Thursday, July 16, 2009

1946 Direct Action of Jinnah Re-Enacted - Part 2

V. Sundaram

Minority Hindus in certain pockets of Muslim majority Murshidabad District are under a siege today. The trouble started on July 10, 2009 in Beldanga Sub Division of that District when certain criminal Muslim elements let loose unprovoked violence against the Hindus.

Tapan kumar ghosh, National convenor, Hindu Samhati

Many Hindus were killed and battered. Their shops were burnt. Women were molested. Till yesterday evening an embargo was placed on media personnel visiting the riot torn area for reporting and news coverage.

In these columns yesterday (Please see Part 1 of this article below) I had mentioned that the anti-Hindu CPI(M) Government in West Bengal today is re-enacting in Murshidabad District the same macabre communal drama of DIRECT ACTION of the evil duo M/s Mohammad Ali Jinnah and H.S Suhravardy — I am referring to the carnage of Hindus in Calcutta City which took place on August 16, 1946. The stage for the gruesome Calcutta killing was set by the Premier of Bengal H.S Suhravardy who masterminded the Hindu Genocide. The Government of Bengal remained silent for two days and watched the mass killing of Hindus with a Nero-like impassivity. The British Governor F Burrows, sat like a marble statue in his Chambers, ‘seeing no evil’ and ‘hearing no evil’. Burrows and Suhravardy were acting in criminal collusion. When the Sikhs of Calcutta were provoked to come out into the streets with their flashing swords to give protection to their defenceless and abandoned Hindu brethren, the tide of killings took a different turn. With the Sikhs and the Hindus coming together in self-defence against the Islamic marauders the tide was turned with equal fury against the murderous Muslim bullies. The Governor and the Prime Minister, seeing that the Muslims were now at the receiving end, now felt the ‘supreme call of duty’ and felt constrained to call the Army to quell the riots.

The number of men, women and children slaughtered on the streets of Calcutta City was over 10,000 and the seriously maimed and injured 15,000 and those rendered utterly penniless and homeless 100,000. A British correspondent of Statesman, Kim Khristen, wrote: ‘I have a stomach made strong by the experience of war, but the war was never like this. This is not a riot. It needs a word found in mediaeval history, a fury. Yet ‘fury’ sounds spontaneous and there must have been some deliberation and organisation to see this fury on the way.’ The culpability of Suhravardy in this sordid criminal operation was laid bare by the local Army Commander and the Chief Secretary of the Bengal Government before Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India, who visited Calcutta in the last week of August 1946.

Like the Suhravardy Government of Undivided Bengal in August 1946, the CPI(M) Government in West Bengal today is even more virulently anti-Hindu. Many of the Marxist cadres consist of jihadi Muslims who are in league with Islamic terrorists. The same situation obtains in Malappuram District, Kerala. There also there is a marriage of political convenience between the CPI (M) and the two Muslim terrorist parties like the NDF and the PDP. Continuous violence is let loose by these elements against the innocent Hindu population in Malapuram District. This is done with the full political approval and administrative support of the Marxist Government of Kerala.

In these columns In a series of three articles titled ‘CPI(M) Led Islamic Terrorism at Ganga Sagar’ published on 19, 20 and 23 June, 2008, I had observed as follows: “The Hindus of India and even more so, the Hindus of West Bengal and Kerala, have now come to know that the leaders and the members of the CPI(M) are their greater enemies than the Islamic terrorists. Wherever they are in power, they are determined to put even the anti-Hindu and anti-Sanatana Dharma record of famous Islamic marauders in History like Mohammed of Ghazni, Mohammed of Ghori, Balban, Allaudin Khilji, Babar, Aurangazeb, Nadir Shah and Ahmed Shah Abdali to everlasting ignominious shame. It is against this background that Sri Tapan Kumar Ghosh and the Hindus of Bengal have come forward in a determined and united manner to establish Hindu Samhati to protect the Hindus of Bengal against the murderous attacks of CPI(M) Party men and their Islamic terrorist allies. With an incredibly tremendous enthusiasm, a new Hindu Social forum called ‘HINDU SAMHATI’ was launched in Kolkata at the Bharat Sabha Hall (erstwhile Indian Association Hall) on the 14 February 2008. Belying all expectations the venue overflowed with supporters and activists and many willingly endured the entire 4 hour long session standing on their feet as seats were already filled up. The session was convened by Sri Tapan Kumar Ghosh and was conducted by Sri Upananda Brahmachari. Senior and prominent Hindu leaders from all over India attended this launch to address the gathering and to extend their support and solidarity towards the cause for which Sri Tapan Ghosh and his compatriots have instituted this forum.

’I spoke over the telephone, yesterday to Tapan Kumar Ghosh, President of the Hindu Samhati, Calcutta. He gave me the following message regarding the policy of Muslim appeasement at all costs followed by the West Bengal Government.

‘A fresh chapter of minority (Muslim) appeasement has been opened by the ruling Marxists of West Bengal after their debacle in the recent Parliament Election. Now the appeasement is not barely a promise. It is getting to turn into a reality. Though the Constitution of India does not provide space for any sort of reservation along religious lines, the government and other political parties together can not resist the temptation to extend reservation facilities in the government services by any means. Tax payers’ money is being poured in the name of providing education to the minorities. Despite the fact that reservation for any religious community is not entertained by the Constitution of India, government of West Bengal is set to open special morning session in the three leading colleges of Kolkata exclusively for Muslim students. After the electoral punch received from the Muslims in the recent Parliament election which evidently laid the basis of an unprecedented disaster of omnipotent Marxists in Bengal, the rulers are now determined to regain the chunk of Muslim vote with fanatic desperation. Even a replacement of our comical Chief Minister Mr. Buddhadev Bhattacharjee with a new unknown Muslim personality might also be a part of their desperation in near future. Then the circle will be full. Mamata Banerjee, the leader of opposition, who claimed distinguished notoriety for being a drama queen in the past, is another emblem of Muslim appeasement in our unfortunate state. This trail of events is being seen as a prelude of an ever increasing demands of Muslims that will be raised in the next years, however illicit and illegitimate, and will finally culminate in the formation of another MUSLIMSTAN in the subcontinent.’

On the 1st Anniversary of its birth, on 14th February 2009, the activist of HINDU SAMHATI, under the heroic leadership of Sri Tapan Ghosh, took the following Oath at Shraddhananda Park, Kolkata.

  1. We will not tolerate any displacement of any Hindu from Hindustan.
  2. We shall not allow any injustice, torture and humiliation of Hindus.

  3. The dignity of Hindu Mothers and sisters is much more valuable than our lives.

  4. We will save the dignity of them all even at the cost of our lives.

  5. We must not allow our sisters to convert to other religions.

  6. We will protect our God & Goddesses and their Temples at all costs in spite of all terror and however long and hard the road may be.

  7. We shall never allow the ingress of Bangladeshi Infiltrators in this land.

  8. We will struggle for total Justice for all the Hindus of Bengal till our last breath.

  9. Never shall we compromise with any injustice, even we be beheaded. We shall not retreat. We shall never surrender. Never!!!

  10. Never shall we bend our Heads. Never shall we tolerate humiliation. We shall follow the Sermon of Lord Sri Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagabad Gita.

Swami Pradiptanandaji (Kartik Maharaj)

Let me now go back to the scene of anti-Hindu riots in Murshidabad District. Tapan Ghosh told me that the battered Hindus of Beldanga town are fearing that the famous President of Bharat Sevashram Sangha, the highly revered Swami Pradiptanandaji (Kartik Maharaj) may be attacked by communal Muslims. The Swamiji is now away from his Ashram; he has gone on a pilgrimage to Mansarovar-Kailas. He is expected to return in 5-6 days. Bharat Sevashram Sangha is a Hindu charitable non-governmental organisation in India. It was founded in 1917 by Acharya Srimat Swami Pranavanandaji Maharaj. The Sangha has hundreds of ashrams in India and other countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Bangladesh. It has initiated several missions to African countries, Malaysia, and Indonesia; monks from the Sangha have accompanied United Nations delegations to Syria and Lebanon.

The Hindus of Murshidabad District are concerned about the safety of Swami Pradiptanandaji (Kartik Maharaj). It is understood that some Muslim terrorist elements are planning to assassinate him when he returns from his pilgrimage. Hindu leaders of the area have expressed the view that the Government of West Bengal should take immediate steps to give total police protection to this Swamiji. Otherwise, he may meet the same fate as Swami Laxmananda Saraswati of Khandmal in Orissa who was killed in August 2008.

The fears of the Hindus of the area about the physical safety of Swami Pradiptanandaji (Kartik Maharaj) do not seem to be unfounded. On October 31, 2008, two terrorist organisations (HUJI-B AND SIMI) sent a threatening letter to Swami Pradiptanandaji, warning him and the Hindus of the area to desist from participating in the Dugra Puja celebrations. In terms of Talipanization, Murshidabad District today seems to have become a part of Islamic Bangladesh now. Both the Central Government and the Government of West Bengal must take immediate action to give full protection to this Swamiji.

To be contd...)

(The writer is a retired IAS officer)

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

1946 Direct Action of Jinnah Re-Enacted - Part 1

V. Sundaram

The print and electronic English media have conspired together against the innocent Hindus of West Bengal by completely blacking out the news regarding the savage communal attack on the Hindus carried out by the criminal Muslim elements in Murshidabad district on July 10, 2009.

Murshidabad district (Bengali:) is a district of West Bengal in eastern India. Situated on the left bank of the river Ganges, the district is very fertile. Covering an area of 5,341 km² (2,062 sq mi) and having a population 5.863 million (according to 2001 census) it is a densely populated district. The Baharampur town is the headquarters of the district.

Jinnah and Suhravardy’s Direct Action in Calcutta City on August 16, 1946

More than 12 Hindus have been killed and hundreds have been injured including 10 Policemen and one DSP rank Police Officer in Murshidabad District. Two village markets and hundreds of Hindu houses and Hindu shops were looted and burnt. Firing between the Police and Muslim rioters were going on for more than 48 hours till July 12’ 09. BSF and CRPF men have been deployed to help the local police and the RAF. Our English Newspapers and TV Channels have completely suppressed this news. All of them seem to be more concerned about the fight that is now going on between the Muslim Chinese and the non-Muslim Han Chinese in Urumqi, the Capital of Western Xinjiang region, in China.

Most important fact that should be noted is that Murshidabad is a Muslim majority district bordering Bangladesh and unauthorized infiltration of Muslims — the favourite vote banks of CPI(M) and Sonia Congress parties — has been rampant from 1980. When the Congress party was losing it’s political hold in Assam and in the North-Eastern region, the Congress Government of Indira Gandhi deliberately brought in the ILLEGAL MIGRANTS (Determination by Tribunals) Act of 1983 (IMDT Act) to create an endless flow of Muslim vote banks largely consisting of Congress sponsored Muslim infiltrators from Bangladesh. This anti-national Act brought in by Indira Gandhi was struck down by the Supreme Court of India in July 2005. Muslims became the most favoured citizens of India under the IMDT Act of 1983 because under this Act legal rights were conferred upon Bangladeshi Muslims to settle down in Assam or any other part of India and become Indian citizens. On the other hand, in a dastardly act of reverse communal discrimination, the Indians from the rest of India were denied the right to settle and vote in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The general approach of the Government of India in all matters relating to the Hindus in absolute majority is to oscillate in a deliberate manner between policies and programmes that are specially anti-Hindu, specifically anti-Hindu, particularly anti-Hindu, generally anti-Hindu and generically anti-Hindu.

The Muslims were in minority in Murshidabad District on August 15, 1947. Today they are in absolute majority. The fact that is being deliberately suppressed by both the Government of India and the Marxist Government of West Bengal on the one hand and the nationally / socially irresponsible Media, both print and electronic, is that in many of the Muslim-majority pockets of West Bengal today, the politically pampered Muslims are behaving in the most the intolerant and oppressive manner in which they behaved towards the Hindus in West Pakistan and East Pakistan during and after the dark days of partition. The recent Muslim- Hindu riots in West Bengal….

Let me give some more specific facts about the recent communal riots in Murshidabad District. All the trouble started in Jhaubona High School in Jhaubona village coming under Nawda police station in Beldanga Sub Division in Murshidabad district. Out of a total of 1000 students in this school, about 50% are Muslim students. For long the Muslim students have been demanding to offer Friday Namaz inside the school. BUT SCHOOL MANAGEMENT AND THE HINDU STUDENTS RESISTED IT APPREHENDING THAT IT WILL CREATE A VIRTUAL MOSQUE INSIDE THE SCHOOL. Consequently, the furious Muslim students made objection against Saraswati Puja in the school and the school management has been compelled to stop Saraswati puja last year in the school. Suddenly in a fit of passion, all the Muslim students in this school unilaterally planned to offer Friday Namaz on July 10, 2009 by force inside the school without any permission from the Head Master or the School Management. Hindu students protested against the move to convert the school into a make-shift mosque. As a result altercation started at 12 noon on July 10, 2009 between the two groups of students.

Let me give some more specific facts about the recent communal riots in Murshidabad District. All the trouble started in Jhaubona High School in Jhaubona village coming under Nawda police station in Beldanga Sub Division in Murshidabad district. Out of a total of 1000 students in this school, about 50% are Muslim students. For long the Muslim students have been demanding to offer Friday Namaz inside the school. BUT SCHOOL MANAGEMENT AND THE HINDU STUDENTS RESISTED IT APPREHENDING THAT IT WILL CREATE A VIRTUAL MOSQUE INSIDE THE SCHOOL. Consequently, the furious Muslim students made objection against Saraswati Puja in the school and the school management has been compelled to stop Saraswati puja last year in the school. Suddenly in a fit of passion, all the Muslim students in this school unilaterally planned to offer Friday Namaz on July 10, 2009 by force inside the school without any permission from the Head Master or the School Management. Hindu students protested against the move to convert the school into a make-shift mosque. As a result altercation started at 12 noon on July 10, 2009 between the two groups of students.

Muslims were totally prepared for an armed rioting. Through cell phone they spread the false message that Hindu students attacked Muslim students in the school. Within 10-15 minutes, thousands of Muslims led by the students of nearby Trimohini Madrasa rushed to the school. They attacked the Hindu students in the school. They also indulged in acts of violence in the big village market of Trimohini. Many Hindu shops in the Trimohini market were burnt and looted. Further the armed Muslim rioters attacked the three Hindu villages of Jhaubona, Trimohini and Darapara. Many Hindu houses were burnt and looted in these three villages. According to reliable reports, in one house 4 Hindus died in the fire, including a father and his daughter who were burnt alive. In all, more than 12 Hindus have been killed and more than 150 Hindus have been seriously injured. The injured persons were admitted to Baharampur and Amtala hospitals. I have disturbing news to the effect that all the people living in the Hindu villages coming under Nawda and Hariharpara Police Stations are keeping themselves awake through out the night. They are scared of a possible Muslim attack upon their villages.As noted earlier, the Murshidabad district is a Muslim majority district. All the areas coming under the jurisdiction of 3 Police Stations in Beldanga Sub Division – Beldanga, Nawda and Hariharpara – are Muslim majority areas. Beldanga Sub Division is a communally explosive area bordering Bangladesh.

Mr. Pranab Mukherjee has been elected from Janghipur Parliamentary Constituency in Murshidabad District. The area where the recent communal riots have taken place do not come in Pranab Mukherjee’s constituency. The affected area (Beldanga Division) comes in Baharampur Parliamentary Constituency. Before the elections, Pranab Mukherjee had given a political assurance to the Muslim voters in his constituency that he would take immediate action to open a branch of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in the Murshidabad District in the event of his being elected as MP from that area. Now that he has been elected, as a gratitude to the Muslims of this district, Pranab Mukherjee announced in his finance Budget in parliament that he would allocate a huge sum of money to establish a campus of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in this district. All of us are aware that this AMU had spearheaded the separatist movement for creation of PAKISTAN in pre 1947 years.

But tragedy is that a few days ago, Pranab Mukherjee visited his Murhsidabad Constituency on Sunday, the 12th of July, 2009 to personally announce this decision to his Muslim voters. He was fully aware of the fact of the communal rioting which had taken place) on Friday, the 10th of July, 2009 in Murhsidabad District (portion of the District not coming under his Constituency) which had left so many Hindus dead and many grievously wounded. ‘And yet for reasons best known to himself, he did not care to visit the riot-affected area in the same Murshidabad District.!!’Seeing what is happening to the Hindus today in Murshidabad District and other areas of West Bengal, I cannot help observing that the Government of West Bengal and the Government of India are acting in unison to re-enact the same violent drama of ‘Direct Action’ which was jointly enacted by Mohammad Ali Jinnah and HS Suhravardy, the then prime Minister of UNDIVIDED BENGAL, on August 16, 1946 in Calcutta City.

Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s call for Direct Action on July 27, 1946

On the 27th of July 1946, Mohammad Ali Jinnah gave a call to the Muslims to observe August 16, 1946 as “Direct Action Day”. Jinnah declared: “The Muslims of India wouldn’t rest contented with any thing less than the immediate establishment of independent and fully sovereign State of Pakistan. ... Now the time has come for the Muslim Nation to resort to Direct action. ... We have taken a most historic decision. Never before in the whole life history of the Muslim League did we do anything except by constitutional methods. Today we have said good-bye to constitutional methods. Throughout the painful negotiations the two parties with whom we bargain held a pistol at us — one with power and machine-guns behind it and the other with non-co-operation and the threat to launch mass civil disobedience. The situation must be met. We also have a pistol.’

To be Continued

(The writer is a retired IAS officer)e-mail the writer at

Monday, May 4, 2009

Islamist militants regrouping in Bangladesh


Forty top leaders of Islamist militant outfits are regrouping with their 10,000-plus cadres in south-western Bangladesh in districts bordering India's West Bengal state, authorities have said.

Bangladeshi authorities say they gleaned this information after interrogating Hizb-ut-Towhid militants who were arrested in this border town last week.

Hizb-ut-Towhid is an Islamist terror group run by Bayezid Khan Panni. The outfit is banned in several countries.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has now asked the home ministry to update its dossiers on militant bodies.

The ministry found that of the 33 groups identified so far, four were banned by the Khaleda Zia government after protests at home and an international outcry against activities of the Islamist militants.

The Daily Star quoted unnamed sources in the intelligence agencies as saying that the law enforcers were trying to hunt down the chiefs of those outfits holed up in various districts.

The Hasina government has set up a 17-member task force headed by State Minister for Home Tanjim Soheh Taj to tackle the spread of militancy.

The outfits operating in the region are Allahr Dal, Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Harkat-ul Jihad al Islami (Huji) and Hizb-ut Towhid.

Panni is currently leading Hizb-ut Towhid. He has written several books to indoctrinate his followers and also distributes leaflets.

According to police, during interrogation Hizb-ut Towhid men told them Panni invited them to prepare for "direct combat".

Police said a large number of members and leaders of the organisation are well-trained and motivated.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Elections-2009: The Fight for Bengal

Ranjit Roy

Left in Bengal likely to suffer a jolt in Lok Sabha elections

Three consecutive reverses in West Bengal Assembly by-elections have put the ruling Left Front in a fix on the eve of the Lok Sabha polls. The Left leaders in general and the CPM in particular could not find a way out to recover before the three-phase Lok Sabha polls in the State slated for April-May. They are still licking the wounds inflicted by the Opposition in the panchayat polls and in Assembly by-polls. The Left candidates have lost by a record margin at Sujapur in Malda, Nandigram in east Midnapore and recently in Bishnupore in south 24 Parganas. The political observers here have described the humiliating defeat of the Left as rural Bengal’s revolt against the communist’s destructive agrarian policy. If the trend continues then the Left in West Bengal is likely to lose between 20 and 22 seats out of a total 42 Lok Sabha seats this time.

In order to convert the rural upsurge against the Left, the Trinamul Congress chief, Mamata Banerjee, has lost no time to forge an alliance with the Congress to prevent major split in the anti-Left votes in West Bengal. After much dilly-dallying over seat sharing between the two parties, it is finally settled that the Trinamul and its allies together will contest in 28 seats and the Congress will field its candidates in 14 Lok Sabha constituencies all over the State. The BJP with its marginal presence (about three per cent votes recorded in recent by-polls) in the State has decided to go alone in the fray. BJP is contesting in 41seats out of 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal. As a result, the Left now has to take a united anti-Left Opposition on the basis of 1:1 at least in 18 constituencies after 32 years of its uninterrupted regime in West Bengal.

Although Marxists put up a brave front claiming that they have won 2001 Assembly elections handsomely against the united opposition by the Trinamul-Congress combine and again in 2004 Lok Sabha polls against the BJP- Trinamul combine, they are now aware about a strong anti-Left wave prevailing in rural Bengal after the blood-bath in Singur and Nandigram. Moreover, even during the last parliamentary elections when there were no Nandigram-Singur episodes, the Left Front together had bagged 35 Lok Sabha seats just by securing a little over 50 per cent of the total votes polled. The CPM alone had bagged 26 seats despite the fact that the party had secured only 38.56 per cent of valid votes polled in 2004 parliamentary elections. No doubt, the split in anti-Left votes had always helped the Left Front winning the maximum seats both in the Assembly and in Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal so far.

Muslim anger

Soon after assuming power with overwhelming majority in 2006 Assembly elections, Bhattacharjee’s government has started grabbing fertile agricultural land for distributing it to dubious business promoters in the name of industrialisation. This led to widespread protests from farmers who were hard-core Left supporters during the 2006 assembly elections. Moreover, the Sachar Report on social, economic and educational status of the Muslims in West Bengal has exposed the Left that they are no longer the friends of the Muslims. The Muslims in West Bengal have voted en masse for the Left during the past 30 years without fail. Now the 27 per cent voters in the Muslim community in the State feel that they are betrayed and cheated by the Left. They are now desperately seeking to teach a lesson by voting against the Left. The poll reverses witnessed in three assembly by-polls are all Muslim dominated rural constituencies.

The Muslims apathy against the ruling Left has given a unique opportunity to Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamul Congress to build its support base in rural Bengal. Strangely, while the BJP and the Congress ignored the Muslim sentiment in West Bengal, it is Mamata Banerjee who has taken initiative to convert the Muslim’s anger into a political upsurge against the Left. She now plays the same Muslim communal card only to exploit the Muslim vote bank that the CPM once played to win elections in West Bengal

Strangely, the BJP was the first major political party to take the plight of Nandigram to a national platform. The BJP was the lone national party to send a parliamentary delegation, led by the leader of the Opposition, LK Advani and Rajya Sabha Member, Sushma Swaraj, to Nandigram after the carnage there. The delegation was well received by the Muslim villagers there. But the State BJP leaders have failed to take advantage of welcome visit of the central BJP leaders and make it into a firm support base.

Although Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress stole the limelight, she has never cared in the past to improve the social and economic status of the Muslims. Trinamul Congress is a predominantly urban-based political party and has never ventured in rural areas before the Singur-Nandigram farmers’uprise against the CPM. Mamata is a clever opportunist political leader who found the Muslims as well as Hindu farmers revolt against the State government’s destructive farm land acquisition policy a God-gifted opportunity to appear as a Messiah before the poor land losers and turned their anger and frustrations against the ruling Left. She quickly distanced herself with the BJP only to please the Muslims and forged an alliance with the Naxalites and other such ultra-Left forces to have a dent in rural sectors. These ultra-Left forces with their limited resources and influence are active in rural Bengal during the past 32 years of the Left rule. They joined under the Mamata’s flag only to gain political respectability and protection from the police repressions.

Left arrogance

The chief minister,Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s arrogance has added to the misery of the Left further. Soon after taking the reins of the government from Jyoti Basu, his successor Bhattacharjee had promised that he would change the work culture of the government and would make the administration accountable to the people. Bhattacharjee’s tall promises and his personal clean and intellectual image on the one side and utter disunity in the rank and files of the Opposition on the other have helped the Communists to sweep the Assembly elections in 2006 for the seventh consecutive term. The Left Front won 235 seats in a 294-member State Legislative Assembly. The electoral success and media hype have made Bhattacharjee so arrogant that he has declared that government will acquire farm land all over the State for industry without discussing this policy matter in the Cabinet. When the Opposition raised the question of legality in the action of the government, an angry Bhattacharjee retorted, “We are 235 in the Assembly. We don’t care what they are saying.” This arrogance generated from absolute power has simply corrupted the government administration. Moreover, this is for the first time in the long Left rule in Bengal, other Front partners have openly revolted against the CPM’s high-handedness in acquiring farm land for industrialists. No doubt, Bhattacharjee’s unreal industrialisation dream has brought doom for his government as well as his party within two years of assuming power for the seventh consecutive term. Political observers are now keeping their fingers crossed over the success of the Left in the Lok Sabha elections this time.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Any foreign hand in Assam terror?

Rajinder Puri

Official police agencies have claimed categorically that Monday’s bomb blasts in Assam were carried out by the United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa). The blasts coincided with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram’s visit to Guwahati. They occurred along the route he was to take. They heralded the New Year. They occurred on the day when the government’s new anti-terror law went into operation. Did the timing contain a message? If so, from whom?

Pakistan is reputed to guide the Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba. Does any foreign power influence Ulfa? Consider the events immediately preceding the Assam blasts. China’s Vice-Foreign Minister He Yafei visited Pakistan to advise the President, the Prime Minister and the army chief to talk peace with India. All three made conciliatory statements. The Chinese dignitary then telephoned External Affairs Minster Pranab Mukherjee from Islamabad advising him to reciprocate. He indicated willingness to visit India and facilitate the process.

A leader of deputy minister rank advising the governments of India and Pakistan amounted to barely concealed impudence. Beijing clearly was attempting to assume the role of Big Brother in South Asia. Mr Mukherjee quite properly snubbed the Chinese vice-foreign minister by refusing the offer and not inviting him to New Delhi. Shortly thereafter terrorists targeted Assam. But does any foreign power influence Ulfa, which reportedly carried out the attack? After an earlier Ulfa attack in Assam, Indian police and intelligence officials late October 2008 had claimed that the outfit was seeking shelter in China. They claimed that Ulfa’s top commander Paresh Baruah was camped near the Burma-China border seeking sanctuary. Indian intelligence officials said that an estimated 50 Ulfa militants were holed up in China’s Yunnan Province led by Partha Jyoti Gogoi.

In quick succession after India’s snub to the Chinese official the Assam terror occurred. Should one draw any conclusions from this?

(The writer is a veteran journalistand cartoonist)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

On the Offensive---Islam in Assam, India

Monalisa Gogoi

Assam is a case study of illegal Bangladeshi migrants on the warpath, natural when the border with an overpopulated country isn’t sealed, says TSI''s Pranab Bora Sixty-five-year-old Lakhiram Bodo describes every moment of the past three months in the relief camp as ‘harrowing’. Despite belonging to the Bodo community – the earliest inhabitants of Assam, and the supposed ‘bhumiputras’, he and the entire Bodo population of Dalgaon Batabari were thrown out of their homes by Bangladeshi immigrants in a matter of minutes. Today, their existence at the relief camp has been brought down to this: a tin shed, four kgs of rice, 1.1 kg of dal, 250 ml mustard oil and some salt, “per person, per week”.

“Fifty years ago, there were hardly a hundred such families here; today there are thousands of families. When they attacked us after the first skirmishes in August this year, we couldn’t resist them; our village was burnt and they killed our people…” Bodo’s voice trails off.

Dalgaon Batabari – near Rowta in lower Assam – is one of many villages that has borne the wrath of the immigrant Bangladeshi, albeit with citizenship papers available everywhere, thanks to the corrupt babus and an apathetic administration that thrives on the Bangladeshi votebank. On August 14, the Bodos brought out a procession opposing the Assam Bandh called by the Muslim Students’ Union of Assam (MUSA) that was protesting against the “harassment of genuine Indian Muslims who were being thrown out of upper Assam districts such as Dibrugarh”, as 23-year-old Badrul Islam, MUSA president, says. The total immigrant Muslim population in lower Assam is about seven million. At the time of independence, the Muslim population in Assam stood at 1.9 million. Now, the average growth rate of Muslims in Assam stands at 18 per cent; that of Hindus at 14. Six of Assam’s 27 districts now have a Muslim majority population. While in 13 districts, the growth rate of Muslims is less than 30, in seven it is less than 40. In Karbi Anglong, it is as high as 73.6 with the population going from 10,000 to 18,000 in 10 years.

Statements from two state Governors – SK Sinha and Ajai Singh – along with the Gauhati High Court in recent times now buttress what organisations like All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), that led the six-year-long anti-foreigners’ agitation beginning 1979, have said all along: that the state has been inundated by Bangladeshis who endangered the very existence of local communities. It was the detection of hundreds of Bangladeshis in the voters’ rolls in 1979 at Mangaldoi that sparked AASU’s anti-foreigners agitation.

Yet, the modus operandi of political groups who speak for the illegal migrant remains the same. MUSA’s Islam accepts that census reports show dangerous population growths in these districts, where other indigenous communities showed normal growth. Yet, every time suspected illegal migrants moving to the upper Assam are handed over to the police, the MUSA protests against the “inhuman treatment meted out to them”. The August 14 bandh call was one such protest.
The October 30 serial bomb blasts in Assam – the state is now home to a number of Islamic militant groups – that killed 90 and injured hundreds was a culmination of events. The blasts were claimed by the militant group Islamic Security Force (Indian Mujahideen). While the Congress-led government continues to blame the blasts on militant groups like United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), till date nothing has come out of its so-called investigation.

Sitting in his small “Office of the Muslim Marriage, Divorce, Registration and Kazi” at Dalgaon, Qazi Md Afzal Hussain, an Assamese Muslim says: “During my father’s time, this was a place of forests where tigers have killed people.” Now, Dalgaon is dominated by immigrants, where Muslims have wiped out tribal belts. As for empowering the Bangladeshi migrant woman – most of them illiterate and some bearing up to 20 children, Hussain says he hasn’t heard of the new nikahnamah released by the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board.

The results are evident. As opposed to the sparsely populated Bodo relief camp at Rowta; the displaced immigrants lodged at camps at Dalgaon lives in squalor, the camps overpacked with unthinkable living conditions. Bashid Ali, one of the inmates, claims their village was attacked by Bodo and Bengali Hindu people, an indication that the Hindu and Muslim Bangladeshis are now at loggerheads in what, all said and done, is a war for land. The rate at which the immigrant Muslim rampages through the districts of Assam is something that local communities have found impossible to resist. At the receiving end is not just the Bodos, Karbis, Assamese or Bengalis but also the original Assamese Muslim (known as goria), a community that has broken away from the so-called Muslim ‘minority’. “Expect a Bangladeshi as Chief Minister within the next 20 years in this state,” says Nekibur Zaman, Gauhati High Court lawyer, an Assamese Muslim and founder of an organisation ‘Khilonjia Muslim Unnayan Parishad.’ “They may call themselves minorities but there are 20 Bangladeshi MLAs even now in the state Assembly.”

For the “mainstream” politician, all of it is to be shrouded in skewed, convenient statistics. Maulana Fazlul Karim Qasimi, a goria Muslim and the convenor of the Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF), agrees that there is a conspiracy: “For many political parties, keeping the immigrant population an uneducated, proliferating Bangladeshi lot helps their interests, as children born today will vote after 18 years.” Its victims are both the immigrants and local communities. The toll in the August-October clashes stood at over 50. Add to that the 855 students killed during the Assam agitation, followed by the thousands who have been killed during the insurgency that was an offshoot of the agitation. And as people here point out – this is what is happening to India in its northeast, thanks to the our calloys and self-thanking politicians.

Kayani comes out of the closet

Rajinder Puri

At last, General Pervez Ashfaq Kayani has come out of the closet to vindicate an apparent truth that the world had refused to acknowledge. Namely, that it is Beijing and not Washington that calls the shots in Islamabad. America wields clout with the politicians. China has control over the army. The army controls the politicians. Ergo, China controls Pakistan.

Condoleezza Rice, John Negroponte, Richard Boucher and Admiral Mullen were at the head of a procession of US bigwigs who trooped into Islamabad to read the riot act to politicians and the army. There was no impact. Islamabad remained defiant. When politicians such as Nawaz Sharif did speak the truth they quickly retracted to toe the army's line. Worse, even in the comparatively outspoken media, with a few honourable exceptions, noted columnists endorsed Pakistan's farcical state of denial inspired by the army.

Well, China's vice foreign minister came to Islamabad and offered gentle advice to the politicians and the army. Whoosh! General Kayani deflated like a punctured balloon and somersaulted 180 degrees to promote de-escalation! Beijing therefore has left nobody in doubt about Pakistan's source of defiant strength. What lesson should India draw from this? Primarily that it should not be carried away by silly sentiment.

If China has pressured Pakistan now it is for the same reason that it reluctantly climbed down on the Indo-US nuclear deal. With America, Russia and Europe ranged against Islamabad's role in terrorism, China cannot afford to be bracketed with Pakistan which is increasingly perceived as a rogue state. So take with a bucket of salt China's newfound endeavour to restrain Pakistan. Focus instead on the fact that Pakistan's role against India during the last few decades in Kashmir and elsewhere was sustained and encouraged by Beijing.

Nothing has changed as yet. Witness the nitpicking shyster arguments parroted by Pakistani politicians and news columnists that the evidence presented by India on the Mumbai blast would not stand scrutiny in a court of law. What they need to effectively answer is whether the captured terrorist, Kasab, is Pakistani or not? Did the terrorists come by sea from Pakistan or not? The rest is irrelevant.

But Pakistan remains adamant on the core issue. General Kayani has a lot more to do than make a lame statement to restore confidence. India will smell change only after the civilian government in Pakistan visibly enforces its writ on the army. That most likely will be done only after the Communist government in Beijing succeeds in visibly enforcing its writ on China's People's Liberation Army.