Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Russian TU 160 is a force multiplier *. 63

The Russian Air Force under Putin is looking to compete gobally with the USAF: The result is a revamped TU-160 used in Syria to support Assad
When the Soviet Union was on its last legs they had produced a Mach II heavy bomber known as the TU-160. The aircraft produced in 1987, died a  natural death as the Soviet Union collapsed. The successor state Russia, for some time, lay low, beset with economic problems as well as confusion about its role in world affairs. With the advent of Vladimir Putin, things changed. Putin an ex-KGB officer had dreams of restoring the old grandeur and military might of the Soviet Union and as a step in that direction took out the TU -160 out of mothballs and refurbished it as the TU-162. The aim of Putin was to try and restore military parity with the USA. The TU-160 was inducted into the Russian strategic fleet and put in anoperational role. Putin even had a ride in the plane as a part of propaganda.
A most modern force multiplier.
The TU -160 is a versatile plane. It is the most advanced strategic bomber of the Russian Air Force. Original plans were to build 100 of these machines, but production was halted after 36 bombers had been built due to the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty with the USA. The planehas a crew of 4 and is considerably faster than the USAF B-1 as well as having a greater range. It is the world's largest combat aircraft and Putin is using it to good effect as an exponent of Russian military might. This plane which can touch speed in excess of Mach II is a force multiplier and has been used with telling effect against anti-Assad forces in Syria. The planes which take off from Russia use lethal air to surface missiles to target the opponents of Assad. The Russians under Putin have propped up the Assad regime as well as wreaked havoc on the ISIS and the Free Syrian army. The Russian operations , swift, and lethal are a lesson to the USA which for a long time was dithering under Obama.
Problems for Russia.
The Russian economy has, however, gone into a nose dive with the downward trend in the price of oil, which is the main Russian source of Income. Western economic sanctions are also having an effect. However, it would be wrong to think that these alone will curtail the global ambition of Putin and the Russians. In the meantime, the Tu-162 remains a potent sign of Russian military power and the western nations  have taken note of it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Last of the British connection as Indian Navy Phases out the Sea Harrier


End of an Era of British Aircraft as the Sea Harrier is phased out by the Indian Navy; marks the demise of British connection with India
The Indian Navy is the only Navy in South Asia to operate an aircraft carrier. Presently two aircraft carriers are deployed by it. Considering that China has only one operational aircraft carrier, the significance of the Indian Navy operating two of them cannot be lost.In 1980,  India opted for the Harrier a VSTOL fighter aircraft. In September 1980, The Sea harrier Project ( SHARP)  was formed and the first aircraft was ready to join the air fleet in December 1982.This was a British aircraft and was operated from the Indian aircraft carrier. India was a colony of Great Britain and though the British left in 1947, the hangover for things British continued. When an interceptor was needed  for the aircraft carrier Vikrant, the navy opted for the British-made Sea Harrier. It replaced the obsolete Sea Hawks. 

The Sea Harrier.

The  sea harrier is a difficult plane to fly as was brought out by the death of one of the test pilots in the UK.  Indian pilots, however, mastered flying the Harrier which was the main weaponry of the INS Vikrant.  After 34 years of service, the Navy has phased out the Harrier. A glittering ceremony was held in Goa as the Sea harrier was phased out on 11 May 2016. The plane  has been replaced by the  MIG 29 K. This is a Russian Mach 2 interceptor and much superior in performance to the Harrier. The phasing out of the Harrier also brings an era of British aircraft to an end with Indian military aviation. Earlier the Indian Air Force also used a preponderance of British made aircraft like the Hawker Hunter, Folland Gnat, English electric Canberra among much more.  All these aircraft have been phased out and replaced by Russian fighter / interceptors Like MIG and the Sukhoi.
Last of the British aircraft.
This shift was political as the western nations after the 1965 war with Pakistan, denied the latest military aircraft to Indian and perforce, the left-leaning  defense minister Krishna Menon negotiated with the Russians for the state of art aircraft to equip the Indian armed forces.The Harrier served with distinction for 33 years and though no war took place, yet it always acted as a deterrent. The Harrier with a speed of 1150km an hour was a versatile aircraft and helped the Indian navy become the dominant force in the Indian Ocean. The last mission was on 6 March 2016 from the deck of the carrier INS Viraat. It was also the last hurrah for British aircraft with the Indian Navy.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Putin and Trump may hit off well together *. 63

Putin is the undisputed leader of Russia. He did not gel with Obama as Obama with his Afro-American background was more  indulgent to Muslim extremism. One can recollect he repeatedly said that Islam is a religion of peace. He was averse to Russian intervention in Syria as all along he was supporting groups which had been heavily unfilterated by ISIS and it's ilk.
Now Obama is on his way out and of the two challenger's Trump and Hillary, only Trump seems to realise the threat of Muslim extremism. He has also announced that Puatin is a man he could do business with. Despite the best efforts of Obama the EU is in tatters as the UK has left. Trump has hailed it as a leap for freedom. Putin is also happy. There is thus a chance that Putin and Trump will hit of well. However Hillary is likely to revive the cold war.
In case Russia and USA can coordinate against Muslim extremists the world will be safer. Let's see if Trump can pull the rabbit from the hat

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Desiring women

The Start Ovid

ovid book

In college, I read Ovid the classical Roman poet and his concept of 'gaze'. It is a word that is the start of all feelings. Ovid related this word to women. Gaze is the first step to desire, love and even rape. When a man gazes at a woman it kindles these emotions and actions. Desire in relation to women is the emotion that runs the world. Many people for the sake of argument will not accept it, but desire is the emotion that leads to sex, love and other aspects of a man’s relationship with a woman.


Ancient greek sculptor desire

One of my priest friends told me that 'desire' is a bad word and against the concept of god. I wonder what he had in mind by this statement. Without desire there would be no sex and by a long shot it could affect further procreation. Desire is something ingrained in man and I feel it is best to recognize that desire for a woman really is the cornerstone of human emotion.

Women and Desire

woman desired

What do women feel about desire? I am afraid many will not admit it, but in case a woman is not desired, she would feel pretty bad about it. A women who nobody desires, is looked down upon. She also feels neglected, yet there are a few women who articulate that desire is not good. Yes, desire leads to other things like obsession, fetish, rape and abduction. All these relate to desire. Desire is omnipresent in a man’s psyche and it is best to accept.


lust is like a lion

Desire and lust go hand in hand. You can't have lust without desire. Lusting is not a good word, and religion frowns on it. There are umpteen passages in the scriptures that admonish a man against lusting for a woman. But again without lust, how would we have all the great romances that exist today. One can't forget that emperor Jahangir, the great Mogul got the husband of the woman he lusted for killed and made her his queen and named her 'Noor Jahan'.

Last Word

origin of lust and desire

These are just a few stray thoughts on the word 'desire'. I think my priest friend was wrong, for in my view desire is a lovely word and it’s wonderful to desire a woman. Acharya Rajneesh said there is nothing wrong even in lusting for a woman. How many will agree with it 
All photos from wiki free commons

The great exodus and the Muslim Imams call to Fertilize European women

Europe is besieged by a great exodus from the Muslim lands from the arc of the Mediterranean Sea to the Middle East  and even as far as Pakistan. This is mass migration and follows the famous pull and push theory. Such migrations have taken place throughout history. However, this migration is different as Europe has a shortage of labor and the Islamic followers are looking for a better life away from their war-ravaged lands. An initial lot of migrants were welcomed by the European powers. The motive was selfish as the European nations were in need of labor to service their menial jobs.

Exhortations of the Imams.

The reason for this shortage of labor is the low birthrate of the European women, which means a declining younger population. They were soon at their wits end as they were flummoxed by the magnitude of the exodus. and had to down shutters.The exodus was also given a religious twist and this appealed to younger Muslim men.The Imam of the Al Aksa mosque in Jerusalem broadcast in his sermons the need of the Muslim men to fertilize the European women as the Christians had failed to do so. He pointed to the low birth rate of the European women and exhorted his followers to spread Islam by fertilizing them. Many Muslim felt this was an excellent method to spread Islam. In any case, the Koran looks favorably on migration as a means to spread Islam.

Women in Islam.

Islam is an insular religion that has global appeal. Many Muslims have been taken in by this rhetoric and felt European women are an easy game. This came to the fore in Germany, where on New Year eve many German women were assaulted. Basically, it's a clash of cultures as in Islam women are subservient to men and Muslim personal Law as codified in the Sharia gives hardly any rights to women. In addition, for centuries, the Arab Sheiks have always coveted pure blonde European women, particularly from the Slav countries, for their harems. This was the genesis of the white slave trade, carried on by the Berbers and others. The problem has no easy solution as Europe  does need cheap labor and cannot turn away all the migrants. How will they strike the middle line i.e balance the migrants with the needs of labor

Thursday, June 16, 2016

True tale of a Tigress killed with a bayonet

The year was 1954, 17 Sikh was located at Agra and commanded by  Lieutenant Colonel Shamsher Singh, whose outstanding leadership and exploits in the 1947-48 war in Jammu and Kashmir were part of regimental lore. The unit was out on a training camp in a forest near Shivpuri, which was to culminate in a test exercise.

One day, Sepoy Fauja Singh, who was part of the officer’s mess staff, went to collect firewood for the mess kitchen. Suddenly, a tigress jumped out from a thicket and pounced on him. Instinctively, he tried to fight her off with his bare hands. After a brief struggle, the tigress caught Fauja Singh’s turban in her mouth and thinking that she had got the kill, disappeared back into the thicket. Fauja Singh was badly mauled and he was evacuated to the military hospital immediately, but more to the point, he was extremely upset about the loss of his turban.

More reports poured in about the tigress with four cubs, who had turned into a man eater, it seemed. She had killed two persons from a village nearby. True to the Indian Army tradition, this didn’t stop the training, which continued as per plan, and the test exercise was cleared with honours.

At the end of the exercise Lt Col Shamsher Singh proposed to his Brigade
Commander, Brigadier Danny Misra, that since the tigress had turned into
a maneater and the area was used by the brigade for training, it would be
prudent to kill the tigress. Back in those days, shikar was allowed in the Army and a hobby for some. In that spirit, Brig Danny Misra agreed to the proposal, but  with a rider.
“Shamsher,” he said. “Killing a tiger with rifles is too easy. Can the Sikhs do it with bayonets?” Never one to shy away from a challenge, Singh said, “So shall
it be, Sir!”

The die was cast. Shamsher returned and briefed his unit. He prepped his
soldiers by telling them stories of how Hari Singh Nalwa, commander-in-chief of the Sikh Khalsa army, had once killed a tiger with his bare hands by catching hold of its tongue and choking it.

It was decided that the unit would assault the general area where the tigress was suspected to have hidden in traditional infantry manner. Once the tigress attacked an individual, he must use the bayonet to counter attack it while the personnel on his flanks would turn inwards to attack the tigress with bayonets and finish the task. This drill was rehearsed to perfection. Next morning, two companies of 17 Sikh formed an assault line 200 yards long, with the Commanding Officer’s party in the centre.

Bayonets were fixed on the Enfield .303 rifles and the assault commenced.

It was a surreal scene: bayonets glinted in the morning sun with soldiers of 17 Sikh shouting “Jo bole so nihal!”, out to kill a man eating tigress with only bayonets! On the far side of the suspected area, the Divisional Commander, General Dargalkar, and the Brig Danny Misra, sat on a machan with sporting rifles. Misra didn’t believe the tigress could be killed with bayonets. His plan was that the assault by 17 Sikh would drive the tigress towards the machan, where Gen Dargalkar and he would kill her.

The movement of the assault line was laborious due to the broken terrain but after 20 minutes, the den of the tigress was located.

She had fled, but her three cubs were found, captured alive and later presented to the Agra zoo. Fauja Singh’s turban was also found in the den.

The assault line formed again and moved forward with regimental war cry.
After 10 minutes, the roar of the tigress was heard. Singh shouted to his
boys, “Tagde ho jao!” (“Gird up and get ready for action!”). And then, suddenly, the tigress leapt out of the thicket and attacked the assault line. Sepoy Sucha Singh was directly in front and he adopted the traditional bayonet fighting stance, meeting the tigress’ assault head on with his weapon. As she came at him, he plunged his bayonet into her chest. It got buried to the hilt, inside the tigress’ chest, but the momentum of her charge knocked Sucha Singh down.


Both he and the tigress fell 10 yards forward. As per the rehearsed drill, the
soldiers on the flanks turned inwards and pounced on the tigress, pinning
her down with their bayonets. It wasn’t necessary. Sucha Singh had already pierced her heart.

It was then that the sound of a rifle shot was heard.
Shamsher was livid with anger, thinking one of his men had disobeyed orders. He
rushed to the scene and asked who had fired the shot. The company assured him no shot had been fired and the report had come from the direction of the
machan. Shamsher ordered the success signal be fired with the Very Light Pistol and 500 hundred voices joined him in the longjaikara of “Jo bole so nihal!‘.

Then Shamsher rushed to Sucha Singh, who was badly mauled but on inquiry
about his wounds said, “Saab ji main tan theek haan, par woh sali sherni meri rifle lai gayee.” (“Sir, I am ok but the damn tigress has taken off with my rifle”). The loss of a weapon is a very serious lapse in the army! Sucha Singh was assured that the rifle has been recovered and that he was now nearly at par with the great Hari Singh Nalwa for having single-handedly killed a tigress. He was evacuated to the military hospital.

A telegram was despatched to Fauja Singh: “Revenge taken! Tigress killed!
Turban recovered!” Sepoy Sucha Singh was immediately promoted to Lance
Naik and on that day, 17 Sikh was rechristened the Tiger Battalion.

The bayonet of Sucha Singh had developed a 10-degree curve due to the force of the impact with the tigress. A most unusual occurrence, as bayonets are usually made of brittle metal designed to pierce and break when it hits a hard surface. Shamsherdirected Sucha Singh’s bayonet must be kept as a trophy. The Quarter Master in his enthusiasm to get Sucha Singh his replacement mistakenly sent the bayonet back to the ordinance depot for replacement. Fortunately, it was located and brought right back to the unit. The bayonet, along with the skin of the tigress and news paper coverage of the event, still adorn the officers’ mess of 17 Sikh ­The Tiger Battalion.

While Sucha Singh was being taken to the military military hospital, Shamsher went to the machan to report the success of the mission to Misra and Dargalkar, who were still on the machan.

To his amusement and the embarrassment of the VIPs, Shamsher learnt that in the excitement of the whole action, one of the rifles from the VIP machan had
dropped to the ground. That was the rifle shot Shamsher had heard!

Later, Misra along with Shamsher went to meet Sucha Singh in the hospital. The brigadier asked Sucha Singh, “Kya aapne hi sherniko mara tha?” (“Are you
the one who killed the tigress?”) A peeved Sucha Singh replied, “Asli bayonet toh mainne hi mara tha, sir, par mari hui sherni par bad mein aur bhi maarte gaye. Aur mainne suna ki dar ke mare VIP machan se, kisi rifle nichhe gir kar fire ho gayee.” (“I’m the one who got her with the bayonet first, but others attacked the dead tigress too. And I heard that up in the VIP machan, someone got so scared that they dropped their rifle by mistake and fired it.”)

Nine years later, Colonel  Shamsher as the Centre Commandant of the Sikh Regimental Centre at Meerut Cantonment, was interviewing soldiers going on pension when he heard the familiar voice of Havaldar Sucha Singh. He reported that he was going on pension. Shamsher took a quick decision and directed the pension orders to be cancelled.

Instead, Sucha Singh was promoted to the rank of Jemadar. There were objections from higher headquarters, but Shamsher had a simple reply:
“Sucha Singh is probably the only man in history to have killed a tigress with a bayonet. He deserves to be a JCO!”

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Jail is a Jungle **. 85

Excerpt from Justice Katju blog
I visited the Andaman Island a few years back. It was a British penal colony, and after the construction of the  cellular jail there in 1906 ( which I visited ) was used to keep political prisoners. The jail was originally like a bicycle spoke, with 7 long buildings ( only 3 of which exist today ) 3 stories high, radiating from the centre where there was a tall observation tower. The prisoners were kept in small dingy cells in isolation in these buildings. It is a horrible place, and is now maintained as a museum.
 At the cellular jail, I saw a light and sound show in the evening, which I thought was totally unrealistic.
 The show displayed prisoners shouting ' Inquilab zindabad ', ' Bharat Mata ki jai ',etc, which I thought could not have happened, and I will tell you why.
 A jail is a jungle, where the slightest indication of protest, or shouting of slogans or other kind of 'netagiri' meets with harsh punishment like whipping, etc.. So no one would have dared to shouted ' Inquilab zindabad ' etc in the cellular jail.
 In this connection I may tell you a story.
 When I was a lawyer in Allahabad High Court, I had a friend who was a leftist, who would often give fiery speeches against oppression, exploitation, etc.
 Once the police came to arrest him on some charge ( I forget what it was ) and take him to jail.. I told him while he was being taken away that in jail he must maintain a low profile and not do any 'netagiri', or he would get into trouble. But he did not listen. While in Naini jail, he would often raise slogans against the treatment of prisoners, and tried to organize a sort of trade union of prisoners to demand better conditions in jail.
 The result was that one night the lambardars ( guards who were themselves long term convicts ) came to him, threw a sheet over him, and beat him with sticks black and blue.
 The next day he managed to smuggle a letter to me informing me what had happened, and pleading that I get him immediately out of jail or he would die.
 I went to the jail and met him, and said to him  that I had told him to maintain a low profile in jail, but he did not listen, and this was the result. I then went to the Superintendant of Naini Jail in his office, and told him that what had been done to my friend was totally unacceptable, and I would file criminal proceedings against the jail authorities if this ever happened again. The Superintendant was very courteous, offered a cup of tea to me, and said " Mr. Katju, I will ensure that this will never happen again. But please tell your friend to keep quiet here. This is a jail, not a picnic spot ". I informed him  that I had already done so. The next month my friend was released.
 I have told this story to explain why the prisoners in cellular jail could never have shouted ' Inquilab zindabad ', etc. They knew what would happen if they did.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Hindu Sena supports Donald Trump *. 71

Donald Trump is picking up support in India with the Hindu Sena holding a prayer meeting for his victory after his Comments on Muslim Terror
India Sena / screencap, via ABP news
Donald Trump
Donald Trump is a much-maligned man outside the USA. The Muslim world is wary of him and Pakistan is aghast that Donald Trump may become president. Even in the USA his opponents take no respite in attacking his policies as regressive and divisive. Donald has however picked up the support of all places in India among the Hindu population. A splinter militant Hindu group called the Hindu Sena feels that a Trump victory will go a long way in combating an aggressive and militant Islam. The background to this is the Hindu-Muslim conflict that has gone on for almost 1000 years. 
Hindu Sena
The Hindu Sena was formed in 2011, with the aim of giving a cover to Hindu militancy against Islam. Hinduism is the main religion of India, but it is feeling increasingly hemmed in by terrorist activity by Muslim groups like the Jaish-e -Mohammed and the JKLF, not forgetting the ISI which is trying to recruit Indian Muslims to man its suicide squads.The founder of the Hindu Sena, Vishnu Gupta feels that Trump is the best man to combat Muslim terror. His remarks regarding disallowing Muslims to enter the USA as well as strict action against Muslim terror groups has appealed to the Hindu Sena.
Prayers for Donald.
The Hindu Sena expressed its solidarity last week with a prayer meeting  for the victory of Donald Trump. The meeting was conducted at Jantar Mantar, which is close to Connaught Place in New Delhi. It was well attended. The holy flame was lit and ghee( clarified butter) was poured on the flame to the chanting of religious hymns. A photo of Donald Trump with a tilak( mark of reverence on forehead) was placed at the center as prayers were chanted for the victory of Donald Trump. The entire event lasted over an hour and after that Vishnu Gupta addressed the press. It must be mentioned that the Hindu Sena has been in the forefront of many attacks on individuals who it perceives are against India and Hinduism. Some time back a Kashmir MLA who had held a beef party had his face blackened by Sena activists. Gupta in his press conference felt Donald Trump is the right man to lead the USA as he will bring  order in the world as well as combat Muslim terrorist groups. This was the reason he  and the Sena had organized the prayer meeting.
Last word.
Gupta brushed aside some uncomfortable questions like some acerbic comments made by Donald on Indians. He, however, pointed out that Donald had  mentioned that Indian students could stay in the USA. Regarding immigration of Indians to the USA for Jobs, Gupta was of the view that Indians must stay in India and Modi must provide the jobs.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Musings on Triple Talaq and its Validity in India

Triple is a bone of contention and Muslim women are up in arms to get it abrogated. Here the views of Justice Katju.
In Sharia law, there are broadly two kinds of talaq : 
(1) Talaq al-Ahsan, which is done by saying a single word 'talaq' 3 times, with an interval of one month every time. The talaq becomes complete when the third time the word 'talaq' is used.
(2) Triple talaq, or Talaq ul- Biddat, which is done by saying 'talaq' 3 times one after another, with no interval of time. So this results in immediate divorce. As a matter of fact, this is the most widely practiced method.
Although Muslim Sunni scholars have disapproved triple talaq and called it sinfully, nevertheless they say it is valid.
This matter, whether triple talaq is valid was considered by the Privy Council in Saiyid Rashid Ahmed vs. Aneesa Khatoon, A.I.R. 1932 P.C. 25. In paragraph15 of the judgment, after considering the relevant authorities on the subject, this is what the Privy Council said :
" Their Lordships are of opinion that the pronouncement of the triple Talaq by Ghiyas-ud-din constituted an immediately effective divorce, and, while they are satisfied that the High Court were not justified in such a conclusion on the evidence in the present case, they are of opinion that the validity and effectiveness of the divorce would not be affected by Ghiyas-ud-din's mental intention that it should not be a genuine divorce, as such a view is contrary to all authority. A Talaq actually pronounced under compulsion or in jest is valid and effective (Baillie's Digest, 2nd edn., p. 208; Ameer Ali's Mohammedan Law, 3rd edn., vol. 2, p. 518; Hamilton's Hedaya, vol. 1, p. 211)."
In view of Article 372 of the Indian Constitution, this decision of the Privy Council still remains the law in India, since it has not been altered by the Indian Supreme Court.
So people who say triple talaq is illegal in India are wrong.
Some people argue that triple talaq should be banned, but talaq al-Ahsan should remain. I disagree. Both talaq al-Ahsan and triple talaq can be done orally by a Muslim husband., while a Muslim wife cannot get oral talaq. As regards, khula, this requires the consent of the husband, which he may not give, whereas a husband need not get the consent of the wife for divorcing her orally.
Thus, the Sharia clearly discriminates against Muslim women and needs to be scrapped, and replaced by a Common Civil Code.
However, the Mullahs will staunchly oppose the abolition of even triple talaq, and this also seems to be rigid the stand of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. And because of vote bank politics in India, the politicians will do nothing about it.