H C Singh

India and China

Growth rates of India and China 1980 – 2004

India is number 4 in GDP and over all development after USA, China and Japan. But in another 20 years or so India will be number 3 only USA and China will be ahead. In information technology India was ahead of China in 2004. China is trying to go ahead. According to Subramanium Swammy’s findings “China and India have become front runners in cutting – edge technologies: IT, mass communications, bio technology, pharmaceuticals and nuclear and space sciences. The two have a vast part of scientific personnel and technologists with proven capacity for original research …… but” Chinese telecom facilities are atleast 10 years ahead of India.”

The vast difference between India and China is that while India is a democratic federal government China is, in contrast, still a communist dictatorship though it has conceded some private enterprises and some liberal measures. As China’s birth rate has become much lower than India, the population of two Asians giants is almost equal.

In India there is corruption almost in all spheres, politics – infa-structure , economic development, administration, police and municipal work of all types while in China there is insignificant corruption. Corruption is retarding India’s progress in all fields. As a result Indians who migrate to foreign countries particularly USA, specially as in information technology and as doctors, are doing much better than even the local citizens.

India is multilingual, multi religious and multi-cultural country while China is by an large unilingual with one Chinese culture and virtually no religion except in Eastern part where there are Muslims in majority with language of their own.

September 17, 2009 Posted by | India, World | , | Leave a comment

Income Tax Arrears

In Maharashtra alone income tax arrears to be recovered till date amount to Rs 203 lakh crores from top 100 tax payers. Worst state is that Hasan Ali Khan’s dues make up 35% of the total IT areas i.e Rs 50,345 crores. How could Income Tax authorities sleep over such a large amount of IT arrears without taking strict action against defaulters. Enforcement Directorate came into the picture to investigate the case under Foreign Exchange Management Act. It is stated by a senior IT official that Hassan Ali Khan and his Kolkata based associates whose names figure in the list of those who have parked or deposited large amounts to evade income tax in Swiss Banks which together account for Rs 71,465 crores which is over 33% of the total tax arrears in the country. So for the IT authorities have not gone ahead to recover from Swiss Bank as there has been no official confirmation or communication from Swiss authorities. Thus IT authorities could only attach properties of Hassan and his wife that, too, provisionally.

If the Maharashtra State Govt. had recovered even 1/3rd of IT arrears to date the amount would have become Rs 50,000 crores. Some ofwhich could be easily utilized for relief to farmers in vidharba area who are daily committing suicides which have crossed 650 suicides during the current year. This could have saved many farmers from committing suicide, in desperation, and many thousand others who are in distress, not getting adequate food for their families and some on the verge of dying either through starvation or through diseases or eventually through suicide. This is a sad commentary on Income Tax Deptt of Maharashtra. It could be to an extent the same or similar failures in other metropolitan towns and even in many states.

This means failure of Central Government to make strict laws for income tax recoveries and also punish the defaulters as well as Income Tax Deptt officials for their failure in recovering such huge dues from defaulters. Ultimately the Govt of India is responsible through its Income Tax Deptt. whose inaction or lethargy had cost the country so much. To prevent such failures on part of Income Tax authorities, Central Govt most pass Strict laws holding concerned IT officials responsible for not recovering hundreds of crores of IT arrears.

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

Crisis of Dyeing Tradition

There was a time about 60 years ago when more than one hundred families were engaged in dyeing business, now there only three brothers continuing this tradition and keeping it alive. Three brothers are known as Chippa Brothers, Farooq, Ellas and Yasin with the only factory in Pipar City, 60 km from Jaipur in Rajasthan. It is the only factory where hand block printing is done with natural dyes. The natural dyes are made from turmeric, alum and indigo mixed with various other natural colous. Making such natural colors is a technique that has been passed on to the three brothers from generations for over 200 years.

As the three brothers own the only factory of making hand blocks with natural dyes, they have made lot of money though they started with living in Kucha home, now all the three brothers are educated and are living in banglows with each having his own car. But they are optimistic that they will continue to earn enough from this traditional business. Yoscen who markets the products of the factory on behalf of all the three brothers has switched to computers saying “we had to do it, otherwise we wouldn’t survive the market” he further says “People are finally beginning to understand what it means to own a hand – block printed natural dyed dupatta or sari.”

The whole country wishes them good luck as they are keeping 200 years old tradition alive with their hard work and modernizing with computers, where necessary. It is hoped that others who have been associated with dyeing with natural colors will also get encouragement and may start or join them to increase the output.

September 17, 2009 Posted by | Achievers, India, Muslims | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fundamentalism and Terrorism

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

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

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

PSYCHO-DYNAMICS OF TERRORISM

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

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

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

USA And War on Terrorism

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

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

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

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

The word Hindutva was coined and used first of all by V.D.Savarkar. Hinduism is a religion that all Hindus follow with all the rituals and worshiping all the Hindu gods Lord Rama, Krishna, Hanuman and other regional gods whose statues are all over India and worshiped by devout Hindus. It also means respect and if possible knowledge of Ramayana, Mahabharat, Vedas, Shastra and other many millennium old Hindu or Vedic Literature. Hindutva also means that Indian civilzation embraces all those who live in India, to whatever religion they belong but they have to love Indian Civilization in contrast to Muslim Civilization as propagated in Mecca and Christian Civilization as explained and propagated by Pope of Rome.

RSS Chief K S Sudarshan in 2001 while addressing a large gathering in Hardware said “The time has come when both Muslims and Christians who are living in India should Indianize their religions. They should sever their links with Mecca and Pope and instead become swadeshi.” (The Tribune Chandigarh March 9,2001) An extremist Hindu Brig B N Sharma (Retd) in his book, “A Nation on Fire,” defines Hindutava as: Hindutava is the collective essence of “Hinduism and is the end product of three elements, cultural nationalism, intense patriotism, and a pride in the collective memory of India’s past glory.” But Brig Sharma, as the title of book reveals, is not moderate but fundamentalist. He has ridiculed so called secularists who are more concerned with vote bank than with nation’s interest.

If BJP follows fully and faithfully what K.S Sudarshan says then BJP can never become all embracing Indian Political Party where followers of any religion will be welcome just as Hindus, without any discrimination. It is pertinent to quote Dr Chaudhary as under.
“The seeds of pathological antipathy and diabolical hatred against Muslims and Christians in India sown by Savarkar have now fully fructified, thanks to the constant watering and manuring of seeds at the hands of the Sangh Parivar. It resulted into the shameless act of demolition of Babri Masjid at Ayodhya in 1992 followed by communal holocaust all over the country in which hundreds of innocent citizens lost their lives. Then came the systematic persecution of Christians resulting into the horrendous act of burning alive of an Australian Christian doctor engaged into healing lepers, along with his two adolescent sons in Orissa.”(South Asia Today)

If BJP follows Hindutva in its full form with all the implications, it may attract towards BJP more and more Hindus with the active help of more than a dozen RSS volunteering organizations in virtually all fields like student and teacher organization workers of industrial and academic fields, women and in tribal sphere etc,etc.. But still it will remain only a Hindu Communal organization. To be a Secular All India Party BJP will have to dilute Hindutva and make it appear truly an Indian Civilization and part of all comprehensive Indian Cultural, linguistic, religious and ethnic groups.

It was mainly Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s farsight and determination that transformed BJS Bhartya Jan sangh a Hindu Party like RSS, into BJP an All India National Party like Indian National Congress and captured power in 1998 and ruled the country for full term of 5 years without virtual alliance with any party except Akali Dal; in Punjab. If BJP tries to be a truly secular party lot of uncommitted voters from other religions and regions will support it.

No doubt Muslim terrorist, jehadis of many hues and Taliban by their incursions and killings through suicide bombing like 9/11 in USA and 26/11 in Bombay have encouraged RSS followers, Israelis and some Christian Countries to give befitting reply. But for peace of the world and peace in their own country tact, patience and action are required to as and when necessary.

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

Attack On Golden Temple

Oh Indira!
To remain in power,
You quarreled with supreme power
You ordered attack on Golden Temple
The Indian army attacked with rockets and tanks
Besides destroying Akal Takhat
And damaging darbar sahib
Your army defiled nectar filled tank.
Oh Indira!
You were Prime Minister of whole of India
You were guardian of all religions and culture of India.
How could you forget that?
How could You be forgiven for that cruel act?
Attack on Golden Temple
Shocked all, particularly Sikhs all over world
It was like an attack-had Saudi Arabian army.
Attacked holy Muslim shrine of Mecca
Or if Italian troops had been ordered
By Italian government to destroy Church of Rome
Or some Indian Prime Minister had ordered
Attack on Kashi or holy Mathura temple
You Indira!
Failed to realize the gravity
Of your selfish act of attack on Golden Temple
Thousands of Sikhs including women and children
Were killed or wounded.
As the day of attack was martyrdom day Guru Arjun
And Sikhs had come for a holy dip in holy tank
Oh Indira!
It is said and unfortunate that you were killed
By Sikhs in revenge
Just as they had killed Dyer the British General
Who had ordered attack in Jallianwala Bagh
Earlier Aurangzeb had ordered killing of Guru Teg Bahadur
And Sikhs destroyed the Mughal rule
By taking up arms against Mughal rule
As Guru Gobind Singh’s Khalsa,
Under Ranjit Singh’s army of Khlasa
Oh Indira!
Had you served India honestly
Subdued your hunger for power
And not ordered attack on Golden Temple
You would have lived long and for ever

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

Assassination of Indira Gandhi and its Aftermath

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Khushwant Singh adds about his own grief panic and reaction:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan before the Nanavati Commission….

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

Former Finance Minister Madhu Dandavate before the Misra Commission

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

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

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

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

Charan Singh

About Charan Singh’s rise and fall much has been written in the main article as well in brief summaries about Morarji Desai as well as Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Though Charan Singh’s contribution to Janta Party’s victory and Indira Gandhi’s crushing defeat, but as stated, he virtually had no commendable achievement to remember. It was unfortunate for Janta Party rule with which his name could be associated and remembered. It was unfortunate for Janta Party that it had a leader and Home Minister like Charan Singh whose only aim was to be PM whether Janta Party supports him or not, whether Janta Party continues to rule or not. With the help of arch enemy of Janta Party. Indira Gandhi he defeated Morarji Desai and demolished Janta Government. However when her purpose of defeating Janta Government was achieved she got Charan Singh defeated to become  Prime Minister. So less it is said about Charan Singh better it is.

With these remarks and with heavy heart we close the brief summary of Janta Party leaders and Janta Party itself.

Review of Janta Government’s short span will be incomplete without referring to the chief architects of Janta’s victory and on their brief background and their conduct, as politicians, leading to the ultimate failure of Janta government. Morarji Desai had been Chief Minister of Bombay which composed of present day Maharashtra as well as Gujarat. Though he belonged to Gujarat yet his being CM of Bombay, which was predominantly a Marathi speaking state, was not resented because at that time Congress under the leadership of Gandhiji, Sardar Patel, Pandit Nehru and Dr Rajendra Prasad was unquestionably national Party which was instrumental in winning independence (Azadi) for India.

But in due course Maharashtrians demanded ouster of Gujarati Chief Minister. There were huge demonstration even violent ones by the ‘All Party Action Committee of Sanyukta Maharashtra’. They even burnt effigies of Desai and Nehru, besides there being complete strike and thereafter unprecedented riots. When mobs indulged in looting shops and offices, police resorted to firing and that resulted into death of more than a dozen people. So Morarji Desai who had lost control of Bombay and got bad name for himself for congress and Nehru was replaced by Y.B Charan, Maharashtrian, as Chief Minister.

In 1968, young Turks led by Chander Shekhar levied charges of corruption on Desai’s son Kanti Desai. As Morarji Desai was Finance Minister he was charged with issuing licences out of turn to his favourite large Industrial Houses. As Desai also appeared to be opposed to nationalization of Banks. Indira Gandhi divested him from Finance portfolio.

As already explained, in the main articles, Desai was after Prime Ministership and hoped and tried his best, after Pandit Nehru’s demise. He could not get despite all efforts in preference to Lal Bahadur Shastri who was simple and honest. Secondly he got defeat from Indira Gandhi when he demanded voting in Parliament. His ambition to be PM, was however fulfilled after Indira’s defeat in 1976 general relations. So he became PM as Janta Party’s choice but by his failure to control the flock and impress upon equally selfish leader like Charan Singh he miserably failed. Charan Singh who, too, had ambition to be PM. He succeeded with the help of arch enemy of Janta Party, Indira Gandhi. Charan Singh broke the Janta Party and broke the heart of Desai. Thus Desai was a failure as Chief Minister of Bombay, failure as Finance Minister and failure as Prime Minister.
It is incompetent and selfish leaders like Morarji Desai and Charan Singh who tarnished the image of Janta Party and ultimately destroyed it.

Indira Gandhi used Charan Singh, Janta’s Dy CM at that time to oust the Janta Government. She could not forgive and forget Charan Singh who was instrumental in her arrest. She wanted him to be ousted within a month or so but Charan Singh was sworn as PM in July 79 and remained PM for about three months, to pave the way for Indira to be PM again, as Indira informed the President that she and her party had withdrawn support and were no more supporting Charan Singh as PM. Election Commission took 3 months to hold the elections. Accordingly Parliamentary elections were held in less than 3 years. Indira Gandhi became PM with thumping majority, winning 353 seats in Parliament out of 500 or so. This emboldened her more than during emergency because now she was legitimate and duly elected PM with absolute majority, more than in 1971 elections.

Janta’s fratricidal war between leaders and resulting unpopularity and finally Caharn Singh’s dumping Janta Party and Government for getting support of Indira Gandhi made Indira more bold, more revengeful more autocratic. Sanjay had realized that his excesses against Muslims, of large scale demolition in Turkman gate area and family planning, had antagonized Muslims. Accordingly Sanjay apologized to pacify the Muslims and get the ‘Muslim vote Bank’ back in Congress. During emergency it was Sanjay who was real dictator but after 1980 elections remained in the background and Indira became once again the dictator. Her first act was to dismiss nine state Governments. Again it was Sanjay who was now an elected MP as well as General Secretary of Congress, who started weilding authority and power on behalf of PM. It was Sanjay who was to decide who was to be given Congress ticket for Assembly elections and who would be Chief Minister of a Congress ruled state. But unfortunately for mother Indira her son Sanjay died in a single engine plane crash which he was piloting, as a hobby, in New Delhi almost over his residence and PM’s residence. By the end of August Indira persuaded her second son Rajiv who was a pilot in an airline to resign from his job and assist her.
Soon one of the biggest strike of workers was witnessed which went on for two years in Bombay, as the demand of the workers to revise wages ie minimum wage from Rs 670 PM to 940 was rejected by the Government. More than 2,00,000 workers had participated in that strike as a result more than 2 million man days were last. During the same period there was demand for creation of separate State of Jharkhand, mainly inhabited by tribals. Early 1980’s saw revival of demand for independent state of Nogaland under aegis of National socialist council of Nogaland (NSCN) which charged Phizo and his Shillong accord during emergency as sell out. NSCN gurillas in Feb 1988 ambushed a military convoy and killed more than 20 military personnel. The Army restricted with farce and military and NSCN submitted. There was also movement in Assam for new economic policy for the state. Assames also demanded deletion of names of immigrants from voters lists, particularly Bengalis and Muslims.

As explained earlier, during emergency Akalis opposed most vehemently imposition of emergency. As a result out of the total arrests during emergency more than 50% were Akali Sikhs mainly from Punjab who opposed imposition of emergency and courted arrest including Parkash Singh Badal former Chief Minister and leaders of SGPC, the Sikh premier religious organization which managed all the Gurdwara’s of Punjab. During the first 3 months of emergency more than 80,000 people- protesters, leaders and journalists were arrested of these more than 30,000 were Akalis.

So much opposition by Akalis in particular and Sikhs in general infuriated Indira Gandhi and when the time came after the Congress under Indira Gandhi’s leadership was returned to power in 1980 elections with unprecedented majority in Parliament, congress winning 353 seats in Parliament. This not only emboldened her but it got into her head she become revengeful particularly of Sikhs and Akalis as Sikhs constituted only 1.5% of India’s population but had protested against imposition of emergency and were 30% of total arrests during emergency. She at once made up her mind to humiliate and punish not only Akalis but the entire Sikh Community.

Indira immediately started to find ways and means of achieving this nefarious aim by consulting her close associates Sikhs in congress like Giani Zail Singh.

With the end of emergency Badal again became the CM of Punjab, as he was before the imposition of emergency and his subsequent arrest with other prominent members of his cabinet and SGPC. This was not that congress under Indira Gandhi liked, so she started finding ways and means to oust Akalis and punish Sikhs as a whole.
Bhindranwale who was vociforous against Nirankaris and was a seminary of Damdami Taksal, suited Congress and Indira so that an orthodox Sikh faction fights the Akalis. Bhindranwale was built up by Sanjay Gandhi and the Union Home Minister Zail Singh ( himself a former Chief Minister of Punjab) as a counter to the Akalis. Writing in September 1982, the journalist Ayesha Kagal remarked that the Bhindranwale was ‘originally a product nurtured and marketed by the centre to cut into the Akali Dal’s sphere of influence’. (page 559)

Bhindranwale used to come fully armed to New Delhi on the top of a Bus full of his fanatic followers but Delhi Government or Central Government did not take any action to disarm him not to speak of arresting him. He addressed Sikh gathering in Delhi Gurdwaras particularly Bangla Sahib, hardly one km from Central Secretariat. This clearly shows that Indira Gandhi wanted him to be strong rival of Akalis. With the dismissal of Akali Government in 1980 because of apparent Akali-Sikh and, Nirankari violent conflict initiated by Bhindranwala. Punjab situation became tense, because of Bhinderanwale’s militant followers , but no action was taken by the Central or Delhi Government.

In April 80, Nirankari leader Baba Gurcharan Singh was shot dead in New Delhi. It was assumed that this was the work of Bhinderanwale who addressed a number of Sikh gatherings from Akal Takhat inside the Golden Temple complex. He was not prevented by police from taking arms inside the temple complex. Rather he was facilitated to do so. The challenge of Bhinderawale made peaceful and uncommited Sikhs, besides Akalis, to join his demand for a ‘Sikh Republic’ or state. Bhinderawale now compared Congress Rule to Moughal Rule against which the Sikhs under Maharaja Ranjit Singh fought and defeated Muslims in Punjab, NWFP and Kashmir. To gain popularity among peasant Sikhs, in particular, he wanted and tried to make Sikhs, (particularly Akalis) militants, Bhinderanwale became a hero when after the murder, in September 1981, of Lala Jagat Narain a famous editor who had exposed Bhinderanwale and his followers, and was arrested on charge of murder but released after three weeks. His arrest was dramatic. Darbara Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab wanted to arrest him then and there but Zail Singh prevented him from doing so fearing the fall out. But after sometime Bhinderanwale offered to be arrested by a Sikh Police Officer bearing beard and with turban. Punjab Government agreed to his conditions. His arrest and release after three weeks made Bhinderanwale undisputed leader of Sikhs, more important and more influential than any Sikh leader, including Badal.
That Darbara Singh a Sikh Chief Minister of Punjab and Zail Singh a Sikh Home Minister of Government of India were Indira’s henchmen who played neforious anti Sikh role at the bidding of Indira and facilitated her effort to turnish the image of Akali’s in particular and sikh’s in general as Communal, separatists and even anti-Indira and anti-India. It will be more clear from the following:

“ To give a new twist to Punjab situation several heads of cows were placed before Hindu temple in Amritsar” according to government media, this provocative act was of Dal Khalsa which was banned in May 1982. But emphatic denial of Dal Khalsa was blocked out from media. However in an interview Dr Gopal Singh of Himachal University said ‘ it was the work of Darbara Singh’s agents. It is for record that some Muslim butchers from Saharnpur recruited to throw cow-heads at places of Hindu worship were arrested at Amritsar but the inconvenient news was suppressed’. Giani Zail Singh who knew the truth about cow-heads being placed at Hindu places of worship was told by Indira not to speak on Punjab or proofer any advice unsolicited’ (Dr Sangat Singh, Sikhs in History page 384-85).

Throughout 1982, on the other side negotiations on Anandpur Sahib Resolution between the Akali’s and the Indira government continued but without any result. Thus all Akali legislators en mass resigned from Punjab Assembly because of delaying tactics of the Government. Akali’s became more vociferous as well as active as challenge of Bhinderanwale who had been made a Sikh hero, was upsetting Akali’s and they were loosing followers and workers.

Not to be left behind Akali started organizing Shahidi Jathas ie Martyers Squads, and started comparing congress rule with Mughal rule and addressed the Akali gatherings to be ready for supreme sacrifice to end the tyranny of Indira rule. In April 83 a senior Police officer A.S. Atwal was killed after he had left Golden Temple after prayers but Bhinderanwale followers thought he had been sent by Inidra to survey the hide outs of Sikh militants in Golden Temple Cmplex, particularly Akal Takhat.

In October 83 a bus was stopped and Hindu passengers were segregated, obviously by Bhinderanwale followers and Killed. Bhinderanwale and his militants fully armed entered Golden Temple and took up residence in Akal Takhat.

With the rise of Bhinderanwale with the support of Indira Government through Darbara Singh and Zail Singh, Akal Takhat was allowed to be occupied and became virtually a citadel of Bhindreranwale and his militant followers. Bhinderanwale started addressing the followers from Akal Takhat daily and like the Sikh Gurus started issuing Hukamnamas (orders). To make his Akal Takhat fortress more effective a retired Major General of Indian Army Subheg Singh was authorized to surprise the arming and preventive measures of Akal Takhat so that it could withstand the possible attack by Government forces and even repulse.

Both sides, Indira Government and Bhinderanwale squads were now ready to face armed confrontation. Government wanted a senior Sikh military officer to lead military operations. Accordingly Major General R.S. Barar was appointed and briefed by the Generals Sunderji and Dayal. It was clear that the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had decided to trounce the Akali’s and Sikhs in their most sacred and historical Gurdwara and Akal Takhat, the Golden Temple Complex, though for last year or so she had been negotiating with Akalis on one side and preparing for attack on Golden Temple on the other. The tragedy was bound to be worst because such a day of attack by Indian Army was chosen which was 5th Sikh Guru. Arjan Dev martyrdom day and thousands of Sikhs had come to pay homage to the great Guru.

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

Declaration of Emergency June 75

Indira Gandhi declared emergency in the night of June 25-26-1975. There were individual cases of protests especially by the students of Delhi University for a couple of months as in an obituary notice in The Times of India, ‘death of Mrs Democracy wife of Mr Freedom’. But by and large the people took it casually. No political party except the Akali Dal took up the challenge. ‘According to Amnesty International,1,40,000 persons were detained without trial during emergency and of them 60,000 were Sikhs.’ (quoted from Inder Malhotra ‘Indira Gandhi a Personal and Political Biography’ (London 1989) p 178) As Akali agitation was going with greater intensity despite MISA and other laws to punish the agitators, Indira sent emissaries Amrinder Singh and Bhai Ashok Singh Bagrian. But they failed in getting Akalis to withdraw agitation even during a deal including a formation of a coalition government in Punjab with Akalis ( from Mark Tully and Satish Jacob , Amritsar Mrs Gandhi’s lost Battle London 1985) Because of failure of compromise due to effort of Amrinder Singh and other Mrs Gandhi took up, in revenge, to inflict injury to Sikhs and Punjab. Firstly, as Sangat Singh says in his book The Sikhs in History, she came up with award in March 25 1976 allocating the waters and Hydal Power of the punjab rivers under section 78 of Punjab Reorganization Act of 1966 to Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi and Punjab. Indira now used the discretion with malice and vengeance to award 75% of waters to neighbouring non-riparian states to create in them vested interest to the deteriment of legal rights of Punjab. Secondly, the Defence Ministry for the first time issued orders for recruitment in the armed forces based on the quotas to provinces on the basis of population. This was designed to reduce the intake and content of the Sikhs in armed forces to just two percent.

The Sikhs were asked to pay a very heavy price for their uprightness and standing up to the dictatorial perceptions of Indira Gandhi.

Even a non-political princess like Gayatri Devi of Jaipur was not spared.

As explained before Indira Gandhi got the President to sign the proclamation of Emergency because Supreme Court in its interim order had disallowed her to vote in Parliament though she could attend Parliament till final order of Supreme Court. It is thus evident that the Emergency was proclaimed , so that she could continue PM without waiting for the decision of S.C which could go either way. The moment this historic proclamation was singed by the President, Indira Gandhi became bold and ordered switching off power supply to all News Papers so that there was no issue in the morning with any editorial or comments on the issue of Emergency. On the morning of 26th June she addressed the nation on AIR trying to justify the issue of Proclamation of Emergency. Here are some extracts from her speech:-

The President has proclaimed the emergency. This is nothing to panic about. I am sure you all are conscious of deep and widespread conspiracy, which has been ever since I began to introduce certain progressive measures of benefit to the Common man and Woman of India… Certain persons have gone to the length of muting our armed faces to mutiny and our police to rebel…..The forces of disintegration are in full play and Communal passion’s are being aroused threatening our, unity…..This is not a personal matter. It is not important whether remain Prime Minister or not…….. May I appeal for your continued cooperation and trust in the days ahead.

In the first session of Parliament on July 23 after Emergency few opposition leaders who were not yet arrested, protested vehemently on the imposition of Emergency just to allow Indira Gandhi to continue as PM despite SC verdict against her. Shri A K Gopalan the seasoned CPM leader said that large scale arrest of men and women since imposition of Emergency had reduced Parliament to a farce and object of contempt “ But CPI’s Inderjit Gupta supported Emergency and went so for as to say that Jayaparkash Narain through agitation of over one year wanted to seize power in many states”.

On the other hand a Jan Sangh MP openly accused Indira Gandhi of betraying the motherland for the sake of personal ends’. Thereafter the opposition MP’s either bycotted the parliament or were arrested or sent to jail. In the first three months of Emergency it is reported that 80,000 people had been put behind bar, both men and women.

Besides satyagraha by followers of JP who had been arrested on the very first day of Emergency, another leader Manibehn Patel, daughter of Sardar Patel started Satyagraha in Ahmadabad, she and her followers raising slogans in Dandi, famous for Gandhi Ji’s salt Satyagraha known as Dandi March, “Remove Emergency” and release all political prisoners. Even Sardar Patel’s daughter was not spared. She was arrested but the next day a judge ordered her release. Being Sardar Patel’s daughter she continued with the march to the sea with handful of policemen in plainclothes because all her supporters in the precession had been either arrested or beaten by police.

There were intellectuals and men of letters who were upset because of composition of Emergency. Highly respected Kanada novelist Shivranjan Karnath who had joined freedom movement in 20’s under Gandhiji inspiration and was awarded Padma Bhushan, returned the award. Similarly a Hindi novelist Phaneshwaranath RENU returned the award of Padmashri. These intellectuals were inspired by Rabindera Nath Tagore, who had relinquished his Knighthood in protest against Jallianwala Bagh measure by the British Government. Of all the prominent leaders only J.B Kirplani was not arrested. Kirplani had joined independence movement in 1917, many years before Jawahar Lal Nehru joined. He had been Congress President at the time of independence—was not arrested despite his fiery speech on Gandhi ji birthday at Gandhi Ji’s Smadhi Rajghat on 2nd Oct 1975. Kuldeep Nayyar in his book. The Judgment writes that on 2nd oct JB Kirplani, the 85 year old Gandhite was also one of the protesters. “He was first arrested but then released in Kerala, posters even in remote villages appeared to urge the people not to be cowards in front of injustice and tyranny. In April 76 Kirplani asked the government to publish the names of those political leaders who have been arrested during Emergency. He regretted and even complained that why he did not have the ‘privilege’ of being arrested along with JP Desai and other leaders.

After six weeks of Emergency Sanjay Gandhi, Indira’s son became virtual Deputy P M with almost exclusive powers . Even his mother the PM started referring all congress leaders and Ministers to consult Sanjay. So from that day Sanjay’s words or orders became law. None could dare oppose him or even suggest an alternative or give advice or opinion. In his first long interview after Emergency he said that his mother always consulted and even took his advice. He advocated free enterprise in place of socialist pattern or state ownership, so that his Maruti car will not be behind Fiat and Ambassador. This made fundamental change in the policy of the Government during Emergency.

With proclamation of emergency India, under Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi moved towards dictatorship. Many journalists were arrested for instance Malkani of Motherland Delhi and Jagat Narain of Hind Samachar of Jullundur. On 29th June a meeting of journalists and editors was held at Press Club of India that passed a resolution to protest against the imposition of Press Censorship and urged the Indira Govt to lift the ban and release the journalists that have been arrested.

Kuldeep Nayyar in his book ‘The Judgement’ has quoted from Washington Post Correspondent who was banished from India, Lewis M Sinon, a very infecting para in “Sanjay Gandhi and his Mother” which is reproduced below:

“Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, distrustful of even her closest cabinet colleagues at this time of grave crisis for India, is turning to her contraversial younger son, Sanjay, for help in making major decisions. She is scared to death of him”.

That is the stuff of which Sanjay Gandhi was made of, with no respect or even regard for elders including Cabinet Ministers and high officials and even his mother, who was Prime Minister of India and had imposed on India for the first time and last time to date Emergency so as to remain in power come what way. But she willingly handed over all powers of PM to Sanjay as will be seen from the para quoted from Kuldeep Nayyars Book.

During first couple of months of Emergency 60,000 people had been arrested including Rajmata Gayatri Devi of Jaipur and Rajmata of Gwalior and sent to Tihar Jail to stay with common “criminals and prostitutes like living in a bazaar” said Gayatri Devi, one of the most beautiful, sophisticated princess and graceful mother.

From 9th July, Akali’s in Punjab launched a morcha in Punjab against Emergency and offer arrests. “Roughly 45000 Sikhs courted arrests” including Akali top leadership including Parkash Singh Balal. Akali Chief Minister of Punjab and Gurcharan Singh Tohra, SGPC President.

Even prominent Gandhitis like Bhim Sen Sochar, who was a Minister in undivided Punjab before partition and was thereafter Chief Minister of India and Punjab and even was Governor, was arrested for demanding abrogation of Press Censorship and demanding freedom and dignity of individual belonging to one party or another or even not being in active politics.

While R.S.S. had been banned, Eminent opposition leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani, S N Mishra of congress (O) and Madhu Dandwate, a socialist, were in jail in Karnatka, Shanti Bhushan an eminent advocate (who later become Law Minister) took up their case in the High Court at Bangalore saying “ We are challenging the entire emergency and the measures that the government has imposed and how they were part of what Mrs Gandhi called ‘the gravely threatening conspiracy’ . Dedicated and fearless lawyers had filed thousands of writs for release of detenues or for improving their living conditions as Princess Gayatri Devi who fell ill in Tihar Jail had said they were living in the ‘bazaar’ of ‘prostitutes’.

Other eminent lawyers like V M Terakunde, former judge of Bombay High Court, Minoo Masani Soli, Sorabjee fought gratis the cases of many detenues. Former justice of a Supreme Court of India M C Chagla said almost all or majority of people in jails thought Indira (about one lakh), do not know ‘ why they are in jail and so they cannot defend themselves’ unless they know the charges against them. But neither Indira nor her son Sanjay had thought or had time for these legal matters. They were busy consolidating their power and ruling the country as a dictatorship like that of Hitler in Germany or Stalin in USSR.

With most of the opposition MP’s locked in jails, a series of constitutional amendments were passed by the Parliament (belonging to congress). The 38th Amendment passed on July 22, 1975 barred judicial review of the emergency. Only two weeks after 39th amendment outlined that election of Prime Minister could not be challenged in any court, including Supreme Court.

To gag the process constitutionally, the Press council an independent watchdog body was abolished. A law ‘granting immunity to journalists covering Parliament was revoked and as many as 253 journalists were placed under arrest’ including Kuldeep Nayyar of Indian Express and K.R Sunder Rajan of Times of India.

J P was a great Selfless Social worker and honest leader of India. He was sometimes socialist in his youth but ultimately joined Gandhiji’s non-violent independence movement. He was dedicated to Sarvodya and even after independence did not or declined any political status or office of importance in Congress Party or Congress Government. It is irony of fate of JP and India that such a social worker of such eminence was put behind bars by Indira Gandhi during Emergency. It was negation of not only our constitution but all that for which Gandhiji, Indira’s father Jawahar Lal Nehru and leaders like Dr Rajendra Parsad, Sardar Patel and Dr B R Ambedkar stood and fought throughout their lives.

As stated earlier J P was jailed along with other political leaders immediately after declaration of emergency. While in jail, in November 75, JP’s health suddenly deteriorated because of filthy conditions of over crowded jail and unpalatable food . It created panic in Indira – Sanjay dictatorship and also in the Congress Party fearing if JP died in jail hell will break out for the Government and Congress Party. Accordingly J P was at once shifted to Jaslok Hospital in Bombay to provide him best possible treatment to save his life as well as the life of government.

Sanjay Gandhi had become virtual or effective PM as Indira delegated all powers to her younger son, directed all Ministers and senior officers to consult Sanjay or in fact take orders from him. Sanjay and his views and actions were given wide publicity on state controlled Radio and Media as will be noticed from following:

‘ In a single year 192 news items were broadcast about Sanjay Gandhi from the Delhi Station of AIR. In the same period Doordarshan telecast 26 items on Sanjay’s activities. When he made a 24 hour trip to Andhra Pradesh, the Film Division shot a full-length documentary called ‘A day to remember with commentary in their languages’.

Because of his extra constitutional powers Sanjay Gandhi had his own coterie of which Jagmohan was the key member, other members of this coterie were Navin Chawla who was then secretory to the Governor of Delhi and senior Police officer P.S. Bhinder. Among the ladies who were members of this unlawful coterie were Ambika Soni and Ruksana Sultana. Every morning this coterie met in Sanjay’s office to report on how and what they had implemented on previous days orders of Sanjay and to take fresh instructions and orders for the day. R.K Dhawan Indira’s steno was the link between PM’s office and Sanjay’s ‘Darbar’.

Mission to clean up Delhi convened with Jagmohan as in charge of this enterprise which was fraught with dangers. Demolition started on 13th April 1976, when a bulldozer moved into unauthorized area near Turk man Gate demolishing some slums inhabited by forty poor families, A few days later bulldozer moved to the ground some antique structures in Turk man Gate area. Many people protested but were helpless. For couple of days there was pause but demolition started again with bulldozers under direct instructions of jagmohan who was DDA’s Vice Chairman or head. As hundreds of houses were demolished in the narrow streets of Turk-man Gate area affected, as inevitable, people stoned the Police which is relation lathi charged and then spoadic fire killing a number of protectors between “10 to 200” as exact number could not be ascertained because curfew was imposed in the Turk-man Gate area.

Meanwhile another problem cropped up as Sanjay was keen to control India’s growing population,he authorized sterilization. This,too, was carried to unforeseen limits and frenzy and protests. As it was mostly the Muslim inhabited area of old Delhi’s Turk-man Gate, to cool down the tempers and rebellions protests Sheikh Abdullah was called. He visited the congested area where shooting had taken place and was very much moved. He protested to Indira Gandhi saying that the whole trouble began when young, old and even in valid were dragged off to the sterilization camps”. Even compulsory sterilization was thereafter imposed in the villages around Delhi. Simultaneously protests continued in Delhi and neighboring UP. Worst incident took place in Muzzafer Nagar where to curb the violent protests “Police opened fire in which fifty people died”.

This incident moved even the PM who admitted the excesses in sterilization campaign in the Parliament. From here the decline of the popularity of Congress, Sanjay and Indira commenced. To stem the tide of protests and firing, Indira Gandhi commented on 18th January 1977 that Parliament would be dissolved and fresh elections will be held. Infact Indira, because of emergency, could extend Parliament from year to year but she took the decision without consulting anyone, not even Sanjay. She broadcast the decision to hold general elections in states and for Parliament. This announcement led to release of all Political prisoner from jails all over India. Speak Congress leadership even was surprised.

Though J P was old and infirm as he was on many occasions on dialysis. Yet between February 25 and March 5 “ he spoke at Patna, Calcutta, Bombay, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Indore, Pune and Ratlam. Everywhere he warned the audience that this is the last free elections if the congress is voted back to power then nineteen months of tyranny shall become nineteen years of terror”. In her speeches Indira Gandhi spoke as usual about the conspiracy against her and that emergency ‘was necessary at that time’.

In northern India there was a sort of referendum against ‘Compulsory Sterilization’ and forced vasectomies. In many meetings voters asked the congress speakers or candidates to show their own sterilization certificates. Often there were slogan’s against Sanjay Gandhi. There were hectic campaigns in all states against Sanjay, Indira and Congress. Even the Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid asked the Muslims not to vote for Congress. Jana Sangh and Akali Dal were vociferous against congress of Indira and Sanjay. To ensure defeat of Congress all opposition had united under one party ie Janta Party which constituted of Jana Sangh, Bhartiya Lok Dal of Charan Singh, socialist Party and Morarji Desai’s Congress (o). Even Jagjiwan Ram took the courage to resign from Indira’s cabinet and join the newly formed Janta Party. This brought vast number of backward classes to the fold of Janta Party as hitherto they had been supporting Congress of Mahatma Gandhi.

On the 20th March election results came as a shock to Indira and Sanjay as both mother and son were defeated. In UP in particular congress could not win even one seat out of 84. It was Congress debacle.

August 28, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian History, Political Commentary | , , , | Leave a comment

To Me Mahatma Gandhi

As young and immature man of below 12 years I used to follow Gandhi and considered him real mahatma. I was very much impressed since 1942 Quit India movement in which I had little bit participated as a lad of under 12 years. But going to college, studying politics and history independently I came to conclusion that Gandhi was not either very intelligent or very honest or upright. By his so called non violence, which suited the British rulers of India before independence in comparison to demand and fight for independence come what may be Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and many other revolutionaries, Gandhi was made an icon of non violence and a mahatma.

As M.K. Gandhi’s performance as an advocate was not only below expectations from a Bar-at-law but poor, as has been described by POLAK in Great Men of India. It will be pertinent to reproduce below his comments on Gandhi’s ability and courage.
“On return from England after being Bar-at-law he continued practise in Bombay high court. His first case was a trial, not so much of his knowledge and ability as of his courage. To speak in public had always been an ordeal for him and now to have to conduct a case, even the placing of bare facts of it before the court, was more than he could do. He rose to speak but became tongue-tied. Baffled he begged to be relieved of his case and hastened from the court in shame and anguish, vowing never to appear again until he had learned to master himself and could use his brain and body as the instrument of his will.”

So to start with despite of having lived in England and having been called to Bar he was an utter failure as an advocate. So he first joined his brother in business and thereafter went to South Africa at the request of an Indian businessman, where it was more politics than law.

Though from 1942 to 1949 I considered Gandhi as Mahatma and Father of Nation and raised slogans like ‘Inqilab Zindabad’ and ‘Mahatma Gandhi Zindabad’ and on hearing that he had been assassinated by a Hindu fanatic because Gandhi was instrumental in the payment of Rs. 55 crore (Rs 550 Million) to Pakistan though Pakistan had waged a war against India in Kashmir, I kept fast for full 24 hours, not drinking even water and attended condolence meeting at the bank of Satluj river near Sardar Bhagat Singh’s smadhi.

Till 1949 I had not read and known about Gandhi’s high handedness not befitting a Mahatma or Father of nation in forcing rightfully elected Subhash Chandra Bose who defeated Gandhi’s candidate Patabhi Sitaramya. Instead of accepting the verdict of people and allowing S C Bose to function he indirectly made all the earlier members of congress working committee not to cooperate with Subhash Bose and not to join his Working Committee. It is to credit of Subhash Bose who was not yet ‘Netaji’ to resign instead of dividing the party. In this connection I reproduce below once again extracts from an article by POLAK expressed in an article in Greatmen of India.

“After the re-election of Subhash Chandra Bose as president of the congress… inspite of Gandhi’s support for another candidate the annual session of the congress that followed expressed complete confidence in him, resolved to support his politics and virtually instructed Mr. Bose to appoint a Working Committee that would enjoy Gandhi’s confidence: Mr. Bose however failed to get support of Gandhi’s nominees and resigned the Presidentship, the new President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, being an old colleague of the Mahatma’s and the new working committee being composed entirely of his supporters.”

In the face of Bose’s demand to present Britain with an ultimatum in the prevailing international arena in order to compel her to grant India’s freedom Gandhi’s view was that “it would not be proper or generous on her part to take advantage of Britain’s embarrassment in the international field….”

… “In the following passage from a letter from Gandhi to Bose, in reply to later’s proposed ultimatum, under a threat of new intensive civil disobedience campaign, just before his resignation, expressing Gandhi’s profound disbelief that such a campaign (as pointed out by Bose) could be conducted without Violence”

“To many he (Gandhi) is a strange enigma, an aggregate of inconsistencies, and his subtilty of argument is often uncomprehending and baffling. But of his courage, his integrity of purpose, the splendors of his idealism his deep patriotism and his fine example of public conduct and personal sacrifice there is an all but universal recognition.”

This is how Mahatma Gandhi who worked for India’s Independence all through his life refused to celebrate Independence because of large scale riots from July to September 1947. Because of partitions riots which were instigated and initiated by Muslim League in August – September 1946 in Bengal particularly in Calcutta, it is pertinent to quote Ram Chandra Guha from his book India after Gandhi: “By starting a riot in Calcutta in August 46 Jinnah and the League hoped to polarize the two communities further and thus force the British to divide India when they finally quit. In this endeavor they richly succeeded.”

Mahatma Gandhi was hardly secular as he was a staunch Hindu and considered India after partition to be a Hindu country. It is significant to quote what Gandhi ji said on December 4, 1947 hardly a couple of months before his assassination by a fanatic Hindu Nathu Ram Godse.

“Even Guru Nanak never said that he was not a Hindu nor did any other Guru. It can not be said that Sikhism, Hinduism. Buddhism and Jainism are separate religions. All these four faiths and their off shoots are one. Hinduism is an ocean into which all the rivers run. It can absorb Islam and Christianity and all other religions and only then can it become ocean” (Collected works of Mahatma Gandhi, Publication of Government of India of various years, volume 90 p 177)

In the words of Nirad C Chaudhary , ‘Gandhi had the capacity for prevarication of a Hindu Bania and Hindu Guru combined and like both he think that what he desired must be necessarily right’ (C Chaudhary ‘The Hand of Great Anarch’ India 1921-52 , Laden 1987 p 792)

After talks with and influenced by Suhrawardy Gandhi became more pro-Muslim and anti-Sikh. He started calling Muslims as a separate religion but continued to call Sikhs (Sheekh) as culprits and criminals who killed Muslims (in retaliation so as to stop killing of Hindu and Sikhs in Pakistan.)

Because of large scale riots Gandhi did not take part in celebrations of Independence day on 15th August 1947 but instead undertook a 24 hour fast saying ‘Do you wish to hold celebrations in the midst of this devastation’

This proved that Mahatma Gandhi truly believed and propagated non-violence. This also proves that M K Gandhi had become a Mahatma in real sense and rightly known throughout India and the world as Mahatma Gandhi – apostle of Non – Violence.

To conclude, we cannot forget or minimize Mahatma Gandhi’s emphasis on non-violent struggle for independence, which was adopted by many leaders of America and Africa. In USA, Martin Luther King’s struggle for racial equality and end of discrimination against colored people particularly Africans was crowned with great and unique success. In South Africa, the South African leader NELSON MANDELA who had been imprisoned for 30 years by colonial government and that, too, in a solitary confinement for many years in a far off island of south of South Africa, emulated Gandhi’s non-violence and though after independence of South Africa he became the first African (non-white) President of South Africa he did not harbor any grudge against the erstwhile white rulers.

Highest tribute was paid by great scientist Albert Einstein, recognizing Gandhi’s contribution to peace, brotherhood of mankind, absence of hatred and above all non-violent struggle for attaining independence with truth honesty and sacrifice, all rolled into one. It is very pertinent to quote Einstein: “generations to come will scarcely believe that such a man as this (Gandhi) walked the earth in flesh and blood”

August 25, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian History | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Passing away of Pandit Nehru

(Brief assessment of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru)

In 1964, India’s first PM who became Prime Minister in 1946 in united India before Partition of 1947, passed away after 18 years as PM, longest period for any PM, except in communist country. Pandit Nehru from 1946 to 1950, as long as Mountbatten was Governor General of British India or even after Indian Independence, was subservient to Lord Mountbatten and till the departure of Mountbatten he was like member of Mountbatten family. This proved to be curse because Mountbatten mischievously had added a clause while accepting, Kashmir’s instrument of accession to India, duly segined by Maharaja Hari Singh, and forwarded to Pandit Nehru by Kashmir’s ‘PM’ Mehar chand Mahajan, whom Jawahar Lal had a fortnight earlier told to get -lost. When he had come with the same instrument of accession, though hundred of princely States sent the similar Instrument Accession which were accepted. In Kashmir’s case, Pandit Nehru received the Instrument of Accession when Sheikh Mohd Abdullah told the PM of India that Pakistani invaders had almost reached the outskirts of Srinagar and on the way they were looting and indiscriminately molesting Hindu, Sikh and Muslim women.

To India’s and Kashmir’s misfortune Kashmir’s instrument of Accession was sent to Mountbatten who had added, as said earlier, an uncalled for and dangerous clause that ‘will of the people of Kashmir’ will be taken afterwards. Jawahar Lal Nehru as India PM could have deleted this clause after discussing with GG but did not or could not use his intelligence, discretion or authority as Prime Minister considering himself the final authority and Mountbatten as titular head. It was only after Mountbatten’s departure that he became real and effective PM with C Rajgopal acharya as titular Governor General for a couple of years till 1952, when Indian parliament became effective under the new Constitution.

It is significant to quote from CF Andrews ‘Great Men of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru writes in another remarkable passage about himself, “I have been a queer mixture of East and West, out of place everywhere, at home nowhere. Perhaps my thoughts and approach to life are more alien to what is called Western than Eastern, but India clings to me as it does to all her children, in unmeasurable ways. I cannot get rid of my past inheritance or my recent acquisition. They are both part of me and though they help me both in the East and West, they west in me a feeling of spiritual loneliness, not only in public activities but life itself. I am stranger and alien in the west. I can not be of it. But my own country also, sometimes. I have an exile feeling.”

Nehru depended on Rajaji’s advice as he regarded Rajaji as his closest friend, guide and associate in the entire hierarchy of congress government as well as congress party.

But it will appear strange that after a year or so Nehru sent Rajaji as chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. A former head of state, first Indian Governor General being shifted out of Delhi to far off Madras was something CR could not stomach. Soon he left the congress party and Nehru and found his though short live Sawtantera Party.

That was not all Dr. Rajendra Prasad the first elected President of Indian Republic under new constitution was not given the respect due to the Head of Democratic Republic though Dr. Rajendra Prasad was orthodox Hindu and Pandit Nehru a progressive Indian, not much of a Hindu. Their differences come to limelight when Dr. Prasad opposed the Hindu Code Bill sponsored by Dr. Ambedkar, the then law Minister and Pandit Nehru supported the Hindu Code Bill even saying that in getting the Hindu code Bill passed involved his prestige. But because of opposition from vast majority of Hindus who were orthodox and were led by RSS, the bill could not to be passed in the constituent Assembly. As a result Dr. Ambedkar resigned from the cabinet.

As Nehru had even opposed the election of Dr. Rajendra Prasad as President of India their differences increased to somewhat dislike for each other. With the demise of Sardar Patel in 1950 December, Nehru felt free and independent of any restraint, direct or indirect, from any other congress leaders in Party or Government as Sardar Patel was the only the leader who had large following in congress though he was Home Minister and Minister of states. So long as Patel was alive Nehru was virtually reduced in status, though a PM, as Minister of External Affairs with virtually no interference or advice in connection with integration of princely status and more particularly Police Action in Hyderabad.

Guha’s remarks on the President of India’s visit to Somnath Temple, which had been destroyed many times by the Mughal invaders and rulers, show the extent of differences amount of disrespect that Nehru had now cultivated against Dr. Rajendra Prased: “when the President of India chose to dignify temples consecration with his presence, Nehru was appalled. He wrote to Prasad not to participate in the ‘spectacular opening of the Somenath temple (which) unfortunately had a number of implications’. But Prasad disregarded the advice and went to Somnath. Although he was a Hindu, said Prasad at Somnath. ‘I respect all religions and on occasions visit a church, a morque, a dargah and a gurudwara’.

Like Rajaji who was sent to Madras as CM uncrumoniously so Dr. Rajendra Prasad was not given second term as President and not provided a befitting residence after vacating Rastrapati Bhawan, had to leave for Patna without a farewell befitting First President of India.

After that Nehru made his daughter Indra Gandhi Congress President . Her first undemocratic act was to organise mass upsurge against first Comminist government of EMS Nambudripad in Kerala to force him to resign. It is written that after the EMS Govt was dismissed she asked American government through US Ambassador to compensate her party with millions of dollars to fight another election to keep these Communists in Kerala down and out.

Thus Nehru groomed his daughter and had he lived for a few more years he might have given her more responsibility in Party and Government. It is in this light that after Lal Bahadur Shastri’s brief Prime Ministership, she became an obvious choice of congress Party to become Prime Minister. In this way Jawahar Lal Nehru laid the foundation of dynastic rule in centre and in states. This dynastic rule politics has done great harm to India and Indian democracy.

As I have explained earlier Nehru considered himself at least half western in thoughts, words and to an extent in his deeds. That is why he could not adjust with the cent per cent Indians in upbringing and culture like Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Sardar Patel.

Nehru accepted socialism and tried to implement so called Socialist Pattern of Society which in due course degenerated into what was being called ‘Inspector Raj’. Half hearted attempt to implement Marxist Socialism was bound to fail as vast majority did not know about Marxism or socialism. They only knew about Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of Ahimsa. Some followed revolutionary philosophy of Bhagat Singh and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Accordingly Socialist Pattern of Society, instead of improving the lot of farmers and organised and unorganised labouress, made them subservient to Rationing Inspectors and the like. There was no progress in Industry and Agriculture. Rather both Agriculture and Industry deteriorated. Thus India under Nehru’s Socialist Pattern of society instead of moving forward went backward, economically, socially and politically.

Similarly Nehru’s efforts to organise non- aligned nations with Tito of Yugoslavia and Nasser of Egypt and the policy of Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai ultimately failed.

In 1962 there was Chinese aggression, which was absolutely unprovoked, into North Eastern border of India called NEFA and ladakh. Chinese troops were advancing and capturing vast areas when Nehru made a statement that I had asked Indian Army “to kick Chinese out” and he proceeded to Ceylon, little realizing the consequences of such an incursion into Indian territory which had never occurred before. Within a fortnight Chinese troops overran entire NEFA and reached the boundary touching Assam. Then Chinese dictated terms of withdrawal of Chinese troops after making hundred of Indian soldiers prisoners.

In Military History of India and South Asia, it is stated as under: “After defeat of India in 1962 at the hand of China and after China dictated the terms of withdrawal from vast areas of NEFA and some areas of Ladakh, Pandit Nehru now decided to approach USA for air cover”. Writing to President John F Kennedy he described the situation as “really desperate” and requested immediate dispatch of 12 squadrons of fighter aircrafts—–for Nehru who had talked so much on non alignment, it was a crushing acceptance of failure.

Though President Kennedy, on the recommendation of US Ambassador in India John Kennedy Galbrith, a renowned Harward Economist who gave twist to USA’s a Free Market Economy, agreed to Nehru request for a financial aid and arms and sanctioned “supply of a million rounds for machine guns, 40,000 land mines and 1,00,000 mortar rounds. Though USA was not in favour of India because of India’s close contacts and relations with USSR, many senators opposed giving military and financial aid to Nehru who was a proclaimed socialist and to a great extent anti-American in opposition to Pakistan who had always been pro American. Senator Russel in particular opposed any sort of assistance to India. His opposition to Kennedy helping India militarily got wide publicity in USA as senator Russel was the chairman of senate Armed Forces Committee.

This was and the humiliating defeat of Indian Army had weakened Nehru’s position not only in USA and rest of world where he was known as champion of non alignment, but also in India and Congress Party itself. As a result decision making had been shifted from Prime Minister’s house to the congress Parliamentary Party. Inspite of hostile criticism by Senetor Russel and many others Kennedy and Galbrith, though upset, continued to give moral support to Nehru and India.

Chinese aggression and defeat of Indian Army was a great and unbearable shock to Pandit Nehru who had treated himself not only undisputed leader of India but of entire non-aligned world. Krishna Menon, Nehru’s favourite Defence Minister had to resign. Jawahar Lal Nehru himself could not bear this shock and in frustration and shame, within two years he scummbed to this unbearable shock and passed away in 1964.

However Nehru made an emotional speech in 15th August 1947 which is considered very touching and is renowned not only in India but throughout the English speaking world. India’s Prime Minister said: at midnight of ushering 15th August and India’s Independence; “At the stroke of midnight hour, when he world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom—-a moment which comes rarely in history when we step out from the old to the new, when as age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed finds utterance”.

There is no doubt that Nehru was one of the renowned leaders of India’s struggle for independence. Few nations have had leaders of such acknowledged intelligence as Jawahar Lal Nehru Dr. Rajendra Prasad, C Rajagopal Acharya —-Jawahar Lal Nehru served three full terms in office, (as Prime Minister) a privilege denied to any other Prime Minister of India or abroad in a democracy.

Thus despite all his shortcomings because of love for Western Culture and not considering Mountbatten as titular Governor General and not being able to take strong action in Kashmir and Hyderabad fovouring his sister Vijay Laxmi Pandit and daughter Indira Gandhi over others Jawahar Lal Nehru was a great and respected leader of India. He was pride of India like Gandhiji and will be remembered for ever. Even Ghandhiji had same shortcomings but these do not mitigate his status in India and the world. So Nehru, too, will be remembered always.

August 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments