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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

How Batla House encounter played out: All you need to know

by Jul 26, 2013

Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma walked through the door of Batla House on the morning of 18 September, 2008,  looking for a man about whom he knew just two things: he had missing front teeth, and was likely linked to India’s most dangerous terrorists.  Huffing from the unaccustomed climb up the stairs, and profusely sweating in Delhi’s miserable August heat, Sharma had taken off his bullet-proof jacket.  He had no reason to believe the men he was looking for were armed, anyway. He was wrong.

Delhi additional sessions judge Rajendra Kumar Shastri’s conviction of Indian Mujahideen operative Shahzad Ahmad  for Sharma’s murder wasn’t needed to settle the question of whether the Batla House encounter was legitimate or not: the National Human Rights Commission settled that question in 2009, and the Supreme Court later concurred.

In trial courts in Delhi, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, alleged Indian Mujahideen operatives are being tried for the terrorist network’s bombings-a process that could go on, as so many other trials do in India, for years.  For the families of the hundreds who died in those attacks, though, this is one small step towards justice.

 File photo of Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma who was killed during the Batla House encounter in New Delhi in Sep 2008. PTI
File photo of Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma who was killed during the Batla House encounter in New Delhi in Sep 2008. PTI

Long weeks of investigation preceded Sharma’s journey to L18.  In the days after the Indian Mujahideen’s 27 July bomb attacks in Ahmedabad, police in multiple states had made taken the first steps towards unravelling the network-responsible for multiple, unsolved attacks since 2005. See table here.

The Mumbai Police crime branch arrested Afzal Usmani, an organised crime linked figure who had provided the stolen cars used in the Gujarat attacks. Usmani, police sources say, told his interrogators that he’d handed the cars to alleged Indian Mujahideen operative Qayamuddin Kapadia-now being tried in Gujarat. From Usmani, the investigators also learned that top commander he knew as ‘Bashir’, a man he said had missing front teeth, left Ahmedabad on 26 July for a safe house at Jamia Nagar. The information wasn’t shared with other police forces, though, and the hunt for ‘Bashir’ and Kapadia drew a blank.

The second key lead was gathered by the Gujarat Police crime branch.  A Bharuch resident contacted the police to report that the vehicles used as car bombs in Ahmedabad had been parked by his tenant. Deputy Commissioner Abhay Chudasma had little to go on, bar one small clue: the mobile phone used by the tenant to communicate with the landlord. It turned out, though, that the phone had gone silent after the Ahmedabad bombings.

Phone records, though, helped, Gujarat police investigators determined that the cell phone was one of the five used by the perpetrators between 7 and 26  July — the day of the serial bombings. They also learned that the perpetrators had observed rigorous communication security procedures, calling these numbers only from public telephones.

But the perpetrators had made one communication security error: between 16 and 22 July, 2008, one of the five Gujarat phones had been used in the Jamia Nagar area. This phone had received just five calls, all from public phones at Jamia Nagar. Then, on 24 July, the phone became active again in Ahmedabad.

The investigators soon found evidence of a second link between the Ahmedabad bombings and the Jamia Nagar area. On 19 July, a cell phone used in Bharuch received a call from Mumbai, this made from an eastern Uttar Pradesh number. Immediately after this, a call was made from the eastern Uttar Pradesh  phone to a number at Jamia Nagar, registered to a local resident called Mohammad Atif Amin.

Policemen rush to Batla House during the encounter in New Delhi in Sep 2008 in this file photo. PTI

Putting together this information, the investigators came to believe that Atif Amin either provided shelter to ‘Bashir’, or the two were one and the same person.

Inspector Sharma was asked to settle the issue.

Dharmindar Kumar, a sub-inspector with the Delhi Police’s counter-terrorism Special Cell, was dressed up in a tie and shirt, and given the unhappy task of doorstepping Batla House flats in search of Bashir.  Kumar was to knock on doors, pretending to be a salesman for Vodafone. He heard voices at Amin’s door, and called for backup.

Head constable Balwant Rana, who was by Sharma’s side, knocked on the front door, identifying themselves as police officers. There was no response. Then, the officers walked down an ‘L’ shaped corridor which led to a second door. This door was unlocked. Sharma and Rana, as they entered, were fired upon from the front of and to the right of the door. When the rest of the special team, armed only with small arms, went in to support Sharma and Rana, two terrorists ran out through the now-unguarded front door.

Atif Amin was killed in the return of fire, along with Mohammad Sajid.  Mohammad Saif, probably wisely, locked himself up in a toilet. Shahzad Ahmad fled, only to be arrested later-holed up with a prominent Samajwadi Party politician in Mumbai, who eventually brokered his hand-over to police.
Experts say that Sharma’s team made several tactical errors-errors they wouldn’t have made if the Delhi Police had a proper special weapons and tactics unit, or even rudimentary training programmes for search-and-entry procedures.  In the United States or Europe, a Batla House-style operation would have been carried out by a highly trained assault unit equipped with state-of-the-art surveillance equipment. Given their resources and training, Sharma and his men did as well as could be expected.
Doctors at the Holy Family Hospital in New Friend’s Colony, and experts at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences’ Trauma Centre, provided evidence that Sharma he was fired at from two directions. One bullet hit him in the left shoulder and exited through the left upper arm; the other hit the right side of the abdomen, exiting through the hip. The investigators believe that the abdomen wound was inflicted with Amin’s weapon and the shoulder hit, by Mohammad Sajid.

Much was made of a newspaper photograph which shows that Sharma’s shirt was not covered in blood, with some activists charging that it demonstrates he was shot in the back. Forensic experts, however, note that bleeding from firearms injuries takes place through exit wounds—not, as in bad pop films, at the point of entry. In the photograph, signs of a bullet having ripped through Sharma’s shirt are evident on his visible shoulder; so, too, is evidence of the profuse bleeding from the back.
For years now, politicians like the Congress’ Digvijaya Singh have sought to cash in on the contention-preying on the insecurities of Muslims in north India about communal retaliation and scapegoating.

It’s a pernicious politics, founded on dishonesty.  In a 2008 article, the University of Delaware’s Director of Islamic Studies, Muqtedar Khan, lashed out at  “intellectually dishonest” representatives of Muslims who “live in denial.” “They first deny that there is such a thing as jihadi terrorism,”  Khan noted, “resorting to conspiracy theories blaming every act of jihadi violence either on Israel, the US or India. Then they argue that unjust wars by these three nations [in Palestine, Iraq and Kashmir] are the primary cause for jihadi violence; a phenomenon whose very existence they have already denied.”

The Delhi court’s judgment today isn’t the end of the battle: there will be appeals, and cases in other states will take years to finish.  It’s a small step forward, though, towards ending the denial.


K Rahman Khan’s crazy thinking on the Indian Mujahideen

by Jul 29, 2013

“I can’t believe that!” said Alice.

“Can’t you?” the queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again, draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”
Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said. “One can’t believe impossible things.”

“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

He’s clearly been practicing the art of magical thinking, has K Rehman Khan, the Union Minister for Minority Affairs. Earlier this week, Khan went on record to say he’s sceptical the Indian Mujahideen exists, because “nobody knows what it is, where it was formed, and who runs it”. “The Muslim community,” he went on, “is not buying its existence”. Khan says these aren’t his personal views—”the community has that feeling”—but added that no Indian Muslim had ever been actually convicted of involvement in terrorism. “A few are suspected,” he said, but “their involvement is not proved.”

Union Minister for Minority Affairs, K Rahman Khan. Image courtesy PIB
Union Minister for Minority Affairs, K Rahman Khan. Image courtesy PIB

Perhaps Khan is just playing to the gallery: in a nation ever-more obsessed by religious identity, politicians from the late Bal Thackeray to Akbaruddin Owaisi all know bizarre invective pays.
There’s a more terrifying prospect, though: that Khan actually believes what he’s saying. If that’s the case, it tells us something deeply depressing-even terrifying-about the state of our polity.

First up, it’s flat-out untrue to assert, as Khan does, that there haven’t been any convictions of Indian Muslims in terrorism-related cases– and that’s not counting Shahzad Ahmad, who is awaiting sentencing after having been convicted for the 2008 Batla House shootout. I’m guessing the minister read, not that many weeks ago, of the death sentence awarded to Mirza Himayat Beigh for his role in the bombing of the German Bakery in Pune, which claimed 17 lives. Khan’s entitled to dispute the court’s findings, just as Baig’s lawyers have done in the Mumbai High court; for a variety of reasons, I’m sceptical too.

He can’t just pretend, though, that the conviction never happened.

The charges filed in the German Bakery bombing, morever, to claim that no-one knows what the Indian Mujahideen is: the Maharashtra Police says it does. So does the National Investigations Agency, which just filed against five alleged Indian Mujahideen operatives. The NIA states that the organisation “was formed in 2003 after ultra-radicalised Muslim youth segregated from the Student Islamic Movement of India”. It adds: “they do not believe in India’s Constitution and IM’s members nurse communal hatred against the Hindu community.” In case that’s too much reading for Khan, I’ve written up a short summary of the organisation and its genesis.

Khan might think both the Maharashtra Police and the NIA are talking drivel-but then he should say that.

Indian Muslims have been often been acquitted of terrorism charges–just like lots of people who are neither Indian or Muslim have been, for good reasons or for bad. Enough have been convicted, though, to leave no rational person in any doubt there is a problem.

This isn’t something that’s new-so I’m guessing Khan just forgot the recent convictions of the perpetrators of the 1993 serial bombings.

Let’s leave aside these trivial details, though, to address Khan’s more substantial argument: that there’s no ideological support for jihadism among Indian Muslims. He says, “Have you ever found a single Indian Muslim going and supporting terrorists in Kashmir?”

Not one, no.

Oh, wait.

The NIA, in 2011, charged 24 men, several of them Kerala residents, with training with the Lashkar-e-Taiba in Jammu and Kashmir. The story dates back to 1996, when Islamist activists in Kerala began recruiting jihad volunteers, operating under cover as proslelytysers for a religious order called the Noorisha Tareeqat. In September, 2008, the NIA alleges, five of those men made their way to a Lashkar-run training camp in the mountains above Kupwara, in northern Kashmir. The NIA is yet to prove its charges in court, but four of those five men were shot dead by the Indian Army–so there’s pretty compelling evidence at least those four Indian Muslims supported terrorists in Kashmir.
Had Khan bothered to check, he’d have found plenty of other cases like this. In the summer of 2001, for example, police determined that three Jalgaon men, Sheikh Asif Supdu, Sheikh Khalid Iqbal and Sheikh Mohammad Hanif, were killed in a firefight with Indian troops while training with the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen near Kishtwar, in Jammu and Kashmir.

Later, in 2002, at least six residents of Gujarat are believed to have trained at Lashkar-e-Taiba bases in the Hil Kaka mountains, near the frontier town of Poonch. Five of the group crossed the Line of Control to undergo advanced training while one, Munir Ahmad, is thought to have been killed in an encounter with the Army.

In June, 2006, the Jammu and Kashmir police and the Army shot dead Kolhapur-based seminary student Mohammad Irfan near the town of Tral, in southern Kashmir.

There are, we know, other cases: among them, a certain Zabiuddin Ansari, who, sitting in the 26/11 control room, guided the perpetrators to their targets that night. He’s being tried for his crimes, too.
I’m guessing Khan didn’t actually mean to lie–because these aren’t the kind of lies any rational person would think he wouldn’t be called on. To my mind, his claims are testimony to the human mind’s considerable capacity to censor-out things that make us uncomfortable. Neuroscientists have long known cognition errors can underpin our most most fervently held beliefs-which is why there’s no sho. In his book, The Tell-Tale Brain, VS Ramachandran suggests there’s a good evolutionary purpose for some this. If we see or hear something that suggests a tiger might be nearby, for example, we’d probably be ill-advised to hang around awaiting further evidence.

Human minds are hard-wired to draw extravagant conclusions from limited data when survival is involved-but those conclusions are often wrong. These conclusions, though, none the less tell us something important about what’s going on in peoples’ minds.

Khan is right when he states that Indian Muslims have felt a deep “sense of insecurity” since the demolition of the Babri Masjid demolition and the Gujarat riots of 2002. He’s almost certainly right to, when he suggests–in essence–that many Indian Muslims fear that the debate over jihadi terrorism is some sort of tool to undermine what gains they have made in the last two decades.

The thing is, the Indian Mujahideen isn’t a fiction cooked up for anyone to get at anyone with. Like so much else to do with our country’s troubled history, it’s a symptom of deep dysfunctions in our society; of a cycle of hate that has generated dangerous strains on our polity and republic.

Leaders like Khan deepen those strains when they peddle fantasies. Leaders like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh make things worse when they choose not to call their ministers’ crazy thinking.


Dr. Subramanian Swamy: A Man to Emulate

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The day that Dr. Subramanian Swamy left the United States, Gallop published a poll in which the American people said that ending corruption in government was their second most important issue after the economy and job creation.  Someone should have asked him to stay.  South Asia has long been known as a place where government corruption is so endemic, so tolerated that people just have to accept it.  I've personally confirmed massive corruption on India's eastern frontier, extending to all levels of government and having tentacles that reach into almost every area of life in the region.  In one investigation, we found we even found a position at virtually every police station, Dak Master, in charge of collecting graft.  People might remember when Pakistan had a prime minister nicknamed "Mr. Ten Percent" because of the kickbacks he demanded and received.  Or how President Barack Obama was laughed at when he told Afghan President Hamid Karzai that he had to end corruption in his country.

So it had to come as a shock when I arrived in India a couple years ago and found the country awash in open outrage about corruption, media attention about it, and legal cases against corrupt officials.  And it was all leading to successful actions.  What could possibly be behind such a sea change that no one thought possible a mere weeks earlier?  It is 72 year old, former cabinet minister Dr. Subramanian Swamy.  Known to many Indians as a "one man army," Dr. Swamy has never shrunk before a challenged or worried what others might think of him.  "I don't care," he kept repeating to me and others recently outside of Chicago when asked about the reactions of people from Harvard academics to India's strong-woman Sonia Gandhi.

Subramanian Swamy, a Harvard educated economist, has a long list of accomplishments that run from furthering relations between India and China to helping to revamp trade relations between developed and developing nations.  Although Swamy is known for his forthright and unequivocal positions on fighting the continued terror war against India and Islamist terrorism, few people remember that he went on a fast for more than a week in 1987 when Muslim youths were killed in police custody and eventually prosecuted the matter in court.

But in 2008, Swamy's attention turned to overcoming perhaps the nation's most formidable obstacle when he publicly took on corruption.  He filed petition after petition against high officials--having many ignored by the current Congress government--but refused to stop and eventually secured indictments against high officials.  He continues to pursue corruption cases against some of India's most powerful political individuals.

Swamy is able to do this not only because of his skills and intelligence (his is one of the most incisive minds I have ever encountered) but also because he refuses to back down from principle merely because of what others might think.  It is a rare quality among public figures (and is probably one reason why Swamy, though an influential politician, has steered clear of joining either of India's major parties).  It was also on view for two nights outside of Chicago last week.

Swamy was here to energize Hindus and strengthen their ties to their religious and cultural heritage--another issue which many people might despair of taking on.  But under Subramanian Swamy, it seems to be working.  Perhaps most impressive was the fact that Hindu youth (and I saw the same phenomenon in India) flocked to the septuagenarian and expressed tremendous admiration for his personal integrity and strength.

Let's see:  relations between the world's two largest nations; the system of international trade; corruption in South Asia; and strengthening Hindu heritage and intensity world wide.  What's next for this remarkable individual, stopping terror?

Perhaps as he is an outspoken leader in that effort despite threats and more.  And along those lines, in February this year, Dr. Swamy cut short a trip to Sri Lanka and flew back to New Delhi specially to be the principle speaker of my book launch.  The book, A Quiet Case of Ethnic Cleansing: The Murder of Bangladesh's Hindus, documents the ongoing destruction of the Hindu community Bangladesh and the world's tacit approval of it through its silence and inaction.  It also makes the case for understanding this human rights travesty and moral failure on our part as an integral element in the spread of radical Islam.  Dr. Swamy has since complimented the book and me many times, and I appreciate his endorsement.  The book is available online for US, Indian, and other readers.

posted by Dr. Richard Benkin at


Let truth be known about Modi

Ram Jethmalani is a senior politician and eminent lawyer.
Let truth be known about Modi
India was made to believe that Modi was complacent while riots seared Gujarat. Evidence indicates otherwise. 

Gujarat CM Narendra Modi. REUTERS
he UPA government, on coming to power in 2004, put in place its most accomplished experts to meticulously draw up its corruption road map, which it succeeded in implementing with precision until the scams exploded in public space. Post-mortem reports of the 2G scam, the ISRO Devas deal, the Commonwealth Games fraud, to name a few, clearly establish this. I have no doubt that future historians will place the UPA in the same league as other plunderers of India, like Ghazni and the Pindaris.

Another road map uppermost in the Congress agenda was towards the political assassination of Narendra Modi, and banishing him from India's political firmament forever, using the unfortunate post Godhra riots as a handle. Congress think tanks worked overtime to draw up a comprehensive, multifaceted strategy of slander, false accusation, governmental and non-governmental disinformation, Goebellesian lies, aimed at converting falsehood into belief among the general population, opinion leaders and influential intellectuals. The lies were to be simple and crisp; they were to be repeated ad nauseam to embed them firmly as truth in the public mind, the media and internationally. Puppets were to be created and nurtured to keep the fiction of Modi's involvement in the Godhra riots alive in the courts, in the media and in the minds of the people, through any lie or deception. Now that the SIT has completed its investigation, and submitted its report to the Supreme Court, it is time the nation and the world knew about the travesty of slander and lies that has been disseminated against Modi by the Congress through hired and unethical civil society organisations, such as Citizens for Justice and Peace headed by Teesta Setalvad, disgruntled officers like Sanjiv Bhatt, who made futile attempts to start an aggressive campaign against Modi 10 long years after the riots, and certain sections of the media. Today, the lid over the entire political conspiracy has blown, and the false testimony and machinations of Teesta Setalvad and Sanjiv Bhatt have been exposed.

Let me inform the people of a few instances of deliberate disinformation against Modi, which gained huge currency during the last 10 years, backed by the malicious hate campaign, which the SIT investigation has proved to be completely false.

1. The country was made to believe that Modi sat complacent and inert while the riots were searing Gujarat. The evidence indicates otherwise. Immediately after the Godhra train burning, on the evening of 27 February 2002, the Gujarat Chief Minister summoned an emergency meeting of top ranking officials of the government, took steps to deploy the Rapid Action Force (RAF), State Reserve Police, local police at sensitive points. Since the army at Ahmedabad Cantonment had been called at the border in view of the attack on Parliament earlier, the Chief Minister requested the then Defence Minister telephonically on 28 February 2002 to immediately deploy army battalions to tackle the situation, which were deployed immediately.

2. The Congress, through its mouthpieces Teesta Setalvad and Sanjiv Bhatt maliciously fabricated a story, vigorously picked up by certain so called intellectuals and of course the anti national elements of our society, that Narendra Modi and the police administration conspired to carry out a pogrom by Hindus against Muslims and that the Gujarat riots were state sponsored. Undisputed statistics presented to the SIT show that in the first six days of the riots, 61 Hindus and 40 Muslims were killed in police firing. The death of any person in police firing is tragic. But does a police firing death toll with 60% casualties being Hindu indicate a pogrom by the state government against Muslims? The complaint of Zakia Jafri (filed at the behest of Teesta Setalvad) alleges that the riots that followed the Godhra train carnage were a conspiracy and a pogrom by the ruling party in Gujarat and its Chief Minister in which almost the entire administration was a co-conspirator. More particularly, they perpetrated a smear campaign that the Chief Minister had instructed the police officials not to interfere with or use force against the Hindus taking revenge against the Muslims. This allegation has not been supported by any evidence, except for the false testimony of Sanjiv Bhatt, which not only appeared suddenly after 10 years, but has also been demolished by positive evidence that he is lying.

Teesta Setalvad, under tutelage of the Congress government, propagated to the world at large that the Godhra train carnage was accidental and the riots were a conspiracy supported by the Gujarat government.
3. Another canard led by Teesta Setalvad and other vested interest groups globally was that the Gujarat government and its police did not investigate rape cases. Evidence before the SIT establishes that this was pure fiction, that all rape complaints were being investigated and some convictions had already taken place. It also proved that Setalvad fabricated a false rape case in Naroda, which she alleged was not investigated, with the alleged victim herself denying it and also the eyewitness. Another gruesome fabrication spread by Setalvad about the tearing of a pregnant woman's stomach and lifting the foetus on the tip of the sword has been disproved by the SIT as false. On post mortem the foetus was found intact within the unfortunate dead lady who succumbed to burns during the riots, and was identified by her relatives. This is corroborated by the statement of the doctor who performed the post mortem.

4. While investigating the Gulbarg case, the SIT came across nearly 20 witnesses who came with their readymade typed statements and refused to videotape their statements, to which the SIT objected. When they did give their statements, they did not match the readymade statements, and also admitted to the SIT that the typed statements were given to them by Teesta Setalvad.

5. The Gujarat police had found on investigation that the Godhra train carnage was a conspiracy and what followed was a violent reaction to it. Teesta Setalvad, under tutelage of the Congress government, propagated to the world at large that the Godhra train carnage was accidental and the riots were a conspiracy supported by the Gujarat government. The Justice Banerjee Committee report claiming the Godhra train burning to be an accident was held illegal by the High Court of Gujarat. The SIT also rejected the accident theory, and found on reinvestigation that the Godhra carnage was indeed a conspiracy to burn and bake the unwary passengers and the riots were a reaction. This fact is now judicially established in the trial of Godhra incident by the sessions judge appointed by the then Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court as directed by the Supreme Court. The very fact that one of the principal accused in the Godhra carnage is now a fugitive in Pakistan, with an Interpol Red Corner Notice, clearly reveals how the conspiracy originated. So, another evil myth to poison the minds of the people of our country against Modi has been disproved by a series of judicial findings.

6. It is now widely known that the entire anthology of false and gruesome stories brought to the notice of the Supreme Court by mainly Citizens of Justice and Peace, the NGO headed by Teesta Setalvad, on the basis of which the Supreme Court appointed the SIT itself, were found by the SIT to be false. Modi bashing, Modi defamation became a lucrative industry and a blood sport during the last 10 years. Appropriate recruitments were done, the Goebbelsian strategy that if you repeat a lie a thousand times it will become a truth was used to the hilt. The Congress and Teesta Setalvad must have basked in their success until the SIT findings revealed not only the real truth to the world, but also exposed the lies of Setalvad and Sanjiv Bhatt, in tutoring witnesses, pressurizing them to give false affidavits, and providing false information to the SIT and the Supreme Court. Though still trying their best to attack the SIT, there is little they can do, as all statements of all witnesses are recorded under videography.

7. The enemies of India desperately tried to turn the unfortunate Gujarat riots into a global issue and grievously tarnish Gujarat and Modi through their strategy of repeating lies. But the same Europeans who had succumbed to Teesta Setalvad's pogrom and state sponsored riot theory in 2002, appear to have realised their mistake, and are now graciously making amends, not to mention the overtures made to Modi by the UK and the US.
Well, the lengthy SIT process that involved thousands of witnesses and reams of evidence is over, and Modi has emerged unscathed. It is now time that the conspiracy against Modi and Gujarat should forcefully be informed to the general public, the "secular" intellectuals, the opinion makers and the media.


Monday, 29 July 2013

Bangladeshi Infiltration and 2012 Asom Riots: writes Kiran KS

by Kiran KS, in

Something terrible is happening as this column is being written, in the North Eastern part of India.  This is not just a “routine” riot between two groups fighting each other, but much more impacting the nation in the long run. This is because of where it is happening, why it is happening and why it was not prevented. Since the information is still coming through as of this (July 25, 2012) evening, we will try to present on Indiawires as much clarity as we can, with the information we have gathered from 1000s of Kilometers away.

What happened?
In Asom (Assam) state’s Kokrajhar district, a bloody riot broke out 5-6 days back. 42  people have died, 100s are injured, over 1,70,000 have fled homes to save lives, nearly two dozen trains stopped or attacked, 10s of 1000s of passengers are stranded and 100s of villages have seen burning or vandalizing of homes/buildings. As with any riot, more damage might get uncovered as things become more clear. This is an extremely serious situation and still no signs of things coming under control.

Desperate Villagers flee homes at Dujabari, Kokrajhar, Asom. {Source: Dawn}
How effective was Indian media?

For any riot or violence, the fourth pillar of democracy is the most key eye. If they don’t cover or tell properly, most people would not know the intensity of devastation. In this case, for the first few days, there was hardly any mention. Even where there were feeble mentions, terms like “clash between tribes”, or “ethnic clash” was used. Majority of Indians would not have understood what was going on and who were involved.

But fortunately, most of the foreign media covered the real issue quite openly as they probably had no stake in suppressing the truth like most of the Indian mainstream TV or papers. BBC World has courage to tell that Kokrajhar violence is due to “Muslim Bengali Migrants” to Asom.  Euro News told that Kokrajhar riot involves “Muslim Settlers”, something that India’s own government doesn’t openly talk about as to who are these “muslim settlers”. Bangkok Post in Thailand showed the pictures  of helpless Bodo women leaving homes in Kokrajhar, unlike their Indian counterparts. Europe’s Irish Times showed pics of an injured lady Purnima Das and her fear-filled child from Kokrajhar, but not any Indian TV! The German paper Duetsche Welle had pics of Indian women suffering due to illegal Bangladeshis, which Indian papers censored as “ethnic” clashes. And kudos to IBTimes which gave the most clear headline, “Rioting In Assam Underscores Deepening Crisis Of ILLEGAL Migration From Bangladesh to India“.  Unlike Indian journos who hid the “other party” in riots, even a Pakistani paper openly called them “Muslim settlers”!  In India, only a very small section of the press, like the tiny Karbi language paper talked openly with a gory picture and on web, Firstpost which published some images.

The reason all those examples were given is because it is not like Indian media does not cover riots. Ask anyone about 2002 and you will remember how Indian print and electronic media were chest-beating 24*7. They are still doing it after 10 long years in some circles. Someone aptly asked on the social media to sum things up regarding the media kangaroo courts we have seen for years. So in Kokrajhar riots are going on unabated the 4th day now. 60,000 have fled homes, but YOU (directed at media) complained Modi didn’t act soon in Gujarat? Infact one of the leaders among Indian media talking about Gujarat riots, that is NDTV, had no Asom riots on the 4th day among the top stories, where even “Ramadan receipes” was there! Rajdeep Sardesai, one of India’s most senior media person, went to ridiculous extent of saying that not “enough” people died in Asom for full scale coverage!

Shameful indeed.

Even print journalists like Prasantha Mazumdar thought their readers were idiots by using “a religious minority group” term. If one watches the videos that finally came out after 5 days, rioters in some footage surely fit the “Muslim settlers” profile of foreign media. Not only in some videos  you can see them rioting, you can also see them filming their ‘proud’ destruction.

“Imported” voters of “secular” parties rioting in Asom

We were wondering, when just 5% or so of Asom’s population are Bodo tribe people, the one party in this violence, while 30-35% of Asom population is Muslim, why Indian media calls Muslims as “minority”? Tough to understand the logic. Much more tough to understand the large scale suppression of coverage of these riots during the initial days. The same media, which blared Gujarat riot 24*7 forgot that the worst case displaced people count for 2002 Gujarat riots was 2,00,000. As of day 5, Asom riots had displaced 1,70,000 people. Hope they realize the scale now and give the due coverage.

Why it happened?

To understand why it happened, we need to touch a bit of history here. Everything can be traced back to the large illegal migration of Bangladesh people into India, mostly Muslims, in search of employment and other economic benefits. Since Bangladesh is a primarily Islamic nation, there is no way they are fleeing their nation fearing any persecution.

Watch these two videos to understand the gravity of situation. They are lengthy, but simply outstanding in giving you a spine-chilling account of how much danger illegal immigration or infiltration presents to India.

Part 1: Documentary: India's other WAR - Part 1

Part 2: Documentary: India's other WAR - Part 2

Unlike the repeatedly failed (west) Pakistanis, Bangladeshis have captured Indian land for 15-20% of their population without firing a single bullet!
Noted journalist Swapan Das Gupta said once.
“When enemies attack,we bury our heads & hope problem goes away. So national bird should not be a peacock, but an Ostrich”
Robin Sharma of HS commented once:
“15% of Bangladeshis live in India illegally. It’s fair for India to demand 15% of Bangladesh land to be handed over”.
The main ill effect of illegal immigration or migration or infiltration happened on Poschim Bongo (West Bengal) state and Asom state. Per 2001 census, 12 out of 18 districts of Poschim Bongo had 20% or more Muslim population. – Imagine the 2012 situation then! Bangladesh’s per capita income is $848 and India’s is $1527. Bangladesh’s population density is 1150 per, while in Asom across the border, it is 397 per  This is a perfect recipe for intrusion. The 1970 population of East Pakistan was 7.5 crores. In 1974 it was reduced to 7.14 crores. Yes reduced! At 3.1% yearly growth around that decade, at least 60,00,000 went “missing”. Even considering war & deaths, it is certain that almost all the ‘missing’ ended up in India.  To make it worse, in a sensitive border state like Asom, the then Indian PM Indira Gandhi did not push for census in 1981, considering disturbances. Since the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, the population growth in Asom over the next 20 years was like this; Muslim 77.42%. Hindu 41.89%. Doesn’t need anymore explanation as to what exactly happened.

For more information, please research into terms like “Greater Bangladesh” and “Lebensraum theory”. They would explain the causes of impending Asom Riots better. At a high level, Poschim Bongo’s Muslim to Hindu Population ratio in 1951 was 1:4, which became 1:3.5 by 1981 and by 2001, 1:2.8 . It might be more alarming for Hindus now. 20 years back by a retired IPS officer Baljit Rai even went to the extreme extent of screaming.. “Wake up DUMB Hindus! How Bangladesh will destroy India” in his book. Warning signs for both Asom and Poschim Bongo were clearly there.

Why was it not prevented?

In the simplest term, an open acceptance of illegal immigration is missing in most cases, thanks to pseudo secular vote bank politics.

20 years back when on 10 April 1992, the then CM Hiteshwar Saikia had said -  “30 lakh Bangladeshi illegal migrants are there in Asom“, but exactly 2 days later, made a U-turn on 12 April 1992, stating “There are no illegal Bangladeshis in Asom”. That must be a world record as 30,00,000 illegals became “legal” in 2 days! In April 2011, we heard that “Narendra Modi said he’ll free Asom from Bangladesh.  I say, even if 1000 Modis come, they can’t. All these people are Indian citizens” from Tarun Gogoi the CM of Asom.  When a CM can confidently say that “There are no Bangladeshis in Asom” , then we can ask why Kokrajhar riots are even happening?  With such irresponsible cover ups by folks who should be in the forefront of fight against illegal aliens, what can India expect? To put things into perspective,  in 2003, the then Defence Minister of India, George Fernandes had said that there were 2,00,00,000 illegal Bangaldeshis in India. In 2005,  Asom’s Governor Ajai Singh said that up to6,000 Bangladeshis illegally enter the region every DAY! Even the Prime Minister in 1992, PV Narasimha Rao had remarked in July 1992 that “The influx of Bangladeshis is a national problem and is the root of Asom’s instability“. So certainly there is a huge disconnect between certain CMs and the rest of responsible leaders who talked about the same serious topic. How can there be a difference of 2 crore? India needs an answer.

If acceptance is half the problem, then indifference towards the North East is the second part of the problem. Even when such a grave situation exists in Asom, India’s Prime Minister, who is also an MP from Asom, was feasting on Monday and Tuesday night with the new President for political formality. Compare that to United States where the entire country lowered the flag to half mast last week, when 14 people died due to a Colorado movie theater shooting. When will Indian leaders learn to respect losses of lives and behave in a mature way?

What can be done?

First, accept the geographical sensitivity of the issue. Kokrajhar for instance is a very key connecting point from ‘main’ India to its North Eastern states. If this district along with the one immediately south of it, Dhubri are taken over by illegal foreigners, then the safety and security of over 4,00,00,000 Indians in 7 states is in grave danger. Note, due to the unscientific partition of India, there is NO sea link to the North East of India, resulting in 1000 to 2000 KM of journey some people need to take to reach Kolkata port, when the nearest sea coast is hardly 100 to 200 KM from Mizoram and Tripura states of North East.

 In 2001, 6 out of 22 districts in Asom had more than 50% Muslims.  14 out of 22 had over 20% Muslims.  Considering the decade trends before that, things must be more stalked against Hindus as of 2012.

One thing to make it clear here. The focus is on Bangladeshi illegal migrants, who mostly happen to be Muslims.

Time to learn from Gujarat, Punjab on the western border of India. Gujarat shares 202 KM border with Pakistan. Asom shares 262 KM border. Illegal immigration to Gujarat is Zero. But in Asom? See what’s happening in Kokrajhar. Fencing of the border in Punjab started in 1988 and completed in just three years by 1991. In Asom, fencing was decided in 1985 and God knows when it will be complete.
Shun votebank politics, like what happened in Poschim Bongo in 1998. 3000 Bongos stopped deportation of 34 Bangladeshis from Maharashtra. Indian politicians should stop sick pseudo-secular fight for Bangladeshi illegals, like in 1998 when Bangladeshis were being deported. From 1993 to 1998, BSF handed over 39,746 illegal migrants to Bangladesh Rifles. Bangladesh accepted only 9.253 and refused to accept 30.493. India should put lots of international pressure to make Bangladesh take back these illegals. Politicians and Media should focus on some in-depth analysis points like thisand ask serious questions. How did it get to this position? What can be done?

Three Things that we suggest must be done:

There are lot many things that can be done, but regular folks like you and me should focus on three things.
a) Put pressure on politicians to act against illegal immigration. Against those waiting to cross over to India, and against those who are already in India. India belongs to legal resident Indians!
b) Educate friends and families for making (a) a reality.
c) Immediately join hands with those helping the lakhs of people who have lost homes temporarily or permanently.  One such initiative is happening on the social network Twitter with the hash tag -> #HelpAssamRiotVictims . Join them, show your support to the victims and make them feel that they have help.

And, let’s hope there’s mercy from Bhagawan to those in deep suffering right this hour. The scale of suffering is huge and unfortunately, lots of geo-political things and politics have played a role into bringing them this suffering.


Congress’s record on poverty is a joke

By Virendra Kapoor on July 28, 2013

Congress's record on poverty is a joke
If the ruling party finds the latest poverty numbers credible, it should be anxious to advance the general election to time it with the Assembly polls due later this year in key northern States. After all, lifting tens of millions out of poverty in double-quick time is no mean achievement. It must encash it at the earliest.

But it is equally certain that, if it can help, the Congress would not curtail its five-year term even by a day. Because, like the rest of the political class, it too does not trust the poverty numbers. Credit the Congress leadership with some intelligence. It knows the popular mood is so hostile that no secularist red herrings will induce mass amnesia on the voting day about its dreadful record in power.

The voter can no longer be taken for granted. The five-yearly poverty survey was advanced by at least by a year. The objective was to dazzle the electorate with the impressive advances made in poverty alleviation. Unsurprisingly, now that Nitish Kumar has most opportunistically broken with the BJP, since he was sure of retaining the Chief Ministerial gaddi, Bihar seemed to have left other States far behind in poverty removal.

Raj Babbar eats crow on meal-at-Rs-12 remark

Poverty levels, says the survey, dropped by a whopping 21 per cent in the period virtually coterminous with the emergence of Nitish Kumar as Chief Minister. Data released for the five-year period ending in 2009-10 had found that poverty levels were static in Bihar. But at that time Kumar was still in bed with the ‘communal’ BJP. The latest survey has painted a completely rosy picture. Kumar should be grateful to the UPA leadership because actual conditions in Bihar do not warrant the latest poverty data.

However, instead of a pat for the UPA, the survey has elicited near-universal condemnation. Even the Congress’s allies, such as the NCP, have reacted with open disdain. The BJP dubbed it a joke on the poor. It was reprehensible to claim that the poor can survive on Rs 33.33 per day in urban areas and Rs 27.20 in rural areas. How many members of the Planning Commission would volunteer to live on that piddly little sum just for a day outside the gilded environs of Lutyens’s Delhi?

Bihar midday meal tragedy: Now Nitish blames Opposition

How ridiculous the survey is can be illustrated by citing just one claim. It says that only six per cent of the people in Mumbai and ten per cent in Delhi live below the poverty line. Anyone familiar with the two metros would dismiss that claim with contempt. Nearly half the populations in those two cities live in slums. And they are not poor, says the Government of India. Maybe the Government will launch a media blitz to drum into the ears of the shanty-dwellers that they are no longer poor. Goebbels’s rule was simple: Repeat a lie a thousand times for it to become true.

Cheap comments on cheap meals not enough? Now a Congress U-turn on poverty report

However, if the number of poor is less than 22 per cent, does it make sense to waste tens of thousands of crores on cheap cereals for more than two-thirds of the population? Quite clearly, the Government itself does not trust the numbers. Was it meant to be Montek Singh Ahluwalia’s contribution to the Congress’s propaganda spiel? If yes, it has recoiled pretty badly on the Congress alright. Anything else in your quiver, Mr Ahluwalia?

Meanwhile, television anchors have provoked an acrimonious debate between two eminent economists, Amartya Sen and Jagdish Bhagwati, but the way it is framed leaves no one in doubt that Bhagwati is the winner. For there can be no development without growth. Sen might be wrong in stressing development over growth, though after criticism he too has come round to acknowledge that growth is the key. For widening the entitlement net evermore you need money in the public kitty. And for that, growth is crucial, isn’t it? Sen seems to be losing the argument due to his penchant for making unsubstantiated claims. For instance, he said that each week the Food Security Bill remained unimplemented it claimed a thousand lives. Multiply the number of weeks a thousand times since independence, and you get a sense of Sennomics!


Can we have a closure on the 2002 Gujarat riots?

July 29, 2013 13:10 IST

Colonel (retd) Anil Athale

Since 2002 however, a section of media, political parties and NGOs have kept up a barrage of propaganda to keep memories of these riots alive and created a sense of ‘victimhood’ amongst the minorities. The constant dinning of this propaganda has deepened the cleavages between majority and minority and also prompted a fear psychosis amongst the minority, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale

A ruling party spokesman has asserted that the terror outfit ‘Indian Mujahideen’ was formed due to Gujarat riots of 2002, indirectly justifying the 22 major terror attacks since then. In these terror attacks 1,110 persons have died.

These figures do not include the casualties in Samjhauta train blasts, Malegaon or Hyderabad masjid blasts as these were possibly retaliatory attacks. The number of people who were injured runs into tens of thousands. These people’s lives were shattered for no fault of their own.
He at one stroke has equated riots with acts of terror that have been long been sponsored by our Western neighbour -- sort of state terrorism by proxy.

Since then a section of media, some political parties and NGOs have kept up a barrage of propaganda to keep memories of these riots alive and created a sense of ‘victimhood’ amongst the minorities.
The constant dinning of this propaganda has deepened the cleavages between majority and minority and also prompted a fear psychosis amongst both the majority and the minority.

In a new low, some 60 odd MPs have sought to involve the US in this domestic dispute.

This has grave repercussions on internal security and our war on terror. It is time these nefarious designs are exposed and the motor mouths countered once and for all.
Since 2002, whenever the country is approaching elections, the corpses of Gujarat riots are excavated from their graves.

The five-yearly phenomena of raising the ghosts of Gujarat reminds me of the story of Vikramaditya and Vetal!

The ruling dispensation encashed this for electoral dividends in 2004 and 2009. Indications are that they are getting ready to do so again for the 2014 elections.

There is very little that one can do to reform the depraved politicos who wish to do business on human misery. This article is addressed to the very minorities that suffered and not political parties that wish to encash on the funeral pyre of victims.
But first and foremost, it needs to be reiterated that riots in Gujarat in 2002 cannot be labelled ‘genocide’.

The statistics given by the home minister of the United Progressive Alliance government in Parliament on May 11, 2005, 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed (mostly in police action) and 223 persons are missing. This was no one sided violence. Unfortunately most articles and comments on that tragic event tend to paint a black and white picture.

When lobbying groups continue to refer to these riots as ‘genocide’ they have outdone Adolf Hitler’s propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels in repeating a lie to convert it into a truth. One hopes our champions of ‘human rights’ at least see the truth.

Large scale riots, as happened in Gujarat in March 2002, signify the breakdown of law and order. These are a social phenomenon and have deep rooted as well as proximate causes.

India has seen riots between Hindus and Muslims during the British colonial rule as well as last 65 years of Independence. Terror strikes in the Indian context have a clear external element where an inimical neighbour has been fighting a proxy war against us sometimes using Indian citizens.

There is huge amount of evidence in public domain on this nexus.
The most horrific riots in India took place in 1947 during the secession of Muslim majority provinces. In all cases of serious riots police force is often found to be inadequate. It has been the Indian experience that serious riots have been brought under control only after the Indian Army was deployed.

As a member of that organisation, this author is proud that whenever called to do so, the Army has been totally non partisan and has protected Indian citizens, irrespective of their caste or creed. I was personally told by Qutubudin Ansari (who became famous as the face of the riots after his crying photograph was splashed in the international media) that it was the arrival of the Indian Army soldiers that saved him and his family.

The 2002 Gujarat riots however took place under peculiar circumstances. Normally, close to 3,000 soldiers are located in Ahmedabad. But February/March 2002 was not normal times.

The Army was removed from peace station and was located on the border, almost 600 kilometres away in wake of the December 2001 attack on the Parliament. India and Pakistan were in an eye ball confrontation and an all out war was quite likely.

Why should the media, NGOs and politicians who constantly harp on these grievances not be held culpable/responsible for these terror attacks which were prompted by this constant one sided lament?
This author has one simple question that needs an honest answer from all the votaries of ‘justice’ for Gujarat riots. If instead of Hindu pilgrims from Ayodhya, were Haj pilgrims to be attacked and killed, what would have been the reaction?

Then there are those spreading the canard that the Godhra incident was caused by a short circuit. Even granting for a moment that the fire was ‘accidental’, how does one explain the stone pelting of the burning train or mobs preventing the fire engines from reaching the site?

It should be easy matter through the RTI act to find out the exact sequence of events, as to when the army help was requisitioned and when the first troops arrived and from where?

As an aside, in case of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, it is a known fact that the army in New Delhi and nearby Meerut cantonment was ready but was not called for 72 hours! This evidence is crucial in finding out whether the government of the day acted sincerely or with mala fide intent.

People have forgotten the 1992 Los Angeles riots went on for six days under the watch Governor Peter Wilson of California or the Mumbai riots of 1993 that went on for a week, but yet some want to single out Gujarat for condemnation.

Nobody has held Hitendra Desai (Gujarat chief minister in 1969), Sharad Pawar/Sudhakar Naik (Maharashtra chief minister in 1993), Rajiv Gandhi, prime minister in 1984 (The central government is in charge of the police in Delhi), Tarun Gogoi (chief minister of Assam) during recent riots and Pete Wilson during 1992, for the riots held during their respective watches.

While the process of punishing the actual participants in riots goes on, the issue of culpability of the state government should be laid to rest if it is proved that it asked for army help without delay. Mere fact that hundreds got killed is no justification to harbour a sense of victimhood and hold the head of the government responsible.

A poser to the minorities, who have been conditioned (by the very party responsible for ruling for last 60 years), please glance at the situation in neighbourhood. In the last five years over 48,000 persons have been killed in violence. Over 200 mosques or Imambara’s have been attacked. Where are Muslims safer, in India or Pakistan?

Ultimately the solution to the communal violence is equal opportunity, economic development and mutual respect for each other’s sensibilities and traditions.


What Amartya Sen doesn’t see: Growth-oriented reforms, not populist schemes, will benefit the economy

UPA’s Monkey Business

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‘Imagining the silence? Really?’ Pawan Khera’s (Indian Express, July 19, 2013) rejoinder to Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s exquisitely crafted article ‘While we were silent’ (Indian Express, July 11 2013), displays exactly how political sycophancy can distort perception enough to see a glass half full when it is actually empty. It is unremarkable that Congress Party members fall over each other to show loyalty. This is the Indira Gandhi Blueprint in practice here. When so much of each apparatchik’s future depends on how he is perceived by the Power, why should uncomfortable facts get in the way of making a pitch of personal devotion of servitude? Indubitably, these articles are not written to convince the reader, because even those of the lowest intellect must know today’s Indian is not buying their act. They are written to ensure their status in the Party.

Shashi Tharoor’s ‘Note to UPA-bashers’ (Indian Express, July 24, 2013) is even worse. Chanting reams of statistics that show utter obliviousness to the reality on the ground of the hazards of implementation, Congress vassals see every article that exposes the real problems real people are struggling with, as a personal attack on the Congress. Neither Mehta, nor Shekhar Gupta in ‘National Interest: The deformists’ (Indian Express, July 20, 2013) hold any loyalty to the opposition or any political party – and both were refuted by Tharoor. Their articles have clearly been written in pain at the direction the country has slipped. Spokespersons for the Congress Party spout statistics from their documents showing successful schools, medical centres, electrification and clean water programmes, which they so gullibly believe exist because they ordered them. This, of course, belies all reports that have shown most of what they claim has not been implemented.

A verisimilitude of ratiocination cannot convince people who are trying to survive in a quicksand economy and struggling through daily life. Tharoor claims, “They (Mehta and Gupta) have apparently failed to notice that today’s India boasts a thriving, entrepreneurial and globalised economy, with a dynamic and creative business culture”. Oh! So India is Shining yet again? It might be time for the Congress Party to listen to farmers, weavers, unemployed youth, miserable businessmen, who incidentally are too afraid to be outspoken. Sadly, around the world, it is repeated that the India Story is over. It has not been “one bad year” as the Prime Minister said in his speech at ASSOCHAM (July 19, 2013). It was not a lightning bolt. It has been a slow, painstaking, careful destruction of a progressive India.

Tharoor adds, “To this over-the-top indictment, (Shekhar) Gupta adds his own: the UPA’s ‘welfarism’ has betrayed the promise of reform and created a doctrine of ‘povertarianism’, which condemns Indians to perpetual poverty”. Over the top? Mr Tharoor, there are enough economists including your Prime Minister, who believe handouts without the dignity of work destroy individuals and society. Tharoor adds: “When the UPA promotes food security, it is emboldened by its own efforts to strengthen agriculture, which have led to record production of food grain”. Good logic. If you feed someone for not working, the grain grows by itself, stupid.

Let’s look at some real statistics. “Suicide rates among Indian farmers were a chilling 47 per cent higher than they were for the rest of the population in 2011. In some of the States worst hit by the agrarian crisis, they were well over 100 per cent higher. The new Census 2011 data reveal a shrinking farmer population. At least 270,940 Indian farmers have taken their lives since 1995, NCRB records show. This occurred at an annual average of 14,462 in six years, from 1995 to 2000. And at a yearly average of 16,743 in 11 years between 2001 and 2011. That is around 46 farmer suicides each day, on average. Or nearly one every half-hour since 2001.” (P Sainath, The Hindu, May 18, 2013) What has the Congress party done to arrest this desperate trend? There have been enough stories of food grain rotting while people starved and the Congress Party did nothing.

In a brilliant sleight of hand in the craft of writing, Mehta takes us through every area of incompetence, miscalculation, bad economic decisions, insensitive responses, bull-headed stupidity, self-serving vote seeking policies, romancing the poor to their disgust, exposing how the UPA has destroyed 15 crucial vertebrae of the spine of India. They have broken, cracked and crushed it. What Mehta did not include, was the last final one: they are succeeding in crushing the spirit of India and Indians. Young people are facing unemployment for the first time in a decade. More and more leaders of business and industry are moving their capital abroad and shoring up their NRI status. Every day there are newsbreaks of companies firing hundreds of their employees and shutting down factories. Even a company like Mahindra laid off 400 employees last week and has suspended production for eight days during this month to cut down inventory pile up.  Maruti asked about 400 workers to go on leave, is producing about 40 per cent less than its maximum capacity of 4,400 units a day. Tata Motors is to also cut production of the Nano at the Sanand plant by over 80 per cent this year and for other vehicles at the Pune plant by 30 to 40 per cent.  ( Motorcycles have piled up at factories because retail sales are barely there. Media companies are not only firing employees but also cutting programming because the advertisements are just not coming in, even at the lowest rates. NDTV has fired hordes and CNBC is reportedly in the process of doing so.

According to a Reuters report: “India’s economic gloom deepened on Friday with a surprise drop in industrial output, a fall in exports and higher retail inflation, adding to the Reserve Bank of India’s challenge of reviving the economy and supporting the rupee. A global sell-off has made the rupee the worst-performing emerging Asian currency so far this year. It hit an all-time low of Rs 61.21 per dollar this week and is down more than 8 per cent against the dollar so far this year.”
Mr Khera and Mr Tharoor, are you aware of all this?

The writing is on the wall of every business, every farmer, every builder, every graduate, every recently unemployed person. Yet the writing on Pawan Khera and Shashi Tharoor’s wall is different. Khera calls Mehta’s article “hypnotic pamphleteering”! Some of Khera’s gems: “There are more to roads than highways.” “There’s more to the aviation sector than just Air India.” “Coupled with the midday meal, RTE will prove to be a game changer.” “MGNREGA has revolutionised the rural landscape and changed the destinies of 48 million households.”  The romanticising of the Food Security Bill for which there was no allocation in the Budget: “No one with any experience of seeing a poor man eat will oppose this scheme”.

A simple question: who will pay for it and how? It is indeed ironical that when the Supreme Court (Sept 9, 2010) ordered the government to distribute grains (that were rotting in FCI and government godowns) for free to families living below the poverty line, PM Manmohan Singh rebuked the SC saying it should not interfere in policy issues. The PM argued that he was against the idea of giving away food for free, saying it would kill farmers’ incentive to produce.

And the pièce de résistance is this: “Never before has any government faced the kind of assertion that the UPA did. When was the last time anyone saw protesters laying siege to Rashtrapati Bhawan? Swati, the girl who entered Rashtrapati Bhawan, is not behind bars for entering a high security area, because the government understood the anger of the people”. No, you did not understand the anger of the people. You were too afraid to touch Swati because you knew the anger would spiral into violent fury. Never before have people laid siege to Rashtrapati Bhavan because never before have people been so frustrated and furious by the government’s inaction, ineptitude and corruption. The Congress Party has so easily dismissed the urban and the middle class whilst plying their carrots to the rural poor. The Congress Party may even return to power in the next election with a jigsaw puzzle coalition with any available partners, but will it be because they deserve it for governance or because of arithmetic?

Mr Khera wrote, “Never before has any government faced the kind of assertion that the UPA did”. What is obvious to most, this was not mere “assertion” but the desperate outrage of a deeply wounded, despairing public. Khera wrote, the government acknowledged the right of the people to be angry. Did even one politician of the ruling party ever come to meet or address the people on the streets of protest? All the government did was wring their hands in panic and blame the media. It is sheer arrogance to assert that it was the government who gave the people a voice that could be heard without waiting for elections. This exposes twisted and self-serving logic. It is like saying: “When I beat my wife, she screamed at me to stop. See, she is free and has a voice. She can tell me to stop. She has freedom”. But you will go on beating her.

Khera’s rather petty remarks about “Neemrana intellectuals” do him no favour. In all the 15 points made by Mehta, in each one of them there is a segment of India that you have destroyed and we bristle against you for doing it. Yet Khera pats the ruling Party on the back with: “The last four years of India’s democracy have been promising — an exciting chapter where citizens and the state have been locked in a loud and healthy debate”. Debate? Water cannons and lathi charge constitute a debate? Where Was Mr Khera? In Neemrana?

It is clear that the Congress party has taken Mahatma Gandhi’s three monkeys proverb literally, yet partially. They have shut their eyes. They have shut their ears. Now, if only they would shut their mouths.

This is the complete version of Madhu Trehan’s article, “A people in despair, a government in wonderland” which appeared in The Indian Express on July 27, 2013


Sunday, 28 July 2013

'Rahul Gandhi has given his go-ahead, so be sure of the appointment': Alleged phone transcript in Railway Board Scam

Chandigarh: Accusing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of shielding former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal by making him the prosecution witness in the Railway board cash-for-jobs scam, chairperson of Bharatiya Janata Party’s national committee on legal and Election Commission issues Satyapal Jain on Saturday made public the telephone transcripts to argue that enough evidence had been gathered out of telephone conversations which suggest that ex-minister could be made the prime accused.
Not only Bansal, Jain even pointed out from the telephone transcripts, which he claims to have accessed through his sources probably in the CBI, that names of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel and one ‘Madam' were mentioned several times in two different sets of alleged transcripts of conversation involving accused MV Murali Krishna, Narain Rao Manjunath, managing director of the Bengaluru-based G G Tronics India Private Limited, Vijay Singla and Maneesh Bansal between a time period from March 20 to May 3. 
That the conversation between Vijay Singla and Maneesh Bansal took place when latter was present at his father’s PK Bansal’s official residence is set to raise some eyebrows.
The records of  telephonic chat on April 30 between Manjunath, the alleged middleman through which ex-Railway Board member Mahesh Kumar  is alleged to have routed Rs. 10 crore as demanded by Vijay Singla for facilitating his promotion to post of Railway Board Member(Electrical), and MV Murali Krishanan read, “Rahul Gandhi has given his go-ahead, so be sure of the appointment. If Madam puts forth some other condition, then we will have to see. But that seems to be distant possibility as Rahul Gandhi has already agreed to the deal.”
Jain, speaking to scribes at Chandigarh Press Club, further revealed that Vijay Singla and Bansal’s son Maneesh had spoken 103 times in a period between March 20 till May 3 till Singla’s premises were raided by CBI on the evening of May 3, where the agency found Rs. 90 lakh cash.
Jain alleged that CBI had ‘deliberately’ not made the damning transcripts part of the chargesheet which it presented before Special CBI Judge on July 2.
“We (BJP) will question the CBI’s deliberate omission of evidence. The matter will be discussed in party’s parliamentary board meet on August 3-4. We will take up the matter in the monsoon session when it commences on August 5,” Jain told reporters.
He even warned of approaching higher courts if CBI ‘continued with its shoddy investigation’.
"If CBI doesn't name Bansal as prime accused and, doesn't call Rahul Gandhi and Ahmed Patel for questioning, I will approach the court," he said.

Is Modi Today's Abhimanyu !

भारत में बढ़ती NGOs की गतिविधियां : संदेह के बढते दायरे...

Published: Friday, Dec 14,2012, 01:08 IST
NGO, medha patekar, arvind kejriwal, NGO nexuse, misuse of NGOs, indian ngo list, narmada andolan,
indian ngos
एक समय था, जब कहा जाता था कि “जब तोप मुकाबिल हो, तो अखबार निकालो…” (अर्थात कलम की ताकत को सम्मान दिया जाता था), लेकिन लगता है कि इक्कीसवीं सदी में इस कहावत को थोड़ा बदलने का समय आ गया है… कि “जब तोप मुकाबिल हो, तो NGO खोलो”। जी हाँ, जिस तरह से पिछले डेढ़-दो दशकों में भारत के सामाजिक-राजनैतिक-आर्थिक सभी क्षेत्रों में NGO (अनुदान प्राप्त गैर-सरकारी संस्थाएं) ने अपना प्रभाव (बल्कि “दुष्प्रभाव” कहना उचित होगा) छोड़ा है, वह उल्लेखनीय तो है ही। उल्लेखनीय इसलिए, क्योंकि NGOs की बढ़ती ताकत का सबसे बड़ा उदाहरण तो यही है कि, देश की सबसे शक्तिशाली नीति-नियंता समिति, अर्थात सोनिया गाँधी की किचन-कैबिनेट, अर्थात नेशनल एडवायज़री कमेटी (जिसे NAC के नाम से जाना जाता है) के अधिकांश सदस्य, या तो किसी न किसी प्रमुख NGOs के “मालिक” हैं, अथवा किसी न किसी NGO के सदस्य, मानद सदस्य, सलाहकार इत्यादि पदों पर “शोभायमान” हैं। फ़िर चाहे वह अरविन्द केजरीवाल की गुरु अरुणा रॉय हों, ज्यां द्रीज हों, हर्ष मंदर हों या तीस्ता जावेद सीतलवाड हों…

इसलिए जब अरविन्द केजरीवाल और मनीष सिसोदिया जैसे लोग अपने-अपने NGOs के जरिए, फ़ोर्ड फ़ाउण्डेशन की मदद से पैसा लेकर बड़ा आंदोलन खड़े करने की राह पकड़ते हैं, तो स्वाभाविक ही मन में सवाल उठने लगते हैं कि आखिर इनकी मंशा क्या है? भारत के राजनैतिक और सामाजिक माहौल में NGOs की बढ़ती ताकत, कहाँ से शक्ति पा रही है? क्या सभी NGOs दूध के धुले हैं या इन में कई प्रकार की “काली-धूसर-मटमैली भेड़ें” घुसपैठ कर चुकी हैं और अपने-अपने गुप्त एजेण्डे पर काम कर रही हैं? जी हाँ, वास्तव में ऐसा ही है… क्योंकि सुनने में भले ही NGO शब्द बड़ा ही रोमांटिक किस्म का समाजसेवी जैसा लगता हो, परन्तु पिछले कुछ वर्षों में इन NGOs की संदिग्ध गतिविधियों ने सुरक्षा एजेंसियों और सरकार के कान खड़े कर दिए हैं। इस बेहिसाब धन के प्रवाह की वजह से, इन संगठनों के मुखियाओं में भी आपसी मनमुटाव, आरोप-प्रत्यारोप और वैमनस्य बढ़ रहा है। खुद अरुंधती रॉय ने अरविन्द केजरीवाल और मनीष सिसोदिया के NGO, “कबीर” पर फ़ोर्ड फ़ाउण्डेशन के पैसों का दुरुपयोग करने का आरोप लगाया था। उल्लेखनीय है कि फ़ोर्ड की तरफ़ से “कबीर” नामक संस्था को 1 लाख 97 हजार डॉलर का चन्दा दिया गया है। केजरीवाल के साथ दिक्कत यह हो गई कि “सिर्फ़ मैं ईमानदार, बाकी सब चोर…” जैसा शीर्षासन करने के चक्कर में इन्होंने अण्णा हजारे को भी 2 करोड़ रुपए लौटाने की पेशकश की थी, जिसे अण्णा ने ठुकरा दिया था, लेकिन फ़िलहाल केजरीवाल “देश के एकमात्र राजा हरिश्चन्द्र” बनने की कोशिशों में सतत लगे हुए हैं, और मीडिया भी इनका पूरा साथ दे रहा है। बहरहाल… बात हो रही थी NGOs के “धंधे” के सफ़ेद-स्याह पहलुओं की… इसलिए आगे बढ़ते हैं…

सरकार द्वारा दिए गए आँकड़ों के मुताबिक देश के सर्वोच्च NGOs को लाखों रुपए दान करने वाले 15 दानदाताओं में से सात अमेरिका और यूरोप में स्थित हैं, जिन्होंने सिर्फ़ 2009-2010 में भारत के NGOs को कुल 10,000 करोड़ का चन्दा दिया है। अब यह तो कोई बच्चा भी बता सकता है कि जो संस्था या व्यक्ति अरबों रुपए का चन्दा दे रहा है वह “सिर्फ़ समाजसेवा” के लिए तो नहीं दे रहा होगा, ज़ाहिर है कि उसके भी “कुछ खुले और गुप्त काम” इन NGOs को करने ही पड़ेंगे। उड़ीसा में स्वामी लक्ष्मणानन्द सरस्वती की हत्या की जाँच में भी चर्च समर्थित और पोषित कई NGOs के नाम सामने आए थे, जो कि माओवादियों की छिपी हुई, नकाबधारी पनाहगाह हैं।

हाल ही में जब तमिलनाडु के कुडनकुलम और महाराष्ट्र के जैतापूर में परमाणु संयंत्र स्थापित करने के विरोध में जिस आंदोलनरत भीड़ ने प्रदर्शन और हिंसा की, जाँच में पाया गया कि उसे भड़काने के पीछे कई संदिग्ध NGOs काम कर रहे थे, और प्रधानमंत्री ने साफ़तौर पर अपने बयान में इसका उल्लेख भी किया। परमाणु संयंत्रों का विरोध करने वाले NGOs को मिलने वाले विदेशी धन और उनके निहित स्वार्थों के बारे में भी जाँच चल रही है, जिसमें कई चौंकाने वाले तथ्य सामने आए हैं। सरकार ने “बहुत देर के बाद” विदेशी अनुदान प्राप्त सभी NGOs की कड़ाई से जाँच करने का फ़ैसला किया है, परन्तु सरकार की यह मंशा खुद अपने-आप में ही संशय के घेरे में है, क्योंकि पहले तो ऐसे सभी NGOs को फ़लने-फ़ूलने और पैर जमाने का मौका दिया गया, लेकिन जब परमाणु संयंत्रों को लेकर अमेरिका और फ़्रांस की रिएक्टर कम्पनियों के हित प्रभावित होने लगे तो अचानक इन पर नकेल कसने की बातें की जाने लगीं, मानो सरकार कहना चाहती हो कि विदेश से पैसा लेकर तुम चाहे धर्मान्तरण करो, चाहे माओवादियों की मदद करो, चाहे शिक्षा और समाज में पश्चिमी विचारों का प्रचार-प्रसार करो, लेकिन अमेरिका और फ़्रांस के हितों पर चोट पहुँची तो तुम्हारी खैर नहीं…। क्योंकि कुडनकुलम की संदिग्ध NGOs गतिविधियों को लेकर सरकार “अचानक” इतनी नाराज़ हो गई कि जर्मनी के एक नागरिक को देश-निकाला तक सुना दिया।

प्रधानमंत्री की असल समस्या यह है कि सोनिया गाँधी की किचन-कैबिनेट (यानी NAC) ने तो नीति-निर्माण और उसके अनुपालन का जिम्मा देश भर में फ़ैले अपने “बगलबच्चों” यानी NGOs को “आउटसोर्स” कर दिया है। NAC में जमे बैठे इन्हीं तमाम NGO वीरों ने ही, अपने अफ़लातून दिमाग(?) से “मनरेगा” की योजना को जामा पहनाया है, जिसमें अकुशल मजदूर को साल में कम से कम 6 माह तक 100 रुपए रोज का काम मिलेगा। दिखने में तो यह योजना आकर्षक दिखती है, परन्तु जमीनी हालात भयावह हैं। “मनरेगा” में भ्रष्टाचार तो खैर अपनी जगह है ही, परन्तु इस योजना के कारण, जहाँ एक तरफ़ बड़े और मझोले खेत मालिकों को ऊँची दर देने के बावजूद मजदूर नहीं मिल रहे हैं, वहीं दूसरी ओर जो निम्नवर्ग के (BPL) खेत मालिक हैं, वे भी अपनी स्वयं की खेती छोड़कर सरकार की इन “निकम्मी कार्ययोजनाओं” में 100 रुपए रोज लेकर अधिक खुश हैं। क्योंकि “मनरेगा” के तहत इन मजदूरों को जो काम करना है, उसमें कहीं भी जवाबदेही निर्धारित नहीं है, अर्थात एक बार मजदूर इस योजना में रजिस्टर्ड होने के बाद वह किसी भी “क्वालिटी” का काम करे, उसे 100 रुपए रोज मिलना ही है।

मनरेगा की वजह से देश के खजाने पर पड़ने वाले भारी-भरकम “निकम्मे बोझ” की तरफ़ किसी का भी ध्यान नहीं है, वहीं अब NGO वादियों की यह “गैंग” खाद्य सुरक्षा बिल को भी लागू करवाने पर आमादा हो रही है, जबकि खाद्य सुरक्षा बिल के कारण बजट पर पड़ने वाले कुप्रभाव का विरोध प्रणब मुखर्जी और शरद पवार पहले ही खुले शब्दों में कर चुके हैं। इससे शक उत्पन्न होता है कि यह NGO वादी गैंग और इसके तथाकथित “सामाजिक कर्म” भारत के ग्रामवासियों को आत्मनिर्भर बनाने की बजाय “मजदूर” बनाने वहीं दूसरी ओर केन्द्र और राज्यों के बजट पर खतरनाक बोझ बढ़ाकर उसे चरमरा देने पर क्यों अड़ी हुई है? देश की अर्थव्यवस्था को ऐसा दो-तरफ़ा नुकसान पहुँचाने में इन NGO वालों का कौन सा छिपा हुआ एजेण्डा है? इन लोगों की ऐसी “बोझादायक” और गरीब जनता को “कामचोर” बनाने वाली “नीतियों” के पीछे कौन सी ताकत है?

दुर्भाग्य से देश के प्रधानमंत्री दो पाटों के बीच फ़ँस चुके हैं, पहला पाटा है न्यूक्लियर रिएक्टर निर्माताओं की शक्तिशाली लॉबी, जबकि दूसरा पाट है देश के भीतर कार्यरत शक्तिशाली NGOs की लॉबी, जो कि दिल्ली के सत्ता गलियारों में मलाई चाटने के साथ-साथ आँखें दिखाने में भी व्यस्त है।

केन्द्र सरकार ने ऐसे 77 NGOs को जाँच और निगाहबीनी के दायरे में लिया है, जिन पर संदेह है कि ये भारत-विरोधी गतिविधियों में संलग्न हैं। भारत के गृह मंत्रालय ने पाया है कि इन NGOs की कुछ “सामाजिक आंदोलन” गतिविधियाँ भारत में अस्थिरता, वैमनस्य और अविश्वास फ़ैलाने वाली हैं। राजस्व निदेशालय के विभागीय जाँच ब्यूरो ने पाया है कि देश के हजारों NGOs को संदिग्ध स्रोतों से पैसा मिल रहा है, जिसे वे समाजसेवा के नाम पर धर्मान्तरण को बढ़ावा देने और माओवादी / आतंकवादी गतिविधियों में फ़ूँके जा रहे हैं। भारत में गत वर्ष तक 68,000 NGOs पंजीकृत थे। भारत के गृह सचिव भी चेता चुके हैं कि NGOs को जिस प्रकार से अरब देशों, यूरोप और स्कैण्डेनेवियाई देशों से भारी मात्रा में पैसा मिल रहा है, उसका हिसाब-किताब ठीक नहीं है, तथा जिस काम के लिए यह पैसा दिया गया है, या चन्दा पहुँचाया जा रहा है, वास्तव में जमीनी स्तर वह काम नहीं हो रहा। अर्थात यह पैसा “किसी और काम” की ओर मोड़ा जा रहा है।

जब 2008 में तमिलनाडु में कोडाईकनाल के जंगलों में माओवादी गतिविधियों में बढ़ोतरी देखी गई थी, तब इसमें एक साल पहले तीन माओवादी गिरफ़्तार हुए थे, जिनका नाम था विवेक, एलांगो और मणिवासगम, जो कि एक गुमनाम से NGO के लिए काम करते थे। इसे देखते हुए चेन्नै पुलिस ने चेन्नई के सभी NGOs के बैंक खातों और विदेशों से उन्हें मिलने वाले धन के बारे में जाँच आरम्भ कर दी है। चेन्नई पुलिस इस बात की भी जाँच कर रही है कि तमिलनाडु में आई हुई सुनामी के समय जिन तटवर्ती इलाकों के गरीबों की मदद के नाम पर तमाम NGOs को भारी मात्रा में पैसा मिला था, उसका क्या उपयोग किया गया? क्योंकि कई अखबारों की ऐसी रिपोर्ट है कि सुनामी पीड़ितों की मदद के नाम पर उन्हें ईसाई धर्म में धर्मान्तरित करने का कुत्सित प्रयास किए गए हैं।

indian ngos

NGOs के नाम पर फ़र्जीवाड़े का यह ट्रेण्ड समूचे भारत में फ़ैला हुआ है, यदि बिहार की बात करें तो वहाँ पर गत वर्ष तक पंजीकृत 22,272 गैर-लाभकारी संस्थाओं (NPIs) में से 18578 NPI (अर्थात NGO) के डाक-पते या तो फ़र्जी पाए गए, अथवा इनमें से अधिकांश निष्क्रिय थीं। इनकी सक्रियता सिर्फ़ उसी समय दिखाई देती थी, जब सरकार से कोई अनुदान लेना हो, अथवा एड्स, सड़क दुर्घटना जैसे किसी सामाजिक कार्यों के लिए विदेशी संस्था से चन्दा लेना हो। बिहार सरकार की जाँच में पाया गया कि इन में से सिर्फ़ 3694 संस्थाओं के पास रोज़गार एवं आर्थिक लेन-देन के वैध कागज़ात मौजूद थे। अपने बयान में योजना विकास मंत्री नरेन्द्र नारायण यादव ने कहा कि इस जाँच से हमें बिहार में चल रही NGOs की गतिविधियों को गहराई से समझने का मौका मिला है।

गौरतलब है कि 2001 से 2010 के बीच सिर्फ़ 9 वर्षों में चर्च और चर्च से जुड़ी NGO संस्थाओं को 70,000 करोड़ रुपए की विदेशी मदद प्राप्त हुई है। सरकारी आँकड़ों के अनुसर सिर्फ़ 2009-10 में ही इन संस्थाओं को 10,338 करोड़ रुपए मिले हैं। गृह मंत्रालय द्वारा प्रस्तुत 42 पृष्ठ के एक विश्लेषण के अनुसार देश में सबसे अधिक 1815 करोड़ रुपए दिल्ली स्थित NGO संस्थाओं को प्राप्त हुए हैं (देश की राजधानी है तो समझा जा सकता है), लेकिन तमिलनाडु को 1663 करोड़, आंध्रप्रदेश को 1324 करोड़ भी मिले हैं, जहाँ चर्च बेहद शक्तिशाली है। यदि संस्था के हिसाब से देखें तो विदेशों से सबसे अधिक चन्दा “World Vision of India” के चैन्नई स्थित शाखा (वर्ल्ड विजन) नामक NGO को मिला है। उल्लेखनीय है कि World Vision समूचे विश्व की सबसे बड़ी “समाजसेवी”(?) संस्था कही जाती है, जबकि वास्तव में इसका उद्देश्य “धर्मान्तरण” करना और आपदाओं के समय अनाथ हो चुके बच्चों को मदद के नाम पर ईसाई बनाना ही है।

ज़रा देखिए World Vision संस्था की वेबसाईट पर परिचय में क्या लिखते हैं – “वर्ल्ड विजन एक अंतरर्राष्ट्रीय सहयोग से चलने वाले ईसाईयों की संस्था है, जिसका उद्देश्य हमारे ईश्वर और उद्धारकर्ता जीसस के द्वारा गरीबों और वंचितों की मदद करने उन्हें मानवता के धर्म की ओर ले जाना है”। श्रीलंका में वर्ल्ड विजन की संदिग्ध गतिविधियों का भण्डाफ़ोड़ करते हुए वहाँ के लेफ़्टिनेंट कर्नल एएस अमरशेखरा लिखते हैं – “जॉर्ज बुश के अमेरिकी राष्ट्रपति बनने के बाद उन्होंने अपने भाषण में कहा कि अब अमेरिका किसी भी विकासशील देश को मदद के नाम पर सीधे पैसा नहीं देगा, बल्कि अब इन देशों को अमेरिकी मदद से चलने वाली ईसाई NGO संस्थाओं के द्वारा ही पैसा भेजा जाएगा, World Vision ऐसी ही एक भीमकाय NGO है, जो कई देशों की सरकारों पर “अप्रत्यक्ष दबाव” बनाने में समर्थ है”। कर्नल अमरसेखरा के इस बयान को लिट्टे के सफ़ाए से जोड़कर देखने की आवश्यकता है, क्योंकि लिट्टे के मुखिया वी प्रभाकरण का नाम भले ही तमिलों जैसा लगता हो, वास्तव में वह एक ईसाई था, और ईसाई NGOs तथा वेटिकन से लिट्टे के सम्बन्धों के बारे में अब कई सरकारें जान चुकी हैं। यहाँ तक कि नॉर्वे, जो कि अक्सर लिट्टे और श्रीलंका के बीच मध्यस्थता करता था वह भी ईसाई संस्थाओं का गढ़ है…। स्वाभाविक है कि अधिकांश विकासशील देशों की संप्रभु सरकारें NGOs की इस बढ़ती ताकत से खौफ़ज़दा हैं।

एक और महाकाय NGO है, जिसका नाम है ASHA (आशा), जिससे जाने-माने समाजसेवी और मैगसेसे पुरस्कार विजेता संदीप पाण्डे जुड़े हुए हैं। यह संस्था ज़ाहिरा तौर पर कहती है कि यह अनाथ और गरीब बच्चों की शिक्षा, पोषण और उनकी कलात्मकता को बढ़ावा देने का काम करती है, लेकिन जब इसे मिलने वाले विदेशी चन्दे और सरकारी अनुदान के “सही उपयोग” के बारे में पूछताछ और जाँच की गई तो पता चला कि चन्दे में मिलने वाले लाखों रुपए के उपयोग का कोई संतोषजनक जवाब या बही-खाता उनके पास नहीं है। इस ASHA नामक NGO की वेबसाईट पर आर्थिक लाभ प्राप्त करने वालों में पाँच लोगों (संदीप, महेश, वल्लभाचार्य, आशा और सुधाकर) के नाम सामने आते हैं और “संयोग” से सभी का उपनाम “पाण्डे” है। बहरहाल… यहाँ सिर्फ़ एक उदाहरण पेश है - ASHA के बैनर तले काम करने वाली एक संस्था है “ईगाई सुनामी रिलीफ़ वर्क”। इस संस्था को सिर्फ़ दो गाँवों में बाँटने के लिए, सन् 2005 में सेंट लुईस अमेरिका, से लगभग 4000 डॉलर का अनुदान प्राप्त हुआ। जब इसके खर्च की जाँच निजी तौर पर कुछ पत्रकारों द्वारा की गई, तो शुरु में तो काफ़ी आनाकानी की गई, लेकिन जब पीछा नहीं छोड़ा गया तो संस्था द्वारा सुनामी पीड़ित बच्चों के लिए दी गई वस्तुओं की एक लिस्ट थमा दी गई, जिसमें – तीन साइकलें, पौष्टिक आटा, सत्तू, नारियल, ब्लाउज़ पीस, पेंसिल, पेंसिल बॉक्स, मोमबत्ती, कॉपियाँ, कुछ पुस्तकें, बल्ले और गेंद शामिल थे (इसमें साइकल, मोमबत्ती, कॉपियों, पेंसिल और पुस्तकों को छोड़कर, बाकी की वस्तुओं की संख्या लिखी हुई नहीं थी, और न ही इस बारे में कोई जवाब दिया गया)। 4000 डॉलर की रकम भारतीय रुपयों में लगभग दो लाख रुपए होते हैं, ऊपर दी गई लिस्ट का पूरा सामान यदि दो गाँवों के सभी बाशिंदों में भी बाँटा जाए तो भी यह अधिक से अधिक 50,000 या एक लाख रुपए में हो जाएगा, परन्तु बचे हुए तीन लाख रुपए कहाँ खर्च हुए, इसका कोई ब्यौरा नहीं दिया गया।

NGOs के इस रवैये की यह समस्या पूरे विश्व के सभी विकासशील देशों में व्याप्त है, जहाँ किसी भी विकासवादी गतिविधि (बाँध, परमाणु संयंत्र, बिजलीघर अथवा SEZ इत्यादि) के विरोध में NGOs को विरोध प्रदर्शनों तथा दुष्प्रचार के लिए भारी पैसा मिलता है, वहीं दूसरी ओर इन NGOs को भूकम्प, सुनामी, बाढ़ जैसी प्राकृतिक आपदाओं के समय भी “मदद” और “मानवता” के नाम पर भारी अनुदान और चन्दा मिलता है… कुछ पैसा तो ये NGOs ईमानदारी से उसी काम के लिए खर्च करते है, लेकिन इसमें से काफ़ी सारा पैसा वे चुपके से धर्मान्तरण और अलगाववादी कृत्यों को बढ़ावा देने के कामों में भी लगा देते हैं।

पिछले कुछ वर्षों में मेधा पाटकर, संदीप पाण्डे, नर्मदा बाँध, कुडनकुलम और केजरीवाल जैसे आंदोलनों को देखकर भारत में केन्द्र और राज्य सरकारें सतर्क भी हुई हैं और उन्होंने उन देशों को इनकी रिपोर्ट देना शुरु कर दिया है, जहाँ से इनके चन्दे का पैसा आ रहा है। चन्दे के लिए विदेशों से आने वाले पैसे और दानदाताओं पर सरकार की टेढ़ी निगाह पड़नी शुरु हो गई है।

इसलिए अब यह कोई रहस्य की बात नहीं रह गई है कि, आखिर लगातार जनलोकपाल-जनलोकपाल का भजन गाने वाली अरविन्द केजरीवाल जैसों की NGOs गैंग, इन संस्थाओं को (यानी NGO को) लोकपाल की जाँच के दायरे से बाहर रखने पर क्यों अड़ी हुई थी। चर्च और पश्चिमी दानदाताओं द्वारा पोषित यह NGO संस्थाएं खुद को प्रधानमंत्री से भी ऊपर समझती हैं, क्योंकि ये प्रधानमंत्री को तो लोकपाल के दायरे में लाना चाहती हैं लेकिन खुद उस जाँच से बाहर रहना चाहती हैं… ऐसा क्या गड़बड़झाला है?

ज़रा सोचिए…