H C Singh

Indian American Governors in the USA

It is great tribute to intelligence and adjustment of Indians in a foreign country, USA, to rise to such a coveted positions as to be governors of American states. Bobby Jindal was the first to be elected to US house of Representatives and then to become Governor. Equally, rather much more, is the achievement of an Indian-American woman, Nikki Haley to be nominated by Republican Party to become Governor of another American state. It is noteworthy that there are immigrants in large numbers form other Asian countries like China and Japan but none from their communities has attained high positions in American politics, not to speak of a Chinese or Japanese origin American becoming governor of an American state, though there are so called China towns and big Japanese enclaves.

Both Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley were brought up by Indian-American parents as Hindu and Sikh respectively. Both got converted to Christianity of their own as they grew up. Bobby Jindal embraced Christianity when he was too young and studying in High school while Nikki Randhawa became Christian at the age of 24 when she had experienced racial discriminated by white American against non-white Americans belonging to other religions than Christianity.

Bobby Jindal married an Indian-American girl. Priya Jolly when he was 24. Nikki married an American Christian Micheal Haley, after a Republican had called her ‘rag-headed’. Thus Amarita Nikki Randhava thereafter became Nikki Haley though she was daughter of Dr. Ajit and Raj Randhawa, hailing from Amritsar, the holy city of Sikhs like Vatican for Christians. But Nikki and Micheal Haley were married twice, once under Sikh rites in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib and again under Christian rites performed by a bishop.

Nikki Haley though has been nominated by Republican Party to be Governor of South-Carolina state will be actually sworn in November 2010. There are bound to be jubilations amongst American Indians, particularly amongst. American Sikhs, besides her relations in USA and India.

Governor Bobby Jindal is now 39 years old, while Nikki Haley is only 38 years old. To be Governors of American states in their thirties is really a big achievement. To be Governor of American state has the status and powers of an Indian states Governor as well as Chief Minister, as Governor of an American state appoints his own Cabinet and other officials, they don’t have to be elected or nominated while in India Governor is mostly figure-head and is to act on the direction of President or Central Government while all power rests with the Chief Minister who is a political party’s nominee and has to follow the instructions and guidance of the Party.

July 7, 2010 Posted by | Achievers, Biography, India, Political Commentary, Punjabi, USA | , , , , | Leave a comment

Sajjan Kumar’s Case before High Court and 1984 Anti Sikh Riots

  It is more than 25 years that thousands of Sikhs were mercilessly butchered, their houses burnt and looted in anti-Sikh riots of 1984. The rioting, killing and looting went on for four days as the Congress Government of Rajiv Gandhi did not call the Army from Delhi cantonment, part of the capital itself. The looting and killing were encouraged and led by Congress politicians of Delhi with the help of Delhi Police which did not prevent or even intervene. It was blemish of extreme lawlessness and murders of thousands in the capital of India, the so called biggest democracy of the world: worst of all, not even one criminal out of hundreds and even one Congress politician like Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, out of untold numbers, was arrested, not to speak of being sentenced.

So many commissions were appointed to probe, hear the evidence and decide about punishment of guilty. Hundreds of crores of rupees were spent or wasted but to no result. But because of our political system and our politicians and political rulers, even when there were tangible evidences and recommendations, particularly before Nanavati Commission, not a single arrest was made. Infact proceedings and recommendations of all the commissions were put in cold storage.

Latest case, though not before a commission, but before Delhi High Court is that of Sajjan Kumar, an ex congress MP. He was found guilty by a Distt Court and as such non-bailable warrants were issued against him. Had Sajjan Kumar appeared or surrendered before the court he would have been arrested then and there and ordered to be put behind bar. But Sajjan Kumar, though found guilty, went missing with the help of his guard.

 The case came before the Delhi High Court on appeal.

 The High Court taking severe note of his ‘missing’, but it is noteworthy, that while giving anticipatory bail to Sajjan Kumar in two 1984 anti Sikh riot cases against him, learned Justice Pathak termed the charges against Sajjan Kumar of ‘grave nature’. However the court added that as “25 years have gone by and the delay undoubtedly tilts the balance in favour of politician”. The High Court even questioned the “CBI move to arrest Kumar now that charge sheet has been filed while it never felt the need while investigations were going on for the past five years”. It is virtual indictment of CBI, which is government appointed agency for investigation.

It will not be out of place to recapulate some facts that led to torture, massacre and burning of thousands of Sikh men, women and children during four days, when hell itself broke out on the Sikhs of Delhi, killing as per official figures 3000 but actually many times more unarmed and innocent, mostly poor Sikhs who had no knowledge of politics or were absolutely unconcerned with politics .

Hundreds of men were burnt or killed in the presence of their parents, their wives and children. Some were put to death by putting burning tyres in their necks.

Hundreds of children were taken away from the lap of their mothers or snatched from their fathers and killed in the presence of their parents and their grand parents. Also hundred of women were molested before their husbands and children.

In many families more than five persons were done to death. In a rare case there were seven widows from one family and many orphans.

It is not known in Indian and in world history of at least more than hundred years that such atrocities were committed by citizens of the same country on their own country’s citizens and that, too, in the capital.

There is much more to be said and has been recorded by many commissions and by few Sikh survivors who could have the courage to appear before commissions despite threat to their lives.

It is hoped that now, after long last, gap of 25 years, there will be justice in the present case of Sajjan Kumar. Which may set an example for others. The learned Judge has already said that charges against Sajjan Kumar are of “grave nature” and has even indicted CBI for inordinate delay “while investigations were going on for five years”.

Who is to be blamed for delay of 25 years in convicting hundreds of guilty, politicians and policemen? As explained above, it is country’s politics and politicians who care only for vote banks to get into power and remain in power, irrespective of political party or combination of political parties to which they belong.

March 5, 2010 Posted by | Anti Sikh Riots 1984, Corruption, India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Punjabi, Religion, Sikhism, World History | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Little Known Facts about Jallianwala Massacre

  Very few people in India, perhaps none abroad, know as to why General Dyer ordered massacre of innocent men women and children on April 13 1919, the Baisakhi day. Here are some important little known or unknown facts which resulted in the massacre of more than 500 and serious bullet injuries to more than 1500, mostly citizens of Amritsar who had gathered there to listen to Gandhi and other leaders against what Gandhi called “Devilish” piece of legislation ie. two Bills under Rowlett Act.

 Arthur Herman, the author of Book “Gandhi and Churchill, describes the event before massacre of hundreds of innocent Indians gathered in Jallianwala Bagh as under:

‘ Winston Churchill told the House of Commons , “Never has there been a time when people (Indians) were more disposed to turn to courses of violence or show such scant respect for law and custom , tradition and procedure.” To ally the fears of men like Churchill Indian government officials decided to act.’

In February 1919, as the Defense of India Act was to expire six months after the war; two bills by Sydney Rowlett, reached the Legislative Council in Delhi; “an outery began. Even with every Indian member (of legislative council) voting against it the bills were passed in March and became law. The two bills contained two controversial provisions. One allowed judges to convict suspected terrorist or subversives without a Jury, the other sanctioned interning those same suspects without trial.”

Gandhi thought by supporting British war effort India would get independence (Swaraj) or at least Home rule. So Gandhi had enthusiastically supported the British Empire in their war against Germany. He even went so far as to recruit 20 able-bodied persons from each village in Gujarat and walked for hundreds of miles. At the end he could recruit only forty instead of more than a thousand. He justified his war effort to the annoyance of his close associate (Sardar) Patel, who refused to be a party to that effort of Gandhi, due to twist in his philosophy of Ahimsa- Annie Besant sarcastically called Gandhi “Recruiting sergeant” of British Empire. Even many villagers felt ashamed of their Gandhi’s support to British and left his meetings or showed their back.

Gandhi justified his pro British stand. Gandhi went so far as to say “Of all my activities I regard this (recruitment) as the most difficult and the most important.”

It is surprising that there is no mention of Gandhi being pro-British upto 1919 in the ‘Advanced History of India’ by Dr R C Majumdar and others, and also Gandhi going to many villages to recruit as soldiers for British-Indian Army and the sarcastic remark of Annie Besant, that Gandhi was “Recruiting Sergeant” for the British.

It is noteworthy that Gandhi’s pro-British views in 1914 to 1919 were in absolute contrast to Annie Besant’s views…. Annie Besant a British citizen who came to India and after seeing extreme poverty in villages and the conditions of vast majority of Indians, the repressive imperialist rule by the same British who were just and democratic in their own country, got so perturbed that she started ‘Home Rule India’ party. She wanted British to concede independence to India. She said “The moment of England’s difficulty is the moment of India’s opportunity.” But Gandhi differed with her and wanted India to support British war effort “unconditionally, spiritually and physically.” Lokmanya Tilak was released from jail after the 1st world war started in 1914. Tilak wanted like many other Indians British to concede ‘Home Rule’ to India, if not independence, just now. He therefore joined Annie Besant’s Party. As a result within one year, Annie Besant’s ‘Home Rule League’ had more than 60,000 full time members while “Indian National Congress had only 20,000 members.”

However after the end of war with Germany, British Government and in particular imperialist Winston Churchill went back from their promise of conceding Home Rule to Indians. This made Indian National Congress furious and Gandhi, too, felt betrayed by British. So he joined the independence movement of Congress and was going to address congress sponsored meeting at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, just, adjoining the Golden Temple the holiest Sikh Gurdwara. But on way Gandhi was taken out of train before reaching Amritsar, arrested and taken to Bombay. Punjab Government, as well as the British Government of Delhi kept this and Jallianwala massacre and meeting as top secret and did not let anyone know for couple of months.

In brief here is sequence of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre on 13th April 1919: Dyer entered (Amritsar) city central with a convoy of Armoured cars, his troops following. With him was the Amritsar town “crier.” He was shouting Dyers order in Hindi and Punjabi, English and Urdu. “On reaching his temporary headquarters, he learnt that a demonstration was under way in Jallianwala Bagh. He became furious, rather lost balance, at the “deliberate violation” of his order and immediately marched with “ninety Baluchis and Gurkhas towards Jallianwala Bagh where thousands of citizens had gathered to protest against the ‘devilish’ provisions of Rowlett Act. With Dyer were only four British, two officers and two security guards. ‘Otherwise there were no white soldiers at all.’

Arthur Herman describes the order of Dyer as under:

“Dyer barked the order to open fire. For ten minutes Dyer encouraged his soldiers to keep shooting unless bodies carpeted the ground.” Dyer and his troops had marched off after completing the massacre in Jallianwala Bagh leaving about a thousand dead and more than 2000 wounded. “Cries of pain and moans rose to the roof tops, bodies lined the entire wall around the Bagh. In many places the eyewitnesses said, they were ten feet deep.”

Where an English woman had been pulled from her bicycle, “Dyer ordered every citizen of Amritsar to ‘crawl on all fours”. He also set up a whipping post where any ‘native’ who refused to crawl was to be flogged.

‘Gandhi did not hear of this massacre and cruelty at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar ‘until June’. For almost two months there was complete clampdown. But as the news of worst ever British tyranny trickled there were unceasing protests and cries all over India.

Jallianwala Bagh massacre united all Indians against British, for the first time. Rabindra Nath Tagore returned his knighthood in protest, Gandhi returned his Kaisar-e Hind medal that was awarded for his pro-British services in South Africa. Jinnaha relinquished his membership of imperial legislature. Motilal Nehru collected his British furniture, suits and ties and made bonfire in his home garden and started wearing hand span Khadi clothes.

“The evidence was harrowing. Eyewitnesses who had watched the Jallianwala Bagh killings from the rooftops had seen “blood pouring in profusion…even those who were lying down were shot….Some had their head cut open, others had eyes shot and nose, chest, arms or legs shattered.” Some witnesses had sat all night in the Bagh with dying husbands and brothers. Others remembered the bodies of those who had been shot, but managed to escape, being left in the street for dead-including the bodies of small children.”

 “At one point an entire wedding party had been flogged for failing to follow the crawling order.”

 The pain and cries because of more than a thousand deaths in Amritsar “united Indians as never before and after”. More than any other events “Amritsar and its aftermath solidified national support for Indian independence.

February 26, 2010 Posted by | Achievers, Biography, India, Indian History, Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa, Political Commentary, Politics, Punjabi, World, World History | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Gandhi in South Africa- Success, Failure and Firmness

 Gandhi had led agitation against registration of Indians who were required to be finger printed. Many were arrested including Gandhi for reentering Transval without registration. Gandhi had talks with General Smuts, Transval’s colonial secretary. After negotiations Gandhi, in exchange of release of all Indians agreed to the “condition” of finger printing to which earlier Gandhi had called “Block Act” that led to agitation by all Indians. This made many Indians furious for Gandhi’s surrender before General Smuts. Here is the violent reaction of some Indians to Gandhi’s surrender as detailed in book ‘Gandhi and Churchill’ by Arthur Herman (page 157)

“On Feb 10, 1908, Gandhi took a walk to the Johannesburg registration office in order to be the first to be voluntarily finger printed and registered as a resident Asian.” A man named Mir Alam stopped Gandhi as he had been active in Satyagraha Campaign that was led by Gandhi himself. “Where are you going?” he asked Gandhi in a cold tone, “I am going to take out a registration certificate” Gandhi replied and offered to take Alam with him. Instead Alam struck him across the face. Gandhi went sprawling, Sheing open his face on the sharp rock on the ground. Alam started kicking him and was joined by three or four others, cursing and shouting. Finally Gandhi’s friends managed to push them away, carried him to nearby shop and called for a doctor. “On March 5 he was again assaulted in a mass meeting in Durban….” The police had to escort Gandhi to safety” and much booing and hissing.

Young Gandhi who had studied Law in England was not able to defend his first case in an Indian court in fact he could not utter a word and walked out of court in agony. Then he left for South Africa when he helped many Indian businessmen in local courts. But finally where he led an agitation against what came to be called ‘Block Act’ he miserably failed, was beaten and humiliated. But young Gandhi did not loose heart, he stuck to his mission of getting justice for India from arrogant British imperialists. He had seen in England how the common British citizen was cared by law and justice but in contrast how, in India and to perpetuate their imperial rule the very Britishers became arrogant rulers without a bit of Western culture and justice that he had witnessed in England.

Before leaving for India, after the failure of Gandhi inspired and led agitation, he did not regret, as many Indians in South Africa expected. Gandhi was firm in his principles and philosophy of Ahimsa. All Gandhi could cling to was the most cherished faith as he put it “that all activity pursued with a pure heart is bound to bear fruit, whether or not such fruit is visible to us. Because of this philosophy of being of pure heart in whatever one does, Gandhi in due course, after leading Indian independence movement, through Ahimsa i.e. non violence, became to be known as Mahatma Gandhi.

February 17, 2010 Posted by | Biography, Indian History, Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa, Political Commentary, Punjabi | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maharaja Ranjit Singh The Great

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.

January 8, 2010 Posted by | Achievers, Biography, India, Indian History, Muslims, Politics, Punjabi, Religion, Sikhism, World History | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Problem of Kashmir and Exodus of Kashmiri Pandits

Jawaharlal Nehru, though he himself was a Kashmiri Pandit the first Prime Minister of Independent India proved to be a weak PM particularly as long as Lord Mountbatten was Governor General of Dominion of India. He continued to be ineffective and docile till Sardar Patel, iron man of India,was alive. Nehru committed many blunders in the case of Kashmir as outlined by Vidya Bhushan in South Asia Today:

The first and biggest blunder was to make Jawahar Lal Nehru PM instead of Sardar Patel and another blunder was to assign Deptt of Kashmir Affairs to Nehru while all the other State Affairs were under Ministry of State under the charge of Sardar Patel.

Another blunder was to name the head of government of Kashmir as Prime Minister and not Chief Minister as was the case of hundreds of other Princely States. Also to name Srinagar Radio as Radio Kashmir and not All India Radio Kashmir.

But the greatest blunder was to let Mountbatten include a clause on the Instrument of Accession on Kashmir to India, that “will of the people” will be taken into account, which led to one crises after another viz referring the Kashmir question to UN, agreeing to cease fire when entire Kashmir could be conquered by Indian Army within a week and finally agreeing to plebiscite.

It is unfortunate that all these blunders on Kashmir were committed by Pt. Nehru, directly or indirectly which cost India thousands of valiant Indian Army personnel’s life and also of Kashmiris besides lakhs of crores of rupees during 62 years besides 1965 war with Pakistan Kashmir and also Kargil war, without any solution to Kashmir problem.

Before the conquest of Kashmir by Muslim Afghans, entire population of Kashmir was Hindu. But now there is absolute majority of Muslims in the Kashmir Valley but in Jammu area majority is of Hindus and in, Ladakh Buddhist before and after independence. It was Maharaja Ranjit Singh in early 8th century who conquered and ended Muslim (Afghan) rule after about 700 years. Just as he captured NWFP from Afghans, made both Kashmir and NWFP part of his (Indian) empire. B.N Sharma’s views in this context are touching so these are reproduced below:

” Have we ever tried analyze the course of almost complete demographic swing in favour of Muslims as the ethnic cleansing of Kashmir Pandits was going on under the benevolent gaze of the previous secular government at Delhi so aptly described by a Kashmiri Muslim Khurshid Vani—‘when bullets, blood and fundamentalism made their first inroad into the valley, 1.5 lakh Kashmiri Pandits left their paradise in fear, but 3000 families stayed back to fight, to survive and to live or die in their homes.’ Sadly more than a decade and a half later, the staying power of these gritty Pandits stands diluted by joblessness, anxiety and loneliness, not to talk of nagging fear. There are no grooms for daughters, no relatives to share family with, no hope of the return of exiled and, of course distress sale of ancestral properties. And the plight of Those who stayed back against all adversity.”

During Ranjit Singh’s reign over Kashmir and there after British rule by Dogra rulers Kashmir was quiet—no apparent Muslim dominance. But since independence because of Nehru’s follies and Pakistani indirect and direct intervention Kashmir problem has arisen and has got intensified. It is true and shocking but the secular government of India could not prevent it or do anything for return of Kashmiri Pandits which seems a remote possibility now. It may be possible, either after final agreement in black and white with Pakistan or after disintegration of Pakistan (NWFP becoming an independent state or joining Afghanistan) or when the Taliban menace is over either by peaceful settlement or by intensified war by USA as US President Obama has claimed by mid 2011 when all US Forces will be withdrawn from Afghanistan. If one of this possibility becomes reality, as it is hoped and peace returns to Kashmir after few years then and then alone it may or will be possible for Kahmiri Pandits to return to their homes in Kashmir and become integrated Kashmiris as before independence of India.

December 25, 2009 Posted by | Cold War, India, Indian History, Muslims, Pakistan, Pakistan's Origin, Creation and Turmoil, Political Commentary, Politics, Punjabi, Religion, World | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hindutva – Its true meaning and implications

After defeat of BJP in the 2009 elections, there is much talk about HIndutva, whether it should be diluted to keep the RSS with BJP as its cadre party and source or to abandon it altogether to make BJP a truly secular so that it also attracts Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and other small minorities of India to make BJP truly All India Party and an All India challenge to Indian National Congress.

 The word Hindutva was coined and used first of all by V.D. Savarkar. “Hinduism is a religion that all Hindus follow with all the rituals and worshiping all the Hindu Gods, Lord Rama, Krishna, Hanuman and other regional gods whose statues are all over India and worshiped by devout Hindus. It also means respect and if possible knowledge of Ramayana, Mahabarat, Vedas, Shastra and other many millennium old Hindu or Vedic Literature. Hindutva also means that India Civilization embraces all those who live in India, to whatever religion they belong but they have to love Indian Civilization in contrast to Muslim Civilization as propagated in Mecca and Christian Civilization as explained and propagated by Pope of Rome.”

 RSS Chief K S Sudarshan in 2201 while addressing a large gathering in Hardwar said ” The time has come when both Muslims and Christians who are living in India should Indianize their religions. They should sever their links with Mecca and Pope and instead become swadeshi.” (The Tribune Chandigarh March 9, 2001) An extremist Hindu Brig B N Sharma (Retd) in his book, ” A Nation on Fire,” defines Hindutva as: Hindutva collective essence of ” Hinduism and is the end product of three elements, cultural nationalism, intense patriotism, and a pride in the collective memory of India’s past glory.” But Brig Sharma, as the title of book reveals, is not moderate but fundamentalist. He has ridiculed so called seculars who are more concerned with vote bank than with nation’s interest.

 If BJP follows fully and faithfully what K.S Sudarshan says then BJP can never become all embracing Indian Political Party where followers of any religion will be welcome, just as Hindus, without any discrimination. It is pertinent to quote Dr Chaudhary as under.

 “The seeds of pathological antipathy and diabolical hatred against Muslims and Christians in India sown by Savarkar have now fully fructified, thanks to the constant watering and manuring of seeds at the hands of the Sangh Parivar. It resulted into the shameless act of demolition of Babri Masjid at Ayodhya in 1992 followed by communal holocaust all over the country in which hundreds of innocent citizens lost their lives. Then came the systematic persecution of Christians resulting into the horrendous act of burning alive of an Australian Christian doctor engaged into healing lepers, along with his adolescent sons in Orissa.” (South Asia Today)

 If BJP follows Hindutva, in its full form with all the implicayions, it may attract towards BJP more and more Hindus with the active help of more than a dozen RSS volunteering organizations in virtually all fields like student and teacher organization, workers of industrial and academic fields, women and in tribal sphere etc,etc… But still it will remain only a Hindu Communal organization. To be a Secular All India Party BJP will have to dilute HIndutva and make it appear truly an Indian Civilization and part of all comprehensive Indian Cultural, linguistic, religious and ethnic groups of whole of India.

 It was mainly Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s farsight and determination that transformed Bhartya Jan Sangh a Hindu Party like RSS into BJP an All India National Party like Indian National Congress and captured power in 1998 and ruled the country for full term of 5 years without virtual alliance with any party except Akali Dal as in Punjab. If BJP tries to be a truly secular party lot of uncommitted voters from religions and regions will support it.

 Since Advani’s praise for Jinnaha, when he visited Pakistan, without bothering to go deep into Jinnaha’s thinking in 1940’s and actions in 1946 to instigate West Bengal Government of Muslim League to abandon the rights and rules of and go ahead with ‘Direct Action’ which led to Kolkata Killings—it was certain that Advani should either quit BJP Presidentship and as leader of opposition, Lok Sabha, or would be ousted. Accordingly during early December 09, on the advice of RSS Chief, virtually little known in national politics, Nitin Gadkari 52 years old was chosen to replace Advani as BJP president. In Advani’s place Sushma Swaraj, who once contested elections against Sonia Gandhi in South India though lost but proved to be both daring and well-versed in parliamentary affairs, was nominated as leader of opposition while another prominent BJP young leader Jaitley was to continue BJP leader in Rajya Sabha.

 All these developments had to be stated in brief because both Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitely are moderates and not enthusiastic about Hindutava. They are more interested, like Vajpayee, to make BJP an All India Party to include all Indians of all castes and religions. It is heartening to note that in his first interview on 20th December 2009, Godkari, new BJP Chief has said ” I would like to involve more Dalits, Tribals and Muslims in the BJP” He father said: “I would like to concentrate on youth workers and farmers. I will concentrate my polities of development at the national level.” If Godkari sticks to what he has said in this interview, it would mean dilution of Hindutava for BJP.

No doubt Muslim terrorists, jehadis of many hues and Taliban by their incursions and killings through suicide bombing like 9/11 in USA and 26/11 in Bombay have encouraged RSS followers, Israelis and some Christian Countries to give befitting reply. But for peace of the world and peace in their own country tact, patience and action are required as and when necessary. So far as India is concerned because of Indian farmers, skilled and unskilled labourers and since last two decades Indian technocrats and managers being in limelight particularly in USA, it is imperative that Indians shun fundamentalism of Hindutava. India must remain secular and India’s image should be that of biggest democracy in the world.

December 22, 2009 Posted by | Corruption, India, Indian History, Muslims, Pakistan, Pakistan's Origin, Creation and Turmoil, Political Commentary, Politics, Punjabi, Religion, Sikhism, Terrorism, World History | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shashi Tharoor’s Contribution to India’s Unity

       Shashi Tharoor’s version of India and its unity in Diversity under all circumstances, pressures from inside and outside is commendable. It is a vision of which every Indian is proud and values. It is a vision which makes Shashi Tharoor, a Keralite, a great Indian. Though USSR disintegrated, but India, though remained under Nehru’s Soviet model of socialism for almost 20 years, has not and shall never disintegrate. Despite some neglects and omissions Shashi Tharoor’s concluding remarks about India’s invincible unity are reproduced below:-

 “There is remarkable resilience about the Indian state (which has proved the foreign analysts wrong) one that is sustained by an intangible sense of nationhood and shared destiny. India is a country held together in Nehru’s evocative image, by strong but invisible threads that bind Indians to a common destiny. Indians are comfortable with multiple identities and multiple loyalties, all coming together in allegiance to a larger idea of India, an India that safeguards the common space available to each identity, an India that remains safe for diversity, taken for granted by most Indians. It is this quality that will prevent the disintegration so widely predicted for my country.”

 In a multi lingual, multi ethenic and a multi cultural country some problems are bound to arise particularly in the East India which had been neglected for thousand of years by Muslim rulers of India and British rulers of India for almost 200 years ignored the problem of East except trying to safeguard the Northern and Eastern boundary by virtue of Young Husband expeditions Mac Mahon Line, that, too, when China was a very weak country whose territories of Korea and Manchuria were conquered and occupied by a small country like Japan and eastern ports like Macao and Hongkong by European imperialists. India got a bad legacy in East but has been trying to solve the problems of East India, since 1947. There have been linguistic problem in many parts of India which were solved by State Reorganization Commission. Punjab problem was also solved. Now there is problem of Telergana, which too, will be solved. Problems will continue to be there, as indicated above, and explained by Shashi Tharoor because of “remarkable resilience” all problems will be solved and India will ever and ever remain united.

 India is a country of which all Indians are proud of and feel so and are sure of its unity in diversity whether they are Keralite’s like Shashi Tharoor or Kashmiri’s like Sheikh Abdullah, or from any other Indian state or Union territory from Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh (Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist majority respectively) in north to Kanyakumari in South and from Nagaland and Arunachal in East to Goa and Maharashtra in West. All the inhabitants of various states and Union Territories at home they are known as Kashmiris, Punjabis, Marathas, Gujaratis, Assamese, Bengalis, Orias, Telegus, Tamils, Kannadas or Keralites, but when they go abroad they say with pride and they are known as Indians whether they go to America, Europe, Russia, China or Japan. This is the most significant aspect and proof of India’s Unity in Diversity.

December 21, 2009 Posted by | Achievers, Biography, India, Indian Economy, Indian History, Muslims, Political Commentary, Politics, Punjabi, Religion, Shashi Tharoor, World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NANAK SINGH NOVELIST

Nanak Singh, father of Punjabi novel, was a born genius. So long as the planet is there, Punjab is there; Punjabi speaking people are there, he will be remembered with reverence. Nanak Singh was a rare literary star that appears once in hundreds of years. He was one amongst galaxy of literary giants like Kalidas, Shakespear, Tolstoy, Dickens, Tagore and Bernard Shaw.

Nanak Singh was born Hans Raj in a petty grocer’s family in Peshawar Cantonment (now in Pakistan) but lost both his parents in childhood. He had only primary education that too in Urdu. But he never gave up his devotional and literary pursuits. He joined Blind Devotional Musicians Group who used to recite Gurbani and Keertan daily in Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Peshwar Cantt. Under their solemn influence Hans Raj, who had already became a devotee of Guru Nanak by heart and soul became a Sikh and was baptized as Nanak Singh.

Hereafter the genius in him started unfolding. He self-learnt Punjabi in Gurmukhi Script so as to read Sikh Scriptures direct from the Holy Guru Granth Sahib and started composing short religious hymns in praise of Sikh Gurus, knows as “SATGURU MEHMA”, which made him famous as Nanak Singh Kaveeshar throughout Punjab and NWFP.

Blessed with fame and inspired by Universal brotherhood teachings of Guru Nanak, this young Sikh in early 20’s got the enlightenment, the like of which Siddhartha got and transformed into Buddha. In his zeal to preach what he had learnt and dreamt, he shifted to Amritsar, the Mecca or more appropriately, Vatican of Sikhs. Here Nanak Singh taught himself besides Punjabi and Urdu, Hindi, Bengali and some English. From here his novel writing imbibed divinity and seems to have been blessed by God Almighty Himself. The pace of his work was truly incredible, almost machine like. In the remaining 50years of his active life Nanak Singh gifted to the World and Punjabi language in particular as many as 40 novels and innumerable short stories and poems. His epic novel “PAVITAR PAPI” was made into a successful motion picture by his ardent admirer, Balraj Sahani while another epic “EK MIAN DO TALWARAN” was awarded the prestigious Sahitya Academy Award in 1962. Besides novels, he tried his hand in short stories, essays and poems including a heart rending composition on Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

William Shakespeare wrote 37 comedies, tragedies and histories during his literary career. A dozen of which like Julius Ceaser, Merchant of Venice and as you like it became famous and made him famous during his life time. The abiding and universal themes of love, friendship, sacrifice as in Romeo Juliet and greed for a pound of flesh as in Merchant of Venice found ample expression in Nanak Singh’s novels. While PAVITAR PAPI & “IK MIAM DO TALWARAN” are distinguished by tragic themes of unrequited love and supreme sacrifice, unmitigated greed and poverty was the theme of Paap di Khatti which was also a reflection on rapidly altering values of contemporary society.

Like Charles Dickens Nanak Singh had great understanding of human nature especially of young and poor who were helpless and were exploited by selfish and greedy. His novels like CHITTA LAHU are in the same league as Dicken’s A tale of two cities and David Copperfield.

Nanak Singh’s IK Mian Do Talwaran for which he got Sahitya Academy Award in 1962 compares well with Tolstoys monumental work War and Peace. Like Tolstoy, who became fed up with rituals of orthodox church and fundamentalism in practice Nanak Singh too, pointed out with zeal the evils of fundamentalism an selfishness in our society including those prevailing in Gurudwaras and Temples where many priests were dishonest and greedy and some indulged in immoral practice like consuming intoxicants and even keeping mistresses. Like Tolstoy Nanak Singh revolted against these evils in his novels and shorts stories like Bhangian De Mehfil.

In 1962, I vivdly remember when Nanak Singh came to New Delhi to receive Sahitya Academy Award and stayed for a couple of days with us in Government Quarter in Kidwai Nagar, New delhi. Even in those days we felt that it was not Nanak Singh novelist but some one like Guru Nanak himself who had graced our humble abode to share with us food and thoughts. So we sat at his feet and gathered all the blessings showered on us through his lips, his eyes and gestures, as invaluable treasure to last us our life time.

Nanak Singh was a rare personality, not only selfless but self-effacing. Throughout his life he shunned publicity and politicians. Even though he went to jail during Gurudwara movement, he never sought to make political capital out of it or even refer to it in passing as a sacrifice. Nanak Singh was simplicity, honesty and decency personified. May we follow some of the foot-prints which he, like other great men, have left on the sands of time.

Unfortunately, though Punjabi is spoken by 120 million people living in India, Pakistan and abroad, it is not written and read by more than 30 million. Had it been learnt spoken and honoured by all Punjabis all over the world, a literary genius and a prolific writer like Nanak Singh would have got Nobel Price like Rabindranath Tagore and George Bernard Shaw and international recognition.

Eminent and literacy personalities tributes and comments on Nanak Singh novelist

Following comments of eminest Punjabi writers and personalites for Nanak Singh will testify to his pioneering, lasting and monumental contribution to Punjabi literature ( translated from Punjabi by this writer);-

In the field of Punjabi novel, Nanak Singh’s contribution is more than any other Punjabi writer. He has not bought cheap publicity depicting in his novels sexy life. The romance depicted is social and sacred.

Bhai Jodh Singh

It is said that dicken’s novels have alone for social reforms in England which the british parliament could not do hope Nanak singh’s novel chitta lahu would do the same to transform our society.

-Principal Teja Singh

I started going through ( Nanak Singh) novels and went on reading up to 20 novels which opened my eyes. I felt that I was sitting at the feet of a great teacher. Your language is sweet like honey and well polished.

Kartar Singh Duggal,MP

In novel writing in Punjabi there is no match to Nanak Singh. No other Punjabi writer has reached the height in Literature as Nanak Singh.

Sant Singh Sekhon

October 5, 2009 Posted by | Achievers, Biography, Punjabi | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments