Thursday, June 25, 2015

Narendra Modi's women Ministers and the moral crisis confronting the BJP

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books The year old Modi Government is facing a full blown political crisis and the Prime Minister cannot blame anyone but himself. Unlike the Congress which has a long history of ministerial misconduct, the BJP is new to power and is unable to effectively deal with the situation. In fact the ham handed manner in which the BJP put up its defense of Vasundhra Raje Scindia and Sushma Swaraj only made matters worse. The Prime Minister seems to have lost his voice and like Man Mohan Singh before him, has stopped speaking. The last major event he participated in was the International Yoge Day on June 21st, when the entire Rajpath came alive with Yoga exercises. The crux of the problem lies in the fact that the BJP lacks the intellectual ballast that can sustain its politics and its drive for political power. Whatever intellectual support it derives is from the Vivekananda Foundation and some turncoats who are now singing the BJP tune. Bereft of ideas and strategies, the BJP can now only hope that the storm passes away. And that is unlikely. The Ministers appointed are uneducated and do not understand the global and national issues even as they are imploding in the face of the Government. Of course, the Prime Minister has to deal with the material at hand and the worst part of Indian politics is that there is no place for the detached intellectual observer in the arena of politics. Smrithi Irani, a tele soap opera star, was entrusted with the tough task of running the Human Resource Development Ministry and she has doen such a poor job that even those who were inclined to give BJP and Narendra Modi a chance are now questioning the wisdom of voting for Modi. Smrithi Irani speaks good English but her lack of education is very real and she hides her inferiority by being brusque and arrogant. She has failed to make a mark in the field of education and has created unnecessary controversies, like over Yoge, German, the Four Year Degree Program and her silence over Vice Chancellors who have cheated the Government. She seems to be clueless about the issues at hand and appointing a self proclaimed 12 th standard Pass to such a ministry sent a signal down the line that Modi has scant respect for education. The affidavit case has embarrassed the Modi Government no end and this comes in the wake of the scandals of the other 2 women ministers of Modi's cabinet. Sushma Swaraj had earned a pride of place in Indian politics and was even Leader of the Opposition during the long dark years of the UPA. She was quick to corner the Singh Government on various issues stemming from the wanton corruption that went on during those years. She led the Party creditably and perhaps was smug enough to assume that she was the natural choice for being named the Prime Ministerial candidate, However, Narendra Modi pipped her to the post. Though Modi was not keen on giving her a top post, he was forced and the woman let him down badly by using her position to intervene in the immigration issues surrounding Lalit Modi, a scamster and a blackmailer who wasm primarily responsible for bringing the Kochi Tusker scandal into the public domain. He is a fugitive from the Indianlaw and the Foreign Minister of India cannot give an assurance to the British Government that any help rendered to this fugitive will not have a negative impact on India. Maybe the scandal will not hamper British Indian relations, but it has put a huge question mark over the future of Sushma Swaraj who is generally regarded as a performing minister. It has come to light that Swaraj Kaushal the Minister's husband and her daughter are both involved with Lait Modi. Vasundhara Raje Scindia takes the cake. This lady even files an affadavit in favor of the fugitive and has now been exposed. Her son, a BJP MP is neck deep in deals with Lalit Modi. Like Charles Shobraj, Lalit Modi will speell doom to all the three womane polticians of India. The BJP has handled this crisis so badly that the credibility of the Modi Government is dentted for sure.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Return of J Jayalalithaa: Requiem to Dravidian Politics

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books J Jajalalithaa too the oath of office for the fifth time this morning. Wearing a green Sari with an emerald ring sparkling on her right index finger she signed the Register. The Governor Rosaiah was doing his best to look comfortable as her ministers lined up to genuflect before her in the strict order of ministerial rank. The fact that she has been acquitted by the Karnataka High Court in the Disproportionate Asset case made her return possible. Critics have already smudged her copy book pointing out the seemingly glaring arithmetical error which resulted in Justice Kumaraswamy acquitting her on the judicial premise that her assets are within the permissible margin of error. Her critics seem to be unaware that an acquittal can be overturned by rectifying the mathematical calculation. The entire accounting of the assets have to be redone and that will not make any material change in the judgement. Though the acquittal will be challenged in the Supreme Court, the chances of it being set aside are rather slim. So J Jayalaithaa has crossed the last legal hurdle before the 2016 State Assembly Polls. Dravidian style politics is now on its last legs. The ostentatious display of identity symbols, the cloud display of personality cult, the obsequiousness toward party leadership and the immediate family, the wanton disregard to political and cultural values are all part of the political culture of high Dravidianism. J Jayalalithaa did not personally endorse any of these aberration, but had to fall in line with the established code of Dradidian politics. Even the corruption charges for which she was repeatedly prosecuted at the behest of Karunanidhi and Subramania Swamy was more the doing of her inner circle consisting of Sashikala and her Kallar relatives than of her own making. However, the fact is that in the menagerie of Indian politics, J Jayalalithaa enjoys the distintion of being the only politician who has been disqualified twice for corruption and has got back to power. It is very unlikely that Karunanidhi's daughter will escape the punishment as the case against her is water tight with little scope for legal jugglery. It is hoped that this time around she delivers on her promise, The closet politician with whom Jayalalithaa can be compared is Eva Peron. Like Eva, the present Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu is adored by the masses almost bordering on mass adulation. It is a foregone conclusion that she will sweep the next election as the populist schemes launched by her will fetch a rich harvest of votes. Launched in the name of AMMA, or Mother, these schemes all touch the lives of ordinary citizens. This new dimension of using the state and its machinery to redistibute resources has been perfected by the AIADMK and was started by her mentor, MGR. Surprisingly the total cost of these schemes is around 5,000 crores while the state earns nearly 30.000 crores by the sale of liquor through the TASMAC outlets. The immediate task before the present Chief Minister is the restore the confidence of the international financiers and kick start the stalled infra structure projects.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books

The conceit Jawarharlal Nehru and his brand of ideologically driven politics encouraged was the notion that India had a role in transmitting Western "values" and "institutions" to an Asia that was stagnant, despotic and cruel in every sense of the word. His Discovery of India was little more than a celebration of two thousand years of Indian humiliation and a wanton denial of the grand civilizational role that India had played in world history. The denial of the civilizational ethos of India was not accidental: Nehru's skewered view of Nation State demanded such an approach. The nation state and the quest for a "state centric" history has kept historians of India engaged for nearly six decades and there is little to show except the rumbustious noise over "secular history" versus "communal history".Nehru's ghost haunts the Historiography of modern India like Banco's ghost, a farce turning into a tragedy. There have been several changes in historiographical approaches but Indian historians prefer to embrace the colonial or the post colonial perspectives and while the latter with its dense fog of meaningless jargon finds a receptive audience in Indian academia, the colonial approaches are still the norm among professional historians. Manufacturing a "national history" to justify India's trnasition into a "modern" "democratic" and "socialist"  republic became the sine qua non for Indian historians. The turgid prose of Upinder Singh's successful foray into text book market does little to put India on the map of world civilizations.

During his recent visit to the great nation, China, Narendra Modi as Prime Minister visited the Tomb of China's first Emperor and her we have his pictures in the Tomb with the Terracotta warriors

The message that Narendra Modi was constantly engaged in making public is that China and India had a common Asian and civilizational history stretching over 2,500 years. Even the Communist Party dominated State had to accept the view that Buddhism was a strong and enduring link between the two countries. Nehru in his utter folly allowed the problem of Tibet and the border issue inherited from the infamous Younghusban expedition tomcloud his understanding of China. Modi's vision of an Asia led by China and India is more appropriate to the history that links these two countries.

Monday, May 11, 2015

J Jayalalitaa and her legal travails: Why Justice seems a distant dream

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books

Two judicial verdicts have caused considerable consternation in India. The first is the curious case of Salman Khan and the stay granted to his conviction by the Sessions Court within 2 hours. The cose was filed more than 13 years ago when Slaman Khan allegedly ran over 7 pavement dwellers killing one of them. According to the Police he was drunk at that time and following the Supreme Court judgement in the Perriera case, he was sentenced for "culpable homicide" not am mounting to murder. The fact that the judgment was stayed and the celebrity actor back home without spending even a single day in prison for killing a human being is cause for concern and people are asking questions about the integrity of the judicial process.

In Jayalalithaa's  case the matter is different. A vengeful DMK regime charged her under various provision relating to what we in India call Disproportionate Assets. A person should be able to show the source of income from which he or she has purchase assets. Failure to do so would amount to acceptance of the charge. The DMK went to town over the case and hyped the DA case to the tune of 100 crores. In fact the whole sordid episode stems from over enthusiasm on the part of the DMK regimes which tried to exaggerate the value of the assets seized from J Jayalalitaa after her defeat in the 1996 elections.  The judgement of the Trial Court was also strange. Instead of relying of the value of the assets and its source, Michael Cuhuna, the trial judge, pronounced her guilty on the basis of a totally extraneous piece of legislation: the Prevention of Corruption Act. Having assets disproportionate to known sources of Income does not constitute corruption, as one can inherit assets, acquire by exchange or gift and there are other pieces of law governing the acquisition of assets through these different means. The punishment handed in by the trial court was extremely harsh: 100 crore fine and 10 years rigorous imprisonment. The harshness of the verdict and the questionable legal grounds on which it rested have raised eyebrows in India.

Today the Bangalore High Court has on the appeal of Ms Jayalalitaa acquitted her of all charges. It is nobody's case that the former Chief Minister is above board. However, her acquittal has sent thrills of joy down the spines of her partymen and Ms Jayalalithaa is expected to return as Chief Minister soon. It is becoming difficult to convict VIPs guilty of major acts of corruption.

Both the case discussed in this blog suggest that corruption and VIP misdemeanors need to be addressed with greater vigour.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Jawaharlal Nehru, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, the RSS and the Myths of Modern India

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books

Jawaharlal Nehru whom the Indian liberal worships as the very epitome of secularism and democracy based his politics on two huge and monstrous lies  both of which stand completely exposed today. The first was the state sponsored and encouraged propaganda the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (the RSS) was behind the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. So sustained and relentless was the aggressive campaign of vilification that even today there are "intellectuals" like Bipan Chandra, Mridula Mukerjee and a host of congress acolytes who carry this false notion like a mark of "secular" identity. The facts is that Jawaharlal Nehru was well aware of the dangers posed to Gandhi, especially after he decided to go on a hunger strike to get from the reluctant regime of Nehru the money owed by India to Pakistan. Nehru chose to ignore all the warning and on the fateful day when Gandhi was shot, Nehru must have been relieved as the nation's attention would now be focused only on Nehru and not Gandhi. In fact, Gandhi was reluctant to share the mid night hour with Nehru and his absence on August 15th 1947 suggests that Gandhi and Nehru had parted ways. While it is not clear if Nehru had a hand in the assassination, what is amply clear that Nehru knowing well that the RSS was not in any way involved in the crime chose to implicate the leaders of the nationalist organization in a crime that shocked the nation. By discrediting the RSS and its opposition to the formation of Pakistan and Partition, Nehru successfully deflected attention from his own failure to prevent the Partition and more pertinently by agreeing to Lord Mountbatten's request for an early date for Independence, Nehru ensured that an unprepared Nation was faced with the horrendous reality of violence and ethnic cleansing on both sides of the border. Nehru's lack of statecraft is clear from this example. However, he sought to vindicate himself by blaming the RSS.

With his younger colleague, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, Nehru maintained less than cordial relations. Netaji was a towering intellectual with a first class degree from Cambridge University, unlike Nehru's "gentle man " pass degree, a successful passage through the ICS Examinations and Nehru was not a patch on this great man. In spite of the growing lure of Soviet style Socialism over his intellectual horizon, particularly in the 1930's, Nehru was astute enough not to take his socialism to the point of disrupting his relationship with Gandhi. In other words political expediency ensured that Nehru continued to pay homage to Gandhian ideals, whereas Bose was man enough to declare his opposition to the Gandhian methods. Bose escaped from Calcutta to Germ,any from where he continued the struggle for India's independence. And after the collapse of the Quit India Movement of 1942, the English decided to quit India but at at a cost" Partition and Quit. Netaji's contribution to India's Independence was beyond doubt of outstanding moment and was also an important element in the legitimization of the new Indian state which was born in 1947.Had Netaji been alive, Nehru stood no chance of towering over the Indian Nation like a colossus, of course, with feet of clay. The disappearance of Netaji was essential to ensure the survival of Nehru's regime.

On August 18th  1945 Netaji escaped to Russia via Manchuria and the plane crash theory was floated in order to cover up his tracks. Nehru was quick to declare Netaji dead and tried to appropriate the legacy of the Indian National Army by covertly suggesting that Netaji could be tried as a "war criminal" by the Allies due to his alliance with the Japanese Empire and Germany. There is some evidence to show that Nehru wrote to Clement Atlee suggesting that Netaji could be tried as a war criminal. It is against this background that Netaji decided to fake his death and escape to Soviet Russia. There are credible witnesses to that fact that he was seen in Russia, perhaps Siberia as late as 1963. The Mookerjee Commission also rejected the death in an air crash theory propagated by Nehru and his gang.

The recent revelations that the regime of Nehru used the Intelligence Bureau to tail the Bose Family and maintained total surveillance on the Sisir Bose Household comes as no great surprise. Nehru was mortally afraid of a return of Netaji.

Therefore the entire politics of Nehru in the post Independence era rested on two great lies.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Red Sander Smuggling and the tensions between Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books

The gunning down of 20 Red Sander smugglers in the forests surrounding the famed Tirupati Temple in Chitoor District of Andhra Pradesh has created a stir and politicians in Tamil Nadu have raised the issue of human rights violations and have accused the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandra Babu Naidu of wanton killing. The record of Tamil Nadu Government on the human rights front is rather bleak. Recently the Minister for Agriculture Thiru Krishnamurthy was arrested for abetting the suicide, of the Chief Engineer of the Department who was forced to sign papers appointing men as drivers in the Department from whom the Minister had taken bribes ranging from 3 to 5 lakhs.  The record of the earlier DMK Government is no better. Who has forgotten the suicide of Bash, an accused in the 2G Scam and earlier the killing of DG of Police Mr Durai. The Dravidian Movement and its political offshoots has led to the growth of corrupt, fascist forces and both the DMK and the AIADMK are both tadpoles from the same cess pool. Such being the case the sudden concern for the rights of the tribal on the part of the Tamil politicians is not sincere.

Since 1967 the tribal areas of North Arcot District, the Jahwadi Hills have been neglected. There have been no schemes for the up liftment of the tribal. Even elementary schools are lacking in the area. As far as health facilities are concerned even the Primary Health Centers are not present. The entire social welfare budget of Tamil Nadu is spent on the landed backward castes who already dominate the political and administrative structures of the state. The tribal population has only the choice of choosing the path of ethnocide or eternal poverty and marginalization. Against this background, the sudden love of our Tamil politicians for the tribals is both ingenuous and hypocritical.

Red Sander is a valuable timber which is found in the Seshachalam forests and is listed as an endangered tree and whose cutting is forbidden by law. There is a huge demand for the products from this tree in East Asia for making furniture and also in the construction industry. The tribals who are kept in a state of abject poverty as a calculated policy of the backward caste dominated regime, are induced by politician to venture out into the forests and cut down the trees. It takes just 30 minutes for an experienced tribal to cut down the tree and debark it and make it ready for transport. The forest guards are usually  paid to ignore the entire timber smuggling. More than 20 men who were appointed as forest guards were killed by the timber Mafia and hence the AP Government decided to appoint a special task force. We must remember that the mass killer Veerappan was also  a timber smuggler, except that he chose the less lucrative sandal wood trees to cut. And he too enjoyed patronage on both sides of the border: The DMK regime in Tamil Nadu and the Congress regime in Karnataka. The AP Government decided to act before the menace became too great for the sate to handle. The YSR Congress, like its parent organization is a crime syndicate and its local leaders are political front for the smugglers.

The killing of 20 tribals is indeed extremely sad and deserves to be investigated. The fact is that in the past the smugglers have killed forest guards and even in this case the Special Task Force was attacked with bows and axes and the firing was resorted to in self defense. Of course, excessive force was used. However, the primary responsibility rests with the Government of Tamil Nadu which has not done anything for the welfare of the tribals and force them to make a living thus.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

BBC, The Nirbhaya Documentary and Indian Public Opnion

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books

The Western World or the White world pretends that it is upholding a higher civilizational standard than the non- Western world of which India and China are the most illustrious icons. On what basis are such claims made. The fact that less than 65 years back, Germany killed 13 million people in the Concentration Camps, a record of barbarism that still remains unsurpassed, is generally ignored as that country is officially part of the so called West. The rising tide of racial discrimination in most European countries is again set aside and in UK, the internal surveillance of the Muslim population is reaching alarming proportions. In USA almost every week a man, usually a non white and generally derelict person is being killed by the trigger happy internal militia. And since the subject is rape, the percentage of women in USA and Europe who are raped is extremely high. In MIT, a campus survey found that 60% of the female students had complained of unacceptable sexual behavior on Campus. I are repeating all these facts not to cover up the enormous tragedy that shocked and traumatized  the entire nation. India set up the JP Verma Commission and tightened the laws and there is growing awareness of the issue of gender violence. Can the same be said of USA and Europe.

The BBC has produced and broadcast a documentary entitled, India's Daughter, which is based on a series of interviews with the killers of Nirbhaya. The dead victim of the tragedy is made to relive the trauma once again by the shamelessly titillating exposure given to one of the rapists who is under the sentence of death. It appears from the way in which the documentary has been edited, that the main purpose is to shift the focus of the debate from rape to the death penalty in general and that of the impending execution of the rapist killer in particular. I cannot understand how the UPA Government was so insensitive that it allowed the BBC to film the interviews with the killer and that to in Tihar Jail located in the Capital. Will the Indian Media get access to any prisoner awaiting execution in USA. One example will suffice: The American Government did not permit the Indian Law reinforcement personnel to interview David Headley Coleman even though he stands accused in an Indian Court for having planned and organized the 26/11 Massacre in Mumbai. That being the case, how is it that the BBC enjoys privileges that it is not entitled to. How was the filming allowed without the script being whetted.

India's Daughter projects India is an extremely bad light and that is precisely the purpose of the documentary. It seeks to portray India as a land of barbarians in which women are not safe and it needs the skills of a white film maker to hold a mirror to reflect the ugly face of India. India exploded in anger at what happened in Delhi in December 2012 and does not need a white woman to tell us or inform us of the ugly reality which stares us in the face. The arrogance of the BBC which justified the broadcast is unconscionable: it serves a real purpose of informing the world says BBC. Indian law which prohibits the name of the victim from being made public was deliberately and insensitively violated and the Government of India is well within its right to ban BBC from India for this one serious act. I think, the country must adopt a zero tolerance to such provocations. India law cannot be violated by foreign media. We do not have give extra territorial rights to BBC and their correspondents. India should force the BBC to ether publically apologize for the violation of Indian law or be forced to quit India.

Nirbhaya is a symbol of the kind of unspeakable brutality which no civilized society can tolerate. The BBC has no right to rape the victim again and again. Shame on BBC. It now turns out that the rapist Mukesh Singh was paid by BBC for this interview. In other words BBC made commercial profit out out this immense tragedy and paid the killer too.