Thursday, 18 December 2014

Fund Security Reform with Oil Price Windfall

Terrorist Attacks on Afghanistan are facing a microscope as Pakistan Army complicity in harbouring Afghan Taliban gets highlighted, by the barbaric Peshawar attack. Fazlullah or Haqquani are in the same abomination business.

The extension of American presence in Afghanistan, will stymie the use of Afghan Taliban against India. The main arbitrage seeker of Political Islam remains Pakistan Army.

Peshawar changed nothing besides some mealy mouthed public posturing.

For India, overt and covert wall is the short term solution. Long-term interests will include Afghanistan and United States. India under extrovert Modi will learn to swing in the big league between Obama, Putin and Xi.

For India it will be a tense winter as Security Establishment battens down the hatches against the Punjabi Taliban and Hafiz Saeed's. Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh and Manohar Parrikar will have to merge babu kingdoms of PMO, MHA, MoD and MEA to deal with covert plausible denial attacks by Pakistan in Kashmir, and beyond in Indian Cities.

Strategic environment remains adverse, and India must make the best of the Oil price windfall to fund tactical security reform, tactics, training and equipment, internal and external.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Sydney and Peshawar Siege: Reminder to Manohar Parrikar on Missing Special Forces Command

Sydney

The Tactical Assault Group (TAG) East of 4 RAR aka 2 Commando of Australian Army Special Forces just broke the 16 hour Sydney seige. The payload of Terrorism played out live on Television, as Australia experienced first hand, what is a common sight in India.

Peshawar

Pakistan Army, Special Forces in Zaraar Company of Elite SSG were choppered in from Tarbela to battle, TTP Fidayeen. The Peshawar school attack, barbaric even by Pakistan, at last count including 132 kids and others,148 were are dead. A bloody carnage, thankfully the media was kept away at an outer perimeter during the tactical assault and clearing operation handled professionally. ISPR steered the narrative and limited infowar payload to TTP.

Special Forces in Indian Army

On Vijay Diwas, India marked its victory in the 1971 war with Pakistan. A massive military triumph that resulted in the formation of Bangladesh, from East Pakistan.

India employed Special Forces very successfully during the 1971 war. It has since employed Special Forces (SF) in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Kargil, 26/11 Bombay Attacks, and ongoing counter terrorism operations in Insurgency theatres, J&K, to Punjab to the States of the North East.

The need for Special Forces beyond traditional military ORBAT, Police and Paramilitary both State and Federal, has been felt repeatedly since the days of  1965 Meghdoot Force.

Turf War and Private Armies

Outside the Army there have existed a multitude of private armies run by differing bureaucracies like SSB, SFF, Establishment 22, and recently in the NSG, staffed by all Army personnel on deputation in the SAG.

It is a symptom of India's Civil and Military disconnect that while the business end of all tactical offensive and assault is executed by Military Special Forces, myriad formations exist, using up taxpayer money for duplicate, redundant operations.

Similar distrust between the Army, Navy and Air Force and lack of joint operations and command, have given birth to MarCos and Garud, respectively.

Special Forces Command

As India struggles to stem the bleeding from the thousand cuts inflicted by Pakistan Army sponsored, Islamist insurgency, and other assorted sub-national identity based separatist movements, the need for a Special Forces Command, has never been more urgent.

Many States and other Federal authorities, CAPFs have tried unsuccessfully to set up Special Forces Commando units. These don't have the knowledge base, experience and specialist equipment or Intelligence capability to have a cogent Special Forces capability. The lines between domestic and external operations are being increasingly blurred by urban and irregular warfare. In this scenario, add cross border raids, and Terror Training Camps across the border in Pakistan. Any interdiction, insertion, evacuation requires a fungible mass of operators, logistics and elite technology.

All this requires an investment in a Special Forces Command, equal to other Army Commands, and able to dovetail with Internal and external Intelligence operatives. It further requires an investment in Engineering, Surveillance and Transport facilities across Land, Air and Sea.

The BJP led by Narendra Modi came to power over promises of better security management of India. The appointment of Manohar Parrikar as the new Defence Minister has rekindled hope of a renaissance in Defence management. After the Uri cross border raid, the new Minister has promised action, against Pakistan in 6 months. Action that promises to mitigate attacks under ominous shadow of Nuclear blackmail.

Special Forces and Coldstart: Strategic Response

The Parliament Attack laid the foundation the of Cold Start doctrine. A doctrine to negate plausible denial of Covert Ability of Pakistan played out under the Nuclear umbrella. The foundation of Cold Start does not lie so much in large formations or Strike Corps and Armour but in surgical strike capabilities. It is here that India needs Special Forces Command, so options across the covert and overt spectrum exist for the political establishment to employ as necessary,in support of homeland security and foreign policy objectives.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Opaque MoD of Modi Sarkaar: Army's Social Media Paradox

In the aftermath of the Arnia and Uri cross border raids by Pakistan Army Fidayeen, Social Media has been on fire with reports of disaffection and discontent in the junior officers of the Indian Army. The Indian Army has sought to gag its Officers and Men on Social Media. Its internal communication has failed to retain credibility in the face of competing narratives on Social Media, finding resonance with its rank and file. The absence of MoD on Social Media given that it controls the Indian Armed Forces, is a shocking contrast to the rest of Narendra Modi led Government, PMO, down to Ministers and Ministries, easily in the category of oversharers on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Google+, and assorted Blogs and Websites.
The genesis of the provocation lies in the timing of Machhil and Budgam incidents where the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, Defence Minister, Arun Jaitley, and the Indian Army top brass, including Army Chief, Suhag, and Generals Hooda and Saha were seen as throwing the above two enquiries, to appease Kashmiri Muslim voters in Jammu and Kashmir Elections. The gist of anger centres around the perception that, Rules of Engagement by anti insurgency troops were sought to be watered down, to the disadvantage of the Army, resulting in increased casualty numbers, wounded and dead. The issue has found resonance with many on Social Media, including serving and retired, Officers and Men.

To add to the boiling pot were no holes barred Television debates, that included self opinionated Veterans who have served in the area, including Core Commanders, GoCs and points down the rank. While Indian Army Social Media handles put out the usual fluff beginning with the ubiquitous COAS and All Ranks, the real debate and conversation had shifted elsewhere. The wildfire integration of conventional and social media, lost as it may be, to the MoD and the Army, is consumed daily by all Indians, including its Armed Forces. With average response times down to 15 minutes for a holding statement, the Army Internal Communication or those of its Social Media handles clearly failed miserably, just like the QRTs up in Arnia and Uri.

Information Vacuum breeds disinformation. The assertion by the Army top brass that this was an enemy exploit insults both the intelligence and common sense. Even if one were to hypothetically retain that as a possibility, the loud resonance with the said perception, in both active and retired troops must sound an alarm not just in the Offices of the PMO, but also in that of the Raksha Mantri, and MoD, Core, Division and Brigade, down to Battalion. The Social Media policy of the Indian Armed Forces is a prehistoric tome with insults to personal responsibility, lazy abbreviation, open ended vagaries, and bears no comparison to similar policies of contemporary militaries. Unrealistic and not based in media consumption patterns, it smells of Colonial brown sahib MoD, mustiness.

The issue of silly statements to the pet MoD media has been found out, as has the spin by Arun Jaitley and Narendra Modi. Manohar Parrikar is tasting a soufflé cooked by his inglorious predecessors, and troop disaffection does not need to be an addition to his many worries in Procurement, Border Infrastructure and that contortionist wet dream called, MakeinIndia, a dangerous construct crafted by the rhetoric magicians in BJP, and their self appointed ideological grandfathers in the Sangh, punch drunk with all authority and no responsibility.

This is a Command crisis where the Army leadership and its communication is incongruent to the pulse of the Officers and the Men, it leads. The Election populism of the BJP Government in Kashmir has perhaps for the first time in the history of the Indian Army brought things to such a sorry pass. The reputation of the Army has been tarred, and honest mistakes made in the heat and fog of war, made to look like premeditated criminality. Nobody except the dead soldiers or their orphaned families seem to think there is a war going on!

Immediate steps to restore credibility to the Communication abyss that the Indian Army finds itself staring into must include unambiguous Rules of Engagement in Insurgency and Counter Terrorism Operations of the Indian Army. It should further clarify the position of the Government of India and Military on the status of AFSPA. The perception that Machhil and Budgam judgements were a frame-up need to be urgently reversed, and amends made to wronged officers and men, punished TSD Officers, War Widows, and Handicapped Veterans or others, facing harassing litigation by MoD. The OROP pension saga festers as a sore despite promises by Narendra Modi that have yet to be put to bed!

The Army brass and the Security, and Political leadership, of the BJP led NDA Government, can of course do what precedent dictates, and bury their heads in sand, and do nothing. Till the next cross border raid hits and resultant anger, of real or apparent betrayal, sparks a mutiny. Sad as it sounds for a Government that came to power on promises of Change, Governance and Transparency. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Beware of the Believer!








Monday, 1 December 2014

Undone

Gone on today
Away from hysteria
A moment of clarity
Sudden boredom with derision

Yes, who could've said
This could happen one day
A rare day of self esteem
When self deprecating forgiveness couldn't stay

Months and years have passed
Tasting the moment
Now that it's done
Why doesn't it feel so bad?

Cryptic circumstances, death, renewal
Emotions, bonds and violent lust
Like spilled drinks and broken glasses
No lessons in leaving.

Intellect compromised for benefit
A structural instability of smell
Incompatibilities of faith, creed and grain
Cracks papered away, come undone.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Untouchable Brahmin

Can not talk, when your head is on fire
Converse, when your heart has been ripped out
You keep trying me
I keep forgiving you

In artificial light, beyond waking hours
Drinks of anger, not celebration
A fury in the blood
An anger of betrayal

The pigeons often bury their heads
Pretend they can stall fate
As my yogic breath stops me from oblivion
I take another sip

In the black hole of love
And the merciless jungle of forbidden desire
There comes a moment
When water no longer douses fire

I deny you, familiarity
Punish you for your nonchalance
But on the way somewhere
Never really get my revenge

This is the way of the stranger
Of the lover, no one wants to acknowledge
An untouchable brahmin
No one wants to touch or see.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Connected by Change, the Human Way

There are old songs on the radio
Songs that force you to imagine
Stories of those who went before
As their music lives on.

Musty old books have love, longing and betrayal
Sarcasm and passion of black and white films
Language and instrument
Object and divine.

The song writer and composers stayed poor
Vicious cycle of the writers poverty, brilliance, waste
The shortness of collective memory
The talent of the prodigal.

Living with the feeling its all been done before
Deja Vu days and weekends, and faster years
God we've known each other forever
Do you remember him or her from that year?

The guilt of bad Karma
The fear of being born an insect
Or the expectation of Moksha
It's all been done before.

Philosophical constructs to live life
To know, wrong, from right, ying and yang
Yet, to somehow live in crime, and dysfunction
That perhaps is the human way.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Manohar Parrikar and Disappointed Veteran OROP Hopes - Letter from Brig Vidyasagar

Courtesy Brig CS Vidyasagar:

Dear Sir,

This is what Shri Manohar Parikkar, hon’ble Defence Minister in his interview to The Economic Times says about OROP: "This one-rank-one pension thing is again complicated; it can't be treated as a dynamic thing where every time someone's pension comes up, everyone else's gets revised."

His statement leaves me in no doubt that he has only heard what his bureaucrats have drilled into him. He would not have said this if he heard his Service Chiefs explaining what is their stand on OROP i.e. any increase in pensions to serving personnel to be passed on to past pensioners.

It is to ensure that at any time pensions of past and present pensioners is same. Otherwise the disparity in pensions shall continue. If pensions are upgraded by any other manner it is not OROP. 

Then let the Govt of India not proclaim it as OROP but call it by any other name say Periodic Enhancement of Pension.

I hope the hon’ble RM knows the pension of Pre – 2006 Sepoy today is Rs 5,000 plus and that of Sepoy of Post 2006 retired in Apr 2014 is Rs 8,000 plus. My arithmetic says difference in two pensions is 60% for two soldiers of same rank, same service and same group.

Mind you who is hon’ble Finance Minister? It is the same person as hon’ble part time RM who has emphatically told delegation of ESM Associations in Jul 2014 to LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS ON OROP.

New Raksha Mantri does not agree to this automatic upgradation of pension of past pensioners. So he consigns the definition of OROP approved by Koshiyari Committee and by Shri AK Antony, former Defence Minister in Apr 2014 into dust bin. Have no doubt on this. It is in Black and White unless hon’ble RM says his comments have been twisted and he never said this.

To be very frank his second statement on OROP has left me totally confused. Here is it what he says: We should have a pay scale kind of scheme, where over a particular period you fix a pension - let us not define the period because we are in active discussion on that with finance ministry - and then at the end of the period they can all get upgraded, or rationalised.

My doubts are:

No 1. What is this pay scale kind of scheme for pensions? Are not pensions depend upon pay scale i.e 50%? Does is mean pay scale for serving personnel is different and scale of pensions is different?

No 2. How is this pay scale kind of scheme of pension going to be made?

No 3. If you do not define a period, then how are you going to upgrade pensions so that gap between pensions of pre – 2006 and post 2006 retirees which is vast (as high as 60% for Sepoys) is going to be reduced or bridged. Then is it OROP?

No 4. What has Ministry of Finance got to do with OROP or any other OP? They are just there to give or take away money earmarked in the budget.

No 5. How is pension upgraded or rationalized at the end of a period? What do you mean by rationalization of pensions? You rationalize something if there is vast variation or you find discrepancies or unacceptable differences.

My assessment is :

Forget OROP for the time being. Even if you get it by end of March 2015 (otherwise Rs 1,500 Crores earmarked for OROP will lapse) it is going to be peanuts by these esoteric terms such as Rationalisation or Upgradation etc.

What is likely to Happen;

Now MoD will throw ball in the court of Min of Finance and tell the whole world that any delay in implementation of OROP is entirely due to Min of Finance. 

Hon'ble PM in his foreign visit to improve bilateral relations with Fiji, Burkino Faso or Liberia will say OROP is close to his heart, to Ms Barkha Dutt of NDTV.

Finance Ministry after sitting on the file till Mar 2015 will return it to MoD saying they have no comments to offer since the matter of OROP exclusively pertains to MoD.

It is upto them to implement or not as per their own understanding of OROP. At this fag end of financial year, no more additional budget can be given to MoD for OROP but they will be too happy and grateful to MoD if some Rs 20,000 Crores can be surrendered for Jan Dhan Yojana etc.

Min of Fin says coffers are empty because of misrule of UPA I & II from 2004 to 2014. Foreign Direct Investment has not yet come as much as expected because our cities are dirty, our villages are dirty in spite of hon’ble PM himself sweeping roads whenever he finds time under SWATCH BHARAT ABHIYAN.

Hon'ble PM says in some meeting OROP is come closer to his heart than earlier.
After this CGDA & MOD are quite capable of convincing hon’ble RM that file be sent to Min of Law for their comments.
Min of Law will then sends this proposal of OROP to seek opinion of hon’ble Surpeme Court after invoking assent of hon’ble President of India under Art xyz of Constitution of India.

Hon'ble PM says he is working on OROP as it has becomes closest to his heart!!
After this hon’ble Surpeme Court refers this to constitution bench of 10 senior judges.

RDOA says Mr Justice Rohinton Nariman who opposed OROP can not sit alongwith these 10 judges. Chief Justice of India reconstitutes the constitution bench in 2018.

Finally the constitution bench rules that there is no legal infirmity involved in this case quoting judgment of similar cases by hon’ble US Supreme Court, UK Supreme Court and Australian Supreme Court in their 2,50,789 pages judgment. Then file is returned to Min of Law in Feb 2019.

Hon'ble PM says he will not rest till OROP is implemented as it is touching his heart as closeness is getting reduced in the same manner as our MOM is getting closer to Mars.

The file will lie with MoD in one of the almirahs whose key is lost and a Court of Inquiry headed by a serving Supreme Court judge is called for to pin point the responsibility for the loss of key.

The hon’ble Supreme court says due to countless cases pending they are unable to spare a sitting judge for this inquiry.
Hon'ble PM in combined Commanders conf of 2024 says OROP is very much in his thoughts and his heart bleeds for pensioners who gave everything to the Nation.

Since there is no unanimity in the ministries on OROP, hon’ble RM suggests to get all political parties to be on board for arriving at consensus(after all politics is the art of possible) on how to implement OROP in 2029.

Hon'ble PM says he breathes, he sleeps and he thinks of only OROP in Apr 2029 in Rewari. Veterans give him standing ovation on state of OROP.

Congress party will say unless LOP post is given to them, they will not approve the proposal of RM on OROP.

Then Mr Narendra Modi goes back in Apr 2019/2024/2029 to Rewari, Haryana and seek votes from ESM community with the promise that he will look into OROP.
 
The story is supposed to be repeated in Apr 2034 in Rewari. By that time the Anti - Incumbency sets in and NDA-III, IV, V etc are thrown out of power.

UPA - III is brought back to power. Pappu Gandhi is no where to be seen. 

Some veterans will pacify the rest saying"Trust our Service Chiefs. They know what is the best for Pensioners. They will never let us down!!".

Gen Dalbir Singh, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha and Adm Robin Dhowan (all Retired) and in their 90s drawing OROP thump tables in TV discussions that Govt of India has never intended to implement OROP in its truest sense of the term.

They suspected when they were Service Chiefs and now after 20 years, their suspicions have proved to be true. Tch, Tch, Tch!

By that time the pension of Service Chief is made equal to that of Desk Officer in 10th CPC. When Army Chief calls for a file on OROP, the file does not reach him. Adjutant General complains to Army Chief that the Desk Officer dealing OROP is from Inter Services HQ Cadre who has temerity to say that Desk Officer under NFFU draws more basic pay than Service Chief so he is not obliged to listen to even Service Chief.

Sir, Am I not a pessimist? If not then what I am?

With warm regards,
Brig CS Vidyasagar(Retd)
9493191380

Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Serially Dispossessed

My father was born here, he said
They still live in the same house
Noises of a lifetime, from grandparents to grandchildren

Ancient trees of wisdom
Cultural sarcasm, fertility and infidelity
These are vestiges of the landed
Of contiguous stories, and alien rants

Fleshed out jealousies, need time
As do, across the fence rivalries
These are things of aspiration
For the serially dispossessed

Shorn naked to nudity of humanity
A few old but clean clothes on the back
Counted paisas, crumpled rupees
Rich with idealism of the serially dispossessed

The sullied discontent of the stable
Meets the durability of the immigrant
The purity of race, meets virility of the interbred

The homogeneous contentment of the inbred
Can be best understood, in the shy smile of the refugee
Mansions and palaces, are incomplete without pedestrians
Without the serially dispossessed

Saturday, 15 November 2014

BADGAM INCIDENT. An open letter from Brig Vidyasagar (Retd)

BADGAM INCIDENT. An open letter from Brig Vidyasagar (Retd)

Dear Sir,
    Further to my mail earlier on the Badhgam incident. The C of I is not yet over. Army has accepted its total responsibility.
    May I request more knowledgeable veterans to clear some of my doubts.
    Doubt No 1. How has Army Cdr Northern Comd found out Army is guilty and is to accept total responsibility for the Badgam incident?
      I hope Angel Gabriel did not visit him in his dreams when the general was in sound sleep in Udhampur and told him that Army men were not finding any target to shoot at and suddenly Allah,the benevolent and most merciful sent this innocent youngsters to speed away in a car even after being asked to stop. If there is no check post, then were the Army men suddenly descended from Heaven? Are we not supposed to stop at every check post, prove our identity and then only proceed after cleared by the check post men. If we can do it day in and day out in peaceful place like Secunderabad, Telangana to enter RSI, Bolarum can not the innocent boys in Srinagar expected to observe the simple rule when terrorists roam freely around as if Srinagar is Muzaffarabad?
   Doubt No 2.  When the C of I has not yet completed, how the Army Cdr says "Mistake has happened"?
        May I remind the venerable Army Cdr when similar incident happened in New Delhi few years back somewhere near Connaught place. Two businessmen travelling in a car were killed by  Delhi Police in similar circumstances after they received intelligence report. The Delhi Police Commissioner refused to accept any responsibility for the incident and squarely blamed the occupants of the car who did not stop even after being challenged to stop. The Delhi Govt on the instruction of Central Govt simply transferred Delhi Police Commissioner to diffuse the situation. No compensation was paid to the next of kin of businessmen.

Doubt No 3. When the All knowing Army Cdr has already announced Army takes full responsibility for the death of two boys, he informs the circumstances of the incident are being investigated. Does it mean the presiding officer of C of I will doctor his findings to see whatever Army Cdr said are duly incorporated by tutoring Army Witnesses.

Doubt No 4. May I be educated as to what these famous DOs and Don'ts are all in this hostile environment when every day one or twol Army men are being martyred by terrorists?
      Am  I correct to say that Army men should not shoot till fired upon. That means let few Army men get killed, then establish that the guys who fired are terrorists and call for reinforcements by which time the terrorists would be safely hidden in one of the houses of countless sympathisers. Then our Defence Correspondent will happily announce five jawans, one JCO and One officer have been martyred by terrorists when a car carrying terrorists opened fire indiscriminately on the check post personnel.

Doubt No 5. May I be educated as to what are the rules of engagement in a disturbed area declared as such by the State Govt because of which Army has been called in and AFSPA was provided to them to safeguard against the ungrateful Kashmiri Muslims who eat Indian food and sing praises of Pakistan. Am I wrong to call them traitors?

Doubt No 6. After the incident has happened where is the necessity for GOC 15 Corps to move out the personnel of 58 RR from their duties helping the hostile state govt to spread the canard that Army has opened fire unnecessarily.

Doubt No 7. Will Army men ever trust their officers to defend them in future if this is the stuff with which COAS, Army Cdr and Corps Cdrs are made of . Why should they risk their lives to hunt down the terrorists?

Sir, to clarify my doubt, I am giving below extract of  press interview of Army Cdr, Northern Command given in Srinagar on 07 Nov 2014.
regards,
Brig CS Vidyasagar(Retd)

Yesterday and Tomorrow


Years of strength, and of power.
A glorious present
The heady swagger of muscle
Easy contempt of youth

You look at the children
You look at the old
Forgetting your past
That you too will be old.

Will posterity remember your lines
Your poem
Your book
Or your film?

In twilight, in eddies of subconscious
Ebbing questions of fear, and faith
Will you be here next year
Who will you be next year?

Thursday, 16 October 2014

To Be Set Free

And then we became distant.
We disagreed and couldn't look each other in the face anymore
Or say anything agreeable

It wasn't always like this
The boundaries were never caste in stone
Is it you, is it me?
Should we blame it on the times

No bitter tears, no angry recrimination
No unanswered phone calls
A practised nonchalance, a weary disillusionment
Even glad to be set free

New dreams were never so subtle
No unspent anger, so light
Dreams, we grew together
Then we grew apart.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

India and ISIS: Foreign Policy Dilemma

The Narendra Modi and Barack Obama meeting this week, on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York threw up many asks from both India and America. It also brought to an end a hiatus in India and US relations.

From statements of shared values, economic and security agendas of both, emerged perhaps, three major red lines: American led coalition against ISIS, Nuclear Liability Law, and WTO blocking citing lack of progress on Food Security.

Of the three, the first namely, India joining a coalition against ISIS perhaps poses the largest challenge to Indian foreign policy. The latter two are a matter of negotiation, and have scope for finding a middle ground.

Whether or not India joins any such coalition against ISIS, will represent a very fundamental shift in both foreign policy and homeland security.

It will also be a fundamental recognition of the contradiction in the Indian stance in the Middle East, especially given the complex equation between India, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The dynamics of India, straddling Sunni and Shia relationships, have historical roots in different Muslim populations scattered across its geography. Indian expatriate labour works on both sides of the Sunni and Shia divide. Foreign remittance earnings, and well being of Indian citizens being key concerns.

The sectarian divide furthers affects the energy security plays of India. Despite recent derisking efforts, given the Western sanctions against Iran, deep concerns, and dependencies remain.

Navigation and maritime piracy is another factor in the Middle East, and Africa arena, impacted by the Sunni and Shia tangle. This directly impacts Indian energy lines, trade, shipping, as well as Naval movement.

Given this background of India's complex relationship with the Middle East. And India’s immediate neighbourhood, which in many cases remains adverse, due to direct and indirect conflict, and fomenting of Insurgency by Pakistan and China.

The direct threats include LoC, and LoAC infiltration by both Pakistan and China. The former with much higher frequency and intensity. The latter less intense but yet a constant irritant.

Indirect Chinese efforts include the 'String of Pearls' and the 'Silk Route' alliances, in the India Ocean, and the Eastern lands across Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. These further extend to energy supply, and rare earths around the world, as well as navigation and ports.

Both remain a worry. Soaking up troop deployment, air and naval postures, logistical and infrastructure resources, given threat to territorial integrity of India. These funds could have been deployed in growth and development, in the classic, guns versus butter dilemma.

That India refused to put boots on the ground alongside the NATO Coalition led by America, in the post 9/11 fight with Taliban, while Pakistan did, even in a duplicitous manner, nevertheless, remains etched in the American foreign policy establishment.

Similarly decades before 9/11, the animus of Nixon years, and the open naval threat by America and UK during the 1971 War, that resulted in creation of Bangladesh, out of East Pakistan, is ingrained in the Indian, Institutional memory.

India as one of the largest contributors to the UN Security Council Peacekeeping efforts, has nothing to show for it, except maybe the remunerative compensation paid to its troops, and the lure of foreign travel, goods. No seat at the UNSC, adverse scrutiny on trade, border conflicts are the report card. As India complains, of good and bad terrorism arbitrage, at the UNGA, it must take a long and hard look at the dividends, paid by its past policies.

Whether to engage or not, in the ISIS fight, is an open question. For India though, the expectation of favour from America, just because both are democracies is infantile, and has no precedent in the past behaviour, of successive American administrations.

Economic partnership is no substitute for hard realpolitik. This was most recently demonstrated between Japan and China. And while American power is on the descendent, it remains a key player in Asia.

Alliances with Japan, outreach to China, in the hope of a rapprochement, and rekindled regional ties are all very well, but India will have to give, if it wishes to get.

As Narendra Modi returns from a very successful visit to America, the real weight of putting deed to words will emerge. The lofty resolutions and MoUs, will need translation into action.

Indian foreign policy has been hostage to Nehruvian Socialist dogma for too long. In a state of flux, as the world happens to be, there is no succour to be had in precedent. India will have to be nimble, brutal and pragmatic, and employ its best minds to unravel the knots it has managed to tie itself into, on the world stage.

Both perception and reality of Indian foreign policy demand an urgent reset and Narendra Modi is certainly looking amenable to go out and play.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Modi in America: Bang up Job, PMO, MEA!

Narendra Modi spoke with inspiration at Madison Square Garden (MSG) despite Jetlag and Navratri fasting.

He is a natural extempore speaker, but give him pointers and especially if they are incongruent to his natural grain, he tends to be less awesome.

His ability to maintain eye contact with audience is his biggest gift. MSG was anytime better than UNGA, almost Vajpayee like in his pauses.

At UNGA he only came into his own when he spoke extempore, relaxed, away from his prepared speech, to explain what he meant every now and again.

The audience for both UNGA and Madison garden was both domestic and global. In a first divergence from Nehruvian Socialism and dogma, India is making big waves, last seen with Nehru, and lesser with Rajiv Gandhi.

Analysts will be all feverish poring over his foreign policy messaging for India, from US to Russia to China, and beyond.

This is a new India, where he's trying to find his wings. Indian media has not kept pace, and a justifiably distrustful PMO has relied far more on social media to take lead in both message dissemination,  random tactical crisis management, and holding statements.

This disconnect means both lose. The conventional media loses credibility, as it makes an ass out of itself, getting either ahead of itself or in some cases on personality led, bizarre, tangents. The PMO and MEA too lose the mass reach of mainstream media.

All in all, bang up job for speech writers and PMO, MEA mandarins! The meeting with Netanyahu is a big logjam breaker. Awesome brownie points again on PIO, OCI telescoping, and Tourist Visa.

Now go charm Obama and American business, job well done!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

China, Modi, and Pain of Indian Pushback

This China conversation is as old as 1962, not even Nathula, Chola in 1967 or Sumdorongchu, in 1987.

If the inevitable were to happen, and India were to go to another border war, it will be as the Indian Army, agnostic of Congress or BJP tint.

This talk about blaming the BJP in 100 days is both interesting, and biased. Maybe the hardening of resolve, the pushback to the Chinese, is the cause of all these repetitive outrages.

In Nathula, of 1967, 400 Chinese died. India lost men too but in far lesser numbers. But it stopped the territory nibble. Chumar or Depsang are no different. Nor Arunachal, Himachal or Sikkim.

Nathula pushback was after 1962, when things were physically and psychologically terrible. Today, while things may be sub-optimal, India has to face what comes as a Nation.

While it all very well as a rule for media, and analysts to keep a watch on governments, Congress or BJP, or a coalition thereof, any logical extension of the argument can not be extrapolated, by politically loaded, blamestorming.

Equipping the poorly clad, fed, armed, and transported, Indian Armed Forces, facing decades of criminal neglect, can not be reversed overnight, and will take time. Even at current troop levels and logistics, fight a good fight they can and they will as demonstrated tragically in Kargil.

Things with Pakistan remain frosty, and dangers of the two-front war are also sited often by the usual Doubting Thomas. Without getting into the probability trap of such an eventuality, the real question is what if it did happen? And following from that, what should India's hedge against such a probability be?

Warfare is exactly that, and that is what defence strategy, national security gaming deals with. Can it get better, absolutely it can, but does it mean sucking up territorial and foreign policy insults in the interim? That question is not rooted in troop numbers or infrastructure but in the deep visceral fear of a humiliated, vanquished, Nehruvian India. Certainly not in Modi's India.

And while the Narendra Modi Government has done a rather poor job of communicating its urgency in picking atleast the low hanging fruit of the ramshackle, Ministry of Defence, it has moved some distance already.

It has however done nothing on integration of Indian Armed Forces. The Army, Air Force and Navy continue to operate in turf driven, ego fed silo's, without interoperability or joint command. Ironic that these forces regularly exercise with foreign militaries, but have to communicate through a clueless civilian, generalist, MoD bureaucrat in India.

The Civil and Military conversation remains distrustful under Narendra Modi' MoD. Despite assurances on One Rank One Pension (OROP), the disparity festers as a bleeding sore, poked regularly by use of perverse litigation against decorated veterans, maimed, and war widows.

The inability of the Indian State to rehabilitate those sacrificing the prime of their youth, to safeguard the Indian way of life, by sometimes giving their lives, remains a pang, and a sob of the destroyed lives of those left behind by our brave.

India is often saved by the Military, the chief brunt of which is borne by the senior service in Indian Army. It fights, and protects India from external aggression, insurgency, terrorism, natural calamity, trade unionists, but it remains unfathomable why this nihilistic nation can not put its money where it's mouth is. After Uttarakhand and Kashmir Floods, the Government, still throws good money after bad. How does one explain this paradox? People often hate their benefactors, this is the bitter sweet irony of Civil and Military relations in India.

The big hype of the, 'Make in India' campaign , threatens to be subsumed by Nehruvian Socialist propaganda, and 1950s dogma, of Government owned Defence, Atomic, Space, and everything core where government has no business, complex. The ISRO Mars Mission hype has the same chemical composition as Nehruvian crack heroin used to stun the masses, with mass hypnosis. Until the 'Bharat Ratna' become autonomous, publicly owned, and professionally run, and not Swadeshi wet dreams, staffed with inefficient staff, they will remain parasites funded by taxpayer rupees.

In India, Private enteprise either colludes with license raj to screw consumers and keep competition out, or is extorted by the political and bureaucrat nexus. What Narendra Modi ostensibly seeks to overthrow is this Kleptocracy but does he understand what he asks for? And does he have the stomach for what that really entails, in terms of pain, for political contributors, and their proxies, in all political parties, no less the BJP.

What India wasted during Congress led UPA years was time. 'Make in India' remains, set up to fail, if underlying factors are not addressed. The Nehruvian gangrene will mean amputation and grafts.

The, 'Make in India', construct today perilously ignores the immediate needs of the Indian Armed Forces. Critical needs in Rifle, Ammunition, Troop Transport, Aircraft, Special Forces gear, Armour and Artillery are sought to be fulfilled by Swadeshi platitude, not rooted in realities of global defence technology, intellectual property and geopolitics.

The Modi Government has inherited an obdurate, Congress infested bureaucracy, a kleptocracy with no constituency for change. And with a part time Defence Minister, whose mealy mouthed platitudes don't inspire the greatest confidence.

The Government has yet to take even baby steps to streamline the Unity of Command dysfunction, given the private armies of the Home Ministry (MHA) like ITBP, completely unsuited for border skirmishes.

MHA neither has the numbers, aptitude nor leadership in the IPS, Policeman, and Bureaucrat, to resist the status quo change, hidden in demographic invasion by civilian populations or more direct, PLA thrusts to nibble Indian held territory on LoAC. The sooner such Command reverts back to the Indian Army, the safer our borders will be, and decision-making, congruent with the PMO!

Border Infrastructure will take its time too, as will the Strike Corps but too often the economy is ignored as the tool of war. A resurgent GDP will fund the armoury, and a lot else, so it is the Chinese economic might, that should be more scary, than their military, and logistics preparation.

And the only way to beat this is for India to improve its economic lot. It exports raw ore and rare earths to Chinese, while China send back, shitty toys, and spurious goods, with a resultant adversarial trade surplus, payments imbalance. And that should bother those criticising the Narendra Modi outreach, to Xi Jinping, and the PLA, much more.

The alliances that Narendra Modi seeks to stitch up, in the Far East and the West, and in our immediate neighbourhood, seek to do exactly this. It seeks to defeat flanking maneuvres by China by building a wall of mutually beneficial friendships based on economic, and cultural similarities.

For the armchair critics in media, and the 'out of work', Congress gravy train Intelligentsia, we already knew India and China are competitors with cultural animus, so what else is new? Where is the new strategem that they propose, asides of the lost kingdom bellyaching, and bitter recrimination.

Never before in independent India, has the mainstream media been so politically polarised. Never before has it created perverse perception, as it did during the Xi Jinping visit, or Prime Minister, Narendra Modi's visit to the United States.

The use of Social Media by the distrustful Prime Minister Office, the Ministry of External Affairs, and other key ministries has left the once pampered, junket fed mainstream media out in the cold, sullen and adversarial. Both lose, the mainstream media loses credibility with its audience, while Government of India, loses mass media reach to bring about communication, that can successfully carry the change, promised by the Narendea Modi led, BJP Government.

Like blind men the talking shops want to describe the Chinese elephant in the room, but these conversations have no solution proferred.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Fear and Loathing in Neta, Babu, Media, Corporate Kleptocracy: Is BJP Government Narendra Modi's Narasimha Rao Moment Or Gorbachev's lost Glasnost?

As Narendra Bhai Modi as he is fondly called by those who know him, brings colour to the black and white political spectrum, there has been a sea of stories in the media. From secular aka Communist media warnings of a threat to peace, communal harmony, and other dire predictions, there are others, more positive and optimistic, and yet points further those who hold ultra conservative nationalist views.

Narrative Derailment 

What was passé once as Hindu Terror, Hindu Nationalist, and other forms of anti-Hindu slander which could range from double standards to belittling Hinduism, is suddenly being questioned. The change in narrative has meant a volte face in the mainstream media, from fears of retribution, real or apparent, is only a question time can answer. For now the gravy train has derailed, and nothing is off the table. For the media this is a time of fear, loathing and uncertainty.

Vanquished Victors

In all this tumult, the new BJP Government has taken its first policy steps. Steps that have been overly careful, sometimes to the point of being fearful of criticism. The newly appointed Ministers are still in vanquished mode, as the cultural reality of being victors, has to yet seep into gait, stance and posture.

Media Management

BJP media management is a manifestation of this transition: weak, badly researched spokespersons, sullen and beaten, and harassed from years of rigged debates, populated by Congress and Communist clones like AAP, in bed with the press. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting remains on the back foot even before making any moves, the Minister apologetic and sheepish, for imagined sins. Sometimes you need to put the stick down when situations warrant, but this does not seem a MIB that  has the stomach for enforcing governance and fair play in an often bent media.

From Smriti Irani's educational qualifications to New Delhi Power crisis, or the Pune murder of a Muslim boy, ruled by Congress and NCP Government in Maharashtra or the Badaun Rape & murders of Dalit girls, in Samajwadi Party governed Uttar Pradesh, everything has been laid at the doorstep of Narendra Modi. If the BJP Media Relations is unable to provide the perception cover for Narendra Modi's agenda, if it is deficient in putting forth a dominating viewpoint of the Government, then this will remain a Government on the back foot, not the best stance if you wish to move forward to bring change!

The massive successes in Social Media have now reducing returns as being in Government brings complaint and unrest. Social Media Monitoring, Engagement, and not throwing the book at Social Media through the draconian IT Act is easier said than done. This is the tiger you love to ride, but if you try to get off it eats you!

Kleptocracy of Neta, Babu, Media, and Corporates

And it is here lies the nub of the matter: If the ubiquitous 'Modi', has to deliver the goods of change that he promised, if he has to usher in the 'Ram Rajya' of Economic Development, Governance and Security, grassroots reform will be the baseline. Reforms in disassembling the Kleptocracy of Neta, Babu, Media, and Corporate crony capitalism. Reforms in bureaucratic transparency from procurement to work ethic, Infrastructure to Health. A veritable nation to reimagine, rebuild or simply build where no precedent exists. So many things to change, such little time. Add inertia from deeply ingrained cultural impulses, cynicism and power centres.

It is here indeed that the loudest protests of harking back to an inglorious but predictable past are heard the loudest. And it is here again, there is no tried and tested to fall back on, no precedent to play safe against. While the impediments of vote banks and coalition extortionists are gone, the dogma of the Indian mind remains, stubborn, obdurate and stoic.

The Neta, and even those of the BJP, who just rode the Modi wave, pasty faced, remain socialism smeared, dogma stalwarts, clearly lacking Modi's messianic thirst for change. These steady, loyal animals remain dependent again on the bureaucracy for implementation. Such is the omnipresence and omnipotence of India ruling elite in the generalist Civil Services, that first time ministers to cadre mules, right up on to the PMO, all depend on this self perpetuating, self serving parasite that ails India's governmental entrails. The bureaucracy remains sullen, populated with sycophants with loyalties to the earlier Congress led UPA. With no skin in the game nor any incentive to topple the applecart, the bureaucracy remains Modi's achilles heal.

Cadre Mules, Loyalty and Ideological Congruent Professionals

Narendra Modi has a tough job ahead, balancing loyalty to party colleagues like Jaitley and ideologically congruent professionals like General VK Singh, who are can do fighters of the BJPs tryst with change. Currently the cadre mules and the retrogade bureaucrats of the MoD are winning and Modi is losing. Jaitley has shown signs of this retrograde harmony, in an embarrassment to the BJP Government over the Army Chief issue.

By going against his own party on a sensitive issue Jaitley has shown a petulance, his defeat in Amritsar does not warrant. Is Jaitley on board with the rest of BJP? Should everything done by the Congress led UPA in grandfathering key appointments before departing, be accepted force majeure, given its clear malafide intentions and appointing sycophants, is a stink in the making! It also flies in the face of the change that BJP promised India! Clearly things can not be business as usual as there is a nationalist constituency of Veterans out there that BJP will disappoint, in time for 2019, or much before in the States.

15 days into Government, this may be a chimera or a one-off event that may not qualify as a trend, giving the Government a chance to settle down but the fundamental issues of ideological congruence, and all ducks in row in the BJP Cabinet are very real. Pigs in shit are the happiest creatures and don't like being disturbed. This is the log jam the BJP Government led by Narendra Modi has to break!

Om Namoh Shivaya

Creation can not happen without creative destruction. As a Shaivite Hindu devotee will tell you of Rudra, Lord Shiva, destroyer of the worlds, this is also the key attribute of a leader who can break silos ruthlessly and usher in change. Does Modi have the stomach for creative destruction, change will entail?

India has given Modi a lot of love, trust and looks to him with a hope that belies the traditional Indian fatalism. This is the Karma Bhoomi, where the Prime Minister Narendra Modi will toil. History and posterity will be the judges whether he will be the next Narsimha Rao, or be the half way cautionary tale of Gorbachev's Glasnost and Perestroika. 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Non Implementation Of One Rank One Pension (OROP)

Press Release by IESM

NON IMPLEMENTATION OF ONE RANK ONE PENSION (OROP)

1.  The UPA Govt announced the grant of One Rank One Pension (OROP) to all
defence personnel with lot of fan fare and earned lot of gratitude and
accolades from the defence fraternity.  

During the election campaigns, all
top leaders of the Govt have boasted of having granted the OROP.  The
congress party even included the same in their achievements of UPA 2 till
as late as 08 May 2014 where in the Congress President in her speech in one
of the Election Rally proudly claimed to have sanctioned OROP for the
soldiers in recognition of their sacrifices for the Nation.

2. For all these days, the soldiers have been waiting for the formal orders
to originate from the Govt, but to their dismay, it is learnt that the
bureaucracy of this country does not appear to be favourably disposed to
honour this commitment.  

The CGDA, PCDA and DESW have now started carrying out their own interpretation of the definition itself of the OROP, which falls far below the intended pension benefits to the defence personnel.

This, they are doing inspite of clear and unambiguous definition and
implication given by the RM on 26th Feb 2014 in a meeting chaired by him
for the  implementation of OROP.  

There is a clear cut uncontroverted
definition of OROP which has always been used in all discussions as well as
in correspondence including the Report of the Committee  of Secretaries on
OROP ordered by the Govt in June 2009.

(Please refer Para 2.1 of Report of
the Committee on One Rank One Pension and related issue dated 30th June,
2009) and at Para 3 of the Rajay Sabha Petition Committee Report on OROP
which was presented to the Rajay Sabha on 19 Dec 2011 and also is given in
the minutes of the meeting chaired by the Raksha Mantri on 26 Feb 2014
which is as under :-

*“OROP implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces personnel
retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of
their date of retirement, and any future enhancement in the rates of
pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners. This implies
bridging the gap between the rate of pension of the current pensioners and
the past pensioners, and also future enhancements in the rate of pension,
to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners”.*

*3.  It further implies that “Pensions of past defence retirees will be
equal to that of a person with same rank and length of service and same
group retiring wef 01 Apr 2014, and future enhancement in the rates of
pensions will be automatically passed to the past pensioners”.*

4.   Interpreting the definition in any other way is a serious manipulation
by the bureaucracy.  It not only amounts to the blatant disobedience of the
Govt order but also amounts to betrayal of the soldiers.  This attitude of
the bureaucracy of denying the soldiers their rightful demand is highly
deplored by the defence fraternity.

5.  The present Govt must take immediate action to ensure that Govt
notification based on the accepted definition of OROP as above is issued,
otherwise, there will be loss of face for the present Govt in the eyes of
the soldiers.
-Ends-

May we request you to carry this important news /issue in your esteemed
paper, magazine and TV Channel?

 With regards,

Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Chairman IESM
Mob: +919312404269, 0124-4110570
Email ID: satbirsm@gmail.com

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Modi, Media, Morality & Maya Jaal

As Narendra Modi application to India’s top job rides higher, and the Election mayhem peaks, the two and a struggling third narrative become clear trends.
On the strong end, it is the BJP with its Governance platform, with injured Hindutva, and other inherited socialism on the backburner.
The public noises are of growth, infrastructure, manufacturing and breaking the ATM Ministry paradigm, and other License Raj gridlocks in Environment Clearance, etc.
The angry BJP issues are gridlocks in land acquisition, environment, Telecom, Coal:  all largesse tools that were used in the Congress led UPA, for both dispensing favour, and keeping competition out. And how Policy assumed the dubious role of the omnipotent weapon of political assassination.
The second and at the vanquished end, is the place held by the once grand Congress. The myth of colonial and post colonial history shattered by family led Kleptocracy. The Congress today risks imminent implosion as the ability to dispense favours, and punish the rival becomes extinct.
Even in the states that it holds power, the Gandhi tag will cease to be sacrosanct. A fit revenge for the Narasimha Rao and Pranab Mukherjee, denied their place in history, mostly given their ability to think, which made them poor sycophants and slaves.
Congress noises were the usual communal cacophony, some cast, minority votebank polarisation. And eventually personal attacks, and epithets, most directed at Narendra Modi.
The third or some fraction thereof, almost a rearguard action is brought up, by the wet dream of a third front. A calamitous happening, that has occurred a few times already, much to the detriment of India and it's morality.
Be it the dirty muffler rabble rousers of AAP, or the dysfunction of Communism, or SP, BSP, NCP, TMC Congress clones after the Muslim, Caste or other sub-national, votebank persuasion, the chances of their day under the Indian sun look rather slim, as poll predictions go.
The Narendra Modi phenomenon, the cynosure of all that is wrong and needs to be fixed, promises a veritable epic Ram Rajya (the just and reign of Lord Ram, if you please)!
This cultural renaissance brings to the fore of Indian politics, the proverbial yin and yang conflict, the conflict between the good and the bad, within us. It brings to fore, public morality, a rarity for decades!
Afterall, the bad (Congress) has ruled most of the Post Hindu Muslim Partition and the Post-Independence Hindustan, stolen and renamed India, by Nehru. While the good (BJP) now is being forecast for running the India of 2014, and possibly even beyond.
Loaded as the narratives come with metaphors, even Ghalib's poetry, epithets, muck raking, tactical propaganda, the media has lost all face, in the no holds barred political dog fight.
The credibility of most mainstream media in India has been reduced to less than shit, as bureaucracy and politician alike gaze urgently at the crystal ball of 2014 General Elections.
The expectations from Narendra Modi unfair as they are, exist. Such irrational exuberance will surely meet with disappointment and bitter recrimination, leading once again to the cycle of anti-incumbency, and resultant political instability, unless Modi can deliver quickly, especially on the low hanging fruit, that the headless chicken UPA left to rot.
All of a sudden, a decade long pariah, Narendra Modi is the exclusive interview, every Print, TV, and Online journalist is angling for. From initial sarcasm to false bravado, Modi has settled into defining the policy outline of the incoming NDA shop.
Unfortunately, given the critical and formative nature of the Modi image on a national canvas, this has been a rather shoddy job, given the chasms within the BJP, its various silos, and islands of influence.
As the piranha like bum rush for portfolio's surfaces, egged on by an equally shameless media. The BJP cart definitely seems in front of the India horse.
For someone who was sequestered and hounded for 12 years, Narendra Modi has wasted opportunities, in public communication, of his policy priorities.
The Statutory and Constitutional bodies, despite being staffed with Congress sycophants, delivered India from the Congress Kleptocracy and its Goebbelsian propaganda aided and abetted by a bent yellow media.
It is these bodies, these bulwarks of Indian Democracy that Modi needs to fix first, by strengthening them, and making them future proof to potential dynasties and their Kleptomania.
What should have been a call for emergency legislative and policy overhaul objectives has turned into tactical media ping pong, and name calling. A cycle of unproductive retribution and empty rage.
Economic Reform, Judicial Reform, Intelligence Reform, Police Reform, Public Healthcare Reform, Education Reform , Military Reform, Tax Reform, all remain buried under political ego battles of personality, cult, not national interest.
As Modi moves towards the hot seat, relinquished by a puppet sycophant, mostly employed to whitewash the evil deeds of the Kleptocracy, he inherits a thorny crown.
A nation beleaguered by economic profligacy. India has grave national security challenges both internal and external.
A nation whose foreign policy is steeped in Nehruvian dogma, disconnected from furthering India's core interests, led by fiddling Nero's, self opinionated and spoilt rotten for producing incompetent, substandard foreign policy.
A nation whose Police and Law Enforcement agencies behave like colonial bouncers. A nation where Intelligence agencies are stopped from doing their job, when they do even know what their job is, beyond bugging political rivals.
A nation where the MoD is at war with the Armed Forces! We are a nation where the soldier has seen his status, seniority, pay and pension steadily eroded, and destroyed by a self serving bureaucracy. As Defence Procurement hits new lows of Kleptocracy, the Armed Forces are naked and politically infested.
A nation where illness is a death sentence for the poor, where health indicators are worse than Africa, a country where Public Health is a scandal. This is the country Modi will inherit.
A country where the Judiciary only brings delay, injustice and even entrapment. A country where the poor almost always languish in prison, while the rich get away with a slap on the wrist.
This is the country where being Hindu can be a disadvantage, where cocking a snook at the Hindu was fashionable in the Communist Liberal Colonial Kleptocracy.
An India, where the State Police of Congress led States, Federal run CBI and NIA, can rattle the IB over the Hindu Terror canard. A country where a serving Military Intelligence Colonel can be held undertrial for 5 years on cooked up bullshit to support a Muslim votebank political platform, designed to blunt justice against Islamist Terror and Insurgency.
This is the legacy that Narendra Modi inherits. History begins on May 16, 2014, and posterity is a cruel judge.
If Modi can do even as much as a PV Narasimha Rao or an Atal Behari Vajpayee, he would have ensured a place in the Indian hall of fame, else the soiled Indian political history is a bed riddled with bugs of infamy. The King (Queen) is dead, long live the Republic!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

The Ugliness of South Bombay

The moon is high
The monsoon clouds are all over like pre-pubescent urchins
As fire rises from the scorched earth.
The buildings in Breach Candy and Nepean Sea Road are like old prostitutes

Something new goes wrong everyday now!
Water, Electricity, Sewage, Footpaths, Waterproofing, other assorted silent freakouts.
As the half dozen water pumps whine, and Bahadur washes the 7th car, I get an epiphany!
Maybe all these bastards deserve to die

Maybe, they deserve the polluted air ppm count with their 7 cars
Maybe apathy brought on ruination.
To the sparrows and crows, and parakeets who are my heroes
Even the vultures who pick flesh off Parsi bones, I nod gratitude! 

I live here with my ugly, noisy airconditioning.
I tolerate my illiterate, rich, drunk, whoremongerer neighbours 
But deep down I know, as they do too
About, the ugliness of South Bombay!

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