Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It is not an "Intelligence Failure"

Ever since the Kargil days India's Intelligence department has been under a constant scanner and criticism. It has also become an easy punching bag for lousy politicians who simply occupy the chair to feel powerful but do not fulfill the responsibilities in return for the powers given to them.

It is not to say that India's intelligence team is anything at the level of MOSSAD or even CIA. May not be even closer to ISI in terms of external intelligence, but then ISI, in my opinion is the "non-state actor" that the Pakistan Govt. keeps referring to. But Indian Intelligence has improved drastically over a period of time.

When Home Minister P Chidambaram says that there is no intelligence failure, I like to believe that, even if the state CM keeps complaining about the lack of intelligence. May be he is referring to his own intelligence and if it is that, I completely agree with the CM.

On a serious note, Indians need to understand that the security apparatus of the country faces a very strong weakness and that is of "Policy Failure". Here is what may happen when an intelligence is shared with the state machinery. The IB shares information with the PMO, which shares with respective parties and then the police that should be able to act on it is in two minds. The terror suspect, almost invariably, is someone from the muslim community. If the police arrests him on the basis of intelligence reports alone, then the entire community and few human rights groups will stand up and charge the govt. and the police with discrimination because of their religion and also of brutality in the custody. That means Congress and many other muslim favoring parties will stand to lose the votes of the community that brings them to power. Then, few probes will be announced, officers and men from police forces will be suspended and matter will come to a naught. A terror suspect will become free along with an almost understandable immunity from police action against him in the future.

What also makes the matters worse is the physical appearance of these terrorists. We typically assume them to be long bearded, rough-tough sorts. But they turn out to be some next-door-neighbour type, nicely educated doctors, engineers and IT professionals, sometimes even good-looking and a few times they are young girls and women. This makes the police charges absolutely unbelievable because whether we like it or not, we do get affected by the physical appearance of a thing.

In other words, India suffers from the Muslim Appeasement politics of certain political parties and general lack of faith in the govt. and govt. apparatus. The second part is wholly due to the largely corrupt nature of many political leaders.

India needs leadership as well as voters who have the courage to stand up for what is correct and in favor of the country and countrymen. The Congress govt. has to stop this policy of Muslim Appeasement. In fact, they must stop the policy of appeasement in all forms. Appeasement policies like reservation, special arrangements on religious occassions, special personal laws so on and so forth.

Muslim Appeasement is responsible for most of the inaction by the Indian security establishment. I can give examples:

Example no. 1: Intelligence on Sleeper Cells

It is a general knowledge today that we have sleeper cells of terrorists operating in our country. In simple language these are normal, common looking people doing common job like the way any family man does. He could be your neighbour and will have a clean record over the last 20-25 years. His utility to the Jehadi bosses is of that one time contribution, during a specific operation, and if he dies in that operation it has be to be considered as martyrdom. This sleeper cell, which is in the form of a simple family, gets active one final day on which tens or hundreds of lives of innocent Indians may be lost.

This whole story is a common knowledge now. What kind of solution can anyone suggest for a problem like this? These sleeper cells do not speak to their bosses for a very long time. Their conduct may be super clean. There is no way that intelligence agencies are going to be in a position to know which specific family is a sleeper cell of the terrorists. The only way is to have the police interrogate them through different techniques whenever they find something even remotely unconvincing about a suspect. But we ourselves disallow them from doing this.

Example No. 2: Bangladeshi Illegal Immigrants

India has so many Bangladeshi illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. This is a well recognized fact. Security agencies have raised this matter time and again but due to votebank politics of Muslim Appeasement, Congress govts have time and again denied these reports or ignored them in terms of taking action on these reports.

There have been continued skirmishes between BSF and BDR in order to facilitate infiltration of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Political bosses have refrained from taking any specific action against these cases which has weakened the extent of action that BSF is ready to take on this subject. There are estimated to be over 1.5 crore illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in India. This is the report of the intelligence but what is the govt. doing? If anything, they are naturalizing these illegal immigrants by putting the onus of proving their citizenship on the Govt of India rather than on the immigrant himself, as is specifically provided under the law. Also, passports are being issued them on loose terms, which is not the case with the actual citizens of the country.

I am afraid that though the Unique Identification Number program is a good thought, the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants will be discreetly regularized as Indian citizens through this program.

Example no. 3: Use of Madarsas

Intelligence agencies have continuously raised the matter of illegal and anti-national activities being taken up at Madarsas. Social organizations have raised continuous doubts about the extreme religious orientation being given to the students too. But when was the last time we heard the govt. taking actions against the madarsas? Congress govt. is shying away from taking any action against these Madarsas as they fear making Muslim community angry by their actions.

Isn't that Muslim Appeasement too. One can go on about the examples and, definitely expect shoddy replies from the govt. defending their inaction or the appeasement policy.

What may the govt. say for such inaction?

They say that they do not have an specific proof of the suspects involvement. Therefore, they cannot take any action against the person.

Well, they will get the "proofs" once they begin the investigation. The intelligence is meant to take on-ground investigation and collect further proof in order to enforce law. Intelligence agencies gather intelligence, not conduct on-ground investigation. Why is this simple thing so hard to understand?

I believe the govt should come out with a clear, secular, nationalist policy and tell the countrymen that it doesn't recognize religious affiliation of any terrorist and directs the religious group to refrain from giving such actions a religious color and also not hamper the investigations as such bodies may be slapped with the charge of conniving with the accused and obstructing the road of justice.

This will be possible through stricter laws like POTA and GUJCOC. Both have been inspired by the MCOCA in Maharashtra. Home Minister should refrain from playing politics over matters of security. He should also disallow his ego from ruling his mind when he gives his advice to the President of India.

Indians can only wish that the Congress govt. will shed the policy of Muslim Appeasement and treat all citizens equally.

Some Khan's are terrorists

I never thought that I will be discussing films in my blog ever. I broke that rule when I saw Rann and I am breaking it again though I haven't seen the film under discussion today - My Name is Khan.

It is the only movie in my memory that was promoted in the fashion that it was. With that first staement from SRK about Pakistani cricketers non-inclusion in IPL it started appearing to me that I was watching James Bond's movie - Tomorrow Never Dies.

As the drama unfolded, I was convinced that it is indeed the real life version of Tomorrow Never Dies.

I may not have seen the movie, but the famous line - My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist - gives a fair impression of the primary theme. The same theme had been shown in SRK's erstwhile favorite production house Yashraj Film's New York.

The movie is primarily aimed at creating sympathy for the muslim community, especially in the aftermath of 9/11. Undoubtedly the world has started talking more openly about the evils of Jehad and the large scale involvement of Muslims in terrorist activities. In order to secure their countries and the lives of their citizens, country after country started treating Muslims with distrust and caution. Both sides are bound to look at it differently. Muslims, all over the world, started complaining of this mistrust as many believe that they don't deserve this since they are clean.

Anyway, back to our issue. In Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond comes across Carver Media Group network boss Elliot Carver goes to the extent of trying to cause a war between UK and China in order to promote his news channel in China. In other words, he is ready to create international issues and cause mayhem for personal commercial benefits.

SRK's movie was aimed at Muslims, any muslim in the world would relate to his subject. That was his primary audience. So after he himself didnot buy any Pakistani player for his team Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL, SRK took the opportunity from the fact that no one else did too. He goes to the media and blames IPL management and other teams of having maintained double standard and taking a moral highground on the issue of not a single Pakistani player being bought out in IPL auction. This was on January 25, 2010, (His exact statement was, “They are the champions, they are wonderful but somewhere down the line there is an issue and we can’t deny it. We are known to invite everyone. We should have. If there were any issues, they should have been put on board earlier. Everything can happen respectfully”...."Pakistan is a great neighbour to have. We are great neighbours, They are good neighbours. Let us love each other. Let me be honest. My family is from Pakistan, my father was born there and his family is from there," he added.)

The idea for him may have been to create a favorable image for himself in order to promote his movie in Pakistan. He had gone round the muslim world, especially, to promote his movie, in addition to NASDAQ and Berlin.

But calling Pakistan a good neighbour was going a bit too far. Can you imagine the reaction of people who lost their loved ones in 26/11 or any of the terrorists attacks that are sponsored by Pakistan? Or imagine the reaction to a statement like this of people who have their family members in armed forces, or those who have lost relatives who served in armed forces or those who's relatives are working in the CIOPs areas. No one who loves his country and understands that Pakistan is killing our innocent people over an agenda where India is not even wrong, to start with, will make an insensitive statement of this sort. Media may have ignored and tried to make others also forget this statement by overloading with other info. But this statement is bound to haunt Mr. Khan for a long time to come.

I have no reason to believe that SRK is a foolish businessman or doesn't understand the local political environment and Shiv Sena's interference with any such statement. He knew exactly what he was doing. Mumbai could have contributed Rs.45-50 crores to his kitty. Not a small amount. But he still took a chance on the eve of his film release. He started the ball rolling 3 weeks before the film release. This was his big gamble.

How? Simple, even if he lost Rs.50 crores from exhibiting the movie in Mumbai, in case his matter with Shiv Sena doesn't come to an end, all the ruckus created through unrest in Mumbai would ensure better audience in the Muslim World. That would more than compensate for his losses in Mumbai. The date was also far enough because for Shiv Sena to continue a campaign for three weeks would be a bit much. Especially, if SRK tones himself down as the release date approaches. He followed exactly this strategy in practice.

I have no issue with Film Producers/Actors promoting their films in any way as long as it doesn't create a law & Order situation for the country. This is exactly the situation SRK created willingly to promote MNIK. The areas witnessing protest may have seen small traders and shopkeepers losing business for a few days, all this so that SRK could earn money for himself, few more crores to an already mega empire.

Such selfish men are a burden on the society. They not only create mayhem for personal, selfish gains but also do not repent their action. They find it perfectly suitable.

There is no doubt that media had something to gain from all this mayhem too. So they contributed their two bits to the entire situation.

I am no supporter of Shiv Sena, if anything off late they have become more of a Stupid Sena. But that is no reason for forgiving SRK and his kind for how they use sentiments for their selfish goals, even if it causes violence and could have taken lives of common innocent men.

As for the message of the film, I think while a part of it is true that all muslims are not terrorists, it doesn't give a sensible solution to the problem that an entire world is facing.

When educated muslim youth like doctors and IT professionals and engineers, who look perfectly innocent are involved with heinous crimes of terror and proofs of the same are coming in every single case, how can the civil society segregate between law abiding citizens and terror suspects?

Countless innocent people are dying across the world due to such incidents and they have every legitimate reason to be cautious and extra-cautious, if need be, to protect the lives of their innocent citizens. If the govts. were not doing even this bit, there is going to be complete anarchy. Common citizens do not maintain a non-governmental security establishment like the terrorist organizations do. The govt. better do something and something drastic to deal with such situations.

What Mr. Khan has had to say is not the answer to the problems faced by the world due to a considerable size of Muslim population taking to terror in order to achieve their ambiguous objectives.

This message from this movie will add to further appeasement of muslim community in a country like India where votebank politics is at its worse.

The effect of such immoral political strategies has caused a major security hazard to this nation. In the recent case of Pune Blasts, I completely agree with Mr. Chidambaram, the Union Home Minister, when he says that there is no intelligence failure.

Politicians cannot hide behind Intelligence failure sort of lame excuse everytime. The fact of the matter is that the govt. has all the intelligence it needs to take corrective action, it doesn't have the will to take action. They are worried at two levels:
1. They might anger their votebank if they arrest terror suspects on the basis of intelligence report
2. Human rights activists will mushroom everywhere because the crime is yet to be committed, preventive measures have this loophole.

In such a weak position that India finds itself, the message Mr. Khan has tried to give is wholly undue. I would have been a lot happier had Mr. Khan taken the pain to create a movie that urged muslims to participate with the rest of the world in fighting terror and terrorists. Security agencies and country will get so much relief if muslims start sharing information on suspected activities of specific individuals and not accuse govt of atrocities when there have been none. Recent Shopian rape case and statement of Mohsin Choudhary's mother in Pune Blast case is a good example of what is not in favor of the country's interest.

Its time that actors start using there influence for constructive purposes especially when they are trying to address strategic issues.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Rann - My Perspective

When I watched Rann on Sunday, and saw the plot unfold, not only did I find myself forgiving Raam Gopal Varma for his Aag and the faux pas immediately after the 26/11, but also thanking him for bringing out few important and urgent issues in front of the public.

What were these important and urgent issues?
1. Media is sold to some very dirty politicians
2. Truth behind major events and involvement of politicians for their own personal agendas
3. Size of the financial scams taking place in the country and complete possibility of involvement of high offices (including PMO). It has always been difficult for common men to accept the scam figures running into thousands of crores. But then its an unprovable fact.

Many may have seen and forgotten the movie, some would have raved about it for few days and few would have understood the meaning of this movie. This is the real dirty truth of India and its high and mighty.

I also came out of the movie with my own take on subjects.

1. Prime Minister Digvijay Hooda: Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the best PM India had after Shri. Lal Bahadur Shastry. The only fresh breath that I have seen Indians refer to cutting across party lines.
2. The anti-Terror Bill: POTA, undoubtedly
3. Mohan Pandey: Looked more like Laloo Prasad Yadav to me, but could have been any old hand of Congress. Typically, sluggish, uninterested in national interest, clueless about burning issues and how to handle them and yet determined to be the PM of the country. Ready to do anything to realize that dream.
4. Harshvardhan Malik: Is it Dr. Prannoy Roy? Afterall, NDTV was a loss making unit all this while and yet launched channels after channels.
5. Jai Malik: Also, Dr. Roy? Compromised form since Channel is a lossmaker.
6. India 24x7 = NDTV 24x7
7. Amrish Kakkar: Looks almost like Rajdeep Sardesai. ex-employee of NDTV. Running the no.1 channel. He did that CD trick with BJP during the Confidence Motion in July 2008. After promising to expose Amar Singh and taking the CD from BJP he back-tracked at the last moment.
8. Naveen Shankhalya: One of the Ambani bros.
9. Purab Shastry is the common man's hope from the media and journalism.
10. Anand Prakash Trivedi was representation of most of the news presenters, esp the crime reporters and those from India TV.

Of course, it just my imagination of things because I connected some real life issues with the reel life characters. Anyway, these characters are not as important as the real life situation, which is surely true.

I have a firm belief that while there are some very corrupt newsmen, who have secured funding from some very powerful politicians, and therefore, have become popular, there are also those journalists as depicted by Riteish Deshmukh.

I wonder if influential Indians are ready to bring these honest, hardworking, sharp-minded and focussed journalist to prominence by creating channels and newspapers that provide some real, unbiased news to common men.

Also, there is a need for the journalists to make some disclosures while reporting. Financial analysts across the capitalist world have to do this when coming on media. This disclosure will tell the viewers and readers which camp's story they are listening to.

Look forward to a new revolution leading to evolution of media in India.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hind desh ke nivasi, sabhi jan ek hain

The statement by RSS Sarsanghachalak is bold and characteristic. I, for one, am with Shri. Mohan Bhagwat. Wish this statement was made back in 2008 when the goons of MNS were let loose on helpless north-Indians in Mumbai.

It was also shameful to see that Shiv-Sena, our ally in Maharashtra, was begging for a footage in such a dirty, unwanted and desperate scene.

May be it was the compulsion of electoral politics that BJP kept quiet. Afterall, General election 2009 were not very far away and to have a break-up in the alliance at such a time needed courage. Simply put, no one mustered it then.

However, better late than never. I am happy and satisfied to see RSS and BJP coming clean on this account, finally.

More interesting is the tone of the statement. It simply makes it a moral duty for all elements of the Sangh Parivaar to stand by the helpless north Indians in Maharashtra, should Shiv-Sena or MNS goons stand-up to beat them in public.

I am sure, over the next few days, BJP will come out with a detailed policy on this subject and this clarity will allow the party to prepare a future roadmap with a sharper focus on priorities.

However, I am appalled at the intellectually, morally and courage-wise bankrupt Congress running helter-skelter and going to the extent of doubting the sincerity of such a decision. All said and done, RSS is not known to make frivolous comments, the way the current bunch of Congress spokespersons do.

Lets look at what Congress govt. in Maharashtra, as well as the Centre, did to control the violence that erupted due to this issue. They just issued an ineffective GAG order. That useless order didn't stop Raj Thackeray from speaking his mind and his goons from perpetrating terror on poor north-Indians. Congress had an entire govt. law and order machinery at their disposal and all of it seemed defunct.

Raj Thackeray has so many summons from various courts in different states, and he has cared two hoots for these judicial calls. He's clear that he's not submitting and the Congress govt. at the centre and the state doesn't wish to correct this aberration.

The govt. even went to the extent of trying to impose a law, making it mandatory for taxi drivers to know Marathi before they get permission to operate. Ridiculous.

Keeping this shoddy track record of handling the matter of anti-north Indian slant, Congress should just keep its faltering mouth shut.

The Bold Mr. Bhagwat

Mr. Bhagwat has also reminded the nation about its oneness, of its territorial integrity and the administrative compulsion for creating states.

I am reminded of that interesting video on Doordarshan, made by Films Division of India, which was in heavy circulation back in early or mid-80s. I was a small kid then and often sang this song. Interestingly, this short film was made by a Maharashtrian by the name of Vijaya Mule. Here's the link:


I am sure that this new statement by Mr. Bhagwat will inspire the correct line of thought amongst the Maharashtrian masses and will defeat forces that seek to divide the country on linguistic, religious and casteist lines. It should give moral strength to all Indians to defend the integrity of India.

However, as a true Indian we will also do good to remember that the regional identities do exist. But these have to be harmoniously united with the National Identity. I had posted my views on this subject in an earlier post. For those, who want to read further: http://thinkers-pad.blogspot.com/2010/01/jai-maharashtra-differing-perspective.html