TAME ANTI-INDIA ELEMENTS
Where have all the secularists gone! Even if you grant that Kashmiri students of the Srinagar-based National Institute of Technology (NIT) had the right to celebrate the defeat of India at the hands of the West Indies, would you deny other students the right to chant Jai to Bharat? In their zeal to blame the Narendra Modi government for everything under the sun, the secularists, only a few days earlier, were frothing at the mouth with uncontrollable rage, protesting the entry of police in the JNU, even though a group of students were most raucously seeking azadi from India while hailing Afzal Guru a martyr.
Would the same secularists not say a word in condemnation of the brutal manner in which the police beat up students, whose only fault was that they shouted “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” in response to “Pakistan Zindabad” by Kashmiri students? Video pictures of the wanton police lathi-charge leave no doubt as to where their sympathies lay. Secularists, however, would privilege blind hostility towards the BJP over the need to defend larger national interest.
When the entire nation needs to close ranks against the brazen display of treacherous behaviour by a section of the people, a viscerally anti-BJP section within the media and academia insists on providing these very elements emotional succour by finding some good in their anti-national conduct. Wasn’t it provocation enough for the non-Kashmiri students that some of the NIT students burst crackers and did a celebratory jig while raising anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans?
Yes, we know where a meek surrender to such betrayal has led us. Follies committed by an image-obsessed first Prime Minister have cost India immensely. India has bled in Kashmir due to Nehru’s multiple blunders. Righting those wrongs is proving to be an insurmountable task, but secularists refuse to appreciate that in the absence of unity and determination, normalcy can never be restored in Kashmir.
Point-scoring against the Modi Sarkar should be secondary to the need to deny any quarter to the pro-Pakistani thugs, who have fattened themselves on generous hand-outs from the Indian taxpayers. If the illegally occupied Kashmir under Pakistan today has a minuscule Kashmiri minority it is because Pakistan put its national interest above Kashmiri sub-nationalism.
A romanticised vision of his home state led Nehru and his legatees to persist with the most pernicious decision to bar people from the rest of the country from settling in Kashmir. However, if after nearly seven decades, there is no light at the end of the tunnel then a drastic course correction alone might be the way out. During those seven decades we have poured billions and lost tens of thousands of men, and also fought three inconclusive wars without settling the “unfinished business of the Partition”.
They say when the gangrene sets in, amputation remains the only solution. Pragmatic wisdom dictates that we amputate the link with a highly wasteful past, which has bound us hand and foot. The pernicious past is topped by Article 370. We cannot undo the mischief constitutionally, but de facto we can try and attain the same outcome, can’t we? A weak government had crumbled before fraudulent protests a few years ago that followed the erection of temporary shelters for the Amarnath pilgrims. Such cowardice has all along informed our policy towards insurrectionists.
Unfortunately, even Modi has allowed the unremitting secularist abuse to get to him. We need a more assertive, more purposeful Modi who can make a difference in Kashmir. Muscular nationalism alone can tame the anti-India elements, let secularists stew in their juices.
NITISH CREATES JOBS
Had Nitish Kumar asked his senior alliance partner Lalu Yadav he would not have clamped prohibition in Bihar. Why, even a secret poll of the legislators would have resulted in a big no for the ban on the sale and distribution of liquor. Lalu Yadav, as anyone remotely familiar with Bihar politics will tell you, likes his evening tipple. Invariably, if he happens to be with his Man Friday, Prem Gupta, the task of fetching him the liquor of his choice falls on the latter. And if Yadav is at a party, he needs to be served in a steel glass. Indeed, stories of Lalu’s fondness for liquor are aplenty in the extended Janata Parivar.
It seems when he entered the Lok Sabha for the very first time in the post-Emergency 1977 election, someone suggested to then Home Minister Charan Singh to appoint him as the chief of the youth wing of the Janata Party. The Jat chieftain, who was a pukka Arya Samaji, reacted angrily. “Come with me at 11 o’clock this evening, you will find Lalu lying drunk in some drain or the other near North-South Avenue.” (First-time MPs are usually given quarters in North and South Avenue.)
BILLIONS UNDER PANAMANIAN HATS
Hope you noticed that everyone whose Panama connection has been exposed by the Indian Express—more power to that lone paper with guts, though often it does tend to go overboard advertising its liberal-secular credentials—has reacted in just one way, that is, we have done nothing wrong and have kept the income tax authorities in loop. From ace lawyer Harish Salve to big-time realtor K.P. Singh to the heirs of the late Mumbai Mafioso Iqbal Mirchi, everyone has been quoted to that effect. Now, if all of them had nothing devious on their minds, why would they take the trouble of hiding their supposedly legit, tax-paid millions behind an intricate web of secrecy?
In the case of Mirchi, one can understand. His were the proceeds of crime and had to be hidden even from rival Mafiosi. Others claimed to have earned their money through fair means and paid taxes on it. Honestly, there is more than meets the eye in the Panamagate than those outed would like you to believe. Though there might be some legit shell companies, but, as a rule, one takes that route to launder and/or to dodge taxes. If, and it is a big if, the investigations are serious, quite a few pillars of our society are bound to end up with egg on their face. Of this much we are certain.
Now, the question as to why no Indian neta figures in the Panama papers, though 72 former or current heads of state do. It maybe because Panama had become a no-go area after its link to the Bofors bribe-taker, the late Ottavio Quattrocchi, was laid bare by Chitra Subramaniam, then of the Hindu. Since then, Quattrocchi’s patrons not only, most likely, took care to move their billions out of the Panama maze, but must have since found better ways to hide the loot.
NEW ROAD BUT OLD LANE
Last year they changed the name of Aurangzeb Road in the heart of Lutyens’ Delhi to Abdul Kalam Azad Road. But months later, New Delhi Municipal Committee still persists with Aurangzeb Lane. Is it NDMC’s way to humour the fans of the controversial Mughal emperor?