H C Singh

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

Shashi Tharoor on Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru who was PM of Interim Government of British India under Lord Mountbatten become, logically, the first PM of Independent India on 15th August 1947. In this connection, Tharoor’s comments on British policy and also Nehru’s historic speech are worthy of praise and are reproduce below:

 “If the structures of British rule tended toward the creation of a united India for the convenience of the rulers, its animating spirit was aimed at fostering division to achieve the same ends. This seeming paradox (but in fact entirely logical construct) of imperial policy culminated in the tragic Partition of India upon independence—so that August 15, 1947, was a birth that was also an abortion.”

 “But despite the mourning in many nationalist hearts at the amputation that came with freedom, despite the refusal of Mahatma Gandhi to celebrate an independence he saw primarily as a betrayal, despite the flames of communal hatred and rioting that lit the midnight sky as the new country was born, there was reason for pride, and hope. India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, put it in words that still stir the soul:

 “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.”

 After 15th August 1947 address to the nation, Jawaharlal Nehru’s long career as PM extending to 17 years was not cent per cent praise worthy. There were many short comings. Shashi Tharoor has written so much on Nehru which is, significant, requires equally detailed comments. Being son of Moti Lal Nehru and educated in England, like Mahatma Gandhi, 29 year old Jawaharlal Nehru became in 1918 the youngest member of congress working Committee. Soon Gandhi chose him as his protégé. During independence movement Nehru spent 18 years in British jail. Thus in 1946 Jawaharlal “became Gandhi’s nominee” for Prime Ministership in interim Government of India. Being Mahatma Gandhi’s heir no leader of equal statue in Congress opposed him.

 Nehru’s first test of competence as PM was his inaction and failure to delete the line, added while accepting Instrument of Accession of Kashmir to India, mischievously by Mountbatten (possibly on the instructions from British Government). Nehru as PM of a Sovereign Country should have deleted this clause. Second blunder of Nehru on Kashmir was, that, too, under Mountbatten pressure or influence, to agree to cease fire when whole of Kashmir could be captured by Indian Army in just a fortnight more – Mountbatten had met Jinnaha in Lahore and had consented without consulting PM or Indian cabinet to refer Kashmir question to UN and thereafter to hold plebiscite. Had there been strong and determined PM like Sardar Patel, so much bungling on Kashmir would not have been there. Infact there would have been no Kashmir Problem at all, which has cost India lives of thousands of valiant soldiers and also lives of innocent Kashmiri citizens besides thousands of crores of rupees.

 Nehru’s other significant failure related to 1962 War by China when Nehru left for Sri Lanka saying I have ordered my Army to “throw Chinese out”. Defeat at the hands of China was so shocking that in a couple of years Nehru died in 1964. Unfortunately though Shashi Tharoor has written so much on Pandit Nehru in his book he has failed to comment on the vital issue of Kashmir and Nehru’s failure one after another to assert India’s views against British Governor General of India, Mountbatten.

 About Nehru’s all embracing nationalism and secularism Tharoor says: “Under Nehru, the Congress remained more a nationalist movement than a political party, embracing every ideological tendency, every religion, class or caste interest within it.” That is why so long as Nehru was PM despite his shortcomings, congress continued to be the only, virtually unchallenged, political party.

 Nehru’s socialist pattern of economics led to what is called ‘Inspector Raj’, whether the inspector is if Police, of Rationing Deptt, of Income tax. Though there was no ministerial corruption but state central of Industry led to increase in corruption and poverty. There were no avenues for the young educated aspirants. Shashi Tharoor rightly remarks “State directed industry simply did not have the absorptive capacity to soak up rural surplus labour.”

 Accordingly the best act of Narsimha Rao with Dr Man Mohan Sigh as Finance Minister was to abandon Nehru socialism and allow so called capitalism which led to rise in private industry, trade and all round improved India’s economy. It opened avenues of employment for poor villagers as well as educated and highly educated youngmen who had suffered under Nehru’s Socialism. Nehru’s socialism combined worst features of capitalism and socialism, so it was bound to be abandoned.

 It is surprising that Shashi Tharoor has neglected many political leaders. For instance there is no mention of Sardar Patel who was Minister of States, consolidated and unified India by incorporating 500 or so Princely States. Sardar Patel ordered the British C – in – C of India, who was reluctant, to send Indian Army to Kashmir when invaders from Pakistan had reached outskirts of Srinagar. There is only one small para on Lal Bahadur Shastri, who won a war against Pakistan and died of Heart Failure in Tashkent. There is no mention of other prominent leaders like Dr Rajendra Parsad, first President of India, Jaiparkash Narain, a selfless Gandhian. Even there is no mention of Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was Prime Minister of India and longest serving. Member Parliament, Shashi Tharoor has written a lot about Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi even mentioned about Rajiv Gandhi and Deve Gowda. These neglects and omissions as outlined above are noteworthy in such an important book on INDIA.

December 16, 2009 Posted by | Achievers, Biography, India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics, Religion, Shashi Tharoor, World, World History | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Appreciation and comments on Shashi Tharoor’s Book INDIA: From Midnight to The Millennium and Beyond

There is absolutely no doubt that Shashi Tharoor, besides being a great diplomat of UN and now almost Foreign Minister of India, is an excellent thinker and great writer of India. His ideas about Indian nationalism, Unity in Diversity and the detailed expression of these two fundamental issues is matchless. It is apt to reproduce in detail Tharoor’s views on these two aspects as under:

Indian nationalism is “not based on any of the conventional indices of national identity. Not language, since India’s Constitution recognizes eighteen official languages, and there are thirty-five that are spoken by more than a million people each. Not ethnicity, since the “Indian” accommodates a diversity of racial types in which many Indians have more in common with foreigners than with other Indians—Indian Punjabis and Bengalis, for instance, have more in common with Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, respectively, than with other Indians. Not religion, since India is a secular pluralist state that is home to every religion known to mankind, with the possible exception of Shintoism. Not geography, since the natural geography of the subcontinent – the mountains and the sea–was hacked by the Partition of 1947. And not even territory, since, by law, anyone with one grandparent born in pre-Partition India – outside the territorial boundaries of today’s state—is eligible for citizenship. Indian nationalism has therefore always been the nationalism of an idea. It is, as I have tried to demonstrate in this book, the idea of an ever-ever land emerging from an ancient civilization, united by a shared history, sustained by pluralist democracy.

 In 1996 the then prime minister, H.D.Deve Gowda, stood at the ramparts of Delhi’s, Red Fort to deliver Independence Day message to the Nation “What was unusual this time was that Deve Gowda, a southerner from the state of Karnataka, spoke to the country in a language of which he did not know a word. Tradition and politics required a speech in Hindi, so he gave one—the words having been written out for him in his native Kannada script, in which they, of course, made no sense.”

Such an episode is almost inconceivable elsewhere, but it represents the best of the oddities that help make India. Only in India could there be a country ruled by a man who does not understand its “national language”; only in India, for that matter.”

 There are some more very significant views of Shashi Tharoor on India’s Unity in Diversity, particularly about Sonia Gandhi whom many like Sharad Pawar considered a foreigner and not eligible for being the leader of Congress Party or Government as PM. As a congress Party has been in existence and leading the Indian Independence Movement for more than a hundred years. Here are some extracts from his book:

 India’s national identity has long been built on the slogan “unity in diversity.” The “Indian” comes in such varieties that a woman who is fair-skinned, sari-wearing and Italian-speaking, as Sonia is, is not more foreign to my grandmother in Kerala than one who is “wheatish-complexioned,” wears a salwar-kameez and speaks Punjabi. Our nation absorbs both these types of people; both are equally “foreign” to some of us, equally Indian to us all.

 Shashi Tharoor’s views on Unity in Diversity of India are superb. He has also written analytically on Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru Indira Gandhi even on Sanjay Gandhi. But there are other aspects on which some comments are called for particularly, his neglect of leaders like Dr Rajendra Parsad India’s first President who was first Bihari who topped in MA economics in Calcutta University with remarks of the Examiner “Examinee knows more than the examiner. There is also neglect of Dr Abdul Kalam Azad who though a Muslim was a dedicated follower if Gandhi till his last breath. Sardar Patel, Deputy PM who consolidated India by incorporation 500 Princely States and even Hyderabad by Pohri Action and Gandhian. Jaya Parkash Narain even to an extent of Lal Bahadur Shastri, glaring omissions of prominent leaders from opposition: E.M.S Nambodrepad, virtually founder of Communist Party in India and first Communist Chief Minister of Kerala and of an Indian State. Even Atal Bihari Vajpayee who has been Prime Minister of India as well as longest serving Member of India’s Parliament. These omissions are noteworthy in a famous book on INDIA.

December 14, 2009 Posted by | Achievers, Biography, India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics, Religion | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Augmentative India by Amaratya Sen

Writing on Indian culture, History and Identity.

Dialogues between Krishna and Arjuna which appears in Bhagwat Gita are impressive and educative and lasting.

          It is priority of doing ones duty….. “Krishna insists on Arjuna’s duty to fight, irrespective of his valuation of the consequences. It is a just cause and as a warrior and General on whom his side must rely obligation, no matter what the consequences are”. Arjuna’s profound doubts are not really vanquished ‘no matter what the message of Bhagwat Gita is meant to be. There remains a powerful case for faring well’ and not just ‘forward’.  

          Despite the compulsions to ‘fare forward’ there was reason also for reflecting of Arjuna’s concern. “How can good come from killing so many people? And why should I seek victory. Kingdom or happiness for my own side.”  

          This argument of Arjuna in dialogue with Krishna impressed the leader of the team which developed weapon of mass destruction during the Second World War- J Robert Oppenheimer was moved to quote Krishan’s words. ( I am become the death, the destroyer of worlds is when he saw on July 16, 1945 the awesome force of the first nuclear explosion devised by man.)  

          How can good come from killing so many people. But USA did not realize or regret but dropped another atom bomb in Nagasaki in Japan. 

          Amaratya Sen has talked a lot about Hindus and Hindutava, Muslims, Akbar and others, Christians coming to India in 4th century but has not mentioned about Guru Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh, Khalsa’s fights against Muslim terrorism. Auranzeb’s killing of Guru Tech Bahadur in Chandani Chowk or even about Guru Granth Sahib which contains verses of Hindu saints like Namdev and Muslim Sufis like Farid and Kabir. He has only mentioned about Sikhs in few lines at the end about anti Sikh riots after assassination of Indira Gandhi because the congress Government has not done anything to punish the criminals who were led by congressmen. He has not mentioned even about Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s conquest upto Khyber Pass. This is sad omission by Amaratya Sen in such an historic volume which has been acclaimed as “product of a great mind at the peak of its power “(Sunday Times)

            But as outlined on prepage there are some important contributions and references by the one who won Nobel Prize second Bengali and 4th Indian. The so called Song of ‘creation’ in Vedas ends with the following radical doubts. 

          “Who really knows, who will here proclaim it? Where produced? Where is this creation? The gods came after words with the creation of their universe who then knows when it has arisen?”

          “When this creation has arisen- perhaps it formed itself or perhaps it did not- and the one who looks down on it, in the highest heaven, only he knows or perhaps he does not know.”  

          This is one of the most important quotations from Vedas which makes Amaratya Sen and others to know how blind faith on anything in any saying is not worthy. It is important and rational like Arjuna to examine or think before taking a step. It is much more important for leaders like George Bush of USA to think of the consequences in death and devastation before ordering attack on Iraq and prior to that sending US Army to Afghanistan. Other leaders of nations including China and India should also do the same. Had Chinese leaders bothered to think on these lines there would not have been 1962 war with India. Had Pakistan, immediately after its creation not trained and armed tribals from NWFP to Kashmir there would have been lasting peace between India and Pakistan.  

          In a recent interview, Amartya Sen Nobel Laureate had all the praise for Manmohan, as he called him, both for his economic policy of liberalism as well as his courteous behavior with every one whether it is “George Bush or King of Bhutan”. It will interest everyone to quote Amartya Sen as under:

          “I don’t think these policies have been neo-liberal. Had they been we would have done much worse in economic crises. As an old friend may I say that people seem to miss? He is immensely well behaved with absolutely everybody, people say things like “when I saw him with Bush he looked so happy and so supportive” . But you see any picture of Manmohan and he always looks friendly and supportive….. I would defy you to find a picture of Manmohan looking angrily at any one. I haven’t seen one in 54 years I have known him.  Whether that is a lacuna in a politician…. But if there is a fault, it is a fault of generosity and courteousness.”     

          I don’t Think what glowing tribute Amartya Sen had paid to our Prime Minister, as an economist, as a courteous politician and as a superb smiling  human being, Amartya Sen has paid to any other living politician or economist in India and even abroad.

November 25, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian History, Religion | , , , | Leave a comment

Guru Gobind Singh Ji

Humble tribute by Harcharan Singh Chan

Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, like Guru Nanak Dev ji, the first guru, considered all human beings as the creation of one and the same god, the Creator, whom Hindus called Karta and muslim called Karim both refer to the same almighty God. In Guru Gobind Singh’s own word “ Hindu Turk(Muslims) Kou (Rafji, Imam Safi) manas ki Jaat Sabhe ek Pehchanbo.”

One of the most important and the most democratic hymns of Guru Gobind Singh ji is : What Ever I am it is because of the Khalsa. Otherwise, but for the Khalsa I am nothing. No saint or leader of humanity has said and written such touching and selfless words and meant what he said. To emphasise the universal greatness of Guru Gobind Singh ji. I take this opportunity to quote Gurujee’s words from hymns of Dosam Granth:

Judh Jeetai inhi ke parsad aur daan kare
Aah oag taray inhike parsad, inhiki kirpa faan dhaam bharray.
Inhi ke prasad vidya lee, inhi ki krippa sabh shatru mare
Inhi ki krippa ke sajje hum hein
nahin moh sou gharib karor paray.

Translated in simple English, The great guru means:

I have won wars because of Khalsa and able to give charities because of Khalsa.
I have been able to overcome all sorrows and ailments because of Khalsa and fill treasury of Khalsa. It is through the grace of Khalsa that I have got education and triumphed over all enemies. It is because of Khalsa that I have attained such high status otherwise there are millions of poor and insignificant people like me.

This hymn was written by tenth Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Here in my humility and reverence for great Guru I say with confidence that in the annals of world history there have been a few human beings who during 42 years of life attained unparallel distinction as a poet and scholar, who learnt Hindi, Persian, Sanskrit and Punjabi and wrote poetry and prose of examplry distinction. His ZAFAR NAMA in Persian where the great Guru follower of saint par excellence Guru Nanak Dev Ji, gave jurification for taking up arms against Mughal Army. Saying “Hama Heelta Dar Guzasht – Halal Ast Burdan Ba Shamsheer Dast” – meaning when all other alternatives of trying for justice and peace fail it is justified to take up arms to end cruelty.

Guru Ji was a great warrior too. He led the battles himself to inspire his followers, (the Khalsa) that he had created, were both high in spirit and valour. So Guru Ji said: Khalsa is my true face and I live in Khalsa.

Guru Ji sacrificed all his four sons, two aged 15 and 17 Sahibzada AJIT SINGH and Sahibzada JUJHAR SINGH died fighting against hordes of Mughals soldiers and Guru Ji’s Sahibzada ZORAVAR SINGH and Sahibzada FATEH SINGH two younger sons aged 8 and 10 were captured by the viceroy of Sirhand who was so cruel that he got the innocent children bricked alive. As Guru Ji’s children, they naturally refused to abondon the Khalsa faith and accept Islam. Guru Ji did not mourn the demise of his all the four children as mortals do but said “ What does it matter if I have lost four children there are many thousands of Khalsa who are alive.”

Guru Ji was a great organizer. He founded the Khalsa the Pure who would be ready to sacrifice all for the sake of justice who would die fighting and never surrender. After creating the Khalsa by giving them nectar Amrit, the great Guru Ji first asked for 5 Sees(heads) then he gave Amrit to 5 who became 5 pyaras. Thereafter the great guru himself bowed before them and got Amrit from them and so the congregation acclaimed wah wah Guru Gobind Singh, Appe Guru and Appe Chela – that the great guru is both the guru and the disciple.

Guru Gobind Singh was a rarest possible genius, philospher, poet, organizer, a valiant soldier and a brave leader of Khalsa soldiers and one of the rarest and greatest who willingly sacrificed all his four sons. Not only the Sikhs but whole humanity bows before him for his greatness, selflessness, spirituality, honesty and integrity. Guru Gobind Singh Ji always emphasized on good deeds, helping the needy and destitute. In this famous couplet he says:- “Deh Shiva Bar Mohi Ehe Shubh Karman Te Kabhum Naa Tarron.”

Oh god bless me that I never hesitate or waiver from doing good to others and live for helping others. This is the message often quoted by many eminent saints, social, religious and political personalities in Gurudwaras, Mandirs and other Congregations.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji declared that he is servant of God and no one should call him God. Who so ever calls him God may go to hell. In Guru Ji’s own words:

“ Mein huin Parampurakh ka dassa dekhan Ayun Jagat Tamasha.
Jo humko Pamashar uchar hoe soi te sabh Narak Kund mei porehein jai”

To sum it up, these are in brief teachings of Guru Gobind Singh Ji which are enshrined in our hearts and minds for the last 300 years since Guru Ji’s demise and these shall guide mankind to truthful, helpful and selfless living till eternity

October 5, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian History, Poems, Religion, Sikhism | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Religious Intolerance- A Threat to Democracy

Hinduism has been tolerant of other religions since ancient times. There was no conflict between Hinduism and Buddhism, between Jainism and Hinduism. These three religions were peaceful throughout centuries or ages. There were no conflicts and question of a conversion did not arise. But with the coming of Islam to India the country was divided for the first time in history, into two communities – Hindu and Muslim. K M Pannikar has explained this separation of two religious communities ‘ the main social result of Islam as a religion into India was the division of society from top to bottom”. Both Hindu and Muslim were irreconcilable and hostile which never happened before in India between any two or three communities.
Vaishneys comments are also realistic and significant “ The Hindus still feel in one way or other that they were treated unfairly ( in fact millions of Hindus were killed or converted during Muslim rule) by their Muslim rulers. Partition of India created Pakistan as a Muslim country (with Muslim law and sharia) but our nationalist leaders did not create India as Hindu Rashtra. In fact the Muslim fundamentalism created Pakistan.” It is thus unfair to blame Indian leaders like Gandhi Nehru and Patel for the creation of Pakistan as stated by Jaswant Singh and some others.
In India there is democracy though not perfect and without blemish despite some unfortunate happenings like demolition of Babri Masjid (which even Advani has regretted and has felt sorry) and Dal Khalsa that came into existence because of demolition of Golden Temple by Indira Gandhi and genocide of Sikhs under Rajiv Gandhi and some Indian Muslims participation in terrorist activities sponsored by Taliban and Killing of some Christians in Orissa.
India continues to be a multicultural multilingual and multi-religious pluralist democracy. No country in the world is perfect democracy whether it is USA, UK or Australia. There are mishaps in every country , 26/11 attack on India and attack on Parliament of India has awakened India to deal with Muslim terrorists from Pakistan and some from India itself, financed and trained by Pakistani terrorist organisaions.
As explained above Indain leaders after Partition of India did not make India a Hindu Rashtra. So India continues to be secular and the biggest democracy in the world. That is India’s pride because majority of Indian’s are tolerant and believe in democracy.

September 17, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian History, Religion | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fundamentalism and Terrorism

Root cause of terrorism lies in fundamentalism which leads to fanaticism which in due course becomes terrorism or leads to terrorism. Thus fundamentalism, whether it is Muslim and even in Muslims between Shias and Sunis or it is Christian which is responsible for death of 6 million Jews under Hitler or Jewish which is mainly responsible for Jewish-Arab conflict in Palestine and West Asia (Jews being armed and supported by America while Palestinian by rest of Arabs. Fundamentalism is an evil whether it is communistic, which caused death of hundreds of thousands under Stalin for being anti Stalin or anti communistic or it is Buddhist under Dalai lama, which is causing trouble in Tibet and strong reaction in China or Hindu fundamentalism of Bajrang Dal and RSS which led to demolition of Babri Masjid or Sikh fundamentalism Leading to Dal Khalsa separatist (though as a reaction to attack on Golden Temple under Indira Gandhi’s Prime Minister-ship.)

Fundamentalism of any type or of any religion or of any ‘ism’ is an evil. It is a curse on humanity.

I therefore quote from Bhavani Singh’s article on Global Terrorism.

PSYCHO-DYNAMICS OF TERRORISM

Terrorism, having acquired a religious label in the name of Jehad or holy-war has become attractive to its followers and is rooted deep into their psyche. It arms them with suitable motivation to attempt something really big or spectacular, no matter at what cost. The frequent use of human bombs indicates not only the capability but also the commitment of terrorists to make the supreme sacrifice on the altar of and in the name of religion which makes it transnational. The activities of Pak-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir and Hamas- induced killings in Israel are instances in point. Apart from getting an immense amount of international publicity and media coverage through frenzied headlines, the urge for which is universal, the perpetrators of such crimes also receive a shot in their arms in the name of religion. Ayatollah Mohammed Hussain, in his treatise Islam and Violence, expressed his views on terrorism with striking candour. He said, “We don’t see ourselves as terrorists because we don’t believe in terrorism. We don’t see resisting the occupier as a terrorist action. We see ourselves as Mujahideens who fight a holy war (Jihad) for the people. Faith, whether religious or political is all. To the individual terrorist or supporter of terrorism, a murder can be an expression of defense of freedom, a car bomb which kills civilians can be a blow struck in a war of liberation, a kidnapping and a murder can be a step towards justice.”

With the disintegration of USSR, New independent Muslim Countries of former Soviet Union have become more aggressive and fanatical Muslims. This is evident from the fact “Turkmenistan had only four functional mosques before 1991, now the number is over 100. Similarly in Uzbekistan the number of mosques increased from 300 to 5000. Even Kyrgistan today has over 1000 mosques.”… Before 1991 no Muslim from these Muslim republics of USSR was going for Haj pilgrimage… “People going to Haj pilgrimage are being financially helped by Saudi Arabia. The result is that Islamic terrorist groups have sprung up in all central Asian Islamic Republics….and efforts now are for full scale Talibisation despite guarded local resistant” (Bhawani Singh’s article on Global Terrorism) These republics are close to Iran and have been helping Iran in getting nuclear know-how and latest technologies and equipment for nuclear bombs and missiles.

It will be apt to conclude Islamic Terrorism with the Jehadi Terrorists of various categories in Pakistan and even in India because of Calcutta Killings of 1946 which were instigated by none others than Mohd Ali Jinnah President of Muslim League who said that to achieve our aim of getting Pakistan “today we bid goodbye to constitutional methods.” After Calcutta Killings through Muslim League ‘Direct Action’, in August 47, when Jinnah became Governor General of Pakistan he instigated killing of lakhs of Hindus and Sikhs who were rich and dominant in Agriculture industry and business. Thus under Jinnaha’s eyes about 10 lakh Sikhs and Hindus were massacred and more than 1 crore turned out in clothes they were wearing. It can therefore be said that Jinnah and Muslim League in 1946 to end of 1948 were terrorists by any standard. Pakistani Taliban sponsored terrorism continues to this day in Kashmir and many parts of India as is evidenced by 26/11 Bombay blasts and sporadic blasts and riots in many parts of India by Indian Muslim Jehadis with support from Pakistan. Jehadi organizations and Talibans.

USA And War on Terrorism

Since Second World War America has been responsible for the deaths of millions: first by dropping atom bombs on Hiroshima and then unnecessarily on Nagasaki killing thousands of innocent civilians including women and children, then by entering in Chinese Civil War on the side of Chiang Kai Shek to contain communism, the same in Korea and then in Vietnam where 10 million Vietnamese died and also about 1 lakh American Soldier. USA did not stop here continued to arm,finance and support Israel against Palestine and adjoining Arab countries there by making most of Arabs and Muslims all over the world Anti American if not enemies of America.

Then came two attacks in 9/11 in twin towers in New York, and as a reaction attack on Iraq and on Taliban in Afghanistan and even in Pakistan, though Taliban were American creation with a view to free Afghanistan from Soviet supported Communism.

After 9/11 terrorist attack on Twin Towers in New York in which 3000 Americans died. Norman Millar in his book ‘Why are we at War’ is virtually crying for his country, the USA. “What in God’s name was happening? It is one thing to hear a mighty explosion. It is another to recognize some time after the event that one has been deafened by it. The United States was going through an identity crisis. Questions about our nature as a country were being asked that most good American men and women had never posed to themselves before. Questions such as, Why are we so hated? How could anyone resent us that much? We do no evil. We believe in goodness and freedom. Who are we, then?

In fact USA right from the end of World War in 1945, as explained above killed millions of people to contain communism and to prove to the world that USA is the only Super Power, while upto 1939-40 USA believed in isolation under Monroe Doctrine and did not either interfere in the affairs of the rest of world or let rest of world (any country of Europe in particular) to interfere in its affairs.
Hindutva- Its true meaning

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, Mahabharat, Vedas, Shastra and other many millennium old Hindu or Vedic Literature. Hindutva also means that Indian civilzation 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 2001 while addressing a large gathering in Hardware 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 Hindutava as: Hindutava is the 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 secularists 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 two adolescent sons in Orissa.”(South Asia Today)

If BJP follows Hindutva in its full form with all the implications, 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.

It was mainly Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s farsight and determination that transformed BJS 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; in Punjab. If BJP tries to be a truly secular party lot of uncommitted voters from other religions and regions will support it.

No doubt Muslim terrorist, 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 to as and when necessary.

August 28, 2009 Posted by | India, Religion, Terrorism | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1990 to 2000

In November 1989 elections, because of failure of Rajiv Gandhi’s Government in many fields, Congress lost heavily. It could get only 197 seats against 400 in 1984 elections. No political party had absolute majority. There came up a coalition of Janta Dal that had won 142 seats but supported by left and BJP from outside. Thus Rajiv Gandhi lost and was replaced by V.P.Singh an ex congress Minister. With the end of Rajiv Gandhi regime India could not have Prime Minister who could function like Indira and Rajiv Gandhi as dictators. Also fron 1990, era of coalition governments had started with its weakness and failings.

With the decline of Rajiv Gandhi and congress because of economic setback, the Bofor kickback controversy and Vietnam war like disaster of IPKF in Sri Lanka, there was rise of V.P Singh and his newly created Janta Party. Janta Party was formed by V.P.Singh , erstwhile cabinet Minister in Rajiv Gandhi Government, though it won 142 seats but virtually all the other political parties from left and right CPM and BJP supported him from outside as all the opposition parties had suffered and felt humiliated by Rajiv Gandhi ‘s dictatorial rule from 1985 onwards.

Thus unexpectedly little known V.P Singh was sworn in as Prime Minister of India in place of Rajiv Gandhi who had tried his best during the election campaign of 1989 addressing more than 150 meetings all over India from North to South and East to West. BJP which had only two seats in parliament in 1984, won 86 seats in 1989 elections. Similarly left in W. Bengal and kerela consolidated hold and which had been ignored by Rajiv Gandhi and congress for a long, became prominent by supporting V.P Singh government from outside.

BJP took advantage of weak and dependent government of V.P Singh to prepare for rousing the Hindu sentiments against various governments of congress that had appeased the Muslims as Congress treated Muslims as their vote bank. Advani commenced his rath yatra from Somnath temple in Gujarat to disputed Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. In U.P. Mulayam Singh Yadav Government arrested thousands of kar-sewaks proceeding to Ayodhya. Similarly, in Bihar Lalu Prasad Yadav not only tried to prevent the yatra of Advani but put Advani under preventive detention. V.P Singh though Prime Minister of India was in a suspense for a long time. If he prevented the Rath Yatra he would loose BJP outside support and his government would fall, if he did nothing to prevent the Rath Yatra reaching Ayodhya. To stop the tide of communal frenzy, in November 1990, V.P Singh resigned. Thus mid-term elections were scheduled to be held in early of 1991. During the election campaign, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated but the elections went ahead. Because of sympathy for Rajiv Gandhi, the congress gained 240 seats against 140 seats a year and a half back. Thus congress again formed the government at centre, P.V Narsimha Rao erstwhile minister in Rajiv Gandhi’s government was sworn as Prime Minister. Thu ended V.P Singh’s short lived government . Had there been no Rath Yatra by Advani and the turmoil caused by it particularly in UP and Bihar, V.P Singh might have continued as P.M for a year or so more despite his decision to implement controversial Mandal Commission Report.

Just as V.P Singh who never dreamt or deserved to be Prime Minister of a vast multi lingual, multi religious country, so was the P V Narsimaha Rao, who had no voice of his own, could never express his views before the Prime Minister like Rajiv Gandhi, he was the first PM coming from south India, without much following in South India, not to speak of rest of India. Though Narsimaha Rao remained PM belonging to congress Party but his ineffectiveness in dealing with Babri Masjid demolition, he rather watched the demolition on TV and once it was all over, he dismissed Kalyan Singh government of UP and imposed Presidents rule. Had he effectively treated attempt to demolish Babri Masjid for which BJP and RSS had created havoc causing large scale riots in north India and thereafter as in India’s commercial capital Bombay, he should have sent Para Military Forces much before the December when about 1 lakh Kar Sewak’s had gathered. He should have much earlier dismissed Kalyan Singh Government which was BJP government and was giving food and shelter to Kar sewaks’. But Narsimaha Rao did nothing when he was required to do. So, he had to resign after next elections when congress under his Prime Ministership could get only 142 seats in Parliament, perhaps the lowest ever.

Narsimaha Rao was also the first ever Prime Minister of India who openly purchased MP’s like Shibu Soren and Paswan and other by paying them bribe of crores of rupees, so as to remain in power. So both V.P Singh and Narsimaha Rao would go down in history or remembered or referred to be the most ineffective and incompetent Prime Ministers of India who were disgrace to India as well as Indian democracy.

With the death through assasination of Rajiv Gandhi, Congress which had already became weak, lost further in votes and in prestiege because of competent successors on whom it could be said Prime Ministership was thrust. As the congress became weaker, the BJP gathered strength both in votes and status. But unfortunately for India and Indian Politics, communlism flourished because, mainly,of Advani’s Rath Yatra started on 25th Sept 1990 from Somnath Temple in Gujarat to Ayodhya with the declared purpose and plan to demolish Babri Masjid and on its place build Ram Temple. It is well known and historical fact that Mughal conquerer Babar to celebrate his victory and Muslim rule over Hindu ( ‘Kafir’ as Muslims in those days as called Hindus) demolished the Ram temple and on its place built a Masjid which he and the Muslims started calling Babari Masjid.

Advani took up with the mass following of RSS and VHP workers who were known to be fanatics and some as militants and BJP workers, to erase the blemish on the Hindu Dharma by demolishing the so called Babri Masjid and build in its place temple of Lord Ram or Ram Lala as he was called. Thus from the north Indian states particularly, besides Gujarat, UP, Delhi and Bihar, Advani’s Rath yatra encouraged thousands of followers now known as Kar Sewaks . Their member before the yatra reached Ayodhya crossed 1 lakh, many carrying Trishuls and some with bows and arrows . In UP they were housed and fed by BJP Chief Minister Kalyan singh’s government while in Bihar Lalu Yadav detained them. In Delhi there was nominal objection or hurdle as Narsimaha Rao, the new PM had latent interest in allowing the building of Ram temple. So he, despite his predecessor V.P Singh’s resignation on this issue went ahead, despite his Home Ministry suggesting deployment of para military forces to halt the Rath yatra and detain the leaders particularly of RSS who were becoming violent against local police force. As a result on 6th December, the day decided the Babri Masjid was demolished leading to great unrest Muslims coming out burning Hindu shops and houses and in retaliation Hindus doing the same more vigorously. It was only after demolition of Babri Masjid which PM Narsimahar Rao had watched even on T.V. that he dismissed Kalyan Singh’s BJP government and imposed President’s Rule.

Advani had often accused congress of appeasing Muslims as it considered Muslim votes as its previous vote bank in winning elections . Thus he ridiculed congress type secularism.

Aftermath of Babri Masjid demolition was many fold. It led to killing of more than 2000 innocent Indians whether Hindus or Muslims, of which more than 60% casualties were of Muslims though they constituted less than 15% of Indians population. Secondly it weakened Indians faith in equality of all citizen without discrimination on the basis of religion or faith. Thirdly, as the Rath yatra passed through north Indian states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP, Delhi and Bihar, the death toll because of riots was maximum in these states, particularly in UP and Maharashtra’s capital Bombay.

Riots were spontaneous in UP particularly near and around the city of Ayodhya, Kar sewaks celebrating the demolition of Babri Masjid by setting on fire Muslim Houses and shops and killing Muslims. In other places of UP it was left to Muslims to take revenge and set on fire Hindu houses and shops, killing of Hindus and here and there killing priests of temples and destroying the temples.

On December 7, a day after the demolition of Babri Masjid, riots broke out in Bombay which has been one of the most peaceful cities of India, being commercial capital India. Riots were started by Muslims, in Muslim dominated area of Mohammed Ali Road, burning Hindu houses and shops and in addition effigies of Hindu leaders were publicly set to flames. A temple in this Muslim dominated area was also burnt down. This infuriated Hindus, particularly of Shiv Sena and BJP, whose followers took out a procession in Dharavi area of north Bombay, attacking Muslim homes and shops. Muslims too went and killed a priest and destroyed another temple. Next day Shiv Sena declared Bombay band. For whole day riots by Shiv Sena continued despite police presence. Out of about 1000 people who died in Bombay riots, about 800 were Muslims. Three months after the demolition of Babri Masjid, Muslims of Bombay asserted by Dubai based mafia who supplied RDX explosives, initiated scenes of bomb blasts in Bombay stock exchange and other places like luxury hotels etc to inflict maximum casualties as well to get lime light. The Babri Masjid demolition and its aftermath leading to killing of more than 2000. Mostly innocent citizens of India had to wave of sadness in all the citizens of India. I also wrote a poem in those days which is reproduced below:

Demolition of Babri Masjid

Since Times Immemorial in Ayudhya there was
A sacred Ram Temple
Worshiped by Hindus as most sacred temple
Babar the invader destroyed this God’s temple
Virtually no temple of Hindus, Buddists or
Jains was left standing
All the worshipers were left wailing
From Turkey to Afghanistan
And what is now Pakistan
Terrorist Babar Killed, Tortured and imprisoned Lakhs
He imprisoned Guru Nanak and other saints
Guru Nanak even complained to God
As to why the Almighty allowed Babar to invade
Our peaceful land.
But as Babar had destroyed
Temple after Temple
To commemorate his conquest he built
On the sacred ruins of Ayudhya temple Masjid
And called it Babri Masjid.
With the end of Moughal rule
Came the British rule
Hindu devotees claimed Babri Masjid was
Infact their ancient and sacred temple
British withheld the dispute between
Masjid and Temple
But Muslims were not allowed to offer Namaz
So on doors of Masjid – Temple they put lock
Congress Governments to win Hindu votes
Under Rajiv Gandhi in 1986 removed the lock
Allowed Hindus in part of Masjid to install their lord
With BJP Government in Uttar Pradesh
Plan was hatched to destroy Babri Masjid
Congress Government of Narashimarao approved tacitly.
As no steps were taken to forestall or
Halt this unlawful activity
No troops were sent to prevent demolition
Thus BJP and Shiv Sena completed their mission
Without bothering about Muslim reaction
Sooner or Later that was certain
In Bombay there was Eruption and Explosions
Killing hundreds of Indian citizen mostly Hindus
Injuring thousands of other primarily Hindus
Destroying vast National property
Jeopardising National unity.
I could not shut my eyes
I could not plug my ears
I share with you, my countrymen
Of all faiths and religions
What I saw heard and felt
I could have been killed during partition riots
Or during 1984 Anti Sikh riots
But I am alive my countrymen to tell you all.

August 28, 2009 Posted by | India, Politics, Religion | Leave a comment

Assassination of Indira Gandhi and its Aftermath

After attack on Golden Temple and demolition of Akal Takhat by Indian Army authorized by Indira Gandhi, it is said that Prime Minister was warned by intelligence agencies that there could be attempt on her life. She was even advised to do away with Sikh members of her personal body guards. But she rejected the suggestion saying that ‘aren’t we secular’ ( The Times). She did not, realize the gravity of attack on Golden Temple on Sikhs, or not forgetting that British General Dyer who had ordered indiscriminate firing in Jallianwale Bagh in April 1919 killing more than 400 peaceful Punjabi’s was shot dead in London by Udham Singh, a Sikh who waited for years. Thus Indira Gandhi who had masterminded the attacks on Golden Temple or even Gian Zail Singh who was President but could not do anything to prevent the attack, by resigning or even threatening to resign, were likely to be targets.

On 31st October 1984, Indira Gandhi was shot at point blank and killed by her two Sikh body guards, Beant Singh and Satwant Singh early in the morning while walking from her residence to her adjoining office. Both Beant Singh and Satwant Singh had gone to Punjab to meet their families. It seems that they were shocked to hear and see the impact of operation Blue Star on not only those who had lost their Kith and Kin in Golden Temple on Guru Arjan’s martyrdom day but even ordinary Sikhs who must have wept while telling the atrocities and death of hundreds of innocent old Sikh peasants, women and children, besides thousands of men. Indiscriminate violence against sikhs began on the 31st October night, after Rajiv Gandhi had been sworn in as P.M after 6 pm. Till then Indira Gandhi’s death had not been announced on AIR though she had died on the spot and had been brought dead to the AIIMS hospital.

Assassination of Indira Gandhi or some VIP like Zail Singh or other was feared as Operation Blue Star was an attack on Golden Temple, on the Sikh religion and sikh honour. More than 10,000 Sikh had been butchered indiscriminately including old men, women and children by a cleverly manipulated crisis by Indira Gandhi to humiliate the Sikhs with a view to pose in the next election as a Durga—goddess of Hindus, because Indira Gandhi had lost hope of winning South and East India.

Some reaction even, violent reaction to be PM’s assassination was feared. But it could not, by any stretch of imagination, be thought that Congress, second line of leadership will lead the gangs, organize arson, loot and murder of Sikh’s simultaneously in many towns, Railway trains and buses Killing of Sikhs continued for 4 days with active participation of local police force.

We were eye witness to these traumatic happenings when Gurdwara just across our house was being gharoaed stoned and burnt and Holy Granth thrown and burnt. The details of these 1947-partition, like riots in the Capital can be best seen in Indian Express of Nov 1 to Nov 20. From the rough estimates it is gathered that more than 10,000 Sikhs perished in this “Nadirshahi” of Congress in certain cases there were 3 to 4 windows in one family done.

The Sikhs outside Punjab were hostages at the mercy of the hoodlums who could be organized, financed and instigated to commit unprintable crimes against Sikh men, women and children whether they happened to be poor workers in jhugis and settlement colonies or rich business men in posh colonies, middle class workers traveling to and from office or sikh army officers going to duty. Even clean shaven sikh truck drivers who are just sikhs by birth, neither extremists nor religious , all who were unfortunate on the days when hell itself was let loose, were mercilessly beaten and burnt alive.

In this genocide of Sikhs more than 25,000 sikhs were Killed—burnt alive by pouring kerosene on their heads in the presence of their wives, children, sisters and mothers. Some were burnt by putting burning tyres in their necks, some were killed with steel rods supplied by hooligans and Congress workers, some were dragged out of their houses, there hands tied with one end of there turbans and with the other end of turban tied on their necks, they were dragged and killed.

Sikh’s women were molested and raped in the presence of their husbands, sons and young daughters and old mothers. Such inhuman torture and killing of Sikhs went on for 4 days while police was just on lookers. Even policemen did not come forward to save the life or honour of such women victims.

It was not only Delhi, though Delhi was the worst sight of slaughter of Sikhs but in cities like Kanpur where 500 sikhs perished in the same way and dozen of other towns, in trains and buses. This was something like partition riots of 1947. In 1947 when trains full of dead bodies of Sikhs and Hindus reached Punjab, when about a million of Sikhs and Hindus were butchered, Sikhs retaliated by killing Muslims in Punjab and sending their dead bodies to Pakistan. This retaliation helped to end massacre of Sikhs and Hindus in Pakistan. But in Delhi in 1984 where Sikhs were hardly 5 percent and it was their own country, could not and did not retaliate. They only suffered silently for 4-5 days, and wept for days, months and years, but no justice was done. Not a single criminal was found guilty and sentenced to death or imprisonment. Khushwant Singh, eminent journalist and writer in his book My Bleeding Punjab writers:

“ At break of dawn of 1st November, the anti Sikh pogrom got going in right earnets. Truckloads of hoodlums armed with steel rods, jerry cans full of Kerosene oil and petrol went round the city setting fire to gurdwaras. One adjacent to my apartment was raided by a gang which threw out the carpets, the canopy along with the holy book, the Granth, in the courtyard and made a bonfire of them. They roughed up the 65 year old priest. The gang departed taking the Gurdwara money box amid shouts of “Indira Gandhi Zindabad”.

“ In the heart of New Delhi’s main shopping center, Connaught Circus, Sikh owned furnitures shops were set ablaze while crowds cheered and police looked on. There were no signs of grief over the death of Prime Minister but plenty of envy, hate and malicious pleasure at seeing Sikhs who had done better than they being cut to size”.

Khushwant Singh adds about his own grief panic and reaction:

“ I awaited my turn. I felt like a partridge in a partridge shoot waiting to be flushed out of cover and shot on the wing. For the first time I realized what jews must have felt like in Nazi Germany…. Get out of your place was the repetitive advice (to Khushwant Singh by his well wishers). But go where and how? They were killing Sikhs in trains, buses, taxis, scooters. The killings assumed the proportion of genocide of Sikh’s community.
I had half an hour to pack up. I wrenched off the nameplate from my door. What could I take with me from my home where I had lived ever since I had been driven out of Pakistan. They could have the bloody lot ( all my belongings ). Thirty seven years ago I left the same kind of stuff to Pakistan, now I would leave to Hindustan”.

“Romesh Thapar bundled us into the Car of a diplomat. We found sanctuary in the home of Rolf and Jeanne Gauffin of the Swedish Embassy. In my own homeland I had become a refugee, deprived of my birth right to mourn the assassination of my Prime Minister. Instead I mourned the deaths of thousands of men who were killed for no other reason than that they happened to belong to the same community as the Prime Minister assassins.” (My Bleeding Punjab).

Retired Supreme Court Justice V.M.Tarkunde, concluded in his report ‘ the carnage (of Sikhs) was orchestrated by Congress’. “ According to it plans for their massacre (of Sikhs) were nurtured by party leaders on the night of 31st October…Kerosene was collected, killers were gathered from both inside and outside the localities, Jhuggis (huts) and houses of Sikhs identified”.

The “SUNDAY” a widely circulated weekly from Calcutta, described Rajiv Gandhi’s silence on the subject as “ the first black mark he has got on his otherwise clean image”.

“Police instead of curbing violence by taking action against the killers of Sikhs in 1984 massacre of Sikhs in Delhi. The role of Delhi Police in preventing any viable Sikh defence is well testified. In a number of cases, Police personnel confiscated licensed fire arms from Sikh’s and shot at the defenders if they resisted”. (Religion Violence and Political Mobilisation).

Following quotations are from book by Manoj Mitra and H.S. Phoolka:
‘When a Tree Shook Delhi’.

It must be said that Mr Phoolka is a very eminent lawyer who has been fighting right from the beginning for justice for victims of 1984 Genocide of Sikhs.

Annexures from book when a Tree Shook Delhi by Mr Mitra and Sardar H.S. Phoolka. Again, “It would be startling to note that General Arora hero of 1971 war against Pakistan and who received surrender from Pakistan’s General Niazi who had agreed to hand area 90,000 Pakistani soldiers to Indian Army as Prisoners of War, had to be escorted and took shelter in the house Shri I.K. Gujral.”

‘Zail’s car stoned, panic in Delhi’ was a headline in The Telegraph, which said: ‘ The President’s motorcade, as it proceeded towards AIIMS from the airport, was heavily brickbatted. Three cars in the motorcade were damaged, though the President, who was in his bulletproof car, was unaffected.’

In his affidavit before the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission, the first judicial inquiry ordered in 1985, Jagjit Singh gave an eyewitness account of the second attack on President Zail Singh. “ All the stone pelting, he said, was done by a small group which raised slogans such as ‘Giani Murdabad’ (Down with Zail Singh), ‘Sardar gaddar hai’ (Sikhs are traitors) and ‘Khoon ka badla khhon’ (Avenge murder with murder).”

As hundreds of affidavits were filed during and after1984 anti-Sikh riots and placed before the justice Ranga Nath Mishra Commission Jain-Aggarwal Committee was set up by Government to examine all these affidavits. After fully examining these affidavits , Jain-Aggarwal Committee submitted its report to the Lt Governor of Delhi, as required on 6th August 1993.The report highlighted the “colossal indifference towards the loss of human life and property of the Sikhs.” The committee also stated that the police, in many cases either did not register FIRs or deliberately misregistered them and subsequently “sabotaged” the investigation so that the cases could not stand up in court as many did.

It is noteworthy that the Jain-Aggarwal committee in view of its findings “recommended severe punishment for 298 dishonest police officers, the registration of 333 fresh cases and reinvestigation of 129 other cases to undo the misdeeds of earlier investigations. The committee also indicted many local congress functionaries who later on went on to become M P’s and Ministers for instigating and leading the rioters. No wonder no action has been taken against officials like the Police Commissioner S.C.Tondon who was rewarded by crucial appointment after retirement” ( Pioneer dt 19-08-93).

Had the guilty police officers and congress leaders and personnel listed by Jain-Aggarwal committee been punished, there would not have been demolition of Babri Masjid and consequent riots in many states particularly UP and Maharashtra, Bombay in particular casting thousands of lives, disturbing peace and harmony, now, between Hindus and Muslims.

It is regrettable and painful for all Sikhs all over the world and also thousands of non Sikhs and non Punjabis all over India that not a single Culprit and Criminal out of hundreds of politicians, policemen and paid ruffians has been convicted and punished even after 25 years when more than 10,000 Sikhs were massacred in the genocide of Sikhs in 1984. It is slur on our politicians and on our democracy.

Excerpts of testimonies before the Misra and Nanavati Commissions:
Writer Patwant Singh before the Nanavati Commission ….
“That Air Chief Marshall Arjan Singh (Retd), Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora (Retd.), Brig. Sukhjit Singh (Retd.), S. Gurbachan Singh and I called on the President of India in the morning of 1 November 1984. We spent one hour with the President and told him that numerous Sikhs were being killed all over the capital, emphatically spelling out for him the violence overtaking the Sikhs throughout the city. We made clear that he as the President was morally and constitutionally bound to put an end to it. He replied, ‘I do not have powers to intervene.”

Former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan before the Nanavati Commission….

“ That we visited Shakarpur, Pandav Nagar, and several east Delhi’s colonies, and rescued many trapped Sikh families, and took them to the nearest Gurdwara….We also saw many dead bodies of Sikhs who had been killed, and some bodies were still burning.”

Former Finance Minister Madhu Dandavate before the Misra Commission

“When the train reached Tughlakabad Station (on the suburbs of Delhi) on 2 November morning, a large number of persons carrying iron rods, axes, crow bars, etc. entered our train. They declared that no Sikh would be allowed to leave the train alive. At that time, I found that some Sikhs in the adjoining compartments were pulled down by those outsiders carrying weapons. I found two Sikhs killed and thrown on the platform, and then their dead bodies were set on fire on the platform. The police standing on the platform made no efforts to prevent either the killing or burning of the Sikhs.”

In october 84 I had gone on leave to my home in Delhi and was witness to destroying the Gurudwara opposite our house in Janak Puri B-1 Block and burning of Holy Guru Granth Sahib and throwing our in Nallah other copies of Holy Granth Sahib. Even my house was locked and glass panes of drawing room broken. Luckily my tenant in first floor was an Air force officer Squadron Leader. He came down immediately and faced the mob, saying this is my house and thus our family and our house was saved. It was a miracle. For three days and nights we did not move out. Then and there I decided that I shall not go back to Lucknow to join duty in the institute. So I applied for voluntary retirement and remained on leave for 3 months till Feb 28 when I went to handover charge and say goodbye to Director and the Institute.

Before concluding the chapter on assassination of Indira Gandhi and its aftermath. I would like to reproduce my four poems which I wrote in those days and were first published in my Punjabi book ‘Payyar Te Rossa’ and afterwards I translated these poems and included in my book ‘ Pluralist Politics and Poems of Revance Love and Sorrow’.

August 28, 2009 Posted by | India, Religion, Sikhism | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Attack On Golden Temple

It is apt and befitting to explain in brief the importance and sanctity of Golden Temple. Foundation of Golden Temple was laid by a Muslim Saint, Mian Mir under aegis of Guru Ram Das, so that as preached by Guru Nanak Dev, it is one and the same God to whom Muslims call Allah and Hindus call Ram and that all humanity is one and as elucidated in Guru Granth Sahib, Holy Book of Sikhs called perennial Guru after Guru Gobind Singh—AVVAL ALLAHA NOOR UPAYA, KUDRAT KE SABH BANDE EK NOOR SE SABH JAG UPJYA KON BHALE KON MANDE.

During British rule Golden Temple remained assigned to hereditary Mahants. It suited the British rulers so that they could keep watch over the Sikh Gurudwaras and indirectly on Sikhs, so that they do not unite against them and create problems as they valued the support of Sikhs, particularly the Sikh Soldiers who constituted during and upto first World War about 50% of Indian Army and were instrumental in Allied victory in Europe against German Army. It will be noteworthy that on India Gate hundreds of names of Sikh soldiers are inscribed who died fighting in 1st World War, it was a British tribute to valiant Sikh soldiers.

It was only in 1925 that the Sikhs rose to demand the handing over of Gurudwaras like Golden Temple and NanKana Sahib (Birth place of Guru Nanak Dev ji). After prolonged agitation which was absolutely non-violent and in which more than one hundred Sikhs laid down their lives (SHAHID’s) the British relented and accepted the demand of Shromani Gurudwara Porbandhak Committee (the apex body of Sikh’s and handed over the management of all Gurudwaras including Golden Temple to SGPC (organization).On the non-violent agitation of valiant Sikhs, Mahatma Gandhi sent a telegraph message hailing the victory as ‘first decisive battle for India’s freedom won’.

But Indira Gandhi not caring for the sanctity of the Golden Temple and Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent struggle for India’s independence decided to send Indian Army with tanks and mortars to attack the Golden Temple, holiest of holy Sikh shrine, apparently to flush out Bhinderanwale and his militants, whom Indira Government with the assistance of Darbara Singh CM of Punjab and Zail Singh then Home Minister of central Government had made a hero of prominence.

For a while one should close ones eyes and imagine: how Christians all over the world would have reacted if Italian Army had attacked Vatican with tanks and destroyed part of church of Rome. Also how Muslims all over the world would have cried and taken revenge if Mecca, their holiest shrine, where millions of Muslims from all over the world go for “Haj” every year, had been attacked with tanks by Saudi Arabian Army. Lastly how Hindus all over the world have wept if Mathura, Kashi temples in north or Tirupati temple in South had been attacked by Indian Army with all the force of tanks and latest arms?

Golden Temple for Sikhs all over the world is as sacred and sacrosanct as Mecca for Muslims, Rome for Christians and Kashi and Mathura for Hindus. One fails to understand why Indira Gandhi chose to attack Golden Temple after almost year long preparation? Was it to teach Akali’s and Sikh’s a lesson in revenge, for Akali’s opposition to emergency during which out of total of 80,000 arrests all over India as many as 30,000 Akali’s and Sikhs courted arrest? Whatever the reason attack on Golden Temple was most unfortunate and unforgivable.

Indian Army units stationed at all the entry points (gates) of Golden Temple but allowed Bhinderanwalis associates and militants to enter with arms. Army units and armed soldiers could prevent their entry or at least disarm them but, seemingly from orders from Delhi they did not.

On the other hand government cleverly chose a Sikh Major General R S Barar who was asked to contact two senior Lieutant Generals Sunder ji and Dayal as situation in Punjab and in Golden Temple Complex had become very serious and the militants housed in Akal Takhat might have to be eliminated by military action. It is well known that it was Indira Gandhi decision to attack Golden Temple to flush out or kill the militants. Accordingly on 2nd June 1984 Indira spoke on All India Radio about bloodshed saying “ all sectors of Punjab not to shed blood but shed hatred ”. This was just to justify her decision to attack Golden Temple. Accordingly, without waiting any further on 3rd June ‘Punjab’s road, rail and telephone links with the whole of India were cut off so that Punjab was fully segregated and could have no contacts out of Punjab during impeding Army attack. On the other hand, strangely curfew in Amritsar was lifted on 3rd June as it was martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev so that more people could gather in Golden Temple. Sporadic firing stated on 4th by both the Army and militants. But actual Army attack was launched on the night of 5th— the BALCK DAY for Sikhs all over the world for Punjab and for Indira Gandhi and even for whole of india.

As there was multi-directional firing from militants of Bhinderanwale, the army commander asked for and got immediate permission to use tanks. Accordingly about ten tanks entered the premises of Golden Temple and started shooting at Akal Takhat which was virtually destroyed in a couple of hours of firing and fighting. It is estimated that more than 500 Indian Army troops last their lives while most of the militants including Bhinderanwala and Shubeg Singh were killed. In addition more than 3000 pilgrims who had come from adjoining villages to pay homage to Guru Arjan Dev an morlyedom Day (called Gurupurab) also lost their lives in the premises of Golden Temple. The pilgrims included innocent children and their mothers and fathers.

R.S. Barar who was in charge of operation ‘Blue Star’ says ‘ it must be admitted that the tenacity with which the militants held their ground, the stubborn velor with which they fought the battle and the high degree of confidence displayed by them merits praise and recognition’. Another Sikh General who won the battle against Pakistani forces in East Pakistan (East Bengal now Bangla Desh) made startling statement : The Army was used to finish a problem created by the government. This is the kind of action that is going to ruin the army (Qutated by Patwant Singh in his book ‘The Fatal Misealulation’).

Speech of a non-sikh, non-Punjab but a true Indian, caring for all religions, all cultures and provinces, on the attack on Golden Temple is an eye opener. Shri Parvathaneni Upendra spoke on the white paper in Parliament on July 25, 1984 as under:

None of us either the government or the Akali’s or the rest of the opposition has come out with any honour or with any flying colours in this sordid drama. Everyone of us has proved unequal to the task and as an Indian and as a nationalist I feel ashamed and I hang my head in shame at what has happened in Punjab recently, particularly in June. And ultimately for the first time in India’s history the Army had to be sent to a religious institution. Whatever may be the reason to the justification of the same, it is a shameful thing”.

BJP leader, L.K. Advani who, too, is non Sikh and non Punjabi spoke on the tragedy of army attack and destruction of Akal Takhat, on White Paper. He said, “ After all the destruction of Akal Takhat pained not only those who proclaim themselves as Sikhs, but even those like the rest of us”.

Khushwant Singh eminent journalist has written a book ‘My Bleeding Punjab’ on operation Blue Star and genocide of Sikhs after Indira’s assassination. He is emphatic that attack on Golden Temple could be avoided. Khushwant Singh wrote: “It could not have been very difficult for a limited commando action to capture Bhinderanwale dead or alive. At long last when the Government decided to act, it did so at the Worst possible time the death anniversary of Guru Arjan, when thousands of pilgrims were visiting the temple and the worst manner, storming the temple with tanks and armoured cars and blasting the Akal Takhat” He further added ‘ One lesson to be learnt from storming of the Golden Temple is that it was the worst way of handling the explosive situation. Another is that political economic and social problems are not solved by superior gun power but by persuasion, by give and take”. It is noteworthy that Khushwant Singh calls himself agnostic (not religious) and he also returned his title of Padam Shri conferred on him by Government of India.

From the painful reaction on storming of Akal Takhat in Golden Temple Complex and death of thousands of pilgrims women and children who have nothing to do with militant Sikhs or Bhinderanwala, it is crystal clear that deployment of Army, with tanks and armored cars was unnecessary.Had Indira Gandhi used persuasiveness and was determined to solve Bhinderanwala problem peacefully and diplomatically with use of minimum force , that, too, if other alternate way of settlement had failed. But as stated earlier, it was clear that Indira had ‘decided’ to storm Golden Temple without bothering to consider the reaction and consequences. Being a Congress leader and PM representing congress Party, she should have followed, if not fully, to some extent Gandhi ji’s philosophy of non-violence and her father Prime Minister Nehru, listened to the advice of senior civil servants and not her psychophantal ministers who were bound to approve, or keep quiet, to all policy matters and decisions she had made up her mind to take and implement. This has proved to be tragic, for her, for Sikhs and for the nation.

In June 1984, I was a senior government servant, though I heard on radio that Indian Army had entered the Golden Temple complex with tanks and destroyed the Akal Takhat, just opposite the Golden Temple proper. I silently shed tears on hearing the tragic news but could not and did not express or share my agony with any one. As senior Administrative officer of National Institute ( Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research Lucknow), I was virtually and actually head of the Institute in the absence of Director. Before going on tour which was once every month for a week or more, he would come to my room, which was opposite his room, and say “Singh Sahib now Institute is Aap Ke Hawale ie under you”. Being in such a position with full responsibility for the National Institute that had strength of more than 500 technical officers and workers. I supressed my agony and feeling fully and devoted to my duties from 8AM to 8PM. But I did express my feelings in my diary as under:

“This day last month, this time (11PM) something terrible happened in Golden Temple. I as a Government servant would not comment on it but I as a Sikh as an Indian and as a human being feel deeply hurt by the events of the night of 4th and 5th June 1984, May some hidden power, social, religious, revolutionary Marxist or anything save this country and its people.

I had been silently shedding tears every night in my bunglow without telling to anyone in the institute where there were some Sikhs, too.

August 28, 2009 Posted by | India, Religion, Sikhism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment