Portrait of a Muslim home in shadow of rising BJP colossus

BY SAEED NAQVI

It was a spectacular celebration. The beating of drums, sprinkling of colours, group songs, dancing continued well after dusk.

As I watched from my window, a thought crossed my mind: why had we not been invited? Ours is the only Muslim home in the colony, but a pride of place has always been accorded to us in all celebrations, including holi. We have inherited this knack of integration from our elders. The Mahant of Shiv Sharan Das temple in Lucknow always made special bhang free thandai for my father on holi.

I called up the President of the Residents Welfare Association to register my protest. He was vacationing at Corbett Park. There had been deaths in the neighbourhood; RWA had therefore not organized a holi celebration. It was private initiative – some friends had come together for the festivities.

We know them well, but they probably did not include us in their list of revelers because they thought we may not be in the celebration mode or in depression at the turn of political events. Such are the ogres, imagination conjures up.

Yes, one is afflicted by deep anxiety but Narendra Modi’s extraordinary victory is only a fraction of the problem. The anxiety is accentuated by the context in which politics is unfolding. Spaces for open discussion – political, social, economic and cultural – are shrinking. In any case they are all in the hands of philistinism and propaganda. This afflicts not all of the media, but a large chunk of it. A creeping voicelessness therefore is our anxiety.

I was with family in Mustafabad, my village near Rae Bareli, where my sister keeps a television with its tube burnt out – no images only sound. It is surrealistic. We heard the election results in stupefied, stunned silence. My cousin Asghar broke the silence.

“The state of the Muslims in the country is just like your television, Suraiya – blind but noisy”

Suraiya asked: “How have the Muslims fared?”

Asghar: “They have helped the BJP win and now they are terrified at the outcome:

Khuda ko aihle Jahaan
Jub banaa chuke to, Firaq
Pukar uthe ki, isi ne
Hamein banaya tha.
(After men had completed making their God.
Look, they screamed, it is He who made us)

Juggle around with this couplet and you get a fair idea of how Muslims are themselves responsible for the rise of the BJP. First they help strengthen the BJP, then they cry: we are afraid.”

Suraiya was angry. She sought my intervention. “Why blame the Muslims?” She asked.

I said: “Asghar is right. Blind folded by their myopic mullahs, Muslims have since Partition followed false Gods.”

Asghar chipped in: “The headline story one day was: Mayawati to field 100 Muslim candidates. The media lapped it up. The 100 Muslim candidates became a chant, mornings, afternoons, evenings.

Next headline: Akhilesh-Rahul Gandhi alliance will attract Muslim votes. Will Rahul repel Muslim votes because of Congress inaction during the demolition of Babri Masjid? Will Akhilesh be able to neutralize Muslim anger against the Congress? Muslim, Muslim, Muslim. Do you think this “Muslim, Muslim” incantation is honeyed music even to the most moderate Hindu. It is custom made for Hindu consolidation.”

Suraiya asked: “Which party then should the Muslims have supported?”

There was silence.

“None” I said.

“What do you mean?” Suraiya persisted.

“The only role at this juncture for Indian Muslims in India’s electoral politics is to enable Hindu consolidation. This may not occur to the Muslim voter but this is the consequence of his politics.”

Basically, the Muslim is not at fault. The Congress party is – from the very beginning. When it agreed with Lord Louis Mountbatten and Mohammad Ali Jinnah to Partition the country on religious lines, it had diluted its own stand on the two-nation theory i.e. Hindus and Muslims constituted two separate nations. Once you created Muslim Raj (Pakistan), India had glided seamlessly from British Raj to Hindu Raj. I have argued this case in my book: “Being the Other: The Muslim in India”. A fair bargain could have been struck with the Muslim even at that stage, avoiding all the hypocrisy about secularism.

The leaderless Muslim, mesmerized by Nehruvian blandishments, pitched his tent in the Congress Park as its permanent vote bank. In the 80s, V.N. Gadgil, General Secretary of the Congress took me into confidence. “Muslim appeasement is beginning to rankle with the Congress’s Hindu base.” This “appeasement” was exposed by the Sachar Committee Report in 2005. Successive Congress governments had brought Muslim socio-economic status down even below the Dalits. Some appeasement.

After the Muslim vote defected en masse from the Congress following the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992, a seering truth has settled in the Muslim mind. The Congress had cheated the community from day one. So he left the Congress but having done so, where should he go? Rank casteist parties SP and BSP opened their doors. In a daze, the Muslim walked in as an enabler of casteist power. There was nothing in it for him.

And now, Congress, SP, BSP are all fallen icons, piled up in a lifeless heap. Where should the Muslim go?

Suraiya’s was the last word. “Are you saying we should not complain about the BJP’s anti Muslim plank? They were open on where they wanted to take the nation? Our plaint should be registered against parties which pretended to protect our interest but knowingly or unknowingly facilitated the BJP’s Hindu Rashtra? With rampaging hatred against Pakistan, unsettled conditions in Kashmir, it is custom made to target us as the Other against which Hindu consolidation will progress.” Had “Hindu Raj” been accepted at the outset, she added profoundly the excruciating process of welding “Hindu Rashtra” from the caste pyramid would have been avoided. The Muslim was used as a foil in this process. This hurt.

(Saeed Naqvi is a senior Indian journalist, television commentator, interviewer, and a Distinguished Fellow at Observer Research Foundation. Mr. Naqvi is also a mentor and a guest blogger with Canary Trap)

Demonitisation: The invisible economic assassination

OPEN LETTER TO FINANCE MINISTER ARUN JAITLEY

BY ARUN AGRAWAL

Mr Jaitley while defending his demonetisation scheme described the 750 words speech of the former Prime Minister Mr Manmohan Singh in Parliament, as lacking in substance and that the 2G and coal scamsters had forfeited their right to lecture on probity.

Harsh words from a lawyer, whose knowledge of economics or the lack of it, has plunged the entire nation into an unprecedented man-made financial chaos which will be his epitaph, irrespective of whether he or we are all dead in the long run or the short run!

Mr Jaitley would do well to answer the following questions with embedded answers which is also an expose on his track record on black money:

Questions on Phony efforts to unearth black-money/wealth abroad:

  • Is it not a fact that while these tiny offshore tax-haven countries which have played havoc with the India’s black money by providing a legal shield for laundering money, it was the larger countries like Germany and France which provided information on tax evaders?
  • Is it not a fact that despite the tall promises made during elections on recovery of huge amounts of black-money stashed abroad, the government was unwilling to act against sundry tiny countries which were responsible for laundering most of the black money into India?
  • Is it not a fact that the information that the government had on foreign black money was from the German government, which paid Heinrich Keiber $ 7.9 million to obtain information on money stashed in LGT Bank of Liechtenstein, and the French Government, which paid for information on HSBC Bank in Switzerland to whistle-blower Hervé Falciani. And is it not a fact that both governments shared the information with the Indian Government for free?
  • Is it not a fact that the Indian Government refused to pay the same informer Hervé Falciani when he offered more information on Indian entities than the 1600 entities provided by French Government?
  • Is it not a fact that under the Black Money UFIA Act only 644 disclosures were made and that these were from entities whose names were on the various lists but to whom notice was not given under section 71 for accounts held in other Banks?
  • Is it not true that the scheme in effect was a bailout for these persons and others involved in stock market scams and who were already under the scanner by the SIT so that they would pay lesser taxes and not have their names revealed and leave their reputation intact?
  • Is it not true that 95% of the black wealth is neither held as deposits in foreign bank accounts or in Indian currency but is converted into wealth in assets all over the world, or invested in India either through the stock market (P notes, FDI FPI etc.), real estate or gold and bullion or other assets?
  • Is it not true that that large holders of black money have laundered their money through small and insignificant countries like Mauritius, Cyprus and Singapore after sending it abroad through havala and bringing it back through faceless and anonymous front companies into India as ‘Foreign Investments?’
  • Is it not true that all this black money laundered through the tax havens by round tripping method has become legitimate white money and is no more considered black money by the Government/RBI/SEBI?
  • Is it not true that apart from the black money brought in as FDI, large amounts of this anonymous black money is invested in the Stock Market through P-Notes whose true ownership has not been allowed to be declared by the Government/RBI/SEBI?
  • Is it not true that the SIT constituted by the Supreme Court identified these P Notes as the major source of black money, recommended that the true identity of the persons (beneficial ownership) investing in P-Notes be revealed and the loophole be plugged?
  • Is it not true that the outstanding on P-Notes in Jan 2015 was Rs. 2.15 lac crores?
  • Is it not true that the outstanding Offshore Derivative Instruments (ODIs) from the tiny island of Cayman Island alone was Rs. 85,000 crores as stated by SIT below?

It is clear from above that a major chunk of outstanding ODIs invested in India are from Cayman Islands i.e. 31.31%. This translates to roughly Rs. 85,006 Crores. The Cayman Islands had a population of 54,397 in 2010 according to Wikipedia. It does not seem conceivable that a jurisdiction with a population of less than 55,000 could invest Rs. 85,000 crores in one country.

  • Is it not true that the government refuses to act against the black money laundered through these tiny islands, despite the recommendation of the SIT and orders of the Apex Court, as its considers this black money as good black money, in the national interest of getting foreign investment and its bullish effect on the stock market?
  • Is it not true that while the GOI is acting against the helpless poor and the marginalised who are either depositing their own money or renting their account for petty deposits along with the domestic hoarders of black-wealth in currency, it is powerless against these tiny countries like Mauritius, Cayman island, Singapore, Seychelles, Panama, British Virgin Island etc. and has negotiated soft and humiliating treaties with them to let off the big sharks involved in generation and laundering of black money?
  • Is it not true that all the treaties negotiated with all these tiny countries are with prospective effect, that is from 2017 onwards when they would be obliged to make disclosures and share information on tax evasion but does not cover the prior period?
  • Is it not true that information from Switzerland will be made available for accounts opened after Sept 2018 and that too in Sept 2019?
  • Is it not true that no person is foolish to leave his cash in foreign banks and that all black money laundered through foreign countries has become legitimate money?
  • Is it not true that for all practical purposes only Rs 2428 crores in taxes is all that has been received from the much-touted black money lying abroad along with some amounts which may come in because of information provided by the German and the French government, no further black money will be unearthed from the large evaders who have used the foreign route to launder their money?
  • Is it not true that it was the earlier NDA government which had replaced FERA with FEMA to undo the criminal liability and then took almost three years to enact the Prevention of Money Laundering Act which had criminal liability and this move emboldened the super-rich in salting their wealth abroad?

Domestic Black Money and Disclosure Scheme

  • Is it not true that the second round of domestic amnesty under the Income Declaration Scheme on payment of 45% was preceded by a massive amount of income tax notices (around 7 lac) to ensure its success?
  • Is it not true that most of the money declared under the domestic IDS was declaration made from the popular practice of laundering money on the stock market by claiming fictitious long term gains (with zero tax) from appreciation of penny stocks whose prices were manipulated by brokers on the stock market?
  • Is it not true that instead of proceeding with criminal charges on these brokers on price manipulations they are being rewarded by allowing them to get listed on NSE and the BSE so that they sell their shares at huge premium?

Existing sources of generation of black money like bribes etc. to continue:

  • Is it not true that most of the black money is generated from bribes, real estate transaction, capitation on education, over invoicing of costs, and proceeds from crime like drug trade, kidnapping, protection money, child trafficking, prostitution, smuggling, grant of mining leases through renewal of licenses, betting on outcome of cricket matches etc?
  • Is it not true that neither bribes or any of the above-mentioned activity can be conducted through white money and that white money must be converted into black to pay for bribes and the rest of the transactions mentioned above?
  • Is it not true that far from taking steps to prevent the future generation of black money changes in law has been proposed to encourage the generation of black money?

On legal steps taken to promote corruption

  • Is it not true that the government has done nothing to discourage corruption but on the other hand has taken steps to encourage it?
  • Is it not true that not even the initial steps have been taken for the appointment of Lokpal in the last two and a half years?
  • Is it not true that the public servants who were bound to declare their assets under the Lokpal Act have been given six extensions since 2014 to declare their assets and they too could have availed the benefit of the two income tax amnesty schemes to launder their loot stashed abroad and in India to legitimate assets through their close relatives?
  • Is it not true that amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act is proposed to dilute the Act and to liberalise the definition of Corruption?
  • Is it not true that undue benefits given to favored persons will not be considered corruption and prior permission from the government must be obtained to commence investigations against corrupt officials?
  • Is it not true that the key section of the PCA, 13(1) (c) and (d) under which most of the corrupt are charged is being deleted?

On black money in real estate:

  • Is it not true that the difference in taxation on investment made in stock market and investment made in real estate is one of the main reasons for investing black money in real estate?
  • Is it not true that while long-term gains on investment in shares has zero tax, there is a tax of twenty percent on long term gain in real estates?
  • Is it not true that long term gains in shares is defined as one year while it is defined as three years for real estate?
  • Is it not true that an additional 8% of stamp duty is to be borne by the buyer?
  • Is it not true that because of this disparity of 28% in taxation there is undervaluation and creation of black money in property deals as properties may not appreciate by a 28% in three years in addition to the reason of 30% bribes paid by builders to get clearances?

Black money in the education sector:

  • Is it not true that the discretionary management quota is responsible for the auction of seats in professional courses?
  • Is it not true apart from hefty under the table payments on discretionary quota admissions, in most cases of routine admission a coercive donation to the trust is a must?
  • Is it not true that the faithful have been allotted land by the States under BJP to profiteer by opening private educational institution?
  • Is it not true that the Government ensured that the common medical entrance test under NEET upheld by the Apex Court, was over-ruled to ensure that the private state medical colleges conduct another test?
  • Is it not true that private education is supposed to be not-for-profit organisation but nevertheless make massive profits through sub-contracting?

Why losses caused to the exchequer by the present government far more than the losses in the 2G and Coal Scam:

  • Is it not true that accusing the previous government of various scams is a favorite pastime of the present government whereas the truth is that far more losses has been caused to the public exchequer by the present government compared with the previous government?
  • Is it not true that several iron ore mines whose leases were expiring and should have been put to auction have been renewed and benefits of lacs of crores been given to these mine owners, the prominent one being Anil Agarwal of Sesa Goa/Strelite?
  • Is it not true the iron ore mine renewed to favour Anil Agarwal of Sterlite alone is worth more than one lac crore?
  • Is it not true that the lease for the oil fields like Panna, Mukta, Tapti which too is expiring and in which industrialists like Reliance and Essar have made billions of dollars are proposed to be renewed instead of the government resuming them? The benefit to Essar/RIL etc. is worth billions of dollars.
  • Is it not true the lease of the land based oil fields of Cairns Vedanta which produces oil at an operating cost of three dollars is also being proposed to be extended? This benefit would be worth four to five billions to Anil Agarwal’s company depending on the duration of extension and the price of crude and gas.
  • Is it not true that by these renewal of leases, the government is going to lose billions of dollars?
  • Is it not true that in the 2G scam, due to intervention of activists like Prashant Bhushan and Dr Swamy, the Hon’ble Court overturned the government decision and thus no losses took place when the auction took place? (It may be mentioned that the first FIR in the 2G scam was filed by the CBI on the complaint of the author of this article and finds a mention in the 2G judgment)
  • Is it not true that similarly the anticipated losses in the coal mine scam was salvaged by the decision of the Court ordering the subsequent auctioning of the mines?
  • Is it not true that the losses were prevented by the Hon’ble Court and activist litigants (Dr Swamy had not merged his party at the time) and that the BJP had no role to play in it?
  • Is it not true that the losses by renewal of leases of iron ore mine fields and oil-fields is/will be greater than the actual losses of the 2G and the coal scam?

Black money generated by over-invoicing:

  • Is it not true that despite seizure of records of massive over-invoicing of coal imports and power equipment of over Rs 45,000 crores by prominent industrial houses resulting in money laundering and generation of black money, no action is being taken against these industrial houses?
  • Is it not true that the case against Ravi Rishi, the manufacturer of left hand drive Tatra trucks being supplied to the Armed Forces accused of over invoicing of trucks for decades, by the former Chief of the Army and now a Minister, has been closed?
  • Is it not true that the government is losing almost every taxation and arbitration cases involving large corporation and in one case the AG, who had earlier appeared for the opposite side, also appeared for the State and lost the Rs 700 crore case with the order of the Apex Court stating: Delay condoned, dismissed?

Re: Black money from criminal activities to continue

  • Is it not true that there has been no campaign or crack down on the black money generated from the usual criminal trades like drug trafficking, kidnapping, protection money, child trafficking, prostitution, smuggling, betting on outcome of cricket matches etc?

On monumental mismanagement

  • Is it not true that when the announcement of demonetisation was made on 8/11/16, normalcy and a smooth transition was assured in three days over the weekend?
  • Is it not true that the government had thought that liquidity of 15 lac crores in Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes could be replaced with 2 lac crores of Rs 2000 notes and had not printed any new Rs 500 notes before the announcement?
  • Is it not true that the hoarding of smaller notes, due to shortage of liquidity ensued and this too was not anticipated by the decision-makers at RBI and the Ministry?
  • Is it not true that it was only after a national crisis was caused that the government decided to print and introduce the new Rs 500 notes immediately?
  • Is it not true that it will take at least six months to remonetise the economy given the capacity of the currency printing press?
  • Is it not true that most of the fake currency which is substantially higher that the government estimates too will be deposited without getting detected by the Banks and this may further boost the deposits to a higher figure that the notes outstanding?
  • Is it not true that the fake currency is printed by hostile government who have access to similar technology of note-printing and hence detection of fake is difficult?
  • Is it not true that the government decision of demonetising 15.44 lakhs crores of currency without any remonetisation plan in place was not only a monumental managerial failure but a monumental blunder?
  • Does not the country have a right to know as to who was responsible for the execution of the remonetisation of the 85% of the currency and why responsibility is not being fixed for causing untold hardship to the people of the country for no fault of theirs?

Implication of surgical strike against black money, collateral damage, loss of savings of the unbanked?

  • Was the freezing of the liquidity of the entire population without any alternative not a criminal act against those who needed money for financial emergencies, against the daily wage earner who remained unemployed and against those who are out of the banking system?
  • Was the surgical strike planned with the inputs of the experts, namely the economists, currency officials, re-monetisation experts or was this surgical strike the brain child of the ill-informed persons who did not know the fallouts of their decision?
  • Is it not true that due to lack of banking infrastructure, Ponzi companies like Sahara, Pearl and Saradha sprung up to provide them with door step service and the poor unbanked people deposited their hard-earned savings with them and lost them?
  • Is it not true that in spite Sahara depositing over 10,000 crores, the poor who have lost their life time savings have not received even Rs 100 crores of their deposits back and the government will appropriate the deposit of the poor unbanked people by claiming that it is unclaimed?
  • Is it not true that in spite of the unbanked persons in the rural arear losing thousands of crores to the ponzi companies no concerted efforts have been made to provide them banking services by opening larger number of rural branches?
  • If demonetisation was a surgical strike against the black money of the political opponents and tax evaders, then were not the rest of the citizens victims of the collateral damage?
  • Is it not true that the collateral damage involved more than 95% of the population and if so then as to whether this type of excesses is acceptable in a democracy?
  • Is it not true that this lack of liquidity is effecting those the most who are not serviced by banks, do not have a smart phone, are illiterate and technologically challenged?
  • Is not money a means to live and denial of access to one’s own money denial of right to Life which is a fundamental right?

On holding wealth in cash

  • Is it possible to distinguish which cash is black and which cash is white or which cash is savings of years or cash for transacting legal/illegal business?
  • Is it not easier to trace illegal assets like house property, gold, smuggled goods, investments on the stock market?
  • Is it compulsory to deposit one’s money in banks which are bankrupt (their net worth is less than the bad loans)?
  • Is it not true that there are many Indians who for various reasons do not deposit their savings in the Bank and hold in cash and cannot produce a record of the cash holding?
  • Is it not true if the Finance Minister can hold cash of 1.35 crores (return filed with election commission) then other citizens too can also have a high cash holding?
  • Does not the FM need to explain the necessity to hold such large amounts of cash in hand when there are all types of different digital modes of payment? Is this cash because of withdrawal from the Bank?
  • Is it not true that now you see the scheme failing, as the unscrupulous elements are taking advantage of the ambiguous nature of cash deposits that you are going against the people with a vengeance and frightening them with misuse of IT Act even on the small deposits of savings being made by the poor and the marginalised?

Motive of demonetisation to help the super-rich responsible for making the banks sick

  • Is it not true that the entire exercise of demonetisation was done with the motive of lowering the interest rate in order to keep on providing cheap loans to the large capitalist and to recapitalise the Banks to provide them with more loans?
  • Is it not true that the net worth of the Banks has been wiped out because of dubious loans to large business houses, who have been defaulting on the payment of their loans?
  • Is it not true that for every Rs 100 borrowed by the capitalist they must spend Rs 10 on bribes (party donation, administrative clearances, loan sanctions etc.) and divert another Rs 10 as promoter’s equity/or as his contribution for obtaining the loan/salted away leading to unviability of the project and the account becoming sick?
  • Is it not true that the NPAs (Non-Performing Assets) of the Bank are around Rs 8 lakh crores and that the actual net worth of some of the Banks is negative?
  • Is it not true that the Banks are turning sick by lending the money of the depositors to crony capitalists like Essar, Reliance and Adani, who in turn have been found to be converting the depositors’ money into black money through over-invoicing of imports.
  • Is it not true that the Banks’ imprudent lending has led to unrecoverable loans of over 8 lakh crores and this is going to be funded by the depositors and the and the tax payer?
  • Is it not true that this gap of eight lakh crores was sought to be partly filled up by the demonetised scheme in which it was estimated that atleast 3 lakh crores would not be deposited?
  • Is it not true that this money would have been used to recapitalise the Bank who would have the means to relend to the crony capitalist who in turn would create more black money for themselves, the political parties, and the bureaucracy?
  • Is it not true that the ADAG (Anil Ambani Reliance Group) alone owes 1.22 lac crores to the Banks, Adanis owe 0.96 lac crores, Essar 1.01 lac crores and are not in a position to even pay the mounting interest liability of around ten thousand crores.
  • Is it not true that these companies are also involved in massive over-invoicing of coal imports and power equipment of Rs 45,000 crores, resulting in money laundering and no action is being taken against them?
  • Is it not true that ADAG group entered into a tie-up with the French manufacturer of the Rafale jets the moment India signed a deal? Is it a mighty coincidence or evidence of crony capitalism?
  • Is it not true that no due diligence or security clearance has been done while involving the group in a critical area?
  • Is it not true that the $21 million Coal/Railway/Port project of Adanis in Australia which has full backing of the government and is to be funded by the SBI is also a manifestation of crony capitalism?
  • Is it not true that demonetisation is a devise to use the wealth and savings of the informal sector/labour/poor, the mid- sized trader/producer to subsidise the crony capitalist of the government through cheap loans which are to turn into NPA?

Quantum of black wealth in currency and demonetisation Ineffective:

  • Is it not true that only a small portion of wealth created through black money is in currency and this could not be more than 2% of the total black wealth in India and abroad?
  • Is it not true that most of the big fish having large amounts of demonetised black currency have managed to convert them into legitimate assets by discounting it in the market and this too has generated more of black money to the persons concerned?
  • Is it not true that the losses due to fall in GDP, unemployment, foregone consumption, fall in the stock market index, withdrawal of foreign investment which are directly attributable to the demonetisation is far greater than any gain that may accrue?
  • Is there not a strong possibility that more money will be surrendered than the 15.44 lakh crore outstanding on account of gross underestimation of counterfeit currency which will go undetected?

Better methods of increasing government revenue:

  • Will the government impose 20% tax on long term capital gains on shares as against nil presently and bring it on par with the capital gains on real estate, to boost the government revenue by thousands of crores if not a lac crore each year?
  • Will the government give informers on Income Tax evasion parity with the informers on Central excise, customs and service tax evaders?
  • Is it not true that while 10%-20% of tax recovered along with interest and penalty can be paid to informers without any ceiling in case of evasion under the CBEC, in case of informers of Income Tax it is subject to a maximum ceiling of Rs 10 lacs to an informer and the total reward paid by Income Tax to informers in a single year is maximum of 3 crores which means that only Rs 30 crores of tax is recovered through the informer channel as against the seven lac crore of Income Tax collected?
  • Is it not more logical to announce that reward of 10% without limit will be paid to informers, give wide publicity to the scheme, ensure its implementation through a separate authority supervised by an ex-Supreme Court Judge to ensure that black money on which tax is being evaded is eliminated as the mere the threat of being informed will act as a deterrent?
  • Is it not true that substantial revenue is lost by the government due to SEBI and stock exchanges colluding with the delinquent corporates?
  • Is it not true that neither the government nor SEBI is willing to investigate the price manipulation and insider trading by RIL in which Rs 3500 crores was made illegally and on which three times penalty can be levied?
  • Is it not true that in another case SEBI gave a largesse of over Rs. 650 crores to the erstwhile owners of Bank of Rajasthan group by letting them off with a petty fine of only Rs 30 crores, in spite of a complaint pending with you on corruption?
  • Is it not true that it was only after the constitution of the SIT that the money-laundering on the stock exchange going on for decades through the bogus long term gain was checked?
  • Is it not true that lacs of crores have been laundered through this route?
  • Is it not true that the government is unwilling to disclose the name of the persons who have disclosed their black-money in the amnesty scheme or those who are major defaulters with the Bank?

The Finance Minister

  • Is it not true that being the lawyer of first choice in appearing against PILs while practising as a senior counsel has in some ways made the FM insensitive to public suffering? Is it not true that FM brings the same passion in arguing in favour of grossly mismanaged demonetisation which is not public interest?
  • Is it not true that the presumptive tax introduced by the FM in the last budget for which no accounts has to be kept on a 2-crore trade for 8% profit and 50% profit on Rs 50 lacs income of professionals is a loophole to launder money and to generate further black money?
  • Is it not true that as an opposition MP (not LOP) the FM was appearing in Court and earning substantial fees while Parliament was in session, a practice carried on by many senior counsels who are members of the Parliament?
  • Is not true that life is not an argument which has to be won, and if blunders have been made then it is better to admit and re-work the policy rather than stick it out and make people suffer further?
  • Is it not true that the government being vindictive and using all legal means to terrorize the people of this country after the failure of the demonetisation scheme?
  • Is it true that scheme is causing far more suffering than was caused during EMERGENCY?
  • Will this monumental blunder of demonetisation be the EPITAPH of the government?

(Arun Agrawal is the author of the book Reliance: The Real Natwar. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)

Know the anti-nationals

BY RSN SINGH

When the incident of anti-India sloganeering in JNU assaulted Indian hearts, this author on the following day was in various television studios debating the incident with the principal villains. The next two days, entire India watched the brazen contempt for the sensibilities and symbols of Indian nationhood displayed by these characters, which included Kanhaiya Kumar and Omar.

The video clips were screened repeatedly in presence of these characters and their comments were elicited. Not one of them during that period said that the videos were doctored. Instead they tried to justify all the anti-India slogans based on specious intellectual arguments. It may be mentioned that the same intellectualism has not been displayed by them in completing their course in the time-frame as stipulated for any decent student with less than average mental faculties.

Ironically, this entire accumulated filth of JNU was being exposed at a time when an Indian soldier who had been buried under an avalanche for six days in Siachen was rescued and was battling with death in the Army hospital in Delhi.

All the so-called JNU leaders harped on nationalism being an outdated concept and maintained that the law on sedition is colonial and therefore undesirable. Not one of these leaders disassociated or apologized for the anti-India slogans. Not one of them disowned the video recordings. Each one of them aggressively argued that it was a matter of ‘freedom of speech’, which is guaranteed by the Constitution.

They invoked Baba Sahib Ambedkar in this regard. Even as they flaunted their ultra-leftist and jihadi ideology, they forgot or their teachers or political masters never told them what Ambedkar had to say about the Indian Communists and the Constitution. Dr. Ambedkar had said:

“The Communist Party want a Constitution based upon the principle of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. They condemn the Constitution because it is based upon parliamentary democracy. The Socialists want two things. The first thing they want is that if they come in power, the Constitution must give them the freedom to nationalize or socialize all private property without payment of compensation. The second thing that the Socialists want is that the Fundamental Rights mentioned in the Constitution must be absolute and without any limitations so that if their Party fails to come into power, they would have the unfettered freedom not merely to criticize, but also to overthrow the State.”

Only when the Indian State swung into action in JNU, the narrative began to change. A prominent journalist hounded from the top position of a media house and now a refugee in another channel went to JNU and plotted the future script to subvert public perception. Lawyers thriving on Maoist extortion money camped in the campus to find out ways to wriggle out of the legal tangle. It is then that the entire episode of ‘doctored video’ began to be aired. The journalist has been visiting JNU regularly since then at unearthly hours. It may be reminded that as far as this pseudo-intellectual segment of the JNU is concerned; the drug induced intellectual life manifest at these hours. These are drugs pressed in by Pakistan into some of the Indian campuses.

Another journalist painstakingly tried to give a scientific twist to the doctored video theory without the benefit of juxtaposition with the ‘original’, because there was no such ‘original’. This journalist needs to explain whether the Jadavpur University video in resonance to the JNU affair was also doctored?

Then there were teachers from the JNU who tried to give an intellectual twist to the whole anti-national discourse. They spoke about the prevailing liberalism in other countries like USA, UK and other Western countries. When reminded that France has declared emergency just after one attack and the Indian who wrote ‘I will kill George Bush’ on the internet still languishes in prison or a rally in favour of Osama bin Laden was a certain passport to US prison; these shameless purveyors of anti-national ideology had no answer.

Among the apologists for the JNU anti-nationals were also some journalists and some public figures, whose parents had the interiority complex of buying education in Oxford and Cambridge. These fellows ranted about the great ‘freedom of speech’ and spirit of public debate in the universities of UK.

These apologists for anti-India slogans, half-educated in US and UK must understand the respective geostrategic location and geopolitical environment of these two countries. The USA has a very benign geopolitical environment with Canada in the North, Mexico in the South, Atlantic in the East and Pacific in the West. Similarly, UK being an Island nation lives in splendid geopolitical isolation as far as threat perception from neighbours is concerned. Therefore, both US and UK, which do not have the challenge of nation-building, can afford to have universities and educational institutions that can propagate various ideologies in pursuance of their global agenda. So, UK can afford to host the Headquarters of all the sinister organizations of the world like the Kashmiri separatists, the LTTE, the Khalistanis etc.

India, on the other hand, has one of the most hostile neighbourhood in the world. It nearly shares 3440 km boundary with China, which is communist and is reckoned as the second most powerful country after US. It also shares nearly 3310 km boundary with Pakistan – a country known as the epicenter of global jihad and terrorism. It also shares 1643 km borders with Myanmar, and large chunks of this border have been impacted by insurgency and instability. The 4096 km Indian boundary with Bangladesh is buffeted by inexorable demographic assault, and fundamentalist Islamic forces. As long as the British ruled India the external environment was relatively benign. There was no Pakistan and Bangladesh, there was the buffer state of Tibet between India and China, and China had not been taken over by the Communists. Nevertheless, some Indians from the privileged class went to the British Universities and learnt their lessons in Communism and concept of Pakistan before Independence. Sadly, these anti-nationals and their children continue to destroy India by the means of same ideologies.

What India recently witnessed in JNU and Jadavpur University is the confluence of Pakistan sponsored jihadi agenda and China sponsored Communist/Maoists agenda along with the anti-India elements in the Northeast. Sample the anti-national slogans made in JNU and Jadavpur University, and the reader will reach this ineluctable conclusion.

The modern jihad was reinvented to kill the Soviet ideology, i.e. Communism in Afghanistan. But it is here in JNU that the Communists have entered into an intellectual partnership with Jihadis.

The JNU has been serving as the nerve center for meeting of anti-India forces being sponsored from Pakistan in the West, China in the East and Northeast, and then giving them the impetus into the nooks and corners of the country. This author has met several JNU graduates working in remote areas for propagation of Maoist ideology in the disguise of NGOs ostensibly engaged in issues concerning health and education. Binayak Sen is one of them. His arrest in 2007 had created an unprecedented upheaval in the anti-national segment whose ripples could be felt in the highest corridors of power. India did not witness such breast-beating even during the arrest of Mrs Indira Gandhi in 1977. Clearly Binayak Sen was an essential part of the entire ultra-leftist anti-national machinery, enjoying the patronage of the then National Advisory Council. He, a medical graduate, too had honed his anti-national skills at the JNU.

Way back in 1996, a JNU professor had written to the authorities about the campus being used to harbor anti-nationals and conceal weapons by the ultra-leftists. The problem therefore has been festering, something well known and understood which has found reflection in more than one film. The backers of this anti-national agenda however were so sophisticated that they could befool most Indians by their duplicity couched in suavity and English language.

This class always advocates healthy debates because that is what suits them, as they have captured most of the media, think-tanks and intellectual platforms. They practiced their art of anti-nationalism with such finesse that even when they were caught with the pants down in ‘Radia tapes’ or in fabricating ‘coup stories’ or ‘Hindu Terror’, their moment of ignominy did not last beyond few months. This class has however ensured that those voices who speak for the security and unity of India are vilified because they do not have the same levels of duplicitous reach within and outside the country.

Within that veneer of liberalism of these anti-nationals, there resides a vicious and criminal intent, ideology and mindset. The manipulations of this class comprising intellectuals, journalists, so-called students, academicians have ensured that one-third of the country is under Maoist terror, and India never gets a respite from proxy war from Pakistan and China. Their design is to kill India socially, economically and eventually physically. Kanahiya when released on bail after damning strictures from the judiciary was given the treatment of an Olympics gold medalist. He was emboldened to sermon on many issues including armed forces through which he tried to drive a wedge between officers and men. This was in the wake of martyrdom of two young officers in Kashmir Valley. Amongst those whose lives these officers saved was the son of militant leader Syed Salahuddin, whose enjoys support of leftists in JNU.

The benefactors in the media and the academia cheered not realizing that about 60 percent officers in the Armed Forces are sons of jawans and JCOs. It did not occur to the anti-nationals that the 76 CRPF personnel killed in Dantewada by the Maoists, which was celebrated by Kanhaiya’s comrades, were also sons of ‘farmers’ whose cause they claim to espouse. No television channel then blanked out its screen in protest.

How diabolical that at one hand you celebrate killing of security personnel and on the other hand you accuse the state for a death wherein suicide note states that it is for personal reasons.

These anti-nationals have so far dominated the discourse, because most Indians who love their mothers and motherland never felt the need for debates and discussions on issues of nationalism, which in absence of subversion by JNU or Western Universities or Pakistan and China – remains intrinsic to their character.

The anti-nationals are now behaving as if their tails are on fire. Their zombie like conduct in the media and in public space is because their nerve center of anti-India agenda has been hit. As a desperate resort, they have created a student spearhead, who with all his intellectualism enjoys the hospitality of JNU and the State for a period in which at least three of his poor Indian brethren would have benefited and graduated.

To begin with these anti-nationals harped on ‘freedom of speech’ in the JNU affair. Then they moved to the next level, i.e. what is the proof? Consequently, they embarked on ‘doctored video’ theme. Then they said who will decide, who is anti-national and national? They insisted that it is for the judiciary to decide. When the judiciary made a scathing observation about the anti-national character of the entire episode, they began to question the judiciary through the overground Maoist lawyers, whose identities are well known.

The time has come to show the mirror of these anti-national and criminal elements to the Indian people.

(RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research & Analysis Wing. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, he is also a Guest Blogger with Canary Trap. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)

Kanhaiya Kumar and Azadi

BY AMAN LEKHI

How long can one remain a “student”? How good is an institution if a student cannot pass out of it? And who is qualified to lecture on life or the country?

I was curious to know about the student Kanhaiya Kumar. It seems, according to his Wikipedia page, he finished school in 2002 which should make him atleast 31 years old today. The page mentions that thereafter “he moved to Patna and joined College of Commerce” without mentioning the year of joining or completion. I came across an article in The Telegraph (February 19, 2016) which mentioned that he was an undergraduate student at the college between 2003-2007. I will ignore the gap of one year between finishing school and commencing the undergraduate course and also its completion taking a year longer but his Wikipedia Page says “he moved to Delhi and joined JNU” without mentioning the year he so did but mentions “he became President in 2015”.

It has been nine years since he finished graduation (which was after a break of a year and took a year longer than usual) and he is nowhere near completing his PhD. It was in the eight year of his undertaking the PhD course – three years more than the maximum it should take to complete the PhD –  that he became the President of the Student Union perhaps because he found studying pointless by then. The PhD itself, incidentally, is not Centre for Political Studies (which deals with subjects of multiculturalism, federalism and social justice) but “African Studies”! The JNU site of Centre for African Studies says that it provides funding support to faculty for field visits to Africa and supports academic activities like research seminars, and publications. It is not known whether Kanhaiya ever visited Africa or he organised any seminars on African studies but the Delhi High Court Order releasing him on interim bail records that he resented cancellation of a program ‘Against the judicial killing of Afzal Guru & Maqbool Bhatt’ the permission for which was applied by Umar Khalid on the proforma (believe it or not) for ‘Poetry Reading – The Country Without A Post Office’.

In his speech on release Kanhaiya is reported to have said, “Let me just say it is not easy to get admission in JNU neither it is easy to silence those in JNU.” What he omitted to mention was the fact those admitted do not find it easy to leave the institute much like Kanhaiya who stays there in his ninth year, remaining a student in his thirty first year trying to complete a course with which he has shown no affinity (despite the “difficulty” in getting admission) even four years beyond the maximum time taken to complete it.

Bravado in a place of comfort (he chooses not to leave JNU) without proven accomplishment in the discipline undertaken (he has proven incapacity in African Studies) and an abject failure to make an honest living (not every Indian enjoys the luxury of an indefinite education and most need to settle soon into a livelihood to sustain themselves) shows only an empty pursuit of ambition and a selfish misuse of position making not only a mockery of education but entailing in addition the lampooning of livelihood something which will not behove any responsible individual.

Kanhaiya is least competent to lecture anyone on life or country. It is not the best way to live life if one inexplicably remains a “student” till 31. And such a person definitely does not live like an ordinary honest Indian  (education for whom is an opportunity which is respected) whose cause he claims to espouse. It is easy to advocate action. It is deliberation that is difficult. Before lecturing us did he deliberate on his condition – a thirty one year old student! And while mentioning the targeting of JNU did he wonder why so prestigious a university could not make him complete his course in time?

And then ofcourse the stirring love for country. Azadi “within” the country is battle cry. Who but Kanhaiya will know about it. It is the freedom to remain a student for ever, the freedom never to leave the University, the freedom not to complete courses but spend time making speeches, the freedom never to work, the freedom to merely speak, the freedom to be a demagogue or a soap-box orator, the freedom to rouse emotions and stir hysteria and the freedom to denounce punishments lawfully administered as “judicial killings” under the guise of “poetry reading”, the freedom to replace Kanhaiyaism for all other isms!

Kanhaiya is definitely not the role model for the bearer of national standards and in fact epitomises the very wrongs in the system which are stymieing it.

(Aman Lekhi is a senior advocate and practices in the Supreme Court of India. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)

The other fringe elements of India

BY RSN SINGH

There are so-called fringe elements in every free society, free and liberal country. To be possessed, freedom and liberalism must be regulated; otherwise it may yield to anarchy. Even the judiciary in India has justifiably, sought to partially insulate itself by the provision of ‘contempt of court’.

Assault on Indian Constitution

The makers of the Indian Constitution were so conscious about liberalism that they even did not prescribe any ‘ism’ while adopting multi-party democracy. Dr BR Ambedkar, when suggested to add ‘socialism’ in the preamble to the Constitution, had said during the Constituent Assembly debate that:

“…If you state in the Constitution that the social organisation of the State shall take a particular form, you are, in my judgment, taking away the liberty of the people to decide what should be the social organisation in which they wish to live. It is perfectly possible today, for the majority people to hold that the socialist organisation of society is better than the capitalist organisation of society. But it would be perfectly possible for thinking people to devise some other form of social organisation which might be better than the socialist organisation of today or of tomorrow. I do not see therefore why the Constitution should tie down the people to live in a particular form and not leave it to the people themselves to decide it for themselves….” 

For the same reason, the word ‘Secular’ also did not feature in the Constitution, as it was taken as intrinsic to the religious ethos of the majority community of the new nation-state. On the other hand, those who did not believe in it asked for Pakistan and were rewarded. The compulsions for moving away from India were best summed up by Iqbal. In a speech he emphasized that unlike Christianity, Islam had its own ‘legal concepts’ with civic significance and with ‘religious ideals’, inseparable from ‘social order’. He further said that “…the construction of a policy on national lines, if it means a displacement of the Islamic principle of solidarity, is simply unthinkable to a Muslim.” Therefore for Iqbal political unity of Muslims was not enough. Muslim societies even if united could not blend with a society not based on Islamic principles.

A nation-state is based in various measures on geographical unity, cultural unity, linguistic unity, social unity, historical unity, and of course religious unity. Given the mélange of these in the Indian context, it was felt that a civilizational country like India was inherently secular and undue emphasis on any terminology in this regard would be provocative and counterproductive.

Nevertheless, Dr BR Ambedkar’s intellect was assaulted in 1976 during Emergency, when a scared and subverted parliament introduced the 42nd Amendment Bill and introduced the words ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’ into the Preamble.

Weapons to bleed India

Ever since then the Leftists in India have used these two terms ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’ to wreck India from within. The pioneers amongst these Leftists were trained and subverted mainly in Cambridge and Oxford, wherein their intellectually perverted mentors had mastered the art of subversion. Their intellectual forefathers were James Mills and Charles Grant, who in 1808 were appointed to write history of India, who consciously did not visit India, lest they got influenced.

Their leftist progeny in India belonged to the same English speaking class, who post-independence India, were on the fringe of the society but began to dictate the national discourse.

Gradually, apart from universities, it is these fringe elements that occupied the so-called creative and intellectual spaces in Bollywood, parallel cinema, theatre and in the art of subverted writing. None of these so-called creative people have done one pioneering work, which has reduced our technological dependence on the West and alleviated or elevated the state of the people of India. All that they have done is to peddle falsehood through stories, plays, films and novels.

India must salvage UK and US

A sizeable number of these people form part of NGOs engaged in ‘derailing India’ at every level. Many of these have been banned and that is why they are now insidiously on an overdrive to malign the Indian state. They have no qualms about abusing their motherland for benefit of foreigners. These anti-nationals and their benefactors in the Western countries need to answer as to why UK continues to be an uncivilized country in the sense that it has been sheltering the most dreaded criminal and inhuman organizations of the world, like the Khalistanis, JKLF, LTTE, Naga insurgents, Mizo insurgents, Maoists etc. Most of these terrorist organizations, criminal outfits including Dawood’s D-Gang have footprints in London. It is a huge financial windfall for UK.

These so-called intellectuals should also answer that despite all the ‘liberalism’ and ‘tolerance’, why the British Muslims are joining ISIS in such large numbers. Currently, our Prime Minister is on a visit to UK. Indian journalists accompanying him should ask the UK authorities to respond to the news about a Maoist cult leader Arvind Balakrishnan having raped several women followers over several years by brainwashing and intimidating them. He kept his daughter imprison for last 30 years. This Maoist leader perpetrated the rape in the name of destroying ‘fascist-state’. This activity and excuse is not alien to the leaders in India’s Red-Corridor. It is also not alien to their overground cadres, who speak English and masquerade as ‘Intellectuals’.

Had this happened in India and not London, imagine the contrived public discourse in India and internationally. Imagine also the upheaval in India if the Prime Minister had declared something as did David Cameron: “Yes, we are a nation that embraces, welcomes and accepts all faiths …But we are still a Christian country”.

This author is pained at the human rights abuses in the US. I implore the Leftists – so-called intellectuals, to share my concern. I am anguished at the fact that one out of every three women in US is raped. I am deeply anguished about the ugly and wide-spread phenomenon of rape of step daughters by their fathers in US. Since 2013, nearly a thousand cases of mass shootings have taken place in US, more than 300 in this very year. In some of these shootings, the worst kind of intolerance was witnessed; victims were segregated, and spared or killed as per their religion. So let us as Indians work together in disabusing these countries of barbarism and human rights abuses.

Dawood’s tryst with intellectuals

Many of these so-called intellectuals and creative people have been on the payroll of Dawood Ibrahim. Some of them from the Bollywood have been performing for Dawood’s entertainment in Dubai and elsewhere, since the 1993 blasts in Mumbai. It comprised actors, actresses, singers, musicians and directors. Readers can view these clips on YouTube. In fact, one of the performers went on to become a Member of Parliament. The entire network of Dawood amongst these white-collared criminals was exposed during the run-up to the hanging of Yakub Memon. This network apart from Bollywood, extended to journalists, lawyers and social activists.

Whenever characters like Arundhati Roy (the one book wonder) smell an opportunity to harm India, they become intellectually very prolific. She and the intellectuals of her ilk have been painstakingly trying to put all the anti-national elements on one platform like the Hurriyat, the Maoists, and the insurgent groups of Northeast, that too brazenly in Delhi.

Girish Karnard’s exemplary tolerance

Girish Karnard’s ‘tolerance’ was at its best when he abused the Nobel Prize Laureate VS Naipaul during a function in November 2012 in India. Karnard behaved like a street ‘goonda’. The festival director Anil Dharker said: “We were all taken aback by Girish Karnard’s attack on VS Naipaul. After all, we had invited him to speak about his journey in theatre and Mr Naipaul had nothing to do with that. Even the packed audience had come to listen to Mr Karnard talk about theatre… I am all for free speech, but free speech presupposes a dialogue.” Karnard abused Naipaul for being ‘anti-Muslim’, little knowing that he was married to a Muslim (Nadira) and her two children were being brought up as Muslims.

But then subverted people like Karnard seldom read what does not conform to their anti-national ideology. His play ‘Dreams of Tipu Sultan’ written in Persian by Tipu himself was translated by a British Major. In the entire document, there are numerous derogatory references to Hindus and Christians. It is the same Tipu, who invited the Afghan King Jamal Shah and the Caliph of Turkey to invade India. It is the same Tipu, who in 1796 burnt the entire literary and scientific treasure of the Mysore Palace, which included invaluable ‘Palm leaf manuscripts’. The evidence of linguistic intolerance of Tipu Sultan persists even today, like the Muslims of Malabar and Muslims of Tamil Nadu, who speak Malayalam and Tamil respectively, the Muslims of Karnataka do not communicate in Kannada but in Urdu.

I am sure Girish Karnard does not find the Portuguese traveler Father Barthoelomeo also a religious fanatic, who in his book, ‘Voyage to East Indies’ has the following to write about Tipu:

“First, corps of 30,000 barbarians, who butchered everybody on the way – followed by Field Gun Unit under French Commander M Lally – Tipu was riding on an elephant with another Army of 30,000 soldiers. Most men and women were hanged with their children tied to necks of their mothers. The barbarian Tipu Sultan tied naked Christians and Hindus to legs of elephants to move around till the bodies of victims were torn to pieces.”

Who are Anti-Nationals?

The litmus test for differentiating between an anti-national and a well-meaning activist is that the latter will talk of reconciliation, development, will highlight weaknesses and suggest ways to overcome them, will applaud the good efforts of the State, will create institutions and will develop local talent and leadership rather than trying to garner all the publicity and media attention.

Unfortunately, most activists who have been in the news in the recent times seem to belong to the category of enemies of India, certainly at the behest of inimical agencies and countries.

They are anti-nationals because they do not believe in the liberal Indian system and are propagating the violent cause of the Maoists to turn India into a totalitarian state. They are anti-national because they are trying to push the Kashmiris into the folds of totalitarian and fundamentalist state like Pakistan. They are anti-national because their current stance on Kashmir has been designed to detract the growing Chinese occupation of Gilgit-Baltistan. They are anti-nationals because they are engaged in linking all anti-India groups, so that the leverage on each-others expertise in violence and terror.

Conclusion

India knows the real face of these activists. There are many who advise that the best course is to ignore these activists. How can one possibly ignore them when a segment of mainstream media devotes half their space for writings by such anti-nationals?

(RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research & Analysis Wing. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, he is also a Guest Blogger with Canary Trap. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)

Calling the Pro-Pakistan Kashmiri bluff

BY RSN SINGH

final Kashmir Map

The deceit of Kashmiri leaders and separatists in the Kashmir Valley, rooting for Pakistan, has acquired outrageous proportions. These elements largely belong to five districts in Kashmir Valley and constitute not more than 15 percent of the Sunni population. These include pro-Pakistan manipulators like Yasin Malik, Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, Shabir Shah, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Asiya Andrabi, and some politicians from the Valley centric political parties. The pro-Pakistan machinations of these politicians, circumvents public scrutiny because of their art of duplicity, mastered over the years. Beguiling both Delhi and Islamabad, their forked tongue articulations has kept the Kashmir pot boiling. It is not uncommon for the father to speak in favour of Pakistan and separatists, even as the political heirs, son or daughter, adopt the contrary stance and vice-versa. For some 60 families in the Valley, the industry of ‘Kashmir Problem’ is a huge financial windfall.

The map above exposes the geographical and sociological fallacy of the anti-India and pro-Pak industry in the Kashmir Valley.

Hijacking of Jammu and Kashmir

The map above reflects the reality of Jammu and Kashmir, Indian and Pakistan Occupied territories combined. This reality has all along been ignored or misinterpreted by vested interests. Out of the total area of 2,22,236 Sq.Km, the area presently held with India is approximately one lac Sq Km. The various regions within the Indian territory, as part of the total, measure as follows:

Map Reference Region Area (Sq.Km) Percentage
(1) Ladakh 45,110 20.3
(2) Kargil 14,036 6.3
(6) Kashmir Valley 15,948 7.2
(4) Jammu 26,293 11.8

Note: The regions have been divided and numbered for ease of understanding of geographical and demographic character. They do not strictly follow geographical and political demarcations. In the Kashmir Valley, Badgam has been shown as separate entity because of its Shia majority. The upper reaches of Kupwara district are inhabited by Gujjars/Bakkarwals/Pahari Muslims (3). The areas of Poonch, Rajouri have also been indicated under Reference (3), as they too have majority comprising Gujjars/Bakkarwals/Pahari Muslims/Hindu/Sikhs and others. Parts of Doda have been included in Reference (4), as more than 40 percent population is of Hindus and majority of rest being again Gujjars/Bakkarwals/Pahari Muslims. The percentages of various regions as indicated are approximate guidelines purely for purposes of analysis.

From the Map it is evident that within the overall territory of J&K, the Kashmir Valley constitutes less than 10 percent of area, overwhelmingly inhabited by Sunni Muslims. In the East, it is impacted by Gujjars/Bakkarwals/Pahari Muslims of Doda region and further East by a huge mass of Shia majority Kargil. Beyond Kargil in the East, is Buddhist Ladakh, which when combined with Aksai Chin is the largest geographical entity of J&K. In the South it is impacted by Hindu majority Jammu and Doda region. In the Southwest of Kashmir Valley are the regions of Poonch and Rajouri, where Gujjars/Bakkarwals/Pahari Muslims/Hindus/Sikhs are in majority. In Kupwara, Baramulla and the higher reaches in the North, are areas dominated by Gujjars/Bakkarwals/Pahari Muslims. Further North is the Shia majority area of Gilgit-Baltistan, gobbled by Pakistan.

From the map therefore, it can be averred that the Kashmir Valley (135 km long and 32 km wide), constituting less than 10 percent of the area, is circumscribed demographically by Gujjars/Bakkarwals/Pahari Muslims, Shias, Hindus, Sikhs and further beyond, Buddhists. These religious and ethnic communities are devout Indians and are repelled by the idea of Pakistan. Geographically almost 90 percent of Jammu and Kashmir weighs on the Kashmir Valley. Yet, it is the Sunni Kashmiris, who have been dominating the J&K discourse. In debates on all television channels there is no or little representation from the other four larger entities.

It is a geographical truism, that larger and elevated landmass determine the ecological wealth of valleys and the plains, and sustain much large and dense populations. Compared to the Kashmiris, the inhabitants of the elevated regions of Ladakh and Kargil, and Pir Panjal range have as much, if not higher stakes in the J&K discourse, as in the Kashmir Valley.

Even in financial terms the mountains and hills are a bonanza for the state apparatus dominated by Kashmiris. About two million people visit Amarnath every year. On the other hand, every year, Vaishno Devi attracts 10 million pilgrims. The past religious umbilical with the Indian mainland serves the Kashmiri Muslims in many ways.

Border Sensitivities

The map also depicts the manner in which the Kashmir Valley is circumscribed by the people of Gujjars/Bakkarwals/Pahari extraction on higher reaches, and non – Sunni Kashmiri majority regions of Jammu, Poonch, Rajouri, Kargil and Ladakh regions. They are defenders of their motherland. In all wars with Pakistan the Gujjars and Paharis have served as eyes and ears of India. Jihadism emanating from Pakistan has been spurned by them, but embraced by the Sunnis of Kashmir. It is these people, who face the depredations and difficulties of living on the border. People living in the Valley are immune to these difficulties. Unencumbered by hostile borders and tough livelihood, the 60 odd families of the Valley enjoy the bounties of India in terms of indulgence and development.

The Christian missionary schools and other educational institutions have ensured that most people with articulation skills in English to be concentrated in the Valley. Probably apart from India, the bounties of nature, Pakistan and ISI have made some of them self-serving indolent anti-nationals. In the Valley these are essentially centered around the districts of Srinagar, Pulwama, Anantnag, and lower reaches of Kupwara and Baramula.

These are the people who scream about their border sensitivity even as people of other extractions suffer on the border areas, both on the Line-of-Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB), i.e. 1,216 km (of which 790 Km run along the LoC). Once the militants sneak through the higher reaches and descend into the Valley, they enjoy the hospitality industry created for promotion of jihadi terror not only in J&K but whole of India. Every major terrorist attack in India, including 26/11 had Kashmiri footprints. The separatists of the Kashmir Valley are oblivious about the people of Ladakh and the 1750 Km border with China they have to contend with, in terms of threat and harsh environment. When most Kashmiris talk about their being border sensitive state, their horizon is limited to only a small part of PoK which very naturally discounts Gilgit-Baltistan.

Gilgit-Baltistan – a forgotten territory

The area of Gilgit-Baltistan has never figured in the J&K discourse in India by the self-appropriated Kashmiri spokesmen. It did not matter to the Kashmiri leaders when in 1949 the region was incorporated into Pakistan by way of Karachi Accord. No tears were shed when 80 percent of the PoK was hived off. No Kashmiri politician even moaned when in 1963 Pakistan ceded 5180 sq km of this territory to China. Even now there is no concern about the heavy presence of Chinese in the region, and the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor that has the potential to permanently alter the discourse of geography and sociology. As per reports China is investing $100 billion in Gilgit-Baltistan, $18 billion on tunnels alone. The announcement by Chinese President about Silk Route connecting Pakistan with Central Asia has disconcerted them, rather than enthused. People in the region continue to clamour for constitutional rights. The elections held under the GIilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self Government Order of 2009 in June this year have not assuaged their political aspirations. Politicians and Hurriyat leaders in Kashmir could hardly be bothered!

J&K politics dominated by Sunnis of Kashmir have been completely insensitive to the pains and aspirations of Shias of the state. It is ironic that whenever there is talk of people to people contact, there is not even a faint mention about the desirability of connect between people of Gilgit-Baltistan and Kargil region. It appears that there is tacit gifting of Gilgit-Baltistan to Pakistan, the same Pakistan which till 2005 designated the region as ‘Northern Areas’ and directly ruled it from Islamabad till 2009, as if it was an area without soul ‘for the military and by the military.’

This lack of sensibility to Gilgit-Baltistan seems to extend to the Indian establishment as well. Kargil conflict was perhaps the result of acceptance that nothing could be done to salvage the region from Pakistan. They thought it was fait accompli. This attitude or approach impaired our defence preparedness and Musharraf took advantage of it.

There are several reports to suggest that there is a concerted attempt by the Pakistani establishment to reduce the Shias to minority in Gilgit-Baltistan. Sunnis have been given lucrative jobs to settle in the region as incentives. The Northern Light Infantry is being increasingly being manned by non-locals. The International Crisis Group report says: “Since 2001, Shia resentment over inclusion of Sunni religious rituals and perceived anti-Shia basis in text books in public school has resulted in school boycotts and occasional clashes and curfews.”

Pakistan’s treachery in not claiming the bodies of the soldiers of Northern Light Infantry, just because they were Shias belonging to the Gilgit-Baltistan region, did not stir the conscience of pro-Pakistan elements in the Kashmir Valley.

Kashmiris have no linkages with PoK (less Gilgit-Baltistan)

The map indicates the area of what remains part of the PoK in Pakistan which it refers to as Azad or Independent. When Raza Mumtaz Hussain Rathore dared to take up issues concerning Gilgit-Baltistan, his PPP government was ousted by Nawaz Sharif in 1991. Then Islamabad blatantly rigged the elections later that year. Sacking of governments in PoK is notoriously usual feature. Between 1953 and 1962, three governments were sacked. In 1964, the first President of Azad Kashmir was sacked because he wanted a separate Indus Water deal with mainland Pakistan. In 1974, ZA Bhutto sacked the Qyaoom government and in 1977 Zia dissolved legislative assembly and established military rule. Even now the main center of power is not the Azad Kashmir government, but the Kashmir Council in Islamabad. Where is the ‘Azadi’ then, in PoK or the Kashmir Valley? The pro-Pak Kashmiris need to answer.

This tail to Gilgit-Baltistan is 400 km long and 16-32 km in width. The ten districts of PoK i.e. Bhimber, Mirpur, Kotli, Sudhonti, Poonch, Bagh, Muzzafarabad, and Neelam have negligible Kashmiri population. While the South PoK has distinct Punjab influence, North PoK has half-a-dozen different languages, i.e. Pahari, Mirpuri, Gojri, Hindko, Punjabi and Pashto.

The biggest lie that has been peddled by the pro-Pakistan Kashmiris in India is about their affinity with the people in the PoK. It is reiterated that there is absolutely no affinity, linguistic or cultural, between the people of Kashmir Valley and the PoK. The affinity is actually shared by the Gujjar and Pahari Muslims, who reside in the upper reaches of J&K along the border and the LoC. It is these people, who have been most affected by the Indo-Pak hostilities and division of J&K. While the Kashmiris of the Valley have been most vocal about cross-border linkages, they have minimally used the bus service between Srinagar – Muzaffarabad and Poonch (India) – Rawalkote. It is the Gujjars and the Paharis who have been enthusiastically availing the facilities. Therefore, there is a formidable physical, social, cultural and linguistic wall between the Kashmiris and the PoK. It may also be mentioned that as per the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, Gujjars constitute 20 percent population of J&K. Since 2002, Gujjars and Bakkarwals have been demanding a separate state, Gujristan. As per one estimate, the Gujjars influence 20 of 87 assembly constituencies.

A large number of people of PoK extraction have been forced to migrate to Britain because of poor economic prospects. This includes a large number of Mirpuris, who had displaced after the construction of the Mangla dam in the 60s. Over 280 villages and the towns of Mirpur and Dadyal were submerged and over 110,000 people were displaced. As per an estimate, nearly 8,00,000 Mirpuris constitute 70 percent of British-Pakistani community. There is no such parallel in the J&K.

Islamabad has sought to change the demography of PoK by settling nearly 30,000 Afghan families. This is a clear pattern in Pakistan to settle Pashtuns to dilute ethnicity of Karachi, Quetta and now the PoK as a neutralizing feature against insurgency and separatist movements by the majority community. The presence of the Afghans poses the danger of inroads by Taliban. Compare this with the stance of pro-Pakistan Kashmiris in India, who consider few acres land allotted to Amarnath Shrine Board as colonization by their mother country.

Hafiz Saeed has played havoc by introducing jihadism in the region. The PoK is a major training ground for LeT cadres, who also use it as a base for terrorist operations against India. When the Pakistan military was found wanting in the relief operations in wake of massive earthquake in 2005 in which nearly 1,00,000 people lost their lives and three million people were rendered homeless, Hafiz Saeed and his organization JuD came to the fore and is considered to have made substantial difference. Later, however, he extracted the price by turning the area into a jihadi laboratory.

The Islamic militancy agenda has weighed heavily on Islamabad while deciding on the type of dispensation in Azad Kashmir. Benazir Bhutto assumed power after demise of Zia in 1988. Sardar Qyaoom, who ruled PoK for decades as President and PM, warned about her ascension: ‘’to undo Islamic ideology and weaken Pakistan Army’’. Speculation was rife that she would sack the Qyaoom government in PoK. Curiously it was the pro-Pakistan leaders in Kashmir who prevented it. They met President Leghari during his visit to India and pleaded with him to ensure that Qyaoom continued in office as he was critical to the survivability of the militant-network assiduously created over the years. The Qyaoom government completed its tenure till 1990. This explains the compulsions behind Pakistan dignitaries from foreign and security apparatus insisting on meeting the Hurriyat leaders visiting India. A lot of issues regarding militancy in Jammu and Kashmir are coordinated during these meetings.

Just as the Muftis and Abdullahs in the Kashmir Valley, the political landscape of PoK has been dominated by political empires setup by Sardar Mohammad Ibrahim Khan and Mohammad Abdul Qyaoom Khan. But these PoK political families have assured that the interests of Pakistan reign supreme. They are not hostile to their own military. But the pro-Pakistan elements in the Valley treat the Indian military as enemy even as it protects them from Pakistan and China in most trying conditions.

Conclusion

The Jammu & Kashmir problem between India and Pakistan is basically a Kashmiri Sunni narrative, which is scripted by a small segment of pro-Pakistan elements inhabiting a portion of less than 10 percent of the entire region. It is a narrative that finds affinity with Pakistan just on the basis of Kashmiri variety of Sunni Islam. These Kashmiris have ensured that all other competing narratives and dissonant voices are crushed. It is for this reason that half a million Kashmiri Hindus were hounded out of the Valley in 1991. It is for this reason that till today more than 54,000 families, victims of partition and the wars of 1947, 1965 and 1971 have not been compensated, neither rehabilitated nor given the rights as in other parts of the country. These one and half million people are perceived as a threat by the Kashmiri leaders and the separatists.

The solution to the problem does not lie with Musharraf’s plan or Ambassador Lambah’s plan. The solution lies in calling the ‘bluff’ of these handful of pro-Pakistan Sunni Kashmiris in the Valley. The rest can be sorted out with Pakistan easily.

(RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research & Analysis Wing. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, he is also a Guest Blogger with Canary Trap. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)