January 2011


Supreme Court on Conversion 

It is undisputed that there is no justification for interfering in someone’s belief by way of use of force, provocation, conversion, incitement or upon a flawed premise that one religion is better than the other.

Those who have seen through the design of the India pseudo secular media, know that Narendra Modi does not need any further certification. From sportsmen to filmstars, industrialist to foreign dignitaries,  famous names from many walks of life had already endorsed the Gujarat CM for taking the state to a never before stage of development.

Only people who despise Modi because of his stance that not only is he incorruptible himself but he also does not allow others to indulge in corruption (unlike our esteemed PrimeMinister, trying to hold his head amidst scams all around him) and those who feel insecure by his brand of honest, transparent and focused development, keep on dragging the bogey of the controversial ‘Gujarat Riot’ to try tarnish his image and instigate people against him.

Secularism for me means ”India First”, claims Modi. But that is not enough for the Modi-bashers, including the UPA government.

Totally dumbfounded by the staggering success of the recently concluded Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit, where 7,936 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for Rs.20,83,000 crore (about $462 billion) worth of projects have been signed in the two-days, it is reported that the finance ministry is asking the nationalised banks not to get involved in the process and better if they keep off.

It is nice to see that educated Muslim leaders are also tired of vote-bank based appeasement policies of the UPA and are giving a call to their community to participate in honest, developmental politics.

 

New Deoband chief lauds Modi’s Gujarat

Yagnesh Mehta, TNN, Jan 19, 2011, 01.31am IST

SURAT: The new Darul Uloom vice-chancellor, Maulana Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi, said “all communities” are prospering in Narendra Modi’s Gujarat and there was “no discrimination against the minorities in the state as far as development was concerned.” He was talking to TOI here on Tuesday.India and the fount of the Deobandi thought, which has adherants well beyond the country’s borders, especially in Pakistan and Afghanistan.Darul Uloom chief is seen as a possible change catalyst in this conservative seminary.Deoband chiefhas obviously been impressed by the economic progress of Gujarat. He said, “Development has undoubtedly taken place in Gujarat and we hope it will continue. I ask Muslims to study well. The government is ready to offer jobs (to them), but for that, they need good education.”

This is arguably the most significant endorsement of Modi. Darul Uloom, based in Deoband in Uttar Pradesh, is a leading Islamic seminary in Vastanvi, himself a Gujarati from Surat, is an MBA graduate and has been instrumental in introducing modern subjects in institutions run by Darul Uloom in Gujarat and Maharashtra, including medicine, engineering and allied subjects. His recent election as the

It’s not easy for the man holding this chair to be charitable towards Modi, the person who has been accused of persecuting Muslims during and after the 2002 Gujarat riots. Asked about the riots, Vastanvi didn’t give Modi a clean chit, but stressed that it was now time to move on.

“The issue is almost eight years old now and we should move forward,” Vastanvi told TOI on Tuesday. “Rioting anywhere — in Gujarat or in any other part of the world — is bad for humanity and it should never happen. Gujarat riots were a blemish for India and all culprits should be punished.”

Vastanvi said “there are not as many problems in Gujarat as has been projected.” Asked about justice for the Gujarat riot victims, he said the riots had worsened “because the police did not act due to political pressure during those days”.

But he differed with what many activists working among the riot victims or the UPA government at the Centre claim about continuing discrimination against Muslims in Gujarat. He said, “As far as relief work riot is concerned, it has been carried out very well by government and people of Gujarat.”

The Vastanvi hails from Vastan village near Surat and his initiation into Islamic studies began at a seminary here.

Fear of retaliation cripples Chief Ministers of Indian States.

In one state, the CM reassures that a mosque, demolished on High Court order will be rebuilt, ‘to diffuse tension’.

In another, the CM pleads not to hoist the Indian flag for fear of retaliation by anti-nationals.

Anti-socials and antinational are allowed to destroy and rampage at will. Violence and hooliganism does succeed in drawing attention.  It makes good TRP for the media. It’s a successful strategy for blackmailing the society. One may even have the rights activists on one’s side.

That is all the more true if one happens to be a minority. After all there is something called ‘vote-bank’. Who in the sane mind will disregard that?

The mass is ignorant or indifferent as long as their own skin is saved. Administration and security forces are handicapped and remain silent spectators. 

Who says Terrorism does not work?

 

Demolished mosque will be rebuilt: Delhi CM

NEW DELHI: Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit met Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari on Friday morning to defuse tension brewing over the demolition of a mosque in South Delhi. The chief minister had an hour-long conversation with the Imam where she assured that the mosque will be rebuilt in the same area.

“She came here to convey the message of the Union Home Minister and the Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy to state that mosque will be rebuilt. But until the mosque is built, our fight shall continue. Mosques are the identity of Muslims and we cannot tolerate repression on that count,” Bukhari said while addressing a gathering of over 10,000 people at the Jama Masjid.

Breaking from the tradition, the Imam did not lead the prayers at the historical mosque and monument on Friday and instead went to pray at the sites where the mosque was demolished along with several other Muslim clerics and political leaders including RJD MLA from Chandni Chowk Shoaib Iqbal and SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav. The SP leader blasted the Congress Government’s wrong policies which have failed to alleviate the concerns of the minority community despite years of rule and promises.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) demolished the mosque in south-east Delhi’s Jangpura-B Block area at around 6am amidst heavy police presence on Wednesday. The DDA said the site was illegally encroached and slums and the mosque were built on it. On October 28, 2010, the Delhi High Court ordered the demolition of the structure within four weeks and warned that any further delay would be considered contempt of court. The demolition triggered rioting in the city.

 

Don’t hoist Indian flag in Srinagar: Omar to BJP 

Srinagar: In the run up to Republic Day, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah renewed his appeal to the BJP of not hoisting the Tricolour in Srinagar.

Meanwhile, BJP has started its ‘ekta yatra’ and has said that it is going to hoist a flag at Lal Chowk on January 26.

The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister is apprehensive that it will disturb peace in the valley.

When asked if it will create law and order problem in the valley, Omar said, “I don’t know…it could, it may not.”

“But do we really want to take that chance?” questions Omar.

“I mean, I’ve heard that they have equated this thing with flag burning…that if the flag can be burnt at Lal Chowk, why can’t it be hoisted.. I mean, how can they possibly equate their standing with the standing of those who are not in any way nationalist in their outlook,” he explains.

Appealing BJP to refrain from hoisting the flag, Omar said, “As far as I am concerned, I am making an earnest appeal to them not to do anything that could cause us a setback.. I think its a reasonable appeal and more so due to the fact that since 1992, BJP has not felt the need to raise the flag in Lal Chowk, why now?”

He even questioned BJP’s intent by saying, “Why after all these years? In the years when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was prime minister, how come they never felt the need then? Then they were talking about J&K under the umbrella of humanity -‘Insaniyat’…why today all of a sudden do they feel the need to take this step?”

“I’m hoping that sense will prevail and I hope that the national leadership understands that anything that could possibly evoke trouble in Kashmir cannot possibly be in the national interest,” he said. 

Gaddar Hatao, Desh Bachao!

Dynasty Hatao, Desh Bachao!

…….. But the problem could well be that there are lot of others who have picked up their shares, even if it was crumbs compared to the Gandhi family; if not in cash, then may be, in kind.

The country needs a mutiny again.

 

Zero tolerance, secret billions 

By S Gurumurthy 
02 Jan 2011

What was Rajiv Gandhi’s fatal error in politics? It does not need a seer to say that it was his claim to honesty — branding himself as ‘Mr Clean’ — that proved fatal to him. Indira Gandhi was his contrast. Asked about corruption in her government, she said nonchalantly, ‘it was a global phenomenon’. This was in 1983. An honest Delhi High Court judge even lamented how could corruption be controlled when someone holding such a high position had almost rationalised it. The result, no one could ever charge Indira Gandhi with corruption, because she never claimed to be clean. But, ambitious to look ideal, Rajiv proclaimed honesty and so provoked scrutiny; in contrast, Indira, opting to be practical, immunised herself against scrutiny. Eventually, Rajiv’s claim to honesty became the very cross on which he was crucified in the 1989 elections when the Bofors gun shot the Congress out of power. The lesson to the political class was: don’t claim to be honest, if you really are not so. The hard lesson seems forgotten now by the Gandhi family itself. Sonia Gandhi, instead of following Indira’s safe path, is wrongly caught on Rajiv’s risky steps. The consequences seem to be ominous. Will the politics of 1987 to 1989 repeat?

Following Rajiv and forgetting Indira, Sonia Gandhi proclaimed ‘zero tolerance’ to corruption at a party rally in Allahabad in November 2010. She repeated it at the Congress plenary in Delhi weeks later. Asking the cadre to take the corrupt head on, she said that her party was ‘prompt’ in acting against the corrupt; ‘never spared the corrupt’ because corruption impedes development’. This was almost how Rajiv Gandhi spoke in the Congress centenary in Mumbai 25 years ago. Two crucial differences marked Rajiv away from Sonia. First, when Rajiv claimed to be ‘Mr Clean’, he had no scams to defend against. But, Sonia claims to be honest amidst huge and continuing scams — CWG, Adarsh, 2G Spectrum allocation scam…. Next, Rajiv had a clean slate to begin with, with no known skeletons in his cupboard till the Bofors scam smashed his ‘Mr Clean’ image. In contrast, Sonia’s slate is full of credible exposures of bribes and pay-offs in billions of dollars secreted in Swiss bank accounts, not counting Quattrocchi’s millions from Bofors. To make it worse, for almost two decades now, she has not dared to deny the exposures or sue the famous Swiss magazine or the Russian investigative journalist who had put out evidence of bribe against the Sonia family. Seen against this background, Sonia’s vow to act against the corrupt seems like a suspect hooting ‘catch the thief’ and scooting away. This is the main story that unfolds here.

$2.2 billions to 11 billions!
A stunning exposure on Sonia Gandhi’s secret billions in Swiss banks came, surprisingly, from Switzerland itself, where the world’s corrupt stash away their booty. In its issue of November 19, 1991, Schweizer Illustrierte, the most popular magazine of Switzerland, did an exposé of over a dozen politicians of the third world, including Rajiv Gandhi, who had stashed away their bribe monies in Swiss banks. Schweizer Illustrierte, not a rag, sells some 2,15,000 copies and has a readership of 9,17,000 — almost a sixth of Swiss adult population. Citing the newly opened KGB records, the magazine reported ‘that Sonia Gandhi the widow of the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was controlling secret account with 2.5 billion Swiss Francs (equal to $2.2 billion) in her minor son’s name’. The $2.2 billion account must have existed from before June 1988 when Rahul Gandhi attained majority. The loot in today’s rupee value equals almost Rs 10,000 crore. Swiss banks invest and multiply the clients’ monies, not keep them buried. Had it been invested in safe long-term securities, the $.2.2 billion bribe would have multiplied to $9.41 billion (Rs 42,345 crore) by 2009. If it had been put in US stocks, it would have swelled to $12.97 billion (Rs 58,365 crore). If, as most likely, it were invested in long-term bonds and stocks as 50:50, it would have grown to $11.19 billion (Rs 50,355 crore). Before the global financial meltdown in 2008, the $2.2 billion bribes in stocks would have peaked at $18.66 billion (Rs 83,900 crore). By any calculation the present size of the $2.2 billion secret funds of the family in Swiss banks seems huge — anywhere between Rs 43,000 plus to some Rs 84,000 crore!

KGB papers
The second exposé, emanating from the archives of the Russian spy outfit KGB, is far more serious. It says that the Gandhi family has accepted political pay-offs from the KGB — a clear case of treason besides bribe. In her book The State Within a State: The KGB and its Hold on Russia-Past, Present, and Future, Yevgenia Albats, an acclaimed investigative journalist, says: “A letter signed by Victor Chebrikov, who replaced Andropov as the KGB head in 1982 noted: ‘the USSR KGB maintains contact with the son of the Premier Minister Rajiv Gandhi (of India). R Gandhi expresses deep gratitude for the benefits accruing to the Prime Minister’s family from the commercial dealings of the firm he controls in co-operation with the Soviet foreign trade organisations. R Gandhi reports confidentially that a substantial portion of the funds obtained through this channel are used to support the party of R Gandhi’.” (p.223). Albats has also disclosed that, in December 2005, KGB chief Victor Chebrikov had asked for authorisation from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, “to make payments in US dollars to the family members of Rajiv Gandhi, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Ms Paola Maino, mother of Sonia Gandhi.” And even before Albats’ book came out the Russian media had leaked out the details of the pay-offs. Based on the leaks, on July 4, 1992, The Hindu had reported: “the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service admits the possibility that the KGB could have been involved in arranging profitable Soviet contract for the company controlled by Rajiv Gandhi family”.

Indian media
Rajiv Gandhi’s sad demise delayed the Swiss and Russian exposé on Sonia being picked up here. But Indian media’s interest in it actually coincided with Sonia Gandhi assuming leadership of the Congress. A G Noorani, a well-known columnist, had reported on both Schweizer Illustrierte and Albats’ exposés in Statesman (December 31, 1988). Subramanian Swamy had put out the photocopies of the pages of Schweizer Illustrierte and Albats’ book in his website along with the mail of the Swiss magazine dated February 23, 2002 confirming that in its article of November 1991 it had named Rajiv Gandhi with a total of Swiss Franc 2.5 billion ($2.2 billion) in secret account; it had also offered to supply a original copy of the magazine to Swamy. (See: http://www.janataparty.org/annexures/ann10p43.html) These facts were again recalled in my article in The New Indian Express (April 29, 2009) written in response to Sonia Gandhi speech at Mangalore (April 27, 2009) declaring that, “the Congress was taking steps to address the issue of untaxed Indian money in Swiss banks”. The article had questioned her about her family’s corrupt wealth in Swiss banks in the context of her vow to bring back the monies stashed away abroad. Rajinder Puri, a reputed journalist, has also earlier written on the KGB disclosures in his column on August 15, 2006. Recently, in India Today (December 27, 2010) the redoubtable Ram Jethmalani has referred to the Swiss exposé, asking where is that money now? So the Indian media too has repeatedly published the details of the secret billions of the Gandhi family investigated by the Swiss and Russian journalists. Amal Datta (CPI(M)) had raised the $2.2 billion issue in Parliament on December 7, 1991, but Speaker Shivraj Patil expunged the Gandhi name from the proceedings!

Self-incriminating
But, what has been the response of Sonia or Rahul, major after June 1988, to the investigation by Schweizer Illustrierte and Albats and to the Indian media’s repeated references to their investigation? It can be summed up in one word: Silence. Thus, apart from the exposés, the deafening silence of the Gandhis itself constitutes the most damaging and self-incriminating evidence of the family’s guilt. When Schweizer Illustrierte alleged that Sonia had held Rajiv Gandhi’s bribes in Rahul’s name in Swiss banks, neither she nor the son, protested, or sued the magazine, then or later; nor did they sue A G Noorani or Statesman when they repeated it in 1998, or later; nor would they sue Subramanian Swamy when he put it on his website in 2002; neither did they sue me, or the Express when the article was carried in April 2009. When major papers, The Hindu and The Times of India included, had carried the expose on KGB payments in the year 1992 itself adding that the Russian government was embarrassed by the disclosures, neither of the Gandhis challenged or sued them; nor did they sue Yevgenia Albats when she wrote about KGB payments to Rajiv Gandhi in 1994. Neither did they act against  Swamy when he put Albats’ book pages on his website or when Rajinder Puri, a well-known journalist, wrote about it in his column on August 15, 2006. However, a feeble but proxy suit was filed by Sonia loyalists to defend her reputation when Albats’ exposé was made part of the full-page advertisement in The New York Times in 2007 issued by some NRIs to ‘unmask’ Sonia to the US audience, as they claimed. The suit was promptly dismissed by a US court because Sonia herself did not dare file the suit. Shockingly even that suit did not challenge the $2.2 billion Swiss account at all!

Imagine that the report in Schweizer Illustrierte or in Albats book was false and Sonia Gandhi did not have those billions in secret accounts in Rahul Gandhi’s name or the family was not paid for its service to the KGB as alleged. How would they, as honest and outraged people, have reacted? Like how Morarji Desai, then retired and old at 87, responded in anger when, Seymour Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, had mentioned in his book that Morarji Desai was a ‘paid’ CIA mole in the Indian Cabinet. Morarji Desai forthwith filed a libel suit. Commenting in The American Spectator, Rael Jean Isaac wrote in 2004, five years after Morarji Desai had passed away, that Hersh habitually indulged in character assassination; and in his attempt to do down Henry Kissinger, Morarji Desai became the victim. Isaac added that Desai, 87, calling it a “sheer mad story”, reacted in outrage with a libel suit seeking $50 million in damages. When the suit came up, as Desai, 93, was too ill to travel to US, Kissinger testified on Desai’s behalf, flatly contradicted Hersh’s charge and stated that Desai had no connection to the CIA. That is how even retired and old persons, honest and so offended and outraged, would act. But see the self-incriminating contrast, the complete absence of such outrage, in Sonia, who is reigning as the chairperson of the UPA now, neither retired or tired like the nonagenarian Morarji Desai, being just 41 when the story broke out in Schweizer Illustrierte. Imagine, not Sonia or Rahul, but Advani or Modi had figured in the exposés of Schweizer Illustrierte or Albats. What would the media not have done to nail them? What would the government of Sonia not have done to fix them?

Rs 20.80 lakh-crore loot
The billions of the Gandhi family being both bribes and monies stashed away in Swiss banks, they are inextricably linked to the larger issue of bringing back the huge national wealth stashed abroad. All world nations, except India, are mad after their black wealth secreted in Swiss and like banks. But India has shown little enthusiasm to track the illicit funds of Indians in Swiss and other banks. Why such reticence?

When during the run-up to the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP leader L K Advani promised to bringing back, if voted to power, Indian monies estimated between $500 billion and $1.4 trillion stashed abroad, the Congress first denied that there was such Indian money outside. But when the issue began gathering momentum, Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi had to do damage control and promise that the Congress too would bring back the national wealth secreted abroad. Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a non-profit institution working against global black funds, has recently estimated that the Indian wealth secreted away is about $462 billion, approximately equal to Rs 20.80 lakh-crore. The GFI says that more than two-thirds of it was looted away under the liberalisation regime. This is what the GFI says about the character of the loot: “From 1948 through 2008, India lost a total of $213 billion in illicit financial flows (or illegal capital flight)” through “tax evasion, corruption, bribery and kickbacks, and criminal activities”. Does one need a seer to say under what head would the $2.2 billion in Sonia family’s secret account (which would have grown to $9 to $13 billion by now) fall? But accretions, if any, from the loot in 2G and CWG where the numbers are even bigger are not still accounted. Now comes the more critical, yet practical issue. When the Sonia Gandhi family is among the suspects who have secreted away monies abroad, how will it affect the efforts to bring back the wealth stashed away by others?

Looters safe
Just a couple of examples will demonstrate how the government is unwilling to go after Indian money secreted abroad.
As early as February 2008 the German authorities had collected information about illegal money kept by citizens of different countries in Lichtenstein bank. The German finance minister offered to provide the names of the account holders to any government interested in the names of its citizens. There were media reports that some 250 Indian names were found in the Lichtenstein Bank list. Yet, despite the open offer from Germany to provide the details, the UPA-II government has never showed interest in the Indian accounts in Lichtenstein Bank. The Times of India reported that “the ministry of finance and PMO have, however, not shown much interest in finding out about those who have their lockers on the secret banks of Liechtenstein which prides itself in its banking system”. But under mounting pressure the Indian government asked for details not under the open offer but strategically under India’s tax treaty with Germany. What is the difference? Under the tax treaty the information received would have to be kept confidential; but, if it were received openly, it can be disclosed to the public. Is any further evidence needed to prove that the government is keen to see that the names of Indians who had secreted monies abroad are not disclosed?

The second is the sensational case of Hasan Ali, the alleged horse-breeder of Pune, who was found to have operated Swiss accounts involving over Rs 1.5 lakh-crore. The income tax department has levied a tax of Rs 71,848 crore on him for concealing Indian income secreted in Swiss accounts. This case is being buried now. The request sent to the Swiss government was deliberately made faulty to ensure that the Swiss would not provide details. Some big names in the ruling circles are reportedly linked to Hasan Ali. That explains why the government would not deepen the probe. It is Hasan Alis and the like who transport through hawala the bribes of the corrupt from India. If Hasan Ali is exposed, the corrupt will stand naked. This is how the hawala trader and the corrupt in India are mixed-up.

Is it too much to conclude that thanks to Sonia family’s suspected billions in Swiss accounts the system cannot freely probe the $462 billion looted from India at all?

Tail-pieces: The total wealth of both Gandhis, as per their election returns, is just Rs 363 lakh, Sonia owning no car. Sonia lamented on November 19, 2010, that graft and greed are on the rise in India!! Rahul said on December 19, 2010, that severe punishment should be given to the corrupt!!! Amen.