Sunday, March 21, 2010

What does America have to hide?

This is in respose to the article by Mr.Vir Sanghvi in Hindustan Times What does America have to hide?

Your hypothesis accepted, the reaction from the Indian side would have been instant compliance of the demand from the USA. We belong to the mind set where every wish of the US is a command for us.

We are digressing from the facts by focusing on the US in the case of David Coleman Headley. Probability or rather we should say it is certain that this individual is an American undercover operative. US would most certainly protect its other assets which are deployed in the AFPAK region. This man furnished minimal information to FBI or CIA or DEA about the possible terror event happening in Mumbai on the basis of which intelligence input were provided to the Government of India. 26/11 proved to be a paradigm shift in terrorism not just in India, world over. The intensity, audacity and the accuracy, with which the attack was carried out, must have taken the American agencies by surprise and there after he seems to have been placed under enhanced surveillance by FBI leading to his arrest and conviction.

The crux of the investigations is that FBI by now has the names, ranks of the serving officer from the Pakistan Army, Navy and ISI. This just about leads us to the most volatile situation; disclosure would lead to an instant armed response from any self respecting Nation in the estimations of the US Agencies. India is not in that category because the present dispensation lacks the will and courage to walk that path. Any armed conflict however brief will directly impact US fight on terror in AFPAK, this is unacceptable to USA.

The deficiencies are inherently with us and our establishment, let us not absolve ourselves, nor indulge in chest beating or point accusing finger at US of A, making it out to be a great betrayal of Himalayan proportions.

The questions we need to be asking of our Government? Here are some for which we need to have answers.

Why a comprehensive investigation has not been carried out for 26/11? In the face of the following facts or premises!

1. Terrorists involved were foreigners, presumably on their first mission to Mumbai India. Even the most highly trained commandos do stray and struggle in the urban settings on foreign lands to reach their targets.

2. Mumbai incident should not be seen simply as a terror attack. It was a behind the lines commando operation.

3. The individuals involved were not highly educated?

4. GPS used, are not homing devices therefore a reading of 5 or 10 minutes plus or minus for a degree could mean a parallel bylane and not necessarily the target lane. Yet the terrorist reached their targets with uncanny accuracy.

5. Video recording of a street or a lane form either end would disorient even the best trained commando in a foreign land.

6. Cities look different under different light conditions. If the videos shown were shot during the day, then they would not serve as effectively during the night and vice versa.

7. Navigating on high seas one has to be trained by a person who has the experience of having been on the high seas (Navy), no army man can train another person for sea operations.

8. LeT most definitely does not have the requisite expertise to train terrorists in all areas of operation, hence personnel from the armed forces have to be involved and their finger prints are visible in 26/11 attack.

9. Landing at a designated point along the coast is possible with the help of the GPS, yet it cannot take you to your destination with pinpoint accuracy. Local assistance cannot and should not be ruled out. Even incase of Aircrafts where INS is used (Inertial Navigation System) The aircrafts on Auto pilot would stray by a few fractions of a degree and altitude of a 100ft above and below.

10. The ease with which, the terrorists moved around and took up positions in the Hotels again points to some sort of local assistance, it is not possible for a person who goes into a large property to get to designated spot without any guidance. The terrorist were not exposed to super deluxe hotel properties prior to their attack on Mumbai we can safely assume.

11. Even if Headley is extradited to India given the state of affairs in our country could we hope for an expeditious trial and closure?

The world is full of inequality, when we are unable to offer equal treatment to our own citizens in this country, why are we expecting to be treated as an equal by the US. Equal treatment cannot be demanded, it has to be earned and we unfortunately have done nothing that entitles us for special treatment. Compassionate ground may be valid for us to hand out top jobs of our country. USA may empathize with us, unfortunately will not compromise its supreme national interest.

Let us pledge to work harder, learn to fight our own battles, have the basic intelligence to decipher, when other country provide us with intelligence input, instead of issuing weather man reports and later claim actionable intelligence or otherwise.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

SIT Summons for Narendra Modi, Media goes hyper.

I am sure, there must be many in their mid 50’s who witnessed the mayhem, that was unleashed on the street of Delhi in 1984 where 3000 innocent Sikhs were killed in an orgy of death. The struggle to come to terms with the memory of those 3 days. Analogy of “Earth trembling because a big tree had fallen” as justification. The subversion of judicial system for the last 26years, we have not seen any vociferous support from the media for the victims, or the demand to bring to book the culprits responsible for the genocide, the first and only reported case in India. Instead this incident is being reported as Anti Sikh riots. Just two days ago we were witness to Mr.Sajjan Kumar walking out of the court in Delhi with bail having been granted to him in the 1984 cases. Periodically reports appear in the media and nothing more. The other event that has not received the due coverage is the ethnic cleansing of the Kashmir Valley, which has resulted in the Kashmiri Pandits becoming refugees in their own country. The Indian media has studiously avoided reporting on this issue. Why is it that these two events have not caught the imagination of the media? Were these Indians any lesser or is it that the perpetrators of crimes were not Indians? No most definitely not, the alleged accused are Indians, the Indian state has been a silent spectator if not a covert partner in these crimes.

The question that needs to be addressed is why has the media stayed silent and apathetic to the victims in these two cases? Were the alleged accused not known to the media? Is it a case of selectivity or oversight? Did these cases not reflect the Majority vs Minority aspect? Were these acts committed by communal forces or were these the acts of the secularists? Will justice be delivered in these two cases?

Indian history is replete with accounts of communal riots, since 1947 we have seen unprecedented numbers, majority of these horrendous events have unfolded when the government at the helm of affairs has been from Congress, yet none has received the attention from the media as 2002 Gujarat incident. Even as I write today, there are reports of communal violence in the city of Bareilly. State of Maharastra has witnessed 1 communal riot every 20days over the last 5 years yet there is no sustained campaign against the Chief Minister of the State. If one was to go by the media reports, then other incidents just did not happen. The State of Gujarat seems to have been frozen in 2002, elections and the mandate of the people of Gujarat for Narendra Modi is of little or no consequence.

Mr.Narendra Modi is not just accused of culpability and/or complicity. He has been judged and sentenced by the Indian media. This has been going on since 2002, now it is more than 8 years yet there is no let up by the media, mention the name Modi and the media goes into hyper mode.

CNNIBN continues it relentless tirade, does this channel have any concrete evidence of any crime committed by this individual? Is it an case of extreme prejudice? Why?

NDTV has scheduled yet another exclusive program on 14th instant “Godhra haunts Modi again” Does this channel have any concrete evidence of crimes committed by this individual? Explicit visceral hatred, for a democratically elected, Chief Minister of the State of Gujarat! The question is why?

Indian Express “Demanding answers” what are the reasons for this? Mr. Vir Singhivi has called this man a mass murderer why? Mr.Vinod Sharma of Hindustan Time does not miss an opportunity to take a dig at BJP.

Congress unable to unseat him thru free and fair elections, targets the man at every occasion without fail, overlooking the fact that their own record is worse than what they are accusing Mr. Modi.

Gujarat riots of 2002 are often referred to as Genocide! This is not the true description of the incident. Loss of life was not limited to any one religious community. Why is the media calling the killing of Sikhs in 1984 as “Anti Sikh Riots”? We do not have any record of any anti…… riots in India. What does the media wants, for and from Mr. Narendra Modi. Why this persistence? What are the basis for this sustained demonizing and vilification? Why has the media not placed the evidence in public domain, if indeed evidence is there to support this campaign of theirs? What is it that the Chief Minister of Gujarat did or did not do in 2002?

Why has the State of Gujarat not received the due coverage in the mainstream media in India despite the progress that it has made in the past 8 years! We are fed a regular diet of negative reports about Gujarat. Why? The comments made by Congress and the media about Mr. A. Bachchan on his consenting to promote tourism in the state of Gujarat. Has Gujarat seceded from the Union of India?

This is the single most glaring case of double standards by our media.

These self appointed, secular conscience keepers of India! Do not miss an opportunity to denigrate Mr. Narendra Modi, the reach of the electronic media is tremendous, they have a direct access to our homes 24 X 7, the uninterrupted replay of the events leaves an indelible mark on the young impressionable mind, the society is sharply polarized along, religious, and other basis. The misconceptions with the masses has left very little space for tolerance, any divergence of view with the above media houses or personalities get one labeled as a communalist. These votaries of secularism by their words and actions have put to shame, the most rabid communal individual in our country! The distinction between these self proclaimed secularist and their constant targets “The Communalists” is non existent. Both are striving hard to achieve the common objective of dividing the society permanently.

Incase Mr. Narendra Modi is guilty! The man must be punished for his crimes. What is it that Modi needs to be punished for? Direct participation in mass murder, as an instigator or is it that he did not prevent the event from happening?

Will the media answer the above question!

Latest update as on 09th February 2012

If we compute the worst 10 or 20 riots of India since independence, where does Gujarat 2002 fit in?   via @KiranKS

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Partisan Media Part 2

Ironic yet true of our time, in India today we have the extreme secularists and the extreme fundamentalists both striving to achieve a common goal.

This is a candid admission by Rajdeep Sardesai, who does not have the required skill in his own words “Unfortunately, since I didn’t go to journalism school (or perhaps because I didn’t)” yet masquerades as a journalist. Little wonder that he does not comprehend the importance of ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’ reporting, there is also a tinge of envy, perhaps he perceives himself to be a better option than Sarah Palin, his record is impeccable on this score.

Absence of an equivalence of Fox News in India is a state of mind of simultaneous illusion and delusion. There is no dearth in India, of channels and individuals in this mould, who are capable of giving Fox News a run for its money, these channels and individuals suffer no qualms about ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’ view, since their raison d’ etre is uni-view. They spew venom and hatred at their designated targets 24 X 7, these species unearth grist in the most mundane, the non existent, in order to remain relevant in their own minds.

This is a specious argument being forwarded about the electronic media in India, yes we do have the representatives of different view points for any given debate, it is also a given that one of them does not get the same treatment as the others, the targeted view point holder will face umpteen number of interruptions from the moderator and the other panelists, besides being hampered in placing his/her viewpoint across, time given would be much lesser than others, provocative questions directed, plus an equally hostile audience who lack first hand knowledge and experience or the event being well before their attaining age when the complexities of the real world are visible or comprehensible.

Imagine the response of 20 to 25years age group present in a studio or a forum where 1984 event is discussed, this audience has no first hand knowledge on account of the age yet they will be able to relate readily with 2002 event, this is a sure way of targeting the guest who may have been invited to place his point of view on 1984 events, this panelist will be constantly denigrated with 2002 as the base year, rather than stay focused on the event for which the discussion was earmarked, it would be conveniently diverted to 2002. Touché the result is achieved without actually having to work hard and the main subject is relegated to sidelines.

The next is the labeling of the incident 1984 is referred to as Anti-Sikh riots, while 2002 is referred to as genocide. Falsification is complete and total. There is no history or any prior record in India of any animosity or rioting between the Hindu and the Sikh community. The new term is coined to provide a modicum of a fig leaf to a favorite interested party, similarly without placing complete facts before the audience 2002 is labeled as genocide, ignoring the long history of riots and the number of deaths that both the communities may have suffered. The above examples are not being used to condone, reach zero total by negating one against the other.

Both incidents were reprehensible and should never have happened in this country. The reference to these painful events has been made to highlight the active role of the media, which enhances the polarity in the society, often extending it beyond repair. The dictum of ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’ reporting is paramount we have repeatedly witnessed the failure of the electronic media to live up to it.

Then there are individuals who are self appointed conscious keepers of the nations, and do not wish to provide the most minor margin for a re-think or a fresh approach, so that a long pending dispute be resolved, or be attempted to be resolved by way of new approach. This is done by constantly point a finger and addressing that section in most derogatory terms, the tone and tenor that the accuser displays is shocking, since this individual far exceeds the limits that the accused actually employs. The cause is the individuals heightened sense of insecurity. He would become irrelevant, should the two protagonists reach mid point and proceed to resolve the intractable issue.

Our existence would become monotonous. The divergent views are the essence of a vibrant democracy. The polarity in public debate is exacerbated by the actions of the electronic media, and the journalists, who are here on a mission often morphing into evangelic persona, are more strident than the votaries of a particular viewpoint or cause. The predictability of all participants is to be expected, the disturbing fact is the moderator who overtly take a position to accentuate the differences in view points for TRPs and eyeballs. This is demeaning, and influencing the general public to a great extent. The free hand at this practice has lowered the threshold of tolerance among Indians. The younger generation will get cynical if not violent towards a contrarian view.

While one would not disagree with Rajdeep Sardesai on the below mentioned.

“The more direct, extreme view is celebrated because it leads to, let’s be honest, a ‘big fight’. As someone who has ‘moderated’ many such ‘fights’, let me say that the experience has been mostly enjoyable.” Arun Jaitley from the BJP and a Kapil Sibal from the Congress. So, if you have a rightwing voice who believes that Hindutva is the core of Indian nationalism, you must have a left-liberal view that is convinced that Hindutva is a communal platform. Better still, why can’t we have both Mr.Chidambaram and author-activist Arundhati Roy on the same programme on Naxalism? It would certainly make for fascinating television.

The most appropriate illustration of “Age of Extreme” is of the two 37 years old Indians. One whose records and deeds are in the public domain for the last 20years and counting, he has reached where none have, not just from India, the world over in his chosen field. The clamor for bestowing the Bharat Ratna is growing. This individual is truly the Ratna of our Bharat. He exemplifies everything that one would seek in an individual, the true extreme. The other is projected as the true icon of the youth the Bharat Ratna, his achievement of the last 20years are opaque, all that is known is the name and lineage. He is the messiah 2014 panacea for all that ails India. This is the other extreme.

The practitioners of extreme from the media cannot seek to be absolved on the basis of self applied blindfolds ala Gandhari. The ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’ reporting is inescapable.

This is in response to Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai's The age of extremes 1st March 2010 in the Hindustan Times.