With the BJP naming Narendra Modi, the Gujarat chief minister, as its leader to take the party to a resounding success in the battle of the ballot coming May, the Congressmen have been donning the robe of being great democrats. They will not name their leader, they tell the media right and left. In true “democratic” spirit the party would wait for the election results and choose the party leader after the polls. The fly in the ointment, however, is that the world knows who their leader is.
With 42-year-old Rahul Gandhi running around beating the drum for the Congress government’s achievements and an entire war room filled with Oxford and Harvard boys and girls planning the strategy, there is no question who really is calling the shots in the outfit. That makes us ask why are then they not crowning him even though the bugle of the battle has been already sounded. Even prime minister Manmohan Singh has publicly said that Rahul Gandhi is the right person to become the prime minister if the party wins and that he (Singh) would be only too glad to serve under Rahul.
No let-up in Islam vs Islam
After a bloodbath in Egypt, which claimed nearly a thousand lives, a much worse carnage in Syria has hit the headlines where as many as 1,300 people are said to have been gassed to death. If confirmed, it would be the world’s worst chemical weapon attack in decades.
While the details of this gory incident are not available at the time of writing there is little doubt that the massacre has its origins in the age-old Shia-Sunni conflict.
Approximately three-fourths of Syria are Sunni, but its government is predominantly Alawi, a Shia sect that makes up less than 15 per cent of the population, The bloody conflict between the two warring sects of Islam is pretty old. In the 1980s, thousands were killed in clashes between the two.
Going by the events of the previous few weeks in India, whosoever had coined the expression “secularism” must have turned in his/her grave many times over. In Uttar Pradesh, a nine-year-old functioning temple is razed to the ground by the administration. And there is not even a whimper of protest. A week later, in the same area the Uttar Pradesh administration demolishes just one of the walls (illegal) of a mosque under construction, all hell breaks loose. There is a war cry of “secularism in danger”. The ruling Samajwadi Party leads the charge. The UP government promptly suspends and charge sheets the IAS officer concerned, Durga Shakti Nagpal, to demonstrate its “secular” credentials.
Not to be left behind, the “secular” government of Rajasthan, around the same time, orders the transfer of IPS officer Pankaj Choudhary, who had dared to take on Gazi Fakir, the 79-year-old father of Pokhran Congress MLA Saleh Mohammed. Fakir has been under the scanner of intelligence agencies for over four decades. The victimized police officer told the media, “My predecessors have made damning comments about Fakir in the files.”
Fomenting divisive politics
For the Congress the events of 2002 in Gujarat seem to have become the only peg to hang its electoral fortune on. That is understandable. The party dares not speak of its achievements because statistics are no substitute for the food on the plate of the common man. That food is shrinking with inflation refusing to plummet.
With the economy in a shambles, the rupee at its lowest value in a decade, the desperate roadshows of finance minister Chidambaram not getting even a single dollar flow, several large projects like steel plants proposed by POSCO and Arcelor-Mittal, Vedanta, etc. cancelled, the current account deficit in trade is widening. The RBI has in a desperate measure to save the rupee, again raised interest rates. The market response is that this remedy is not working. The Congress has pushed the economy to the ICU.
Taliban threat to Kabul, Delhi
It is as evident that president Obama has decided to abandon shoring up democracy, modernity and moderate Islam in Afghanistan by striking a deal with the deadly anti-Indian Haqqani group within the Afghan Taliban. For his aim, the US president wants India to persuade Afghan president Hamid Karzai to agree to the deal that was about to be worked out in negotiations with the Taliban directly between the US and the dangerous extremists even as they rain destruction all over that tragic country in a bid to return to power.
If the people and government here have missed the US game plan, the American visitor in New Delhi last Monday reminded them indirectly of it by refusing to answer a question on whether the US-Taliban talks proposed to be held in Qatar would include the Haqqani group.
Why we fail against Maoists
The brutal massacre of Chhattisgarh Congress leaders and near fatal wounding of 82-year-old party veteran Vidya Charan Shukla, a former central minister, shocked the nation to its core. Yet, we are still to see the same people, who sought to raise hell when the preacher of violent revolt against the Indian state, Dr Binayak Sen, was detained by the state government, uttering even a word of sympathy for those killed last week or the many Indian security men massacred earlier in different incidents by the same Maoists.
The Supreme Court which decreed that sympathy and call for violent overthrow of the state by itself did not constitute crime, must chew over its observation in Dr Sen’s case. Marx may not have called for such massacres as have occurred under communist regimes in Russia and China — massacres that have now been acknowledged even in official communist party histories. But the ends-justify-means politics that these “progressives” preach inevitably end up in the most inhuman and widespread killings.
Sharif must deliver on promise
Hope burns bright eternally in human hearts. And not just India but the world would hope that Nawaz Sharif, poised to become prime minister of Pakistan again after a jail term and a long exile, would restart the peace process with India and initiate the process to dismantle the terror machine which has been playing havoc in the region for decades now.
In his hour of electoral victory, Sharif is claiming that the army will no longer dictate terms, as it did in his previous stint in office. The eternal hopefuls in India are taking his words at face value and many of them have come to believe that things are bound to take a turn for the better and India must seize the initiative.
पिंजड़े में बंद तोते की कहानी
कोलगेट घोटाले की जांच रिपोर्ट सरकार से साझा करने को लेकर विगत बुधवार को सर्वोच्च न्यायालय ने सीबीई को कड़ी फटकार लगाते हुए उसे ‘पिंजड़े में बंद तोते’की संज्ञा दी है। अदालत ने कहा कि यह तोता अपने पालक की जुबां ही बोलता है। इसके साथ ही अदालत ने कानूनमंत्री द्वारा रिपोर्ट में संशोधन करने और कोयला मंत्रालय और प्रधानमंत्री कार्यालय के सचिवों द्वारा रिपोर्ट का अवलोकन करने पर गंभीर आपत्ति जताई है। अदालत ने पूरे प्रकरण को ‘पिंजड़े में बंद एक तोते और कई मालिकों’की दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण कहानी बताया। अदालत ने सरकार को चेताते हुए साफ संकेत भी दे दिया है कि यदि सीबीआई को स्वतंत्र नहीं किया गया तो अदालत को हस्तक्षेप करना पड़ेगा।
Fight Islamic fundamentalism
While New Delhi is mired in the fallout of the coal scam and repeated incursions by China deep into the Indian territory, the threat posed by Islamic fundamentalists looms large on the rest of the country.
Ironically, the threat is most pronounced in those parts of India which are under the sway of so-called “secular” parties; and BJP in such places is virtually non-existent. This dubious line-up is headed by the Kashmir Valley, followed by Kerala and West Bengal.
बेखबर-बेअसर भ्रष्टाचारी सरकार
कोयला घोटाले को लेकर सर्वोच्च न्यायालय द्वारा की गई टिप्पणी से पूरी सरकार कटघरे में खड़ी हो गई है। कोयला घोटाले की जांच कर रही सीबीआई को सर्वोच्च न्यायालय ने जांच की प्रगति सरकार से साझा नहीं करने की हिदायत दी थी। किंतु सीबीआई जिस जांच रिपोर्ट को अदालत में पेश करने वाली थी, उसे कानून मंत्री और अन्य सिपहसालारों द्वारा काटछांट कर सरकार के अनुकूल बनाया गया। इस पर विगत मंगलवार को अदालत ने कड़ी फटकार लगाते हुए कहा है, ‘‘यह इतना बड़ा विश्वासघात है कि उसने पूरी नींव को हिला कर रख दिया है...यह सामान्य नहीं, बल्कि जानबूझकर किया गया धोखा है। पहले ही तय कर लिया गया था कि अदालत को इसकी जानकारी नहीं दी जाएगी।’’ सरकार के इस छलफरेब के कारण पूरी दुनिया हम पर हंस रही है। स्वाभाविक है कि सत्ता के षीर्ष स्तर तक फैले भ्रष्टाचार से सर्वाधिक क्षति भारत की साख और उसकी छवि को हुई है। किंतु बड़े-बड़े घोटालों के सामने आने के बाजूद कथित ईमानदार छवि वाले देष के प्रधानमंत्री शर्मसार नहीं हैं। क्यों?