Category Archives: Mockery of Democracy
Amit Shah: EVM का विरोध देश की जनता के जनादेश का अनादर है। हार से बौखलाई यह 22 पार्टियां देश की लोकतांत्रिक प्रक्रिया पर सवालिया निशान उठा कर विश्व में देश और अपने लोकतंत्र की छवि को धूमिल कर रही है। मैं इन सभी पार्टियों से कुछ प्रश्न पूछना चाहता हूं।
Dear Donald Trump, you are an illegitimate President-elect; you will be a less than legitimate President
By Ujal Dosanjh
(Dosanjh is former Premier of British Columbia, and former Canadian Minister of Health.)
Dear Donald, you and your surrogates have been noxiously complaining that the US Democrats are raising the bogey of Russian hacking into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to delegitimise your electoral victory and undermine your presidency. I am a citizen of the increasingly smaller world: A Canadian citizen; and by heritage an Indian of India. I am baffled how one undermines something already illegitimate. I thought I should let you know well before your swearing in that as far as many Americans and people across the world are concerned your Presidency is void ab initio. You are an illegitimate President-Elect; and you will be an illegitimate President. Stop complaining about it. Just grin and bear it.
And you may ask why?
Where do you want me to start?
For beginners, as one who had sought to undermine the Presidency of a duly elected Barack Obama by leading the most disgusting chorus of the Birther Lie against the first black president in the history of the USA, you don’t deserve to be the President, and that too as the standard bearer of the party of the slayer and abolisher of slavery, Abraham Lincoln.
You campaigned on “draining the swamp” of the rich and powerful in Washington. That appears to have been another one of your grotesque lies because your proposed cabinet is full of billionaires and multimillionaires quite at home, and used to swimming, in the swamp of which they are an integral part.
Your electoral college victory was founded upon a campaign of hate and racism against Muslims and Mexicans that appealed to the latent racism of quite a significant section of white Americans still undoubtedly harbouring racism, fear of the other and economic anxieties afflicting them leading them to buy your snake oil of how everything will be fine when you ban all Muslims from entering the country, set up a mandatory registry for American Muslims, instantly deport 11 million Mexicans from the USA back into Mexico and build a wall on the border with Mexico. You lied to the American people that you will make Mexico pay for the wall which you are now asking Americans to pay for. And we are happy that it will be less than a wall; but still another lie.
To make matters worse you have told scores of other monstrous, consequential and inconsequential lies in your lifetime and in the campaign. So much so that it compelled James Warren writing in Vanity Fair to label you “the least honest politician alive”. And even after getting elected you haven’t stopped lengthening the already too long a screed of lies.
I confess Hillary Clinton was not the greatest opponent you could have faced. She had excessive baggage from years of being in the public and political domains: the history the Clinton Foundation, her own emails from her time as Secretary of State and much more. According to the report of the US intelligence, in came the Russians with the clear intent to sow distrust in the US election process, hurt the Clinton candidacy and help yours, their preferred candidate. The Russians hacked the DNC and other Clinton related emails and conspired with the Wikileaks to strategically release such materials during the campaign. The drip-drip of the Russian hacked and Wikileaks released material effectively damaged Clinton’s chances of beating you; Russia put its thumb on the scale to help you, their favourite candidate; you became Russia’s “Manchurian” candidate. Russia didn’t interfere with the voting machines or the tallying of the votes. But it certainly did interfere with and influence the election in your favour. With Russia’s clear and covert help, you defeated Clinton.
There are as yet unsubstantiated claims that the Russians possess a dossier of compromising personal and other information on you with which, if true, you could be subject to blackmail endangering the national security of the United States of America. The intelligence chiefs felt the information, though unproven, was germane enough to their duty to protect USA and its government that they briefed President Obama and you on it. The briefing material was leaked but according to the intelligence chiefs not by them or their organisations. You had a hissy fit during what the Guardian described as a train wreck of a press conference, and compared your intelligence chiefs to the Nazis. Such irresponsible conduct is more proof that you aren’t fit to be the President of the most powerful country on earth.
Mind you, Russia isn’t unique in the world in trying to subvert other nation’s politics and governments. American governments have been no international angels. They have encouraged countless coups and revolts and interfered in elections all over the world. The government s your country helped come to power in other countries were equally illegitimate, be it the Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines or Augusto Pinochet in Chile.
Russian interference and influence in the US election in your favour, more than the lies and hate you spewed, has certainly meant the demise of your presidency’s legitimacy at its very beginning. Your campaign of lies, hate and racism along with the well documented help you received from the Russians in damaging your opponent has made yours an illegitimate presidency.
But you, your supporters and surrogates argue the fact that you have been elected should be the end of discussion; perhaps so, particularly because the American electorate has never been considered to be well informed and aware anyway. As the late Gore Vidal once lamented, “Half of the Americans have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half”.
So the world is the poorer for having to live with your less than legitimate Presidency. Do us a favour: Just grin and bear it.
Of course, no Main stream media (MMS) story can be complete without obligatory reference to Gujarat riots and Ayodhya-Babri structure. But barring that, the following article invites those who support blindly Mr. Kejriwal and his party, AAP to do a serious rethink.
Economic Times: Poke Me: Why Kejriwal is losing the plot
This week’s ” Poke Me”, invites your comments on why Kejriwal is losing the plot. The feature will be reproduced on the edit page of the Saturday edition of the newspaper with a pick of readers’ best comments.
So be poked and fire in your comments to us right away. Comments reproduced in the paper will be the ones that support or oppose the views expressed here intelligently. Feel free to add reference links etc., in support of your comments.
Supreme Court Justice B N Agarwal is being sorely missed. It took him precisely 15 minutes to get a flustered Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi running from Chennai’s famed Marina beach to the secretariat and start working. That was after the DMK patriarch had said he would fast for the cause of Lankan Tamils, in April, 2009. The slightest of hints about the dreaded Article 356 of the Constitution did the trick.
As TV started flashing Justice Agarwal’s remarks on the incongruity of a constitutional functionary going on a fast, the chief minister had no option but to make a dash for his office before lunch.
Fortunately for Kejriwal, Justice Agarwal has since demitted office. Fortuitously for him too, the party that’s holding the reins of power at the Centre is famous for fiddling over issues. In this power vacuum, self-styled anarchist Kejriwal seems to think he can rule the law from the street instead of living by the rule of law, throwing constitutional norms and principles to the wind; all in the name of unconventional politics.
His politics as Delhi’s chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader has been a dangerous mix of self-righteousness and lynch-mob vigilantism, designed to mask his incapability to push through any of the major changes he had promised. The agenda of Somnath Bharti, his law minister, is equally insidious: subvert the existing criminal justice system to ensure khap panchayat style justice, ignore both facts and the law.
In recent days, the minister has raided (with an unruly mob in tow) houses in his constituency on the suspicion of soliciting and drug-trafficking, dragged away African women and forced them to submit in public to urine samples for medical analyses, all in the name of justice.
Pray how is the AAP any different from the Sri Ram Sene which doesn’t hesitate to play judge, jury and executioner on Valentines’ day in Karnataka and has assaulted AAP leaderPrashant Bhushan for his long-held views on Kashmir? How is Bharti any different from the Shahabuddins of yore who took the law into their own hands? Or the Mumbai underworld?
The criminal justice system as it stands today, one has to concede to Bhushan, is full of shortcomings. It is slow, expensive and has been hijacked by those who know how to manipulate the system. Conviction figures are low.
However, the way ahead cannot be the Kejriwal way — hold the city and people who propelled you to power to ransom and offer the voter street corner vigilante justice in the name of deliverance. The Kejriwal brand of politics is inherently disrespectful of all constitutional values we hold dear; the basic presumption of innocent till proven guilty, the principles of federalism and separation of powers. It holds out a simplistic and a potentially dangerous solution to a people impatient for change – take the law into your own hands like Bharti and fellow MLA Rakhi Birla.
Instead of disowning them, Kejriwal indulged in his own bit of lawlessness when he defied prohibitory orders to sit on a dharna demanding that the Centre hand over control over the city cops to him. He will have us believe that all corruption in Delhi would go once he controls the cops. Finally, on Tuesday, he backed down and settled for peanuts: getting a few cops who dared cross his government’s path to go on paid leave.
The man’s histrionics captured eyeballs; his shrill rhetoric caused panic and chaos in the city.
A few cops under his belt, Kejriwal called off the dharna before things turned ugly and passed it off as a victory for the people of Delhi. Many fell for his theories of police inaction to justify his means.
Riling people against another section is fraught with dangerous consequences for this polity, as we have seen in earlier instances of mass political mobilization whether in Gujarat or Ayodhya. Will saner elements in the party prevail before all its political goodwill is frittered away?
Or is it that Kejriwal is merely pandering to his constituency, the lower middle class, the disgruntled and the poor who wish to be rid of the existing inequitable system? Is he is trying to overthrow the system even though he chose to go the ballot way?
The educated AAP supporter has a lot of thinking to do in the days leading up to the Lok Sabha polls. Is this what he signed up for when he voted AAP in 2013? Surely Kejriwal’s cure, fraught with the danger of unleashing unparalleled violence and strife, is worse than the disease? Maybe, Kejriwal should call for another referendum on the means to his end if there is one. Unfortunately for him and fortunately for us, he may just lose that one.
National song, national anthem and more-I
Monday, 18 January, 2010 , 04:54 PM It is now ‘very clear’ that the singing of the National Anthem will be offi cially avoided at all Government of India functions in which our Prime Minister is going to participate. Our Prime Minister had recently gone to Thiruvananthapuram to participate in the inaugural session of the 97th Indian Science Congress. The local organisers had planned and rehearsed the National Anthem for the Science Congress. However, the Government of India officials who had come to review security and other arrangements the previous day, ‘clipped the National Anthem from the order of events’, CITING A DIRECTIVE from the ever-neutral Prime Minister’s Office.
Rabindranath Tagore Bankim Chandra Chaterjee
(1861 – 1941) (1838 – 1894)
It is a matter of National shame and dishonour to know the background for this decision. It seems that such a fateful decision was taken as there were instances when the audience did not pay full respect to the National Anthem by either refusing to stand up or stand in attention when it was played. It was following such reports that it was decided to exclude the National Anthem from the PM’s public functions rather than play it and allowing it to be insulted under officially uncontrollable situations.
P Parameswaran who is the President of Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee, Kanyakumariand Director of Bharateeya Vichara Kendram, Thiruvananthapuram has given me shocking news to the fact that Shashi Tharoor, Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram and Union Minister of State for External Affairs delivered a speech at a public function in the CSI Church premises in Thiruvananthapuram in November 2009 in which he had stated that the singing of Vande Matharam, the Officially approved National Song of India, is purely a matter of personal choice, to be left to the sweet will and pleasure of the person concerned. The same view was also taken by the Union Minister Arjun Singh in 2006. Decided only to be undecided, resolved only to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity only to be politically impotent, such a Prime Minister officially avoided the National Anthem at the Science Congress held in the first week of January 2010 at Thiruvananthapuram. The Union Minister of State Shashi Tharoor officially exhorted the people present at a public function at Thiruvananthapuram to keep in mind the fact that the singing of Vande Mataram — the National Song — is a purely voluntary, optional affair, totally subject to the whims and caprices of individual citizens, rather than a sacred, patriotic and emotionally stirring national duty! We can see from the postures of our Prime Minister towards our National Anthem and of Shashi Tharoor to the singing ofVande Mataram that the UPA government is steeped in self-chosen conceptual confusion on all vital national issues which have been settled once for all by the Founding Fathers of our Constitution.
Dr Rajendra Prasad, while presiding over the Constituent Assembly on 24 January, 1950, made the following statement which was also adopted as the basis for the final decision on the issue: ‘The composition consisting of words and music known as JANA GANA MANA is the National Anthem of India, subject to such alterations as the Government may authorise as occasion arises, and the song VANDE MATARAM, which has played a historic part in the struggle for Indian freedom, shall be honored equally with Jana Gana Mana and SHALL HAVE EQUAL STATUS WITH IT. (Applause) I hope this will satisfy members.’ (Constituent Assembly of India, Vol. XII, 24-1-1950)’
Even before our Prime Minister had officially chosen to ignore the National Anthem at Thiruvananthapuram in January 2010, Shashi Tharoor, MP and Union Minister of State for External Affairs had officially prepared the ground in November 2009 when he told an audience at Thiruvananthapuram that the singing of Vande Mataram — the National Song — is purely optional. P Parameswaran sent a letter to Shashi Tharoor on 17-11-2009. Portions of it are worth quoting in the larger public and national interests: ‘
Respected Shashi Tharoor,Namaskar ‘Mathrubhumi’ the popular Malayalam daily dated 16-11-2009, carried prominently a news item with the title ‘Vande Matharam need not be sung’. It was part of the speech, which you delivered at a gathering in the premises of the CSI church, Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram. You are reported to have stated that singing of Vande Matharam is purely a matter of personal choice, left to the sweet will and pleasure of the person concerned. At first I was literally shocked and could hardly believe that the MP representing this enlightened capital city of Kerala could have made such a statement. I made enquires and got confirmed that it was a verbatim report of the speech you made at the church premises. I am also told that it was a suo motto statement without any provocation or to clarify any point and therefore quiet unwarranted. It has no justification what so ever. Our constitution is very clear on the point that Vande Matharam is our National song having equal status with our National Anthem. Therefore it goes without saying that every citizen is supposed to pay due respect by singing it without any reservation. I understand that of late there have been some negative voices regarding singing Vande Matharam among some communal circles. But that is not a justification for a Congress MP and a Central Minister to come out with a public statement endorsing such sentiments, which lowers the status and dignity of Vande Matharam. On the other hand I sincerely feel that it was your duty to create a congenial atmosphere in favour of Vande Matharam by using your good will and also your authority. You have done just the opposite.
Any student of India‘s freedom movement knows pretty well the historic role played by Vande Matharam. In the year 1905, Lord Curson, the then Viceroy of India, made a declaration partitioning Bengal into West Bengal and East Bengal, basically on communal (Hindu and Muslim )consideration. The entire Bengal rose up against the partition. There was an upsurge of nationalist feeling, which engulfed, not only Bengal, but the whole of India . It was the song Vande Matharam, publicly led by great men like Ravindra Natha Tagore which inspired the people to fight against the colonial dictate. Many of them laid down their lives singing this patriotic song. Ultimately the haughty Viceroy had to eat the humble pie and withdraw the declaration of partition. …’ After freedom and adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of India , which gave equal status to both Janaganamana and Vande Matharam, the demand now is being made from religious obscurantists to give up the great song , which expresses the spirit and soul of Bharat in toto. I am sure, any sign of weakness and any further compromise on this is bound to lead, to further weakening of the national fabric and accentuate dangerous divisive forces. It will be suicidal for India. It is against this historical background, that I make bold to say that your public statement on Vande Matharam is nothing short of denigrating this symbol of nationalism and also questioning the validity of the relevant constitutional provision. As a Central minister, who has taken the oath promising to defend the constitution of the country, it is my firm view that you have acted against the spirit of the constitution and your own solemn oath. …
I WISH AND HOPE THAT YOU WILL MAKE A PUBLIC STATEMENT EXPRESSING YOUR REGRETS FOR THIS UNWARRANTED AND OBJECTIONABLE STATEMENT.’ The Union Minister has not even bothered to send a reply to Parameswaran, one of the senior most and respected Hindu leaders in Kerala today.
Taking note of this attitude of this Union Minister,Parameswaran wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of India on 10 December 2009 inviting his attention to the conduct of Shashi Tharoor. I am quoting below the relevant excerpts from this letter: ’
This is to invite your kind attention to a serious lapse, bordering on the violation of the ministerial oath, taken by Shri. Shasi Tharoor, Hon ble Minister for State, External Affairs, in a public speech organized by the Church of South India, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on 15/11/2009. The Hon‘ble Minister made a suo motto statement. ‘… The national song, like the national sport, is optional. Sing it out of respect for the mother land. Do not sing it if you do not want to. No one forces you’ (Times of India). Such a statement is derogatory and denigrating Vande Mataram which has been accorded equal status with ‘Janaganamana’, our National Anthem.” As a post script (PS) his letter to the PM, Parameswaran also added that: ‘It is extremely regrettable, and throws very bad light on the minister, that even though I had written a personal letter (copy enclosed) to him about the matter on 17/11/2009, he has not yet shown the elementary courtesy of even acknowledging the same. A member of Parliament is expected to behave better and be more responsible to public institutions and personalities.’ Shashi Tharoor, the Union Minister cavalierly trampled upon the soul of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee with pseudo-secular enthusiasm at Thiruvananthapuram in November 2009 by saying that the singing of Vande Mataram is purely voluntary and optional.
A month later in January 2010, the ‘Minority First’ Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh tortured the soul of Rabindranath Tagore at the Indian Science Congress by officially by-passing the National Anthem. Thus the UPA has outraged the modesty of Bharat Mata.
(To be continued) (The writer is a retired IAS officer) e-mail the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org
National song, national anthem and more-II
Tuesday, 19 January, 2010 , 03:36 PM In these columns yesterday, (Monday, 18-1-2010), I had narrated the shameful story of how the Union Minister of State for External Affairs hashi Tharoor showed his contempt for Bankim Chandra Chatterji’s “heathenish and paganish” National Song ‘Vande Mataram’. Lest Tharoor should shine in solitary splendour, our ‘neutral’ between Neutrals Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh outclassed him within 50 days by dropping the singing of National Anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ by Rabindranath Tagore at the official function of the Indian Science Congress held in Thiruvananthapuram in the first week of January 2010. This diktat from the PMO runs counter to long-established tradition of Official Protocol regarding the playing of National Anthem at functions attended by the Prime Minister or the President of India.
When the Muslim clerics in India today dismiss the sacred National Song of Vande Mataram with scorn and contempt, we should not forget the fact that their spiritual and cultural progenitor in this sordid drama was Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar (1878-1931) who was the most important Muslim leader in the days of the Khillafat Movement immediately after World War I. Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar paid his Islamic tribute to Maha-KafirMahatma Gandhi in these immortal words: “However pure Gandhiji’s character may be, he must appear to me from the point of view of religion inferior to any Mussalman, even though he be without character. Yes, according to my religion and creed, I do hold an adulterous and a fallen Mussalman to be better than Mahatma Gandhi”. All this he said in 1921. It has to be borne in mind that Mahatma Gandhi was the President of the Khilafat Movement at that time.
Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar who had thus politically stabbed Mahatma Gandhi in the back even in the days of the Khillafat Movement was given the supreme honour of presiding over the Kakinada Session of the Congress in 1923. It was in that Session THAT THE FIRST ISLAMIC BLOW WAS STRUCK AT THE NATIONAL SONG OF INDIA, ‘VANDE MATARAM’ BY THE CONGRESS PRESIDENT MAULANA MOHAMMAD ALI JAUHAR HIMSELF. During those years, (particularly from 1917 to 1922) the reputed singer and patriot Vishnu Digambar Paluskar of Maharashtra used to sway the inaugural session of Congress with his deep and resonant singing of ‘Vande Mataram’ song.However, when Paluskar came on the dais to sing at the Kakinada Session in 1923, he was stopped by the President Maulana Mohammed Ali. The Maulana exclaimed that singing of music was taboo in Islam and as such he would not permit it. The entire Assembly was stunned; everyone, including the top leaders and stalwarts adorning the dais like Mahatma Gandhi, Madan Mohan Malaviya, and others sat dumbstruck, unable to think of a proper reply or retort to the Congress President. Paluskar, however stuck to his post of duty. In a voice filled with righteous indignation he retorted to the Maulana: ‘The Indian National Congress is not the monopoly of any one particular sect nor is this place a mosque, where singing could be prohibited. You have therefore no authority to prevent me from singing VANDE MATARAM. Moreover, if singing in this place is against your particular religion, HOW IS IT YOU COULD TOLERATE MUSIC IN YOUR PRESIDENTIAL PROCESSION?’
This infamous tradition established by Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar in 1923 was continued by Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru and his Congress Party and this tradition continues even today. The next stage in the strenuous and tortured story of ‘Vande Mataram’ was reached in 1937 when Congress Party formed the Government in seven Provinces under the Government of India Act of 1935. In keeping with its past tradition, the Congress Party began commencing the Provincial Assembly proceedings with the singing of VANDE MATARAM. The Muslim League, equally true to its separatist Maulana tradition declared war against it. The League Members in the various Provincial Legislative Assemblies raised a storm of protest and staged walk-outs. The Muslim League conducted its session earlier and denounced Congress-ruled States as ‘HINDU STATES’. And the weightiest testimony it adduced was the singing of the VANDE MATARAM in the PROVINCIAL Assemblies!!
The Muslim League condemned the Congress for imposing ‘VANDE MATARAM as the national anthem upon the country’ and termed it as ‘callous, positively anti-Islamic, idolatrous in its inspiration and ideas, and definitely subversive of the growth of genuine nationalism in India’. The MUSLIM LEAGUE further called upon ‘MUSLIM MEMBERS OF VARIOUS LEGISLATURES AND PUBLIC BODIES IN THE COUNTRY NOT TO ASSOCIATE THEMSELVES IN ANY MANNER WITH THIS HIGHLY OBJECTIONABLE SONG’. H V Sheshadri has brilliantly summed up the ideological surrender of the Congress party to the machinations of the Muslim League in 1937: ‘When the Congress Working Committee (CWC) met a few days later, it was haunted by the spectre of the Muslim League’s opposition and formulated ITS POLICY ON ‘MINORITY RIGHTS’. If HINDU-MUSLIM unity “without which the British would not part with power” was to be achieved, the Muslims should not, AT ANY COST(of course only to the Hindus of India!!), be allowed to feel displeased. Their sentiments should never be injured, for whatever reason. Accordingly, the Congress decided to ‘cut out’ those portions of ‘Vande Mataram‘ which were likely to offend the Muslim susceptibilities as indicated in the Muslim League’s resolution. Only the first two stanzas of the song depicting the physical picture of the motherland-were retained and the rest ‘dropped’. INDEED, IT WAS IN THOSE SUBSEQUENT STANZAS THAT THE REAL ESSENCE OF OUR NATIONALISM AND THE SPIRIT OF THE FREEDOM STRUGGLE WERE ENSHRINED.”
I have carefully scrutinized the pro-Islamic and patently anti-Hindu 1937 Congress Working Committee Resolution on ‘Bande Mataram’. I am quoting below the relevant excerpts from that Resolution to prove my point:
“A controversy having recently arisen about the Bande Mataram song, the Working Committee desire to explain the significance of this song. … During the past thirty years, innumerable instances of sacrifices and suffering all over the country have been associated with “Bande Mataram” and men and women have not hesitated to face death even with that cry on their lips. The song and the words thus became symbols of national resistance to British imperialism in Bengal especially and generally in other parts of India. The words “Bande Mataram” became a slogan of power which inspired our people, and a greeting which ever reminds us of our struggle for national freedom.” “Gradually the use of the song spread to other provinces and a certain national significance began to attach to them. The rest of the song was very seldom used and is even now known by few persons. These two stanzas described in tender language the beauty of the motherland and the abundance of her gifts. There was absolutely nothing in them to which objections could be taken from the religious or other point of view. The song was never sung as a challenge to any group or community in India and was never considered as such or offending the sentiments of any community. Indeed the reference in it to thirty crores of Indians makes it clear that it was meant to apply to all the people of India. … The Working Committee feel that past associations, with their long record of suffering for the cause, a well as popular usage, have made the first two stanzas of this song a living and inseparable part of our national movement and as such they must command our affection and respect. There is nothing in these stanzas to which any one can take exception. The other stanzas of this song are little known and hardly ever sung. …” “The Committee recognize the validity of objections raised by Muslim friends to certain parts of the song. While the Committee have taken note of the objection in so far as it has intrinsic value, the Committee wish to point out that the modern evolution of the use of the song as part of national life is of infinitely greater importance than its setting in a historical novel before the national movement had taken shape. …” “But while there can be no question about the place that “Bande Mataram” has come to occupy in the national life, the same cannot be said as to the other songs. …”
Thus the Congress party laid the cultural, religious and ideological foundation for the communal partition of India as early as in 1937, by abjectly surrendering to the black-mailing tactics of the Muslim League in 1937 by tearing apart the ‘Vande Mataram’ Song on communal grounds and dishonouring Bharat Mata with pseudo-secular fervour and passion. This task begun in 1937 was completed by Jinnah, Gandhi and Nehru in 1947. Today the Imam of Jamma Masjid and the other Muslim Clerics are asking the Congress Party to give up even the so called ‘secular portions’ of Vande Mataram as identified by the Congress Party in 1937. I have already referred to the abusive language used by Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar against Mahatma Gandhi in 1921. The British Government at that time rightly viewed him as an international Islamic terrorist and jailed him. Such a back-stabbing Muslim fanatic who heaped his Islamic abuse on Mahatma Gandhi was honoured by the Government of India by the issue of a postage stamp on the occasion of his Birth Centenary in 1978. I have presented this postage stamp above.
A Very Powerful Indictment of Congress and Manmohan Singh- a must read for all
In Hindu tradition and culture the concept of renunciation has always been valued more than the idea of acquisition, and even though you may not accept this for fear of offending your party’s minority vote bank, let me allay your fears by reminding you that this is something preached by the Abrahamic religions also.
I would, therefore, urge you to seriously consider this option in your own interest as well as in the larger interest of this unfortunate country.
The government headed by you has already taken the country back to 1990 in sheer economic terms, and in terms of other social and public values we have reached the nadir of the Dark Ages.
The country had great hopes from you when it voted you to power in 2004, and even higher expectations when it renewed your mandate in 2009 after your sterling display of vision and courage in the nuclear deal. But you only flattered to deceive, and for reasons which are now becoming obvious, relinquished any pretense of leadership or governance.
A big ship needs a strong hand at the rudder-your hand- but you have handed it over to a motley crew of rank opportunists and faceless lascars who can only run it aground.
You were never a politician- a positive for most of the voters – and the two qualities that made us repose our trust in you were your honesty and your acknowledged status as an eminent economist. Today, both lie in tatters- you have betrayed our trust, not substantially but wholly, and therefore you must go.
Time to go Mr Prime Minister
Honesty is not divisible, and for those who exercise power there can be no nuances between personal honesty and public honesty. A person who allows others to loot cannot be honest. A Manager who does not raise his voice when illegalities are being committed by his subordinates cannot be honest.
A law maker who protects criminals cannot be honest. And a Prime Minister who does all this simply to remain in power cannot be honest. Your honesty has already cost the country dearly, Mr. Prime Minister, and we cannot sustain this cost any longer.
Your reputation as an economist may still follow you to Harvard or to the LSE after your retirement, but in this country its devaluation is proportionate to the devaluation of the Indian rupee. Where did you lose the plot?
You had everything going for you when you took over in 2004– an economy growing at 8-9%, a Current Account SURPLUS of US$ 10.56 billion, Foreign Exchange reserves in excess of US$ 400 billion, a comfortable net INFLOW of Foreign Direct Investment.
After nine years of your being at the helm, the growth rate is down to between 5% and 6% and falling, the Current Account has gone into a DEFICIT of US$ 20 billion and increasing, Foreign Exchange reserves are down to seven months’ import and depleting, the Fiscal Deficit is going to hit 6%, Foreign Exchange reserves are down to US $ 200 billions (with repayments of US$ 150 due before March 2014), there is a net OUTFLOW of FDI funds to the tune of almost US$ 7-10 billions every month.
The Rupee has reached an exchange rate of 65 to the dollar. Nobody believes Mr. Chidambaram anymore, the RBI Governor can only hyper-ventilate, and you, of course, continue to maintain your sphinx-like silence.
In the meantime inflation continues unabated, jobs are being lost by the millions ( unemployment actually rose by 2% between July 2011 and June 2012), Indian industry prefers to take its money abroad, infrastructure projects languish somewhere between Messers Jaiswal, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Montek Singh Ahluwalia, and a litre of cooking oil now costs more than two litres of beer! (Can you imagine, Mr. Prime Minister, what a field day Marie Antoinette would have had with this?!).
And this is at the precise time when the rest of the world is coming out of its downturn! No, sir, you and your band of forty thieves have been so busy with your petty politicking, with ensuring the survival of a particular dynasty, securing the financial well being of future generations of your party colleagues and allies, dividing communities and classes, that you have had no time for planning and taking decisions.
The only decisions you HAVE taken boggle the mind. We are already spending 75000 crores every year on our Public Distribution System: every single survey indicates that at least 40% of this, or 30000 crores is siphoned off by politicians, bureaucrats and middle-men. And now your govt. is determined to pour another 50000 crores into this bottomless pit through the Food Security Act! What for?
The BPL( Below Poverty Line) families and the Antyodaya (poorest of the poor) families are already covered under the existing PDS-the FSA will make no difference to them. Govt.’s own figures state that only 27% of our population is now below the poverty line; why then do you want to bring 67% of the population under the FSA, and spend a whopping 50000 crore on people who do not deserve this largesse?
And that too at a time when you have no money for infrastructure development or health and education( in both of which we now lag behind even Sri Lanka and Bangladesh!). Is it worth destroying a country just so your motley crew can win another election? Is this honesty, Mr. Prime Minister?
Had it been only the economic downturn we could perhaps have been more generous. For economics, as we all know, is not only a dismal science, it is also an uncertain one: as they say, even if one were to lay down all economists end to end, we still wouldn’t reach a conclusion!
After all, if Mr. Amartya Sen and Mr. Bhagwati cannot agree on what is good for India we can hardly expect you to have the answer. No sir, the economics is only a part of the mess: let me recount what the others are.
You have systematically sought to destroy every fibre of the democratic fabric of this nation. Constitutional authorities have been attacked publicly by your minions and sought to be humiliated at every turn: remember the diatribes against Vinod Rai and the Central Information Commissioner?
Statutory authorities like the CBI and the office of the Attorney General have been subverted and made to fall in line, your party’s line. Your oath of office demanded that you protect them, but you remained mute, as is your wont.
You have even done the unthinkable: set the Intelligence Bureau against the CBI, ensuring for ever that our premier intelligence agency will never cooperate with our premier criminal investigating agency- every terrorist, insurgent and crooks of all assorted types must be lining up outside Teksons to buy ” thank you” cards for you!
Such is your hubris that you have shown contempt for the orders of the Supreme Court even. The Court’s judgments, instead of being respected and seen as a matter for serious contemplation, are publicly criticised and sought to be by-passed by the collation of a consensus of those affected by the judgments (!) and a brute legislative majority.
So criminals can continue in Parliament. Merit will find no place in the selection of Doctors (at the senior most, Professor, level) even in Super specialty disciplines; minorities will get reservations in government jobs even though the Constitution forbids it.
This lack of respect for the final arbiter of the Constitution and the law is not only breeding a competitive defiance of the Court among other political parties but is also setting the stage for a show down with the judiciary a-la Pakistan and other banana republics.
You behave as if the Opposition is not part of the democratic process, that it is a nuisance that is best ignored; consequently, all communication between the two has now snapped, and the nation is a helpless witness to a Parliament that resembles a rugby locker room in both language and action and is in a permanent state of adjournment.
All parties are to blame for this, of course, but it is your party which laid down the rules of engagement. By refusing to walk the extra mile to accommodate even the legitimate demands of the Opposition, and by sabotaging time and again the Committees of Parliament, you have eviscerated this vital organ of democracy which under you has become as vestigious and irrelevant as your appendix.
Practically no legislative work has been done in the last two years: there are 116 bills pending in both Houses, of which 19 and 21 relate to financial and educational reforms, respectively, two of the areas that need immediate attention.
But your lack of concern is matched only by your shocking sense of priorities: instead of trying to push these bills, you have instead chosen to concentrate your fading energies on two other amendments that can only make politics murkier and more criminalised: removing the disqualification of convicted legislators, and exempting political parties from the RTI Act!
Perhaps the biggest price for your incompetence and your colleagues’ venality is being paid by our defense forces: all three are many years behind in terms of armaments and weaponry ( because another ” honest” Minister, Mr. Antony, will neither effect purchases from abroad nor allow FDI in defense production) and their very capacity to defend the country has been seriously eroded.
Who will defend our borders in such a scenario, Mr. Prime Minister- the lethal barbs of Mr. Manish Tewari, or the boomerangs of Mr. Digvijay Singh or the IEDs of Mr. Mani Shankar Iyer? Even worse, you have demoralized our armed forces by the constant interference of your Ministry and completely taken away their operational and tactical independence.
A succession of retired Army commanders have said so in recent times and the pusillanimous approach of our troops in response to violations of the LOC testify to this. (Of course, these same Army Commanders who have suddenly found their conscience and their voice also need to explain why they didn’t defend their operational independence more vigorously when they were enjoying the perks of their office!).
Under you we have become a whining nation- we whine when Pakistani troops shoot our soldiers, we whine when Chinese troops camp on our territory for weeks on end, we whine when Italian marines shoot our sailors, we whine when the Sri Lanka navy arrests our fishermen, we whine when our ex-President is frisked at an American airport.
Under you a once-proud nation is being kicked around by even a Maldives or a Bhutan. What in God’s name have you done to our image?
In communal terms we have always been a fractured society. But true leaders have in the past tried to bridge these fissures. To you, however, will go the dubious credit of widening and deepening these cracks between communities and castes.
In order to survive, your party has countenanced the retrograde decisions of allies that can only raise the confrontational pitch: earmarking of state budgets for a religious minority, reservations in jobs for the same community (which goes against the express provisions of our Constitution), reservations in promotions (which has been struck down by the courts), setting up of a central Commission to review the (criminal) cases of suspects of one community only.
It is your party which has put communalism at the center of the campaign for next year’s election, not the BJP or Mr. Modi. The former has consciously downplayed the Ram Mandir issue, and Modi had made it clear that development was going to be his plank. But this did not suit you since your party couldn’t possibly debate him on this plank, what with your miserable record of the last five years.
So you deliberately inserted the communal element, as did your allies, by harping only on the 2002 Gujarat riots. To his credit, Mr. Modi has so far not agreed to stoop so low, and I do not think your strategy will work.
But you have in the process vitiated the atmosphere for a long time to come, reopened old wounds that were beginning to heal, and provided a legitimate space for hot heads on both sides of the divide.
How much damage to the country is one Parliamentary seat worth, Mr. Prime Minister? How many more Partitions will you recreate to satisfy your party’s lust for power?
Your opportunistic creation of Telangana has sown the seeds of disputes and blood-letting in all parts of the country that will sorely test the federal integrity of our country for many years to come. There are twenty one more statehood specters waiting in the wings and by the time they are exorcised we may have ceased to exist as one nation.
Do I need to refer to the endemic corruption that your government has been indulging in these last ten years? And to your pathetic attempts to distance yourself from them, even though it is gradually becoming clearer with each passing day that you were aware of what was happening and did nothing to stop it? Why?
The quality of honesty, like that of mercy, cannot be strained: one cannot be honest and yet knowingly allow dishonesty on one’s watch.
Even worse, your increasing brazenness in the face of evidence against you boggles the mind: the Minister who doctored the Coalgate report has been made Special Envoy to Japan, a Minister whose nephew sold posts in The Railways for crores has not even been named in the charge sheet, the Minister on whose watch files relating to YOUR period of the coal scam have gone missing continues to bestride Shastri Bhavan like a colossus.
Who is this Faustian devil you have sold your soul to, Mr. Prime Minister?
Your deafening silence on all these matters-you have spoken in both houses of Parliament only fifty times in ten years-defies logic and conventional wisdom. And that leads me to speculate whether we are underestimating you.
Is there, after all, a method in your madness? Could it be that you are reconciled to losing the next elections and are therefore deliberately implementing a scorched earth policy?
That you will leave behind as a legacy for the next government an India that is bankrupt, ungovernable, riven by caste and communal conflicts, all its institutions destroyed?
An India that will soon be on its knees, begging for your party- the lone horseman riding in from the sunset, in Mr. Rahul Gandhi’s words, don’t forget-to take over the reins again, and save the country from perdition? But I forget, you never speak- so we’ll never know till the horseman is upon us.
Mr. Prime Minister, your party has stripped this country like a cloud of locusts. You have sown every type of poisonous seed known to your ilk and we shall be reaping the bitter harvest for many years hence. You have engendered an atmosphere of uncertainty,venality, indecision, communalism, opportunism, criminalisation and defiance of constitutional and statutory institutions which cannot be allowed to continue, for that way lies certain disaster.
Elections are nine months’ hence but we cannot allow this conception to come to full term: the seed sown by you can only destroy this country and must be aborted. The time has come for you to go, Mr. Prime Minister, and to go immediately.
Call for elections now, end the uncertainty, let us get on with our lives, give this country a chance to redeem itself. Do one last service to this nation, sir- stand not upon the order of your going, but go!
With best wishes,
A VOTING STATISTIC
The author retired from the Indian Administrative Service in December 2010. He is a keen environmentalist and loves the mountains- he has made them his home.
By Japan K Pathak
Ahmedabad, DeshGujarat, 17 April 2013
With official documents in hand, in this series I am trying to narrate the details of crorepati non-government organizations functioning in Gujarat – author
The last article was about details of foreign funding to Shabnam Hashmi’s NGO ANHAD. In that article we mentioned that one of the founders of ANHAD was Mr. Harsh Mander, a former IAS officer and Action Aid India man.
According to Wikipedia page, Harsh Mander was a signatory to the campaign to save Afzal Guru, a terrorist convicted and later hanged for the 2001 Indian Parliament attack. Mander also supports the demand for removal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 from Kashmir and North-eastern states. Harsh is convener of the drafting committee for the Communal Violence (Prevention) bill. Harsh Mander applied for mercy to Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab courting a huge controversy.
Wikipedia page further tells that Harsh became member of National Advisory Council of the UPA government in 2010 and special commissioner to the Supreme Court.He was removed from the NAC in 2012. He worked formerly in the Indian Administrative Service in the predominantly tribal states Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh for almost two decades.
Harsh Mander heads NGO called “Aman Biradari”. He is founder member of Shabnam Hashmi led organization ANHAD.
But this article is about Mr. Mander’s another organization – ‘Centre for Equity Studies’(CES). This is a foreign funded (with partial funding from Christian organizations and church) NGO, headquartered in Delhi. We have obtained two-year data of foreign funding to Mander’s Centre for Equity Studies(CES).
In year 2011-12, CES received Rs 7,55,17,631.25 foreign funding. As per CES’s submission before government’s concerned department, justice for victim in states including Gujarat was one of the cause for which foreign fund was received and utilized. Research and homes for street children were other works for which money was received and spent in Gujarat area.
As Gujarat is involved somewhere, we are covering Harsh’s Delhi headquartered CES in our series.
In 2011, Mr. Mander’s NGO received highest amount of aid from Netherlands based ‘Partnership Foundation’ for “welfare of children”. From online resources we learn that Partnership Foundation was set up by Ferd van Koolwijk, a Dutch businessman, who initiated the Rainbow Home Program in February 2002 for school children at Sister Cyril’s Loreto Day School in Kolkata. Sister Cyril is from Ireland based Christian religious organization – Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto). Harsh Mander is the main partner of Partnership Foundation in New Delhi. Rainbow Home program is for homeless girls upto age of 18. Partnership Foundation has donated crores and crores of rupees to Mr. Mander’s NGO apparently to run Rainbow homes.
Then CES has received nearly Rs 90 lakh are as donation from Denmark based Christian organization DAN Church AID.
Rs 10 lakh received from America based Association for India’s Development(AID). This organization called AID also supports Medha Patkar in her Narmada movement and anti-Delhi Mumbai corridor movement. AID supported the movement to free Binayak Sen who was allegedly connected to Naxals and therefore jailed, but released later. Arvind Kejriwal is AID Saathi. What is AID Saathi? Well, AID recognizes certain activists in India with “Saathi” awards and support them in a manner that allows them freedom to operate without the constraints of a specific time-bound project. The program creates a mutually enriching relationship between AID and the Saathi and entails not only support in the form of a stipend, but also non-monetary involvement and strategic support from AID volunteers.
Germany’s BODO Huetten Foundation which works with children in education sector is another donor. Action Aid India is ofcourse at Mr. Mander’s help. International Development Research Centre – another donor to CES is headquartered in Canada. Members of IDRC’s Board of Governors are appointed by the Government of Canada.
One interesting source of donation is the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) – the bank that was in news for alleged dubious money transfers.
America based Indian Muslim Relief & Charities is another donor of Mander’s NGO. The same Muslim organization helped Shabnam Hashmi’s ANHAD also.
Now let’s move on to year 2010-11 records. Mr. Mander’s NGO CES received foreign funding of Rs 47817508.11 in this year.
Partnership Foundation is of course the top donor. IDRC also there. Then there’s an organization called Sangat which is based in Bradford, UK. American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin is another donor of CES this year with less than Rs 10 lakh donation.
Then there’s again a Church. One NGO ‘ICCI and Kerkin Actie’ has donated around Rs 70 lakh in a year to Mr. Mander’s NGO for research, seminars and other activities. Kerkin Actie (in Dutch) means Church in Action.
Concluding – in two years Mr. Harsh Mander’s one NGO CES received Rs 123335139.36 fund from abroad. We don’t have any detail about locally sourced funds of CES.
Previous article in this series:Shabnam Hashmi’s ANHAD is majorly Church funded
By Japan K Pathak
Ahmedabad, DeshGujarat, 16 April 2013
With official documents in hand, in this series I am trying to narrate the details of crorepati non-government organizations functioning in Gujarat – author
When I read status updates on left-winger NGO operator Shabnam Hashmi’s foreign tours, when I look at her anti-Modi ad anti-Right campaigns on Facebook, when I learn that she travels in planes, and manage to have a house in Amdavad, when I learn she camped in Gujarat before the assembly elections for weeks and weeks, the questions arise in my mind: how one manage to spend so much without doing job or business like normal people!
But after getting hold of the official documents on foreign funded organizations in India, I have been able to find some answers.
Shabnam Hashmi runs ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy) with registered address as 23, Canning Lane (Pandir Ravi Shankar Shukl Lane) in New Delhi.
Her association is described as Cultural, education and social. Yes, the word ‘political’ is not part of the description.
Hashmi’s NGO received Rs. 1,66,10,753.60 foreign fund in year 2011-12 for “strengthening communal harmony and democracy.”
Now let’s do dissection of the foreign fund, Shabnam Hashmi received during that year.
The highest foreign fund was donated by Britain based organization Christian Aid. ANHAD has received around Rs one crore fund in a year from this organization.
Among the other organizations that made donations to Ms. Hashmi’s ANHAD are IMRC (Indian Muslim Relief and Charities) headquartered in Palo Alto California and Church Auxiliary for Social Action(CASA).
Now let’s move on to the figures of year 2010-11.
ANHAD received foreign donation of Rs 1,65,25,433. Christian Aid was again the main donor Google India,with donation in this year worth Rs 84 lakh around.
In both 2011 and 2010 OXFAM was also one of the major donors of ANHAD.
Interestingly Action-Aid India is also one of the major donors of ANHAD. We accessed the funding details of Action-Aid Associations and found that in same year Action Aid was donated Rs 46053800.00 by a single donor – Google India Private Limited for “welfare of other backward class.”
ANHAD was established in March 2003, as a response to 2002 Gujarat riots by Shabnam Hashmi, Marxian historian Prof. K N Panikkar and social activist Harsh Mander. As per its Wiki page, ANHAD plays a major role in Gujarat to fight against human right violations,as well as in the Kashmir Valley.ANHAD is registered as a trust and has six trustees. They are Shabnam Hashmi, K N Panikkar, Harsh Mander, Shubha Mudgal, Kamla Bhasin, Saeed Akhtar Mirza.
There is a major protest being planned with speakers across US Cross sections on Free Speech at the same time the event being held on the Wharton campus close to Penn Museum where this event is to take place
We are group of Indian American activists who are concerned with the recent developments in relation to Wharton India Economic Forum and their disinvitation of Narendra Modi. Among us there is NIAC ( http://niac.co ) that recently took high ranking US congress members such Peter Roskam to India to meet leaders such as Modi, our group worked with Indian teams and won recent battle on Electronic Voting Machines to provide paper receipt ( http://SaveIndianDemocracy.org ) by bringing in international experts from Germany, Denmark and US, we initiated a major conference on India Corruption with representatives from UN, Eurodad , Tax Justice Network and elite in India, Dr. Swamy, Kejriwal, Baba Ramadev, Supreme Court Justices (retd) etc ( http://SaveIndiaFromCorruption.org ). Our group includes Wharton alumni, academicians from US.
We are not here to go over the merits of Modi invitation or who is responsible for 2002 riots which is an ongoing debate, but the manner in which Wharton decided to invite a Chief Minister of 50 million people who was elected four times to give key note speech and then dis-invite him based on some petition or even possible pressure from India’s groups. America and its institutions pride itself on free speech, freedom of expression and open to voices of dissent. What kind of example Wharton is setting for its students who are going to be future leaders and entrepreneurs in the nation? This is insult to position of democratically elected Chief Minister of India and to 50 million people from his state who voted him four times to power. The unfortunate irony of all this is even the highest ranking Muslims in India praise Modi’s inclusive growth. Business leaders from all over the world make a beeline to invest in Gujarat state and Wharton being a business school, what kind of relations it is building with it? At a time when India is reeling with massive corruption scandals and India’s corruption ranking is among the lowest in Transparency International rankings, Mr. Modi has shown to the world what India is capable of. Would he not be the best person to speak to Wharton business students and learn from him?
Here is Wall Street Journal poll where out of 5875 polled, 5394 said Wharton made a wrong decision.
Here are links below on what US Congressmen, Ron Somers and many other leaders are saying about this unfortunate incident.
US lawmaker, Congressman, and Ranking member of Subcommittee on Asia Mr. Eni Faleomavaega chides Wharton – http://news.oneindia.in/2013/03/06/support-for-modi-grows-us-lawmaker-chides-wharton-1164907.html
The Economic Times and several Indian mainstream media, Marc 6, 2013, Wharton-Modi controversy unfortunate and disrespectful: USIBC Ron Somers
Huffington Post, The Hijacking of Wharton, Rajeev Malhotra, March 7, 2012 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rajiv-malhotra/the-hijacking-of-wharton_b_2814421.html
Sunday Guardian, Ram Jethmalini, Let truth be known about Modi, March 8, 2012
How Wharton Scored a Huge Self-Goal – Sandeep B
ITBL, Wharton MODIfied…!, March 4, 2013,
Wharton and Modi: Political gamesmanship won over business savvy – Dr Aseem Shukla, Hindu American Foundation http://www.rediff.com/news/column/wharton-and-modi-how-political-gamesmanship-beat-business-savvy/20130306.htm
Fiasco of Modi at Wharton – Rajeev Srinivasan
B-School basics: Why Wharton is wrong in disinviting Narendra Modi – Manish Sabharwal, Wharton Alumni http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-03-05/news/37469757_1_wharton-india-responsible-student-body-wharton-school
Wall Street Journal poll, March 5th, 2013, Out of 5875 polled, 5394 said Wharton made a wrong decision. http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2013/03/05/poll-was-wharton-right-or-wrong-to-revoke-modis-invitation/
News about dropping from the forum by keynote speaker (former Union Minister) and a major sponsor
From The Rediscovery of India Blog: http://www.sandeepweb.com/author/administrator/
March 5, 2013
The most important thing before we begin is to call things by their proper name. One, our clever-by-half media and secularati have twisted the retraction of Wharton School India Economic Forum’s invitation to Narendra Modi as a “snub.” Two, it was Wharton that had invited Modi. Modi hadn’t sought it out.
Two pithy and succinct commentaries nicely sum up this shameful incident. The first is a tweet by Rajiv Malhotra: “Wharton snub of Modi is meddling in Indian democracy. Like Oxford training East India Co. officers. Except now Indian sepoys are professors.” The second is a blog post by Pamela Geller:
American stalwart institutions giving up our most basic freedom to Islamic supremacists, goons and thugs….The loss of our most basic freedoms without firing a shot is stunning.
Wharton’s fault is not so much as cancelling Modi’s invitation but cancelling it in the face of bullying tactics by a handful of fascist bigots that includes both professors and students. With this, Wharton has accomplished two things together: it has demonstrated that it’s no longer a stalwart institution, and it has violated the spirit of the American First Amendment.
Rajiv Malhotra’s point is closer home, and a deeper examination of the folks and forces who orchestrated the invitation-revocation reveals disturbing things.
The first point is that the Government of India is a sponsor to this event. As we note, the Government hasn’t uttered a single word of condemnation against the band of bigots who got Modi’s invitation revoked. As a Constitutionally-elected (thrice) Chief Minister, it becomes the Government’s responsibility to refuse to kowtow to this ragtag group of muckrakers. Whatever the ruling party’s politics at home, it should realize a basic fact when abroad: it needs to strongly condemn people of other countries who try to dictate who gets invited or whose invite gets cancelled. And when such a thing occurs, it needs to unilaterally withdraw from the event on moral grounds. As we see, it hasn’t done so. Why? The simple answer: the current dispensation doesn’t mind being held hostage to a group of virulent Narendra Modi-haters even if it means India’s image abroad takes a beating.
The longer answer lies precisely in the composition and agenda of these Professor-Sepoys. But first, here’s the Facebook group that lists more than 900 people who wanted—and got—the cancellation of Modi’s invitation. What also unites these folks is the fact a whole lot of them supported mercy petitions for the Indian Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru, and the Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab who mowed down innocent Indians in cold blood on 26/11/2008 in Mumbai.
But when we distill this group to get to the key players who assiduously worked towards and pulled off this shameful deed, we get the following key names:
Ania Loomba and Suvir Kaul—Professors of English at University of Pennsylvania, they were two of the three professors who kickstarted this free-speech-violating petition.
Toorjo Ghosh—Assistant Professor of English, the third kickstarter. Here’s how he gloats about the cancellation: “It is the result of the pressure that we were able to bring over the organisers… in the last two days. I am very very proud of Wharton as well as the Penn University.” In other words, he’s proud that Wharton and Penn acquiescence in choking free speech and democracy.
Shabnam Hashmi—No surprises here. Owner of the highly communal NGO named ANHAD, she’s been one of the key players in the Gujarat Riots Cottage Industry, and continues to be highly active in demonizing Narendra Modi.
TV18—A sponsor of the IEF. This is the same group that owns the news channel CNN-IBN, headed by Rajdeep Sardesai, a known Modi-baiter. He was also caught with his pants down in that shameful Cash for Votes scandal of 2008.
Adani Group—Another sponsor, which withdrew after Modi’s invite was cancelled.
Indeed, the name of that Facebook group is very telling of the attitude of these academic fascists and the students and others who supported them: Ban Narendra Modi From Speaking At Wharton. A terminology typically representative of the free-speech-hating Left. Nobody is denying them their right to criticize Modi, yet what is their first response when they hear that Modi is invited to speak at Wharton? BAN him, muzzle free speech, and murder democracy. However, something else also becomes clear when we look at a partial list of participants at the IEF:
Javed Akhtar and his wife, Shabana Azmi
Suresh Prabhu (who dropped out after news of Modi)
All of these except Suresh Prabhu are in one way or the other related either to the ruling Congress party or supportive of its brand of twisted secularism. But it doesn’t end there. Here’s what the note sent out by the IEF Organizing team says:
our goal as a team is to provide a neutral platform to encourage cross pollination of ideas as we all work towards contributing to India’s success…We do not endorse any political views and do not support any specific ideology.
I suppose the neutral and “not endors(ing) any political views” part doesn’t apply to Union Minister Milind Deora.
The strident opposition to Narendra Modi stems from two reasons. The first is the obvious desire to push a Leftist agenda that thrives on India-baiting. The second is the string of successes that Narendra Modi has recently achieved beginning with his third consecutive, thumping electoral victory and his massive show-stealer at the BJP National Council in Delhi yesterday. These have decisively set the stage for a larger role in national politics. Except a few motivated folks, nobody has really been able to dispute his stupendous Gujarat Development Story that has consistently delivered quality governance and economic development. This precisely is the fear of the fascist professors and other fellow travellers: a scenario in which Narendra Modi had spoken at Wharton. There’s little doubt that he’d be the undisputed giant in that assemblage of the aforementioned pygmies who simply cannot think beyond spurious secularism and socialist platitudes. Indeed, that cancellation note explicitly records all these achievements of Modi.
Equally, the fact that the fascist pressure group was led by Left academics is also consistent with their decade-long record of Modi-baiting. It’s both symbolic and symptomatic of the rot that pervades almost all humanities departments in universities worldwide. These Left-infiltrated universities actively discourage critical thinking by substituting reason with theory and rhetoric. Be it the Jaipur Literary Festival or the current disgrace at Wharton, we see the same or familiar faces. What business does Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi have in a Business School? And why were they even invited? Which exposes—yet again—another facet common to events where the Left is involved: preying on taxpayer money.
But what’s clear is this: Wharton and indeed, UPenn itself has scored a massive self-goal by giving in to these Left Professors’ bullying tactics. A goldmine of a sponsor like Adani has pulled out. The former Union Minister, Suresh Prabhu has pulled out. And they haven’t taken this lightly. The social media world began to slam Wharton almost as soon as news of the invite cancellation was reported, and the slamming torrent hasn’t abated. More importantly, Narendra Modi doesn’t need Wharton.
We end this with a self-explanatory and highly revealing snippet:
Curiously enough, not a single professor from the Wharton School, one of the most prestigious business schools of the US, which is part of the University of Pennsylvania, was a signatory to this letter.