Thursday, September 25, 2008

** Time for 'silent majority'

It's time for the 'silent majority' to speak up
TVR Shinoy, Sept. 25

Whatever happened to the 'silent majority' in India?
Is it not time for all of them to speak up?

Let me begin with the Muslims. Today when you hear about a terrorist attack in some city the knee-jerk reaction is to blame it on a Muslim fundamentalist group. The secondary reaction, a corrosive by-product of the first, is to dub all Muslims as 'supporters of terrorism'.

That is just insane! The vast majority of Muslims are neither terrorists nor supporters of terrorism. I would go so far as to say the average Indian Muslims despises those buffoons who dream of recreating the India of Aurangzeb.

So why does the 'sane' majority persist in remaining the 'silent' majority? From time to time the occasional Muslim cleric issues a denunciation of terrorism. But such rare chirping is simply not good enough any longer, Muslim terrorists must be flayed from every pulpit across India when the Friday sermon is delivered. And this must be done not once or twice but for years on end.

Consider the alternative if the Muslim majority does not actively distinguish itself from the smaller tribe of Muslim terrorists. Other Indians shall then believe that the absence of condemnation means automatic support.

The anger among non-Muslims was so strong that one could almost reach out and touch it in the aftermath of the recent Delhi [Images] blasts. It is not often that you see senior politicians -- from the Union home minister to the Leader of the Opposition, from the lieutenant governor of Delhi to its chief minister -- attending the funeral of a humble police inspector. But public bitterness was so great they felt compelled to salute Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma.

How many of the leaders of the Muslim community did you see laying a wreath at Inspector Sharma's feet? How many of them were heard praising a brave man who had died fighting for India?

What I did hear were reports of 'tension' in Jamia Nagar, the Muslim-dominated colony in Delhi where Inspector Sharma died fighting terrorists. To a non-Muslim ear it sounded querulous, completely out of proportion to everything that had happened. Which sounds worse, to be under suspicion (as they claim to be) or to be under a shroud (as Mohan Chand Sharma was)? I am sorry if that sounds crude but that really is the long and the short of it.

I will accept for argument's sake that Muslims acutely resent their lack of representation in government agencies, corporate entities, and so forth. (Although it might help if more Muslim children actively pursued, say, English and geometry rather than Urdu and calligraphy). I may even swallow that this sense of alienation is shared by the sane Muslim majority and the far smaller number of Muslim terrorists.

But it is frankly ludicrous to say that unemployment excuses terrorism! Once -- just once! -- I would like to hear the Muslim leadership condemn violence against Hindus without qualifying their statements with mealy-mouthed 'ifs' and 'buts' and 'you must understands'.

In the light of recent events, I must also criticise the howling minority that has hijacked the cause of the silent Hindu majority. (Some of you will undoubtedly complain that I am doing just what I condemned above, qualifying my statement about Muslim terrorists by seeking to equate it with Hindu agitators. Save your breath, I am not saying that what happened in Mangalore is remotely equivalent to planting bombs in Delhi!)

Swami Vivekananda was a better Hindu than any of those idiots who went around trying to burn chapels. True Hindus, he said, did not just 'tolerate' the faiths of others, they actually 'respected' them. (While the Swami may have used the word 'toleration' in his famous address to the Parliament of Religions, he appears to have actively disliked it in later years because it smacks of condescension, rather like an adult 'tolerating' bad behaviour in a child.) I have a fair idea of what Swami Vivekananda might have said about attacks on churches -- and it wouldn't have been pretty.

The current leaders of Hinduism have been less than forthcoming. Hinduism does not have an exact equivalent of the Muslim ulema, but would it have hurt senior acharyas to condemn the attacks on Christians? Not because it is illegal but specifically because such attacks disrespect the philosophical foundations of Hinduism?

I cannot leave the Christians out of this, can I? If Hindus are required to respect other religions then it must be a two-way street. And, frankly, there is nothing so utterly disrespectful as proselytisation.

One can understand -- and respect -- conversion. If an individual chooses to change his faith after struggling with his convictions, so be it. But going around asking others to convert, with none-too-subtle overtones of 'My God is better than your god!' is not respect but hostility. And that, let us be honest, is the tone adopted by some Christian missionaries in India.

Once again, I believe that this is not true of most Indian Christians. This country has had a long history of Christians -- Catholic, Protestant, Mar Thoma Syrian Christians -- living perfectly amicably without feeling any need to convert their Hindu neighbours. (Although it must be noted that one major exception was during Portuguese rule when the Catholics made converts at the point of the sword).

There was a major change more recently, one that became clear when Pope John Paul II unveiled the document 'Ecclesia in Asia' when he came here in 1999. The Holy Father said on that occasion, 'The peoples of Asia need Jesus Christ and his gospel. Asia is thirsting for the living water that Jesus alone can give.' Can you blame Hindus for worrying after that?

Oddly, at the same time the Vatican was fuming about 'sheep stealing' in Latin America. That was because Catholics were turning to some Protestant sects like the Evangelicals and the Pentecostals. (By the way, Republican vice-presidentiial nominee Sarah Palin [Images] was born a Catholic, but now attends an independent congregation). Is it surprising that Hindus share similar worries?

Nobody wants to admit it, but there is now some sort of a competition to convert Hindus between some Christian sects. I am glad that the Catholics of Kerala [Images] have publicly proclaimed their dislike of such tactics, but it would be better yet if the Christians of India as a whole proclaimed their disdain for conversions through allurement.

Most Hindus, most Muslims, and most Christians in India are essentially peaceable folks who would rub along perfectly well with each other given half a chance. But will they get that option if the headlines are hijacked by extremists with their own agenda? It is time for the silent majority of each faith to speak up -- and reclaim their religions.

Conversions/Murder of Swami @

Rev. Francis/D'Souza on Riots @

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

** Non-Proliferation....
The Great Non-Proliferation Charade
- Bhaskar Roy

When Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh delivers his address to the UN General Assembly on September 26, he would be aware of the last ditch efforts in Washington to scuttle the India-US nuclear deal in the Congress.

The effort is to both force pro-deal congressmen and empower anti-deal congressmen, to attach as stringent restrictions as possible if the deal if passed, and ensure even India’s indigenous nuclear programme is shackled.

Dr. David Albright of the Institute of Science and International Security (ISIS), a Washington based non-government think tank came out with a paper that in 2006 sensitive drawings of a centrifuge, used to enrich uranium for nuclear bombs, were made available to bidders for an Indian government project for as little as 10 dollars.

The report was published on the day the Senate Committee was to meet on the 123 deal. The report also said India’s non-proliferation institution was suspect and vulnerable. Obviously, the aim was to influence the Senate Committee negatively.

The ISIS followed up with another report claiming that Pakistan was putting up a third plutonium producing reactor at its Kushab facility which will greatly enhance the country’s bomb producing capability.

While the ISIS assertion is no new revelation on, the mischief in the two reports is the warning that a clear 123 deal will enhance India’s nuclear capability, and that a nuclear arms race has already started.

Albright’s assertions defy commonsense. How could a Pakistani nuclear weapons programme started around 2002 have been influenced by the India-US civilian nuclear agreement discussions which started only in 2005?

A media report quotes John Ritter, Chief UN weapons inspector between 1991 and 1998 having said, “David Albright has a history of being used by those who seek to gain media attention for their respective claims”. Ritter also dismissed Albright’s claim as an “expert” as a “disservice to the term” and “misleading in the extreme”.

Ritter’s credibility is unchallenged. His deposition that Iraq no longer had a nuclear programme proved accurate despite the Iraq invasion by the US and its coalition forces in 2003.

David Albright’s lie about India seeking centrifuge technology is mailed squarely by a press release of September 19 the Department of Atomic Energy, of the Indian government that the drawing attributed to is of a convoluted tube for various applications and does not reveal any sensitive information.

The question, therefore, arises about Dr. David Albright – why he allows himself to be used by interested parties? As it is popularly said, “There is no free meal in the USA”. The interests against India lie mainly in China and its forward nuclear base, Pakistan.

The anti-India non-proliferation lobby in Washington can be divided broadly into two categories. One is the old cold warriors who refuse to see India from any other view than a partner of the erstwhile Soviet Union – hence support old cold war allies China and Pakistan against India. The other is the group personified by Dr. David Albright and Daryl Kimbal, the kind defined by John Ritter.

Amidst this shrill propaganda to label India as a proliferator at the worst, and as unreliable and unable partner to prevent proliferation from its institutions at the best, a major issue needs to be addressed. How will the global regimes including the NSG deal with those countries who proliferate with impunity and lie through their teeth to deny their violations, especially among the so-called legitimate nuclear weapon powers?

Since David Albright’s ISIS raised the issue of Pakistan’s Kushab plutonium reactors, the international community regimes like the NSG have no alternative but to address the issue openly and frankly.

The Kushab facility, otherwise known as the Kushab Chemical Plant (KCP) is moving towards its third and fourth plants. KCP-I is a heavy water reactor required for plutonium production. KCP-II is the first plutonium production reactor. The KCP-III, referred to as the second plant by the ISIS report started construction around 2002 with Chinese assistance. The KCP-IV is also with Chinese assistance, but commencement of work on this reactor is yet to be confirmed.

The initial KCP reactors were set up by the Chinese on a turn-key basis. KCP-III is not totally turn-key, as the Pakistani scientists and engineers have been trained adequately in China and technology has been transferred. Pakistan still lacks in certain areas and, therefore, illegal Chinese cooperation is expected to continue for some more time.

Through the entire 1990s till date, China has remained very much involved in Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and strategic programme. China’s state owned entities floated front companies to procure various nuclear related items for Pakistan, including specialized machinery to dig silos for Pakistan’s nuclear missiles.

Pakistan’s missile arsenal, mostly nuclear capable, is still being assisted by Chinese designs, components and telemetry system among others. One does not need secret reports to decipher these. The signatures are all over when they test a missile.

The NSG is charged with the responsibility to take a decision on these proliferations which is making the South Asian region a dangerous ground.

The NSG must answer this basic question:.Are NSG members allowed to proliferate or should they be expelled from the NSG and other such non-proliferation regimes?

If the NSG is serious about non-proliferation this is the point to start from.

(Bhaskar Roy is an eminent analyst with many years of experience in political analysis. He can be reached at

Related story:

Why India upset @

Saturday, September 20, 2008

** Conversions of Dalits
End fraudulent conversions of Dalits and Tribals
R L Francis

The tragic turn of events in Kandhamal in Orissa once again highlights the urgent need for church authorities to immediately halt the fraudulent conversions of India’s Tribal and Dalit populace, which are causing so much heart-burning and cultural anxiety.[The Constitutional term for the latter group is Scheduled Caste, but missionaries have coined and propagated the term ‘Dalit’ – Editor]

As the menace of conversions is perpetuated with the receipt of foreign funds, the Poor Christian Liberation Movement (PCLM) has steadfastly demanded that the church utilize all foreign funds exclusively for the welfare and uplift of poor Christians who are suffering from terrible discrimination within the community. Indeed, this is the reason why PCLM has been petitioning the Government of India not to appoint Bishops, priests and nuns to official Commissions and Committees, and instead appoint ordinary Christians.

The church annually receives so much money that we want the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) and the National Christian Council of India (NCCI) to set up a Rs. 1000 crore “Dalit Christian Development Fund” to ensure the integrated social and economic development of this huge populace that was lured to Christianity on the promise of a better life.

Considering the confusion created by propagation activities in remote areas, the PCLM demands that church authorities defer mass conversion programmes for at least a century. It is our view that evangelism cannot be a measurement of a society’s socio-economic development. Rather, the evangelism programme funds should be utilized for the welfare of Dalits and Tribals who have already been converted to Christianity, and whose lot has not been improved by the church.

There should be reservation of seats for Dalit and Tribal Christians, as well as other Dalits, in Church-run schools, colleges, technical institutions and other vocational organizations. As of now, the reality is that a handful of priests and bishops are monopolizing Church funds and property in the country. This has led to sharp deterioration of the conditions of neo-converted Christians who are living in a pitiable condition, deprived of basic necessities.

Instead of worrying about their living conditions, the church leadership is interested only in increasing the numbers of its flock. Even worse, a large chunk of foreign funds are being utilized for purchasing land and for the luxurious lifestyles of a few Christian leaders in India. Bishops are monopolizing the Church estates and treating it as their own property and are indulging in its sale-purchase without the consent of the community.

The children of poor Dalit and Tribal Christians do not even complete their primary education. None of the 40,000 educational institutions run by the church give admission to the children of Dalit Christians. This is the reason that in the last two decades many poor Christians have gone back to Hinduism due to maltreatment by the church.

For this reason, some of us feel that the Government of India and the Supreme Court should redefine minority educational institutions and de-classify those Christian minority institutions which do not admit Christian children. They should also be taxed as commercial ventures.

There is no case for caste-based reservations for the Christian community in India, as this would institutionalize the discrimination against the poor Christians and blight their future forever. The teachings of Jesus Christ do not permit discrimination amongst his followers. All Christians are born in the image of God. Hence, if the Church in India pursues reservation for Christians on the basis of caste, it must pay compensation to poor Christians converted to Christianity in the past, for discrimination and oppression and false promises.

The Government of India should also introduce special laws to protect Church property and land that is currently being misused and sold by vested interests. We also feel that the Vatican must stop appointing bishops and must follow the system in China. The Dalit and Tribal Christians must be appointed to important positions in the institutions of the Catholic Church.

As the Church is the largest employer after the Government of India, poor Christians should be given 50% job reservations in Christian educational and medical institutions.

Above all, the church should not criticize other religions, as this creates unnecessary ill-will. The time has come when pluralistic societies must be accepted. Hence the focus on fraudulent conversion and increasing the number of “rice Christians” does not serve the faith. The Church should instead promote multi-culturalism and inter-faith dialogue.

The author is convener, Poor Christian Liberation Movement (PCLM)
Reverend D'souza of DalitFreedomNetwork writes:
Evangelists trigger riots by blaspheming Hinduism
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2008

The Indian media has presented a distorted version of Hindu-Christian clashes in Mangalore.
Here are the facts The Following are the list of abuses from one such book – Satya Darshini – distributed by the missionaries of New Life.

This book is in Kannada and the translation of the abusive passage is as follows.

Urvashi – the daughter of Lord Vishnu – is a prostitute. Vashitha is the son of this prostitute. He in turn married his own Mother. Such a degraded person is the Guru of the Hindu God Rama. (page 48)

When Krishna himself is wallowing in darkness of hell, how can he enlighten others? Since Krishna himself is a shady character, there is a need for us to liberate his misled followers. (page 50)·

It was Brahma himself who kidnapped Sita. Since Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva were themselves the victims of lust, it is a sin to consider them as Gods. (page 39)
When the Trinity of Hinduism (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) are consumed by lust and anger, how can they liberate others. Their projection as Gods is nothing but a joke. (page 39).

When Vishnu asked Brahma to commit a sin, he immediately did so. How can such a "evil brahma" be a Creator of this Universe? How is it possible for both the sinner and the entity which provoked the sin to be gods? (page 39)
God, please liberate the sinful people of India who are worshipping False Gods that believe in the pleasures of illicit 'Vyabichari' relationships. (Page 39).

All the 16 incidents that took place were not attack on Churches. In fact, unauthorized prayer halls were attacked where the blasphemous pamphlets were distributed and aggressive proselytisation was taking place.

These 16 incidents were not localized but took place across three districts of Mangalore, Udupi and Chikmagalur. The only place where attacks took place apart from New Life Prayer Halls was at a small prayer hall in the premises of Milagres Church in Mangalore, where some miscreants had damaged a Jesus idol. The VHP and the Bajrang Dal have condemned the attack at this place.

Following this incident, a Christian mob gathered and the situation went out of control as the mob started pelting stones and disrupting traffic. The police was forced to intervene and this resulted in unsavoury violence. Since the past two days, it is not Hindu-Christian clashes that are taking place. In fact, it is more appropriate to call it"Christian-Police" clashes since the Christians holed up in Churches have engaged themselves in pelting of stones and disruption of traffic. The Police were forced to enter the Church to clear the mob and they found arms inside the Church. Incidents of Stabbing were reported in around four or five places across Mangalore district. In fact, an activist belonging to Shri Ram Sena was stabbed which led to a bandh call by Shri Ram Sena – a Hindu outfit that is not connected to Sangh Parivar.

The VHP and the Bajrang Dal have condemned the desecration of Jesus idol at the prayer hall adjacent to the Milagres Church in Mangalore. They have also clarified that they are not against the Catholic faith and the Churches. However, they have clarified that the public outcry would continue as long as illicit conversion activities and blasphemy of Hindu gods take place.

Even the Kandhmahal murder — which involved the killing of Hindu monk Swami Lakshmananda by missionaries – seems to have caste a shadow on this incident since the general public seems to have seen through Christian aggression. It may be recalled that there was a public outcry against illegal prayer halls in Davanagere district last week. In that case, the administration had closed the unauthorized prayer halls that were mushrooming in the region. --
Reverend D'souza

Related stories:

Inducement to lure Poor @
NGOs and Foreign Funds @

Anti-Nation Industry @

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

** Missile programme

UPA Govt cripples India's missile programme
Daily Pioneer
Sept. 17

Taking the BJP's charge against the UPA Government over India-US civil nuclear deal a step forward, senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh on Tuesday alleged that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has crippled India's missile development programme by committing to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in two letters to US President Bush early last week.

Singh also sought the PM's explanation claiming he owed one to Parliament.

"President Bush has recently informed the US Congress of India's formal commitment to the MTCR. This was done by the (Indian) Ministry of External Affairs in separate letters on September 8 and 9, 2008.

"This, to say the least, is an alarming announcement. When was the decision made by the UPA Government of virtually abandoning the country's decades-old indigenous programme of missile development?"

Singh, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said here.

"In formally committing in writing its adherence to the MTCR, Manmohan Singh has crippled, forever, the country's missile development programme. This is a step that follows the already revealed crippling of the nation's nuclear programme by this Government," he said in a statement here.

Jaswant claimed that the MTCR made it mandatory upon its adherents to restrict the development of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles and related technologies and that the regime limits payloads to 500 kg and range to just 300 km.

U.S. delivers 123 blow to India @

Sunday, September 14, 2008

** China Unmasked...
China Unmasked – What Next?
by Bhaskar Roy

As India won the Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG) waiver to conduct civilian nuclear trade with other countries, there was another victory in the making on the stage in Vienna. It was the unmasking of China’s “denial and deception” strategy in conducting affairs of the state.
Multilateral negotiations are usually long drawn. There are lobbies through which forces are aligned between supporters and opponents. Partners are won or lost. All this is fair.

But what is blatantly unfair is when one party gives its word to another at the highest level and then lets it down at the last deal of hand. This is the surest way of kicking an agreement. This is the dirtiest move in international diplomacy that a major country could descend to.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, in India this week for the inauguration of the Chinese Consulate General in Kolkata and also as part of high level bilateral contacts, tried desperately to defend China’s position at the NSG meeting. Mr. Yang continued to repeat one sentence only, that China had played a “constructive” role and did not oppose India. But nobody believed him, obviously.

China’s attempt to scuttle the deal at the NSG needs further elaboration. Some western diplomats attending the meeting, informed the media on conditions of anonymity that China hoped to use the last three opponents of the agreement namely New Zealand, Austria and Ireland to kill the deal. But when these three crumbled, China, in a last desperate effort, showed its hand openly that September 5 evening.

The Chinese delegation quietly walked out of the NSG meeting around 12 midnight signaling the demise of the India specific waiver. It is not in the general realm of Chinese diplomacy to stand alone against a large international opinion. In the NSG, it has to be a consensus decision and even one abstention means the motion is defeated.

The call from US President George W. Bush and the demarche from the Indian government in the early hours of September 6 made China realize the price of scuttling the deal may be very heavy to pay. Beijing fell in line.

In India, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang sought a “face saving” exit for his country. That was given graciously from EAM Pranab Mukherjee downwards. The media did not harangue Mr.Yang, either. But for the first time, China’s high handed approach was met by India reading out the riot act, albeit politely.

China’s final position had become quite clear when the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily of September 1 conveyed its opposition to the India waiver in a sharply worded commentary. A People’s Daily commentary supersedes whatever the Foreign Ministry says in China’s political hierarchy. The Communist Party is supreme in China.

The People’s Daily commentary stated that the India-US nuclear deal will be a “major blow to international non-proliferation regime”. For China, allowing India into the nuclear fold by the international regime has multiple implications. Notwithstanding that, a brief look at China’s proliferation activities especially when it is professing itself as an anti-proliferation Brahmin may expose its rather diabolical non-proliferation pledge.

China signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1992. In 1991, they assured the USA they would abide by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) guide lines. While loudly touting their positions, Chinese-made nuclear capable M-11 missiles were found in Pakistan’s Sargoda airbase. In May 1990, according to western authorities like Thomas Reed and others, Pakistan’s first nuclear device made with Chinese assistance, was tested in China’s Lop Nor test site.

Throughout the 1990s till early 2004, China transferred nuclear warhead and missile technology and equipment to Pakistan. It facilitated centrifuge technology transfer from Pakistan to North Korea and Nodong missile technology and design from North Korea to Pakistan.

It has also been known that transfers between Pakistan and North Korea were carried by aircraft of “Shaheen” airlines, a subsidiary of nuclear scientist Dr.A.Q.Khan’s “Khan Research Laboratory” (KRL) in Pakistan, a nuclear weapons research establishment. These flights refueled in Chinese airports, but publicly available flight manifests did not show these flights. Intrepid western researchers have documented much of these activities.

China’s illegal nuclear and missile assistance to Pakistan has reduced to a great extent. The reason is that the Chinese have equipped Pakistan with technology and training, equipment production facilities and testing resources. As of today, it is reported by credible sources that China is helping Pakistan with improved weight-yield ration of nuclear warheads/bombs i.e. miniaturising, guidance system for missiles and telemetry among others. As always, China may deny all of the above but it has lost all credibility in non-proliferation among international institutions. That details are not revealed rests in the west’s economic and commercial dealings with China.

Relations between any two countries like China and Pakistan are legitimate. Pakistan has its own defence requirement and has sovereign right to procure military assistance from China and have any kind of alliance with China. But all such dealings must remain in the conventional military area as per international non-proliferation regimes. China has acceded to all international non-proliferation regimes but, at the same time, violated all of them.

At the NSG meeting, China had one fall-back compromise to offer. That is, Pakistan must be given the same exemption that India was being given. A preposterous suggestion on all counts, given Pakistan’s proliferation record, but China was serious. This position was not new.

China has always worked to maintain a military parity between India and Pakistan. Viewed from the strategic angle of cold war years, Pakistan became China’s nuclear weapons base in South Asia threatening India, much in the same way European countries like West Germany were nuclear forward bases of the US and NATO against the Soviet union during the cold war. China’s Pakistan base is being strengthened both through modernized strategic arsenal and highly improved conventional systems especially JF-17 joint fighter aircraft – the developing world’s F-16.

Pakistan’s newly elected President Asif Ali Zardari is scheduled to visit China next week. True to tradition, Zardari will be making China his first overseas destination as President of Pakistan. Media reports from Pakistan say an MoU may be signed between the two sides during this visit on a nuclear cooperation arrangement much on the lines of the US-India deal. This, of course, brings up the question of NPT.

Pakistan is not a signatory to the NPT. Therefore, China cannot transfer technology on the trigger list and other such technologies to Pakistan under NSG rules. Clandestine transfer apart, is China moving to persuade Pakistan to sign the NPT to create a new issue to try and stonewall India in due course? After all, Pakistan’s nuclear policy is guided by China.

While not much is clear yet, a move to bring Pakistan to a new non-proliferation level cannot be ruled out. The US and most other NSG members may not agree to give Pakistan the same status as India’s. But if Islamabad opts to sign the NPT and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), China could launch a new fusillade against India in the international non-proliferation club. This scenario cannot be ruled out as a midsummer night’s dream. Experts need to dwell on this sooner rather than later. This signal can, perhaps, be read in Prof. Shen Dingli’s observation to the official China Daily of September 9. Pro. Shen, Director of the Fudan (Shanghai) University is American Studies Centre, said that steps should be taken to update some of the NPT regulations and there should be more stringent inspections (read intrusive) on non-NSG members for civilian use of nuclear energy. Shen Dingli is an influential member of the Chinese government’s foreign policy core group.

Non-proliferation crusaders like Daryl Kimball have lately made statements which defy intellectual decency. Kimball has publicly stated that the Indian Prime Minister “lied” to his Parliament and the people of India on the Indo-US nuclear deal. He has accused India of having a history of proliferation, while almost the entire world has saluted India’s non-proliferation record. Surprisingly, this anti-proliferation knight has little to say about the well known proliferation records of China and Pakistan. This is still a mystery. It is, however, well known that lobbyists need financial sustenance and speak on dictated lines. More need not be said.

What will be China’s next move? Most probably, as Chairman Mao Zedong wrote “Two steps forward, one step backward”, which means only tactical retreat. India must ready itself for a new tango with China. The Indian government has decided to move on. Geography has blessed or condemned the two countries to share a 4000 kms border, but with disputes. But the two also need each other. India is no longer a push over.

The People’s Republic of China has lost a lot of points in the trust department among the Indian people. So have China’s supporters in India.

(The author is an eminent China analyst with many years of experience of study on the developments in China. He can be reached at

Saturday, September 13, 2008

** Enemies within borders

Enemies within the borders
Sept. 19, 2008-

‘Hum Pakistani Hain, Pakistan Hamara Hai’ (We are Pakistanis and Pakistan belongs to us). Finally, Kashmiri separatism has spoken the truth.

These words were spoken by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who is characterised by the Indian media as chairman of the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference. I could never understand what this ‘hardline’ tag means. Which is the ’softline’ faction of the Hurriyat Conference?
The Indian media tags the Hurriyat faction led by Maulvi Umar Farooq as the softline faction.
One wonders how these two are different and what makes one the ‘hardliner‘ and other the ‘softliner‘.

Both of them were present on the same dais at the same rally at the Tourist Reception Centre grounds in Srinagar on August 18, 2008. Both were raising anti-India slogans at that rally. Both were demanding secession from the Union of India. Both were involved in the strikes and drama that finally resulted in the revocation of the J&K state cabinet’s order to allot land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board for building temporary structures for the protection of Shri Amarnath pilgrims.

Moreover, both enjoy patronage from politicians as well as terrorists from across the border in Pakistan. Both represent the philosophy of intolerance for faiths other than Islam in the Kashmir Valley. Both were silent when Kashmir’s original inhabitants, the minority Hindus, were ethnically cleansed from the Valley.

Both condoned the following slogans raised in that rally on August 18:

Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan [Long Live Pakistan]

Pakistan se rishta kya, La-illaha Ill-lallaha [What is the relationship with Pakistan, faith of Islam]

Yehan kya chalega, Nizaam-e-Mustafa [What will rule here, Sharia-law]

Meri mandi teri mandi, Ralwanpindi Rawalpindi [My market your market, Rawalpindi Rawalpindi]

Fruits to bahana hai, Rawalpindi jana hai [Fruits are just the excuse, real intent is to go to Rawalpindi]

Bharat ka jo yaar hai, gadaar hai gadaar hai [Whosoever is India's friend, is a traitor, is a traitor]

Bharat teri shamat aayi, Lashkar aayi Lashkar aayi [India, you are on notice; Lashkar-e-Tayiba has arrived, Lashkar-e-Tayiba has arrived]

In an interview, former J&K governor S K Sinha described the Hurriyat in the following words:
‘There are supposed to be two groups in the Hurriyat; the so-called moderates and the so-called extremists. In effect they are all communal and anti-national. They have nothing against foreign tourists coming to the valley but they are allergic to Hindu Indians visiting the valley.’
In a recent interview, Geelani explained his desire to enforce Islamic rule in Kashmir and said, ‘I have a three-point target. First is to impose an Islamic nizam (jurisprudence) in Kashmir. Islam should govern our lives, be it in our political thought, socio-economic plans, culture or the ongoing movement. The creed of socialism and secularism should not touch our lives and we must be totally governed by the Quran and the Sunnat (precedents from Prophet Mohammed’s life).’

It is ironical that on one hand the Hurriyat people are ‘allergic to Hindu Indians visiting the valley’ and on the other hand they have no qualms about using benefits provided by India.
Both these separatists enjoy the security provided by the Indian government and paid for by the Indian taxpayer.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a former J&K legislator, even receives pension funded by Indian taxpayers.

These Kashmiri leaders have no shame in getting benefits paid by Indian taxpayers while they continue to dance on the tunes of their masters from across the border in Pakistan.
But all aside, I am relieved that Syed Ali Shah Geelani has finally admitted that he, along with hundreds of thousands of his followers, is Pakistani.
So that begs the questions:

What are Geelani and his followers doing in India? Why should Indian taxpayers pay for their pension and security?

It is about time Geelani and his followers bought a one-way ticket to Muzaffarabad and board the Caravan-e-Aman bus and leave India for good. If they are Pakistanis and Pakistan is theirs, they have no business to stay here in India.
Sixty years ago, Indians sacrificed a lot and gave away a large piece of their body and soul to make a new country Pakistan.

Millions at that time made their choice and moved to Pakistan. Those who stayed back also made a conscious decision to stay back. And most of them are content and happy.
But those who are still in India and for some reason are not happy, should stop whining and go to Pakistan — the country that was created solely for them.

India and Indians will not accept another partition, whatsoever.

I am sure that Indian taxpayers will not even mind paying one last expense, the one-way ticket to Pakistan, for Geelani and his followers. This would be the best investment Indians can make.
The Indian government lost a great opportunity on August 11 this year when Geelani and others were marching towards Muzaffarabad under their ‘Muzaffarabad Chalo’ campaign. The Indian government should have facilitated their trip to Muzaffarabad and then sealed the border.
In case Geelani and his followers do not go to Pakistan, then they ought to be tried for sedition. The Sedition Act, embodied under the Indian Penal Code Section 124A, reads as follows:
‘Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the government established by law in India, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added…’

It is not surprising that the Government of India is not enforcing the Sedition Act and bringing charges against Geelani and other separatist leaders from the Kashmir Valley. It is a continuation of the UPA government’s appeasement policies towards Kashmiri Muslims.
Otherwise, why would it not counter the lies about the so-called ‘economic blockade’?
Anybody who knows the geography of Jammu and Kashmir would know that any strike and bandh in Jammu region would affect the only national highway connecting Kashmir with the rest of India. Granted that the first few days of the strikes in Jammu affected the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, but there was no declared economic blockade.

Within a couple of days of strikes in Jammu, the Indian Army was ordered to take over the entire national highway and they ensured that every truck reached Srinagar and every truck that was supposed to leave Srinagar left Srinagar and reached its intended destination.
There are statistics that show that there was absolutely no economic blockade. The fact of the matter is that it is the Jammu region that is facing hardships due to continuous strikes and bandhs in that region. It is the people of Jammu region who were running out of essential commodities. But who cares? As long as essential supplies reached the Valley, that is all that mattered.

It is sad and unfortunate that a few leading opinion-makers from the media are now falling prey to Kashmiri separatists’ tactics and agenda. In recent days, we have seen these opinion-makers suggest a referendum in Kashmir. Their argument that if Kashmir secedes from India, all is going to be well in the rest of India, is preposterous and shows a lack of knowledge about the Kashmir issue and Kashmiri radical Muslims.

These radicals will not stop at Kashmir because Kashmir is not the end-game. Instead it is the start of their bigger plan of Talibanisation of the rest of India. Today you give away Kashmir, tomorrow you will have to give away Hyderabad and then Coimbatore and then Moradabad and so on.

We Indians need to be on guard and defeat the enemies within our borders — the enemies are more dangerous than the ones outside.

Lalit Koul is the President, Indo-American Kashmir Forum, a US-based advocacy group. He can be reached at

Anti-India Protest In Kashmir @

Kashmiri Muslims with Pak flags @


Friday, September 12, 2008

** Buddhists & Christians
Korean Buddhists Rally against 'pro-Christian bias.'

Seoul, 05 September, ( The Buddhists of South Korea strongly protested accusing President Lee Myung Bak and his administration of showing religious bias against Buddhists and favoring Christians.

South Korea by law is a secular state. Article 20 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea stipulates the prohibition of state religion, and the separation of religion and politics.

It was alleged that, since the inauguration of the new government, some of the high government officials and the President himself have been violating the Constitution as if intent upon turning the country into a Christian state.

We strongly regret the government's physical suppression of the civil rights of peaceful assembly and demonstrations demanding the principle of democracy.

However due to the phenomenal rise in the size and power of the Christian community in recent decades, it has the Buddhist community here gripped by apprehension.

In the course of the last five decades of Korea’s industrialization and modernization, the role and size of Korea’s once-powerful Buddhist population has significantly declined.

Internally, not only is the Buddhist hierarchy torn by schisms and squabbles over control of the large financial assets involving temple properties like land and buildings, its failure to attract new converts through renewal has resulted in their growing marginalization.

Political observer pointed out that the present government adopts religious discrimination and gives following instances -

1. The President sent congratulatory messages via visual media to the prayer assembly in Busan City dedicated to "the dissolution of Buddhism in this country."

2. The President declared the restoration of the Cheonggye River in the downtown Seoul as the will of "Almighty God." While Mayor of Seoul, he likewise dedicated the city to "Almighty God."

3. The biased appointment of a disproportionate number of high government officials of Christian faith.

4. Exclusion of temples on internet maps by the government, while listing only churches.

5. Having police search the car of the Chief Executive of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.

People of the world highly value the peaceful coexistence of diverse religions in the Republic of Korea.

Buddhist clergies of South Korea said , “We firmly believe that a major factor of such admirable achievement has been the Buddhist spirit of tolerance, and the great effort of the Order and devotees. However, as if to mock our tolerance and effort, the President has ignored the principle of freedom of religious belief since his inauguration. As a mark of protest a massive rally was held on 27 August, in which over 200,000 lay Buddhists protested against the government’s “religious discrimination.”

Buddhists clergies demanded the firing of the National Police Director by holding him responsible for a number of developments they claimed indicated his religious bias. One was his call to evangelize the entire police force, he being an ardent Presbyterian churchgoer.
Another episode involved the riot policemen stopping and searching a temple abbot’s car, which they said was necessary to look for anti-US demonstrators hiding inside a Seoul temple compound.
In a fit of rage, one Buddhist monk has slashed his stomach with a razor blade. It was not a life-threatening wound, but the incident was enough to poison the atmosphere of the confrontation. The Buddhist clergy now vows to hold a new series of demonstrations across the country unless President Lee, himself a Presbyterian elder, issued a statement of apology.

The Buddhists monks also demanded:

1 The formal apology of the President and the government.

2. Enactment of laws and regulations to prevent the discrimination of religion in the appointment of high government officials.

3. Strong measures to prevent religious discrimination in the government policy.

The Buddhists have also asked for the endorsement of other Buddhist Orders and organizations for our proclamation against the biased religious policies of the government. We also request to notify us your concurrence about our proclamation at your earliest convenience at the address below, and include a statement from your Order or organization supporting the harmony and solidarity of Korean Buddhism. - Asian Tribune -

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Religious Harmony in Sri Lanka @

Evangelist’ Interveiw @