal per week, and they milked it for all it was worth, so that the the eyeballs stayed glued.
Next week, there will be another scandal to rant about.  
From A Ramakrishnan's article in The Hoot. More Here.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Terror in the name of the God of Israel...

The standing military of the United States most ardent ally, Israel has killed 9 peaceful humanitarian workers in international waters on ships carrying aid to starving gentiles in Ghaza. It was all done in the name of God as the Israeli soldiers storming the ships prayed to God for the success of their mission to stop food reaching the hungry people under the blessings of their priests.

Pro-Israeli organizations in America and all over the world are silent, the same way as Christians were silent when Jews were massacred by Hitler\'s mainly Christian soldiers in Germany. Those who claim to champion the cause of justice among the Israelis are justifying the killing and the strongest ally of the Jewish state is still studying the situation. What a shame.

What was done is inhumane and among the ugliest form of terrorism. It is terrorism sponsored by the state. No ifs and no buts. But some refuse to see this as inhumane. Probably it is because a gentile has no value in the eyes of those who claim that God has given them all the wisdom to decide and determine the status of everyone else.

The so called holy land, today, offers the most unholy scene. Everything, the divine guidance inspires humans to accomplish is violated. Peace, human dignity, human life has no meaning. What is even more ironic is that the conflict is among people who claim that they have the most comprehensive divine guidance for justice, peace and love.
Only a sick mind can see the other human suffer. For almost 60 years, a people have been kicked out of their land and placed in holes not even fit for insects. At will they have been killed, humiliated and tormented. Only a sick mind will let the people die in hunger and face starvation. And only a sick mind will stop relief reaching the injured and wounded.
That sick mind, in our world, today is represented by those who claim to be the defenders of the Jewish state. Jews in America owe it to Americans to distance them from this thinking. Palestinians have the same human rights that Jews and Christians have and they have the same right to live in peace and security as the Israelis have.
In the last 60 years the Israelis have created a myth of insecurity to their existence. They have always argued that their tiny state is surrounded by Muslims who pose a constant threat to them. Well, in the 2,000 years of their existence, Jews have found them selves on the verge of annihilation either by Christian Romans or Christian Europe. Never, in their presence among Muslims, they ever felt that their religious existence was ever under threat. This myth is perpetuated by their sympathizers all over the world. In the US, their lobbies propagate lies and use all tactics including intimidation and coercion to influence the opinion of the so called people\'s representatives.
From Aslam Abdullah's article in Radiance. More Here

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ajmer blast investigation in media: 2007 and 2010

Investigation by the Rajasthan Anti-Terrorism Squad has brought to light new, and supposedly real, faces behind the deadly attacks in the Ajmer shrine in 2007. And the CBI says that the Ajmer and Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blasts are linked, done by the same forces.

So what about all the news stories published in the media about the so-called Islamic terrorists like the HuJI behind those bomb blasts? What about all the articles published by the media based on the revelations of ‘intelligence officers’ and ‘official sources’?

Three people were killed and 17 others injured when a bomb exploded in the Ajmer Dargah Sharif on October 11, 2007. As always, the police, government and media began to hunt for the involvement of the so-called ‘Islamic terrorists’ with Pakistani and Bangladeshi connections. That the blast took place in a Muslim shrine, killing and injuring Muslims in the holy month of Ramadan was not a matter at all. The Harkat-ul Jehad e Islami based in Karachi became the prime suspect immediately.

On October 13, Praveen Swami wrote in ‘The Hindu’ on why the Islamic terrorist groups’ should attack a Muslim shrine. Certain media doubted the HuJI while some speculated that the HuJI had organized the blast in association with other terrorist groups. Shahid Bilal was the man reported to be the key operative behind the attack. The Rajasthan police also suspected Syed Salim, a victim of the blast and former resident of Hyderabad, to be a part of the HuJI network and claimed that he must have triggered the bomb, but the Andhra police rejected the theory stating Salim had no record of any terror link. The report by Shishir Gupta in the Indian Express on October 15 added – ‘Official sources said that nothing concrete has emerged so far in the probe and any link of the HUJI or its operative Shahid Bilal to this case is still to be established.

The police picked up many clergymen and madrasa teachers during the investigation. One person named Bashir was arrested by the UP police. He is reported to have given clues about Moulvi Abdul Hafiz Shamim who also ran a madrasa besides being the moulvi in a local masjid. Moulvi was reportedly tortured in police custody for 18 days and then set free for lack of evidence. Khushbur Rahman, a teacher in a Rajasthani madrasa, was arrested on October 25 from his home in Jharkhand and released on November 6 on want of evidence. Moulvi Imran Ali was picked up as per the clues given by Khushbur Rahman.

The reports of 2007 stated clearly that the Ajmer and Mecca Masjid blasts were linked, though not in the way it is said now. The way the two blasts were organized looked similar. In both cases one bomb was left unexploded. Investigators feel the Mecca Masjid attack and the Ajmer blast were carried out by the same group — HuJI Bangladesh — due to similarities in the modus operandi. Both used a mobile phone trigger and unexploded devices were found after both strikes’.

‘The police have stumbled upon evidence indicating that the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) used in Mecca Masjid and Ajmer blasts were fabricated in Hyderabad .. ... Bangladeshi HuJI activist Abu Hamja prepared eight IEDs in Hyderabad in May first week and the explosive material was smuggled into the city from Bangladesh by an alleged LeT operative Shaik Abdul Nayeem of Maharashtra, sources said on Friday. While two IEDs were used in Mecca Masjid, four were sent to Ajmer. One bomb at the mosque failed to detonate.’.

And more importantly, SIM cards of mobile phones were used to trigger the bomb in both cases; the seller of the SIM cards was traced to Jharkhand. A report of the IANS said -"The central intelligence team was in Jamtara and they interrogated Sahid, the owner of Sargam Telecom. Sahid had sold the SIM card used in the Ajmer blast to someone called Babulal Yadav without asking for valid documents," a police official told IANS 

The report also states that the name and address given by the man who bought the SIM card were false. The fake name on the ID card was traced to Babulal Yadav of Jharkhand while the photo was that of Tarak Nath Pramanik, a yoga instructor in Noida. The report continues about the police interrogation of Sahid and the alleged connections that the Pakistan’s ISI has in Jharkhand. A report carried by the Indian Express states that the government contacted Pakistan on the matter: ‘India is learnt to have referred to Harkat-ul-Jihadi-Islami (HuJI) and its commander Shahid Bilal, who is alleged to have masterminded nearly all the recent terror strikes in the country’

The then Home minister Shivraj Patil also made the following statement after visiting the blast site at Ajmer “I am fully aware of the progress of the investigations and how far it has reached. The investigation is going as far as our borders,”.

From O. Najiya's outstanding report in Two Circles. More Here.

Afghans would beat the mighty US.

He has strange ways of balancing His creation. Look around and you can't miss the delicate equilibrium in nature all around you, even if you choose not to believe in Him.

From our own bodies to the awesome, infinite universe that hosts us, there's a fine balance that seems to govern, maintain and sustain it all.

If the nature has blessed one country with abundant resources, it has gifted another people with something else. If the Arabs have had to struggle with an incredibly hostile landscape throughout their history, they have been compensated for it by the liquid gold called oil.

Trust me, dear readers, this is not a discussion on the origins of universe, nor am I trying to take on the delusional arguments of Richard Dawkins. My rambling is inspired by the latest New York Times report that confirms what many have long suspected: That Afghanistan, like Iraq, is sitting on the vast reserves of rich mineral resources and precious metals and that the invasion and occupation of the country has nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks or Osama Bin Laden.

The untapped mineral deposits that include huge quantities of iron, gold, copper, cobalt and critical industrial metals such as lithium are said to be so huge and so rich that the war- plagued and long-exploited Afghanistan could change forever, emerging as one of the most important and affluent mining centers in the world.
So much so an internal Pentagon memo suggests that the Central Asian country could become the "Saudi Arabia of lithium," a precious raw material used in the making of batteries for laptops and mobile phones.
The findings are based on a survey carried out by the US Geological Survey, Pentagon and the Afghan government. However, it is not the US that has discovered this limitless treasure that Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the US Central Command, agrees offers "stunning potential."

The survey was carried out on the basis of some old charts and data collected by Afghan engineers and Soviet mining experts. Clearly, the Russians had been aware all along of the mineral jackpot that the dirt poor, underdeveloped Afghanistan had been sitting on when they invaded the country in 1979.

The Russian bear, however, had to beat it after years of disastrous occupation and a debilitating war. They not just had to fly by night with all their plans to plunder Afghanistan but the disaster changed Russia forever.
It's a great irony of history that it is not America's military might, its fancy weapons or its state-of the-art "star wars" program but the rudimentary, rustic weapons and legendary bravery of the Afghans that brought down the Soviet giant, changing the course of history forever.

And it's an even greater irony that the US has drawn no lessons from the fate of the "evil empire", as Ronald Reagan would call the Soviet Union. Uncle Sam has rushed headlong, eyes wide shut, to dig himself deep into the Afghan quagmire not long after the humiliating retreat of the Russian bear.

After the 9/11 strikes when our friend George W. Bush was preparing to "shock and awe" Afghanistan, promising a "new crusade" of "With us or against us" slogan, some solitary voices around the world dared to suggest Afghanistan was being invaded because of its rich natural resources.

Some of them went to the extent of questioning the official version of the 9/11 attacks, implying they had been part of a vast conspiracy involving US intelligence agencies, neocons and Zionists to invade and take over the resources of Muslim countries.

In fact, there's a long history of conspiracies, manipulation and old-fashioned exploitation by big powers against Iran. From playing petty games with the last Shah of Iran to deposing his defiant father to sending mercenaries to bring down Prime Minister Dr. Mosaddeq, the Middle East's first elected leader, they have tried every trick in the book to cheat Iranian people out of the rich resources God has gifted them.
The fun hasn't stopped even with the fall of Shah and the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The continuing UN sanctions and the talk of "action" against Tehran, driven by you know who, only rub salt into the deep wounds on Iranian psyche. No wonder the nuclear program has become an issue of national prestige for Iranians, even to those ostensibly opposed to the ayatollahs.

It's become fashionable for Western wonks to rile against crushing poverty, endemic corruption and misrule in much of Africa. But who created this mess in the first place in a continent that is a vast, big mine of incredible riches? Who colonized, ruled and exploited Africa at gunpoint for over four centuries? In fact, who has ruled and exploited much of the world over the past few centuries, plundering it to fill their own coffers?

India, the jewel in the crown, was denuded and robbed of all its beauty and brilliance by the time the last British viceroy flew into the empire's sunset. Kohinoor, the legendary diamond in Queen Elizabeth's crown mined from Golconda, is the ultimate testament to our colonial masters' insatiable craving.
You would forgive and forget it all if it had been a mere page from a hoary, long forgotten history. But it's not. 

This game of exploitation is still a living, breathing reality. Western colonialism may be dead but the mindset is very much alive in one form or the other. Players may have changed but policies haven't. Yesterday, it was the East India Company. Today, it's Uncle Sam's trigger-happy boys or mighty multinational corporations.
However, if the Yanks think they will succeed where the Russians failed, they'd better think again. If the irrepressible Afghan can beat one mighty empire with his sticks and stones, he can beat another mighty empire too.

The Americans may have the deadliest arms known to man and infinite resources at their disposal.  History, geography and time, however, are on the other side. This is a war Afghans have never lost. Not in the past, not now. Especially not now when they have to protect their national resources. Afghanistan's riches belong to its people, not to the coalition of the willing. It's a reward from God for all the suffering Afghan people have put up with for centuries with a smile.

From Aijaz Zaka Syed's column in Arab News. More Here.

Aijaz Zaka Syed is a Dubai-based commentator. Write to him at

Government dilutes nuclear bill under U.S. pressure

At Washington's request, the Manmohan Singh government has agreed to delete a key provision of the draft civil nuclear liability bill allowing American suppliers to be sued for recovery of damages in the event of an accident caused by gross negligence on their part.

Although the bill channels all liability for a nuclear accident on to the operator of the facility, Section 17 of the draft tabled in Parliament last month allows the operator a ‘right of recourse' — legalese for the right to recover any compensation it is forced to pay — under three circumstances. These are if (a) such a right is expressly provided for in a contract in writing; (b) the nuclear incident has resulted from the wilful act or gross negligence on the part of the supplier of the material, equipment, or of his employee, and (c) the nuclear incident has resulted from the act of commission or omission of a person done with intent to cause nuclear damage.

Of these, only (a) and (c) find mention in the model law specified by the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC). The CSC, which India will accede to, however, does not prohibit the inclusion of additional provisions. Indeed, some countries have already included gross negligence by suppliers as grounds for invoking the right of recourse in their liability laws. Article 4 of the South Korean Act on Compensation for Nuclear Damage, for example, includes language similar to 17(b) of the Indian draft.

When the Indian bill's provisions were made public, senior officials took pride in the inclusion of 17(b), which they said was needed to deter suppliers from being negligent taking their safety obligations lightly; 17(a) alone was inadequate, they said, since no supplier agreed to accept liability of negligence in a contract. But pressure from Washington seems to have prompted a rethink.

On March 8 and April 1, The Hindu had reported how the U.S. nuclear industry was upset with 17(b) and wanted it deleted for fear it would “open the door to more lawsuits.” The government has now obliged the American side by getting rid of this sub-clause entirely.

From Siddharth Varadarajan's take in The Hindu. More Here.

European Union is dead!!

Is this the beginning of the end for the EU, a construction that started 50 years ago on the basis of an age-old utopia, but now proves unable to fulfil its promises? The answer, unfortunately, is yes: sooner or later, this will be inevitable, and possibly not without some violent turmoil. Unless it finds the capacity to start again on radically new bases, Europe is a dead political project.

But the breaking of the EU would inevitably abandon its peoples to the hazards of globalisation to an even greater degree. Conversely, a new foundation of Europe does not guarantee any success, but at least it gives her a chance of gaining some geopolitical leverage. With one condition, however: that all the challenges involved in the idea of an original form of post-national federation are seriously and courageously met. These involve setting up a common public authority, which is neither a state nor a simple "governance" of politicians and experts; securing genuine equality among the nations, thus fighting against reactionary nationalisms; and above all reviving democracy in the European space, thus resisting the current processes of "de-democratisation" or "statism without a State", produced by neoliberalism.

Something obvious should have been long acknowledged: there will be no progress towards federalism in Europe (the one that is now advocated by some, and rightly so) if democracy itself does not progress beyond the existing forms, allowing an increased influence for the people(s) in the supranational institutions. Does this mean that, in order to reverse the course of recent history, to shake the lethargy of a decaying political construction, we need something like a European populism, a simultaneous movement or a peaceful insurrection of popular masses who will be voicing their anger as victims of the crisis against its authors and beneficiaries, and calling for a control "from below" over the secret bargainings and deals made by markets, banks, and states? Yes indeed. I agree that it can lead to other catastrophes. But the risk is greater if nationalism prevails in whichever form.

In this part of the world, such forces were traditionally called "the left". But the European left is also now bankrupt. In the broader political space, stretching across borders, that is now relevant, it has lost every capacity to express social struggles or launch emancipatory movements. It has surrendered to the dogmas and rationales of neoliberalism. Consequently it has been ideologically disintegrated. Deprived of any strong popular support, those parties which represent it nominally are now powerless spectators of the crisis, for which they offer no specific or collective response.

From Etienne Balibar's thesis in Guardian. More Here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Obama's war": Tariq Ali

Afghanistan was captured without a struggle, in reality. Worth remembering that. There was no real struggle by any segment of Afghan society to resist the U.S./NATO occupation. Why? Because the key player in this war was Pakistan, which had armed the Taliban, which had sent the Taliban to take power and end a period of civil war. And there were large numbers of Pakistani soldiers, Pakistani Air Force, Pakistani military, Pakistani intelligence people, people in Afghanistan who essentially told the Taliban leaders, “Now is not the time to fight. Shave your beards and come back to Pakistan, or go. But do not resist, because you will all be killed.” From their point of view, it was very sane advice. And, more astonishingly, the Taliban leadership, which was divided, actually accepted that advice. So Kabul fell without a struggle. And for the first two years the resistance to the United States and its NATO allies was limited, episodic, and localized.

What made it national? What made it national was the decision by the United States to impose a regime on Afghanistan. One of its CIA assets, Hamid Karzai, was propelled into power. More on him later since he has become a controversial figure as of late, supposedly fighting with the United States. But let’s just go through the chronology.

They imposed this regime and gave it a U.S. bodyguard. I think DynCorp supplied the bodyguard because Karzai said at that point that he didn’t trust any Afghans to protect him, give him personal protection. And of course, that was astute, because they probably would have bumped him off. He then established together with his brother a government of cronies and a very tiny, narrow circle of supporters, largely within Kabul and a tiny part of Kabul, and their aim in Afghanistan was that the only way forward was to enrich ourselves. And in a country with the most appalling levels of poverty in the entire world, these people used the money that was being sent to them for reconstruction, money that was being sent to them both via NGOs and via states, after the Bonn conference, spent this money and they did enrich themselves. It’s no secret.
That is why General Eikenberry, the U.S. Ambassador in Afghanistan, warned very seriously against against “the surge” of 30,000 extra troops.
So the entire socio-economic structure, backed by NATO armies, was a structure that made a tiny group of people very rich. And this in front of the eyes of the poor, who were swelling the slums outside Kabul, which grew by half a million within the first two years of the occupation.

And that’s the reason that Peter Galbraith got kicked out of Kabul, not because he was engaged in corrupting the Kurds in relation to oil, but because he’d screwed up by antagonizing Karzai without having any alternative. And that is why General Eikenberry, the U.S. Ambassador in Afghanistan, warned very seriously against two things. He warned against “the surge” of 30,000 extra troops. And he warned very sharply against removing Karzai in private. Or so we are told. Because he said, “There is nothing else here, removing him is like handing the place over to the Taliban.”

If you want a particularly contorted defense of this position written, I hate to say this, but really written for idiots who know nothing about Afghanistan, I would recommend the article of the British Foreign Secretary David Miliband in the New York Review of Books. It is truly appalling, without understanding what’s going on in the country, bland, one cliché dripping onto the pages after another, but at least saying one thing which is of interest: that we can’t stay there.
The U.S. Marines went back in and with knives took the bullets out of everyone there, especially the women and children, so no one would know American bullets had been used to kill them.
You see, since the surge began, the big publicity machines going into operation—another victory, yes, we’ve captured this, we are now going to attack Kandahar… In fact, disaster stories. Total and complete disaster stories. And you read side-by-side with these big propaganda stories smaller, quite shocking stories, of which many more happen, if you read the vernacular press in Pakistan (because that reports them). But occasionally they find a way into the mainstream press in the United States and Britain and other parts of Europe.
Let’s just see one story. The U.S. Special Black Ops Squad targets a house because they think insurgents are in the house. They don’t explain why they think that, but they say they’re pretty sure. They attack the house and kill everyone in it. In that house is a family, a large joined family. Everyone is killed. Women, children, a pregnant woman—this happened in February—are killed. Realizing what they’ve done… but the story is already going out: “We had a targeted attack on an insurgent house and it was successful.” Then, a London Times journalist who’s there, embedded with the troops, finds out what really happens. That it was a completely innocent family that was killed, that they went back in, the marines on these special operations, and with knives took the bullets out of everyone there, especially the women and children, so that no one would know American bullets had been used to kill them and to cover up the whole story. Now this is a tiny cover up. But there have been big cover ups since.

A week after this event happened, a passenger bus on its way to Kandahar was bombed and hit by helicopter gunships. Why? Because the troops on the ground had said that the bus was traveling in a funny way, and may have insurgents in it. So they fired at the bus and killed a few dozen people, wounded several dozen others, and even Karzai once again had to say, “This is atrocious, how the hell can we do anything if this is going on?” This is the concrete result of the surge, essentially.

In other words, if the draft constitution had gone through, women in Afghanistan would have had the right to vote before they did in the United States and Britain and most parts of the West.
The other ally which gave the U.S. the green light to occupy both Iraq and Afghanistan are the Iranian clerics. I mean, it’s no secret now.

Now, what is the way out? The only way out is the way the Russians took and the British before them. And by the way, the British were driven out of Afghanistan in the nineteenth century. They fought two wars, and they were driven out; they were defeated at a time when weapons were very straightforward and simple. Of course, the British had the Maxim gun, or something closely resembling it, which later became the Maxim gun. They had quite advanced technology for the time. But they were defeated essentially, you know, by tribal guerrillas who had nothing but very old-fashioned rifles which often took just one gunshot, and they fired it normally for killing animals. And the British, realizing they had lost, left the country.

And they claimed they left it alone. But they never did because they were then occupying and ruling over India. It was British India at the time. And when, for the first time, you had in Afghanistan an attempt by native Afghans to create a popular democratic constitution in 1918, 1919—inspired partially by the Kemalists in Turkey, and partially by the Bolsheviks—the new king, Amanullah, said, “We will have a democratic constitution and permit elections,” and his wife Soraya, said, “And we will give women the right to vote.” This was in the Afghan draft constitution.

In other words, if that had gone through, women in Afghanistan would have had the right to vote before they did in the United States and Britain and most parts of the West. But this plan was defeated by a British plot which conspired with very deeply conservative and reactionary tribes and toppled this regime and put a semi-puppet regime in its place which was always unstable.

So it’s all been tried before. The Russians likewise invaded Afghanistan in 1979 after two unanimous politburo decisions not to do it. Zbigniew Brzezinski boasts that they drew them into a bear trap. Was false information put on the desk of the politburo saying that Hafizullah Amin, the president of Afghanistan, was a CIA agent? Probably.

In any case, they changed their minds; they went in and were stuck in an unwinnable bloody war for ten years, until finally, Gorbachev came and decided, “We have to withdraw unilaterally,” and General Boris Gromov crossed the River Oxus, the Amu Darya, marched out. Quite a courageous thing to do given the enormous causalities they had had.

One thing I will say about the Russians, opposed though I was to that invasion and occupation, simply for the reason that I said, “If this happens the Americans will come in and it will become a Cold War battlefield and the whole area will be a mess for thirty years.” And it is more than that now. Afghanistan has now been at war, bloody, brutal war since 1979, longer than the Vietnam War, longer than the First World War, longer than the Second World War, and imagine what that does to the people… But I was saying that, opposed though I was, the Russians at least did one thing. They did build an education infrastructure, they did build hospitals, and for the time they were there, they did attempt—and succeeded—to educate Afghan women, lots of people were trained as technicians, lots of people were taught sciences, lots of people were given free room, board and lodging, and education at higher institutions in Moscow. That they did.

Their successors in the invasion occupation business, the U.S. and NATO, have not done that. They claim they have but the statistics are a joke. And any serious person who goes to Afghanistan reports back on how much of a joke it is: statistics are cooked, statistics are manufactured, handed to them, and they believe them. But of course the real intelligence forces in that country know that this is far removed from the truth.
So, this is a war which is unwinnable, this is a war which is going to end, no one can win it. Neither the United States nor the insurgents.

The insurgents do not have the power to inflict a Vietnamese-style defeat, and that defeat too which the Vietnamese inflicted in 1975—you know, we tend to sort of exaggerate the indigenous impact; it was very strong, but we mustn’t forget the Vietnamese armies had state-of-the-art weaponry from the Soviet Union and from the early days from China. So they were incredibly well armed to take on the United States; even though their causalities were huge, they inflicted very heavy damage. And the second help the Vietnamese had, which is hardly a secret, is from the huge anti-war movement that erupted in the United States because you had a conscript army and every single family was affected by that war.

These two factors are missing in the case of Afghanistan. So there’s not going to be any quick victory for the insurgents. But they now have the support of large swathes of the population who were indifferent to them, because of their experience of the regime they had imposed on Afghanistan, and are now not so indifferent. And what has made them supportive of the insurgents and [enabled] large numbers of kids joining the insurgency is how the NATO armies have operated. Look, it’s not just the killings, it’s not just the massacre of innocents, which happens regularly; it is the whole tone and tenor of this occupation. That the way Western soldiers, Western journalists, Western administrators, Western NGOs live is in such sharp contrast with the ordinary people of the country, that it excites anger and makes people feel this is not the way we are ever going to get anything.

The argument being used today by Obama and his British camp followers is: “We can create a stable Afghan army. Look: we have an Afghan army of 100,000 people.” Hang on a minute. You may have that on paper. How do you know how many of these 100,000 soldiers are on your side, how do you know that all the people you’re training to be policemen are on your side? We know what the insurgency has instructed people to do. It’s not a secret. They’ve said in the villages and in the towns, “If the Americans offer you military training, if they say, ‘We’ll teach you how to use weapons,’ join it; we need people in there.”

Classic resistance tactics, utilized in virtually every resistance struggle over the last century. The Vietnamese did it, by the way. Lots of the opponents were asked to join the South Vietnamese army. Which is why sections of them collapsed in ’74,’75. And the Afghans are doing it because it’s an obvious thing to do, and in this case even more so—no one is backing you, no one is training you, a tiny chunk of your forces are getting irregular, informal help from the Pakistanis. But by and large you’re dependent on the weapons you capture and the training you get. And we’ve had episodes lately of supposedly loyal Afghan policeman turning and killing British officers. We’ve had a famous case of an Afghan agent working for the Intelligence agencies for United States who went into a very heavily guarded secure facility and shot people dead. And that is not surprising given the anger that exists at the moment.

So what to do? What then is to be done? Out. Got to get out of Afghanistan and got to get out quick.

From Tariq Ali's lecture in Guernica a magazine of art and politics. More Here and Here and Here

Shah Faisal on Civil Services : "Make it a mission and never take it as a job"

All India topper at UPSC civil services exam Dr Shah Faisal said that the Muslims in India should not worry about what others say of them. Instead, they should work on their own for the upliftment of the community.
"There is no reason to get upset if someone doubts your Indianness because you are a Muslim. There is no need for a certificate from anybody that you are an Indian", Faisal, who hails from Kashmir, said at a felicitation function held at Anujman Islam in Mumbai last night.
The function was organized by the Federation of Minorities and supported by host of other Muslim NGOs. Faisal, who did his MBBS from Srinagars Sher-i-Kashmir Medical College is the first Kashmiri to top this examination. "Practise any religion in your home or society but outside, do not ever forget that you are an Indian and learn to respect people from other religions," he added.
He also reiterated his appeal to Muslim students to chose Civil Services as mission. "Muslim candidates should opt for civil services not as a job but as a mission",
Encouraging the gathering to accept the challenges, he said that Muslims instead of waiting for anyone, should work for their empowerment themselves. "No one will come to help you. It is you who need to stand up for the upliftment of the community", Faisal said. "In pursuit of your goal, you will find people who will trouble you because you belong to a particular religion, caste, region but if you have the capability, then nobody can stop you from overcoming these hurdles and reach your goal", Faisal added.
He attributed his success to the provision of equality for all enshrined in the Indian constitution. "Indian constitution provides for giving equal rights to everyone irrespective of caste, religion, region and my success in the UPSC exam is a result of that,"

Stating that there was no better country than India, Faisal said, "We create controversies over pity things like caste, religion, region and language."     

From a report in More Here

Bhopal Gas Tragedy, Manmohan Singh and Obama

I thought the day Bhopal verdict came, Manmohan Singh should have stood up and addressed the nation. He too could have assured the people that he will leave no stone upturned to bring the guilty, including the corporates involved, to pay for their misdeeds. Like Obama, he too could have assured the nation that he would ensure that Union Carbide/Dow Chemicals/Eveready pay for the human lives lost, maimed and also for the toxic clean-up.

It requires a courage of conviction to stand up and be counted.

Manmohan Singh could have promised to also go in for a political clean up. He should have sacked by now P Chidambaram, Kamal Nath, and Montek Singh Ahluwalia for being party to the exemption that Dow Chemical wanted. He should have simultaneously launched an investigation into what went wrong, and that includes the faulty lines in the Indian judiciary, and at the same time taken all political parties into confidence to bring corporate accountability. People have the right to know the names of political leaders, bureaucrats, judges, and the business tycoons who betrayed the nation. Even if it includes former President Giani Zail Singh and the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, so be it.

After all, Prime Minister is the head of the government. He can make the nation, and its judiciary, behave. He does not have the option of any excuses. He must deliver or be made to quit.

The fact is that India has no standards. Call it a 'systemic failure', the fact remains, as intrepid journalist Rajdeep Sardesai often reminds us: "is hamam main sab nange hain" (everyone is naked in this spa). Indians lack compassion, and are selfish to the core. Everyone, more so at the top, is trying to exploit the lesser children of the god. The more the bold and powerful you are, the more you are willing to slit the throat of others. Corporate India is doing it to the poor tribals. Manmohan Singh is only using State power to make that possible.  

From Devinder Sharma's article in his blog. More Here.

Why America Hates Iran?

An analysis of the U.S. political scene would reveal that it is the Evangelical Right, also known as the Christian Zionists, led by extremist televangelists such as John Hagee, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, who, along with the Jewish lobby, call the shots, in so far as the U.S. Middle East policy is concerned. It must, however, be said that mainstream Christianity (including the Catholic Church) does not identify itself with the fanatical beliefs of Evangelical Right such as those discussed below.

By “God’s promises” Hagee is actually referring to the deliberate misrepresentations of certain biblical verses. One such verse promises Prophet Abraham and his descendants the land “from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18). In another one God offers to give Abraham and his “seed” after him the entire land of Canaan (Palestine) “for an everlasting possession” (Genesis 17:8). It may be noted here that according to the Old Testament the Arabs and the Jews are the descendants of Abraham through Ishmael and Isaac respectively which, hypothetically speaking, makes them the joint owners of the “promised land.”

But for obvious reasons the Zionists and their Christian supporters do not recognise Ishmael as the legitimate son of Abraham as he was born to a “slave woman” named Hagar, the handmaiden of Sarah, the first wife of Abraham and the mother of Isaac (Genesis 16:1-6). This divide was further aggravated by St.Paul who advised the Christians saying, “Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way [Ishmael] persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit [Isaac]. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? ‘Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.’” (Galatians 4:28-31).

It is therefore the belief of the Christians Zionists that the occupation of all Arab lands by the Jews (in fulfillment of the prophesy in Genesis 15:18), after driving out the children of the “slave woman”, is a prelude to the Second Coming of Christ and Armageddon, the biblical concept of the last battle between the Good and the Evil before the day of Judgment (Ezekiel 38-39). It is in this context that the US attitude to Iran must be seen and understood, and once again John Hagee personifies this extremist mindset. In his provocative book Jerusalem Countdown Hagee advocates a war on Iran saying; “The rise of terrorism in our world and the emerging crisis in the Middle East between Israel and Iran are part of a much bigger picture – that of God’s plan for the future of Israel and the entire world. We are going to discover we are facing a countdown in the Middle East – the Jerusalem Countdown, a battle such as the world has never seen or will ever see again.”
....  .... ....

It is a strange paradox that, on the one hand we have the Christian Zionists supporting Israel with financial, moral and military aid in the dogmatic hope of one day converting all the Jews to Christianity, and on the other, we see the cunning Zionists – who never accepted Jesus as their Messiah – successfully manipulating the Christian Right using their own Bible to further their diabolical expansionist agenda. The ultimate victims of this unholy scheming between two Machiavellian religious groups are the innocent Palestinians who have been rendered refugees in their own homeland.

From A Faizur Rahman's article in Indian Muslims. More Here.

A. Faizur Rahman is the Secretary General of Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought Among Muslims in Chennai.. He may be reached at

An highly provocative, mischievous article by Subramanian Swamy

According to the latest Union home ministry Annual Report to Parliament, of the 35 states in India, 29 are affected by terrorist acts carried out by all kinds of forces. Terrorism, I define here as the illegal use of force to overawe the civilian population to make it do or not do an act against their will and well-being.

There are about 40 reported and unreported terrorist attacks per month in the country. That is why the recent US National Counter-Terrorism Centre publication A Chronology of International Terrorism states: ‘India suffered more terrorist acts than any other country’. 

While the PM thinks that Maoists’ threat is most serious, I think Islamic terrorism is even more serious. If we did not have today the present Union home minister, PM, and UPA chairperson, then Maoists can be eliminated in a month, much as I did with the LTTE in Tamil Nadu, as a senior minister in 1991, or MGR did with the Naxalites in the early 1980s.

Why is Islamic terrorism our number one problem of national security? About this there will be no doubt after 2012. By that year, I expect a Taliban takeover in Pakistan and the Americans to flee Afghanistan. Then, Islam will confront Hinduism to ‘complete unfinished business’.

Let us remember that every Hindu-Muslim riot in India since 1947, has been ignited by Muslim fanatics — if one goes by all the commissions of inquiry set up after every riot. By today’s definition these riots are all terrorist acts. Muslims, though a minority in India, still have fanatics who dare to lead violent attacks against Hindus. Other Muslims of India just lump it, sulk or rejoice. That is the history from Babar’s time to Aurangzeb. There have been exceptions to this apathy of Muslims like Dara Shikoh, in the old days, or like M J Akbar and Salman Haidar today who are not afraid to speak out against Islamic terror, but still they remain exceptions. 

Blame the Hindus

In one sense, I do not blame the Muslim fanatics for targeting Hindus. I blame us Hindus who have taken their individuality permitted in Sanatana Dharma to the extreme. Millions of Hindus can assemble without state patronage for Kumbh Mela completely self-organised, but they all leave for home oblivious of the targeting of Hindus in Kashmir, Mau, Melvisharam and Malappuram and do not lift their little finger to help organise Hindus. For example, if half the Hindus vote together rising above their caste and language, a genuine Hindu party will have a two-thirds majority in Parliament and Assemblies.

The secularists now tout instances of Hindu fanatics committing terrorist attacks against Muslims or other minorities. But these attacks are mostly state sponsored, often by the Congress itself, and not by Hindu ‘non-state actors’. Muslim-led attacks are however all by ‘non-state actors’ unless one includes the ISI and rogue elements in Pakistan’s army which are aiding them, as state sponsoring.

Fanatic Muslim attacks have been carried out to target and demoralise the Hindus, to make Hindus yield that which they should not, with the aim of undermining and ultimately to dismantle the Hindu foundation of India. This is the unfinished war of 1,000 years which Osama bin Laden talks about. In fact, the earliest terror tactics in India were deployed in Bengal 1946 by Suhrawady and Jinnah to terrorise Hindus to give in on the demand for Pakistan. The Congress party claiming to represent the Hindus capitulated, and handed 25 per cent of India on a platter to Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Now they want the remaining 75 per cent.

Forces against Hindus 

This is not to say that other stooges have not targeted Hindus. During the last six decades since Independence, British imperialist-inspired Dravidian movement led by E V Ramaswamy Naicker, in the name of rationalism tried to debunk as irrational the Hindu religion, and terrorised the Hindu priestly class, ie, the Brahmins, for propagating the Hindu religion.

The movement’s organisational arm, the Dravida Kazhagam (DK), had venerated Ravana for 50 years to spite the Hindu adoration of Rama and vulgarise the abduction of Sita, till the DK belatedly learnt that Ravana was a Brahmin and a pious bhakta of Lord Shiva too. Abandoning this course of defaming Ramayana, the DK have now become stooges of the anti-Indian LTTE which has specialised in killing the Hindu Tamil leadership in Sri Lanka. Of course the DK has now been orphaned by the decimation of the LTTE. 

Civil war situation 

In the 1960s, the Christian missionaries had inspired the Nagas. The Nagas also wanted to further amputate Bharat Mata by seeking secession of Nagaland from the nation. In the 1980s, the Hindus of Manipur were targeted by foreign-trained elements. Manipuris were told: give up Hinduism or be killed. In Kashmir, since the beginning of the 1990s, militants in league with the Pakistan-trained terrorists also targeted the Hindus by driving the Hindu Pandits out of the Valley, or killing them or dishonouring their women folk.

Recognising that targeting of Hindus is being widely perceived, and that Muslims of India are largely just passive spectators, the foreign patrons of Islamic terrorists are beginning to engage in terrorist acts that could pit Muslims against Hindus in nation-wide conflagration and possible civil war as in Serbia and Bosnia. Muslims cannot be divided into ‘moderates’ and ‘extremists’ because the former just capitulate when confronted. Recently, Pakistan civilian government capitulated on ‘kite flying’ and banned it because Taliban considers it as ‘Hindu’. Moderate governments of Malaysia and Kazhakstan are now demolishing Hindu temples. 

Collective response 

Hence, the first lesson to be learnt from recent history, for tackling terrorism in India is that the Hindu is the target and that Muslims of India are being programmed by a slow reactive process to become radical and thus slide into suicide against Hindus. It is to undermine the Hindu psyche and create fear of civil war that terror attacks are organised. 

And hence since the Hindu is the target, Hindus must collectively respond as Hindus against the terrorist and not feel individually isolated or worse, be complacent because he or she is not personally affected. If one Hindu dies merely because he or she was a Hindu, then a bit of every Hindu also dies. This is an essential mental attitude, a necessary part of a virat Hindu (for fuller discussion of the concept of virat Hindu, see my Hindus Under Siege: The Way Out Haranand, 2006).

Therefore we need today a collective mindset as Hindus to stand against the Islamic terrorist. In this response, Muslims of India can join us if they genuinely feel for the Hindu. That they do, I will not believe, unless they acknowledge with pride that though they may be Muslims, their ancestors are Hindus. 

It is not easy for them to acknowledge this ancestry because the Muslim mullah and Christian missionary would consider it as unacceptable since that realisation would dilute the religious fervour in their faith and also create an option for their possible re-conversion to Hinduism. Hence, these religious leaders preach hatred and violence against the kafir ie, the Hindu (for example read Chapter 8 verse 12 of the Quran) to keep the faith of their followers. The Islamic terrorist outfits, eg the SIMI, has already resolved that India is Darul Harab, and they are committed to make it Darul Islam. That makes them free of any moral compunction whatsoever in dealing with Hindus. 

Brihad Hindu Samaj 

But still, if any Muslim does so acknowledge his or her Hindu legacy, then we Hindus can accept him or her as a part of the Brihad Hindu Samaj, which is Hindustan. India that is Bharat that is Hindustan is a nation of Hindus and others whose ancestors are Hindus. Even Parsis and Jews in India have Hindu ancestors. Others, who refuse to so acknowledge or those foreigners who become Indian citizens by registration can remain in India, but should not have voting rights (which means they cannot be elected representatives). 

Hence, to begin with, any policy to combat terrorism must begin with requiring each and every Hindu becoming a committed or virat Hindu. To be a virat Hindu one must have a Hindu mindset, a mindset that recognises that there is vyaktigat charitra (personal character) and a rashtriya charitra (national character).

It is not enough if one is pious, honest and educated. That is the personal character only. National character is a mindset actively and vigorously committed to the sanctity and integrity of the nation. For example, Manmohan Singh, our prime minister, has high personal character (vyaktigat charitra), but by being a rubber stamp of a semi-literate Sonia Gandhi, and waffling on all national issues, he has proved that he has no rashtriya charitra.

The second lesson for combating the terrorism we face today is: since demoralising the Hindu and undermining the Hindu foundation of India in order to destroy the Hindu civilisation, is the goal of all terrorists in India we must never capitulate and never concede any demand of the terrorists. The basic policy has to be: never yield to any demand of the terrorists. That necessary resolve has not been shown in our recent history. Instead ever since we conceded Pakistan in 1947 under duress, we have been mostly yielding time and again. 

Bowing to terrorists 

In 1989, to obtain the release of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s daughter, Rubaiyya who had been kidnapped by terrorists, five terrorists in Indian jails were set free by the V P Singh’s government. This made these criminals in the eyes of Kashmiri separatists and fence sitters heroes, as those who had brought India’s Hindu establishment on its knees. To save Rubaiyya it was not necessary to surrender to terrorist demands.

The worst capitulation to terrorists in our modern history was in the Indian Airlines IC-814 hijack in December 1999 staged in Kandahar. The government released three terrorists even without getting court permission (required since they were in judicial custody). Moreover, they were escorted by a senior minister on the PM’s special Boeing all the way to Kandahar as royal guests instead of being shoved across the Indo-Pakistan border.

Worse still, all the three after being freed, went back to Pakistan and created three separate terrorist organisations to kill Hindus. Mohammed Azhar, whom the National Security Advisor Brijesh Mishra had then described as “a mere harmless cleric”, upon his release led the LeT to savage and repeated terrorist attacks on Hindus all over India from Bangalore to Srinagar. Since mid-2000, Azhar is responsible for the killing of over 2,000 Hindus and the attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001. Omar Sheikh who helped al-Qaeda is in jail in US custody for killing US journalist Daniel Pearl, while the third, Zargar is engaged today in random killings of Hindus in Doda and Jammu after founding Al-Mujahideen Jingaan. 

This Kandahar episode proves that we should never negotiate with terrorists, never yield. If you do, then sooner or later you will end up losing more lives than you will ever save by a deal with terrorists. 

Moment of truth 

The third lesson to be learnt is that whatever and however small the terrorist incident, the nation must retaliate—not by measured and ‘sober’ responses but by massive retaliation.  Otherwise what is the alternative? Walk meekly to death expecting that our ‘sober’ responses will be rewarded by our neighbours and their patrons? We will be back to 1100 AD fooled into suicidal credulity. We should not be ghouls for punishment from terrorists and their patrons. We should retaliate.

For example, when Ayodhya temple was sought to be attacked,  this was not a big terrorist incident but we should have massively retaliated by re-building the Ram temple at the site. 

This is Kaliyug, and hence there is no room for sattvic responses to evil people. Hindu religion has a concept of apat dharma and we should invoke it. This is the moment of truth for us. Either we organise to survive as a civilisation or vanish as the Persian, Babylonian, and Egyptian civilisations did centuries ago before the brutal Islamic onslaught. For that our motto should be Saam, Dhaam, Bheda, Danda. 

Poverty is no factor 

What motivates the Islamic terrorists in India? Many are advising us Hindus to deal with the root ‘cause’ of terrorism rather than concentrate on eradicating terrorists by retaliation. And pray what is the root ‘cause’?

According to bleeding heart liberals, terrorists are born or bred because of illiteracy, poverty, oppression, and discrimination. They argue that instead of eliminating them, the root cause of these four disabilities in society should be removed. Only then terrorism will disappear. Before replying to this, let us understand that I have serious doubts about the integrity of these liberals, or more appropriately, these promiscuous intellectuals. They seek to deaden the emotive power of the individual and render him passive (inculcate ‘majboori’ in our psyche). A nation state cannot survive for long with such a capitulationist mentality.

It is rubbish to say that terrorists who mastermind the attacks are poor. Osama bin laden for example is a billionaire. Islamic terrorists are patronised by those states that have grown rich from oil revenues. In Britain, the terrorists arrested so far for the bombings are all well-to-do persons. Nor are terrorists uneducated. Most of terrorist leaders are doctors, chartered accountants, MBAs and teachers. For example, in the failed Times Square New York episode, the Islamic terrorist Shahzad studied and got an MBA from a reputed US university. He was from a highly placed family in Pakistan. He certainly faced no discrimination and oppression in his own country. The gang of nine persons who hijacked four planes on September 11, 2001 and flew them into the World Trade Towers in New York and other targets were certainly not discriminated or oppressed in the United States. Hence it is utter rubbish to say that terror is the outcome of the poverty terrorists face.

If we accept the Left-wing liberals argument, does it mean that in Islamic countries, the non-Islamic religious minority who are discriminated and oppressed can take to terrorism? In the Valley, where Muslims are in majority, not only Article 370 of the Constitution provides privileges to the majority but it is the minority Hindus who have been slaughtered, or raped, and dispossessed. They have become refugees in squalid conditions in their own country.

It is also a ridiculous idea that terrorists cannot be deterred because they are irrational, willing to die, and have no ‘return address’. Terrorist masterminds have political goals and a method in their madness. An effective strategy to deter terrorism is therefore to defeat those political goals and to rubbish them by counter-terrorist action. How is that strategy to be structured? In a brilliant research paper published by Robert Trager and Dessislava Zagorcheva this year (‘Deterring Terrorism’ International Security, vol 30, No 3, Winter 2005/06, pp 87-123) has provided the general principles to structure such a strategy. 


Applying these principles, I advocate the following strategy to negate the political goals of Islamic terrorism in India, provided  the Muslim community fail to condemn these goals and call them un-Islamic:

Goal 1: Overawe India on Kashmir.
Strategy: Remove Article 370, and re-settle ex-servicemen in the Valley. Create Panun Kashmir for Hindu Pandit community. Look or create opportunity to take over PoK. If Pakistan continues to back terrorists, assist the Baluchis and Sindhis to struggle for independence.

Goal 2: Blast our temples and kill Hindu devotees. 
Strategy: Remove the masjid in Kashi Vishwanath temple complex, and 300 others in other sites as a tit-for-tat.

Goal 3: Make India into Darul Islam. 
Strategy: Implement Uniform Civil Code, make Sanskrit learning compulsory and singing of Vande Mataram mandatory, and declare India as Hindu Rashtra in which only those non-Hindus can vote if they proudly acknowledge that their ancestors are Hindus. Re-name India as Hindustan as a nation of Hindus and those whose ancestors are Hindus.

Goal 4: Change India’s demography by illegal immigration, conversion, and refusal to adopt family planning. Strategy: Enact a national law prohibiting conversion from Hindu religion to any other religion. Re-conversion will not be banned. Declare caste is not birth-based but code of discipline based. Welcome non-Hindus to re-convert to the caste of their choice provided they adhere to the code of discipline. Annex land from Bangladesh in proportion to the illegal migrants from that country staying in India. At present, northern one-third from Sylhet to Khulna can be annexed to re-settle the illegal migrants.

Goal 5: Denigrate Hinduism through vulgar writings and preaching in mosques, madrassas, and churches to create loss of self-respect amongst Hindus and make them fit for capitulation.
Strategy: Propagate the development of a Hindu mindset (see my new book Hindutva and National Renaissance, Haranand, 2010).

India can solve its terrorist problem within five years by such a deterrent strategy, but for that we have to learn the four lessons outlined above, and have a Hindu mindset to take bold, risky, and hard decisions to defend the nation. If the Jews can be transformed from lambs walking meekly to the gas chambers to fiery lions in just 10 years, it is not difficult for Hindus in much better circumstances (after all we are 83 per cent of India), to do so in five years.

Guru Gobind Singh has shown us the way already, how just five fearless persons under spiritual guidance can transform a society. Even if half the Hindu voters are persuaded to collectively vote as Hindus, and for a party sincerely committed to a Hindu agenda, then we can forge an instrument for change. And that ultimately is the bottom line in the strategy to deter terrorism in a democratic Hindustan at this moment of truth. 

From a highly provocative, inflammatory, mi article - full page article with illustrations - written by Subramanian Swamy in The New Indian Express. More Here.
It evoked feeble response from the readers. Only one or two letters admiring Dr. Swamy were published. Muslims refused to get provoked and fall in the trap. Nobody responded.


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