Let us not judge India through the eyes of the west. The west’s views and motives have been and will always be different. The biggest violaters of human rights and national sovereignties, throughout history, all over the world, now pretend to be the lawmakers and quality-setters of the world

What a joke?.

India should learn to stand up and pay them back in their own coin. Let them swallow their pride and come begging. Only this time we should make sure that we do not fall into their trap again.

 

Is India a nation of rapists and killers?

By S Gurumurthy

10th February 2013 12:00 AM

 

The gruesome rape and killing in Delhi in December last year had rightly set the nation on fire. The nation tried in vain to atone for the crime by show of unprecedented frenzy. But in its boiling anger the national mind did lose its balance and capacity for self-analysis. It flagellated itself; shamed its soul. The stentorian chorus led the mission to shame India, imaging the Indian people as misogynists on the whole. With the frenzy subsiding, is it not time to stop self-flagellating and start thinking? The world is asking whether India is a nation of rapists and killers of women. Only facts, not words, can answer this question.

With enthusiastic support from the Indian media, intellectuals and writers, the Western media almost made out India as a semi-barbaric society. An example. Libby Purves wrote in The Times UK that the Delhi bus rape should “shatter our Bollywood fantasies” of heady spirituality, adding that upright Europeans have ignored the Indian culture of “murderous, hyena-like male contempt”. What a certificate for a rising India that the National Intelligence Council of the US in its report released four days before the Delhi rape had predicted India to become one of the three world powers by 2030! An India crying in guilt had almost endorsed Purves.

Fortunately for India, a Western woman writer, Emer O’Toole (The Guardian, January 1, 2013) intervened and tore apart Purves and her likes. Emer wrote that Purves and others pontificate, with a sense of cultural superiority, as if rape is something that only happens “over there”—read India— and something the ‘civilised’ West “have somehow put behind”. Emer pointed out that while the BBC  reports, as if shocking, the statistics that a woman is raped in Delhi every 14 hours, which equates to 625 a year, in England and Wales which has a population 3.5 times that of Delhi, the proportion is four time larger: 9,509 against Delhi’s 625. Pointing out that The Wall Street Journal decries India for convicting just over a quarter of the alleged rapists, Emer says that, in the US, only 24 per cent of the alleged rapes even result in arrest, never mind conviction. How strange then is the report on India, she wonders.

Ten days later, even Emer’s data was found to be a gross underestimation of rapes in the UK. In an article in The Independent (January 10, 2013) titled “100,000 assaults, 1,000 rapists sentenced. Shockingly low conviction rates revealed”, Nigel Morris wrote: “Fewer than one rape victim in 30 expect to see her or his attacker brought to justice, shocking new statistics reveal.” ‘His’ attackers? Yes. In the West, women also rape men; a tenth of the rapists are women—something still rare in India. Nigel writes: Only 1,070 rapists are convicted every year out of 95,000 offenders according to the Office of National Statistics UK. As 90 per cent of the attackers were, like in India, known to victims, only 15 per cent victims complained—saying it was “too embarrassing”, “too trivial” or “a private/family matter”. While in the UK, a country which has less than 1/20th of India’s population, the total rapes top 95,000, the rapes in India in 2008, according to the report of the Central Statistics Office, Government of India, were far fewer—20,771.

The US is similar to the UK. The reported rapes in the US in 2006 were 212,000. If unreported rapes are added, only 5 per cent of rapists ever spend a day in jail in the US (National Center for Policy Analysis US Report No. 229). One of six US women has experienced attempted or completed rape (Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Statistics). More than a quarter of college-age women reported having experienced a rape or rape attempt since age 14 (Kolivas, Elizabeth; Gross, Alan, 2007). This is not to say that, on the scales of the ‘civilised’ UK, India can tolerate 1.6 million rapes, or on US scale (including unreported rapes) it can accept 3.4 million rapes. This is to point out that even if the UK is ‘less civilised’ like India, its total rapes should not exceed 1,000. And even if the US is as ‘backward’ as India, rapes should not exceed 5,200 there. But in the UK, it is 100 times India’s; and, in the US, it is 65 times India’s.

In Norway, the first ranking country in global Human Development Index (HDI), one in 10 women is raped (The New York Times, April 17, 2012). According to the BBC, rape per 100,000 population is the second highest in Sweden which is ranked 10th on the HDI scale and yet as the world’s best place for women! United Nations data shows that in Sweden the rape rate is 63.5 per 100,000. In the US, it is 27.5; but as more than four-fifths of forcible rapes in the US are not reported at all (National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center Report July 2007), the effective rapes in the US will be more than 137.5 per 100,000! And what is the figure for India? Just 1.8! (See http://www.unodc.org documents on sexual violence). But, that rapes are far less in India is no matter of pride. It is a national shame even if a single woman is raped. For Indians have traditionally worshipped not only women gods, but women and girls in physical form as well, as gods. The contrast with the West is not to claim any cultural superiority, but only to point out how the Indian and Western writers who have written off India as misogynic have been blind to facts. And turn to the infamous case of four serial gang-rapes in two months in Sydney in 2000. It shook the world, but never made the Australians rapists in the eyes of the world.

More. Even gang-rape does not make news in the ‘developed’ West at times.

Emer compares the gang-rape in Delhi with the gang-rape in Steubenville in Ohio in the US, where, in August 2012, a 16-year-old girl was dragged, drunk and unresponsive, from party to party where she was raped allegedly by members of a high school basketball team. Contrasting the brutal Delhi rape and death which spurred Indian civil society to its feet, causing protest and unrest, bringing women and men into streets, with the army and the states of Punjab and Haryana cancelling new year celebrations, Emer says that in Steubenville, sports-crazy townsfolk blamed the victim. But for a blogger Alexandria Goddard, now being sued, exposing it, followed by The New York Times four months after the crime, the US might not have noticed the incident at all.

Still more. The demeaning picture of India is an extension of the long-held view that Indian traditions had made women inferior, and even led to decimating its girl children. Is this true? Look at the facts.

The gender ratio in mid-colonial India (1901) was 972 per 1,000; colonialism brought it down to 946 in 1951; modern India did it to a low of 927 in 2001. In 2011, it has improved to 940.

And in the most traditional, therefore “backward”, Bihar, the gender ratio in 1901 was 1,061, that is 61 women more than men; as late as in 1961 it was 1,005.

And now? 921! Urban India is lower at 924 to rural India’s 947; the ratios of the most modern Mumbai (822) and Delhi (823) are even less. The answer is obvious.

The more modern India is, the fewer girls it chooses to have. Who then is to blame for declining sex ratio? Modernity or tradition?

Will those who demean India introspect? Will they study the facts before commenting? Are they listening?

 

Western Blot

The rape record of ‘civilised and developed’ countries

US

44% of victims are under age 18.

80% are under age 30.

Every 2 minutes, someone in the US is sexually assaulted.

There is an average of 207,754 victims (age 12 or older) of sexual assault each year.

54% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.

97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail.

Approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.

38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.

 

UK

Less than one rape victim in 30 can expect to see her or his attacker brought to justice.

About 1,000 rapists are convicted every year.

90 per cent of rape victims said they knew the identity of their attacker.

15 per cent went to the police.

Between 60,000 and 95,000 people are estimated to be raped each year.

About one woman in 200 has been a victim in the last one year.

1 in 38 major sex crime leads to a conviction for the offence.

2 years is the average time taken for a court verdict when the accused contests the allegations.

On January 24, 2011, a Toronto policeman, Constable Michael Sanguinetti, was speaking on crime prevention at a York University safety forum in Toronto, Canada. He said: “I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this: however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised.”

That misogynous comment sparked a protest that grew into a global movement.  On April 3, 2011, over 3,000 women protesters walked to Toronto Police Headquarters. Although women were asked to dress in everyday, ordinary wear, many came dressed as ‘sluts’. The organisers, Sonya Barnett and Heather Jarvis, said: “We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.”

 

In India, the first ‘Slutwalk Arthaat Besharmi Morcha’ was in Bhopal on July 17, 2011; 50 attended. The next ones were: Delhi on July 31, 2011, and Lucknow on August 21, 2011.

 

The Common Misunderstandings 

 

“If women really want to, they can always say no”

Many women do indeed say no, but rapists do not listen. Some resist physically and do manage to prevent further assault, others suffer greater injury.

“Real’ rapes are committed by strangers in isolated places”

Most rapes are committed by known men, and in a familiar or private space such as the woman or man’s home, a hotel room, at work.

“Rapists are sick or perverts or sexually frustrated”

There are very few rapists who, when convicted, are diagnosed as having a mental health problem. It is not sexual frustration that underlies their assault, but wanting power and control.

“Only certain types of women get raped”

It used to be thought that only certain ‘types’ of women got raped: women who were sexually active, ‘provocative’, or ‘victims’. In fact, women of all ages and ‘types’ are raped, including children and grandmothers.

“Most complaints of sexual assault are false reports”

There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that there are more false complaints of rape than other crimes. And logic suggests that the proportion is probably less than say for theft, often used to support a fraudulent insurance claim.

“Women ask for it by the way they dress or their behaviour”

This argument suggests that women are responsible for sexually arousing men through their dress or ‘flirting’. Implicit within this view is the idea that men cannot control their sexual desires, and also that women should know this and adapt their behaviour accordingly.

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Soon Afzal and Kasab will demand repeal of Anti -terror laws.

Raja and Kalmadi will demand repeal of Anti-corruption law.

MLAs and MPs will demand repeal of anti-defection laws.

Rapists will demand repeal of anti-rape laws.

Murderers will demand repeal of anti-murder laws.

And Civil right activists will demand thet they are above laws. Period.

It is all in their democratic rights.

And this guy claims “Indian is a fake democracy”. Welcome to the Banana Republic of India.

 

India is a sham democracy: Binayak Sen

Human Rights activist Binayak Sen will soon launch a movement along with other activists to seek the striking down of the sedition law.

Sen was himself was booked under the sedition law by the Chhattisgarh government, which led to his conviction by a lower court before he was finally let off on bail by the Supreme Court.

Explaining the reasons why he opposed the sedition law, Sen said in Mumbai on Monday, “This law was used by the British against the Indian population. The sedition laws are not befitting a free country. We are going to hold a public campaign against the law and for that we are going to collect one million signatures and give it to Parliament before the winter session.”

 He claimed that the movement was necessary, as hundreds of innocent activists and people were simply being booked under sedition and were languishing in jails.

The activist charged that the governments were working against the interests of the poor and the marginalised people.

He pointed out that a study had shown that 37 per cent of the total adult population in the country was malnourished.

“These people are surviving simply because of common property resources. However, the government is running a programme against these communities. Governments in power are removing them from their lands. This causes the problem of displacement.”

Sen said he was against land acquisition by the government.

“Our view is that any land acquisition that hands over land to private interests is illegitimate. It is based on taking land from the poor and giving it to the rich. This is against the Directive Principles of the Constitution, which says that all people are to be treated equally,” he said.

Sen called India a ‘sham democracy’.

He said that democracy did not jst mean the government ascertains the views of the people after every five years. “There should be a dialogue between the government and the people.”

Also Read

Binayak Sen – connecting the dots.

Binayak Sen – connecting the dots.

Arindam Bandyopadhyay

(published in www.ivarta.com)

Fans of Dr. Binayak Sen, a Maoist sympathizer, convicted with life imprisonment for charges of sedition and anti-national activities, by trial court and whose initial bail appeal was rejected by Chhattisgarh high court, have ample reasons for jubilation in recent times. Not only did the Supreme Court grant him a bail but he was also appointed to the National Health Planning Commission’s steering committee.

It is no secret that Dr Sen enjoys a huge popularity and has a long list of national and international supporters, including Nobel laureates like Amartya Sen, other prominent Indians including leftist academician Romila Thapar, Christian leader John Dayal, ill-famed activists Teesta Setalvad, self proclaimed Swami Agnivesh and Suzanna Arundhati Roy, a seditionist and a pro-Maoist herself.

Statements of support for him had come from Amnesty International, The Global Health Council, and various national and international institutions like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi University, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cambridge of United States.

His arrest has even been lamented on a British Medical Journal editorial and termed a ‘mockery of justice’ by Lancet, another medical journal form England.

No wonder, he was endorsed by 2008 Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights and the South Korean Gwangju Prize for Human Rights in 2011.

The Binayak Sen case has brought our judicial system on to the dissection table. A section of the citizen seem to think that trial court and high court decisions need not be honored and respected, unless a verdict is favorable. The widespread nature of the protests and the vitriolic condemnation that was thrown from all quarters at the lower court’s decision just because it was against the likings of Dr Sen and his supporters, starting from the Maoists themselves up to those in Vatican City, defies logic, unless it is believed that some people think they are special and hence above ‘common laws’ of the country. Unfortunately such whirlwind of protest has also dragged in many unsuspecting onlookers from various walks of life, from students to general public, artists to intellectuals, to join the demonstration across the country and abroad.

Nevertheless, in the imperfect socio-political system that we belong to, where scams and scandals are tumbling from the closet almost daily, there is bound to be some skepticism when unusual things happens specially involving controversial people. And most will agree that nominating Binayak Sen, who has not yet been cleared from his sentence for life imprisonment for charges of sedition and anti-national activities, to the National Health Planning Commission’s steering committee is not only unusual but also against all norms and propriety

The least one can hope is that our Prime Minister, who happens to be the Chairman of the Planning Commission is made aware so that he cannot plead ignorance as he did with the appointment of P J Thomas as the Central Vigilance Commissioner

But in reality it is clear that some strong power is backing Dr Sen. This is obvious from the mind-boggling support and patronage that Dr Sen has been provided all along, including that of multiple Nobel Laureates. One can further judge the level of international interest and influence by the fact that a team of Europeon Union delegates had requested and was actually allowed to attend and monitor Dr Sen.’s court hearings following approval by hidden hands in the External Affairs Ministry of the Government of India.

Surely Binayak Sen is not the first or the only accused, who feels that he may be a victim of injustice, nor is his case the biggest or the most significant in an international or even national scale. Thus it would be extremely naïve to assume that he just got very lucky to draw the huge amount of national and international attention.

As expected, a large group of Dr Sen’s supporters belong to the leftist – quasi liberal – pseudo secular and minority focused Indian civil right activists groups who are often seen up in arms in an orchestrated fashion against common interests, but only in selected cases that give them enough fame and mileage. In the past, they were heard protesting the Gujarat riots of 2002 or the Orissa riots of 2008 but they never spend a word on the 58 Hindus burnt alive in the Godhra express carnage or the brutal killing of the 84 year old, Hindu Swami Lakshmanananda and his associates as the cause of those riots. You did not hear them lament for the lives of our security forces but saw them meeting hardliner separatist leaders for peace initiative, whatever that means. Intriguingly, while elsewhere in the world, Islam and Christianity are in religious conflicts, it is interesting that in India they work shoulder to shoulder whenever they find a cause to fight the majority Hindus.

Perhaps they learn this art of selectivity from the international human rights organizations like Amnesty International that has been up against the Sri Lanka government for coming down heavily against LTTE, an organization with open Christian ties but somehow miss the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits.

It is a profitable and thriving business to be a civil activist or to be associated with a non-Government organization (NGO). Besides providing a sense of superiority and the right to criticize indiscriminately, it also provides an opportunity for continuous limelight and media attention, without necessarily shouldering any responsibility. Most NGOs are not people’s organizations as they are projected but often facades of some well-connected and well-off people.

Indian NGOs collectively receive huge financial support from abroad, often in unaccountable deals. In the decade 2000-2009, about 36000 Indian NGOs received foreign funding of Rs.69,000 crores and in 2008-09 only 55% of them reported their accounts. For some NGOs, up to 70% expenditure is done on establishment and travels.

A large number of these Indian NGOs have western connections and often are religiously affiliated to Christianity and / or involved in missionary sponsored activities. Western money funded, Christian NGOs top the list of foreign contribution recipients and it is now an open secret that at least some of that money is spent on various nefarious activities like money laundering, illegal conversion and other blatant anti-Indian use, including funding Maoists and Terrorists.

According to Tehelka, almost all evangelical organizations in India and non-Catholic churches and the Christian NGOs get their funding from their American patrons or from USAID. The largest of such, World Vision, has consultative status with UNESCO and partnerships with UN agencies like UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR and ILO. Thus one can imagine their reach and influence. World Vision’s conversion activities and NGO-Maoist nexus was accused as the root cause of separating the tribal of Orissa that lead to the Khandamal Riot after the brutal killings of Swami Lakshmanananda in 2008 that was carefully camouflaged as Maoist violence. It is used as the harping point of the dubious United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to keep India on a watch list that was gleefully welcomed by John Dayal, secretary of the All India Christian Council.

These self-appointed foreign religious policemen conveniently overlook such Christian sponsored terrorist outfits of North East Indian states like the Nagaland and Tripura or the large-scale conversions and ethnic cleansing sponsored by the Church of Mizoram and neighboring Assam.

To sum up, there seem to be a Christian – western scheme working in full gear in India, where unaccountable foreign money is pouring into India as ‘aid’, that is further funneled though well organized NGOs and activists, who claim to work in tribal and backward areas for development of the “poor and downtrodden”. In effect though, they are involved, overtly or covertly, in various subversive activities. These same areas then happen to give birth to separatists like Maoists and terrorist organizations, which flourish and not unexpectedly happen to promote Christian agendas including illegal conversions and ethnic cleansing. They instigate local agitation with terror and mayhem and then cry foul when retaliated upon or when law and order machinery works against them, taking shelter under such umbrellas as ‘human rights’ or ‘minority protection’ as applicable. They further utilize their civil society friends and other support system including the paid media, to spread their story to national and international audience, in an effort to create pressure over local bodies, judiciary and government alike.

What has all of this to do with Binayak Sen?

Besides being a hotbed for Maoist activities, Chhattisgarh state has also been the site of persistent Christian protests for its anti conversion stand. The CM of Chhattisgarh, Mr. Raman Singh had this to say recently, regarding protests against Binayak Sen’s arrest, “…during the last two years, no one from Chhattisgarh has led a protest in any town, village or city. These protesters came from outside—they would come in aeroplanes, wearing good clothes and perfume. No one recognized that these well-dressed people were coming from France and London. … (Sen) has links with NGOs that work in Chhattisgarh. His close links with missionaries are well known.”

Thus one wonders whether the support of Dr Sen especially from international personnel and organization has anything to do with his association with NGOs, Christians and missionaries.

While Dr Sen has been convicted for his role in pro Maoist activities and while even Church leaders admit that Maoists are sympathetic to the Church and are supporting the priests in carrying out their missionary activities, we are not aware of any direct association between Dr Sen and evangelical or missionary activities though there are ample evidences to suggest that there is a huge Christian backing for him.

Incidentally, Binayak Sen and his wife have an NGO outfit called Rupantar, which reportedly harbored Maoist employees and had bank accounts worth Rs. 4 million without tax returns.

According to his wife, Binayak Sen is associated with Indian Social Institute (ISI) that claims to be engaged in strengthening the people’s movements particularly from among the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, the most Backward Castes, the Minorities, the unorganized and landless laborers and women and incidentally its governing body board members are almost exclusively Christians by name.

Of further interest are news of Christian leaders distressed over conviction of Dr Sen, of the solidarity expressed by The National Council of (Protestant) Churches in India (NCCI) against his conviction, and of the vigor with which his news are published on websites that specialize in Christian prosecution.

In their organized protest including a letter to the PM, representatives of the Delhi Christian community actually compared the ‘situation’ of Binayak Sen to that of Jesus Christ himself and blamed, in a blanket statement, that Human rights defenders are being targeted, and silenced, by all sorts of forces – from sections of the judiciary, administration and police on the one hand to political extremists on the other hand.

One wonders why the Christians leaders are so specifically concerned for Dr Sen?

In this context, it is curious that the first recipient of the South Korean Gwangju Prize for Human Rights award, which Dr Sen got in 2011, was a similar militant and Jesuit activist from Indonesia, who was instrumental in carving out the new Christian country of East Timor with Western aid.

In his defense one may argue that Dr. Binayak Sen, a product of the Vellore Christian Medical College, did actually start working with the poor and underprivileged but somewhere, intentionally or unintentionally, got trapped in the Maoist ideology, like so many others did in the late 60s- early 70s, during the Naxal movements of West Bengal. It is possible that he is just an innocent person who happened to be with wrong people at wrong time and in the process developed some significant acquaintances with Maoists, ending up giving shelters or providing money or acting as an intermediary?

It is even feasible that his popularity is now been used by the central government, aided by civil society activists and NGOs against the state government for political gain. Many of these supporting activists (including noted anti-Hindu personalities like Harsh Mander, John Dayal and Teesta Setalvad) actually also grace the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council which is a superpower that govern the UPA government headed by a meek and often ignorant Prime Minister. As expected, many of these  NAC key members had lambasted the Chhattisgarh trial court ruling calling it a “crime,” a “disgrace” to democracy, a politically motivated “kangaroo trial, with total disregard to the judiciary of the country.

Is there a role of the Catholic high command of the Congress Party or her close and trusted predominantly non-Hindu, associates? In the current state of affairs, where loyal and bogus activists are given free reign to draft rules and supervise over important government institutions though the NAC, one do worry whether indeed we are seeing the making of a banana republic out of India. The recent U turn of Anna Hazare once again confirms that these civil society activist are meant to play special roles that suits the UPA governmant.

The offer and specially the timing of the Planning Commission appointment for Dr Sen make one wonder whether it is part of the sinister design.

Hopefully in due time we will come to know the whole story which our media is too hesitant to investigate or publish now.

Despite our wish to the contrary, we are aware that occasionally our court can be infallible too, as we recently experienced when the honorable Supreme Court chose to reverse its own statement on conversion. We hope that this time, our judiciary stands up and deliver proper justice without being influenced by the cacophony of protests, orchestrated by various vested interest groups of national and international communities.

Why is India scared to take on Maoist rebels?

 

Source: Deccan Chronicle, India
June 19th, 2009
By Joginder Singh

Several states, like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, are facing terrible internal insurgency by Naxals and Maoists, which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described as the “biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country”.

The Naxals and Maoists have gone on many killing sprees, targeting policemen, using bullets, landmines and bombs looted from the police itself in almost all the above mentioned states. In fact in the last two months, at least 112 security personnel have been killed in Naxal attacks in Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa.

About 162 security personnel were killed in 2009, till May 31, in attacks by Naxals. The toll in Naxal-related violence was 231 in 2008. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a clear government strategy or policy to deal with the Naxal problem. Depending on the political exigencies, political parties sing different tunes. During elections, all parties woo everybody, including the devils, whether they be Maoists or Naxals, for the sake of votes.

In 1863, at the time of framing the present laws, nobody could foresee the grave problems posed by Naxals and Maoists in our country, or envision areas where the writ of the government would not run. The law requires that there should be independent witnesses to any Naxal or Maoist killings, even in thick forest areas and places where people are in mortal fear of losing their lives and won’t dare step outside their homes. Where then do you get intelligence or witnesses who would have the guts to come to court for years, depose and stand cross-examination? How can you gather any intelligence when even armed security personnel are killed in large numbers every week?

Our present laws are not only wholly inadequate to deal with this, but are also not enforceable. In fact, there is no law to deal with Naxals and Maoists, or the types of crimes committed by them.

There have been reports of Naxals trying to kill former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu and the present chief minister of West Bengal. A Maoist leader is reported to have said, “We wanted to give the death sentence to Buddhadeb Babu because the people of Bengal demanded he be hanged”. He was referring to a landmine blast near the chief minister’s convoy in November 2008.

The Lalgarh area in West Bengal reportedly looks like a “liberated zone” where the state government’s writ does not run. The Maoists and the tribals’ People’s Committee seem to be calling all the shots as police camps in Belatkri, Dharampur and Koima, and an outpost at Ramgarh, have been abandoned. Even a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) contingent was forced by the tribals to return to base.

The argument that a law aimed at Naxals would not stop their activities is both outrageous and puerile. Laws exist against rapes, murders, dacoities, dowries and rash driving, but none of these crimes have stopped. So should we not have criminal laws against these crimes? Should the law ignore criminal elements who are playing hell with the country?

It would be good practice if those dealing with the drafting of laws in the law and home ministries are deputed, at least for one month, to live in Naxal and Maoist-infested areas so that they can have a clear perception of the ground situation. Naxalism and Maoism look different on paper in the safe and air-conditioned environment of New Delhi’s North and South Blocks.

Whenever there is talk of a tough law, a bogey of violation of human rights of the Maoists, Naxalites and other terrorists groups is raised. The result is that laws are not only diluted but are made outlandish. People who are out to kill innocent civilians and are ruthless cannot be controlled by sermons on human rights violations or be tackled with kid gloves.

The Central government says that fighting such elements is the responsibility of the states, but unfortunately the states have neither the money, the weaponry, a trained force, nor the wherewithal of electronic surveillance. States religiously and fanatically safeguard their turf and boundaries, whereas terrorists and insurgents groups do not respect boundaries.

A Maoist or a Naxalite is a guerrilla enemy. The Central government is setting up National Security Guards (NSG) hubs all over the country to promptly respond to terrorism, but no need for a strategy has been felt by it to fight the Maoist threat or even to train state police forces to deal with it.

Whenever there is any killing of policemen at the hands of terrorists or Maoists, not a tear is shed. The standard excuse given by the so-called intellectuals is that it was either due to the problem of unemployment, or poverty, or that it was an agrarian problem. They never call any problem by its simple, direct name. Nobody denies that there is dire poverty and unemployment in the country. But skewed movements like Naxalism and Maoism make it impossible for such problems to be solved.

Who will invest in an industry or any other enterprise, or build roads in an area where there is no safety or security. Whether we like it not, if we are to survive and thrive as a nation, we have to make war on all disruptive movements, including Naxalism, and Maoists, so that people may live in peace. The new Central government has its first-100-days plans in every area. If there is one to fight Naxals and Maoists, its impact is yet to be felt. Good intentions are not enough. They have to be translated into action on the ground. The government must act, and act quickly, before the situation goes from bad to worse and then completely out of hand. It is time to say goodbye to the policy of “willing to wound, but afraid to strike”.

* Joginder Singh is a former director of the Central Bureau of Investigation

Shameless Politics of the UPA – ready to even sell the country – to stay in power …..

 Delhi allows scrutiny of religious freedom

K.P. Nayar

Washington, May 2: In its last days in office, the UPA government has broken with a long-standing policy of disallowing intrusive fact-finding visits from America and permitted a religious vigilante state body from the US to sit in judgement on the extent of India’s religious freedom.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a statutory body created by the US Congress and funded by the US government, announced yesterday that its members will “travel to India for the first time in June 2009”.

Pending this scrutiny of the extent of religious freedom in the country, the Commission has put off its annual report on conditions in India and promised that it will only “release its report on India during this summer” after its members assess the conditions first hand.

Ever since the US Congress passed an International Religious Freedom Act 1998 and created the USCIRF, it has been trying to visit India, but New Delhi has consistently told the Commission’s members that they will not be given visas for an official visit if they applied for one.

That policy, hitherto followed by the NDA and UPA governments alike, has been in line with the stand taken by governments led by P.V. Narasimha Rao, H.D. Deve Gowda and I.K. Gujral that intrusive inspections by similarly placed US institutions and individuals to sit in judgement on India on issues like human rights would not be permitted.

Government officials, who objected to an USCIRF visit at this time and were overruled, suspect that politics, not diplomacy, is behind the unprecedented permission to allow the Commission into India.

Its members are certain to target Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on the continuing fallout from Godhra and its aftermath as well as the BJP and other saffron organisations for communal violence in Orissa.

For whatever it is worth, it will add a dimension of international pressure to the actions resulting from a resurgent judicial activism against Modi and hold back, at least to a limited extent, Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik from realigning with the BJP in the crucial month of June, when the USCIRF team is expected to be in Orissa.

Even if the change in New Delhi’s policy is overlooked and the USCIRF is given the benefit of the doubt, indications are that its judgement will neither be illuminating or factual.

In its annual report and announcement of the India visit yesterday, the USCIRF referred to Modi as “governor” of Gujarat and not its chief minister. The Commission also got Modi’s first name wrong as “Nahendra”, instead of Narendra.

This is despite the Commission having a 17-member professional staff, including a full-time researcher, specifically for South Asia. There is also a possibility, although unlikely given the character of the USCIRF, that the decision to play politics with the Commission’s visit could boomerang.

In March last year, the UPA government similarly allowed into India, without any prior announcement, a Pakistani, Asma Jahangir, the special rapporteur of freedom of religion or belief of the UN Human Rights Council.

Jahangir went to Gujarat, where, contrary to expectations, Modi laid out a red carpet for her. As a result, she was criticised by some human rights advocates in India and Pakistan, who would have preferred that she wrote her report without meeting Modi. Although some US allies like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have been targeted for recommended sanctions as “countries of particular concern” by the USCIRF, it is significant that states that are considered unfriendly to Washington figure prominently among those routinely vilified by the Commission.

These include North Korea, Iran, Myanmar, Cuba, Russia and China.

In the last eight years, because of the Bush administration’s friendship with New Delhi, the Commission’s punitive recommendations on India have largely been ignored by the US administration.