Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Musings on Jawaharlal Nehru * 73

Nehru is a much respected figure in Indian History. Thus to write something adverse about him amounts to blasphemy. But at the same time there is a need to critically evaluate his contribution to India and the legacy left behind him. There is no doubt that intellectually Nehru was a giant, but his contribution to the Indian Nation shows that he had little grasp of power politics and roles of nations.

Firstly partition. This was his first mistake where his ambition to be the Prime Minister Of India put paid to any chance of India remaining united. Jaswant Singh and earlier Leonard Mosley have discussed this aspect and I shall touch on it later. But once he became Prime Minister he accepted Chinese suzerainty over Tibet in return for Autonomy for Tibet. This showed his naivety as China under Mao understood only that 'Power comes out of the barrel of a gun'. With mistaken zeal he withdrew Indian troops from Tibet as was in vogue by the British and talked of Hindi Chini bhai -bhai.

He talked of the Himalayas as a 'natural barrier' without realising that modern armies recognise no such barriers. The result was painful as his policy led to Chinese occupation of the entire eastern Ladakh ( Aksai Chin). His failure to sustain the Indian Army as a potent force and excessive reliance on diplomacy and his world image resulted in Chinese consolidating their occupation. He failed to realise that a nations standing in the world polity of nations is basically on their Military might.

 He triggered the India China war by his ill-fated remark that 'I have asked the Army to evict the Chinese'. This is brought out by Maxwell Taylor in his "India's China war". The result was disastrous as the Chinese mounted an offensive and  the Indian Army was dragged into a web of defeat. Correspondingly Nehru's international image also took a dip and he was never the same man after that.

Secondly the Kashmir problem was another blunder for which history will judge him harshly. He appeared to be led by Mountbatten, the then Viceroy and awaited all the while for the signed accession of the Kashmir Raja-Hari Singh before he intervened.This was a massive blunder as Pakistani raiders quickly spread in the valley and routed the Forces of Hari Singh . Srinagar was almost lost till the intervention of the Indian Army saved a difficult situation. It’s a moot point that when the Pakistani tribal warriors were advancing into Kashmir and had taken over Gilgit, why was Nehru just twiddling his thumbs. Why did he not ask the Army to be air lifted to Gilgit? Why was he waiting for the accession from Hari Singh? If that had happened Azad Kashmir may have well been with India.Subsequently the Army threw the raiders out from the valley. But the battle took almost 6 months and Nehru had no stomach for this.

He then made two historical blunders. Firstly he agreed for a cease fire and reference to the UNO and secondly he made an ill-fated offer of a plebiscite to ascertain the wishes of the Kashmir people. Both these have cost India dear and now we are saddled with a problem that defies solution.Even on the home front Nehru was more the idealist than the hard headed political leader. He agreed for the division of India into linguistic states. For 2 thousand years India was never divided or carved up on the basis of language. Yet Nehru opened a can of worms that has now struck at the roots of the Indian nation. Coupled with the caste system, fissiparous tendencies are everywhere.

Who will forgive Nehru for all this ?Even in economics his vision of an India with a mixed economy with the core sectors like steel etc with the government and 5 year plans put paid to the progress of India. Surely History will judge him for what he was: A man who led India to a status of a second rate power

Friday, August 21, 2009

Jaswant Singhs 's expulsion from BJP: Further Echoes as Kirti Azad is also Expelled

Jaswant who was the Foreign Minister of India was expelled by the BJP for writing a book in which he mentioned that Pakistan was given to Jinnah on a platter by Nehru and Patel as these Hindu leaders wanted to come to power somehow and wanted Jinnah out of the way.

One may agree or not agree with what Jaswant has written , but BJP party's action defies logic and comprehension. A scholarly debate needs to be encouraged and there is no place in India for any party which is intolerent.Sadly the BJP is exactly that.It's a party that harks back to ancient times is not at all forward looking. Successive defeats at the hustings had not given it any lessons.It  shot itself in the foot with the expulsion of Jaswant Singh and come to be associted as a party that lives in a cage .

I am afraid this thinking has not changed and despite a handsome majority in parliamenyt, the leadership is still looking at the world through a prism..The latest is the expulsion of the BJP , member of parliament Kirti Azad who has been served a show cause notice. What is Azad's fault? His fault is that he has pointed out the dubious role and perhaps complicity of Arun Jaitley the finance minister, in massive corruption scandals when this good finance minsiter headed affairs in the DDCA, the cricket body governong Delhi cricket. The man that should have been served a show cause notice is Arun Jaitely, but the BJP knows how to shoot itself in the foot.

Monday, August 17, 2009

ShahRukh Khan, the Airport Imbrogilo and his Diatribe on Intolerance in India

Some months back, to be exact in 2013, there was a small hulla bulla that the famous Bollywood star was detained at New York airport for more than an hour.Most TV channels and news papers reported this incident and tried to make an issue of a non issue.Frankly the people I have met in India are least bothered whether Mr Khan was detained or not.
the traitor

Actully it's no big deal and the incident should have been allowed to die a natural death.We must remember that Khan was detained not because he was an Indian or a confirmed terrorist.It was because of the security enviornment around the world where everything is looked at through the prism of terror strikes. It is also a fact that Khan represents a community, for who terror is a way of life.Yes, we can chide the Americans for being paranoid about their security, but what about India? where do we stand?

Matters are not helped by Khan announcing ata press conference that he as a Muslim felt " insecure" in India. One wonders how a person adulated by the Hindu masses despite beinga Muslim, can have the temerity to make such statements. Probably Khan forgot the incident a few years back, when he was detained at the Air port in USA for beinga Muslim. here in India with so much freedon, Khan still gurgles out such sermns on " intolerence" One would like to ask Khan, where would he like to go to get away from " intolerence" in India "  Let him spell it out. Mostly any country he chooses will not accept him and in case he cooses a Muslim country, we may never hear of this idiot.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Death Penalty in India * 80

The award of the death penality to the perpetuaters of the Bombay blasts after 6 years does intrigue me. Also the news that there are 300 people on death row in India and their cases are "in process'' is food for thought. Couple this with the fact that the last execution took place in 2004  folloed by 2 more with the last in 2015 and one wonders what the Indian state led by its Hindu rulers have in mind. I would like to point out that in the United States there were 53 executions during the same period. I refer to the USA as all indians do feel beholden to that nation- I dont know why!

What is the problem ?Are the Hindu rulers scared to uphold the law ? death penality is on our statute books and is a legal punishment. So why this apathy in its execution. In case there is a morbid fear of antagonising the minority then why have this punishment on the statute books ? Scrap it. It will be good for every body, like in the EU and UK.

Lets not show our impotence by retaining the death penality and not enforing it. Any discussion ? Can we take a leaf from Pakistan which has hanged over 300 criminals on death row in last 3 months? Anoter fact is that on 02 Dec 15, 4 twrrorists involved in the Peshawar School massacre were hanged to death within one year of the massacre. This shows speedy justice, while in India some of teh terrorists are hanged aftera tortuous proces lasting over 10-12 years and in 90% of the cases they are let of with their sentences converted to life in prison. In such cases the concept of death penalty as a deterrance is lost.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The game of Power * 87

When the British ruled India they as the paramount power saw to it that their supremacy was untouched in Asia. The result- they kept a military presence in Tibet and saw to it that Tibet remained a buffer between India and China.

But come independance and all this was put aside.Panditji with no experience of power politics and misplaced notions gave up all rights in Tibet.  He withdrew the Indian Army and lived in a dream world. The Army under Gen kaul( His relation) started doing things like building tenements etc instead of war games.The finest military force in Asia was allowed to rust and wither away.

The Army General staff was down graded and the so called civil control established.The Army was thought of as appendage of no real use.Defeats with China and a stalemate with Pakistan did bring some realisation-but of no significance. Down the lane and some 60 years later the Government headed by the Man Mohan Singh and now Narendra Modi is still unable to realise that the Army is an instrument of national power.This can be seen from the fact that the pay commission did not have a military member and it decided the pay scale of the army men. One can die on a bed of nails laughing at this anamoly.

What next?. India is unable to dominate its neighbors eg even lowely Bangladesh had the temerity to kill about 15/16 of our border guards without any fear of reprisal a few years back. Would the Americans allow it ?
The Indian leadership is to be faulted for not projecting its armed might and subsequent name in the world as a powerfull nation.Get the Army morale high and see that soldiers are rewarded . Comments ?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Army as an Instrument of Power *

Napoleon started his grand march into Russia with the abject aim of spreading French Power.He failed and subsequently his defeat at Wellington put paid to all pretense of Napoleon as a power.History as shown that Military power alone can give the nation a say in world affairs.Even today the might of US armed forces with their ability to intervene in every corner of the world is really the cornerstone of recognition of American supremacy.
But our present day Hindu rulers are sadly lacking in appreciating this.Right from Nehru down to the Honest sardar( really a puppet) have little comprehension of this simple formula.All we seek is parity with Pakistan which is 1/5 of India. China? Russia ? Global ambition are a zero.Probably the myth of the'Meek and mild Hindu' is correct.Let me live in peace and let anyone do anything !!Any coments ?

Cricketeers also need to be tested for Drugs and Performance enhancing Drugs

Well here is another enigma. The BCCI says that the Dope test for cricketeers is 'acceptable'. Fine that is what international dope tests require. But here we have the rider-as our highly paid cricket players have reservations about it. What reservation? well they want no testing when they are not playing.
Sounds absurd as the world all over has accepted this. But our pampererd cricket players will have none of it.The BCCI also comes out in support of these maverick players.
Well it must be understood that playing a professional sport is a full time job and rest periods are really the training periods. So pray why do our cricketeers want no testing at that time. Could look sinster. Its time the board cracked the whip-more the ICC and ask these players to fall in line.Surely people who make more than a crore evry year owe this to the vast Indian cricket loving public. Any take on this ?
Coming down to testing for drugs, I think the entire thing has gone in cold stoareg and I am not aware that any dope tests are carroed out on cricketers. So they have fun and earn money, !!