India

We have decided that India and Pakistan are of such importance that it now requires its’ own page.

Within its borders live 200 million volatile Muslims – that is the most delicate word I can use to describe them. Pakistan has just under 200 million of these Muslim people.

Once upon a time the Mughal Muslims ruled. The British encouraged division and overpopulation of India, where the population of the whole sub continent is 1.7 billion.

But both India and Pakistan have kept their ruling elites who pay lip service to religion. India has its repressive caste system. Gandhi and Nehru’s Congress Party have not moved with the times and Oxford educated Imran Khan, the posh Caucasian Pakistani should have stuck to cricket and his blonde bird.

Now we have the U.S.A ready to use India for its war on China.

The following pro Muslim superficial article does not reflect the opinion of this website, but it is a point of view and interest. Bigoted Muslims, as with any other of slavic religious bigotry can only promote over population and idiocy, not progress. There really is no God. That is the problem, but even Western leader are bringing that bull-hit back.

Charles Close Editor India.

www.indiatoday.in/world/story/osama-bin-laden-shot-dead-abbottabad-raid-pakistan-navy-seal

Covid 19- A Well Planned Conspiracy – October 25th 2020

COVID-19: A Well-Planned Conspiracy? Shivang Yadav and Rakshitt Bajpai April 18, 2020 09:33:15 pm Edited by: Gabrielle Wast | U. Pittsburgh School of Law, US JURIST Guest Columnists from Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow, India, Shivang Yadav, a third-year law student, and Rakshitt Bajpai, a second-year law student, discuss the recent suit filed by US interest group Freedom Watch against the Chinese government amid the COVID-19 pandemic…

Curbing global pandemics like COVID-19 has been one of the most difficult tasks in the history of mankind. The emergence of this virus can be traced back to December of 2019 when China alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) to several cases of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan. However, the virus remained unknown at this stage. Only later was it was identified and named COVID-19 by WHO. The outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern.

Amidst this chaos, there has been misinformation and rumors have been surfacing on social media, the most prominent among them being conspiracy theories regarding the use of COVID-19 as a bioweapon by China. In one version of the rumor, the virus was engineered in a lab by humans as a bioweapon. In another version, the virus was being studied in the lab (after being isolated from animals) and then “escaped” or “leaked” because of poor safety protocol. The fact that Wuhan has the only Level 4 microbiology lab that is equipped to handle deadly coronaviruses, the National Biosafety Laboratory (part of the Wuhan Institute of Virology) further reinforces this theory. However, all these rumors lack scientific evidence to support this conspiracy theory.

Based on this theory, Freedom Watch filed a lawsuit against Chinese authorities in the US over coronavirus outbreak. The plaintiff seeks $20 trillion, a more than China’s GDP, claiming coronavirus is the result of a biological weapon prepared by the Chinese authorities. The plaintiff also alleged that all the defendants were working together to perpetrate an act of  “international terrorism”.

Issue of Jurisdiction

Traditionally, US citizens were permitted to sue a foreign state if it was designated as a state sponsor of terrorism by the US, provided that they were harmed by that state’s aid for international terrorism. The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act  (JASTA) authorized the federal courts to exercise subject matter jurisdiction over a state’s support for acts of international terrorism against a US national or property regardless of whether such a state is designated as a sponsor of terrorism. Such types of cases are not new in the legal history of the US. This trend came into the limelight after the case In re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001, wherein the JASTA was applied for the first time.

As per Section 1605B(b) of the JASTA, a foreign state is not immune from the jurisdiction of a US court in cases where money damages are sought against it for physical injury to a person, property or death occurring in the US caused by either an act of international terrorism or by a tortious act performed by any agent or official of that state, regardless of the place where it is performed.

Freedom Watch’s petition has addressed the question of jurisdiction in a detailed manner and might be admissible in the court.

There have been prior cases wherein a state was held liable for an act of international terrorism and paid hefty damages to the victims. The best example is the case of Pan Am 103 Bombing wherein, according to the evidence, the involvement of two Libyan intelligence operatives was proven and one of them was found guilty. Initially, the Libyan government did not agree to extradite both of the operatives. Libya finally agreed after being pressured from the Security Council by way of imposing sanctions until the country to compensated the victims’ families and demonstrated with concrete actions its renunciation of terrorism. Later, the Libyan Government also paid a sum of nearly $3 billion to the victims’ families.

However, unlike the Pan Am 103 case, the issues involved in Freedom Watch’s petition still require investigation. Furthermore, the lack of any scientific evidence to support the theory of using COVID-19 as a bioweapon indicates that these are mere theoretical presumptions and are not practically possible as COVID-19 is not fatal enough to be used as a bioweapon. Secondly, the involvement of two nuclear weapons states (NWS) in this case which have been involved in a trade war appears to be a mere act of predominance.

Further Course of Action and International Overview

This Freedom Watch petition might be admissible by the court, but what if China, being a superpower, refuses to comply with the decision of the court in order to protect its sovereign immunity? As mentioned above the petition might be rejected on the basis of lack of evidence. Therefore, alternative discourses may be necessary to bring China under proper jurisdiction and make them accountable for allegedly committing such a heinous and negligent act. 

 Alternative Course of Action Available in International Forums

Considering the fact that this pandemic has affected more than half of the world’s population, it might be best to bring an Article 7 Crimes Against Humanities case against the Chinese authorities in the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC is the supreme authority to handle such cases.  It is undoubtedly a better alternative to make Chinese authorities responsible for the outbreak.  

In the case of The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga, the alleged party was convicted and sentenced to twelve years of prison for committing mass murder and various crimes against humanity. The recent incident where China used its veto power to refuse to allow the discussion of the Wuhan epidemic and the spread of COVID-19 in the Security Council has created several questions. The Chinese Ambassador stated that “discussion relating to COVID-19 is not an agenda of the UNSC”, which has led to further the suspicion that China is hiding vital details about the origin of the virus.

It may be inferred that China is covering up the issue, which itself is a grave and inhumane act during this pandemic. Thus, even if there exists a remote suspicion that China has deliberately used COVID-19 as a biological weapon for committing bio-terrorism, there must be a proper trial held and every suspected authority must be a party. 

The People’s Republic of China, Major General Chen Wie and Shi Zhengli, Director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, are the defendants in the Freedom Watch petition. The defendants dealt with the handling of the virus during the pre-pandemic and must be subject to proper investigation. If China is found to guilty of the deliberate release of COVID-19 during the investigation, there would be violations of several treaties China is a party to:

  • The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction: This convention clearly states that the development, production and stockpiling of biological weapons in any manner against mankind would lead to a violation of the treaty. As per the treaty, any party can draw an action against the alleged party in UNSC along with the evidence stated under Article 7.
  • Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare: This treaty prohibits the use of any bacteriological method for mass destruction of mankind.
  • Even if the alleged parties are not found guilty, the International Law Commission’s Liability for Injurious Consequences exists to try parties for negligence in handling deadly viruses like COVID-19.

Conclusion

The present COVID-19 pandemic has led to serious physical sufferings and mental injury accompanied by damage to the global economy and to man-kind. The proper judicial mechanisms must provide justice to the aggrieved party and convict the culprits behind the conspiracy if it exists. There are also alternatives available in international forums. The only factor which remains in this puzzle is the proper evidence proving such a conspiracy exists. Once a proper investigation is initiated, things will become more clear. However, the behavior of the Chinese government is alarming and appears to be suspicious.

For more on COVID-19, see our special coverage.

Shivang Yadav is a third-year law student and Rakshitt Bajpai is a second-year law student. Both study at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow, India.

Suggested citation: Shivang Yadav and Rakshitt Bajpai, COVID-19: A Well-Planned Conspiracy?, JURIST – Student Commentary, April 18, 2020, https://www.jurist.org/commentary/2020/04/yadav-bajpai-covid-conspiracy/

Indian Navy fires anti-ship missile with ‘deadly accuracy,’ sending a strong signal to China (VIDEO)

23 Oct, 2020 14:13 / Updated 21 hours agoGet short URL

Indian Navy fires anti-ship missile with ‘deadly accuracy,’ sending a strong signal to China (VIDEO)

© Twitter / @indiannavy

Follow RT on India’s anti-ship missile sunk a vessel during naval drills in the Arabian Sea, demonstrating New Delhi’s “combat readiness” in the Indian Ocean region where it is challenged by China.

The Indian Navy released footage of an INS Prabal corvette sinking an old, decommissioned frigate with a missile launched at maximum range.

The country’s veer-class corvettes are customized versions of Project 1241 (Tarantul class) Soviet missile warships, armed with KH-35 anti-ship missiles. According to the navy, the projectile “homed in with deadly accuracy at maximum range, sinking the target ship.”

#AShM launched by #IndianNavy Missile Corvette #INSPrabal, homes on with deadly accuracy at max range, sinking target ship. #StrikeFirst#StrikeHard#StrikeSure#हरकामदेशकेनामpic.twitter.com/1vkwzdQxQV— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) October 23, 2020

The launch was part of ongoing drills involving the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and a number of warships and attack helicopters, as India shows its strength and “combat-readiness” across the Indian Ocean region amid an ongoing border standoff with China.

The relationship between China and India has worsened in the last few months, after tensions flared up at the disputed border, known as the Line of Actual Control, in the Himalayan region. As a result of the fighting, 20 Indian soldiers were killed, according to India’s Minister of External Affairs, while China did not confirm the number of casualties on its side.

The two nations have held several rounds of high-level talks in an attempt to secure a peaceful resolution to the stand-off and ensure a comprehensive disengagement of troops. For now, both India and China maintain confrontational positions along their disputed border in the remote Ladakh region.

At the same time, China has been significantly expanding its engagements in the Indian Ocean, challenging New Delhi not just with its meaningful military buildup, but with the so-called “debt-trap diplomacy” that it exercises towards its partner nations in the region.

In a statement released earlier this week, India’s Ministry of Defense laid out its operational readiness at sea. While it did not mention China directly, the ministry stressed that in light of the “prevailing security situation” the navy “would continue maintaining a high-tempo of operations in coming months.” 

READ MORE: India completes successful test of its own 3rd-gen anti-tank missile, in bid to end reliance on foreign weapons

Alongside the practice drill, the Indian Navy formally inducted the last of four indigenously built Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) stealth corvettes under Project 28 at the Naval Dockyard in Eastern Naval Command.

In recent months, India has increased its missile testing, launching the high-speed expendable aerial target ‘Abhyas’ and the 700km range surface-to-surface supersonic strategic missile ‘Shaurya’, among other weapons. Thursday, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired a homemade Nag anti-tank guided missile (ATGM).

Revealed: How Osama bin Laden was pumped with bullets 100 times Posted October 23rd 2020

At the time of operation, President Obama and his administration had argued that they were justified in never releasing the photos of the dead body or the burial at sea because they could be used as propaganda for Al Qaeda.

IndiaToday.in New DelhiMarch 15, 2014UPDATED: March 20, 2014 05:11 IST

Osama bin Laden is shown in this video frame grab released by the U.S. Pentagon May 7, 2011. Reuters PhotoIt has now emerged that terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was shot more than one hundred times in the 2011 US Navy SEALs raid at his Abbottabad hideout in Pakistan.

According to a Daily Mail report, a new report from a website known within the intelligence and armed services community claims that the sheer number of times that Osama bin Laden was shot is the reason why the government has never released photos of his dead body.

Citing two confidential sources, the report tells how “operator after operator took turns dumping magazines-worth of ammunition into Bin Laden’s body”.A boy plays with a tennis ball in front of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad in this May 5, 2011 file picture. Reuters photoThe site goes on to argue that while the Navy SEALs may have felt it was ‘morally, legally, and ethically appropriate to shoot the body a few times to ensure that he is really dead and no longer a threat,’ that does not justify the extent of this damage.

At the time of operation, President Obama and his administration had argued that they were justified in never releasing the photos of the dead body or the burial at sea because they could be used as propaganda for Al Qaeda.A file photo of Navy SEALs during a combat operation.The new theories, however, suggest that they were just trying to avoid retribution for allegedly being excessive.

“The real issue is not that Bin Laden was turned into Swiss cheese, but rather that this type of behavior has become a Standard Operating Procedure in this unit,” Murphy, who is an Army Special Operations veteran, writes.

Comment Why go over the top killing the top man, when all those little people in this terror game were captured and tortured.? Saudi Arabian Bin Laden and his family were Bush cronies. Britain’s Foreign Minister, Robin Cook, resigned over the second Gulf War and died mysteriously. U.N Weapons Inspector dr david kelly died mysteriously after reporting that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction.

There was going to be a war between the Anglo U.S elite and old friend Saddam Hussein for control, regime change and oil. Bin Laden helpfully released a threatening video when George Bush Snr came up for re election. Bin Laden had been trained by the CIA and SAS in the 1980 Russian war in Afghanistan. So the two questions never asked are 1) Is Bin Laden really dead ? 2) Did Bin Laden work as a U.S agent and so knew too much ?

Charles Close

10 things I hate about being a British Pakistani Posted October 9th 2020

The wiry beards on the chins of teenage boys from Bradford to Bristol are already looking a bit passé, fellas.


Anealla Safdar


1.   The fundamentalist fashion. The wiry beards on the chins of teenage boys from Bradford to Bristol are already looking a bit passé, fellas. Props for predicting the ankle-swinger trend before it became universally fashionable, though.



2.    The lack of progression. I’ve only been to Pakistan three times, but it’s clear our native Pakistani brethren are years ahead of us in terms of ideas, fashion and entertainment. Your women wear sleeveless kurtis with jeans, we’re still in patiala shalwars. Let’s use our politicians as a crude metaphor: you have Hina Rabbani Khar, we’ve got Sayeeda Warsi.



3.    The pitiful selection of spouses. Is it just me or are we facing a bit of a crisis here girls? It seems we have a few options. 1. The Cousin 2. The Rudeboy 3. The Mummy’s Boy who won’t leave his postcode 4. The Imam wannabe 5. The Party Animal or 6. A mixture of 4 and 5, depending on which day of the week it is.



4.    The need for role models. Apart from the boxer Amir Khan — and he really doesn’t have universal appeal — we have none. I’m not talking about ‘successful people’ here, I mean genuinely famous ones. On the Wikipedia page for ‘List of British Pakistanis’ our famous ones include a fictional television character, a Michael Jackson impersonator and someone called Nigel Le Vaillant.



5.    The outrage at mixed marriages. We arrived in Britain a very long time ago. Aunties, Uncles, larkis and larkas, it’s natural that a few of us will marry white (or even black) people.



6.    The feeling of inadequacy. Although British Pakistanis have formed a strong community of our own, the facts remain unchanged. We will always just be a bunch of BBCDs to ‘real’ Pakistanis or a load of ‘Pakis’ to the (far rightish) British people.



7.    The invasion of privacy. My father has nicknamed one of my Aunties ‘Radio Pakistan’. You might have thought Twitter was the quickest way to spread information/gossip. That is, of course, until you meet this Aunty and many others like her.



8.    The expectation that we can all speak Urdu. Jinnah didn’t speak it well and desi films have subtitles now, so there are enough excuses not to be fluent. Don’t be surprised that to some, Urdu might as well be Swahili.



9.    The “Are you X?” question. Fill X in with any other brown race you can think of. “No, I’m Pakistani!” should be tattooed on my forehead.



10.    The assumption that all Britpaks know each other. There are more than a million of us here. Although most of us come from the same region (i.e. somewhere in the Punjab), no I really don’t know your doctor, taxi driver or the lady who taught you how to make a curry last year.

Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, September 11th,  2011.

What is wrong with India ?

Religion is vital to delude and keep the masses breeding and at bay in poor countries. Rich elites like it that way. so do the rich western countries who benefit from cheap resources and labour. As raj said on the ‘Big Bang Theory’ comdedy, ” In my country we do not allow our people to have dreams.” The U.S show is produced by affluent Indian Chuck Lorre..

L.K. Advani, who became the most polished purveyor of religious intolerance in 20th Century’

Religion should have been buried centuries ago, but the masses on all sides are getting more indoctrination/brainwashing than ever.

Tunku Varadarajan is executive editor at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and a contributing editor at POLITICO.

Narendra Modi, India’s Hindu-fundamentalist prime minister, struts upon the global stage, preaching his country’s virtues. These include democracy, economic growth, the “demographic dividend” of a youthful workforce in an aging world, and, sweetly enough, yoga.

Yet with an economy that’s lost its luster, large-scale youth unemployment, a collapse of political rights, and thugs from Modi’s party practicing the pogrom-asana in their dealings with Muslim fellow-citizens, India has become a land of civic and moral decline.

Remarkably, parts of Delhi rioted and burned unchecked even during a recent state visit by U.S. President Donald Trump, with 42 people — mostly Muslim — hacked, beaten or shot to death. What follows is a list of a dozen people, institutions and ideas that have turned India into a sectarian battleground.

1. The unholy trinity of Hindutva

L.K. Advani, who became the most polished purveyor of religious intolerance in 20th Century’s last quarter | Harish Tyagi/EFE via EPA

The credo of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is “Hindutva,” a word that translates awkwardly as “Hindu-ness.” Its prime ideologues were V.D. Savarkar and M.S. Golwalkar, admirers of Hitler who operated in the first half of the 20th century, and L.K. Advani, who became the most polished purveyor of religious intolerance in that century’s last quarter. Savarkar offered the theory that Hindus could not live alongside Muslims, and Golwalkar — more explicitly — depicted Muslims as enemies of the Indian nation. Advani, the BJP’s leader in the 2009 election, was the man who led rumbustious Hindutva caravans (called “rath yatras”) across India. His most infamous one, in 1990, stoked religious riots along the way. His aim: the tearing down of a 16th-century mosque, the Babri Masjid, believed to have been built on the birthplace of the Hindu god Rama. It was razed by Hindu fanatics two years later.

2. Indira Gandhi

Mrs Gandhi who was murdered by one of her guards.

Indira Gandhi ran her Congress party like a family fiefdom for most of her years as prime minister

India’s original elected autocrat, Indira Gandhi ran her Congress party like a family fiefdom for most of her years as prime minister, grooming her younger son as successor. When he died in a plane crash and she was assassinated in 1984, her older son stepped into the office. When he, in turn, was assassinated in 1991, his wife became the party leader (but not prime minister, since she was Italian) whose bidding was done by yes-men. Indira’s grandson Rahul — a decent lad, but feckless and mollycoddled — helmed the once-great Congress party in the 2019 election. Laid low by dynasticism, and lacking a clear ideology beyond a mealy-mouthed form of welfare state, the party that led India to its independence is no match for Modi.

3. The English-speaking elite

In dissing the English-speaking elite as decadent, the BJP scoffs also at secularism.

India is a country where English is spoken fluently by a privileged few, badly (but functionally) by an aspirational substratum, and not at all by most. The Anglophone elite — administratively and culturally dominant for the first four decades after independence in 1947 — lost ground inevitably in a land where political power is conferred by universal franchise. Diminished, first, by the politics of the caste system, and wrongfooted next by Hindutva, the elite — which had turned its back on ordinary India — has been the architect of its own destruction. In dissing this elite as decadent, the BJP scoffs also at secularism, which it regards as a Western construct unsuited to India.

India’s teeming masses. Governement has decided not to teach poor children English.

4. Amit Shah and Yogi Adityanath

Amit Shah with Yogi Adityanath go about the ugly business of consolidating a majoritarian idea of India | Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

These two men are the remorseless enforcers of Hindutva in India. While Modi travels the globe — packing Wembley Stadium and Madison Square Garden with adoring crowds of overseas Indians — Shah and Adityanath go about the ugly business of consolidating a majoritarian idea of India. The former, as minister of home affairs, is in charge of India’s internal security. For the country’s minorities, this is the equivalent of letting a drooling fox manage a poultry farm, as recent events in Delhi have shown. The city’s police chief — whose force disgraced itself not merely by letting an anti-Muslim pogrom rage unbridled, but by actually participating in the carnage  — takes his orders from Shah. Adityanath, a self-styled “yogi,” or Hindu ascetic, is chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state — home to 38 million Muslims, as many as in Iraq, Morocco or Afghanistan. An unabashed Hindutva triumphalist, his state police treats Muslim citizens as aliens. The “yogi” has prime ministerial ambitions, and should he succeed, he could make Modi look like a milksop.

5. Godmen and pseudoscience

Baba Ramdev made billions peddling a range of therapeutic products of dubious value | Sajjad Hussain

The freewheeling nature of Hinduism — there is no equivalent of the Bible or Quran, or of the pope — has made the religion fertile ground for soi-disant holy men through history. These are often hucksters who are in it for the money, sex or political influence (or all three). With the coming to power of Hindutva, godmen are thriving in India like never before, none more so than Baba Ramdev, who has made billions peddling a range of therapeutic products of dubious value, all with the government’s blessing. The rise to prominence of men like him — and myriad others — has been accompanied by a rise of Hinduist pseudoscience. These include claims by prominent members of the BJP that ancient Indians flew airplanes, possessed nuclear weapons and practised plastic surgery, as well as assertions that the urine and dung of the sacred cow are cures for coronavirus.

6. Ranjan Gogoi

Ranjan Gogoi is, by wide consensus, the worst of the 47 chief justices to have served inIndia’s Supreme Court since independence 

Gogoi, recently retired as chief justice of India’s Supreme Court, is, by wide consensus, the worst of the 47 chief justices to have served since independence. Pliant to a fault, he kowtowed to the Modi government at every opportunity, turning one of the few untarnished institutions in modern India into a complaisant cheerleader for the prime minister. He ceded the power to appoint judges (which, in India, has always been the right of the court’s “collegium”) to the executive; presided over a judgment that handed over the land where the Babri Masjid, the mosque demolished in 1992 by Hindu fanatics, once stood to the very parties who demolished it; and showed a depressing disregard for habeas corpus. Breathtakingly, when a young court employee accused him of sexual harassment, he set up a panel to evaluate her complaint — which he headed himself. Nemo iudex in causa sua? Not in India.

7. The Election Commission

An autonomous body charged with overseeing India’s mammoth elections, the Election Commission, until recently, enjoyed a global reputation for democratic integrity and operational excellence. That reputation now lies in tatters, with the commission having become — like so many other Indian institutions — a handmaiden of the BJP. Incendiary speeches made by Modi during the 2019 election campaign were ignored by the body. Under pressure from the opposition to censure the prime minster, the commission hastily found Modi not culpable of hate speech, but failed to offer proper reasoning. It also permitted the BJP to run a propaganda channel — NAMO TV — during the election campaign, even though its contents were in brazen violation of the laws against political advertising during an election.

8. Arnab Goswami and the mainstream media

A self-satisfied bully who makes the U.S. commentator Bill O’Reilly look like a lollypop lady, Arnab Goswami is the exemplar of the TV anchor who has poisoned political debate in India. His shows are brawling affairs where up to 10 guests shout at once, with Goswami’s own voice bellowing self-righteously above them all. A cheerleader for the BJP, his brand of nationalism is crude (although his diction is polished), and he has yet to make an utterance that he does not, himself, regard as irrefutable. Much of India’s television and print media kowtows, as does Goswami, to Modi’s vision of the country. Protesters are always “anti-national.” The government is always acting in the “national interest.” India’s media is at its lowest ebb in history. Not even during the Emergency — decreed by Indira Gandhi from 1975-1977, during which free speech was severely curtailed — was the media in such craven lockstep with the national government as it is today.

9. Swapan Dasgupta

A Bengali academic-turned-politician, Swapan Dasgupta is a former fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford (where he was a protégé of the psephologist David Butler). Improbably cosmopolitan for a high-ranking member of the BJP, he can tell his claret from his Burgundy, and is one of the few senior Indian politicians with a sense of humor. These qualities serve him well in his role as the principal intellectual enabler of Hindutva, which he performs with relish both in the upper house of parliament — to which he was nominated by Modi — and in his prolific columns in the newspapers. Close to L.K. Advani, he has sought to whitewash the excesses of Modi and Amit Shah, both at home and abroad. His English is perfect, rare in a party of provincials from the northern Indian Hindu heartland. Although his critics regard him as the Heidegger of the Modi regime, Dasgupta is good for the BJP’s “shop window.”

10. Bipin Rawat

Bipin Rawat,former Indian Army chief, was recently appointed India’s first chief of defense staff .

Bipin Rawat, the former Indian Army chief, was recently appointed India’s first chief of defense staff (with command over army, navy and air force). His selection to the post came as no surprise, as he has been closer to Modi than it is seemly for a general to be in the assiduously apolitical traditions of the Indian armed forces. The first army chief to have explicitly supported a ruling party, he is an outspoken man who wades freely into the political debates of the day. (Rawat called recently for Kashmiri youth to be sent to “deradicalization camps”). His fondness for politics does not augur well for the armed forces, the last of India’s institutions — in the minds of many — to have maintained its distance from political squalor.

11. Arvind Kejriwal

The chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal is a beacon of hope to many who yearn for a viable alternative to Hindutva. After all, his seemingly liberal Aam Aadmi Party (Common Man’s Party) defeated the BJP in Delhi’s elections last month. And yet, he has shown himself to be just as capable of heavy-handed suppression of free speech as the party of the prime minister. Within days of becoming chief minister, he moved to prosecute a firebrand, leftist student leader, Kanhaiya Kumar, for sedition, for a blistering speech made in 2016. Kejriwal had, at the time, praised the speech as “brilliant” and lauded Kumar for his “clarity of thought.” (Bemused by Kejriwal’s U-turn, Kumar has demanded “a speedy trial.”)

12. Trolls

India’s politics is conducted not in parliament but on Twitter and WhatsApp, where the BJP’s trolls vilify journalists, | Sanjay Kanojia/AFP via Getty Images

India’s politics is conducted not in parliament but on Twitter and WhatsApp, where the BJP’s trolls vilify journalists, political opponents and anyone in whom they detect a whiff of secularism. (It is certain that this article — and its author — will cop their share of bile.) As Shashi Tharoor, a prominent and combative Congress party MP wrote in a recent column, India’s social media serves as a recycler of prejudice. Social media, he said, “reinforce people’s worst beliefs by exposing them to prejudices they might not have dared to express in the past, but that now no longer seem rare and disreputable.”

Comment  My first junior school teacher, back in 1958, was obsessed with India, its rivers and the tea clippers, especially the ‘Cutty Sark’.  She had a large map of the country on her old classroom walls. There was also a selection of Royal family pictures, along with a globe where a third of the countries were coloured red.  It all seemed so normal back then, according to her one God was in control of everything.

There was no mention of wealth and poverty in India. Nor did she talk of religious division.  In the context of my childhood, born into rural poverty as I was, such issues of wealth , power, exploitation backed up by religious indoctrination was quite normal to me.

So, we have India, never actually conquered by the British elite and an army of redcoats drawn from the underclass, and the British East India Company.  They did not need to.  They just made deals with the high caste natives. There being two forms of religious bigotry, across the sub continent, made life easy for Britain’s Germanic ruling class to divide and rule. Indfia’s ruling high caste learned well how to keep the starving masses while blaming others for the nation’s problems and misery.

R.J Cook

Viewpoint: The myth of ‘strong’ British rule in India Posted Septembeer 26th 2020

By Jon Wilson
HistorianPublished7 September 2016

British troops in Calcutta, with rifles at the ready, clearing a street after Hindus and Muslims used firearms against each other
image captionBritish troops helped expand the empire’s business and political interests in India

In the midst of busy London, the Oriental Club off Oxford Street seems a haven of peace and power. Founded as a home for the Britons who ruled India in the days of the Raj, its wood panels, leather armchairs and faint smell of mulligatawny soup convey an image of ordered dominance to which many now look back with nostalgia. That image still dominates our view of British rule, whether in dramas depicting emotionally constipated British officers like Channel 4’s Indian Summers or features extolling the virtues of British power. It is present even in the most vehement criticisms of the Raj. Like the defenders of British rule, its fiercest detractors assume it was an effective system of government – they just think its power was malevolent, not benign.How Churchill ‘starved’ IndiaViewpoint: Britain must pay reparations to IndiaIndian Summers exposes last days of the British Raj

‘Never intended to rule’

But this image of order and control is a fiction, which belies the reality of life in British India. For 200 years, from the mid 18th Century to independence and partition in 1947, the British presided over a regime that was chaotic, violent, driven by uncontrolled passions and profoundly wracked by anxiety. The British never intended to rule India.

A sikh cavalry unit of the British Malakand Field Force charges on Pathan tribesmen controlling a crossing of the Swat river during the Chitral campaign, north-west India, 7th April 1895. Drawing by John Charlton after a sketch by Lionel James.
image captionMany Indian soldiers were also part of British regiments during the Raj

Their conquest was not driven by a strategy to spread their power, either in their own interests or that of the people they ruled. They first engaged with India as members of the monopolistic East India Company. From the start they were anxious about challenges to their position from other European merchants and Indian rulers. Trade always involved violence, with the company recruiting armies and building forts from the late 1600s. A combination of paranoid concerns about defence and the opportunity for military glory then created an impulse towards conquest from the mid 18th Century onwards.In practice, from the beginning to the end of Britain’s empire, the British created a series of heavily fortified outposts, doing little more than what they thought was necessary to protect their power. Order and some level of public service was provided in imperial cities and district capitals where Britons resided, but there was no effective government machinery in much of Indian society. By contemporary standards, the size of the state was tiny, and the capacity for political action very limited.

Mutineers attack British troops of the Redan Battery at Lucknow, India, during the Indian Mutiny, 30th July 1857.
image captionThe 1857 Indian mutiny was inspired by neglect

During the 19th and early 20th Centuries, British infrastructure was usually built as a panicked response to crisis; public works were not a measured effort to improve Indian society or even help British traders profit. Irrigation works were started in the 1850s only after a series of economic crises made the British worry about rebellion and diminishing taxes. Railways were only backed enthusiastically after the great rebellion of 1857 proved the need to be able to transport troops quickly across India to suppress dissent.

Fear of political challenge

In the middle of the 19th Century even British capitalists wanted the government in India to invest more, but British officials refused to act unless it would directly protect their power.The chaos of British rule helped turn late 19th Century India into one of the world’s most famine-prone societies, as the political networks and mechanisms with which Indians supported each other in times of need were undermined by the British fear of political challenge.

India famine victims
image captionUndated picture of Indian famine victims

Famine relief was focused on protecting centres of British authority and keeping expenditure as low as possible. The initial strategy was to build famine camps to provide the starving with work far away from existing centres of settlement, so the poor didn’t cluster and protest in imperial towns.British rule ended amid a cycle of violence sparked by the Raj’s paranoid concerns about its own security. The 20th Century’s two world wars turned India into a massive self-financing barracks essential to defend Britain’s position throughout Asia – but it also racked up anxiety in the face of challenge.

‘Existential crisis’

The idea of dominating India had come to be woven into imperial families’ very way of life; for some, any form of retreat involved a major existential crisis. The result was events like Gen Reginald Dyer’s unplanned massacre of hundreds of people at Amritsar’s Jallianwala Bagh in 1919, which undermined the belief of many Indian nationalists that they could negotiate with the Raj.

The Duke of Connaught (1850 - 1942) presenting colours at Poona to the 110th Madras.

The political strategy of Indian opponents to British rule was designed to create an ordered society in contrast to the chaos and violence they associated with imperial power. That, for example, was the aim of Mohandas Gandhi’s strategy of non-violence. But amidst economic depression and world war, Indian society fragmented. The Raj’s failure to provide protection to different social groups meant fear and a tendency towards retaliatory violence spread throughout north India. The end of World War Two was marked by mass poverty and an unprecedented social collapse. By 1946, Britons felt that their state could no longer uphold its core purpose, to maintain their own safety. The speed with which British officers fled India in 1947 was remarkable.For too long, we have been taken in by the self-justifying stories written by the Raj’s retired officers in places like the Oriental Club, of the myth of order and firm government. When, after the Chilcot Inquiry, we so obviously see the chaotic consequences of unplanned violence in our own times, it is time those myths were finally laid to rest and we understood the reality of the Raj.Jon Wilson teaches history at King’s College London. His book India Conquered. Britain’s Raj and the Chaos of Empire is published by Simon and Schuster

Related Topics

Scrap English education in Indian schools, says Hindu nationalist leader

Pupils should not be taught in English as they will fail to learn humanitarian and patriotic values, says head of prominent group with links to Nahendra Modi By Andrew Marszal 07 December 2015 • 15:29 pm

A typical class at an Indian school
A typical class at an Indian school Credit: Photo: Alamy

Indian pupils should not be taught in English as they will fail to learn humanitarian and patriotic values, the leader of the country’s most prominent Hindu nationalist group has said….

To continue reading

Why ‘Hindus’ hate Muslims ?
By Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai


Within a wider perspective, Aryan/Brahmins being at the head of caste hierarchy, had appropriated a host of privileges in the form of accepted and ritualistic traditions. All caste groups had to abide by the descending order of servility. The shudras, now a big majority, being the lowest of the low in the Manu-ordained hierarchy. Any rebellious challenge at any level, was immediately put down, even by physical violence; or it may be safely said, the preferred mode of teaching an uppity group to know their place, was through physical violence. These traditions have very long history.
 
After Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s open season on Muslims and Islam, the first for any leader of any nation in the world in recent memory, that gets the honour to directly target Muslims and Islam, as world’s pariah number one, Indian Muslims do not need any further evidence to know that they are a hated lot.It is time for them to reflect and introspect as to why they became the prime target of Gujarat mob attacks that took the ominous shape of ‘ethnic cleansing’ and genocide in India, widely believed to be under direct state sponsorship, as amply proved by the constant defiant and unrepentant tone of all the officials who were constitutionally bound under their oath of office to protect the lives and properties of all the citizens of the country.

However, before we proceed any further, we must define the word ‘Hindus’. The word Hindu has acquired a gross representation to mean all diverse castes and regional groups that are generally and even legally referred to as ‘Hindus’. In fact, different castes, like Brahmins, Thakurs, Baniyas and the rest, have acquired different social and political equations with Muslims in the aftermath of Mandal. Still, it can be safely assumed that the predominant ideological confrontation with Muslims is spearheaded by upper castes, specially the Brahmins. They see themselves as the leaders of all non-Muslim communities vis – a – vis Muslims, given the high status accorded to them by socio-religious order commonly known as Manuvad.

It would be appropriate to stress that even without Muslims coming into the picture, the caste hierarchy had remained a source of constant friction, all through thousands of years of recorded history in India; mainly due to inherent or assumed injustices meted out to each other in the name of religiously ordained caste groupings. As rights and responsibilities of each of such groups and sub-groups were spelled out, both by scriptures, local traditions and common practices, the interaction between all such groups, though part of that greater identification as Hindus vis-a-vis Muslims, remained always on the boiling point.

Post-independence, the Brahmins emerged as the ruling group, not on the basis of their numerical strength in a democratic set-up (they are a very small minority of around 4% of the total percentage of 85% of the total population of India) , but on the basis of caste superiority as well as intellectual and professional merits acquired over a period of time. Though it is not publicly acknowledged, it is none the less always in all equations, that all Brahmins are Aryans, and had been known to have come to India thousands of years back from Central Asia. They are a distinct race as could be made out by their appearance being of light skin and Caucasian features. They brought with them a language, that still shares very broad but basic similarities with other language groups in northern areas of Asia and Europe. They also brought with them a fairly distinct set of spiritual traditions, that later crystallised in a highly developed form of beliefs and rituals and is commonly referred to as Sanatan Dharam.

There is a new trend born of political considerations of self-preservation as well as competition with the ‘invader Muslims’, to evolve new theories declaring Aryans/Brahmins as indigenous people and not immigrants from the north. Spurious findings and elaborate theorising has not yet accomplished this desperate attempt to ‘ belong eternally to India’, as one further basis to assume the role of ‘legitimate’ rulers of the vast and diversified mass of communities and ethnicities. But the campaign borne of deep-rooted insecurities, is even promoted at State level, now that RSS and Sangh Parivar is ruling the center. Revision of Indian history too is part of the same obsession borne of insecurities. The recent difficulty in accepting Italy-born Sonia Gandhi as possible Prime Minister of India, too is directly related to the constant attempt at branding Indian Muslims as foreigners and therefore without any legal rights per se to be counted as Indian citizen.

Though throughout India’s last 50 years of independence and specially during the long stretch of Congress rule, Muslims were completely sidelined from the national mainstream, they never-the-less were exploited by the Congress as a captive vote bank. Congress nourished Muslim vote bank, not through any perks of office, employment, economic upliftment, land grants etc. It had its own brand of pseudo-secular empty propaganda on one hand and the crack of communal riot-whiplash to keep the community in its stranglehold on the other hand. This spurious ‘appeasement’ ensured that neither Muslims progress even in comparison to ST/SC and OBCs; nor they jilt Congress at the time of elections.

The 40 long years of sitting in the opposition, convinced RSS parivar, obsessed as they were with their cherished dream of Hindu Rashtra, that they could never come anywhere near the seat of power, as long as Muslims keep Congress in harness. That continued frustration crystallised in perpetual hatred of Muslims well as the whole system of democracy and secularism.

It is ironical that both systems that were competing to put their stamp on Indian governance, were basically formulated and promoted by Aryan/Brahmins themselves, as the sole intellectual leaders of the new nation. The only difference was that Nehruvian democracy and socialism were ‘handicapped’ as it needed the Muslim votes to prop up its absolute majority.In the case of Hindutvad, they had determined to write off Muslims altogether; so much so that even Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee did not flinch in throwing an open challenge to UP Muslim voters during recent assembly elections in UP, that their party will win without Muslim votes. 

The results proved that Muslims’ votes did make a difference in the eventual low ranking of BJP. Many would trace Gujarat riots to be directly related to BJP’s defeat in UP, as a revenge on Muslims in a state where BJP still ruled all by itself. Though the genesis of Gujarat genocidal planning does expose the more sinister and sustained long term agenda by the BJP and Sangh Parivar to tackle the Muslim problem in a direct action strategy, not awaiting the pretext of any untoward election results.It is primarily, this combination of continued frustration and imagined guilt of Muslims being the king-pin of their misfortune that became the driving force of the typical Aryan/Brahmins logic to hate the Muslims. The hate is now being institutionalised as the main concern of all Hindus; but the fact cannot be kept hidden that except for a small percentage, all Brahmins are not enamoured of Sangh Parivar’s untenable claims of congenital superiority in this egalitarian age.

Within a wider perspective, Aryan/Brahmins being at the head of caste hierarchy, had appropriated a host of privileges in the form of accepted and ritualistic traditions. All caste groups had to abide by the descending order of servility. The shudras, now a big majority, being the lowest of the low in the Manu-ordained hierarchy. Any rebellious challenge at any level, was immediately put down, even by physical violence; or it may be safely said, the preferred mode of teaching an uppity group to know their place, was through physical violence. These traditions have very long history.

In the modern democratic set-up, the numbers game becomes important. Though Aryan/Brahmins have been able to conjure up their majorities by marshalling all ‘Hindu’ castes against the ‘foreign invaders’, the Muslims, the progeny of Babar, the attempt requires constant efforts. The Aryan/Brahmins cannot keep their ruling privileges, if they relent anytime and let the Muslims consolidate or team up by other lower caste groups; thus threatening their natural constituencies.

All their attempts to absorb the distinct Muslims into the religious and tradition-bound caste social order, has failed, due to Muslims’ own identities, specially drawn out of their religion: Islam and their links with world wide Muslim Umma.

This cannot be long tolerated without in fact creating more dispersion in their own caste order. Muslims are a constant challenge as a group of people, who cannot be tamed to accept Aryans/Brahmins as naturally or religiously superior by any yardstick, as per the basic teachings of Islam. Their aura of independence, freedom from Manu-order, with their own personal laws and their preferred associations with their brothers in Islam across the world, is a permanent problem. There is no solution in sight, except the ‘final solution’ that the fool-hardy Hitler had thought of, to the utter destruction of his elaborately built up Reich.

Besides being believers of a ‘foreign’ religion, ‘Muslims’ have ruled India for close to a millennium. This history gives the group a sense of superiority, whether felt or lived at grass-root level or not, but deeply reacted to by the current ruling class. They feel that Muslims are still a threat and can always make a come-back; through means, fair or foul. The wholesale migration of the elite to Pakistan and the current social and economic conditions of Muslims are not any consolation to the rulers. They want to see them out. In earlier times, even brothers and fathers were slaughtered to make sure there is no claimant to the throne. The same primitive logic seems to be working behind the attempt to create a campaign of hate towards Muslims. 

The gist of Hindutva philosophy that was formulated by Hedgewar and Golwalker in the dying years of British colonialism, to forestall the coming to power of Muslims again, is to divide and destroy Muslims of the subcontinent in a very sophisticated, multi-pronged and structured manner to ‘liberate’ India for the exclusive and unchallenged rule of Aryans/Brahmins. Muslims may live in India, but not as Muslims, or rulers, or high castes, but as shudras owing allegiance to Aryan/Brahmins and their dictats, at the sole pleasure of the Aryans/Brahmins, the unchallenged spokesmen of a contrived majority.Ignored generally is the fact that Muslims are not poised to challenge the Aryans/Brahmins in any thought out strategies to take over India in a competitive leadership contest, —– simply because they lack motivations and ambitions; and are not really the progeny of ‘Babar’ as is erroneously made out. In fact, majority of them are the real sons of the soil. However, as Muslims, they are not prepared to change their religious and psychological sense of identities, anytime soon.

The more they are subjected to Gujarat like pogrom, the more they will be forced to mobilise their faculties to secure a safe place in the polity; —– but that could never be at the cost of their allegiance to Islam and their aspiration to remain part of the international brotherhood of Muslim Umma.The current ruling class will have to come to terms with them and could positively co-opt them with all their bag and baggage, specially in view of the potentials of their global lines of communication in this age of globalisation. Being intellectually more resilient and flexible, the task is not beyond them. Given cooler heads, Muslims could become India’s biggest assets.