May 04, 2019

The internal jihadist threat is rapidly growing in India

 Chellaney

Brahma Chellaney, DailyO

As India seeks to address the terrorism challenge in Jammu and Kashmir, jihadist forces are quietly gaining ground in far-flung states, especially West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The situation in Assam is also fraught with danger. India can ignore the spreading jihadist threat only at its own peril.

The ISIS, for example, has reportedly named a new “Bengal emir.” The Sri Lanka bombings, meanwhile, have helped highlight the growing cross-strait role of Islamist forces in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Such forces are affiliated with larger extremist networks or provide succour to radical groups elsewhere.

The main group blamed for the Sri Lanka bombings, the National Thowheed Jamat (NTJ), is an ideological offspring of the rapidly growing Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamat (TNTJ). The Saudi-funded TNTJ, wedded to fanatical Wahhabism, is working to snuff out pluralistic strands of Islam. Such Arabization of Islam is increasingly apparent in Muslim communities extending from Bangladesh and West Bengal to Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province.

More broadly, the collapse of the ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq has only intensified the terrorism challenge. Battle-hardened terrorist fighters returning home from Syria and Iraq have become a major counterterrorism concern in South and Southeast Asia, given their operational training, skills, and experience to stage savage attacks.

The presence of such returnees in Sri Lanka explains how an obscure local group carried out near-simultaneous strikes on three iconic churches and three luxury hotels, with the bombers detonating military-grade high explosives through suicide vests. Similar returnees are present in a number of other Asian countries.

The Sri Lanka attacks indeed underscore the potential of such returnees to wage terror campaigns in the same way that the activities of the Afghan war veterans, like Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders, came to haunt the security of Asia, the Middle East and the West.

The jihadist threat, however, is posed not only by the returnees from Syria and Iraq. Such a threat also arises from those elements who never left their countries but see violence as a sanctified tool of religion and a path to redemption. Such local forces extolling terror are gaining clout.

The TNTJ in India, for example, helped to establish the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamat, from which the bomber outfit NTJ emerged as a splinter. In the current national elections in India, the DMK and some other local political parties have openly courted the TNTJ.

Just as Bangladesh blamed Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for instigating the 2016 brutal Dhaka café attack through a Bangladeshi outfit, Sri Lanka’s NTJ has ties with the ISI’s front organization, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). The ISI and the LeT, through their joint Sri Lanka operations, has sought to establish cross-strait contacts with TNTJ activists in India.

NTJ leader Zaharan Hashim, who reportedly died in one of the Easter Sunday suicide bombings, was inspired by fugitive Indian Islamist preacher Zakir Naik’s jihad-extolling sermons. Hashim also reportedly received funds from jihadists in south India.

India, despite providing detailed intelligence warnings to Sri Lanka about the bombing plot, has been slow to develop a credible strategy to counter the growing jihadist influence within its own borders. For example, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government initiated action against Zakir Naik only after the Dhaka café attack prompted Bangladesh to demand action against him. The prime minister, however, is right in saying that Naik enjoyed the patronage of the predecessor Manmohan Singh-led government — which, according to Modi, once invited Naik to address police personnel on the issue of terrorism!

Today, Naik is ensconced in Malaysia, which has granted him permanent residency. Yet, India has imposed no costs on Malaysia, such as cutting palm-oil imports from there, for sheltering a leading fugitive from Indian law.

Like al-Qaeda at one time, ISIS seeks to show its continuing relevance by claiming responsibility for terror strikes that occur in places far from the areas where it has had presence. Rather than ISIS being directly involved in the Sri Lanka bombings, it is more likely that the ideology ISIS subscribes to — Wahhabi fanaticism — inspired those attacks.

It takes months, not weeks, to motivate, train and equip a suicide bomber. So, the speculative comment that the Sri Lanka bombings were a reprisal to the March 15 Christchurch, New Zealand, massacre made little sense, especially as it came from the Sri Lankan junior defence minister. Fortunately, the Sri Lankan prime minister later walked back that speculation.

Detaining a terrorist attacker’s family members for questioning has become a de facto international anti-terrorist practice. Sri Lanka quickly rounded up the bombers’ family members, including parents, for questioning once the suicide killers were identified. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation also detains a terrorist attacker’s family members for questioning, but not India. For example, the Pulwama bomber’s family members not only remained free but also gave media interviews rationalizing the February 14 suicide attack.

Publicity is the oxygen of terrorism. Terrorists rely on media publicity to provoke fear and demonstrate power.

Unfortunately, in the absence of U.S.-style media peer guidelines in India on terrorism-related coverage, Indian journalists supplied the oxygen of publicity by reporting allegations of the Pulwama bomber’s family members, including their claim that he was once roughed up by army or paramilitary soldiers. What the family members did not reveal was that the bomber had previously been detained on four separate occasions by J&K police on suspicion of providing logistical assistance to the LeT but that each time he was freed without the investigators getting to the bottom of his activities.

Make no mistake: Islamist terror is closely connected with the spread of Wahhabism, the obscurantist and intolerant version of Islam bankrolled by Saudi Arabia and other oil sheikhdoms. Wahhabi fanaticism is terrorism’s ideological mother, whose offspring include ISIS, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Boko Haram.

The jihadist threat in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and Assam — like in Sri Lanka — is linked with the growing spread of Wahhabism. If left unaddressed, this scourge of Islamist extremism could become a major internal-security crisis in India.

India’s counterterrorism focus on Jammu and Kashmir has allowed jihadists to gain influence in some other states far from J&K.

India needs to wake up to this spreading threat. It must crack down on the preachers of hatred and violence. It also must rein in the increasing inflow of Saudi and other Gulf money so as to close the wellspring that feeds terrorism — Wahhabi fanaticism.


https://chellaney.net/2019/05/02/the-internal-jihadist-threat-is-rapidly-growing-in-india/amp/

May 03, 2019

Jobs and jihad



Irfan HusainMay 04, 2019

EVER SINCE terrorism — specifically the jihadist variety — has stalked the globe, a common refrain has been that radicalised young men need to be educated and given job opportunities to steer them away from the murderous path they have chosen.

But as we have learned in attack after attack, many of those responsible have been not just educated, but well-to-do. The mantra of ‘education and jobs’ rang particularly hollow in the aftermath of the recent mayhem that took place in Sri Lanka a fortnight ago: all the suicide bombers involved in the terror attacks were from well-off families, and some had gone abroad to study.

Of course the classic example of well-heeled, well-educated terrorists remains the group of 19 (mostly Saudi) Arabs who flew the commercial jets into New York’s World Trade Centre, as well as the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

In Pakistan, we have the case of Omar Saeed Sheikh who confessed to kidnapping and beheading the American journalist, Daniel Pearl, in 2002. Educated at Lahore’s exclusive Aitchison College and the London School of Economics, he confessed to his crime in court and was sentenced to death. Seventeen years later, he’s still in jail, with his appeal yet to be heard.

All the men involved in the Sri Lanka attacks were from well-off families.


Saad Aziz of Karachi is another example of a rich, well-educated and highly placed young man who chose terrorism over the good life. Owner of a successful restaurant, he has a degree from the Institute of Business Education, Pakistan’s leading business school. Apart from leading the attack on a bus in which 54 Ismailis were slaughtered, he also assassinated Sabeen Mahmud, the gifted young woman who created the liberal space popularly known as T2F in Karachi. Recently, he was convicted of attempting to kill an American professor.

There are many others in the Muslim world who fall into the category of educated, well-off killers. Two brothers who blew themselves up recently in Colombo, together with scores of victims, were members of the Sri Lankan elite, and sons of a billionaire.

In many of these cases, the young men involved know little about Islam as they follow the teachings of violent men and their calls for jihad. In Sri Lanka, the little-known National Thowheed Jamath apparently had the support of the militant Islamic State group. According to experts, many jihadist groups help each other in carrying out complex operations.

Along with the elements of money and education that link these individuals, the other common thread is adherence to Wahabism and its more extreme form, Salafism. Both are propagated by Saudi Arabia through the vast network of madressahs and mosques it supports across the world. From Jakarta to Johannesburg, clerics often paid by Riyadh preach sermons full of hate towards non-Muslims.

Sri Lankans have often complained of the way Saudi Arabia is radicalising young Muslims. Who funded the recent attacks — not a cheap undertaking — remains a mystery. But it is a fact documented by foreign observers and journalists that the kingdom (together with Kuwait, Turkey and several Western powers) supplied extreme Islamist groups with arms and cash during the bloody Syrian civil war.

Despite the clear evidence of the links between extremism and Saudi money, the West remains oblivious to reality. When a tub is overflowing, the normal instinct is to shut the tap, not place buckets to catch the water as it drips over the top. But as we learned in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Saudi Arabia occupies a special place in the heart of the American establishment. Hours after the Twin Towers came down, a special flight picked up a number of Saudi VIPs across America to fly them home. This was at a fraught time when all commercial flights had been grounded.

Members of Pakistani religious groups like the Tablighi Jamaat have been visiting Sri Lanka for years, trying to convert Buddhists. On a flight from Colombo to Karachi a few years ago, I found myself seated next to one of them who, assuming I was Sri Lankan, offered to give me a brief lesson about religion. He shut up when I snapped at him in Urdu that I didn’t need any lectures from him.

Soon, he and his companions took over the space between the seats to pray, causing great inconvenience to passengers wanting to use the toilets. But when the speaker system broadcast the call to prayer in the luggage hall after we had landed, not one of them bothered to pray.

However, we are faced with a conundrum: experts are unanimous in suggesting that education and jobs are the answer to jihadist radicalisation. But as we have just seen, some of the deadliest attacks have been carried out by well-educated and well-off men. So how do we remove the poison that has infected them?

irfan.husain@gmail.com

Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2019

https://www.dawn.com/news/1480177

A new fault line in post-war Sri Lanka

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/a-new-fault-line-in-post-war-sri-lanka/article

 Ground Zero - In-depth reportage from The Hindu

Meera Srinivasan

MAY 04, 2019 00:15 IST

UPDATED: MAY 04, 2019 01:29 IST

After 10 years of a fragile peace, the deadly bombings on April 21 have blighted the eastern lagoon landscape of the island nation, pitting religious communities against one another. Meera Srinivasan reports on the simmering tensions in the aftermath of the attacks

Every few metres in Batticaloa a white poster with the words ‘Kanneer Anjali’ (tribute with tears) appears, tied to trunks of trees, walls of churches, or gates of mosques. Right below the bold letters is an image of a pair of eyes, weeping.

Near town, the narrow lane leading to the evangelical Zion Church, where one of the bombers blew himself up, just as his fellow jihadists did at two Catholic churches in Colombo and Negombo, is cordoned off. A huge banner with mugshots and names of the victims hangs at the entrance. Many of them are studio pictures of well-dressed children smiling at the camera.

Sri Lankans are yet to fully comprehend the dreadful Easter blasts that shook the country less than a fortnight ago, killing over 250 people across churches and hotels in and around the capital Colombo, and in this eastern city some 300 km away. They are grappling with possible reasons and necessary responses with urgency, evident in the many statements and solidarity messages emerging from different religious and civil society groups.

But the people of Batticaloa have an additional burden.

 

Batticaloa’s burden

While Sri Lanka’s Muslims, who make up nearly 10% of the population, are scattered across the island, their highest concentration is in the Eastern Province, comprising Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara districts.

Apart from losing 28 of its residents, including 14 children who were at Sunday school on April 21, Batticaloa is also where Zahran Hashim, the alleged mastermind of the Easter attacks, hailed from. Perhaps for that reason, the district has remained in the spotlight, more often figuring in tales about a radical Islamist-turned-suicide bomber and much less in those about victims of his ghastly act.

Stories of pastor Kumaran who lost his 11-year-old son, the parents of young siblings Sharon and Sarah, and the family of Ramesh Raju, who tried intercepting the suicide bomber and died, faded within days.

Even as different narratives of the distressing episode compete for credibility, Muslims and Christians suddenly find themselves cast on either side of the atrocity as “perpetrators” and “victims”, despite many knowing that those who perished were not all Christians and despite much of the Muslim community vehemently condemning the attacks carried out by a small radical group as “barbaric”. More perplexing is the nature of the attack itself — of Muslims targeting Christians, fellow minorities, with whom they have no known animosity. In fact, in Sri Lanka’s post-war years, Muslims and, in fewer instances, Christians have faced violent attacks from hard-line Sinhala-Buddhist forces.

While scores of affected families struggle to cope with the shock and those stubborn Easter morning memories that won’t leave, the people of Batticaloa appear to be bracing for other likely repercussions, not fully known, but potentially dangerous. Their scenic coastal town with lush paddy lands around, and a calming lagoon running through, unexpectedly turned into a site of horror on Easter day.

ALSO READ

Sri Lanka bombings: A small town shaken by threat of terror

 

“The Christians are shattered,” says Fr. Rajan Rohan, attached to the St. John’s church in Batticaloa, which is run by the American Ceylon Mission. Hailing from the nearby Valaichchenai town, he returned to Batticaloa last September, after completing assignments in the northern Jaffna city during the final years of the war, and later in Nuwara Eliya, in the Central Province. “When I came back here, I was shocked to see how much this place had changed.”

As a child, Fr. Rohan recalls being thrilled around Ramzan. “We loved that kanji(porridge) our neighbours made with beef stock. It was a delicacy that we eagerly awaited every year,” he says. Muslim families sharing treats with children in the neighbourhood was not uncommon, and words like “co-existence” had no use in an effortlessly multireligious society.

But in 2018, things were different in Fr. Rohan’s home town. “There was a lot of Islamophobia among our Tamil people. In a country that has paid a heavy price because of Sinhala-Buddhist majoritarianism, it was startling to see Tamils so preoccupied with Muslims,” he recalls. “They would say things like ‘we can never trust Muslims’ easily in conversation.”

Kattankudy, which is among the most densely populated areas in the island.  

 

Sri Lanka’s Muslims are mostly Tamil-speaking, but identify as a separate ethnic group, distinct from Tamils, most of whom are Hindus and the rest Christians. The three-decade-long civil war not only saw raging hostility between the majority Sinhalese and minority Tamils, who bore the brunt of the carnage, but also witnessed Tamil-Muslim relations sour.

Despite being bound by language, they grew apart, with the Tamil militants seeing the Muslims as aligned to and aiding the state security forces that they were fighting. The 1990 mosque massacres in Kattankudy and nearby Eravur, in which the LTTE mowed down nearly 150 Muslims at prayer, and the LTTE’s mass expulsion of Muslims from the north later that year, have left a long shadow of bitterness and resentment.

On his return, Fr. Rohan, who leads an interfaith initiative, found it hard to bring Tamils and Muslims together. “But we were trying. And just when we had begun working on those lines, this [bombings] has happened,” he says, pointing to the “daunting” task ahead.

ALSO READ

Don’t give in to polarisation

 

Strained ties

It is not just Tamil-Muslim ties that witnessed a change in the past decades. The Muslim community has seen substantial changes within, according to A.L.M. Sabeel, a member of the local Urban Council and a former secretary of the Kattankudy Mosques Federation.

Starkly different from the rest of Batticaloa, Kattankudy town stands out. Short date palm trees line the median cutting through this town for some 50 metres, with shops on either side selling garments, gadgets and other essentials. Several mosques and cultural centres can be seen along the main road, while thousands of families live in crammed houses along the streets off the main road. The township is among the most densely populated areas in the island.

“Women of my mother’s generation used to wear a saree, wrapping their heads with the pallu. But in the last 15-20 years, we see more women switching to the abaya [full gown]. The face veil is an even more recent thing,” notes Sabeel, 45, who was raised here. Among men, the full-length white robes and long beards are recent imports. “My father was clean-shaven. But many men of my generation, including myself, sport a beard,” he says, attributing the relatively newer trends to more labour migration to West Asian countries, Arab funding for local institutions and consequent interactions, and social media exposure. “I don’t think some of these ideas suit us, especially these clothes in such hot weather.”

ALSO READ

Easter Sunday bombings: Why Sri Lanka?

 

However, changes in attire, he points out, coincided with “a more significant shift”. “We are a minority in this country and have historically embraced a Sri Lankan identity. But in recent times, many Muslims appear keen on asserting their religious identity, often in the name of culture.” The community, in his view, also turned more insular during this time.

Meanwhile, some within the community question this new, relatively more rigid idea of “Islamic culture”. Culture is about convenience, argues a 40-year-old mother of three. “I wear the abaya when I go out somewhere but prefer a salwar kameez with a headscarf when I visit my doctor. Culture is what you want to make of it. Some people might criticise you over your choices but isn’t that the case in every community?”

Accommodating different shades of opinion on the practice of Islam, Islamic culture and assertion, Sri Lankan Muslims have largely remained together as a community, with trade being a key binding factor. Although Muslims of the east were engaged in agriculture, fisheries and livelihoods such as weaving in the past, they became a predominantly trading community over the years.

“It is true that Muslims mobilise well and maintain good networks within the community. And that irritates many Tamils,” Sabeel notes.

A troubled youth

Thangavel Roshan, 28, took the Easter weekend off and travelled from Colombo, where he works at a construction site. “We usually work all seven days to accumulate our days off to travel home,” he says, seated outside his home in Navatkudah in Batticaloa. A few metres into this locality, concrete roads give way to rickety mud roads.

Blasts rock Sri Lankan churches and hotels on Easter Sunday

 

His right leg is bandaged and kept raised on a plastic stool. Roshan, along with his family, was at Zion Church on Easter Sunday when he saw the bomb explode right in front of his eyes. “I was lucky, I escaped with this injury,” he says. His parents and siblings too did, as they were further away. Doctors have advised Roshan three months’ rest before he can get back to work. “If there were enough jobs here, I wouldn’t be working so far away. A big chunk of my salary goes for the commute [Colombo is an eight-hour bus ride away]. I haven’t saved a rupee so far,” he says.

His older brother Thangavel Nelson works at a highway project in Kurunegala in the North Western Province. “They say post-war development and all that; I think that happened only in the north. The east hasn’t got anything... no factories, no development, no jobs. We have to struggle outside for such little money,” he sulks, blaming Tamil politicians “who don’t care.”

“But look at Muslims,” he says, voicing what appears to be a popular grievance among many Tamils. “They get government jobs, they prosper in business. Unlike us, they are very secure.”

Much of the antagonism is also linked to the ongoing struggles around resources in the district, according to Sitralega Maunaguru, retired professor at the Eastern University in Batticaloa.

“There are a lot of simmering tensions between the communities over allocation of land in many areas, and in sharing water. People of different communities accuse each other’s local politicians of manipulating and favouring their people,” she says, adding that conversations on these subjects often quickly escalate to anti-Muslim speech. “The recent bombings are bound to fan those tensions.”

Muslim politicians and their patronage networks are common talking points among Tamils. As partners in Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition, Muslim leaders hold key ministerial portfolios, while the main Tamil party is in opposition. Tamil leaders, in turn, are seen as lacking political power or the will to make a difference.

With clashing interests of the political class and the leaders’ vote bank manoeuvres shaping their realities, people, especially the youth, appear to be entangled in a web of insecurities — political, economic and social.

“Their politicians take good care of them. Muslim people can get away with anything,” says Nelson matter-of-factly.

Old prejudice, new fear

This view, which is shared by many others, is precisely what makes Fr. Rohan rather nervous. Inter-community relations, which are also ethnic relations in this context, are fragile and need to be handled with great care, he observes. “We have to sensitise our [Tamil] community, including children. Even in jest, a Tamil child should not tell a Muslim friend anything like, ‘we can’t trust you guys, you’ll drop a bomb’.”

Clearly, Fr. Rohan’s immediate concern was about preventing any backlash against the Muslims. “While we comfort the affected families, it is important to try and prevent adverse reactions. We don’t want others to use our name and attack the Muslims for what a small, isolated group did. That will lead to more hate and clashes in our society.”

His apprehension is rooted in two main reasons. One, the delicate social relations that prevail in the multi-ethnic districts of the Eastern Province, where Muslims are the single largest group, constituting 38% of the population. The province is also home to some 6 lakh Tamils (Hindus and Christians), and 3.5 lakh Sinhalese (Buddhists and Christians), making it one of Sri Lanka’s most diverse regions. Two, the spate of anti-Muslim violence in varying intensities, and led by hard-line Sinhala-Buddhist groups in the last seven years, has made Muslims more vulnerable.

Further, he emphasises that Tamil society cannot afford another cycle of violence and distress. “If our youth resort to militancy again, some of us will turn targets very soon. We saw that happen with the LTTE, where the organisation we nurtured turned against us when we voiced disagreement or dissent.”

The government too has a role in preventing any retaliation, he notes. “They were quick to ban the radical Islamist organisations behind the attacks as ‘terrorist’ outfits. They ought to show the same promptness when it comes to radical Sinhala-Buddhist organisations notorious for inciting violence.”

In the current Sri Lankan context, his fears of a backlash are well-founded — where post-war reconciliation has dragged, a political solution to the Tamil question remains out of sight, and youth across ethnicities are disgruntled amid growing joblessness. Especially so in the wake of Sri Lankan authorities naming the little-known local radical Islamist group, theNational Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ), and its allies as perpetrators of the Easter attacks, which the Islamic State has also claimed.

Whether it is the NTJ’s links abroad, or the rationale for their targets (churches and hotels) or the extent of radicalisation within the Muslim community, questions outnumber answers at this point. But those feeling uneasy about the likely impact of the attacks say there is no time to waste.

The peril of radicalisation

With the government claiming that Hashim was among the nine suicide bombers who carried out the coordinated bombings, some may believe the problem is over, but it is hardly so, according to M.B.M. Firthous, a Kattankudy-based preacher, who also heads a local school. “The conciliatory statements that different religious leaders made after the attacks talk about peace and co-existence, but those are things that have to be said. The problem, unfortunately, runs deeper,” he says. The sooner it is acknowledged, the greater the chances of addressing it, he notes.

After every incident of an anti-Muslim attack in recent years, “some forces” within the Muslim community tried to radicalise youth through classes and videos, urging them to retaliate. But the community had no appetite for it and rejected it outright, according to different mosque leaders in the province.

“A few youth were perhaps ideologically drawn to a more rigid interpretation and practice of Islam, at times due to social media influences. Others, who were deeply affected by the anti-Muslim attacks, found the radical path speaking to their outrage. But they were very, very few and didn’t have any support from the community,” says Sabeel.

But radicalisation is not about numbers, Firthous cautions. “If the idea has been sown in even one person’s mind, we have to be very worried,” he says, pointing to an “urgent need” for introspection within the Muslim community. “We cannot afford to isolate ourselves. There is a lot to be done by all communities.” He also blames the many peace-building efforts that followed the civil war: “They were run by NGOs and well-funded by donors, but they merely scratched the surface without any meaningful effort or reflection on the part of communities.”

And today, the outrage over the disparities and injustices accumulated over years of war and peace is manifesting in new, grievous ways. About a week after the victims of the blast were laid to rest in Batticaloa, and amid several interfaith meetings and messages of assurance, a group of young men went around parts of Batticaloa on motorbikes, distributing flyers asking Tamils to boycott Muslim-owned shops and to quit working there. “We, the youth, must be aware and prevent terrorists who, in the garb of traders, enter our towns,” says the provocative leaflet attributed to ‘Tamil youth, Eastern Province’.

According to a resident who received it on Wednesday night, a trishaw (three-wheeler) followed the motorbikes, with someone inside speaking through a loudspeaker. They were “clearly stoking hatred”, says the resident, who asked not to be named. “We don’t know who got the youth to distribute the flyers. It could be anyone seeking political mileage from this tragic moment. But sadly, they might get it. Even at the cost of more violence and bloodshed, perhaps.”

May 02, 2019

SIX FATAL MISTAKES OF FREE INDIA

* BY Nani Palkhivala

In an article published  in Bhavan’s Journal in 1997, Nani Palkhivala has enumerated six fatal mistakes in the past fifty years which have brought the country to this sorry state:

*First,* our greatest initial mistake was to start with adult franchise. No democracy has ever paid, all things considered, a heavier price from adult franchise than India.

I am not aware of any great democracy which started as a  Republic on the basis of adult franchise: all of them started with a more restricted system and then graduated to adult franchise.

Two of our greatest statesmen of earlier years were C Rajagopalachari and Sardar  Vallabhbhai Patel. When the constituent Assembly was in session, both these stalwarts recommended that we should not start with adult franchise but educate our people first to make them worthy of discharging their duties as citizens of a great democracy; but they were voted out.

*The Second* fatal mistake was to let the population nearly treble, in the absence of any sensible or sound family planning measures and policies.

Today the problem has become so acute that whatever gains we achieve on economic front are negatived by the unbridled population growth.

*Third,* our most disastrous mistake was not to educate our burgeoning population and make them worthy of their right to vote.

Value based education has no political sex appeal. Our politicians gave least importance to education, unlike *Lee Kuan Yew* who vowed to make education priority of priorities in Singapore.

To my mind , it is an unmitigated disgrace that in the Golden Jubilee Year of India’s independence, more than half of our population is literally illiterate .

*The Fourth* major mistake of our central and state governments was to completely insulate the people from  ancient culture and keep them totally ignorant of their priceless heritage which has never been equalled by any other country.

*The Fifth*  mistake, of which we have yet to face the consequences was not to inculcate among our people a sense of national identity.

Indians find themselves totally rudderless, with the nagging question which will not go away - is India a collection of communities or is it a nation; or is India a state without a nation?

The greatest curse of India is casteism – the scourage which has spread across the country more dangerously than the plague ever did.

*The Sixth* and most unforgivable omission of politicians have been to let the people think that they are entitled to freedom without a sense of duty and responsibility.

By definition, Indians lack discipline and a sense of national dedication.

The reason why the Chinese, despite their huge population, are able to govern themselves admirably is that they have sense of order and discipline .

Do we need Emergency to make us realize the paramount importance of discipline ?

Without such values, can we hope to transform India into a great Nation?

May 01, 2019

How the Supreme Court rapped the knuckled of the Congress President humiliated him

1.

Singhvi
Gandhi said ...............

CJI.
Who gandhi?

Singhvi..

Rahul gandhi.

CJI.
He is not the only gandhi in India. Be specific..

2.

Singhvi.

Rahul gandhi has already expressed regret.

CJI.
20 page afgidavit and one letter *regret* do you call that as an apology??

Singhvi.
No . My lord

3

CJI.

How many lies by Rahul Gandhi?

Singhvi.

3 lies, my lord.

CJI.

What are they? Do specify??

Singhvi.

1. SC said Chowkidar chor hai.

2. SC said, rafale is a scam.

3. SC said, we will take action against govt.

CJI.

Are you clear about the lies or any more?

Singhvi

No. My lord  only 3 instances of lies. We will tender detailed apology in another affidavit.

CJI.

Do so by 6th may.
We will see whether we can accept it

*can there be anymore humiliation to the guy aspiring to be future PM?*

April 30, 2019

China conditioned its support to blacklist Azhar

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/on-its-new-stand-on-global-terror-tag-for-masood-azhar-china-makes-3-points/story-fYRXRMBZpeccztkDA278VL.html

"In backroom negotiations, China conditioned its support to blacklist Azhar on India carrying out a military de-escalation on the border and resuming bilateral dialogue with Islamabad on all outstanding issues including Kashmir."

Expert Comment

India should not accept listing under conditions. China wants to indirectly allow Pakistan to use cross-border terror as a tool of foreign policy. If we accept this "offer" then tomorrow Pakistan will get another group to attack us and China will promise the listing of this new group if we accept another demand of Pakistan. We should develop ability to strike across Pak and then mutually agree to not strike each other when Pak wants peace. Right now they strike our army and civilians and then shamelessly call for deescalation. Earlier the West used to support Pak peace moves, now China alone does so.