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Tuesday, 31 May 2011


Can a society be corrupted by its culture? To know why Indians are corrupt let’s
look: what patterns and practices distinguish us.
by Aakar Patel
The Mint

Analysis on corruption in India does not address its cultural aspect. We see
nothing peculiar about corruption in India (except that it is everywhere). We
see many corrupt individuals in a system unable to correct itself. Our media
reports corruption episodically. One independent incident of greed follows

Let us set all that aside and look at it differently. No race can be
congenitally corrupt
. But can a race be corrupted by its culture? To know why
Indians are corrupt let’s look elsewhere. What patterns and practices
distinguish us?

 Religion is transactional in India.
We give God cash and anticipate an out-of-turn reward. Our plea acknowledges we
aren't really deserving. The cash compensates for our lack of merit. In the
world outside the temple walls, such a transaction has a name: “bribe”. In India
God accepts cash from us, not good work, for which there is no reward. We don't
expect something from God in return for sweeping our neighbourhood streets. We
go with money.
Observe this in another way.

Why does the wealthy Indian give not cash to temples, but gold crowns and such

To ensure his gift isn't squandered on feeding the poor. Our pay-off is for God.
It’s wasted if it goes to man.

See what this has produced:

In June 2009, The Hindu published a report of Karnataka minister G. Janardhan
Reddy gifting a crown of gold and diamonds worth Rs 45 crore to Tirupati.
According to the temple’s website, Tirupati got 3,200kg silver and 2.4kg of
diamonds in just one year.
The temple encourages such giving, according to a report in The Telegraph in April 2010.
Those who gifted a kilo of gold, worth over Rs 21 lakh, got "VIP darshan" (which means cutting the queue) of the idol.
In 2007, Vellore’s Sripuram temple was built with 1,500kg of gold. By weight
alone it is worth Rs 325 crore. In May 2010, according to The Economic Times,
1,075kg of gold was deposited by Tirupati with the State Bank of India (SBI) for
safe keeping. In 2009, 500kg was deposited with the Indian Overseas Bank.
In June 2004, Business Standard reported that Tirupati couldn't melt down 8,000kg
of gifted gold ornaments because devotees had stuck precious stones to their
gift. This 8 tonnes of metal, worth Rs 1,680 crore but actually useless, was
gathering dust in temple vaults.
On 11 February, according to The Hindu Business Line, 1,175kg of gold was
deposited with SBI, and the temple trustees had yet another 3,000kg of gold

What will they do with all this metal? Gold-plate the walls of the temple (lending new meaning to the phrase “India Shining”).
This work was halted by the Andhra Pradesh high court in December. Not because it was wasteful , ­ such things
aren't vulgar to Indians ­ but because it might have damaged wall inscriptions.

When God accepts money in return for his favours, what is wrong with my doing the same thing? Nothing. This is why Indians are so easily corruptible. Our
culture accommodates such transactions morally. This is key. There is no real
stigma. The demonstrably corrupt Indian leader can harbour hope of a comeback,
unthinkable in the West.

Question is: Why do we have a transactional culture while civilized nations don't?
The answer is that we haven't learnt to trust one another as Europeans have.
Indians do not buy the theory that we can all rise if each of us behaves
morally, because that is not the message of our faith. This is the third point.

Our faith assures us that God will deliver for us individually, but we must
deliver to him too.
When Europeans came here they built schools (there were zero schools in Gujarat
before Mountstuart Elphinstone built the first 10 in the 1820s). When we go to
Europe we build more temples. Patels alone have built 12 Swaminarayan temples in
Unfortunately, the European is tolerant and the Indian quite shameless, though
it’s true also that he’s unaware of what he’s doing. He’s practising his magic
in a culture where it isn't needed. He doesn't need God’s favours in a society
that isn't corrupt, that is moral, that is equal. All he needs is hard work,
which he’s quite capable of giving. Some might say the doctrine of our faith
doesn't support this behaviour. That shouldn't concern us here. We’re talking
about its practice, the way we do religion, rather than its philosophy, which is
ultimately meaningless.

The way we do it is Hobbesian.

We are up against everyone else, except God ­ and even he must be bribed.

lokpal bill

See how Lokpal Bill can curb the politicians
(Circulate it to create awareness)

Existing System
System Proposed by civil society
No politician or senior officer ever goes to jail despite huge evidence because Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) and CBI directly come under the government. Before starting investigation or initiating prosecution in any case, they have to take permission from the same bosses, against whom the case has to be investigated.
Lokpal at centre and Lokayukta at state level will be independent bodies. ACB and CBI will be merged into these bodies. They will have power to initiate investigations and prosecution against any officer or politician without needing anyone’s permission. Investigation should be completed within 1 year and trial to get over in next 1 year. Within two years, the corrupt should go to jail.
No corrupt officer is dismissed from the job because Central Vigilance Commission, which is supposed to dismiss corrupt officers, is only an advisory body. Whenever it advises government to dismiss any senior corrupt officer, its advice is never implemented.
Lokpal and Lokayukta will have complete powers to order dismissal of a corrupt officer. CVC and all departmental vigilance will be merged into Lokpal and state vigilance will be merged into Lokayukta.
No action is taken against corrupt judges because permission is required from the Chief Justice of India to even register an FIR against corrupt judges.
Lokpal & Lokayukta shall have powers to investigate and prosecute any judge without needing anyone’s permission.
Nowhere to go - People expose corruption but no action is taken on their complaints.
Lokpal & Lokayukta will have to enquire into and hear every complaint.
There is so much corruption within CBI and vigilance departments. Their functioning is so secret that it encourages corruption within these agencies. 
All investigations in Lokpal & Lokayukta shall be transparent. After completion of investigation, all case records shall be open to public.  Complaint against any staff of Lokpal & Lokayukta shall be enquired and punishment announced within two months.
Weak and corrupt people are appointed as heads of anti-corruption agencies.
Politicians will have absolutely no say in selections of Chairperson and members of Lokpal & Lokayukta. Selections will take place through a transparent and public participatory process.
Citizens face harassment in government offices. Sometimes they are forced to pay bribes. One can only complaint to senior officers. No action is taken on complaints because senior officers also get their cut.
Lokpal & Lokayukta will get public grievances resolved in time bound manner, impose a penalty of Rs 250 per day of delay to be deducted from the salary of guilty officer and award that amount as compensation to the aggrieved citizen.
Nothing in law to recover ill gotten wealth. A corrupt person can come out of jail and enjoy that money.
Loss caused to the government due to corruption will be recovered from all accused.
Small punishment for corruption- Punishment for corruption is minimum 6 months and maximum 7 years.
Enhanced punishment - The punishment would be minimum 5 years and maximum of life imprisonment.

Spread it like   fire  ; our Nation needs us..please Contribute.. This is not just a forward, it’s the future of our Nation 

A P Mohan Das

"A leader is best when people barely know he exists,
when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say:
"We did it Ourselves" "      -   Lao Tzu

politization of death sentence

शिक्षा होऊनही तिच्या अंमलबजावणीत जर सतत अडथळे येत राहिले तर त्यामुळे कायदेशीर प्रक्रियेची जरब राहणार नाही.  खलिस्तान मुक्ती आघाडीचा प्रा. देवेंद्रपालसिंग भुल्लर याचा दयेचा अर्ज राष्ट्रपतींनी फेटाळला असला तरीही माणुसकीच्या भावनेतून पंतप्रधानांनी यात हस्तक्षेप करून त्याची फाशी रद्द करावी, असे निवेदन शिरोमणी अकाली दलाने केले आहे. पंजाब प्रदेश कॉँग्रेसचे अध्यक्ष अमरिंदरसिंग यांनीही भुल्लरची फाशी रद्द करून त्याला जन्मभराची जन्मठेप द्यावी, अशी भूमिका मांडली आहे. आरोपीवरील गुन्हा न्यायालयात सिद्ध झाल्यानंतर आणि फाशीची शिक्षा सुनावल्यानंतर दयेच्या अर्जावरील निर्णय राष्ट्रपतींकडे 8 वर्षे प्रलंबित होता. भुल्लरला 2001 मध्ये फाशीची शिक्षा न्यायालयाने सुनावली आणि राष्ट्रपतींनी 26 मे 2011 ला त्याचा दयेचा अर्ज फेटाळला. प्रमुख राजकीय पक्षांनी याप्रकारे गुन्हेगाराच्या शिक्षेबद्दल पंतप्रधानांना आवाहन करणे म्हणजे एका अर्थाने कायद्याच्या प्रक्रियेतील हस्तक्षेप आहे. केवळ दयेचा अर्ज प्रलंबित राहिल्यामुळे सर्वोच्च न्यायालयाने त्यासंबंधी विचारणा केल्यानंतर भुल्लरचा अर्ज निकालात निघाला ही वस्तुस्थिती आहे. केवळ विलंब झाला एवढय़ाच कारणासाठी याच प्रकारे अन्य प्रकरणात राजकीय हस्तक्षेप झाला तर त्यामुळे कायद्याच्या प्रक्रियेची प्रतिष्ठा राहील काय? भुल्लरबरोबरच आसाममधील महेंद्रनाथ दास याचाही दयेचा अर्ज राष्ट्रपतींनी 26 मे याच दिवशी फेटाळला. तोही अर्ज गेली 11 वर्षे प्रलंबित होता. भुल्लरने 1993 मध्ये कार बॉम्बस्फोट घडवून आणल्याने त्यात किमान 12 लोकांना प्राण गमवावे लागले होते. त्याच्यावर टाडा न्यायालयात खटला चालला. त्याने जर्मनीत आश्रय घेण्याचा प्रयत्न केला होता. मनिंदरजितसिंग बिट्टा यांच्याही हत्येचा त्याने प्रयत्न केला. बॉम्बस्फोटाचा खटला 6 वर्षे चालला. न्या. एम. बी. शाह, बी. एन. अग्रवाल, अरिजित पसायत या तीन न्यायमूर्तीच्या खंडपीठाने भुल्लरला फाशीची शिक्षा सुनावली. शिक्षेबद्दल खंडपीठाचे एकमत नव्हते ही खरी गोष्ट आहे. परंतु दोन न्यायमूर्तीनी फाशीवर शिक्कमोर्तब केल्यानंतर शंकेला जागा उरत नाही. इलेक्ट्रॉनिक्स इंजिनिअर या विषयाचा लेक्चरर असलेला भुल्लर आज 47 वर्षाचा आहे. त्यामुळे त्याचा दयेचा अर्ज फेटाळल्यानंतर त्यासंबंधी काही मतप्रतिपादन सार्वजनिकरीत्या होणे एका मर्यादेर्पयत समजून घेता येणे शक्य आहे. परंतु सर्वोच्च न्यायालयाचा निर्णयच अन्यायकारक असल्याचे या टप्प्यावर मानवी हक्क वकील संघटनेने जाहीरपणे सांगणे अनाकलनीय आहे. पंजाबमध्ये अकाली दलाबरोबर भारतीय जनता पक्ष सत्तेवर आहे. या पक्षाने भुल्लरचा दयेचा अर्ज फेटाळल्यानंतर अजूनर्पयत तरी भूमिका घेतलेली नाही. कायदेशीर प्रक्रिया आणि निर्णय या टप्प्यावर राजकीय नेते अथवा पक्षांचा या प्रकारे हस्तक्षेप होणे धोक्याचे ठरू शकते. माणसाला मारून प्रश्न सुटणार नाहीत या प्रकारचे तत्त्वज्ञान फाशीचा दोर जवळ आल्यानंतर पुढार्‍यांनीच सांगणे अयोग्य आहे. कारण गुन्हेगाराचा गुन्हा सिद्ध झाला असून त्यात निष्पाप लोकांचे हकनाक बळी गेलेले आहेत. फाशीची शिक्षा असावी की नसावी, यावरची चर्चा हा वेगळा विषय आहे. शिक्षा होऊनही तिच्या अंमलबजावणीत जर सतत अडथळे येत राहिले तर त्यामुळे कायदेशीर प्रक्रियेची जरब राहणार नाही. न्यायालयाचे निर्णय राजकीय प्रभावाने अथवा दबावाने अमलात आणता येत नाहीत, असे जर एखाद्या घटनेमुळे घडले तर त्याचे पडसाद अन्य प्रकरणांवर उमटतील. दुर्मिळातील दुर्मिळ गुन्हा घडल्याशिवाय फाशी दिली जात नाही, असा सर्वसाधारण भारतीय माणसाचा समज आहे. म्हणूनच न्यायालयाचा निर्णय आणि त्याची अंमलबजावणी यातले अंतर कमी करता आले पाहिजे. जनतेच्याच न्यायालयात निर्णय होणार असतील तर कायद्याने उभ्या केलेल्या न्यायालयांची प्रतिष्ठा राहील काय

BRIG HEMANT MAHAJAN NATIONAL SECURITY: DR VINAYAK SEN goes all over india during bail pe...

BRIG HEMANT MAHAJAN NATIONAL SECURITY: DR VINAYAK SEN goes all over india during bail pe...: "देशद्रोहाचा आरोपी नियोजन मंडळावर - न्यायासनाएवढेच प्रशासनही आंधळे असते काय देशद्रोहाच्या आरोपावरून कनिष्ठ न्यायालयात जन्मठेपेची शिक्षा झाले..."

BRIG HEMANT MAHAJAN NATIONAL SECURITY: DR VINAYAK SEN goes all over india during bail pe...

BRIG HEMANT MAHAJAN NATIONAL SECURITY: DR VINAYAK SEN goes all over india during bail pe...: "देशद्रोहाचा आरोपी नियोजन मंडळावर - न्यायासनाएवढेच प्रशासनही आंधळे असते काय देशद्रोहाच्या आरोपावरून कनिष्ठ न्यायालयात जन्मठेपेची शिक्षा झाले..."

DR VINAYAK SEN goes all over india during bail period

देशद्रोहाचा आरोपी नियोजन मंडळावर - न्यायासनाएवढेच प्रशासनही आंधळे असते कायदेशद्रोहाच्या आरोपावरून कनिष्ठ न्यायालयात जन्मठेपेची शिक्षा झालेल्या इसमाने वरिष्ठ न्यायालयाकडून मिळालेल्या जमानतीचा वापर आपल्या राजकीय प्रचारासाठी करावा हे नवल फक्त भारतातच घडू शकतें. त्याला जमानत देताना वरिष्ठ न्यायालयाने त्याच्यावर अशी भाषणे वा लिखाण न करण्याचे किंवा राजकीय व्यवहारात भाग न घेण्याचे बंधन घातले नसेल तर तेवढय़ामुळे त्याला तसे वागण्या-बोलण्याचा अधिकार मिळतो काय? न्यायालयाने अशी बंधने न घालणे हे चूक की बरोबर की ती केवळ त्याविषयीची त्या प्रकरणातील न्यायालयाची अनभिज्ञता? हे बंधन जाणीवपूर्वक घातले नसेल तर त्यामागे न्यायासनाचा एखादा निश्चित हेतू असणार. मात्र अनभिज्ञता वा नजरचूक यामुळे तसे घडले असेल तर तो न्यायासनाचाही अपराधच ठरणार. विनायक सेन या इसमाला त्याचे नक्षलवाद्यांशी संबंध असल्याच्या आरोपावरून कनिष्ठ न्यायालयाने देशद्रोही ठरविले व जन्मठेपेची शिक्षा दिली.
या शिक्षेविरुद्ध त्याने केलेली याचिका उच्च न्यायालयासमोर सुनावणीसाठी आहे. या सुनावणीच्या काळात त्याला जमानत द्यायला मात्र उच्च न्यायालयाने नकार दिला. या नकाराला आव्हान देऊन सेन याने सर्वोच्च न्यायालयाकडे जामिनासाठी अर्ज दाखल केला व तो सर्वोच्च न्यायालयाने मान्य केला. या जमानतीला छत्तीसगड सरकारने विरोध केला व तो करताना कनिष्ठ न्यायालयाने सेनला ज्या कारणांसाठी देशद्रोही ठरविले ती कारणे पुढे केली. सर्वोच्च न्यायालयाने मात्र ती कारणे बाजूला सारून सेनचा जामीन अर्ज मंजूर केला.
जामीनअर्ज मंजूर होताच सेन याने आपल्यावरील सारे आरोप व झालेली शिक्षा विसरून सरकार, राजकारण, नक्षलवाद, छत्तीसगडचे रमणसिंग सरकार, त्या सरकारने नक्षलवादाविरुद्ध केलेली कारवाई या सार्‍यांविषयी जाहीर वक्तव्ये द्यायला व निवेदने काढायला सुरुवात केली आहे. जन्मठेपेच्या शिक्षेविरुद्ध केलेली याचिका सुनावणीसाठी उच्च न्यायालयासमोर असल्याने सेनवरील आरोप अंतिमरीत्या सिद्ध झाला नाही ही कायद्याची बाजू आहे व आरोप सिद्ध होत नाही तोवर त्याचे भाषणस्वातंत्र्यादी नागरी अधिकार शाबूत आहेत असेही त्याचे म्हणणे आहे. मात्र ज्या खटल्यात त्याला ही शिक्षा झाली तो देशद्रोहाच्या व दहशतवादी संघटनांशी सहकार्य केल्याच्या आरोपातून उद्भवला आहे. त्यामुळे या प्रकरणाचा संबंध केवळ कायद्याशी वा कायदेशीर व्यवहाराशी नाही. त्याचा संबंध सामाजिक स्वास्थ्याशी व राजकीय स्थैर्याशीही आहे. त्यामुळे या प्रकरणाचा विचार केवळ कायद्याची चौकट सांभाळून करता येणार नाही. झालेच तर जन्मठेपेची शिक्षा झालेल्या इसमाची स्वतर्‍चीही एक जबाबदारी आहेच. स्वतर्‍ला संपूर्णपणे निदरेष सिद्ध केल्याखेरीज त्याने जगाला मार्गदर्शन करणार्‍या भूमिका अंगावर घ्यायच्या की नाही हे त्यानेही ठरवायचेच आहे.
हा प्रश्न एवढय़ावर म्हणजे न्यायासनाच्या न्यायबुद्धीवर संपणारा वा संपलेला नाही. आपले सरकारही न्यायासनाएवढेच मख्ख व आंधळेपणे वागणारे आहे. सेन या इसमाची जामिनावर सुटका होताच भारताच्या उदार सरकारने त्याची नियोजन आयोगाच्या आरोग्याविषयक समितीवर तज्ज्ञ म्हणून नियुक्ती करून त्याला, म्हणजे नक्षलवाद्यांचा सहकारी म्हणून जन्मठेपेची शिक्षा डोक्यावर असणार्‍या इसमाला शासकीय सन्मानही बहाल केला आहे. देशात तज्ज्ञ, निदरेष व निरपराध डॉक्टरांची आणि चिकित्सकांची वाण असावी हे सांगणारा हा कमालीचा उद्वेगजनक प्रकार आहे. उच्चपदस्थ व आदरणीय जागांसाठी सार्‍या देशातून नेमकी अशीच माणसे हुडकून काढणारे जे कोणते नजरबाज लोक सरकारात असतील त्यांची एकतर शासकीय चौकशी व्हावी किंवा त्यांना पुरस्कार तरी दिले जावे. साधा पासपोर्ट देताना संबंधिताविरुद्ध एखादा गुन्हा तर दाखल झाला नाही याची चौकशी करणारे सरकार नेमक्या अशावेळी कसे अधू होते हे कळायला मार्ग नाही.
सबब, नियोजन आयोगावरील सन्माननीय सदस्य व सर्वोच्च न्यायालयाकडून जामीन मिळवलेला सेन नावाचा इसम आता सार्‍या समाजाला उद्देशून सरकार, लोकशाही, कायदा, हिंसाचार इत्यादीविषयीची प्रवचने ऐकवू लागला आहे. त्याला देशात अनेक पाठिराखे आहेत. त्यांच्यात नक्षलसमर्थकांचा भरणा मोठा आहे. महाराष्ट्रातील काही समाजवाद्यांनाही त्याच्याविषयी असलेला पुळका मोठा आहे.
नक्षली हिंसाचारात मारल्या गेलेल्या आदिवासींसाठी डोळ्य़ांच्या कडाही न ओलावणारी ही माणसे सेनसाठी गळे काढताना दिसली आहेत. समाजकारणी म्हणविणार्‍यांचे वागणे असे असेल, न्यायासने व सरकारातील वरिष्ठजन असे वागणार असतील तर नक्षल्यांचे समर्थक त्याचा फायदा घेऊन बाहेर उंडारणारच. सरकार व पोलीस या यंत्रणांनी या स्थितीत अशा दहशतीचा बंदोबस्त तरी कसा व कशाच्या बळावर करायचा असतो

BRIG HEMANT MAHAJAN NATIONAL SECURITY: govt hurdles in lokpal bill

BRIG HEMANT MAHAJAN NATIONAL SECURITY: govt hurdles in lokpal bill: "सरकारचे घुमजाव ऐक्य समूह Tuesday, May 31, 2011 AT 10:57 PM (IST) Tags: editorial पंतप्रधान, केंद्रीय मंत्री, खासदार आणि वरिष्ठ प्रशासकीय अ..."

govt hurdles in lokpal bill

सरकारचे घुमजाव
ऐक्य समूह
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 AT 10:57 PM (IST)
Tags: editorial

पंतप्रधान, केंद्रीय मंत्री, खासदार आणि वरिष्ठ प्रशासकीय अधिकाऱ्यांना लोकपालाच्या कक्षेत आणायला विरोध करुन केंद्र सरकारने केलेला घुमजाव, म्हणजे भ्रष्टाचार विरोधी कायद्यालाच सुरुंग लावायचा प्रयत्न होय! समाजसेवक अण्णा हजारे यांनी एप्रिल महिन्यात राजधानी दिल्लीत केलेल्या बेमुदत उपोषणामुळेच केंद्र सरकारने जनलोकपाल विधेयकाच्या मसुद्याच्या आराखड्यासाठी संयुक्त समिती नेमली. हजारे यांच्या मागण्या मान्य करायची ग्वाही कॉंग्रेस पक्षाध्यक्ष सोनिया गांधी आणि पंतप्रधान डॉ. मनमोहन सिंग यांनी तेव्हा दिली होती. आता मात्र या मसुद्याला अंतिम स्वरुप यायच्यावेळीच केंद्र सरकारने, या विधेयकातच कोलदांडा घालायचे नतद्रष्ट उद्योग सुरु केले. सरकारने या विधेयकाच्या तयार केलेल्या मसुद्यात पंतप्रधानांवर भ्रष्टाचाराचे आरोप झाल्यास, त्यांच्या चौकशीचे अधिकार लोकपालांच्याकडे द्यावेत, या तरतुदीचा समावेश होता. पण आता मात्र लोकपालांना हा अधिकार द्यायला सरकारची तयारी नाही. हे विधेयक संसदेच्या पावसाळी अधिवेशनात मंजूर करायची ग्वाही केंद्र सरकारने दिली होती. पण हे विधेयक संसदेच्या येत्या अधिवेशनात मंजुरीसाठी मांडले जाऊ नये, या उद्येशानेच सरकारने अत्यंत धूर्तपणे या आराखड्याच्या मसुद्याच्या प्रारुप आराखड्यालाच सुरुंग लावायचा उद्योग सुरु केला आहे. लोकपाल विधेयकावर राजकीय पक्षांना सामील न करता थेट नागरी संघटनेशी वाटाघाटी करायच्या सरकारच्या निर्णयावर काही राजकीय पक्षांनी टीकेची झोड उठवली होती. आता मात्र पंतप्रधानांसह मंत्री आणि खासदारांच्या चौकशीचे अधिकार लोकपालांना द्यावेत काय, या मुद्यावर थेट राज्य सरकारे आणि राजकीय पक्षांना या महत्वाच्या मुद्द्यावर चर्चेत सामील व्हायची संधी मिळायला हवी, असा आग्रह अलीकडेच झालेल्या मसुदा समितीच्या बैठकीत सरकारच्या प्रतिनिधींनी केला. वेगवेगळ्या मार्गाने लोकपाल विधेयकाच्या मसुद्याच्या आराखड्यात खोडा घालायचा आणि विधेयकाचा मसुदा 15 जून पूर्वी तयार होऊ द्यायचा नाही, असा निर्धारच केंद्र सरकारने केल्याचे उघड झाले. सीबीआय, केंद्रीय सतर्कता आयोगालाही लोकपालाच्या कार्यकक्षेत आणायला, केंद्र सरकारच्या प्रतिनिधींनी केलेला विरोध करुन, लोकपाल हे घटनात्मक पद फक्त नामधारी असावे आणि त्याची स्थिती दात पाडलेल्या सिंहासारखी असावी, असे केंद्र सरकारला वाटत असल्याचेच या विरोधाने स्पष्ट झाले. पंतप्रधान, मंत्री आणि खासदारांची चौकशी करायचा अधिकार लोकपालांना नसेल, तर लोकपालांच्या चौकशीच्या कक्षेत नेमके येणार तरी काय? असा संतप्त सवाल न्यायमूर्ती संतोष हेगडे यांनी केला. त्यात जनतेच्याच लोकभावनांचे प्रतिबिंब उमटते. हजारे यांच्या आंदोलनाची हवा काढून घ्यायची, या उद्देशानेच सरकारने त्यांना त्यांच्या मागणीनुसार लोकपाल विधेयकासाठी संयुक्त समिती नेमायला मान्यता दिली आणि आता मात्र सरकारच्या प्रतिनिधींनी खायचे दात बाहेर काढून, भ्रष्टाचाराच्या विरोधात लोकआंदोलन करणाऱ्यांना तोंडघशी पाडायचे राजकारण सुरु केल्यानेच, हजारे यांना पुन्हा आंदोलनाचा इशारा द्यावा लागला. पंतप्रधानांसह व्यापक चौकशीचे अधिकार लोकपालांना असलेच पाहिजेत, यावर नागरी संघटनांचे प्रतिनिधी आग्रही असल्यामुळेच, त्यांचा डाव उधळून लावायसाठी सरकारने हा असा नवा राजकीय कट रचला असला, तरी त्यामुळे भ्रष्टाचाराच्या प्रकरणांनी बदनाम झालेले हे सरकार अधिकच बदनाम होईल. भ्रष्टाचाराच्या विरोधात छात्या बडवत संसदेत आणि जाहीर सभांतून भाषणे करायची, जनतेला भ्रष्टाचार निपटून काढायसाठी सरकारला पाठबळ द्यायचे आवाहन करायचे आणि प्रत्यक्षात मात्र भ्रष्टाचाराला खतपाणी घालणारे धोरण पुढे रेटायच्या उचापती चव्हाट्यावर आल्यामुळे, पुन्हा एकदा हजारे आणि सरकारमध्ये संघर्ष अटळ झाला आहे. 
जनतेची फसवणूक
केंद्रातल्या पुरोगामी लोकशाही आघाडी सरकारच्या गेल्या दोन वर्षाच्या कारकिर्दीत लाखो कोटी रुपयांच्या भ्रष्टाचाराची  प्रकरणे बाहेर आली. माजी केंद्रीय दूरसंचारमंत्री ए. राजा यांनी केलेला एक लाख सत्तर हजार कोटी रुपयांचा टु-जी स्पेक्ट्रम घोटाळा, राष्ट्रकुल क्रीडा स्पर्धातला हजारो कोटी रुपयांचा घोटाळा अद्यापही गाजतोच आहे. टु-जी स्पेक्ट्रम घोटाळा घडवणारे ए. राजा यांना याच सरकारने दोन वर्षे पाठीशी घातले. आघाडीचा धर्म पाळायसाठी नाइलाजाने आपल्याला ए. राजा यांना मंत्रिपदावर ठेवावे लागले, अशी हताश कबुली डॉ.मनमोहन सिंग यांनी देतानाच, भ्रष्टाचार निपटून काढायसाठी आपण हतबल असल्याचेही अप्रत्यक्षपणे सांगून टाकले. महानगरी मुंबईतल्या आदर्श गृहनिर्माण संस्थेचा घोटाळा देश-विदेशात गाजत राहिला. केंद्रीय सतर्कता आयोगाच्या अध्यक्षपदी नेमलेल्या पी. जे. थॉमस यांच्यावर केरळमध्ये सचिवपदावर असताना, पामोलिन तेल आयात घोटाळा प्रकरणी फौजदारी गुन्हा दाखल झालेला होता, हे आपल्याला माहितीच नव्हते, असेही केंद्र सरकारने सर्वोच्च न्यायालयात सांगितले होते. सर्वोच्च न्यायालयाच्या आदेशानुसार या कलंकित अधिकाऱ्याला बडतर्फ करण्याशिवाय केंद्र सरकारला पर्याय राहिला नाही. भ्रष्टाचाऱ्यावर अंकुश ठेवायची घटनात्मक जबाबदारी ज्या केंद्रीय सतर्कता आयोगावर आहे, त्या संस्थेचा प्रमुख असा कलंकित असेल, तर भ्रष्टाचाऱ्यांवर दरारा कसा निर्माण होणार? अशा शब्दात सर्वोच्च न्यायालयाने या प्रकरणात केंद्र सरकारवर ताशेरे मारले होते. पण तरीही केंद्र सरकार मात्र आम्ही भ्रष्टाचार निपटून काढायसाठी वचनबध्द असल्याचा डांगोरा पिटत राहिले. पी.जे.थॉमस यांनी सर्वोच्च न्यायालयात आपली बाजू मांडताना, संसदेत 130 खासदारांवर विविध न्यायालयात खटले दाखल असताना, त्यांना त्या पदावर राहता येते. मग आपल्याला का नाही, असा सवाल केला होता. संसदेतल्या सध्याच्या या कलंकित खासदारांवर विविध न्यायालयात सुरु असलेल्या खटल्याचा निकाल वर्षोनुवर्षे लागत नाही. दहा-वीस वर्षे खटले रेंगाळतात. कनिष्ठ न्यायालयाचा निकाल लागल्यावर त्यावरच्या अपिलांचा निर्णय होता होता वीस-पंचवीस वर्षे निघून जातात. परिणामी लोकप्रतिनिधी कायद्यातल्या पळवाटांचा लाभ घेत हे लोकप्रतिनिधी निवडणुका लढवतात आणि त्यातले काही निवडूनही येतात. कायदे मंडळातील सदस्यांवर कायद्याचा अंकुश असावा. लोकपालांच्या कक्षेत खासदारांना आणावे आणि त्यांच्यावरच्या भ्रष्टाचाराच्या आरोपांची वर्षभराच्या आत चौकशी व्हावी, अशी तरतूद लोकपाल विधेयकात जनसंघटनांच्या प्रतिनिधींनी आपल्या मसुद्यात केली आहे. भ्रष्टाचार मुळातूनच निपटून काढायचा तर अशा कडक तरतुदी असायला हव्यातच, पण लोकपालांच्या कार्यकक्षेत पंतप्रधानांसह खासदारही असायला हवेत. अन्यथा लोकपालाच्या या विधेयकाला काहीही अर्थ नाही.


BRIG HEMANT MAHAJAN NATIONAL SECURITY: IN THE LINE OF FIRE: "Vivek Pradhan was not happy. Even the plush interiors and the comfort of the air-conditioned compartment of the Shatabdi express could..."


Vivek Pradhan was not happy. Even the plush interiors and the comfort of the air-conditioned compartment of the Shatabdi express could not cool his frayed nerves. He is a Project Manager and still not entitled to air travel. It was not the prestige he sought, as he had tried to reason with the Administration person; it was the savings in time. As a PM, he had so many things to do!!
He opened his bag and took out the laptop, determined to put the time to some good use.
"Are you from the software industry sir," the man beside him was staring appreciatively at the laptop. Vivek glanced briefly and mumbled in affirmation, handling the laptop now with exaggerated care and importance as if it were an expensive car.
"You people have brought so much advancement to the country, Sir. Today everything is getting computerized."
"Thanks," smiled Vivek, turning around to give the man a look. He always found it difficult to resist appreciation. The man was young and stockily built - like a sportsman. He looked simple and strangely out of place in that little lap of luxury like a small town boy in a prep school. He probably was a railway sportsman making the most of his free traveling pass.
"You people always amaze me," the man continued, "You sit in an office and write something on a computer and it does so many big things outside."
Vivek smiled deprecatingly. Naiveness demanded reasoning not anger. "It is not as simple as that my friend. It is not just a question of writing a few lines. There is a lot of process that goes behind it."
For a moment, he was tempted to explain the entire Software Development Lifecycle but restrained himself to a single statement. "It is complex, very complex."
"It has to be. No wonder you people are so highly paid," came the reply.
This was not turning out as Vivek had thought. A hint of belligerence crept into his so far affable, persuasive tone. " Everyone just sees the money. No one sees the amount of hard work we have to put in. Indians have such a narrow concept of hard work. Just because we sit in an air-conditioned office, does not mean our brows do not sweat. You exercise the muscle; we exercise the mind and believe me that is no less taxing." He could see, he had the man where he wanted, and it was time to drive home the point.
"Let me give you an example. Take this train. The entire railway reservation system is computerized. You can book a train ticket between any two stations from any of the hundreds of computerized booking centres across the country. Thousands of transactions accessing a single database, at a time concurrently; data integrity, locking, data security. Do you understand the complexity in designing and coding such a system?"
The man was awestuck; quite like a child at a planetarium. This was something big and beyond his imagination. "You design and code such things."
"I used to," Vivek paused for effect, "but now I am the Project Manager."
"Oh!" sighed the man, as if the storm had passed over, "so your life is easy now."
This was like the last straw for Vivek. He retorted, "Oh come on, does life ever get easy as you go up the ladder. Responsibility only brings more work. Design and coding! That is the easier part. Now I do not do it, but I am responsible for it and believe me, that is far more stressful. My job is to get the work done in time and with the highest quality. To tell you about the pressures, there is the customer at one end, always changing his requirements, the user at the other, wanting something else, and your boss, always expecting you to have finished it yesterday."
Vivek paused in his diatribe, his belligerence fading with self-realisation. What he had said, was not merely the outburst of a wronged man, it was the truth. And one need not get angry while defending the truth. "My friend," he concluded triumphantly, "you don't know what it is to be in the Line of Fire".
The man sat back in his chair, his eyes closed as if in trance. When he spoke after sometime, it was with a calm certainty that surprised Vivek.
"I know sir, I know what it is to be in the Line of Fire." He was staring blankly, as if no passenger, no train existed, just a vast expanse of time.
"There were 30 of us when we were ordered to capture Point 4875 in the cover of the night. The enemy was firing from the top. There was no knowing where the next bullet was going to come from and for whom. In the morning when we finally hoisted the tricolour at the top only 4 of us were alive."
"You are a..."
"I am Subedar Sushant from the 13 J&K Rifles on duty at Peak 4875 in Kargil. They tell me I have completed my term and can opt for a soft assignment. But, tell me sir, can one give up duty just because it makes life easier. On the dawn of that capture, one of my colleagues lay injured in the snow, open to enemy fire while we were hiding behind a bunker. It was my job to go and fetch that soldier to safety. But my captain sahib refused me permission and went ahead himself. He said that the first pledge he had taken as a Gentleman Cadet was to put the safety and welfare of the nation foremost followed by the safety and welfare of the men
he commanded.......his own personal safety came last, always and every time."
"He was killed as he shielded and brought that injured soldier into the bunker. Every morning thereafter, as we stood guard, I could see him taking all those bullets, which were actually meant for me. I know sir....I know, what it is to be in the Line of Fire."
Vivek looked at him in disbelief not sure of how to respond. Abruptly, he switched off the laptop. It seemed trivial, even insulting to edit a Word document in the presence of a man for whom valour and duty was a daily part of life; valour and sense of duty which he had so far attributed only to epical heroes. The train slowed down as it pulled into the station, and Subedar Sushant picked up his bags to alight.
"It was nice meeting you sir."
Vivek fumbled with the handshake. This hand... had climbed mountains, pressed the trigger, and hoisted the tricolour. Suddenly, as if by impulse, he stood up at attention and his right hand went up in an impromptu salute. It was the least he felt he could do for the country.
The incident narrated by the Subedar Sushant is a true-life incident and had happened during the Kargil war when India was trying to capture of Peak 4875. Capt. Batra sacrificed his life trying to save one of the men he commanded, as victory was within sight. He was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, the nation's highest military award, posthumously


BRIG HEMANT MAHAJAN NATIONAL SECURITY: DEADLY EMBRACE Future of Global Jihad: "Establishmentality G Parthasarathy / May 28, 2011, 0:25 IST Bruce Riedel advised four US presidents on foreign policy. G Parthasarathy..."

DEADLY EMBRACE Future of Global Jihad

Establishmentality   G Parthasarathy /  May 28, 2011, 0:25 IST

Bruce Riedel advised four US presidents on foreign policy. G Parthasarathy reviews his book on the America-Pakistan relationship, and says there are no good guys

Unlike parliamentary democracies like India and the United Kingdom, the United States does not have a politically neutral and permanent bureaucracy. When Democrats and Republicans alternate in the presidency, there is a virtual musical chairs played out in the higher echelons of the bureaucracy in the White House and in all government departments. But Bruce Riedel, a long-term CIA official, has the distinction of having served four American presidents — Republican and Democrat — as a specialist on West Asian and South Asian Affairs. As Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad, I was fascinated to note that when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif rushed to meet President Bill Clinton on July 4, 1999, to get the Americans to provide him a face-saving exit strategy from his Kargil misadventure, Riedel was the sole official from either side present at the Clinton-Sharif summit.

Riedel’s book Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America and the Future of Global Jihad gives a fascinating insight into an American insider’s view on developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the tensions and suspicions between Pakistan on the one hand and its neighbours, Afghanistan and India, on the other. But above all, it gives a detailed insight into the circumstances leading to the Pakistan military establishment’s fatal attraction for radical Islamic groups. The establishment wants to make Afghanistan a client state ruled by the internationally reviled and isolated Taliban on the one hand, while seeking to wrest Jammu & Kashmir from Indian hands by using radical Islamic groups like the Lashkar-e Taiba and the Jaish-e Mohammed on the other. Riedel bluntly identifies both these groups as being responsible separately for the attack on India’s Parliament in December 2001 and the 26/11 terrorist outrage in Mumbai. He dwells on the role of Chicago-based David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana in the 26/11 outrage and hints at ISI complicity in the attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul in July 2008.

US President Barack Obama recently denounced Pakistan’s “obsession” with India and called on Pakistan to seek normal, good-neighbourly relations with its eastern neighbour. The propensity of prominent Pakistanis, especially those linked to the country’s military and nuclear establishments, to demonstrate pathological animosity towards India and Indians is best described by Riedel in the book’s preface. He quotes a statement of alleged nuclear proliferator Dr A Q Khan just after the Pakistan army’s ignominious surrender in the 1971 Bangladesh conflict. Khan averred that “when the Pakistan army surrendered in the then East Pakistan and faced utmost humiliation, Hindus and Sikhs were beating them with shoes and their heads were being shaved in concentration camps. I saw those scenes with horror.” But Khan was then living in Belgium. How he could have witnessed such scenes (which, in any case, never took place) in the days before live television coverage is a mystery which he has never clarified.

There is one attribute in Riedel’s portrayal of events from the days of the CIA-ISI honeymoon, when General Zia-ul-Haq was President, which needs critical evaluation. Like all CIA and Pentagon officials of the Cold War era, Riedel seems to have a soft corner for both the Pakistan army and the ISI, despite recognising that it has been the paranoia, unrealistic ambitions and arrogance of the members of these two institutions that has led Pakistan to the quagmire in which it now finds itself. Riedel acts as an apologist for the Pakistani military-intelligence establishment when he describes the terrorism that it has fostered and spawned as the work of “elements” or “rogue elements”. Riedel deliberately ignores the fact that, despite all its failings and follies, the Pakistan army is a disciplined force functioning through a rigid command structure. The ISI is an extension of the army, with the ISI chief directly under the control of the army chief. No junior officer or “rogue element” can undertake covert operations, like the attacks on US forces in Afghanistan or terrorist strikes in India, without the approval of the highest levels of the military leadership. But perhaps Riedel can be forgiven for this transgression; even Indians in high positions often seek to similarly let the ISI off the hook.

Riedel contradicts himself by acknowledging, on the one hand, that Pakistan is the epicentre of “global jihad”, with unrealistic ambitions of “parity” with India, while at the same time asserting that Washington should “forcefully encourage New Delhi to be more flexible on Kashmir”. What makes this assertion seem ludicrous is his earlier revelation that President Pervez Musharraf called his corps commanders in early 2007 to endorse the draft package of proposals that he had reached with New Delhi, aimed at resolving the Kashmir issue. He later acknowledges that “the conversion of Line of Control into a permanent, a normal international border”, which is “permeable”, so that people on both sides can lead more normal lives, is the only realistic solution to the Kashmir issue. It is now widely acknowledged that this was the fundamental basis for the package of proposals that Musharraf and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to in 2007. There is no reason to believe that any sensible Indian would be averse to honouring the agreement reached in 2007. It is General Ashfaq Kayani, Musharraf’s successor as army chief, who forced President Asif Zardari to disown the agreement. Why Singh has not revealed the terms of the 2007 agreement to the people and Parliament of India also remains a mystery.
Riedel’s book covers the entire range of American policies that have played a huge role in making Pakistan and Afghanistan into the epicentre of global terrorism today. Sadly, the Americans appear to have learnt nothing from the disastrous results of unquestioningly backing a fundamentalist military dictator like General Zia-ul-Haq, while deliberately condoning his quest for nuclear weapons. If the Clinton administration looked benignly upon the Taliban dispensation in the hope that oil company Unocal would play a lead role in the exploitation of Central Asian gas, the George W Bush and Obama administrations are guilty of overlooking the jihadi propensities of Kayani and even forcing Zardari to give him a three-year extension in service. A perceptive reader will thoroughly enjoy reading about the US’s Deadly Embrace of forces which ultimately brought down the Twin Towers in New York and drew the Americans into a costly and prolonged conflict against the forces of “global jihad” — forces that have brought misery and suffering to the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan and promoted global terrorism.

Pakistan, America and the Future of Global Jihad
Author: Bruce Riedel
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 180
Price: Rs 499


By Ajai Shukla Business Standard, 30th May 11
As the two defence secretaries meet today, we wonder whether what was bought with blood and guts will be bartered for a later regret.

On a moonless night in Siachen, in May 1987, Second Lieutenant Rajiv Pande’s thirteen-man patrol silently climbed towards Quaid Post, a 21,153-feet high pinnacle near the crucial Bilafond La pass that was held by 17 Pakistani soldiers. Quaid had to be captured and Pande was fixing ropes on the near-vertical, 1500-feet ice wall just below the post, to assist a larger follow-on force in making a physical assault. As the jawans fixed the ropes, gasping for breath in that oxygen-depleted altitude, the Pakistani sentries just a few hundred feet above heard them. Gunfire rang out killing nine Indian soldiers, including Pande. But the four survivors could tell their unit, 8 Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry (8 JAK LI), that the ropes were fixed.

Capturing Quaid post was vital being the only Pakistani post that dominated key Indian positions at Bilafond La. Realising its importance, Pakistan named it after Qaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The post, commanded by Subedar Ataullah Mohammed, was held by commandoes from the elite Special Services Group.

With the ropes in place, 8 JAK LI helicoptered an assault team to Bilafond La. Since the Cheetah helicopter can only ferry a single passenger in those extreme heights, and because of frequent blizzards, it took 25 days for the team to gather. On 23rd June, sixty-four soldiers, commanded by Major Virendar Singh, began the attack, all night they searched in waist-deep snow for the rope fixed by Pande’s patrol. Unable to find it, they fell back to base.

The next night a silent cheer went up as the rope was found. In single file, with their rifles slung across their backs, the first section (10 men) started the ascent to Quaid, crossing en route the bodies of Pande and his patrol, still roped together in death. Halfway up, the Pakistani defenders spotted them and opened a murderous fire. Pinned to the ice wall and unable to fire back --- their weapons had suffered “cold arrest”, jammed solid from the minus 25 degree cold --- the assault team sheltered in craters formed by artillery shells. There they spent the entire day exposed, frozen, hungry and under Pakistani fire.

At nightfall on the 25th, the attack began anew. Now the neighbouring Indian posts ---Sonam and Amar --- also fired at Quaid, supplementing an artillery barrage. But each metre gained was paid for in blood; every Indian casualty needed four comrades to ferry him down. A brief rest, a cup of tea, and the four helpers were thrown back into battle.

“By any measure, we should have dropped from exhaustion”, said Major Virendar Singh, describing the events to Business Standard. “But Pande had to be avenged, and the relentless firing from Quaid reminded us of what we had to do.”

By daybreak on the 26th, it became evident that capturing Quaid post would need a daylight frontal assault. With the entire army brass’ attention riveted on this unfolding drama, the brigade commander, Brigadier Chandan Nugyal, radioed Virendar, promising him fire support from every artillery gun in range if he could finish the job.

“I knew we would not last another night on a bar of 5-Star chocolate. We fixed the attack for noon”, says Virendar.

After a massive barrage of artillery fire, Virendar closed onto the post with his 8-man assault party. Simultaneously, another small team outflanked Quaid from below and cut the ropes that the Pakistanis used. Subedar Mohammad knew the game was up. Four defenders jumped off the post, preferring instant death in the abyss below to being shot or bayoneted in combat. The two who remaining were quickly killed. By 3 p.m. the Indian assault party staggered onto Quaid.

“We had no strength to celebrate. At 21,000 feet, nobody does the bhangra, yells war cries, or hoists the tricolour. Ultimately, sheer doggedness wins. If we had once hesitated, Quaid would still be with Pakistan,” recounts Virendar. An admiring army awarded a Param Vir Chakra to Naib Subedar Bana Singh of the assault party and renamed Quaid post Bana Top; and a Maha Vir Chakra and 7 Vir Chakras to other bravehearts of 12 JAK LI. Virendar, who was severely wounded by an artillery shell after Quaid post was captured, won a Vir Chakra, as did Lieutenant Pande.

Indian posts across Siachen, like Bana Top, many of them won at similar cost, will be on the negotiating table today and tomorrow, as the defence secretaries of India and Pakistan meet for the 12th round of dialogue to resolve the Siachen dispute. The Pakistan Army --- for whom Siachen represents a stinging defeat at the hands of the Indian Army --- wants to erase that memory by “demilitarising” Siachen. It wants both sides to vacate their positions and pull back to an agreed line, well short of the glacier. But the Indian Army has little trust for its Pakistani counterpart after the Kargil intrusion and years of fighting terrorism. It asks: how do we know that Pakistan will not reoccupy Siachen after we withdraw? How can you assure us that we will not have to capture Bana Top again?

During 11 previous rounds of dialogue New Delhi had demanded a signed map from Pakistan, showing its forward troop locations, as a prerequisite for a Siachen settlement. Pakistan demurs, ostensibly because that would “legitimise” India’s “intrusion” into Siachen. Rawalpindi’s refusal to authenticate its positions has scuttled all previous dialogue. The reason for that reluctance, the Indian Army believes, is that a signed map would clearly show how badly Pakistan was beaten in Siachen. Although Pakistan terms it “the Siachen dispute”, its forward-most positions cannot even see the glacier. From 13th April 1984, when an all-volunteer Indian force was helicoptered to the Bilafond La pass, India’s complete control of the Saltoro Ridge has shut Pakistan out of Siachen.

Over the years, at enormous cost in dead and injured, the Indian Army has developed enormous skill at surviving at “super altitudes”. In the 1980s, casualties from frostbite and altitude sickness ran in the hundreds. By the end of the last decade, they were down to 20-22 per year. During the last eight years, nobody has died. Today, barely 10-12 soldiers are evacuated annually.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has termed Siachen “a mountain of peace”, and has tended to view it as a bargaining chip in the larger dialogue process with Pakistan. For the Indian Army, though, Siachen symbolises a superhuman feat of arms, sustained over decades. Generals today recall that the blood-soaked capture of the strategic Haji Pir Pass in 1965 was undone at the negotiating table in Tashkent. And many wonder whether history is about to repeat itself

Monday, 30 May 2011


Curse of the bomb
Posted By Rafia Zakaria On May 25, 2011 @ 7:56 am 

IT is said that Pakistan was born on Aug 14, 1947. But like other hazy snapshots in the tampered-with album of our wishful history, this fact, nurtured through rote and repetition, has faltered under the weight of reality.
If the fervour of homage and sacrifice is a reason to reconfigure Pakistan’s creation story, then the country was actually born on May 28, 1998. On that day, Pakistan announced it had carried out five successful nuclear tests; patriotism in Pakistan would henceforth be defined as a belief in the power to kill millions.
Since that day, a large section of Pakistanis have dutifully worshipped their bomb, imagining in its capacity to destroy, a safety that would insulate them from incursions by nosy neighbors and meddling powers, from wars that would chip off territory and skirmishes that would disrespect borders
The bomb will save us, they believed, it will sustain us in these trying times (we cannot be backward if we have the bomb) and save us from trying too hard (who needs a super economy if you have a super bomb?). In times of trouble and fear, when watching the bombing elsewhere — a punished Baghdad amidst its dusty ruins, a desolate Kabul with its bombed-out streets — these Pakistanis turned to the bomb for comfort, however elusive.
But like so many other things — infrastructure and institutions, roads and rituals — the bomb too has failed Pakistan. In the past month, Pakistan’s borders have been casually ignored, security walls scaled and planes destroyed — all this despite the possession of the omnipotent trump card residing at the sacred altar of our national consciousness.
The bomb that was supposed to deter and defeat has been unable to frighten anyone into leaving us alone. It has revealed, instead, the flimsy remains of our national pride and a confused, conspiracy-infested mental landscape. Never united otherwise, Pakistanis can now share the heartbreak of knowing that they were never invincible after all, that a few men could easily outwit and outsmart, and that situating their self-worth in a bomb is exacting an infinitely bloody price.
No longer cosseted by the myth of a cure-all weapon, the bomb like an unveiled bride must be assessed in the fluorescence of a depressing and unwelcome day. It was widely known to have been procured through deception and disguise, lies and falsehoods. The man, who developed it, was chastised publicly and heroised privately, despite what some saw as his mendacity.
These sins we forgave, unwilling to recognise their potent if silent attack on national morality now poised to elevate someone accused of selling nuclear technology and promoting proliferation. It is poised to accept that it is entirely forgivable to sacrifice what is right for what is needed and most damningly that the power to destroy is more venerable than the power to befriend and create.
The losses brought by the bomb would likely be forgiven by Pakistanis if they were moral concerns alone. In the cold estimations of post-Soviet calculations, nuclear power was a deterrent, its possession meant that others would stay away, that possession alone equalled power, especially for small countries with few friends.
However, in the era of terrorism, where every living thing is a target and the propagation of fear is a means to control, a markedly different equation of nuclear power is in operation. Under its deductions, weak states with nuclear weapons attract rather than deter non-state enemies. Ideologically motivated non-state actors see weak countries as easily penetrable targets which can provide access to nuclear capabilities that would make the absence of territorial control largely irrelevant.
While the weapon caches of countries like the US are impenetrable to such groups, those of weak countries are perceived as achievable. In simple terms, there is a school of thought that Al Qaeda and similar groups will not stop targeting Pakistan as long as it possesses the nuclear bomb. In fact, maintaining the power to destroy might well mean the slow but sure destruction of the country itself.
Non-state terror groups are not alone in bestowing unwanted attention on Pakistan. Superpowers, both existing and emergent, have their own interests in the bomb, and fears that Pakistan may not be able to keep its assets secure could well increase their efforts to meddle with and muddy existing configurations. These fears do not appear far-fetched if little more than a couple of ladders, dark clothing and crossing a stream is needed to enter a naval base and wreak havoc on men and material.
If defences are seen as so fragile and security so decrepit then the concerns of those that have much to lose cannot simply be shaken off with the blind faith bestowed on the military in decades past.
Pakistanis have done a lot for the bomb; in the six squabbling decades of a meager existence they have sacrificed education, water, sanitation and even the patched-together shreds of a national conscience to fund and fuel the military machine which birthed the bomb.
As long as Pakistanis continue to rely on conspiracy to rationalise the collage of military failures and cling to denial and delusion the curse of the bomb will not be revealed. Perhaps the 30,000 dead Pakistanis, the young brave faces of martyred naval commandos, the lined-up bodies outside mosques, will provoke the question of what the bomb, so unconditionally loved, has really given Pakistan.


BRIG HEMANT MAHAJAN NATIONAL SECURITY: US OPS IN PAK: "HARE, HOUND & INDIA By Shankar Roychowdhury “We’re telling the Americans: you have to trust the ISI or you don’t. There’s nothing in betwee..."


Shankar Roychowdhury

“We’re telling the Americans: you have to trust the ISI or you don’t. There’s nothing in between”
— ISI to American media in Washington (New York Times, April 12, 2011)

So, did the Americans finally trust the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), at least at some level, for the coup de grace which eliminated Osama bin Laden on May 2?
Given the steadily worsening state of US-Pakistan relations, this would seem highly improbable at first sight, but how else to explain what appears to be a flawlessly-executed American heliborne operation at Abbottabad, a historic garrison town deep inside the Pakistani heartland, and home to the Frontier Force Regiment of the Pakistan Army?
What explanations, amongst others, can be offered for the total lack of reaction from the local Pakistani garrison even as a noisy heliborne intrusion, followed by an hour-long firefight got under way at a compound which must have been designated as a super-sensitive, specially-protected target? Or did the local garrison receive instructions to see nothing, hear nothing and do nothing even as the attack unfolded before their eyes and ears?
Bin Laden was an enemy of India, so no tears need be shed over his demise, in this country at least. In fact, it can be speculated that with his diminishing operational utility, Bin Laden might well have become a suitable pawn of sufficient symbolic significance to be offered to the Americans as quid pro quo for their withdrawal from Afghanistan, a country which Pakistan considers to be within its sphere of influence, region of strategic depth, and gateway to Central Asia.
US President Barack Obama, too, due for re-election in 2012, wishes desperately to pull America out of Afghanistan before the body-bag count brings out larger numbers of anti-war protesters and tilts the anti-incumbency scales further against him.
Bin Laden’s demise has created a win-win situation for both, the US as well as Pakistan. Mr Obama can now claim, with a substantial degree of justification, that 9/11 has finally been avenged on his watch, an achievement which will undoubtedly pay handsome dividends to the Democrats in the forthcoming presidential campaigns.
The watershed moment signalled by the Pasha-Panetta talks in Washington on April 11, between ISI chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha and Leon Panetta, current grey eminence in the Central Intelligence Agency (and by all accounts the next defence secretary of the United States), has come full circle. Pakistan had, in effect, announced at this meeting that it was taking over the steering wheel in the war in Afghanistan, taking charge of the end game to shape it to its own interest when the Americans depart.
Discussions between intelligence agencies never find their way into the public domain, but the agenda here was leaked extensively by the ISI, with the aim of making it clear that it would henceforth place its own agenda first, and operate on its own terms and priorities, whether in Afghanistan or anywhere else.
Pakistan had demanded that the future scope of the CIA-ISI activities must be formally defined and the CIA drastically reduce its activities in the country, particularly its drone operations, except with prior concurrence of the Pakistan Army. In addition, over 300 CIA operatives functioning inside Pakistan (allegedly 40 per cent of the strength) were to be withdrawn.
The ISI tries hard to control America’s Af-Pak policy, giving very limited leverage to the United States with the Pakistani power centres in the ISI and military establishment.
So when Pakistan’s demand for cessation of drone strikes against militants was rejected by the US, especially in respect of North Waziristan, Pakistan turned the screws in retaliation, by almost summarily expelling CIA personnel from airfields at Shamshi, Jacobabad and Pasni in Balochistan, which had been made available earlier by President Pervez Musharraf’s government as operational bases for the CIA’s force of Predator drones. Drone operations from Pakistani territory, a key component in the American strategy against Taliban, are likely to be severely affected as a result, if not terminated altogether.
The elimination of Bin Laden has to a great extent restored America’s position as senior partner in the US-Pakistan relationship. If necessary, the US can now publicly wash its hands off the whole process, pick up its marbles and go home with a justified sense of victory.
India on its part must now very carefully examine how the fallout from the Washington meeting will square off against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s effusive bonhomie towards Pakistan. The Mumbai terror attacks of 26/11 are being pushed into oblivion, and it remains to be seen how India’s latest gambit of cricket diplomacy will reconcile with the revelations made in a Chicago court by Tahawwur Hussain Rana and Daud Gilani, aka David Coleman Headley.
There is a strong revival of radical Islam in Pakistan, and any surface calm brought about by Dr Singh’s unilateral initiatives is superficial, even deceptive.
The currents of fanaticism and hatred towards India run deep in Pakistan, even amongst the common people, most recently seen in the mass demonstrations in support of Mumtaz Qadri, the bodyguard and assassin of Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab who was murdered on January 4 this year. This was followed by the murder of the minority affairs minister Shahbaz Bhatti on March 2 by assassins who still remain untraced.
India on its part must never be lulled into a false sense of complacency by the elimination of Bin Laden. There should be no doubt that India will continue to remain the primary long-term target of the ISI regardless of the latter’s current preoccupations in Afghanistan. The ISI is confident it can handle both.
Gen. Shankar Roychowdhury is a former Chief of Army Staff and a former Member of Parliament


This info has been doing the rounds in different forms for long.  However I cannot authenticate it. Here is the link to the original article  .

But it is fact that if China asks US to make good the credits due to them; the US will be in deep shit.  That is why they cant fool around with them and take them seriously; while we are treated like idiots which in any case we are.  

Can't you see the situation with Krittika.  Where have all the Krishna's and Tharoor's gone?  They are shit scared that if they talk their families in the US will be screwed.

That is the situation; we are ruled by people whose actions are not based on national interest.
On 30 May 2011 09:56, gautam moorthy <> wrote:

I dont know how authentic this is. Can any one comment?

One giant debt for mankind: U.S. national deficit would reach almost to the moon if piled high in $5 bills

      .   Echoes of Reagan's famous comment as debt limit is reached
  • Vice President Joe Biden to host crucial talks with Republicans tomorrow
President Ronald Reagan once famously said that a stack of $1,000 bills equivalent to the U.S. government's debt would be about 67 miles high.
That was 1981. Since then, the national debt has climbed to $14.3 trillion. In $1,000 bills, it would now be more than 900 miles tall.
In $5 bills, the pile would reach three-quarters of the way to the moon.
The United States hit its legal borrowing limit today and the Treasury Department has said the U.S. Congress must raise the debt ceiling by August 2 to avoid a default.
Size of the problem: The national debt clock in Times Square shows the national debt, which has hit its official limit ot $14.3bn
The White House is trying to hammer out a deal with lawmakers to cut federal spending in exchange for a debt-limit increase.
Such a deal may hinge on negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden, which still have a long way to go to close the gap between deeply divided Democrats and Republicans.
Biden has increasingly been playing the role of emissary for the White House to Capitol Hill on the budget battle that threatens to lead the United States to the verge of default.
Republicans are demanding deep spending cuts in return for raising the borrowing ceiling.
A graphic representation of how far the U.S. national debt would reaach to the moon if pile up in $5 bills. 2011 vs 1981
Biden will gather together senior lawmakers from both parties tomorrow afternoon for a third set of talks to hammer out a compromise on reducing budget deficits.
The vice president's group made a better start than most observers had expected when it began to meet this month. But few expect an agreement to come quickly or easily.
'It is a virtual certainty that this process will go to the absolute last minute, and then for five minutes longer,' said Alex Brill, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who worked in President George W Bush's White House.
Attention has shifted to the Biden group after talks among a separate negotiating panel -- the 'Gang of Six' senators -- stalled last week with the departure of Republican Senator Tom Coburn, a fiscal conservative from Oklahoma.
Some analysts saw the breakdown of the Gang of Six talks as a bleak harbinger for the prospect of a long-term budget deal.
That group, comprised of fiscal experts from both parties, had been working behind the scenes since early this year.
Biden's panel includes four Democratic lawmakers and two Republicans who are known more for the clout they wield within their parties than for their budgetary expertise.
Among the members are Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives and James Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat.
Then and now: Ronald Reagan made his famous comparison when president in 1981. Vice President Joe Biden will try and hammer out a deal with the Republicans tomorrow aimed at raising the debt limit
Biden has been a point person within the administration for relationships on Capitol Hill because of the 36 years he spent as a Delaware senator.ittee for a Responsible Federal Budget. 'The net worth of Warren Buffet, roughly around $50 billion, could only cover the deficit for 13 days.'
Most people have trouble conceptualising $14.3 trillion.
Stan Collender, a budget expert at Qorvis Communications, said the biggest sum most Americans have ever handled -- in real or play money -- is the $15,140 in the original, standard Monopoly board game.
The United States borrows about 185 times that amount each minute.


  • * U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said the United States borrows about $125billion per month.
With that amount, the United States could buy each of its more than 300 million residents an Apple Inc iPad.
  • * In a 31-day month, that means the United States borrows about $4 billion per day.
A stack of dimes equivalent to that amount would wrap all the way around the Earth with change to spare.
  • * In one hour, the United States borrows about $168 million, more than it paid to buy Alaska in 1867, converted to today's dollars.
In two hours, the United States borrows more than it paid France for present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa and the rest of the land obtained by the 1803 Louisiana Purchase.
  • * The U.S. government borrows more than $40,000 per second. That's more than the cost of a year's tuition, room and board at many universities.
'That usually gets their attention,' Doug Holtz-Eakin, who was chief White House economist under President George W. Bush, said in an email. 'I have two kids, so every 10 seconds, the feds borrow more than I paid lifetime.'
  • * The Congressional Budget Office projects the total budget deficit in fiscal 2011 at about $1.4trillion.
'The net worth of Bill Gates, roughly around $56 billion, could only cover the deficit for 15 days,' said Jason Peuquet, a policy analyst with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.  'The net worth of Warren Buffet, roughly around $50 billion, could only cover the deficit for 13 days.