(This is a reprint from NewsBred).
Not Rajnath Singh. No Nitin Gadkari. India’s third most powerful minister in the present dispensation—besides the obvious duo of Modi-Shah—is Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, a career-diplomat turned foreign minister.
When the troublesome duo of China-Pakistan are breathing down India’s neck on its two flanks and Donald Trump is baring his fangs in United States, India is hot under its collar and Jaishankar has been put on the burning deck.
On the face of it, everything looks cool: India has had a serious of significant ticks in international arena, be it tacit approval on its Balakot strike or getting the world behind to outlaw dreaded terrorist Masood Azhar. Significant alliances have emerged in the Muslim world even as Israel is now a very strategic critical ally. Respect for Modi could only grow now that he has been re-elected with a stunning majority in 2019 General Elections.
But trouble is at the door with Donald Trump’s United States determined to punish India over its buying of S400 missiles defence system from Russia. Already, India has lost the tariff benefits which US accords to less-developed countries under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). The Trump administration had held off only because the 2019 General Polls were on in India. But now that it’s over, the $5.6 billion export that India enjoyed against the United States in 2017, would no longer be possible.
Trump is equally determined against India’s buying of S400 missile-defence system from Russia and a spokesman for the US administration has made no bones about it. India was warned on Friday that if it bought $5 billion worth of S400 missiles from Russia, it would have serious repercussions in terms of defence deals with United States.
United States has a policy for the world where countries, howsoever friendly, would be slapped with sanctions if they fostered ties with their adversaries, in this case Russia. The policy is called Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Iran is another prickly issue. Trump had given a waiver to India from November to May to buy crude oil from Iran despite the sanctions it has in place against the orthodox Shia nation. But any further extension is completely ruled out.
As reports emerged that India was looking at ways to beat around the sanctions and continue its oil imports from Iran, US has made its position clear: “There will be no more oil waivers granted.” This would push up India’s oil import bills as Iran used to supply 10 per cent of India’s needs. If US withdraws from Afghanistan, Pakistan would acquire further muscle in its intervention in Kashmir.
India’s troubled borders on its east and west make both China and Pakistan as perpetual adversary and frictions are never far off.
Modi didn’t invite Pakistan in his oath ceremony this week and the latter responded by firing a nuclear-capable Chinese-designed intermediate-range ballistic missile to serve a warning. India too flexed its muscle when just before the 2019 polls, it launched a missile to “destruct” one of its own satellites, becoming only the fourth power after United States, Russia and China to shoot down an object in space.
It’s clear that Jaishankar would’ve his hands full but if there is one person more competent with a better track record than the former foreign secretary, he or she is yet to be seen in India’s diplomatic circles. Over his long tenure, and significant stints in Russia, United States and China, among others, he has acquired a formidable network, his phonebook being the envy of most diplomats.
He was India’s foreign secretary till the last year and his understanding of India’s personnel or policy is unlikely to catch him unawares. He knows the system pretty well.
Jaishankar has worked around different governments but it’s under Modi that his stock has risen up. As India’s envoy to China, he first impressed the present Prime Minister when the latter was visiting China as Gujarat chief minister in 2011. He was there when Modi made his first “rockstar” visit to United States on his election to PM’s office in 2014. Modi promoted him as foreign secretary in 2015. His framework on foreign policy greatly helped his successor Vijay Gokhale as Doklam and Balakot occurred.
Jaishankar is known to be a very hard negotiator. Together with Modi and Amit Shah, he can cut through the government flab. The near future is tough for India but the nation can’t have better men than Modi-Shah-Jaishankar to steer its course. In Hindu pantheon of Gods the trinity of Brahma (creator), Vishnu (preserver) and Mahesh (destroyer) reign supreme. In Modi, Jaishankar and Amit Shah these are today’s political equivalent.
(This is a reprint from NewsBred).
I am presuming you to have missed the ferocity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal attack on West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in his two rallies on Saturday. Blame it on your newspapers, folks. And pay attention: Modi is to raid West Bengal again in his third rally in Siliguri on February 8 and you similarly would’ve a blanket pulled over eyes by your newspapers.
It’s important to call out these English mainstream newspapers. Indian Express and The Hindu are alleged to be the Left’s front soldiers (an irony for Mamata’s TMC it is which has uprooted decades of Left’s entrenched rule in West Bengal and logically the newspapers should’ve lapped up the charges against “Didi” –but no Modi and BJP are a bigger existential threat to Commies’ ideology); Hindustan Times is said to bat for Congress; Times of India is relatively neutral but that’s not to mean it’s objective: in an advertisement-ridden newspaper, important aspects of a story are hacked without a thought.
I am not going to point out mischiefs of each newspapers though there is a great provocation on the part of Indian Express. Look at its headline: “After budget, Modi hardsells sops for farmers, middle class”. Does it convey you Modi’s brutal attack on Mamata? If you are an Indian Express reader, take time out to read their coverage in full and you would be aghast. This editor is no journo but an artist. If you agree then spread the word to put lakhs of its innocent readers on guard (The newspaper is India’s sixth largest and are even more impressive on internet: India ranking 80; Global 982 as per Alexa).
So below are the specific punches which Modi threw at Mamata in his two rallies on Saturday (watch the two speeches in Thakurnagar and Durgapur; Modi is at his best) and compare it with the information your English newspapers have provided:
- I am aware of what happened in Durgapur last night (Mamata’s poster put above Modi; welcome gates pulled down, Modi’s image blackened)
- Centre has announced Rs 90,000 crores worth of project for people in Bengal. The West Bengal government has either not started or have stalled them.
- By scrapping the Ayushman Bharat (health) Yojana, is West Bengal government being sensitive to the need of poor and deprived who need medical attention? Yeh nirdayi sarkar hai (this is a heartless state government).
- Similarly, she (Mamata) doesn’t want CBI in the state. Why worry if you are innocent. When I was the chief minister of Gujarat, I was interrogated for nine hours by the agency. We said bring as many as you want. We don’t worry for we are honest. We never allowed institutions to get insulted. (Mamata may refuse CBI entry but that’s not “damaging institutions” and “democracy” for our cheat newspapers.)
- Mamata is now seen together with opposition who only make false promises. Remember Congress has similarly announced loan-waivers for farmers 10 years ago (of Rs 52,000 crores). And they have done it again. In Rajasthan, the Congress government has thrown up its hands (and said we can’t waive off loans). In Karnataka, police is being sent after farmers who haven’t paid loans. Today lakhs of those are being waived off who even haven’t availed loans. As against a loan-waiving promised of Rs 2.5 lakhs, those benefitting have availed loans of a mere Rs 13!”
- West Bengal government doesn’t even touch those projects in which the syndicate is not involved. They are afraid of RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority). Now flats have to be handed over in time. Black money won’t work. The (construction) lobby is being hurt. Chit Fund, Saradha, painting scams all lead to one door (ostensibly Mamata and TMC’s).
- Everyone knows TMC has Trinamool Tolabaaji (extortion) Tax (TTT). From college admission to teacher transfer, it’s being levied. Students are being taxed.
- Looking at this massive surging crowd (watch the videos, it’s like ocean of people), I am confident the people of West Bengal would assert themselves. Didi is following the same tactics (of repression and non-development) as was done by the Left. Such forces do not last. She may stop helicopter (of Amit Shah) from landing, may stop yatras (as was done recently) but the people won’t stop. I can clearly see it in your presence now.
Two attending news need to be brought to your notice, readers. One, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has accused Mamata’s government of not providing land to seal the India-Bangladesh border which is causing massive infiltration, including one of Jihadis, from the across the border. “Illegal citizens from Bangladesh are entering West Bengal,” said Rajnath Singh. (This while Mamata fights tooth and nail the Citizenship Bill, intended for induction of displaced Indian refugees from our neighbouring countries.)
Two, CBI is in hot trail of Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar who it claims is missing and faces “imminent arrest”. Rajeev Kumar allegedly is delaying and diluting the SIT probe in the multi-crore Saradha and Rose Valley ponzi scams. As per CBI sources, they had summoned the officer twice for interrogation but he (Rajeev Kumar) had not been cooperating. Over to Times of India:
“CBI sources said when Kumar was leading the state Special Investigating Team (SIT), crucial evidence had either been lost or tampered with to save some influential persons in the state.
“After CBI summoned him, Rajeev Kuma had even written to then CBI director Alok Kumar Verma. The Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund probes were being headed by then special director Rakesh Asthana at that time, which apparently had become another bone of contention between Verma and Asthana…”
Well, well, well, I hope you get the drift readers. West Bengal is on fire. It’s at a critical trajectory where BJP is trying to fight back the Islamist, Jihadi forces and their takeover of Mamata’s land. BJP plans to turn the heat further in coming days. Amit Shah has begun his poll campaign; and so has Rajnath Singh, not to forget Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath is coming over. Modi would be the mascot of these “Ganatantra Bachao (Save Democracy)” rallies across the state.
Meanwhile, I presume you are aware of the development that TMC Lok Sabha MP, Saumitra Khan had joined the BJP last month and likened Mamata Banerjee to Germany’s Adolf Hitler. If not, you could blame this too on your newspapers.
It’s only for their own good that Indian National Congress stop shouting hollow the “corruption” charge against Narendra Modi and his ministers in the garb of Rafale. Such charges may get an echo from your very own drummer boys and girls in media but is self-defeating. Mercenaries can do a lot of things but don’t appeal to logic. First, you dream a self-image; then pay the pen-pushers to give words to it; and then read and believe it. How stupid could you get?
Only, if they were to ask average readers, three questions would be thrown back at them: (1) Who made the charge (2) Why’s the charge; (3) What’s the follow-up?
So (a) Congress and opposition has made the charge; (b) the charge is of inflated bills for Rafale jets; and (c) err…no follow-up!!!
No follow-up? You mean no cases filed against corrupt ministers? No CBI, ED, Income Tax inquiries? No request for midnight anticipatory bails?
You see what I am leading to? Just imagine the picture: Rahul Gandhi in a residential colony of Delhi, say Safdarjung, asking a housewife on Rafale and being shot back at with these three questions. How do you think he would reply???
Let’s say Gandhi is carrying the clippings from Lutyens Media, The (pants on) Fire, Hugpost, TheScowl, ThePint, TheSquint as his file of defence. He dramatically pulls them out and says: yeh dekho, yeh dekho aur yeh bhi dheko!!! All can’t be wrong!
Oh, so it’s going to the chambers of our very own defence minister? But then she’s only be around 10 months? Why 10 months, even in the entire four-plus years of NDA, we haven’t heard of any corruption charge against any Central minister? Be it Union, minister of state or Independents in the Centre. No mid-night bail dramas, no-anticipatory reliefs. And you mean we have a corrupt government in the Centre?
How do you think Rahul Gandhi would reply? When names such as Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Smriti Irani, Ravishankar Prasad, Prakash Javedkar, Jayant Sinha, Kirren Rijju, Nirmala Sitharaman, Manohar Parikkar, Rajyavardhan Rathore, Suresh Prabhu or Manoj Sinha are taken aloud in his face? How do you think he would react to this question: “Mr Gandhi, none of the above in the eyes of neutral citizens of this country are seen as corrupt. Not even by the media you quote. On the contrary, we know you and your mother are on a bail; your brother-in-law’s company is fighting 18 fraud cases; your pre-eminent minister Chidambaram and his son are anticipating arrests, etc. What makes you think we believe you?”
That’s the whole point: Corruption and this Modi government don’t connect. Insinuations are not charges. Claims are no evidence. Shouting is no logic. Especially when said by a voice which must end with a hug or a wink. A person who flies abroad while his party is bloodied on a political turf; a “young” leader whose’ voice on social media don’t seem to be his very own.
Let’s bring another relevant issue to the debate. Just google “Modi Arrogant.” You would have many of the above suspects voicing in unison: YES. That he is a dictator. He has reduced everybody to rubber-stump in the Cabinet etc.
Tell me frankly, do men like Gadkari, Rajnath, Goyal or Prasad look like errand-boys to you? Sushma, Nirmal and Smriti house-attendants? Rijju, Rathore, Parrikkar or Prabhus lawn-makers? Haven’t they carved out respect in the eyes of the people due to their hard work and integrity? Haven’t they survived because they are competent and not because they fear “Dictator Modi.”
Congress and its’ echo-chamber today is completely divorced from reality. Such antics are only good to fool yourself. That’s like you are spot-running, going nowhere. If I was Rahul Gandhi, I would take a sabbatical, withdraw from this heat of the battle, go on a personal, physical “Discovery of India.” Know real men, know real India, know real issues. That’s what the original Gandhi did. That’s what our present so-far-dummy Gandhi must do.
(This is a reprint from NewsBred).
Centre has rushed tens of thousands of paramilitary forces to Assam lest violence breaks out in the north-eastern state after the second draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC) is released on July 30.
The first draft had embraced 1.9 crores out of 3.9 crores as legal citizens of the state. The second draft could take care of a few lakhs more. But what’s certain is that there would be many lakhs more who won’t have the papers to meet the cut-off date of March 24, 1971.
A majority of them are persecuted Hindus fleeing Bangladesh: informed sources put it to over 11 million Hindus between 1964 and 2013. There is also no insignificant numbers of economically-motivated Muslim migrants over decades.
Most have moved directly across the vast 272 km border which Assam shares with Bangladesh. Some have come from West Bengal. Being termed illegal overnight could’ve serious law and order consequences though home minister Rajnath Singh has stressed “it’s just a draft” and nobody is going into a “detention centre.”
Census figures over the years show that Assam’s population exploded by 36 per cent between 1951-1961; and by 35% over the next decade. In 2011 Census, it’s population was 31.2 million which was a 17.1% rise from 2001 figures. Most migrants are Bengali-speaking and Barak Valley is their stronghold. The Assamese-speaking population of the state are rooted in Brahmaputra Valley.
NRC is hardly a comfort to (a) an illegal Hindu migrant family who fears being sent back to Bangladesh where it fled religious persecution in the first place; or (b) Muslim migrants who in one stroke could find two of its generation stateless refugees; or (c) even indigenous Assamese who know NRC would make no difference to ground reality and that these illegal immigrants would multiply manifold if the Citizenship Bill 2016 is passed into an Act.
All things point to nothing materially changing for illegal migrants post release of second draft of NRC. One, India doesn’t have an agreement with Bangladesh in place (our eastern neighbours don’t even acknowledge influx of illegal migrants from its stable); Two, a porous border allows an extradited illegal migrant to return without hassle; Three, many lakhs of illegal immigrants are already spread all over the country, especially in metropolis such as Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. Who keeps tab on them?
It’s worth remembering that the present exercise of NRC is at the behest of Supreme Court. The Centre has got nothing to do with it. BJP can’t abandon illegal Hindu migrants—which would be a stick they would be beaten with– nor antagonize local Assamese who have given vote in their favour in 2016 assembly elections.
This makes nobody happy. Certainly not people. But Congress is sure to fish in troubled waters which is largely a making of their own indifference, if not mischief. Congress has ruled Assam for decades and benefited immensely from the political umbrella it provided to illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. Despite then-PM Rajiv Gandhi signing the 1985 accord with leaders of the Assam movement, it remains an embarrassing fact for the party that only 2442 illegal immigrants were expelled from Assam between 1985-2012.
Not to forget TMC and its head, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who is already stoking the fire in Assam from her den in order to appease illegal migrants in her own state who arguably are her vote bank; or Left which in the past sabotaged one such move by Shiv Sena-BJP combine in Maharashtra to deport illegal Bangladeshis in 1998.
Sooner than later though, illegal migrants must be taken off the election rolls; ways must be found to give refuge to millions of fleeing Hindus (and other Indic minority sects) from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh with full citizenship status (without worrying about Rohingyas or Human Right Activists—for Hindus have only India to turn to while Muslims and Christians have dozens of own doors to knock around the world); and illegal migrants legally committed not to indulge in political or religious subversive acts.
In the wake of Kairana elections, and a loss in Noorpur by a whisker, Home Minister Rajnath Singh made a statement which escaped the attention of most political observers: “One has to take two steps backwards for a giant leap,” he said.
Now the delusion of this “deep state” within India—read it as Lutyens Media, Left-Liberals, ChristoIslamic forces—was understandable. After all, last four years have been a nightmare to them. The cloak of respectability has been torn off their break-India agenda. Celebrations have been few and far between. They have every right to wet beaks in their otherwise parched political landscape. But the disappointment of Right Wingers too seems to have drowned the import of this statement of the Home Minister.
An educated guess is that Rajnath Singh through his quip was hinting at a consolidation of Hindu voters in the light of Kairana reverse. He was echoing what Sujoy Ghosh so brilliantly elucidated in OpIndia. Around 15 per cent who voted in the 2014 Lok Sabha and 2017 state assembly elections, stayed away from Kairana bypoll while the margin of victory for the opposition’s Tabassum Begun was only 4.6 %. Impressively, no less than 77 per cent of Hindus voted for BJP in Kairana. What happens when these missing 15% and the remaining Hindus do turn up in the 2019 General Elections? Another impressive analysis in SwarajyaMag reasserts the impression.
Make no mistake, Hindus in Kairana would be smarting in anger. The same is the mood in Karnataka where despite 104 seats, BJP and the people of the state are watching the tragic comedy of Congress-JDS alliance. This groundswell of anger is bound to help BJP.
Rajnath Singh is known to be a man of few words. But when he says “two steps backwards,” it suggests a great strategy of Hindu consolidation being put in place by the BJP. That perhaps might also explain why Gorakhpur and Phulpur weren’t fiercely protected. The idea is for Hindus to be mindful that they could be overwhelmed in their own country in 2019. Not only BJP cadre and supporters, but even common Hindus must not lull themselves into a false sense of security. This heightened Hindu anxiety would only end up in consolidation for BJP.
It would be utterly foolish on opposition’s part to believe Modi-Shah have been cornered. Their last four years have shown, if anything, that they invest a lot of time in strategizing and ruthlessly executing their designs. They are utterly capable of winning affections of people by a dramatic measure: It could be Ram Janmabhoomi; Income Tax abolition; money in people’s bank accounts or the long-pending Hindu issues of owning temples and Right To Education (RTE). Even an idiot would know that Modi-Shah, in the home run to 2019 General Elections, would have an ace up their sleeves.
So while opposition has shown its card—alliance and understanding at all cost without an ideology or a Prime Ministerial candidate to project—nobody knows what aces BJP has up its sleeve. A party which went into 2014 General Elections with 4 states today has 19 of them. In just four years such an expansion has come about because of BJP’s skin-in-the-game. The micro management of an election, from the local issues to booth management, nobody does better than BJP.
So when Rajnath Singh says “two steps backwards for a giant leap,” opposition must stop in their tracks and ponder. They have walked into a trap and are more discredited than ever. Their game is out in the open even as they are clueless on the next move of Modi-Shah duo. They would have nowhere to run but to their doom, come 2019 General Elections.
Even if it bores you please pay attention to English newspapers closely for the agenda followed by them could be seen even by a blind. Their agenda is to break-up India into parts, to Balkanize it, We must not allow it to happen.
You could find these tell-tale signs by their front and edit pages. These are considered “heart” of a newspaper. For example, Indian Express who is more brazen than others today makes no mention of Indian home minister Rajnath Singh informing the Lok Sabha that key documents related to the preparation of the second affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan case were not traceable in his ministry and an internal probe was on. (Times of India and Hindustan Times did make it a front page story. Kudos).
Then comes the edit page. The Express op-Ed page has two pieces; one by Archana Prasad who feels that BJP is polarizing opinion but since she is a professor of JNU we could take it with a pinch of salt. The second is an issue I want your utmost attention—it’s a piece of Harsh Mander with the scary headline: “Can the Indian Spring be far behind?” (interestingly, there is no mention of Indian Spring in the article!!! But Express is a zealot these days, fit to be pulled up by regulating agencies).
This Indian Spring is a take on Arab Spring. To put the bare-facts of Arab Spring, it’s hailed in western and our media as spontaneous people’s uprisings against repression, from Libya and Egypt to Syria and Yemen, the so-called Middle East North Africa (MENA).
Christopher L. Brennan, in his book “Fall of the Arab Spring: From Revolution to Destruction” views this widespread Arab upheaval, not as authentic grass-root movements for democracy but as a US-engineered destabilization moves.
Similarly, Ahmed Bensaad’s 2011 book “L’Arabesque Americaine” concerns the US government’s role in instigating, funding and coordinating the Arab Spring “revolutions.
Wikileaks cables also support covert funding for such activities. We all know Libya, Syria, Yemen and Egypt are worse off for these Spring revolutions. Here you have Mr Mander/Indian Express praying for an “Indian Spring” of similar catastrophe to Balkanize our India.
Mr Mander keeps writing edit pieces in Hindustan Times and Indian Express. It’s time readers know about his background.
Mander, a former IAS officer, was a member of the National Advisory Council which was termed as Sonia Gandhi’s kitchen cabinet.
Mander “voluntarily took retirement” but media termed it as “quitting,” anguished as he was because of the 2002 Gujarat riots.
He wrote an op-ed in Times of India, post-Godhra riots, which the Press Council of India (PCI) called “LIES.”
The Press Council of India reprimanded Mander by stating, “guilty of spreading false rumours about alleged Hindu atrocities” in his column: “Hindustan Hamara” dated 20/3/2002. The decision by the PCI was pronounced on 30/6/2002 vide decision reference 14/06/02-03
His modus operandi has been described thus: to organize protests through NGOs against multi-nationals or nuclear projects entry into India. These companies then pay “consulting fees” …, later these protests by NGOs fizzle out or vanish without trace.
For his hard work, Mander was presented by Sonia Gandhi as the recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana award in a function attended by Jstice A.M. Ahmadi (the judge who let Union Carbide off the hook).
A book “NGOs: Activists and Foreign Funds Anti Nation Industry” by Krishen Kak and Smt Radha Rajan claims that Mander was the poster boy of NDTV and Star News (now ABP News).
Kak notes in the book: “Not a single major paper or TV channel reported the Press Council’s exposure of Mander. Not surprisingly, in addition to the Times of India, publications like the Hindustan Times, The Telegraph, Asian Age, Mainstream, Deccan Chronicle and Rashtriya Sahara were found by the Press Council of India to carry reports tending to inflame communal passions and, let it be noted, these were pro-Muslim and anti-Hindu passions (page 127).”
Mander was convenor of the drafting committee for the “Prevention of Communal and targeted violence” bill. Under the bill, Hindus were not to be considered victims of communal violence, even if they were killed, robbed, humiliated, burnt to death or even gang-raped.
Mander was part of ActionAid, the giant British multi-national with a “subsidiary” in India. It’s been said to be a global children exploitation industry. Mander’s association was worth at least 50 times the salary of its lowest paid employee.
Express these days is full of such agendas. You have a full-page devoted to Economist magazine almost daily which is a pathetic, blatant, naked propaganda for the imperial, colonial, Anglo-Zionist cause. If not Economist, then you have monstrous lies of New York Times and Washington Post filling up Express pages. In the edit pages, you have those “gurus” of think-tanks from Brookings, Observer and others trying hard to spread lies,anti-India agenda and serve Western interests.
Readers, please be alert and vigilant to this dangerous agenda.
Remember: THE PRICE OF FREEDOM IS ETERNAL VIGILANCE.
They mean to divide us.
Let’s not leave an India for our children, when in order to travel to Ludhiana, Patna, Kolkata or Bengalaru, they would need a visa.
(Actually this Kanhaiya episode is a good thing. As a journalist, I know the best way to preserve a lie is to repeat it again and again till the ”truth-holders” give up. Unfortunately for them, the majority India has taken up cudgels to fight this issue. Being hardened journalists, these “balkanizing forces” are not giving up on Kanhaiya issue. But by stretching this issue beyond a decent limit, all they have done is to lose their credibility. So folks keep up your opposition, and let them shed the last fig-leaf they are keeping in front of their naked reality.)