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How much love for Deendayal?

How much love for Deendayal?

Why not reopen the probe into his death?

By

Faraz Ahmad

Now that the Sanghis are fully in command of the Indian state they naturally want to ensure that the stamp of their overwhelming presence be felt by all in all spheres of everyday life. It is therefore no surprise that they now want to rename Mughalsarai railway station where they found the body of the former president of Akhil Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) the earlier incarnation of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a noted ideologue of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Deendayal Upadhyaya lying on the railway tracks a little distance from the platform.

The Sanghis’ and in particular Uttar Pradesh chief minister Anand Singh Bisht alias Yogi Adityanath desire to deify Upadhyay is for a couple of reasons including the fact that Upadhyaya, like Yogi believed in the Varna vyavastha, meaning the supremacy of the caste hierarchy among Hindus and was a firm believer in the inadmissibility of the Muslims or Christians till they were “purified” in the Indian nation which for him was synonymous with Hindu Rashtra.

In any case, they are out to change the names of all the streets, towns, railway stations and you name it, one after another, history be damned. First it was Aurangzeb Road, then it was Akbar Road and you wait and see for this is just the beginning. Sooner than later they will turn to renaming the places or institutions named after the Nehru-Gandhi family members, for they despise them as much as they hate the Bloody Katuwas (circumcised, for that is how they refer to Muslims when among themselves.)

Be that as it may, we are currently on their new found love for Deendayal Upadhyaya. It is now three years since Modi government has come into being and more than four months since Yogi became the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh where Mughalsarai is situated. Last year was the birth anniversary of Deendayal Upadhyaya and this government has already renamed at least two major projects after their late leader.  The UPA’s Ajeevika scheme is now called Deendayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana to provide skill development to rural poor and the UPA scheme, Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana too has been renamed as Deendayal Upadhyaya Grameen Jyoti Yojana. That is perfectly understandable though it betrays a small mind to dress up already eistting schemes and make them appear new, but then that is what mean and cussed do. Never mind that.

What is remarkable is that while there appears suddenly such a surge of love and reverence for their former ideologue, there is not even a murmur to solve the mystery of Deendayal’s death. This when former BJS president Balraj Madhok, a contemporary of Deendayal, in his treatise dealing only with the assassination of Deendayal and Indira Gandhi, his third serial book titled ‘Jindagi ka Safar’ insisted that Deendayal’s  death on the outer signal of Mughalsarai railway station was no “accident’ as the BJP leadership maintained but a well-planned and cunningly executed murder.

The Government of India, naturally led then by Indira Gandhi instituted a Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) inquiry which after much humming and hawing concluded that two petty thieves tried to rob Deendayal and in the process pushed him out of the moving train which resulted in his death. The CBI caught two petty criminals tried them and later got them acquitted for lack of evidence. Mrs Gandhi also set up a judicial probe led by later day chief justice Y V Chandrachud, who came to the same conclusion as the CBI, never mind the lack of evidence on this count.

But many in the then Jana Sangh dismissed this thesis outright and believed he was murdered by a killer hired by some top leaders of the Jana Sangh. Balraj Madhok virtually named two senior leaders, namely former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and one time Jana Sangh organizing secretary Nanaji Deshmukh. According to Madhok the two had a falling out with Deendayal on account of their wayward ways. He insisted that these two were fond of good life which was an anathema to Deendayal  and was against the principles of the RSS and Jana Sangh where many in the know, including some leaders disapproved of. This, in turn caused much pain to Deendayal would have logically jeopardized the subsequent rise of both Vajpayee and Nanaji, big favourites of the then Sarsanghchalak Guru Golwalkar as also his successor Balasaheb Deoras.

After being thrown out of the Jana Sangh by the duo, Madhok was naturally bitter. Therefore one may take whatever he said with a pinch of salt. But then current BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramnian Swamy too had raised the demand for a high level probe into Deendayal’s death in Parliament then.

Deendayal was travelling from Lucknow to Patna to attend a high level meeting of the RSS on February 11, 1968 when insiders said he was pushed out of the train. Some circles claim that Deendayal was carrying a report card on the activities of these two leaders and their accomplices in the Jana Sangh one of them being a minister of Charan Singh’s Samyukta Vidhayak Dal (SVD) government Ram Prakash Gupta much later elevated as UP chief minister in Vajpayee’s dispensation in 1999 when Vajpayee got Kalyan Singh removed as UP chief minister. When Gupta proved incapable of that task he was further elevated as Madhya Pradesh Governor, proving the extraordinary bond between him and Vajpayee. Gupta died in office in May 2004, days before Vajpayee’s NDA was voted out in the general elections.

Insiders also said that apart from the CBI and Chandrachud there was also an Intelligence Bureau report, which had remained a secret since then. That report said that Vajpayee too was travelling in the same train in which Deendayal was going, though in a different compartment. It also said that Ram Prakash Gupta was spotted emerging from that train at Mughalsarai station. They say Mrs Gandhi summoned both Vajpayee and L K Avani and showed them this report and then suppressed it on their request.

The simple point is that for all the love, compassion and reverence for Deendayal why has Modi government not bothered to reopen the Dendayal case and order a thorough probe to establish the veracity of all the rumours and speculations about the circumstances surrounding Deendayal’s death and Yogi still a member of Parliament would do some service to Deendayal to seek in Parliament a thorough probe into this mysterious death. After all if you can open the case of the circumstances of the death of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, if you arraign Jagdish Tytler in 1984 pogrom of Sikhs, why not remove the veil surrounding the death of your beloved leader? What’s holding you, Modi and Yogi? That would be a greater service to Deendayal than renaming Mughalsarai and Deendayal’s niece Madhu Sharma, the president of Rajasthan BJP Mahila Morcha has joined the chorus of those seeking a fresh probe into Deendayal’s death.

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Corruption bogey-II

Corruption bogey-II

Who is corrupt?

By

Faraz Ahmad

 

Chhatisgarh Minister Brijmohan Agarwal has built an expensive money spinner resort for VIP guests in Chhatisgarh forest by resorting to unchecked loot and plunder of poor tribals’ land. For three days the Indian Express carried this story. First the reporter got to know of only 4.12 hectares of land grabbed by a company called Aditya  Srijan Private limited with Agarwal’s son Abhishek and wife Sarita being the directors of the said company. Then they discovered another 13.90 ha and last records show another 26 ha of pristine forest land belonging to poor tribals even forcibly and mostly deceitfully grabbed by Agarwal. But Arnab Goswami of the Republic news channel firmly believes that the Nation DOES NOT WANT TO KNOW about Agarwsal’s scam. Nor does it prick the conscience of Times Now. After all this is not Lalu Yadav or Robert Vadra. What’s the fun?

Agarwal admits that he has been at it since 2008, which means nine years, almost soon after he became a minister in chief minister Raman Singh’s government.  Agarwal refused to explain anything to the Indian Express reporter saying, “Right now, there is an environment. After this ends I will give point wise answer. I have asked for many documents. After I get them, I will clear the air. There has been an investigation for eight years, why are notices appearing now?” No outcry in the media or in the BJP and its Government at the Centre or in the state. After all he is no Tejaswai Yadav, who was called upon by Nitish Kumar to immediately clear the air about the allegations.

Agarwal also discloses the embedded nature of our media saying how television channels have gone to the concerned village and the villagers said they are happy that this project is coming up and is bringing development. “We have not put pressure or trouble anyone,” he claimed . But the newspaper interviewed three different people including a widow who clearly say they were either cheated through forgery or simply coerced to sell off their plot of land on which they were doing a little farming to earn a respectable living. But the minister is blasé and says “I have not used my position to get any work done.” That’s it! That is the explanation of the minister and neither Raman Singh, himself involved in thousands of crore rice scam, with son named in Panama papers, seeks to remove Brijmohan Agarwal from his cabinet nor does our supposed squeaky clean Prime Minister Narendra Modi ostensibly crusading against corruption, so much as bats an eyelid. No press conferences by another crusader against corruption, Bihar Deputy chief minister and one of the senior most national leader of the BJP, Sushil Modi. No dismay or shock expressed by one more soldier for probity in public life, a corporate lawyer Ravi Shankar Prasad. It does not even register with Nitish Kumar, for whom only the Sangh and Sanghis can be incorruptible.

You never know BJP and Modi might even incentivise Birjmohan  Agrwal with further elevation, perhaps as the next chief minister in case Raman Singh is elevated and brought to the Centre. After all Agarwal has not said anything different from M Venkaiah Naidu when it turned out that Naidu’s son’s car selling company was bestowed special favour by the Telangana government for buying scores of Toyota  Innovas in one sweep giving as seller’s commission worth crores of rupees. Venkaiah also denied bestowing any favours upon his daughter’s NGO and Modi patted him on the back and fielded him the Vice President candidate and thereby the chairman of the Upper House of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha.

Raman Singh has done much more than Agarwal but not an eyebrow raised. As for the Vayapam scam involving not just Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan,his wife and his secretarial staff, not to forget top leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which ruined the career of thousands of prospective doctors in Madhya Pradesh, where in almost every one who rose to expose or could expose has been systematically eliminated and thus everyone has forgotten.

But why are we talking of Vyapam murders only when the list of cases against UP Deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya include Sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Criminal Procedure Code (Cr. PC) 302 (murder), 120B and 153A conspiracy 188, 147, 148, 153, 153A, 352, 323, 504, 506, 147, 332, 295A, 153A, 353, 186, 504, 147, 332, 147, 332, 420, 465, 467, 171, 353, 380, 148 and 341 in a series of cases including murder, rape, cheating, forgery. You name it and there is not an Indian penal section Keshav Prasad Maurya has not violated. Similarly Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath too has violated the law of the land with impunity with cases of inciting murder, loot, arson and rape, publicly to his Hindutva brigade under sections 506, 307, 147, 148, 297, 336, 504, 295, 153A and 435 were registered against him much before he became the chief minister. But that was all in the service of Hindutva and that was a nationalist act. So no media rushed to confront Maurya or the Yogi on their criminal past. The UP Governor Ram Naik refused to grant sanction against Yogi or Maurya. But when it concerned Azam Khan in the previous regime, he wasted no time, even when a statement by him did not amount to any provocation.

Republic TV Pope Arnab Goswami sends ten reporters to question Shashi Tharoor on his former wife Suananda Pushkar’s death. But he firmly believes THE NATION DOES NOT WANT TO KNOW OF THE VYAPAM SCAM and all the murders linked to this scam all of which lie at the doorstep of the  Madhya Pradesh chief minister.. The nation only wants to know of Sunanda Pushkar’s alleged murder. (Alleged by Subramanian Swamy and Arnab Goswami)

The Republic and Times Now have yet again pulled out from his grave that long retired Swedish police constable Sten Lindstorm with some questionable past association with our Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to aid the BJP to resurrect the dead Bofors gun issue to splash some corruption dirt on Sonia Gandhi. BJP South Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi, desperate to become a minister,  was prompt enough to take the cue and raise it in the Lok Sabha, exposing who made that parrot Lindstorm speak. Remember since 1999 every time they saw some possibility of Sonia Gandhi emerging as the counter to BJP, they brought in Bofors. Lindstorm is a parrot who has been singing the same tune since 1987. Never mind that the Rajya Sabha records have a speech by Ram Jethmalani, (who once led the Bofors charge against Rajiv Gandhi with daily “TEN QUESTIONS”) wherein he had asked the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao to close the issue and charge the Hinduja brothers, exposed as one of the Bofors payoff beneficiaries, whatever loss the state might have incurred pleading that the Hindujas were willing to pay several times more to bury this. Hindujas, one time big patrons of the BJP are still thriving in Modi regime as well and their Indusind Bank opening branches all over the country.

And what about the Prime Minister himself?  Prashant Bhushan, who by no stretch of imagination could have anything to do with the Congress party and even fallen out with AAP and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, gave the cheque numbers of the payoffs made by Sahara group and Aditya Birla to Narenedra Modi when he was Gujarat chief minister and demanded a probe. It was an open and shut case. All the Supreme Court had to do was to verify whether these cheques were really issued and encashed and when and by whom and the truth would have been out. Instead it refused to entertain the petition accusing Bhushan of trying to denigrate and undermine the institution of the Prime Minister. What faith do we have in the institutions when the same Supreme Court let out Saharashri Subrat Roy on a specious plea for a week close to two years ago and the man is still out enjoying full freedom thumbing his nose at our institutions? Is it unfair to see a quid pro quo involving the most sacred institutions here?

The same courts have a different standard for Lalu Yadav. He is corrupt, his wife is corrupt and even his son is corrupt. Never mind if he was not even old enough when the supposed act was committed. But we have to fix Lalu Prasad.

There was a big scandal in Arunachal Pradesh with Union Minister of State for Home Kirren Rijiju’s brother leading a sand mining mafia presenting false bills of transporting stones and sand in trucks while on an inquiry later it was found that the registration numbers turned out to be scooters and motorcycles of their friends and relatives and using his brother’s name to browbeat and influence the officers qustioning him. Remember while campaigning against Lalu on alleged fodder scam Ravi Shankar Prasad and Sushil Kumar Modi had made precisely this allegation that the receipts of the cattle fodder supposedly carried bore the registration numbers of scooters and such other smaller vehicles. So during flood time carrying fodder on two wheelers even bicycles is unheard of for the BJP leaders and the media which went to town on that. But large boulders, stones and sand can be ferried in a scooter dicky or on a motorcycle and there is not even a murmur in the media after Rijiju makes some half-hearted statement defending his backside, because here it is a BJP leader.

Just last week almost immediately after Nitish dumped the Mahagathbandhan the architect of the entire game, Arun Jaitely rushed off to Chennai for his next mission to induct the entire All India Anna DMK, (both factions) into the BJP and the first thing he did upon landing in Chennai was to go and place a wreath at Jayalalaitha’s memorial. Who cares if Jayalaitha was convicted by the Supreme Court on corruption? But Arnab Goswami or Navika Kumar won’t send a single reporter to question Jaitley. Why would they, but why not? unless they are either politically or otherwise compromised to the BJP and this Government. So much for our concern about corruption and probity in public life!

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Corruption bogey-Part I

Corruption bogey-Part I
The unseating of Nawaz Sharif

By

Faraz Ahmad

 

The media is currently so engrossed in the corruption and nepotism issue that it has ignored completely the context and the source which has initiated the latest round of debate on corruption. Even our blinkered leftists had been drawn into the debate on corruption, singing paeans to the Pakistani establishment and judiciary for unseating Mian Nawaz Sharif, the constitutionally and democratically elected Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

There is appreciation in our Left oriented digital media of Pakistan’s judiciary and establishment for their supposed courage in unseating their prime minister on charges of corruption. There is no understanding why and how this came about.

Mian Nawaz Sharif is a creation of that Mullah in Khaki Pakistan’s military dictator General  Mohammad Ziaul Haq who firmly established the unbreakable bond between the Army, the Mullahs and a good section of Islamised judiciary which thrives till date. The grapevine has it that before Ziaul Haq patronised the Sharif family, his father Mohammad Sharif ran a small flour mill in Punjab and claimed some kind of familial connection with Kashmir though they are true blue blooded Lahori Punjabis.

There was tremendous resentment against Ziaul Haq when he committed judicial murder of former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto because though Bhutto hailed originally from Larkana in Sind, he was equally popular in Punjab as well. So Ziaul Haq needed some bright and young face to launch an anti-Bhutto campaign with the help of the mullahs and thus picked up Mian Nawaz Sharif making him his Finance Minister.

Since then with the Army and Mullahs all smiling upon the Sharif family they accumulated vast wealth all over the country and abroad. By the way they are not alone. The worst offenders have been the Army generals and even middle level Army officers whose wealth disproportionate to their source of income has never been questioned by any court of the supposed upright and uncompromising judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

These revelations in Panama papers relate to the wealth he allegedly collected in his first stint as the Prime Minister between 1990 and 1993. Few people would remember Ghulam Ishaq Khan, a loyal creature of Pakistan’s military establishment who served the Pakistan establishment right from Ayub Khan days to Ziaul Haq and after Zia was blown to smithereens in the plane bombing, he was chosen to succeed Zia as Pakistan President.

Soon after Zia’s death elections were held in Pakistan and both the Pakistan People’s Party led by Benazir Bhutto and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) under Nawaz Sharif contested. PPP won and Benazir became the first and only woman Prime Minister of Pakistan so far. But the Pakistani establishment could not digest this and by November 1990 Ishaq Khan dismissed Benazir on charges of corruption disproved to this date. Then he appointed Nawaz Sharif as the Prime Minister but by July, 1993 also dismissed him on same corruption charges. Nawaz Sharif went to court and the Supreme Court of Pakistan struck down Ishaq Khan’s act whereupon both Ishaq Khan and Sharif demitted office and went for another round of elections of the National Assembly of Pakistan.

The current corruption charges are the same which Ishaq Khan had leveled against him using that as a pretext to dismiss his government. The Pakistan Supreme Court naturally was aware of these charges and did not find enough substance in them to uphold Ishaq Khan’s action. But suddenly now 27 years later based on the same allegations carried in Panama papers, it has disqualified Nawaz Sharif and even blocked the path for his bright daughter Maryam to succeed him.

How did the Pakistan judiciary wake up to Nawaz’ alleged corruption so late in the day? The cue was given by that English speaking closet mullah and a proxy for Pakistan’s bearded army, Imran Khan, the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) Party. Wonder how many would remember that there was once a party by the same acronym, the Pakistan Tehreeke Istaqlal (PTI) led by Air Marshal (Retired) Asghar Khan, a small but an important component of the Pakistan National Alliance of 1977 which conspired with Ziaul Haq to get Bhutto’s duly elected government dismissed and get Marital Law imposed. Imran Khan too has proved over a period, to be a proxy for the Army, the ISI  and the mullahs of the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and while he has hardly any political following to become the Prime Minister, the higher judiciary in Pakistan seems to be responsive to Imran Khan, just like once that Asghar Khan with zilch political following played an important role in undermining the democratic institutions of that country for whatever they were worth.

Since the last elections Nawaz Sharif appears to have under gone visible change of heart or rather strategy. He had grown a little soft towards India, making some sincere effort to improve relations with India. Also he has made some move to alleviate the suffering of the beleaguered Hindu minority in Pakistan, by pushing ahead the Hindu Marriage Act in the National Assembly whereby after 70 years of its existence Pakistan finally recognizes Hindu marriages which will restrict the Muslim predators to kidnap and rape and convert Hindu women in Pakistan to Islam.

All this has not gone well with those who lionized that treacherous bodyguard of former Governor of Punjab Salman Tasseer, Malik Mumtaz Qadri who shot him dead at point blank range for criticizing the blasphemous Blasphemy law of Pakistan. Remember the lawyers of Lahore High Court who garlanded and took that murderer in a procession and the judge who handed Qadri death sentence fled the country for fear of being killed by some such fanatic too.

Before that the Pakistan Supreme Court was determined to pull down former President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari, who presided over Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) after these mullahs in collusion with the elements in Pakistan Army and ISI, gunned down his wife Benazir Bhutto.  And when former Prime Minister of Pakistan Yusuf Raza Gilani did not yield to judicial pressure, the court first dismissed him and then the jidhadists kidnapped his son Ali Haider Gilani in 2013 and kept him a hostage for three years.

So the judiciary in Pakistan will pronounce you corrupt once the mullahs, the Army and the ISI suspect a leader of going soft on India and the religious minorities of the country. Who else would prove this better than Imran Khan who immediately accused Nawaz Sharif of being an Indian agent when Nawaz Sharif pointed a finger at the Army for his dismissal.  So much for the fight against corruption in Pakistan.

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Nitish back with the BJP

 

Nitish back with the BJP

Whither ideology in Power politics?

By

Faraz Ahmad

I don’t claim a copy right to this Urdu couplet: “Pahunchi wahin pe khaak jahan ka khameer thha.” Actually I don’t even know the poet who composed this one. But I recall when Jamaate Islami chief Maulana Abul Aala Maudooodi died in New York, the Urdu daily ‘Masawat’ the party organ of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) , had a screaming eight column banner headline in red ink announcing Maulana Maudoodi’s death in United States of America (USA) with this couplet.

Ironically for all the supposed anti-US and anti imperialist vituperation and rhetoric Mauddoodi indulged in in his Friday (khutba) congregations, he like many others of our sub-continent men suffered from typical racial inferiority complex besotten by fair skin  and therefore took a white American as his wife.

It comes back to me in the context of Bihar strong man and chief minister Nitish Kumar’s latest, though much anticipated somersault discarding the secular Mahagathbandhan and embracing back his alma mater the Sanghi Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). I saw this coming and warned of such an eventuality in my last blog and therefore it is no surprise. The only issue is why did he in the first place ditch the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 2013 and suddenly don a secular gown when he was with the Sanghis since 1994 first deserting at their instance the Janata Dal and initially surreptitiously but 1996 onwards, openly aligning with the BJP.

After breaking with the BJP, Nitish led the Janata Dal-U  to a disastrous defeat in the general elections in Bihar in 2014. Pretending to be a leader with a conscience he resigned the chief ministership, made his trusted protege Jitan Ram Manjhi belonging to the Most Backward caste (MBC), the state chief minister but couldn’t stay away from power for long.

On September 30, 2013 when the CBI court in Ranchi convicted Lalu for 5 years in fodder scam and thereby disqualified him from Parliament membership for a period of five years, the RJD accused the JD-U of complicity in securing Lalu’s conviction even accusing the concerned judge of nursing a bias because of his close proximity to a Bhoomihar JD-U minister in Nitish’s cabinet.

Yet Lalu extended support to a doddering JD-U government when Nitish junked Manjhi and became chief minister again in 2015 (though Lalu warned Nitish of the adverse political  fallout of undermining a MBC leader) and thereafter Nitish aligned with Lalu for all the supposed corruption taint on Lalu. It didn’t end here. After the elections he made both sons of Lalu the younger and brighter one Tejaswi and the older simpleton Tej Pratap Yadav ministers and went a step further appointing the young inexperienced Tejaswi his Deputy chief minister.  Curiously the charges leveled by the “caged parrot” Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) against Tejaswi, Lalu himself and wife Rabri Devi were based on a complaint made by a close confidant of Nitish, Rajiv Ranjan Singh ‘Lalaln’, who submitted to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2010 a written complaint against Lalu for his alleged acts of corruption when Lalu was the country’s Railway minister from 2004 to 2009 and even Harvardians admired his foresight and capability. It is obvious that Lalan, a mere proxy of Nitish merely articulated Nitish’ envy at Lalu’s success. It is common knowledge in political circles that both Nitish Kumar and Ram Vilas Paswan another political turncoat, also currently enjoying Modi’s lap, have despised Lalu for towering over them politically and could not digest Lalu being acknowledged by the world as a competent administrator as well. Both had been Railway ministers before Lalu and never enjoyed this reputation.   That file was lying dust covered in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) when Narendra Modi retrieved it and directed the CBI to pursue the case vigorously evidently to nip in the bud the possible unity of disparate Opposition groups against him. There is a story in that as well. But let us not digress from why and wherefore Nitish Kumar performed this dramatic political somersault once more.

So it is clear that Lalu’s corruption or supposed fear of tarnishing his clean image was far from NItish’ mind when he started turning his back to Lalu. That was merely a ruse. Nitish had started showing his true colours as a Trojan horse when he first commended Modi for the so-called surgical strikes against Pakistan in September 2016, and then enthusiastically supported Modi’s sudden, tyrannical whimsical move to scrap the five hundred and one thousand currency notes, turning a blind eye to the misery and suffering of the poor and down trodden whom Nitish claimed to represent. Actually it required a man of Nitish’ stature and clean image to come out and forcefully criticize in public Modi’s decision to penalize vast sections of population virtually castigating all of us as corrupt unless proved otherwise. This was a Godsend for a Nitish Kumar to build a profile against Modi. Instead he supported this atrocious move and restrained Lalu Yadav from holding public meetings and agitations against demonetization. Lalu, presumably to avoid embarrassing Nitish, relented.

Besides, it does not lie in the mouth of a person to talk of corruption, who being a seasoned politician and having witnessed the fall out of total prohibition in Gujarat, how a parallel black economy runs there  for decades thanks to rampant bootlegging, goes ahead and enforces his prohibition diktat the same way Modi enforced ban on five hundred and one thousand rupee notes. Friends from Patna inimical to Lalu also say that already bootlegging has become big business in Bihar and the enforcement agencies are having a field day, every day. Significantly Modi was quick to compliment Nitish on that.

The day Nitish Kumar broke ranks and announced support to a rank Sanghi Ramnath Kovind it became apparent that Nitish returning to NDA fold was but a matter of time which, as is evident, did not take too long. For someone who left the NDA on the specious plea of secularism after bedding the Sanghis for 17 long years,  it was disconcerting at the very least to jump immediately to support a rank Sanghi who had no other merit, except his lifelong association with the RSS. He was not even a leader of some consequence in the BJP.   But that is where power play undermines ideology, if there be any.

But the moot question is why did Nitish first part company with the BJP and then four years later returned to it, without a whimper and in such haste! Evening 5 pm he goes and submits his resignation to Governor  Kesri  Nath Tripathi who receives orders from Delhi to stay back to meet Nitish and not to entertain the RJD or any of  its leaders and without wasting any time, next morning 10 am he is sworn in back as the Bihar chief minister leading a BJP-JD(U) coaliton. And by Friday morning took the mandatory vote of confidence also. It seems both he and Modi feared any delay might upset their predetermined game plan.  Obviously Nitish and the BJP were apprehending some kind of rebellion or public protest in the JD-U which became apparent after his confidant Anwar Ali went public attacking the move while Sharad Yadav merely privately chafed at that.

I believe there were two factors, first envy and  second the desperation to retain power at any cost, which guided Nitish’s action. He knew that Modi was moving fast to finish off Lalu Yadav politically, imprison not just Lalu but perhaps also his wife, sons and daughter and may be many more in Lalu’s large family. This would have had repercussions with the RJD on the streets making Lalu family a victim of Modi’s vindictive politics. This Act of the play is yet to be staged presumably on August 27 when Lalu has given a call for a big rally in Patna’s Gandhi Maidan and invited Sonia Gandhi, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav to address that rally. He had also offered to send Mayawati to the Rajya Sabha back on the strength of his party in the Bihar assembly. All this would have enhanced the stature of a supposedly “tainted” Lalu Yadav thus diminishing Nitish stature in the eyes of the Bihar masses, whether he attended Lalu’s rally while in alliance or kept away from it. So he had to distance himself from Lalu well before this rally and stop that rally as best as he can.

Same was the case when he left the NDA. He had no quarrels with Sushil Kumar Modi who has always been happy playing second fiddle to Nitish. He is on record to say that he would have been happy to support Advani’s candidature for PM and the grapevine has it that Arun Jaitely had been privately sounding him that in the event of a hung Parliament the BJP could even support his candidature for PM if the number s fell short of forming a Government and other parties refused to support Advani’s candidature. But Narendra Modi’s growing stature was something which left no doubt in Nitish mind that he could no longer nurse the dream of one day becoming a national leader.

So the best thing was like his bête noire Ram Vilas Paswan to suddenly turn secular and oppose Modi. But then being a shrewd politician by now he realized there was no scope for a non-BJP government at the Centre in 2019 and his stature was being undermined by Lalu and so the best option available to him was to return to Modi with his tail between his legs.

As for the BJP what more it could have wished? Naturally there was jubilation in the saffron camp. Narendra Modi immediately tweeted congratulating Nitish and Sushil Modi came trooping in with the entire BJP legislature party to dine and raise a toast to Nitish with Gau Mootra, for liquor is prohibited in Bihar and Gau Mootra has magical medicinal qualities. The Governor, Nitish and the BJP none wasted a minute to form the Government and within 24 hours also went through the assembly trial of strength to foreclose any possibility of a rebellion or protest in the party. Here in Delhi insiders suggested that even though Sharad was not very comfortable, Arun Jaitely has offered him a lucrative portfolio in Modi’s cabinet. What else would power seekers want?

Yes this appears to have poured cold water on any hopes of a combined strong Opposition challenging Modi in 2019. So prepare for a very long haul of Hindu Rashtra, thanks to a secular Nitish Kumar.

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Nitish’ dilemma:

Nitish’ dilemma:

To resaffronise or not

By

Faraz Ahmad

It’s been more than a month since Sushil Modi, former Deputy chief minister of Bihar and one time close associate and confidant of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been targeting Bihar’s strongman Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad and his family members in some unconfirmed corruption cases, including one on the current deputy chief minister Tejashwai Prasad Yadav, the younger and brighter of Lalu’s two siblings. The older one also a minister in Nitish’ cabinet is evidently a simpleton who could easily be tackled by a smart Nitish.

It is evident that the whole attempt, and it is now out in the open, is to somehow break the grand alliance of RJD, Congress and the JD-U, very thoughtfully and carefully soldered by Lalu, Sonia and the wily nily Nitish himself. Nitish and his party have been slyly making discreet noises about being uncomfortable with the presence of a tainted “corrupt” Tejashwai in the government of Mr. Clean Nitish Kumar.

There is simultaneously surreptitious attempt to impress upon another simpleton Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to the vice of corruption and therefore back Nitish to break this alliance with Lalu. If we go by sheer numbers it is not difficult for Nitish Kumar to go back to NDA and form one more government with Sushil Modi , Ram Vilas Paswan, Jitan Ram Manjhi and assorted right wing elements in Bihar. After all for 17 years they were together and Nitish won a couple of Lok Sabha and assembly elections as a member of the saffron brigade and as Sushil Modi recently stated “Nitish was always comfortable with BJP.”

In the early 1990s before Nitish Kumar walked out of Janata Dal with George Fernandes, who was actually a victim of Nitish’s conspiracy, and many of us pro Mandal journalists swore by Nitish’ commitment to social justice and secularism, one day Uma Bharti, who in her private conversations is a very honest and straight person, mocked us saying, “You don’t know Nitish Kumar, he was offering me Nalanda seat saying that will be a safe seat for me because of overwhelming population of Kurmis who have no aversion to the BJP.”  We never bothered to go back and cross check with Nitish because we didn’t believe Uma then. But her remark keeps echoing in my mind every time Nitish Kumar snuggles upto the BJP on one pretext or the other.

Was Lalu Yadav not tainted when Nitish Kumar broke his alliance with the BJP and aligned with Lalu’s RJD? Hadn’t Lalu been disqualified for six years from contesting any elections by the court when Nitish decided to go and embrace Lalu? Wasn’t Lalu facing corruption charges when the two, together with another “corrupt” Sonia Gandhi decided to form a Grand Alliance in 2015 assembly elections and form a coalition government with Nitish heading it even though RJD is currently the largest party in Bihar assembly?

When Nitish made Tejashwai Yadav his Deputy Chief Minister, wasn’t he aware of the memorandum his confidant Rajiv Ranjan Singh ‘Lalan’ had submitted way back in 2010 to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against his bête noire Lalu Yadav? Of course he was and we are not discussing that at the time of the alleged corruption act committed by Tejashwi he was merely 11 year old studying in a school in Delhi and therefore under the law of the land he is not liable of committing any crime, even if we accept the current set of allegations true. If at all it can be Lalu Yadav. But what purpose would be served targeting Lalu who is already incarcerated. So now turn the guns on the brighter of Lalu’s siblings Tejashwi and Misa Devi, a Rajya Sabha MP now.

The entire political class in Bihar knows that soon after the formation of this government BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav was given the charge of Bihar and curiously stressing his caste antecedents, he was meeting Rabri Devi and Misa Devi very frequently. Grapevine has it that he was persuading Lalu’s family members to break the Mahagathbandhan. In turn the offer was to go slow on Lalu’s cases, and make Tejashwi the chief minister. It is said that Lalu put his foot down and refused to bite the bait. Whatever may be the truth in that, but it is evident that once Bhupendra Yadav mission failed Sushil Modi was pulled out from the attic, brushed and wiped to present him once more as a great crusader against corruption and shaming Mr. Clean Nitish Kumar for tolerating a corrupt Tejashwi in his cabinet.

But the moot question is why has Nitish and when did Nitish Kumar wake up to the so called corruption of Lalu and his family members? Actually this was no sudden development if we examine how slowly Nitish Kumar was drifting back to the BJP. First he came up with the corrupt and tyrannical drastic act of putting a blanket ban on the very existence of alcohol in Bihar and impose the severest penalty on not just buying, selling or possessing liquor but even punish the family members and neighbours of anyone consuming alcohol.

Nitish is no spring chicken to be blind to the parallel economy of bootlegging and black money running in Gujarat for several decades and the politicians including naturally Modi getting a fair share of that wealth which they spend lavishly on their elections. He also knows why his friend Nara Chandrababu Naidu withdrew total prohibition in Andhra Pradesh imposed earlier by TDP icon N T Rama Rao because it was creating social and economic havoc in Andhra Pradesh. A progressive political force like the Left Front relaxed the harsh norms imposed by its predecessor the UDF in Kerala banning liquor to discourage bootlegging.

Next Nitish Kumar went and supported demonetization and todate has not expressed a word of regret or sympathy for the hundreds of poor and needy people who died and thousands of helpless people who suffered due to this cruel act of Modi.

Next in line is his enthusiastic support for Ramnath Kovind, Modi/Amit Shah’s Presidential candidate, whose political record as a Sanghi apologist is nothing to talk about. Capitalising on this drift of Nitish, the BJP is working assiduously on him and there is every reason to believe they may succeed sooner than later. But this only shows that there is only one thing the BJP and Modi fear—Opposition unity and how desperate they are to break that unity for whatever it is worth.

Shouldn’t that be a lesson for the likes of Nitish, Navin Patnaik and Mulayam Singh Yadav. But that would only be if they don’t have enough skeletons in their cupboards too and not fear Modi showing them their dossiers.

Again hats off to Lalu for withstanding all such threats, knowing full well that sending not just him but his whole family may not be just an empty threat from Modi. Now let us see if he buckles in and calls off his August 27 rally or will Modi put him and Tejashwi behind bars before that?

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Arrogance of Amit Shah

Arrogance of Amit Shah

Contempt for Gandhi, Congress and Opposition

By Faraz Ahmad

Amit Shah’s castigating Mahatma Gandhi as a “Chatur Baniya” has justifiably caused widespread uproar all around questioning this pompous political pygmy’s pejorative and derisive mention of the Father of the Nation.

But when photographic evidence is available on the social media of Shah’s “Saheb” Prime Minister Narendra Modi offering floral tributes to the portrait of the Mahatma’s assassin Nathuram Godse, and records of Sardar Patel writing to Rashtriya Swaywamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Guru Golwalkar pointing out how the Sanghis celebrated on the streets Gandhi’s assassination distributing sweets, why should this derision of Gandhiji by a Swayamsevak surprise anyone?

Be that as it may, it is now getting to be three years since this man once implicated in a murder case, has been leading the biggest and the ruling party of India. It is normal courtesy and every former president of the ruling party, starting from the Congress presidents Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi, to Rajiv Gandhi to P V Narasimha Rao extended the basic courtesy to the Opposition by meeting them and confabulating with them on all matters of national importance and this included former BJP presidents, be they L K Advani or Rajanth Singh or even the current HMV of Modi, Venkaiah Naidu, they all granted this basic courtesy to the Opposition leaders.

But what about this Gujarati trader? Has he bothered to meet the Opposition leaders even once, call on them and discuss any national or international issues? Can’t recall any! And how would he? Has he shown any signs of developing into a leader of national stature in all these years? Has he betrayed any traces of growing into a statesman? Not that is evident.

Amit Shah’s forte is divisive politics, which he has learnt well at the feet of his “saheb” and his strength lies in being able to implement this successfully with an elan, caring a damn for what the critics say.

Take for instance his decision to choose Mr Ramath Kovind as the next occupant of Rashtrapati Bhawan and a clear attempt to browbeat the critics by beating the chest of denigrating a Dalit, in case anyone questions who is Mr Kovind. What are his antecedents?

Yes those in the know recall that at one time he was a personal assistant to Morarji Desai and naturally must be well versed at taking dictation from the Prime Minister of the day. Insofar as that, rest assured he will serve the cause of this Sanghi establishment very well. As for his other qualifications being touted by the BJP and its kept media, he was once briefly appointed by the BJP on the panel of its long list of spokesmen/women. I don’t recall the year, but I think it was around the time L K Advani was about to contest as the PM candidate in the runup to the 2009 general elections again to showcase a Dalit face. He must have come to address the daily briefing of the media at 11, Ashoka Road, hardly a few times, maybe only three or four or even less. And our prospective President was largely tongue tied in the face of a barrage of questions, except a few leading ones from the vast majority of embedded journalists. By the way this was not because of his discomfort with the English language. After all Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi or Syed Shahnawaz Husain too made no effort to impress the media with the command over this alien language. Nor did Rajnath Singh. But they had no hesitation in fielding the most difficult questions with a flourish. That was always left to the resident of 9, Ashoka Road Arun Jaitley. But not our so-called Dalit leader. The only time, and I missed that opportunity, his name appeared in the media was when he made a statement opposing any reservation for the Dalit and OBC Muslims and Christians, a typical Sanghi line. That’s it.

Choosing Kovind as the BJP candidate for the presidency is actually a snub to the Opposition which is what Amit Shah is most adept at. Everyone knew that after the last round of Assembly elections earlier this year wherein BJP swept the largest Uttar Pradesh, BJP has overwhelming numbers in the presidential electoral college and therefore getting its candidate elected was no big deal. The Opposition kept waiting for the ruling party to seek their views on a possible consensus candidate. But that was far from Amit Shah and his Saheb’s mind who revel in rubbing the nose of their opponent in the sand and so they chose this gentleman relishing breaking the Opposition unity by crying Dalit, Dalit even as they continue the torture of the Dalits of Shabirpur and Saharanpur, incarcerating Bhim Army leader Chandrashekhar Azad while sharing the dais with that Savarna perpetrator of arson and violence against the Dalits of Shabirpur. It is now for the Dalits to make a choice whether they will get carried away by the BJP tokenism of Mr Ramnath Kovind in  Rashtrapati Bhawan or rally behind Chandrashekhar Azad and Una’s Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani.

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Blasphemy of the butcher

Blasphemy of the butcher

By

Faraz Ahmad

After the British had vanquished the Indians in our first war of independence in 1857 under the leadership of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, they virtually leveled the entire sprawling fashionable market cum residential colonies of the Mughal nobility living in the land between the Jama Masjid and Lal Qila and turned that into their first cantonment and the regal Jama Masjid into a stable for their horses.

The   Indian nobility was so badly demoralized and pauperized that it was in no position to dispute much less challenge this sacrilege of their prized heritage. That was when the butchers of Meerut and vicinity rose and offered the British to buy back the place from the British and restore it as a mosque. And guess what, they paid a princely price in those days of Rs 12 crore to buy back the Jama Masjid and restore its preeminence. Such was the monetary strength of the butchers among the Muslim community. Even today Makki mian’s palatial house is situated opposite Jama Masjid alongside Chawri Bazar/Dariba Kalan, close to where they sell the fireworks. Makki mian’s forefathers had collected the amount and handed over to the British. Makki mian himself must have died several decades ago.

It is not for nothing that the Sanghis have targeted the meat trade, for this, they have keenly observed, will break the economic backbone of the Muslims. So, the first thing Yogi Adityanath did on assuming the office of the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh was to attack the meat trade, fully aware that this more than anything will hurt the Muslims, not merely in terms of attacking their food habits but the source of sustenance, neigh prosperity of the Muslim community. That it will also hurt the Dalits who apart from being non vegetarians are also intricately involved with the meat business in several accessory trades, including the leather industry and even the OBCs who are the main cattle traders, is an add on. So with one stroke you kill three sets of despicable non Aryan social groups.

If the object was merely to protect the cow, and we may or may not agree, but never mind that, if the object was to protect the cow and mind you not the bullock or an ageing bull, least of all a buffalo or an ox, why issue the diktat to implicitly obstruct the slaughter of the buffaloes as well. Because, the real purpose is to close the cottage meat industry and remember only the next door meat seller, for the big factories owned by the Jain community, exporting from Saudi Arabia to Mexico are still running and will continue to run full steam.

The Aryavrat, even Rajasthan High Court judge Mahesh Chand Sharma, has never put any premium on the buffalo. Buffalo is black and only the Yamaraj, himself black, rides the black animal. There is no religious sanctity attached to the buffalo in any Hindu text. So the Sanghis and their private army of cow vigilantes is not fired by any love for their religion or the alleged hurt to their religious sentiments. It’s what Guru Golwalkar said long ago: “The Muslims will seek nothing and expect nothing.” They will live merely on sufferance. In a Sanghi setup what else should be expected?

So in this Sanghi establishment the Muslims will not become second class citizens, they already are reduced to that state. For decades the Sanghis were looking at the neighbouring Pakistan with amazement and appreciation: “If they can achieve this why can’t we,” they would muse among themselves. Pakistan has been their ideal for all of the 70 years of its creation and we are copying Pakistan in every which way, unmindful of what a situation they have landed themselves into.

1977 elections were my first opportunity to cast my vote and like many others I too was campaigning actively for defeating Indira Gandhi. My best friend and class fellow from AMU Hari Kishan Sharma, no leftist, was dismayed at my rooting for the Janata Party pointing out what a communal rabble rouser Atal Bihari Vajpayee was then. But I brushed him aside. But soon as Vajpayee became India’s External Affairs Minister, where did he go first? To Islamabad to enjoy the hospitality of that mullah in khaki General Mohammad Ziaul Haq to virtually endorse the dismissal of the first constitutionally elected government of Pakistan led by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Bhutto was hanged later and thanks to Vajpayee presiding over the Foreign office, we refused to condemn that judicial murder by Zia.

Soon as Vajpayee became the Prime Minister he headed Lahore wards yet again with much fanfare to bless the then Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Then, soon after NDA went out of power. L K Advani led a large contingent to Pakistan and went all around from Lahore to Islamabad to Karachi and where all, I don’t know for naturally I was not the lucky one.

Now our very own Macho man Narendrabhai Damodardas Modi, first thing he thought even before being sworn in was to beckon Nawaz Sharif to come and join in the celebrations which he did. Mind you, I am all for very cordial diplomatic relations with Pakistan and regular exchange of people and people to people dialogue. Bu we are here talking of those who said “Doob maro, doob maro ( go drown yourself)” when Pakistan Prime Minister came to pay obeisance at Ajmer Dargah.

The point is that while they fan hatred and anger against Muslims, in India or Pakistan, they are bewitched by the Pakistani model of governance and are ever ready to emulate that. There was only one difference we bet that the ethos of democracy are so ingrained in us that we can never become a military dictatorship. Seeing the way the Army is today made into a holy cow and the way that out of turn promotee General Rawat is gloating about Major Gogoi, I can’t say how far we are from a military takeover either.

It may sound preposterous today. But mind you we have already taken the first steps in that direction. Just one simple calculation while Modi is likely to continue as the PM post 2019, in 2024 he will not be eligible to contest elections by his own criterion when he denied the ticket to Yashwant Sinha because he was past 70. Modi too will be way beyond 70 in 2024. So next we will have a saffron clad Yogi Adityanath as the PM and as we can see he is incapable of handling administration even today, leave alone as the PM. So soon enough the Army supported by a section of the saffron brigade will step in to “save Mother India.” How I wish I would be proved wrong.

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