Finally spectrum Raja, Communication Minister, who has been charged with massive unprecedented loss to the nation, has been forced to resign. But his resignation alone has not silenced the opposition because he is still adamant that he has done no wrong and has resigned because Karunanidhi had advised him to do so. But in fact grave charges of corruption and resulting loss of more than one and a half lakh crore of rupees to the exchequer, almost confirmed by Comptroller and Auditor General of India. After long silence PM’s advice to DMK chief brought Raja down to earth. However AIADMK has been waiting for an opportunity to challenge the aging DMK chief who had got half a dozen ministers in Central Government of Congress led UPA and was well enthroned in Tamilnadu itself. She has openly said on TV interview a number of times that AIDMK which has 9 MP’s in Lok Sabha plus CPI-CPM would not let the UPA government fall, as Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh feared. She has also organized mass agitation against her rival DMK in Chennai and elsewhere in Tamilnadu and AIDMK followers finally convinced both Sonia Gandhi UPA Chief and Karunanidhi that Raja’s continuation as central minister will lead to irreparable loss to the political status and power in Union Government as well as in Tamilnadu. This realization or writing on the wall was enough to oust Raja.
But still, naturally enough, the opposition was not pacified so there was again hungama in Parliament and both houses had to be adjourned, during last week. Opposition parties are fortified. Dropping Raja from ministership was not enough. It is no punishment for such an unprecedented fraud and loss to the nation. Not accepting the CAG report and not placing the case of Raja before joint parliamentary committee were other important factors. Opposition has been emboldened by Karunanidhi ultimately ‘advising’ Raja to step down as in the eyes of opposition both DMK Chief and UPA Chief Sonia Gandhi did not accept the findings of CAG and also did not accept reported charges in Media and by the opposition for such a long time.
For the first time Supreme Court of India had reported that Prime Minister of the country remained silent for such a long time about unprecedented corruption charges amounting to more than One lakh fifty thousand crore in spite of findings by CAG and submission of report with all the relevant proofs and papers.
Supreme Court on 22-11-10 also raised objection to the appointment of PJ Thomas as Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) as there was a criminal case against him since year 2000, when he was in Kerala as secretary Food Dept, for import of Edible oil and the case was still not closed. The Supreme Court bench headed by CJ asked the Attorney General representing the UPA government. “Without looking into the file, we are convinced that ‘if a person is an accused in criminal case, how can he function as CVC’. In view of Sushma Swaraj’s dissent the SC may consider that there was lack of consensus in the appointment of Thomas as CVC, and come to the conclusion that Thomas was defending A Raja, his communication minister in 2 G Scam. Before Thomas was appointed CVC in September 2010 he was Secretary in the Telecom ministry under which 2 G spectrum scam occurred. A Raja who was minister was under attack for a long time for the biggest scam which had cost the exchequer or India Rs 1,75,000 crores. It is also noteworthy that leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha had raised objection to the appointment of of Thomas as CVC but her objection was ruled out. The petition before the SC alleges “The PM and Home Minister recommended Thomas’s name despite the fact that Leader of opposition objected to it. So the leader of opposition was forced to record her dissent. Hence her presence was rendered meaningless in the appointment”.
Another aspect which is the most Important relates to opposition demanding meeting of JPC on 2 G Scam and Congress has been opposing Joint Parliamentary Committee. This has resulted into Parliament not functioning for 10 consecutive days so far Even Mamta Banerjee has joined the opposition in demanding JPC meeting. From Oct 25 Mulayam Singh Yadav has been on Dharna outside Parliament demanding JPC meeting on 2 G Scam. A solution must be found and PM and UPA should ponder over it. What is wrong in holding a JPC to let the Parliament function? Investigation in 2 G Scam, particularly the role of A Raja, who is no longer a minister must ne expedited.
Widespread corruption in Adarsh- Involvement of CM, Ministers, Bureaucrats, Generals, Admirals and Others
Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan, who was prima facie found guilty and had tendered his resignation, was finally sacked on 09-11-2010 and his resignation has been accepted by the Governor and in his place Prithviraj Chavan an engineer and central minister appointed. Ashok Chavan is the fourth CM of Maharashtra asked or forced to quit for the alleged charges of corruption or nepotism. Blame game started as soon as Ashok Chavan tendered his resignation in connection with India’s perhaps biggest and most widespread scam. Chavan has blamed three former CM’s of Maharashtra in Adarsh Society’s scam, saying his involvement was comparatively less than that of his three predecessors, namely Deshmukh, Shinde and Rane. There has been corruption involving many states, congress ruled or opposition ruled states but never to the extent of Adarsh Scam involving four CM’s of one state besides many bureaucrats, Generals and Admirals facing charges of such magnitude. Meanwhile the congress High Command has gagged its ministers of past and present as its image was being tarnished. For the last three days Parliament had to be adjourned time and again as the entire opposition joined in demanding strict action and exemplary punishment to all those found guilty.
The trouble started when CM Chavan asked the Adarsh Society office bearers to allow the inclusion of non services persons which led to allotment of flats to CM, Ministers, their relatives and many other by proxy. For instance Ashok Chavan and Vilasrao Deshmukh have three flats each: Narain Rane, Nilangekar and Ajit Pawar two flats each and some biggies one flat each. Ashok Chavan now says that if he is asked to quit so should Deshmukh and Shinde and other responsible for deviation, as Adarsh Society, was meant for Army officers martyrs and widows in particular. All the guilty should be charged and face action for corruption and nepotism.
On the other hand Congress, to silence the BJP’S outburst against Chavan and Congress, has concentrated on BJJP’S cabinet of 1999 to 2003 and other corrupt practices of BJP, totally keeping mum about CWG corruption as well as Adarsh Society’s misuse and corrupt practices in allotment of dozen of flats to congress ministers and their relatives by proxy. Instead Sonia Gandhi has concentrated on environments loss of green belts and forests in her address to Congress in AICC session. Supporting the Aam Admi considerations and uplift she said from a written speech “Destroying forests and habitats through indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources does not necessarily bring them out of the abject poverty in which they are languishing” This AICC meeting was to boost the status and position of Sonia and her son Rahul Gandhi. PM and other congress working committee members were virtually ignored.
Now about the origin of Adarsh scam. 31 stories Tower at Colaba, in Mumbai was to be built by Adarsh Housing Society for Kargil war veterans and widows of Kargil martyrs of Army. It was more than ten years back. Congress has accused NDA minister Prabhu Chawla for giving environment clearance, but he has denied, saying that T R Ballu of DMR was environment minister in UPA government. It’s a fact that Adarsh Society before starting the building at Colaba Tower did not get environment clearance. The case of violation of environment rules has been pending since then. It is now understood that the case of violation of environment rules would now be taken up, after a decade and after the Tower has come up and allotment of many flats has been made to influential high up in government, defense, either by proxy or straight away. Jairam Ramesh Union Minister of State for Environment will decide after thorough investigation. This has been confirmed by Valsa Nair Singh of environment society of Maharashtra. She is also chairperson of Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA). But why the investigation by Congress minister and why so late?
As the Adarsh Society scam, besides politicians and burocrats involved Army and Naval Senior Officer are involved. Some details have been given as under. Recently the present Army Chief has said that Adarsh related scam has “caused embarrassment and SHAME to the whole Army, not just to me” He added that few blacksheeps will not affect “Army’s character and morale”. Investigations are afoot against former Army Chief Deepak Kapoor who owns a flat in Adarsh 31 storey tower. In addition he owns a flat in Dwarka, three houses in Gurgaon, a penthouse in Mumbai and 448 meter plot in Gurgaon costing 35 lakh purchased in 2009. Adarsh scam has also tarnished the image of Indian Navy. Among the naval officers who own flats in Adarsh Society are former Chief Admiral of Western Command Madhanindra Singh and Vice Admiral Madavjit Singh. In addition Commander Rajiv Pilae who was the Command Quartering Officer in Mumbai, owns a flat in Adarsh Society.
Besides congress politicians and members it is said that BJP Chief Gadkari’s driver owns a flat in Adarsh Society that by proxy it is Gadkari’s. This has been strongly contested by BJP saying that it is congress tactic to divert the attention from unprecedented scam of Adarsh Society in which dozens of congress ministers and biggies are involved. More facts about Adarsh Society scam are coming to light including that there was a move to have another Adarsh Society for which land in Colaba was asked for. Full investigation will take many months before the matter goes to Comptroller and General and Supreme Court.
It is hoped that Adarsh Society scam will be investigated by an impartial body with the assistance of High Court or even Supreme Court judges so the truth comes to light and all the guilty are named and eventually punished.
Implications of Decline of Democrats and rise of Republicans in USA and President Obama’s visit to India
There has been decline in the midterm polls in USA but never to the extent it has happened on Nov 2, is 2010. Loss of Democrats in House of Representative is greatest in last 70 years. Democrats of President Obama have lost control of house by losing 60 seats, benefitting the Republicans to the same extent. In the senate there is marginal decline and Democrat retain slight majority. Loss of Illinois seat in senate is disheartening for President Obama as he held this seat before becoming President of USA. It is a speculation whether Obama could bounce back as Clinton and Reagon did after loss in midterm poll though their loss was not as much in number of seats as that of President Obama. There is a bit of pessimism in case of Obama because his popularity in two years of Presidency has declined from 60% to 45% as of today. However it depends on Obama and his team’s effort in solving many internal problems like decline in economy and increase in unemployment and external problems as the way the Afghan and Iraq problems are solved and how relations with Asia’s big two China and India are handled in addition to relation with European and Latin American countries.
For American Indians and India, election of Nikki Haley ( Nimrata Randhawa before marriage to Haley) as second American Indian Governor, after Bobby Jindal is matter of great pride particularly because Nikki Haley is first Indian American woman to be elected as Governor of an American state. In contrast six Indian origin aspirants for membership of House of Representative as democrat candidates lost. But nevertheless Governorship of South Carolina for first Indian origin American is far more significant for American Indians as well as for India.
Now about Obama’s maiden visit to India that too after having visited 10 countries since he was elected US President two year back. His visit to foreign countries commenced with visit to adjoining North American Country Canada which he visited again in June 2010.He visited Afghanistan twice because of US involvement in fight against Taliban and to support the democratic government of Afghan President Karzai. He visited UK and IRAQ in April 2009.Visit to Iraq was important because of American involvement due to miscalculation of his predecessor George Bush and US army attack on Iraq. He visited Russia, China, Norway, Denmark, France, Egypt and Japan during his first year of Presidency to assess American relationships in trade and diplomacy, as most of the countries were American allies and had suffered due to recession. President Obama’s visit to foreign countries during 2010 were just two, to Canada and Afghanistan, before he planned a visit to India as Indian PM Dr Manmohan Singh had frequent visits to USA to apprise US President about Indian concerns on Nuclear Liability by India, permanent UN seat, trade and particularly threat by Pakistan supported Taliban’s and terrorist on Taj hotel Mumbai on 26/11 and other violations by Pakistan’s ISI supported militants in Kashmir.
Initially President Obama maintained diplomatic silence regarding Pakistan’s involvement in Terrorist’s support, particularly in 26/11 attack on Mumbai and that too on Hotel Taj where he chose to stay and meet the victims. A girl student of St Xavier’s was bold and forthright to ask President Obama a question as to why he has not called Pakistan a “Terrorist Country”. To this question he gave quite an elaborate reply saying mainly that USA and World and even India want to see Pakistan a stable, peaceful and prosperous country. But in Delhi on day 3, he said what India had been anxious to hear. First of all he said that Pakistan should act against terrorists and their centers in Pakistan, indirectly meaning that Pakistan was responsible for Terrorist intrusions and invasions in India. Next he declared that USA will back India being a permanent member of UN Security Council. There were cheers by all members of Parliament irrespective of their affiliation to political parties of Right, left and congress itself. Cheers were loud and continuous and unprecedented. Above all, while ending his speech he said Jai Hind which won the hearts of MP’s and other Indians who heard.
Kalmadi and his associates in organizing committee of CW Games had inflicted many wounds on CWG preparation and complex upto June 2010 when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh woke up and realised the pain that these wounds were giving not only to CWG but to whole of India. As a doctor though of economics, he took up the responsibility to heal these wounds and saw to it that no more wounds are inflicted and our India will not cry with pain. Thus most of the wounds were healed in next three months and PM had also declared that those responsible for inflicting these wounds on CWG like indulging in corruption and causing inordinate delay, will be punished after the Games are over and so India heaved a sigh of relief. But falling of Foot Bridge, on 12 labourers two of whom were seriously injured, caused another deep wound. So Army was called and its disciplined soldiers and workers put a strong bridge in that place. It was India’s good luck that the bridge fell down before the CWG’s inauguration. Otherwise this wound would have hurt and pained India the most, if it had fallen on participants or foreign guests and visitors.
Healing took a month. India got the world wide acclaim on the excellent and unprecedented inauguration of the games which was watched by 2 billion people all over the world. Incredible India was shining because of the splendid inauguration that had never been witnessed before in any CWG since the games started. The world press and the two billion people who watched the opening ceremony were all praise for India’s efforts and achievement.
But unfortunately for India and Delhi CWG of 2010, after couple of days there was once again pain because of many shortcomings, that came to light and were noticed and exposed in world wide media besides India. It demonstrated once again failure of organizing committee and even Delhi and central government. Criticism started with swimming pools, faulty boxing scales, shortage of food and water for visitors, blocked, scoreboards, striking workers and officials and finally many empty stands which were visible to all in India and abroad, though tickets were sold or stolen by corrupt officials and workers. Height of all this was that another wound was inflicted when three Uganda officials were injured in a freak accident and Uganda Sports Minister wanted apology from government and OC of the games though the Sports Minister was prompt in offering apology but OCchief Kalmadi was hesitent. Besides all these shortcomings there has been corruption which cost India thousand of crores of rupees.
It is significant and praiseworthy that athletes from Haryana and Punjab have won more than 60 percent medals at CWG 2010 with the population of these two states is just 5 crores out of 110 crores of India population hardly, 5 percent. Haryana atheletes won 40% of Gold Medals. Pakistan with population of 15 crores has won only two medals. Haryana Wrestlers and women from remote desert villages have won many medals. Gagan Narang a Punjabi has the record of winning 4 god medals. Thus specially Saina Nehwal and Gagan Narang healed many wounds inflicted by Kalmodi and his associates, as for the first time in CW Games India won 2nd position pushing England to 3rd position.
Had major Indian states like UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharastra, M.P and Tamilnadu contributed to CW Games in Delhi in accordance with their population, India would have got number one position leaving Australia far behind by winning more than 200 medals, instead of 101, and upto 100 gold medals instead of 41 . Thus despite shortcomings and corruption outlined above incredible India was shining the most in CW Games 2010 since the inception of CW Games. Closing ceremony, like opening ceremony of CWG 2010 brought greater honour to India, making all Indians proud.
During the fortnight after closing ceremony of CWG 2010 there have been IT raids by over 300 IT Officers. Number of IT raids has gone upto 60 on the premises of officers, contractors and other organizations like DDA found prima facie indulging in corrupt practices. Many files of CWG deals of various types have been seized from offices of CO Kalmadi, his aid Gautam, BS. Lalli of Parsar Bharti and others. These files and documents will be scrutinized and then submitted to government for necessary action. It is to be seen after the expiry of time for investigation, whether government official including Kalmadi are punished in accordance with law though PM had openly said that guilty will be punished after the end of CWG-2010. On 9-11-10 Kalmadi has been asked to quit meaning that he has been found guilty. Names of other corrupt officers and contractors are yet to be announced. It will take time. But it is more important to know what punishment is imposed. Simply asking to quit is no punishment where thousands of crores of rupees are involved.
Whether it goes to the credit of American Democracy or against the American Government of the time, wikileaks are significant. Recent wiki leaks on torture by American soldiers fighting in Iraq war as huge number of Iraqi civilian deaths during this war amounting to 1.5 million is startling. Never before such a disclosure of torture and atrocities during more than 5 years futile and uncalled for attack on Iraq have come to light. News of torture of Iraqi civilians one or two at a time has been pouring in and exposed by American Newspaper like Washington Post in the past. But never before, as in 4,00,000 US classified documents and papers, as disclosed by wikileaks such atrocities have come to be known, though number of times US government admitted some atrocities and tortures of Iraqi civilians and even punished the concerned American soldiers found guilty.
In no other country of Europe Asia or the world such leaks of classified document amounting to even a thousand have been heard. How can wikileaks a private US organization can have access to lakhs of US classified documents and papers? It is not the first time but it is the longest ever leak about American Army’s atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now about some details of the latest wikileak on Iraq about the largest ever.
Wikileaks earlier exposure had leaked out American Armys atrocities in Afghanistan where besides militant Talbans many civilian men, women and children had been killed by their attacks on Talban strongholds as well as Drone attacks extending to part of Pakistan, an independent Sovereign country, in NWFP and Baluchistan, both provinces of Pakistan. Wikileaks has said sometimes back that it is going to disclose 15,000 more Afghan war documents. These secret documents on Afghanistan have been held back, because of their sensitive nature, says Kristinn Hrafnsson of wikileaks. Wikileaks Julian Assange said that thousand of document leaked by the website showed the “truth” of the Iraq war. This disclosure is bout the truth, the emphasis. A top US official has said that though torture of Iraqi civilians took place before Obama became President of USA. “President Obama has an obligation to deal with past cases” as there is an obligation to probe whenever ‘truth’ about atrocities are exposed.
Wikileak is working with Iraq organisation named Coupt (a group of Iraqi accamedics and peace activists that try to find out and documents on Iraq cosualties and tortures. In this connection website founder, Julian Assanges statement is noteworthy. “We are now able to say that more than 1,50,000 people have been killed in total since 2003 of which about 80% were civilians. On the other hand America government is quite upset because of these leaks about atrocities and deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq. US Press Secretary, Geoff Morell said “we deplore Wikileaks for inciting individuals to break the laws, leak classified documents and then sharing the secret information with the world” There are likely to be more Wikileaks about atrocities in Iraq and even Afghanistan in 2010 or 2011. How will America either stop atrocities or take wikileak to task? It does not seem possible for president Obama to solve this problem which has been passed on to him by his processor US president George Bush. It must be said that American democracy is Unique. It tolerates the leakage of classified secret documents though afterwards it deplores. But significant feature of democracy in USA is that, it does not punish openly or secretly those who leak the classified documents and those, like organisers of Wikileaks, publish it for the world to know.
Dileep Padgaonkar Chief Interlocutor on Kashmir and Arudhati Roy an other interlocutor have raised unprecedented controversy that would help the separatists in their stand instead of pacifying them on the basis of the fact that they are Indian citizens, like that of any old princely states that had acceded to India. Padgaonkar’s statement that Kashmir dispute is as old as 1947 and Pakistan is a party to dispute since then. Booker prize winner another, Arudhati Roy and Syed Ali Shah Geeleni the separatist Kashmir leader, have made speeches in a seminar into Delhi which were so anti national that both could be booked under section 12G(A) which incited the hatred and disaffection for India as these justified the demand for J&K accession from India. Police are convinced that the speeches of Geelani and Roy came under act of sedation under which the culprits can be imprisoned even for life. BJP’s Arun Jeitly has recently criticized the speeches of Geelani, Roy and even Padgoankar. Congress is also upset and in a fix.
These uncalled, unbearing and unrealistic statement and speeches by Arundhati Roy have created problem for them, for Kashmir government of Omar Abdulaha for UPA government and even for India. Vast majority of Kashmir people, entire population of Jammu and Ladakh, vast majority of Kashmir people of the valley, which is known as paradise are helpless. Earlier they had been instigated by separatists like Geelani for almost six months in the name of ‘Azadi’ but infact for their own popularity and got hundreds of innocent students and women killed and injured for no fault of theirs while Gulanni and other separatist leaders were enjoying in their power and even feeling satisfied by the result of their instigation of innocent and peace loving Kashmiris of the Vally.
Dilip Padgaonkar and Arundhati Roy though one a top ranking journalist and latter a renowned and prize winning Novelist and writer do not seem to have read history of Kashmir throughly since India freedom in 1947. It is well know that Pakistani jehadis from remote NWFP who were armed, financed and transported hundreds of miles of Kashmir to create unrest and even to capture Srinagar and after entire Kashmir for Pakistan which had no right at all as there was standstill agreement and Kashmir had not acceded to India.
Meha Chand Mahajan, Chief Minister of Kashmir had come to New Delhi with Instrument of Accession duly signed by it ruler Hari Singh for accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India. But Mountbatten now Governor General of independent India waited for instructions from Churchill who had appointed him Governor General to watch over British interest in India before and after 1947. But when after a few precious days had been wasted, sheikh Abdulaha popular leader of Kashmir before independence rushed to New Delhi with the same instrument of accession almost crying that Pakistani Jehadi intruders were close to Srinagar airport and that they were killing, looting and molesting butt Muslims and Hindu, Sikhs peaceful men and women.
Thus instrument of accession of Kashmir to India was accepted and signed by governor general Mountbatten as head of state India. But unfortunately for India and people of Kashmir, Mountbatten as British agent mischievously added a clause which accepting the instrument of accession that in due course well of the people will be taken into account afterwards” Pandit Nehru as PM of independent India should have objected & this close but did not have the will or courage as he had been influenced by Mountbatten family as if he was their family member and not holding the powerful and prestigious office of Prime Minister of Independent country like India. That was Nehru’s blunder and Mountbatten’s success as Churchill’s agent. Ordinarily Prime Minister of India should have asserted that accession of Kashmir to India now was legal and final and there was no question of will of the people” Even MJ Akbar in his book on Nehru adds that “Mountbatten suggested an immediate temporary accession to India” MJ Akbar further added. He was in two minds in flying troops to Srinagar but then was confronted with determined resolve of Nehru and Patel (Particularly Sardar Patel) who ordered British to send at once the Indian Army as he would not hear of any excuse for delay or in action. There are eye openor comments of MJ Akbar. He further adds “Mountbatten went to Lahore on Nov. 1st 1947 and of his own introduced the idea of a reference to War” Finally MJ Akbar said “By referring to United Nations. Nehru allowed what was legally a domestic Indian problem to become an International issue.”
Both Padgoankar and Arundhati Roy should have read the Raddiff award in detail as ‘no princely state has right to independence.’ There is also no provision in the Award for division of any state on the basis of religion or for joining or not joining India or Pakistan in the basis of majority of Hindus or Muslims.
From the views expressed above on the basis of facts not an imported journalist like MJ Akbar, it is evident that the government of India has not done justice to Kashmir or India by appointing interlocutors like Dileep Padgoankar and Arundhati Roy. It would have been better of the government had appointed retired CJ or CAG known for their impartiality , as Chief interlocutors, asserted by other retired judges SC or AC as other interlocutors. It doesn’t seem desirable or practical to change interlocutors.
India is proud of Arundhati Roy as Pultizer Prize winning worker of international fame but that does not entitle her to speak against Kashmir being integral part of India to challenge India’s unity as a secular state of many religions and cultures being treated respectfully Govt. way not take action against her but she should as a renowned Indian ponder over it. Finally Geelani leader of separatist and Arundhati Roy and Dileep Padgoankar should read and follow what Faroq Abdullah, former CM of Kashmir and now minister in central government who said “There is so much freedom in India that people are misusing it.