March 11, 2005

Spain muslims issue fatwa against Bin Laden

Updated: 2005-03-11 10:36

Muslim clerics in Spain issued what they called the world's first fatwa, or Islamic edict, against Osama bin Laden on Thursday, the first anniversary of the Madrid train bombings, calling him an apostate and urging others of their faith to denounce the al-Qaida leader.

The ruling was issued by the Islamic Commission of Spain, the main body representing the country's 1 million-member Muslim community. The commission represents 200 or so mostly Sunni mosques, or about 70 percent of all mosques in Spain.

The March 11, 2004, train bombings killed 191 people and were claimed in videotapes by militants who said they had acted on al-Qaida's behalf in revenge for Spain's troop deployment in Iraq.

The commission's secretary general, Mansur Escudero, said the group had consulted with Muslim leaders in other countries, such as Morocco — home to most of the jailed suspects in the bombings — Algeria and Libya, and had their support.

"They agree," Escudero said, referring to the Muslim leaders in the three North African countries. "What I want is that they say so publicly."

The fatwa said that according to the Quran "the terrorist acts of Osama bin Laden and his organization al-Qaida ... are totally banned and must be roundly condemned as part of Islam."

It added: "Inasmuch as Osama bin Laden and his organization defend terrorism as legal and try to base it on the Quran ... they are committing the crime of 'istihlal' and thus become apostates that should not be considered Muslims or treated as such." The Arabic term 'istihlal' refers to the act of making up one's own laws.

Escudero said a fatwa can be issued by any Muslim leader who leads prayer sessions and as he serves such a role, he himself lawfully issued the edict.

He called it an unprecedented condemnation of bin Laden. "We felt now we had the responsibility and obligation to make this declaration," he said in an interview.

"I hope there is a positive reaction from Muslims," he added.

Asked if the edict meant Muslims had to help police try to arrest the world's most wanted man — who is believed to be hiding along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan — Escudero said: "We don't get involved in police affairs but we do feel that all Muslims are obliged to ... keep anyone from doing unjustified damage to other people."

Lashkar-e-Taiba attack on IT companies - a warning for India

Lashkar-e-Taiba attack - a warning for India

By G. Parthasarathy

Five terrorists of the Pakistan based terrorist group the Lashkar-e-Taiba were involved in an hour-long shootout with units of the Special Cell of the Delhi Police in the Seelampur suburb in northeast Delhi on the night of March 5.

Three of the terrorists, two of them Pakistani nationals and one an Indian, were killed during the exchange of fire.

Police recovered AK 56 rifles, ammunition, satellite telephones and 10.5 kilograms of RDX from the terrorists, who were planning to attack the Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun and information technology companies in Bangalore.

The Lashkar-e-Taiba has displayed a continuing interest in attacking high profile targets in India. Its leader Hafiz Mohammed Syed openly acknowledged that his group had carried out the attack on the historic Red Fort in Delhi on Dec 22, 2000.

Syed was eulogised by leaders of outfits like the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) Maulana Fazlur Rahman and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Qazi Hussein Ahmed for his attack on the Red Fort. He has for long proclaimed that it is the aim of the Lashkar to raise the "green flag of Islam" in Delhi, Washington and Tel Aviv.

Responding to American pressure, General Musharraf banned the Lashkar in January 2001. But it is no secret that the group and its parent body, the Markaz Dawa-ul-Irshad, continue to function out of the township of Muridhke near Lahore.

At the same time Pakistani strategists have long argued that the ISI policy of "bleeding India with a thousand cuts" should include efforts to target information technology companies in south India.

New Delhi has noted that after the assurance given to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee by General Musharraf on Jan 6, 2004 that he would not allow Pakistan controlled territory to be used for terrorism, there has been a reduction in infiltration across the Line of Control (LoC).

What has also been noted is that unlike in the past, attacks by Pakistan based groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba are now directed almost exclusively against military targets and Kashmiri politicians who are seen to be participating in electoral processes and participating in governance in Jammu and Kashmir.

Politicians espousing separatist causes like Mirwaiz Omer Farooq, who show any sign of welcoming dialogue with New Delhi and deviating from the path advocated by Islamabad have also experienced attacks on their relatives and properties.

While groups that have threatened Musharraf like the Jaish-e-Mohammed have been banned, others like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Al Badr continue to receive support and patronage across the LoC.

The widely held assessment in New Delhi is that Pakistan will continue to support low intensity conflict by its nationals to keep the pot boiling in Jammu and Kashmir in a carefully calibrated manner.

With the nation engrossed in political soap operas in Haryana, Bihar, Jharkand and Goa and in the forthcoming cricket series with Pakistan, the significance of the shootout in Delhi seems to have been missed by the political establishment and the media.

The incident establishes that Pakistan based terrorist groups still have cells and human assets in urban centres in India. The possibility of high profile attacks by these groups on strategic and military targets, therefore, still exists in substantial measure.

New Delhi should not also forget that its meek response to the Lashkar-e-Taiba attack on the Red Fort and the subsequent ill-conceived Agra summit in July 2001 were all seen in Pakistan as manifestations of India's weakness. What followed was the attack on the Indian parliament by the Jaish-e-Mohammed on Dec 13, 2001.

Thus, while much is being made of the bonhomie that has followed the commencement of the Composite Dialogue Process with Pakistan and developments like the proposed reopening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service, the entire process would face disaster if groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba that are known to receive patronage from across the border should spoil the party by high profile attacks on Indian soil like the Dec 13, 2004 attack.

General Musharraf has made it known that he wishes to indulge, like General Zia ul Haq, in a bit of "cricket diplomacy". General Zia had hinted and obtained an invitation to witness an India-Pakistan Test Match in Jaipur after a round of discussions in Delhi with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, at a time when New Delhi had misgivings about his involvement in fomenting terrorism in Punjab.

There is no doubt that New Delhi would do likewise, while responding to General Musharraf's interest in the forthcoming cricket series. The shootout with the Lashkar-e-Taiba in Delhi indicates that in real terms there has been little change in the publicly articulated policy of the Pakistani military establishment that it has to continue to "bleed India with a thousand cuts".

There is also concern that the carefully structured Composite Dialogue that has, after all, produced some results in enhancing cooperation and reducing tensions, should not get derailed by ill-planned summit diplomacy like the Agra fiasco.

Given the evidence that is now emerging about the activities of Pakistan based groups on Indian soil, the carefully calibrated exercise in keeping violence and intimidation going in Jammu and Kashmir and about Pakistani links with separatist groups in our northeast on Bangladesh soil, New Delhi necessarily has to plan and tread carefully before rushing into summit meetings with Pakistan's military ruler.

(G. Parthasarathy is a former Indian envoy to Pakistan. He can be reached at

First plane in the modern era was made in India

Over hundred years ago. In 1895, full eight years before the Wright Brothers` first flight at Kitty hawk, North Carolina, USA, Shivkar Bapuji Talpade and his wife gave a thrilling demonstration flight on the Chowpatty beach in Mumbai………The purpose of this article is to let the world know that the first plane in the modern era was made in India.

The Indian Science of Aeronautics

By: Shachi Rairikar
March 12, 2004


“The ancient Hindus could navigate the air, and not only navigate it but fight battles in it like so many war-eagles, combating for the domination of the clouds. To be so perfect in aeronautics they must have known all the arts and sciences relating to the science, including the strata and currents of the atmosphere, the relative temperature, humidity, density and specific gravity of the various gases....." - Col. Olcott in a lecture in Allahabad in 1881.

The Rig Veda, the oldest document of the human race includes references to the following modes of transportation: Jalayan - a vehicle designed to operate in air and water (Rig Veda 6.58.3); Kaara- Kaara- Kaara- a vehicle that operates on ground and in water. (Rig Veda 9.14.1); Tritala- Tritala- Tritala- a vehicle consisting of three stories. (Rig Veda 3.14.1); Trichakra Ratha - Trichakra Ratha - Trichakra Ratha - a three-wheeled vehicle designed to operate in the air. (Rig Veda 4.36.1); Vaayu Ratha- Vaayu Ratha- Vaayu Ratha- a gas or wind-powered chariot. (Rig Veda 5.41.6); Vidyut Ratha- Vidyut Ratha- Vidyut Ratha- a vehicle that operates on power. (Rig Veda 3.14.1).

Ancient Sanskrit literature is full of descriptions of flying machines - Vimanas. From the many documents found it is evident that the scientist-sages Agastya and Bharadwaja had developed the lore of aircraft construction.

The "Agastya Samhita" gives us Agastya`s descriptions of two types of aeroplanes. The first is a "chchatra" (umbrella or balloon) to be filled with hydrogen. The process of extracting hydrogen from water is described in elaborate detail and the use of electricity in achieving this is clearly stated. This was stated to be a primitive type of plane, useful only for escaping from a fort when the enemy had set fire to the jungle all around. Hence the name "Agniyana". The second type of aircraft mentioned is somewhat on the lines of the parachute. It could be opened and shut by operating chords. This aircraft has been described as "vimanadvigunam" i.e. of a lower order than the regular aeroplane.

Aeronautics or Vaimaanika Shastra is a part of Yantra Sarvasva of Bharadwaja. This is also known as Brihadvimaana Shastra. Vaimaanikashastra deals about aeronautics, including the design of aircraft, the way they can be used for transportation and other applications, in detail. The knowledge of aeronautics is described in Sanskrit in 100 sections, eight chapters, 500 principles and 3000 slokas. Great sage Bharadwaja explained the construction of aircraft and way to fly it in air, on land, on water and use the same aircraft like a sub-marine. He also described the construction of war planes and fighter aircraft.

Vaimaanika Shastra explains the metals and alloys and other required material, which can be make an aircraft imperishable in any condition. Planes which will not break (abhedya), or catch fire (adaahya) and which cannot be cut (achchedya) have been described. Along with the treatise there are diagrams of three types of aeroplanes - "Sundara", "Shukana" and "Rukma".

The aircraft is classified into three types- Mantrika, Tantrika and Kritaka, to suit different yugas or eras. In kritayuga, it is said, Dharma was well established. The people of that time had the devinity to reach any place using their Ashtasiddhis. The aircraft used in Tretayuga are called Mantrikavimana, flown by the power of hymns (mantras). Twenty-five varieties of aircraft including Pushpaka Vimana belong to this era. The aircraft used in Dwaparayuga were called Tantrikavimana, flown by the power of tantras. Fiftysix varieties of aircraft including Bhairava and Nandaka belong to this era. The aircraft used in Kaliyuga, the on-going yuga, are called Kritakavimana, flown by the power of engines. Twenty-five varieties of aircraft including "Sundara", "Shukana" and "Rukma" belong to this era.

Bharadwaja states that there are thirty-two secrets of the science of aeronautics. Of these some are astonishing and some indicate an advance even beyond our own times. For instance the secret of "para shabda graaha", i.e. a cabin for listening to conversation in another plane, has been explained by elaborately describing an electrically worked sound-receiver that did the trick. Manufacture of different types of instruments and putting them together to form an aircraft are also described.

It appears that aerial warfare was also not unknown, for the treatise gives the technique of "shatru vimana kampana kriya" and "shatru vimana nashana kriya" i.e. shaking and destroying enemy aircraft, as well as photographing enemy planes, rendering their occupants unconscious and making one`s own plane invisible.

In Vastraadhikarana, the chapter describing the dress and other wear required while flying, talks in detail about the wear for both the pilot and the passenger separately.

Ahaaraadhikarana is yet another section exclusively dealing with the food habits of a pilot. This has a variety of guidelines for pilots to keep their health through strict diet.

Bhardwaja also provides a bibliography. He had consulted six treatises by six different authors previous to him and he gives their names and the names of their works in the following order : Vimana Chandrika by Narayanamuni; Vyoma Yana Mantrah by Shaunaka; Yantra Kalpa by Garga; Yana Bindu by Vachaspati; Kheta Yaana Pradeepika by Chaakraayani; Vyoma Yaanarka Prakasha by Dundi Natha.

As before Bharadwaja, after him too there have been Sanskrit writers on aeronautics and there were four commentaries on his work. The names of the commentators are Bodh Deva, Lalla, Narayana Shankha and Vishwambhara.

Evidence of existence of aircrafts are also found in the Arthasastra of Kautilya (c. 3rd century B.C.). Kautilya mentions amongst various tradesmen and technocrats the Saubhikas as `pilots conducting vehicles in the sky`. Saubha was the name of the aerial flying city of King Harishchandra and the form `Saubika` means `one who flies or knows the art of flying an aerial city`. Kautilya uses another significant word `Akasa Yodhinah`, which has been translated as `persons who are trained to fight from the sky.` The existence of aerial chariots, in whatever form it might be, was so well-known that it found a place among the royal edicts of the Emperor Asoka which were executed during his reign from 256 B.C. - 237 B. C.

It is interesting to note that the Academy of Sanskrit Research in Melkote, near Mandya, had been commissioned by the Aeronautical Research Development Board, New Delhi, to take up a one-year study, ‘Non-conventional approach to Aeronautics’, on the basis of Vaimanika Shastra. As a result of the research, a glass-like material which cannot be detected by radar has been developed by Prof Dongre, a research scholar of Benaras Hindu University. A plane coated with this unique material cannot be detected using radar. (Did You Know this?

But perhaps the most interesting thing, about the Indian science of aeronautics and Bharadwaja`s research in the field was that they were successfully tested in actual practice by an Indian over hundred years ago. In 1895, full eight years before the Wright Brothers` first flight at Kitty hawk, North Carolina, USA, Shivkar Bapuji Talpade and his wife gave a thrilling demonstration flight on the Chowpatty beach in Mumbai.

An even more astonishing feature of Talpade’s aircraft was the power source he used- An Ion Engine. The theory of the Ion Engine has been credited to Robert Goddard, long recognized as the father of Liquid-fuel Rocketry. It is claimed that in 1906, long before Goddard launched his first modern rocket, his imagination had conceived the idea of an Ion rocket. But the fact is that not only had the idea of an Ion Engine been conceived long before Dr Goddard, it had also been materialized in the form of Talpade’s aircraft.

Mr. Talpade, a resident of Mumbai, was an erudite scholar of Sanskrit literature, especially of the Vedas, an inventor and a teacher in the School of Arts. His deep study of the Vedas led him to construct an aeroplane in conformity with descriptions of aircraft available in the Vedas and he displayed it in an exhibition arranged by the Bombay Art Society in the Town Hall. Its proving the star attraction of the exhibition encouraged its maker to go deeper into the matter and see if the plane could be flown with the aid of mercurial pressure. For the one hundred and ninetieth "richa" (verse) of the Rig Veda and the aeronautical treatise of Bharadwaja mention that flying machines came into full operation when the power of the sun`s rays, mercury and another chemical called "Naksha rassa" were blended together. This energy was, it seems, stored in something like an accumulator or storage batteries. The Vedas refer to eight different engines in the plane and Bharadwaja adds that they are worked by electricity.

Mr. Talpade carried on his research along these lines and constructed an aeroplane. In his experiments he was aided by his wife, also a deep scholar of the Vedic lore, and an architect friend. The plane combined the constructional characteristics of both "Pushpaka" and "Marut Sakha", the sixth and eighth types of aircraft described by Bharadwaja. It was named "Marut Sakha" meaning "Friend of the Wind".

With this plane this pioneer airman of modern India gave a demonstration flight on the Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai in the year 1895. The machine attained a height of about 1500 feet and then automatically landed safely. The flight was witnessed, among many others, by Sir Sayajirao Gaekwad, the Maharaja of Baroda and Justice Govind Ranade and was reported in “The Kesari” a leading Marathi daily newspaper. They were impressed by the feat and rewarded the talented inventor.

Unfortunately Talpade lost interest in things after his wife`s death, and after his own death in 1917 at the age of 53 his relatives sold the machine to Rally Brothers, a leading British exporting firm then operating in Mumbai. Thus the first ever attempt at flying in modern India, undertaken and made successful by an Indian, in a plane of Indian manufacture and built to Indian scientific specifications, slid into the limbo of oblivion.

Shachi Rairikar

(Author is a Chartered Accountant working in a private organization in Indore (MP), India and manages a web-site


Observers in Russia and elsewhere continue to mull the significance of the March 8 killing of Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov. Meanwhile, Maskhadov's London-based emissary, Akhmed Zakaev, said in a statement that the rebel leadership had agreed back in July-August 2002 that should the separatist government's president, Maskhadov, become unable to carry out his duties, they would be assumed by the chairman of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria's Sharia court, Abdul-Khalim Sadulaev, until elections could be held. "Our responsibility, the responsibility of all Chechen citizens, is to unite around our new leader, to become his reliable advisers and allies in the fight to liberate our motherland from Russian occupation," Zakaev declared (Chechenpress, March 10). Zakaev's call to rally around Sadulaev was echoed by rebel warlord Shamil Basaev in a statement posted on both the Chechenpress and Kavkazcenter websites.

Most Russian observers seem to agree that the new rebel president, while a little known figure, belongs to the separatist movement's radical Islamist wing. Indeed, the website quoted from a statement by Sadulaev that Kavkazcenter posted on August 2, 2004. "Our enemies receive from the Kremlin the assignment to kill our relatives," read a section of the statement apparently referring to pro-Moscow Chechens. "We, however, do not follow their example, but [follow] the precepts of Allah. We will dispose of those hypocrites, and, if Allah wills it, their brothers and sisters will be our helpers in the common cause, on the path to Allah." also noted that Russian investigators believe that two militants prosecuted for the January 2001 kidnapping in Chechnya of Medecins Sans Frontieres aid worker Kenneth Gluck were members of a rebel unit commanded by Anzor Mukaev, who, they allege, was directly subordinated to Abdul-Khalim Sadulaev (, March 10). Gluck was released after nearly a month in captivity.

In the words of Kommersant, "The ‘moderate' separatist Maskhadov always regarded the radical and Wahhabi Abdul-Khalim with suspicion," yet nonetheless publicly named him as his successor. The newspaper quoted one of Maskhadov's successors as explaining: "Aslan understood perfectly that his political line, aimed at negotiations with Moscow, was at a dead end. He ended up in complete isolation as a result of his attempts to resolve the Chechen problem by diplomatic means. The federals and kadyrovtsy declared him a terrorist; the radical fighters headed by Basaev reproached him for flirting with Moscow, hoping in that way to gain mercy for himself and his family. As a result, having realized that in this situation it would be to the advantage of both to get rid of him, Maskhadov began to think about a successor" (Kommersant, March 11).

A number of observers believe the killing of Maskhadov was deliberately aimed at precluding the possibility that the Chechen conflict could be settled politically. "In Chechnya we are facing two different types of enemy," Andrei Piontkovsky, director for the Center for Strategic Studies, told Moskovsky komsomolets. "The first is the classical one: the separatists that Maskhadov headed, who are fighting for this or that status for Chechnya. In recent years, incidentally, their official demand was not independence for the republic, but a high degree of autonomy. The second enemy, which has emerged in recent years, is the people gathered around Basaev. They are Islamic fundamentalists who see themselves as part of a world Islamic jihad. They fight for a worldwide caliphate, for the destruction of the West and Russia. For this reason -- I have always believed this -- it is to Russia's strategic advantage to split these enemies, isolating the extremist part (the Basaev-ites) and negotiating with the separatists (the Maskhadov-ites). The elimination of Maskhadov means the end of any hope for this possibility. In my view, Moscow deliberately deprived itself of the possibility of this potentially productive political maneuver. The remnants of Maskhadov's detachment will come under the influence of the radicals and Basaev. They will conduct a fight to the death. And so Maskhadov's death will lead to a worsening of the situation. The entire North Caucasus is a classic growth medium for Islamic revolution" (Moskovsky komsomolets, March 10).

Shamil Beno, who served as Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev's foreign minister in 1991-92 and then as the Moscow representative of the pro-Moscow Chechen leader Akhmad Kadyrov in 2000-2001, put forward a similar view. "Maskhadov was the last representative of, if you will, democratic, secular separatism," Beno told the website. "With his departure such representatives no longer remain in the ranks of the militants; only Islamists remain. Like them or not, respect them or not -- but that, in any case, is the reality. To defeat them by force is impossible, because these people are prepared to die. The problem can be solved only on the basis of finding a formula…that will provide the possibility for human self-realization in the North Caucasus. But as for the federal center -- it is for the time being not prepared to negotiate with anyone. That would contradict the logic of the policy that is being carried out by the authorities in Chechnya. If a carrot-and-stick policy is not carried out, the results will be lamentable, but a carrot-and-stick policy, given our realities, is impossible in principle. We will have only the stick. The stick will eventually break, and this will lead to a protracted crisis similar to the one in the Middle East" (, March 11).

Anna Politkovskaya wrote in the latest edition of Novaya gazeta that regardless of who is named as the Chechen rebel movement's formal leader, it is clear whom Maskhadov's elimination ultimately benefits. "The role of leader of the Chechen resistance (regardless of whom the State Defense Committee of Ichkeria, operating underground, names) passes to the main opponent of Maskhadov's moderate methods," she wrote. "His name is Basaev. Thus it is possible to state that as result of the operation to liquidate Maskhadov, organized by the spetsnaz of FSB RF [Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation], the reins of government of the resistance forces are going to Basaev, who is not in the least concerned about legitimacy…And this means that as a result of Maskhadov's death we got two figures in Chechnya equal in terms of bloodthirstiness and medievalism -- Basaev and Kadyrov, Jr. [Chechen First Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov-EDM]. Everyone else (all the people of our country) will be between these two fires" (Novaya gazeta, March 10).

--Charles Gurin

India’s Da Vinci’s Code’ – Whoever cracks it will rule the world!

By: Ranjan Bhattacharya
March 07, 2005

A lot has been said of the recent bestseller the Da Vinci Code and what it’s implications are for Christianity. However, did you know that India has it’s own little known about and little talked about ‘code’ and that whoever cracks this code will not only change the future of the planet but will go onto rule it!

This article discusses the following:

The Vimanas, space craft and extraordinary weapons referred to in the Indian epics.

… AND it’s all true – review the evidence for yourself!

Lost fountain of knowledge
- the Indian Emperor Ashoka and the "Secret Society of the Nine Unknown Men"

- The story of the Indian Sanskrit Scholar who built and flew a mercury engine aircraft in 1895 (8 years before the Wright Brothers). He built this aircraft from specs in Sanskrit manuscripts thousands of years old.

Who is benefiting from this knowledge today?
- So many have already benefited from these texts while the Indians themselves ignore the knowledge which is right under their nose!

Breaking the code.
- Whoever can bring together a multidisciplinary team comprising scientists, philosophers and Sanskrit scholars could unlock the knowledge locked away in these documents and change the future of the world.
I am sure you will agree that the facts discussed in this article are very thought provoking. All comments appreciated.

1. Vimanas, Space craft and extraordinary weapons referred to in the Indian epics

Ancient Indian texts on Vimanas are so numerous it would take several books to relate what they have to say.

The Ramayana describes a Vimana as a double-deck, circular (cylindrical) aircraft with portholes and a dome. It flew with the speed of the wind and gave forth a melodious sound (a humming noise?).

Sanskrit texts are filled with references to Gods who fought battles in the sky using Vimanas equipped with weapons as deadly as any we can deploy in these more enlightened times. For example, there is a passage in the Ramayana which reads: The Puspaka car that resembles the Sun and belongs to my brother was brought by the powerful Ravan; that aerial and excellent car going everywhere at will.... that car resembling a bright cloud in the sky.

".. and the King [Rama] got in, and the excellent car at the command of the Raghira, rose up into the higher atmosphere."

In the Mahabharatra, Asura Maya had a Vimana measuring twelve cubits in circumference, with four strong wheels.

The Ramayana, does have a highly detailed story in it of a trip to the moon in a Vihmana (or "Astra"), and in fact details a battle on the moon with an "Asvin" airship. This is a small bit of evidence of anti-gravity and aerospace technology used by Indians.

The Mahabhrata records the use of other deadly weapons. 'Indra's Dart' operated via a circular 'reflector'. When switched on, it produced a 'shaft of light' which, when focused on any target, immediately 'consumed it with its power'.

In one particular exchange, Krishna, is pursuing his enemy, Salva, in the sky, when Salva's Vimana, the Saubha is made invisible in some way. Undeterred, Krishna immediately fires off a special weapon: 'I quickly laid on an arrow, which killed by seeking out sound'.

Many other terrible weapons are described, quite matter of factly, in the Mahabharata, but the most fearsome of all is the one used against the Vrishis.

The narrative records:

Gurkha flying in his swift and powerful Vimana hurled against the three cities of the Vrishis and Andhakas a single projectile charged with all the power of the Universe. An incandescent column of smoke and fire, as brilliant as ten thousands suns, rose in all its splendor. It was the unknown weapon, the Iron Thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death which reduced to ashesthe entire race of the Vrishnis and Andhakas.

The after-affects of this Iron Thunderbolt have an ominously recognizable ring. Apparently, those killed by it were so burnt that their corpses were unidentifiable. The survivors fared little better, as it caused their hair and nails to fall out.

2. … And its all true!!!

There are Sanskrit documents which describe how to build a Vimana!

In the Sanskrit Samarangana Sutradhara, it is written: Strong and durable must the body of the Vihmana be made, like a great flying bird of light material. Inside one must put the mercury engine with its iron heating apparatus underneath. By means of the power latent in the mercury which sets the driving whirlwind in motion, a man sitting inside may travel a great distance in the sky. The movements of the Vimana are such that it can vertically ascend, vertically descend, move slanting forwards and backwards. With the help of the machines human beings can fly in the air and heavenly beings can come down to earth.

The ancient Indians wrote entire flight manuals on the control of the various types of Vimanas, many of which are still in existence, and some have even been translated into English.

The Samara Sutradhara is a scientific treatise dealing with every possible angle of air travel in a Vimana. There are 230 stanzas dealing with the construction, take-off, cruising for thousand of miles, normal and forced landings, and even possible collisions with birds. In 1875, the Vaimanika Sastra, a fourth century B.C. text written by Bharadvajy the Wise, using even older texts as his source, was rediscovered in a temple in India.

It dealt with the operation of Vimanas and included information on the steering, precautions for long flights, protection of the airships from storms and lightning and how to switch the drive to "solar energy" from a free energy source which sounds like "anti-gravity." The Vaimanika Sastra (or Vymaanika-Shaastra) has eight chapters with diagrams, describing three types of aircraft, including apparatuses that could neither catch on fire nor break. It also mentions 31 essential parts of these vehicles and 16 materials from which they are constructed, which absorb light and heat; for which reason they were considered suitable for the construction of Vimanas.

This document has been translated into English and is available by writing the publisher: VYMAANIDASHAASTRA AERONAUTICS by Maharishi Bharadwaaja, translated into English and edited, printed and published by Mr. G. R.Josyer, Mysore, India, 1979. Mr. Josyer is the director of the International Academy of Sanskrit Investigation, located in Mysore. There seems to be no doubt that Vimanas were powered by some sort of "anti-gravity." Vimanas took off vertically, and were capable of hovering in the sky, like a modern helicopter or dirigible. Bharadvajy the Wise refers to no less than seventy authorities and 10 experts of air travel in antiquity! (These sources are now lost!)

Vimanas were kept in a Vimana Griha, a kind of hanger, and were sometimes said to be propelled by a yellowish-white liquid, and sometimes by some sort of mercury compound, though writers seem confused in this matter. It is most likely that the later writers on Vimanas, wrote as observers and from earlier texts, and were understandably confused on the principle of their propulsion. The "yellowish- white liquid" sounds suspiciously like gasoline, and perhaps Vimanas had a number of different propulsion sources, including combustion engines and even "pulse-jet" engines. There are so many such texts and most of them have not even been translated into English yet.

It is evident that ancient Indians flew around in these vehicles, all over Asia, and even, apparently, to South America. Writing found at Mohenjodaro (now in Pakistan) has also been found in one other place in the world: Easter Island! Was Easter Island an ancient Indian air base?

Nuclear war 8,000 years ago

A heavy layer of radioactive ash in Rajasthan, India, covers a three-square mile area, ten miles west of Jodhpur. Scientists are investigating the site, where a housing development was being built.

For some time it has been established that there is a very high rate of birth defects and cancer in the area under construction. The levels of radiation there have registered so high on investigators' gauges that the Indian government has now cordoned off the region. Scientists have unearthed an ancient city where evidence shows an atomic blast dating back thousands of years, from 8,000 to 12,000 years, destroyed most of the buildings and probably a half-million people. One researcher estimates that the nuclear bomb used was about the size of the ones dropped on Japan in 1945.

The Mahabharata clearly describes a catastrophic blast that rocked the continent.

Archeologist Francis Taylor says that etchings in some nearby temples he has managed to translate suggest that they prayed to be spared from the great light that was coming to lay ruin to the city. (Construction has halted while the site is under investigation.)

3. Lost fountain of knowledge

The Indian Emperor Ashoka started a "Secret Society of the Nine Unknown Men": great Indian scientists who were supposed to catalogue the many sciences. Ashoka kept their work secret because he was afraid that the advanced science catalogued by these men, culled from ancient Indian sources, would be used for the evil purpose of war, which Ashoka was strongly against, having been converted to Buddhism after defeating a rival army in a bloody battle. The "Nine Unknown Men" wrote a total of nine books, presumably one each. One of these books was titled "The Secrets of Gravitation!" This book, known to historians, but not actually seen by them dealt chiefly with "gravity control." It is presumably still around somewhere, kept in a secret library in India, Tibet or elsewhere. One can certainly understand Ashoka's reasoning for wanting to keep such knowledge a secret.

Ashoka was also aware of devastating wars using such advanced vehicles and other "futuristic weapons" that had destroyed the ancient Indian "Rama Empire" several thousand years before.

Unknown alloys have been revealed in the ancient palm leaf manuscripts. The writer and Sanskrit scholar Subramanyam Iyer has spent many years of his life deciphering old collections of palm leaves found in the villages of his native Karnataka in southern India.

One of the palm leaf manuscripts they intend to decipher is the Amsu Bodhini, which, according to an anonymous text of 1931, contains information about the planets; the different kinds of light, heat, color, and electromagnetic fields; the methods used to construct machines capable of attracting solar rays and, in turn, of analysing and separating their energy components; the possibility of conversing with people in remote places and sending messages by cable; and the manufacture of machines to transport people to other planets!

4. Talpade – The Indian Sanskrit scholar who built and flew a mercury engine aircraft in 1895, 8 years before the Wright brothers!

Shivkur Bapuji Talpade, flew an unmanned aircraft, eight years before the Wright brothers demonstrated on December 17th 1903 that it was possible for a ‘manned heavier than air machine to fly’. But, in 1895, eight years earlier, the Sanskrit scholar Shivkar Bapuji Talpade had designed a basic aircraft called Marutsakthi (meaning Power of Air) based on Vedic technology documented in ancient Sanskrit manuscripts. His demonstration flight took place before a large audience in the Chowpathy beach of Bombay. The importance of the Wright brothers lies in the fact, that it was a manned flight for a distance of 120 feet and Orville Wright became the first man to fly. But Talpade’s unmanned aircraft flew to a height of 1500 feet before crashing down and the historian Evan Koshtka, has described Talpade as the ‘first creator of an aircraft’.

This historic day in 1895 (unfortunately the actual date is not mentioned in the Kesari newspaper of Pune which covered the event) was witnessed by the famous Indian judge/ nationalist/ Mahadeva Govin-da Ranade and H H Sayaji Rao Gaekwad.

It is important to note that Talpade was no scientist, just a sanskrit scholar who had built his aircraft entirely from the rich treasury of India’s Vedas.

Shivkar Bapuji Talpade was born in 1864 in the locality of Chirabazar at Dukkarwadi in Bombay. He was a scholar of Sanskrit and from his young age was attracted by the Vaimanika Sastra (Aeronautical Science) expounded by the great Indian sage Maharishi Bhardwaja.

Surprisingly according to the bi-monthly Ancient Skies published in USA, the aircraft engines being developed for future use by NASA also uses mercury bombardment units powered by Solar cells! Interestingly, the impulse is generated in seven stages. The mercury propellant is first vapourised fed into the thruster discharge chamber ionised converted into plasma by a combination with electrons broke down electrically and then accelerated through small openings in a screen to pass out of the engine at velocities between 1200 to 3000 kilometres per minute! But so far NASA has been able to produce an experimental basis only a one pound of thrust by its scientists a power derivation virtually useless. But over 100 years ago Talpade was able to use his knowledge of Vaimanika Shastra to produce sufficient thrust to lift his aircraft 1500 feet into the air!

Maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad of Baroda was a great supporter of the Sciences in India, and was willing to help Talpade with funds to build his aircraft and the mercury engines.

But the success of an Indian scientist was not liked by the Imperial rulers. Warned by the British Government the Maharaja of Baroda stopped helping Talpade.

Talpade passed away in 1916 unhonoured, in his own country. It is said that the remains of the Marutsakthi (the aircraft Tapade built) were ‘sold’ to a British company by Talpade’s relatives.

5. Who is benefiting from this knowledge today?

Robert Oppenheimer inventor of the atom bomb was well known for studying ancient Indian texts and perhaps drew more than inspiration from them. Just before the first Atom Bom test, Oppenheimer famously quoted from the Gita saying, ‘I have become Death, Destroyer of Worlds".

It is interesting to note, that the Nazis developed the first practical pulse-jet engines for their V-8 rocket "buzz bombs." Hitler and the Nazi staff were exceptionally interested in ancient India and Tibet and sent expeditions to both these places yearly, starting in the 30's, in order to gather esoteric evidence that they did so, and perhaps it was from these people that the Nazis gained some of their scientific information!

Only a few years ago, the Chinese discovered some sanskrit documents in Lhasa, Tibet and sent them to the University of Chandrigarh to be translated. Dr. Ruth Reyna of the University said recently that the documents contain directions for building interstellar spaceships! Their method of propulsion, she said, was "anti- gravitational" and was based upon a system analogous to that of "laghima," the unknown power of the ego existing in man's physiological makeup, "a centrifugal force strong enough to counteract all gravitational pull." According to Hindu Yogis, it is this "laghima" which enables a person to levitate.

Dr. Reyna said that on board these machines, which were called "Astras" by the text, the ancient Indians could have sent a detachment of men onto any planet, according to the document, which is thought to be thousands of years old. The manuscripts were also said to reveal the secret of "antima"; "the cap of invisibility" and "garima"; "how to become as heavy as a mountain of lead." Naturally, Indian scientists did not take the texts very seriously, but then became more positive about the value of them when the Chinese announced that they were including certain parts of the data for study in their space program! This was one of the first instances of a government admitting to be researching anti-gravity.

6. Cracking the code

There is a wealth of knowledge locked away in Sanskrit manuscripts, 80% of which have not even been translated yet. Talpade managed to successfully fly an aircraft in 1895 using the knowledge in these Sanskrit documents. Remember, he was not a scientist, just a Sanskrit scholar. Just imagine what could be achieved if experts in science, Sanskrit and philosophy get together to crack the code! Whoever cracks it will change the future of the world and will probably dominate it.

Ranjan Bhattacharya

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March 10, 2005



Russia's nuclear policy has once again become the stuff of controversy. On the one hand, domestic right-wingers, darkly suspicious of rumored U.S.-Russian agreements to put Russia's nuclear arsenal under some form of American supervision or control, are attacking the regime for selling out Russian sovereignty and power to Washington. But they overlook the fact that the Russian nuclear archipelago remains perhaps the largest outlet where terrorists could potentially acquire the capability to use weapons of mass destruction. Consequently, it is in everyone's interest that these weapons or weapons-grade materials remain under secure lock and key and be reliably inventoried.

At the same time, those Western analysts and elites who regularly assert that nuclear weapons serve no rational military purpose except to deter other nuclear weapons, along with those who believe in the efficacy of missile defenses, will not be cheered by Russia's recently announced trends regarding nuclear weapons. Last year President Vladimir Putin stated that these missiles would appear in Russia's arsenals, but that other states do not have and will not have those missiles within a few years time.

More recently, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov announced that Russia is now developing missiles that Moscow believes will be "unique, unmatched by the systems of any other country." In other words, these missiles will be able to penetrate missile defenses. Russian weapons engineers also make similar claims that these new missiles have a good chance of "beating all known and yet to be conceived anti-missile defense systems, including those with space-based elements." Many, though not all analysts, believe Ivanov was referring to both the Topol-M land-based mobile missile systems and the new Bulava sea-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or perhaps to hypersonic versions of these missiles that could arguably defeat the projected U.S. missile defense system. These statements may be intended to rebut the domestic critics who believe that Putin is giving away the store. These two scenarios do not contradict each other.

However a third alternative explanation, and one that does not contradict these theories, is that a coherent Russian nuclear strategy is taking shape along with new developments in Russian weaponry. Ivanov, in his rivalry with former Chief of Staff General Anatoly Kvashnin, argued that nuclear weapons were, in his view, a war-fighting instrument that could be used to achieve concrete strategic ends. And in his more recent statements, Ivanov indicated his belief that these new weapons could deter a whole range of threats against Russia.

Moscow apparently rejects the notion that nuclear weapons (either strategic ICBMs or more short-range and smaller yield tactical nuclear weapons) do not serve rational or attainable strategic purposes. Thus once the 2002 Strategic Offensive Arms Reduction Treaty (SORT) with Washington was signed, the way was open for Russia to revert to placing multiple independent reentry vehicles (MIRVs) as its land-based component to last until the new systems enter into serial production. This saves money for now and extends the life of the existing SS-18 and SS-19 missiles until the Topols and Bulavas, if not newer systems that we do not know about, come into being. Likewise Russia is also building missile defenses and space systems so that it too, like the United States, will not remain defenseless and face a potential nuclear threat.

Ivanov also observed that Russia will remain a nuclear power, but it does not need the arsenal that the Soviet Union had. Nor are Russian missiles aimed at specific countries, although they are intended to deter against a whole range of possible contingencies.

Following this line, Russia, according to Ivanov, also aims at self-sufficiency in its scientific, technological, and production capability although it does not exclude future cooperation with NATO. Russia's strategy is a balanced development of strategic forces, improving and upgrading missile systems, and maintaining a sufficient capability to deter threats and defend its interests.

As Russia's economic capability now determines much of its strategic policy, efforts are underway for the Bulava to serve both as a submarine-launched missile on existing Akula class submarines and the forthcoming Borey class submarines, but also as a land-based missile. Ivanov has stated that in 2005 Russia plans to buy seven strategic missiles, nine new space apparatuses for military purposes, and five booster rockets.

This may not seem like a comprehensive rearmament but, within the limits of Russia's capabilities, these figures suggest a continuing commitment to a robust nuclear capability as well as to a gradually revived army capable of meeting Russia's territorial commitments and interests.

Moscow's strategy for rebuilding Russia's defense capability may be limited and hampered by fiscal constraints and the previous collapse of those armed forces, as well as the fact that it can only occur over a long-term. But this does not mean that we should be blind to strategic, doctrinal, and operational realities that are beginning to make themselves felt in Russian policy. There is a strategy and policy emerging here, and they need to be understood and analyzed if we are to continue making sense of Russian developments.

(NTV Mir, February 23; Interfax, February 12; Nezavisimaya gazeta, February 14; Itar-Tass, March 1; Zavtra, February 17-23)

--Stephen Blank

March 09, 2005

Wipro office evacuated after bomb hoax

Wednesday, 09 March , 2005, 15:05

Bangalore:Software services firm Wipro Ltd. evacuated an office in central Bangalore after a bomb scare on Wednesday, as police stepped up security against the backdrop of perceived threats to India's technology capital.|Bomb threat to Wipro office in Bangalore|

A source in Wipro said it had evacuated the employees as a security measure following a bomb scare, which a police spokesman said was a hoax.

Around 200 people work in the central Bangalore office of New York-listed Wipro, which has about 35,000 employees. Wipro officials declined to comment.

Shares in Wipro, which has a few offices in Bangalore and its headquarters on the outskirts, fell to as low as Rs 704.55 on reports of the scare, but later recovered to trade little changed from the previous close at Rs 714.30.

The bomb hoax came during a week when police were on high alert in Bangalore, the hub of India's fast-growing, $16 billion outsourcing industry.

They were on guard after Delhi police said they had killed three militants from a Pakistan-based group linked to Kashmiri separatism on Saturday, who had apparently planned to attack leading Indian software companies.

"In addition to our duties, we will be more conscious of vulnerable areas," a Bangalore police spokesman told Reuters. "Companies have good acts of security. We are having a meeting with them and giving them some guidelines for them to take care."

A day after the Delhi police statement, Bangalore police seized three crude pistols, a gun and some ammunition near a city railway station, but said the arms haul was not necessarily related to the perceived threats to software firms.

Don't lower guard

Don't lower guard

The Pioneer Edit Desk

It was once said of the NDA Government that its officials often went overboard to ensure that Pakistan-sponsored terrorism made the front pages almost everyday. This was nothing but Leftist prattle, but there were many buyers of the insinuation because, overall, it contributed to their agenda of demonising the BJP. It was as if keeping people alert about proliferation of terrorist modules in their neighbourhood was a way of spreading ill-will against the minorities!

One recalls the Ishrat Jahan case in this connection. It represented a veritable collision of the complex attitudes that today shape the UPA Government's position on cross-border terrorism. Sections of the media have since imposed some sort of self-censorship where news on terrorist modules is concerned. Very little has appeared in the national media in the past six months which could remotely be adduced as the way to keep the nation informed of its vulnerability. It was precisely this state of apathy institutionalised during the Gujral doctrine years that led, much later, to the intelligence failure on Kargil. The early 2000s have seen the national intelligence agencies undergo a superb rally.

Better coordination between them and the States' police has resulted in significant successes on the counter-terrorism front. The UPA has inherited one of the best national apparatuses in the global war against terrorism. It should not fritter away the advantage by indulging in lazy rhetoric about terrorists being "brothers" or "misguided youth". There is a particular emergency at the present moment. Last week's incident in Delhi in which a Lashkar-e-Toiba module was busted and three, including two Pakistani, terrorists shot dead, led to the shocking revelation that the banned outfit was planning to hit some soft targets in the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore, and the Indian Military Academy of Dehra Dun as well.

The Government should not forget that terrorist organisations often go into long periods of apparent hibernation, only to announce their return in spectacular style. The Students' Islamic Movement of India had virtually disintegrated after the Jamaat-e-Islami withdrew financial support. But that hardly deterred its fanatical young followers, who went different ways in search of new umbrellas. The man who was arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police revealed elaborate plans to destabilise India's economy.

This would go to prove that Pakistan's military establishment has not honoured its commitment about withdrawing aid to terrorists operating in India. Those who cite the falling rate of infiltration across the LoC as the index of Pakistan's sincerity regarding peace with India are only indulging in self deception. The LeT has scores of active modules across India which continue to get financial aid and knowhow. In fact, there could be a tactical shift involving the emergence of new centres of operations to deflect the Indian security apparatus's focus from J&K. Either way, India must not lower its guard

Call it a peace process and pump in the terrorists

If you read the article given in the above URL, it says Paki doctors wants to adopt an indian village and treat the people over there !!! Even though it looks humane, but indians needs to be careful while dealing with each and every paki. You dont know, they will come to India by taking a cause, but ultimately they will do whatever it takes to destroy indians. They might indulge in Bio Terrorism.

Another example is our india-pak cricket. nearly 1300 pakis are in india to watch the cricket match, and I dont know how many of them would go back, and those who stay back would indulge in terrorism.

Indians cant sit quite and see what is happening now, especially in this peace process the border has been made more porous. Pakis understood that Indian army would ultimately build the fence and would stop the terrorists from entering India, and the only other route now is to Call it a peace process and pump in the terrorists.

Jharkhand: Congress' Next Step!

As I had anticipated earlier, the whole brouhaha over BJP lining up 41 MLAs in front of President will yield little. While BJP guys were congratulating themselves for the "parade of 41", last night, SOren, in his so characteristic style, coolly went ahead and nominated an Anglo Indian. His nomination awaits Rizvi's blessing. The only spanner in Soren's strategy, may have been thrown in by the Supreme Court. But wait, the Court may not have the final say yet. A possible "solution" could be to disqualify a couple of MLAs from the BJP side, and let Courts decide whether that disqualification was valid or not. That would take months, or may be years. Law, as someone has so wisely said, is an ass. And the Congress is expert at proving the validity of law's assinine traits. Or perhaps, Ekka may prove out to be a real Christian, and decide to vote against BJP at the last moment.

The message of Jharkhand is loud and clear. Come what may, Sonia will have her day. I have to, grudgingly, admire her steel. Over last 2 weeks, she has not spoken a word. But the actions of her supporters betray her resolute mindset. Politicians who take her silence for her ineptitude, or clumsiness, are digging their own grave.


Our Defiant neighbour Bangladesh is crying for military punishment.

Defiant Bangladesh
Our neighbour is crying for military punishment.

9 March 2005: On Monday, Bangladesh told the Indian foreign office that it would not deport ULFA’s founding general secretary, fundraiser, money-launderer and much-wanted terrorist, Anup Chetia. On the other hand, Indian investigators could question Chetia, provided they produced specific changes (Intelligence, “Bangladesh refuses to deport ULFA leader,” 8 March 2005). The suggestion here is that Bangladesh is a liberal democracy, which protects human rights, while India is a monster state, where rule of law is nonexistent.

The Bangladeshi rejection has not been taken up by the Union cabinet, preoccupied with the self-inflicted wounds in Goa, Jharkhand and Bihar, but the foreign office is expected to take the lead soon. The conditional access granted to Indian investigators won’t be accepted, and pressure will be mounted to deport Chetia. The foreign ministry believes it can do the job of pressuring Bangladesh adequately, but for that, foreign minister Natwar Singh has to show more steel towards anti-India SAARC countries than he has shown so far.

Chetia ended a seven-year-three-month jail sentence for illegally entering Bangladesh on 25 February (Intelligence, “Bangladesh extends Anup Chetia’s custody”). Since India’s deportation request was pending, Chetia should have been given up promptly, there being no other case against him. But Bangladesh’s home ministry intervened to cancel a prison release order, and almost simultaneously, a Dhaka-based human-rights group moved a petition in the high court saying Chetia was personally threatened and ought not to be deported to India.

To the Indian foreign office, Bangladesh has taken the plea that Chetia faces fresh trials in cases of kidnapping in the country and money laundering, and therefore cannot be given up. India has protested that Bangladesh never mentioned these cases before. “It is a transparent attempt to hold Chetia indefinitely in Bangladesh,” said an official. “But this time, we are going to call Bangladesh’s bluff.”

Since Khalida Zia came to power in October 2001, rollercoaster relations with India have steadily plunged, starting with government-backed pogroms against the Hindu minority. Since the Jamaat-e-Islami is part of Zia’s coalition government, Islamists have taken growing control of the country. Al-Qaeda leaders and leaders of allied terrorist groups like the Jamah Islamiyah have found sanctuary in Bangladesh from Pakistan. Saudi Arabia is pumping in huge funds to advance Wahabism through mosques, madrasas, and terrorists training camps, some of which have come up near the border with India.

The ISI, for its part, is using this entire established terrorist infrastructure to destabilise India’s North East. Last year’s violence in the North East originated from Bangladesh. More recently, General Pervez Musharraf ordered Pakistan’s terrorist leadership to relocate its cadres in Bangladesh, and use that country as a base for terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir (Commentary, “Compromising season,” 3 March 2005).

Add to this growing Bangladeshi links with the druglords of South-East Asia. Bangladesh has become a major world centre for refining heroin, and heroin is among its major exports to Singapore and Thailand, whence they are taken by couriers to the European mainland and America. As a failed state, Bangladesh needs terrorist and Saudi funds to keep afloat, and large sections of the population are being sucked into the drug trade or to provide hospitality to visiting terrorist leaders and groups.

India’s concern which generally flows from this rapid Islamisation, Wahabisation and terrorisation of Bangladesh also has a specific root in the alarming spread of North East militant camps in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), Sylhet, Jessore, Cox Bazaar, Mymensingh, and other places. The camps have grown from about sixty-five five years ago to over three hundred of them. The most dominant of the North East groups in Bangladesh is the ULFA, and such is its hold on the Bangladesh government, financial and otherwise, Zia is willing to go out on a limb to protect Anup Chetia. The measure of ULFA’s importance for Bangladesh can be judged by the fact that it is willing to confront India, although India’s easy-going attitude to Bangladeshi terrorism so far, infiltrations into India, and illegal migrations, have also contributed.

So, what to do?

When the UPA came to power, it believed the NDA had exaggerated the threat from Bangladesh, and it was in this light that defence minister Pranab Mukherjee overruled offensive action against the holed up North East terror groups there. He hoped that exerted pressure on Bangladesh would force terrorist leaders to flee to distant countries in the West, from where it would be difficult to control terrorist actions. What Mukherjee did not count on was Bangladeshi resistance to Indian pressure, Khalida Zia believing that the UPA would be softer towards her than the NDA.

But UPA attitudes changed after the attempted assassination of the Bangladesh opposition leader, Sheikh Hasina Wajed, and the agencies reflected anger for being kept out of the April-2004 Chittagong arms haul investigations. The government wanted to adopt a carrot-and-stick approach, agree to buy anything that Bangladesh exported, provided it shut the terror camps and acted against the operating North East groups like Bhutan and Myanmar. Typically, the stick was never hinted at much less displayed. The refusal to deport Anup Chetia establishes a new high point of Bangladeshi defiance of India, and now India has to show it is willing and able to wield the stick as well.

Being a pipsqueak, ragtag state, even a token offensive mounted by the Indian military, particularly the IAF, is sufficient to get Bangladesh on its knees. For some months now, the Indian Army has been pressing for air raids against the established North East terror camps in Bangladesh. “If we destroy about fifty camps either in the CHT area or Sylhet with precision bombing,” said a general staff officer, “child’s play really for the IAF, Bangladesh should come to its senses pronto. We don’t necessarily hide the raids. We do it and tell Bangladesh we did it, and to be prepared for worse unless it heeds India’s security concerns. Bangladesh will come crawling, and then we can provide salves in the form of opening our markets to them, buying whatever they produce, etc. But you have to wield the stick first.”

The military understands more than any institution the necessity of bilateral friendships, but its patience is worn thin with Bangladesh. There is general disbelief about the foreign office’s capacity or inclination to coerce Bangladesh, but for the moment, the military is willing to go along. But pressure is mounting on the government to show Bangladesh its place. “Everyone accepts,” said an official, “that Bangladesh needs solution, otherwise it could turn a worse problem than Pakistan.”

March 08, 2005

Why Rahul Gandhi was detained at Boston airport?

While some reports says that Rahul Gandhi was infected with AIDS virus (for which he is getting secret medical treatment from London) and he was asked to take medical at Boston airport, other's says that he was in possession of drugs. Now comes this report.

Rahul's $2 mn encounter with FBI

IANS[ TUESDAY, MARCH 08, 2005 08:43:20 PM ]

Sign into earnIndiatimes points

LUCKNOW: A suit has been filed in the high court here seeking information about the alleged detention of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and his Colombian girlfriend by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2001.

The petition, filed by four lawyers, is likely to be heard Wednesday.

According to the public interest litigation, Gandhi, the son of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and his companion were released after being detained at Boston airport following the intervention of the Prime Minister's Office.

At that time, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Indian prime minister and Gandhi was not a member of the Lok Sabha.

"Vajpayee's principal secretary and then national security adviser Brajesh Misra spoke to top US authorities to enable Rahul Gandhi and his girlfriend to get away," claimed Prem Chandra Sharma, who moved the court along with three others.

Sharma claimed to have gathered this information through the Internet and said he had downloaded certain documents to substantiate his allegations.

The petition alleged that Gandhi was found in illegal possession of about $200,000. And it was in that connection that the FBI had detained him along with his girlfriend Sep 21, 2001.

The FBI was said to have sought an explanation about Gandhi's possession of such a huge amount of money, which he was unable to provide, the petition said.

The petition sought a writ of mandamus to the Indian ambassador to the US as well as the union home secretary to make a disclosure about the entire episode.

British muslim woman accused of backing Kashmir terrorists

British muslim woman accused of backing Kashmir terrorists

A British woman appeared at Bow Street magistrates court in
London yesterday accused of supplying weapons to a terrorist group linked to

Frzana Khan, 41, was charged with providing the Kashmiri
separatist fighters Lashkar-e-Taiba (LT) with money and with goods described as
guns, thermal imaging equipment, material for bulletproof vests, and
other hi-tech military gear.
Mrs Khan was described in court as a "full-time mother" with two
sons aged 11 and 12.

She was born and brought up in Coventry, where she lives with her
husband, a taxi driver.,3604,1432657,00.html

Sonia's agenda : Religious war against Hindus

March 7, 2005

An unusually strong article (The New Indian Express) by BBC correspondent (and Rajdeep Sardesai's wife) Sagarika Ghose. Here is the key:

"And since Madam really hates the BJP, what better way to gain ascendancy in the royal household than by emerging as a warrior of ‘‘secularism’’?"

Ghose attributes this hatred to Mahatma Gandhi's murder, which is highly unlikely. It credits her with too much sensitivity to Indian history and tradition. Also why would she be bothered by what happened nearly 60 years ago, especially whe is willing to go to bed with the her husband's murders.

There is a much simpler explanation: she is a culturally primitive Christian bigot who hates the heathen Hindus with a visceral passion. It is fairly common among people of her cultural and social background-- religious bigotry combined with racial hatred. I have seen such people by the score in Europe and America.

She sees her mission as a religious war against the Hindus. And she uses cheap theatrics to hide her real feelings.

This is what makes her (among others) associate with Islamic fundamentalist outfits and seedy politicians and bureaucrats to attack Hindu symbols from the Kanchi Mutt to BJP and RSS.

THIS SHOULD BE HIGHLIGHTED AT EVERY TURN. Sagarika Ghose has done us a favor by casting the first stone.

Sagarika ghose's article goes as far as it possibly can in a 'mainstream' publication. She probably knows that Sonia hates Hindus and Hinduism, but no newspaper will publish such writing. So she has hedged by using BJP as proxy.

The important thing is that it has brought the fact that Sonia is driven by hatred.

N S Rajaram

Sonia to target President Abdul Kalam

Sonia to target President Kalam

It would be politically suicidal for the Congress to now train its guns on A.P.J.Abdul Kalam.

7 March 2005: If you are not with us, you are against us. This is the ruling dictum of the Congress party, or at any rate, sections of the party which have so far committed constitutional illegalities in two states, Goa and Jharkhand. This section, comprising worthies like Ahmed Patel, reputedly Sonia Gandhi’s self-advertised political advisor, Ajit Jogi, who pulled every political punch to remain Chattisgarh CM but could not, Priyaranjan Dasmunshi, the party’s hatchet man, and Oscar Fernandes, want the Congress to confront the President, A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, and “put him in his place”.

Kalam’s fault? That he called the blundering Jharkhand governor to Delhi, Sibte Razi, and pulled him up for inviting Shiv Soren to form the government when the NDA had a paraded majority. Before meeting the President, Patel & Co had briefed Razi. They had told him not be worried, not to be defensive, but to repeat ad nauseam that Soren had claimed to have a majority, and he chose to believe him and not the NDA.

What no one expected was Kalam’s tough stand. He had previously made his position clear to prime minister Manmohan Singh and home minister Shivraj Patil, both expressing regret for Razi’s action. With Razi, Congress party sources said, the President was brutal but unfailingly polite (Intelligence, “Kalam asks Razi to exercise caution,” 5 March 2005).

The President advised Razi to exercise his constitutional powers carefully and responsibly, since it would otherwise lower the image of the governor’s office, and bring disrepute even to the presidency. He added that the President’s office would be targeted if he were to remain quiet in such circumstances, and that governors ought to exercise their powers with great caution and respect.

The impact of the President’s meeting with the PM, home minister and Jharkhand governor was huge, but many sided. One effect was the emergency decision taken by the Congress leadership not to precipitate matters, not to incite public opinion further in Goa and Jharkhand but especially against the Congress all over the country, and to limit the damage of adverse media coverage. For the first time since the UPA came to power, the media turned wholesale against the Congress.

To control the damage, a decision was taken to impose President’s rule in Goa even if the party won the confidence vote in the assembly, which it did deviously. Two, it was decided that Sibte Razi would advance the confidence vote in Jharkhand, and now, it will be held on 15 March instead of the 21st as before. Three, a short spell of President’s rule was thought necessary in Bihar, because any defections engineered by Laloo Prasad Yadav to stay in power would boomerang on the Congress.

The second impact of the President’s displayed toughness was a sectional Congress view that Sibte Razi ought to be relocated to another state, which would also serve to distance the Congress leadership from his unconstitutional action. But Ahmed Patel and the others opposed this, saying that this would hurt Muslim sentiments, which would be intolerable after Laloo had lost Bihar.

Their second argument was that if Razi was removed, the anger would direct at Sonia Gandhi, for making him a patsy. The case of Madhavsinh Solanki was brought up, who was caught trying to influence the Bofors investigations as P.V.Narasimha Rao’s foreign minister, and subsequently perished in politics. Amarender Singh, on the other hand, narrowly retained the Punjab chiefministership, despite bringing the controversial law pulling out of the river-sharing agreements with neighbouring states. A section of the Congress leadership knew of the planned law, but once the controversy broke, blamed it all on the Punjab CM.

Patel and the others said Sibte Razi would get victim status like Amarender and Solanki. While Sibte Razi was politically expendable, expending him would send the message that Sonia did not stand by her loyalists, those, that is, that did her bidding. In future, the leadership could count on no one to take personal risks to advance the party’s interest anyway, anyhow.

Instead of penalising Sibte Razi, Patel, Jogi, Dasmunshi and Fernandes wanted a war declared against Abdul Kalam. They accused the President of acting on behalf of the BJP/ NDA/ Samajwadi Party, which had elected him to that office, and instead of calling the Jharkhand governor to Delhi, Kalam should have stayed above the fray, and kept his counsel. Stalwarts in the Congress are against moving against the President, but since the leadership is tilted in favour of generation-next, no one is sure how long the stalwart opposition will survive.

There have been fairly political presidents in office, party political creatures some of them, and those like Zail Singh, K.R.Narayanan, etc, were at loggerheads with the executive. Their behaviour and congealed attitudes arose from their party political background, from being politically sidelined, and in some cases, there was a third factor, of a denied second term. Abdul Kalam is the exception, who did not come into the presidency from politics, but was honoured for his contribution to India’s missile programme.

This magazine was almost alone to oppose Kalam’s presidency, in view of the mechanistic delight he expressed in building WMDs, but he has since transformed, become the most human President, with extraordinary displayed affection and care for children. After Nehru, he is the second constitutional high functionary to display such unabashed love for children.

Not just children, but for vast sections of society, Kalam holds the moral compass, because of his essential goodness, his unswerving nationalism, and clearly, he is the most admired and influential Indian President. Despite the NDA electing him, the first of his presidential visits was to camps for Gujarat’s riot victims, and subsequently, he has handled his office and responsibilities unimpeachably, with independence, and with rare grace. To accuse such a President of partisanship is indefensible and condemnable.

Knowing Kalam, he would have held numerous constitutional consultations before asking to see the PM and home minister, and calling the Jharkhand governor to Delhi. What happened in Goa and subsequently Jharkhand was malafide, and a situation was forced, by a stalled Parliament, by the pressure built by a petitioning NDA, by the country’s anger reflected in a friendly media turning against the Congress party almost overnight, where President Kalam had to intervene. But to compound the crisis, Ahmed Patel and the others want the blood of the President. This is a group of political hoods who are convinced about their own infallibility and righteousness.

But targeting the President would be the worst tactic for the Congress party, because the whole country will turn against. “The Congress will be doomed if it hits at Kalam,” said a senior, unallied politician. “The crisis was not provoked by him but the Congress, and he had to set things right. If he is pushed, he will resign, because he is not enamoured of the presidency, and the Congress won’t be able to overcome that disaster.” This is also the view of Congress stalwarts, but they are being outnumbered and outgunned.

March 07, 2005


By all accounts, events in the Middle East are moving in a direction that could lead to significant breakthroughs in Iraq, Lebanon, and Israel-Palestinian relations. Yet Moscow, while claiming support for them, seems eager to undermine these moves toward peace and democracy in order to get back into the ring.

To a very large degree, Russia has hitherto been excluded from these events due to its own weakness and inability to offer anything positive to most or all of the various players. But recently Russia seems to have hit upon two tried and true methods of augmenting its influence, namely arms sales and nuclear technology transfer. Russia's recent agreement on spent fuel with Iran for the reactor at Bushehr is well known (see EDM, March 3). But it, like the new arms deals in the Middle East that are being announced, must also be seen as attempts to strike directly at important American interests. And these arms sales to unreliable partners certainly do not add to the positive trends now taking place in the Middle East. Thus the deal on Bushehr was signed just two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin's summit with President George W. Bush at Bratislava.

Moscow's list of clients for conventional weapons spans the entire region. It is selling the Tunguska M-1 combined gun/missile self-propelled air defense system to Morocco. Recently Russia also announced its first-ever arms sales to Saudi Arabia, further cementing a tactical partnership between these oil giants. Apart from the reactor at Bushehr, Moscow is selling large numbers of conventional systems to Iran, making it the third-largest customer for Russian weapons after India and China.

Similarly, despite the recent treaty with the United States not to sell man-portable anti-aircraft missiles that could be used to shoot down commercial airliners, and despite the scandal that broke out in January over the potential sale of the Iskander anti-aircraft missile, Moscow now plans to sell Syria the Strelets anti-air defense missile. This system is allegedly immobile, not man-portable, and apparently cannot be used without special means of transport. Still, at a time when Syria is clearly implicated in supporting terrorism and is under pressure to get out of Lebanon lock, stock, and barrel, as mandated by UN resolutions, such overt support is bizarre to say the least. This is especially the case, as it seems these missiles have limited utility and it is not clear how Syria will pay for them. Indeed, Moscow recently forgave most of Syria's unpaid debts for Soviet-era weapons, so how will it pay for new ones?

Moscow seems to believe that Syria truly wants to contribute to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov publicly stated that Syria might render great assistance to Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' peace efforts and to the consolidation of all Palestinian groups in a future Palestinian state. Although his remarks antedated the bombing in Tel-Aviv on February 25 that was carried out by a Syrian-backed group, Islamic Jihad, Lavrov's statements made no sense even when they were made.

Even more strangely, Moscow is showing its support for the Palestinian peace process by offering to sell the Palestinians arms. Whatever Moscow's motives might be in this case, again the questions arise: How does such a transaction contribute to the possibilities for peace between Israel and the Palestinians? Second, who will pay for arms, since the Palestinians' accounts are generally derived from foreign subsidies, not independent revenues? Third, exactly what does Moscow gain from the deal?

Despite 50 years of arms sales to Middle Eastern regimes, Moscow still has little to show for its expenses and exertions. Unfortunately all these moves seem to evoke posturing rather than a mature or well-conceived policy concept based on Russian national interests. As the Russian commentator Andrei Piontkovsky observed, "Russian policy is largely driven not by rational national interests, but by this complex of former greatness. Any leader in the Middle East or elsewhere knows about this complex and can take advantage of it by helping Russia to continue to play this role for a perk or a privilege."
This mindset, along with the urgings of the nuclear and arms lobbies that make money off these deals, underscores the reasons behind Russia's quest for influence in the Middle East through the medium of arms sales. But more likely than not, this latest version of Russia's quest for influence, like its earlier manifestations, will turn out to be merely a mirage.

(Los Angles Times, February 2; Jane's Defense Weekly, March 2; Interfax, February 9, 16; Moscow News, February 23-March 1; National Review Online, February 18; Agence France-Presse, February 16; Washington Times, February 10)

--Stephen Blank

Muslims are running the politics; christists the christist social agenda

How do you like this Paswan offer of CM's post to a muslim from JD

Dhanyavaadah. K.

Yes, muslims are running the politics; christists the christist social agenda. Antonia Maino is ruthless, unscrupulous and treats Advani and co. in utter disdain. If the NDA neta don't realise that the family dynasty is the root cause for aggravating all the political and social problems of Bharat, they are politically naieve people and will soon have to contend with Raoul.

They should, without wasting time, start creating a national anti- congress front to counter the third-front initiative of Surjeet Singh of CPI-M.

Paswan renewed his offer of Bihar's chief ministership to National Democratic Alliance partner Janata Dal (United).

"I offer the JD(U) the post of chief minister provided it agrees to my suggestions to break away from the BJP and evolve a consensus on the name of a minority leader belonging to the party for chief ministership," Paswan said hinting at fresh alignment of forces in Bihar, excluding the RJD and the BJP, to install a government in the state soon.

Secular = Communal in India -- SAGARIKA GHOSE

Secular = Communal


Let's glance at the recent ''secular'' events in the life of the Indian republic. Congress General Secretary Margaret Alva in Panaji, blithely ignoring the controversial sacking of the BJP government, declaring instead that it was about time Goa got a ''secular'' administration. Laloo Prasad Yadav, boiling out of his residence, defeated yet strangely excited, still thundering that it was time for all ''secular'' forces to form the government. Minister for Water Resources, Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi in Ranchi, smiling into the TV cameras, convinced that subverting the will of the Jharkhand voters was an act of supreme ''secularism''. Ram Vilas Paswan, leader of the triumphant Lojappa (LJP), only the other day a minister in the NDA government, but now also determined to protect ''secularism'' by issuing warnings that he can only talk to the JD(U) if it severed all links with the BJP. And Shibu Soren, until recently a fugitive from the law, charged with murder and defeated in the polls, but now newly appointed chief minister of Jharkhand. He once flirted with the BJP but now even Shibu is a towering pillar of ''secularism''.

In the centre of this weird even violent ''secularism'' sits Big Mama of 10 Janpath. Cocooned by court poets still dreamily eulogising her supreme ''secular'' sacrifice. Advised by ageing ''secularists'' like Arjun Singh who can no longer win elections, who is isolated within his own party and who wears his defamation case against the RSS like a badge of honour. A whisper goes around the inner circles of the Congress Worshipping Committee: Madam really hates the BJP. And since Madam really hates the BJP, what better way to gain ascendancy in the royal household than by emerging as a warrior of ''secularism''?

Never mind if this ''secularism'' is simply a synonym for bending the Constitution, indeed all norms of government-formation, to keeping the BJP out of government. Never mind if this secularism ends up by anointing Shahabuddin, the ''don'' of Siwan as an exemplar of Bharat Nirman. Never mind if this secularism is simply another word for hatred. Sonia Gandhi's visceral hatred of the BJP has communicated itself down the line to every garden governor and party worker and they are now using the word ''secularism'' to brazenly block the will of the voters. Jharkhand is the most perverse example of this hatred-filled ''secularism''. Even if it is accepted that some MLAs were intimidated, 9 MLAs in an 81-member assembly do not give the Congress any mandate to stake any claim.

Hatred is not the stuff of democracy. A democrat disagrees. A democrat argues. A democrat does not hate. Above all, a democrat respects the Opposition. However wicked some of the sangh parivar's constituents may be, however backward-looking and socially conservative some of its ideologues certainly are, however uncivilised the parivar's language may be when it calls governors ''supari killers'' and prime ministers ''shikhandis'', yet the BJP/ NDA is an equal partner in Indian democracy, it has as much right to exist as the Congress and as much right to the allegiance of the people.

A democrat cannot fail to realise that the '87 riots in Meerut, '89 in Bhagalpur or Mumbai riots in 1992-93 all took place under ''secular'' governments. A democrat will also realise that the 1984 Sikh riots were as heinous, as ghastly as the Gujarat riots of 2002, that many more were killed, many more children were orphaned and that a crucial difference between Gujarat and Delhi was that the former took place under the glare of 24-hour news television and TV images have (rightly) burned the very name ''Gujarat'' into a perennially monstrous memory. But having realised all this, a mature democrat would find it difficult to pass irrevocable judgement on who has a ''divine right'' to rule and who does not. All a democrat can do is respect the legacy of the idealists of the 1940s who placed, in the hands of every Indian, the power of democratic choice. If the majority of Biharis choose to throw Laloo out, in the name of the people of India, the leaders must bow. If the majority of Jharkhandis choose the NDA, then again, in the name of the people of India, the leaders must bow. If they don't, the short-term battle may be won, but the war for democracy will be lost.

What are the roots of the Congress's hatred of the BJP? Ever since the pre-Independence period, the Congress has believed that the RSS as ''killers of the Mahatma'' represented the polar opposite of Nehruvian secular socialist nationalism. The ''secular'' versus ''communal'' divide has been a primary faultline since Independence and until 1975, anyone remotely connected with the sangh parivar was systematically (and snobbishly) kept out of the national mainstream, whether in politics, culture, academics, or the arts. 1975 and the imposition of Emergency first gave the Jana Sangh the opportunity to occupy a place within the larger Janata movement but the dual membership controversy put an end to the Jana Sangh's ambitions. But over the last fifteen years, the lines between ''secular'' and ''communal'' have blurred. In 1989 both the Left and the BJP supported the V.P. Singh government.

And today, who is ''secular''? Is Laloo ''secular''? He waves the U.C. Banerjee Godhra interim report around and detained Pravin Togadia last year. Yet he has buried a report showing how shockingly the condition of the minorities has declined in his rule. Ram Vilas Paswan campaigns with an Osama look-alike and declares that he left the NDA because of Gujarat, but it was so pathetically clear at that time that he only left because he didn't get the telecom ministry. Is the DMK ''secular''? It has the unique distinction of sharing power with all the last three governments at the Centre, and Karunanidhi praises Vajpayee and Sonia by turn. Is Mamata Banerjee ''secular''? She fights with the Congress in state elections but with the NDA in national elections.

The truth is that secularism as a liberal democratic ideal no longer automatically attaches to the Congress or to the anti-BJP forces. Instead of using ''secularism'' simply as a barrier to exclude the NDA at all costs, why does the Congress not give more substance to its secular aspirations by focussing on rule of law, building enduring social cohesion and democratising its functioning instead of clinging to its ridiculous antediluvian High Command culture. Hating the NDA as stupidly as Pravin Togadia hates Muslims is an injustice to the Indian voters' freedom of choice.


The following is an unusually strong article (The New Indian Express) by BBC correspondent (and Rajdeep Sardesai's wife) Sagarika Ghose. Here is the key:

"And since Madam really hates the BJP, what better way to gain ascendancy in the royal household than by emerging as a warrior of ''secularism''?"

Ghose attributes this hatred to Mahatma Gandhi's murder, which is highly unlikely. It credits her with too much sensitivity to Indian history and tradition. Also why would she be bothered by what happened nearly 60 years ago, especially whe is willing to go to bed with the her husband's murders.

There is a much simpler explanation: she is a culturally primitive Christian bigot who hates the heathen Hindus with a visceral passion. It is fairly common among people of her cultural and social background-- religious bigotry combined with racial hatred. I have seen such people by the score in Europe and America.

She sees her mission as a religious war against the Hindus. And she uses cheap theatrics to hide her real feelings.

This is what makes her (among others) associate with Islamic fundamentalist outfits and seedy politicians and bureaucrats to attack Hindu symbols from the Kanchi Mutt to BJP and RSS.

THIS SHOULD BE HIGHLIGHTED AT EVERY TURN. Sagarika Ghose has done us a favor by casting the first stone.



I agree. Sonia's hatred for BJP is not neccesarily rooted in incidents which happened 60 years back in time. Rather, it is reflective of her cultural upbringing, and also the fact that on two previous occasions, she was denied PMship of a Hindu Bharat. Sagarika Ghose is correct about the hatred part. But, she too is an intellectual. So she cannot clearly diagnose the source of this hatred.



What she forgot to note is that Antonia (Madam) is ruthless,
unscrupulous, with a killer instinct (to cite the sports metaphor
used by Arvind Lavakare). BJP/NDA leaders are meek, afraid of their
own backs. I won't blame the opposition, they are afraid of
being 'eliminated'. Juse look at the pathetic state of the NDA and
supporting independent MLAs in Jharkhand. They are scared for their

Antonia is so unscrupulous that she wouldn't mind handing over a
state to a criminal. She would do the same with Jammu and Kashmir and
hand the state over to Musharraf. She is a national security risk.

To be secular is to be a national security risk.

-- Kalyanaraman

"Pro-Muslim secular Lalloo", says Saba Naqvi

"To weaken Laloo also amounts to muffling one of the strongest pro-Muslim
secular voices on the Indian public stage...."
- Saba Naqvi Bhaumik
in Outlook India

Almost any reasonable analysis tells us, that Lalloo's leadership has been
the worst thing that has happened to the 80 million residents of Bihar - in
fact, any leadership would be better than Laloo's, since from just one
article in Pioneer, we have the following data...

** Bihar is India's poorest and most ignorant State. As much as 42 per cent
of its population lives below the poverty line, and per capita incomes in
the State are a third of the national average of Rs 11,799. Bihar has the
lowest literacy and female literacy rates in the country, 47.53 per cent and
33.57 per cent respectively

** The sheer situation of administrative collapse has prevented the
efficient utilisation - indeed, any utilisation - of a large proportion even
of available resources. Thus, out of the cumulative allocation of Rs 15,411
crore under the Ninth Plan, Bihar failed to utilise as much as Rs 5,490
crore. Similarly, as against the allocation of Rs. 2,964 crore in 2002-03,
the State failed to spend Rs 737 crore

** A Central team assessing the status of rural electrification in Bihar in
1999 found that 46,000 villages (of a total of 67,000) had been electrified
"on paper". However, at least 12,000 of these "electrified villages" showed
no evidence of such electrification - apparently because all the equipment
had simply been "stolen" Even in villages that were supposedly "connected",
electricity was a "sporadic luxury" and one report claims that "satellite
photos of India at night show Bihar at the centre of an area of darkness".

** Though terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir grabs headlines far more frequently,
the truth is, far more people suffer violent death in Bihar. There are, on
an average, as many as 11 murders and seven abductions, three rapes and four
dacoities a day in Bihar (the data is for year 2002, and the numbers have
been increasing continuous). Worse, 29 of the State's 38 districts are now
afflicted by various intensities of Maoist insurgent activity, and at least
10 of these are "highly affected" - areas in which the writ of the
Government would be questionable. The sense of fear is pervasive.

So, why does "uber secularist" Saba Naqvi Bhaumik go poetic about the
"symbolic importance of being Laloo Yadav" ....

Ah!! but, for that we must really really understand what "pro-Muslim
secularism" actually means...the kind of secularim that Saba ji would like
to see on the national scene....

QUOTE (from Assam Sentinel, march 05, 2005)
There is social and religious tension in Muslim dominated districts of
Bihar, the barat procession cannot use a band without the local Imam's
permission. If one has to cremate the dead body, he has practically no other
option but to carry the body 40-50 km away or they have to bury it. Forcible
marriages of Hindu girls are occurring increasingly. Certainly those who
indulge in such activities or give silent consent thereto cannot be called
secular voters. This is Muslim communalism in extreme. Pretenders of
secularism are actually supporters of this type of fanatic communalism.

Guardian Challenge 2005 canceled

3/4/2005 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFPN) -- Guardian Challenge, the Air Force’s annual space and missile competition, has been canceled for 2005 to allow Airmen to focus on real-world deployments and ease budget constraints, Air Force Space Command officials said.

“It takes a lot of manpower and resources to support an event like Guardian Challenge,” said Col. John Stocker, Guardian Challenge competition commander. “We need to be sensitive to the demands we place on our people and weapons systems. Given the budget and ongoing overseas commitments, we feel it is prudent to cancel this year’s event.”

The 38th meeting of America’s space and missile warfighters was planned for May 1 to 6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The event is the world’s largest test of space and missile warfighting skills outside of real-world operations.

The primary goal of the competition is to make better warfighters of the command’s Airmen, Colonel Stocker said. Intense training precedes the event at each participating base, resulting in many lessons learned.

“While Guardian Challenge provides a great opportunity to test our readiness and warfighting capabilities, the nation’s space and missile warfighters are fully tasked,” said General Lance W. Lord, AFSPC commander. “We discover new tactics, techniques and procedures every year at Guardian Challenge, and it’s a huge motivational event for our people. However, given today’s fiscal and operations environment, our focus is on ensuring we meet our day-to-day missions in providing combat capabilities and efforts to the joint warfighters. Canceling this year’s competition is the right thing to do.”

The event, originally called “Curtain Raiser,” began in 1967. It became “Olympic Arena” in 1969 and Guardian Challenge in 1994. It has been canceled twice before for similar reasons -- in 1968 at the height of the Vietnam War and in 2003.

March 06, 2005

Did IT companies in Bangalore just escape militant bombing?


NEW DELHI: With the killing of three militants and the arrest of two others here, police say they have uncovered a plot to strike at the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehra Dun and major software companies in Bangalore.

The special cell of the Delhi Police on Saturday evening busted a module of the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, when they first apprehended two operatives and later neutralised three others in the city. Two of those killed were Pakistanis.

"The militants who had made the Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun their target were also planning to attack some big software companies based in Bangalore," Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Karnail Singh, told a press conference on Sunday.

"The idea was to strike at the economic strength of the country as software is a major sector for India," he said.

Bangalore, known as India's silicon valley, houses software giants like Infosys, Wipro, Texas Instruments and others.

One of the arrested militants, Hamid Hussain, 28, had visited Bangalore in December 2004 along with another militant, identified only as Shams alias Pervez, who was shot dead Saturday, to map the locations of major software companies.

Police, meanwhile, are investigating the activities of the module and Sunday recovered several documents in this regard.

Raids on various locations in the capital led to the recovery of maps of Dehra Dun, three AK-56 rifles, six magazines and 14 live rounds, close to 100 kg of dynamite, 450 detonators, a satellite phone, a Maruti Zen car and a motor bike.

Some diaries containing codes also have been recovered and are being decoded, police said.

The most incriminating piece of evidence was the recovery of a Pakistani passport from one of the slain militants, Bilawal alias Abu Naman, Singh said.

The passport shows Bilawal's name as Saqib Ali of Sargodha with his current address in Rawalpindi.

It was issued on November 13 and Bilawal had visited the United Arab Emirates and then Nepal on that passport.

"This is the first time we have got straight evidence of a Pakistani's involvement. Usually when we kill or arrest a Pakistani we do not have evidence and that country conveniently refuses to acknowledge the same," Singh said.

Police have also recovered an identity card of Bilawal issued in Pakistan.

Interrogation of Hamid and Mohammad Sariq, 24, arrested on Saturday, revealed that Hamid had been a resident of Jaffarabad in east Delhi for 15 years. He originally hails from Hapur, in Uttar Pradesh.

He was enrolled into the LeT by one Sailm alias Doctor. The duo, along with Shams, visited Kathmandu Feb 3 to meet Abdul Aziz, an alleged senior functionary of the LeT. Aziz discussed various targets with them and also gave the satellite phone to Salim.

Hamid was later introduced to Shahnawaz alias Abu Talla alias Mohammed Rafiq, a Pakistani who had set up a base in Patna with Shams' help two years ago.

Shahnawaz was responsible for infiltrating Bilawal and Abu Naman into India. They set up their hideout in Uttam Nagar in west Delhi.

Hamid had gone to Jammu to bring back explosives and was to be met by Sariq on Saturday near the Samaipur Badli by pass road, where they were apprehended, blowing the lid over the entire plot.