Vande Mataram

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bin Laden bites dust

OBL is neutralized. This means Osama Bin Laden is killed, in intelligence tongue. The Saudi Arab who inherited billions from his father was a living example to prove the poverty theory on terrorism, absolutely wrong. Al Qaeda was founded in 1988 by Osama bin Laden to consolidate the international network he established during the Afghan war against the USSR. Its goals were the advancement of Islamic revolutions throughout the Muslim world and repelling foreign intervention in the Middle East.

After the end of the Afghan-Soviet war, most of the Afghan-Arabs, as the mostly non-Afghan volunteers who fought the Soviets came to be known have joined conflicts in Somalia, the Balkans and Chechnya. This benefited Al Qaeda’s global reach and later helped cultivate generations of Al Qaeda terrorists. After the first Gulf war of the early '90s, Al Qaeda vociferously opposed the stationing of U.S. troops on the holiest of Islamic lands, Saudi Arabia, and waged an extended terror campaign against the Saudi rulers, whom Osama believed to be false Muslims.

Between 1991 and 1996, Al Qaeda took part in several major terror attacks.
The Saudi regime deported bin Laden in 1992 and revoked his citizenship in 1994. Bin Laden operated out of Sudan till 1996 and then moved to Afghanistan, as the US pressure on Sudanese Government was unbearable for the establishment. Al Qaeda, with the help of new connections and resources, was involved in several terror attacks and covert actions carried out by other organizations.

In 1998 Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and several other leading Muslim militants formed a coalition called International Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders to fight the U.S. Al Qaeda attacked US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in1998, then it attacked the USS Cole, an American guided-missile destroyer at Aden, Yemen. Bill Clinton, then President of the US, had, it is trusted, ordered the CIA to capture or kill Bin Laden.

After that the most heinous act of 9/11 happened. The US then, under the leadership of Bush Jr., carried out a frenzied attack on suspected terror targets, yet unsuccessful in getting OBL, but got itself satisfied by toppling and hanging Saddam Hussein. Al Qaeda is believed to have carried out the 7/7 attack in the UK. The attempt to assassinate Clinton in Philippines, and so on. The barbarous attacks in Bali islands attempting to crush it's tourism industry was Al Qaeda's master piece in Indonesian suburbs. Yet, bin Laden's dream of wiping out Israel didn't come true.

When the Taliban lost Afghanistan, bin Laden was said to have fled to neighboring Pakistan, but ISI vehemently denied this, as usual, and vowed to wipe out terror. Since 2005, bin Laden was living in Pakistan and top intelligence agencies around the world were reporting this. Even news papers have covered this and reported about bin Laden's Pakistan stay. Yet, CIA didn't act because of political meanderings. MI5 too didn't act as it was operating as a branch of CIA in UK. Al Qaeda's visible sojourn with Pakistan dates back to 2002.

In 2002, Bin Laden's close confidant Abu Zubaydah was arrested in Faisalabad, one of Pakistan’s most moderate cities, a place known more for its textile industry than its association with global terrorism.

Alleged 9/11 plotter Ramzi bin al-Shaiba was arrested in Karachi, also in 2002, and in 2003 the self-confessed mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was held in Rawalpindi, the city headquarters of Pakistan’s military.

In 2005, Al-Qaeda number three Abu Faraj al-Libbi was tracked down to the shrine town of Mardan and Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, wanted for the Madrid and London bombings, in the Pakistani city of Quetta.

Well, Abbottabad, Bin Laden's abode for quite a while, is the fort of a brigade of the second division of Pakistan’s Northern Army Corps and several other sensitive army establishments, including a key military training academy. It is boasted that not even a fly could escape the eyes of the ATC of the security agencies' installations, leave alone US Navy Seals choppers. Osama's Abbottabad house compound was next door to a senior serving Pakistan Army major of medical corps.

The finding of bin Laden in Abbottabad, a city crawling with officers and home to the country’s top military academy, raises serious questions about the Pakistani intelligence agency's help to protect Bin Laden. It is not an argument worth even to hear that the Pakistani security establishment was caught unawares while the US found Bin Laden in Abbotabad and killed him single handedly. Without local ground support any military operation would not be possible. Possibilities are the west leaning faction in the ISI would have covertly helped US while keeping the operation Geronimo without a hush.

Well, what does this kill have for India and the world? Let me discuss that in a while.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Education and Character

The wikileaks diplomatic cables re-leaked in India by The Hindu has created a furore in Parliament and a disgust amongst the public. The main opposition BJP has got unexpected support from it's main detractors the left parties and the so-called secular outfits.

It is appalling to listen to the Hon'ble Prime Minister Manmohan Singh defending the cash for votes corruption in Parliament. The PM, highly educated Executive Head of a State today, has degraded himself morally and has reiterated the age old lament that Universities impart knowledge but need not necessarily build character. The wikileaks documents accessed and published by 'The Hindu' exposes that the "generally accurate" diplomatic cables of the US diplomats say that money has been paid to ensure the Congress Government gets the enough numbers to get through the confidence vote.

The argument of the PM refuting this allegation is meek and stupid. He says he had not authorized anyone to pay MPs to vote in favour of his Government, so that allegation is false. If that is the regular practice in his Cabinet, there are couple of questions for him.
  • Has he authorized the malpractices in awarding the 2G license?
  • Has he authorized the untenable appointment of tainted Thomas as CVC? 
  • Has he authorized the notorious corruption in CWG?
Or is this line of defence a whine of a blank shell that the defacto powers in this ruling setup have authorized these malpractices and there is no point in questioning him for their actions. It is known to all that he is a dummy  yes-man for the Gandhi family. And he has got himself into the web of their power play to loot the nation in every way, day by day. Coming out and voicing his objections to the perversions in governance now is not an option for him, since he has been part of the sullied setup for quite a while.

He has exhibited that he had successfully killed his ability of rational thinking for surviving in this distorted democratic set up, by arguing that the people have voted him back to power after the pay to vote victory in Parliament, so he need not answer anyone. So, any rogue, rascal and freebooter could by all corrupt means win an election and claim that all legal proceedings against him should be dropped as he has the people's mandate.

Godhra lawsuit against Modi should be quashed under this logic as he has won 3 consecutive elections after that incident. Lawsuit for demolishing the disputed structure in Ayodhya against Vajpayee, Advani, Joshi and others should have been dropped as they have won consecutive elections after that incident. Election victories in this nation is not truly democratic. We have lists of corrupt, perverted and distorted practices in the name of democracy right from the 1950 election. People are not giving their free and fair decisions, but their decision is manipulated by opinion building one way or the other.

So, election victories could not be taken as a vindication for criminal offenses, rather election victories or losses could be taken as a verdict on political stands and philosophies, that too only to a meager extent. So, the PM's claim of vindication is a farce. This shows that the highly educated man, well celebrated for his education, has debauched from the way of rational thinking which is a fruit of education. This stands proof for the age old adage, that certificates and citations won't make you educated, but only the character which you display during testing times show the real personality. Now, we can safely conclude that Dr. Manmohan Singh is a well read man but not a man of unquestionable character.

Alas, the nation has lost another man of integrity to the omni-corrupt politics.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fishermen fished out! #tnfisherman

It is kind of regular to get in news that Fishermen of TamilNadu are getting killed by Sri Lankan Navy for crossing the IMBL. While observing the media reports on the heinous acts of killing of Indian Fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy, it is disturbing that the acts have been reported not as killing but death of TN Fishermen. What is the media trying to do with a soft stand on an issue of life and death of our countrymen? Is it the Soviet bred attitude of understating the problems and exaggerating the praises? So seems the quality of job of on of the pillars of democracy. 

Article 21 of the Constitution of India states “No person shall be deprived of his life except according to the due process established by law.” The Government has a responsibility to keep this constitutional promise up as the people manning it have been sworn in, inter alia, to do this. But the Honorable Prime Minister of India is silent, as always, in this sensitive issue of the killings of our fishermen. He is also, as could not be expected otherwise, silent on the barbarian act of burning alive of a Deputy Collector in Maharashtra. He is silent on the price rise issue. He is silent on the black money mess up. Moot question is has he been sworn to the law of Omerta?

Well, the fishermen of our nation go fishing to the sea as it is their livelihood. They contribute to the economy, trade and exports, not to forget the income they generate for the national economy. Hope our economist PM understands the importance of fishermen, if this issue is looked at from the economy perspective. So, people who contribute to the economic activity, generate income for the nation, contribute to foreign currency reserves deserve to be treated with some respect. But, the Government doesn't care about their loss of lives and justify their killing by citing the killers lame duck excuses as crossing of IMBL.

Where in the world fishermen are killed for crossing IMBL except in Palk straits? Even bitter conditions exist in EU about maritime borders. Slovania and Croatia have dispute over their MBL, but they have decided not to get their general public suffer on their strategic political disputes. 

Here we don't have any maritime border disputes with Sri Lanka. Katchathivu giveaway in 1974 was a strategic blunder for escaping from Sarkaria Commission.Under the treaty agreement of 1974, Indian fishermen have rights to rich fishing grounds in the territorial waters of Sri Lanka around Kachchativu. But, those rights were not honored by Sri Lanka, and the dishonor was not taken seriously neither by the Government of India for violation of agreement nor by the Government of TamilNadu for it's people left to suffer.

On 2009, Tamil Nadu Government declared that the area is controlled by the Sri Lanka against the original pact of allowing Indian fishermen to access the water of Sri Lanka. But this declaration has not even the value of plea to the Sri Lankan Government as it has no legal/diplomatic binding. Any such declarations and talk of action should come from the Government of India to have a binding on International Relations. Tamil Nadu has 40 representatives in the Parliament just to do these kind of jobs. (But do some of those 40 know their JD?)

Between December 9-15, 2010, there was a couple of dozens of incidents having SL Navy harassing Indian Fishermen near Rameshwaram by taking their GPS devices and destroying their boat were exposed. Approximately 1.5 Crores rupees of damages including fish loss was recorded. Due to this Indian Navy arrested 14 SL Navy Officials who entered the border of India with unauthorized ships and Indian Navy Boat blew off one of its tugs which used to attack Indian Fishermen. What was done further? Nobody knows.

The vociferous media of India speaks in a feeble voice about this issue. The media network in TamilNadu controlled by the second family of DMK, which shouted in high decibels when MK was arrested, now boasts pride in reporting that the Chief Minister has written letters and sent telegrams on this issue. The content of the letters or telegrams are as secret as the talks with K'taka on the Cauvery issue. Nobody knows whether those letters/telegrams were informative or requesting consideration to do something or demanding firm action except for those who wrote and those who read.

The Indian Navy and the Sri Lankan Navy have spoken about the plight of the fishermen also, when they discussed about the security concerns post mortem the LTTE. But there was no follow up from the TN Government and the Opposition parties of TN on this matter, raising concerns with the GoI for furthering the talks to ensure safety of the shore dwellers of India. The state Government seems to be least concerned about the fishermen issue as the usually vociferous MK remains relatively silent on the plight of the fishermen.

The opposition parties try too make an election issue of this bereavement, but genuine concern for fishermen is only palpable with the netizens as they don't have any restrictions in registering their thoughts. As I've observed while commuting through the city, I've found many people who are so concerned about the fishermen inter alia other burning issues, and agree that the Government and politicians are not doing enough. They are concerned but they were unable to explain. Few of them are net savvy, so they agreed to tweet and write messages in FB. 

Those who are on the flop side of the digital divide feel that the media are not doing enough in bringing the plight of the fishermen to the notice of the public. A lady told me that the media should have given at least 25% of the hype it gave to Spectrum gate. The general feel of the public is that the grandpas of Indian politics Karunanidhi, Manmohan Singh and the likes should retire and young and energetic people with a sense of responsibility should take over. We can't expect sense of responsibility with Karuna's offspring or the Gandhi family scions.

The Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj has told that she would discuss with External affairs minister S.M. Krishna about this issue, but Krishna would be of little help, has his performance so far, to be taken into account. Jayalalitha may be of help at this juncture, but how far would depend upon the advisers she employ and entertain. Extremely critical of the Lankan Tamils and averse to their presence are Mr. Cho. Ramaswamy and the likes. If JJ takes their advise in this matter, we may simply leave her off. Dr. Subramaninan Swamy would be of help in getting the Government to act in this issue. 

Netizens should not stop by just tweeting, blogging, feed backing but still we have to make this as a movement to ensure the shore dwelling brethren lives a safe and tranquil life. Challenges of life could be natural of which we have no control, but such artificial and atrocious challenges need to be rooted out. Let our Navy and our Coast Guard act on humanitarian grounds, without political interference. Things would grow better. For that we need political will. But Karuna is busy writing his will to share the party and his fortune amongst his offspring. 

Some tweeters called for boycotting the ensuing TN assembly elections. That is not wise. Those who have grown by bogus voting and booth capturing would thrive on this opportunity with the power in hand at the state and at call at the center. 49-O is the best option, if people are not confident of any party to help in any matter. It is the life of our brethren, so it is for us to take them along and take the issue forward to a benefiting solution. 

A request: When you tweet add to your tweets. In Face Book join the Save fishermen page and express your support. Support the signature campaign to save Tamil Nadu's fishermen here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vande Matharam!

A true soldier needs both military and spiritual training. You must, all of you, so train yourselves and your comrades that every soldier will have unbounded confidence in himself, will be conscious of being immensely superior to the enemy, will be fearless of death, and will have sufficient initiative to act on his own in any critical situation should the need arise.

For an enslaved people, there can be no greater pride, no higher honor, than to be the first soldier in the army of liberation. But this honor carries with it a corresponding responsibility and I am deeply conscious of it. I assure you that I shall be with you in darkness and in sunshine, in sorrow and in joy, in suffering and in victory. For the present, I can offer you nothing except hunger, thirst, privation, forced marches and death. But if you follow me in life and in death, as I am confident you will, I shall lead you to victory and freedom. It does not matter who among us will live to see India free. It is enough that India shall be free and that we shall give our all to make her free. May God now bless our Army and grant us victory in the coming fight ! 

- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Army Day

I salute the brethren who risk their life to ensure we live without any problems.
I pay homage to those who had martyred their life - to ensure we live a good life - by lighting a lamp!
Maa thuje pranaam.
Chant Vande maatharam-and
Bow your head before Mother India.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Free education: A Pathway to loot in TamilNadu?

The Government's delivery of service, in other words its duty, is pathetic right from January 26,1950. With 60 years gone by, we could have improved it a lot, but sad fact is the Government machinery was functioning as a toddler during the initial 2 decades, then it turned out to be an insensitive teenager, but suddenly it is now functioning like an old man working on his own obituary! The affected people are the general public who ceaselessly express unwavering trust the Government to do something to let them be somebody in the world, as they have no other go.

Food materials rot in carelessly maintained storage, but Government would stick to the "No Free Lunch" policy. The prices of food items sky rocket, yet the Government would look at it only as a matter of taming the numbers. The cantankerous neighbors would do all the provocative acts to question the sovereignty of the nation, but the Government would sit silent in talks with them hoping for a tranquil neighborhood.

The freebies to sustain vote and hence power by Government of TamilNadu, though making the people lazy in one view, remains only in tricky words making a mockery of the system and the people who trust the Governments words, fools. The bureaucracy is well trained to give better governance but used to make the governance a farce by the political clan. The rulers promise heaven but that comes with a T&C apply caveat, which is almost concealed from the public. The argument that this is a political ploy, programmed in a never ending a loop, to make the people suffer and for the Government to then step in for their relief is debatable but with known results.

While reading through one of my friend Saravanan's blog, I found a kind of a usual event in the Government's service delivery failures, effected by the T&C caveat. The TamilNadu Government has promised free education for the first graduate child from a family. Many families have buoyed at this announcement and have taken their children to be admitted to colleges, despite college education being economically unaffordable for them. But colleges have collected fees, exorbitant from the poor man's stand point, though admitting students under the Government's free first graduate scheme.

When inquired upon about this controversy, people who are in the know say that the Government has offered only free tuition fees and not an all expenses paid education. The Government earlier in 2008 had conditions in reimbursing tuition fees, special fees, non-refundable compulsory fees as fixed by the Government and the examination fees to students, but had waived all those conditions it had for the free education in 2009.

With a view to encouraging students who do not have any graduate in their families so far and pursue professional education after securing admission under the single window system, the Government has decided to bear the entire tuition fee payable by these students in government and private engineering, medical, dental, agricultural, veterinary and law colleges, irrespective of their caste or income, said the Governor in his address to the State Assembly on 6th of January 2011.

The problem with the service delivery system of the Government is that the policies take a different form when implemented. What happens in the middle is the imperious attitude the bureaucrats carry through from the British Imperial ruling setup. The politicians concentrating on their Return on Investments, predominantly financially, pay little attention to such issues faced by minions.

The college under public dissent now, was seen in the news for all good reasons till recently. But the circular (circulated in Saravanan's blog post) rings alarm bells. The items mentioned in the fee structure gets one to wonder what ways one has for minting money after starting a college. A fee is charged for verification of different certificates and marks statements, Insurance premium (who took it for whom?) is charged, but whether they provide policy details is a question worth the 2G loot.

Which academic society admits people at Rs.300/- is a question for people in the know to answer. Also there is an over head other fee for Rs.10000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand only). Some say that Academic Society in colleges include Fine arts club, Debate Club, Quiz club, Microsoft campus club, IE(I) student chapter, IEEE forum, CSI forum, Reader club etc. Students from that college say that the management had itemized that other fee of Rs.10000/- as charges for campus interviews to be conducted at their final year of study.

When a college can afford to give all such academic club facilities for 300 bucks, what is reason for charging 10000 bucks for conducting campus interviews? That defies logic given to understand the sluggish hiring and plummeting recruitment through campuses. Also, insider information, unconfirmed though, say that the Government which should have paid Rs.32500/- had paid only Rs.20000/- to the college for 183 students under this scheme.

Reason cited for this under payment was financial crunch for the Government! Unbelievable, given fact that the State Government had come up with a surplus budget couple of years ago!!! The fiscal responsibility initiatives were also scuttled citing various laughable reasons, so no tough financial measures are reason for this short funding except the obvious, mismanagement.

The defenses coming in favor of the college under discussion are of known nature. They have not violated any rules. They are reputed institution. They have conducted many international technical seminars and are part of many international academic forums. Price waterhouse Coopers, the MNC audit firm was auditors for Satyam computers. Both PwC and Satyam were reputed, part of international fora, so on and so forth. Still, we had the mammoth scam for which PwC also lost its reputation for being a mute spectator/silent partner. So, reputation and membership of forums are not immunity against wrong doing.

Yet, we have to blame the Government for this mess up, since the policy was clear, but implementation was a bad mess up. This is a serious problem with Governance in India. Policies take a different form when they are implemented and the beneficiaries end up bearing the brunt. Reason? The carrying on of the imperious attitude by the bureaucracy right from the days of the Imperial rule. Bureaucracy is trained to assist in delivering better Governance, but it is used to assist the betterment of the rulers.

People are readying a petition to the State Education minister for help. This may help as it is election time and we can expect a verbal reaction from the rulers, since we have hardly seen any concrete action on any issues in the near past. We may trust the opposition parties to take the issue up, but the solution to the issue could not be guaranteed, since it may end up becoming a political tussle.

I suggested to write to Kapil Sibal, but with him inseparably entangled in the spectrum of error reporting right from CAG on 2G to CAT 2010 results, he would not be of much help. Cannot expect PM to help as he would simply reiterate his doctrine of no free lunch despite pulses rotting and the human pulses plummeting. The CM of TamilNadu may talk evoking emotion on this issue, but when it comes to action he would goof up, habitually.

We cannot trust the TN Government for clear action on this case, as we have evidences of inertia even in sensitive issues like the business of education. The Government is famous for its preference of sloth in the school fees issue. Committee after committee has been formed and decisions are deferred sine die. The Government practices the management saying "When you cannot commit on something, form a committee."

The judiciary could help, but the process is unduly time consuming. Blaming the college won't work as it is the Government which has played a kind of crossword puzzle with its promises and the sentiments of the poor people. So, what could be done in this case to get justice? Threaten with your votes as it is election time, people! Nothing else would work. Threaten the rulers with dire electoral consequences by blowing this issue up!