H C Singh

Russia and Chechnya

In 1991 when USSR collapsed in its place Russian Federation came into existence. Independence to many republics was recognized. Many such republics had Muslim majority. But Chechnya, Muslim republic, whose Muslim neighboring republics like Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan etc were given independence, was not granted Independence. Accordingly Chechnya started fighting for independence right from 1991 and in 1996, Russian Army was deployed.

In 1999 Russia sent 90,000 troops, who mercilessly killed 30,000 to 40,000 Chechen Civilians and rebels. This mass killing of Chechens by Russian Army led to suicide bombing as Chechnya, which had only one million populations could not fight with well trained Russian Army of a million or so. From year 2000 to the latest suicide bombings of Moscow metro etc in March-April 2010 there had been 42 separate cases of suicide bombing by 63 Chechens who killed themselves. Of the total suicide bombers 40 percent were women, who had lost their fathers, brothers or sons and felt that they have no purpose to live but take revenge and die.

Why is Russia arrogant and even cruel to Chechens? Why did not Russia grant independence to Chechnya in 1991 itself when it granted and recognized independence of all the Muslim Majority States of erstwhile USSR?

If Russian Federation continues to suppress by force independence movement of Chechnya killing thousands of innocent civilians along with rebels, it is likely to raise hue and cry in other Muslim countries around Chechnya. It may even lead to a situation similar to that of Talibans and other militants in Afghanistan and in Pakistan’s NWFP and Baluchistan which has been continuing for more than a decade, despite US bombing by Drone planes which killed hundreds of Talibans. It is high time that Russian Federation considers seriously of negotiating with Chechen rebel leaders and come to an end to this strife and eliminate the chances of suicide bombing.

Today Russia happens to be the biggest country in the world in area, spreading from Europe in West to close to Japan in the East, covering entire Siberia. Literacy of present day Russia is almost 100%, the per capita GDP 14,700 equivalent to US dollars. Thus Russia need not be adamant in keeping almost the smallest state of Russian Federation within Russian Federation and create untold miseries to Chechens and annoying the Muslims of adjoining Muslim independent states. Equally untold and unlimited miseries to Russians through suicide bombing by so called “Black Widows” of Chechnya causing death and injury to unlimited number of innocent Russians, going in Metros or other transport to their duty or work. Just as after the Second World War Russia (then USSR) in due course vacated East Berlin, East Germany and most of Eastern Europe, particularly Hungary, after prolonged fight, Russia should grant complete independence to Chechnya.

April 9, 2010 Posted by | Muslims, Political Commentary, USSR, World, World History | , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

 The case came before the Delhi High Court on appeal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Little Known Facts about Jallianwala Massacre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arthur Herman describes the order of Dyer as under:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hinduism-Its Origin and Philosophy

 The word Hindu is derived from river Sindhu. All those living around this river were called Hindus, originally by the Persians. Accordingly the country where Hindus lived came to be known as Hindustan. The place where Hindus live, where Hindu culture and Hindu language like Sanskrit and its offshoots like Hindi are spoken and written.

Hinduism is the oldest religion of the entire world. When the ancient caves of Mohenjodaro were unearthed in 1920’s, the first evidence of existence of Hinduism was also unearthed. It showed, Hinduism existed about 2000 to 3000 BC ie, 4000 to 5000 years ago. These also clearly showed the mode of worship of Hindu deities by the Hindus of ancient times.

It is significant to note that unlike the other major religions of the world, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. Hindu Dharma was not founded by one guru or prophet. Hinduism evolved and developed gradually over many thousand years. Similarly Hinduism has not one but many sacred books like Rigveda, Dharam Shastras, Ramayan and Mahabharat expounded and written at different during periods of history.

Ancient Hindus, as outlined in Rigveda, worshiped nature and great objects of nature like earth, sun and waters particularly the sacred rivers like Ganga and Yamuna and their joining together (Sangam) at Haridwar ie, abode of God. Millions of Hindus even in these days go to Haridwar to pray and take dip, reciting rhymes or simply Ram Ram.

Followers and philosophers of Upanishads (around 700 BC) named the Supreme spirit that created earth, sun, water and mountains as Brahma. Brahma was omnipresent but formless. Followers of ancient Hinduism could not worship a formless entity so they invented various gods in humans and animals which they started worshiping. There are three male deities of Hindus viz Brahma, the creator of the universe, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva who is both the destroyer and regenerator. These three deities are also called Trimurthi.

The female goddesses of Hindus are Saraswati, the goddess of learning and the arts and crafts, Laxmi, goddess of good fortune and wealth and Shakti also known as Parvati and is called mother goddess. It is Shakti who in her destructive mood is known as Durga or Kali (mostly worshiped in Bengal). The other deities that Hindus worship, and there are Temples or Mandirs in their names, are Ganesh and Hanuman. In South India, Kritkaya and Subramania are worshiped more than the north Indian deities.

All Hindus, just as followers of other religions like Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Sikhism believe that it is only the body that dies, the soul from the body is reincarnated in another being and it never dies.

Ramayan and Mahabharat are the most prominent epics, that are read, recited and worshiped in modern times by all Hindus. Ramayan, as the name suggests, deals with the life of Lord Ram, Mahabharat with the life of Lord Krishna. In Gita (Geet Govinda) philosophy of Hinduism is apparent in dialogues between Krishna and Arjun. Here is one of the most significant passage from this epic, which will ever inspire all humanity even today:

 “The raft of Knowledge ferries the worst sinner to safety.” Bhagwat Gita

 “Knowledge is wealth” Vedas

Devotion and Ahimsa are the two main tenets of Hindu philosophy. Devotion in Hinduism means worship of chosen deity, chanting its name like Ram Ram or Jai Jai Ram. Doing good deeds, after visiting and praying in the chosen temple, like giving food to the hungry and helping poor and needy. Devotion’s ultimate aim is merger of soul in deity.

The other important tenet of Hinduism is Ahimsa. Ahimsa means non-injury to others, human as well as animals, because all living creatures have soul. It is now known as non-violence. Mahatma Gandhi made it driving force for struggle for independence of India from British rulers in early 20th century. Non-violence made, British to quit India in 1947. This philosophy has become relevant in the world to end imperialism or to get equality for coloured with the whites. This philosophy of non-violence and its success facilitated for the first time a coloured American (Obama) becoming President of white dominated USA.

It is pertinent to state that during 20th Century, because of the British policy of Divide and Rule and encouragement to Muslim League to fight for a Muslim dominated country of their own when they quit India, a sect of Hindus like Rss transformed itself, to an extent, abandoning Ahimsa ie, non-violence. These Hindus emulated Bhagat Singh and Raj Guru and later Netaji Subhash Bose, who being a Hindu differed with the Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non violence and took arms as leader of INA to compel Britishers to quit India. But vast majority of Hindus, particularly because of Vajpayee, founder of BJP, still believe in Ahimsa.

Basic purpose of brief analysis of Hinduism and Hindu philosophy from ancient times to present day is to emphasize that Hinduism does not advocate violence against followers of any other religion. Hinduism and Hindus have been peaceful for thousands of years. For last 1000 years or so they have suffered silently but have not, as a religious philosophy, indulged in violence even in retaliation. They have largely followed the Hindu philosophy of devotion and ahimsa for their own and others well being for peace and harmony.

February 5, 2010 Posted by | Hinduism, India, Indian History, Muslims, World History | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

American Failure in Afghanistan and Iraq Imminent

It is not Obama alone the current President of USA, but chiefly his predecessors, particularly George Bush who is to be blamed for imminent failure of USA’s intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq. It seems to be writing on wall. America is almost committed to withdraw its and NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan and possibly in Iraq before the end of 2010. American intervention to finish violent Taliban had become necessary because the very Taliban who were creation of USA with the assistance of Pakistan, to push out Russian Communists who had converted Afghanistan into a communist state. Withdrawal and expulsion of Russian troops was mainly due to courage and fighting capacity of dedicated Talibans. Thereafter Taliban turned to capture power in Afghanistan and push out the Americans, too. With a view to establish pro-American and Anti Communist government in Kabul American intervention got intensified. Talibans did not and could not tolerate that in place of Russian dominance there should be American dominance in Afghanistan.

Talibans not only resisted American and so called NATO troops, they started killing all those Afghans who were pro-American or had become power hungry to rule Afghanistan with American support and without Taliban participation or help. Thus besides thousands of US and NATO troops having been killed, lakhs of Afghans, many women and children, have perished in this fratricidal war of Talibans against their own Afghans, through suicide bombing and other war like attacks.

Even when Americas war of intervention in Afghanistan was going on, George Bush, US President decided to intervene in Iraq on the plea that Iraq was preparing nuclear weapons. Though this view of George Bush had no validity. Even the UN sponsored team that was sent to Iraq did not support this view of George Bush. Yet George Bush in 2003 sent American Army to Iraq to destroy their military and nuclear capability. As a result in 2003 USA sent its troops to finish Iraqi President Sadan and establish a pro American Government in Baghdad. America succeeded in their aim but the war in Iraq has continued for seven years.

Consequences of both the interventions of USA under the aegis of NATO, earlier in Afghanistan and in 2003 in Iraq, seem to have been utter failures in achieving American purpose of establishing with American help so called democratic governments. Both the attempts have failed and so USA is facing imminent failure.

It is surprising that USA has not learnt lesson from its gigantic failures in China and thereafter in Vietnam. In China, against Mao Tse Tung’s communists, America supported Chiangkai Shek who ultimately ran out of mainland China and with American support became ruler of Chinese off-share island of Taiwan.

Similarly Americans refused to learn lesson from their utter or worst failure for intervention in Vietnam against Ho Chi Minh’s government. For quite a long time America used all types of weapons and scratched earth policy, and carpet-bombing but ultimately USA had to quit when eighty thousand American soldiers had died. The humiliating end was marked by America taking away its last soldiers and diplomats through Helicopters from the roof of American Embassy.

 The above review points out that though, as a last resort Americans are trying to integrate with Karzai Government in Kabul the so called, comparatively non-combatant Talibans. This policy of dividing Talibans is likely to meet with failure. Thus American intervention in both Afghanistan and Iraq faces imminent failure.

On January 30, 2010, Hillary Clinton US Sec of State gave a disappointing statement about possibility of good Taliban getting integrated. She said “we are not going to really (get) bad guys, because really bad guys are not going to renounce violence and agree to re-enter society.” Such a firm statement is likely to discourage even those who were expected to leave Taliban Al-Quaida and join Karzai.

 Washington Post and ABC News had asked a simple question as to how much confidence they had in President Obama for making right decisions for the American nation. ‘A majority 53% gave two dismal of the four responses. “None at all “had tripled in just one year from 9 percent to 27%”. In addition democrats had lost Kennedy’s seat in senate after almost 70 years. These were two bad omens for Obama and his Presidency, after one year.

Thus in Afghanistan America’s hope of dividing Talibans and getting a section integrated in Karzai’s government in Kabul has been falsified. In Iraq, too, there is no hope of America succeeding and firmly establishing pro-American democratic government in view of almost daily suicide bombing. Latest being in Karbla where a woman suicide bomber killed more than 50 and injured more than 150. Thus failure of American intervention both in Afghanistan and Iraq seems imminent.

February 3, 2010 Posted by | Cold War, Terrorism, USA, USSR, World, World History | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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

Decline in Indian Economy During Nehru’s Socialism From 1951-52 to 1965-66

The study is based on the book “India The Emerging Giant” by Arvind Panagariya, particularly the statistics provided therein Indian economy seems to have been led by Demand-Supply principle from 1951-52 to 1987-88 so it suffered particularly upto 1965-66. Connection Patris analysis has been followed to an extent half heartedly.

In this connection it will be pertinent to quote from Arvind Panagoriya book ‘India the Emerging Giant’ as under:

‘Demand verses Supply- If the economy is demand led the development and progress is slow. “Therefore the success of demand driven approach often depends on the governments taking necessary action to relieve the bottleneck stiffing the supply response” Accordingly Patrick in 1966 refuted this concept. Thus the supply-driven or supply-leading approach assigns the government a more active in building institutions and creating inter mediation instruments ahead of the demand… India actively employed this approach in second half of 1970’s and the 1980’s with respect to both the expansion of rural bank branches and what came to be known as priority sector lending” of course there are limitation to this approach of lending money by government to private entrepreneurs and firms who may siphon the amount for personal use and in due course declare the company bankrupt, Govt has to be vigilant, more vigilant than in other fields.”

Because of Nehru’s Socialist pattern of economy on to an extent in USSR model, economic progress right upto 1980 was very slow, if not negligible, for a newly independent country with very high hopes. Between 1951-52 to 1987-88 the economy grew at 3.8%. In contrast economy of Korea and South East Asia grew at rates of 8 to 10% per annum. I pursuit of socialism, 5 year plans were prepared in detail in all the spheres of economy by the Panning Commission which laid out detailed map of policies and ways to implement them. First Plan was for the years 1951-52 to 1956-57. With hopes of making Indian Socialism very successful and productive in all the economic fields so that other newly independent countries in South East Asia and Africa follow Indian model for their progress and economic development. Unfortunately for India in the Indian Variety of Socialism there was virtually no increase in per capita income. Instead of increase in employment opportunities there was decline. At the end of all three 5 Year Plans from 1951-52 to 1965-66 there has been, instead of rise, there was decline as per statistics. The lowest ever GDP recorded pulled down the growth rate for entire 3rd Plan period ending 1965-66 to miserable 2.8 percent while population was growing at the rate of 4 percent per annum.

To demonstrate the contrast between Socialist Economy and its the abandonment for free economy following figures of Poverty ratios as per Planning Commission from 1951-52 to 1995-96 are given. Rural, urban and National Ratios are given below:-

 Year                 Rural              Urban              National

1951-52            47.37            35.46                 45.61

1966-67           64.30            52.34                  62.90

 Poverty fell down remarkably in the decade after Socialism was completely abandoned and there is improvement in the condition of rural and urban Indian in all fields, agriculture, industry , service and electronic and management

         Year                                             Rural                        Urban                  National

July 1995 – June 96                      37.46                      28.04                          35.00

There is marked decline in poverty ratio in rural areas from 64.30 to 37.46 but in urban areas poverty has also declined significantly from 52-34 to 28-24 virtually down by 50%.

 In contrast when Socialism was abandoned for Free trade under Narsimha Rao with Dr Manmohan Singh as Finance Minister the economy grew quite fast as GDP in 88-89 was the highest at 10.5. While average GDP in 88-89 to 2008 has been 7% that means almost double the average population growth, thus improving the living standards of all below poverty line the middle class and of course much more of Upper Classes, Entrepreneurs, Technocrats and Business Managers.

 It will be seen what havoc to Indian economy was brought by Socialist Economy during 15 years of 3 Five Year Plans from 1951 to 1966 and in contrast what and how much Indian Economy improved when GDP rose from 3.5% to average 7 to 8 percent India, thus became Emerging Giant only after abandoning Nehru’s Socialist Pattern of Economy. The reason as to why Indian Socialism failed to usher in economic and social improvement of vast number of Indians below poverty line and unemployed was that controlled economy led to Inspector Raj in India—meaning increase in corruption all round which remained uncontrolled particularly in Rationing Department, Income Tax Deptt and Industries Deptt. There was all round neglect so there was all round decline in GDP, increase in poverty and unemployment.

 

December 30, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian Economy, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics, World History | , , , , , , , | 1 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