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Friday, 31 May 2013

Sangh Parivar

Every political analyst worth his by-line believes the biggest hurdle Modi faces is within his party and even the most insignificant among Modi’s supporters keep asking wistfully whether the BJP and the Sangh Parivar would let this man be the PM.

The principal reason why so many in the BJP are opposed to Narendra Modi becoming the PM is the simplest of all reasons. Too many senior leaders have been around in BJP for too long and many of them have had occasion, at one stage or another, to look at him like a bright young man who executes plans efficiently. For about a decade in the 1990s, for many of the BJP stalwarts he was a backroom boy who could be trusted to organise meetings and yatras efficiently which they could spearhead smilingly and successfully.

He held senior positions in the party and successfully pushed through several decisions that had few takers in the party, including the decision to change the regime in Himachal and to side with Chautala in Haryana. Thus Modi did play a strategic role in BJP’s central organisation between 1995 and 2000 on several occasions, he was somehow viewed more as a part of the administrative machinery than the leadership.

Yet, he was too young and the seniors who thought they were too senior continued to look at Modi as a bright and young executive assistant whom they courted not because he was a political leader of some consequence but because he was a manager and an administrator who took care of details. Advani had never had to bother about his constituency after he started contesting from Gandhinagar constituency. In 1998 when Gujarat went to polls without the assembly completing its term, Modi was sent to ensure that the party machinery functioned smoothly. He went, he ensured the BJP returned to power and then he came back to New Delhi to resume his role as a backroom boy.

However, after the big earth quake in 2001 the party was left with no option but to give him a publicly visible role by making him Chief Minister of Gujarat because only he was considered efficient enough to regain lost ground within the short time available. The young man of yesteryears was appointed as Gujarat Chief Minister and he started converting himself into a political leader at a furious pace almost instantaneously. His stock with the people of Gujarat rose too suddenly to too high a level. This was followed by his mass appeal spreading through out the country because egged on by the so-called liberals and intellectuals, the media persistently kept the arch lights focussed upon him. A decade down the road stalwarts of yesteryears are trying to figure out where and how they were overtaken.

It is only human for the BJP stalwarts to feel at least uncomfortable, if not aghast, at the prospects of reporting to a man who was of little consequence until a decade earlier. This phenomenon isn’t as incomprehensible as many believe since it frequently happens even in private organisations. An entrepreneur’s son can be accepted as CEO of a company but if a management trainee is appointed CEO of a billion dollar company within a few years of joining, some of the senior managers are bound to feel dismayed. Perhaps that is why Congress has stuck to its dynastic system where no bright young boy can ever spring from nowhere in particular and claim the top job over the heads of septuagenarians and octogenarians who have been around for several decades.

However, there is a bigger reason why he faces so much of opposition within his own party and this is also the reason why people around the country love him so much and have started looking at him expectantly.

Narendra Modi’s problem is that he ignores nothing. It is often said that he doesn’t forget and doesn’t forgive and that may well be true to some extent but it is also true that he keeps abreast of all issues any organisation headed by him is supposed to address. Whatever else he may or may not be, anybody who has worked with him knows that he is a strict disciplinarian who unfailingly praises and promotes the performers and never fails to reprimand the errant and punish the rogues. Periodic evaluation of performance of his team members is a compulsive habit of Narendra Modi. He deems it an integral part of governance.

Most senior leaders of BJP know that he would behave with his ministers exactly the way Indira Gandhi did, with the added caveat that the Iron Lady wasn’t as meticulous in matters of governance as Modi is. Few remember Indira Gandhi for having warned under performing ministers whereas Modi watches each ministry and department with an eagle eye. If a project is scheduled to be completed by a given day, the concerned minister and bureaucrats know that Modi is going to seek confirmation of completion on the due date. If reasons for any delay aren’t adequately convincing, he minces no words when reprimanding those responsible for completion of the work.

Obviously, ministers do not enjoy much of ‘discretion’ under Modi, particularly in terms of doling out favours, and this is what puts many off. Its not that Modi clears every file. He does allow a great deal of leeway but that is entirely in proportion to performance, which is unfailingly reviewed periodically.

Equally important is the fact that Modi follows certain basic rules scrupulously. He has set his own boundaries which he never fails to adhere to. Written and unwritten rules aren’t meant to be flouted frequently. He displays flexibility only in the rarest of rare cases. For example, soon after taking over as CM, he told all Gujarat based industrial houses that he would back them in every sense of the word but they should never ask him to circumvent any stated policy and must not indulge in unhealthy competition with each other when dealing with the government. Nobody should try to outsmart others. Torrent Chairman Sudhir Mehta insists Modi has followed this rule in letter and spirit.

No doubt ambitions of individual leaders are also resulting in hurdles in Modi’s candidacy. Perhaps there are some in BJP who would rather see UPA coming back for a third term than work under Modi or even let him be PM. But Slowly, the reality that BJP has no prospects worth the name in the near future unless a mercurial persona like Narendra Modi galvanises it, is dawning home. The result is that a vast majority of middle rung leaders and even some of the senior leaders are beginning to realise that unless the party is led by Narendra Modi they would have to live in obscurity for another five years. Some believe power burdened with responsibility is better than no power at all. Either way, support for Modi within BJP is growing by the day.

Though Modi unreservedly credits the RSS for making him what he is, stories of Nagpur being wary about him being the Prime Minister aren’t baseless. India Today has quoted a senior RSS official as saying “The Sangh knows that he can win the elections for BJP but his dictatorial style will make him bigger than the party and RSS itself. He will become BJP, much like how Indira Gandhi became Congress.”

Apparently, except the grass root workers who keep rooting for Narendra Modi as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, most of the senior leaders seem to be reluctant, if not opposed to Modi’s candidature. There is no denying the fact that opposition to Modi within the Sangh Parivar is substantial. The internal turmoil the party is facing is best illustrated by the fact that after openly endorsing Modi as the most suitable candidate for prime ministership, former finance minister Yashwant Sinha has already made a U-turn and has declared Advani as fit for the top job.

Obviously, Modi’s nomination as his party’s prime ministerial candidate can hardly be taken for granted at this juncture, though his caravan seems to be expanding swiftly. There are simply too many contenders for prime ministership in the BJP. Even Yashwant Sinha told a TV channel in January that he considers himself fit for being the PM, though he admitted sheepishly that he lacks the popular appeal Modi has. The official stand of the party is that it would decide its prime ministerial candidate at an appropriate time, which means still there is considerable opposition to Modi’s candidature. Some even suggest that the newly elected MPs should elect their leader after the elections are over. However, a large number of BJP leaders are beginning to realise that if Modi isn’t declared the face of the party, after the polls, BJP will be electing only its own leader, not the nation’s Prime Minister. 

How long will the party be able to resist the temptation of riding the Modi wave to power would depend upon several factors. How the political scenario unfolds in the remaining part of the year is anybody’s guess. Several major states are scheduled to go to polls before parliamentary elections are held. But as noted columnist Swapan Dasgupta says, “Modi does not have to go begging to the BJP. Pressure from below will compel the BJP to come to him.” The world’s most respected magazine, The Economist, recently described Modi as “the single-most popular candidate in the country to be the next leader,” insisting that “if the party wants to campaign on the economy and efficient government, Mr Modi is its likeliest candidate.”


Ishrat case: Centre 'misusing' IB for political gains, says BJP

Posted on May 31, 2013 at 07:07pm IST

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of CBI issuing summons to a senior IB official over the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, the BJP on Friday accused the Centre of misusing the intelligence agency for "political gains", saying it could hurt national security.

"BJP has cautioned repeatedly that under the Congress-led UPA, the misuse of the Central Bureau of Investigation is rampant. We fear the Intelligence Bureau too is being misused by the UPA government," party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

She said IB shares critical intelligence with the states and an outcome of such a work arrangement was seen on 15 June 2004, when 4 terrorists including Isharat Jahan and Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh were killed. Gujarat police acted on IB information about their movements.

Ishrat case: Centre \'misusing\' IB for political gains, says BJPReferring to summons to a senior IB officials by CBI in the encounter case, BJP said a CBI inspector will now go into all the factors leading to the IB\'s sharing of information with the state police.
" 2010, media reported that David Headley, the brain behind the Mumbai attack implicated Ishrat as a fideyeen of the LeT. Strangely, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the UPA government denied these media reports," she said.

Referring to summons to a senior IB officials by CBI in the encounter case, she said a CBI inspector will now go into all the factors leading to IB's sharing of information with the state police. "There is now an environment of trust deficit among the intelligence and security agencies of the country...for serving short term political agenda, issues of national security are being exposed.

"Attributing political motives or tweaking the prosecutions' stated positions which are based on evidence and facts of a case can compromise our national security itself," she said. She claimed IB is being made to withdraw affidavits from courts as and when a new Home Minister takes over.


Young fans line up Modi-for-PM gigs

 Mallica Joshi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 01, 2013

Not just election rallies, chants of the ‘NaMo NaMo’ mantra will now also be heard at rock concerts. 
A group of city youths, most of them ABVP members, has decided to organise gigs to promote Brand Modi across India over the next two months. 

The music events will be part of a campaign called Modi-fying India, which would also include merchandise such as comic books, video games and T-shirts.

“If Modi does for India what he did for Gujarat, we will be able to reclaim India’s lost glory,” said convener Tajinder Bagga.

Modi-fying India demands that the Gujarat CM be made the BJP's prime ministerial candidate. It was started as an online campaign that, Bagga claimed, drew a lot of support, especially from NRIs.

Rahul Tickoo - who, along with other members of band Panchatarini, has written a song for the concerts - says he believes Modi is India's best hope.

Apart from songs, the campaign is also working on a video game that will show Modi as a hero fighting the demons of corruption and vote-bank politics. A biographical comic book on Modi is going to be released in the coming months.

The campaign has also developed stickers for cars and bikes, T-shirts and coffee mugs bearing Modi's face. A popular T-shirt is one with a favourite NaMo quote: "India first is my definition of secularism".


Ultra ‘Secularism’ in Uttar Pradesh

By Kirti Kumar on May 30, 2013

Ultra 'Secularism' in Uttar Pradesh
There was an interesting news on Wednesday. It said that Uttar Pradesh Government, headed by a young Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, has given a Minister of State post to a Muslim cleric two days ago. Giving this post basically means that he was not democratically elected, but was specially appointed at the discretion of the Chief Minister.

Then we heard that there were protests by BJP against this move. Most casual observers would then move on to the next news item. What’s so special in a seemingly pro-Hindu BJP protesting against a secular Government giving Minister status to a Muslim Maulana? That’s probably the thought process of a typical Left liberal person in India. Hey, wait, there’s a lot more to this. Spare a few minutes.

This particular case involves a prominent Muslim cleric of Barelvi Sect, Mohammed Tauqeer Raza Khan. He’s now an adviser in Handloom Department – a Minister of State. Khan is the Itihaad-e-Millat Council president and belongs to Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.
Why is this particular case so important to look deeper into?
It’s because, this is not just a simple vote bank political move, of giving Minister status to a Muslim cleric. For understanding this, you need to go a few steps back via flashbacks, in a typical Bollywood masala movie style.
Flashback 1: Mar 12, 2010
Hindu Muslim riots flare up again in Bareilly, after Tauqeer’s release.
A relatively peaceful city, for Uttar Pradesh’s communal tension standard, Bareilly, witnessed yet another round of riots after this Tauqeer Raza Khan was released by Mayawati Government. Khan was ordered to be released soon after all the charges, except a milder one under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code, were removed by the Uttar Pradesh administration and he was allowed to walk free following immense pressure from the members of his community.
Ultra 'Secularism' in Uttar Pradesh
The important question here is, what was this ‘immense’ pressure from his community on Mayawati of BSP? Why did she yield? More importantly, why was he arrested in the first place?

Flashback 2: Mar 9, 2010
A Muslim cleric arrested for communal clash in Bareilly
Security was intensified in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district following the arrest of a leading cleric for his alleged role in last week’s communal clash. Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, president of the Ittehad-e-Millat Council, was arrested. It was his “rabble rousing speech” that had led to communal tension in the district last week, officials said.

“Fearing a backlash from his supporters, a heavy security cover has come up in parts of the district,” Superintendent of Police (city) Rakesh Jolly had told reporters.

Now it gets interesting. So, this Muslim cleric, actually caused or intensified a communal riot in Bareilly, giving hate speeches against Hindus? Sounds like a serious problematic person for communal harmony.

Bareilly riots 2012

But wait, there’s more colourful history of this Maulana.
Flashback 3: Apr 2, 2009
Congress President Sonia Gandhi lays down line as UP unit ropes in ‘Bush-haters’
Congress Party sources said that day that their President Sonia Gandhi was upset about the embarrassing episode of the party providing platform to Ittehad-e-Millat Council (IMC) president Tauqeer Raza Khan at party headquarters without checking his antecedents and credentials. AICC General Secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh Digvijaya Singh and State PCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi had roped in Khan for the election’s Muslim votes.

Interesting.. so, what was this controversial Khan doing at Congress headquarters?

Flashback 4: Mar 26, 2009
AIIMC to support Congress in UP
On this day, Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, president of the All-India Ittehad-e-Millat Council (AIIMC), extended the support of his group, a part of the Barelvi sect to the Congress. The Congress planned to have seat adjustments with the AIIMC in the next Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, said Digvijaya Singh, General Secretary of the Congress in-charge of the State, to whom the Maulana was introduced at a press conference on this day.

So far, it is clear now that this cleric was arrested and released under pressure by BSP’s Mayawati in 2010, was roped in by Congress for seat adjustments an year earlier. But it still does not help why Sonia Gandhi was ‘upset’?
For which you have to revert back to the period beyond the last two years.

Flashback 5: Mar 15, 2007
A Muslim body announces Rs 5 lakh for Taslima’s head
On his date, President of All India Muslim Personal Board (Jadeed) Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh on Bangladeshi writer Tasleema Nasreen’s head, if New Delhi does not restrict her entry into the country. “We demand that the Government should ban her entry into the country. If it is not done, anyone who beheads her will be given a reward of Rs five lakh,” he announced.

Wow! So, a person, now a Minister in 2013 in UP, under the world’s largest democracy’s much valued system, had publicly talked about medieval desert justice like beheading?
Wait, there’s more.

Flashback 6: Date Unknown, Feb 2006
A bounty of Rs.25 crore announced, to anyone who beheads US President George W Bush
By his own admission at a later date ress conference at the Congress headquarters on 26 March 2009, Tauqeer Raza Khan had offered a bounty of Rs 25 crore to anyone who beheads Bush, just before George Bush’s Presidential visit to India in March 2006.
End of Flashbacks:

Now our movie has run its full course.. ending is near.
Here’s a firebrand hate spewing Muslim cleric, who does not believe in any democracy as he had offered bounty to behead high profile guests, and has been picked by Akhilesh Yadav to be a Minister of State. And as a coincidence, look at his organisation’s name, which is similar to a South Indian communal political party, i.e., All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, of the recent infamous Akbaruddin Owaisi hate speech episode. Both are Ittehads. Both have leaders who believe in hate speech against Hindus. Both have incidents of extreme violence threat against writer Taslima Nasreen and there could be more.

So, someone who openly called for the assassination of your nation’s Presidential guest (Bush) and your female asylum seeker (Taslima), someone who was arrested for giving inflammatory hate speech against your nation’s majority population (Hindus) that resulted in bloody riots, is now a Minister of State in your largest State! And more importantly, BSP, SP and Congress, all the three self-claimed secular parties, have bowed in front of this medieval firebrand cleric.
Wah India.. wah! We have to bow to your ultra ‘secular’ standards!




Dear Mr Prime Minister

So till now, there is no evidence against Sadhvi Pragya, Lt Col Purohit and Swami Aseemanand? The agencies are yet to lay hands on any credible evidence linking them to the conspiracy. This led a cautious NIA to avoid any reference to Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, an alleged accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts and Swami Aseemanand. But then what happened to the tall claims of “Saffron terrorism” by your government?

Infact, from 2010 itself your party started a well-conceived campaign, to defame the majority population of this country, that defies all logic. Then, be it the former Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Mr. Digvijay Singh, Abdul Rehmant Antuley or the Yuvraj (Rahul Gandhi) himself, they all left no stone unturned to demonise nationalists and this nation itself. 

Shamelessly, Mr.  P. Chidambram even urged Indians to beware of “Saffron terror” on the 25th August 2010 at a meeting of state police chiefs in New Delhi. Thus the phrase “saffron terror” was very skillfully introduced in public debate in India. Since then the senior leaders of your party have prominently used this term for electoral gains. Mr Digvijay Singh even connected RSS and terrorism just to prove his loyalty. Mr. Rahul Gandhi blatantly compared RSS with the banned group SIMI.  Heights was when Rahul Gandhi while discussing internal security (situation) with US Ambassador, described  that “ultra-Hindu terror” was probably a greater threat to national security than Islamist terrorism. Some leaders of your party, playing in the hands of Pakistan, even alleged involvement of Hindu groups in the death of ATS chief Hemant Karkare during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

As a citizen of this country I want to ask why neither you nor your Government has ever uttered a single word about Islamic terrorism despite irrefutable evidence. On the other hand the term “Saffron Terror” has been used as a   tool to facilitate political posturing toward the Muslim community. Your government is responsible for creating an unfathomable abyss between the two communities. 

Mr. PM do I need to remind you that after the Samjhautta Express blasts, as per media reports, both the Indian and U.S intelligence agencies concluded the hand of Lashkar-e-Toiba’s member Arif Kasmani in the blast. On this basis in July 2009 US brought a proposal in Security Council as a result Lashkar was declared a banned outfit. Despite all this your government and party leaders kept harping about “Saffron terrorism” and are branding Hindus as terrorists without any credible evidence.

As if this was not enough, the two committees instituted by your government (Justice Sachar committee and Justice Rangnath Mishra Commission), declared Muslims as victim, exploited, and overlooked. Seems that it has been lost upon you that, Muslims (invaders) were the rulers of this country, till the advent of Britishers.  My obvious question to you is how can a community that ruled over 900 years and always enjoyed a privileged status be a victim or backward? If it is indeed, then isn’t your party that ruled majority of time since independence responsible for their backwardness? Further in one of your statements you said that Muslims have the first right on the national resources and talk about discrimination against Muslims. Would your government dare publish a White paper on what has your government done for this?

Coming back to “saffron terror”, sometime back former National Security Advisor and present Governor of West Bengal  Sh. MK Narayanan mentioned  about 800 terrorist outfits being active in the country, can you please elaborate how many of these are “saffron terror wings”? 
Today its sheer misfortune of this country that the (former) Home Minister does not know the meaning and connotation of “saffron”  He has associated the synonyms of ‘Indianess’, saffron with terrorism which is  quite pitiable but certainly not forgivable. Saffron is the color of purity in our tradition and it is also the color of the upper band of the Indian National Flag as specified by the Government of India. Such irresponsible statement from the Home Minister is not something that inspires confidence in the masses. 

What was the color of terrorism in Punjab, J&K, and North-Eastern States ?  The public is well aware about the part played by then top Congress leaders in motivating and executing massacre of more than 3000 Sikhs in 1984. The statement of Rajiv Gandhi, that when a big tree falls earth is bound to shake, suggests the inevitable.

Isn’t it true that Congress along with CPM helped to pass a proposal with majority to release Madni, the prime accused in Coimbatore bomb blast? So much so a senior leader and minister of your government Mr. Salman Khursheed represented SIMI in court case. For the petty vote bank politics your party has fragmented this nation and society. Look at the situation of Assam, whom you represent in Rajya Sabha.

Nowhere in world the majority 85% of the population, has been termed as communal.  Again, If India is still truly secular the sole reason for it is its Vedic Santatan Dharma and Hindu tradition whom your party and government  is bent upon branding as communal. That also when in this country top posts have been held by members of Muslim community; former CJI Sh. Hidayatullah was from Muslim community. Likewise the highest posts in the Indian Republic (President) have been occupied by DR Zakir Hussain, Fakharuddin Ali Ahmed, and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Even the present Vice President is also from Muslim community. Nowhere in any democratic country any minority Muslim candidate has been President (be it USA, France, England, Germany, Russia, Canada etc)

As a citizen of this nation abound in diversity this open letter is an attempt to express my deep dissent and disillusionment at the divisive politics of your party and government.

Mr. PM, the reality is all these years rather than being the Prime Minister of this country, you have merely served as a tool to further the agenda of Congress Party. Your government has lost all credibility with the people of this country and you have failed on all counts as a leader.

Sanjay Kumar

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Haryana Janhit Congress Party President Kuldeep Bishnoi pays courtesy visit to Gujarat CM

May 30, 2013

Gandhinagar, 30 May 2013
Haryana Janhit Congress Party (HJC) President Kuldeep Bishnoi paid courtesy visit to the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today.

Mr. Bishnoi said, “It is not only me who is impressed by Gujarat’s development and Mr. Modi’s leadership and personality. He is a visionary and legendary leader who has carved a place in the hearts of people across the world for his development initiatives.”

Mr. Kuldeep Bishnoi, son of senior political leader of Haryana late Mr. Bhajan Lal, said that it was his first Gujarat visit and that by coming here he could experience in person what he had heard of the Gujarat’s development. Attributing the State’s development to the Chief Minister Narendra Modi he said that Gujarat’s development is inspiring for the other States.

Even a common man in Haryana now proudly points towards “Modi’s Gujarat” when it comes to development. People in all corners give Mr. Modi’s name, when asked how the Prime Minister of India should be. He has emerged as a role model not only of the youths but of the people in general for the development of the nation, he added.

Bishnoi, after meeting Modi
Coming out of his meeting with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Kuldeep Bishnoi, who is the Lok Sabha MP from Hissar and is the President of Haryana Janhit Congress said that Narendra Modi is an idol and role model when it comes to development. He said that when he was interacting with youngsters in England, where his children study, the youngsters unanimously said that if India wants development, it needs Narendra Modi.

Bishnoi also said that Narendra Modi is a legend who is born to rule. “We are totally with him and India needs a leader like him,” said Bishnoi. He added that when he goes to any village of Haryana, people ask for ‘Narendra Modi type development’ in Haryana.

The MP said that this is the first time he is visiting Gujarat and that he is very impressed with the development. He credited Modi with creating such developing in such a short span of time.
Kuldeep Bishnoi’s HJC is a part of the NDA and commands substantial support among the non-Jat communities in Haryana. With a beleaguered Congress and a jailed Chautala, Bishnoi is seen by many as a rising star in Haryana politics. His strong backing of Modi will surely silence many who talk about his acceptability among NDA allies and potential allies.


4 injured in crude bomb attacks in Mathura

 Mathura  May 31, 2013 Last Updated at 00:05 IST

Some unidentified persons exploded crude bombs in four different parts of Kosi Kalan town near here injuring four persons and creating panic.

Large number of police personnel were deployed in the city, which had witnessed communal violence last year in which at least four persons were killed.

"Some unsocial elements threw crude bombs in Bharat Milap Chowk, Sarrafa Bazar, Batasha Bazar and Baldevganj area in an attempt to create panic," said Senior Superintendent of Police R K S Rathore.

Four persons were injured in the attack but they are out of danger, he said.

Two PAC companies and police personnel have been deployed and we will take strict action against those found disturbing peace, the SSP said.

In June last year, four persons were killed and 16 others injured after communal clashes broke out in Kosi Kalan, about 45 km from Mathura, reportedly after a pedestrian used water meant for some religious purpose.


Muslim Preacher Kills His 8-Year-Old Child Bride

Photo: Flickr/RubyGoes - Creative Commons
According to war correspondent Mustafa Kazemi, an 8-year-old girl was recently murdered by her husband, a Muslim mullah, on the day of their wedding. Kazemi's source, a medical doctor, said there was nothing that could be done to save her life.
Kazemi reported:
The girl was one of the several daughters of a man in his late 30s. For an unknown reason he gave his daughter to the Mullah of their village for a big amount of money. It is also common in Afghanistan's rural areas or 3rd level provinces/cities to marry young girls to old men, and trading their daughters for their debts or other items.
The mullah is in his late 50s and is the mosque guy of the village where this incident happened.
Child marriages are a significant problem around the world. The Ford Foundation reports that 10 million child marriages take place each year.

Last year the London Daily Mail reported that a 5-year-old girl was married in the U.K.
In biblical times girls often married while in their teens. According to the New York Daily News, "The Virgin Mary was most likely a teen mom, but that wasn’t taboo back then. Life expectancy was 45 to 50 years, and girls were married off as soon as they hit puberty."

The Christian humanitarian relief organization World Vision reports that "the current global food crisis is exacerbating the practice, pushing more poor families to send young daughters into marriage in their struggle to cope with the strains of deeper poverty and hunger."


‘Rape’ Marriage Sparks Malaysia Outcry

CAIRO – The marriage of a 12-year-old girl to an alleged rapist is sparking a heated controversy in Malaysia over allegations that the practice is in line with Islamic teachings.
"As a mother, I am still puzzled,” Jainab Ahmad, minister for community and consumer affairs of the eastern state of Sabah, was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald.
“How could the father of the girl allow his daughter to be married to the man who had raped her?
How Islam Views Early Marriages
Marriage in Islam
Specifying the age of Marriage
Parents Forcing children to Marry
"The girl was only 12 years and six months. I believe the victim is in a trauma. She should be protected instead of marrying the man who raped her."
A 40-year old man was charged with raping the girl in February.
Two months later, a complaint filed by the girl’s family was withdrawn after an agreement was reached to get the alleged rapist marry the girl.
"It is best for her that they get married. What else can I do?" the girl’s father said.
The alleged rapist has defended his decision to marry the girl, saying Islamic teachings allow marrying underage girls.
"There are many cases of men marrying underage girls," said Ruduan Masmud, a restaurant owner, who is a father of four.
"I do not see how my case can be any different,” he said, arguing that mutual consent is accepted under Islamic Shari`ah.
Child marriages are common in Malaysia.
No marriage age is set for Muslims in Malaysia.
Under Malaysian law, any Muslim can marry at any age providing there is parental consent and permission of Shari`ah court.
Non-Muslims in Malaysia marry at the age of 18.
Marriage in Islam is of utmost importance as it is upon the lawful union of a man and a woman that society grows strong and that moral is preserved.
In Islam it is not permissible for the guardian to compel the one under his guardianship to marry someone she does not desire to marry.
Rather, it is necessary to seek her consent and permission.
Societal Ill
Rights activists have decried the marriage as an attempt to avoid tackling growing societal problems in Malaysia.
"It is unfortunate that marriage is seen as a solution for addressing the growing societal issue of rape," the Child Rights Coalition Malaysia (CRCM) said in a statement.
"We strongly feel that the verdict may lead to more societal issues such as early marriage, teenage pregnancy and broken families rather than preventing such issues from happening in the future.
"We also would like to assert our view that the child's willingness (to marry) could arise from coercion, innocence or even threat which in all ways will impede the safety and positive well-being of the child."
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has urged the Malaysian government to intervene to stop child marriages.
"Whether it happened to a girl or boy, child marriage is a practice that robs children of their childhood, their rights and dignity,” it said in a statement.
"Parents may consent to child marriages out of economic necessity. Marriage may also be seen as a way to provide male guardianship for their daughters, protect them from sexual assault or avoid pregnancy outside marriage," it said.
This is not the first time child marriages sparked uproar in Malaysia.
Two years ago, the marriage of a 14-year-old Muslim girl to a 23-year-old schoolteacher triggered similar calls for reform.
Another outcry occurred in October when two men, aged 19 and 22, were released on probation after courts convicted them of statutory rape.
But activists slammed the judges for freeing the men, saying the question of victims’ consent should not have arisen as the victims were below 16.
Malay Muslims make up nearly 60 percent of Malaysia’s 28 million population.


SONIA GANDHI EXPOSED:: Five people four scenarios and three events

Playing with a nation's choices

Part 1 : Three funerals and a wedding


I was part of various analysis teams of Indian intelligence agencies during the 80's and 90's and now live a anonymous life in a distant land. What I am going to propagate over a 3 part series in the next few days might seem very farfetched and even fantastic to most people and many conspiracy theorists might gleefully accept it as vindication for whatever they have been screaming from rooftops for quite some time now. My attempt though is neither to please any one nor to prove someone else wrong or right; it is just to come out with the truth as we perceived it. Most of the theory that I am going to put forward in part 1 is the work of us 5 people in 1991 while analyzing all the intelligence inputs over the years in connection with the assassination of former Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. We in the intelligence parlays termed it as "the Rajiv brief". Most conclusions that we had come up with were unanimous and unequivocal. I must hasten to add that many parts of this so called "the Rajiv brief" were also part of an earlier analysis done in the mid 80's by another team investigating the conspiracy angle to Mrs Indira Gandhi's death. Theoretic overlapping in terms of evidences, intelligence briefings and logical conclusions between these two analysis reports might be common, but there are also significant points of divergence in both of these reports and since I have been privy to both I would suggest that the number of points of convergence between both sets of analysis far outnumber the differences. Sometime in the middle of 1992 we were suddenly asked to debunk the whole theory and change our line of thinking by powers that be, and we had to let go of a "very strong" case that we were building then. Of the core group of 5 analysts who were working on that case, 3 are no more (all died of normal causes) and 2 of us are still living anonymously without being in touch with each other. This is my attempt (after almost 2 decades) to complete "the Rajiv brief" and take it to its logical conclusion with the benefit of hindsight. I must warn though, that this is at the end of the day, just a theory based on intelligence inputs and field analysis built on a very plausible premise. It is an attempt to fill in the blanks between the "if's" and "buts" of history with the luxury of retrospective intelligence.

The Theory: Five people four scenarios and three events

Mrs Sonia Gandhi is today the most powerful person in India and probably one of the most powerful women on earth. Elections 2009 have only reinforced her power. How did she end up becoming the most powerful person in India? This is the story of that ascendancy. Five people, four scenarios and three events stood between Mrs Sonia Gandhi and her destiny. Over the next few pages I am going to explain those scenarios through the eyes of a former intelligence analyst.

Scenario 1: The Rajiv-Sonia marriage
At the outset there is nothing more than just another love story to Mr Rajiv Gandhi's romance with Miss Antonia Albina Maino in the mid 1960's. Any suggestion that there were characters in the Cambridge university campus that not only hooked them up but also nurtured the famous romance is too farfetched. But having said that, let us consider some of the London tabloid reports of that time which variously suggested Rajiv was "constantly influenced" by a couple of students of European origin (I would not take names and let researchers do some hard work) and that at least one of those students was later absorbed by the Vatican's intelligence wing. It would also be farfetched to speculate on Indian intelligence requesting the help of MI5 to analyze the Rajiv-Sonia romance, at least am not aware of any such report ever being filed. All these rumours and theories have done their rounds in the intelligence quarters of Delhi, especially during 1991-1992, but then we are rushing ahead of time so we shall deal with that later. I would now present as to what intelligence agencies actually did, which was very little, and let people draw their own conclusion.


Post World War 1, Turin was a hub of political activity. Communism was at its peak in Europe and many left leaning socialist organizations were dabbling with the Marxist ideology and as a counter balance to that the fascist forces were emerging as an attractive alternative to many Catholics of Italy, and Turin was no exception. The small village of Orbassano near Turin mainly composed of orthodox Roman Catholic families and they all dreaded the arrival of communists on their shores and decided to join hands with the fascists lead by Mussolini. Paolo Maino was one of them. Indian intelligence gathering techniques are never given their due credit, but we have done some first rate jobs which have never been acknowledged and Mrs Sonia Gandhi's background check was one of them. It was found that after the end of Second World War when many fascists were purged, Paolo Maino was protected by the church and no less than the Vatican itself intervened in his case and all papers pertaining to him were there by transferred to the Vatican! It was furthermore established that one of the more mysterious uncles of Paolo Maino worked for the super secret intelligence organization of the Vatican, the Opus Dei. Paolo was a construction contractor and had little savings; he could not entirely afford the educational and other expenses of his children. This mysterious uncle; who was working for the Opus Dei and whose name had been deleted from all the intelligence files; sponsored Antonio Albina Maino's education in Cambridge in the 1960's.

During her stay in Cambridge Miss Antonio took an "unusually high degree" of interest in the activities of groups concerning students of Indian Diaspora much before she met Rajiv. In fact, their first meeting took place in the presence of other Indian origin students and not in a Greek cafe as widely reported later. But throughout all of this she continued her association with the church and its activities and was in constant touch with "certain sections of the Vatican" which were previously also associated with the fascists. When Indian intelligence officials later questioned one of Miss Antonio's close associates during her stay in the Cambridge, he described her relationship with the Vatican as akin to "umbilical cord". All of these titbits were filed by many field officers of various intelligence agencies over a period of years but most analysts in the intelligence parlays of India termed them as "innocent" at worst and "needs evaluation" at best. Of course one can always concede that the analysts of that era lack the luxury of retrospective analysis as we do have now, there was definitely some lax attitude shown by these analysts in trying to decipher these events. Thus one day in 1968, after 3 odd years of courtship Mr. Rajiv Gandhi and Miss Antonio Maino; the daughter of former Fascist soldier, Paolo Maino; were married in Delhi. Miss Maino then became Mrs Sonia Gandhi for all intentions and purposes and the stepping stone to her destiny was covered with roses.

Scenario 2: Event 1, June 23rd 1980

The first player in the political theatre to have been eliminated and also the most important first link to the series of events that led to the present dispensation in the corridors of Delhi. Circumstantial evidence in the June 23rd 1980 Sanjay Gandhi air crash near Safdarjung airport points to foul play but let's not get sucked into those futile arguments that have been raging ever since. Just suffice it to say that the single-member enquiry commission headed by Mr M L Jain which was formed to study the circumstances that lead to the plane crash has never submitted any report what so ever to the government in 3 decades. Now isn't that fishy?


Anybody who is aware of the 70's brand of politics in India would know that Sanjay was the most important political centre, around whom most of the power was concentrated and dispensed with. Many even believed that Sanjay wielded more power than Indira Gandhi herself. It thus became pertinent for most intelligence agencies concerned with India's affairs to have a thick case file about Sanjay Gandhi and his activities. There were some widely debunked theories of the junior Gandhi leaning towards CIA and Mrs Gandhi not being in agreement with his ideas, I do not know the origin or the veracities of these hypotheses so I would not make any comment either to encourage or discourage them. The 1960's and 70's Delhi was a hub of international espionage (like any other capital of any other country) because most intelligence agencies (including CIA & KGB) of that era depended on HUMINT or human intelligence officers to gather intelligence rather than satellites and drones of today. Every other day there would be speculation in the media circles of a certain politician or a certain bureaucrat working in tandem with a certain foreign intelligence agency; I would be lying if I claimed that all these speculations were wrong, in fact there were quite a few surprises in the "official" list that the Indian intelligence agencies maintained, but that is a completely different subject altogether. Coming back to Sanjay Gandhi and the interest that he generated in foreign as well as Indian intelligence circles, one thing is clear, he never worked or had any relationship with any of the foreign intelligence agencies and that much I can vouch for, but the same cannot be said about his continuous indulgence and interference with the local intelligence agencies. He always used and had his men in various wings of Indian intelligence agencies. Amidst all of this originated the "Russian hypothesis".

There is no agreement as to when the real "Russian hypothesis" came into being, some argue that just prior to emergency in 1975 the Soviets sponsored this study because they had prior intelligence that emergency would be imposed on India, while still others argue that its origin was sometime during the Morarji Desai regime. I for one tend to agree with the former because it is a known fact that Soviets were consulted by Mrs Gandhi about emergency. Another reason to support the 1975 theory is that a secret meeting of the dreaded VKR had taken place in Delhi in the summer of 1975 (VKR = Voennaya Kontra Razvedka) and it had baffled many Indian intelligence officials as to why VKR (Russian counter intelligence wing) would meet in India. After the imposition of emergency and the awareness about Mrs Gandhi's soviet consultation, intelligence circles widely accepted the theory of VKR meeting in Delhi as a part of that Indo-Soviet collaboration on emergency until the emergence of the "Russian hypothesis" and the eventual demise of Mr. Sanjay Gandhi. KGB had strong presence in Delhi and across India in the 70's and many left-leaning analysts openly and covertly co-operated with KGB and other Russian intelligence agencies. One such "analyst" was part of the team that had produced the "Russian hypothesis" and he later (in 1979) leaked parts of that document to Indian intelligence and that is how the jigsaw puzzle was cracked. In the hypothesis it was concluded that Mr Sanjay Gandhi was west leaning and a capitalist and would eventually side with the CIA, although there was no universal agreement about these conclusions amongst the team that had produced the "Russian hypothesis" most of them did agree to some extent of those conclusions. It was our belief that the Soviets had decided not to take any action, mainly because of the fact that it was unlikely of KGB and even more unlikely in the case of VKR to remain quiet for more than a few months after having reached a conclusion. This is when Opus Dei comes into picture. It is a well known fact that Opus Dei and parts of Russian intelligence had always collaborated on certain matters. Exactly how or when did Opus Dei come into the possession of "Russian hypothesis" is merely in the realm of speculation but what is incontrovertible is that the Vatican intelligence did have enormous influence on Josef Stavinoha, the man who was heading VKR at that time and thus KGB in active collaboration with Opus Dei decided to act on the "Russian hypothesis" sometime in March 1980. As a direct result of that, June 23rd 1980 happened as an accident.


After the sudden demise of Mr Sanjay Gandhi, there was the question of two other people, the very political wife Mrs Maneka Gandhi and son Mr Varun Gandhi which had to be dealt with by the Gandhi family. While there is no denying the fact that Mrs Indira Gandhi and her daughter in law Mrs Maneka Gandhi had a less than cordial relationship (which was more accentuated after the arrival of Rajiv's family, as per some household sources of the family) and usually had typical "saas-bahu" war of turfs, but what is also irrefutable is the fact that Mr Varun Gandhi was Mrs Gandhi's favourite grandson and she simply doted on him. What exactly transpired and who facilitated the events are all debates of speculation for the tabloid media, but one thing is certain, both the widowed mother and son were completely sidelined and almost ceased to exist as far as the Gandhi family is concerned after ceremoniously being thrown out of the Prime Minister's residence.

Scenario 3: 1984, the assassination of Mrs Indira Gandhi

It was one of those events in the young life of a nation that can be termed as a defining moment in history. At the outset it was a clear case of Khalistani fundamentalists avenging operation blue-star, but there were many characters at the periphery and many events preceding it which raised many an eyebrow in the intelligence communities of the world. This was also that one colossal event that catapulted the young Mr Rajiv Gandhi, a novice in politics, to the highest seat of power in South Asia and Mrs Sonia Gandhi was now the next in the line of succession by the virtue of being his wife.

It is a historically well known fact that the Khalistan movement was nurtured by ISI and certain elements in Pakistan. Also well recorded are the initial reactions of some western countries like Canada who almost directly hobnobbed with the Sikh separatist leaders only to abandon them when the movement became increasingly violent. Tacit support of US and British intelligence agencies to the Khalistan intelligentsia was also much speculated upon those days. But what was a lesser known fact in the media and a matter of puzzling debates in the intelligence circles was the interest shown by the Vatican in the Khalistan movement. In 1980-81 Vatican had an open channel of discussions with certain groups of the so called "intellectuals" who were known sympathisers of the Sikh separatist movements. This interest and interactions continued well into the early 80's and were explained as the "right of Vatican to have an interest in other religious organizations". At the height of Khalistan movement just after operation Blue Star, many reliable Indian intelligence sources had given "definitive" information about Opus Dei funding parts of operations of Sikh separatists outside India!
After operation Blue Star there were many intelligence inputs about the threat to Mrs Gandhi's life including some specific inputs about people in the core inner circle of Mrs Gandhi's security system being vulnerable. Yet no action was taken, why? The assassination of Mrs Indira Gandhi was a massive intelligence failure to say the least and yet no major enquiry was ordered to decipher the conspiracy theory, why? Sections of KGB and other Russian intelligence agencies had given a specific timeframe regarding "action" and yet their advice went unheeded, why? Soviet sources, in informal briefings had warned about certain western intelligence agencies being in cahoots with Sikh separatists and yet those warnings were disregarded, why?
A part of the answer to those questions can be explained as plain incompetence as usual. May be one can also argue that we now have the power of hindsight which we lacked then. But definitely there is a part of the answer to that question which is more complex and only takes my theory forward to its logical conclusion. It is not as if we did nothing, security experts and Intelligence aficionados gave at least 2 formal specific presentations to Mrs Gandhi on 2 different occasions about the need to re-haul the entire security apparatus around her. But on both these occasions apart from Mrs Gandhi's nonchalance we met with the biggest resistance from one particular member of her core team. He was a very powerful member of what was then known to the media as "kitchen cabinet" and had also been described as a "power broker of the highest degree" by many media houses and visiting dignitaries. There was no reason to suspect any mal-intentions in him, as he was also known to be very close to Mr Rajiv Gandhi (unlike some members of the "kitchen cabinet" who had a turf war with the junior Gandhi). Post assassination there was a bit of a stir in the media about the same gentleman followed by hush-hush events. We in the intelligence were also surprised to know about his strong linkages with certain Western intelligence agencies. Nothing really happened after that for quite some time and Mr Rajiv Gandhi only restored the same gentleman back in his team with full honours and the whole episode was laid to rest. But the biggest revelation to the intelligence wings came a little later (and was not accorded much importance at that time). Unlike media perceptions that the said gentleman belonged to the Rajiv Gandhi coterie and to the "kitchen cabinet", he actually owed both his positions and his re-instatement into the inner circles of power after the assassination of Mrs Gandhi to a certain Mrs Sonia Gandhi!

Scenario 4: 1991, the assassination of Mr Rajiv Gandhi
When Mr Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in Sriperumbudur on 21st May 1991, it did come as a shock to the intelligence community in India but it would be false to suggest that we had absolutely no clue about it. Tamil Tigers animosity towards Mr Rajiv Gandhi was by no means a universally accepted fact in the intelligence circles and yet there were "elements" in the establishment who had assessed the risk factors from time to time. Many analysts had pointed out way back in 1985 (when Rajiv first tried to establish channels to tigers) the unpredictable nature of the leadership of LTTE and their perceived closeness to "certain" European and Western intelligence agencies. Mr Rajiv Gandhi was more influenced by a section of foreign policy analysts and he paid little heed to whatever little reservations the Indian intelligence agencies had vis-à-vis Tamil Tigers. I must confess that intelligence community in India did not really cover themselves in glory in this whole episode, because it might come as a surprise to most readers to know that we had threat perception for Mr Rajiv Gandhi from many other quarters like Sikh separatists, Islamic (Pakistani funded) militant groups, Chinese sponsored mercenaries and even rogue KGB agents, but had very few inputs and analysis about Tamil Tigers! That was a grave error to say the least. Due to myriad intelligence inputs and even more complex analysis the enquiry following the assassination was mired in many ideas and was muddled in too many complexities.

The Rajiv Gandhi era was defined by two major geo-political changes in India and South Asia;
· Pakistan's involvement with separatist groups in Kashmir and the birth of Islamic terrorism in the valley
· India's direct mediation in Sri Lanka vis-à-vis Tamil issue

Both these geo-political affairs in South Asia had linkages to Western intelligence agencies at some point or other. It is a well known fact that CIA did help Kashmiri terror outfits in the initial years ostensibly to decrease Soviet influence in the region and also because US intelligence establishments were day dreaming about controlling all forms of Islamic extremist organisations from Afghanistan and Central Asia to the Middle-East and Western Africa. The results of those ill-fated forays have been disastrous as we have seen today, but that is a different story for some other time. Lesser known fact is the support to LTTE by many European intelligence agencies including MI5 & NIS (Norwegian Intelligence Service). Thus, although Mr Rajiv Gandhi considered Mr Vellupali Prabhakaran as a personal friend, the LTTE leader was more under the influence of many other intelligence organisations than India which should have been his natural ally. If the Western intelligence agencies wanted to eliminate Mr Rajiv Gandhi (for whatever myriad reasons) they had 2 very plausible ways to achieve their hit; Islamic Terror outfits in Kashmir and LTTE; apart from many other difficult options. LTTE having assassinated Mr Rajiv Gandhi unilaterally can be ruled out for all practical purposes as it was too much under the influence and control of many agencies and also it would have needed a thorough assurance that its own organization would not be eliminated following the assassination. Mr Prabhakaran, whatever else he was, was a practical man with very sensible ideas to survive for a long term struggle for Tamil Elam. He would have realized at the very outset that eliminating Mr Rajiv Gandhi could become an existential threat to LTTE itself. He had the precedence of the Khalistan movement being crushed following Mrs Indira Gandhi's assassination and the might of IPKF, which had almost managed to destroy about 80% of LTTE.

Mr Prabhakaran apart from being Tamil was also a catholic and there is a theory that the Vatican had helped LTTE in the initial phases to establish a "catholic" land in the Northern parts of Sri Lanka independent of the "Buddhist" Sinhalese regime. I have many intelligence inputs to confirm these linkages between the Vatican and the LTTE. Norway which had always played a role in the Sri Lankan peace process had a commanding influence over LTTE, especially over the northern faction of LTTE comprising Prabhakaran and co. Norwegian intelligence or NIS had not only given financial assistance but also had provided military training and logistical support to many northern LTTE command groups. I must state here that the western part of LTTE led by Karuna and co was less under the influence of these organisations and was more open to collaboration with India. There was also an unconfirmed report that Karuna was against the whole plot to assassinate Mr Rajiv Gandhi and had even tried in vain to contact Indian intelligence agencies about the impending attack. NIS and other Scandinavian intelligence agencies in the 80's and early 90's were also heavily under the influence of Opus Dei and other intelligence establishments of the Vatican. There were many reasons for this, primary being the fact Norway's borders with Soviet Russia and the Opus Dei's final plans to liberate the orthodox Russian church from the communists. Finally, we have very strong intelligence inputs about NIS having given the final order of a "hit" on Mr Rajiv Gandhi and also the requisite assurance of "no-attack" from India on LTTE in any eventuality. Thus Prabhakaran decided to assassinate Mr Rajiv Gandhi despite internal opposition and many apprehensions. What is even more curious was the timing of attack (which was also a pre-condition by the Norwegian controllers of LTTE as per many intercepts of Russian intelligence revealed to India much later). It was as if someone wanted to influence the ensuing general elections in India by assassinating a tall leader (they had the precedent of 1985 elections following Mrs Gandhi's killing). But, they only partly succeeded in that as congress could not get a majority on its own which was partially due to the fact that a part of those elections were held before the event and partially due to the changed political scenario of India in the beginning of the 90's.

The Analysis

After the assassination many intelligence teams were working on many number of theories and officially SIT (special investigation team) was formed to fast track the whole process and at least theoretically all these intelligence teams were supposed to be working under the aegis of the SIT. We were a group of 5 analysts working on the conspiracy angle (there were other groups of people also working on many conspiracy theories) leading up to the assassination. This is when we first stumbled upon the theory of the Vatican's interest in India's 1st family (the Gandhi family), which was earlier researched by a team previously working on the killing of senior Mrs Gandhi. Layer by layer we were gathering all the previous inputs and seemingly farfetched hypothesises put forward by many people in the past. Most of the inputs that I have talked about till now throughout this paper (part 1) were discovered and analysed during those 6 months when we worked together in that team. Mr P. V. Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister of India then and he had made it a point to get all the reports on the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case delivered to him directly (with no intermediaries) at regular intervals. I remember it correctly, when we had sent our detailed analysis report with all the relevant intelligence inputs to the PMO on a Thursday afternoon. The report contained all the various theories that we had suggested but we had not reached any conclusions.

The first time it's a chance, the second time it's a coincidence and the third time it's a pattern. I guess it was just a matter of time before we would reach the conclusion that the sole beneficiary of all these scenarios and events was the one and only Mrs Sonia Gandhi, the widow of Mr Rajiv Gandhi. How 3 events (assassination & "unnatural" deaths of the three Gandhis) and the 4 scenarios involving 5 people who were either eliminated or completely sidelined leading to the final destiny of Mrs Sonia Gandhi is really a fascinating story. On Monday morning our team was dismantled, we were asked to work on another theory of CIA's involvement with the LTTE and about understanding the financial structuring of the Tamil Tigers and we were told in no uncertain terms to abandon our "farfetched" theories and to work on more "realistic" aspects that would provide more tangible results.

After that we never mentioned about "the Rajiv brief" or about what had happened in those 6 months. But I have been keeping track of events since then. One important loophole about the theory as explained till now would be the reluctance of Mrs Sonia Gandhi to accept the position of power after the 1991 elections. I would like to deal with the post Rajiv era in part 2 when I will hopefully explain all of those issues. I have formulated my own set of theories and have reached my own conclusions, but they will be elaborated upon in the next 2 parts of this treatise.

Ram Jethmalani writes to Rajnath Singh, says the party has committed suicide by expelling him

Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 18:32 IST
He further added, “If you are determined to commit suicide, even the gods cannot salvage you.”
May 28, 2013
Shri Rajnath Singh Ji
Bhartiya Janta Party
38, Ashok Road,
New Delhi.
Reference:   Your letter of expulsion of 28th May, 2013.
           I have been communicated the contents of your so called order of expulsion of 28th May, 2013.  I had myself written a long letter to the Party President before leaving India on 10th May for my holidays.  There is no reference to any of my letters and the contentions therein. This itself shows that there is no cause of expulsion.
I have been out of the Party at least from 2004, if not earlier.  In 2010, the Party approached me with a request to join.  At that time, I made it very clear that the Party knows my views on all problems facing the nation.  The Party has no right to change me but I have the right to change it.
There are, doubtless, undesirable persons within the Party who are determined to destroy its image for integrity and attachment to national service.  You have not referred to the letters written even before the expulsion notice was received by me and those written on more than one occasion after the actual service of the show cause notice.  I have pointed out that disciplinary powers under the constitution are vested in the Disciplinary Committee.  You do not have a Disciplinary Committee.  Your action shows incompetence and contempt for law. I will leave you to the judgment of the nation. Of course, I will release all the letters which I have written to you time to time after the service of the show cause notice.  I had asked for some documents which are referred to in some rules of your Party. They were never supplied inspite of demand and I wanted a hearing which has been denied. If it was not my life’s mission and the only political desire left in me that the present ruling government must be knocked out, I would have certainly exposed the undesirable elements within the Party in detail.  They are helping to keep the corrupt government in power.  I do not wish to weaken the fight against the corrupt even by exposing the undesirable elements who have acquired control of the Party.
By this stupid order of expulsion, the Party has committed suicide.  It will only bring joy to our corrupt rulers and few of their corrupt collaborators within the Party. If you are determined to commit suicide, even the gods cannot salvage you.
Your reference to the appointment of the Police Commissioner is wholly irrelevant.  I believe that I have saved the country by supporting the appointment of the present Director of CBI.
I have no desire to interrupt my hard earned vacation and relaxation. I thought that the Party’s debacle in Karnataka will compel some introspection but the destroyers of the Party have won.  I am referring to those within the Party.
I will, however, decide my further course of action after assessing the response of the public and I may turn up earlier if I find it necessary.
Sincerely yours,
Ram Jethmalani
Enclosed: As Above
20 attachments:
28.11.2012 Letter to LK Advani
29.11.2012 Pages 1 to 3
26.11.2012 Pages 1 and 2
8.1.2013 Pages 1 and 2
6.5.2013 Pages 1 to 4
4.12.2012 Pages 1 to 5
My Dear Lal,                                                                Date: 28.11.2012
I have thought for days whether I should communicate with you at all. You might suspect I am influencing you to help me in saving my party membership. This is far from my mind.
I am writing this in the interest of the Party and the people of India . The nation has to be saved from our corrupt rulers and concealing truth about ourselves will only prove a disaster when it is discovered and exposed by our enemies.
I want nobody’s help in meeting this expulsion threat. I will be happy to be relieved .The party invited me to join to use my services . I have done my duty .
It is inevitable that I will expose the true character of those who have taken to the path of suicide. This might hurt you too. I think of my Rakhi Sister. I never dreamt that you will join the clique of bad characters who supported the Show Cause notice. But life is strange. I forgive your this act of ingratitude and betrayal.
You personally know that Arun Jaitley and Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar are thick friends. You know Neeraj Kumar and the arch criminal Abhishek Verma are thick as thieves. You could not have forgotten your public denunciation of him and the defamation complaint filed against you and it’s  attempted sordid settlement .
Arun Jaitley is no less  an offender than Vadra. He has a cosy relationship with him and his mother-in-law. He never speaks of Congress corruption,the black money case and the dacoits responsible for our poverty. He raises inane issues just to show he is some kind of Leader of Opposition.
Do think of all this.
                                                                             Sincerely Yours,
(Ram Jethmalani)
Sh. L.K Advani,Esq
30 Prithviraj Road ,
  New Delhi-110011

Who Killed Australian Missionary Graham Staines?

Arun Shourie

The findings of the Justice Wadhwa Commission of Inquiry

On the face of it, the report of the Wadhwa Commission on the murder of the Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons should have been very welcome to our secular friends. Justice Wadhwa has concluded that the main person who organised the attack was Rabindra Kumar Pal alias Dara Singh, and that his motive in doing so was "misplaced fundamentalism", namely his conviction that conversions by missionaries were threatening Hinduism. He also records evidence to the effect that Dara Singh had been involved in an activity which, in the eyes of secularists, is as deplorable as an activity can get: protection of cows from slaughter.
But no, the secularists are all in rage. "A stained report," "A whitewash," "A politically tutored report" -- they have been shouting. Justice Wadhwa has failed the litmus test: if only he had included a sentence -- a single sentence! -- imputing -- howsoever obliquely -- that Dara Singh was in some way affiliated to some organization that can be linked to the RSS or the BJP, what applause would have greeted the Report!
But the Judge has stuck to evidence. Hence the fury! For our friends, a Commission of Inquiry is credible only if it is useful!
In fact, the Report is instructive on many counts. Not to heed them is to condemn the country to further problems.
The first to draw a lesson should be the press. In Chapter 10, Justice Wadhwa takes up "Other Proximate Incidents." The first of these is the alleged rape of Sister Jacqueline Mary on 3 February, 1999. "Orissa nun raped in moving car," the headlines declared, Justice Wadhwa records. "Orissa's second stain: nun raped," shouted the Indian Express, "Nun gangraped by men in sari in Orissa," hollered The Telegraph. The village "has become the rallying point of Christians of the area," the papers proclaimed. "The press, on the basis of some statement made by the pastor of the Church highlighted the role of some Hindu fundamentalist organizations," writes Justice Wadhwa. "....It was termed as a planned attack on the Church. It was said that there was a role of communal forces.... Electronic media was not far behind. It was highlighted as an anti-Christian attack." "Do not treat this as an isolated incident," the papers quoted teachers of a Christian convent school saying, "A communal conspiracy is suspected to be behind the rape."
There indeed was a conspiracy, and a communal one at that. The whole thing was a concoction -- by those whose agenda it is to paint Hindus as communalists on the rampage, and the RSS, BJP etc. as organizations which are orchestrating a "pogrom". "Investigations, however, revealed that what Sister Mary said in the FIR was not true," records Justice Wadhwa. "It was a made up story. Investigations found that there was in fact no rape of Sister Mary.... B. B. Panda, D(irector) G(eneral) (of) P(olice) stated that the 'rape of the nun' case was projected and highlighted all over the world and was also projected as an attack on Christians when in fact it was not true, and the case turned out to be false."
The second incident occurred on 7 February, 1999. Two children, aged 10 and 19, were found murdered, a third had sustained injuries. "This incident again attracted a great deal of publicity in the media, including electronic media," writes Justice Wadhwa. "Newspapers came up with the headings, 'Two Christians killed, one injured in Orissa,' '2 tribal Christians done to death in Kandhamal,' and 'Orissa hunts for Christians' killer'. Additional D. G. P. John Nayak reportedly said that the communal angle to the attempted rape and murder could not be ruled out...." "A certain political party even blamed the State and Central Governments," Justice Wadhwa recalls, "and stated that the inaction of the State Government in the Manoharpur missionary killing incident (the killing of Staines and his sons) and the alleged rape of the nun in Baripada encouraged miscreants to commit yet another crime in Kandhamal." "In short," he concludes, "as per various reports that appeared in the newspapers, the incident was taken as an attack on the Christians."
And what turned out to be the truth? "Ultimately investigation revealed that the crime was committed by a relative of the victims who was also a Christian," the Commission notes.
I'll come to the third incident in a moment, for it concerns an institution other than the press. The fourth incident occurred on 8 December, 1998. Tribals attacked the police station at Udaygiri, stormed the jail, dragged two undertrial prisoners out, and lynched them to death in front of the police station. After that, they burnt houses belonging to members of a particular caste, Pana. The incident too was projected as a Hindu-Christian encounter. It was nothing of the kind. The tribals were being harassed by criminals who happened to be from the Pana caste. The police had been doing nothing. One day the criminals robbed tribals of all their cash as they were proceeding to seek employment. That ignited the flash. But a Hindu-Christian clash it became!
That is one lesson, and Justice Wadhwa draws special attention to it: the press should not rush to conclusions before it has investigated the facts. The facts he has recorded urge that the caution be made specific: the press should be particularly wary of going by allegations of communalism-mongers.
The second institution which comes out most poorly is the Minorities Commission. For quite some time now, this Commission has been putting out patently partisan reports, reports so partisan as to appear to be designed to inflame. It is all too the good, therefore, that in the course of his inquiries into the incidents, Justice Wadhwa has given us a glimpse into the way it goes about its work. The incident I postponed mentioning is typical.
In it, in mid-March, 1999, Hindus -- a minority in the village -- were pictured as having sparked off Hindu-Christian clashes in village Ranalai. Christians painted a large Cross on a hillock. Some Hindus transfigured it into a Trishul. A peace committee consisting of representatives from both communities decided that there would be neither a Cross nor a Trishul. Next day, Hindus went and erased the sign. Christians alleged that while returning, Hindus shouted slogans proclaiming victory. Tension mounted. While trying to control the situation, a Circle Inspector of the police was manhandled by Christians. He registered an FIR against three of them. Houses of Christians were said to have been burned down. Cross-complaints were filed by Hindus and Christians -- each side accusing the other.
The Minorities Commission sent a team, and declared that the genesis of the trouble lay in BJP men inflaming feelings of the local Hindus and instructing them to convert the Cross into a Trishul. As for the incidents and tension, it came to the conclusion it always does: the Hindus had created the trouble.
Justice Wadhwa observes, "These findings are without examining any person on oath or receiving evidence on affidavits." The Minorities Commission had also stigmatized the State Government for inaction. Justice Wadhwa writes, "When the members of the Minorities Commission visited the village [within a fortnight of the supposed incidents], normalcy prevailed. Cases had already been registered against members of both the groups...." Justice Wadhwa shows that the Minorities Commission proceeded in a manner that is in manifest violation of its own statute.
And he quotes the account that The Economic Times correspondent filed after visiting the village. The 22 March, 1999 issue of the paper reported, Justice Wadhwa writes, "that roots of the Ranalai village incident in Gajapati district of Orissa in which houses of Christian families were burnt down by Hindu tribals of nearby villages lie in the economic disparities prevailing between the two communities. The report further said that tension had been building up since the night of February 9, when 23 houses of Hindu families were burnt down by criminals belonging to the Christian community of the nearby Jhami Gaon.... The report further stated that 'The unfortunate incident was largely unreported and totally ignored by national and international media'."
The constructions of the Minorities Commission on the Staines' murder turn out to be designed to colour that crime in the same hue. To take one example, Staines and his family were not involved in preaching of Christianity for the previous 10 years leading to conversion in Manoharpur, the Minorities Commission said in the report it sent to Justice Wadhwa. In fact, associates of Staines himself told the Wadhwa Commission that Staines used to conduct "Bible classes" at "Jungle camps." One of his oldest acquaintances told the Commission that Staines had been totally secretive about both the "Jungle camps" and the accounts etc. of the Leprosy House he ran. While some witnesses maintained that he never even attended baptisms, some reported that he did, that he provided vehicles for marriages and baptism functions. More telling is something of an order altogether different from the oral testimony of witnesses.
It turns out that Staines and his wife, Gladys, regularly filed despatches for a journal in Australia, Tidings. This journal is run by the missionary organization in Australia which financed Staines and his activities in Manoharpur. When the Commission learned about the despatches, it requested the concerned persons for copies of the journal. None were supplied! The Commission had to obtain these from other sources. Justice Wadhwa reproduces several extracts from the despatches.
"Graham and Gladys Staines, Mayurbhanj, 25 April, 1997: The first jungle camp in Ramchandrapur was a fruitful time and the Spirit of God worked among the people. About 100 attended and some were baptized at the camp. At present Misayel and some of the Church leaders are touring a number of places where people are asking for baptism. Five were baptized at Bigonbadi. Pray for the Etani Trust in which the Mission properties are vested. One man managed by underhand means to get parts of the property in his own name and a number of nominal Christians of the Baripada Church are also trying to get some of this valuable property for themselves. The Trust is having to take legal action to rectify this."
"Graham and Gladys Staines, Mayurbhanj, 23 July, 1997: Praise God for answered prayer in the recent Jagannath car festival at Baripada. A good team of preachers came from the village churches and four OM workers helped in the second part of the festival. There were record book sales, so a lot of literature has gone into the people's hand...." (Incidentally, "OM" is a carefully chosen acronym: the organization it signifies is actually one of the largest publishers and distributors of missionary literature!)
"Graham and Gladys Staines, Mayurbhanj, 19 September, 1997: Praise God we now have the Ho New Testament in Oriya script and many copies are now in the hands of the Ho people. Pray to God that it will be used of God to speak to many as they read his word in their own language...."
"Graham and Gladys Staines, Mayurbhanj, 11 February, 1998: Jungle camp means four days of Bible teaching, prayer and fellowship of Christians living together. It enables believers from other churches to meet with local Christians to discuss experiences and encourage one another.... The camp also can create hunger in the hearts of those who come just to observe. Each camp has a bookstall, which for many is the only chance to buy Christian literature.... It was also encouraging to see so many Ho people following the references in the Ho New Testament during the messages at Sarat Jungle camp. We sold all the New Testaments we took there...."
"Graham and Gladys Staines, Mayurbhanj, 20 March, 1998: "....Over the next two months there will be a programme of baptism in nearby villages for those asking for them. These are times for witness to non-Christians too...."
"Graham and Gladys Staines, Mayurbhanj, 19 May, 1998: There are many new believers in the Manoharpur Church and the work is growing. The devil is now finding opportunity to hinder the work of God. There is disagreement between the young people and the older men of the Church. A problem arose about the land on which the Church is built and the planned Vacation Bible School had to be canceled. Last year more than 100 children attended this programme. The translation of Daily Life into Oriya is complete...."
"Graham and Gladys Staines, Mayurbhanj, 19 June, 1998: In many churches here Sunday schools have ceased to function. I have been advocating these and at a recent Church leaders meeting I heard that some have re-started this work.... The Vacation Bible School that was to be held at Manoharpur was canceled because of problems in the Church there. Two hundred and eight children registered for the one at Raika.... It was an excellent time and some young people who teach in VBS are being trained and encouraged for children's work and Sunday school."
"Graham and Gladys Staines, Mayurbhanj, 21 August, 1998: ....There are still divisions in the Church at Manoharpur and the churches at Durakuntia and Burudi are very weak. It is wonderful to see the little girls being cared for in the Rairangpur hostel. They have a wonderful opportunity to learn to read and learn of the Lord...."
"Graham and Gladys Staines, Mayurbhanj, 18 September, 1998: Four men visited Manoharpur Church to discuss the problems there and much was sorted out. A man who wants to be the head of the Church wants to bring in or join with two other groups who do not teach and walk according to the scriptures...."
"Graham and Gladys Staines, Mayurbhanj, 19 December, 1998: It is encouraging to hear of some improvement in the Church at Manoharpur and that they are preparing for the jungle camp. Misayel, Paul and Nehemiah visited Patana in early December but, as many were away rice harvesting, they could meet only with a few. They were able to encourage a new believer who had been a priest of the Sana Dhoram, an animist sect. The village people pleaded with him not to become a Christian saying, 'How can we continue our worship if you leave us?' 'You can do as you like, but I am following Christ,' he said. Continue to pray. God is working."
The typical concerns of a typical missionary -- harvesting souls for the Church. The prejudices of a missionary -- Sanatana Dharma, an animist sect! While his wife and some others denied this, one of his close associates spoke of his "hatred" for other religions. This associate reported -- and even Gladys, Staines' wife, acknowledged -- that, if he happened to be at any non-Christian function, Graham Staines would never take prasad, as, Mrs. Staines claimed, doing so is prohibited in the Bible....
After reviewing the evidence, the Wadhwa Commission, therefore, concludes, "Besides his involvement with Leprosy House, Staines was also involved in missionary work. The missionary work of Staines has come to light from the various despatches sent by him to Australia, which are published in the newsletter, 'Tidings'. Staines also used to take part in baptism ceremonies although he may not have necessarily carried out the baptism himself. Paul Murmu says that Staines attended baptism ceremonies and marriage ceremonies of Christian families whenever he was available. However, it is the despatches sent by Staines to Australia in the newsletter 'Tidings' that make it clear that Staines was also involved in active propagation of his religion apart from his social work. It is also clear from the said despatches that conversions were taking place in jungle camps. The missionary work of Staines obviously included organizing and conducting jungle camps, translating the Bible in tribal languages, preaching of Bible to the tribals. It is obvious, therefore, that Staines was both a social worker engaged in the treatment and eradication of leprosy amongst the poorest of the poor and also a missionary driven by a deep commitment to his religion and the belief that he should spread its tenets amongst the people in the area. His missionary activities did lead to conversions of tribals to his faith."
But as far as the Minorities Commission is concerned, supresso veri, and pronounce! Even such misrepresentations by bodies such as the Minorities Commission are lessons in themselves. But, as we shall see, these are minor ones compared to other lessons which the Wadhwa Commission's Report holds out.
Having asserted that Graham Staines had not been involved in missionary work, the Minorities Commission asserted that cordial relations existed between Hindus and Christians, that there were no ill-feelings among them. The two assertions together set the stage for the main theme the Commission pressed: the murders were lightning out of the blue, they were the handiwork of Dara Singh, and Dara Singh in turn was affiliated to the Bajrang Dal.
While a number of Christian witnesses as well as some policemen told the Justice Wadhwa Commission that there was no communal tension in the area, others testified to the contrary. There had been tensions between the communities for seven years, they told the Commission. And for one reason.
The Australian missionary organization which was financing Staines had set up 20-25 churches in Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts, a linguist working with the Indian Evangelical Mission told the Commission. Jungle camps were used for baptizing persons, witnesses told the Commission. B. B. Panda, who was Director General of Police, Orissa from October, 1997 to March, 1999, stated in a report to the State Government that "Mr. Staines was attending Jungle Mela in Manoharpur for the last more than 20 years. Majority of the local Adivasi Christians had been converted to Christianity through his efforts." S. C. Bala, the Superintendent of Police of the Crime Branch, who investigated the case, was asked by the Wadhwa Commission about his assessment regarding the likely motive for the murders. He told the Commission that the motive "appeared to be that non-Christian people were aggrieved on the ground that Christian fathers/missionaries are converting the people to Christianity in a deceitful manner by giving allurements."
More telling are the despatches of Staines and his wife in Tidings, the newsletter of the Australian missionary organization. They themselves wrote about these tensions repeatedly.
"Graham and Gladys Staines, Mayurbhanj, 19 September, 1997: ....The Ho believers in Thakurmunda still face persecution. From time to time the village people have beaten them up, broken their bicycles and not allowed them to worship in their own Church building. Three people came to Baripada to meet district officials and petition for justice. Pray that action will be taken to allow freedom to worship."
"Graham and Gladys Staines, Mayurbhanj, 22 February, 1998: We have just arrived home from the Baliposi camp a day early. Some people from a Hindu militant group who are persecuting the Christians came to the camp but were not able to disturb the meetings. On the last day the police came and told us to stop the meeting and leave, as they would not be able to protect us...." -- election-related requirements left no men to spare.
"Graham and Gladys Staines, Mayurbhanj, 20 March, 1998: Six men came to Baripada to speak with officials in the intelligence department regarding the tension in the Thakurmunda area...."
"Graham and Gladys Staines, Mayurbhanj, 19 May, 1998: ....We have been told that a militant Hindu group plans to concentrate on Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts to turn Christians back to Hinduism...."
In a word: conversions were taking place; this had caused tensions; so much so that a Hindu group had decided to try and get them back into Hinduism. But for our Minorities Commission, all was peace and harmony!
The First Information Report on the Staines' murder was filed by the pastor of the Manoharpur Church. He turns out to be a good candidate for some of our secularist organizations. The assailants shouted "Jai Bajrang Dal," he said in the FIR. Witness after Christian witness testified that what the assailants shouted was "Jai Bajrang Bali." The assailants set fire to the Church, he said. The Church turned out to not have been harmed. On count after count -- what he saw, what he heard, the persons he named as having committed the crime -- the pastor's statements turned out to be contradictory. On count after count he disowned them himself. After narrating these somersaults, Justice Wadhwa remarks, "It is, thus, clear that the FIR was drawn up only after the Chief Minister had left Manoharpur. From all angles, it is a doctored FIR, a large part of which has been disowned by the informant himself and also has been shown to be false." But it is this FIR which became the basis for imaginative journalism.
B. B. Panda, who was then Director General of Police, Orissa, told the Commission that the New Indian Express -- that is, the southern editions of the Indian Express -- of 25 January, 1999, quoted him as saying, "over 50 people suspected to be activists of the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad were involved in the incident, and so far 47 persons have been arrested." He told the Commission that as he had not said this, he sent the paper a contradiction. The paper did not publish the contradiction.
By that figure of 47-50 arrests hangs another lesson also.
One result of the gruesome nature of the murders, of the fact that even the little sons had been done to death, of the fact that the State Government had to show to the Congress leadership in Delhi that it was acting energetically, and also of the glare the media had brought to bear on the case was that the police felt it just had to show something. The consequence? "The police went berserk," observes Justice Wadhwa. It picked up anyone who in its imagination could somehow or the other be linked with the Bajrang Dal. Fifty one persons were thrown into jail. The Crime Branch found that there was absolutely no case against them. All of them had to be released. Justice Wadhwa observes, "It would thus appear that 51 persons underwent the agony of going into judicial custody for two months or more. Though initially the State Government took a great deal of pride that police arrested as many as 51 accused showing the efficiency and promptness of the police, but ultimately subsequent events showed that in the State of Orissa, as far as these 51 persons are concerned, there was no rule of law. Prakash Mehra (DIG) in his supervision note had stated that there was no evidence in respect of all the five FIR named accused persons or the 51 persons arrested by the local police."
"The question then arises in view of the contradictions which make the FIR a false document, what was the motivating force behind it?," asks Justice Wadhwa. "And why as many as 51 innocent persons were arrested between 23rd to 28th January, 1999?" "Answers to these questions are not far to seek," he concludes. "The State Government was rattled by the gravity of the crime. To divert attention from its own failure to maintain law and order and to protect the innocent and then show 'speedy and decisive' action, a false picture is presented."
And as for the involvement of the Bajrang Dal etc., the Commission concludes, "The Commission has scrutinized the evidence before it and especially the evidence of the associates of Dara Singh who were involved in the carnage at Manoharpur. There is no evidence to suggest that any of the persons involved in the crime was in fact a member of either the Bajrang Dal or BJP or any organization. There is nothing to suggest in the evidence before the Commission, or in the investigation conducted by the Crime Branch and the CBI thus far that there is involvement of any organization, even that of Bajrang Dal, in the planning and the execution of the crime."
Several witnesses testified to Dara Singh's involvement in the crime -- in preparing for it, in executing it. Justice Wadhwa is in doubt that Dara Singh was the prime mover. To fly off in rage at Dara Singh, and feel that one has done one's duty is to miss the point.
There are several important pointers. Several witnesses testified that Dara Singh had been engaged in rescuing cows that were being transported for slaughter. He had been trying to get the State to enforce the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals laws. This activity was taken, even by the police, to be "anti-Muslim" activity. Dara Singh was accordingly implicated in cases filed by persons engaged in transporting and selling cows for slaughter. That is as far as the consequences for Dara Singh under the law are concerned. The effect on the people was the exact opposite. Witness-29, who testified that he had been asked by Dara Singh to accompany him to Manoharpur, told the Commission, "Dara Singh is a very popular figure in the village as he forcibly frees cows from the people who take them for selling. After freeing the cows, Dara Singh distributes the cows among the villagers...."
Cows are revered by Hindus. The man trying to save them becomes an outlaw in the eyes of the police, and a hero in the eyes of the people. Two lessons in that.
On the other hand, Staines and his associates are left free to go on converting Hindus to Christianity. There is no evidence that Staines himself resorted to fraud, force or allurement. Even so, tensions mount because of conversions. Staines' own despatches testify to this. But our institutions -- the Minorities Commission and the police being representative in this regard -- even in retrospect assert the fiction that there was no tension between Christians and non-Christians.
The second clue is provided by the evidence of a key witness, one whose testimony contributes most to nailing the involvement of Dara Singh. He is one Dipu Das. He was a close associate of Dara Singh. He revealed to the Commission that "youth from Gayalmunda and Bhalughera had approached Dara Singh sometime in August 1998 to stop the Christians from converting Hindus to Christianity...."
That is the key lesson: if the State is going to persist with double-standards in regard to the sentiments of Hindus and non-Hindus on the one hand, and with a deliberate shutting of eyes on the other, it is paving the way for such crimes.
That lesson is brought home most forcefully by Justice Wadhwa's findings in regard to the Orissa law that bears on conversions. As has been noted earlier, Orissa passed a law in 1967 to regulate conversions. It is known as the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act. Its constitutionality -- as well as that of the allied law in Madhya Pradesh -- has been upheld by a five judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in Rev. Stainislaus v. State of Madhya Pradesh [AIR 1977 SC 908]. Among other things, the law provides, "No person shall convert or attempt to convert, either directly or otherwise, any person from one religious faith to another by use of force or by inducement or by any fraudulent means, nor shall any person abet such conversion." Anyone doing so, the Act provides, shall be punished by imprisonment of up to one year and/or a fine of Rs. 5,000. In case the offence relates to a minor, a woman or a person belonging to the Scheduled Castes or Tribes, the punishment shall be double.
To prevent misuse, the Act provides that the offence shall not be investigated by an officer below the rank of an Inspector of Police, and that no prosecution shall be instituted without the sanction of the Magistrate of the District or an equivalent authority.
The Act was passed in 1967. Rules under it were not framed till November, 1989, Justice Wadhwa notes. The Rules are salutary, and will repay a moment's attention:
"3(i) Each District Magistrate shall maintain a list of religious institutions or organizations propagating religious faith in his district and that of persons directly or indirectly engaged for propagation of religious faith in the district.
"(ii) The District Magistrate, if he thinks fit, may call for a list of persons with the religious faith, receiving benefits either in cash or in kind from the religious organizations or institutions or from any person connected therewith.
"4. Any person intending to convert his religion shall give a declaration before a Magistrate, 1st Class, having jurisdiction prior to such conversion that he intends to convert his religion on his own will.
"5(i) The concerned religious priest shall intimate the date, time and place of the ceremony in which conversion shall be made along with the names and addresses of the persons to be converted to the concerned District Magistrate before fifteen days of the said ceremony.
"(ii) The intimation shall be in Form A and shall be delivered either personally by the Priest to the concerned District Magistrate or sent to him by registered post with acknowledgment due.
"6. The District Magistrate on receiving the intimation from the priest shall sign thereon stating the date on which and the hour at which the intimation has been delivered to him or received by him, and shall forthwith acknowledge the receipt thereof in Form B.
"7. The District Magistrate shall maintain a register of conversion in Form C and shall cover therein particulars of the intimation received by him.
"8. Any person who contravenes the provisions of Rule 5 or 6 shall be liable to a fine of Rupees one thousand.
"9. The District Magistrate shall by the 10th of each month send to the State Government a report of intimations received by him during the preceding month in Form D."
That is the law. And what is the reality? Justice Wadhwa reports:
"No one was aware of the Freedom of Religion Act or the Rules framed thereunder in the State at least in the districts of Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar. These provisions of law were lying dormant and [had] never [been] put into operation for the last many years. Admittedly, there were conversions to Christianity in these two districts. No person intending to convert his religion ever gave a declaration before a Magistrate prior to such conversion of his intent to convert his religion on his own will which was the requirement of Rule 4. Similarly also the religious priest did not give intimation of such conversion as per Form A under the Rules. District Magistrate did not maintain a register of conversion as per Form prescribed. Since they did not make any record of conversions, they did not send any report of conversion to the State Government.
"Mr. Balakrishnan, District Magistrate, Mayurbhanj and Mr. Saurabh Garg, District Magistrate, Keonjhar were examined to know if any action [had been] taken under the Freedom of Religion Act and the Rules framed thereunder. They expressed ignorance of the provisions of the law relating to conversion and said they had become aware of these only after the incident at Manoharpur on the night of 22 / 23-1-1999. To me, it appears that even now they do not understand the full scope and intent of the provisions of the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act and the Rules. These are salutary provisions and prohibit conversion from one religion to another by the use of force, inducement or by any fraudulent means. Even any abetment to such conversion has been made an offence. If these provisions of law, in my view, are strictly followed no one can have any grievance to contend that gullible and innocent tribals are being converted."
The Commission asked the Advocate General for a report on prosecutions under the Act. From 1967 to 1990, the Advocate General informed the Commission, the Act was not enforced as its constitutional vires had been challenged. Since then -- that is, in nine years -- 10 cases had been registered. In one case the accused had been discharged. In one case he had been acquitted. In regard to two the Final Report had been submitted. And six were pending trial.
The lesson -- a cruel one -- shouts at us: as this is the attitude of the State machinery to law, the Dara Singhs will continue to become heroes with the local population.