मंथन

सत्य के पीछे का सच

Have we come down to this?

Posted by Sudeep Pandey on December 13, 2008

I have never been in such a state of dilemma before… Ever since I have studied geography as a subject (perhaps it was standard II or III), I have always been taught, rather shown, following as the map of India:
 

Map of India

Map of India

The above picture has actually been taken from http://india.gov.in/maps/indiaindex.php which, I believe, is maintained by some Indian government authorities. The only change I made to it is the straight line you can see on the top of Indian map… I’ve tried to show you guys the location of Muzaffarabad. That’s the city from where Pakistan authorities have detained a guy called Rehman Lakhvi, who has supposedly masterminded the Mumbai attacks where more than 150 people died and it’s the same place where terrorists who walked into Mumbai hotels have been trained. I have seen video footage on TV a number of times about terrorist camps running there (I am pretty sure my esteemed government must also have seen it as well). My intelligent intelligence agencies have been saying it for so long. They have shown the proof of it to US as well (like a first grader goes to his teacher saying “teacher, teacher… he slapped me… please punish him”).

So we come right to the point. I am confused… you know, asking Pakistan government to capture and crack down those terror camps in muzaffarabad is something like there is a fire at a corner in my home (indeed if I claim that part does belong to my home), and I have enough fire extinguishers with me, but I put all my weight behind a demand to my neighbour that he should extinguish it!! Why the situation is similar? The only reason, my friend, is above map. It claims muzaffarabad is a part of India, and if, you know that there are terror camps, where people get training to come to other parts of India and kill, You should have a moral responsibility to clean up the mess. You just have to pass an order to send your fighters there, and they are well equipped to take care of it. I have seen enough of their strengths during Kargil and the rest they’ve shown in Mumbai! But it’s the order that they require from you. You didn’t do it in 1971, you didn’t do it in 2003 and now again the question is facing you…

But if you don’t have the guts to pass that order: you spineless people, you filthy people, please stop showing that region as a part of your country. You don’t understand what character you’re showing by an act like this. You are showing you are a coward! You don’t have the balls to take the heat and act! And you are willingly ready to let people die because of cowardice of yours! You know what? When people die, they are dead! They can’t come back even after you do some diplomatic voo-doo! And after all this, you still (shamelessly) claim that it is part of India?

We, the descendants of Rama, Krishna, Arjuna, Guru Gobind Singh, Rana Pratap and Shivaji who lived for their people and who died for their people; have we come down to this? That’s the question you should think about…

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Time for action

Posted by Sudeep Pandey on December 5, 2008

I have been reading and hearing this since long that 26 November will be remembered in the history of India as India’s 9/11. I have initially been moved by the images that I saw on TV of how tragic and horrible a terror act can be. And like everyone else I cursed politicians for their inability, corruption and what not. And I cried when I saw peoples of the likes of Hemant Karkare, Vijay Salaskar and Ashok Kamte dying on the line of duty. And I am proud of being in a country which is guarded by such officers. And I like everyone else happily clapped for my brave commandos after they have cleaned up the whole mess. But few things have still been mystery for me as far as people of India goes…

I am seeing everyone walking with candles lit in their hand for mourning people who died in Mumbai, a gesture which I rarely saw when exactly similar things happened in Kashmir or elsewhere in India. I have never seen people talking about Major Anshu Saxena of Rashtriya Rifles who died in a night long battle in 2001 fighting with terrorist in Kupwara. I have never seen such marches for Army Majors- Dinesh Raghuraman and K P Vinay who laid their life fighting against terrorist in Tangmarg in 2007. And there had been number of unsung heroes dying in many other parts of India. I can list a number of occasions like these when I felt the pain very much similar to what I felt when I saw Hotel Taj burning. And every time my initial reactions had been same that these ministers and politicians are good for nothing. And then I decided to do my precious little to make thing better. I tried to follow the agenda of political parties and tried to choose the one among the best. And I voted!! Unlike most of the people in India for whom, voting day is a holiday given by government of India when they can sit back in their home, mown their lawns, fix their driller which is not working since long or lie down watching TV, I go out and vote. These people cry to throw away these chief-ministers, home ministers etc for they have not done their duty properly, I ask them: Have you done your constitutional duty?? Have you voted?? Why shouldn’t I ask you to be thrown away into Arabian Sea because you are the one who has not done his/her duty to elect a capable person and hence 183 people in Mumbai died? You say these politicians are dooming the nation, OK, if you think you can do this job better then them, then come, move forward and lead from the front. But till you are not involved in it or you are not doing your precious little to make this better, you have not right to curse them.

And there is another class of voters (first one being those who don’t vote at all): this class who think about whom to vote based on everything under the sun except betterment of their life and their country. They see if the candidate is his/her relative, relative of a relative, friend, friend of a friend, or if nothing works then is he/she of same caste/religion as me, all in exact order. But I consider them better than the ones who don’t even take effort to go to nearest polling station…. See now you have to go to a peace march to gateway of India.

It reminds me of one incidence between Sardar Vallabh bhai Patel and his personal secretary. I might give you the detailed description of what happened then some other time in another post, but it was about a clause to be added to constitution which his personal secretary was not in favor of and he knew that even Sardar thinks of the same and yet he supported it in constitutional assembly. When he confronted sardar, he replied with something like this, “Look, for one, this is not a permanent clause. Let it be there for some time. When the next generation will understand how bad it is for us, they will amend it. And if they do not understand its bad, they would anyways go down taking our country and constitution along with them”. Now I can see he was right. We do not understand our power of Vote and we are taking our country down with us.  And you know what. I never liked the idea of the peace-march as I have been seeing these days. People come out with some posters, banners which have very emotionally charged lines written on it. They sat down for prayer or offer condolences for people died or raise slogans. And then they go back home and wait for another such thing to happen so that they can do the same exercise yet again. They say, they are showing that we are united at this time of distress. All right I hear that! But then what?? Nothing? I once heard someone went to visit Niagara fall and exclaimed,”Oh!! It’s a pity so much water is flowing down from which we could have produced a lot of electricity”.  So do not waste such huge mass-movement to show just unity. Make sure you give them clear recommendation of how these things can be or might be avoided. Ask them to go and vote! Vote for the right people who could bring well-being for the society, those who can save us from such attacks. This is one such weapon with which we as an individual can make a difference.

My appeal to all my readers is: Please go out and vote. Think and vote. Rise above caste, religion and state and think about your country as a whole. This is for your own safety and benefit. You might have never cried and conveniently ignored when people in Kashmir died and see now they came right into your backyard. Don’t make an excuse that everyone in candidate’s list is equally corrupt. Use “49-0”(see note below), if you think nobody deserve to win. But say it! It will never help saying “enough is enough”! Let them realize that you are monitoring them!! Tell them their wrong doings won’t go unpunished!! And their good works will be awarded!! Tell them that you, an Indian citizen, are the boss!!

This too shall not pass!!

Note:
1. 49-O.   Elector  deciding  not  to  vote.-If  an  elector,  after  his electoral  roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in  Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon  as required  under  sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to  record  his vote,  a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or the thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark. (Taken from  http://lawmin.nic.in/ld/subord/cer1.htm)

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Honourable Governor Sir…

Posted by Sudeep Pandey on November 13, 2008

Now I am surprised!!

I have just read news about an all-party-meeting convened by the chief-minister of Maharashtra, “to discuss the Anti-North Indian agitation by the MNS,” and expressed concern over the “maligning of Maharashtra’s image in the country despite the state having an all-encompassing culture”.

Sir, we are not blind or deaf or dumb. You need an all-party meeting to decide how/why to ensure that an “Indian” national can enjoy its fundamental right given to it by “Indian” constitution? And you and your government takes 7-10 days to decide whether or not to arrest a man who claims he and his men have (rightfully??) beaten fellow countrymen? And when people ask you (that is you as CM and your government of the state of Maharashtra) questions, it automatically converts into maligning of state’s image?

As such, I really don’t care what you and all other political parties (here or erstwhile India) say about anything because you are into politics and politicians are notorious for enjoying their freedom of speech (that again comes under fundamental rights from our constitution). What really surprised (and rather shocked) me was the statement given by governor’s office, after this delegation went to Raj-Bhavan, on the same. It said “the state government had the duty to uphold Marathi pride and address the issues of its people” and that “outsiders need not interfere in internal matters of the state.”

The post of Governor in a state is the representative of President of India and is responsible for upholding the constitution above all else. I really admire the intellect of the peoples involved in formulating the constitution of India for they would have foresaw the politics involved in any and all issues in a democracy and hence have created such posts.

I would have been grateful if the statement (since coming out of Governor’s office) would have been something like “the state government had the duty to uphold Marathi pride and address the issues of its people in addition to upholding the fundamental rights given to an Indian national”.
And about the internal matters of state vs. outsiders, Respected Sir, it is quite true that the constitution says that maintaining law-and-order is state-government’s duty but then it also has provisions for central government to act when the state-government fails to do its duty. Please be aware of the fact that when I hear word like “internal matter” from an esteemed office of a Governor of a state, I draw only constitutional meaning out of it and not the political one.

All said and done, I would like to (re)request to all my fellow countrymen, please try to be an Indian first and then a Hindu or Muslim or Christian or Marathi or Bihari. And that calls for respecting our constitution above anything whatsoever.

United we stand, divided we fall!

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Something to ponder upon….

Posted by Sudeep Pandey on November 8, 2008

I was going through a blog and while trying to answer a question posted there, I used third law of thermodynamics to explain something. That reminded me of some wonderful things we’d read back there in school. Quoting two of them:

Third law of thermodynamics: It states, every system, let alone, tends to maximum possible disorderness. That means in order to keep a system in ordered state or to increase the order, you need to apply energy.

Think of it! Think of the system said in above law as you… Think of the things you do daily… You know smoking is bad for you and yet you smoke… but it takes a lot of effort refraining yourself from doing so. Think about your office as the system… things you observe there. I mean you know what effort it takes to do the crap you are asked to do, and let alone, you won’t ever do it (that would be disorderness). So there are bosses, to put energy (constant screaming) into the system (office) to have it in ordered state. You can see it everywhere… and then you realise it’s a beautiful law.

Le-Chatelier’s principle: This law says, if any external disturbance is introduced to a system in equilibrium, the system shifts itself to a new equilibrium, thereby nullifying (or if cant be nullified then minimize) the effect of the disturbance. That’s actually a law for chemical equilibrium but I have written a general statement skipping/replacing all chemical terms.

Now think of it (yet again)! Consider yourself as the system (umm-huh!! You are my favourite prop! People who watch “Sarabhai vs Sarabhai” will understand this in conjunction with a character in there called dushyant). Okay, we go back to business. You are lying on your couch, popcorn and coke in front of you, watching a movie on TV which you’d always wanted to. This is a system in equilibrium. And your cell-phone rings. What would you do? First reaction: let it ring for sometime (perhaps the caller would disconnect by itself). This is where system is trying to nullify the disturbance. But ringing persists. Now you check the number flashing… pick it or not?? Later would be obvious choice if it’s not really important. (Still trying to nullify the disturbance introduced). But if it’s really important, you pick it up, but you make sure you don’t utter a single insignificant word and close the call as soon as possible. See!! It works for us as well. Let me give you another example. You are sitting in a train, single on a berth. You see a person peeking through the window, trying to see if there is place for him to sit. You immediately expand yourself stretching outwards, and suggest him to try the next car as “there are plenty of berths empty”. That’s nullification. Even then, he comes in. Now you spread your stuff all along the berth to give an impression that full space is occupied. Yet he sits next to you on your left. Now you actually shift yourself towards your right. Yes, you do. That’s the beautiful phenomenon explained!

If you remember any such thing, which we read in schools, which we learnt to be focussed on a specific part of universe, and yet it applies globally, I would request you to drop in a comment.

Correction, if any, are welcome.

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friendship-test-in-thick-and-thin -II

Posted by Sudeep Pandey on November 7, 2008

I cannot laugh more on the face of European Union now. After failing to refrain myself writing on the Russia-Georgia conflict, I tried not to go into the reasons of what actually caused the conflict(https://supanmanthan.wordpress.com/2008/11/04/friendship-test-in-thick-and-thin/). And consequently, I had not mentioned the reaction of european countries and US and UK and EU. Today I was going through NYTimes and found out this: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/07/world/europe/07georgia.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1.
Read for yourself.

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Friendship test: in thick and thin

Posted by Sudeep Pandey on November 4, 2008

Remember the Russia-Georgia conflict few months back?? Every nation in world has border-conflicts with its neighbours, especially the one who have undergone partition. What was so special about this? The special thing is the deliberate attempt by NATO (read Bush administration and US) to increase their influence in Caspian-sea region and Eastern Europe. NATO itself has an interesting history of twist-and-turns. Formed in 1949 by few European countries to counter Russia (then USSR) and Germany, for they still had memories of WW-II afresh, has given US a chance to check USSR, sitting right next to them and far away from their own boundaries. The famous quote from the first NATO Secretary General Lord Ismay stated the organization’s goal was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down”. The fact that USSR offered in 1954 to become a member of NATO to strengthen it, has been unanimously declined out of fear that they would actually work to weaken the organization shows the actual agenda of the formation. NATO has always been dominated by US though most of the member countries are European. US has selectively and gradually used this tool to work its influence to deeper and deeper towards eastern Europe and to reach till middle-east Asia. The below map shows how they have expanded:

NATO Expansion

NATO Expansion

With growth towards east, US can check more and more geography of its traditional enemy, Russia. The other fueling factor is “Oil”. To have its presence felt in oil-rich middle-east Asia. By presence felt, it’s the use of air-bases and land, deploying missile systems, and to have goods be transported through land safely. We have seen in the past that dominant NATO countries (like US and UK) never give any ear to UN if it does not sing the song they want to hear. I believe it was only France amongst the member countries who has the strength to shot back at US/UK alliance inside NATO, who, in 1958, refused to use its soil by “foreign military nuclears”, withdrawn its military from NATO forces, and created a defense system of its own when it was not given enough rights inside the organization as was given to US and UK. France understood that this organization will only serve the interests of US/UK as it denied the coverage of Algeria which kept France bleeding for quite sometime. France even always tried to get any retaliation by NATO be approved by UN security council but US/UK feel that taking permission from UN undermines the purpose of the alliance and that Russia and China have veto power in security council. Incidentally Eastern Europe and USSR too joined their hands (1955 Warsaw Pact) and interestingly the East Germany was a part of Warsaw pact and West Germany with NATO. After the collapse of USSR and dissolution of Warsaw pact in 1990; for reunification of Germany in 1991, to get Russia’s approval in “Two plus Four treaty” (two being East Germany and West Germany and four being US Russia UK and France), it has been agreed upon that Russia will walk out of East Germany, this will be permanent non-nuclear state and in turn, its said to be decided, there wont be anymore nuclear deployment further East by US and NATO. But NATO never ended its expansion in East (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania were invited to start talks of membership during the 2002 Prague Summit, and joined NATO on 29 March 2004. Similarly in April 2008, NATO agreed to the accession of Croatia and Albania and invited them to join. As this is being written, following four countries are engaged in an Intensified Dialogue with NATO: Ukraine, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro).

 

That’s pretty much the history. So the organization came into existence with sole mantra “save yourself from communist attack”. And now we look at the current conflict. After the dissolution of USSR, South Ossetia and Abkhazia have claimed themselves a separate country but Georgia never accepted it. Russia has now recognized them as independent nations (only after this aggression by Georgia), a step which has been widely criticized by West (unlike what they themselves did for Kosovo). The whole point of conflict started with clashes between Georgian and South Ossatia forces and Georgia launching full aerial and ground attack in the month of August. Russia stepped in and poured its troops inside South Ossatia and targeted internal cities of Georgia as well. The reason for Russia to step in is told as more than half of South Ossetia’s citizens are said to have taken up Moscow’s offer of Russian citizenship. Russia says its actions were designed to protect those citizens. Also told is the story that some peacekeepers from Russia working in South Ossetia died in Georgia’s attack. US has a close companionship with Georgia (a Western-sponsored Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline has been pumping Caspian oil from Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast). Georgia had sent its army to Iraq, US has trained Georgia’s army and helped them fly back to Georgia from Iraq in the period of this conflict. And as already stated, NATO has agreed to extend its membership to Georgia. That’s about the whole conflict).

 

The question is why am I writing all this? How does it matter to India?

 

Only one point: While all this was happening in Eastern Europe, we were organizing joint naval exercise with US, allowing US aircraft carriers in Arabian Sea!!! How can we forget the sending of nuclear carrier “USS Enterprise” by President Nixon and US government in Bay of Bengal during 1971 war to threaten us? How can we forget the Russian support of dispatching their fleets armed with nuclear weapons to follow “Enterprise” thereby neutralizing the nuclear threat? Is the current Indian diplomatic community blind enough not to understand the meaning of how the presence of such carriers in a region changes the leads in war-zones? The presence would mean US planes can fly right from Arabian Seaand carry nuclear weapon down to south ossatia in a matter of minutes and can land back dropping them in matter of hours. And we call ourselves Russia’s strategic allies? I am thoroughly disappointed with such an action by my elected government. I am not a strategy expert nor I claim myself to be too good in international affairs, but Russia has been our long-time ally and a major arms supplier. It has given us support in various international issues including the one mentioned above. If we cannot support them (due to any reason whatsoever), we should at least not try to increase the threat imposed on them.

 

I might have not seen the more compelling reasons for doing/not doing what is written up here, but that’s how I, as a common man, feel about it and I believe friendship is a gesture which should always be returned.

 

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Majhab nahi sikhataa..

Posted by Sudeep Pandey on August 27, 2008

“When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.”

-Abraham Lincoln

 

Yet another attack on the exhibition of M. F. Hussain’s painting!! And yet another “Ram Sena”!! And why? Because he had painted some Indian goddesses in compromising poses, 10 years back which have hurt your religious sentiments? Guys, grow up!! Your Gods and Goddesses are strong enough to take care of themselves and their respects. You don’t have to go around and do it for them.  And you really think you are doing it for your religion, take the words from Abraham Lincoln (above). Do good things for your society. Teach poor children, help orphans, create awareness amongst “educated people” about traffic rules. There are so many things that can be done. Use your energy constructively instead of burning effigies and painting things black. You are using the name of Lord Rama, the one “maryada-purushottam”. I see this act of yours with equal disgrace as I would see statue of Buddha in Bamiyan destructed by peoples of Al-Qaeda and talibans (who are now called terrorists, globally!!). And don’t give me that what-he-did-to-me look!! By counting and recounting others bad deeds, you cannot justify your own bad. This is not your religion. In fact this cant be taught in anyone’s religion.

 

Majhab nahi sikhaata aapas me bair rakhna

Hindi hai hum vatan hain hindosata hamara

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New dawn ??

Posted by Sudeep Pandey on August 20, 2008

“I was really too honest a man to be a politician and live.”     

Socrates

As history repeats itself, yet again another army-chief turned dictator turned president of Pakistan finally resigned. General Parvez Musharraf will go down in history of Pakistan with mixed records of goods-and-bads.

In 1999 when he ousted, then prime minister and the democratically elected government in a bloodless coup, out of power; general belief was that this is yet another power hungry dictator on the rise, for more than half of the period of independent Pakistan; it was ruled by army dictators rather than democratically elected government. But I still believe that the best thing happened to Pakistan in 1999 was Parvez Musharraf. The country was literally on the brink of economic breakdown, under immense debts, political rivalries turned into personal rivalries, PML and PPP taking power in turns, and moving all the government machinery for two sole reasons: one to accumulate as much wealth as possible and second, to reinstate all cases against their arch-rivals, dumping all against themselves, country had highest corruption rate, ex-PM in exile, her husband in jail for corruption charges, in all a full mess. Musharraf, being a military tactician, has very skillfully used the 9/11 and post 9/11 conditions, to get very good bargains for Pakistan from international community especially US. Suddenly all the funds started flowing into Pakistan and all NATO and western countries have started calling Pakistan their strongest ally for war-against-terror. US government wanted Al-Qaida and its leader Osama Bin Laden that was supposedly hidden in Afghanistan, but to infiltrate Afghanistan, they needed a ground base. Pakistan was their best bet because of the porous border that it shares with this Taliban ruled country.

Interestingly Taliban became a Frankenstein’s monster to US, created by them during cold-war era and have been supported by them in all possible ways using Pakistan’s military and security agency to fight against Russia. Most of the tribes in border of NWFP had soft corner for these people as they share the same school of thought of extremist muslim rule and many Taliban fighters were amongst them or belonged to their families. So was the case with many hard-core Islamic parties of Pakistan. Considering the home-ground situation, the decision to go ahead with US for war against terror was not an easy one. Any civil government, which has to go back to public every five years, and considering the fact that Pakistan itself is a Muslim nation and Taliban represented the rulers who ruled by shariya (sacred Muslim laws), I strongly doubt, would have extended such an all out support to US. Musharraf weighed this opportunity quite well and used it for very hard bargains including writing off all debts for Pakistan, funding for betterment of Pakistan’s social and economic conditions, all economic sanctions being lifted which had been imposed after they have tested nuclear device, and what not.

One very interesting statement that had done rounds in diplomatic circle at that time and strongly denied was by then Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage who threatened that “if Pakistan did not cooperate with the US in the war against terror, they will bomb it into the Stone Age”. If this is true, I guess there were not many options left for Musharraf as such.

The darker part of his ruling was his desperate attempts to put himself into correct political place in the Pakistan’s arena. He tried to move into more respectable position, removing the then president of Pakistan, Mr. Rafiq Tarar from presidential position in 2001 and instating himself as the president of Pakistan promising the countrymen that democracy will prevail after October 2002 elections. Just before his promised dates for general elections were round the corner, in august 2002, he made more than 25 amendments in Pakistani constitution which allowed him to remain as president even after civil government is formed, created a national security council which constituted president and chief of three armed forces among others which oversees prime-minister and the parliament, and given the right to president (himself) to dissolve the parliament. One of the amendments denied any person to run for prime-minister ship for more than 2 tenures (keeping in mind the leader of PPP, Mrs. Benazir Bhutto and leader of PLM, Nawaz Sharif, both of them already have served as prime-minister of Pakistan, twice). Notwithstanding his promise for the “free-and-fair” elections, he plants a puppet-government claimed to be a result of rigged election by many observers, headed by PLM-Q, a political party which was his own brain-child. From 2002 to 2007 he was the crown-less king of Pakistan. He presided over economic growth but it ended in unemployment and increases in the prices of basic foodstuffs, sparking riots. But in general, he had reversed Pakistan’s pro-Taliban stance, handed over a handful of key Al-Qaeda leaders and espoused an acceptable liberalism in Pakistan.

He initially started with a clear vision and a seven point agenda :

  1. Rebuild National confidence and morale
  2. Strengthen the Federation, remove inter-provincial disharmony and restore National cohesion
  3. Revive the economy and restore investor confidence
  4. Ensure law and order and dispense speedy justice
  5. Depoliticize State institutions
  6. Devolution of power to the grass-roots level
  7. Ensure swift and across the board accountability

But somewhere down the line he missed the track. I believe managing the jihadis in frontier area in one hand and his electoral alliance in other hand has been Musharraf’s singular problem. On the one hand, he was committed to the war on terror and was under a lot of pressure to move into particular areas. On the other hand, his alliance partners weren’t particularly happy with that, because their constituents come from these areas. He tried to do a balancing act. That includes ceasefire agreement with tribes of South Waziristan area (along with exchange of militants for army personals) which suited well to ruling party but didn’t go well with his western counterparts. The Pakistani army’s morale was going down as well. Many of the people who were fighting in the frontier areas belong to the same ethnic communities. These border forces were not created for internal duties, but external duties geared toward India. Most of the Army of Pakistan is ethnically Pashtun. And these were all Pashtun areas where these troops were supposed to operate. So, people from the same ethnic background were being asked to mount operations against people with a similar background. There had been cases that soldiers had voluntarily surrendered, and had been willingly taken prisoner by the Taliban.

The last-nail-in-the-coffin was his interference with judiciary. Sacking Ifthikar Choudhary, the chief justice of Pakistan along with 60 judges of Supreme Court sent a wave of fury amongst the people of Pakistan. And then, Ifthikar Choudhary became the symbol of democracy in Pakistan. Despite of imposing marshal law, he could not control the outburst of people of Pakistan. When in year 2007, he has to go back for election of the president, and cases have been filed against validity of his candidature, he decided to go ahead with the voting declaring that the result will be declared only after the supreme court decision is out. But sensing that supreme court might disqualify him as a candidate for president, he’s taken this worst step of sacking justices and later paid the price for it.

One good thing he did to Pakistan was to let their nuclear arsenal be controlled by NCA or National Command Authority. It constituted the President, the prime minister, the ministers for foreign affairs, finance, defense and interior, the three service chiefs, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the director general of the Strategic Plans Division. That would be the safest bet for a country who generally has been under the rule of a single person rather than a cabinet of ministers.

Now lets see how it impacts India ? How will India feel after the downfall of architect of kargil ? As once the then prime minister of India Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee has correctly said ” A strong and stable Pakistan is the best thing for India”. Pakistan’s birth itself was based on anti-India philosophy. That since India cant take care and preserve interests of muslims, they wanted a separate muslim nation. (Now, muslims of India have more rights and are more prosporous as compared to their pakistani counterparts, is a different matter altogather. India have had muslim president more than once). Having said that, nothing joins all the pakistani parties more than Kashmir (its just too close, but anything anti-indian produces the same effect. For some days lately Musharraf as well was granted the same status). They forget all their differences, their own country’s problems, all the things that directly affects them and sing the same song togather. Now that Pakistan has a coalition government and partners being PPP and PML-N, who’d spent all their life fighting against each-other and are now standing shoulder to shoulder. The question is how and till when ? “How” can perhaps be answered for the fact that they wanted to throw away musharraf. They have till now been busy how to tackle musharraf but now they have to face the ground realities. Which includes all the problems which actually affect the day-to-day life of a common citizen. Following the instability after this government is formed, Pakistan’s currency is all time low, market has no confidance, bomb-blasts every second day.. certainly a rough road ahead. And there is no consensus on the issue of reinstatement of sacked judges which has taken centrestage after musharraf stepped down. Then is the choice of who’d be the next president. We have to wait and see that it was only a “coalition of comfort” or they can think beyond their personal differences and can provide a stable and sensible government to people of Pakistan to answer “till when”.

Here lies the threat for India… As the current signals suggest, the elected government is neither working in syns within themselves nor with the most powerful agency of pakistane, the armed forces. One attempt which this government made to prove its metal was to change the reporting of notorious ISI to internal ministry which was reverted within hours after being declared, supposedly after army pulled the strings, shows the confidance that this government has in itself. Therefore in the current scenario, the Pakistan is neither strong nor stable. The threat for India has been felt by the statement of National Security Advisor M K Narayanan who said the impeachment of President Pervez Musharraf could leave “a big vacuum” which will give extremists a free run on “our side of the border too”. This is because of the reason that civilian government may be even less successful than Mr Musharraf in reining in those religious, nationalist elements who regard jihadis as a “strategic asset”.

As for India is concerned, I expect more infiltration attempts across Kashmir border in very near future, more aggressive statements from various people from the government of Pakistan and others, and more instability in Kashmir induced by Pakistan.

As for people of Pakistan, is it really a “new dawn”?? We should wait and watch.

 

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“J & K” or “J vs K”

Posted by Sudeep Pandey on August 18, 2008

“In international politics, there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies. What remains permanent is the national interest.”

Perhaps we have lost the sense of looking beyond our own petty interests. Today what is happening in Jammu and Kashmir is one of the best examples of how politicians can take whole nation as a hostage to gain political mileage.

I have been reading in many places lately what went wrong with people of either Jammu or Kashmir during and after this land-row issue, how they (people of Jammu vs Kashmir)have been affected with this crisis, one way or the other, justifying their demonstration indeed is natural because of suffering of their people and the others is politically motivated. I am neither a specialist of this region nor a man of politics and therefore I withhold myself from commenting on this. But as a layman sitting far away from ground-zero, I can certainly see what we are loosing as a country.

For one, when the international community (read U.S) has explicitly scolded Pakistan (with credible proofs) for ISI being involved with Jihad in Afghanistan (July bombing at Indian embassy in Afghanistan) and elsewhere (read J&K) and India’s stand on terrorism is being supported by govt. functionaries in Pakistan is vindicated (which includes terrorism/jihad in Kashmir), and Pakistan, once the strongest ally in war against terrorism, was in back-foot, we have served them an issue of such kind right on their plate.

The other thing is that this serves perfectly well to all the separatist parties of Kashmir. They have, quite rightly as their policy is, demanded immediate intervention of international community, demanded their immediate accession to Pakistan and worse given an opportunity to the outgoing, to-be-impeached president of Pakistan to show his and his country’s support to separatist peoples of Kashmir. He knew he is going to be impeached and he did resign 4 days after giving this supportive statement but I truly would appreciate that they (politician of Pakistan) remembered their international interests above all differences which lies inside the boundary of their country.

I do not spare any political party not to be held responsible for this issue. And I don’t find any political party involved, to be praised for any effort they’ve made to bring normalcy to this situation till their political interests have not been served.

Note: the post is not complete as yet.

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Mo(u)rning news.

Posted by Sudeep Pandey on August 14, 2008

“In the morning news, they start with ‘good morning’ and then tell you what all is not good about it”.

But we never refrain ourselves from reading newspaper first thing in the morning or watching morning news with breakfast. Today was one such morning when I read about miscarriage of Mrs. Niketa Mehta, the mother who braved to go for a decision to abort her first ever child because the kid might not lead a healthy life because of a congenial disorder. Brave, because it takes a lot of guts to kill someone and more so for a mother when this goes for her child. This fetus was of 25 week, the one who is very much alive by now, whose heart is thumping and can kick from inside making its presence felt. This was really unfortunate (the miscarriage) and I would rather go forward and say, this was God’s response to our honorable high-court who, never looking into humane part of the case went into legal nitty-gritty of some obscure pregnancy-act (which says more than 20 week old fetus cannot be aborted unless it threatens life of mother or child) and decided against her. Now we look at the Gods of earth, the doctors and their take on this. The 3 doctor committee of the hospital she was under treatment, submitted report to honorable high-court which says

“The committee is of the opinion that there are very fair chances that child will be born incapacitated and handicapped to survive.”

And later submitted another report saying there was a typo in first report. Now let’s read the second report:

“The committee is of the opinion that there are very least chances that child will be born incapacitated and handicapped to survive.”

Is this a typo?? The whole meaning changed with the change of this single “typo”!! I cant say anymore about the most honorable profession: the medical profession. I don’t blame the honorable judiciary here. The whole foundation was devised to judge based on facts and not on sentiments. But the fact remains that this pregnancy-act is more than 35 years old (of 1971) and the advancement that medical sciences have done in these years; wasn’t that more suitable to revise the act taking this case as an example of what might else go wrong. There is a Chinese proverb “every problem comes with an opportunity, this is for you to identify and grab it”. I think we just lost one such.

Lets forget doctors and their irresponsible behavior but my only question to the honorable high-court is: if the judiciary is so sensitive towards the feelings of Indian citizen that it can summon shilpa shetty’s and mallika sherawat’s because some person has filed some case somewhere about some picture published in some newspaper/magazine which hurt his/her sentiments, was it not imperative to give a thought to the case and consider the fact what all is at stake.

One other most important thing to consider here is the fact that this brave lady actually went to court for permission!! I salute her for the kind of respect and faith she’d shown in Indian law and constitution!! This whole episode might would amount to people being tempted not moving towards insensitive judiciary and would rather find a way ( a rather lot more easier one) to move forward with what they want to do. There are supposedly numerous centers in India which would have aborted her child for as less as Rs. 5000 and there would not have been any fuzz about it. But yes, that would have been illegal. So being a law-abiding citizen of Republic of India, she chose a legal/constitutional way of going about it. And what she got in return?? Humiliation, insensitivity, over-exertion caused by running around the courts at this physical state (which might have caused this miscarriage)?? I saw her on the TV after she lost this case. There was no regret or remorse on her face when she said, “I will take care of this kid in the best way I can”.

My heart goes out for Niketa and her family and I pray to God to give them the strength to bear this tragedy.

My only appeal to all my fellow countrymen is: this might be a bad example but don’t loose faith on our judiciary and constitution.

Happy Independence day!!

Jai Hind!!

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