Posts Tagged 'usa'

Are they just ‘useful idiots’? – S Gurumurthy

Are they just ‘useful idiots’?

S Gurumurthy

21 Jul 2011

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 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.


Vedanta and yoga perfect match for certain American values

Vedanta and yoga perfect match for certain American values

By Mayank Chhaya, Special to Hi India
December 24, 2010
There has always been a pervasive but undocumented feeling that Indian philosophy, as manifest in Vedanta on the intellectual plain and yoga on the physical plain, has very significantly influenced the West in general and America in particular. That feeling now finds a meticulously constructed scholastic endorsement in the form of an important new book.
Author Philip Goldberg’s ‘American Veda-From Emerson to the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West’
(Harmony Books, 398 pages, $26) offers a comprehensive account of the inroads made by Indian philosophy since the early 19th century. In an
interview with Hi India Goldberg dwells on how and why Indian philosophy has had such a profound impact in the West.
Hi India: To what do you attribute the fact that Indian philosophy has had as deep an impact on the West as your book so carefully establishes?
Philip Goldberg: The combination of Vedanta and Yoga was a perfect match for certain American values: freedom of choice and religion,
individuality, scientific rationality, and pragmatism. They appealed especially to well-educated Americans who were discontent with ordinary religion and unsatisfied by secularism, giving them a way to be authentically spiritual without compromising their sense of reason, their consciences or their personal inclinations.
HI: Is it as much a tribute to the openness of the West as it is to the appeal of Indian philosophy?
PG: Yes, indeed. I think the great teachers who came here from India were very much aware of that, and they adapted the teachings accordingly.
HI: Do you think the mainstreaming of Indian philosophy, as manifest in the widespread practice of yoga, has to do a great deal with the
fact that a lot of it comes across as secular and even agnostic?
PG: Yes, I think the remarkable growth of the “spiritual but not religious” cohort of Americans would have been unthinkable without access to the practices derived from Hinduism and Buddhism. In addition, the philosophy was presented so rationally that its premises could be regarded as hypotheses, and the practices were so uniform and so widely applicable that they lent themselves to scientific experimentation.
HI: Is there a sense among Americans drawn to Indian philosophy that it is dogma free and therefore non-threatening?
PG: Yes, and premises that might be taken as dogma were usually presented by teachers as ideas to be verified by one’s own experience, not as take-it-or-leave-it or believe-it-or-else doctrine.
HI: The Bhagvad Gita, for instance, is essentially a distilled, unemotional, remarkably modern code of conduct that is shorn of any denominational doctrines. Do you think that helps the cause of Indian philosophy?
PG: You bet. And not just a code of conduct, but also a manual for self-realization. People of all faiths and no faith have cherished it for that reason.
HI: Does the fact that Hinduism is not institutionalized, codified, congregational or instructional help in its spread?
PG: Certainly that’s true of the Hindu-based teachings that caught on with Americans, which were not even called Hinduism as such. The fact
that Hinduism, even in India, is decentralized, diverse, non- institutional, etc., made it convincing that anyone can adopt the teachings without converting to a foreign religion.
HI: One detects two distinct trends in your book in support of your primary contention about how Indian spirituality changed the West. One trend is at the operational level where words such as mantra, guru, karma and pundits have so seamlessly become part of the mainstream lexicon. The other trend is much deeper in terms of internalizing the core values of Indian philosophy. Do you think people in America are conscious of this?
PG: Some are conscious of it, and therefore grateful to the Indian legacy. Others are not: it’s seeped into the American consciousness in subtle but profound ways.
HI: You speak about Americans accepting everything, from falafel to philosophy, depending on the circumstances. What do you think made
the circumstances right for them to accept some of the core philosophical concepts from India?
PG: The rise of secularism, the success of science and especially the widespread alienation from both materialistic values and mainstream
religion, which was not providing reliable methods of personal transformation and transcendence.
HI: When you talk of “Vedization of America”, do you mean that it has been a conscious development? Could it, for instance, also not have
been a consequence of secularization/pluralization that the rise of agnostic information technologies?
PG: If you mean, could the trends I describe be attributed to the growth of pluralism and other social forces, independent of the Indian influence, it is very hard to say. Certainly, the combination of factors made for a perfect storm. I tend to think that the experiential practices of meditation and yoga, and the intellectual framework of Vedanta, accelerated, deepened and broadened what might have been an inevitable but morphous evolution.
HI: In your long experience studying this subject, are people surprised when you point out the widespread influence of Indian philosophy? What are their typical reactions?
PG: The most common response I’ve had is similar to my own once I dug into my formal research for the book: “I knew Indian spiritual teachings had influenced America, but I didn’t realize it was quite that widespread or that profound.” They’re surprised by the subtlety of it, and by the non-obvious streams and tributaries through which the teachings spread.
HI: Do you apprehend any organized backlash or, at the very least, pushback against once it is popularly recognized that Indian philosophy is more deeply entrenched here than they have understood?
PG: Not a big one, but some of it is inevitable. There has always been a backlash from both mainstream religion – conservative Christians in particular – and the anti-religious left. Vivekananda faced up to it in 1893, and all the important gurus were confronted by it. Right now, there’s an anti-yoga campaign by some Christian preachers. I’d be very pleased if my book becomes a lightning rod for such a controversy. Bring ’em on!
HI: How do you look at trends such as people saying that yoga is a Hindu tool and ought to be countered with a Christian yoga?
PG: That’s a more complicated issue than is often realized. The question, “Is yoga a form of Hinduism” depends entirely on how one defines both yoga and Hinduism. That there are people teaching Christian Yoga and Jewish Yoga strikes me as a backhanded compliment to one of the great glories of the Vedic tradition: it’s universality and adaptability. That having been said, the idea that yoga is “a Hindu tool,” i.e., a form of stealth conversion, strikes me as a projection by Christians of their own messianic drive to convert the “heathen.” That conversion is not in the Hindu repertoire – and that the gurus and swamis and yoga masters are content to have their students become better Christians – is hard for many to comprehend.
HI: Do you think that it is the intellectual underpinnings of Vedanta or the mind/body wellness aspects of yoga which have made people more
comfortable accepting them?
PG: It’s been the combination of the two, and it’s hard to separate them. Certainly, in recent years, the popularity of yoga as a wellness system has been dominant, but that has also exposed millions of people to at least the basic premises of Vedanta.
HI: Do you think that it is the intellectual underpinnings of Vedanta or the mind/body wellness aspects of yoga which have made people more
comfortable accepting them?
PG: It’s been the combination of the two, and it’s hard to separate them. Certainly, in recent years, the popularity of yoga as a wellness system has been dominant, but that has also exposed millions of people to at least the basic premises of Vedanta.
(Mayank Chhaya is a US-based writer and commentator. He can be contacted at

Foreign policy: India’s diffidence problem – Harsha V Pant

Foreign policy: India’s diffidence problem
April 15, 2010 15:10 IST

India [ Images ] is a major power today in its own right. While much of the world has started to acknowledge it, Indian policy-makers remain diffident, almost apologetic, about their nation’s rising profile, writes Harsh V Pant.
In the last few days, India has engaged with two major powers — China and the US — at the highest levels. Both are vital states in so far as Indian national security interests are concerned and both deserve to be treated with a degree of seriousness reserved for great powers.
But what is equally important to recognise is that India is also a major power today in its own right. While much of the world has started to acknowledge it, the Indian policy-makers remain diffident, almost apologetic, about their nation’s rising profile. And when they interact with major powers, they reveal this weakness embedded in the Indian psyche.
So when External Affairs Minister S M Krishna [ Images ] went to Beijing [ Images ] to mark the 60th anniversary of India’s recognition of the People’s Republic of China, he ended up pleading once again for Chinese support for India’s permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council. It is unseemly for a nation that claims to be a rising power in the international system beseeching Beijing for its support, again and again, and then again, only to be rebuffed. More damagingly, it betrays a lack of confidence in India’s own ability to define the terms of debate of its rise in the global inter-state hierarchy.
China is not going to support India’s candidature for the Security Council, at least not in the foreseeable future. If the Indian foreign policy establishment cannot understand this basic fact of Asian geo-strategy, they have no right to be running this nation’s foreign policy. And if there is some psychological need that gets satisfied in asking this question time and again why can’t it be done outside the public glare, saving the Indian public constant humiliation?
Every time India asks for China’s support and gets a negative answer it underlines China’s status as the pre-eminent Asian power that reserves the right to grant India the privilege of being in the Security Council.
It should also be asked why does India have to waste so much of its diplomatic capital on an issue that is not likely to get resolved anytime soon. And why should India care about this so much. Even as the UN’s failures have become self-evident over the years, Indian political elites have continued to view it as an almost indispensable actor in global politics that needs substantial Indian diplomatic investment.
While this fascination with a moribund institution may not have had any cost in the past when India was on the periphery of global politics, today’s India cannot afford to cling on to that same old worldview. India’s experience with the UN has historically been underwhelming, to put it mildly. India’s interests have suffered whenever the nation has looked to the UN for support.
Yet for most of the Indian policy establishment the role of the UN in Indian foreign policy continues to be one of using the organisation “as a manifest of our desire to be a responsible world citizen.” It is time to disabuse ourselves of the notion that India is going to be a permanent member of the Security Council anytime soon and that too with China’s support.
Instead, Indian policy-makers should work towards an eventuality where India gets invited to join the Security Council by virtue of sheer heft in global politics.
India’s obsequiousness towards China is not the only problem. It’s evident in India’s engagement with the US too. The Indian prime minister’s reception in Washington was no doubt warm. All the right things were said and the Indian government’s media managers underlined that President Barack Obama [ Images ] was indeed sensitive to Indian concerns.
The nation was told that Obama “fully understood our concerns about the Lashkar-e-Tayiba [ Images ] and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan” and “was engaging” Islamabad [ Images ] on these issues. Again, while one cannot quarrel with these assertions, it has become a regular feature of Indian diplomacy to press America toward securing its own regional security interests. The speed with which India has outsourced its regional foreign policy to Washington is astonishing.
New Delhi [ Images ] is now reduced to pleading with Washington to tackle Pakistan and to rein in Pakistan army’s [ Images ] nefarious designs against India in Afghanistan, in Kashmir [ Images ] and elsewhere.
It is true that India and the US share a set of common goals in the region. There is a fundamental convergence between India and the Obama administration in viewing Pakistan as the source of Afghanistan’s insecurity and the suggestion that the world must act together to cure Islamabad of its political malaise. In recognising that the borderlands between Pakistan and Afghanistan constitute the single most important threat to global peace and security, arguing that Islamabad is part of the problem rather than the solution, and asking India to join an international concert in managing the Af-Pak region, the US has made significant departures from its traditionally held posture towards South Asia.
But it is equally true that a divergence has emerged between American and Indian interests in recent times. Indian regional policy should be based on an unambiguous assertion of its vital national interests, not on the hope that eventually America is there to pull its chestnuts out of the fire. By failing to craft its own narrative on Af-Pak ever since the US troops went into Afghanistan in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, New Delhi has allowed America to dictate the contours of Indian policy towards the region, doing much damage to India’s credibility as a regional power of any consequence.
The US will only take India seriously when India starts taking itself seriously and starts behaving like a major power. The same applies to China. China is nothing if not pragmatic in its foreign policy. China’s support for India’s candidature to the Security Council’s permanent membership will come when India’s rise becomes a reality that Beijing can no longer ignore.
A diffident India will continue to crave for the attention of Beijing and Washington but will not get it in return. A confident India that charts its own course in world politics based on its national interests will force the world to sit up and take notice.
For all the breast beating in recent years about India emerging as a major global power, Indian strategic and political elites display an insecurity that defies explanation. A powerful, self-confident nation should be able to articulate a coherent vision about its priorities and national interests without apologies. The brazen display of a lack of self confidence by Indian elites in their nation’s abilities to leverage the international system to its advantage will only weaken India over the long term. India should assess its interests carefully and learn to stand up for them.

We Are All Hindus Now

We Are All Hindus Now

By Lisa Miller, NEWSWEEK
Aug 31, 2009

America is not a Christian nation. We are, it is true, a nation founded
by Christians, and according to a 2008 survey, 76 percent of us continue
to identify as Christian (still, that’s the lowest percentage in
American history). Of course, we are not a Hindu-or Muslim, or Jewish,
or Wiccan-nation, either. A million-plus Hindus live in the United
States, a fraction of the billion who live on Earth. But recent poll
data show that conceptually, at least, we are slowly becoming more like
Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about
God, our selves, each other, and eternity.

The Rig Veda, the most ancient Hindu scripture, says this: “Truth is
One, but the sages speak of it by many names.” A Hindu believes there
are many paths to God. Jesus is one way, the Qur’an is another, yoga
practice is a third. None is better than any other; all are equal. The
most traditional, conservative Christians have not been taught to think
like this. They learn in Sunday school that their religion is true, and
others are false. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No
one comes to the father except through me.”

Americans are no longer buying it. According to a 2008 Pew Forum survey,
65 percent of us believe that “many religions can lead to eternal
life”-including 37 percent of white evangelicals, the group most likely
to believe that salvation is theirs alone. Also, the number of people
who seek spiritual truth outside church is growing. Thirty percent of
Americans call themselves “spiritual, not religious,” according to a
2009 NEWSWEEK Poll, up from 24 percent in 2005. Stephen Prothero,
religion professor at Boston University, has long framed the American
propensity for “the divine-deli-cafeteria religion” as “very much in the
spirit of Hinduism. You’re not picking and choosing from different
religions, because they’re all the same,” he says. “It isn’t about
orthodoxy. It’s about whatever works. If going to yoga works, great-and
if going to Catholic mass works, great. And if going to Catholic mass
plus the yoga plus the Buddhist retreat works, that’s great, too.”

Then there’s the question of what happens when you die. Christians
traditionally believe that bodies and souls are sacred, that together
they comprise the “self,” and that at the end of time they will be
reunited in the Resurrection. You need both, in other words, and you
need them forever. Hindus believe no such thing. At death, the body
burns on a pyre, while the spirit-where identity resides-escapes. In
reincarnation, central to Hinduism, selves come back to earth again and
again in different bodies. So here is another way in which Americans are
becoming more Hindu: 24 percent of Americans say they believe in
reincarnation, according to a 2008 Harris poll. So agnostic are we about
the ultimate fates of our bodies that we’re burning them-like
Hindus-after death. More than a third of Americans now choose cremation,
according to the Cremation Association of North America, up from 6
percent in 1975. “I do think the more spiritual role of religion tends
to deemphasize some of the more starkly literal interpretations of the
Resurrection,” agrees Diana Eck, professor of comparative religion at

So let us all say “om.”

California education board to compensate Hindus

California education board to compensate Hindus
Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lalit K Jha in Washington, PTI
California: An organisation of Hindu-American parents, which had filed
a law suit against California education board alleging that information
about Hinduism was distorted in the school text books, has decided to
withdraw its litigation in an out of court settlement.
The California Department of Education and the State Board of Education
have agreed to pay US $ 175,000 to the California Parents for the
Equalisation of Educational Materials (CAPEEM) ? the organisation
formed by Hindu American parents ? to fight the case against the
California State.
“Believing that its points had been clearly understood by the
defendants, CAPEEM opted not to prolong the litigation.
The State entered into negotiations with CAPEEM and agreed to pay
CAPEEM US $ 175,000 in exchange for a voluntary dismissal of the
lawsuit,” CAPEEM said in a statement. CAPEEM had filed a lawsuit in the
US District Court of Eastern District of California in 2006. It had
challenged the process by which religious claims were incorporated into
the textbooks used by public school students, as well as some of the
religious claims, themselves, which had made their way into those
texts. “CAPEEM looks forward to participating in a review process free
from biases, and to work with the State to approve textbooks that do
not favour or disfavour any religious doctrines,” the statement said
“We are a group of parents residing in the state of California. We are
deeply concerned about the indoctrination of Abrahamic religions and
the negative descriptions of Hinduism in the History and Social Science
textbooks of our state,” the CAPEEM website said. “For decades, the
California public school system has presented insufficient, inaccurate
and misleading information about various religions to young Americans.
These issues must be addressed urgently,” it said. CAPEEM said Hindu
parents in California participated in the adoption process and conveyed
that the proposed textbooks contain factually incorrect information
about ancient India and Hinduism while repeating derogatory,
colonial-era clichés and perpetuating Eurocentric and Biblical views.
Rather than consider the viewpoints of Hindu parents and experts on
ancient Indian History and Hinduism, the California Board of Education,
solicited the advice of hostile academics who carry political and
ideological baggage against Hinduism and India and whose knowledge of
ancient Indian history and Hinduism is both limited and prejudiced, it
alleged. Consequently it filed a law suit in 2006. In its lawsuit
CAPEEM charged that Hinduism is not treated on par with other religions
in these textbooks. Positive aspects of ancient India and Hinduism are
ignored, while Euro-centric, colonial and Biblical views are given
prominence in the textbooks, it said. Whereas Christianity, Islam and
Judaism are presented from the believers’ perspective, Hinduism is
presented from the non-believers’ perspective, CAPEEM alleged. In its
lawsuit, CAPEEM said the civil rights of Hindu school children are
violated by advancing an inaccurate and derogatory picture of Hinduism
in sixth grade school textbooks. The California Department of Education
and State Board of Education meetings on the matter failed to address
Hindu concerns. Hindus are being discriminated against, it alleged.


Lalit K Jha in Washington

Hang your heads in shame, my countrymen: Arvind Lavakare

Nov 30, 2008
Hang your heads in shame, my countrymen: Arvind Lavakare

It was a national humiliation

Hang your heads in shame, my countrymen. Do it because a dozen-odd terrorists traveled 500 nautical miles of the Arabian sea from Karachi to Mumbai’s Gateway of India, just opposite the grandiose Taj Mahal Hotel and proceeded to humble the city of 16.4 million into utter helpless ness for over 48 hours even as over 125 civilians and some distinguished professional security men lost their lives to the hand grenades and rifle bullets of a fanatical mindset. It was a humiliation worse than the drubbing the Chinese army gave us in 1961.

It was because our motherland, India, is a soft nation, tested and proven so several times. Despite the weighty evidence of Clement Atlee, the Britain’s post World War II prime minister to the contrary, the Congress party brainwashed the entire nation, including the press, that it was the non-violence strategy of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi that brought us independence……

Imagine the People’s Democratic Party of Jammu & Kashmir granting pensions from government to families of slain terrorists. Imagine, the Prime Minister himself disclosing his sleepless night over the plight of the mother of an Indian Muslim held in police custody in Australia on suspicion of being involved in a bomb blast but not over the plight of mothers of thousands of his innocent countrymen killed in terrorist violence.

Imagine two Cabinet Ministers oppose the ban on SIMI despite the latter’s proven guilt. Imagine one Cabinet Minister wanting all illegal migrants from Bangladesh to be given full citizenship rights, when it is well-known that many among them have links with terrorists. Imagine another Cabinet Minister approving of a University vice chancellor’s decision to deploy funds provided by a foreign government to be utilized for the legal defence of two of his University students accused of involvement in terrorist violence.

Imagine, lastly, that amounts running into thousands of crores have been spent on the Haj subsidy for Muslims but the security of our very long coastline on the west is so ill-funded that terrorists can come from Karachi across the Arabian Sea to Mumbai without being spotted.

Contrast all of this is typically indolent-cum-idealistic-cum-selfish Indian attitude to the stark realism and patriotism of the USA when 9/11 occurred in 2001. One thing that nation did shortly after that dastardly day was the enactment by the USA Congress of what’s come to be known as the USA Patriot Act. That nomenclature is really an acronym, and the full name of that legislation is “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001”. If a name can arouse emotions, that one certainly does. And however draconian that law has been, it has prevented the recurrence of 9/11.

Unless the whole young nation of ours forgets non-violence as a magic mantra and unless our politicians show a commitment similar to that of the USA to engage in a literal war against terror, we shall continue to allow just about a dozen-odd terrorists to humiliate an entire nation for over 48 hours, even as a naïve Prime Minister calls the Pakistan chief of intelligence to share info with us.

— Arvind Lavakare
(Arvind Lavakare may be 71, but the fire in his belly burns stronger than in many people half his age. The economics post-graduate worked with the Reserve Bank of India and several private and public sector companies before retiring in 1997. His first love, however, remains sports. An accredited cricket umpire in Mumbai, he has reported and commented on cricket matches for newspapers, Doordarshan and AIR. Lavakare has also been regularly writing on politics since 1997, and published a monograph, The Truth About Article 370, in 2005).