Saturday, 12 December 2015

They want to make a change in Paris

They want to make a change in Paris
A 2 degree change, between Hollande and Modi
Countries, rich and poor
Countries developed, and developing

Abbreviations meet intentions
Climate change costs money
Intellectual property rights they holler
For their sins, the rich and developed, want the poor to pay

Annex, non-Annex, and the India, China twilight
Green House Gases from Coal, from Trains, Airplanes, Trucks, buses and cars
Everyone wants more than their share, not what is fair.

Meanwhile, the sea is rising, glaciers melting down
There are floods in Europe and America
In Uttarakhand, the sky has fallen down
Bombay to Odisha, cyclones are Phailin

In Chennai hundreds are dead in coastal havoc
All humans, rich and poor, developed and developing
But the rich won't put their money where their mouth is
And the poor still use poverty as an excuse to do nothing

We are humans of earth
White, brown, and black
We drown, bleed and shed tears
Can we not listen to the global warming in our hearts?

Friday, 11 December 2015

In here I am, awake tonight

I see you through the corner of my eye
I know you, I have seen you around
You flail about, in artificial glee
And I am too intense tonight to look up

In the corner, something burns bright
Ghosts spring forth from my fears
A bruised intellect
And a broken breath

Between insult and benefit lies dignity
As I push you back from my limits
And refuse your largesse in polite anger
I find myself in pain, anger and denial.

Tonight, there will be no answers
Only,  steeling the spirit with deprivation
I am going to leave you
I''ve had enough.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

BJP Baniagiri On Military OROP Shows Narendra Modi Populism Over Prudence

As, India went into the Diwali weekend; television studios were full of Narendra Modi’s 
Jammu and Kashmir aid announcement and Bihar Election gutter politics. Among this storm of caste, reservation and religious polarization polemic came a late night notification of a diluted One-Rank-One-Pension also popularly known by the abbreviation, OROP. The notification diluted the original OROP demand to Five Year Pension equalization. It further excluded Premature Retirement from future OROP benefits.

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi himself did not consider it important enough to announce the OROP notification, nor Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, find it worth his time. For a political party like the BJP, and its ideological parent in the RSS, with strong nationalist credentials, and strident claims of Security as a focus, this was a loss of face. The inability to communicate good news with the bad, and hiding behind a faceless bureaucracy destroys a legacy relationship between the disciplined Military and its political masters in the Executive.

OROP has been an emotive issue for both Military Veterans and Active Servicemen with bravery medals and petitions signed in blood, and a hunger strike under the glare of media. The embarrassment of the BJP and RSS was accentuated by insensitive pedestrian remarks by Narendra Modi, Manohar Parrikar and Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley. That the OROP notification was left to a lowly MoD spokesperson, delivered by a tepid Press Information Bureau (PIB) late in the night, designed to get minimum possible media attention, made the sin worse from omission to commission.

Insults and sarcasm were heaped by upset Veterans, on not just, the venal and corrupt, self-serving animosity of the Finance and Defence bureaucracy, but also on self serving Military brass including the 3 Chiefs of Staff of Army, Navy and Air Force. Once a strong votary of the BJP, the Indian Military has become deeply angry and upset at the BJP and its cynosure in Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

The OROP notification has a negative impact not just on the retired Veterans but also on serving men and officers. The Military which seeks to promote a fighting force of young men and officers will see an active disincentive through OROP to early or premature retirement, a misnomer for a face saving way to exit the Military, after being passed over by juniors for promotion, or a downgrade in medical fitness category.

The BJP Baniagiri (derogatory Hindi term for small minded miserly behavior) on OROP and Military Veterans comes in sharp contrast to its lazy populism with taxpayer funds where despite a pledge 130 Lakh Crores, the BJP saw its coalition lose the Bihar Election. Contrast, the tight fisted OROP notification again to Narendra Modi largesse in Kashmir, giving 80,000 Crores in taxpayer money to aid India’s effort in fighting the long standing Islamist Insurgency.

The Army bears the brunt of India’s bloody counterinsurgency and counterterrorism both in terms of lives lost and impact on military families facing privation and loss of economic wellbeing. It is these servicemen who will be tomorrow’s Veterans, which get hit by a jaundiced OROP abdication of Narendra Modi’s election promise, now broken.

The Military Veterans have since rejected the OROP notification. This is one of the many issues that underly the larger malaise of Civil and Military distrust in India. The BJP has by its churlish low-balling of the economic status of the fighting man weakened the idealism of the Military career. Who will fight for India knowing that the political-bureaucratic Kleptocracy sees the soldier and the Veteran as lesser vocations? The implication of financial compensation for soldiering in OROP, as compared to being a public servant or clerk seems to suggest!

Narendra Modi judgement of Military issues is damaging and deficient to the Military veterans and active servicemen. These are dangerous precedents in nation building and safeguarding of external aggression and internal security of India, where the Military remain the last line of defence.  What the BJP and RSS only speak in security rhetoric is actually the oath to the Constitution of India by the soldier. What is empty nationalist bluster for most Indians represents the very ethos by which, the loyal and brave, Indian soldier lives and dies. BJP baniagiri on military pension has exposed, Narendra Modi led BJPs, immature populism over prudence.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Tactical or Strategic Nuclear Threat Immaterial to Indian Response to Pakistan Army Covert War

The Indian Security Imperative is to defeat Pakistan Army Sponsored Covert War against the Indian Union. From Islamist Insurgency in Kashmir Valley, to Sikh malcontents or the LTTE in Sri Lanka, one has seen clear Pakistan Army involvement over decades. Beginning 1948, there have been multiple instances, where the covert involvement of the Pakistani Army has led to overt wars with India. Some resulted in stalemate, and others in mutilation of Pakistan, resulting in the birth of Bangladesh. Points further, Kargil was another such war fought under the nuclear blackmail threat, where Pakistan Army had to vacate its covert aggression, resulting in international humiliation, despite the self imposed moratorium by Vajpayee Government not to cross the LoC, or employ offensive air power or deploy the Indian Special Forces, in an offensive cross border posture.

The cost of Pakistan's irredentism to India and its citizens has been enormous, the direct involvement of Pakistan Army's ISI in Parliament, 26/11 Mumbai attacks in particular have provoked massive public outrage, and demands for a resolute, decisive, and punitive response. Cold Start or any other Indian Security innovation is an evolving paradigm that seeks to make consequences of such covert war unacceptable to Pakistan Army, and the larger political Islam influenced deep state in Pakistan.

The nebulous concept of Cold Start, was ostensibly prepped by Indian frustration with its conventional ORBAT inability to inflict punitive response on Pakistan, in a limited time frame engagement, before international pressure to stand down mounted. This frustration came to fore in Operation Parakram, when Indian Strike Forces failed to react in time, to press through an effective punitive response to the 2001 Parliament Attack. This shortcoming again repeated itself after the bloody 2002 Kaluchak Garrison (Jammu) attack where many military families were killed by Pakistan Army launched terrorists, creating an emotionally surcharged atmosphere.

The all or nothing, nature of such set piece conventional attack, in a Nuclear weapon environment, exposed obsolete equipment, and huge wastage in ammunition, lives during troop mobilisation. It brought many expensive lessons to the Indian Military, as well as India's larger Politico-bureaucratic, security establishment, stuck in the colonial era. The desire for mobile, deep thrust, fast battle groups was thus born. These Integrated Battlegroups with air cover were proposed, as limited time and space, punitive objectives in territorial aims, and as force multipliers, to increase the cost of Pakistan Army's covert posture, both in cross border raids, LoC and IB shelling, and terror operations centered around plausible denial.

Pakistan is situated in a convoluted neighbourhood of where, it has both, a logistical chokepoint power over US Military, as well as leverage, as covert host of the Afghan Taliban. It blackmails the United States and collaborates with it, selectively in providing bases to the US, as a key non-NATO ally. For this, it routinely extorts aid, often using nuclear blackmail as a bargaining chip.

Further Pakistan has yet another client state relationship with China, offering both natural resources, land, highways and a sea port, in return for Nuclear knowhow, arms, political patronage and influence, mostly employed against India, at international forums such as the UN. Pakistan today further seeks to build such hedges with the Arab States, with key sponsors in Saudi Arabia for its Islamic Bomb, and with Russia, offering its services, anointed as key influencer in Afghanistan, by the Obama State Department, looking to vacate Afghanistan as early as possible.

On this complex geopolitical canvas, comes the vibrant colour of India's new economic ascendency and its strategic realignment with America, under President Bush. The India and US relationship received further momentum under Narendra Modi, as India's new majority mandate Prime Minister, devoid of the Communist infested Nehruvian Restraint dogma, after 6 decades in power. India's moves in the international relations arena under Narendra Modi, both in its immediate neighbourhood, or the larger geopolitical arena have gone into an overdrive. Its responsible nature as a mature non-proliferating, Nuclear State, and an attractive market for US arms and business, has helped its entry into the Nuclear Club, as well as given it a tall stature internationally, given its strong contribution to peacekeeping both in the UN, Maritime Piracy and otherwise.

The Pakistan Army seeks to preserve its covert operations using nuclear blackmail, employing plausible denial, by use of such propaganda as non-state actors, without consequence in Indian reprisal. Its latest nuclear blackmail centres around illogical employment of tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs) to destroy Indian mobile battlegroups, launched as punitive action against large casualty, terror attacks, using Suicide Squads or Fidayeen, and other Islamist Mujaheddin type cross border commando action teams. It is with this background in mind, the security planners in India, view the periodic Pakistan Army utterances of Nuclear threats. This Nuclear posturing was earlier entered around broad Nuclear capability across Aircraft, and a plethora of Missiles with ranges, that spanned short to strategic.

India is seeing hardening resolution after the 26/11 Mumbai Attacks, in making such covert, sub-conventional war, operations, unacceptable by enabling swift punitive consequences to the Pakistan Army. The Army in Pakistan and its Intelligence Agency in the ISI, essentially run the Pakistan Government today as an unaccountable, unelected proxy. Its primacy over the Nawaz Sharif Government has no legitimacy in democratic mandate. The Pakistan Army remains selectively engaged in the bombing and killing of its own people in Waziristan, Balochistan and Sindh. The good and bad terrorist denomination is used by the ISI to be selective in its Zarb-e-Azb campaign, now is already sarcastically being referred to as Zarb-e-bakwas, in international relations and wonk circles.

The Pakistan Army practices coercion of its media, including killings of journalists, and use of blackmail to project itself as the saviour of the Pakistani people. Pakistan has predilection for Military Dictatorship, and its increasingly authoritarian Army Chief is due for retirement, and seeking extension. This period predictably is seeing an increasing subjugation of the Civilian Government with the latest being the appointment of a recently retired General as NSA, displacing the role of the civilian bureaucrat, Foreign Secretary. It has also seen the Pakistan Army usurping the role of Judiciary in draconian Terror courts that have seen a pronounced bias for fast capital punishment.

The demands for India to recalibrate its Nuclear Policy, in response to this TNW gambit of Pakistan Army, seeking to preserve its ability to use terrorism, as an instrument of its foreign policy against India, comes from usual suspects in the unemployed since cold war, Nuclear Disarmament woodwork. India, however under the new majority BJP Government, sworn in with election promises of an aggressive security focus, has seen unprecedented Military and Diplomatic action. A recent cross border raid into Myanmar by Indian Special Forces raised many eyes, including predictable howls of protests in Pakistan.

It serves no purpose for the Indian security establishment to limit its options in response to nuclear threat, tactical or strategic. India already lives under the Chinese Nuclear threat as well as those of its conventional forces. This manifests in frequent border incidents, eye to eye troop confrontations explained away as differing perception of the working boundary. Pakistan represents a far smaller, if troublesome problem.

Deterrence is about certainty of consequences, conventional, sub conventional, overt or covert, tactical or strategic, are semantics, all hinging on credibility of intent. The thing about Nuclear weapons, is that one crossing the deterrence threshold, is one too many, 100 or 1000 weapons, don't change the consequences of mutually assured destruction (MAD), tactical or strategic, nuclear blackmail, is just that!

The US had extensive experience in the development of Tactical Nuclear weapons during the Cold War, in the Eastern Europe theatre. It knows rather well that the dispersal versus concentration paradox, renders Tactical Nukes redundant, as does the complex nature of its delivery systems. No foreign policy objectives can justify massive death and destruction of your own population, as then West Germany realised in 1962. Despite this knowledge the US State Department keeps a hypocritical silence, as Pakistan Army coached spokespersons make silly TNW announcements at international forums, on the sidelines of a meeting with the US President.

Tactical Nuclear weapons are veritable loose canons, that pose political authorisation dilemmas, as well as an increase in the risk of unauthorised use. The impact of a tactical or battlefield nuclear weapons, both kinetic impact or radiation on mobile armour remains questionable, especially in Tanks with an ability to operate in an NBC environment. Anyway, the densely populated nature of the both the India and Pakistan, IB and LoC, make it impossible for any Nuclear weapon, Strategic or Tactical, to distinguish between friend or foe. Worse, any Nuclear attack on its own territory, and its consequent nuclear radiation fallout on population, and environment, signals a Pakistan Army readiness to sacrifice its own population, to stop an Indian Integrated battlegroup! That is not nuclear strategy but crackpot, Islamist bigotry, as the names of a dozen different Pakistani missiles seem to suggest.

India has suffered grievously from Pakistan sponsored terrorism given its deference to American interests. It has seen its responsible posture in Afghanistan being punished by both the US, as well as China, in curtailment of its strategic investments, as well as its economic, and foreign policy influence. The latest Russian pivot with Pakistan over India's migration away from Soviet-era Arms reliance, further heighten this sense of isolation. The US hypocrisy on Terrorism, especially after 9/11 and 26/11, has blackened its hand of friendship, as a natural ally for India. Indian foreign policy is turning muscular and its perception of global realpolitik will see diminishing returns in unilateral demands of the International Community and the UN.

The belief of the Pakistan Army of escaping consequences is a bluff that has recently been called, both in India, and internationally. The world fears for Pakistani Nukes falling in the hands of terrorists are not exaggerated and rehearsed US contingency plans for such an eventuality are no secret. Pakistan's Nuclear record is scandalous given its proliferation report card, with both North Korea and Iran. Instead of pursuing education, employment, healthcare and infrastructure development for its people, the Pakistan Army wants to run the State as feudal theocracy, led by a colonising impulse of Pakistani Punjab, over the Tribal Lands of Waziristan, Balochistan, Pakhtunistan, Mohajir, the Sindh, and erstwhile Bangla ethnicities. This colonising impulse has already led to the formation of Bangladesh following the East Pakistan genocide by Pakistan Army, resulting in the 1971 war with India, and Pakistan Army's humiliating surrender.

The United States remains key sponsor, weapons provider to Pakistan, in the process depressing its Civilian Government, and subverting the Pakistani Democracy, dependent as US State Department and Pentagon is on Pakistan Army, in Afghanistan. China has anyway flagrantly subverted its obligations, as a world power by winking at the Pakistan Army use of Terrorism, despite its own bloody Islamist Terror problem in Uighur. This hypocrisy is not lost on India, when it talks to the US as a natural ally and fellow democracy, or to China. Russia too is at the beginning of such an adventure with the sale of military helicopters to Pakistan, despite its injuries in Afghanistan, directly attributable to Pakistan raised Taliban. It is from the pulpit of this hypocrisy of individual national interest, that India receives the Nuclear, Terrorism doublespeak.

While it is clear to America, as it is to India, that Nuclear weapons are not for war fighting, Pakistan's TNW stand smells of continuing bluff and bluster, not sincerity in bilateral dialogue with India. In such a scenario, India stands well within its national interest, when it does not limit full scale nuclear strike, in response to a Nuclear strike on its IBG troops. Kargil already is a test case of conventional response fought successfully, though with great losses in men, under the nuclear threat umbrella or overhang.

India clearly is far more concerned about growing it economy, development and reform rather than any regional hegemony. It however has geopolitical interests that it needs to watch and protect. India's bigger strategic defence worry centres around an unsettled border, and economic rivalry with China, not with a self imploding Pakistan. But the 26/11 cross border raid changed the perception of Terrorism in India.

The soul searching in Indian security establishment has seen a quest for credible coercive diplomacy across the spectrum of options, including both conventional and sub-conventional deterrence, employing Indian Army Special Forces, in overt or covert, cross border operations. The cross border raids and black Ops, of the now defunct TSD (Technical Services Division) employing, Special Forces has further refined this cross border interdiction capability deep inside Pakistan, bringing Terror Infrastructure and Training Camps within grasp. Surgical strikes by deep strike aircraft or weaponised Drones, naval interdiction, nothing is off the table, as it should be for a nation that takes the security of its citizens seriously.

The famous master spy and now Indian NSA, Ajit Doval has laid out the dividends of peace for Pakistan but has said in the same breath, that India will speak in a language that Pakistan understands. This strategic duality is pregnant with meaning. It shows that the long standing, Nehruvian Restraint dogma accusation, of the Indian Military for its bureaucrat, and the long festering, post Colonial, civil-military disconnect, is giving away to less prevarication, and more logical coercive actions. Indian public opinion is deeply adverse to any talks with Pakistan, as long as terrorism, Pakistan Army aided infiltration, IB, LoC contact is a daily occurrence, with bodies of soldiers being cremated on Television.

The mood in India is both grim and angry. With massive asymmetric retaliation a given to any Pakistan Army IB, LoC artillery fire, to a virtual freeze on any official Talks, India has come far from Vajpayee and Musharraf bonhomie. Today the Indian NSA Doval, openly cocks a snook at Parvez Musharraf, the Ex Army Chief, later Military Dictator. The Indian NSAs riposte to the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan deep state's reverence for Osama Bin Laden, Taliban, and the likes of LeT, with statements of contempt such as, "Like Hero, Like People", in both unusual and direct.

In the past the signature restraint and reticence of the Indian politico-bureaucratic complex, combined with international pressure mostly from the US, Russia and China, prevented Cold Start type of punitive response to Pakistan Army sponsored terrorism on Indian soil. With the Narendra Modi led BJP Government, Nehruvian Restraint has been discarded in favour of a more kinetic, asymmetric response. If Pakistan Army continues down the path of use of terrorism, matching any punitive Indian response with the illusion of tactical nuclear strike, it must face the horror of the consequences of leading Pakistani people down the path of the Nuclear stone age!

Monday, 31 August 2015

Agitating Veterans Debunk OROP Revision Media Propaganda by Babudom

Rebuttal by Media Adviser, UFESM to Times of India and Times Now 
Courtesy: - Cdr Ravindra Waman Pathak I.N. (Retd) 
Member Governing Body and Pension Cell
Indian Ex Servicemen Movement
Apropos Times of India “Times view” published in your edition of 29th August. 

As media adviser of UFESM, I wish to rebut your views and put the record straight of what is the essence of OROP and not as postulated by you. In this connection your attention is invited to the one point of contention between the government and ESM organisations. This relates to a wrongly quoted and much misunderstood terminology of a 3% increase in pension for all pensioners year on year in perpetuity. 
In essence, it is not a 3% increase but is a periodic review of pension to bring them at par with past pensioners. This has been narrowed down to the figure of 3% keeping in view the 30% increase in salaries of serving government servants between two pay commissions. When related to pensions it is reduced to 1.5% being 50% of any pay slab. This is further amplified that such an increase would be applicable to a pensioner till he/she reaches the top scale of their authorized pension. There after it ceases to be granted till such time as a new pay commission kicks in and salaries are increased. 
 The current out flow of OROP due to the inordinate delay in its implementation over the last 9 years has resulted in an increase of estimated cost of approximately 6000 crores leading to a figure of 8,293 crores as a “onetime payment.” There after as worked out by the three service pay cells independently followed by a review and checking by CGDA and finally the MoD. The figure of out flow in the following year would be .85% of the defence pension budget and subsequently reducing @. .62, .32, .21 and 0. Therefore by the 6th year there would be no review required. Mathematically calculated the highest pro-rata percentage amounts to approximately Rs.1635 crores and reducing and therefore quite a low figure to what is being mentioned in the range of 20,000 crores by un informed or deliberately obfuscating individuals who do not have the best interest of the armed forces in their mind.
Another figure being bandied around is the defence pension bill of Rs. 54,500 crores. Unknown to most including servicemen and veterans, who should be made aware, Rs 32,000 crores out of this services 4 lakh defence civilians. The balance Rs 22,000 crores is all that is available for 26 lakh ESM and 6 lakh widows. To add insult to injury most of the defence civilians are in receipt of Non-Functional Financial Upgradation (NFU), essentially meaning that they have availed OROP since 2006. Incidentally for the uninitiated the out flow of NFU in the past 8 years is whopping Rs 17,000 crores for a motley crowd of at best 20,000 personnel. 
We on our part have clearly spelt out the entire basis of our calculations but it seems that other than MoD, the finance ministry and the PMO do not seem to be able to bring out in the public domain any contentious issues that need to be ironed out. It is our perception that whatever is being done in the current scenario by various stake holders in the MoF & PMO is with a view to embarrass the Prime Minister, by not allowing him to honour his commitments made on board the INS Vikramaditya and re-confirmed in the sacred battle fields of Siachen. For us soldiers honouring a commitment irrespective of the costs involved financial or otherwise is much more important than the financial benefits of OROP.
Mr. Prime Minister, would you like to take a call?
Col Anil Kaul, VrC (retd)
Media advisor

Monday, 3 August 2015

Things have changed, I am letting you go.

It's you on the phone
On Facebook
And on text
You are back on my case

For years, we have been friends
Weddings, funerals, love and heartbreak
Fear, insecurity, intrigue, and jealousy
I've taken your side, seen you vomit

Somewhere things changed
Familiarity to contempt
Wives, girlfriends and boyfriend,
bring strife, parents couldn't
We aren't friends anymore

I tolerate you
And your shenanigans
Your jealousy and your incoherence
And suddenly, I couldn't care.

These years, when I couldn't be alone
The fear of loneliness, of chopping away my heart
But tonight, I gave you up
Finally like a beautiful sunset, morning can't await!

Friday, 10 July 2015

तुम हो कौन?

कभी अपने कपड़ों को देखता हूँ
कभी तुम्हारी पसन्द टटोलता हूँ
बहुत ही अलग है हम लोग
फिर भी पासपोर्ट पर भारतीय लिखा है।

खाना, संस्कार, बोलचाल, गाना, दिल सब कुछ घुलमिल से गए हैं
जात, धर्म, समुदाय, परम्परा कुछ धुंधला हो रहे हैं
महानगर की छूट, ओर पुश्तैनी गांठों का खुल जाना
विदेश का आभास, रहन-सहन की नयी संभावनाएं।

भाषा के विकल्प, जन्मभूमि ओर कर्मभूमि का विच्छेद
सभ्यताओं का दंगल, दोस्ती और प्यार
कुछ तय नहीं, और साल जैसे भागदौड़ में हैं
ईस सब मे कभी सोचा है, कि तुम हो कोन?

नोकरी, धंधा, रिश्तेदार, और पर्दे पर ये अजीब कलाकार
अटपटे विघयापन, टूटी-फूटी सोच का सिरदर्द
देखा-देखी की भेड़चाल
ईस सब मे कभी सोचा है, कि तुम हो कोन?

Sunday, 5 July 2015

This Languorous Sunday of July

This Languorous Sunday of July
Savouring my pains
Beginnings, these days, don't have to be ends
I am feeling that new feeling again

The years keep rolling
Slow and then fast, and then slow again
I see you from the corner of my eye
Do you know what's happening to me?

Love, and emotion races through my breaths
No I will never forget
I am living here, in meandering lives
Apart, but always together

Hopes, and dreams, a return of optimism
The wave that washes over dark nights in doubt
Its action, and movement that sets me free
Learning from lost years never made me smile before

I am becoming me
Walking away from frozen inertia
Beginning to enjoy emotions that once left me cold
Thaw of reckoning, always comes before knowledge

Friday, 5 June 2015

The Boys of 6 Dogra

At this party, air-conditioning to smother the humidity.
Perfumed bodies, clothes and social rivalries.
The single malt doesn't go down easy
I have the boys of 6 Dogra on my mind.

I can smell their fear, I can smell their blood as they died.
Unit going home, bright 8am Manipur morning
Lessons of decades forgotten in hope
The tyranny of the ambush, the dreams of loved ones.

So the Prime Minister is distressed
And the Home Minister orders revenge
Intelligence failure, and shot up bodies
NOK, widows, children, snuffed out hopes
The boys of 6 Dogra dead for an ungrateful union.

Tonight, sobs will turn to stupor
Wives will wipe their vermillion
I am crying in my Whiskey
The ghosts of Chandel multiply.

War is back, death will cheapen our morals.
Retribution. You get us, we'll get you back
We will destroy your identities, your homes, your bodies.
As we weep, you will weep too.

The bitter wrath of a nation will visit the Northeast
Let's wipe them out, thoko saalo ko
Can we put the union to bed
Can India be India.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Nepal Earthquake. MoD, MEA, MHA Nehruvian Restraint meets Armed Forces, Media Frenzy

This media self flagellation over its spirited, hardship filled coverage is signature. From Israel to US, EU countries everyone has gone to town on #NepalEarthquake.

What Indian Armed Forces and MEA don't have is a narrative frame to give to Indian media, given the contrarian, if not adversarial relationship with Narendra Modi PMO.

Decades of Nehruvian socialist dogma meets India flapping loudly to project itself as a regional power.

And a caveat here. Social media tags are as infowar as conventional media. Chinese, Maoist influence in Nepal is considerable, so equating a hashtag trend with groundswell opinion, Government view, is taking the bait.

Foreign policy projection needs endgaming for objectives. When you turn on a pivot, as our boys did, it was the instinct to save, protect and camaderie with Gurkha Rifles.

Maybe there will be a template going forward on this, which will have the second objective as media messaging and goal setting.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Statement by General VK Singh on Media Smear Campaigns, Industry Self Regulation, and Accountability.

General VK Singh, Union Minister of State for External Affairs

"Since 2012, I have been repeatedly attacked by certain 'media workers' who have published stories that were not only cooked up, but also did enormous harm to the institution that I was heading, the Indian Army.
All this happened under the watch of the UPA Government who had their own agenda to try and defame me, and certain individuals who were willing to be their mouthpiece took full advantage of the situation in the hope of currying favour with the establishment.
When I fought back and defended myself, the institutions these individuals represented, simply hardened their stand and continued to unleash more and more vitriol in the hope of harming my reputation. So much so, that even after the last Lok Sabha elections and the change of Government, these attacks have continued unabated.
Specific stories that had been planted and their immediate sources were identified and a complaint was filed to the Home Ministry in November 2013.
However, the Government of India, perhaps not wanting to take on these 'media workers' who would hide behind the larger umbrella of the 'National Media', failed to act. The journalists concerned, emboldened by the fact that they seemed to be unaccountable for their actions, have since not only got away scot free but have been keeping up a steady flow of misinformation.
The unwritten code that exists in the media that they will not write or say anything against 'their own' results in a person being publicly condemned with absolutely no real options. Theoretically, one has legal recourse but in reality that is an impossibility as media houses have deep pockets and can wear anyone down.
The Press Council too, is not an option, for it is dominated by some of the very people who are playing the game of using the media to discredit individuals.
Government of India, the only body with the teeth to take action, prefers to keep a low profile in the matter for any intervention leads to howls of protest about the media being gagged etc.
It is time that the media itself seriously looked at creating an effective watchdog organization that has the power to actually nip this malice in the bud.
Today the media's own credibility is at stake and unless there is effective internal policing, this problem threatens to go completely out of hand.
Only those who have been targeted by such stories know how vilified and helpless they feel. Even to get a basic rebuttal published in the same newspaper is an ordeal as sanctimonious editors sit in judgement like thanedars asking the victim to prove his innocence before they will put two lines in small print somewhere saying they are sorry.
The media is one of our great strengths as a nation and if it has to be protected from being seen as compromised, then it is vital that we collectively push for a regulatory body.
I ask the Broadcasters Association and the Press Council and all the hard working honest to god journalists (who thankfully are still in the majority) to put their heads together and come up with a solution that gives an individual targeted by the media a fair chance.
I would be happy to forward the complaint that was filed with the MHA to the Broadcaster's Association, should it publicly commit itself to forming an impartial body with specific time lines."

Friday, 6 March 2015

BBC Rape Voyeurism meets stick of the Indian State.

Nirbhaya poverty porn is an orchestrated hit job, that feeds on competitive victimhood, and self flagellation of Colonial self hating sepoys, conditioned McCaulay's bastard children.

Use of outrage works from feeding social unrest, leading to chaos, intending downfall of Government is a favourite foreign Intelligence agency wet dream.

From Greenpeace to BBC, Doval has fired one across the bows for all such scamps.

This isnt a isolated documentary. It is a women's day campaign that was advanced, as IB was on to NDTV. NYT, Reuters, all fell into place domino like. This is being compared to the demonisation of Putin suddenly. Go figure.

Those who were around during Gita Chopra, brother , Ranga Billa rape/murder, or Tandoor case, outrage does not change social mores or sexual politics.

What do we have to show for this haitoba: Draconian legislation that has huge potential for injustice, use of Rape and Sexual Assault as a tool for revenge and rent seeking, and destroying careers. 
Misogyny has since been supplemented by Misandry. Lynching, castration, and hanging people by their balls, is the new cool, suddenly fashionable.

This story was dead, and it was carefully resurrected to infect social discourse like a virus, too bad MHA made it a dud. Our watchers must be complemented for having eyes on, despite all the hand wringing, and hackneyed clichés about the efficacy if a ban on the Internet.

This story is dead and had a half life of 3 days, glad it's dead. Hopefully gender sensitivity, Rape, gets the serious treatment it deserves. Happy weekend!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

For Modi in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, Best is the Enemy of Good.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at the swearing-in ceremony of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, at Jammu University, in Jammu and Kashmir on March 01, 2015.

On a rainy Sunday in March, as BJP Cadre and supporters watched in trepidation, Mufti of PDP, was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

That the top leadership of BJP, in characteristic secrecy, kitchen cabinet huddle, left its rank and file, and voters out to dry, without any communication, did not help with acute discomfort, as long cherished precepts, of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, the Sangh and RSS, on Article 370, lay asunder.

Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley, Amit Shah, and point man, Ram Madhav after a high decibel election campaign, which included, the smearing of Indian Army for Islamist populism,  could not manage a simple media statement.

Add to this information vacuum, out came Mufti, in his oath taking presser, with signature mealy mouthed, soft separatism, and 'my freedom fighter, your terrorist', sanctimony.

The BJP is yet to make the psychological leap from Opposition to Government, and most imminent crises are neither anticipated or preempted by a PMO still hungover from the paralysis of the UPA years. The sullen, resentful bureaucracy, once untouchable, suddenly seeing increasing prosecution and public shaming, has no skin in the game. 

The inability to comprehend, orient, and engage a crisis, in the backdrop of hostile media remains the bane of this 9 month old Government. The inability to induct and make new talent quickly productive in skills that the Government of India needs today, is further exacerbated with entry barriers created by inbred organisation dogma of the BJP, its ideological parent in the Sangh, including RSS and others.

For the many Indians, who saw Modi as someone who could do no wrong, the sheen and halo was off. The disbelief of seeing the narrative slide back to pre1990 Pakistan sponsored Islamist carnage, denying the sacrifice of the Army, Security Forces, and the Police, and the silent return to democracy by Kashmiri people, all jarred the patriotic and nationalist Indian. 

The Indian Army, the patron saint and saviour of Kashmir in Floods, Disaster or Pakistan sponsored Terrorism stands wronged by Narendra Modi and Arun Jaitley in Machhil and Budgam. It is ironic that men who were not born, and who have in no way contributed to the effort of keeping Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in the Indian Union, were given a free hand to tar, what they didn't help build, or nurture, sometimes with blood, privation and sacrifice.

The silent threat of Mufti as head of the Unified Command, to AFSPA, the enabling provision of Indian Army's presence in Islamist insurgency wracked Kashmir Valley, made the same patriotic India, feel prone to blackmail. A nation held hostage to Narendra Modi led BJP's dalliance with the PDP.

Everyone who was seeing the return of Kashmir from the brink, Srinagar back to normalcy and rule of law, wrested back on the sacrifice on the funeral pyres of hundred Indian Army Officers, soldiers, policemen, wanted to know what had happened for the Modi led BJP, to enter into such an unholy alliance as a junior partner?

It is in the election numbers. That's what happened. Best is the enemy of good. 

Politics is the art of the possible is a terrible cliche but this is the only acceptable solution in the current Constitution framework. Short of partitioning Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh along religious lines, given the polarisation of Hindu Jammu, Islamist Srinagar, and Buddhist Ladakh, that is!

Mufti and Mehbooba and the rest of the PDP will run amok for a while with signature Islamist haitoba, and Pakistani hooting, but they have too many chestnuts in the fire, to not consider certainty of consequences. 

That this Coalition shreds long held notions of nationalism, and of the Jan Sangh, RSS, and BJP, cuts the other way for senior Coalition partner, PDP too. 

And, that PDP - NC, or PDP - Congress, or any other combinations did not crystallise, bares the reality of family Kleptocracy, as superior to Wahhabi Islam, in Kashmir too.
It is in this constrained, junior partner coalition, the BJP will have to work, so people of Jammu, Kashmiri Pandits and Ladakh get their due. How this will play out or not, and end in divorce, is not a new story. 

We see the same running with the hares and hunting with the hounds in Shiv Sena Coalition, albeit as a senior partner. Having said that, despite recent allegations on Haseeb Drabu secular credentials for J&K Bank' Hindu staff, he is a fine Economist, and can help the State towards economic growth and development. If equitable Governance and Development return to Kashmir, it could well become the proverbial heaven on earth, from the frigid security barricades, concertina coil, pillbox pockmarked, scorched land it is today. Maybe peace deserves such a chance.

Push comes to shove, the BJP can always dump the PDP Coalition, if the rabble rousing of Mufti and progeny became a persistent political hot potato. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and maybe it is destined for Modi to be backstabbed like Vajpayee was, but maybe the coming difficult six years, will be the miracle Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh deserves.

One must remember what Coalition breakdown, and ensuing Governor's rule means. India will not, can not, must not recognise the two nation theory, and for all the smear campaigns run against the BJP, it is Modi, like Vajpayee, who can dare to dream on the strength of the majority mandate, India pining for change and governance, gave him. 

First do no harm, after that it is Ram(BJP) bharose, and we are fine if PDP, says it as Inshahallah. Anybody who tries to predict the future here based on the past, is full of it. What will happen, will, but ideological mores, are more revealed in ideological punditry, media and those tempted by rank opportunism.

Waqt dekho, waqt ki dhaar dekho. To the Congress, allied minority appeasement votebank, and usual suspects in the media, happy rabble rousing!

The Anatomy of Stillborn Congress Communist CAA NRC Campaign

The anatomy of a Protest in a democracy has a short half-life. The appetite for idealism fades very quickly as things start to catch f...