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Monday, 21 July 2014

A Letter to the Jewish Nation: Why an Indian stands with Israel

Dear Friends in Israel,

I wouldn’t write to you today, if I didn’t feel compelled to do so. But first, I have a confession to make; I didn’t always stand up for you – when at times I should have. Growing up in India in the 90s, like most in my generation I did share sympathies for you, but never gave it much of a thought.

Things changed during my college years and subsequent years of employment in International organizations. I conveniently went along with the dominant narrative of the ‘Arab–Israeli conflict’.

It was in the winter of 2012 that I was – for the first time – forced to reconsider my position after witnessing an anti-Semitic tirade (in Germany of all the places) that began ‘harmlessly’ with a condemnation of Israel’s ‘disproportionate use of force’. The incident made me realize that the nature of the debate on Israel has very little to do with the ground realty in the Middle East. On other occasions my polite attempts to bring facts to the discussions made things only worse. Since then I have witnessed more blatant anti-Semitism in elite circles in Europe than I have seen in immigrant suburbs of Paris or Berlin.

After seeing the futility of debates, I opted to just write about it occasionally. I do get my share of ‘hate mails’ and I take them as part of the deal. Like most people expressing their solidarity with Israel on the web, I too have been flooded with graphic images and verbal abuse in recent days. I have been repeatedly asked the same question: Why does an Indian support Israel (I am leaving out the customary expletives)?
I have chosen not to respond to these messages. Instead I have decided to share my reasons with you.
Firstly, as an Indian I feel deep gratitude based on History. You came to our aid militarily many times; like in the 14-day India-Pakistan war in 1971 and then again in the Kargil War of 1999. Your help came despite India’s consistent ‘unfavorable’ stand in UN and other international fora. On the other hand it took India 44 years to recognize Israel.

However, since 1992 our bilateral relations have flourished. Today Israel is India’s biggest partner in defense trade after Russia. India-Israel overall bilateral trade has grown from the base figure of $200 million to over $6 billion.

But that’s not the whole story. Israeli agriculture technology is helping farmers in rural India to improve their harvest and dairy output. Israeli water and irrigation technology is enabling farmers to get better yields with limited water resources and providing Indian cities with clean drinking water. Israel is partnering with India in an ambitious plan to clean major rivers that serve as life-line to Indian metropolitans. Recently Israel has even initiated a program to enable Indian women entrepreneurs to acquire right skill-sets and exposure to break new grounds in Corporate India.

My real admiration – like that of many other Indians – is not merely based on what you do, but based on who you are.

Your scientific temper, your zeal for learning, and your quest for innovation are some of the values that Indians in my generation would like to emulate.

After surviving the most vicious genocide in human history, you opted to create a nation based on democratic values, freedom, equality for people of all faiths and ethnicities. Today, over a million Arabs enjoy equal citizenship rights in Israel and religious freedom never seen before in Middle East. Arab Israelis are active in all fields of society and hold high places in academics, civil & military administration, politics, and cultural life of Israel.

Though you are not infallible, you are open to self-criticism as a society – a rare commodity in the region. Despite being a tiny country in size, you have successfully absorbed waves of immigration and continue to evolve as a society.

You received Jews of Indian origin with open arms. Today they form an 80,000 strong community. They have excelled in all walks of life, served gallantly in times of war, and brought glory to your country in sports. Those who try to raise the charge of Apartheid against you, knowingly ignore the plight of tens of thousands of Indian workers in Arab Gulf States working in sub-human conditions.

Since you proclaimed statehood, you have pleaded for peace, but have been prepared to defend yourself. This perhaps is also your biggest ‘crime’. In the eyes of your detractors, you have stopped playing the part that was scripted for you. Those in your neighborhood who are trying to ‘wipe you off the map’ or ‘push you in to the sea’ are not in much different from those Intellectual elite who want you to lower your defenses or ‘give up your (Jewish) character’ – and disappear.

No society before you has acted so humanly in the face of war, terror and constant aggression – not judging only by the way you treat your own, but by way you treat those who are hell bent on destroying you. You set up field hospitals to treat wounded Syrians; you send your technicians in harm’s way to restore power lines to Gaza; you go out of the way alerting civilians of imminent strikes – even when it means letting the miscreants to flee as well.

Like many of you Israelis, I too firmly believe that the day will come when the hostility against Israel would cease. Arab nations would one day come to realize that they have been the biggest sufferers in their campaign of hatred against Israel, and would instead focus on building their societies and tackling real issues.
Until that day – like millions of Indians today – I will stand with you.


Sunday, 20 July 2014

A Largely Indian Victory in World War II, Mostly Forgotten in India

REMEMBRANCE AT THE BATTLEFIELD Ningthoukhangjam Moirangningthou, still living in a house at the foot of a hill that was the site of some of the fiercest fighting, recalled the battle. Credit Gardiner Harris/The New York Times
KOHIMA, India — Soldiers died by the dozens, by the hundreds and then by the thousands in a battle here 70 years ago. Two bloody weeks of fighting came down to just a few yards across an asphalt tennis court.
Night after night, Japanese troops charged across the court’s white lines, only to be killed by almost continuous firing from British and Indian machine guns. The Battle of Kohima and Imphal was the bloodiest of World War II in India, and it cost Japan much of its best army in Burma.

But the battle has been largely forgotten in India as an emblem of the country’s colonial past. The Indian troops who fought and died here were subjects of the British Empire. In this remote, northeastern corner of India, more recent battles with a mix of local insurgencies among tribal groups that have long sought autonomy have made remembrances of former glories a luxury.

Now, as India loosens its security grip on this region and a fragile peace blossoms among the many combatants here, historians are hoping that this year’s anniversary reminds the world of one of the most extraordinary fights of the Second World War. The battle was voted last year as the winner of a contest by Britain’s National Army Museum, beating out Waterloo and D-Day as Britain’s greatest battle, though it was overshadowed at the time by the Normandy landings.
A military cemetery in Kohima, India. Credit Gardiner Harris/The New York Times
“The Japanese regard the battle of Imphal to be their greatest defeat ever,” said Robert Lyman, author of “Japan’s Last Bid for Victory: The Invasion of India 1944.” “And it gave Indian soldiers a belief in their own martial ability and showed that they could fight as well or better than anyone else.”

The battlefields in what are now the Indian states of Nagaland and Manipur — some just a few miles from the border with Myanmar, which was then Burma — are also well preserved because of the region’s longtime isolation. Trenches, bunkers and airfields remain as they were left 70 years ago — worn by time and monsoons but clearly visible in the jungle.

This mountain city also boasts a graceful, terraced military cemetery on which the lines of the old tennis court are demarcated in white stone.

A closing ceremony for a three-month commemoration is planned for June 28 in Imphal, and representatives from the United States, Australia, Japan, India and other nations have promised to attend.

“The Battle of Imphal and Kohima is not forgotten by the Japanese,” said Yasuhisa Kawamura, deputy chief of mission at the Japanese Embassy in New Delhi, who is planning to attend the ceremony. “Military historians refer to it as one of the fiercest battles in world history.”

A small but growing tour industry has sprung up around the battlefields over the past year, led by a Hemant Katoch, a local history buff.

But whether India will ever truly celebrate the Battle of Kohima and Imphal is unclear. India’s founding fathers were divided on whether to support the British during World War II, and India’s governments have generally had uneasy relationships even with the nation’s own military. So far, only local officials and a former top Indian general have agreed to participate in this week’s closing ceremony.

“India has fought six wars since independence, and we don’t have a memorial for a single one,” said Mohan Guruswamy, a fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, a public policy organization in India. “And at Imphal, Indian troops died, but they were fighting for a colonial government.”

Rana T. S. Chhina, secretary of the Center for Armed Forces Historical Research in New Delhi, said that top Indian officials were participating this year in some of the 100-year commemorations of crucial battles of World War I.

“I suppose we may need to let Imphal and Kohima simmer for a few more decades before we embrace it fully,” he said. “But there’s hope.”

The battle began some two years after Japanese forces routed the British in Burma in 1942, which brought the Japanese Army to India’s eastern border. Lt. Gen. Renya Mutaguchi persuaded his Japanese superiors to allow him to attack British forces at Imphal and Kohima in hopes of preventing a British counterattack. But General Mutaguchi planned to push farther into India to destabilize the British Raj, which by then was already being convulsed by the independence movement led by Mahatma Gandhi. General Mutaguchi brought a large number of Indian troops captured after the fall of Malaya and Singapore who agreed to join the Japanese in hopes of creating an independent India.

The British were led by Lt. Gen. William Slim, a brilliant tactician who re-formed and retrained the Eastern Army after its crushing defeat in Burma. The British and Indian forces were supported by planes commanded by the United States Army Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell. Once the Allies became certain that the Japanese planned to attack, General Slim withdrew his forces from western Burma and had them dig defensive positions in the hills around Imphal Valley, hoping to draw the Japanese into a battle far from their supply lines.

But none of the British commanders believed that the Japanese could cross the nearly impenetrable jungles around Kohima in force, so when a full division of nearly 15,000 Japanese troops came swarming out of the vegetation on April 4, the town was only lightly defended by some 1,500 British and Indian troops.
The Japanese encirclement meant that those troops were largely cut off from reinforcements and supplies, and a bitter battle eventually led the British and Indians to withdraw into a small enclosure next to a tennis court.

The Japanese, without air support or supplies, eventually became exhausted, and the Allied forces soon pushed them out of Kohima and the hills around Imphal. On June 22, British and Indian forces finally cleared the last of the Japanese from the crucial road linking Imphal and Kohima, ending the siege.

The Japanese 15th Army, 85,000 strong for the invasion of India, was essentially destroyed, with 53,000 dead and missing. Injuries and illnesses took many of the rest. There were 16,500 British casualties.

Ningthoukhangjam Moirangningthou, 83, still lives in a house at the foot of a hill that became the site of one of the fiercest battles near Imphal. Mr. Ningthoukhangjam watched as three British tanks slowly destroyed every bunker constructed by the Japanese. “We called them ‘iron elephants,’ ” he said of the tanks. “We’d never seen anything like that before.”

Andrew S. Arthur was away at a Christian high school when the battle started. By the time he made his way home to the village of Shangshak, where one of the first battles was fought, it had been destroyed and his family was living in the jungle, he said.

He recalled encountering a wounded Japanese soldier who could barely stand. Mr. Arthur said he took the soldier to the British, who treated him.

“Most of my life, nobody ever spoke about the war,” he said. “It’s good that people are finally talking about it again.”


Convert, pay tax, or die, Islamic State warns Christians

BAGHDAD Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:20pm BST

Children of a Christian family, who fled from the violence in Mosul stay at a school in Arbil, in Iraq's Kurdistan region June 27, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
Children of a Christian family, who fled from the violence in Mosul stay at a school in Arbil, in Iraq's 

Kurdistan region June 27, 2014.

(Reuters) - Islamist insurgents have issued an ultimatum to northern Iraq's dwindling Christian population to either convert to Islam, pay a religious levy or face death, according to a statement distributed in the militant-controlled city of Mosul.
The statement issued by the Islamic State, the al Qaeda offshoot which led last month's lightning assault to capture swathes of north Iraq, and seen by Reuters, said the ruling would come into effect on Saturday.
It said Christians who wanted to remain in the "caliphate" that the Islamic State declared this month in parts of Iraq and Syria must agree to abide by terms of a "dhimma" contract - a historic practice under which non-Muslims were protected in Muslim lands in return for a special levy known as "jizya".
"We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword," the announcement said.
A resident of Mosul said the statement, issued in the name of the Islamic State in Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, had been distributed on Thursday and read out in mosques.
It said Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, which the group has now named Caliph Ibrahim, had set a Saturday deadline for Christians who did not want to stay and live under those terms to "leave the borders of the Islamic Caliphate".
"After this date, there is nothing between us and them but the sword," it said.
The Nineveh decree echoes one that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, the former name for the Islamic State, issued in the Syrian city of Raqqa in February, demanding that Christians pay the jizya levy in gold and curb displays of their faith in return for protection.
The concept of dhimma, governing non-Muslims living under Islamic rule, dates back to the early Islamic era in the seventh century, but was largely abolished during the Ottoman reforms of the mid-19th century.
Mosul, once home to diverse faiths, had a Christian population of around 100,000 a decade ago, but waves of attacks on Christians since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein have seen those numbers collapse.
The resident of Mosul who saw the Islamic State announcement estimated the city's Christian population before last month's militant takeover at around 5,000. The vast bulk of those have since fled, leaving perhaps only 200 in the city, he said.

(Reporting by Dominic Evans and Isra' al-Rube'i; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Gaza debate must prove Israel not friendless

Sunday, 20 July 2014 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Those who imagine that the scheduled debate in Parliament on the hostilities in Gaza stemmed from a heartfelt desire of concerned MPs to avert a ‘humanitarian tragedy’ are either being wilfully naïve or plain disingenuous. Under the guise of tear-jerking speeches the debating chambers will echo a narrow, sectarian rhetoric aimed at a purely domestic audience.

It is time to stop skirting the real issue. The 2014 general election was a turning point in more than one way. Apart from the fact that an avowed non-Congress party secured a clear majority, the election verdict indicated the limits of ‘secular’ scare-mongering. The results clearly suggested that no group or community can exercise a permanent veto over which party and which leader has the right to run a government at the Centre. The victory of the BJP-led NDA exposed the popular impatience with a spurious secularism based on manipulating the fears and vulnerabilities of India’s Muslim citizens.

For both the so-called secular parties and the custodians of ghetto politics, the clear mandate for Narendra Modi and the BJP was a monumental setback. The orchestrated furore over India’s alleged insensitivity to what a senior Trinamool Congress MP bizarrely described as Israel’s “genocide” against the Palestinian people is the first serious attempt to get over the post-election demoralisation and reclaim lost ground. It is a calculated attempt to inform the Modi dispensation that while it may have a functioning majority, their veto is still intact.

For understandable reasons the Modi government may be anxious to minimise the confrontation with the opposition, particularly in the Rajya Sabha where it does not have a working majority. However, this is no reason for the government to be unmindful of the political-ideological challenge that has been thrown by parties that are unable to break out of the mould of sectarian politics.

What is interesting is that the challenge is brazen and with little attempt to conceal its real nature. The Israeli retaliation to the 1,200 or so rocket attacks on its citizens was not against some benign, if helpless, Palestinian dispensation. It was directed at an administration controlled by Hamas, an organisation that has consistently shunned all peace initiatives and is committed to the destruction of the state of Israel. Inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, the Hamas is a radical Islamist body that invokes revulsion in other parts of West Asia and is both feared and despised by the more legitimate Palestinian Authority operating from the West Bank. Hamas does not merely threaten the security of Israel, it has the potential to destabilise the neighbouring Arab states of the region. To convey any sense of sympathy with its political goals and war aims is reprehensible. Even by the dubious standards of the selective ‘morality’ of the Israel-haters, Hamas is beyond the pale. India must not be seen to have any truck with it.

If a parliamentary debate on the situation in West Asia is now a given, it is important that the government side enlarges its scope beyond the national boundaries of Israel and the embryonic Palestinian state.
First, the threat Hamas poses to the lives of Israeli citizens cannot be seen in isolation. From India’s perspective, it is also linked to the establishment of the ISIS-run Caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria. To view the emergence of one mysterious Caliph al-Baghdadi as yet another manifestation of warlordism may well turn out to be correct, especially if the ISIS challenge is repelled by the legitimate government of Iraq. However, for the moment, the importance of the ISIS Caliphate is not on account of its bid to turn back the clock of history but on account of the hold the promise of a pan-Islamic empire has for many thousands of impressionable youth.

For the moment, going purely by the extremely conservative estimates of India’s intelligence community, there are 18 known Indian nationals who are helping ISIS go on a bloody rampage. However, there are fears that the numbers could be much higher. Certainly, if the 200 or so British Muslims of subcontinental origin who have joined al-Baghdadi’s jehad are factored in, there are strong grounds for anticipating a potential threat to internal security. Another wave of Islamist radicalism, targeting the ‘unbelievers’, seems to be on the cards. At this juncture, the last thing India needs is a onrush of romantic infatuation with Hamas terrorists with whom ISIS has an implicit commonality of interests.

The sponsors of the parliamentary debate will be anxious to limit their focus to painting Israel in the darkest of colours and demanding that relations with Jerusalem be downgraded. Since the target audience of a parliamentary debate is the whole country, it would be of immense value if Indian nationalists ensure that the contours of the larger threat emanating from an unstable region be clearly drawn.

Secondly, a debate must end the spurious suggestion that the national consensus is decisively ranged against Israel. It is not. Israel has far more friends in India than TV anchors and left-leaning foreign policy correspondents realise. This friendship is partly based on the admiration of a people that has struggled and achieved in the face of colossal adversities and deep prejudice. Equally, it is also centred on an increasingly deepening bilateral relationship whose full details are best understated. Israel is a friend of India and more mindful of our larger strategic interests than the entire OIC.

It is time that some of us flaunt our partiality for Israel. And this parliamentary debate may be as good an occasion as any to stand by real friends.


Friday, 18 July 2014

Israel’s Gaza Conflict is no concern of Indian Parliament

17 Jul 2014

Gaza: Smoke rises after Israeli missile hits the northern Gaza Strip on July 16, 2014. Israeli war planes has intensified attacks across the Gaza Strip targeting senior Hamas leaders.
Gaza: Smoke rises after Israeli missile hits the northern Gaza Strip on July 16, 2014. Israeli war planes has intensified attacks across the Gaza Strip targeting senior Hamas leaders.

The Indian Parliament was witness to a bold Foreign Affairs decision rooted in realism when on July 15, the Modi Government refused to pass a resolution to condemn Israel’s attacks on Gaza. While, it is sad that there may have been some civilian casualties during the ongoing Gaza Conflict, the NDA Government’s decision to not allow the Indian Parliament to become a theatre for empty moral grandstanding was in the best interests of India.

Amid uproar in the Parliament from parties like Congress, Left, SP and PDP which were demanding that the Government bring a resolution condemning Israeli action, the Government didn’t give in to the demands of these pro-minority appeasement political forces.

The previous UPA Government during its reign had condemned the Israeli counterattacks on Palestine with its own domestic political calculations in mind. The new BJP-led Government has on the other hand chosen to put India’s interests above cynical domestic politics by refusing to meddle in a dispute in which India has hardly any interests at stake or any leverage to influence.

In Israeli-Palestinian conflict, weapons are frequently fired from both sides in which both Israel and Palestine face casualties but the number of death in Israel is very few because of Israel’s strong Defence. Israel has increased the size and number of walls separating Israeli from Palestinian territory. Israel has also withdrawn its military and all settlers from Gaza, Palestine.

India’s national interest

“We have diplomatic ties with both nations. Any discourteous reference to any friendly country can impact our relations with them,” NDTV quoted Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj as saying, in the Rajya Shabha.

The Arab countries hold significance for India because of our dependence on their oil. At the same time, Israel is also important to us because of our military and strategic ties with it. India is the largest customer of Israeli military equipment and Israel is the second-largest military partner of India after Russia. Israel has poured billions of dollars of investment into Gujarat and has promised to invest in Bihar. Israel was one of the few selected nations to not condemn India’s 1998 Pokhran-II nuclear tests.

On security front, India and Israel face similar problem of terrorist attacks sponsored by neighbouring countries. According to a 2003 Rediff report, since its formation India’s intelligence agency RAW has had secret links with that of Israel, Mossad.

According to a report in Al Jazeera, Israel helped India militarily in 1962 India-China war, India-Pakistan war in 1971 and 1999 (Kargil). Israeli sensors and satellites are used extensively to monitor the Kashmir border to detect infiltration by insurgents from Pakistan. India recently put an Israeli satellite into orbit. India is also increasingly using Israel’s sophisticated drip irrigation technology to boost agricultural production.
Israel’s domestic conflicts are its internal issue. Narendra Modi Government did the right thing rejecting attempts by Left, Congress and other so-called ‘secular’ parties to discuss Israel’s internal issues in Indian Parliament. It has become a bad habit for the Leftist ecosystem in India to ignore India’s national interests while taking sides in a domestic matter of a foreign nation.

However, according to reports on July 17, official sources said that the debate on Gaza situation will take place in Rajya Sabha on July 21.

Every Sovereign State has a Right to defend its citizens, be it Israel or India. The NDA Government’s decision on July 15 respects that Sovereign Right. The Government should remain firm on its stand and not entertain any debate in the Parliament.


BRICS, sport, racism and the shift in the balance of global power

Is there racism in international sport? Ask any Indian, Sri Lankan, West Indian or Pakistani cricketer – or any black footballer playing in continental Europe – and the short answer you will get is: yes.

The alleged abuse and physical intimidation of Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja by England fast bowler James Anderson during the first Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, is the latest example.

Anderson will have to answer the charge leveled against him by the ICC. He could be banned for up to four Test matches if found guilty.

Racism is intimately connected with economic and political power. As I wrote in my book, The New Clash Of Civilizations: How the Contest Between America, China, India and Islam Will Shape Our Century, till the 1800s, when the Ottoman empire straddled Eurasia in a crescent-shaped arc from the former Yugoslavia and Kazakhstan to the entire Middle-East and North Africa, European diplomats were seen as supplicants.

Ottoman caliphs rarely gave an audience to white emissaries. European monarchs were treated with mild disdain. The same was true of China of the time. The Qing dynasty Chinese treated Europeans and their kings and queens with thinly veiled contempt.

Then came colonialism and the industrial revolution. The balance of political and economic power shifted rapidly from East to West. China went into isolation and decline. The Ottomans sided with Germany in World War I and by 1918 their empire had crumbled. The caliphate was abolished in 1924.

Between the 1920s and 1960s, Europe and America controlled world economic, military, financial and geopolitical power. The reversal of fortune began, first, with the rise of Japan as an economic power in the late-1960s, followed by China and now India.

Americans and Europeans now queue up for business opportunities in China and India. Indian and Chinese companies are acquiring global corporations. The trend will accelerate as the economic balance of power shifts back to Asia.

The creation of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) is an inflection point in this shift. In itself the bank, with a start-up capital of $50 billion (Rs. 3 lakh crore) and a contingency reserve arrangement (CRA) of $100 billion may seem symbolic.

The global financial system will continue to be managed by London, Brussels and New York. The NDB will, however, provide for the first time in a century an alternative to Anglo-Saxon financial architecture. It will act as a counter to the post-Bretton Woods financial system dominated by Western-run institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

According to the IMF, the combined GDP of the five BRICS nations by purchasing power parity (PPP) in 2013 was $24.04 trillion – China ($13.39 trillion), India ($5.07 trillion), Russia ($2.56 trillion), Brazil ($2.42 trillion) and South Africa ($0.60 trillion).

This is nearly 50% higher than the GDP of the US ($16.79 trillion).

Headquartered in Shanghai. India will have the presidency of the BRICS Bank for the first six years. The bank will in time draw in more emerging economies such as the group of nations dubbed MIST (Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey). The NDB will enable intra-BRICS payments in local currencies, providing a cushion against volatility.

Geopolitically, India’s voice will carry more weight. China has invited India to take part, for the first time, in the powerful Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade forum, which includes the US, at its summit in November. Chinese President Xi Jinping has said he will back India for full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a Eurasian political, economic and military grouping.

The fear meanwhile that the BRICS Bank will be dominated by China is misplaced. India’s new government is no pushover. Indeed, the more India integrates with the world, security cooperation and intelligence sharing will expand. This will hand India a valuable asset in neutralising potential threats in Afghanistan and Pakistan following the withdrawal of US and NATO forces in 2016.

Closer ties with China in BRICS and SCO will moreover help India during tough future negotiations in its border dispute with Beijing in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.

The Modi government has yet to articulate its strategic doctrine. But as the Prime Minister prepares for back-to-back summit meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Barack Obama over the next two months, an outline of that doctrine is beginning to take shape.


Monday, 14 July 2014

विदेशी फंड से संचालित गैर सरकारी संगठन देश के लिए खतरा है

सरकार की रिपोर्ट आई है कि विदेशी धन से चलने वाले देशी एनजीओ भारत के आर्थिक विकास के लिए ख़तरा हैं. विकास की परिभाषा क्या है, विकास का सही रास्ता क्या है, विकास के लिए सही नीतियां क्या हैं, यह सब बहस का मुद्दा है. वैसे भी, विदेशी फंड से संचालित एनजीओ को महज आर्थिक ख़तरा बताना पर्याप्त नहीं है, क्योंकि यह सबसे महत्वपूर्ण मुद्दा नहीं है. विदेशी धन और संगठनों द्वारा संचालित इन एनजीओ का राजनीतिक हस्तक्षेप भारत के प्रजातंत्र और संप्रभुता पर सबसे बड़ा ख़तरा है. ये देश की अखंडता के लिए भी ख़तरा बन सकते हैं. सवाल यह है कि क्या विदेशी धन से चलाए जाने वाले आंदोलनों और संगठनों को देश की राजनीति में हस्तक्षेप करने की छूट दी जा सकती है? क्या अमेरिकी खुफिया एजेंसी सीआईए द्वारा प्रायोजित संगठनों को देश में राजनीति करने की छूट दी जा सकती है? क्या विदेशी एजेंसियों के पैसों से देश में चुनाव लड़ने की छूट दी सकती है? अगर पाकिस्तान द्वारा प्रायोजित अलगाववादी आंदोलन ग़लत है, अगर नक्सली आंदोलन में चीन के खुफिया विभाग द्वारा भेजे गए पैसों का इस्तेमाल ग़लत है, तो यह कहां तक जायज़ है कि देश में अमेरिका की खुफिया एजेंसी द्वारा भेजे गए पैसों का इस्तेमाल जनांदोलनों में हो, राजनीति में हो और चुनाव में हो? सवाल तो यह है कि विदेशी फंड लेने वाले लोग सोनिया गांधी की नेशनल एडवाइजरी काउंसिल तक कैसे पहुंच गए? क्या यह मान लिया जाए कि भारत के सर्वोच्च सत्ता संस्थानों में विदेशी एजेंसियों का मिशन पूरा हो चुका है?  ऐसे में, सवाल यह है कि केंद्र सरकार सब कुछ जानते हुए भी इस मामले में चुप क्यों रही?  


खुफिया एजेंसियां और विदेशी ताक़तें दूसरे देशों में हमेशा गुप्त तरी़के से काम करती हैं. ख़ुफिया एजेंसियां लोगों से अपना काम भी करा लेती हैं और उनके लिए काम करने वालों को यह पता भी नहीं चलता कि वे किसी विदेशी साज़िश का हिस्सा बन चुके हैं. यह तरीक़ा दुनिया की ख़राब से ख़राब खुफिया एजेंसियां अपनाती हैं. फिर अमेरिका, इज़रायल, चीन और दूसरे बड़े देशों की एजेंसियां क्या करती होंगी, यह तो सोचा तक नहीं जा सकता है. दुनिया भर में सामाजिक संगठनों, एनजीओ एवं रिसर्च फाउंडेशन के नाम पर किस तरह साज़िश होती है और लोगों को गुमराह किया जाता है, मैं उसका एक उदाहरण देता हूं. साठ के दशक में अमेरिका में ड्रग्स का फैलाव हुआ. उसने तेज़ी से नौजवानों को अपने जाल में जकड़ना शुरू किया. ड्रग्स यानी नशीली दवाओं के कई प्रकार सामने आए, लेकिन नौजवान उसमें उतनी तेज़ी से नहीं फंसे, जितनी तेज़ी से वहां सक्रिय ताक़तवर ड्रग्स माफिया चाहता था. सरकार भी चेती और उसने सख्ती कर दी. परिणाम स्वरूप ड्रग्स का फैलाव थोड़ा धीमा हो गया. ड्रग्स के कारोबार का विरोध करने के लिए वहां कई सामाजिक संगठन खड़े हो गए. विश्‍वविद्यालयों और बाज़ारों में होर्डिंग लगाए गए कि ड्रग्स ख़तरनाक है. इसे लेकर वहां सेमिनार होने लगे, जिनके ज़रिये यह बताया गया कि नशीली दवाएं ख़तरनाक हैं और उन्हें लेने वाला सपनों की दुनिया में चला जाता है. थोड़ी देर के लिए वह अपने वर्तमान से कट जाता है और संपूर्ण मुक्ति की अवस्था में पहुंच जाता है. वहां ऐसी भाषा इस्तेमाल की जाने लगी कि सामाजिक व्यवस्था से विद्रोह करने के नाम पर नशीली दवाएं लेना सही नहीं है. ड्रग्स विरोधी आंदोलनकारी यह भी बताते थे कि नशे की गोली या इंजेक्शन लेने पर कैसा महसूस होता है, नशे की गोलियां और इंजेक्शनों का इस्तेमाल किस मात्रा में ज़्यादा ख़तरनाक है. संपूर्ण अमेरिका और यूरोप इन सेमिनारों, सभाओं एवं सम्मेलनों के ज़रिये ड्रग्स के दुष्परिणामों से परिचित हो गया.
वर्ष 1985 में एक नया ख़ुलासा हुआ और पता चला कि तमाम सामाजिक संगठन और रिसर्च फाउंडेशन ड्रग्स माफिया द्वारा संचालित थे. चूंकि ड्रग्स माफिया ने एनजीओ खड़े कर दिए और उन्हें सभाओं एवं सेमिनारों के नाम पर फंड करना शुरू कर दिया, लिहाज़ा उन्होंने ड्रग्स विरोध के नाम पर ड्रग्स का प्रचार शुरू कर दिया. जिन लोगों को ड्रग्स के बारे में कोई जानकारी नहीं थी, वे भी उससे परिचित हो गए. इस तरह अमेरिका और यूरोप में ड्रग्स का यह कारोबार तीन सौ गुना बढ़ गया. सरकार समझ ही नहीं पाई कि उसकी नाक के नीचे यह ग़ैर क़ानूनी धंधा कैसे बढ़ गया. पुलिस-प्रशासन और राजनीति से जुड़े लोग इन माफियाओं से डरने लगे. यही वजह है कि आज अमेरिका और यूरोप में सरकार के बाद दूसरी बड़ी ताक़त इन ड्रग्स माफियाओं की है. शायद यही कारण है कि इन माफियाओं पर हाथ डालना वहां की सरकारों के वश में भी नहीं है.

कहीं ऐसा तो नहीं कि भारत में भ्रष्टाचार विरोधी आंदोलनों, जल-जंगल-ज़मीन के आंदोलनों, लोकपाल आंदोलन और व्यवस्था परिवर्तन की लड़ाई किसी विदेशी एजेंसी की साज़िश का हिस्सा हैं? कहीं यह नव-उदारवादी पूंजीवाद को बढ़ावा देने के लिए पुराने समाजवादी-प्रजातांत्रिक संस्थानों पर कुठाराघात करने की साजिश तो नहीं है? कहीं ऐसा तो नहीं कि जाने-अनजाने में देश के समाजसेवी एवं आंदोलनकारी अमेरिकी पूंजीवाद की साज़िश का हिस्सा बन गए हों और उन्हें पता तक नहीं है? क्या भारत भी इस तरह की साज़िश का शिकार हो गया है? भ्रष्टाचार और व्यवस्था परिवर्तन के नाम पर चल रहे आंदोलन स्वत: स्फूर्त हैं या फिर किसी विदेशी खुफिया एजेंसी की साज़िश का हिस्सा हैं? क्या ये सब विदेशी पैसों से चलाए जा रहे हैं? अगर इनका संचालन विदेशी पैसों से हो रहा है, तो यह पैसा कौन दे रहा है? क्या देश में चल रहे एनजीओ और जनांदोलन विदेशी एजेंटों के इशारे पर काम कर रहे हैं? क्या इस देश में आंदोलन के नाम पर अराजकता फैलाना विदेशी साज़िश का हिस्सा है? ये सारे सवाल इसलिए भी उठते हैं, क्योंकि पिछले बीस सालों के दौरान देश में जिन-जिन आंदोलनों का नेतृत्व विदेशी फंड से संचालित एनजीओ ने किया, वे सफल नहीं हुए और बीच रास्ते में ही टूटकर बिखर गए (पूरा विवरण पढ़िए पेज 4 पर). ऐसे कई सवाल हैं, जिन्हें जानना बेहद ज़रूरी है. ग़ौरतलब है कि 2014 के लोकसभा चुनाव में कई ऐसे उम्मीदवार मैदान में उतरे, जो विदेशी फंड की मदद से अपने एनजीओ चलाते हैं. बदलाव के नाम पर उनका एकमात्र मक़सद देश में अस्थिर सरकार बनाने और अराजकता फैलाने का है. फंडिंग के ज़रिये पूरी दुनिया में राजनीतिक अस्थिरता पैदा करने की अमेरिका एवं उसकी खुफिया एजेंसी सीआईए की नीति को कल्चरल कोल्ड वार का नाम दिया गया है. राजनीति और सरकारों का एनजीओकरण क्या देश को किसी कल्चरल कोल्ड वार की ओर ले जा रहा है? वास्तव में यहां पर उद्देश्य ग़ैर सरकारी संगठनों की महत्ता, उनके काम या उनके अस्तित्व पर सवाल खड़ा करना नहीं है, बल्कि हमारा मक़सद स़िर्फ और स़िर्फ उस ख़तरे से आगाह करना है, जिसे दान के नाम पर देश के भीतर पैदा किया जा सकता है.

वर्ष 1976 में इमरजेंसी के दौरान इंदिरा गांधी ने एक क़ानून बनाया, जिसका नाम है फॉरेन कंट्रीब्यूशन रेगुलेशन एक्ट. 9 मार्च, 1976 को जब राज्यसभा में यह क़ानून पारित किया जा रहा था, तब बहस के दौरान अमेरिकी खुफिया एजेंसी सीआईए का नाम 30 बार लिया गया. इसके अलावा, इस क़ानून के कई ख़तरों से भी अवगत कराया गया. इसी क़ानून के तहत आज देश के सामाजिक संगठनों को विदेशी धन मिल रहा है. पिछले कुछ वर्षों से समाजसेवा के नाम पर धड़ल्ले से विदेशी धन भारत भेजा जा रहा है. इस धन का इस्तेमाल लोगों में असंतोष पैदा करने, आंदोलन करने, व्यवस्था परिवर्तन के नाम पर राजनीतिक वर्ग के ख़िलाफ़ माहौल तैयार करने और राजनीतिक प्रचार-प्रसार में किया जा रहा है. ये गतिविधियां देश की आंतरिक सुरक्षा और एकता के लिए ख़तरनाक हैं. समाजसेवी संस्थाओं के नाम पर इस देश में कौन सा गोरखधंधा चल रहा है, यह सरकार को अच्छी तरह पता है. चुनाव से ठीक पहले गृह मंत्रालय की तरफ़ से एक बयान आया. यह बयान से ज़्यादा देश के लिए चेतावनी है. गृह मंत्रालय ने ख़ुलासा किया कि भारत में कई ग़ैर सरकारी संगठन हवाला, काले धन के कारोबार और आतंकवादियों को धन मुहैय्या कराने के काम में संलिप्त हैं. गृह मंत्रालय के मुताबिक़, देश में विदेशी धन लेने के लिए अधिकृत एनजीओ की संख्या 43,527 है, जिनमें से 19,000 से ज़्यादा एनजीओ ने अपनी आय और व्यय का ब्यौरा नहीं दिया है. हैरत की बात यह है कि सरकार सब कुछ जानते हुए भी ख़ामोश बैठी रही.

एक रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक़, पिछले तीन वर्षों में ग़ैर सरकारी संगठनों को मिलने वाले विदेशी फंड की राशि सालाना 11,000 करोड़ रुपये से ज़्यादा है. आश्‍चर्य की बात यह है कि विदेशी फंड पाने वाले 19,000 एनजीओ अपने फंड का इस्तेमाल देश में कहां, क्यों और किस उद्देश्य से कर रहे हैं, यह सरकार को पता नहीं है. नई सरकार को सबसे पहले इन संगठनों की गतिविधियों पर एक श्‍वेत पत्र लाना चाहिए. विदेशी धन के इस्तेमाल में पारदर्शिता और जवाबदेही तय करने के लिए क़दम उठाने चाहिए. अगर ये संगठन विदेशी पैसों से देश में आंदोलन और परिवर्तन के नाम पर विदेशी एजेंडे पर काम कर रहे हैं, तो यकीन मानिए, देश में अनर्थ हो जाएगा. वैसे शक करने की वजह यह है कि जब अन्ना हज़ारे ने देश में भ्रष्टाचार और पारदर्शिता के लिए जनलोकपाल आंदोलन शुरू किया था, तब इन लोगों ने अपने जन लोकपाल विधेयक के ड्राफ्ट में विदेशी फंड से चलने वाले एनजीओ यानी ग़ैर सरकारी संगठनों एवं सामाजिक संगठनों को जन लोकपाल के दायरे से बाहर क्यों रखा था?
वर्ष 1976 में इमरजेंसी के दौरान इंदिरा गांधी ने एक क़ानून बनाया, जिसका नाम है फॉरेन कंट्रीब्यूशन रेगुलेशन एक्ट. 9 मार्च, 1976 को जब राज्यसभा में यह क़ानून पारित किया जा रहा था, तब बहस के दौरान अमेरिकी खुफिया एजेंसी सीआईए का नाम 30 बार लिया गया. इसके अलावा, इस क़ानून के कई ख़तरों से भी अवगत कराया गया. इसी क़ानून के तहत आज देश के सामाजिक संगठनों को विदेशी धन मिल रहा है. पिछले कुछ वर्षों से समाजसेवा के नाम पर धड़ल्ले से विदेशी धन भारत भेजा जा रहा है. इस धन का इस्तेमाल लोगों में असंतोष पैदा करने, आंदोलन करने, व्यवस्था परिवर्तन के नाम पर राजनीतिक वर्ग के ख़िलाफ़ माहौल तैयार करने और राजनीतिक प्रचार-प्रसार में किया जा रहा है.
नब्बे के दशक में पहले राजीव गांधी ने और बाद में पीवी नरसिम्हा राव ने अर्थव्यवस्था में उदारीकरण के साथ ही ग़ैर सरकारी संगठनों को भी देश की नीतियों में पूरी तरह से जगह दे दी. इसी के साथ सिविल सोसायटी एवं ग़ैर सरकारी संगठन देश की व्यवस्था और सरकारी तंत्र में स्थापित होने लगे. पहले ये सामाजिक क्षेत्रों में काम करते थे और फिर धीरे-धीरे इन्होंने देश की आर्थिक नीतियों में अपनी दख़लंदाज़ी शुरू कर दी. नतीजतन, ये सरकार की नीतियों को भी प्रभावित करने लगे. आज ये प्रत्यक्ष रूप से राजनीति में उतर आए हैं और सत्ता पर क़ाबिज़ होने का ख्वाब देखने लगे हैं. यूपीए सरकार ने इन सामाजिक संगठनों को न स़िर्फ खाद-पानी दिया, बल्कि इन्हें अपने सिर-माथे पर भी बैठाया. यूपीए की चेयरपर्सन और कांग्रेस अध्यक्ष सोनिया गांधी ने सरकार को नीतिगत सुझाव देने के लिए नेशनल एडवाइजरी काउंसिल का गठन किया. क्या नेशनल एडवाइजरी काउंसिल सीआईए की साज़िश का हिस्सा बन गई? अब यह पता नहीं कि जानबूझ कर या अनजाने में इस काउंसिल में ऐसे लोगों को शामिल किया गया, जिनका रिश्ता विदेशी फंड से चल रहे सामाजिक संगठनों से था.

अगर यह अमेरिकी खुफिया एजेंसी की साज़िश है, तो इसका मतलब यह है कि भारत सरकार की सबसे शक्तिशाली कमेटी में सीआईए अपने एजेंट बैठाने में क़ामयाब हो गई. इस बात की तहक़ीक़ात होनी चाहिए कि जो लोग नेशनल एडवाइजरी काउंसिल में शामिल हुए हैं, उनका विदेशी फंड से चलने वाले संगठनों से क्या रिश्ता है? इस बात की भी जांच होनी चाहिए कि अमेरिका या जर्मनी से इन्होंने अब तक कितने पैसे लिए हैं. ऐसे में सवाल यह उठता है कि जिन सामाजिक संगठनों की उत्पत्ति और लालन-पालन विदेशी धन से हो रहा है और जो विदेशी एजेंडे को देश में लागू करने का काम करते रहे हैं, क्या उनके ऊपर कोई कार्रवाई नहीं होनी चाहिए?

दरअसल, नव-उदारवादी व्यवस्था में उपनिवेशवाद और साम्राज्यवाद के चरित्र में बदलाव आया है. अब उन्हें सेना भेजने की ज़रूरत नहीं पड़ती है. वे दूसरे देशों में अराजकता फैलाकर, लोगों को आंदोलित करके, नियमों में बदलाव करके और राजनीतिक दबाव बनाकर स्थिति को अपने पक्ष में करने की रणनीति पर काम करते हैं. अफ्रीका, लैटिन अमेरिका समेत दुनिया के कई इलाक़ों में ऐसा हो चुका है. कई देश इस तरह की साज़िश से निपटने में नाक़ाम रहे और तबाह हो गए. साम्राज्यवादी एवं उपनिवेशी ताक़तों ने दुनिया भर में एनजीओ और सामाजिक संगठनों को अपना हथियार बना लिया है. इस मामले में उनकी रणनीति साफ़ है, क्योंकि वे आम लोगों को ही सरकार के ख़िलाफ़ खड़ा कर देते हैं. क्या भारत भी ऐसी किसी साज़िश का शिकार हो गया है? हक़ीक़त यह है कि विदेशी एजेंसियों ने पहले एनजीओ को एक दबाव समूह के रूप में खड़ा किया. इन संगठनों ने भारत में हर जगह निराशा और असंतोष का माहौल तैयार किया. सरकारी तंत्र और देश की व्यवस्था के ख़िलाफ़ लोगों को भड़काने का काम किया. दरअसल, विदेशी धन से संचालित संगठनों ने ऐसा माहौल पैदा किया, जिससे लोग देश के राजनीतिक नेतृत्व और राजनीतिक सत्ता से घृणा करने लगें. इसमें कोई शक नहीं है कि राजनीतिक दलों और नेताओं ने भी अपने व्यवहार से इन संगठनों को राजनीतिक वर्ग के ख़िलाफ़ प्रचार करने का एक अच्छा मौक़ा दिया है.

पिछले तीन-चार वर्षों के दौरान दो समानांतर घटनाएं हुईं. एक तो सामाजिक संगठनों को विदेशों से ज़्यादा पैसा मिलने लगा और दूसरे यह कि देश में हर जगह भ्रष्टाचार के विरुद्ध आंदोलन शुरू हो गए. रोज़मर्रा की समस्याओं से परेशान लोग सड़कों पर उतर आए. आंदोलन की सफलता से खुश होकर सामाजिक संगठनों ने अपनी राजनीतिक महत्वाकांक्षा पूरी करने के लिए दूसरा क़दम उठाया. इन ग़ैर सरकारी संगठनों ने ख़ुद की महत्वाकांक्षा छिपाए रखने के लिए आंदोलनों को ज़रिया बनाया. जब अन्ना आंदोलन हुआ, तो चुनावी राजनीति के नाम पर अन्ना ने ख़ुद को इससे अलग कर लिया और वह आंदोलन की नई राह बनाने में जुट गए. लेकिन, जिनका लक्ष्य आंदोलन के नाम पर अपनी सियासी ज़मीन तैयार करना था, उन्होंने अलग पार्टी बना ली. इस पार्टी से लोकसभा चुनाव लड़े उम्मीदवारों की सूची देखें, तो पता चलता है कि जिनके संगठन विदेशी धन से संचालित होते हैं, वे सभी लोग इसमें शामिल हैं.

एनजीओ की दुनिया का हर बड़ा नाम इस पार्टी में है. हैरानी की बात तो यह है कि जो लोग समाजसेवा के नाम पर सोनिया गांधी की राष्ट्रीय सलाहकार समिति में थे, वे भी आज आम आदमी पार्टी के साथ हैं. यही लोग मौजूदा व्यवस्था और राजनीतिक वर्ग के ख़िलाफ़ देश में अराजकता फैलाने की पैरवी करते हैं. मज़ेदार बात यह है कि परिवर्तन के नाम पर देश में जो कुछ हो रहा है, वह फोर्ड फाउंडेशन की वेबसाइट में साफ़-साफ़ लिखा है. कहने का मतलब यह कि ये तमाम सामाजिक संगठन फोर्ड फाउंडेशन के एजेंडे पर काम कर रहे हैं. हमारे देश में फोर्ड फाउंडेशन से पैसा लेने वाले सामाजिक कार्यकर्ताओं और संगठनों को काफी इज्जत मिलती है, उन्हें अवॉर्ड दिए जाते हैं. जबकि यह कोई छिपी हुई बात नहीं है कि फोर्ड फाउंडेशन अमेरिका की खुफिया एजेंसी सीआईए की एक शाखा के रूप में काम करती है और वह अमेरिकी विदेश नीति का अहम हिस्सा है. सवाल यह है कि जो लोग और संगठन फोर्ड का एजेंडा देश पर थोपना चाहते हैं, वे दरअसल अमेरिकी विदेश नीति को भारत में लागू करने वाले एजेंट के रूप में काम कर रहे हैं.

वैसे तो देश में हर किसी को राजनीतिक दल बनाने और राजनीति करने का अधिकार है, लेकिन चिंता तब होती है, जब ये चुनाव तो लड़ते हैं, लेकिन यह नहीं बताते कि उनके पास कोई आर्थिक नीति नहीं है, विदेश नीति नहीं है और रक्षा नीति नहीं है. यह एक ख़तरनाक स्थिति है. ये संगठन वर्तमान व्यवस्था से नाराज़ लोगों का गुस्सा भड़का कर व्यवस्था के ख़िलाफ़ राजनीति को हवा देते हैं. लोग इन्हें समर्थन तो दे रहे हैं, लेकिन अगर कहीं ये उन्हीं नीतियों और विचारधाराओं को देश में लागू करने लगे, जिनके लिए इन्हें फंड दिया जा रहा है, तो अनर्थ हो जाएगा. कुछ समय पहले एक अंग्रेजी दैनिक ने ख़ुलासा किया था कि ह्यूमैनिस्टिक इंस्टीट्यूट फॉर को-ऑपरेशन विद द डेवलपिंग कंट्रीज (हिवोस) ने गुजरात में अप्रैल 2008 से अगस्त 2012 तक कुछ एनजीओ को 13 लाख यूरो (तक़रीबन 10 करोड़ रुपये) दिए, जिनमें से कुछ चर्चित ग़ैर सरकारी संगठन मसलन, दिशा को दो लाख चौबीस हज़ार यूरो, गुजरात खेत विकास परिषद को दो लाख सात हज़ार यूरो, सफर को एक लाख चौरासी हज़ार यूरो, महिती को एक लाख चार हज़ार यूरो, स्वाति को पचासी हज़ार यूरो और उठान को तिरसठ हज़ार यूरो दिए गए. हिवोस दिल्ली और मुंबई स्थित कई एनजीओ को भी आर्थिक मदद करता है. मुंबई बेस्ड तीस्ता सीतलवाड़ द्वारा संचालित एनजीओ और शबनम हाशमी के नेतृत्व में संचालित दिल्ली स्थित एनजीओ अनहद को भी हिवोस ने चार हज़ार यूरो दिए. ऐसे में सवाल यह है कि आख़िर यह धनराशि क्यों दी गई?

चुनाव सुधार की दिशा में काम करने वाली संस्था एसोसिएशन ऑफ डेमोक्रेटिक रिफॉर्म (एडीआर) आईआईएम बंगलुरु के डीन रहे त्रिलोचन शास्त्री के नेतृत्व में चलाई जा रही है. संस्था की वेबसाइट पर कहा गया है कि हमारी कोशिश है कि हम देश में एक पारदर्शी, प्रभावशाली और उत्तरदायी सरकार लाने के लिए लोगों को जागरूक करें. एडीआर को बड़े पैमाने पर फंड फोर्ड फाउंडेशन की ओर से मिलता है. 2009 और 2011 में एडीआर को फोर्ड की ओर से दो-दो लाख डॉलर का फंड मिला था. इसका नतीजा यह है कि हमने इसके जरिये लोकसभा और विधानसभाओं की विश्‍वसनीयता पर सवाल खड़ा कर दिया. यह बात सही है कि लोकसभा और विधानसभाओं में अपराधी या जिन पर अपराध का मुक़दमा चल रहा है, वे घुस जाते हैं, लेकिन इसमें सुधार की ज़रूरत है. लेकिन, मीडिया और सामाजिक संगठनों ने एडीआर के रिसर्च के जरिये संसद और विधानसभाओं की विश्‍वसनीयता को कठघरे में खड़ा कर दिया और राजनीति को ही बदनाम कर दिया. अब जब संसद, विधानसभाओं और जनप्रतिनिधियों पर ही लोगों का भरोसा नहीं होगा, तो क्या देश में प्रजातंत्र बच पाएगा? भारत के प्रजातंत्र पर कुठाराघात स़िर्फ एडीआर ही नहीं, बल्कि विदेशी फंड से संचालित कई संगठन अपने-अपने तरीके से कर रहे हैं.

क़ानूनी तरी़के से विदेशी योगदान नियमन क़ानून (एफसीआरए) के तहत देश में आने वाली राशि 1993-94 में 1865 करोड़ रुपये थी, जो 2007-08 में बढ़कर 9,663 करोड़ रुपये यानी पांच गुनी से भी ज़्यादा हो गई. इस क़ानून के तहत पंजीकृत संस्थाओं की संख्या भी इस अवधि में 15,039 से बढ़कर 34,803 यानी दोगुनी से भी ज़्यादा हो गई. हालांकि इनमें से 46 प्रतिशत संस्थाओं ने 2007-08 में अपना लेखा-जोखा गृह मंत्रालय को नहीं दिया. 2011 में सरकार ने एक महीने में ही 4,139 एनजीओ पर विदेश से किसी प्रकार की सहायता राशि लेने संबंधी रोक लगाई है. इससे पहले केंद्रीय गृह मंत्रालय ने कहा कि 2009-10 में विदेश से आने वाले कुल 10,000 करोड़ रुपये में से अधिकांश रकम संयुक्त राष्ट्र अमेरिका और यूरोप से आई थी. गृह मंत्रालय का 42 पृष्ठों का यह विश्‍लेषण कहता है कि देश में 14,233 एनजीओ ने विदेशी मदद स्वीकार की है और विदेश से इनके लिए आने वाली कुल रक़म 10,337.59 करोड़ रुपये है. मदद के लिए आए इन पैसों का बड़ा हिस्सा (1815.91 करोड़ रुपये) दिल्ली पहुंचा.

इन एनजीओ के पास जो रक़म विदेश से आ रही है, उसमें संयुक्त राष्ट्र अमेरिका की हिस्सेदारी सबसे ज़्यादा है. उसके बाद जर्मनी और यूके का नंबर आता है. ये तीन देश पिछले कई सालों से एनजीओ की दानदाताओं की सूची में टॉप पर हैं. भारत की ग़रीबी, अशिक्षा एवं स्वास्थ्य को लेकर इन देशों की धार्मिक संस्थाओं के मन में उपजे प्रेम ने गृह मंत्रालय को सतर्क कर दिया है. मंत्रालय यह समझने की कोशिश में जुटा है कि इस मदद का उद्देश्य वास्तव में समाज सेवा ही है या कुछ और? इन तीन देशों के अलावा, भारतीय एनजीओ को कुछ अन्य देशों से भी मदद मिल रही है. मदद करने वाले अन्य देशों में इटली, नीदरलैंड, स्पेन एवं स्विटजरलैंड आदि शामिल हैं. इसके साथ ही कनाडा, फ्रांस, ऑस्ट्रेलिया एवं यूएई भी भारतीय ग़ैर सरकारी संगठनों के बड़े मददगारों में शामिल हैं. सूचना का अधिकार क़ानून के तहत मांगी गई एक जानकारी के मुताबिक़, कबीर को 2007 से लेकर 2010 तक फोर्ड फाउंडेशन से 86,61,742 रुपये मिले हैं. इतना ही Aनहीं, कबीर को डच दूतावास से भी पैसे मिले हैं. आख़िर किसी दूसरे देश का दूतावास हमारे देश के किसी ग़ैर सरकारी संगठन को पैसा क्यों दे रहा है? डच दूतावास की गतिविधियों को भारत में हमेशा शक की निगाह से देखा गया है.

दरअसल, आज भारत कई तरह के ख़तरों के मुहाने पर खड़ा है. लोगों में सरकारी तंत्र के ख़िलाफ़ ज़बरदस्त गुस्सा है. यह एक नाज़ुक स्थिति है. सरकारी तंत्र में लोगों का विश्‍वास बढ़े, यह राजनीतिक वर्ग का पहला काम होना चाहिए, अन्यथा भारत विरोधी ताक़तों को मौक़ा मिल जाएगा. रही बात ग़ैर सरकारी संगठनों की, तो उनका कार्यक्षेत्र निर्धारित करना ज़रूरी है. ये संगठन सामाजिक क्षेत्र में काम करें. इन्हें शिक्षा, रोज़गार, पर्यावरण, स्वास्थ्य एवं ग्रामीण विकास आदि क्षेत्रों में काम करने की पूरी आज़ादी मिलनी चाहिए, लेकिन व्यवस्था से जुड़े सवालों पर विदेशी फंड से चलने वाले एनजीओ पर प्रतिबंध लगना चाहिए. प्रशासनिक, न्यायिक, विदेश नीति, सुरक्षा नीति एवं चुनाव सुधार जैसे गंभीर मुद्दों पर विदेशी एजेंसियों और उनके एजेंटों को शामिल करना देश के लिए ख़तरनाक है. इसमें कोई शक नहीं कि विदेशी फंड से संचालित एनजीओ विदेशी एजेंट हैं. ये एनजीओ उन्हीं देशों के एजेंडों को लागू करने पर आमादा रहते हैं, जिनसे ये पैसा लेते हैं. केंद्र में बनी नई सरकार की यह प्राथमिकता होनी चाहिए कि वह ऐसा क़ानून बनाए, जिससे भारत में विदेशी फंड के इस्तेमाल पर रोक लगे या उसमें पारदर्शिता आ सके और जवाबदेही तय हो सके. नई सरकार को उन ग़ैर सरकारी संगठनों के नाम भी सार्वजनिक करने चाहिए, जो विदेशी एजेंसियों से पैसा लेकर आंदोलन और राजनीति करते हैं. यह देश के लोगों का अधिकार है कि वे जान सकें कि किन-किन लोगों ने विदेशी एजेंट बनकर देश का सौदा किया है.


Saturday, 12 July 2014

Open letter to Bloomberg’s Andrew MacAskill

Dear Mr. MacAskill,

Your report on 9th July in Bloomberg on Amit Shah’s appointment as President of the Bharatiya Janata Party confirms what Hindu Nationalists have always known – that Hindu nationalism is the stuff of America’s worst nightmares and Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are America’s most terrifying bogeymen wrecking a good night’s sleep.

As we say in Tamil, “a rope is a snake for eyes clouded by fear.” Bloomberg’s news report screaming “snake!” attests to this fear. I assure you we understand: Hindu nationalism has always had this effect on global bullies. We understand too that fear of Modi and Shah consuming America today is the same fear that gripped Imperial Britain when confronted by Tilak, Aurobindo and Savarkar.

Mr. MacAskill, your story on Amit Shah draws heavily from the 2010 CBI report which I think compares well with the Iraq Dossier which your then Secretary of State presented before the UN Security Council as America’s case to invade and occupy a sovereign country in the guise of humanitarian intervention. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein’s backyard as claimed by the dossier which eventually was exposed to be a tome of lies. The 2010 CBI report is rapidly moving towards a similar denouement.

You must admit Mr. MacAskill, it was short-sighted on your part to have employed such colourful language to describe the life and times of Amit Shah on the basis of a discredited report prepared by a discredited organization. The CBI under Sonia Gandhi, Mr. MacAskill, played the same role in making its case against Modi and Shah that the United Nations, under the sway of Bush father and son and under Clinton, played in Iraq.

From 1990 to 2003 America forced the UN to apply total economic sanctions against Iraq – sanctions which killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi women, children, the old and the infirm. The sanctions ended only when America invaded and occupied Iraq in March 2003, ravaging and plundering an ancient civilization, and in the process causing widespread destruction of property, death and disease.

Mr. MacAskill, you are urged to keep in mind the millions of ordinary Iraqis who have died because of America’s foreign policy towards Iraq since 1990. And I am not even counting the bodies of ordinary people who have died in Afghanisthan, Libya, Haiti, Egypt and Syria as a consequence of prolonged and interminable social, economic and political instability caused by violent and bloody regime changes effected by America in these countries.

Iraq has since descended slowly and painfully into utter political and economic chaos. Your country’s diabolical “humanitarian intervention” in Iraq has unleashed the very same jihadis kept forcefully under control by Saddam Hussein and you Mr. MacAskill have the temerity to quote entire paragraphs from the CBI fable to launch your broadside against Modi and Amit Shah.

Amit Shah

You say,
“Amit Shah is on trial for ordering three murders, kidnapping witnesses, running an extortion racket and hiring criminals to shoot up a rival’s headquarters. Between court hearings he’ll now be running India’s ruling party.”
This kind of multi-tasking is probably mindboggling to you because unlike American Presidents Amit Shah can walk, talk and chew gum at the same time.
You also say Mr. MacAskill,
“During that time, Shah ran an extortion racket with the help of police officers as well as Sohrabuddin Sheikh, a local businessman, according to a 2010 report filed by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation. In one case, Shah extracted 7 million rupees ($117,000) from a businessman after threatening to harm his family, the report says.”
The Iraq Dossier too said many things about Saddam Hussein but I do not wish to rub it in. You Mr. MacAskill have described Amit Shah as murderer and extortionist while Sohrabuddin Sheikh in your Wonderland is “a local businessman”. Just to demonstrate the unreal world in which most American opinion makers live, let me present to you an entirely accurate description of “businessman” Sohrabuddin Sheikh.
Sohrabuddin was an underworld gangster who was involved in nearly two dozen serious criminal offences in (the) states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. He maintained transnational links with anti-India forces from the early ‘90s onwards, until his death in 2005. Working with mafia dons like Dawood Ibrahim and Abdul Latif, he procured weapons and explosives from Pakistan and supplied them to various terrorist and anti-national groups (had it not been for his activity, at least some terrorist acts could have been averted). Sohrabuddin was solidly entrenched in the criminal world for a decade-and-a-half. Around the time he was killed, the Rajasthan government had announced a reward on his head. In 1999, he had been detained under the National Security Act by the Madhya Pradesh government. In a 1994 case investigated by the Ahmedabad crime branch, he was co-accused along with Dawood Ibrahim and convicted for five years, for waging war against the Government of India, planning an attack on the Jagannath Rath Yatra in Orissa, and other offences under the IPC, Arms Act, etc. During the investigation, 24 AK-56 rifles, 27 hand grenades, 5250 cartridges, 81 magazines and more were seized from his family home in Madhya Pradesh. In 2004, a fourth crime was registered against him by Chandgad police station of Kolhapur district in Maharashtra under sections 302, 120 (b), and 25 (1) (3) of the Arms Act, for the killing of Gopal Tukaram Badivadekar. As fear of him often silenced people from reporting his whereabouts, let alone deposing against him, the Rajasthan government had to announce a reward on his head after he killed Hamid Lata in broad daylight in the heart of Udaipur, on December 31, 2004.

Guess who wrote this? A certain Ajit Doval, who was former Director, Intelligence Bureau, Founder-Director, Vivekananda International Foundation. Ajit Doval now happens to be India’s National Security Adviser.

Mr. MacAskill, according to our National Security Adviser, Sohrabuddin Sheikh was a Muslim terrorist with close links to the Muslim underworld with a bounty on his head. And yet, despite being posted in Delhi as a journalist, you failed to do your homework, failed to do any serious research on the issue, but instead chose to cut and paste a worthless document calling a wanted terrorist “a local businessman”.

sohrabuddin sheikh

In your theatre of the absurd Mr. MacAskill, where Amit Shah is an extortionist and Sohrabuddin Sheikh is a local businessman, Osama Bin Laden would have been a corporate honcho and Barack Obama an American Mafioso.

Just like the Iraq Dossier and the 2010 CBI report which you quote as if it were the Indian Constitution Mr. MacAskill, the fungus-ridden American foreign policy towards India is crumbling right under our noses. After the BJP announced Narendra Modi as their prime ministerial candidate, the US Congress and the USCIRF wasted no time and immediately ratcheted up their anti-Modi, anti-Hindu rhetoric castigating the BJP for its decision to fight the elections under Narendra Modi.

Hindu nationalists have peeled and held up the “freedom of religion and conscience” onion peddled by the US State Department. When Americans say “freedom of religion,” they mean the inalienable right of the evangelical church (of all denominations and persuasions from every corner of the globe) to employ every trick in the trade to proselytize, lure, bribe, entice and convert Hindus to Christianity. And America’s unapologetic Christian bias stands exposed in the November 2013 USCIRF lament over Modi.
Anti-Christian violence followed the August 2008 murder of a Hindu leader in Odisha, even though Maoists claimed responsibility. The U.S. State Department reported 40 deaths, 134 injuries, destroyed churches and homes, and more than 10,000 fleeing the state. In December 2007, in Odisha, Hindu-Christian clashes caused several deaths, dozens of injuries, thousands displaced, and devastated churches and homes. Most notoriously, in February 2002 in Gujarat, Hindu mobs killed as many as 2500 mostly Muslims, forced 100,000 to flee, and destroyed homes. Christians also were killed and churches demolished. India’s National Human Rights Commission cited pre-meditated violence by Hindu nationalists, complicity by state governmental officials, and police inaction. 
But the poster child for India’s failure to punish the violent remains Narendra Modi, who is Gujarat’s chief minister – a post he held during the 2002 riots. Gujarat’s high court rapped the Modi administration for inaction and ordered compensation for religious structures that suffered damage.
In 2005, the U.S. State Department agreed with the recommendation of USCIRF and others to revoke Modi’s visa. True, in April 2012, the highest court’s Special Investigative Team failed to prove guilt against Modi and others in a case involving the deaths of nearly 70 people. But he remains implicated in other Gujarat-associated cases that have yet to be investigated or adjudicated. That is why, more recently, 65 members of India’s parliament reportedly wrote to President Barak Obama, requesting that he not issue Modi a visa. Sadly, despite all this, Gujarat’s most controversial resident is the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party candidate in India’s 2014 prime ministerial election. It was another son of Gujarat, Mahatma Gandhi, who once offered a broad, tolerant vision for the country and its multi-religious society. So, as 2014 draws nigh, whose vision will be embraced? Which India will prevail – that of religious freedom or religious intolerance? Time will tell. (The Two Faces of India, November 12, 2013
Exactly a week later on November 20, 2013 as if on cue, the American House of Representatives passed a bipartisan resolution welcoming the US State Department’s continued refusal to give Modi a visa to visit the US. As Hindu nationalists keep repeating: it is a visa Modi never asked for.
A bipartisan resolution introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this week has praised the U.S. government for holding firm to its 2005 decision to deny Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi a visa to enter the U.S.
Introduced on Monday evening, House Resolution 417 also urged the Government of India to “to publicly oppose the exploitation of religious differences and denounce harassment and violence against religious minorities, especially in the run-up to India’s general elections in 2014.”
Marking what appeared to be stronger support within the U.S. Congress for religious minorities’ rights in India, the resolution noted, “Contrary to the tolerant and pluralistic traditions of the Hindu faith, strands of the Hindu nationalist movement have advanced a divisive and violent agenda that has harmed the social fabric of India.”
In this context, the resolution called for religious freedom and related human rights to be included in the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, which is a key mechanism for progress in bilateral cooperation in recent years. The resolution also suggested that such issues ought to be raised “directly with federal and state Indian Government officials when appropriate.” (
Mr. MacAskill, your report on Amit Shah taking over as BJP chief toes the official American line on Hindu nationalists, and in its tone and content adheres faithfully to the line handed to all America by the USCIRF and American Congress. So much for media independence in America and the spirit of investigative journalism.

Notwithstanding all the hyperventilation and fulminations of important American agencies against Modi and Shah, your President, Mr. MacAskill, knowing that it was Amit Shah crafted Modi’s spectacular victory in Uttar Pradesh and through Uttar Pradesh, elections 2014, wasted no time in calling Modi the very next day after results were announced, to not only congratulate Modi but expressed his desire to work closely with Modi’s government.

America’s mildewed foreign policy towards India had begun to crumble at the edges. President Barack Obama knows he has no option but to deal with Modi and the Amit Shah-led BJP, and devil take the hindmost on “freedom of religion and conscience”, “rights of religious minorities”, and other high-minded foreign policy-jargon that fools only the naivest. Remember what Modi said with such quiet confidence in an interview to an Indian news channel Mr. MacAskill? I am sure President Obama did.
“When the nation sends out a signal of strength, neighbours and adversaries will also change”.
Mr. MacAskill when you wrote your report to coincide with the visit of top American diplomat Bill Burns, he was the latest in a never-ending series of American diplomats and politicians making a beeline for Modi’s 7 RCR. America needs India Mr. MacAskill to provide impetus to its own shattered economy. So what precisely is at stake here for America?
On Thursday, Mr. Burns met Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Home Minister Rajnath Singh to set the stage for the Strategic Dialogue between Secretary of State John Kerry and Ms. Swaraj, that will be held in Delhi on July 31.
Apart from moving forward on the nuclear deal by signing commercial agreements, the U.S. is also keen to discuss India’s interest in the FGM-148 Javelin missile, built by U.S. companies Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, with a view to supplying the Indian Army with anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), or to co-develop them. U.S. Senator John McCain, who represents Arizona, where the Javelin is produced, also met with the PM and the Defence Ministry.
That’s quite a big and ambitious wish list that America is bringing to Modi. No wonder American diplomats and politicians are beating a frenzied path to Modi’s doorstep. Mr. MacAskill do you really think your report on Amit Shah is going to influence your President at this juncture? And do you really think when Secretary of State John Kerry and India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj sit across the table for the Strategic Dialogue on the 31st of this month, John Kerry and his team will really want “religious freedom and related human rights” to be included in the U.S-India Strategic Dialogue, which is a key mechanism for “progress in bilateral cooperation in recent years” as stated by the bipartisan House Resolution 417?

Get real Mr. MacAskill. The America we know today came into being as a deadly and bloated parasite which fed itself on genocide and slavery. And the American State is only the sum total of petty traders and corporate interests including military corporations. Such a soulless state has no moral authority to lecture to India or any other country about freedoms and human rights.

And one small point before I close. Our highest court has pronounced its orders on Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. It is not for Americans whose hands are stained with the blood of Afghan and Iraqi women and children to stand in judgment on Modi, Amit Shah and Hindu nationalists.

Pray with me, Mr. MacAskill: May God lead America and Americans from darkness to light
Warm regards,
Radha Rajan

Article Name
Open letter to Bloomberg's Andrew MacAskill  
Radha Rajan responds to Bloomberg journalist Andrew MacAskill's mischievous reportage and profile of BJP party president Amit Shah.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Sonia Gandhi's Fake Victimhood

The Congress has been badly dumped by the people in the last elections. There are chances they may be dumped from some states in the upcoming elections in a few months. Yet, our media still reports on their silly utterances as if Sonia Gandhi still rules the country. During the last few days Subramaniam Swamy has boldly said “Sonia Gandhi is a crook” and that “BJP is soft on the Gandhis”. Take a look at how Gandhi-slaves NDTV report on the sleeping beauty called Rahul Gandhi:
They show the video, they show RG yawning, they show RG falling off to a quick sleep and then they report “BJP alleging RG sleeping in parliament”. Even their tweet on July 9 says the same. What are these people, blind idiots? If the man is caught sleeping on video does it take for anyone to “allege”? Such are the slaves at NDTV who still twist ordinary news reports into an act against the Gandhis. Oh! You can’t do that! See the Gandhis are like “sacred monuments”. Having played the idiotic “alleged” tape the channel then goes to a Congi who goes one step better (I’m not sure but I think it was Rajiv Shukla but that doesn’t matter). The Congi says “It is inappropriate for LSTV to show such images”. Okay, so it’s not inappropriate for the bumbling Pappu to doze off but it’s the camera’s fault. It doesn’t even occur to the Congi that the camera is not focused on RG but on an MP who is speaking in parliament and RG just happened to be in Zombieland right behind him. That’s the lighter part though.
There are many misdeeds that the Nehru-Gandhi clan has to answer for. Our historians and media have conveniently washed off those sins. Recent revelations about the 1962 war appear to show Jawaharlal Nehru goofed up badly. Monuments are made for him. Indira Gandhi went unpunished for Emergency crimes. More monuments! Rajiv Gandhi had no accountability for 1984. Some more monuments! All three were happily awarded Bharat Ratna; two of them during their own tenures.  This fake greatness to the family now even extends to the Vadras. This is why, regardless of what one might think of Swamy, he is doing a monumental job in prosecuting the Gandhis for their crimes in the National Herald scam. Predictably SoniaG and Congress cry “vendetta”. It’s time people and GOI stopped listening to such nonsense. Courts don’t rule based on someone’s vendetta else Narendra Modi would be in jail instead of being the PM. The Congis who carried out the biggest witch-hunt India has ever known against Modi are now screaming “vindictiveness, vendetta”.
In bogus defence of the NH scam there is a lawyer called KTS Tulsi who even grandly claimed “Young India” (76% owned by the Gandhis) which scammed NH was formed to promote “democracy and secularism”. Really? And what’s the Congress supposed to promote? Minority appeasement? Even AK Antony has now rubbished the Congress’s “secular credentials”. The TOI report says: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said a court summoning Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and herself in connection with the National Herald case, smacked of 'political vindictiveness' by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government… Sonia also confirmed that the income tax department has served her party notices in a case that alleges that she and other party leaders misappropriated funds of a company that used to publish the erstwhile National Herald newspaper. "This kind of political witch hunt will only help us and help us to come back faster (to power)," she said.

So Sonia Gandhi and her son will keep on committing misdeeds but no one should act against them? The woman is seriously hallucinating if she thinks the IT notice and imaginary “vindictiveness” will bring them back to power faster. She probably thinks she will be fortunate like IndiraG who could topple a “Khichdi” govt in 1980 and return to power. It appears that the pathetic number of 44 that Congress got hasn’t taught her any lessons. At the other end of this saga of misdeeds her “Damaad” quietly closes down six spurious companies he floated to carry out all kinds of dubious dealings. He is so brazen he doesn’t even file annual returns for these companies. Read this: Vadra, the husband of Priyanka Gandhi, is quietly closing down six companies set up just two years ago.The firms have never filed annual returns or balance sheets, an examination of company records by HT shows. Lifeline Agrotech, Greenwave Agro, Rightline Agriculture, Future Infra Agro, Best Seasons Agro and Prime Time Agro are all private limited companies established between June and August 2012, purportedly as agriculture or agro-processing firms. Vadra is named as managing director and promoter in company records.

Had it been you or me or any ordinary citizen we would be hounded by the authorities and made to pay heavy penalties for not complying with statutory requirements. Vadra quietly winds up companies but still retains his security and exemption from security checks. Who the hell are these people? And the BJP guys in GOI don’t have the courage to act on him? This is why Swamy makes sense when he says BJP is soft on them. For all the scams and misdeeds of the Congress, SoniaG and some ministers should be hounded the way Al Capone was hounded with a special task force. The new govt may be in its early days but if they let them off for their crimes against this country it will be one promise that Modi would seriously fail to keep. Following the court summons to the Gandhis in the NH scam the IT department was compelled to issue a notice on the tax exemption. If they hadn’t done that someone would have again gone to court and forced them to act.  
After SoniaG reacted with her statement about vindictiveness bringing her back to power soon, TimesNow ran a headline “Sonia warns BJP”. So for these media crooks she is so powerful? Rahul Kanwal on July 9 ran a poll on his nightly show on Headlines Today asking people if this was “vindictive politics”. Some 50% seem to have said “yes” to that stupid question and who knows who or how many vote on these silly polls. It’s a stupid question because it is not the right question. And these dumb morons pass off as journalists and editors to fool the viewers. The right question would be “Have Sonia and Rahul scammed NH”? The facts of the case clearly indicate they have indeed scammed NH along with others. They have also rented out properties of NH when they had no business to do so. Swamy has also written to the SIT on Black Money formed by the new govt asking for investigation into foreign bank accounts of the Gandhis. Is this all a figment of his imagination? Is all of it vendetta?

The NH scam broke sometime around November 2012. The media washed it off and would have liked it to be buried. If Sonia and Rahul actually have any high morals as they cry vendetta, why didn’t they act then? They could have reversed the transactions and sought a political closure to the case. They did not. They were brazen because they thought they could somehow still cobble up a “Coalition of the Corrupt” in 2014 and get away with the scams. Unfortunately, events did not turn out like that. Fake victimhood may have worked in the past when most people in the country did not have information. The South voted for IndiraG after Emergency because most states there didn’t experience the brutality of that period and because of censorship not much information travelled. It is not possible to escape now. Subramaniam Swamy is absolutely right in pursuing the cases against the Gandhis and the govt should actually back him. If corruption has to stop, the cleansing has to start from the top.