Posts Tagged 'pakistan'

Why My Father Hated India

Why My Father Hated India

Aatish Taseer, the son of an assassinated Pakistani leader, explains the history and hysteria behind a deadly relationship

Ten days before he was assassinated in January, my father, Salman Taseer, sent out a tweet about an Indian rocket that had come down over the Bay of Bengal: “Why does India make fools of themselves messing in space technology? Stick 2 bollywood my advice.”
My father was the governor of Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province, and his tweet, with its taunt at India’s misfortune, would have delighted his many thousands of followers. It fed straight into Pakistan’s unhealthy obsession with India, the country from which it was carved in 1947.
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Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Mohandas Gandhi visits Muslim refugees in New Delhi as they prepare to depart to Pakistan on Sept. 22, 1947.

Though my father’s attitude went down well in Pakistan, it had caused considerable tension between us. I am half-Indian, raised in Delhi by my Indian mother: India is a country that I consider my own. When my father was killed by one of his own bodyguards for defending a Christian woman accused of blasphemy, we had not spoken for three years.
To understand the Pakistani obsession with India, to get a sense of its special edge—its hysteria—it is necessary to understand the rejection of India, its culture and past, that lies at the heart of the idea of Pakistan. This is not merely an academic question. Pakistan’s animus toward India is the cause of both its unwillingness to fight Islamic extremism and its active complicity in undermining the aims of its ostensible ally, the United States.
The idea of Pakistan was first seriously formulated by neither a cleric nor a politician but by a poet. In 1930, Muhammad Iqbal, addressing the All-India Muslim league, made the case for a state in which India’s Muslims would realize their “political and ethical essence.” Though he was always vague about what the new state would be, he was quite clear about what it would not be: the old pluralistic society of India, with its composite culture.

Every day at sunset, Indian and Pakistani guards on the Wagah border face off in a militaristic flag-lowering exercise called the Beating Retreat Ceremony. WSJ’s Tom Wright reports on India’s effort to tone down the bizarre display.
Iqbal’s vision took concrete shape in August 1947. Despite the partition of British India, it had seemed at first that there would be no transfer of populations. But violence erupted, and it quickly became clear that in the new homeland for India’s Muslims, there would be no place for its non-Muslim communities. Pakistan and India came into being at the cost of a million lives and the largest migration in history.
This shared experience of carnage and loss is the foundation of the modern relationship between the two countries. In human terms, it meant that each of my parents, my father in Pakistan and my mother in India, grew up around symmetrically violent stories of uprooting and homelessness.
But in Pakistan, the partition had another, deeper meaning. It raised big questions, in cultural and civilizational terms, about what its separation from India would mean.
In the absence of a true national identity, Pakistan defined itself by its opposition to India. It turned its back on all that had been common between Muslims and non-Muslims in the era before partition. Everything came under suspicion, from dress to customs to festivals, marriage rituals and literature. The new country set itself the task of erasing its association with the subcontinent, an association that many came to view as a contamination.
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Rex USA
Salman Taseer, governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, in May 2009. He was assassinated in January 2011.

Had this assertion of national identity meant the casting out of something alien or foreign in favor of an organic or homegrown identity, it might have had an empowering effect. What made it self-wounding, even nihilistic, was that Pakistan, by asserting a new Arabized Islamic identity, rejected its own local and regional culture. In trying to turn its back on its shared past with India, Pakistan turned its back on itself.
But there was one problem: India was just across the border, and it was still its composite, pluralistic self, a place where nearly as many Muslims lived as in Pakistan. It was a daily reminder of the past that Pakistan had tried to erase.
Pakistan’s existential confusion made itself apparent in the political turmoil of the decades after partition. The state failed to perform a single legal transfer of power; coups were commonplace. And yet, in 1980, my father would still have felt that the partition had not been a mistake, for one critical reason: India, for all its democracy and pluralism, was an economic disaster.
Pakistan had better roads, better cars; Pakistani businesses were thriving; its citizens could take foreign currency abroad. Compared with starving, socialist India, they were on much surer ground. So what if India had democracy? It had brought nothing but drought and famine.
But in the early 1990s, a reversal began to occur in the fortunes of the two countries. The advantage that Pakistan had seemed to enjoy in the years after independence evaporated, as it became clear that the quest to rid itself of its Indian identity had come at a price: the emergence of a new and dangerous brand of Islam.
As India rose, thanks to economic liberalization, Pakistan withered. The country that had begun as a poet’s utopia was reduced to ruin and insolvency.
The primary agent of this decline has been the Pakistani army. The beneficiary of vast amounts of American assistance and money—$11 billion since 9/11—the military has diverted a significant amount of these resources to arming itself against India. In Afghanistan, it has sought neither security nor stability but rather a backyard, which—once the Americans leave—might provide Pakistan with “strategic depth” against India.
In order to realize these objectives, the Pakistani army has led the U.S. in a dance, in which it had to be seen to be fighting the war on terror, but never so much as to actually win it, for its extension meant the continuing flow of American money. All this time the army kept alive a double game, in which some terror was fought and some—such as Laskhar-e-Tayyba’s 2008 attack on Mumbai—actively supported.
The army’s duplicity was exposed decisively this May, with the killing of Osama bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad. It was only the last and most incriminating charge against an institution whose activities over the years have included the creation of the Taliban, the financing of international terrorism and the running of a lucrative trade in nuclear secrets.
This army, whose might has always been justified by the imaginary threat from India, has been more harmful to Pakistan than to anybody else. It has consumed annually a quarter of the country’s wealth, undermined one civilian government after another and enriched itself through a range of economic interests, from bakeries and shopping malls to huge property holdings.
The reversal in the fortunes of the two countries—India’s sudden prosperity and cultural power, seen next to the calamity of Muhammad Iqbal’s unrealized utopia—is what explains the bitterness of my father’s tweet just days before he died. It captures the rage of being forced to reject a culture of which you feel effortlessly a part—a culture that Pakistanis, via Bollywood, experience daily in their homes.
This rage is what makes it impossible to reduce Pakistan’s obsession with India to matters of security or a land dispute in Kashmir. It can heal only when the wounds of 1947 are healed. And it should provoke no triumphalism in India, for behind the bluster and the bravado, there is arid pain and sadness.
—Mr. Taseer is the author of “Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands.”

Are they just ‘useful idiots’? – S Gurumurthy

Are they just ‘useful idiots’?

S Gurumurthy

21 Jul 2011

http://expressbuzz.com/biography/Are-they-just-%E2%80%98useful-idiots%E2%80%99/296511.html

See this list of seculars and liberals. Justice Rajinder Sachar, author of the famous Sachar Committee Report on the state of Indian Muslims; Dileep Padgaonkar, one of the three interlocutors on J&K appointed by the central government; Harish Khare, the media adviser to the prime minister; Rita Manchanda, the India/Pakistan Local Partner for Women Waging Peace; Ved Bhasin, editor, Kashmir Times; Harinder Baweja, editor (investigations), Headlines Today; Gautam Navlakha and Kamal Chenoy, human rights activists, and; Praful Bidwai, well-known columnist. This is the illustrative list of popular Indian liberals who exert powerful influence over the Indian discourse — be it on Kashmir or secularism or on corruption or communalism or on Narendra Modi or Sonia Gandhi.

But this is not the list of probables for the Padma awards. This is the list of those who have been the guests of Ghulam Nabi Fai, who was arrested three days back by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US for acting as the front man of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). The Washington Times (July 19, 2011) reported that Fai “was arrested Tuesday by FBI agents in a suspected influence-peddling scheme to funnel millions of dollars from the Pakistani government, including its military intelligence service, to US elected officials to help drive India out of the disputed Kashmir territory in South Asia”. Fai was arrested in US not for working to drive India out of Kashmir — as it is not an offence under the US law — but for the offence of funnelling ISI money to buy influence over US officials for Pakistan. Under the Indian law, the case against the Indian liberals in Fai’s list may well be one of sedition if they had known who Fai was, or if they had not, they could be well just his “useful idiots” as a former editor, R Jaganathan, wrote in his brilliant column in firstpost.com. But are they just useful idiots or more?

The 45-page affidavit by the FBI in the case has charged Fai with “conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign principal”. Media reports that the FBI swears in its affidavit that Fai, who floated the Kashmir American Council (KAC), was a front man for Pakistani interests in US in the garb of Kashmiri’s. The reports say that Fai “took dictation from his masters” in Pakistan. The media cites the FBI affidavit to say that Fai received at least $4 million — at some $500,000 to $700,000 every year — to manipulate the Kashmir debate in favour of Pakistan. And this is important. This is where the Indian liberals listed at the opening are party to advancing the designs of Fai. They had been attending the conclaves and meets organised by Fai, at the instance of ISI, to oust India from Kashmir.

The FBI seems to have worked meticulously to link Fai to his masters in Pakistan. It appears to have got the details of some 4,000 e-mail and telephone exchanges with his handlers in Pakistan. An accomplice of Fai seems to have confessed — as a confidential witness for FBI — that Fai was a henchman of ISI. According to the confidential witness, cited by the media, the ISI “created the KAC to propagandise on behalf of the government of Pakistan”. Fai could play this role unsuspectingly because he was originally from India, being born in Kashmir, with a master’s degree from Aligarh Muslim University. After becoming an ISI agent, according to reports, he began to do what Pakistan and ISI directed him to do, namely hold conferences and seminars funded by ISI for which he was sourcing the propaganda material of the ISI. According to the report, the confidential witness seems to have confessed that, “of the statements Fai makes, 80 per cent are provided by the ISI for Fai to repeat and disseminate verbatim. The other 20 per cent of the KAC’s messaging consists of Fai’s own ideas, which have been pre-approved by the ISI”. So Fai is a hundred per cent ISI mouthpiece.

Our liberals figuring in the list participated as important speakers from India in the conventions and seminars organised by Fai, now charged by FBI as an ISI agent. According to reports, Fai, assisted in his objectives by our liberals, was so effective in hurting India’s interests, that, to counter him, the Indian government specially had to appoint Wajahat Habibullah, a Kashmir cadre IAS officer who retired last year, as minister, community affairs, in its embassy in Washington. Imagine. On the one hand, the present media adviser to the prime minister and one of the three present interlocutors of the government on J&K had worked to hurt India’s interests in the way the ISI was conspiring to do, by participating in the seminars organised by Fai and funded by ISI to “drive out India from Kashmir”; and on the other, the government of India was forced to send out an IAS officer from Kashmir cadre to contain that damage. The result is that those who, through Fai, were part of the ISI design, are now part of the UPA government.

But could Fai with his mission to push Pakistan/ISI agenda “to drive India out of Kashmir” include in his efforts such important opinion-makers of India, unless he knew that their views would advance his master’s interests? Why would Fai not call an Arun Shourie? A Cho Ramaswamy? An M J Akbar? An Arnab Goswami? It is self-evident. Their views would stall, not support, the ISI. Undoubtedly, Fai knew that the views on J&K publicly held by our liberals in Fai’s guest list would further the cause of the separatists. Now, is it easy to dismiss that they were just “useful idiots”?

PS: Two of these liberals are still in high positions — one is an interlocutor on J&K appointed by the Centre and the other is the media adviser to the PM. Mr Prime Minister, this is evidence coming, not from our police, but from the FBI in the US, the country you love most! Are you listening?

The writer is a well-known commentator on political and economic issues.

E-mail: comment@gurumurthy.net

Pak ‘agent’ gets 7-yr RI for spyi

Pak ‘agent’ gets 7-yr RI for spying
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/Pak-agent-gets-7-yr-RI-for-spying/articleshow/7820759.cms

AN INDIAN BECOMES A PAK AGENT FOR HIS LOVE FOR A PAK GIRL!

Investigations had revealed that Upadhyay had fallen in love with a Pakistani girl, Fatima Shah, on an Internet chat service two years prior to his arrest. The prosecution said the girl’s father, Salauddin Shah, was an ISI agent. Upadhyay visited Pakistan twice – in October 2006 and January 2007 – and had taken army training at an undisclosed location in Karachi.

PUNE: The court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM) Suchitra Ghodke on Tuesday sentenced Vishalkumar Premchand Upadhyay (28) of Jharkhand to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment on charges of spying. The Pune police had arrested Upadhyay on April 8, 2007, accusing him of being an agent of Pakistan’s ISI.

The Pune police crime branch had arrested Upadhyay, a second year student of Annasaheb Magar College of Engineering in Pimpri Chinchwad, from his rented room at Ganga lodge in the Deccan Gymkhana area.

According to the prosecution, the police had recovered 12 CDs containing photographs of army units and Hindu religious places from Upadhyay. Two of the CDs contained information regarding defence establishments like the National Defence Academy, Bombay Sappers and the High Explosives factory in Khadki, apart from names and contact numbers of top army officials. The other photographs were of the famed Dagdusheth temple and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s office in Modibaug here.

The police had also seized Upadhyay’s Indian passport, a Pakistani visa, a receipt of money received from Pakistan through Western Union and two diaries, including one in Urdu, containing addresses of Pakistani citizens.

Investigations had revealed that Upadhyay had fallen in love with a Pakistani girl, Fatima Shah, on an Internet chat service two years prior to his arrest. The prosecution said the girl’s father, Salauddin Shah, was an ISI agent. Upadhyay visited Pakistan twice – in October 2006 and January 2007 – and had taken army training at an undisclosed location in Karachi.

The police chargesheet names four “absconding” suspects in the case – one Hafiz, Salauddin Shah and two officials of Pakistan’s high commission in New Delhi, Sayyad Shahid Hussain Tirmezhi and Abdul Latif alias Javed. Tirmezhi and Javed were immune to prosecution and, on a report submitted by the Pune police, were sent back to Pakistan.

The chargesheet states that Salauddin, aided by Pakistan’s high commission officials, helped Upadhyay easily obtain a Pakistani visa. Upadhyay had obtained the photographs from Hafiz.

The judge said the girl had lured Upadhyay by promising to marry him and had also told him that he would be looking after their business interests in London. Upadhyay, while falling for the girl, had acted against the integrity of the nation and had obtained two passports – in 1995 and in 2005, she said.

Ghodke said Upadhyay had accepted money coming from Pakistan in Pune and in New Delhi. He had sent several emails to Pakistan, but none of them referred to his love for Fatima. He had also made and received several telephone calls from Pakistan, the judge said.

Ghodke praised investigating officer Bhanupratap Barge of the crime branch for conducting an in-depth investigation, saying this had helped the court in bringing the guilt of the accused on record.

Upadhyay’s lawyer Rajesh Kature pleaded that his client be given an opportunity to reform himself as his father was suffering from paralysis and his sister was of marriageable age. Assistant public prosecutor Prakash Gaikwad, however, said Upadhyay should be given maximum punishment for committing a crime against the nation.

The court held Upadhyay guilty under sections 3 and 9 (spying) of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 and 120(b) (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced him to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment for each count. All sentences will run concurrently.

Upadhyay did not show any remorse after the verdict, but his sister broke into tears. She told her brother that their father was seriously ill and that his mother would not survive after hearing of the conviction. Upadhyay consoled his sister and asked her to take care of their parents. He also told her to get married without waiting for him to return home.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/Pak-agent-gets-7-yr-RI-for-spying/articleshow/7820759.cms

West ignored India’s warnings on terrorism: Blair

http://www.indianweekender.co.nz/Pages/ArticleDetails/10/1643/India/West-ignored-Indias-warnings-on-terrorism-Blair

London: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the West has always ignored India’s warnings on terrorism.

“Despite India’s warnings on terrorism, it took 9/11 for us to wake up,” Blair said in an interview to NDTV news channel aired on Monday.

“I used to say towards the end of prime ministership that we should have listened to India more…we should have watched what’s happening there and taken more account of it.

“It’s for our arrogance, something West is known for, that we didn’t quite understand it and ignored India’s warnings on terrorism,” Blair said.

“Now I realize that it is a global war (against terrorism) and it threatens all.”

Asked if terrorism is rooted in Pakistan, Blair said there is strain of extremism in Islam itself.

“I have many Pakistani friends and I have realized that they (Pakistan) too wants to defeat terrorism,” said Blair.

He further said: “I think it has more to do with the fact that this trend of extremism within Islam. What I learnt from the Indian experience is, you can’t hide away from the fact that this (extremism) is an element within Islam.…it doesn’t express itself as an accepted terrorism but as a narrative of extremism about society, about relations between countries and people of different places.”

“I think fundamental has to be confronted. That fundamental, I am afraid, is present as a strain in the Pakistani society,” said Blair.

Mr Obama, do you have real business to talk with us?

Mr Obama, do you have real business to talk with us?

http://www.dnaindia.com/opinion/comment_mr-obama-do-you-have-real-business-to-talk-with-us_1457914

DNA / R Vaidyanathan / Tuesday, October 26, 2010 3:10 IST

The next two weeks will be full of atmospherics and inanities linked to the visit of US president Barack Obama. Indians are known to derive satisfaction from symbolism rather than substance. When Diwali was supposedly celebrated by George Bush’s White House — a celebration in which the US president did not participate — we went into raptures. When Rajan Zed of Nevada was called to chant Vedic hymns at a Congressional opening, we were ecstatic. Similarly, when Obama visits India next month, we will drool over Michelle buying Kanjeevaram sarees or Obama savouring a paratha at a Delhi dhaba — or some such meaningless events. There is a move to take Michelle to the Red Light areas of Mumbai to get a feel of “inclusive” growth. Imagine Gursharan Kaur being paraded in Soho in London as part of her itinerary. Sikhs are pleading with Obama to visit the Golden Temple, even if he merely wears a baseball cap to cover his head.

(Comment: Remember our PM requesting Obama’s autograph?)

This is how we barter away our self-respect, even as our civil aviation minister Praful Patel is charged a hefty free (£480) for using the lounge at Heathrow airport. Our high commissioner in London had to hurriedly pay for it. In India, even head clerks and deputy assistant undersecretaries of the Anglo-Saxon establishments command red carpet treatment and free VVIP lounges at airports. When Obama arrives, he is going to come as a wounded tiger from a declining empire. His party of change would, by then, have lost its last dime in the Congressional elections to be held on November 2. He could well end up as a one-term president. When American presidents are hurt at home, they try to show off abroad. Nixon made his China trip when his fortunes were going downhill back home. Clinton did mischief in J&K and Bush in Iraq.

Democratic presidents come across as more sanctimonious humbugs and self-righteous compared to Republicans. The latter just bother about business; the former want to be seen as backing causes like human rights — as long as it is done abroad. What should our agenda be with Obama? First, we should ask him to remove every Indian entity which is on the banned export list of the US. Second, if he even mentions Kashmir, we should request him to carry on to Indonesia — his next stop. We should recognise Bangladesh as the successor country to a united Pakistan because of its size and the number of members in it had in parliament before the break-up. If at all anyone has a say in Kashmir, Bangladesh as the successor entity has a more legitimate case, Obama should be told.

Third, we should insist on the need to split Pakistan into many more countries in the interests of world peace. Pakistan’s army is the world’s terror central and a constant threat to world peace. The David Headley saga reveals that US intelligence and enforcement agencies such as the FBI, CIA and DEA have been infiltrated and compromised by the Pakistani ISI and its creations like the LeT. The billions given to appease Pakistan will not help world peace and it will only increase global terror. Hillary Clinton says her heart is in Pakistan and one wishes her a hale and healthy heart. We should remember that her husband, through Robin Raphael, was instrumental in creating the Hurriyat in the Kashmir Valley.

The fourth point is that India should not bother with the talk-shop called the UN Security Council. It has lost its purpose and role. It helps some Indian government bureaucrats to have untaxed pensions. The only important member is China and we can deal with it directly. Becoming a permanent member of the UNSC is not exactly a big payoff for us. Many UN agencies are a joke. What is one to make of the fact that Saudi Arabia and Libya are on the human rights panels, and Pakistan is heading the International Atomic Energy Agency (no doubt, by rotation), after proliferating nuclear weapons and sponsoring terror.

The fifth point we need to tell Obama is that India will not look at China through the US’s lenses. We will deal with China on our terms. We have no need to play sidekick to the US when it deals with China. A British political leader during World War II is reported to have said that Britain would fight the Germans to the last Indian. We do not want to be in the same situation with regard to US-China conflicts. The sixth point is that any enlarged scope for US companies to do business in India should be linked to India getting unrestricted access to the US markets for onshore and offshore software services, including visas for our professionals. Every additional Coke bottle consumed in India or insurance policy sold should be dependent on how the US puts Pakistan on leash. We need to unashamedly and unequivocally link commerce with US pressure on Pakistan on terrorism.

Declining empires do listen to rising powers if they want market access. We need to ask Obama to address our real concerns instead of getting carried away with all the soft praise he may shower on us. We have to grow up.

Whose man is that soldier fighting in Kashmir?

Tarun vijay

14 September 2010, 07:44 PM IST
India must be the only country in the world where being an antinational murderer means a person or organization getting invitations for talks with the government. Mir Waiz and Geelani should have been booked months ago and punished for their anti-India activities. They not only instigated Kashmiri youth to attack our patriotic people and soldiers but also vitiated the entire atmosphere in the valley bringing normal life to a halt and using Kashmiri youth as fodder for their Pakistani plots, resulting in so many killings of young boys. The fact of the matter is that the killers in Kashmir are these two pro-Pakistani elements, who would have been taken to task by any government with a spine much earlier than their fangs grew more poisonous. In such a situation, instead of talking tough and straight, the government is not only giving confused signals to ‘soften’ (whatever that means) the Armed Forces Special Powers Act but making gestures to terrorist supporters to come to talk. Talks, always a welcome way to find a solution, can be held or even an indication for a discussion can be sent only when the atmosphere is ripe for it and the other side, offenders in this case, show a willingness to come to terms. I must say Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sounded reasonable at the Armed Forces commanders’ meet on September 13 when he said: “The youth of Kashmir are our citizens and their grievances have to be addressed….We are willing to talk to every person or group which abjures violence, within the framework of our Constitution.” But is this the time to extend an olive branch?
Have they ever thought what effect these gestures by the government have on the morale of the soldiers?
For whom is the Indian soldier fighting the battle in Kashmir?
It pains me immensely to see how our secular media sirens show their undiluted love for the separatists on TV screens and they go to the streets of Srinagar only to interview the unpatriotic people. When they invite any of the antinational separatists on their shows, they display an utter lack of sensitivity towards those who love their country and give all the space and time to those voices of insanity and violence with a soft, affectionate anchoring you seldom witness when they put on trial any leader showing patriotic leanings. There was hardly a time, except during the Kargil war, when the voices representing the soldiers were given a chance to come to the TV studios or have their say on the editorial pages of the media empires. He is despised, hated and made responsible for all the bad happenings, in a sweeping manner. No one has treid to see the hardened daily routine a soldier is subjected to from 6am to sunset, and after that the night vigil. Anything untoward happens and rogue actors like Salman Khan say meekly to the Pakistan media: Oh, it was the fault of the Indian security personnel. Salman should have been tried for treason. But we have people who lovingly go to his house and try to ‘settle the issue’. These very people and their governors make this day possible when anyone feels free to speak against the soldiers, against the national psyche of patriotism. A soldier is not a daily wage earner like the stone pelters. He is a representative of the nation’s time-honoured traditions. He is nurtured and nourished on a family’s “khandaani izzat” – “Mera beta fauji hai”. Ask any politician acting as an apologist for the separatist murderers, has he ever thought of sending his child to the forces? A family offers mannats at the feet of their wahe guru over devatas to ensure their son gets selected in the “fauj”. He is trained by the best of the warriors at the National Defence Academy or the Indian Military Academy. Some lucky ones get selected early and go through the National Defence School route and see the pictures when they recommissioned – after a thrilling passing out parade in Dehradun. Their caps in the air and their moms and dads hugging them with moist eyes. Years of training and a life of a great Indian patriotic goes waste before the gang of rogue pro-Pakistan elements who have hardly any idea what they are demanding.
Whether he is in the Army or in CRPF, BSF or ITBP, the story is the same. He is there not because he wanted to loot and rape and maim people. He was sent by the Indian government to safeguard the interests of the nation and the Constitution. He is a uniformed gentleman. Those who blow the case of rights violation must be heard definitely. But can an individual’s fault be attributed to the olive green or the khaki fraternity of the soldier? I absolutely agree with Manmohan Singh when he says “The youth of Kashmir are our citizens and their grievances have to be addressed”. But this should be done through good governance and a mechanism that can win their trust and not through “Srinagar-CM-living-in-Delhi” type Omars who never find time to place a wreath on the body of a soldier martyred in Kashmir.
In fact, the killers of Kashmir are people like Mir Waiz and Geelani. The angst of Kashmir must be directed against them. The soldier would be too happy to go back to his barracks and celebrate Diwali and Eid with family.
In the secular sultanate of Delhi’s power brokers, a soldier is just another babu, another employee to be denied a justifiable demand of “one rank-one pension” by those politicians who raise their salaries 300% in a jiffy. And in the media he is a punching bag. Just read a poem an Indian soldier wrote (saw it on a blog; Ali, perhaps, was his name).
Why do I still serve you?
How you play with us, did you ever see?
At Seven, I had decided what I wanted to be;
I would serve you to the end,
All these boundaries I would defend.
Now you make me look like a fool,
When at seventeen and just out of school;
Went to the place where they made “men out of boys”
Lived a tough life …sacrificed a few joys…
In those days, I would see my “civilian” friends,
Living a life with the fashion trends;
Enjoying their so called “college days”
While I sweated and bled in the sun and haze…
But I never thought twice about what where or why
All I knew was when the time came, I’d be ready to do or die.
At 21 and with my commission in hand,
Under the glory of the parade and the band,
I took the oath to protect you over land, air or sea,
And make the supreme sacrifice when the need came to be.
I stood there with a sense of recognition,
But on that day I never had the premonition,
that when the time came to give me my due,
You’d just say, “What is so great that you do?”
Long back you promised a well-to-do life;
And when I’m away, take care of my wife.
You came and saw the hardships I live through,
And I saw you make a note or two,
And I hoped you would realise the worth of me;
but now I know you’ll never be able to see,
Because you only see the glorified life of mine,
Did you see the place where death looms all the time?
Did you meet the man standing guard in the snow?
The name of his newborn he does not know…
Did you meet the man whose father breathed his last?
While the sailor patrolled our seas so vast?
You still know I’ll not be the one to raise my voice
I will stand tall and protect you in Punjab Himachal and Thois.
But that’s just me you have in the sun and rain,
For now at twenty-four, you make me think again;
About the decision I made, seven years back;
Should I have chosen another life, some other track?
Will I tell my son to follow my lead?
Will I tell my son, you’ll get all that you need?
This is the country you will serve
This country will give you all that you deserve?
I heard you tell the world “India is shining”
I told my men, that’s a reason for us to be smiling
This is the India you and I will defend!
But tell me how long will you be able to pretend?
You go on promise all that you may,
But it’s the souls of your own men you betray.
Did you read how some of our eminent citizens
Write about me and ridicule my very existence?
I ask you to please come and see what I do,
Come and have a look at what I go through
Live my life just for a day
Maybe you’ll have something else to say?
I will still risk my life without a sigh
To keep your flag flying high
but today I ask myself a question or two…
Oh India…. Why do I still serve you?
http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indus-calling/entry/whose-man-is-that-soldier-fighting-in-kashmir

RSS ideologue MG Vaidya calls for seperate Jammu, rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pundits, a union territory ladakh and an autonomous Kashmir

RSS ideologue MG Vaidya calls for seperate Jammu, rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pundits, a union territory ladakh and an autonomous Kashmir
Nirmal Pundey
Oct. 4, 2010
http://www.indiadaily.com/editorial/21744.asp

It may be the viable solution that will create fear and frustration in Pakistan. It will be a win win situation for all sides especially Indian pride, nationalism and international prestige.
The 88-year old RSS ideologue MG Vaidya has stirred up a hornet’s nest with a radical proposal to carve out a separate state of Kashmir and grant it pre-1953 levels of autonomy with a “Wazir-e-Azam” (prime minister) as the government head, with powers over all subjects except defense, currency, foreign affairs and telecommunications.
Vaidya says these are his personal suggestions aimed at a clean-slate debate to contain Kashmir’s rapid drift towards separatism. Nonetheless, his advocacy of autonomy to Kashmir, a separate state of Jammu and declaration of Ladakh as a union territory reflects thinking within the RSS leadership as he continues to be a part of its think tank.
He insists that he is not expressing the “official position” of the RSS. The BJP and RSS have in the past out-rightly rejected the very idea of trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir that Vaidya is advocating.
Vaidya wants these ideas as a way forward in the troubled valley be discussed in a round-table conference, comprising all shades of opinion in the valley, to put in place a new framework that ensures that Kashmir remains an integral part of India and its people are not swayed away by the separatists. He says elements that seek merger with Pakistan should be kept out of such a consultation. Vaidya also suggests that the conference should also discuss the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Election Commission over the new state as also appointment of IAS and IPS officers in the state. He wants the new state to rehabilitate all Kashmiri Pandits who were forced into exile by the militant insurgency in late eighties.
Explaining why the Centre should continue to have its governor in the state, his note says: “During the British regime, there were many princely states that enjoyed complete autonomy on internal matters. But a British Resident used to be there to look after the interests of the empire and the geographic unity and integrity of the state was not damaged. So will it happen in the case of the new state. Our governor, like the British Resident, will have to be vigilant about the whole nation’s interest.