H C Singh

Advani and Kandhar Crisis

On 27th August 2009 there was interview on T.V of Brajesh Mishra who was National Security Advisor in BJP Government when Kandhar crisis took place. An Indian Airlines plane carrying 166 passengers was hijacked to Kandhar. For seven days the passengers remained as hostages in the plane till the NSC meeting decided to send Jaswant Singh who as External Affairs Minister at that time left. Thus Jaswant Singh took the risk or showed extreme boldness and patriotism that he with three terrorists in a single plane left for Kandhar to negotiate and get the release of 166 passengers. One of them had already been killed, the remaining passengers were warned about their fate. NSC meeting was attended by Advani who was then Dy Prime Minister and Home Minister. But it is strange that Advani claimed that he was unaware of the terrorists for passengers swap, carried out in January 2000. Advani has said before and even now in the interview on T.V. But Brajesh Mishra in the same T.V channel emphasized that Advani was present in the NSC meeting, and he was fully aware of the unanimous decision taken in the meeting to send Jaswant Singh then External Affair Minister to Kandhar for the release 166 passengers. Advani says Jaswant Singh might have consulted PM Vajpayee but “I was unaware. Initially I was against swapping terrorists for 166 passengers.” Advani’s denial of his knowledge about Swap has created a storm in political circles, not only BJP but congress too is then to get from Advani truth about his knowledge .
If Advani’s denial of any knowledge about Kandhar crisis that could, if not solved by swapping with terrorists to get release of 166 passengers, lead to blowing of the Plane and killing all the 166 passengers. Advani, the Home Minister and Dy PM in Vajpayee BJP Government in 2000, being present throughout the National Security Council Meeting how could he say that he was “unaware” of the decision. What type of Home Minister and Dy PM he was who could be indifferent to such a crisis. He should rather have taken initiative and given clear directions to Brajesh Mishra and Jaswant Singh to save the lives of 166 passengers. That is why Brajesh Mishra said he was ‘astonished’ that Advani had no knowledge of the proceedings and decision taken at the meeting. To set the matters right and save his own honour Advani must come forward and tell the truth ie he was aware of decision.
Kandhar crisis of 2000 has further tarnished the image of Advani when read with his praise of Jinnah being secular while he had become extremely communal as explained above and time again said Pakistan is a Muslim State and will be governed by Islamic Sharia rules.
RSS chief Bhagwat has made no comments on Kandhar problem saying it is for BJP to solve it. With the boost to BJP made by Bhagwat, it seems the controversy of Kandhar crisis which is almost 10 years old will fizzle out.

September 17, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crisis In BJP Deepens

Jaswant Singh, senior leader of BJP who had been Foreign Minister, has created more problems for himself as well as for BJP by not only praising Jinnah as Secular leader, as Advani did, but by writing a book with picture of Jinnah on the Jacket, praising Jinnah and blaming Gandhi, Nehru and Patel for partition of India. Jaswant Singh has since been expelled from BJP and is meeting Press and TV to justify his stand. He has even met Atal Bihari Vajpayee at his residence on 23/8. He is propagating and emphasizing that if he is guilty of praising and justifying the stand of Jinnah, L K Advani, who was Deputy PM and hoped to be PM in 2005 elections, was equally guilty. It is because of Advani and his henchmen like Rajnath Singh that BJP lost the elections badly.
Since then more leaders of BJP are being accused for ‘Kandhar’ episode, particularly Advani and other leaders who are either quitting BJP or their image is being tarnished.
In his interview in Indian Express of 24/8 with Shekhar Gupta Editor in chief of Indian Express. Jaswant Singh says he “greeted him (Vajpayee) on Ganesh Chaturthi and seek his blessings. I now have his blessings”. But Lalji Tandon, Lucknow MP considered to be confident of former PM said “Anyone can go and meet Vajpayee”, meaning there was no question of Vajpayee blessing Jaswant Singh.
About ‘Kandhar’ where 166 Indian passengers were in danger of being killed if there were no negotiations with the hijackers. Jaswant Singh went there to get these ill-fated 166 passengers who were there in a plane for seven days. Advani says he did not know that but Jaswant Singh says he did so as Ministers of External Affairs in the Cabinet. To quote Jaswant Singh’s words in the interview: “I am astonished. I announced it in the Cabinet Committee on Security. And he (Advani) was there.”
It is a blame game. BJP as a party, headed by Advani and Rajnath, has expelled Jaswant Singh for his apparent pro Pakistan and anti Indian, blamming Nehru and Patel for Partition of India. And he blames Advani for praising Jinnah in 2005 and courting defeat in the 2005 elections.
Jinnah who was instrumental for Calcutta Killings and indirectly killing of lakhs of Sikh, Hindus and Muslims in retaliation being Governor General of Pakistan he could not or did not prevent killings of Urdus and Sikhs in lakhs and their dead bodies being sent to India in trains from Pakistan. In addition Jinnah watched many millions of Hindus and Sikhs being forced to leave Pakistan in caravans, on foot, most of them in clothes they were wearing. If Jinnah was ‘Secular’ as Advani and Jaswant Singh have emphasized he would not have encouraged Muslim League in Bengal to start Direct action saying goodbye to rules and provisions in 1935 Act and instead saying “we have now to fight and get Pakistan.”
Jaswant Singh’s controversial rather anti Indian and pro Pakistani book on Jinnah, India’s Partition and Independence was released on August 17 at Nehru Memorial Auditorium, New Delhi and where at the time of release not even one BJP leader or BJP senior was present. He should have realized that his book was creating crisis for him and for BJP and also for some other national leaders of the Freedom Movement as well as Ministers and high ups under Nehru’s Prime Ministership.
Now it is said that Jaswant is going to Pakistan to release his book in praise Qaide Azam. Surely his book in Pakistan will sell like hot cakes and is will earn crores of rupees from Pakistan and from Pakistani Muslims in UK, USA and other countries. Doesn’t it mean that Jaswant Singh in his old age, has written such a book praising Jinnah and condemning Indian leaders like Gandhi, Nehru and Patel to pocket crores of rupees? This is a big question.

Sudheendra Kulkarni is said to be co-auther of June 2005 Script of Advani about praise of Jinnah as a Secular leader has been persuaded by BJP to resign from the party. So he has done, perhaps to help Advani agianst Jaswant Singh. Mr. Kulkarni says that he has resigned from the Party so that he could express his views without fear or favour. However to implicate Advani and put him in the same light he has said that there is virtually no difference between “Mr Advani’s Jinnah appraisal and the views expressed by Mr Jaswant Singh on the Quadi-e-Azam (Jinnah) in his book.” Thus in his view both Advani and Jaswant Singh are equally guilty. This may pave the way for Advani to quit voluntarily from the leadership of BJP before things become hot for Advani. Kulkarni has condemned BJP for expelling Jaswant Singh, a former External Affairs Minister in Vajpayee government without giving him a hearing to explain his view point and the reason for writing book on Jinnah without consulting BJP leadership or even Shri Vajpayee who was his Prime Minister and even today is most respected leader of BJP. Kulkarni has gone out of the way to call the BJP a “Stalinist” party, controlled by Stalinists, accusing Advani and Rajnath Singh.
Apte committee report in the causes and those responsible for defeat of the BJP in 2005 elections was virtually dumped. Apte had put the blame in electoral defeat of BJP squarely in Advani. It also blamed Jaitley who was responsible for campaign strategy which instead of bringing victory to BJP gave crashing defeat.

Arun Shourie, who was a minister in BJP Cabinet and is now BJP member of Rajya Sabha has come out with most severe and unpalatable remarks about his parent organisation saying BJP has become a ‘KATI PATANG’ meaning it is flying aimlessly and can be caught and harmed by anyone.
Arun Shourie, too like Jaswant Singh wants to be expelled from the BJP for anti Party statements and activities. He wants to be unlike Jaswant Singh who was just cast aside for his book on Jinnah praising him out and out at the cost of Indian leaders like Nehru and Patel. But Arun Shourie though very critical of BJP has not indulged in praise for Jinnah or even present leadership of BJP should be ousted. Comments of Arun Shourie are reproduced below:-
“BJP is being run like a private company in which top leaders are indulging in mutual projection and mutual protection.” Again he says “My perception is Jhatka (Swift description) not halal (slow Bleeding)” He quotes Mao of China who let lakhs of Chinese got killed in the long March and other orders to consolidate with back to wall. Shouri said “ Like Mao once said, bombard the headquarters, clean up every body from the top”.
After quoting Mao Tse Tung’s strong unprintable words Shourie advocates total clean up of top leadership ie Advani, Rajnath Singh, Jaitley and others, Shourie said “bring 10-15 people from the states who are competent and honest and dedicated and reconstruct (the BJP top immediately.)
Shourie has also praised RSS and called it to take charge of BJP saying “Sangh had been too democratic” and had given too much latitude to the BJP leadership. RSS should keep an eye on the moral conduct of the party like an eagle.”

To bring out BJP from crisis RSS chief Bhagwat has ordained that Advani’s exit from BJP will be towards the end of year 2009. If it had been immediate as was originally thought and circulated by TV and Press, it would have tarnished the image of Advani besides BJP’s reputation as a national political party. It means that crisis in BJP, which was getting from bad to worse during lost work or 10 days. After the publication of book on Jinnah by Jaswant Singh will be over perhaps by the end of this year when new President and other leaders to represent BJP as Lok Sabha leader of opposition and Rajya Sabha BJP leader and save others to hold prominent positions.

September 17, 2009 Posted by | India, Political Commentary, Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Crises in BJP

In June 2005, Advani visited Karachi and first thing on reaching Karachi he did was to praise Jinnah’s speech in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 16th August 1947 which Advani described as classic exposition of secular state, gaurantees every citizen’s freedom to practice his or her religion. Advani in his speech in Karachi quoted at length from Jinnah’s speech.

While praising Jinnah’s speech in Pakistan Advani forgot that it was Jinnah who had propagated two nation theory and instigated Hindu massacre in Calcutta in July 1946 under Muslim League Chief Minister of Bengal H.S Subrawordy. And it was again under Jinnah’s rule as Governor General of Pakistan that lakhs of Hindus and Sikhs were killed in August-September and trains full of dead bodies of Sikhs and Hindus sent to Indian Punjab. It was under Jinnah that lakhs of Hindus and Sikhs were forced to migrate to India, mostly from Punjab in return Muslims too, were killed and forced to migrate.

The praise of Jinnah’s speech and of Jinnah as a secular leader was thus uncalled for and even unbecoming of Advani who had been Dy PM and hoped to be Prime Minister of India. This praise pf Jinnaha has lowered the prestiege of Advani in the entire country. I think Advani himself must be feeling sad and depressed because of praise of Jinnaha and his secularism. Even though Advani is quite old he should, it is better, like his mentor Vajpayee voluntarily and finally retire from the active politics of BJP which is already in crises.

With virtual retirement of Vajpayee ji from politics because of age and indifferent health, there has been none in BJP heirarchy to match in status, caliber, intelligence, oratory and longest service to Jan Singh and BJP. Neither L K Advani who was earlier Dy. Prime Minister, nor Raj Nath Singh former chief Minister of UP nor Murli Manohar Joshi nor Jaswant Singh nor Yashwant Sinha could or would get as much applause as much following as the founder of BJP and first BJP Prime Minister of Government of India. This has led to steady decline in popularity and in a number of MP’s and also MLA’s in state legislatures. As a result, because of 2009 debacle of BJP under L K Advani’s leadership as Prime Minister-in-waiting there is a crises in the BJP leadership as it has never witnessed before. There is mini and latent revolt in the Party and the blame game in top leadership is going on between Advani, Rajnath Singh, Jaitley, Jaswant Singh and even Narinder Modi. Though Narinder Modi as CM of Gujarat has kept his flock together.

If the BJP is to rejuvenate and think of winning 2014 general elections it has to overhaul the Party, find new talent and assign to younger generation more power and responsibility. As a national party, if it is to win it has to improve its secular image by inducting more Muslims and even Christians besides Sikhs. But so far Advani and his associates of top BJP are unable to take a decision without the support of RSS Chief and without consulting him as is evident from the fact that Advani consulted RSS Chief Bhagwat so as to appoint Sushma Swaraj as his Deputy in Lok Sabha and Jaitley as opposition leader in Rajya Sabha. It seems difficult for BJP to sever completely from RSS and become truly secular. It is a dilemma for Advani and BJP.

September 17, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the greatest orator that India produced irrespective of political party to which he belonged. During first General election he used to address at about 12-30 PM and almost all the government servants of Central Secretariat Krishi Bhawan, Udyog Bhawan would be there by 1 PM to listen to his spellbound oratory, irrespective of the fact that he was speaking for Jan Sangh. So this was Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1950’s a young man in his 30’s, an intelligent and impressive orator. With his oratory dedication and honesty he built his name as well as that of his party.

Though Morarji Desai as PM was not upto mark, if not an absolute failure. Another prominent leader of Janta Party, Charan Singh, too, being too selfish hankering after Prime Ministership could not be considered as a success but proved to be liability to Janta Party. He was more instrumental in destroying the Janta Party and Janta Government with the help of Indira Gandhi. On the other hand Vajpayee’s career as a Foreign Minister and diplomat was without a blemish. In spite of being a rightest he developed good and commendable relations not only with USA and west but with China and our hostlile neighbours Pakistan and Bangladesh. To conclude the brief summary, it will of interest to all to know the heights Vajpayee attained after the collapse of Janta Party, in contrast to Desai and Charan Singh, whose political careers came to end.

In 1980, after Bhartya Jan Sangh’s debacle which was mainly supported by RSS caders, Vajpayee was instrumental in transforming the party into a broadbased national organization, not only a ‘Hindu’ Party. So as founding President of BJP he outlined the commitments to certain values, diluting the RSS-Jan Sangh legacy and aspiring to make BJP a truly national party. Explaining the formation and rise of BJP, justice M C Chagla described it “as a glimmer of hope for Indian Democracy to save this nation from the scourge of Indira hegemony to provide viable national political alternative.”

Justice Chagla’s prediction and hope was correct and fulfilled when in 1994 BJP under Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the ruling Party and Vajpayee became PM. Vajpayee became PM again in 1998 elections and remained Prime Minister for a full team of five years upto 2003. This was a historic period as Indian Army was asked by the Prime Minister Vajpayee to throw out Pakistani Army and teach them a lesson which they would remember for ever.

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

India 1998 – 2004

Narsimaha Rao government was a blemish on Congress which was led by leaders like Gandhi,Patel, Rajendra Parsad and Nehru. As a result in 1996 elections congress and Narsimaha Rao were trounced. Congress getting only 140 seats against BJP ‘s 161. Thus BJP’s leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee was invited by President to form the government but after two weeks Vajpayee resigned as unlike Narsimaha Rao he did not indulge in malpractice of purchasing MPS to continue in power, as Vajpayee was a rational leader and a veteran who had been MP since 1950’s and was a man of principles. Till next elections of 1998 this country was ruled or misruled by hotchpotch of political parties and called United Front or by any such name under H.D Deve Gowda’s Prime Ministership.

In 1998 elections Congress seats in Parliament touched the lowest. Congress got only 114 seats against its rival the other National Party BJP. As with a number of allies, BJP as leader of National Democratic Front (NDA) formed the government under the Prime Ministership of Vajpayee from March 1998. This was a stable government which could and certainly did a lot for the nation.

The first test of capability and boldness came when Pakistan tested successfully medium range missile called Gauri after a terrorist Muslim invader who had destroyed many temples in north India and killed thousand of innocent Indians in his March from Khyber Pass to north west and central India devastating everything that came in the way. Vaypayee government got ready to give more than a befitting reply to Pakistan’s aggressive attitude and celebrations. Thus just after two months in May 1998 India tested not one but five nuclear devices in Rajasthan from where in 1974 India under Indira Gandhi’s government had tested first ever nuclear device. India showed boldness to the entire world, particularly to Pakistan and India’s Home Minister L K Advani and Defence Minister George Fernandes warned Pakistan and even China for any aggressive action in Kashmir or north east of India.

Inspite of nuclear test by both Pakistan and India, Vajpayee remained cool and farsighted. In early 1999 Prime Minister Vaypayee visited Lahore.

This was a historic visit as PM Vajpayee initiated first ever Bus service from Delhi to Lahore. It was also a historic visit as both India and Pakistan had tested their nuclear bombs and it was feared the Kashmir dispute may not escalate into a full fledged war even with nuclear weapons. Vajpayee’s speech was like applying ointment on Indo-Pak wounds and Prime Minister Vaypayee’s coolness and aptitude as a seasoned politician and former Foreign Minister in Morarji Desai government did wonders. Both India and Pakistan realized the havoc that a nuclear war would cause. It will be worthwhile to quote from his speech, as under:
“I have brought one message from India. There can be no greater legacy that we can leave behind than to do away with mistrust, to abjure and eliminate conflict, to erect an edifice of durable peace, amity, harmony and cooperation. I am confident that through our combined efforts we will succeed in doing so, no matter how hard we have to work in achieving it.”

In appreciation of work and conduct as a politician, as well as his intelligence and remarkable honesty above a few lines are example from Atal Bihari Vaypayee’s speech. Howsoever Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif liked and tried for maintaining cordial and friendly relations as never before, opening a new chapter in the honesty of Indo-Pak good neighborly relations but events like military coup by Musharaf, deposition of lawfully and democratically elected Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and above all Pakistan Army’s aggression in Kargil area of Kashmir brought hostilities and mistrust.

Kargil area of Indian Kashmir is crucial for the protection of Ladakh. It is also important because Kargil hill tops under Indian control protect the Leh Srinagar highway. Pakistan thought that once these tops of Kargil were occupied by their forces it will be virtually impossible, in their view, for India to dislodge their forces and reoccupy it. But they were mistaken: they had forgotten the Indian Army’s courage and determination as evidenced in surrender of 90,000 Pakistanis soldiers with generals on the defeat of East Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh as well as defeat of Pakistani Army in 1965 and India’s occupation of Haji Pir. But Pakistan’s high command felt that as they have nuclear power matching with India, Government of India under BJP will hesitate to dislodge their forces from Kagil heights , fearing nuclear war. But that was not to be as Prime Minister Vaypayee was not like Charan Singh or Morarji Desai. He was a man with iron determination.

In May 1999 Indian Army was alerted by Kashmiri shepherds about unknown Pakistan’s soldier and Pathans. Kargil war was Musharaf’s war against India as Chief of Pakistan Army. But as Pakistani Army was mauled and given crushing defeat by Indian Soldiers though Pakistan had initially occupied all the tops of the Kargil hills and it appeared to Pakistani Army and Musharaf that Indian Army will not dislodge the Pakistani Army. But as after fierce fighting by Indian Army aided by Indian Air Force, Pakistan and Musharaf’s army was given humiliating defeat, Musharaf hit upon the idea to put the blame of defeat on Pakistan’s PM Nawaz Sharif. So he staged a military coup in Oct ’99 and dislodged Nawaz sharif and himself became the President of Pakistan. Pakistan had lost more than 2000 soldiers in comparison India lost about 500 valiant soldiers from all over India including Nagaland, Orissa and Karnataka besides majority being from northern Army.

It was Vajpayee’s first victory, a great victory as PM which washed off humiliation of Indian Army defeat in 1962 China war. While China had intruded into north east of India exploring vast area and leaving the conquered territory of India at their own will, the Pakistan Army in Kargil war was crushed and India captured with fierce fighting all the hills of Kargil area including Tiger hill.

September 17, 2009 Posted by | Corruption, India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment