Wednesday, November 26, 2014

SAARC Crumbles Under Modi's Nose

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    5 hours ago - SAARC Crumbles Under Modi's Nose Coverage of Modi at SAARC shows all that's wrong with TV news by Sandip Roy Nov 26, 2014 18:40 IST 263 Comments ...

Coverage of Modi at SAARC shows all that's wrong with TV news

by Sandip Roy  Nov 26, 2014 18:40 IST
There is no hashtag on Twitter called #RajapakseAtSAARC. Or #SharifAtSAARC. But there is one called #ModiAtSAARC. That pretty much sums up what Indian media think the 18th SAARC summit is all about – a scenic Himalayan backdrop for Narendra Modi to do another of his veni vidi vici international trips.
This one was particularly symbolic vis-à-vis its timing. The SAARC summit was opening on the anniversary of the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. The alleged mastermind of those attacks is still roaming free in Pakistan. Modi had been tweeting about combating the menace of terror and uprooting it from the face of humankind today. With the him and Nawaz Sharif sharing the same platform, the stage was set for some high-octane drama.
Except it never happened.
Sharif talked about disease, unemployment, malnourishment, poverty, illiteracy. Everything but terror. Modi did bring up the “horror of the terror attack” of 26/11 but so briefly if you blinked you would have missed it. He did not link Pakistan to the attack, chose not to shame it in Kathmandu, and made no demands of it at all, opting instead to just say we needed to combat terrorism and transnational crimes because a prosperous SAARC depends on security. More bromide than brimstone.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif. Reuters
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif. Reuters
And he was perfectly right to do so.
Modi wisely kept the focus on all of South Asia at SAARC instead of turning it into an Indo-Pak spitting match. If anything it’s the media that needs to be ashamed for whipping up completely self-induced hysteria about the grand smack-down in Kathmandu. The electronic media made no bones about the fact that it did not give two hoots about anyone at SAARC other than Modi and Sharif. When Sri Lanka’s Mahinda Rajapakse spoke, the channels that did not go to ads, simply muted him out and turned to their correspondents to rehash Sharif’s speech. We were treated on the split screen to visuals of Sheikh Hasina’s lips moving soundlessly while a correspondent pontificated on what Modi might say in his speech. It was not just disrespectful it actually underscored why as Modi lamented moments later there was so much “cynicism and skepticism” about SAARC. If the media does not take SAARC seriously and treats its heads of state with such cavalier disregard, why should its viewing public care?
But Narendra Modi clearly takes SAARC more seriously than the myopic Indian media. Modi deserves full credit for giving a “South Asian” speech and trying to acknowledge the problems besetting the region. And unlike what the channels would tell us it’s not just “terror factories” in Pakistan. He brought up the problems of visas between the countries, how goods had to do quite a parikrama before coming from one to the other, how our internal trade was low, how Indian companies invested billions abroad but less than 1% in the region.
SAARC which is 30 years old has certainly not really lived up to its promise. All “unions” have their problems.. Each one has states who are suspicious of bigger states in the region and their agendas. And though Modi said we were not just “paas paas” (side by side) but also “saath saath” (together), some states worry that together is actually a euphemism for being swallowed whole by Big Brother. Modi’s speech was aimed as reassuring them. He was not saying India was not the Big Brother just that India was a Benevolent Big Brother.
“India has to lead and we will do our part,” he told the audience. And then he listed the many things India would do for the region – from 3-5 year business visas to funding for a SAARC regional supra laboratory for tuberculosis and HIV to quick turnaround medical visas to India to e-libraries for the whole region to disaster management expertise.
But for the Indian media the only question it cared about was whether Modi had put Sharif in his place. If he did, it was more of a cold shoulder rather than a frontal attack. He didn’t mention Sharif by name even as he thanked Nepal’s Koirala as the host, wished Sri Lanka’s Rajapakse good luck for his upcoming elections and congratulated Afghanistan’s Ghani for his recent victory. When he talked about South Asia coming together he mentioned India and Bangladesh planning stronger road and rail links and energy cooperation with Nepal and helping Maldives with its need for oil. Just as you thought he would bypass Pakistan entirely he slipped in one mention about bus and train contacts between the two countries. It was the only time he even mentioned Pakistan by name. While the channels were salivating about what he would say to Sharif, in the end we had to read volumes into what he did not say.
The media having whipped up the hysteria had to make do with the crumbs it got. A television channel which had excoriated Nawaz Sharif for talking about “cross border information sharing” and not mentioning the “terror factory on its soil” kept playing that one little clip of Modi remembering the terror attack as evidence that the Indian PM did “rake up” the 26/11 issue.
“What a BRILLIANT speech by Prime Minister @narendramodi at SAARC summit. You make me feel a PROUD INDIA Mr. Prime Minister. Thank You. ☺” tweet-gushes @AnupamKher.
It was indeed a good strong "South Asian" speech. Modi struck the right balance by bringing up 26/11 but not trying to earn easy domestic points by making that the focus of his speech. But here’s one thought. If Manmohan Singh had given the same speech and spent more time talking about giving out visas and spending money on polio instead of demanding answers from Pakistan about 26/11, would he have been hailed as a leader or excoriated as a spineless chuha?
But Modi is more fortunate. He can dream big and be hailed as a statesman not dismissed as a dreamer.
“The future I dream for India is the future I wish for our entire region,” he said.
If SAARC were Akhand Bharat, Modi-ji could easily have been its Pradhan Mantri.

Source: First Post

Modi, Sharif maintain distance at Saarc summit

Modi, Sharif maintain distance at Saarc summit
Though there is no "structured" meeting scheduled, a brief exchange of pleasantries was expected between Modi and Sharif.
KATHMANDU: They shared the dais but leave alone a handshake, there was no exchange of courtesies between Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan during the nearly three-hour Saarc Summit here on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, who were sitting two seats away from each other, did not look at each other even when Sharif crossed before and after delivering his speech at the 18th meeting of the eight-member regional bloc.

Leaders of Maldives and Nepal were seated between Modi and Sharif.

Though there is no "structured" meeting scheduled between the two leaders, a brief exchange of pleasantries was expected given that they would be attending the same conference and the retreat on Thursday.

While on Tuesday Sharif had sought to put the ball in India's court for an initiative for talks, saying "cancellation of talks was New Delhi's unilateral decision," and "ball is now India's court for talks between both the countries".

India maintained that it was for "meaningful dialogue" which involves specifics.

"We have been shouting from the top of the roof that we are ready for meaningful dialogue. The emphasis was on meaningful. The meaningful dialogue has a meaning in diplomacy. In Pakistan, they know it very clearly what we mean by meaningful dialogue as they know us and understand us. They know everything," external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said when asked about Sharif's remarks.

READ ALSO: India to give business visa for 3-5 years for Saarc countries, PM Modi says

(Prime Minister Narendra Modi with other Saarc nations' leaders at the summit. (PTI photo)

PM seeks concerted efforts to combat terrorism at Saarc summit

Six years to the day when Pakistani terrorists killed 166 people in Mumbai, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the pledge taken by Saarc nations to combat terror and transnational crimes should be fulfilled.

"Today, as we remember the horror of the terror attack in Mumbai in 2008, we feel the endless pain of lost lives. Let us work together to fulfil the pledge we have taken to combat terrorism and trans-national crimes," Modi told the Saarc leaders who included Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

During his nearly 30-minute speech at the summit, Modi outlined India's various initiatives in key sectors of health, science, visa regimes and connectivity for the Saarc region as he pitched to turn South Asia of "flowering hope into a rich field of peace and prosperity" by collective efforts.

He said joint efforts were "more urgent than in South Asia; and, nowhere else is it so modest."

Besides India, the eight-member Saarc bock include Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives and Afghanistan.

Noting that a good neighbourhood is a universal aspiration, Modi said, "If we are sensitive to each other's security, and the lives of our people, we will deepen friendships, spur cooperation and advance stability in our region."

Seeking to improve the trade and business atmosphere in the region, the Prime Minister said India will give business visa for 3-5 years for Saarc and proposed to make it even easier through a Saarc Business Traveller Card.

He said the South Asia is a region of thriving democracy; of rich inheritance; the unmatched strength of youth; and, a strong thirst for change and progress.

"I dream for India is the future I wish for our entire region," he said.

The Prime Minister praised the Saarc leaders for attending his inauguration ceremony in May, saying "I stepped into the office with the greetings of the entire world. But, what moved me, dear colleagues, was your personal presence."

Sharing his experience of foreign visits, Modi said that "from the middle of the Pacific, to the southern coast of Atlantic Ocean, I see a rising tide of integration."

Stating that the barriers of boundaries inhibit progress, Modi said international partnerships add speed to growth.

"Big and small, we face the same challenges — a long climb to the summit of development. But, I have great belief in our boundless potential; and, confidence — that comes from the many inspiring stories of innovation and initiative in each of our countries," he said.

"Though the Saarc formed 30 years ago, when we speak of Saarc, we usually hear two reactions — cynicism and scepticism," Modi said, adding that "Let us work to change cynicism into optimism."

Modi lamented that less than 5 per cent of the region's global trade takes place between Saarc nations.

"Even at this modest level, less than 10 per cent of the region's internal trade takes place under Saarc Free Trade Area," he said, noting that Indian firms are investing billions abroad, but less than 1 per cent flow into the region.

"It is still harder to travel within our region than to Bangkok or Singapore; and, more expensive to speak to each other," he said.

"How much have we done in Saarc to turn our natural wealth into shared prosperity; or, our borders into bridgeheads to a shared future?" he asked.

Modi said India given five South Asian partners duty free access to 99.7 per cent of their goods and his government is prepared to do more with others.

"For India, it has been a privilege to provide assistance of nearly $8 billion in South Asia over a decade," he said.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reacts during Saarc summit in Kathmandu. (Reuters photo)

"Infrastructure is our region's greatest weakness and it's most pressing need. When I thought of coming to Kathmandu by road, it made many officials in India nervous. Because of the condition of roads at the border," he said, adding that Infrastructure is "my greatest priority" in India.

"I also want to set up a special purpose facility in India to finance infrastructure projects in our region that enhances our connectivity and trade," he added.

Noting that India has a huge trade surplus with Saarc countries, he said that this "neither right nor sustainable."

"We will address your concerns and give you a level playing field in India. But, I encourage you to attract Indian investments to produce for the Indian market and create jobs for your youth," he added.

"We should use the strength of shared heritage and our diversity to encourage tourism within our region, and present South Asia to the world. We could begin with the Buddhist circuit, but we don't have to stop there," he said.

In the area of health, Modi said, India will meet the shortfall in funds to establish the Saarc Regional Supra Reference Laboratory for TB and HIV.

"We offer the five-in-one vaccine for the children of South Asia. We will support monitoring and surveillance of polio-free countries, and provide vaccines where it might reappear," he said.

"And, for those coming to India for medical treatment, India will provide immediate medical visa for the patient and an attendant," he added.

He also talked about launching a satellite for the Saarc region, saying "it will benefit us all in areas like education, telemedicine, disaster response, resource management, weather forecasting and communication."   

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Sid Harth
26 Gurmit Singh Advocate, Gandhi and the Sikhs (Sirsa: Usha Institute of Religious Studies, 1969), 5. 27 Letter from the Viceroy to the Secretary of State for India on 9 March 1942, 589-S, L/PO/610b (i) ff 1-121. 28 Kapur Singh, Sachi Sakhi (Gurmukhi) (Amritsar: Dharam Parchar Committee, SGPC, 1993), 144-45. 29 Letter from Viceroy to the Secretary of State for India on 3 March 1946, IOR: L/PO/6/114. 30 Gurmit Singh, Gandhi and the Sikhs , 35-36. 31 Master Sundar Singh Lyallpuri “Challenge to Jinnah,” on 9 July 1945, File-930, Quaid-i-Azam Papers, National Archives of Pakistan, Islamabad.
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NOTES: 1 SR Mehrotra, “The Early Indian National Congress, 1885-1918: Ideals, Objectives and Organization,” in By BR Nanda, ed., Essays in Modern Indian History (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1980), 45-48. 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. 4 Dr. Gurmit Singh, History of Sikh Struggles , vol. IV (New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, 1992), 34-58; see alsoGurmit Singh, Failures of Akali Leadership (Sirsa: Usha Institute, 1981), 44. 5 Bhagat Singh, a Sandhu Jat from Lyallpur (now Faisalabad) who had been a member of the Hindustan Socialist RepublicanAssociation, Kirti Kisan Party and Naujawan Bharat Sabha. In the Assembly Bomb case, he was sentenced to transportation for life.Harbans Singh, The Encyclopedia of Sikhism, vol. 1 (Patiala: Punjabi University Patiala, 2002), 316-18. 6 The Babbar Akali movement during the 1920s was an anti-British drive under Kishan Singh Gargajj (1886-1926) whointended to take revenge for the Sikh killing during the Gurdwara movement. He was hanged on 27 February 1926. KamleshMohan, “The Babbar Akalis: An Experiment in Terrorism,” Journal of Regional History 1 (Amratsar 1980): 142-174. 7 Ghadar movement was founded in USA in 1912 as an anti-British drive under Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna. It worked in India in1914. It believed in violent strategy against the British. see detail, Sohan Singh Josh, Hindustan Gadar Party, A Short History (NewDelhi: Peoples Publishing House, 1977). 8 Kuka movement was a puritan Sikh movement started by Balak Singh (1799-1861) from Rawalpindi nearly in 1855. Baba RamSingh became successor who experienced non-cooperation, boycott and swadeshi methods of protests for the first time in India. Thefollowers of the movement are also known as Namdhari Sikhs. 9 KL Tuteja, “Sikhs and the Congress: 1930-40,” in Verinder Grover, ed., The Story of Punjab, Yesterday and Today (Delhi: Deepand Deep Publications, 1995), 453. 10 The Punjab Governor’s Report to Viceroy, L/PJ/5/243. 11 Jaswant Singh Marwah, “Lala Lajpat Rai and Freedom Struggle in the Punjab,” Punjab History Conference , 20th Session(Patiala: Punjabi University, 1987): 318 (316-320). 12 Kirpal Singh, The Partition of the Punjab, 2 nd ed. (Patiala: Punjabi University, 1989), 10. 13 Letter from Governor-General to the Secretary of State for India, 20 May 1940, L/PJ/8/692. 14 Udham Singh confessing the murder of M. O’Dwyer said that he was sacrificing the life for his country. JS Grewal and HK Puri, Letters of Udham Singh (Amritsar: Guru Nanak Dev University, 1974), 41. 15 Rajagopalachariar Formula according to which Rajagopalachari wrote to Quaid-i-Azam in July 1944 that Gandhi and the other Congress leaders were ready to accept the Pakistan demand. Tai Yong Tan and Gyanesh Kudaisya, The Aftermath of Partition inSouth Asia (London: Routledge, 2000), 108; see also HN Mitra ed., The Indian Annual Register: An Annual Digest of Public Affairs, 1919-1947, vol. 1, 1943 (New Delhi: Gian Publishing House, 1990), 301. 16 Times of India , 28 November, 19
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18 Pakistan Journal of History and Culture, Vol.XXX, No.1, 2009 as freedom fighters against the British imperialism. Jawaharlal Nehru took a very prudent decision when he rejected the CabinetMission Plan because by accepting this plan, India could bedivided into many independent states. Definitely the weak federalsystem and prevalent powers to the units might induce them tosplit which convinced him to save the rest of India by concedingPakistan. But to sustain this integrity, India desperately needed to portray the Muslim League as a stooge of the British. But oneshould be clear that historical realities cannot be wiped out by such propaganda.After the departure of the British, the fashion to portraythemselves as enemies to the imperialists was projected with morezeal. It may be important but the newly independent nations may project themselves as constitutionalist freedom fighters. Under thisthey should have the courage to accept their submission to theruling authorities through the constitution given by the imperialistnation. In the current century, such an understanding can helpdevelop a friendly relationship between the nations of South Asia because violence is taking root day by day that would be pernicious to their future and the international peace. If the nationsaccept that the imperialism was bad but they had accepted it for thetime being, avoided violence and struggled through theconstitutional means to achieve the freedom, to create a positivelink their past with the present and future without fear and thisstatus would be fruitful for the respective nations and the rest of the world.
Sid Harth
Reality of ‘Divide and Rule’ in British India 17 when the Muslim League was expecting very kind response fromthe Congress in the making of the UP government in 1937. Nocivilised political leadership of the modern world can presentexample of this kind for making a coalition ministry whatconditions the Congress had presented to the Muslim League asresponse to the co-operation. Even from the very outset of the political awakening among the Hindus, the Congress leadershipadopted the Hinduised policy. Apparently the Hindu leadersmaintained the secular spirit given by the Englishmen but in factthe objectives or political creed was planned and pursued on thereligious lines. Gandhi is said to have been claimant of theterritorial nationalism according to which all sections living in theSubcontinent were a single nation. But his words and actions proved that he was undoubtedly a religious man. To Gurmit Singh: The Muslim masses became apprehensive by the strong Hindu religiousflavour of Congress propaganda. They felt that Gandhi ji was trying toidentify the national awakening with revival of Hinduism. Their apprehensions were strengthened by Gandhi ji’s conduct. Even whenappealing for Hindu-Muslim unity, Gandhi ji made the appeal not as anational leader appealing to both sections, but as a Hindu leader. TheHindus were “we”; the Muslims were “they”. 30 Master Sundar Singh Lyallpuri, an anti-Muslim, anti-Pakistan andanti-Jinnah man, believed that the Muslims were forciblyconverted from Hinduism to Islam therefore they ought to rejoinHinduism and leave MA Jinnah alone in the political arena becausehe would drown the Muslims in the Indian ocean. One can see theanalysis of such a staunch anti-Muslim leader who writes that“Hindus have given no equal social status to Muslims, the resultthereof is Jinnah and other separatists.” 31 The cry of ‘divide and rule’ policy seems a move by thewriters rather than the Hindu politicians who rarely had projectedthis phenomenon during the negotiations with the Britishauthorities. Rather the Indian scholars, after 1947, focused on itand undertook to prove that the Muslim politics was commandedunder the British policy of ‘divide and rule.’ Ostensibly, the newlyemerged India required intellectual movement to promote thenationalist passions among the Indians otherwise the IndianMuslims and Sikhs could repeat the history of the Muslim Leaguein future. The Indian leadership also wanted to project themselves
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16 Pakistan Journal of History and Culture, Vol.XXX, No.1, 2009 independence but could not secure integrity of the region despitetheir desire. The depressed saw their posterity in the chainstherefore they preferred separation to the eternal slavery. On theeve of the partition, Quaid-i-Azam warned the Sikhs not to commitsuicide by joining the rude Hindu majority 28 but they did. They arerepenting now and will be doing the same forever for joiningunited India. Conclusion The main aim to propagate the ‘divide and rule policy’ by theHindus was just to pressurize the British to abandon their pro-minority policies. The Congress claimed to be a representative of all the peoples living in the Subcontinent and wanted the supportof all minorities to establish its writ in the Indian affairs but theBritish too needed the support of all the minorities therefore theycould never overlook the interests of the minorities. Status of theruling class and moral pressure of the Muslim world also played afavourable role to be receptive to the Muslim demands. 29 It is a stark reality that minority politics is a politics of complaints and demands but the majority community ought to becapacious to infuse confidence among minorities which can copewith any odd situation. Story of Muslim and non-Muslimcommunities revolves around the fact that the majority communitymade utmost endeavour to suppress and humiliate the minorityinstead of respecting their identity and giving them their due sharein the polity. Under the stress of Indian nationalism, to placate the people and to get rid of the massive criticism, the Indian leadershipgave two points namely, Muslim League’s villainous role and‘divide and rule’ principle of the British nation in India. The non-Muslim leadership declared themselves innocent and ‘ignorant’ aswell because they could not get the on-going wrongs and therepercussions of the ‘divide and rule’ policy (if it existed) whichwas pulling their sister community towards separation. Despitethis, they continued the policy to segregate the Muslims andMuslim League leadership. They should have embraced theMuslim leadership by conceding their demands and should nothave given them an opportunity to go to the British ‘enemies.’ Butthey did not come up with the required love and fraternity towardsthe Muslims. Unfortunately, they went beyond reasonable limits
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Reality of ‘Divide and Rule’ in British India 15 I may be right in thinking that your present formula is an attempt to meetmy requirement of not upsetting the Punjab or the Army. From my point of view this formula would be fatal to declaration in Hindu eyes. They wouldinterpret it as a virtual promise not merely of Pakistan but of Sikhistanalso, and as containing greater possibilities of disintegrating India thaneven Jinnah claims. They would observe that not even a majority in a provincial assembly would be needed to detach some particular regionfrom the Union. They would regard it as still further empoweringminorities to force separation on exorbitant terms by the mere refusal toagree. I do not object to giving the minorities a strong position in the futuredeliberations, but if we promise too much strength now the declaration will be reviled by Hindus. 27 Every nation believes itself to be the bravest and civilised. Theyalso negate other nations particularly the rival one. The strangething is that they feel gratification in vilifying the rival peopleotherwise in the modern age all can go ahead to find peace and progress in perspective of the historical realities. Antagonismshould have no place in their policies. The facts which cause riftand irritation for others should not be pushed forward. Theantagonistic past should not be forgotten but ought to beoverlooked for the sake of humanity and peace of the region.Under this, the Indian writers ought to accept what forced theMuslims to part with the Hindus including the follies on theCongress’ part. Definitely all was not committed deliberately to push away the Muslims from them but even then it happenedwhich displeased the Muslims. The Muslims ought to accept thatthey did the same with the Sikhs and Hindus in the politicaldomains of the Punjab. The Sikhs ought to be capacious inaccepting the weak part played by their leadership. With the openmindedness and truth, the South Asian nations can go ahead asgood neighbours. The responsible scholars should not take shelter of the slogans like ‘divide and rule’ policy. The ‘divide and rule’ ismerely a slogan to boost the national leadership to the idealisedstatus. The ‘divide and rule’ was neither true nor present in theBritish India. Even it is not practicable in society rather it is a phenomenon pertaining to a battlefield. The British educationaland democratic reforms influenced the Indian society and resultedin numerous gaps. The lack of creative political traditions, theIndian leadership could not fill these gaps. By adopting thetheories and practices of the British masters, they achieved
Sid Harth
14 Pakistan Journal of History and Culture, Vol.XXX, No.1, 2009 person to be outstanding and accepted as a leader of the peopleconcerned. The leader adopts common interests as his agenda,collects the people and converts them as his followers. Sometimes,an incident produces leadership but such leadership may followdifferent attitudes: 1.after solution, the particular incident or problem, leadershipdisappears;2.the incident proves a base of popularity for the leadership whichconvinces him to maintain its status by taking up another issue;3.after the incident, leadership seems neither dead nor challengingto the existing top leadership rather it continues in a normal wayand then re-asserts influence on the local issues. On the other hand, it may go up to the top with more powerful struggle. In all the forms of leadership, a leader works as a middle man or a bridging element between ruled and the rulers. He acceptsauthority of the rulers though he does not consider them the realand lawful ruling people.The British to their understanding and political needs may besaid to have used a balanced approach towards all the nationsliving in the Subcontinent. They tried to accommodate all themajority and minority communities because all of them had playedfriendly role in the difficult times like wars and administrativeaffairs. They had accepted the British political authority in Indiaand had adopted a constitutional role for redress complaints anddemands. The locals gradually gave a tough time to the ruling people as they had got much political and working confidence onthe lines given by the British education and western political philosophies. The British always tried to honour the importance,sacrifices and services of the local communities. In 1942, whenthey desperately needed the army recruitment from theSubcontinent and the Indians were making the fullest use to benefitfrom the situation, British adopted such a policy which couldneither resent nor provoke the peoples against the positioning atthe crucial juncture of the Indian freedom struggle. They had tokeep the minorities’ demands and the Hindu importance in their mind while framing any policy. The Viceroy writes to theSecretary of State for India in 1942:
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Reality of ‘Divide and Rule’ in British India 13 individuals sacrifice their lives, continue freedom struggle andultimately achieve the goal. In the Punjab, Babbar Akali movementand struggle of Baba Ram Singh, Ghadar Movement, can bequoted which had never been acceptable by the ruling British.According to Gurcharan Singh, Congress, Akali Dal, Sikh Leagueand Babbar Akali were no different as far their aims wereconcerned but the main difference was the means to achieve theobjectives. The “Babbar Akalis were determined to expel theforeigners, kill the traitors, the toadies and the friends of theenemy.” 25 Constitutional leadership In this category, the leadership accepted the rulers’ victoryunder expediency and decided to fight for the freedom remainingin the parameters given by the rulers. It was a matter of deal or bargaining. The local leaders conceded the rulers’ hold and inreturn the rulers accept the local leadership. Therefore, the rulersallowed them to protest and demand their rights acceptable onmoral or other specific ground. The rulers accepted the role of thelocal leadership to placate the emotions of the people becauseforeign rule is never welcome by the locals. Therefore, the role of the local leadership through the constitutional means was the onlyway which could certainly satisfy the individuals. The Indian National Congress, All-India Muslim League, Khalsa NationalParty, Punjab Unionist Party and Shiromani Akali Dal can bequoted as examples of such a political tendency.Max Weber talks of charismatic leadership while StephenJohn Covey has a strong pen on principled leadership. GurmitSingh writes about three types of great leadership: i.Born leadersii.Leaders by qualities, andiii.Leaders, product of specific circumstances. 26 Leadership emerges as a result of some setback, deprivation or violation of the rights. Human beings have been struggling to gofor better pursuits of life. Struggle needs leadership; someindividuals are endowed with the quality of eloquence, responseability, sustainable temperament, endurance, convincing power indiscussion, impressive knowledge and character which help a
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12 Pakistan Journal of History and Culture, Vol.XXX, No.1, 2009 with the help of the English through constitutional means, andultimately to attain self-government.” 23 Leadership can becategorised as following: a.Violent or defiant leadership b.Constitutionalist Leadership Defiant Leadership: With such leadership, freedom fighters tried to force theimperialists to leave their motherland with a violent strategy. Theyused weapons and even attacked the pro-government elementswhether they were local or foreigners. Such attacks were justifiedas a national duty. To them, the unity among the locals could pushout the imperialists therefore the co-operation of the locals with theBritish meant the stability of the imperial rule. Their ultimate goalwas to wage a unified struggle against the foreign and pro-foreignruling elements. Chandra Bose, Babbar Akali leaders, and BhagatSingh Shahid, can be quoted in this regard. Though many people provoked the War of 1857 for their personal benefits but even thenmany freedom fighters fought due to the true nature of thenationalist passion. These violent elements were gunned down,hanged, punished, jailed, and banished to the Andaman Islands. Inthe British Punjab, Jabru, Malangi (Dakoo), Nizam Lohar andmany others are said to have adopted violent strategy to resist theforeign rule. 24 They gladly defied the British laws and looted the pro-government rich people. They by this strategy could notreceive respect in the society because government institutionsalways play decisive role in projecting personality under the state policy. Therefore, the state declared them dakooo (dacoits) butafter winning freedom, these people were perceived as freedomfighters in the specific circles of the nationalists and the regionists.The government had powers, institutions, press, laws and theimplementing agencies, local supporters to launch campaign andfinancial resources which projected the people according to thegovernment policy. Under the nationalist spirit, these defiant people struggling for freedom with violent strategy have beenconsidered freedom fighters though today every violent strategy isconsidered tantamount to terrorism.This type of leadership considers the rulers as enemies anduses violent strategy to push them out of the land. These defiant
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Reality of ‘Divide and Rule’ in British India 11 for this policy was to increase with the later onset of the Cold War.As early as August 1942, Mr. Amery wrote to the Viceroy that theBritish must not only “avoid raising false expectations among theSikhs themselves but also to prevent encouragement to separatisttendencies in other Provinces like Madras and Bombay.” 20 Theevidence from the final years of British rule is clear. United India,not Balkanisation of this region was the creed and policy of theBritish. Pakistan was eventually to be conceded, but with greatreluctance. This does not accord with the view that the British hadconsistently adopted a ‘divide and rule’ policy.Another area of clarity may be ‘honesty’ of the Britishregarding the election process from the start to the results. Thescholars hardly have shown their reservations towards the fair andhonest attitude of the British regarding the 1946 elections. 21 Allagree that the elections were conducted fairly then they ought tofollow the line given by many writers that the two nation theory isa truth and Pakistan is an outcome of the popular movement by theIndian Muslims and the constitutional struggle of Quaid-i-AzamMuhammad Ali Jinnah.The Akalis demanded Azad Punjab or Khalistan but thesemoves were never criticised by the top Congress leadershipconsidering them as British dictation. But the Central Akali Dalunder Baba Kharak Singh in an Akhand Hindustan conference atRawalpindi on 4 and 5 December 1943 opposed Azad Punjabscheme and said that it was a British intrigue to divide India. 22 Baba Kharak Singh, an anti-Akali leader, therefore condemnedtheir scheme but the Congress high command remained silent.To peep into the issue, a mention about the individualcharacter or the role of leadership is also relevant to the study.Charles E. Trevelyan, a British civil servant in India, had alreadysuffocated all such discussions which are being attributed to theimperialism and anti-imperialist Indian political parties when in1838 he presented two models which could result in a politicalchange in India. The first was the Native Model which was an anti-imperialist struggle through plots and conspiracies to throw theBritish back into the sea while according to the second model, thenew generation through English education did not see the Britishas enemy and aggressors rather they “hoped to regenerate India
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10 Pakistan Journal of History and Culture, Vol.XXX, No.1, 2009 Some authors who adhere to a ‘divide and rule’ approach havereferred to the Jinnah-Sikander Pact as evidence of its existence.They maintain that that Sikander Hayat went to Lucknow under theBritish dictation to enliven the Muslim League which had already been hit severely by the defeat in the elections of 1937. Yet,Sikander’s withdrawal from the National Defence Council cannot be proved to be due to the ‘divide and rule’ policy.The British policy of barring the Muslim League in the case of Punjab is an empirical evidence that from a government officer tothe Governor and then to the federal government opposed theLeague on the issue of Pakistan and favoured united India. Eventhe British high officials used improper language for the MuslimLeaguers in July 1943 just to save the Punjab Unionist governmentfrom the Muslim League. The Muslim League had a democraticright to launch political activities or manoeuvrings but it had toface a severe fury of the central and provincial governments andthe civil administration. 18 If the Muslim League’s activities werecommanded and supported by the British, it should have beenaccommodated in the Punjab. The writers raise question about theBritish soft corner for the League. It was a political coercion under the numerical strength and their importance in British India. TheBritish also had a policy to protect minorities frommajoritarianism. The US government tried in 1942 to force theBritish to come to terms with the Congress but the British simplyreplied that the minorities had supported them in the war,therefore, they could never ignore them all including the MuslimLeague, the most popular Muslim party in India: We must not on any account break with the Moslems who represent ahundred million people and the main army elements on which we must relyfor the immediate fighting. We have also to consider our duty towardsthirty or forty million untouchables and our treaties with the Princely statesof India, perhaps eighty millions. Naturally we do not want to throw Indiainto chaos on the eve of invasion. 19 The first recognition of the Pakistan demand by the Cripps Missionalso hinted towards the separation. But it was not a ‘divide andrule’ policy rather the British adjusted the demands of an importantminority who had been a ruling nation at the time of their adventand who were now fighting for them. At the same time, the Britishwanted to avoid the Balkanisation of India. The strategic necessity
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Reality of ‘Divide and Rule’ in British India 9 the Muslim League status. The scholars strive their best to provethat Sir Sikandar was dictated by the British to enliven Jinnah’simage among the Muslims. Gandhi’s position became vulnerablewhen he was blamed by his own community after Gandhi-Jinnahtalks. The very point needs clarification on the part of thenationalist writers.The Congress constantly rebuffed the Muslim League’s offersof cooperation. The League too was a claimant to struggle for theIndian independence from the imperialist British and this similaritycould be used as a bridging element between the two main parties but the Hindu leadership from top to the grass root level adoptedundemocratic and immoral attitude which could never result in anyharmony. Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan said in November 1939: The Congress Ministries, instead of settling communal differences, hadintensified them greatly. Hindus were let to believe through local Congresscommittees that Hindu Raj was established in India and they really beganto behave themselves as the real rulers. Muslims were variously insulted. 16 All political developments on the part of the Muslim League wereconsidered as dictated by the British but the major demand, thePakistan scheme, was not declared as the British move. In theopinion of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad “the Pakistan schemeaccepted by the Muslim League at Lahore in March does notrepresent the decision of Indian Muslims, and he has refused toadmit the possibility of Muslims elected to a constituent assemblydemanding the vivisection of India.” 17 This assertion of AbulKalam Azad was a clear deviation from the Congress taunt to theMuslim League. He should not have attributed the destiny of Pakistan to the ‘Indian Muslims’ rather he should have been surethat Pakistan move was initiated by the British under the ‘divideand rule’ theory. He should have been sure that the Muslim Leagueunder the British patronage would definitely succeed in achievingPakistan whether it owned massive support or not. But AbulKalam under the democratic principle seems to accept thatPakistan demand would be possible if it would be backed by theIndian Muslims.Sir Sikander Hayat Khan joined the National Defence Councilin 1941 and then resigned from it under the League leadership pressure. Was any or both the approaches dictated by the British?
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Reality of ‘Divide and Rule’ in British India 7 To Tuteja, when Gandhi in the early 1930s pointed out that theSikh demands were communal, Master Tara Singh responded thatcommunal politics could be dealt with by the communalist politics. 8 Pakistan Journal of History and Culture, Vol.XXX, No.1, 2009 same fervour when the separate electorate was given to theMuslims and Sikhs but he never did. It creates a doubt whether hewas following the British agenda or he considered the Muslims andSikhs as nations. He had no clear-cut standpoint about it becausehe seemed ready to concede the right of self-determination.Sometimes, he stood for territorial nationalism but at others he ledthe religious movement like Tehrik-i-Khilafat. He also favouredthe right of self-determination if some community demanded. Itmeans he was going to accept the Muslims as a nation on thereligious basis. The Congress’ anti-war character is much projectedas revolutionary which was a constitutional rather than a defiantnature because a big majority of the Hindus had been fighting for the British already and even the Congress leadership gave positivenod to co-operate practically in the war efforts if some of their demands were accepted by the government. It is entirely againstthe philosophy of non-violence which demands ‘no physicalreaction in any favourable situation or inducement.’ In 1940,Gandhi “reiterates that he would do nothing to embarrass theBritish.” 13 Why did Gandhi not want to embarrass the British? Hadhe been purchased by the masters? It seems true as he became asign of Hindu-British friendship. This amity can be witnessedthrough the display of Gandhi’s statue in the parks of London. Onthe other hand, the statues of Bhagat Singh Shahid and UdhamSingh have not been exhibited in UK. 14 Many historians write that the Congress committed a blunder in 1916 and had to pay a big price for accommodating the Muslimsas a nation. But they are silent about the Congress leaders whoseemed ready to accept the Pakistan demand. 15 More than onetime, the Congress leaders like Gandhi and Rajagopalachariar accepted the claim of the Muslim League for a separate homelandalong with reservations. No writer has blamed that these leaderswere motivated or induced by the British. According to theGovernor’s Report in September 1944 about the Jinnah-Gandhidialogues and the public reaction , the Hindus condemned Gandhi because through negotiations he had revived the image of theMuslim League when it was dying. It was the same allegationwhich was attributed to Sir Sikandar Hayat, the Punjab Premier, in1937 that he had concluded the Jinnah-Sikandar Pact just to revive
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9 The Hindu leader should have stood for his idealism buthe did not object. But in September 1940, he wrote to Master TaraSingh that the Akalis and Congressmen should part company as theSikhs believed in violence while the Congress in non-violence. 10 Which attitude of Gandhi should be attributed to the British policyand which to the anti-British? According to Jaswant Singh Marwah, Lala Lajpat Rai wasaware of “the British game” that they were ruling over the countrythrough ‘divide and rule’ which “aimed at creating discordamongst various communities and religious sects to gain maximumadvantage.” 11 Surprisingly Jaswant Singh skipped Lala LajpatRai’s opinion that the solution to the communal problem in thePunjab was the partition on the religious basis. 12 Jaswant Singhaccepted the existence of religious identity of differentcommunities although he opines that the British adopted the‘divide and rule’ policy. In the Round Table Conference, Gandhiaccepted the partition of the Punjab as a Sikh representative with17 points given by the Akali leadership in which the partition of the Punjab on the religious basis had been demanded. It is yet to becleared whether Lala Lajpat Rai and Gandhi were the pioneers of the partitioning movements and responsible for this communal riftunder the British dictation and the vivisection of India. During theRound Table Conference, the Indian leaders including MK Gandhishowed their inability to reconcile different community demands.The Hindu and Sikh leaders consented to the British to solve thecommunal issue on their own. They virtually admitted their failureand rendered a blind trust to the enemies (British) Although theywere well aware of the ‘divide and rule’ strategy. It makes the point, whether they had become a part of the British policy byhanding over all powers to the British on the very sensitive issue or some other facts moved them to this decision. Gandhi pledged toobserve fast till death when the Communal Award conferredseparate electorates upon the Achoots which forced them tosurrender the right but he never showed the same resentment incase of the Muslims and Sikhs. He should have protested with the
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6 Pakistan Journal of History and Culture, Vol.XXX, No.1, 2009 been working for the British in collecting information pertaining tothe political situation in different parts of India. They wereinvolved in the activities of convincing the Indian leaders in favour of the British with different options.The ‘divide and rule’ policy seems absurd when it isimplemented in the pre and post British India or even before to it.India was a Hindu society but with the passage of time it wasdivided on the religious lines; first Islam and then Sikhism securedconversions. This division of the Indian society cannot beattributed to the ‘divide and rule’ policy of the British. Division onethnic, religious, lingual and political basis was a natural phenomenon. None can believe that the Hindus who had changedtheir religion were bribed by any imperialist force. The Hindus hadHindi language but Guru Angad (2 nd Sikh Guru) inventedGurmukhi script which provided his followers a separate identity;then Guru Arjun Dev (5 th Guru) compiled Granth Sahib and lastlyGuru Gobind Singh drew a clear line between Sikhs and others. NoBritish was there who could be blamed for the divide of the Hindusociety. Bloody wars took place for the Indian throne after thedeath of Emperor Aurangzeb; the imperial court of India alwaysremained divided into groups which weakened the Indian empire.It was not provoked by the ‘British’ under the ‘divide and rule’ policy. Disunity among the Indian communities helped the Britishto establish their rule in the Subcontinent, which does not meanthat the Indians were divided by the British. The Hindu Mahasabhawas not founded with the British will to upset the Hindu unity andto prolong their rule. Surely, the British had not been behind allthese developments rather it was all a natural phenomenon. Indiannationalist writers however stubbornly denied its naturalness andclaimed that it was perpetrated by the British.In 1909, the Muslims were given the right of separateelectorates which the Congress or the Indian scholars haveattributed to the ‘divide and rule’ policy of the British but their pens seem paralysed to shed light on the same right given to theSikhs in 1919. Was it not a ‘divide and rule’ policy? In 1916, theCongress conceded the separate electorates for the Muslims, whichdoes not mean that the Congress leadership had joined the Britishconspiracy under the ‘divide and rule’ policy.
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Reality of ‘Divide and Rule’ in British India 5 Britons as presidents in order to prove its loyal, moderate and non-racial character.” 2 Membership fee was Rs. 25 and according to therules, students were debarred to join the party. The Congress president was a four-day king of the Indians. During the annualgathering, the representatives from different areas of India weresupposed to stay at different places according to their religion or status. 3 The British intention behind the foundation of the Indian National Congress was not the policy to divide the Indians andrule’ over the country rather they provided a training forum for them. But if it is accepted as a British conspiracy against theIndians, then this policy was not secret rather open and tangible because the British were adamant in furthering the cause of theCongress. If it was a training platform, then all Nehrus andGandhis were the students of the institution which was initiatedand run by the British. Perhaps, under the same feelings, the Nehrufamily was alleged to adopt the political gimmick in the post-independence politics. Gurmit Singh writes that the Nehru family being more experienced than the other Congressites utilised the policy of divide and rule in India after the divide of 1947 andexhibited it with more barbarity than their ‘masters’ in the EastPunjab during the early 1980s. According to Gurmit Singh, “TheCentral Government’s strategy was to divide Sikhs” to maintaintheir political hold in the region. 4 The ‘nationalist’ Congress governments till now have notdeclared national day at the national level in favour of the martyrsof the War of Independence of 1857. During the freedommovement era, they never owned the freedom fighters of 1857 because it could displease the masters who were at good termswith all the Congress leaders. The martyrs of this war were thenationalists but the Congress leadership never dared to celebratetheir days. Even Gandhi and majority of the Hindu leaders never accepted the status of Bhagat Singh Shahid, 5 Babbar Akalis, 6 Ghadar party 7 Kuka movement 8 or the anti-British communists. Nobody can present any document that the Babbar Akali leadershad addressed the Viceroy or Governor or British government as‘His Excellency or His Majesty’s Government’ or ‘your servant.’The Congress leaders concluded friendly deliberations with theimperialists and many Sikhs and Hindus can be quoted who had
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4 Pakistan Journal of History and Culture, Vol.XXX, No.1, 2009 continued ignoring the Muslim League leadership throughout theBritish Raj which gradually dragged them away from the Hindus.Many Indian historians maintain that the Muslim League played a pro-British role but never project the same aspect of theIndian National Congress. Nobody can negate this fact that thefounding leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1885 andIndia after 1947 was the British. In the beginning, the Hindus hadno competent person to do what A. O. Hume did but what forcedthem in the presence of so-called Hindu statesmen that they had torequest Lord Mountbatten to take charge as the first Governor-General of India. The most educated community of India seemedrequesting the British officers to continue working in India after August 1947. It is true that Pakistan also had many British officialsin the civil administration, including the Governor of the WestPunjab, Sir Francis Mudie and army officers, but this was so due tothe fact that there was a much smaller pool of qualified officialsand army officers after partition but the Hindus did not face thesame deficiency.Woefully, after independence, Indian nationalism’s creed of ‘unity in diversity’ meant that there was a need to vilify theMuslim League’s standpoint which had given birth to Pakistan.Therefore, Muslim separatism was written off as not reflecting anatural reality, but as the construction of colonial manipulative policies of ‘divide and rule’. Thus whilst the birth of the MuslimLeague was put down as due to British encouragement in a‘command performance’, the British role in the emergence of theIndian National Congress in 1885 was glossed over.Allan Octavian Hume not only founded the Congress but alsoexerted a lot to run its affairs successfully. Throughout the startingyears, he arranged the Congress’ annual sessions and for this purpose tried to be in contact with different persons. He managedthings like finance and reports. There were no Hindus but onlyHume who undertook all the “political work until Gopal KrishnaGokhale followed his example in 1901.” 1 Five Britons had beeninvited to preside over the annual meetings from 1885 to 1918including George Yule in 1888, William Wedderburn in 1889 and1910, Alfred Webb in 1894, Henry Cotton in 1904 and AnnieBesant in 1917. To Mehrotra, the “Congress deliberately chose
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Reality of ‘Divide and Rule’ in British India 3 projected before the masses as exploiters and enemies of India. Nodoubt, negotiations were imperative as dialogical rationale but theCongress leadership never treated the British as enemies in thediscussions. They had never been blunt in the dialogues brandingViceroys and Governors as the conspirators or hypocrites in thecase of communalism. They never refused to address the Britishwith His Majesty’s Government or His or Your Excellency. Hardlyany letter from the top Congress leaders to the British Viceroy can be presented as evidence in which they had adopted a defiantattitude. They traditionally submitted to the British by addressingthe officials as ‘His Excellency,’ ‘His Majesty’s Government, mydear, etc. Even the Sikh leaders used sometimes ‘your servant’ inthe correspondence with Governor of the Punjab. Although thesewere the recognised forms in the political correspondence but thiswas an imperialistic mannerism which the ‘freedom fighters’ (asthey claim or the writers present them) were not supposed tofollow such a belittling mannerism. They could use other words of respect to show decency if they desired in the correspondence.Mostly it is argued that the rulers were dividing the Indiancommunities but M. K. Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru never refused to join the rulers in the negotiations on the plea of theBritish conspiracy to vivisect India through the ‘divide and rule’ policy. They could permanently boycott all the affairs by arguingthat they could not talk, share, or eat with the enemies of the Indiannation. But the Hindu leadership had been enjoying friendlyrelations, banters, dinners, functions, even ‘beyond’ this with theBritishers. Do the nationalist writers believe that the Congressleaders could not understand the British who were trying toseparate the Muslims from the Hindus through the policy of ‘divide and rule’ in India? If they were aware of the British policythen they should have tried to take the Muslim League intoconfidence to repudiate the British conspiracy. The Congressleadership never pointed out this anti-Indian policy during the parleys with the British officials and delegations. All this ramifiesthat the Congress leadership itself was backing the British inlaunching the ‘divide and rule’ policy in India because despite cryfrom the Hindu and Muslim exhortations to the Congress, they
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2 Pakistan Journal of History and Culture, Vol.XXX, No.1, 2009 vivisection of India. This article explores different dimensions of the divide and rule policy and its practicality in the politics of British India.If it is assumed that the British had governed India through‘divide and rule,’ policy, it reduces the Congress to impotency thatit was unable to challenge this strategy and prevent thenourishment of communalism in the Subcontinent. This articleseeks revision from the writers who believe that the British ruledover India through the policy of ‘divide and rule’ in theadministrative affairs. The very principle can be practical in a battlefield to reduce the number of the enemies or create riftamong the confronting forces but this strategy cannot be used bythe rulers who seek peace or law and order in the region under their possession. Not unrest and communal clashes but regional peace and communal or factional harmony can better serve theaspirations of a conqueror who decides to stay and rule. Under thissituation, the British adopted the policy to maintain harmony and peace. They valued unity and tranquillity in the British India. They provided several opportunities to the Indian leaders to achievecommunal harmony who failed to conclude any agreed settlement.Indian responsibility and agency of course questions the extent towhich the burden of the failure is placed on British shoulders.Almost all the primary sources related to the colonial era have been declassified and no document has yet been found whichreveals evidence of a deliberate and sustained ‘divide and rule’strategy in India. Moreover, to adopt this understanding, one has toignore evidence of Hindu-Muslim conflict which predates theruling British presence. Furthermore, the post-colonialgovernments have been confronting communal conflict for decades; is there still a British push of ‘divide and rule’ behindconflicts in Kashmir, Gujrat, Assam or elsewhere in India? Thesituation testifies that the British never used such a policy in Indiarather their revolutionary systemic changes and the communitarianresponse to the democratic reforms caused numerous side effectsin the region which, under duress of nationalism were later interpreted as deriving from a ‘divide and rule’ strategy.It is an undeniable reality that the Congress leadershipconcluded ‘friendly’ dialogue with the imperialists who were
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Best wishes to Mehbooba Mufti. The oft-repeated manta, 'divide and rule,' initially appled to British Raj, then to Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and to some degree to all those who seek and get minority votes-aka-vote-bank are all wrong. British followed Mughal tradition (sic) to keep their Hindu and Muslim underlings, happy. Not to interfere in the traditions of culture and their built-in segregation, was the best policy. Muslim judges-Kazis, kept a low profile when an accused happened to be a upper caste indu and let Hindu law take care of prosecuting. That cannot be called 'divide and rule, can it? Reality of ‘Divide and Rule’ in British India Akhtar Hussain Sandhu 1 Abstract The policy of ‘divide and rule’ is seen as a mechanism usedthroughout history to maintain imperial rule. It identifies pre-existing ethno-religious divisions in society and then manipulatesthem in order to prevent subject peoples’ unified challenge to rule by outsiders. Many Indian and other scholars have maintained thatthe British adopted this strategy in order to strengthen the Raj.Both communal conflict and Muslim separatism are seen as having been created by this strategy. This understanding sidelines all thefactors which forced the Muslims to seek a homeland. Even theadvocates of this theory agree to the fact that unrest, turmoil,communal clashes and poor condition of law and order weaken thegrip of the ruling authorities over the country. Therefore, to agreewith the existence of ‘divide and rule’ strategy implies that theBritish were prepared to risk instability which went counter to their requirement of law and order. Insolent behaviour and injustice donot pave the way for harmony and co-operation. The Congress wasinfuriating the Muslims and their leadership although it was clear that the Britishers had been making the fullest use of the ‘divideand rule’ policy regarding the Muslims. It convinces to conclude,whether the Congress leadership was not aware of the British‘divide and rule’ policy or it adopted deliberately the supportiveattitude towards the British in fulfilling their sinister objectives of
Passengers were taking a selfie "Siberians are so tough that for them pushing a frozen plane along a runway is a piece of cake," said the popural Komsomolskaya Pravda daily. Social media too was abuzz with praise for the passengers, who were oil workers heading home. "Who mentioned sanctions?... We just push together and off we fly," Dmitry Kozlov wrote on Twitter, referring to the Western economic restrictions imposed on Russia over its actions in Ukraine. "It's just an ordinary morning in Russia. People push-start a plane at minus 50," a user who identifies himself as Lentach tweeted. The airport's director, however, suggested that the passengers had decided to push the plane for a joke. "Most likely, the plane's passengers, oil workers, decided to do a kind of 'selfie'. It was a good joke and it became a big thing on the Internet," said Maxim Aksyonov, quoted by the TASS agency. Prosecutors warned that the stunt could have been dangerous. "They were pushing the plane as if it was a car that lost traction, which you categorically should not do due to the danger of damaging the skin of the fuselage," said Oksana Gorbunova, an aide to transport prosecutors, cited by Interfax news agency. AFP . Hare Ram! ...and I am Sid Harth Modi is an arrogant, self-absorbed, ID OT! So sue me
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"The passengers on board got out of the plane and started pushing it onto the taxiway." The technical director of Krasnoyarsk-based Katekavia, Vladimir Artyomenko, told the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily that the plane had been immobilized because the pilot forgot to take off the parking brake when he left the plane. "That caused the brake pads to freeze up," he said. Passengers pushed the plane until it was able to turn and then the tow truck took over, he said. The flight then took off and went smoothly. The plane with 74 passengers on board was flying from Igarka, around 1,750 miles (2,800 kilometres) northeast of Moscow, to the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.
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Moscow: Siberian air passengers had to get out and push their plane in temperatures of minus 52 degrees Celsius after its chassis froze, Russian prosecutors said on Wednesday. The extraordinary story emerged after a passenger posted a video on YouTube showing a group of cheery travellers pushing the Tupolev plane along the snow-covered runway in Igarka, which is beyond the Arctic Circle. "Let's go," passengers in thick winter coats shout and whoop as they grab the wings of the plane and shove it several metres along the runway. "Everyone wants to go home," one man says. Transport prosecutors in western Siberia said they were investigating the incident, which took place on Tuesday. "Due to the low air temperatures, the chassis's brake system froze and a tow truck was unable to move the plane onto the taxiway to carry out the flight," prosecutors said in a statement.
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Modi and I do not get along. A fact. I call Modi names, so do his diehard Sanghi-Bhangi-brigade. Gone is his patented, 'Namo,' and har har modi ghar ghar modi-ishlogans.' Here is an apt image for Modi's frozen fuselage, being pushed by Modi-man-kis.' How to get a frozen plane rolling in Siberia? Get passengers to push it

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Villagers claimed that they had heard divine music near the college at night. To sell a product, you have to create a hype around it, and package it well. When you are talking of God, you are tapping the collective unconscious. God brings cosmic reassurance as well as fear. It is the sense of a distant cloaked observer that is really eerie. Myths mobilise people by their promise and optimism. Myths require constant re-enforcement. Gullible and unsuspecting people accept anything. Innocence is a sister of stupidly, ignorance, naivete, and other things that we would be rather without. A clever ruse is always more effective than brute force. He became a popular figure in the area. People called him “Acharya Jee”. I found him a sweet mix of cunning and convention and his two personalities smartly co-existed. He started meeting me in Delhi. He told me that he wanted to start a Doomed (Deemed) University. He was able to get permission, and invited a senior leader for its inauguration. He got some highly educated people to work for him. He maintained that “people knowledge” is more important than “product knowledge”. He spent a lot of money on gifts he gave to important people. He told me that when others blow your horn, the sound goes further, but the horn needs proper lubrication to produce the desired and correct sound. He said that some bureaucrats and politicians could sell their maternal milk for a proper price. There men were a shrines of sin. He gave doctorate degrees to a couple of uneducatecl politicians so that they could feel respectable. He was keen to get a Padma Shri and then become a member of the Rajya Sabha. He asked me to join as Vice-Chancellor of his university after I retired. In India it is a time of harvest for adventurers and the unscrupulous. In the new economic order the spoils will go to the quick-witted unconventional entrepreneurs and not to people restricted to traditional professions. Things are not always what they seem. A whale is not a fish, a peanut is not a nut, a tomato is not a vegetable. There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation for something better tomorrow. HOPE deceives more than cunning can. Modi sahebji, I am a patient person but your response is required, faasht fasht, jaldi jaldi. Hare Ram! ...and I am Sid Harth
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Mr Modi, while addressing in Mumbai, one so called, 'Advertising Council,' inauguration ceremony, specially arranged for your political benefit, in front of all those self-style, self-made-inIndia ad and PR executives, you said, (my words) 'why sould ad-wold be behind id creating a 'Brand india?' Suitably translated as, Brand Modi?' Well, with generous (payment in cash money and other sue favors) this purely commercial clan has put you on the top of the world. Happy now, mr Pradhan Sevakji? Shri, modiji, you are a person of (glory) moments. Glory in japan. Glory in USA. Glory in Australia. Glory in Hindu heaven. Glory-story is getting little like an overplay. Just quit your narrative that it was not MMS but NDM is a real educated Ox-Ford-in Gujarat professor. How about your HRD-girl-child, messing with education? RSS-boys have convinced her that 'education must be on the line of 'Gurukul,' syste.' Students must help their Guru and Gurumata in dirty little chores in order to get bits and pieces of working knowledge. Be a warrior or a Brahmin-warrior, like Golmalkar-Guriji. Education has become a money-making industry in India. Modi-Sarkar is not directly responsible but must control its growth and future direction. 'hun hamza?' THE TRIBUNE ARTICLE DEGREE MATA KA MANDIR BY V.K. KAPOOR With a podium glibness, he used to talk of visions, omens, portents and life beyond. We lost touch after college. I was covering the Prime Minister's visit. I spotted him sitting in the front row along with politicians of the area. After the Prime Minister's departure, we met after nearly 20 years. He told me that he was running a couple of educational institutions. The local Commissioner told him that his daughter had completed her M.A. He immediately offered her a job. The Commissioner thanked him profusely. He accompanied me to the Rest House and told me the story of his life. After college, he did not get any job. He went to his native village. One day out of sheer desperation he buried his degree in a field, and erected a small structure over it. He called it Degree Mata Ka Mandir. He floated a story that goddess Saraswati had appeared before him in a dream and desired that he should educate children. He started teaching school children in the open. Gradually, he opened a school. As time rolled on, he started a college and called it Degree Mata Vidyalaya.
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These cases are now being monitored by the Supreme Court and are being probed afresh by a special investigation team appointed by the court. Looking at the inordinately long time taken by the SIT in the Sabarmati Express case, there is no knowing when all the Gujarat cases will be concluded. The second aspect of Tuesday's verdict is that there should be little surprise if it is legally challenged on grounds of the nature of evidence that came to be relied on. Finally, India's judicial process would also be in the dock for the extreme slowness that it exhibited. It permitted 63 individuals, who would eventually be acquitted by the special court, to remain in jail for nearly nine years along with the other accused who had been booked. The Supreme Court needs to answer why so many individuals — who have now been declared to be innocent — have had precious years of their lives virtually snatched away, and why India's highest court could not exert due superintendence in the matter. Does this not amount to a travesty of justice? The political issue involved is fundamentally this: was there a link between the burning of Coach S-6, by any yardstick a ghastly incident in which 59 people were killed, and the time of murder and mayhem that followed? Mr Modi had unhesitatingly proclaimed then that "every action has an equal and opposite reaction", an observation that was condemned on the floor of Parliament. Leading BJP stalwarts had noted that "if there had been no Godhra, there would be no riots", suggesting an intrinsic link between the two. The underlying thesis was that if "Muslims" had instigated the burning of the S-6 coach, then "Hindus" were right in avenging the dead. This shocking line of communal reasoning turns democratic ethos on its head. If medieval-era "jurisprudence" is not to be applied, it is the state that should investigate and punish the guilty. The state is also duty-bound to prevent citizen groups from taking the law into their own hands, as evidently happened in Gujarat. If the Supreme Court-monitored cases show state government complicity, then the "action-reaction" theory that the chief minister adapted from Newton would appear to be borne out. Tuesday's judgment could thus be just the tip of the iceberg. The verdict itself is intriguing as the principal accused in the "conspiracy" has been acquitted....and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
THE ASIAN AGE EDITORIAL VERDICT ON GODHRA: TIP OF THE ICEBERG? Tuesday's order by additional sessions judge P.R. Patel for now decides one aspect of the infamous happenings in Gujarat in February 2002 — the burning of Coach S-6 of Sabarmati Express at Godhra railway station, in which many kar sewaks returning from Ayodhya were travelling — which was followed by a prolonged spell of brutal anti-Muslim violence in the state which took well over a thousand lives, and was widely alleged to have been facilitated with the complicity of the state government headed by Mr Narendra Modi. The special court held that the burning of the coach was the consequence of a planned conspiracy — that it was not an accident. This is exactly the position maintained all along by Mr Modi and by the BJP — and opposed by the Congress, the Left parties and many "secular" and liberal-minded sections of society. The "accident" theory got reinforced when it was upheld by the U.C. Banerjee Commission, appointed by then railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav to probe the destruction of railway property. The BJP is naturally jubilant at Tuesday's verdict, and is taunting its opponents. But there are troubling aspects arising from the Godhra train-burning affair, and its echoes will possible fade only when closure is applied to the numerous cases relating to that unfortunate period in Gujarat.
Sid Harth
Shri Modi, you are more than guilty of the home grown-state-sponsored-Hindu-terrorism than, say Pakistan-state-sponsored-26/11 variety. Home minister is on record, saying that '26/11 case against the perpetrators is going slow?' At what speed did you manage to find and prosecuted VHP, Bajrang dal, ABVP, this 'manch' and that 'manch' and other fraternal order of Sanghi-Bhangi-brigadiers? Jawab do! ...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
"The BJP will always be anti-Muslim, that is its identity. But the benefits it has given to Hindus, say in the Sarkhej ward, have indirectly reached Muslims," says Shahid Ali, a Muslim entrepreneur. A Congress supporter, he is open to the BJP if it continues to welcome Muslim candidates. Speaking of former top cop Al Saiyed, who contested on the BJP ticket, he says, "I would not mind having a Muslim candidate like Saiyed. At least I have someone of my own to hold accountable for any sloppy work." Mr. Saiyed, who managed to get over 13,000 votes in Sarkhej, himself believes that the recent change in political behaviour is driven by educated Muslims and those who have realised the need to be in the mainstream. "If we do not assimilate with other communities, it's the end of us!" he says. (Raheel Dhattiwala is a doctoral researcher in the Department of Sociology, University of Oxford, who is doing field work in Ahmedabad.)
Sid Harth
Moving back again five years ago, as one section of Muslims in Ahmedabad battled issues of identity using religion as a shield, another section had begun to develop a different kind of collective solutions to the discrimination. They were of the view that survival was possible only for the fittest Muslim — one who conforms to the mainstream majority. Prepping up for an existence war of sorts, they began to set up schools and focus on mainstream education for their children. Almost 70 per cent of Muslim-managed educational institutions, for example, were established in Ahmedabad between 1993 and 2005 — after the two waves of Hindu-Muslim violence. Qutbuddin Ansari, who became the "face of the Gujarat riots," his pleading picture making news in national and international media in 2002, refused an interview with this writer in 2007. His request: privacy. "I've moved on. Please let me be." The movement to "move on" had already started. The recent civic elections took it to a higher level. Remember that this remains a discussion about a very small section of Muslims — most of whom relatively (that is, not directly) affected by the violence. Moreover, political attitudes in a civic election are based on ground issues. Slum-dwellers in the old city of Ahmedabad are ready to switch left, right and centre (the CPI (M) to the RSS to the BJP) as long as they get their local corporator to provide their daily quota of drinking water. Whether the BJP will continue to embrace Muslims at the cost of upsetting its majority target voters in Gujarat in the Assembly elections, will be seen in the future.
Sid Harth
The answer perhaps lies in the fact that India's is a patronage democracy wherein resource distribution depends on the discretion of elected officials as a form of market good rather than an entitlement. Staying close to the power centres in government is the key to survival. For the traders, survival is synonymous with their occupation. For the cleric, it could mean assimilation to avoid being labelled anything from anti-social to anti-national — no surprise that most Muslim BJP supporters, including religious Muslims, have patriotic songs as their phone caller tune. "This terrorism taint is too much for the community. As long as the BJP is in power, we have to be part of the mainstream to shun this tag," says Imranbhai, a fruit vendor in Ahmedabad. He fits the stereotype of the Congress supporter: white kurta-pyjama, skull cap, untrimmed beard and moustache. Only that he swears by the BJP. "There is no shame for a Muslim today to admit he supports the BJP," he says. Indeed, the indifference of religious Muslims to saffron flags fluttering in the dense Muslim ghettos of Juhapura and Saudagar ni Pol in Ahmedabad — areas that are alien to the local Hindu except in scary stories — was unthinkable earlier. Moin Khan, once a CPI(M) worker, soon to sign up with the BJP, explains that the power centre for a religious Muslim is the local cleric; for the cleric, it is the people in governance. "The maulvis can mobilise masses because people listen to them. For the maulvis to establish credibility among the people, they have no choice but to get their hands dirtied in their network of influential politicians." He recalls how a Sunni Muslim cleric who was close to the BJP helped trace a local slum-dweller's daughter who had disappeared. "Some clerics help the Congress, many now [help] the BJP because there is no alternative."
Sid Harth
In 2006, this writer spoke with Asma Saiyed, a student at St. Xavier's College in Ahmedabad. Enraged by the events of 2002, she had taken a significant decision: to add the burqa to her wardrobe of western wear. For this eloquent young woman, wearing her religion on her sleeve was a "slap in the face" of the BJP, which she viewed as the architect of violence against Muslims in 2002. "All of us friends felt cowed down by a constant anti-Muslim rhetoric since 2002. And we thought whether it made any sense to be scared. We said, okay so you want to hate us? Here are our burqas so we know that you know we are Muslims. Now come, get us." Ms Saiyed belonged to that section of Muslims who developed a collective identity in opposition to the majority, most of whom, they believed, endorsed the BJP's Hindutva rhetoric. This was similar to what John Ogbu's work on 'oppositional culture' among Black American students in the U.S. tells us — that their identities as minorities were developed as a response to White racism, which then led them to oppose conformism in education and all that which would be "good" (White or majority) behaviour. Religious symbolism became a shield for these Muslims to protect their identities against the threat of rising, rabid Hindutva. Compromise seemed impossible even in the exchange of economic development. So when Congress workers told this writer recently that Muslims were paid by the BJP to support it in the civic elections, it was paradoxical, even if the claim were true. People generally refuse to involve themselves in cost-benefit calculations and reach a self-serving decision on issues of a sacred nature when given material incentives in exchange. Assuming some Muslims did accept money from the BJP in exchange of support, does it mean they are no longer looking at the 2002 post-Godhra violence as an attack on their religious identity? If the Congress is not a favourable alternative and the BJP is a lurking ethnic threat, why vote at all?
Sid Harth
Take Ahmedabad city, for example. The campaign trail of the BJP in the 2010 civic polls here included a patchwork of busybody Muslim clerics and traders: two groups that we would assume to have different voting preferences. The traders have an understandable, rational logic of voting for a party that has emphasised its economic development policies as never before. The voting preference of two significant trader-Muslim communities of Gujarat, the Dawoodi Bohras and the Khojas — both Shias — has always tended to be biased towards the party in power, be it the British in pre-independent India, the Congress in the 1980s to early-1990s, or the BJP later. "The Syedna or the head priest will always seek a cordial relationship with those in power. It is in his interests, and as he sees it, in the interests of the community," says scholar-activist J.S. Bandukwala. However, if one looks at the situation five years ago, it is fascinating and almost implausible why religious Sunni Muslims, including clerics, would come out to support the BJP.
Sid Harth
It was nine years ago that Gujarat's biggest wave of Hindu-Muslim violence was triggered in Godhra. The burning of the Sabarmati Express marked the beginning of an anti-Muslim backlash that continued intermittently for the entire year amid allegations of State complicity. That period reinforced existing residential and symbolic segregation of Muslims in cities like Ahmedabad. Nine years later, the victims of the violence are embracing their perceived perpetrators. As has been already discussed extensively, Gujarat's Muslims voting for the BJP is an exceptional case compared to, say, Bihar where the BJP was accepted only on the condition of excluding Hindutva (and Narendra Modi), or even other parts of northern India where Sikhs voted for their perceived oppressors, the Congress, only after a public apology the party made to the community. The reasons for the transformation behind the new 'all-inclusive' BJP have also been discussed widely. Yet, what is far more exceptional is the kind of Muslims supporting the BJP in Gujarat.
Sid Harth
THE HINDU LEADER PAGE ARTICLES THE MUSLIM AS BJP SUPPORTER IN GUJARAT IN A PATRONAGE DEMOCRACY WHERE RESOURCE DISTRIBUTION DEPENDS ON THE DISCRETION OF ELECTED OFFICIALS, IT PAYS TO STAY CLOSE TO THE POWER CENTRES IN GOVERNMENT. RAHEEL DHATTIWALA Ahmadbhai Shaikh is a muezzin in a mosque in the Behrampura area of Ahmedabad. If not reciting the 'azaan,' he is busy helping Bharatiya Janata Party workers in his ward to campaign among members of his community. His reason for shifting from the Congress to the BJP is "the hope that our drainage problems will be solved, after all these years." As one who was lucky to escape the arson and looting in the city in 2002, he merely calls that a "period of misfortune."

Sid Harth

Sid Harth
Paradoxically, the court acquitted the main alleged conspirator, Maulana Umarji, for lack of evidence, even as it upheld the prosecution's case that the conspiracy to set fire to the coach carrying the kar sevaks was hatched the previous night at a guest house in Godhra town. The verdict, which saw the acquittal of as many as 63 accused, is bound to be challenged by both sides. It is unfortunate that a case like this, tried by a fast-track court, should have taken nine years to complete, all the more so because many of the 63 acquitted spent years in prison after being denied bail. In the popular imagination, the Godhra train burning will also evoke horrifying memories of the genocidal pogrom against Muslims that earned Gujarat notoriety across India and round the world. The complex verdict must be looked at independently, in strictly legal terms, and not through any coloured political lens; it must certainly not be allowed to be exploited by demagogues of any communal persuasion. Only when the 815-page judgment becomes available will legal experts be able to assess the merits of the verdict, including the evidential basis of the convictions. Given the time already taken, it is important that we have a just and final judicial pronouncement on the case as quickly as possible. With that kind of editorial from a major media in India, you should talk about, 'terrorism-that too-Pakistani-sponsored-terrorism?' Shame on you. ...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
Mr Modi, you are at the epicenter of controversy. Not necessarily at the SAARC, XVIII, Kathmandu summit. I your entire political life. Here for the good-old memories: THE HINDU EDITORIAL THE BURNING TRAIN Premeditated conspiracy or accident? Differences of opinion over what caused the death of 59 people, mostly kar sevaks, aboard the Sabarmati Express in 2002 have hinged on this fundamental question. In convicting 31 people in the Godhra train burning case on the twin counts of murder and criminal conspiracy, the Ahmedabad special court has upheld the broad thrust of the prosecution's contention, which is that the deaths were a result of a "pre-planned conspiracy" to set fire to the S-6 coach in which the victims were travelling. The theory that it was an "accidental fire" gained credence after the Justice U.C. Banerjee Committee, appointed by then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, declared it as such in its preliminary report. It ruled out various other possible causes, including the possibility of the fire being caused by petrol poured into the bogey by miscreants. Although the Gujarat High Court subsequently ruled that the U.C. Banerjee Committee was "unconstitutional, illegal, and void," the question remained whether forensic evidence would conclusively establish how the fire was caused. In arriving at its verdict, the trial court was evidently greatly influenced by the findings of the Gandhinagar Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), which concluded that petrol was the cause of the fire and submitted evidence that was consistent with the police theory that the culprits had forcibly entered the S-6 coach via the vestibule.
Now, Mr Narubhau, Oops, Shri Namoji sahebji, tell me, for the first time, what brave moves you have planned, ready-made-in-India, that you and your obedient civil servants, Modi Senapatis, Oops, Senanandans, to unleash on a large mass of ignorant, inane, captive 'janta,' to yell and scream about you getting a 'clin chit?' Time is of the essence. No more 'fekubaji,' please. The basic challenge in drafting any Budget is managing contradictions. Individuals want tax concessions while corporate are never happy with what they get. At the same time, economists want the government to spend more on development while the ubiquitous critics are there to question the fiscal numbers. Even when good budgeted numbers are targeted, the cynics contend that they cannot be achieved. What we should remember is that all the ends cannot be tied up to make everyone happy and some section has to give in. This should be the spirit in which we must look at the Budget. The author is chief economist, ...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
On the other hand, expectations are that the government will address inflation and growth. The recent IIP numbers will make the government think harder on the growth aspect while the inflation consideration would probably have already been buffered into the calculations. Income tax concessions as well as indirect tax relief would be expected. In fact, a judicious move would be to actually index the exemption limits on income tax with inflation so that it automatically moves up in line with price increases. Sector-specific duty concessions, especially petroleum sector, would be in order. Government expenditure, on the other hand, will have to continue in the normal course, with added pressure on social and economic expenditure. The food inflation this year is a direct consequence of a neglected farm sector. The lacunae in logistics support will have to be addressed in a comprehensive manner. Warehousing is not a very lucrative business for large players, except where they are building their own retail chains. A look at FDI policy or credit concessions for setting up warehouses could be in order in the light of the Warehousing Act. Since there is talk of changing the APMC Acts, this could also be the focus, though this is a state subject and the government can at best make recommendations. Two areas that have to be addressed are subsidies and MGNREGA. The petroleum subsidy bill has to increase, given that inflationary issues are a concern today. Also, until such time the UID is implemented, we cannot really enhance the efficacy of the food subsidy scheme. This will continue to remain on the government's books for some more time. The MGNREGA should be reviewed seriously. While the allocation and motivation is laudable, as this is one of the few success stories of the government, it has to be channelled in a more productive manner. Today, the numbers on display on the Website are quite disconcerting. While the number of households covered is large, the average number of days utilised is around 35, which is much lower than the 100 that was targeted. Also, the completed schemes are very few. Clearly, we should make this money work better, which can be accomplished by integrating it with the other requirement in the farm sector.
Sid Harth
What Modi said at the opening cecemonies in Kathmandu, has been reported, in some sections of the press. What he did not say, never wanted to say and refuses to say is what I call his reluctance to face the realities. His 'Dream-Team,' newly reconstituted on the politically (future) faild lines. Give a ministership to athe most illiterate, obdurate, stubborn, obstinate, intransigent, inflexible, unyielding, unbending, pigheaded, bullheaded, mulish, stiff-necked; headstrong, unshakable, intractable, unpersuadable, immovable, inexorable, uncompromising, iron-willed, adamant, firm, determined, idiot of a guy and rest assured that this idiot person, shall forever be in Modi's secret mission to conquer the SAARC-FAARCE. EVEN MORE CONTRADICTIONS TO MANAGE MADAN SABNAVIS Presenting a Budget is always a challenge, given that its importance has evolved from being a rudimentary reflection of the finances of the government to a policy document that drives economic activity. Budget 2011-12 becomes even more difficult since there are certain constraints within which it has to be drawn amidst multiple expectations from all constituents. The budgetary numbers for FY11 will look good as the economy appears to be buoyant and the targets will be more or less achieved. Tax collections have been stable and increasing while expenditure has been reined in. The government has chosen not to spend the excess collections from 3G auctions, which in turn will help brighten fiscal numbers. The question, of course, is what the government will do next year. In fact, in retrospect, one could argue that the government could have been brash this year considering that globally Keynesianism has caught on, and when the mighty powers run deficits, it is accepted in the name of fostering global recovery. Such a luxury may not be available this year. Let us look at the constraints first. The DTC has sort of capped the changes that the government can invoke and hence any tax change will have to be within these confines. Second, the GST has been a bone of contention between the Centre and the states, and also indirectly caps the changes that can be had on the domestic duty structure. Third, the benefit of 3G auctions will not be there, which cuts off a major exogenous source of revenue that was there last year. Fourth, while disinvestment has already come to a halt with a deficit likely in FY11, the number will have to be pruned in FY12, given that the stock market may be in a state of flux for the first half.

...and I am Sid Harth

Modi was born with clay feet. Just like any other world leader. His fans may consider Modi as a god, or a godman. Far from it, Modi is an arrogant, self-absorbed, leader of the right wing, Hindu fundamental section of India, where mythology is considered as fact and where Batra-like school teachers take credit for saving Hindu religion from those 'paashchaaty sanskruti ke upasak, like Wendy Doniger, et al. I have said it many time but I take this opportunity to say it again. Modi is a wrong man for the job. Better put in your papers, Mr Modiji, before you sink the very boat you promise to take to your promise land. Would that be 'Akhand Bharat,' or 'krunvantuvushvamaaryam?' ...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
I submit to you, every pact has brought insecurity and not security to the countries which have entered into them. They have brought the danger of atomic bombs and the rest of it nearer to them than would have been the case otherwise. They have not added to the strength of any country, I submit, which it had singly. It may have produced some idea of security, but it is a false security. It is a bad thing for any country thus to be lulled into security. . . . ….Today in the world, I do submit, not only because of the presence of these two colossuses but also because of the coming of the atomic and hydrogen-bomb age, the whole concept of war, of peace, of politics, has changed. We are thinking and acting in terms of a past age. No matter what generals and soldiers learned in the past, it is useless in this atomic age. They do not understand its implications or its use. As an eminent military critic said: 'The whole conception of War is changed. There is no precedent.' It may be so. Now it does not matter if one country is more powerful than the other in the use of the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb. One is more powerful in its ruin than the other. That is what is meant by saying that the point of saturation has been reached. However powerful one country is, the other is also powerful. To hit the nail on the head, the world suffers; there can be no victory. It may be said perhaps rightly that owing to this very terrible danger, people refrain from going to war. I hope so.. The difficulty is that while Governments want to refrain from war, something suddenly happens and there is war and utter ruin. There is another thing: because of the present position in the world there can be aggression. If there is aggression anywhere in the world, it is bound to result in world war. It does not matter where the aggression is. If one commits the aggression there is world war. I want the countries here to realise it and not to think in terms of any limitation. Today, a war however limited it may be is bound to lead to a big war. Even if tactical atomic weapons, as they are called, are used, the next step would be the use of the big atomic bomb. You cannot stop these things. In a country's life and death struggle, it is not going to stop short of this. It is not going to decide on our or anybody else's resolutions but it would engage in war, ruin and annihilation of others before it annihilates itself completely. Annihilation will result not only in the countries engaged in war, but owing to the radioactive waves which go thousands and thousands of miles it will destroy everything. That is the position. It is not an academic position; it is not a position of discussing ideologies; nor is it a position of discussing past history. It is looking at the world as it is today.
Sid Harth
. . . So far as I am concerned, it does not matter what war takes place; we will not take part in it unless we have to defend ourselves. If I join any of these big groups I lose my identity. . . . If all the world were to be divided up between these two big blocs what would be the result? The inevitable result would be war. Therefore every step that takes place in reducing that area in the world which may be called the unaligned area is a dangerous step and leads to war. It reduces that objective, that balance, that outlook which other countries without military might can perhaps exercise. Honorable Members laid great stress on moral force. It is with military force that we are dealing now, but I submit that moral force counts and the moral force of Asia and Africa must, in spite of the atomic and hydrogen bombs of Russia, the U.S.A. or another country, count. . . . . . . Many members present here do not obviously accept the communist ideology, while some of them do. For my part I do not. I am a positive person, not an 'anti' person. I want positive good for my country and the world. Therefore, are we, the countries of Asia and Africa, devoid of any positive position except being pro-communist or anti-communist? Has it come to this, that the leaders of thought who have given religions and all kinds of things to the world have to tag on to this kind of group or that and be hangers-on of this party or the other carrying out their wishes and occasionally giving an idea? It is most degrading and humiliating to any self-respecting people or nation. It is an intolerable thought to me that the great countries of Asia and Africa should come out of bondage into freedom only to degrade themselves or humiliate themselves in this way. . . .
Sid Harth
We do not agree with the communist teachings, we do not agree with the anti-communist teachings, because they are both based on wrong principles. I never challenged the right of my country to defend itself; it has to. We will defend ourselves with whatever arms and strength we have, and if we have no arms we will defend ourselves without arms. I am dead certain that no country can conquer India. Even the two great power blocs together cannot conquer India; not even the atom or the hydrogen bomb. I know what my people are. But I know also that if we rely on others, whatever great powers they might be if we look to them for sustenance, then we are weak indeed. . . . My country has made mistakes. Every country makes mistakes. I have no doubt we will make mistakes; we will Stumble and fall and get up. The mistakes of my country and perhaps the mistakes of other countries here do not make a difference; but the mistakes the Great Powers make do make a difference to the world and may well bring about a terrible catastrophe. I speak with the greatest respect of these Great Powers because they are not only great in military might but in development, in culture, in civilization. But I do submit that greatness sometimes brings quite false values, false standards. When they begin to think in terms of military strength - whether it be the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union or the U.S.A. - then they are going away from the right track and the result of that will be that the overwhelming might of one country will conquer the world. Thus far the world has succeeded in preventing that; I cannot speak for the future. . . .
Sid Harth
Modern History Sourcebook: Prime Minister Nehru: Speech to Bandung Conference Political Committee, 1955 Mr. Chairman, the turn this discussion has taken is a much wider one than that we had already expected. In fact, it has covered the whole major heading. We have just had the advantage of listening to the distinguished leader of the Turkish Delegation who told us what lie, as a responsible leader of the nation must do and must not do. He gave us an able statement of what I might call one side representing the views of one of the major blocs existing at the present time in the world. I have no doubt that an equally able disposition could be made on the part of the other bloc. I belong to neither and I propose to belong to neither whatever happens in the world. If we have to stand alone, we will stand by ourselves, whatever happens (and India has stood alone without any aid against a mighty Empire, the British Empire) and we propose to face all consequences. . . .
Sid Harth
Elsewhere, SAARC XVIII has been declared as 'DOA,' dead on arrival. As long as I remember, Nehru;s decision to join a coalition of the so called 'third world ' countries,'Oops, Non-Aligned Nations in Bandung, we the people, have been fed with what I call a 'garbageology.' not diplomacy. Nehru was as much as dreamer as Modi. 'Tall dreams or relatively taller dreams, may serve a child, lacking in intelligence to stay with his other classmates. Modi has failed, so far, and his dreamscape grows bigger and bigger. This comment may be censored, hence a copy has been posted on PMO's facebook. A fair warning to media. Truth must be told otherwise turn India into a gigantic loudmouth-generated Animal farm. ...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
"The Arab nations, which means essentially Muslim nations, are endowed with natural resources beyond compare. Between them, they account for maybe 90 per cent of oil reserves. They do possess other resources, including intelligent and hard-working people. But, for reasons of their own, they have rejected all this and are harking back to a world that does not exist any more, and, which in any case, is not of much help in dealing with modernity," it says. It further argues that the Islamic countries have been "resisting modernisation, with the result the modern world has bypassed them. Hence, the long line of dictators and the total absence of democracy. You sow as you reap, and this is what the Islamic countries are doing — reaping what they have sown all these years!" Terror stories The lead editorial in Panchjanya says that Home Secretary G.K. Pillai's recent assertion that Hindu terror is not a huge threat nails the conspiracy hatched by the Congress and the UPA government to target the RSS and like-minded nationalist organisations. It says the charade of Hindu terror diverts attention from dealing with jihadi terror groups, which it argues are the real threat to internal security. The article goes on to criticise AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi for his assertions to the US ambassador about the threat posed by right-wing fundamentalist groups. Referring to the similar line adopted by Digvijay Singh, the article says it has become clear that the campaign is being mounted at the instance of 10 Janpath. "Consequently, the Union home minister had also spoken about saffron terror. And when his remarks drew sharp reactions from across the country, an attempt is being made to clarify," it says. The article refers to the recent letter written by the RSS protesting the attempts to malign the image of the outfit and demanding a probe into the conspiracy to eliminate Sangh leaders. The Panchjanya also prominently reports the chargesheet filed recently by the National Investigating Agency, about some youth in Kerala being recruited for terrorism. These partisan media, get away with murder and my scholarly comments are censored? ...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
Mr Modi is famous for his anti-Muslim rhetoric. Referring to Juhapura, a section of Muslim slum not being given proper settlement options after Godhra Muslim massacre, Modi said, 'what for? Juhapura Muslim slum is a 'baby-making-factory.' The same remark is ascribed to Modi about Pakistan, a state sponsored terrorism factory.' FAMILY SECRETS MANOJ C G L.K. Advani may have expressed deep regret over the allegations against Sonia Gandhi and her family in the BJP task force report on black money, surprising many of his party colleagues and allies — but the RSS is persisting with the charges, perhaps revealing the rift on the issue within the Sangh Parivar. A front-page article in the latest issue of its weekly Organiser refers to an exposé by Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte about the bribes allegedly taken by 14 leaders of various Third World countries, and says that the late Rajiv Gandhi's name figured among those who had reportedly stashed away this money in secret Swiss bank accounts. "The name and the photograph of the late Rajiv Gandhi appears along with that of other 13 leaders with a remark that bribes of 2.5 billion Swiss francs are kept in secret accounts in Switzerland. The amount of SF 2.5 billion equals $2.2 billion. This amount was said to have been in existence from prior to June 1988," it says. In fact, the article goes a step further and quotes passages from a book The State Within a State: the KGB and its Hold on Russia — Past, Present, and Future by Yevgenia Albats to level more allegations against the Gandhi family and its association with the KGB. The editorial also focuses on the BJP's task force report, and calls it a "valuable document." Resisting modernity An article in the Organiser discusses the recent uprising in Egypt and its subsequent spread in the Arab world. It says that barring perhaps one or two nations like Lebanon, almost all 22 countries in the Arab world are dictatorships. "All of them are also Islamic countries, whatever that means. Islam and dictators apparently go hand in hand, as if they were two sides of the same coin," the article says. "What is it about Islam that makes it unworthy as a guide to running a modern government, the stress being on modern rather than government," it asks, and goes on to answer that "while the world is going ahead with modernisation and globalisation, Islam rejects it and is going backwards."

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    Hindu Heaven. Joined June 2009 ... @elcidharth · 9h 9 hours ago. SAARC XVIII FAARCE November 25, 2014 / elcidharth ...and I am Sid Harth ...
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  5. ...and I am Sid Harth: Religious Fanatics and Dharm ...
    22 mins ago - 2 days ago - Oct 6, 2014 – .... Unite · Paid News From India · Eastern Freight Corridor · SAARC SUMMIT X..
  6. Older posts - वसुधैव कुटुंबकम
    The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an economic and geopolitical cooperation among .....
  7. view from mount everest summit - Google Search - IHG ‎. Cached. How about mt Everest? ... 18th SAARC summit: PM Narendra Modi to visit Janakpur in Nepal .... Mount Everest lies at the ...
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    Images for Modi JinpingReport images 3 days ago 3 days ago 1 day ago ... Most SAARC leaders coming, Modi's first bilateral meetings day after ...
  9. February – 2014 – My Sister Marilyn Monroe - Page 85
    Feb 7, 2014 - ... Modi Messing With SAARC November 25, 2014; Modi's Marital Status ...
  10. US (Fucked-up) Foreign Policy and I - cogito ergo sum
    Jan 31, 2012 - International Relations and I… » Sid Harth. .... Afghan President Hamid Karzai meet on the sidelines of the SAARC .

    1. January – 2012 – हिन्दू तर्क शास्त्रद्न्य ...
      Jan 25, 2012 - …and I am Sid ...... SAARC Jurists Mission on Bhutan, International Center for Law in Development, Informal Sector ...
    2. Modis Fast Track Foreign Policy | So Sue me - Sid Harth ...
      Sep 26, 2014 - ..... leaders of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries and Mauritius to attend the ...
    3. Subrata Roy's latest gimmick may not save his empire ... - Mint
      May 6, 2013 - Saarc and its unfulfilled promises · Inside Flipkart's complex structure · Rural sales cool as food prices drop. ▷. Please enable JavaScript to ...
    4. Hindu Purvita Chatterjee -
      ... LineFieldFresh Foods looks to export Del Monte products to SAARC nations. .... 32, ~,, Paid News From India – News, Views and Reviews: Sid ...

...and I am Sid Harth

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