H C Singh

India and China Shine

According to International Monetary Fund (IMF) GDP growth of China and India is the highest in the entire world. India comes as number one because India is a democracy while, though China’s GDP, set to grow during 2010, is a little higher, China is a dictatorship with controlled economy, though with doses of liberalism. However it is heartening to note that whole of Europe America and even Japan are far behind in GDP growth. According to latest IMF figures of GDP growth during 2010 of selected important countries of the world is as under:

High growth countries of GDP

China – 10.5%

India – 9.5%

Brazil – 7.1%

Modest growth of GDP

Mexico – 4.5%

Russia – 4.1%

USA – 3.3%

Slow growth of GDP

Japan – 2.4%

France – 1.4%

Germany – 1.4%

UK – 1.3%

Negative growth of GDP

Spain (-) 0.4%

There are more than one hundred countries whose growth of GDP% has not been mentioned in the Newspapers. There are countries of Europe like Holland, Denmark, Italy and Portugal as well as Czechoslovakia and other countries of Eastern Europe. No country of Middle East and Africa has been mentioned. P-rosperous countries like Turkey, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand have been forgotten.

Just as Chinas high GDP is because of China’s dictatorship under Maoist communism but India’s highest GDP amongst Democracies of the world is despite India’s 30 per cent people living below poverty line and most of them not in regular organized or unorganized employment because they are either landless farmers or from so called SC and other backward classes. In addition India’s polities and political parties are not stable. Besides there are many corrupt leaders of political parties, other politician and even civil servants and some army officers.

In spite of all these shortcomings India is shining because of industrial growth which is highest, mainly due to cheap labour. A worker in American and European industry costs 50 times more than an Indian worker. Thus India’s achievement is remarkable in export of textiles, handicrafts etc. In addition India’s Technocrats of information technology, Business managers and doctors as well as world famous entrepreneur like Mittals amongst the Richest ten people of the world. They have done India proud and has contributed the most in India’s growth to make India shine, almost the most, in the comity of nations.

July 13, 2010 Posted by | India, Indian Economy, USA, World | , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

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

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

Need For a States Reorganisation Commission

It is high time Government of India takes necessary constitutional steps to accede to the demand of separate state of Telengana out of present Andhra state. The demand for Telengana state was accepted by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, perhaps without consulting the cabinet as well as Congress Government and leaders of Andhra Pradesh. Accordingly there has been prolonged agitation and strikes, making Andhra government ineffective, besides loss of hundreds of crores of Rupees. It has affected the economy of the state as well as the common man. Controversy about Hyderabad going to Telengana or becoming a Union Territory like Chandigarh has affected the work and progress of Information Technology, as Hyderabad is one of its main centres in South. Already 139 MLA’s belonging to Telengana region have submitted their resignation and on 27th January they have appealed Supreme Court, through IPL, for speedy acceptance of their resignations.

Besides demand for separate Telengana state there have been demands for carving out 2 to 3 states out of unmanageable Uttar Pradesh. Demand for separate state of vidarbha out of Maharashtra has also been raised quite often. There are demands for more new states elsewhere in the country. It is pertinent to point out how Andhra State was conceded so that there is end to agitations and peace and harmony prevails in the entire country. In 1952 Shri Potti Srirammulu, a peace loving Mahatma Gandhi’s follower who had gone on indefinite fast unto death died after 25 days of fast. Pandit Nehru was PM then. He did not bother about his fast unto death. But soon after he realized his mistake and within few days after his death concealed to the demand of separate Andhra Pradesh.

The way out seems to be setting up of a new States Reorganisation Commission with clear and unambiguous terms of reference so that there is fair play and no further agitations.

Government of India should be aware, while prescribing terms of reference to new SRC that First State Reorganisation Commission had clubbed Maharashtra and Gujarat into one state though their language and culture differed. This mistake had to be rectified after prolonged agitations.

Similarly the First SRC had not recommended separate State of Punjabi speaking area of East Punjab (after position). This mistake, too, had to be rectified after agitation and fasts for more than a decade.

It is not enough to concede to the demand of separate Telengana only. Government of India should act speedily so that there are no more agitations for separate states.

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

Problem of Kashmir and Exodus of Kashmiri Pandits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neglect of Arunachal

Neglect by the Central Government including by the Prime Minister is obvious and glaring, not only critics of Centre but to common citizen of Arunachal. It is strange even unpardonable that centre’s neglect of Arunachal continues even after 47 years of Chinese war in 1962 and brief occupation by China, vacating Arunachal on its own teems. Arunachal’s geography and proximity to China demanded that Centre should have developed fully, as promised by PM in Rs 24,000 crore package for 3000 MW project, Highways, roads and even railway line upto Itanagar. But unfortunately nothing, or there was little and insignificant development though PM had promised and even assured the people of Arunachal of many projects for which even money was sanctioned or promised by no less a person than Prime Minister. All these projects have remained on paper so far.

I feel, though many in government, polities and elsewhere, many disagree, that Arunachal crises developed because India welcomed Dalai Lama and hundreds of Tibetans who left Tibet and crossed into Arunachal, not realizing that Tibet was, part of China and China would resent and even get annoyed by India welcoming Dalai Lamia and his followers. Accordingly, this was the basis of China crossing McMahon Line which was recognized by British from 1914 onwards till 1947 and remained so, and even today remains so. Since then Dalai Lama, with base in India, has been going from one country to another and directly or indirectly saying and propagating against so called Chinese occupation of Tibet, ignoring that Tibet, though Buddhist, as China was before Mao Tse Tung after Long March converted into communist China which USA by its intervention on behalf of Chiang Kai Shek could not prevent.

Now coming back to India’s neglect of Eastern States of India, particularly Arunachal Pradesh. Though Arunachal has become a democratic, like other states of India, state with its own Chief Minister elected duly by free elections, it continued to be neglected. To this day infrastructure has been delayed and its delay and neglect is appalling. Though history of Arunachal particularly since 1962 War demanded that this aspect of development should have been given top most priority. PM had announced construction of Highways linking fully Arunachal with rest of India, bids were duly called but when the bids were opened a few months ago these were rejected by “Ministry of Surface Transport”. It should not have rejected all the bids outright. Had this infrastructure Project started, it would have provided employment to thousands of people of Arunachal. But that was not to be.

Similarly had the 3000 MW project come into operation hundreds of villages would have got electricity besides development in other spheres like industry. And the people of Arunachal, specially in villages and small towns would have celebrated the occasion and congratulated their Chief Minister as well as Prime Minister of India.

Many projects which were to be financed out of Rs 24000 crores package have not been even initiated what to speak of their progress or even completion of one out of many. What upset the Chief Minister was the proposal of building a new secretariat at a meager cost of 128 crores. Its bid, too, was rejected by, Dept of North East Region at centre, saying this project would get only Rs 71.73 crores.

For the neglect of Arunachal and failure of the centre to fulfil the promised development if Arunachal in many fields out of package of Rs 24,000 crores upset the Chief Minister Dorjee Khander so much that he came to Delhi along with a delegation to meet PM. He submitted a letter full of resentment over non implementation of many promised Projects and requested the PM to personally intervene.

In 1914 British India recognized Mc Mahon Line as boundary between India and Tibet-China. It continued to be after India because Independent Republic in 1947. India also signed an agreement in 1954 with China recognizing Tibet region of China. However situation in Tibet changed dramatically and drastically when there was a large scale uprising in Tibet in 1954 itself. Consequently Dalai Lama and hundreds of his followers flee Tibet and sought refugee in India through Kalimpong.

However I fail to understand as to why Pranay Sharma in an article in outlook has written “China’s stand on Taiwang lies inextricably to its suspension of India’s intention on Tibet. Even the British as far back as in 1914, after Younghusband expelition, Tibet as in alienable part of China and Arunachal, simultaneously as inalienable part of India and so drew Mc Mahon Line as boundary between China and India. Neither the British before 1947 nor India after independence in August 47 had an eye on Tibet. India only wants China to recognize Arunachal including Taiwang as inalienable part of India.

However Taiwang remains bone of contention between China and India. Taiwang falls below the Mc Mohan Line towards India. Prior to Mao Tse Tung’s communist Government, no Chinese Government including that if Chiang Kaishek created problem of Taiwang. Taiwang is part of Arunachal and so part of India, upto 1980, even after 18 years of 1962, China never raised the problem of Taiwang claiming it to be part of Tibet and therefore of China. As from 1914 to 1980, during 66 years no Chinese government raised the question of Taiwang, either during British India or after India’s independence, it is clear that China is not that serious about acquiring Taiwang by force. If communist China was really and emotionally keen to have Taiwang, it would not have vocated Taiwang and gone back to Mc Mahon Line. Once again, it is to be reiterated that China is upset over Dalai Lama’s visits to various countries and utterances against China. It is better India, for permanent friendly relations with China puts some restraint, officially or unofficially on Dalai Lama. It is noteworthy that US President Barack Obama did not or avoided meeting Dalai Lama. Even has softened its stand on Tibet, despite rebellion in Lalisa by some Tibetians. Britain earlier regarded Chinese suzerainty and have recently recognize Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. There are good examples for India and thus India should try its best to have, as stated above, most cordial and friendly relations with its great neighbour China.

It is hoped that PM, his cabinet and bureaucracy at centre will rise to the occasion and PM will in consultation with Sonia Gandhi UPA Chairperson, will issue necessary instruction to all concerned at the centre to sanction/approve the projects of Arunachal as top priority.

 

December 1, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics, World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Berlin Wall – Its Erection and Demolition

After the Second World War, USSR conquered, besides Eastern Europe, half of Germany. Accordingly after Allied Victory and defeat of Germany there were two Germanys- Anglo American conquest of West Germany and USSR conquest of Eastern Germany, Western Germany under Capitalist democracy and East Germany under Communist type of democracy. There was lot of hue and cry on the division of Germany into two parts. But in 1945 defeated Germans were helpless. They could not demand anything. They could not get anything. They were a defeated country that had gone to war to conquer entire Europe including USSR.

During Second World War Germany under Adolf Hitler, the Fascist dictator, committed many crimes against humanity, besides launching a war on East and West of Germany, killing millions, six million Jews were killed in gas chambers.

Now let us see how, when and why Berlin Wall was built to segregate West and East Germany, the artificial division of a country with one language and one culture. Berlin Wall was constructed by Soviet Government in 1961 because Germans, in thousands were leaving their homes and hearths, were crossing the so called boundary and going to West Germany where they were welcomed and where there was, now, real democracy neither Hitlerite Fascism nor communist type of thought control. West Germany had, in a few years, after the end of Second World War became real home of all Germans. About 100 Germans from East had died while crossing and trying to escape from East Germany.

Berlin Wall was built to stop this emigration form East to West Germany which was defaming USSR and telling not only West Germans but whole of World that USSR was itself not worth living.  This emigration was having far-reaching effect on Eastern Europe which after war was under communism. Poland in particular resented so much that its leaders were thinking of revolting against so called USSR occupation of their country.

During World War II almost half of Berlin had been destroyed by Allied bombings. As a result population of Berlin declined from 43 lakhs in 1938 to about 28 lakh in 1945. As British, French and US forces were far off, Soviet Union shipped “about 85 percent of city’s undamaged industrial equipment” to its own country as British and American troops reached Berlin in July and French troops entered Berlin in August 1945. Though Berlin was completely under Soviet Union, Western Powers demanded free passage which USSR did not accept. So the Berlin City was also divided into two parts East Berlin under USSR and West Berlin under Allies control, as earlier they had divided East and West Germany into two parts.

Division of Berlin, which was virtually on paper, did not work. Particularly it failed to satisfy Soviets as lot of East Germans and East Berliners were emigrating to West Berlin and West Germany. So  the USSR, in 1948 blocked all routes rail, road and water from East Berlin to West Berlin. Western powers, not to be left behind air lifted supplies to West Berlin for about 2 million residents. Thus the Soviet blockade failed and Soviet Union lifted the blockade in May 1949 but City Hall located in East Berlin was occupied by Russians. So the West Berlin had to have its own government in West Berlin. Within four years of the end of War, West and Russia became almost hostile over Berlin issue.

In 1958 Nikita Khrushev asked for demilitarization of West Berlin and converting it into free Zone. To this Western powers disagreed and rejected the proposed solution. As everyday more than 1000 East Germans were crossing into West Berlin and West Germany Russia in 1961 decided to build a strong wall to prevent any emigration to West Berlin/ West Germany. Thus in August 1961 strong Berlin Wall was built which was 4 meters in height and 40 kilometers in length. Berlin became an isolated city.

Bitterness in relations between Western Powers and USSR continued unabated for a decade. Only in 1971 USSR and West realized the  folly of segregation of Germans into East and West German’s. History is never static. History moves in all countries, all cultures and all civilizations. Thus in 1971, USSR and Allies (France, England and USA) signed an agreement on the status of Berlin. Representatives of East and West Germany sat together for months and finally worked out details agreeable to both the parties. So the agreement of 1971 came into effect in 1972. Relation with East and West Berlin and East and West Germany improved in 70’s. In 1989 there were wide spread demands for unification of East and West Berlin. East German government considering the time ripe for unification of East and West Berlin, removed all restriction on November 9, 1989 and as a result 29 year old Berlin wall was ‘opened’ and in due course demolished. It was a great day for Germans after defeat in World War II it was a first taste of victory. Though unification of Berlin and in due course of East and West Germany becoming once again an important country of Europe Germany.

Historic celebration of 20th anniversary of Demolition of Berlin Wall were attended by/besides million of Germans, all the leaders of the countries who fought war against Hitler’s Fascist Germany and defeated him after loss of millions of lives. Leaders who attended the historic function included German President Horst Koehler and Chacellor  Angela Merkel  British PM Gordon Brown, French President Nicolos Sarkozy, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Polish President Lech Walesa, and Hilary Clinton U.S Foreign Secretary. Former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev was a special attraction as it is Gorbachev whose reforming attitude persuaded Soviet leadership to the reforms. According the German crowd gathered to celebrate chanted “Gorby, Gorby, Gorby.” British PM Gordon Brown said “Two Berlins are one. Two Germanys are one. Two Europes are one.” This marks the significance of 7th November 1989 and so such almost world wide celebrations of 20th anniversary of Berlin Walls Demolition.

November 12, 2009 Posted by | Cold War, USSR, World, World History | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment