H C Singh

Caste-ridden India – That is Bharat

After 60 years of 1950 constitution which abolished untouchability and ordained that reservations for SC and STs’ would be for only 15 years; it was felt that India would make progress in all fields – social, economic and political and India that is our Bharat will become a casteless society. Sardar Patel who was India’s first and best Home Minister had, besides supporting wholeheartedly India becoming a casteless society was opposed to reservations for so-called minorities. When some Muslim leaders had raised the question of reservation for Muslims in parliament Sardar rebuked them that India is a secular country and “those Muslims who want reservations can go to Pakistan”. It was then felt that in 15 years time there will be marked improvement in the living standards, education and employment of SC and STs’. But unfortunately our politicians and political parties did not pay any attention to these fundamental issues and were concerned with being in power or retaining power in politics. In 1964 India’s first PM Nehru died and thereafter there was struggle for Prime Ministership.

Thus in 1965 no politician bothered to think of or do anything for SC and STs’ so that there is marked improvement in their condition in society. It is unfortunate that politicians and political parties who have ruled India for the last 60 years, for political reasons and for political power more and more castes were being included for reservation, in particular the OBC’s. Thus instead of India becoming casteless society, today India is a caste-ridden society, a democracy in name only because democracy’s main features are equality of all citizens, no discrimination of any sort of Caste or Status.

How and why there has been deterioration in social, political and economic spheres during last 60 years? Why India, our Bharat, instead of going forward is going backward? Who are responsible for this reversal?

There are about 2000 castes of OBC’s in central list, though each State has a list of its OBC’s. There are some professions like that of Dhobi (washer man) which are SC’s in States of West Bengal, Bihar, UP and Rajasthan but are included in the list of OBC’s in Maharashtra. How can SC’s and OBC’s be considered one. There can be some other castes, particularly in Tamilnadu which may be SC’s there but OBC’s in other southern States or vice versa. How can OBC’s of all 2000 castes be considered backward when some are big landlords and prosperous businessmen or professionals. For example Badal of Punjab who is Chief Minister and his son Dy.Chief Minister can be OBC’s entitled to concessions. Similarly Hooda and Chautala of Haryana present and former Chief Ministers can come under reserved categories. The case of both Yadavas is similar. They have been ruling one State or other. There are many so-called other backward class (OBC’s) cabinet Ministers and Ministers in many States. There are Jats who are holding high position in Civil services, information technology, professors and principals as well as vice chancellors.

There have been occasionally murders, killing because of ‘Khap’ Panchayet’s objection to marriages in same gotra though same gotra marriages were declared legal in 1945 by Bombay High Court. This judgement is of great significance which has since been ignored though it was much before the codification of Hindu Code Bill. It is unfortunate that to gain political support former Chief Minister of Hariyana, Om Prakash Chautala and Congress MP Jindal are supporting the ‘Khap’ Panchayet’s ideology and actions and even want legal support. If somehow ‘Khap’ Panchayet’s get legal support this will mean, that our judicial system of justice will have no jurisdiction in ‘Khap’ Panchayet’s and thereafter in all Panchayets all over India though gotra politics is medieval : that will take India much more backward.

Latest unfortunate and ill-considered action of UPA-II government is inclusion of caste in 2011 census without bothering about its implications. Central leadership seems to have succumbed to pressure, particularly from two Yadavas, and allies. There are thousands of castes and tens of thousands sub castes. How these will be coordinated into four major castes? Moreover there are millions of citizens who don’t believe in caste system and do not and would not like to mention their caste for the census. There are 18,000 categories of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes listed in 2001 census.

 If India is to be a progressive and modern democracy it take steps, though 45 years late, to end caste system by 2025 so that India is determined to move forward and not backward. If a constitutional amendment is required, just as provision in 1950 Constitution that must be enacted. For this all parties must sink their differences and rise so that India advances like Christian dominated countries where there is no caste system at all. Even Muslim countries who have their problem of Burqa, have no caste system, thus no discrimination, all citizens being equal.

July 2, 2010 Posted by | Corruption, Hinduism, India, Indian History, Muslims, Political Commentary, Politics, Religion | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Difficulty of Being Good

Eminent Indian writer of English, author of ‘India Unbound’ has brought out in 2009 another masterpiece entitled ‘Difficulty of Being Good’, which is based on the philosophy of dharma as outlined in Mahabharata.

There is no doubt that it is very difficult and sometimes impossible to be good even in modern times because of competition in all spheres, injustice, corruption, favouritism, nepotism, particularly in countries like India where there is no compulsory education, no guarantee of employment, no doles for unemployed and no old age pension. Two basic ideas are ‘envy’ and ‘dharma’ as elucidated by Gurcharan Das after a thorough study of Mahabharata are given below from his book :-

“The Mahabharata tells the story of futile and terrible war of annihilation between the children of two brothers of the Bharata family. The rival cousins, Kauravas and Pandavas both lay claim to the throne. To reduce feud, Kingdom is divided but the jealous Kauravas are not content and plot to usurp the other half of the kingdom through a rigged game of dice. Yudhisthir, the older Pandavas loses everything in the game, the kingdom his brothers, his wife (Draupadi) and including himself to his rival Duryadhana. Yudhisthir’s wife queen Draupadi is dragged before Duryadhana in the assembly of nobles where his brother Duryadhana tries to strip her. After losing the game of dice and the kingdom and everything, Yudhisthir is exiled for 13 years, 12 years he is required to spend in forest and one year in the kingdom he lost, but in disguise so that no one can recognise him. During the exile Draupadi, presses Yudhisthir to raise an army and defeat Duryadhana and get back his kingdom and all the honour he lost by rigged game of dice. But Yudhisthira who believes in Dharma says that he had given the word he will honour it. Dharma is a ship that guides one to the farthest shore.”

Both the evils of envy and greed of following Dharma are relevant even today just as these have affected mankind for thousands of years. At the national and international level, envy and greed led to two great wars during 20th century. In 1st world war from 1914 to 1919 Germany tried to conquer the whole world and to become the only great power but was defeated causing death of millions and devastating almost all the European countries including Germany itself. But Germany did not learn lesson and under fascist Hitler once again embarked on the conquest of world, this time with the support of Japan, a rising Asian country. Hitler, too, met the fate of Kaiser William in the second world war 1939 to 1945. In addition Hitler’s fascist government had killed 6 million Jews in Gas Chambers. This time, even Germany was occupied by victorious Allies for a few years. There are the most horrible consequences of envy in 20the century. Had Germany followed Dharma which required the king or the ruler of a country to further interests of its subjects and those interests of the state or country? According to philosophy of Mahabharata if a king follows Dharma, there will be rule of law and justice and the king who follows Dharma is known as “Dharma raja.”

As there are enemies as neighbours as were the Kauravas in Kurukshetra war, it is difficult to practice ‘Dharma’. Practice of Dharma became difficult when there is war with an unjust neighbour like Durjyadhana. Accordingly India and Pakistan have been at war number of times because Pakistan never believed in ‘Dharma’ and does not believe even today because of its support to terrorism. That is why US President Obama has said that “Pakistan has cancer of terrorism” training and sending terrorists to USA to destroy Twin Towers and to India to attack Taj Hotel killing hundreds of innocent people, innocent men and women. So long as cancer of terrorism is there in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq there can not be lasting peace in the world. Thus Muslims and Christians should follow Dharma in their dealings with countries and individuals. Then alone there can be peace and harmony in the world. Dharma and it practice is essential between individuals, too. Brothers should not fight for patrimony leading to court cases or violent deaths, which is happening. There should be ban on gambling, too. Dharma is: Be intent with actions not on fruits of action. It is difficult be good by both, countries and individuals. But that is essential in the modern world to avoid envy as between two cousins in Mahabharata and a war of annihilation like Kurukshetra war.

Towards the end of Kurukshetra war when only Durjyadhana remains alive and is in hiding, Krishna considered a God allows Bhima to kill Durjyadhana by deceit. In Gurcharan Das’s words “Krishna justifies it as without Krishna’s intervention, to kill Durjyadhana without deceit would not have been possible as Kauravas were great warriors. Krishna’s defence is that once peace talks failed and Durjyadhana refused to part with five villages to the Pandavas, the only thing that mattered was victory for the just side. Krishna now becomes grave and tells the victors: “Kaurava were great warriors and you could not have defeated in fair fight, so I had to use deceit, treachery and magic on your behalf” (page XXII of book).

It is evident from the above that even god Krishna, for the sake of justice for saving Arjuna and Drana used deceit and trickery from the above mentioned facts as outlined by Gurcharan Das from Mahabharata, it is clear that so long envy and jealousy are there and terrorism and suicide bombing prevails, there can not be peace and harmony between nations even in 21st century. Difficulty of being good for the nations and citizens will be there.

July 1, 2010 Posted by | Hinduism, India, Political Commentary, Religion, Terrorism | , , , | Leave a comment

Bill for 33 Percent Reservation for Women- Its Implications

Though the Bill has been passed in Rajya Sabha after heated debate it will not suffice because in India women are not regarded equal to men or even are considered inferior to men, socially and intellectually. Besides most of women are confined to homes for being fit to do domestic work and raise children. Though 33 percent seats in Parliament are reserved for women in Russia, Norway, Sweden, France and Germany, and in East, in Korea and Philippines, women in these countries and where there is no reservation like USA, Australia and England, women are in a position to take full advantage because they are socially equal and in nowhere and in no sphere considered inferior in Society in intellect and efficiency etc. Reservation for women in these countries has done well and is considered as women’s achievement.

In India even in the Parliament of 1999-04 the percentage of women members was only 7.8 percent i.e., there were only 42 women in the House of 543. As these women members of Parliament came mostly from upper middle class and upper class and most of them were highly educated, they were vociferous, significant and even dominating like Sushma Swaraj (BJP), Brinda Karat (CPM) to name a few.

More important for uplift of women are education particularly in rural areas, their social equality which means they should have equal right of inderitence of property and assets, end of discrimination on caste basis. It must be stated that though the Bill was passed by a majority of 186 against only 1 and 39 obtained, something unbecoming happened. Seven members of the parliament went up to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha and snatched the copy of the Bill from hands of the Chairman and tore into pieces. This was a shameful act by these seven opposition members who were overpowered by Marshals and evicted later suspended from Parliament. Such an unbecoming behavior of MP’s had never happened before. Worst of all these seven have not apologized, or even are not ready to apologize. Such male members of Parliament do not deserve to be members of any elected House .

Rajya Sabha had to be adjourned a number of times and could take up the Bill next day for voting and the Bill was passed. Sonia Gandhi was very happy considering the passage of Bill in Rajya Sabha as her personal victory. However because of controversy and many members of BJP and even Congress, besides other small parties though are not openly apposed to the reservation of 33 percent for women, are at heart not willing to support the Bill. This is one of the reasons that discussion in Lok Sabha has been postponed to May 2010. It may be further postponed, as it has already been done. Thus at this stage there is no reason for Sonia Gandhi or Congress to be happy and Jubilant.

Another issue that has cropped is quota within quota for Muslim women. Infact Muslims have been demanding reservation for Muslims in all spheres and elected bodies from Panchayat onward to Parliament. But because of the present Bill of 33 percent reservation for women, this demand for reservation for Muslims has risen once again. To recollect, this demand by some Muslim leaders was raised even after independence. But Sardar Patel who was Home Minister retorted that those Muslims who want reservations should go to Pakistan. Can this demand be accepted, because of vote bank politics, or brushed aside? Hypothetically, if Muslims demand for quota is accepted, there may be demand for quota by Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists.

The Bill for 33 percent Reservation for Women is not even half way through. It is the Lok Sabha which has to pass by two third majority, as it would be a constitutional amendment. As there are already many MP’s of all the Parties including BJP and Congress who are opposed to the Bill, it is becoming doubtful whether in May it will be taken up and passed after discussion in Lok Sabha or it will be postponed further.

Democracy presupposes equality of men and women and also equality of opportunity for all women and men. It is regretted that this equality is lacking even after 62 years of independence though Article 15 of the constitution prohibits discrimination on ground of sex. Even the Directive Principles of State Policy which urge that the state shall direct its policy towards securing adequate livelihood for women as well as equal pay for equal work, seem to have been ignored or half heartedly attempted.

It is noteworthy that empowerment of women by giving them 33 percent seats in Panchayats all over India has resulted in induction of “at least one million” women to public life in rural India at the grassroot level. It is heartening. Though 33 percent reservation of seats in Parliament for women requires some vital amendments and considerations with all political parties as to how 33 percent seats will be distributed or effected keeping in view SC and ST quota. It is definitely not as simple as 33 percent quota for women in Panchayats. However when this amended Bill is passed in Lok Sabha by two third majority, which at this stage seems difficult, even in May 2010, this will bring a corresponding revolution, much more significant than that of Panchayats. It will herald a new era in advancement of women in India in all spheres. As and when this Bill is finally passed by Lok Sabha and becomes a Constitutional Amendment, India will, in the comity of nations all over the world, be recognized as an advanced and progressive country.

Though the Bill has been passed in Rajya Sabha after heated debate it will not suffice because in India women are not regarded equal to men or even are considered inferior to men, socially and intellectually. Besides most of women are confined to homes for being fit to do domestic work and raise children. Though 33 percent seats in Parliament are reserved for women in Russia, Norway, Sweden, France and Germany, and in East, in Korea and Philippines, women in these countries and where there is no reservation like USA, Australia and England, women are in a position to take full advantage because they are socially equal and in nowhere and in no sphere considered inferior in Society in intellect and efficiency etc. Reservation for women in these countries has done well and is considered as women’s achievement.

In India even in the Parliament of 1999-04 the percentage of women members was only 7.8 percent i.e., there were only 42 women in the House of 543. As these women members of Parliament came mostly from upper middle class and upper class and most of them were highly educated, they were vociferous, significant and even dominating like Sushma Swaraj (BJP), Brinda Karat (CPM) to name a few.

More important for uplift of women are education particularly in rural areas, their social equality which means they should have equal right of inderitence of property and assets, end of discrimination on caste basis. It must be stated that though the Bill was passed by a majority of 186 against only 1 and 39 obtained, something unbecoming happened. Seven members of the parliament went up to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha and snatched the copy of the Bill from hands of the Chairman and tore into pieces. This was a shameful act by these seven opposition members who were overpowered by Marshals and evicted later suspended from Parliament. Such an unbecoming behavior of MP’s had never happened before. Worst of all these seven have not apologized, or even are not ready to apologize. Such male members of Parliament do not deserve to be members of any elected House .

Rajya Sabha had to be adjourned a number of times and could take up the Bill next day for voting and the Bill was passed. Sonia Gandhi was very happy considering the passage of Bill in Rajya Sabha as her personal victory. However because of controversy and many members of BJP and even Congress, besides other small parties though are not openly apposed to the reservation of 33 percent for women, are at heart not willing to support the Bill. This is one of the reasons that discussion in Lok Sabha has been postponed to May 2010. It may be further postponed, as it has already been done. Thus at this stage there is no reason for Sonia Gandhi or Congress to be happy and Jubilant.

Another issue that has cropped is quota within quota for Muslim women. Infact Muslims have been demanding reservation for Muslims in all spheres and elected bodies from Panchayat onward to Parliament. But because of the present Bill of 33 percent reservation for women, this demand for reservation for Muslims has risen once again. To recollect, this demand by some Muslim leaders was raised even after independence. But Sardar Patel who was Home Minister retorted that those Muslims who want reservations should go to Pakistan. Can this demand be accepted, because of vote bank politics, or brushed aside? Hypothetically, if Muslims demand for quota is accepted, there may be demand for quota by Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists.

The Bill for 33 percent Reservation for Women is not even half way through. It is the Lok Sabha which has to pass by two third majority, as it would be a constitutional amendment. As there are already many MP’s of all the Parties including BJP and Congress who are opposed to the Bill, it is becoming doubtful whether in May it will be taken up and passed after discussion in Lok Sabha or it will be postponed further.

Democracy presupposes equality of men and women and also equality of opportunity for all women and men. It is regretted that this equality is lacking even after 62 years of independence though Article 15 of the constitution prohibits discrimination on ground of sex. Even the Directive Principles of State Policy which urge that the state shall direct its policy towards securing adequate livelihood for women as well as equal pay for equal work, seem to have been ignored or half heartedly attempted.

It is noteworthy that empowerment of women by giving them 33 percent seats in Panchayats all over India has resulted in induction of “at least one million” women to public life in rural India at the grassroot level. It is heartening. Though 33 percent reservation of seats in Parliament for women requires some vital amendments and considerations with all political parties as to how 33 percent seats will be distributed or effected keeping in view SC and ST quota. It is definitely not as simple as 33 percent quota for women in Panchayats. However when this amended Bill is passed in Lok Sabha by two third majority, which at this stage seems difficult, even in May 2010, this will bring a corresponding revolution, much more significant than that of Panchayats. It will herald a new era in advancement of women in India in all spheres. As and when this Bill is finally passed by Lok Sabha and becomes a Constitutional Amendment, India will, in the comity of nations all over the world, be recognized as an advanced and progressive country.

March 17, 2010 Posted by | Achievers, Corruption, India, Indian Economy, Indian History, Muslims, Political Commentary, Politics, Religion, Women reservation in India | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Islam its Origin and Teachings

 About 600 years AD i.e. after Christ, came Hazrat Mohammad. He was born in Mecca in 570 AD. All those who consider Mohammad as their prophet and believe in Allah (God) are known as Muslims. To begin with his teachings had annoyed the people of Mecca. Many Muslims were ‘prosecuted’ as his followers grew in numbers and “rejected idol worship”. So, in 622 AD Mohammad and his followers emigrated to Medina. His and his followers emigration to Medina is known as Hijra and Muslim calendar starts from this year. When Mohammad and his followers had become strong they returned to Mecca victorious and “destroyed all the idols” in the shrines of Mecca, known as Kaaba. The inhabitants of Mecca accepted Mohammad as prophet and accepted Islam as their religion. Thereafter Islam spread to Arab and adjoining countries like Iraq, northern Africa and even some areas of Spain. Muslims encouraged learning, in medieval times, as part of their religious duty. The Muslims of those days translated into Arabic, the ancient knowledge of ancient world available only in Greek and Syriac languages.

After Mohammad died in AD 632, Abu Bakar his close companion was elected caliph (successor).

However the basic tenets of Islam, which have been ignored by many Muslims and others, are for harmony with followers of all religions and their prophets as the following extract from Quran will elucidate:

Say, we believe in Allah and in what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Issac, Jacob and the tribes of Moses and Jesus and the other prophets. We make no destination between them and to Allah we have surrendered ourselves (2-BC)

“O mankind, we have created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you might get to know one another. The noblest of you in Allah’s sight is who is most religious. Allah is all knowing and wise (49,13)

Christians are living in Christian or Christian dominated countries in peace and harmony with followers and worshipers of all religions, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jewish religion. To this day there are insignificant number of non-Muslims in Muslim dominated countries of Arabia, Iran and North Africa. There are millions of Hindus Sikhs and Muslims in USA, Canada, Britain and virtually in all the so called Christian or Christian dominated countries including Australia and New Zealand and now in Latin America, too.

For the peace in ever –changing world, which is now worried about climate change, all people of this planet must join hands, irrespective of their religions, to save this (planet) or the world otherwise entire humanity and all living beings on earth, in rivers oceans, and in air will suffer.

February 25, 2010 Posted by | Muslims, Political Commentary, Religion, USA, World History | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HAITI- Its origin and Recent Tragedy

Almost a month back one of the worst tragedies occurred in Haiti, a small country with less than 10 million population. The disaster of January 12, 2010 killed more than 2 lakhs inhabitants, mostly poor farmers and workers. It is reported that for almost one week there was no food and medical aid from anywhere from Spain, USA and France, in particular, as they have been ruling directly or indirectly over Haiti. France ruled Haiti for a long after Spanish control. Accordingly the official language of Haiti is French.

Aid has trickled thereafter. But many thousand unfortunate remained under debris for more than a week. Instead of direct and substantial help to Haitians, particularly the orphans, there was attempt to take away or kidnap, many orphans by missionaries for adoption at a price or conversion. Some missionaries were even caught and jailed for sometime. Even after a fortnight of disastrous quake there were “Thousands of criminals on the loose and reports of rape and violence” and all types of crimes. USA could send hundreds of soldiers and volunteers to help in all spheres. But USA did not. Had USA or UN taken emergency measures and aid, there would have been some immediate relief to the poor victims of worst earthquake.

It will enlighten many to know the origin and history of Haiti in brief, as Haiti though founded in 1492 by Columbus, is now “oldest black republic in the world and second oldest independent in the world.”

Columbus, as is well known, was trying to reach India, but reached Haiti in 1492 a part of West Indies. Columbus thought that he had reached West of India, i.e. Haiti and adjoining areas, south of Cuba and touching Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Sea. Haiti is an Indian word meaning high ground. There are two chains of rugged mountains in North as well as in South, so it was named as Haiti and is known as Haiti since the time of discovery by Christopher Columbus.

During 500 years of its known existence, Haiti has met with many tragedies because of greed of Western Powers, particularly Spain, France and USA. Haiti was conquered, destroyed and re-conquered a number of times.

Columbus himself discovered gold and built a small fort of timber in Haiti. He left behind some of the crew, to guard the fort and get gold from the gold mines. But the aboriginals known as ‘Arawak Indians’ destroyed the fort and killed all those whom Columbus left behind. Haitis estimated population in 1991 was about seven million and it would be about 10 million in year 2010 before the worst tragedy struck killing as per latest estimate more than 2 lakhs inhabitants.

Because of the discovery of gold, many more Spanish settlers came to Haiti. “They forced the Indians to mine gold and raise food for them. They treated the Indians so harshly that by 1580 only a few hundred Indians were alive. The Spanish settlers brought slaves from Africa to “work for them” Spain continued to control Haiti and Dominican Republic till the French, English and Dutch pirates stationed in small island of Taruga made the life of spainiocals miserable. Accordingly king of Spain ordered them to leave Haiti and Dominican Republic and go to Mexico and Peru where Spain established new settlements. Haiti in due course, became a French settlement. French became the official language. France had brought almost 5,00,000 slaves from Africa in contrast to 60,000 French. French made Haiti more prosperous than even their colony in part of Canada.

However during French Revolution of 1791, the so called slaves became conscious and rebelled against the French. Though Napoleon had sent French soldiers to recapture Haiti and make it French colony but it was short lived. The rebels defeated the French and General Jean Jacques Diesoline, leader of rebels, proclaimed Haiti an independent country, thereafter recognized all over the world.

In Haiti more than 80% are farmers and live in villages. They grow sugarcane; coffee which are processed there and exported to USA and other countries. Besides Haiti grows cotton. There are cotton mills and craft workers handicrafts that they have woven. Only 5 to 10 percent know French and rule the country, Republic of Haiti.

February 15, 2010 Posted by | Achievers, Cold War, Political Commentary, Religion, USA, World History | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Need For a States Reorganisation Commission

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.

January 29, 2010 Posted by | India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics, Religion, Sikhism, World | , , , , , , , , , | 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