Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A decade of secular lies!


Godhra’ the mnemonic is a decade old. The secular vultures are out in full force again. Words like genocide, pogrom and even holocaust are bandied about without the least concern for truth. It was an occasion to mourn the dead in the post-Godhra riots; not those who were brutally burnt to death, mind you. For in a secular world, the Hindu-dead are not mourned. There were no wreaths for the fifty nine unfortunate Karsevaks. To understand the kind of inferno they had endured before praying the good lord to end it all, click hereA Requiem for Godhra

The disdain with which the human rights activists and Booker Prize winning novelists treated the inhuman tragedy of the unfortunate Karsevaks is appalling. This is what Teesta Setalvad was reported to have said immediately after the train burning incident:
“while I condemn today's gruesome attack, you cannot pick up an incident in isolation. Let us not forget the provocation. These people were not going for a benign assembly. They were indulging in blatant and unlawful mobilization to build a temple and deliberately provoke the Muslims in India.” 

This telling quote from the warped mind of an alleged social activist accused of perjury is from an unimpeachable, independent source. To see the original, click here: Mob Attacks Indian Train - Victims Had Visited Disputed Temple Site 

And update: It appears the link has broken since its publication here. Here is a screen shot of the Washington Post page: 
See the last para for Teesta Setalvad's 'secular' take on the barbaric burning of 59 people!

As ever disdainful of India’s democratic institutions and judicial system, the one-woman-republic (should we refer to it as ‘it’ or ‘she’?) fabricated lies to lend poignance to her narrative. She invented unborn daughters and had them stripped and burnt alive. Iqbal Eshan Jaffri who was killed in the Gulmarg incident had only one daughter - not daughters - and she was mercifully in New York on the fateful day Arundhati Roy had her stripped and burnt alive. Click here to read her fiction: Democracy - Who's she when she's at home? . To read more about the Gulmarg society incident, click here: Gujarat riots and the ‘secular’ Galahads of justice! 

Having won one Booker with her ‘adultery-incest’ theme, Arundhati Roy might have been as well writing another novel with ‘stripping-raping-burning’ theme. Only in this case she was dealing with real lives, not characters in a novel. The atmosphere was incendiary and ready to explode without much provocation. (Perhaps the restrictions set out in Article 19 (2) of the constitution are inapplicable to this champion of free speech!) When accosted with the truth she nonchalantly apologized citing a K. S. Subrahmanyam, a former IGP of Tripura as a source of her misinformation. Click here to read Arundhati's utter disdain for truth & insincere apology And click here to read about the lecherous activities of K. S. Subrahmanyam who was part of the fact-finding mission that submitted a report on the riots: Narendra Modi, Godhra, Gujarat Riots: IBN-Live 'Disregards' Truth! (The article primarily deals with Indian media’s utter disregard for truth in making up a narrative.) To understand the true story behind the Godhra train carnage, click here: Godhra: The True Story By Nicolo Elfi

For a decade now, ‘Hang Narendra Modi’, has been the battle cry of the secular vultures. For them the truth is an inconvenience; the judicial system an abomination. The hunger of secular necrophilia could only be satiated by hanging Narendra Modi! 

Before arraigning Narendra Modi for everything that happened in Gujarat immediately after the barbaric burning of fifty nine Karsevaks, let us look at two snippets of history that tell their own tale about the role of the ‘vanguard of secularism’ that typified him as a ‘merchant of death’. (Click here to see a detailed analysis of some of the worst communal riots in India between 1950 and 1995: Gujarat saw many bloodier riots before 2002)

GUJARAT 1969

In 1969 Gujarat saw some of the worst communal riots the country had ever seen. During the riots which lasted six months, 500 people were killed in Ahmedabad alone and an estimated 10000 - 15000 people were killed in the state. There were many causative factors for the riots. The atmosphere was steeped with prevailing social tensions caused by long-simmering religious strife. It was an ambience that perfectly suited uber-secular Indira Gandhi (head of the Congress-I faction of the original Indian National Congress) to settle scores with arch-rival Hintendra Desai and bury his splinter Congress-O once and for all.

The riots occurred before two of the country’s most popular television faces - who made their careers out of the dead bodies of post-Godhra Gujarat 2002 riots – were born. Narendra Damodardas Modi was a ten-year old lad, then.

ANDHRA & KARNATAKA 1990

In 1990, Rajiv Gandhi was out of power thanks to the Machiavellian V P Singh. His party was in power in only three major states, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra, ruled by Marri Chenna Reddy, Veerendra Patil and Sharad Pawar respectively. The three Chief Ministers held a conclave in Tirupathi. We do not know what if anything of significance transpired in the conclave, but Rajiv Gandhi construed that it was held to undermine his authority as the party’s high command. He turned to his trusted acolytes, the secular Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR), state party president in Andhra Pradesh and the secular Jaffar Sheriff, party president in Karnataka. Sharad Pawar was considered invincible and left alone for the nonce. YSR, with some help from the secular MIM party engineered riots in Andhra. Jaffar Sheriff simultaneously did the same in Karnataka. The riots continued for weeks and stopped – as if a switch was turned off – as soon as Chenna Reddy and Verendra Patil resigned, obviously with some persuasion from the high command. This after Marri Chenna Reddy regained power for Congress from N. T. Rama Rao, quite a significant political feat. Some four hundred people lost their lives in the Hyderabad riots alone. In Karnataka, the riots were diffused throughout the state – because of its diverse religious composition unlike Andhra Pradesh where the Muslim population is mainly concentrated in Hyderabad and some pockets of Rayalaseema.
Narendra Modi

The riots occurred eleven years before Narendra Modi became chief minister in far away Gujarat. He was a simple RSS pracharak then. He did not even have an inkling that he would be asked to lead a state that had seen the most vicious communal strife for more than 200 years. 

The unfortunate events of February-March 2002 are being investigated by a Judicial Commission. A number of trials related to incidents of the time are underway in judicial courts. The courts have pronounced their verdicts in some cases and others are on course. The vicious, relentless campaign to nail Narendra Modi continues. Not a shred of evidence – of omission or commission - to link him in any way to the riots has been found. Yet the secular vultures wouldn’t give up. They continue to lie, lie and lie.

Update August 28, 2012: Here are some statistics that will put the whole issue in perspective, especially in view of the Goebbelsian  propaganda unleashed by the so called secular forces: The actual figures of those killed in the riots were: 254 - Hindus and 790 - Muslims. These were not the figures of some Sangh Pariwar activists but the figures provided in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha by a 'secular' Minister of State (MoS), Home in the 'secular' Congress government at the centre. Here are some more statistics which hopefully make us ponder: 10,000 rounds of bullets were fired by the police to quell the mobs killing 77 Hindus and 93 Muslims. 27,901 Hindus were arrested as against 7,651 Muslims. We were only told of Muslims sheltering in the relief camps but how many knew that 40,000 Hindus also were sheltered in relief camps. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gujarat saw many bloodier riots before 2002


The unfortunate communal riots that followed the barbaric burning of 59 Karsevaks at Godhra on February 27, 2002 were painted as the worst ever communal riots in the history of India by the secular’ polity. The objective of this malicious campaign was to camouflage facts and malign Chief Minister Narendra Modi. A larger covert objective could also be read into the game-plan of these forces inimical to national unity.  It is to malign the Sri Ram Mandir movement itself by association with the tragedy; to influence public opinion against any reconciliation for re-construction of the Mandir and sabotage ongoing judicial processes to ensure a negative verdict. However, the machinations of these saboteurs of India's national unity were belied by data collected by independent researchers and theses carefully constructed over time. No one can accuse Ashutosh Varshney (of the University of Michigan) and Steven Wilkinson (of the Duke University) of colluding with what the secular’ polity likes to call the Sangh Parivar. These researchers have collected and collated statistics relating to Hindu-Muslim Violence in India between the years 1950 and 1995 and published the raw data as Varshney-Wilkinson Dataset on Hindu-Muslim Violence in India, 1950-1995, Version 2. The research was carried out under the auspices of the “Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Science Research (ICPSR)” and designated as document ICPSR 4342. It may be accessed from: http://swd.ucsd.edu/india.pdf Steven Wilkinson who subsequently wrote his 'Votes and Violence: Electoral Competition and Ethnic Riots in India' (2006. Cambridge University Press) has this  to say of the general nature of communal violence in India:
“[...] one can think of not one or two, but many instances when the ruling party was not the anti-Muslim BJP, or its analytic equivalent, the Shiv Sena, but deadly Hindu-Muslim riots nonetheless took place. […] at one time or another, Congress politicians have both fomented and prevented communal violence for political advantage. Congress governments have failed, for example, to prevent some of India’s worst riots (e. g., the Ahmedabad riots of 1969, the Moradabad riots of 1980, and the Meerut riots of 1987) and in some cases Congress ministers have reportedly instigated riots and have blocked riot enforcement. […] in the post-independence era Congress has at times benefited electorally from Hindu-Muslim violence and I find that we can identify no robust statistical relationship between Congress rule and the level of riots, a result I attribute to the widely varying communal character of the party and its leadership across time and place.” (Wilkinson, Steven I, 2005, Communal Riots in India, Communalism Watch, November 11, 2005, (reproduced from The Economic and Political Weekly, October 29, 2005), communalism.blogspot.com/2005/11/communal-riots-in-india-steven-i.htm) - Ed.
Kiran Kumar S (@KiranKS) delved into data tweeted by @centerofright (the Varshney-Wilkinson Dataset mentioned above accessible from http://swd.ucsd.edu/india.xls) and has come up with startling revelations. Read more…

By S. Kiran Kumar

If we compute the worst 10 or 20 riots of India since independence, where does Gujarat 2002 fit in? I did some research on the "Worst-20" hall of shame riots since 1947. I am still having a hard time figuring out if 2002 riots, in terms of victim count, even makes to the hall of shame list. Since the victim counts are so drastically varying based on the sources I read, it is tough to ascertain. Here is the most comprehensive list of Indian riots (1192 riots listed from 1950 to 1995):  

This very comprehensive list of riots in India, counts mostly communal ones, from January 1950 till July 1995. But strangely doesn't include 1984 Anti-Sikh riots and 1983 Anti-Bangladeshi Nellie riots. The spreadsheet was referred by friend @centerofright on twitter.  Download the spreadsheet here: http://swd.ucsd.edu/india.xls

But here are some interesting things, which is guaranteed to cause heartburn to anyone who jumped on the Modi=Riots, Riots=Modi bandwagon for 10 long years. Since any discussion on riot in India, invariably involves the politicians, I must make a note of them too.

a) Between 1950 & Jawaharlal Nehru’s death, 243 riots were documented in 16 states... and for this ‘governance’ he got “Bharat Ratna”

b) During Indira Gandhi’s rule (66-77 & 80-84), 337 riots were documented in 15 states... and this 'governance' got her “Bharat Ratna”. Indira by far takes the shield for being the worst administrator of India when it comes to domestic security of its citizens

c) During Rajiv Gandhi’s rule, 291 riots documented in 16 states, including the barbaric Sikh slaughter by his party's goons... and this ‘governance’ got him “Bharat Ratna”! And he gets another trophy for having the 2nd largest number of riots “under his belt”, even though he ruled for just 5 years!

d) There were 1,194 communal riots documented in India from 1950-1995. Out of these 871 or 72.95% were during Nehru, Indira & Rajiv’s PM-ship!

e) And for those who were stuck like broken gramophone in 2002, between 1950 and 1995, 245 (yes Two Hundred and Forty Five) riots were documented in the state of Gujarat. Yes, long before Narendra Modi!

Now over to the hall-of-shame worst 18 (apart from 2002) using info someone already computed for us:

WORST riot: 1947 Communal riots in Bengal | 5000-10000 Killed | Ruling party happened to be Congress

Riot 2: 1969 | Communal riots in Ahmedabad | More than 512 Killed in the city. 3000 to 15000 range in the entire state | Riots for 6 months | Ruling party happened to be Congress

Riot 3: Oct 1984 | Communal riots in Delhi | 2733 Killed | Ruling party Congress | Almost 100% casualty were Sikhs, which makes this a Rajiv Gandhi led genocide on India's minorities | Followed by “Big Tree falls” justification too from the Prime Minister!

Riot 4: Feb 1983 | Communal violence in Nellie, Assam | 2000-5000 killed | PM – Indira Gandhi (Congress party) - India's worst slaughter of Muslims in any single riot (just 6 HOURS)

Riot 5: 1964 Communal riots in Rourkela & Jamshedpur | 2000 Killed | Ruling party Congress

Riot 6: August 1980 | Moradabad Communal riots | Approx 2000 Killed | Ruling Party Congress

Riot 7: October 1989 | Bhagalpur, Bihar riots | 800 to 2000 killed | Ruling party Congress

Riot 8: Dec 1992 - Jan 1993 | Mumbai, Maharashtra riots | 800 to 2000 killed | Ruling party Congress

Riot 9: April 1985 | Communal riots in Ahmedabad, Gujarat | At least 300 Killed | Ruling party Congress

Riot 10: Dec 1992 | Aligarh, UP | At least 176 killed | Ruling party Congress (President's rule)

Riot 11: December 1992 | Surat, Gujarat | At least 175 killed | Ruling party Congress

Riot 12: December 1990 | Hyderabad, AP | At least 132 killed | Ruling party Congress

Riot 13: August 1967 | 200 Killed | Communal riots in Ranchi | Party ruling again Congress

Riot 14: April 1979 | Communal riots in Jamshedpur, West Bengal | More than 125 killed | Ruling party CPIM (Communist Party)

Riot 15: 1970 | Bhiwandi communal riots in Maharashtra | Around 80 killed | Ruling party Congress

Riot 16: May 1984 | Communal riots in Bhiwandi | 146 Killed, 611 Inj | Ruling party Congress | CM – Vasandada Patil

Riot 17: Apr-May 1987 | Communal violence in Meerut, UP | 81 killed | Ruling party Congress

Riot 18: July 1986 | Communal violence in Ahmedabad, Gujarat | 59 Killed | Ruling party Congress

Here's why I said numbers vary drastically. The figures listed for 1969 riots in Gujarat above shows 512 tragic victims. But the link here (http://www.gujaratriots.com/32/gujarats-bloody-history-of-violence/), tells a very different story. Maybe Ahmedabad city had that count, but overall in Gujarat, the count was 5000 officially ... 15000 or so unofficially. Of course, the main reason quoted is the political struggle of Indira Gandhi PM (CON-I) and Hitendra Desai CM (CON-O). Justice Reddy Commission identified 2398 instances of communal violence in Gujarat between 1960 and 1969 - that is THREE riots every FOUR days during the decade. 

Most likely the effort to “fit-in” 2002 into the worst-10 hall of shame might even FAIL if we do proper research on the skeletons in the closet

At the end of the day, it’s not just a number game, but human tragedy … reflects badly how fractured our society is/was. It is also worth recounting that there has not been a SINGLE major riot in Gujarat since 2002, which speaks volume about the most favourite ‘punching’ bag of ‘seculars’. Some learn from a mistake and turn around … while some other “Bharat Ratnas” just kept on scoring double & triple centuries :(

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Federalism and National Security


No one can deny that the US has greater federalism than most nations and more certainly than India. Each of its fifty states is fiercely independent and zealously guards its turf. The US also has the strongest anti-terror laws in the world and sees no contradiction between federalism and national security. In the aftermath of a rare terrorist attack on US soil in September 2001, the US administration strengthened its intelligence gathering organs. The enactment of the PATRIOT Act in 2001 was the first step. In fact ‘PATRIOT’ is acronym for ‘Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism’. This was followed by enacting the Homeland Security Act in 2002. The objective of these acts is to collect, collate and process intelligence and prevent terror related activities. The upshot of all this is, not a single terrorist incident occurred in the US since 2001. 
However, in India no sooner than the central government announced the setting up of a ‘National Counter-Terrorism Centre’ (NCTC) all hell broke loose. The first protest came from the Bengal chief minister, whose Trinamool Congress is a coalition partner in the Centre and followed by four more chief ministers. Opposition leaders too chipped in. By evening the numbers added up and counting. This is surprising in a nation that has seen terrorist violence with unceasing regularity. By nightfall television channels had a field day. Imaginations run riot. National security was sidelined. The question some television journalists asked was whether there was more to the four chief ministers crying wolf in unison than a shared dread of the new security act. Were they in fact pitching in for a new political formation and the open revolt against NCTC only an excuse?
But to be fair, the opponents of NCTC have a point. It was not mere paranoia. There has been a long record of the central government interfering in the affairs of the states, from the time Jawaharlal Nehru had Kerala’s communist government dismissed in 1957. His daughter Indira dismissed governments at will, destabilised opposition governments with the help of pliant governors and was the infamous author of a draconian emergency that suspended fundamental rights. It is no secret that over the years India’s intelligence organs were used not for strengthening internal security but for spooking on political rivals and state governments ruled by opposition parties. It is perhaps due to such misuse that every time there is a terrorist attack, our home ministers proffered the ready excuse of ‘intelligence failure’ for failing to prevent it! From the ‘ineffective’ Shivraj Patil to the seemingly effectual if ‘intellectually arrogant’ Chidambaram, they all cried ‘intelligence failure’ while wringing their hands and mourning deaths after terrorist strikes! Even the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which was constituted with much fanfare in the aftermath of the deadly terrorist strike on Mumbai in November 2008 scored ‘love’ in four years in terms of crimes solved.
What the opponents of NCTC found most objectionable in its notification was the organization’s power to detain, arrest and interrogate. The local police are informed but that is about it. Vesting shadowy, secretive organizations with sweeping powers to detain, arrest and – especially - interrogate is a scary thought. In Britain, neither the Security Service (MI5) nor the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, also known as MI6) has any powers to arrest. If they want to arrest a suspect they have to seek the help of the local police or Scotland Yard (London’s metropolitan police force), which will officially conduct the arrest. The reason for this is, ‘civil’ police do not resort to arbitrary arrests and detentions. When they detain a person, they have to follow the due process of law, such as informing him of his rights, recording the date and time of arrest and most importantly producing the ‘suspect’ in a court of law within twenty four hours. If a more stringent law like the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) is applied the period of detention may extend up to ninety days but the arrest and detention is under the gaze of the judicial system. It is the judicial system that decides the merits of the case and, sanction detention and interrogation.
Such open processes help prevent disastrous consequences of what Malcolm Gladwell calls erroneous ‘intuitive judgements’. In his seminal work ‘BLINK’, on the ‘power of thinking without thinking’, he recounts an incident that occurred in New York in 1999. In the early morning twilight of February 4 that year twenty-four year old Amadou Bailo Diallo was returning home when Edward McMellon, Sean Carroll, Kenneth Boss and Richard Murphy,  four plain clothes officers of the NYPD passed by. Diallo was a Guinean immigrant who came to New York to study biochemistry but ended up becoming a sidewalk vendor. In the half light, the policemen thought he resembled a serial rapist they were looking for. They asked him to stop but the sight of the four officers and the patrol car so frightened Diallo that he turned and ran into his apartment. At the entrance he turned and pulled out a black object from his coat. As the officers chased Diallo, McMellon stumbled on the steps and fell. The other officers mistook that Diallo shot McMellon and opened fire. They fired 41 rounds 19 of which entered Diallo’s body. As they approached Diallo’s dead body they could see the black object which they mistook to be a gun was just his wallet. In all probability Diallo pulled out his wallet as he wanted to ‘square up’ with the policemen. It was a case of racial profiling and an error of ‘intuitive judgement’ horribly gone wrong.
Coming back to the NCTC, if the home minister is serious about strengthening intelligence gathering organs and anti-terror operations, the best course would be to apprise state governments of his intentions and take them on board.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Kashmiri Pandits: A Forsaken Minority


Another anniversary of the exodus that made Kashmiri Pandits the orphans of history stared at us on January 19. The Pandits, were uprooted from their home and hearth and cast about as refugees in their own homeland. The tragedy and tribulations that befell this unfortunate community for the last twenty two years include some of the most heart-rending stories. Theirs is a story of humanitarian disaster of unprecedented magnitude since the Holocaust, but strangely, had gone unnoticed by the rest of the world and more importantly by their own countrymen here in India. As K.P.S. Gill, former police chief of Punjab who rid his state of separatist militancy put it, “[...] one of the reasons for the apathy [of the rest of the world] could be the non-violent nature of the community itself. They have stoically suffered their fate without even a single retaliatory act of violence.
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Our intellectuals and media crib and caw about the settlements in West Bank and Gaza and the injustices done to Palestinians but not a whisper from them about the fate of the exiled Kashmiri Pandits. No group of prominent public figures petitioned on their behalf; no celebrity authors cried in their defence. They were once the elite of Kashmiri society. The community produced artistes and artisans, poets and musicians, doctors and lawyers of amazing wisdom. At the turn of the century there were about a million Kashmiri Hindus in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. At the time of independence the proportion of Hindus in Kashmir Valley was 15% of the population. By 1991 it came down to less than 1%. 

The word “genocide” has been worn out in popular usage during the last decade. It has been so freely bandied about in public discourse that it lost its original meaning. If ever there was a context for it to be justifiably applied 
it was in the case of Kashmiri Pandits. Genocide’ means, the systematic and widespread extermination or attempted extermination of an entire national, racial, religious, or ethnic group’. This is what happened to the ethnic identity called the Kashmiri Pandits. 
Between 1989 and 1995 about 400,000 Pandits were forced to flee the Kashmir valley. Of these 300,000 have been living in refugee camps outside Jammu and another 100,000 in Delhi. According to the ‘Panun Kashmir Movement’ (PKM) an organisation of the exiled Pandits some 25,000 standalone houses belonging to the Pandits were burnt during the period. If the houses were situated in crowded localities where it was not possible to burn them they were simply occupied by others. PKM says the process of ethnic cleansing began in 1967 but gained momentum after 1989 when Pakistan sponsored militants arrived on the scene. Destruction of Hindu temples was also a part of the deracination process. Thus between 1986 and 1992 (prior to December) 79 Hindu temples were destroyed. In the immediate aftermath of the Rama Janmabhumi- Babri Masjid demolition in December 1992, 81 more temples were destroyed. 

The 1989 exodus followed the brutal killing of Tika Lal Taploo a noted lawyer and national executive member of the BJP and Justice N.K.Ganju of the J&K High Court. In another incident Pandit Sarwanand Premi an 80-year old poet and his son were kidnapped, tortured and killed. A Kashmiri Pandit nurse working in the Soura Medical College Hospital was gang-raped and beaten to death. In the days that followed warnings were sounded to the community over public address systems, either to flee or face death. The Farooq Abdullah government abdicated its responsibility and all but handed over the administration to the militants. Government offices ceased functioning, taxes were neither paid nor collected and the militants began running a parallel judicial system.
ETHNIC CLEANSING OF KASHMIRI HINDUS
Life in the refugee camps has been physically and psychologically shattering for the unfortunate Pandits and may be described as sub-human. An entire family of 7-8 people had to share a small room. There are instances when three generations of a family were put up in one room, the room being partitioned by bed sheets. The combined effects of the undercurrent of terror, forced migration and sub-human living conditions made the community prone to a host of new diseases and syndromes. These include heat trauma, heart ailments, amoebic dysentery, tuberculosis, allergies, diabetes and sexual and reproductive disorders. Menopausal age in women dropped from 50-55 to 40-45 to 35-40. There was a steep drop in birth rate while mortality rates climbed. In one of the camps surveyed, which had 350 families, there were only 5 births between 1990 and 1995 as against 200 deaths. This is not all. The community became increasingly prone to a series of mental disorders ranging from depression, insomnia, anorexia, anxiety states, delusions, panic disorders, manias, phobias and schizophrenia. Women were the most affected. 
LIFE IN CAMPS QUITE HARSH

Even more tragic than the suffering is the treatment meted out to the Pandits by the rest of the Indian polity and the central government. They became orphans of history, abandoned by their compatriots and condemned to live a life of deprivation and suffering. Governments have come gone, both at the state and the centre but nothing changed, not even during the six year BJP rule. K.P.S. Gill former police chief of Punjab who cleansed the state of separatist militancy, says one of the reasons for the apathy could be the non-violent nature of the community itself. The have stoically suffered their fate without even a single retaliatory act of violence. Writing in the ‘South Asia Terrorism Portal’ (SATP) he said, 
“[p]ogroms of a far lesser magnitude in other parts of the world have attracted international attention, censure and action in support of the victim communities, but this is an insidious campaign that has passed virtually unnoticed, and on which the world remains silent.” (2004. The Kashmiri Pandits: An Ethnic Cleansing the World Forgot.)

In 2004, Frank Pallone, a US Democratic Congressman expressed his surprise and shock that the new Indian administration did not mention the Pandits in its Kashmir policy. In his letter of August 23 to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Pallone urged him to “include the Pandits in any negotiations with Kashmiri constituents and in developing the future course of action in Jammu and Kashmir.” Manmohan Singh’s government sent a team of interlocutors to Kashmir last year but the Pandits did not seem to be on the radar of either the team or the government.

The Jews have a custom of greeting each other with ‘Next year in Jerusalem!’ at the end of Yom Kippur and Passover feasts. They kept up the tradition for nearly two thousand years even though many of the exiled Jews never set their eyes on the city nor had a hope in the world of ever doing so. Will the Pandits of Kashmir have to wait for 2000 years for a semblance of justice to be meted out to them?

UPDATE - December 7, 2012: Here is the the latest on the subject, the April 7, 2010 press release from the KASHMIR PANDIT SANGHARSH SAMITI: 99.14% Kashmiri Pandits forced to migrate out of Kashmir

Thursday, February 02, 2012

A modern management seminar!

You'll find here all there is to learn from modern management wisdom. Follow its simple steps to ascend the management ladder. Not since Parkinson has management wisdom been imparted in such succinct and easy to follow form. It is not the usual how to succeed’ stuff which requires you to be “a little more intelligent, a little more hardworking, a little more painstaking” to succeed. As Parkinson said, if you were all that you would not require a guide to succeed. So here’s to success and ascendance to the top!
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As always, Subbu barged in crying ‘Guruji, I need your help! I have to make a presentation at our annual sales conference next week. The boss wants me to make a presentation about how I plan to double my sales in the coming year. Top management will be there and if I goof up, it will be outer darkness for me.’ ‘No problem’, I said. I have just returned from a management seminar myself and acquired all the wisdom there was in it………  

In the post lunch session, a Senior Vice President has been droning on for over half an hour. Half the participants were dozing from the exhaustion of overnight travel and the effects of a sumptuous lunch. He was saying, “we live in a 24/7 world.” Yeah, at least I do. In fact 24 hours in a day are not enough for me even to browse through the torrent of communications I receive. I receive mails from my boss, his boss and the head office. EDP (electronic data processing department for the uninitiated) sends me enough paper to drown in. Lest I forgot its existence, ‘HR’ sends me communications. In the olden days it was ‘Personnel’; now ‘Human resources’ has a nice ring to it. The only thing I could make out of ‘HR’ was it regularly denies me the type of increments, I feel I deserve. I receive circulars from ‘Logistics’ (in the days of yore it was called ‘Distribution’). I also receive communications from ‘Corporate Communications’. In the olden days the function of CC was mainly to produce the monthly in-house magazine and occasionally liaise with the press if there was a need. There were no pink papers and businesses did not make it often to the media. Now CC has a larger role. It is to see big-boss’ mug-shot appears in the newspapers at least once a month and he makes it to the television at least once in a quarter for his fifteen seconds of fame. The rest of the time CC throws its weight around and takes it out on minions like us.

…“We must leverage our core competences for greater customer focus.” A colleague who was sitting next to me whispered, ‘oh yeah, his core competence is in placating the boss and flattering his wife. Leverage, certainly he does. Last weekend he was out playing golf with him. His wife was quite unhappy; nowadays he spends his Sunday mornings at his boss’ residence you know.’ The last part jerked me out of my reverie. So my colleague was a regular visitor at our boss’ residence. How remiss of me? Haven’t I lost my customer focus?

…“in order to take on competition, we will have to look for synergy within, benchmark our efforts with the best practices in the industry and think out of the box. Let us ask ourselves if we are able to achieve a strategic fit; if not we should revisit our game plan. I call upon you ladies and gentlemen, let us become more proactive.” Yes, be at the boss’ side throughout the seminar and bring him coffee and cookies during breaks. Carry a pack of his brand of cigarettes. It comes in handy when he runs out of his pack, which to be sure he often does.

…“let us empower our team members” (for some inexplicable reason, in modern management parlance, the word ‘subordinate’ is taboo; so ‘team members’ it is.) “We need to change our mindsets and expeditiously look for a paradigm shift; let us think win-win.” Yeah, for sure! We do all the donkey’s work and you promote your favourite acolyte. He wins and you win because you get promoted!

…“As you all know the competition is breathing down on our necks. If we are serious about outpacing it, we will have to fast-track in enhancing our knowledge base. Let us come out of the loop and provide value-added service to our customers, for it is a result-driven world.”

...“don’t forget, the truth is at the end of the day, it is the bottom line that counts.” Yes Sir, we are looking forward to the end of the day. The bottom line is, that at the end of the day there would be dinner and drinks. Bosses would be around, so the party would begin on a cautious note but after a couple of rounds the lions within would come out.

… “Good Luck folks, God go with you, till we touch base again!”

The seminar made me wiser. I knew I have picked up the essence of management ‘Gita’. I gave Subbu a list of twenty five words. I suggested that he sprinkle these words throughout his presentation and presto, he would be a hit with his bosses. Here they are, in alphabetical order: at the end of the day - benchmark - best practice - bottom line - client focus - core competencies - empowerment - expeditious - fast track - game plan - knowledge base  leverage - mindset - out of the loop - paradigm - proactive - result-driven - revisit - the truth is - think outside the box - touch base - strategic fit - synergy - value-added - win-win.” I told him, ‘don’t forget the most important of them all is “24/7”.’