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Possibility of political assassinations?

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Prime Minister Manmohan SinghBY RSN SINGH

It is blasphemous for any prime minister to express apprehension in a public meeting that the elections in the country he governs may be disrupted by inimical elements. He must have been compelled to make statement to this effect because of the sheer weight of the inputs provided to him through intelligence and diplomatic channels. The manifestation of this threat was evident during the BJP’s rally in Patna in end October this year, wherein half a dozen people lost their lives and about 100 sustained injuries. Their only fault was that they had chosen to attend the political rally of a leader whom Pakistan and its tentacles in India do not endorse.

From which quarters did the Prime Minister implied the threat? Was it the Maoists or jihadi groups from Pakistan or both? Or is it the ISI-jihadi combine of that country? The same country which the Prime Minister has been indulgent towards despite the architect of 26/11 enjoying political patronage! The same country which beheads our soldiers and then has the gumption to send its prime minister on a pilgrimage to India? The same country which dispatched Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff’s advisor to India to brazenly confabulate with the separatists of Kashmir. All these were facilitated by the Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh. An attack on Indian election process is the ultimate target for the enemies of India. It is the moral duty of the leader of a country to mitigate and then downplay such threats when interacting with the people. His admission of the threat therefore is a commentary on the vulnerabilities of the country, whose architect is none other but himself. It also reflects how incorrigible our security planners have become to gravest of provocations.

Why did the Prime Minister make this curious admission? Is it to psychologically prepare the people of India for the possibility of some high-profile assassinations by jihadi elements? Nothing is unthinkable in a country ruled by intrigues.

This tacit admission by the Prime Minister is in the same vain as that of Nehru when during the Chinese attack on India, he had made the famous remark: “My heart goes out to the people of Assam”. He was obliged to make such a statement because somewhere in his heart he felt guilty about the security vulnerabilities he had created because of his idealism, lack of statecraft and pathological hatred for people in uniform. In that he had a conceited and garrulous associate, left leaning Mr VK Krishna Menon. In the present dispensation under Manmohan Singh, it is not ‘hatred’, but the factor of politicization and subversion of the security apparatus and the instruments of governance that has brought this country to this pass.

India is a sum total of its states. Nobody should know it better than an economist prime minister who was expected to dedicate himself to further the cause of nation-building. But the dispensation he leads at the Center began to bribe, promote, reward and subvert corrupt and anti-national elements in the government of the constituent states’ purely for political expediency. As a consequence the economic and security apparatus crumbled. This has been the bane of India under Manmohan Singh.

A police officer demanding blackberry phone from a political party will be a scum under any dispensation. An officer who bargains his bail in exchange of some official documents with a predator Central Government that treats some state governments as ‘prey’, will remain a blackmailer all through his career. An IAS officer of a state when sacked for corruption choses to politically scheme with vested interests at the highest levels in the Central Government to wriggle his way out of corruption charges is intrinsically disloyal, even to his family. Treating them as political assets is myopic and no patriotic prime minister should allow it.

The Manmohan Singh dispensation has given an exceptional impetus to the culture of creating crooks, cronies and careerists in the states. Some ‘Center-friendly’ Indian states have been used solely for political funding and crony capitalism, and most have been used for creating so-called ‘Hindu terror’. While the states the Center perceives to be inimical are being hounded for being tough on terror. In this regard, the Ishraat Jahan case is glaring.

The Prime Minister therefore has no right to bemoan the threat to the election process.

This mode of subversion is not only confined to the bureaucracy and the police, but has been extended to the Armed Forces and intelligence agencies. There are insinuations that pliable service chiefs have been used to manipulate the defence budget and procurement schedules, and have been accordingly rewarded. One service chief is widely believed to have bought his post-retirement sinecure. The level of subversion of the governance apparatus was at its acme in the run-up to the Indo-US nuclear deal. A senior journalist close to the government was heard bragging as to how he made all media houses fall in line in support of the deal.

The art of subversion was adopted even before Manmohan Singh was ‘selected’ as the Prime Minister. It began with the subversion of set of journalists. A comprehensive conspiracy was hatched in Lutyen’s Delhi and the country for the first time was witness to sting operation in journalism. The idea was to target the then ruling party and its main ally by ‘creating’ vulnerabilities in individuals and institutions. They did not find it easy to succeed. They were being stonewalled at many levels. A party leader was pestered, literally implored to accept rupees one lakh, saying ‘sir, please sir, for party fund sir, please sir’ and so on. If these journalists were patriotic they would have been proud about his refusal in the first instance.

This party leader indeed put the amount into the party fund. The legality part is not an issue here. Fundamentally, this was a journalistic crime because it was not seeking out vulnerabilities but creating them desperately. Journalism in India has never been the same since then. The main architect and the conspirator of the sting operation went on to own a weekly magazine. He collected many other subverted characters, some of them patronized by jihadis and Maoists. It is therefore not at all surprising that the main architect this time chose to outrage the modesty of a girl, who looked upon him as a father figure. For those who believe, it is a vindication of phenomenon of natural justice.

Too many people, some very honourable, were trapped by these so called ‘investigative journalists’. Investigative journalism involves seeking or ferreting documents or inputs. Merely being a receptor of documents and inspired leaks doled out by subverted government functionaries for materialistic considerations is an anti-national and lecherous activity.

Mr Prime Minister, politics under your dispensation has hit such a low that the State has begun to denigrate surveillance as snooping activity on selective basis. The vitiated political culture is destroying the sanctity and anonymity of even married women subjected to sexual crimes in different ways. If an IAS officer persists in trailing a girl of his daughter’s age, is it not legitimate to institute surveillance on him and his target victim? Sustained surveillance is an imperative to obtain details and for the purpose of legal framework against the offender, especially the high-profile ones. The CIA plant in RAW, Ravinder Singh was put under surveillance for many months. If the degradation of institutions and professions had not taken place, this shameless and corrupt IAS officer would not have been entertained on television channels.

Mr Prime Minister, do you agree with some of your party colleagues that Batla House Encounter was fabricated? If you do not, will you kindly issue a public statement. Mr Prime Minister, do you agree that so called ‘Hindu terror’ is more serious than ‘jihadi terror’? This contention is attributed to second most important functionary of your party in the Wikileaks. Mr Prime Minister, why did you allow members of the European Commission to descend on Raipur to watch the trial of Binayak Sen? You must answer some of these questions and then tell the nation who is out to disrupt elections in India and who has created the conditions.

And finally the last question that tests the very basis of modern India: Do you as a ‘selected’ prime minister suffer from any pangs when popularly elected, patriotic and conscientious Chief Ministers of the country you govern are vilified and demonized for being vigilant and prompt in tackling terror?

(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)