It is high time Government of India takes necessary constitutional steps to accede to the demand of separate state of Telengana out of present Andhra state. The demand for Telengana state was accepted by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, perhaps without consulting the cabinet as well as Congress Government and leaders of Andhra Pradesh. Accordingly there has been prolonged agitation and strikes, making Andhra government ineffective, besides loss of hundreds of crores of Rupees. It has affected the economy of the state as well as the common man. Controversy about Hyderabad going to Telengana or becoming a Union Territory like Chandigarh has affected the work and progress of Information Technology, as Hyderabad is one of its main centres in South. Already 139 MLA’s belonging to Telengana region have submitted their resignation and on 27th January they have appealed Supreme Court, through IPL, for speedy acceptance of their resignations.
Besides demand for separate Telengana state there have been demands for carving out 2 to 3 states out of unmanageable Uttar Pradesh. Demand for separate state of vidarbha out of Maharashtra has also been raised quite often. There are demands for more new states elsewhere in the country. It is pertinent to point out how Andhra State was conceded so that there is end to agitations and peace and harmony prevails in the entire country. In 1952 Shri Potti Srirammulu, a peace loving Mahatma Gandhi’s follower who had gone on indefinite fast unto death died after 25 days of fast. Pandit Nehru was PM then. He did not bother about his fast unto death. But soon after he realized his mistake and within few days after his death concealed to the demand of separate Andhra Pradesh.
The way out seems to be setting up of a new States Reorganisation Commission with clear and unambiguous terms of reference so that there is fair play and no further agitations.
Government of India should be aware, while prescribing terms of reference to new SRC that First State Reorganisation Commission had clubbed Maharashtra and Gujarat into one state though their language and culture differed. This mistake had to be rectified after prolonged agitations.
Similarly the First SRC had not recommended separate State of Punjabi speaking area of East Punjab (after position). This mistake, too, had to be rectified after agitation and fasts for more than a decade.
It is not enough to concede to the demand of separate Telengana only. Government of India should act speedily so that there are no more agitations for separate states.
During 2009 more than 400 cases of assault on Indian’s in Australia were recorded. In no European or American country such a racial discrimination and attacks on Indians and South East Asians has been reported. Govt of India has, through Australian High Commissioner in India, has expressed resentment as never before. Unfortunately even during first half of January 2010, a number of assaults on Indians have been reported, particularly four assaults in three days from 13th to 16th January 2010. In addition possibly for the first time six South East Asians, including three Indians, were not allowed to enter a bar in Australia on 16th of January 2010.
Paul John Brogden, an Australian was traveling in a taxi driven by Indian. As John had taken lot of alcohol, he was fully drunk. All of a sudden he started abusing the Indian cabbie “when you drop me off I will kill your mother…. (Unprintable) Indian bastard. As he got down he started thrashing the Indian cabbie. Luckily for Indian there was Australian police nearby that heard the shouting and abuses as well as saw the assault. The police took the Australian into custody then and there. As he confessed the guilt immediately, to save his skin and himself, he was sent to jail within couple of hours for three months. The horrible act was of setting on fire a place of worship of Indians (Gurudwara). Ministry of External Affairs of government of India, through Australian High Commission in India and also through Indian press and Media expressed unhappiness and strong resentment. So far Australian Government had hood-winked all the cases of 400 assault on Indians but the unholy act of burning of Gurudwara, an Indian place of worship seems to have woken up the Australian Government and it acted spontaneously in the case of assault on Indian cabbie.
It appears that Australian Government, to avoid worsening of relations with India, for the first time indirectly accepted that attacks on more than 400 Indian were racial. It seems that none from China, Japan and South East Asia, so far, had been assaulted even once. India and Australia are members of Commonwealth and have quite strong bonds. Still it is to be watched and seen during next 2-3 months. If relations become harmonious as before then Indian students may apply for Australian Visa though not in such large number as before 2009 assault on Indians. It is heartening to note that the Australian High Commission in India, Peter Vargiese on 15th January 2010 said that the Australian Government was determined to take action against these Australians involved in attacks on Indian nationals in Australia though he said that hasty conclusions may be avoided about the motives of such attacks on Indian nationals.
On behalf of Government of India, Minister of State for External Affairs, Parneet Kaur, emphatically said on 15-1-10’ we are doing our utmost to register our absolute displeasure and concern about what is happening to our citizens in Australia” she further added “we can only hope that Australia gets its act together like they are telling us and brings the perpetrator to book.”
It must be said that Government of Indian slept over the atrocities to Indians for more than a year. Had India shown strong and absolute resentment when just 10 or 20 Indians had been attacked during early 2009 possibly there would not have been attacks on more than 400 Indians and finally burning of Indian holy place (Gurudwara) .
Aboriginals in Australia had been discriminated upto 1967. They are one 1% of population of Australia now. It is only in 1967 that discrimination against aboriginals was ended by amendment of the constitution of Commonwealth of Australia. Prior to 1967, they were mostly confined to remote areas, many of the aboriginals were “killed” when British occupied Australia, just as many aboriginals were killed in South America when British and other Europeans landed and occupied the vast continents. As in USA today the Australian Government has “numerous projects to improve the health, education, skills and living conditions.” But today, as in USA, aboriginals want ” to regain control over all their traditional tribal territories not only these lands occupied by Aboriginal Communities.”
Similarly in Argentina, when in 1500, more than five centuries back the population of aboriginals (called Indians) was 2,50,000. Lakhs were mercilessly killed to make place in best areas for Europeans. As a result, “Today Argentina has only 50,000 Indians of unmixed ancestry”. Ordinarily in 500 years Indians (aboriginals) would have been more than 5 million in today’s population of 33 million composed of immigrants from Spain and all European countries. “Huge waves of immigrants” as the country had only about a million people in mid 1880’s.”
The facts about hatred, killing and confinement of remaining aboriginals in Australia for centuries are relevant because even today in Australia there is some racial hatred for non whites. That is one of the reasons that because of racial factors more than 400 Indians were attacked molested and many killed in just one year ie. 2009 and finally an Indian place of worship was burnt. In USA, discrimination against coloured and aboriginals ended more than a century ago. That is why a coloured person Mr. Obama has been chosen President of USA. But as in Australia discrimination against Aboriginals officially ended only in 1967, it is likely take a number of years more before all whites in Australia start treating Aboriginals and coloured immigrants like Indians, Chinese, Japanese and South East Asians as equal, provided the Australian Government is firm in ending racial discrimination, attacks and killings.
So far the police in all states and centre has been reluctant and even often refusing to file FIRs. But now as per fresh instructions to Police, it has become compulsory to file FIR as and when a complaint is received. This will bind the police and not leave a choice with it, by delays and other ways to immediately file an FIR. This will at once initiate the process of law and justice. The delays and refusal to file FIR was a weapon with police to approach the other party for bribe and other gratifications.
CBI is now convinced, under pressure of public and also of the government, that there is a need for enhancement of punishment to DGP Rathore. Six month imprisonment was just a joke for such a molestation case and abetment to suicide of Ruchika and many false charges, at DGP Rathore’s instance, against her 14 year old brother and his subsequent imprisonment. The CBI has done all this because of intervention of the Home Minister Shri PC Chidambaram who expressed his unhappiness at the way this case was prolonged for 19 years. CBI also wanted to avoid further protests and harassment by public, in general, and Ruchika’s parents in particular. CBI has also consulted, as rules demanded, Law Ministry with a view to open the case and if all the new facts that are bound to be brought before the court to enhance Ex DGP’s punishment from six months to any number of years as now complaint of abetment to suicide by DGP Rathore has been filed . Infact during last days of December 2009, three FIR’s against DGP Rathore were filed on 29th, 30th and 31st December 2009 other two FIR’s related to DGP Rathore’s attempt to murder, forging documents, illegal confinement and a number of others. Ruchika’s molestation, by Haryana DG Police SPS Rathore which has awakened India’s conscience as it has been prolonged for 19 long years and had led to Ruchika’s suicide as she could not bear, her molestation and her innocent brother of 14 years being arrested on false and fabricated charges of repeated thefts and had been flogged and imprisoned while her parents were being continuously harassed. There have been similar crimes and cases of all sorts, molestation of young girls, misappropriation of hundreds of crores, by Lalu Prasad Yadav, who had to resign from Chief Ministership in view of Fodder Scam case and that of Paswan and Soren who had been in and out of central government as ministers despite proven charges and even imprisonments. But despite all these and hundreds of other cases in states and centre, the State governments and Central government were not moved because what the politicians wanted was their own governments to continue at any cost. This has led to absolute failure and misuse of law as well as justice. It required a case like that of unfortunate, promising, intelligent and beautiful young school teenager like Ruchika to awaken the public and to an extent the government and the whole country. Here, the Media played a significant role. But the persistence of Ruchika’s parents as well as her close friend and her parents the scale of justice to some extent, has bent towards fairness. As a result government has directed to open the case of DGP Rathore fresh with a new FIR. It is therefore appropriate to reproduce statement before media by Ruchika’s brother Ashu who reached the office of SP Panchkula along with his father and family counsel Pankaj Bhardwaj as under:
“I was beaten mercilessly in the presence of Rathore in various police stations. Ruchika could not see the brutality meted out to me and was forced to end her life,” said Ashu.
In his complaint, “Ashu stated that on October 25,1993 he was picked up by the police and was taken to different police stations, including the building of the CIA staff. There he was subjected to a third-degree torture in Rathore’s presence. “I fell unconscious and only got up in the morning. In the evening, Rathore again came and I was again badly beaten up,” he added.
“After some days, I was brought out of the police post and was paraded half naked with handcuffs on, in the lane I stayed. Police officials asked everyone to see me. My father and my sister were abused and they were asked to come out. I could not see my sister, but I could hear her cries as my father had stopped her from coming out,” said Ashu, adding that after some days he came to know that my sister had died. S P Panchkula Maneesh Chaudhary said they would take action on the complaint after seeking legal opinion.”
As DGP Rathore’s lawyer wife Abha was trying for anticipatory bail for her husband, Ruchika’s brother, Ashu made a conclusive statement in few words: ” He was ready to be hanged in the case even a single word uttered by him was found wrong.”
DGP Rathore has got interim relief and was allowed interim bail upto January 7,2010 as two new cases have been slapped on him by the local police on the basis of complaints by Ruchika’s father and brother. Former DGP has also been directed not to leave the country.
Rathore’s wife Abha who is an advocate is trying her best to save her husband and her family from humiliation. Accordingly she has taken the stand that “filing fresh FIR’s in the case, which has already been decided, is illegal.” She has also said that her husband is an old man and will not run away. So he should not be arrested. But when new facts come to light despite the influence by DGP Rahtore, it is essential, for doing justice, maybe so late, to file fresh FIR’s and take action against him as per law.
Finally the court and the centre have taken a firm stand and as a result Ex DGP Rathore has been arrested, despite attempts by his advocate wife to save him from arrest and filing of fresh FIR’s. It is now hoped that Rathore and many other police officers and police men who obeyed him and did wrongs in this historic case will also get the punishment due as per law. Hereafter, there is likely to be more justice and speedy action in, particularly, the molestation cases.
It is old saying that writers, painters and artists are born: they only strive and struggle to earn their livelihood though they are gifted and very many die as poor and unrecognized. The most important example of a writer of eminence is of Karl Marx who devoted all his adult life to reading and writing and but for his friend and associate support he might have died before completing his monumental Engles world famous work Das Capital of which millions of copies have been sold in many languages. Still Karl Marx had no money for medical treatment of his wife. Similarly Paul Gaugin a top ranking born artist died in poverty while today his each painting is sold for crores of rupees or million of dollars.
But since 20th century there is dramatic and glaring change because of wide spread specific education in literature, in art, in music and dancing. New Indian Nobel Laureates like Rabindra Nath Tagore, Hargobind Khurana and Amratya Sen have been able to rise to eminence because of good education and hard work in their respective fields of literature, science and economics.
How to be a writer and thereafter by persistence to be a writer of eminence. There are ways as elucidated in the book-Weekly Writes by sherry Ma Bella Arietta. The theme of this book is, how even an ordinary man by following the rules prescribed in the book can be a writer. If he is already a writer, how can he attain excellence and recognition in his country and the world. Here are some relevant interesting and useful extracts.
“All authors, whether they realize it or not, have a common theme running through their work, whether it is strength of love, the theme redemption, saving power of truth etc. Your theme is part of your finger print on your work and is part of what makes your writing sound uniquely yours”
Themes can be, Rediscovering love, Forgiveness, Freedom, Finding strength on faith or love and devotion to wife, mother and sisters and Secrets.
Sobriety “is a state of being moderate in temper or conduct, of forbearance, of self-denial, of calmness and steadiness—being unimpassioned, unexcited, not losing balance.”
Indecision “Indecision after times hinders as from achieving are goals we have set for ourselves. Indecision can cause regrets. How many times have you said to yourself.”
Sobriety is essential for a writer but indecision is bad and even harmful to mind and health and one’s work as a writer.
It is an important Para from Weekly Writer.
“When you understand fully, how your mind and heart work – You will be able to create a masterpiece from words. Your words will have more texture, more flavour, more truth. You will be able to write something with life. And you will write with honesty. It all begins with you.
Pressures – When they take on an unbearable intensity, can wear us out. Leave us depressed and even render us de-motivator. There are times we might buckle under pressure and stop functioning altogether, but there are family pressures. And there is the kind of pressure. I knowingly or unknowingly give myself.”
Too much pressure is too bad for health, work and family life. One should be always careful in handling pressure lest it overpowers and creates problem for the individual, for the job and for the family.
It is a book aimed at encouraging new as well as old writers. It goads you to writer every week – “52 weeks of writing Bliss. For writers who want to develop the habit of writing Every Day, Every Month, All Year long.” If a writer who is nearly 80 years wants to write every week an article he will be inspired to keep on writing till last breath, till his hands eyes and brain works and health is not so bad as of a bedridden or hospitalized person.
This book is designed to keep the reader or would be or already one who writes occasionally. For 52 consecutive weeks, one whole year. The writing activities are short and approximately take 5 to 25 minutes of writing time every day.”
Of course to be able to write daily for 5-25 minutes one has to read a particular topic for 2 to 5 hours. Then alone one can write something worthwhile. One cannot write simply from his head daily. If one wants to be a writer, not essentially a great writer, one must follow Aristotle- “To write well express yourself like a common people work like a wiseman.”
Ranjit Singh was born on 13 November 1780 and was named Budh Singh but the moment his valiant father Mahan Singh returned after subduing Pir Mohammad and his brother Ahmed Khan, capturing their forts at Sayyid nagar, Kot Pir Mohammad and Rasulnagar, first he did was to change the name of his son to Ranjt, which meant victor of battles. Mohan Singh was chief of Sakerchakia Misl, foremost of the 12 Sikh Misls.
Mahan Singh’s father’s great grand father was Desu, a cultivator who owned 25 acres of land. He belonged to village Suker Chak, near Gujranwala and so the name of Misl came to be known as Sakerchakia Misl. At the age of 50 Desu decided to meet Guru Gobind Singh as, himself being giant of a man and fearless fighter, he had heard about the great Gurus Khalsa and Khalsa’s fight with cruel Mughal rulers who had massacred lakhs of innocent Hindus during their rule. Seeing Desu touching Gurujee’s feet, Guru Gobind Singh was impressed by his strong personality. As soon Desu expressed his desire to become Sikh, Gurujee himself baptized him and named him Budha Singh. He joined the Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib and participated in many battles. Budha Singh became martyr in 1715 at Gurdas Nangal, fighting along with Banda Singh Bahadur. When Budha Singh died, his body had seven ballet wounds and 29 scars of arrows, swords and spear cuts. Similarly Ranjit Singh’s father Mahan Singh died when Ranjit was boy of 10. He was immensely inspired by his grand father Charat Singh, who fought many battles with notorious Muslim invader Ahmed Shah Abdali who had destroyed the sacred Darbar Sahib Amritsar twice. During fierce battles in 1761,1764 and 1766 Afghans tried his level best to subdue Charat Singh but after every fight the Misl’s head emerged stronger than before and annexed more territories.
By the time Ranjit Singh became Chief of the Misl at the age of 15, he had become expert horse rider, knew perfectly how to handle sword and spear as well musket. Thus in another five years by the age of 19 he had conquered Lahore. He was such a valiant person with immense self confidence that he did not care for his illness at he age of 6 when he lost one eye because of severe attack of smallpox. As C H Payne, a historian puts it: “The gifts which nature lavished on Ranjit Singh was of the abstract rather than concrete order. His strength of character and personal magnetism (were to be) the real source of his greatness.”
In December 1795, Ranjit Singh, when he was just 15 years old, wrote to Maratha Chief, Daulat Rao Scindia, who was at the time in Aligarh, to join the Sikhs so as to expel the Afghans from India once for all. But Ranjit Singh received no reply from Maratha chief and was very much disappointed as he had hoped if Marathas, another valiant people of India, would join him to complete the mission of expelling Afghans from India.
Ranjit Singh also tried to get full support from Sahib Singh Chief of Phulkian Misl, which was quite well known. Ranjit Singh invited Sahib to join him for expelling Afghans from the Sikh homeland. It was not a big surprise that Ranjit Singh received no reply from Sahib Singh Earlier, the founder of Phulkian Misl Alla Singh had betrayed the Sikhs as it was Ahmed Shah Abdali, with a view to cause split in Sikh Misls, who made Alla Singh as Raja of Patiala in 1763, though only a year back in 1762, the same Abdali had attacked and destroyed the sacred Harmander Sahib killing thousands of Sikh pilgrims and “filled the sacred sorovar with dead bodies of Sikhs and carcasses of cows. He also made, to scare Sikhs once for all, pyramid of Sikh’s heads on the site of devastated Harmander Sahib.” The two incidents of young Ranjit Singh’s approach to Maratha Chief and also Phulkian Misls Chief are very significant and demonstrate the efforts of Ranjit Singh to have alliances against Afghan invaders and destroyers of Holy Harmander Sahib.
It was 17 years old Ranjit Singh who had crushed furious Zaman Shah who had attacked Amritsar. This humiliating defeat demoralized Afghan descendent, Sikhs blood thirsty, Ahmed Shah Abdali. Thus Zaman Shah was not only defeated at Amritsar but his Army was chased to the gates of Lahore by Sikh Army of Ranjit Singh. While running back to Afghanistan Zaman Shah had lost 12 crucial guns in Jehlum River. He appealed to Ranjit Singh to rescue his guns and in return he would not oppose Ranjit Singh’s taking over Lahore. Ranjit Singh proved to be a diplomat. He readily agreed so as to become ruler of Lahore. Thus young Ranjit Singh laid the foundations of Sikh Empire, through bravery and diplomacy. Such a diplomacy proved useful and helped Ranjit Singh in dealing with British East India Company after a couple of years, as it required give and take and not obstinacy with the opponent who may or may not be more powerful.
Conquest of Lahore by 19 year old Ranjit Singh was very significant because it made him Maharaja or Ruler of not only Lahore but vast territory of Punjab. Lahore had been invaded and conquered by Muslim rulers from 1014 when Mohammad of Ghazni and thereafter it became home of many dynasties including Ghoris, Mongals, Tugh laks, Khiljis, Lodis and Suris. Even Mughal Emperor Akbar had made Lahore as the capital of his vast Empire of India in 1584. He built famous Lahore Fort which after 1799 became Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s principal residence.
Despite rivalry between Misls of Sikhs, Ranjit Singh at the young age of 19 demonstrated his and his Misls superiority by conquering vast area of Punjab and becoming ruler of Lahore as Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It is apt to compare Ranjit Singh with Alexander the Great. Though Alexander conquered vast empire from Greece to Punjab he did not or could not consolidate and rule over it. In contrast Ranjit Singh Lion of Punjab, conquered vast areas as the valiant Sikhs of Guru Gobind Singh never showed back: they, to last man, died fighting. He himself had led the Khalsa Army from the age of 15 to demonstrate that he was though chief of Misl and ruler, he was one amongst them. It is strange and painful that no Indian political leader or historian has developed on the greatness of Ranjit Singh or compared him with Alexander or Napoleon. Napoleon ultimately lost all his conquest. Neither Alexander nor Napoleon lost by treachery or conspiracy against them by their rivals. Alexander could not consolidate and had to retreat to Greece. Napoleon lost the war fighting and was defeated. Maharaja Ranjit Singh never lost in battle in 30 years of his rule. That is why he was and is known as Lion of Punjab.
In 1830, the population of Sikhs Empire was about 25 lakh of which 50% were Muslims, 42% Hindus and 7 to 8% Sikhs. This is rough estimate based on perhaps the first ever census of Punjab in 1881. Based on 1881 census Punjab’s population was placed at 2.2 million ie 22 lakhs. In 1881 Punjab included whole of west Punjab, East Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, Sikhs accounting for only 7% ie about 2 lakhs of the population against 50% Muslims, 42 % Hindus and 1% Christians and others (quoted by Patwant Singh) in ‘Empire of the Sikhs’. It becomes clear that Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s Empire extended from Satluj River to Khyber Pass near Peshawar and in the west from Jammu to Kashmir which included ladakh and Gilgit.
Perhaps it is unknown in the world history that 7% people conquered and ruled over 93% and that, too, without any religious or political turmoil. Napoleon to an extent Ranjit Singh’s contemporary tried to conquer vast Empire extending to East Europe and Russia but got defeated. Similarly during 1st World War Germany tried to repeat what Napoleon failed but faced ultimate defeat and humiliation as Germany itself was conquered and divided. It becomes, to a great extent clear, that Maharaja Ranjit Singh alone in world History of last two centuries or so conquered and ruled for 30 years over a vast Empire which included NWFP ( which was till then part of Afghanistan. Thus whole of modern world must recognize Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s greatness and also of valiant Khalsa Army.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh despite being a Sikh Ruler was absolutely secular. There were Sikhs, mostly generals like Hari Singh Nalwa nd Akali Phoola Singh, there were Hindus like Dhyan Singh who was PM and his brother Gulab Singh, and Muslims like Faqir Azazudin who was Foreign Minister. After Ranjit Singh’s demise traitors like Teja Singh became prominent ministers. That is how the Sikh Empire was lost.
I shall just quote from my memory a few lines from Shah Mohammad’s poem on First Sikh War with British East India Company. Shah Mohammad, a Muslim poet of Punjab, who wrote many poems in Punjabi and recited them in Punjab says:
“Teja Singh see Yaar Farangian daa”
After mentioning in brief Teja Singh’s treachery of being friend of Britishers, Shah Mohammada writes:
Shah Mohammada Singhan Ne Gorian De
Wang Nimbuan Lahu Nichor Ditte
Je Kar Hondi Sarkar Taan Mul Paandee
Jehrian Khalse Ne Teghan Morian Ne
Shah Mohamada Ik Sarkar Bajon
Faujan Jit Ke Annt Nuun Horian Ne
In simple English translation Shah Mohammad says:
Sikh soldiers squeezed British soldiers blood, as one squeezes lemon.
If Maharaja Ranjit Singh had been alive,
He would have appreciated and honoured the Sikh soldiers for bravery
As some Sikh soldiers fought with just swords in their hands.
Shah Mohammed concludes:
But for Sarkar (Maharaja Ranjit Singh) Sikh having won ultimately lost.
Sikhs lost first Sikh War and Second Sikh War because of treachery of men like Teja Singh and Dogras like Dhyan Singh, who was Prime Miniser during Ranjit Singh’s lifetime, and his brother Gulab Singh and conspiracy of British East India Company.