Sikhs in Pakistan forced to pay Jizia

Heading back to the days of Mohammad Gazani, Ghori and Aurangzeb?

Sikhs pay Rs 20m as ‘tax’ to Taliban

Islamabad: Members of Pakistan’s Sikh community living in the Aurakzai tribal region have paid Rs 20 million as “tax” to the Taliban after militants forcibly occupied some of their homes and kidnapped a Sikh leader.

The Taliban had demanded Rs 50 million as ‘jizia’ — a tax levied on non-Muslims living under Islamic rule — but the militants finally settled for Rs 20 million.

After the amount was paid, the militants vacated the homes they had taken over and released Sikh leader Saiwang Singh, officials in the tribal region were quoted by a newspaper. The officials said the Taliban had announced that the Sikhs were now free to live anywhere in Aurzakzai Agency.

The militants also announced they would protect the community, saying that no one would harm them after they had paid jizia. Sikhs who had left the area would now return to their homes and resume their business, the officials said.

The militants had occupied at least 10 homes of Sikhs in Qasimkhel village on Tuesday. About 35 Sikh families have been living in Qasimkhel for many years.

The Taliban demand for jizia was resolved at a jirga or council held on Wednesday through the efforts of local tribal elders. The militants had said the Sikhs should pay jizia in accordance with Sharia or Islamic law.

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Islam and Peace:Muslims must speak in one voice against extremism

An article courtesy  TOI, of  17 March.

It is very very rare to see such frank opinions on extremists, root cause for extremism, especially when linked to a religion with more than its share of violence and man made tragedies.

Even brave souls like MJ Akbar have not been so forthright in in voicing their opinions.

We wish those who should read it, do so, and introspect.


Build The Peace Consensus

Muslims must speak in one voice against extremism

Sadia Dehlvi 

The trail of terror continues with cricketers as the latest target. The Mumbai and Lahore attacks, public executions and the murder of over a thousand civilians in the Swat valley by Taliban-style terrorists are horrifying examples of atrocities committed by militant groups thriving on political Islam.

Global Muslim communities urgently need to condemn the agenda of political Islam that distorts religious scriptures to legitimise violence. This ideology of Islamism is threatening to replace a moderate and spiritual Islam, leading to the destruction of many societies and, in particular, oppression of women and minorities.

Muslims have a moral responsibility to engage in the social, political and economic development of the societies they live in. Global Muslim societies would do well to imitate the exceptional efforts of Indian clerics in denouncing terrorism and delinking it with Islam. Sincere moral outrage needs to be expressed at Taliban atrocities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, political kidnappings and assassinations, militancy in Kashmir, Shia-Sunni killings in Iraq and Pakistan, fatwas condoning suicide bombings in the Israel-Palestine conflict and other atrocities affecting innocent lives.

Muslims require an international consensus on combating extremism. Our credibility is lost when we express selective outrage, as in the aftermath of the Danish cartoons controversy.

Political Islam draws its lifeblood from the ideology of fighting the oppressor, but has clearly become the oppressor itself. Though some Islamist groups have renounced violence, accepted the principles of democracy and marginally improved their stand on women and minority rights, they remain socially conservative.

In Jordan, the Islamist party does not support the rights of women to file for divorce. In Kuwait, the Islamists fought against the right of women to vote. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood will not allow a woman or a person from a minority community to become head of state. Unfortunately, militant Islamist groups thrive in the political vacuum created by oppressive regimes in most Islamic countries.

Muslims must stop blaming the problem of extremism on catastrophic policies of foreign countries. For, two wrongs simply do not make a right. It is primarily a Muslim problem, threatening both Muslim and non-Muslim societies. We need to acknowledge that there is a problem of theology when extremists talk of going straight to heaven after taking innocent lives.

The roots of all modern militant Islamic movements can be traced to one man, Abdul Wahab from Nejd in the Arabian Peninsula. He set out to ‘purify’ Islam, believing that Muslims had drifted away from true religion. Wahab’s followers destroyed many sacred sites that he
considered linked to idolatry. Attacking the arts for being frivolous and dangerous, Wahab sanctioned the rape, murder and plunder of those who refused to follow his injunctions. He was considered a heretic by most, for Mecca and Medina were then centres of contemplative Islam, inhabited by Sufis from all over the world.

In 1774-75, Wahab negotiated a deal with the then nomadic tribe of Saud, forebears of the current royal family, in exchange for support to their quest for political domination. Most Saudis reject the name Wahhabi; they either call themselves Muwahuddin — Unitarians — or Salafi, referring to salaf, the venerated companions of the Prophet. In this blinkered view, no other version of religious truth can exist.

This new face of Islam has nothing to do with Sufis, music, poetry, miracles or the countless devotional customs of Muslim cultures across the world.

Under the patronage of Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism went from strength to strength. Abul Ala Mawdudi, a journalist who translated the Quran outside the classical paradigms, propagated the Wahhabi ideology. He founded the political party Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan, making jihad central to Islamic discourse. Addressing non-Muslims as infidels, he grouped Muslims into ‘partial’ and ‘true’ Muslims. Mawdudi’s ideas of Islam as a revolutionary doctrine to take over governments and overturn the whole universal order deeply influenced Syed Qutub of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

These groups have been motivated by political upheavals and the rejection of traditional scholars. Syed Qutub’s brother happened to be among the teachers of Osama bin Laden.

The extremism now found in Mecca and Medina, the heartland of Islam, is the Wahhabi ideology that the Saudis have spent millions in promoting through their outreach programmes. There is no tolerance for Shias, Sunni Sufis or other Muslim traditions, leave alone non-Muslims.

Unfortunately, there is no collective Muslim protest against the Saudi regime for bulldozing graveyards, destroying the cultural and religious heritage of the holy cities, imposing a certain segregation of the sexes inside the Prophet’s mosque at Medina, radical sermons or distribution of radical literature outside Saudi mosques, many of them issuing calls for death to whoever they view as infidels or innovators of Islam.

The problem of Muslim extremism began in the Muslim world and the responsibility of resolving it lies with us.

The inability to present Islam as a peaceful religion is a collective failure of global Muslim communities. We could begin by increasing the decibel in condemning violence and sectarianism and standing up for women’s rights.

We should stop demonising the ‘other’ as infidels and show increased support for democratic movements in Muslim countries. It is time for the devout, silent and peace-loving Muslim majority to speak for Islam.

Let our voices be louder than the radical voices claiming to represent us.

The writer is a Delhi-based commentator.

Sadia Dehlvi is a renowned Delhi based media person. She is a prominent face on prime time television debates dealing with the issues of Muslim communities.

A well-known columnist and writer, Dehlvi is frequently published in frontline Urdu, Hindi and English newspapers and magazines. She has been the editor of Bano, a popular woman’s journal in the Urdu language with the Shama group of Publications. Dehlvi has produced and scripted a number of documentaries and television programs.

For over thirty years Sadia Dehlvi has engaged in voicing concern on issues regarding heritage, culture, women and Muslim communities. She is currently working on a book on Delhi’s Sufi history. Her surname ‘Dehlvi” means someone from Delhi reflecting her family’s long association with Delhi

Mohan Kedkar: Mumbaikars express gratitude for selfless service

Help for Bandra braveheart’s kin


Mumbai: “He was always a quiet boy. He was always the first one to rush and help people,’’ said 55-year-old Pandurang Redkar about his 20-year-old son Mohan who died while saving a couple from drowning at Bandra bandstand four months ago.

He seemed oblivious of the praises that eminent personalities heaped on him at a crowded hall in Khar (W) on Saturday evening. Redkar wept as commissioner of police Hasan Gafoor handed him an envelope containing a cheque of Rs 4 lakh, an award for his son’s bravery. The function ended with around 100 people paying a silent tribute to Mohan.

To acknowledge the display of courage and selfless service of this young mechanic, the members of the Mohalla Committee Movement Trust, with the help of the Bandra police, collected the reward money from people. Some of the police staff also contributed to this fund.

“The police are looked down upon as being ‘toughies’. But we are human beings. Whenever I think of this youngster, I get shivers down my spine,’’ said additional commissioner of police Archana Tyagi. “The Bandra police themselves initiated the collection. This shows that we too have a soft side,’’ said Tyagi.

Originally from Malavan village in Sindhudurg district, Mohan was working as a trainee mechanic with Mahindra & Mahindra in Kandivli for the past two years. He was the primary breadwinner of his family.

Both his parents have heart ailments while his sister and elder brother are engineering students in Goa. Due to financial constraints in the family, Redkar left studies after Std X to train as a diesel mechanic.

His relatives said his mother’s treatment was possible only because of his earnings. On April 11, Mohan visited Bhabha Hospital to inquire if he could get his mother admitted for heart valve medical treatment.

After making the inquiries, he went to take a stroll at Bandstand. “Suddenly, he noticed a young couple huddled in chest deep water, trying hard to hold on to the rocks. Without hesitation, he removed his clothes, gave his cellphone to an onlooker and flung himself into the cold water,’’ said Prakash George, senior police inspector, Bandra police station.

“He was swept away from the shore after dragging them to safety,’’ he added. Ironically, at the end of the day, Mohan’s body was brought to the same Bhabha Hospital from where he had started his day. What would Redkar’s father do with the money?

“Use it for my daughter’s education,’’ he replied. When asked how he felt about his son becoming an icon of selflessness, he wept, again.

REMEMBERING THE GOOD SAMARITAN: Mohan’s father, Pandurang Redkar, was handed over a cheque of Rs 4 lakh by Mumbai police commissioner Hasan Gafoor on Saturday

Tibet: Under Chinese Heels


     How can a few thousand simple unarmed God fearing souls withstand  a fully armed Imperialist China?  


      Imperial China throughout its history has always swamped conquered territory with Han Chinese till they formed the majority. They ensured the destruction of local language and culture.

      In Tibet of today Tibetians have been reduced to a minority, just a third of the population. Two thirds are Hans Chinese ‘resettled’ by the Chinese government.


      Teaching of Tibetian is prohibited. Only Chinese can be spoken in schools, and offices.

An extract from TOI

      Rebellion crushed? Over 1,000 Lhasa protesters in jail

Beijing: More than 1,000 people have either been caught by police or have turned themselves in after deadly unrest in the Tibetan capital Lhasa last month, state media said on Thursday.
   Lhasa police have seized over 800 “criminals” since the violent March 14 unrest in the city, the Tibet Commerce newspaper reported, citing the deputy chief of the Lhasa communist party, Wang Xiangming. This is nearly double a figure of 414 people caught by police reported by the state media earlier this week.
   In addition, more than 280 people had turned themselves in, Wang was quoted as saying, confirming a previous figure of 289.
   Trials will be carried out before May 1, a national holiday in China, the paper quoted him as saying   “An incident of a magnitude like the one on March 14 will not happen again,” the paper said.
   The March 14 violence came after days of peaceful protests in Lhasa against 57 years of Chinese rule and quickly spilled over into other parts of China inhabited by Tibetans.
   Exiled Tibetan leaders say 135 to 140 people have died in the Chinese crackdown on the demonstrations. China insists it has acted with restraint and killed no one, while blaming Tibetan rioters for the deaths of 20 people.
   The unrest, the worst to hit the Himalayan region in decades, has come at an awkward time for Beijing at it prepares to host the Summer Olympics, attracting the attention of the entire world.
   The region’s hardline Communist Party leader also ordered harsh punishment for local party officials found lacking in their commitment to Beijing’s official line, following the sometimes violent anti-government protests and the harsh crackdown that followed. AFP

I stand by Bhutia and Aamir; shame to the CPM

While Bhutia refused to carry the Olympic torch in his support for Tibet and HH Dalai Lama, Aamir is carrying the same ‘…with a prayer for the Tibetans and their struggle’. I relate to both of these men, and their stand in taking opposite actions but with the same purpose.

Shame to the communists in India, who are calling this an ‘internal matter of China’, notwithstanding Dalai Lama’s message who is repeatedly saying that he is ‘okay with a Tibetan Autonomous region within the Chinese nationhood, but would want religious and cultural freedom for the region of Tibet and Tibetans’.

Not allowing ‘freedom of religion’ and ‘imposing a different cultural identity by force’ (changing demographics of a certain region purposefully and by force) is a violation of basic human rights; this is not ‘humanism’ for sure – and yet the communists claim to have ‘humanism’ and ‘dignity for all’ as their primary ideology, rather than any religious affiliation.

They seem to follow a ‘policy of convenience’ rather than ‘principles’, which they project most of the time.

You will notice, that very often in international political matters, these policies bend to cater to the policies of their ‘evolved’ Chinese brethren, even if their stand is against basic humanitarian principles.

CPM’s communists are certainly no better the Saudis and other Islamic fanatics, who follow the same principles, just a different way of expressing the fanaticism- just like Aamir and Bhutia who have the same objective but different actions – ofcourse the latter are ‘men of principles’.

The sacrfice of Tibet: Extraordinary delusions and temporary insanity

The sacrifice of Tibet: Extraordinary delusions and temporary insanity
Rajeev Srinivasan ::

March 25, 2008

On November 18 every year, I silently salute the brave souls of C Company, 13th Kumaon Regiment, who in 1962 died practically to the last man and the last bullet defending Ladakh against the invading Chinese Army. These brave 114 inflicted heavy casualties and prevented the Chinese from overrunning Leh, much like Spartans at Thermopylae held the line against the invading Persians many moons ago.

But have you ever wondered why these brave men had to sacrifice themselves? One answer seems to be that is because of the extraordinary delusions that affected a number of the dramatis personae on the Indian side: notably Jawaharlal Nehru, KM Panikkar and VK Krishna Menon.

A deadly combination of blind faith, gross megalomania, and groupthink led to the debacle in the war in1962; but its genesis lay in the unbelievable naivete that led these worthies to simply sacrifice a defenseless sister civilisation to brutal barbarians.

Furthermore, they were far more concerned about China’s interests than about India’s! Generations to come will scarcely believe that such criminal negligence was tolerated in the foreign policy of a major nation.

In a well-researched book, timed for the one hundredth anniversary of the opening of Tibet [Images] by the British, Claude Arpi, born in France [Images] but a long-term resident of India, and one of India’s leading Tibet and China experts, argues that India’s acquiescence to the enslavement of Tibet has had disastrous consequences. The book is Born in Sin: The Panchsheel Agreement subtitled The Sacrifice of Tibet, published by Mittal Publications, New Delhi, 2004, pp. 241, Rs. 495, ISBN 81-7099-974-X. Unless otherwise noted, all of the quotations here are from this book.

Arpi also touches upon the difficulty scholars face with piecing together what actually happened in those momentous years leading to the extinction of Tibet and the India-China war of 1962, because the majority of the source materials are held as classified documents in the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund or the Ministry of External Affairs.

The historian is forced to depend on the sanitised Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru and the restricted Official Report of the 1962 War. If the relevant documents were made public at the very least we might learn something from them. Where is Aruna Roy, crusading champion of the people’s right to know who has now accepted a sinecure under the UPA? Why are the Nehru Papers controlled by Sonia Gandhi [Images]?

The story really begins exactly one hundred years ago, in September 1904, when the British Colonel Francis Younghusband entered Tibet and forced the hitherto insular kingdom open at the point of a gun. The Lhasa Convention of 1904, signed by the British and the Tibetans, put the seal of British overlordship over Tibet. The parallels with Commodore Perry of the US and his black ships opening up Japan [Images] are obvious. However, unlike Japan, which under the Meiji Restoration took vigorously to westernisation, Tibet continued to distance itself from the outside world, much to its later disadvantage.

Perhaps we need to look further in history, as Arpi did in his earlier book, The Fate of Tibet: When Big Insects Eat Small Insects. The Tibetans were a feared, martial and warlike race that had always, in its impregnable mountain fastnesses, held the expansionist Han Chinese at bay. However, in the 7th century CE, Buddhism came to Tibet, and they became a pacifist nation. Says Arpi: ‘Tibet’s conversion had another consequence on its political history: a nonviolent Tibet could no longer defend itself. It had to look outside for military support to safeguard its frontiers and for the protection of its Dharma. This help came first from the Mongol Khans and later the Manchu Emperors when they became themselves followers of the Buddha’s doctrine.’

The sum and substance of China’s alleged historical claim to Tibet is this: that the Mongol Khans had conquered both China and Tibet at the same time. This is patently absurd, because by the same token India should claim Australia, New Zealand [Images] and Hong Kong as its own, because India and these territories were under British rule at the same time.

In fact, since the Mongol Khans and the Manchu Emperors accepted the Dalai Lama [Images] as their spiritual preceptor, it is clear that it was China that was giving tribute to Tibet, not vice versa: so Tibet could claim Han China as its vassal.

The Lhasa Convention was followed by the Simla Convention in 1914 that laid out the McMahon Line defining both the Indo-Tibetan border, and the division of Tibet into ‘Outer Tibet’ (which lies along the border with India) and ‘Inner Tibet’ which includes Amdo Province and part of Kham Province. It is worthwhile to note that the Chinese were not invited to discuss the McMahon line, nor was their acceptance of this line sought. Tibetans signed this treaty as an independent nation. The British government emphasised this in a note to the Chinese as late as 1943: ‘Since the Chinese Revolution of 1911,… Tibet has enjoyed de facto independence.’

When India became independent, K M Panikkar wrote: ‘A China [organised as a Communist regime annexing Mongol, Muslim and Tibetan areas] will be in an extremely powerful position to claim its historic role of authority over Tibet, Burma, Indo-China and Siam. The historic claims in regard to these are vague and hazy?’ Yet soon thereafter Panikkar became the principal spokesperson for China’s interests, even though his job was Indian Ambassador to China!

As soon as the Communists came to power, in 1950, they started asserting their claims: ‘The tasks for the People’s Liberation Army for 1950 are to liberate [sic] Taiwan, Hainan and Tibet.’ A Scottish missionary in Tibet said the PLA officers told him that once Tibet was in their hands, they would go to India.

On October 7, 1950, Mao Tse-Tung’s storm troopers invaded Tibet. But under Panikkar’s influence, Nehru felt that the loss of Tibet was worth the price of liberating Asia from ‘western dominance’. Panikkar said: ‘I do not think there is anything wrong in the troops of Red China moving about in their own country.’

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was one of the few in the Indian government who recognised the menace from China. He wrote:
‘We also have to take note of a thoroughly unscrupulous, unreliable and determined power practically at our doors? [It is clear that] we cannot be friendly with China and must think in terms of defense against a determined, calculating, unscrupulous, ruthless, unprincipled and prejudiced combination of powers, of which the Chinese will be the spearhead? [It is obvious to me that] any friendly or appeasing approaches from us would either be mistaken for weakness or would be exploited in furtherance of their ultimate aim.’

How prophetic Patel was! Unfortunately, he died soon after he wrote this. Interestingly, the very same words apply in their entirety to India’s dithering over Pakistan today, 54 years later. The Pakistanis are also exploiting India’s appeasement and friendliness.

But Nehru, it appears, had decided to sacrifice Tibet, partly in order to appease China, partly because of his distaste for what he considered ‘imperialist treaties’ (in this case the Lhasa Convention that gave enormous rights in Tibet to the British, and, as their successor, to the Indian government) and partly in order to act as mediator between China and the West over the Korean War.

Observers could see what was going to happen. The American ambassador Henderson noted: ‘The UK High Commission would like to be able to argue with Indian officials that if GoI bows to Communist China’s blackmail re Tibet, India will eventually be confronted with similar blackmail not only re Burma but re such areas as Assam, Bhutan, Sikkim, Kashmir, Nepal.’ Absolutely correct, for this is exactly what is happening today.

Nehru and Panikkar simply did not see the threat from China, so enamoured were they of the great Communist Revolution there. Nehru said: ‘The biggest event since the last War is the rise of Communist China’. Part of his admiration arose from his distaste for the Buddhist culture of Tibet: ‘We cannot support feudal elements in Tibet, indeed we cannot interfere in Tibet’. Now doesn’t that sound exactly like Xinhua propaganda, which Nehru seems to have internalised?

A Canadian high commissioner had a different theory: ‘[Panikkar] had no illusions about the policies of the Chinese government and he had not been misled by it. He considered, however, that the future, at least in his lifetime, lay with the communists, and he therefore did his best to get on well with them by misleading Nehru’. That might be considered treason in certain circles.

Whatever the reason, we can see why Zhou-en Lai is rumored to have referred to the Indians in general and Nehru in particular as ‘useful idiots’. (There is no reference to this in the Arpi book). In every discussion with Panikkar, the Chinese hosts smilingly avoided the question of settling the border, but they made sure that India acknowledged Chinese hegemony over Tibet. The Indians were thoroughly outsmarted, partly because they were willing victims dazzled by the idea of Communism.

When confronted with the question of the undefined border, Nehru said, “All these are high mountains. Nobody lives there. It is not very necessary to define these things.” And in the context of whether the Chinese might invade India, here’s Nehru again: “What might happen is some petty trouble in the borders and unarmed infiltration. To some extent this can be stopped by checkposts? Ultimately, however, armies do not stop communist infiltration or communist ideas? Any large expenditure on the army will starve the development of the country and social progress.”

The naivete leaves the neutral observer speechless. What might be even more alarming is that there are supposedly serious Old Left analysts today, in 2004, who mouth these same inanities about not spending money on the Indian Army. Why they do not take their cue from China, with its enormous Army, is mysterious, because in all other respects they expect India to emulate China. Except that is, no nukes, no military might for India.

By not asserting India’s treaty rights in Tibet, which would have helped Tibet remain as a neutral buffer zone, Nehru has hurt India very badly. For, look at what is happening today. Nepal is under relentless attack by Maoists, almost certainly supported by Chinese money. Large parts of India are infested with violent Maoists. Much of West Bengal is under the iron grip of Marxists, who clearly take orders from Beijing [Images].

It is in this context that the so-called Panchsheel Agreement was written. Given that the Indian side had a priori decided to surrender all its rights to the Chinese, in return for vague promises of brotherhood, it is perhaps the most vacuous treaty ever signed. However, Nehru opined: “in my opinion, we have done no better thing than this since we became independent. I have no doubt about this?I think it is right for our country, for Asia and for the world.”

Famous last words.

Nehru believed that the five principles which are referred to as Panchsheel were his personal, and major, contribution to world peace. Based on his impression of his stature in the world, he thought that the Panchsheel model could be used for treaties all over the world, and that it would lead to a tremendous breaking out of peace everywhere.

Nehru was sadly mistaken. There was nothing particularly remarkable about the principles themselves: they were not his invention, but were merely common-sense provisions used widely. And he had a megalomaniac idea of his own influence around the world: he did not realise that he cut a slightly comical figure. In his own mind, and in the minds of his toadies, he was the Emperor Ashoka returned, to bring about World Peace.

Here are the Five Principles:
1. Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
2. Mutual non-aggression
3. Mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs
4. Equality and mutual benefit
5. Peaceful co-existence

The Chinese immediately violated every one of these principles, and have continued to do so happily. For instance, even while the treaty was being negotiated, the Chinese were building a road through Aksai Chin in Jammu and Kashmir [Images], and in perhaps the most unbelievable aspect of this whole sorry mess, India was actually supplying rice to the Chinese troops building the road through Indian territory! This is distinctly surreal!

The problem was that Nehru had no sense of history. He should have read RC Majumdar: “There is, however, one aspect of Chinese culture that is little known outside the circle of professional historians? It is characteristic of China that if a region once acknowledged her nominal suzerainty even for a short period, she would regard it as a part of her empire for ever and would automatically revive her claim over it even after a thousand years whenever there was a chance of enforcing it.”

And this was the ‘ally’ Nehru found against the ‘imperialists’ of the West! He went so far as to decline a seat at the UN Security Council because the China seat was held by Taiwan. He did not want India to be in the Security Council until China was there too!

Since many people are curious about this, here is chapter and verse: it is in the Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Series II, Vol. 29, Minutes of meeting with Soviet Leaders, Moscow [Images], 22 June 1955, pp. 231. Here is the conversation between Nehru and Soviet Premier Marshal Bulganin:

“Bulganin: While we are discussing the general international situation and reducing tension, we propose suggesting at a later stage India’s inclusion as the sixth member of the Security Council.

Nehru: Perhaps Bulganin knows that some people in USA have suggested that India should replace China in the Security Council. This is to create trouble between us and China. We are, of course, wholly opposed to it. Further, we are opposed to pushing ourselves forward to occupy certain positions because that may itself create difficulties and India might itself become a subject of controversy. If India is to be admitted to the Security Council it raises the question of the revision of the Charter of the UN. We feel that this should not be done till the question of China’s admission and possibly of others is first solved. I feel that we should first concentrate on getting China admitted.”

The casual observer might wonder whether Nehru was India’s prime minister, or China’s. Besides, the Chinese have now repaid all this support. India insisted that India should not be in the Security Council until China was in it, too. Now China insists that India should not be in the Security Council until Pakistan is in it, too. Seems fair, doesn’t it?

What is the net result of all this for India? It is a strategic disaster. Forget the fact that the Tibetan civilisation has been decimated, and it is an Indic civilisation with practically no relationship to Han Chinese civilisation. Strictly from India’s security perspective, it is an unmitigated catastrophe.

Analyst Ginsburg wrote in the fifties: ‘He who holds Tibet dominates the Himalayan piedmont; he who dominates the Himalayan piedmont, threatens the Indian subcontinent; and he who threatens the Indian subcontinent may well have all of Southeast Asia within his reach, and all of Asia.’

Look at the situation in Tibet today.

a.. The Chinese are planning the northward diversion of the Brahmaputra, also known as the Tsangpo. This would make North India a desert
b.. The Chinese have on several occasions used ‘lake bombs’ to flood Indian territory: as the upper riparian state based on their occupation of Tibet, they are able to do this, for example on the Sutlej
c.. Hu Jintao, who was the Butcher of Tibet, is now a top strongman in Beijing. Under his sponsorship, a railway line will be finished in 2007 linking Lhasa to eastern China. This would be an excellent mechanism for bringing in both large
numbers of Han immigrants to swamp the remaining Tibetan people, and also to deploy mobile nuclear missiles
d.. The Chinese are deploying advanced nuclear missiles in Tibet, aimed at India, Russia [Images] and the US. With the railway line, they will be able to move these around and even conceal them quickly in tunnels and other locations
e.. The Chinese dump large amounts of nuclear waste in Tibet, which will eventually make its way down to India via the rivers
f.. The India-Tibet border is still not demarcated.
It is difficult to imagine a more disastrous foreign policy outcome than what happened between India and China. Claude Arpi is owed a debt of gratitude by all of us in India who care about the nation’s progress and even its survival.

If the rather well-thought-of founding prime minister of the country was so uncaring about India’s interests, one shudders to think what might be going on today with some of the ministers who are accused in criminal cases.

But even more than that, Arpi’s detailed analysis and painstaking research on the process through which Tibet was enslaved is an instructive case study in how barbarians are always at the gates, and how, as Will Durant said, ‘Civilisation is a precious good, whose delicate complex order and freedom can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without and multiplying from within’.

One of the profound lessons to be taken away is that it is the lack of respect for the spiritual that has led to this cataclysm. As Ministry of External Affairs observer, Apa Pant, pointed out about Tibet and the Han Chinese colonisation: ‘With all its shortcomings and discomforts, its inefficiencies and unconquered physical dangers, here was a civilisation with at least the intention of maintaining a pattern of life in which the individual could achieve liberation? The one so apparently inefficient, so human and even timid, yet kind and compassionate and aspiring to something more gloriously satisfying in human life; the other determined and effective, ruthless, power-hungry and finally intolerant… In the corridors of power [in official India], Tibet, Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, were all regarded as ridiculous, too funny for words; useless illusions that would logically cease to exist soon, thanks to the Chinese, and good riddance.’

In the final analysis, Tibet was lost because those in power in India were dismissive of matters spiritual. It is the Empire of the Spirit that has made India what she has been all these millennia, and once the rulers start dismissing that, it is clear that we are in the Kali Yuga, the Dark Ages. It is the end of living, and the beginning of survival.

Why is the Indian Govt afraid to open files on Netaji ?

Why is the Indian Govt afraid to open files on Netaji ?

       It is an intriguing fact that the governmeny of India has never been forthcoming in relation to the last days of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.       

      Sixty years after independance the public is still being denied accesss to all documents.

      So what if the names of foreign countries are mentioned in those files? In case any foreign government has been involved in any act against the interest of a Indian hero is the public not entitled to know?

      Or is it that the government of India did not take adequate actions to bring the hero home?

      Who is the government trying to protect?


CIC asks PMO to make public list of 29 files on Netaji

New Delhi: Rejecting the PMO’s refusal to provide a list of classified files relating to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked it to make public a list of 29 such files.The Commission’s decision came after the PMO produced before it 33 classified files on the revolutionary leader.It, however, exempted four related files as they had reference to foreign states.

Acting on an RTI application of ‘Mission Netaji’ – a Delhi-based research trust – challenging the PMO’s refusal to make public its classified files on Netaji, the CIC had, in its order of January 25, asked the latter to produce in a sealed cover a list of classified files for its perusal.

The Prime Minister’s Office while declining to produce the list of the classified files had earlier said that divulging their contents could affect India’s sovereignty and relations with foreign nations.

Perusing through the files as produced by the PMO, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said four of the 33 classified files had a reference to foreign nations. Therefore, the remaining 29 files should be given.

In its order passed yesterday, the CIC also noted that out of the 29 files, seven were classified “top secret,” three “confidential” while the rest were marked “secret.” Apart from the 33 files, the PMO also informed the Commission about two recently de-classified files.

Hindu traders Kidnapped in Pakistan

     Hindus in two districts of Pakistan’s Balochistan province on Wednesday warned that the minority community would boycott the upcoming general election if authorities fail to trace three kidnapped Hindu traders even as armed men abducted another businessman’s son.
       The panchayats of Jaffarabad and Nasirabad districts demanded that the government should trace Kundan Lal, Parkash Kumar and Dilip Kumar – who were kidnapped by four armed men on Saturday – within the next two days.

  If this is not done, the Hindu community would boycott the February 18 parliamentary polls, Mukhia Manak Chand told a Hindu panchayat meeting in Dera Murad Jamali town.

Hours after the meeting, four armed men kidnapped Ravi Kumar, the son of rice mill owner Seth Haripal Das, in Jaffarabad on Wednesday night. Police said the armed men broke into the Baloch Rice Mill and abducted Kumar.

Police cordoned off the area and launched efforts to trace the kidnapped youth.

Manak Chand said the kidnapping of the men had created restlessness and panic among Hindus and this could be resolved only through the early release of the traders.

He also emphasised the need for measures for the security of the Hindu community.

The three traders were kidnapped from a Jacobabad-bound van in Jaffarabad district. They had come to Dera Murad Jamali on a business trip from Jacobabad.

The kidnappers, who were travelling in the same van, stopped the vehicle and abducted the traders at gun point.

NRIs; Kenya violence targets Gujaratis

Kenya violence targets Gujaratis
2 Jan 2008, 0000 hrs IST , Sachin Sharma & Darshana Chaturvedi , TNN
VADODARA: Ever since post-election riots broke out in Kenya, the Gujarati diaspora there has been living in fear. Although no lives have been lost, there has been massive damage to property and businesses owned by Indians, particularly Gujaratis.

In the small town of Kisumu near Nairobi, almost three out of every four businesses owned by Indians have been burnt down, residents said. Many Indians have been holed up in temples for the past two days and are gradually running out of food.

There are close to one lakh Indians in Kenya with 3,000 in Kisumu, the worst-hit town. Kisumu is the stronghold of defeated presidential challenger Raila Odinga. His party, the Orange Democratic Movement, has accused President Mwai Kibaki of rigging the elections. Kibaki won after results were declared on Sunday. Since then, some 300 people have been killed in widespread violence across the country.

Anand Rana, a resident of Kisumu, said, “The town has come to a standstill. Supermarkets and shops are charred beyond recognition. Most Gujaratis are staying in the Swaminarayan temple in Kisumu. We ventured out on Tuesday to take stock of the situation. Almost three-fourths of Indian businesses have incurred huge losses.”

Amit Shah, who lives in Nairobi, said the situation was grim on the outskirts of the capital. “The riots have resulted in massive damage to Indian properties.” Shail Patel from Nairobi, who is in Gujarat now, said things are under control in the city with the government deploying troops and imposing curfew. var RN = new String (Math.random()); var RNS = RN.substring (2,11); var b2 = ‘ ‘; if (doweshowbellyad==1) bellyad.innerHTML = b2; Help violence-hit expats in Kenya, Modi urges PM

2 Jan 2008, 1827 hrs IST , ANI
AHMEDABAD: Expressing concern over attacks on Gujarati expatriates in Kenya, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to ensure their safety in that country.

Modi has asked Dr. Manmohan Singh to take up the issue with the Kenyan Government to ensure safety of Gujaratis in Kenya.

In his letter, Modi voiced concern over the safety of about 400 Gujaratis who have taken shelter in a Swaminarayan temple in Kisumu, a town located in Western part of Kenya.

“I request the Indian Government to immediately beef up security for our Indian brothers in Kenya. Indian youth in Kenya who want to return should be brought back, and if required through the sea route or they should be taken to Nirobi and arrangements made for their stay there. Since their houses have been burnt, missing documents must be overlooked and they should be allowed to move to safer areas without any hitch, keeping in mind their Indian blood,” said Modi.

Ever since post-election riots broke out in Kenya, the Gujarati diaspora has been living in fear.

Hundreds of Gujarati businessmen have taken shelter in a temple in the Kenyan town of Kisumu after the violence.

Offices and factories belonging to Gujaratis had been looted and their houses attacked by residents.

With defeated Kenyan presidential challenger Raila Odinga sticking to his guns after an allegedly rigged election and freshly re-elected President Mwai Kibaki vowing to assert his authority, the east African nation is locked in a crippling crisis.

Scores of people were killed and several thousand have fled after President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner in a disputed election. The estimated death toll has risen to about 250 till today.

Police beat protesters and flushed looters out of buildings in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, which is within opposition leader Raila Odinga’s constituency.

Kenyan opposition supporters burnt houses in Nairobi’s Korogocho slum as police fired teargas and shots in the air to disperse the crowd.

Much of the fighting pitched Luos, who support opposition leader Raila Odinga, against Kibaki’s ethnic Kikuyu group.

There are about 43,000 Gujaratis in Nairobi and about 3,000 in Kisumu.

India in Danger: Pak Nuclear Arsenal and Terrorists

Pakistan is caught in a downward spiral of terrorism and violence.

     Worse, it has no worthwhile institution that inspires confidence. Its Legislatures are but empty wind bags, its political parties are in complete disarray. The judiciary which was trying to stand up has been buried up to the neck.

      The Army and the ISI which have been running the country are themselves contaminated with extremists. Attacks on Gen Musharraf have been initiated by members of armed forces.  The ISI which at last estimate has been making around 3 billion US$ every year from narcotics is a Frankestien Monster, subject to no legitimate body. 

     The Army and the ISI have made no secret of their having nuclear weapons or inclination to use them.  Since both are enmeshed in relationship with extremist elements, it is only a matter of time, before they fall into the hands of terrorists. 

     Remember, Even Russia had many such wepons. However when the USSR broke up they managed with US & Nato help to get hold of and neutralise wepons and missiles in the seceding states. Pakistan, which  has kept the locations  atomic wepons secret and appears to have very loose control over its own personnell, poses a grave threat to not only to South Asia but to all humanity. 

     US which has been aware of the proliferation by Pakistan has never discouraged it. In fact its turning a blind eye to the nefarious activities of AQ Khan and Co, and the Pakistani establishment is responsible for the  present state of affairs. Should the weapons fall in to the hands of Al Quaida or any of its subsideries, US will be the prime target.  

     Should the terrorists find it a difficult targer, Europe Israel would be the next alternate targets.  

     India , a soft state, has been  the testing ground for all tactics and proving operations of terrorists, is running the greatest danger from the nuclear arsenal of Pakistan.



NOTHING WORRIES the world more than the combination of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, its political instability and its past record of proliferation.

     More than the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, however, it has been recent evidence of jihadi infiltration of the Pakistani military that have resurrected fears of an “atomic Taliban” scenario.

     There is a clear divide over how to handle Pakistan’s nuclear problem. Non-proliferation and counter-terrorism experts argue nothing is more important than securing Pakistan’s arsenal. This means putting one’s eggs in the military basket and backing dictators like Pervez Musharraf to the hilt.

     Former head of arms control in the US State Department, John Bolton, once said the general “is the best bet to secure the nuclear arsenal”. Others argue nuclear safety is best assured by political stability. And stability means a democratic government.

     “Pakistan’s arsenal is worth worrying about. But that doesn’t necessarily lead to the conclusion that you have to build policy around a military strongman. Moving toward political legitimacy is a strong protection,” says Teresita Schaffer, South Asia expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

     This thesis has been supported by a recent study of A.Q. Khan’s nuclear black market operations by the International Institute for Strategic Studies and a book, The Nuclear Jihadist, by Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins. Both conclude the fragmented nature of Pakistan’s polity allowed Khan to sell nuclear secrets freely.

     “The diffusion of domestic political power among the troika of the President, Prime Minister and the Army Chief, obscured the command and control authority over the covert nuclear weapons programme,” says the IISS report.

     The Pakistani military alternate between warning of a Taliban takeover and assuring the world that its estimated 50 nuclear warheads are safe. Raising the latter fear buttresses support for the military in Washington. Says Frederic Grare, Pakistan analyst at Carnegie Endowment: “The military always use the nuclear bogey as leverage against the US.

     ” On the other hand, several reports have said the US maintains contingency plans for either bombing or capturing Pakistan’s half-a-dozen nuclear installations in case the country looks like it is losing control of its arsenal.

     References to military cooperation with India in handling “third countries” losing control of their nuclear bombs in the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defence Review indicate New Delhi would have a role in such a contingency plan. Says Stephen Cohen of the Brookings Institute and author of The Idea of Pakistan: “Pakistanis fear a US or Indian attack on their arsenal.” While most analysts say Pakistan’s arsenal is in no specific danger from the present turmoil, the larger concern is that the lack of a legitimate government feeds into a broader political crisis in Pakistan – one that is infecting the professionalism of the military as well.

     The Pakistani military’s operations in the Northwest Frontier Province against Islamic in surgents have seen record levels of court martials and desertions. Former RAW Pakistan analyst B. Raman recently noted that the suicide bomber who had attacked the ISI headquarters had a password only given to brigadier-level officers.

     The evidence of Islamist support within the military is strong, notes counter-terrorism expert Daveed Gartenstein-Ross. “At least three of the attempts on Musharraf ‘s life were inside jobs.”     

     Islamabad has officially admitted that two times in the past six years, its nuclear scientists passed on sensitive data to outsiders, including once in 2001 to Osama himself. US intelligence keeps a close watch on evidence of separate centres of power arising within the Pakistan military and intelligence apparatus. That is seen as a warning sign.

      They are less concerned about mobs on the street or political assassinations. “Pakistan’s record is world-class bad,” says Cohen.

     He notes that Russia cooperated with the West in securing its “loose nukes” problem. Pakistan is less helpful. Though it accepted US nuclear safety technology and training, Islamabad sent its personnel to the US rather than allow US officials to know the location of its nuclear installations.

     Even now, US officials say they are not sure if they know the whereabouts of all of Pakistan’s nuclear sites.