Shravan Shukla 2 Vik Samvat 2068. Yugabda 5113: August 1, 2011

1. FESTIVAL: Swatantrata Divas: At the strike of midnight of the August 15, 1947, Bharat shook off the shackles of British rule and became free. Commemorating the day Bharat attained freedom (15th August); Swatantrata Divas is celebrated with flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programmes all over the country and by Bharatiyas wherever they live across the globe. The main program is held at the Red Fort, Delhi where the Prime Minster unfurls the National Flag and it is saluted by Guns. The Prime Minister's speech, which follows is a major highlight. Patriotic presentations by school children add colors to the celebrations.
2. TIRUMALA TEMPLE TOPS TOURIST SPOTS LIST: According to statistics for 2010 released by the Union tourism ministry, Andhra Pradesh has gained the position of the most visited destination in the country recording 155.8 million domestic tourists thanks to the Tirumala and Tirupati temples which attract the most domestic tourists. The number of domestic tourists visiting Andhra Pradesh is more than those visiting Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, which have Taj Mahal and Ajanta Ellora, respectively.
3. BHARAT SUCCESSFULLY TEST-FIRED PRAHAAR MISSILE: Bharat on July 24 successfully carried out the first test-firing of its latest surface-to-surface quick reaction tactical missile `Prahaar', which has a range of 150 kms. Prahaar is capable of carrying different types of warheads and will be operated by the Army as a battle field support system. The missile will be helpful in filling gaps between Pinaka multi-barrel rockets with 40 km range and Prithvi ballistic missiles with ranges between 250-350 kms. The uniqueness of the missile with a payload of 200 kgs is that "in one salvo, six missiles can be fired at multiple targets in all directions covering the entire azimuth plane."
4. RSS SARSANGHCHALAK LASHES OUT AT NAC: Stating that the proposed Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill was against the majority community, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Sarasanghchalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat on July 24 questioned the constitutional sanctity of National Advisory Council, which had drafted the bill. “This bill intends to create differences among the people. How can a committee with controversial people draft this bill? How can the government justify its display on an official website without a debate on it? Is the country being run by the NAC or the Prime Minister?” Shri Bhagwat asked while speaking at a meeting organised by the Martyrs’ Memorial Research Institute (MMRI) in Hyderabad. Bhagwat asked youth to be on the guard against cultural invasion that is being triggered from foreign shores to stop Bharat from emerging as a super power. "Their aim is to divide its people and create a rift among communities. Today, cultural invasion is more dangerous and effective than a direct invasion," he observed. Observing that national borders were still porous, Mohan Bhagwat lashed out at the Government of Bharat for neglecting the border with China, despite knowing fully well their intentions. Shri Bhagwat also called upon the youth to take forward their fight against terror.
5. SARKARYAVAH SURESH JOSHI popularly called Bhaiya Ji Joshi, on July 17, told Gyan Varma that the allegations against RSS are being made to divert attention from a series of corruption scandals and the black money stashed in foreign accounts abroad. RSS had passed a resolution in the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha at Puttur in March, demanding an end to corruption, and that the government take steps to bring black money back. Accordingly, members of the RSS would lend support to any anti-corruption movement. The movements of Anna Hazare and of Baba Ramdev are their own.
About the cases against Swami Aseemanand and Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Bhaiyyaji said that they were under investigation or in the judicial process. Calling these incidents ‘saffron terrorism’ or Hindu terrorism projects the Hindu society in poor light and is an insult to the society.
6. VIDYA BHARATI SCHOOLS CONTINUE TO EXCEL: The Saraswati Shishu Mandir students excelled in the Odisha State High School Certificate Examinations this year by notching up 52 ranks in the top 100 list, including top position. Sarthak Pradhan, a student of Bolangir Shishu Mandir topped the exams in the state. 9,142 students from 174 Saraswati Shishu Mandir schools appeared in the Board examinations. The Vidya Bharati schools recorded pass percentage of 98.13 which is much higher than the overall pass percentage of the State, which is 66.75 per cent.
7. WOMAN SCIENTIST RESPONSIBLE FOR SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH OF GSAT-12: A woman scientist is responsible for the successful functioning of Bharat's latest communication satellite GSAT-12, launched from the space port at Sriharikota, 80 km north of Tamil Nadu's capital Chennai. TK Anuradha, the first woman ever to be the satellite project director at the country's space agency, specialises in satellite checkout systems, electronic checking of satellite's performance in space. Anuradha, in her 50s, has been with the Indian Space Research Organisation for three decades now. She heads the GSAT-12 project at the ISRO Space Centre at Bangalore.
8. NAIROBI SHAKHA GURU POOJA was attended by 102 on 17th July. There was a liaison meeting with the officials and members of South Indian Cultural Society, including those from Ayyappa and Balaji Temple. The same day a group of 15 Kishore Swayamsevaks went for a day long outing at Lost Paradise on KIambue Road.
9. CHICAGO VIBHAG OF HSS ORGANISED A FAMILY CAMP for greater Chicago area Hindu families on 19th and 20th July. The camp was held in Hoover forest preserve by the Fox river. A total of 140 people attended the camp with kids from 6 months old to 70+ year old adults providing a full spectrum of age groups. A stroll by the families alongside Fox river with geet by Mrs Yashaswiniji Desai, overview of HSS by Dr. Shankar Tatwawadi, talk by Dr. Yelloji Mirajkar on the various service organizations in the HSS umbrella & how involvement in Shakha builds leadership in our kids, games, bhajan, impromptu entertainments by kids & adults and a talk on ‘What is Hindu identity and how to inculcate that in our kids’ by Dr. Sarada Sonty were attractions of the camp.
10. FIRST SANSKRIT MANNUAL IN ROMANIA: The first “Sanskrit Manual” in Romania, signed by Amita Bhose and released by the Cununide stele Publishing House was launched in the Dimitrie Cantemir Library (52, Viitorului St.–Gemeni Square) on 13th April 2011. Amita Bhose (Calcutta, 1933 – Bucharest, 1992), a researcher of Eminescu’s work, Doctor of Philology (1975, with the thesis “Indian Influences on Eminescu’s Thought”), writer, translator and university professor, acted as a mediator between Romanian and Bharatiya culture. The “Sanskrit Manual” is the fruit of several years’ work, based on her teaching experience at the University of Bucharest, where she taught optional courses of Bengali, Sanskrit and Bharatiya Civilization. The manual, divided in three volumes, comprising nearly 600 pages in manuscript, is a pioneering work in the study of Sanskrit. In 1990 no such work existed in Romania or any other European language.
11. HASTINAPURA FOUNDATION (HF) SPREADING VEDANTA IN ARGENTINA - URUGUAY - BOLIVIA:HF in Argentina is an educational institution based on the Vedantic teaching that God is one and that there are many paths that lead to Him. The foundation is involved in spreading the core teaching of Sanatana Dharma along with teaching other religions in South American countries – Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Colombia. The foundation has temples of Hindu deities – Ganesh, Krishna, Surya, Narayana, Shiva and Pandavas. Hastinapura was founded by Argentinian author Ada Albrecht in 1981. Albrecht introduced Hindu and Buddhist philosophy in Argentina. The founders call it the city of wisdom.
It offers opportunity to learn philosophy, practice yoga, meditate, sing bhajans and to indulge in humanitarian activities. It offers a three-year post graduate course in yoga. The classes are held on weekends only. Currently, there are 2,500 yoga and philosophy students.
12. BHARATIYA INVESTMENT BANKER ANSHU JAIN NAMED DEUTSCHE BANK CO-CHAIRMAN: Deutsche Bank on July 25 named a canny Bharatiya investment banker and a German veteran of the old school to run the biggest German bank in tandem from May 2012. Anshu Jain, 48, and Juergen Fitschen, 62, were named joint chairmen of the Frankfurt-based bank to succeed the Swiss Josef Ackermann, 63, when he becomes chairman of the supervisory board. Jain, originally from northwest Bharat, currently heads Deutsche's most powerful section, its corporate and investment banking division, which accounts for the lion's share of group revenues and profits.
13. BHARAT-ORIGIN ACTIVIST ON MEDIA PANEL: In the panel of eminent persons to assist a judicial inquiry into phone-hacking by British tabloids announced by British PM David Cameron in the House of Commons will be Shami Chakrabarti, a 42-year-old lawyer and rights activist of Bharatiya extraction. In 2010, Chakrabarti was voted one of the most influential women in the United Kingdom. Daughter of immigrants from Kolkata, Chakrabarti came 4th in a list headed by author J K Rowling and followed by Kate Moss and Samantha Cameron, the PM's wife. She is currently director of Liberty, a high profile civil rights organization. The youthful Chakrabarti has out-of-towners as her cause.
14. GIRLS SWEEP TOP 3 RANKS IN CA EXAM, MADE HISTORY: It's a long-held myth that girls struggle with numbers and finance. Well, try telling that to Maitreyee Narayansing Rajaput, Arti Jain and Charmy Suresh Sheth. The three young women have made history by sweeping the top three all-Bharat positions in this year's chartered accountancy exam, considered one of the most difficult to clear. What's more, the pass percentage of girls surpassed that of the boys. While 2,368 (21.9%) of the 10,816 girls who appeared for the CA finals this year cleared the last hurdle, the pass percentage was 19.8% for the boys, with 4,277 successful aspirants out of the 21,603 who took the exam.
15. SATPURA ADDS TO NAVY'S FRIGATE PUNCH: The second indigenously-constructed stealth frigate, INS Satpura’s commissioning will take place in Mumbai on August 20, with defence minister AK Antony doing the honours. The first such 6,200-tonne stealth frigate, INS Shivalik, was commissioned in April, 2010. INS Sahyadri, the third frigate being built under the Rs. 8,101 crore Project-17 at Mazagon Docks, will follow after six months.
These frigates will boost Navy’s combat capabilities, packed as they are with sensors, weapons and missile systems, coupled with their stealthy nature due to ‘vastly-reduced’ radar, infrared, noise, frequency and magnetic ‘signatures’ to beat enemy detection systems.
16. MUSLIM SANSKRIT ACADEMIC BAGS HARMONY AWARD: Up-Rashtrapati Hamid Ansari on July 29 presented the 'National Communal Harmony Award' to Mohammad Hanif Khan Shastri, Acharya Lokesh Muni and the Centre for Human Rights and Social Welfare for their outstanding work in the field of communal harmony and national integration. Shastri, who works with Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, has endeavoured to promote communal harmony by highlighting similarities between Hindu and Muslim religions through his unique literary contributions in Hindi and Sanskrit. He was conferred the award for the year 2009. Shastri has tried to show similarities between the Quran and Hindu mythology. Acharya Muni is the founder president of Ahimsa Vishwa Bharati, a Delhi-based voluntary organisation, which aims to promote non-violence, peace, communal harmony and works against female foeticide and drug addiction and provides help during natural calamities. He was given the award for 2010. The Centre for Human Rights and Social Welfare, which was conferred the award for 2009, is a Jaipur- based social organisation which has been working for human rights, communal harmony and national integration apart from working for the homeless, welfare of women, footpath dwellers, rehabilitation of the needy and deprived persons.
17. 92 HOUSES TO FLOOD VICTIMS: In a meaningful ceremony on July 12, 2011 at Inamboodihal village of Hunagunda Taluk at North Karnataka, Seva Bharati dedicated 92 newly constructed houses to the families of flood victims. Dr Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, RSS South-Central Zonal (Kshethreeya) Sampark Pramukh handed over the houses to the villagers. Minister for Irrigation and Kannada Culture Govinda Karajola, MLA Veeranna Charanti Mutt, several local leaders of various socio-religious organisations were present during the occasion.
18. FAMILY RETURNS TO HINDUISM AT UDUPI: For his love for a Muslim girl, he took no time to leave his mother religion. 5 years ago Prashanth Shetty married his lover Mushra. He got converted to Islam, appeared in a new name and new Muslim style. After 5 years he realised the mistake. In a simple religious ceremony of reconversion (Paravartan) at Saralebettu Shivapadi Sri Umamaheshwari Temple near Manipal of Udupi district in Karnataka, family of Prashanth Shetty voluntarily returned to Hinduism. The family signed a letter stating the acceptance of Hinduism at the temple.
19. GSAT-12 TO BE OPERATIONAL IN 8 WEEK: A week after the successful launch of the GSAT-12 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said that the satellite would be operational in eight weeks. Addressing the media at the Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan, he said that the spacecraft controllers at the MCF successfully deployed the 1.2 metre reflector antenna which was on board the satellite, which concludes all aspects of the deployment and was in its final orbital configuration towards earth.
20. WOMEN TO GET 50 PER CENT QUOTA IN PANCHAYATS: Having failed in its endeavour to provide 33 per cent reservation to women in Parliament and Assemblies, the Centre on July 21 approved the proposal to amend the Constitution 110th Amendment Bill for enhancing reservation for women at the Panchayat level to at least 50 per cent to ensure better representation particularly of those belonging to SC and ST categories. The Constitution 110th Amendment Bill, 2009 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on November 26, 2009. Bihar, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have already made suitable amendments to increase the reservation for women from 33 to 50 per cent.
21. WARM SUMMER, VALLEY HITS RECORD HIGH OF OVER 7.5 LAKH TOURISTS: The same day that Germany became the first European country to certify Kashmir as “considerably calm” in its travel advisory, the Valley reached another milestone in its journey towards normalcy. On July 25, tourist arrivals in Kashmir in 2011 crossed the 7.5 lakh mark – the highest ever for a year. As many as 7,54,588 tourists have arrived in the Valley so far this year, including 16,212 foreign nationals. Before the militancy-hit years, the highest tourist arrivals recorded was 7,22,035, in 1988.
22. RECORD 5.58 LAKH PILGRIMS VISIT AMARNATH SHRINE: A record number of 5.58 lakh pilgrims had offered prayers at the 13,500-ft high Amarnath cave shrine up to July 24. The previous highest figure was 5.33 lakh in 2008. The annual pilgrimage commenced on June 29 from the twin tracks of Baltal in Ganderbal and Pahalgam in Anantnag district and the number of pilgrims touched the five lakh mark on July 21.
23. GST BOOST: Sushil Modi to head rollout panel: After differing over almost everything for several months, including goods and services tax (GST), there is finally consensus between the Congress and the BJP on appointing Bihar deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi as the new head of the empowered group of finance ministry that is looking to usher in the biggest tax reform in the country. The Bihar deputy CM emerged the top choice to replace Asim Dasgupta, who headed the empowered committee for over a decade and oversaw implementation of the value-added tax regime.
24. FAI ARREST CHEERS UP KASHMIRI PANDITS: They watched him with envy and resentment for nearly two decades as he hijacked the Kashmir issue in the US. He called his outfit Kashmir American Council but they felt it was more a Kashmiri Muslims American Council. Bankrolled by Pakistanis and their intelligence agency ISI, he falsified facts, distorted perspective, and exaggerated issues, blustering and buying his way into American political discourse. But with US investigators exposing Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai as a Pakistani ISI stooge, long suffering Kashmiri Pandits are rejoicing.
As far as they are concerned, Fai was a Pakistani lobbyist, not a Kashmiri activist. It was always clear that this (Fais) group was following the official Pakistani version of the Kashmir story. In all instances, the truth was obfuscated by misinformation provided by our opponents masquerading as Kashmiri freedom fighters, says Lalit Koul, president of the Indo-American Kashmir Forum, which works to highlight the plight of the Kashmiri Pandit community, including their ethnic cleansing by Pakistan sponsored terrorism.
25. BHARAT DRIVING WORLD RECOVERY: Gadkari: Bharatiya Janata Party President Nitin Gadkari on July 14 said that Bharat was driving the world economic recovery from the recent recession and helping redefine a new world order. Addressing a meeting of the Indo-British All Party Parliamentary group and Indo-European Business Forum in London, Gadkari said the erstwhile NDA Government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee introduced reforms in a number of areas, including international trade, foreign investment, disinvestments, telecommunications, power, roads and education. The party remained committed to taking the reform process further if returned to power.
26. AROGYA BHARATI, a voluntary organization of service minded people and groups who have interest in the health of the society with Dr B. M. Hegde, ex vice chancellor of MAHE University, Manipal as the chief patron and advisor, will conduct a National seminar on Holistic Approach to the Management of Hypertension and Coronary artery disease, at Nagpur on 22nd and 23rd Oct. 2011. The names and addresses of such institutions, doctors, who have done documented work on the management of Hypertension and CAD, who can represent as expert speakers/paper presenters on this subject may be sent to:
Dr Raghavendra Kulkarni. National President, Arogya Bharati. Email: Dr. Ramesh Gautam, National General Secretary, Arogya Bharati. Mob. 09371136505. E-mail:
27. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Visitors: Shri Jai Prakash & Shri Manoj Motwani from Hongkong, Shri Narinder Punj from UK. Pravaas: Vishwa Vibhag Sah-samyojak Shri Ravi Kumar is on pravas of Mauritius. Vishwa Vibhag Pracharak Shri Anil Vartak is on pravas of UK. Vishwa Vibhag Purva-samyojak Dr. Shankar Tatwawadi is in UK after pravas of USA.
28. FOOD FOR THOUGHT: “Yes, I have seen God. I have seen Him more tangibly than I see you. I have talked to Him more intimately than I am talking to you. But, my child, who wants to see God? People shed jugs of tears for money, wife and children. But if they would weep for God for only one day they will surely see Him.” Sri Ramkrishna Paramhams to Swami Vivekanand. JAI SHREE RAM

‘Norwegian Mass Murder is a warning to the World”
Ram Madhav
What is interesting about the Norwegian who murdered scores in cold blood in the name of some ideology is his description by the European media as a ‘Christian Fundamentalist’. Which, of course, he is. His so-called Manifesto refers repeatedly to a medieval movement called ‘Knights Templar’. Anders Behring Breivik, the mass murderer, believed that there would be a 21st century version of the Knights Templar to save Europe from being run over by Muslims. Knights Templar was an armed Christian movement created in 12th century by Christian fundamentalists with blessings and support from the Catholic Church. It waged number of battles with Muslims of the times and had a bloody history.
While the media in Europe rightfully highlight this aspect of Breivik’s ideological background some in Bharat found it appropriate to link him to the Hindutva movement. In his 1500-page so-called Manifesto Breivik does refer to Bharat, and according to the media reports in more than 100 pages. He does mention about some books authored by Bharatiyas. He also makes several other observations – some history related and some about the contemporary political situation in Bharat. But to insinuate that Breivik was inspired by the Hindutva propaganda is misleading and motivated. Breivik’s act of killing innocents is reprehensible in strongest possible words. But the attempts to link it to Hindutva movement are also equally reprehensible. For, ideologically speaking, his views are more akin to hordes of conservative writers and thinkers of both sides of the Atlantic. In fact, he profusely quotes from the writings of respected conservative writers. His ideological position on issues like immigration, multiculturalism etc is no different from that of the likes of UK Prime Minister David Cameroon or German Chancellor Angela Merkel or French President Nicholas Sarkozy.
Each one of them have condemned his act of mass murder, so did many conservative thinkers. The duplicity of our ignoramuses is conspicuous in their attempt to blame the Hindutva movement for Breivik’s despicable act but their complete silence on his core Christian fundamentalist ideas. Also, this ‘guilt by association’ theory (there is no association, except some references from writings) is peddled out by these people selectively. By the same logic we have to blame Quran for the acts of Islamic terrorists; banish Marx, Mao, Lenin and Che etc up to Arundhati Roy, for, they are the ideological motivators of the Maoist terrorists. Breivik was also an admirer of the ‘Tea Party’ of Sarah Palin and of course his role models include Putin. Are they to blame for his acts?
It is important to note that this attitude of contempt and condescension of the Left-Liberal cabal is what is responsible for such heinous happenings. Issues that the conservatives raise, which today capture the imagination of a large section of the Europeans – thinkers and commoners alike, are dismissed and derided by these worthies rather than discussed and debated honourably. In fact the conservative writers, who are the biggest losers of Breivik’s horror, have been repeatedly warning the West about this impending disaster. Breivik’s gory act should be condemned by everybody. But that is not enough. It is time we sit up and discuss the issues like multiculturalism, immigration, problem of Islam’s assimilation with Liberal Democracies etc without any malice. By refusing to do that and by indulging in witch-hunting we would only be inviting many more such tragedies.
Tail Piece: For this horrendous crime of killing around 80 people Breivik can get a sentence of just 21 years in jail. Norway, under the influence of the Liberalist campaign, banished death penalty. It is now interesting to see what these so-called champions of human rights would say when it comes to punishing Breivik. Writer is RSS Central Executive Council Member.


Vastanvi’s termination and concomitant support to this action by Muslim intellectuals exhibits the end of moderate, liberal tradition in Bharatiya Islam


Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi has been sacked as the Vice Chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband by the majority of eight votes while five went in his favour. He had to pay the price for using his conscience while assessing the state and politics in Bharat. He also remaining unfazed by fundamentalists attack on him. He had praised governance and development in Gujarat in the month of February 2011. This created a storm not among the Muslims of Gujarat but other parts of the country and especially UP and Bihar. Ever since colonial period, this region has been breeding ground for fundamentalist politics. That’s why Sardar Patel warned the Muslims of Hindu majority provinces for their separatist mentality. He observed in the Constituent Assembly, “it is you (pointing to the representatives from UP) who led the movement for Pakistan, you got it, what else you want?” Vastanvi’s episode shows that fundamentalism has not died down in the region. In a secular democratic society every academician or artist has right to express his views freely and firmly. Vastanvi’s statement was intended to impress civil society to restore inter -religious trust, harmony and good will. Had he committed a crime by doing so? Is there anything in his statement which can be said to be harmful to religious sentiments of Islam or Muslim community? Moreover, Vastanvi is not an exception in this regard. Earlier Rajiv Gandhi Foundation controlled by Nehru-Gandhi family and various reports of the world community described governance in Gujarat as a model for others. Vastanvi episode cannot be described as an internal matter of Deoband or Bharatiya Muslims. Deoband or the community is not beyond the Bharatiya Constitution and our secular democracy. Thus the decision to sack him is the gravest attack on the freedom of expression. It is also an extension and legitimisation of fundamentalism in the public domain.
Surprisingly, he did not get support even from a small segment of Muslim intellectuals. Contrary to it most of the Urdu newspapers favored his termination. Obviously one will be disappointed if he will make a quest for Tajamul Hussains, AAA Faizees, Moin Shakirs, Justice M H Beghs among the twenty first century Muslim intellectuals. A liberal Muslim cannot survive either in politics or public life. He looses his utility as a vote catcher. The man who refused to bow down before the fundamentalists upon the Shah Bano case sacrificed his position as a cabinet minister, Arif Mohammad Khan is a marginalised creature in politics. There may be hundreds of other reasons for this but it is undeniable fact that he has been paying the price for his conviction in panthnirpekshata. One may ask, does Vastanvi episode mean the end of moderate – liberal tradition among Bharatiya Muslims? Does it also mean that the community has been increasingly becoming the prisoner of exclusivist ideology and agenda? These questions cannot be set aside.Most of the Muslim public faces openly supported fascist decision of Deoband. SQR Ilyas, member of the All Muslim Personal Law Board, said “Anyone who is in a religious institution should not make political statements.” Kamal Farooqui, another member of AIMPLB, too defended Shura’s decision. Vastanvi, He observed, “I believe Shura has taken the right decision in its wisdom.” However, every cloud has a silver lining. Vastanvi refused to apologise under the pressure of the ‘community’ He exhibited his firmness. He valued his opinion, right to freedom of expression and above all his conscience. His loneliness is Lion’s loneliness. Thousands of sheep and goats cannot compete with a lion. Thus we can hope moderate, secular and democratic views compatible with inclusive cultural ethos of Bharat will one day emerge and there will be many more Vastanvis challenging ghetto mentality. Vastanvi aptly stated, “The students of Darul Uloom are not against me but a section of the students were being brainwashed by a few.” Unfortunately Bharatiya Marxists and neo-liberals who defended people like M F Hussain, Vinayak Sen, Arnadhti Roy and their ilk are maintaining conspicuous silence. This silence exposes their ultra hypocrisy.


S Gurumurthy

See this list of seculars and liberals. Justice Rajinder Sachar, author of the famous Sachar Committee Report on the state of Bharatiya Muslims; Dileep Padgaonkar, one of the three interlocutors on J&K appointed by the central government; Harish Khare, the media adviser to the prime minister; Rita Manchanda, the Bharat/Pakistan Local Partner for Women Waging Peace; Ved Bhasin, editor, Kashmir Times; Harinder Baweja, editor (investigations), Headlines Today; Gautam Navlakha and Kamal Chenoy, human rights activists, and; Praful Bidwai, well-known columnist. This is the illustrative list of popular Bharatiya liberals who exert powerful influence over the Indian discourse — be it on Kashmir or secularism or on corruption or communalism or on Narendra Modi or Sonia Gandhi.
But this is not the list of probables for the Padma awards. This is the list of those who have been the guests of Ghulam Nabi Fai, who was arrested three days back by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US for acting as the front man of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). The Washington Times (July 19, 2011) reported that Fai “was arrested on July 19 by FBI agents in a suspected influence-peddling scheme to funnel millions of dollars from the Pakistani government, including its military intelligence service, to US elected officials to help drive Bharat out of the disputed Kashmir territory in South Asia”. Fai was arrested in US not for working to drive India out of Kashmir — as it is not an offence under the US law — but for the offence of funnelling ISI money to buy influence over US officials for Pakistan. Under the Bharatiya law, the case against the Bharatiya liberals in Fai’s list may well be one of sedition if they had known who Fai was, or if they had not, they could be well just his “useful idiots” as a former editor, R Jaganathan, wrote in his brilliant column in But are they just useful idiots or more? The 45-page affidavit by the FBI in the case has charged Fai with “conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign principal”. Media reports that the FBI swears in its affidavit that Fai, who floated the Kashmir American Council (KAC), was a front man for Pakistani interests in US in the garb of Kashmiri’s. The reports say that Fai “took dictation from his masters” in Pakistan. The media cites the FBI affidavit to say that Fai received at least $4 million — at some $500,000 to $700,000 every year — to manipulate the Kashmir debate in favour of Pakistan. And this is important. This is where the Bharatiya liberals listed at the opening are party to advancing the designs of Fai. They had been attending the conclaves and meets organised by Fai, at the instance of ISI, to oust India from Kashmir.
The FBI seems to have worked meticulously to link Fai to his masters in Pakistan. It appears to have got the details of some 4,000 e-mail and telephone exchanges with his handlers in Pakistan. An accomplice of Fai seems to have confessed — as a confidential witness for FBI — that Fai was a henchman of ISI. According to the confidential witness, cited by the media, the ISI “created the KAC to propagandise on behalf of the government of Pakistan”. Fai could play this role unsuspectingly because he was originally from Bharat, being born in Kashmir, with a master’s degree from Aligarh Muslim University. After becoming an ISI agent, according to reports, he began to do what Pakistan and ISI directed him to do, namely hold conferences and seminars funded by ISI for which he was sourcing the propaganda material of the ISI. According to the report, the confidential witness seems to have confessed that, “of the statements Fai makes, 80 per cent are provided by the ISI for Fai to repeat and disseminate verbatim. The other 20 per cent of the KAC’s messaging consists of Fai’s own ideas, which have been pre-approved by the ISI”. So Fai is a hundred per cent ISI mouthpiece.Our liberals figuring in the list participated as important speakers from Bharat in the conventions and seminars organised by Fai, now charged by FBI as an ISI agent. According to reports, Fai, assisted in his objectives by our liberals, was so effective in hurting Bharat’s interests, that, to counter him, the Bharatiya government specially had to appoint Wajahat Habibullah, a Kashmir cadre IAS officer who retired last year, as minister, community affairs, in its embassy in Washington. Imagine. On the one hand, the present media adviser to the prime minister and one of the three present interlocutors of the government on J&K had worked to hurt Bharat’s interests in the way the ISI was conspiring to do, by participating in the seminars organised by Fai and funded by ISI to “drive out Bharat from Kashmir”; and on the other, the government of Bharat was forced to send out an IAS officer from Kashmir cadre to contain that damage. The result is that those who, through Fai, were part of the ISI design, are now part of the UPA government. But could Fai with his mission to push Pakistan/ISI agenda “to drive Bharat out of Kashmir” include in his efforts such important opinion-makers of Bharat, unless he knew that their views would advance his master’s interests? Why would Fai not call an Arun Shourie? A Cho Ramaswamy? An M J Akbar? An Arnab Goswami? It is self-evident. Their views would stall, not support, the ISI. Undoubtedly, Fai knew that the views on J&K publicly held by our liberals in Fai’s guest list would further the cause of the separatists. Now, is it easy to dismiss that they were just “useful idiots”? PS: Two of these liberals are still in high positions — one is an interlocutor on J&K appointed by the Centre and the other is the media adviser to the PM. Mr. Prime Minister, this is evidence coming, not from our police, but from the FBI in the US, the country you love most! Are you listening? -- The writer is a well-known commentator on political and economic issues.