Saturday, 31 December 2016
How Mamata Banerjee has converted West Bengal into a communal cauldron Dhulagarh is only the latest symptom.
I first visited Kolkata as a teenager to watch a Davis Cup tennis match between Australia and India. As we sat in packed stands to cheer a young Vijay Amritraj lead India to a 3-2 win over favourites Australia, a friend spoke to me with awe about a 17-year-old Swedish prodigy called Bjorn Borg who was taking the European tennis circuit by storm: “Mark my words, he’ll win Wimbledon.” Borg duly did two years later at the age of 19 in 1976. History Kolkata was then a pleasant city. The Communists had not yet inflicted their cruel depredations on the state. Mamata Banerjee was still a young student leader of the Congress (I). The subject she chose for her masters degree at the University of Calcutta was Islamic history. 40 years later, in her sixth year as chief minister of West Bengal, Banerjee has tightened her grip over the state. She has done so by polarising West Bengal along communal lines in a manner unprecedented in the state’s history. To consolidate power, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has torn the secular fabric of Bengal into shreds. Ironically, Banerjee poses as a secular leader while she systematically practises the most cynical and egregious form of communal politics. West Bengal’s Muslims form 27 per cent of the state’s population. Counting Bangladeshi refugees and non-Census citizens, the actual percentage of Muslims in West Bengal today is closer to 30 per cent. Banerjee has collared this vote-bank. She gives it no development but hands it generous sops — ranging from job quotas to hard cash for madarsas. mamatabd_122916084738.jpg Mamata Banerjee has polarised West Bengal along communal lines. Muslims in Banerjee’s Bengal remain desperately poor and backward. But they vote en masse for her. This 30 per cent vote bloc, along with a smattering of divided Hindus, gives Banerjee a vice-like grip over the electorate. It is hardly surprising that she won the last Assembly election with a landslide. Poverty and communalism are her calling cards. Few outside Bengal had heard of Dhulagarh till two weeks ago. This small industrial and business hub in Howrah district has acquired infamy after Muslim mobs attacked Hindus and burnt their homes. The attack was triggered by a group of Hindus verbally objecting to a procession by Muslim groups on Eid-e-Milad, the Prophet’s birthday. The mainstream media has typically under-reported the Dhulagarh violence. Swarajya magazine recorded the events leading up to the violence: “Muslims brought out a procession complete with loudspeakers blaring Hindi film music on 13 December to celebrate Eid-e-Milad which actually fell on December 12 and was a public holiday. On December 13, Hindus at Dhulagarh village, like in the rest of the country, were observing Margashirsha Purnima. Hindus at the village requested those in the procession to lower the volume of the loudspeaker since the music was interfering with some rituals. Violence "This incensed a section of those in the procession and they started attacking Hindu homes and shops. According to local people, the attackers were non-local Muslims. Hindu houses and shops were looted and then set ablaze while police who reached the village were attacked by bombs and prevented from stopping the rioters.” If such communal violence had broken out in a BJP-governed state, the media would have front-paged it — and justifiably so — for days. In the case of Dhulagarh, coverage by the media was sparse. It took an outpouring of scorn on social media to spur television anchors and newspaper editors to run stories on the Dhulagarh riot which resulted in horrific arson on dozens of Hindu homes. Dhulagarh is only the latest symptom of West Bengal’s descent into a communal cauldron instigated by violent TMC cadres. If the thuggishness of the CPI(M) was notionally secular, the viciousness of the TMC is unabashedly communal. Riots are its preferred way of life. Belligerence As the website CatchNews reported earlier this year: “West Bengal has witnessed a spike in communal violence during Mamata Banerjee’s tenure. There have been the infamous Canning and Deganga riots and communal incidents increased to 106 in 2013. The previous five years witnessed about 12-40 communal incidents. Many attribute the recent belligerence of Muslim hardliners in West Bengal to the politics of appeasement played by Mamata ever since she came to power.” Following demonetisation, Banerjee has become increasingly shrill in her criticism of PM Narendra Modi. Last Thursday (December 22), she told the media shortly after a core committee meeting of the TMC: “Modi Hatao, Desh Bachao is our key slogan now. A person who lost credibility has no moral right to rule the country. He and four of his men are practically running the country and ruining the nation. The Narendra Modi government has lost credibility and had no moral right to remain in office. A person who started his career with riots cannot govern the county.” Banerjee sees herself as a national leader. Like Arvind Kejriwal, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Sharad Pawar earlier, her misbegotten route to the top has been through Muslim appeasement. None of these leaders of straw pause for a moment to think how they could empower, rather than appease, Muslims. NGOs and human rights activists, so quick (again rightly so) to condemn communal violence elsewhere in India, have remained largely silent on Dhulagarh. Bengal deserves their attention. Above all, Bengal deserves a secular chief minister
मायामेमसाब on: December 28, 2016In: अग्रलेख, संपादकीयNo Comments बहुजन समाज पक्षाच्या नेत्या मायावती यांना घेरण्यासाठी भाजपने चौफेर नाकेबंदी केल्याचे सध्या जाणवत आहे. हजार, पाचशे रुपयांच्या जुन्या नोटा रद्द करण्याच्या निर्णयामागे जी अनेक कारणे सांगितली गेली त्यात उत्तरप्रदेशातील विरोधकांना धडा शिकवणे हा भाजपचा एक प्रमुख उद्देश होता असे सांगितले गेले. उत्तरप्रदेशातील भाजपच्या प्रमुख विरोधकांमध्ये मायावतींचा समावेश होतो. मायावतींनी निवडणुकीच्या राजकारणातून आजवर मोठी “माया’ गोळा केली असल्याचा आरोप यापूर्वीही अनेक वेळा झाला आहे. पक्षातर्फे निवडणूक लढवू इच्छिणाऱ्या उमेदवारांकडून कोट्यवधी रुपये घेऊन तिकिटे विकली जातात, असा आरोप त्यांच्यावर सर्रास केला गेला आहे.
Friday, 30 December 2016
Wednesday, 28 December 2016
BENGAL The State faces an existential and identity crisis, with the growth of jihadism and rabid Islamist lumpens aided and supported by the party in power. It poses a severe challenge to the well-being of the State itself
Tuesday, 27 December 2016
IN PAKISTAN In rural Sindh, Hindu girls and women are sometimes forced by local landlords and petty thugs to ‘convert’ to Islam and get married (pretty much a euphemism for kidnapping and rape). Their families complain they have no legal recourse for registering, let alone prosecuting, these crimes.
Monday, 26 December 2016
he mainstream media’s deafening silence on recent communal incidents has led to a steady erosion of its credibility. Islamist hardliners in Bengal who spew venom and issue death threats are above the law and the mainstream media avoids criticising them even mildly. In such a situation, more credence is given to unsubstantiated news and rumours masquerading as news. And this can be dangerous for a state like West Bengal.-Jaideep Mazumdar
Sunday, 25 December 2016
MIND BLOWING RESPONSE FROM INTERNATIONAL MEDIA TO DEMONETIZATION! -Edited and Forwarded by Capt. Ravi Mahajan Retd.
Within The ISI: Plumbing The Deepest Point Of A State Kiessling is excellent on the ISI under Gen Zia and its pernicious influence, but misses crucial aspects G. PARTHASARATHY
Ex-air chief marshal SP Tyagi seems to have wandered into a minefield- Admiral Arun Prakash is a former Navy chief
Shishir Gupta Major military reforms are in the offing with defence minister Manohar Parrikar slated to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi early next month to discuss the mandate of a proposed chief of defence staff (CDS). Work has begun on creating joint commands to optimise resource utilisation among the three armed services; the Army, Navy and the Air Force. South Block sources told Hindustan Times that the Modi government has decided to appoint a CDS, a single point military adviser to the political leadership in matters of acquisition, procurement policy and resource rationalisation. The mandate for the proposed CDS will be decided by defence minister Parrikar in consultation with the PM and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. “The new post of CDS will not be used for parking slots for super-ceded generals and a new man will be tasked with the job once work profile is clearly defined,” said a senior official. Parrikar is currently studying the report of retired General DB Shekatkar on making military more effective with better teeth-to-tail ratio. The Shekatkar committee has also identified areas where there is redundancy, and downsizing of the military could be undertaken without compromising combat effectiveness. Ads by ZINC “For example, a couple of hundred signal troopers had been deployed to listen to radio broadcasts in 1962. This unit is still functional despite it being technologically redundant. Similarly, the National Cadet Corps could be downsized by more than 50% by hiring retired soldiers,” said the official. After preferring merit to seniority in appointment of Army Chief, the defence ministry is now examining the case for a joint command as a step towards integrated theatre commands. The army, air force and navy currently operate in silos with each protecting its turf and operations. The ministry now is looking towards creating integrated structures where all three services are synergised towards military operations. For example, it is proposed that Northern Command could come under one overall commander from any one of the three services, with overall control of all military and air assets. “This does not mean that top level vacancies will be reduced. Only that there would be one overall commander in one theatre and future roles of military chiefs being redefined and refocused. Essentially, the reforms will be close to what has been done in US Armed Forces with tweaking on ground,” said a senior official. However, top defence analysts are sceptical about the theatre command concept as it not only required dedicated military resources but also command synergy at the cutting-edge levels. According to them, maybe the first step could be formation of tri-services battle groups before the theatre command concept is followed. “US has global armed presence and hence the theatre command concept works with dedicated land, air and naval assets earmarked for each command. In India, we have flexible air and naval assets that are earmarked as per operational requirement,” said an analyst