Translate

Featured post

तन्हा जीवन

दीवाली की खुशियाँ तो एक पक्ष है जीवन का होना और चलना भी एक पक्ष है खुद को यादों से परहेज कर के खुद को खुद में जीना होता है जब बूं...

Google+ Followers

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

इस्लाम टुकड़े टुकड़े में

दुनिया के मुसलमान कितने पंथों में बंटे हैं?

- सलाहुद्दीन ज़ैन 

 
चरमपंथ और के जुड़ते रिश्तों से परेशान भारत में इस्लाम की बरेलवी विचारधारा के सूफियों और नुमाइंदों ने एक कांफ्रेंस कर कहा कि वो दहशतगर्दी के खिलाफ हैं। सिर्फ इतना ही नहीं बरेलवी समुदाय ने इसके लिए वहाबी विचारधारा को जिम्मेदार ठहराया।
 
इन आरोप-प्रत्यारोप के बीच सभी की दिलचस्पी इस बात में बढ़ गई है कि आखिर ये वहाबी विचारधारा क्या है। लोग जानना चाहते हैं कि मुस्लिम समाज कितने पंथों में बंटा है और वे किस तरह एक दूसरे से अलग हैं?
इस्लाम के सभी अनुयायी खुद को कहते हैं लेकिन इस्लामिक कानून (फ़िक़ह) और इस्लामिक इतिहास की अपनी-अपनी समझ के आधार पर मुसलमान कई पंथों में बंटे हैं। बड़े पैमाने पर या संप्रदाय के आधार पर देखा जाए तो मुसलमानों को दो हिस्सों-सुन्नी और शिया में बांटा जा सकता है। हालांकि शिया और सुन्नी भी कई फ़िरकों या पंथों में बंटे हुए हैं।
 
बात अगर शिया-सुन्नी की करें तो दोनों ही इस बात पर सहमत हैं कि अल्लाह एक है, मोहम्मद साहब उनके दूत हैं और कुरान आसमानी किताब यानी अल्लाह की भेजी हुई किताब है। लेकिन दोनों समुदाय में विश्वासों और पैगम्बर मोहम्मद की मौत के बाद उनके उत्तराधिकारी के मुद्दे पर गंभीर मतभेद हैं। इन दोनों के इस्लामिक कानून भी अलग-अलग हैं।
 
सुन्नी : सुन्नी या सुन्नत का मतलब उस तौर तरीके को अपनाना है जिस पर पैगम्बर मोहम्मद (570-632 ईसवी) ने खुद अमल किया हो और इसी हिसाब से वे सुन्नी कहलाते हैं। एक अनुमान के मुताबिक, दुनिया के लगभग 80-85 प्रतिशत मुसलमान सुन्नी हैं जबकि 15 से 20 प्रतिशत के बीच शिया हैं।
 
सुन्नी मुसलमानों का मानना है कि पैगम्बर मोहम्मद के बाद उनके ससुर हजरत अबु-बकर (632-634 ईसवी) मुसलमानों के नए नेता बने, जिन्हें खलीफा कहा गया। इस तरह से अबु-बकर के बाद हज़रत उमर (634-644 ईसवी), हज़रत उस्मान (644-656 ईसवी) और हज़रत अली (656-661 ईसवी) मुसलमानों के नेता बने।
 
इन चारों को ख़ुलफ़ा-ए-राशिदीन यानी सही दिशा में चलने वाला कहा जाता है। इसके बाद से जो लोग आए, वो राजनीतिक रूप से तो मुसलमानों के नेता कहलाए लेकिन धार्मिक एतबार से उनकी अहमियत कोई ख़ास नहीं थी।
 
जहां तक इस्लामिक क़ानून की व्याख्या का सवाल है सुन्नी मुसलमान मुख्य रूप से चार समूह में बंटे हैं। हालांकि पांचवां समूह भी है जो इन चारों से ख़ुद को अलग कहता है। इन पांचों के विश्वास और आस्था में बहुत अंतर नहीं है, लेकिन इनका मानना है कि उनके इमाम या धार्मिक नेता ने इस्लाम की सही व्याख्या की है।
दरअसल सुन्नी इस्लाम में इस्लामी क़ानून के चार प्रमुख स्कूल हैं। आठवीं और नवीं सदी में लगभग 150 साल के अंदर चार प्रमुख धार्मिक नेता पैदा हुए। उन्होंने इस्लामिक क़ानून की व्याख्या की और फिर आगे चलकर उनके मानने वाले उस फ़िरक़े के समर्थक बन गए।
 
ये चार इमाम थे- इमाम अबू हनीफ़ा (699-767 ईसवी), इमाम शाफ़ई (767-820 ईसवी), इमाम हंबल (780-855 ईसवी) और इमाम मालिक (711-795 ईसवी)।
 
हनफ़ी : इमाम अबू हनीफ़ा के मानने वाले हनफ़ी कहलाते हैं। इस फ़िक़ह या इस्लामिक क़ानून के मानने वाले मुसलमान भी दो गुटों में बंटे हुए हैं। एक देवबंदी हैं तो दूसरे अपने आप को बरेलवी कहते हैं।
 
देवबंदी और बरेलवी : दोनों ही नाम उत्तर प्रदेश के दो ज़िलों, देवबंद और बरेली के नाम पर है। दरअसल 20वीं सदी के शुरू में दो धार्मिक नेता मौलाना अशरफ़ अली थानवी (1863-1943) और अहमद रज़ा ख़ां बरेलवी (1856-1921) ने इस्लामिक क़ानून की अलग-अलग व्याख्या की।
 
अशरफ़ अली थानवी का संबंध दारुल-उलूम देवबंद मदरसा से था, जबकि आला हज़रत अहमद रज़ा ख़ां बरेलवी का संबंध बरेली से था। मौलाना अब्दुल रशीद गंगोही और मौलाना क़ासिम ननोतवी ने 1866 में देवबंद मदरसे की बुनियाद रखी थी। देवबंदी विचारधारा को परवान चढ़ाने में मौलाना अब्दुल रशीद गंगोही, मौलाना क़ासिम ननोतवी और मौलाना अशरफ़ अली थानवी की अहम भूमिका रही है।
भारतीय उपमहाद्वीप यानी भारत, पाकिस्तान, बांग्लादेश और अफ़गानिस्तान में रहने वाले अधिकांश मुसलमानों का संबंध इन्हीं दो पंथों से है।
 
देवबंदी और बरेलवी विचारधारा के मानने वालों का दावा है कि क़ुरान और हदीस ही उनकी शरियत का मूल स्रोत है लेकिन इस पर अमल करने के लिए इमाम का अनुसरण करना ज़रूरी है। इसलिए शरीयत के तमाम क़ानून इमाम अबू हनीफ़ा के फ़िक़ह के अनुसार हैं।
 
वहीं बरेलवी विचारधारा के लोग आला हज़रत रज़ा ख़ान बरेलवी के बताए हुए तरीक़े को ज़्यादा सही मानते हैं। बरेली में आला हज़रत रज़ा ख़ान की मज़ार है जो बरेलवी विचारधारा के मानने वालों के लिए एक बड़ा केंद्र है। दोनों में कुछ ज़्यादा फ़र्क़ नहीं लेकिन कुछ चीज़ों में मतभेद हैं। जैसे बरेलवी इस बात को मानते हैं कि पैग़म्बर मोहम्मद सब कुछ जानते हैं, जो दिखता है वो भी और जो नहीं दिखता है वो भी। वह हर जगह मौजूद हैं और सब कुछ देख रहे हैं।
 
वहीं देवबंदी इसमें विश्वास नहीं रखते। देवबंदी अल्लाह के बाद नबी को दूसरे स्थान पर रखते हैं लेकिन उन्हें इंसान मानते हैं। बरेलवी सूफ़ी इस्लाम के अनुयायी हैं और उनके यहां सूफ़ी मज़ारों को काफ़ी महत्व प्राप्त है जबकि देवबंदियों के पास इन मज़ारों की बहुत अहमियत नहीं है, बल्कि वो इसका विरोध करते हैं।
 
मालिकी : इमाम अबू हनीफ़ा के बाद सुन्नियों के दूसरे इमाम, इमाम मालिक हैं जिनके मानने वाले एशिया में कम हैं। उनकी एक महत्वपूर्ण किताब 'इमाम मोत्ता' के नाम से प्रसिद्ध है। उनके अनुयायी उनके बताए नियमों को ही मानते हैं। ये समुदाय आमतौर पर मध्य पूर्व एशिया और उत्तरी अफ्रीका में पाए जाते हैं।
शाफ़ई : शाफ़ई इमाम मालिक के शिष्य हैं और सुन्नियों के तीसरे प्रमुख इमाम हैं। मुसलमानों का एक बड़ा तबक़ा उनके बताए रास्तों पर अमल करता है, जो ज्यादातर मध्य पूर्व एशिया और अफ्रीकी देशों में रहता है। आस्था के मामले में यह दूसरों से बहुत अलग नहीं है लेकिन इस्लामी तौर-तरीक़ों के आधार पर यह हनफ़ी फ़िक़ह से अलग है। उनके अनुयायी भी इस बात में विश्वास रखते हैं कि इमाम का अनुसरण करना ज़रूरी है।
 
हंबली : सऊदी अरब, क़तर, कुवैत, मध्य पूर्व और कई अफ्रीकी देशों में भी मुसलमान इमाम हंबल के फ़िक़ह पर ज्यादा अमल करते हैं और वे अपने आपको हंबली कहते हैं।
 
सऊदी अरब की सरकारी शरीयत इमाम हंबल के धार्मिक क़ानूनों पर आधारित है। उनके अनुयायियों का कहना है कि उनका बताया हुआ तरीक़ा हदीसों के अधिक करीब है। इन चारों इमामों को मानने वाले मुसलमानों का ये मानना है कि शरीयत का पालन करने के लिए अपने अपने इमाम का अनुसरण करना ज़रूरी है।
 
सल्फ़ी, वहाबी और अहले हदीस : सुन्नियों में एक समूह ऐसा भी है जो किसी एक ख़ास इमाम के अनुसरण की बात नहीं मानता और उसका कहना है कि शरीयत को समझने और उसका सही ढंग से पालन करने के लिए सीधे क़ुरान और हदीस (पैग़म्बर मोहम्मद के कहे हुए शब्द) का अध्ययन करना चाहिए। इसी समुदाय को सल्फ़ी और अहले-हदीस और वहाबी आदि के नाम से जाना जाता है।
 
यह संप्रदाय चारों इमामों के ज्ञान, उनके शोध अध्ययन और उनके साहित्य की क़द्र करता है। लेकिन उसका कहना है कि इन इमामों में से किसी एक का अनुसरण अनिवार्य नहीं है। उनकी जो बातें क़ुरान और हदीस के अनुसार हैं उस पर अमल तो सही है लेकिन किसी भी विवादास्पद चीज़ में अंतिम फ़ैसला क़ुरान और हदीस का मानना चाहिए।
 
सल्फ़ी समूह का कहना है कि वह ऐसे इस्लाम का प्रचार चाहता है जो पैग़म्बर मोहम्मद के समय में था। इस सोच को परवान चढ़ाने का सेहरा इब्ने तैमिया और मोहम्मद बिन अब्दुल वहाब हुआ और उनके नाम पर ही यह समुदाय वहाबी नाम से भी जाना जाता है। मध्य पूर्व के अधिकांश इस्लामिक विद्वान उनकी विचारधारा से ज़्यादा प्रभावित हैं। इस समूह के बारे में एक बात बड़ी मशहूर है कि यह सांप्रदायिक तौर पर बेहद कट्टरपंथी और धार्मिक मामलों में बहुत कट्टर है। सऊदी अरब के मौजूदा शासक इसी विचारधारा को मानते हैं। अल-क़ायदा प्रमुख ओसामा बिन लादेन भी सल्फ़ी विचाराधारा के समर्थक थे।
 
सुन्नी बोहरा : गुजरात, महाराष्ट्र और पाकिस्तान के सिंध प्रांत में मुसलमानों के कारोबारी समुदाय के एक समूह को बोहरा के नाम से जाना जाता है। बोहरा, शिया और सुन्नी दोनों होते हैं। सुन्नी बोहरा हनफ़ी इस्लामिक क़ानून पर अमल करते हैं जबकि सांस्कृतिक तौर पर दाऊदी बोहरा यानी शिया समुदाय के क़रीब हैं।
अहमदिया : हनफ़ी इस्लामिक क़ानून का पालन करने वाले मुसलमानों का एक समुदाय अपने आप को अहमदिया कहता है। इस समुदाय की स्थापना भारतीय पंजाब के क़ादियान में मिर्ज़ा ग़ुलाम अहमद ने की थी। इस पंथ के अनुयायियों का मानना है कि मिर्ज़ा ग़ुलाम अहमद ख़ुद नबी का ही एक अवतार थे।
 
उनके मुताबिक़ वे खुद कोई नई शरीयत नहीं लाए बल्कि पैग़म्बर मोहम्मद की शरीयत का ही पालन कर रहे हैं लेकिन वे नबी का दर्जा रखते हैं। मुसलमानों के लगभग सभी संप्रदाय इस बात पर सहमत हैं कि मोहम्मद साहब के बाद अल्लाह की तरफ़ से दुनिया में भेजे गए दूतों का सिलसिला ख़त्म हो गया है। लेकिन अहमदियों का मानना है कि मिर्ज़ा ग़ुलाम अहमद ऐसे धर्म सुधारक थे जो नबी का दर्जा रखते हैं।
 
बस इसी बात पर मतभेद इतने गंभीर हैं कि मुसलमानों का एक बड़ा वर्ग अहमदियों को मुसलमान ही नहीं मानता। हालांकि भारत, पाकिस्तान और ब्रिटेन में अहमदियों की अच्छी ख़ासी संख्या है। पाकिस्तान में अहमदियों पर हिंसक मामले ज़्यादा देखने को मिलते हैं। पाकिस्तान में तो आधिकारिक तौर पर अहमदियों को इस्लाम से ख़ारिज कर दिया गया है।
 
शिया : शिया मुसलमानों की धार्मिक आस्था और इस्लामिक क़ानून सुन्नियों से काफ़ी अलग है। वह पैग़म्बर मोहम्मद के बाद ख़लीफ़ा नहीं बल्कि इमाम नियुक्त किए जाने के समर्थक हैं। उनका मानना है कि पैग़म्बर मोहम्मद की मौत के बाद उनके असल उत्तारधिकारी उनके दामाद हज़रत अली थे। उनके अनुसार पैग़म्बर मोहम्मद भी अली को ही अपना वारिस घोषित कर चुके थे लेकिन धोखे से उनकी जगह हज़रत अबू-बकर को नेता चुन लिया गया।
 
शिया मुसलमान मोहम्मद के बाद बने पहले तीन ख़लीफ़ा को अपना नेता नहीं मानते बल्कि उन्हें ग़ासिब कहते हैं। ग़ासिब अरबी का शब्द है जिसका अर्थ हड़पने वाला होता है।
उनका विश्वास है कि जिस तरह अल्लाह ने मोहम्मद साहब को अपना पैग़म्बर बनाकर भेजा था उसी तरह से उनके दामाद अली को भी अल्लाह ने ही इमाम या नबी नियुक्त किया था और फिर इस तरह से उन्हीं की संतानों से इमाम होते रहे। आगे चलकर शिया भी कई हिस्सों में बंट गए।
 
इस्ना अशरी : सुन्नियों की तरह शियाओं में भी कई संप्रदाय हैं लेकिन सबसे बड़ा समूह इस्ना अशरी यानी बारह इमामों को मानने वाला समूह है। दुनिया के लगभग 75 प्रतिशत शिया इसी समूह से संबंध रखते हैं। इस्ना अशरी समुदाय का कलमा सुन्नियों के कलमे से भी अलग है।
 
उनके पहले इमाम हज़रत अली हैं और अंतिम यानी बारहवें इमाम ज़माना यानी इमाम महदी हैं। वो अल्लाह, क़ुरान और हदीस को मानते हैं, लेकिन केवल उन्हीं हदीसों को सही मानते हैं जो उनके इमामों के माध्यम से आए हैं।
 
क़ुरान के बाद अली के उपदेश पर आधारित किताब नहजुल बलाग़ा और अलकाफ़ि भी उनकी महत्वपूर्ण धार्मिक पुस्तक हैं। यह संप्रदाय इस्लामिक धार्मिक क़ानून के मुताबिक़ जाफ़रिया में विश्वास रखता है। ईरान, इराक़, भारत और पाकिस्तान सहित दुनिया के अधिकांश देशों में इस्ना अशरी शिया समुदाय का दबदबा है।
 
ज़ैदिया : शियाओं का दूसरा बड़ा सांप्रदायिक समूह ज़ैदिया है, जो बारह के बजाय केवल पांच इमामों में ही विश्वास रखता है। इसके चार पहले इमाम तो इस्ना अशरी शियों के ही हैं लेकिन पांचवें और अंतिम इमाम हुसैन (हज़रत अली के बेटे) के पोते ज़ैद बिन अली हैं जिसकी वजह से वह ज़ैदिया कहलाते हैं। उनके इस्लामिक़ क़ानून ज़ैद बिन अली की एक किताब 'मजमऊल फ़िक़ह' से लिए गए हैं। मध्य पूर्व के यमन में रहने वाले हौसी ज़ैदिया समुदाय के मुसलमान हैं।
 
इस्माइली शिया : शियों का यह समुदाय केवल सात इमामों को मानता है और उनके अंतिम इमाम मोहम्मद बिन इस्माइल हैं और इसी वजह से उन्हें इस्माइली कहा जाता है। इस्ना अशरी शियों से इनका विवाद इस बात पर हुआ कि इमाम जाफ़र सादिक़ के बाद उनके बड़े बेटे इस्माईल बिन जाफ़र इमाम होंगे या फिर दूसरे बेटे।
 
इस्ना अशरी समूह ने उनके दूसरे बेटे मूसा काज़िम को इमाम माना और यहीं से दो समूह बन गए। इस तरह इस्माइलियों ने अपना सातवां इमाम इस्माइल बिन जाफ़र को माना। उनकी फ़िक़ह और कुछ मान्यताएं भी इस्ना अशरी शियों से कुछ अलग है।
 
दाऊदी बोहरा : बोहरा का एक समूह, जो दाऊदी बोहरा कहलाता है, इस्माइली शिया फ़िक़ह को मानता है और इसी विश्वास पर क़ायम है। अंतर यह है कि दाऊदी बोहरा 21 इमामों को मानते हैं।
उनके अंतिम इमाम तैयब अबुल क़ासिम थे जिसके बाद आध्यात्मिक गुरुओं की परंपरा है। इन्हें दाई कहा जाता है और इस तुलना से 52वें दाई सैय्यदना बुरहानुद्दीन रब्बानी थे। 2014 में रब्बानी के निधन के बाद से उनके दो बेटों में उत्तराधिकार का झगड़ा हो गया और अब मामला अदालत में है।
 
बोहरा भारत के पश्चिमी क्षेत्र ख़ासकर गुजरात और महाराष्ट्र में पाए जाते हैं जबकि पाकिस्तान और यमन में भी ये मौजूद हैं। यह एक सफल व्यापारी समुदाय है जिसका एक धड़ा सुन्नी भी है।
 
खोजा : खोजा गुजरात का एक व्यापारी समुदाय है जिसने कुछ सदी पहले इस्लाम स्वीकार किया था। इस समुदाय के लोग शिया और सुन्नी दोनों इस्लाम मानते हैं। ज़्यादातर खोजा इस्माइली शिया के धार्मिक क़ानून का पालन करते हैं लेकिन एक बड़ी संख्या में खोजा इस्ना अशरी शियाओं की भी है। लेकिन कुछ खोजे सुन्नी इस्लाम को भी मानते हैं। इस समुदाय का बड़ा वर्ग गुजरात और महाराष्ट्र में पाया जाता है। पूर्वी अफ्रीकी देशों में भी ये बसे हुए हैं।
 
नुसैरी : शियों का यह संप्रदाय सीरिया और मध्य पूर्व के विभिन्न क्षेत्रों में पाया जाता है। इसे अलावी के नाम से भी जाना जाता है। सीरिया में इसे मानने वाले ज़्यादातर शिया हैं और देश के राष्ट्रपति बशर अल असद का संबंध इसी समुदाय से है। इस समुदाय का मानना है कि अली वास्तव में भगवान के अवतार के रूप में दुनिया में आए थे। उनकी फ़िक़ह इस्ना अशरी में है लेकिन विश्वासों में मतभेद है। नुसैरी पुर्नजन्म में भी विश्वास रखते हैं और कुछ ईसाइयों की रस्में भी उनके धर्म का हिस्सा हैं। इन सबके अलावा भी इस्लाम में कई छोटे छोटे पंथ पाए जाते हैं।
Read more »

Monday, 29 February 2016

Why has South India’s Catholic Church re-inducted a convicted child molester priest? Isn’t it a moral travesty?

Child Sexual Abuse

Why has South India’s Catholic Church re-inducted a convicted child molester priest?Isn’t it a moral travesty?

Screen grab from a CNN intv
On August 24, 2005, the diocese of Crookton in Minnesota received an anonymous complaint stating that an Indian priest, Father Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul, working at the church had sexually assaulted a minor.
A second victim later came forward. Another young girl who had wanted to become a nun had been sexually assaulted by Father Jeyapaul. The man hailing from Tamil Nadu rushed back to India and after almost a decade of legal wrangles, he was convicted by the Minnesota court and sentenced to a year in prison in 2015.
After serving a shorter prison term, Jeyapaul returned to India a few months ago. And in a move that has shocked child right activists in the state; the Roman Catholic Church of Southern India has now lifted the suspension against him.
He was sentenced a shorter term in jail based on a plea bargain, with the condition that he does not get back to ministerial duties or get in contact with children.
While the international media had first reported on the lifting of the suspension, the Ootacamund Diocese in Tamil Nadu confirmed to The News Minute that the church was not averse to allotting a role to Father Jeyapaul in the church ministry.
Sebastian Selvanathan, Spokesperson, Ooty Diocese told TNM, “He was released from the prison in USA through a court order. His case was then referred to the Doctrine of Faith in Rome. According to the direction from there, the suspension was lifted. He has not been given ministry now, if he is given, it will be given with certain restrictions.” Doctrine of Faith is a congregation of the Roman Curia.
Catholic Bishops' Conference of India refuses to comment
Father Gyanprakash Topno, spokesperson of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India refused to comment on Ootacamund diocese' decision. "We cannot comment on the decision sitting here in Delhi. It is the decision taken by the Ootacamund diocese. They must have reinstated him keeping in mind various factors that we cannot at the moment question. As far as I know he is not been given a position as yet,” he said.
This is in clear contrast to the position taken by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India in 2010.A plenary meeting of this apex body of catholic churches in India had then said that they would have a zero-tolerance policy to abuse of children in institutions run by the Church.
The church body had then said that “any clergy member accused of sexual abuse would be suspended from all priestly duties, and in extreme cases, the Church would consider defrocking the priest”.
When asked about the Child Protection Policy of the church, Father Gyanprakash Topno reiterated that the decision was by the Roman Catholic Church in South India, and they cannot comment. 
Vidya Reddy of - Tulir - Centre for the Prevention and Healing of Child Sexual Abuse (CPHCSA) calls it a case of mockery. “It is unfortunate that child protection is treated so trivially by the church that runs so many educational inst. If this is the way Jeyapaul is being dealt with, what is going to be the church’s response to all the cases in which Indian priests have been accused? It makes a mockery of the recent proclamation by the church that  they will look at child protection seriously,” she told TNM.
Attorney Jeff Anderson of St. Paul, Minnesota, who represented the girls in the case, criticized church authorities for lifting Jeyapaul's suspension, said, "The Vatican must be held accountable.... This is on them. This is on the pope," Anderson said.
While Peterson has spoken publicly about her case before in hopes that it would help others, Anderson said she was too upset to comment Saturday. "They're both quite upset, disturbed and feel deeply betrayed that they would have the audacity to consider even putting him back in ministry," Anderson said. "To use Megan's words, 'They'll never get it and I'm feeling re-victimized.'"
But why is the Ooty church backing Father Jeyapaul relentlessly?
In 2005, despite repeated letters from Bishop Victor Balke of the Minnesota church, the Ootacamund diocese failed to act against Jeyapaul. Bishop Balke, through several letters, clearly said that he believed Jeyapaul was guilty not just of sexual misconduct, but of financial misappropriation. The News Minute has these letters.
That’s not all. In spite of the complaints, Jeyapaul was made the secretary for the Diocesan Commission for Education in the Diocese of Ootacamund. It was only in 2006 when Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of Church Development Fund insisted that Jeyapaul was suspended from ministerial activities.
Statement of Megan Peterson during the case- "Father Jeyapaul then told me that it was a sin if I didn't cooperate. He raped me, both orally and vaginally.
After he was finished with me, he told me that I had to confess. I had always been taught how wrong it was to have pre-marital sex.  I felt as if I didn't have a choice. So I did as he asked. Most mornings before school or in the afternoons following class, he would continue to rape me while I was in the confessional.  Then he would give me penance."
Inputs by Divya Karthikeyan, Pheba Mathew and Sarayu Srinivasan.
Read more »

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Entire J&K including PoK is integral part of India: UK MP

SOURCE: PTI
A UK lawmaker Tuesday said that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, including parts “illegally controlled” by Pakistan, were integral part of India. “State of Jammu and Kashmir in totality is part of India an integral part of India and it needs to be reunited and should come under the dominion of India,” UK Member parliament and leader of ruling conservative party Robert John Blackman told reporters in Jammu during a meet the press function organized by the Press Club of Jammu.
Blackman said Pakistan must vacate the territory of Jammu and Kashmir “illegally occupied” by that country.
“The erstwhile ruler of Jammu and Kashmir had signed instrument of accession with India and given the control of the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir to India, it is Pakistan which illegally occupied its territory which it should hand back to India through negotiation,” he said.
Blackman said that as both the countries were nuclear power, so there was no question of both the nations for going on war for Kashmir, but Pakistan must itself vacate the territory and hand it over to India.
The lawmaker from the Harrow East constituency in England said that in the past Pakistan lobby had strong presence in the UK parliament but things have changed and people like him who are “friends of India” have been started speaking about India.
He said that the ties between India and the United Kingdom have grown stronger even since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over the reins of power in India and his last year’s “historic visit” to UK has further strengthened the bond.
Invoking the Gujarat model of development he said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a vision to develop India as an economic and military power of the east and United Kingdom was ready to provide all possible support to India for attaining the goal.
He said Modi has been working tirelessly to take India to “greater heights”, he said.
He said India has been a victim of terrorism originating from Pakistani soil and it should take measures to rein in the “forces” that spread terrorism in countries like India.
Asked why UK does not declare Pakistan as a terrorist state, Blackman said he cannot speak on behalf of the UK government, but he was aware of the terrorist attacks that India faced and that originated from the Pakistani soil.
He said that UK government was aware of the terrorism being faced by India and it stands shoulder to shoulder with India to combat terrorism.
Read more »

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Blockade is Over but Nepal's Young Madhesis are determined to keep thier Agitation alive

The blockade is over but Nepal's young Madhesis are determined to keep their agitation alive

An old demand that their Terai region should secede from the country is gaining new currency.
 
Photo Credit: Anumeha Yadav
Madhesi protestors have lifted the four-month blockade of the India-Nepal open international border at Birgunj. On February 5, the first trucks rolled across the Maitreyi bridge, which connects Raxaul in Bihar's East Champaran to Birgunj in Nepal, just 150 km away from the capital Kathmandu.
The agitation began in September, shortly after Nepal's parliament ratified the country's new Constitution, as Scroll.in reported earlier in thisseries. The Madhesis – a term for several communities living in Nepal's central and eastern plains who have close cultural and family ties to India – fear that the new statute will perpetuate the discrimination they have long faced. Kathmandu, however, accused India of imposing an unofficial blockade on the landlocked country, a charge denied by New Delhi.
The agitation caused an enormous shortage of fuel and essential goods in Nepal.
Since last weekend, the tents and bamboo poles blocking the Maitreyi bridge, the most visible symbols of the protest, have disappeared. What is left is the memory of the human cost – 55 civilians and seven policemen lost their lives in the agitation – and an over-arching question: How has the turmoil shaped the views of youth in towns like Birgunj, which were at the epicenter of the protests?
State brutality
On January 15, when negotiations between a coalition of Madhes-based parties and the three major Nepali political parties were still in progress in Kathmandu, protestors had for the first time since September allowed two-wheelers onto the Maitreyi bridge.
A few kilometers away, at the clock tower on a busy crossroads at the center of Birgunj town, a large crowd thronged an exhibition of photographs chronicling the agitation.
Chandan Gupta, a 19-year old student of business administration, was in the crowd. Gupta, clad in the signature t-shirt and jacket of the young, said he had taken part in several of the protests.
“This photograph shows a man impersonating Sushil Koirala [Nepal’s prime minister from February 2014-October 2015], wearing shoes around his neck because Koirala ratified a biased Constitution,” said Gupta, as he walked along the exhibits, pausing occasionally to point out photographs of special interest.
“This next one shows Newar women, a community from the hill region, supporting the Madhesi agitation... Here, a goat is dressed as current Prime Minister KP Oli, little children are leading it... Men, women, and children had formed a 1,100 kilometer-long human chain all along the plains from east to west, but Oli called us a swarm of flies for organising it.”
Gupta's family migrated to Birgunj 12 years ago from a village in the adjoining Bara district to set up a small hardware business. Though communities from Nepal's hills and plains had struggled together for a democratic Constitution, the hill communities – who had greater numbers in parliament – had ratified a Constitution inimical to Madhesi interests, he claimed.
This, he said, was in line with Nepal's history, throughout which Madhesis had been given “no rights to their civilisation” and were slightingly referred to as "Dhotis" and "Biharis", among other pejorative terms.
Gupta, who by then had been joined by some of his classmates, recalled that last September, Nepal Armed Police had fired at protestors marching towards this same clock tower. One of his friends fished out his mobile phone to show images of bullet-ridden bodies of protestors that had been circulated on WhatsApp. “The government was sending the army here dressed as policemen,” said Chandan.
Chandan's friend Harish believes there was an ethnic bias in how security personnel were deputed during the protests. “The government gave only sticks to Madhesi security personnel and put them on the frontline," he claimed. "The Pahadi security personnel stood behind, and fired at Madhesi protestors with powerful guns.”
Eleven people, including children, were killed when the police fired on protestors in Birgunj.
Eleven people, including children, were killed when the police fired on protestors in Birgunj.
Social and institutional polarisation
Mainstream Nepali publications provided little ground reportage of the protests, but young Madhesis living in Kathmandu and abroad have been publishing analysis and news on independent web platforms such as Madhesi Youth.
Local FM radio stations took sides. “The media in Kathmandu was speaking the official line, and Terai's local media became the voice of the movement,” said Suresh Bidari, a radio jockey with Narayani FM. Once the protests picked up steam, the radio station changed its format. Where once it focused on film music, it now began broadcasting interviews with protestors, farmers, and political activists through the day, he said.
Bidari, in his 20s, belongs to a community from the hilly regions; his family had moved to the Terai seven years back. Despite being a "Pahadi" he supports the Madhesi movement, though he does not agree with all of its demands.
“The Madhesis have been ruled for 250 years by people from the hills,” said Bidari. "They must be treated as equal citizens, and get full citizenship even if they have cross-border marriages." But he did not support seemankan, the demand that provincial boundaries be redrawn.
A key demand of the alliance of Madhes-based parties is that the plains be divided into no more than two provinces. The government for its part has proposed seven provinces, drawn such that in four of five provinces in the plains, areas with large Madhesi population have been merged into hill regions. Madhesi leaders have demanded that Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari districts in the east be included in a contiguous Madhes province, which will have access to water from the river Kosi in the east.
Said a young professional who did not wish to be named: “What will I, as a resident of Birgunj, get if we get a Jhapa district? Instead, it would be better if they asked for a hill district so we can access hydel power.”
Such sharp differences over issues, and over the question of who participated in the agitation and who did not, have polarised younger people. “For me, the main issue is that Madhesis face discrimination,” said Aashu Saraf, a 21-year old photojournalist and undergraduate student. “I don't support the demarcation demand and yet, since I have started speaking about the andolan actively on Facebook, my friends of several years from school and college have distanced themselves from me. I had never thought this would happen.”
Members of a band called Sanskriti jamming in a restaurant in Birgunj.
Members of a band called Sanskriti jamming in a restaurant in Birgunj.
'At least, we will live with dignity'
In peri-urban areas and villages, where most of the young protestors came from, there is a wider acceptance of the demand for demarcation and a willingness to continue the agitation in some form.
In Barjari, near Jaleswar in Mahottari district, the protests were so intense that Neha Jha, a student of commerce in class XI, could not attend school for nearly two months. On a January afternoon, she was returning after her final exams, walking down a path that led to her house in the village. “The demarcation issue is crucial because right now, the main Madhes province is between two rivers and we have access to neither of them,” she said. “This means farmers will get no water for irrigation. What will people do then? Already, Madhesis are denied jobs in government.”
Though she had stayed at home, her family members and neighbours had taken part in the protests, and Neha has vivid memories of the chaos. “The police were coming towards this path here in their vehicles, firing from inside, and people were running, and throwing stones at them.”
She recalled how Rohan Chaudhary, a secondary school student from her neighbourhood, was fatally shot in the chest while he was returning from private tuitions. Two days later, Rohan's grandfather Ganesh Chaudhary was shot in the head by the police when he went to the market to purchase things for Rohan's cremation.
“The police were oppressive,” Jha said. “Theandolankari set a police chowki on fire, they killed a policeman, setting him on fire – they also didn't do the right thing.”
Jha found the violence and the political impasse exasperating. “The government will not agree to demarcation, and leaders here won't agree to wait for more months,” she said. “If the Nepal government will not give us rights, then I think it will be alright for us to fight for a separate nation. Why fight again and again over demarcation? Even if more people die in a future agitation, at least we will live with dignity.”
The sentiment Neha Jha articulated had been already voiced ten years earlier by armed secessionist groups in the region. While the strength of these groups has ebbed over time, the demand for an independent Terai state has been raised repeatedly in recent years by Chandra Kant Raut, a computer scientist and political campaigner.
In 2014, the Nepalese government charged Raut with sedition and has arrested him twice. Last month, Raut's acquittal was upheld by Nepal's Supreme Court.
Secessionism as final solution?
Madhes-based parties have consistently argued that if their agitation for a separate province within Nepal fails, it will pave the way for more extreme secessionist demands, such as Raut's.
On a visit to Delhi recently, Raut argued that the failure of Madhes-based parties this January to get the Constitution amended as per their demands proved that Nepal’s parliamentary politics was “a step in the wrong direction”.
Raut said his plan is to hold fresh elections independently in every village in the Terai, elect a constituent assembly, and form an interim Terai government. “Till we do this, and till have our own army, Madhesis will never have control over their natural resources or the economy,” he said. “First and foremost, Madhesi youth have to fight for their freedom.”
Chandrakishore Jha, a political analyst and writer who lives in Birgunj, said the demand for a separate state is not feasible, and would only invite more state repression.
However, though Raut has been actively campaigning for a free Madhes only since a couple of years, his campaign has successfully reached a wide range of youth across social classes, and spanning the political spectrum. Rajat Pandey, a 16-year old studying in boarding school in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, who was on a visit to his home in Pipra village near Janakpur, said he regularly read Raut's Facebook page for updates, and that he backed the demand for an independent Terai state as “timely and legal.”
Chandan Gupta, the business administration student in Birgunj, said he had been deeply moved by Raut's speech at Birgunj's clock tower the day Raut was arrested in 2015. “Raut is a scientist and he has studied Madhesi history,” Gupta said. “He has been saying for two years that we will not get a fair Constitution, but these political parties did not pay any attention."
He added: "Dard bhara speech hai uska (His speeches are filled with emotion). The day he was at the clock tower to deliver a speech, hundreds of policemen came to arrest him but the students would not let them take him.”
Given the sense of alienation that prevails, some young people see Raut’s strategy as an inevitable option. “Madhesis were doing a peacefulGandhivaadi andolan, but the government heartlessly fired at them,” said Ram Lal Das, a 22-year old teacher from Duhabi panchayat in Dhausa district. “It is a cruel khaswaadi political regime. It does not consider the Madhesis its people.”
Ram Ratan Das, a 30-year old mason in Janakpur, said he had read out Raut's pamphlets on secessionism at political rallies at Madhwapura near his village. “We will fight in the current course till we are able,” said Das. “Otherwise, we will ask for a separate state. That will be like a surgery, the final treatment.”
Charred motorcycles lie at a chowk in Janakpur, where a curfew was imposed after three youth died in police firing on January 21.
Charred motorcycles lie at a chowk in Janakpur, where a curfew was imposed after three youth died in police firing on January 21.
Read more »

Sunday, 7 February 2016

मैं देश का नौजवान हूँ

मैं देशका नौजवान हूँ


मैं आवारा हूँ, अपराधी भी
मानो तो कातिल भी
नौकरी की सनक में
दर दर फिरता
सडकों पर फिरता
घरों को लूटता
मैं देश का नौजवान हूँ
यों कहो तो
मैं देश का वर्तमान हूँ ।

कंपनियों ने हमको बहकाया
पैकेज की नौकरी दिलवाया
चौंकाचौँध की दुनिया दिखाया
नानाविधि संसाधन दिलवाया
आया उनकी मंदी का दौर
बाहर का रास्ता दिखाया
आज मैं वासी इंसान हूँ
मैं देश का कचरा हूँ
मैं देश का वर्तमान हूँ ।।

गरीबी की मार सहकर
अपनों की दुत्कार सहकर
ढ़ूँढ रहा हूँ अपना कोई
रुपयों की इस खनखन में
हजारों की भीड़ में
मैं देश का नौजवान हूँ ।।।

अपने ही घर में
सच्चाई क्या है मेरी
मैं हूँ कौन? किससे पूँछू?
यह सवाल अब
आवारा,बेरोजगार, नक्सली, आतंकी
या अनेकों नाम है मेरे
मैं देश का नौजवान हूँ
मैं देश का वर्तमान हूँ।।।।
Read more »

Thursday, 4 February 2016

तिखतता के साथ

तिखतता के साथ
आज सींचेवाला से गाड़ी से लौट रहा था।  रास्ता पूछने के क्रम में गाड़ी सुल्तानपुर लोधी रुकी। गाड़ी मालिक चालक के कुछ लापरवाही पर बिगड़ी हुई थी। उसे कुछ तीखा बोल रही थी।उसी समय गाड़ी के अंदर एकाएक 50-60 मधुमख्खियों का झुण्ड खुले दरवाजे और गिरे कांच से प्रवेश कर गया। मधुमख्खियां भी कुछ ज्यादे ही बड़ी बड़ी।और मधुमख्खियां भी प्रवेश करती ही जा रही थी।बचाव में तेजी से गाड़ी भगाना पड़ा। पर शुक्र कि किसी को भी एक भी मधुमख्खी नहीं काटी।और सभी धीरे धीरे बाहर निकल गयी। इसी पर एक रचना.......


तिखतता के साथ
उखड़े हुए मन से
जब कर के दरवाजे
खट से बंद होते हैं
तभी मधुमख्खियां
दौड़ के आ जायेगी

जब उखड़ी उखड़ी
रूखी बाणी मुख से
निकलने लगती है
तभी मधुमख्खियां
दौड़ के आ जाती है

पता नहीं
मधुमख्खियां दौड़ के आयी
मुझे डराने के लिए कि
मेरे किये पर पछतावे के लिए
कि मेरी बाणी में
मधु विखरने के लिए

पर यह
नानक की लीला भूमि
मेरे वाणी को सरस
मधुर बनाये गी ही
गुरु नानक की चेतना से
मेरी भी चेतना जगाएगी ही
Read more »

Friday, 22 January 2016

पुरातत्ववेत्ता डॉ. के के मुहम्मद का खुलासा, वामपंथियों ने हल नहीं होने दिया अयोध्या विवाद


          वामपंथियों की भारत और खासतौर से हिन्दू विरोधी भूमिका अब कोई छिपी बात नहीं है. विदेशी विचारधारा से संचालित ये मुट्ठी भर लोग स्वतन्त्रता के पश्चात भारतीय व्यवस्था के हर महत्वपूर्ण अंग में किसके द्वारा और किस प्रकार रोपित किए गए, ये भी लगभग सर्व विदित है.
लेकिन ऐसा किया क्यों गया, ये भेद ज़रूर अब धीरे-धीरे उजागर होने लगा है. विश्व की कुछ शक्तियां नहीं चाहती कि भारत कभी विकास कर सके सो उसे उलझाए रखने के लिए कुछ न कुछ विवाद सुलगाए रखना ही इन शक्तियों का ध्येय है.
इसकी मिसाल जानेमाने पुरातत्ववेत्ता डॉ. केके मुहम्मद की आत्मकथा में मिलती है जिसमें उन्होंने वामपंथी इतिहासकारों को अयोध्या मामले का हल नहीं निकलने के लिए जिम्मेदार ठहराया है. उनके अनुसार वामपंथियों ने इस मसले का समाधान नहीं होने दिया.
भारतीय पुरातत्व सर्वेक्षण (एएसआइ) उत्तर क्षेत्र के पूर्व निदेशक डॉ. मुहम्मद ने मलयालम में लिखी आत्मकथा जानएन्ना भारतीयन (मैं एक भारतीय) में यह दावा किया है.
डॉ मुहम्मद के मुताबिक़, वामपंथी इतिहासकारों ने इस मुद्दे को लेकर बाबरी मस्जिद एक्शन कमेटी के नेताओं के साथ मिलकर देश के मुस्लिमों को गुमराह किया. उनके अनुसार, इन लोगों ने इलाहाबाद हाई कोर्ट तक को भी गुमराह करने की कोशिश की थी.
आत्मकथा में डॉ. मुहम्मद ने दावा किया है कि 1976-77 के दौरान एएसआइ के तत्कालीन महानिदेशक प्रो. बीबी लाल के नेतृत्व में पुरातत्ववेत्ताओं के दल द्वारा अयोध्या में की गई खुदाई के दौरान विवादित स्थल से हिंदू मंदिर के अवशेष मिले थे.
डॉ. मुहम्मद भी उस दल में शामिल थे. आत्मकथा में वामपंथी विचारकों और अन्य के बीच लंबे समय से चले आ रहे मतभेदों को भी उजागर किया गया है.
डॉ. मुहम्मद ने बताया कि इरफान हबीब (भारतीय इतिहास अनुसंधान परिषद के तत्कालीन चेयरमैन) के नेतृत्व में कार्रवाई समिति की कई बैठकें हुईं थीं. उन्होंने कहा, अयोध्या मामला बहुत पहले हल हो जाता, यदि मुस्लिम बुद्धिजीवी, वामपंथी इतिहासकारों के ब्रेन-वाश का शिकार न हुए होते.
डॉ. मुहम्मद के मुताबिक़, रोमिला थापर, बिपिन चंद्रा और एस गोपाल सहित इतिहासकारों के एक वर्ग ने तर्क दिया था कि 19वीं शताब्दी से पहले मंदिर की तोड़फोड़ और अयोध्या में बौद्ध जैन केंद्र होने का कोई जिक्र नहीं है. इसका इतिहासकार इरफान हबीब, आरएस शर्मा, डीएन झा, सूरज बेन और अख्तर अली ने भी समर्थन किया था.
डॉ. मुहम्मद कहते हैं, ये वे लोग थे, जिन्होंने चरमपंथी मुस्लिम समूहों के साथ मिलकर अयोध्या मामले का एक सौहार्दपूर्ण समाधान निकालने के प्रयासों को पटरी से उतार दिया. इनमें से कइयों ने सरकारी बैठकों में हिस्सा लिया और बाबरी मस्जिद एक्शन कमेटी का खुला समर्थन किया.
पुस्तक के एक अध्याय में डॉ. मुहम्मद ने लिखा है, जो कुछ भी मैंने जाना और कहा है, वह और कुछ नहीं बल्कि ऐतिहासिक सच है.
उनके अनुसार, हमे विवादित स्थल पर एक नहीं, बल्कि 14 स्तंभ मिले थे. सभी स्तंभों पर गुंबद खुदे थे. ये 11वीं व 12वीं शताब्दी के मंदिरों में पाए जाने वाले गुंबदों के समान थे. गुंबद ऐसे नौ प्रतीकों में एक हैं, जो मंदिर में होते हैं.
डॉ. मुहम्मद ने बताया कि यह भी काफी हदतक स्पष्ट हो गया था कि मस्जिद एक मंदिर के मलबे पर खड़ी है. उन दिनों मैंने इस बारे में अंग्रेजी के कई समाचार पत्रों को लिखा था. मेरे विचार को केवल एक समाचार पत्र ने प्रकाशित किया और वह भी लेटर टू एडिटर कॉलम में.
डॉ. मुहम्मद के अनुसार, वामपंथी इतिहासकारों ने इस मुद्दे पर इलाहाबाद हाई कोर्ट को भी गुमराह करने की कोशिश की. अदालत द्वारा निर्णय दिए जाने के बाद भी इरफान और उनकी टीम सच मानने को तैयार नहीं है.
Read more »

Friday, 15 January 2016

Too Many Intelligence Agencies, But No Comprehensive Security Plan for India

M R Sivaraman
Securitymen on alert near an Indian Air Force base that was attacked by militants in Pathankot. Credit: PTI
To fulfill its promise in made in the BJP election manifesto, Atal Bihari Vajpayee the then Prime Minister set up the National Security Council in November 1998 with his Principal Secretary Brajesh Mishra as the first National Security Advisor. This was done by an executive order and thus has no legislative backing, unlike the National Security Council of the US on which presumably it has been modelled. So ab initio it suffers from a major deficiency. The NSA possibly cannot officially pass any orders or instructions, or at least that is the presumption, excepting in the name of the PM. This is borne out by the fact that he is shown at the top of the list of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) with the rank of minister of state. The Home Secretary can directions and also coordinate with all the relevant ministries and the states. The Foreign Secretary interacts with all countries on a day-to-day basis. The NSA of India dons — on himself — the roles of both the secretaries.
 If the NSA had only a simple advisory role then the matter would be different. But, in the light of different perceptions on how the Pathankot attack was dealt with and the role of the NSA in that, it is necessary now for the Government to clearly specify his role and functions lest the defence forces feel offended every time the NSA takes an active role in such incidents.
Ajit Doval may be an exceptionally qualified person, having been in the thick of action during his active career but not so any of his predecessors or maybe even his successors. The role of the NSA of India with regard to the threats to its economy is not clear.
Capital flight
The country is losing billions of dollars through capital flight and thousands of crores of tax revenue due to underhand dealings in every sector of economic activity, the facts of which are reportedly contained in a detailed report submitted by the National institute of Public Finance and Policy on the orders of Mr. Pranab Mukherjee when he was the Finance minister in the UPA. The report is said to contain startling figures of massive black money generation. No one knows the fate of the report even though The Hindu on August 4, 2014 reported, on the basis of a copy it had, that the black economy now accounted for 75% of the GDP.
Even accounting for a high margin of error in the estimation, these findings have serious implications for the monetary and fiscal policies of the government. Earlier, on the insistence of this writer, the then NDA government revised the GDP of the country by about 18% in 1998. But if the unaccounted income is even close to 50% of the current GDP then it makes nonsense of all the gamut of economic policies of the government, which may be the reason that the government does not want to make the report public. Within this cauldron could lie the seeds of economic instability of the country.
The then Finance Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had asked this writer to coordinate with all the intelligence agencies to ensure that at least financial crimes were effectively pursued. But no co-operation was forthcoming. The number of agencies under the Revenue Secretary itself is bewildering and there is hardly any co-operation or co-ordination amongst them unless a strong Revenue Secretary asserts himself. Courts would release on bail international criminals on flimsy grounds who then fleed the country never to be caught again. The system has been getting debilitated by the day as is seen in the number of chief commissioners of both and other lower rank officers of both the boards being arrested for corruption in recent times.
The information that is gathered by these agencies is immense as they can tap phones and have access to intelligence agencies across the world. On rare occasions sensitive information including those involving terrorists is taken to the Revenue Secretary by junior officers who are afraid of lack of support from seniors and if the Revenue Secretary courageously acts on it many serious crimes could be prevented.
To these can be added all the other intelligence agencies with the Ministry of Home Affairs, armed forces and the intelligence directorates under every state government. Despite these many agencies, terrorists attack the country periodically. Financial terrorists too continue their activities all the time.
In co-ordination meetings, no agency agrees to disclose information, because they do not want to compromise their sources. This often a lame excuse. There is no proper accountability of officers for the use of secret service funds by all the intelligence agencies. The income tax authorities, ED, customs and central excise, etc. seize hundreds of crores of rupees in cash and in the form of other valuables. No audit is conducted as to where these seized crores are and what is their security.
Unholy and criminal nexus
A note by this writer was part of the Vohra Committee’s report on the nexus between criminals, bureaucrats, politicians and even the judiciary.The then PM released this report in Parliament and a committee was constituted to monitor all the cases of such a nexus. The committee had an unceremonious demise.
Is the NSA of India conversant with all these institutional set up under different authorities which are engaged in national security? Foreign Secretaries who become NSAs may not even have inkling about these resources while a police officer may be familiar with a few of them.
The national security of India has never been considered holistically but has been left to the scores of police forces and intelligence agencies without much co-ordination and barely any co-operation amongst them. This is in spite of the fact that the country has faced five major wars since independence. The onslaught to which this country is subject to from nefarious forces such as drug smugglers, money launderers and arms smugglers is acting as a negative force preventing the country from exploiting its full economic potential.
Together with the external threats to its security, they are more than adequate reasons to have a proper National Security Act. This should not be confused with the existing National Security Act 1980, which is in fact a preventive detention law. One of the two could be renamed. The Act should provide for two levels of National Security Council, one in which the state chief ministers are also members, which once in a year reviews internal security issues and takes policy decisions and another with only the relevant central ministers, the three services chiefs and the secretaries of the relevant ministries like Defence, Home, Revenue and Foreign Affairs. The NSA could be the Secretary of this NSC with no autonomous powers; the current NSA functions as a super Foreign, Home and Defence secretaries rolled into one negating the functional responsibilities given to the Secretaries under the Transaction of Business Rules. Currently the NSA usurps the powers of the Secretaries who alone answer in the Parliamentary committees being responsible for actions in their ministries.
In the meanwhile it is learnt that the PM is reportedly contemplating the setting up of a Ministry of Internal Security. Do we really have to replicate everything the US does even though our Constitution, division of powers and the hierarchical structure of the governments are all different?
M.R.Sivaraman is a retired IAS officer and is a former Revenue Secretary.
Read more »

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Not Gandhi but Japan Kicked out Britain from India

JapanWW2
 
Not Gandhi but Japan Kicked out Britain from India
On 15 November 1941, less than a month before Pearl Harbour, the Japanese leadership approved a “Plan for Acceleration of the End of the War with America and Britain.” Among other things, the plan called for the “separation of Australia and India from Britain” and “stimulation of the Indian independence movement”.
Prime Minister Hideki Tojomentioned India in a string of speeches in the Diet, the Japanese parliament, calling Indians to take advantage of World War II to rise against British power and establish an India for Indians.
Shortly after the capitulation of British forces in the Battle of Singapore in February 1942, Tojo said: “Without the liberation of India there can be no real mutual prosperity in Greater East Asia.” On 4 April 1942 he said: “It has been decided to strike a decisive blow against British power and military establishment in India.”
Japan’s problem was that Mohandas Gandhi’s Indian National Congress was not favourably disposed towards it.Indian leaders feared Tokyo would make India a vassal state. They were mistaken. “Japan at no time planned a major invasion of India or actual incorporation of India into the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, contrary to the suspicions of many Indians in the independence movement,” writes Joyce C. Lebra, American historian of Japan and India, in The Indian National Army and Japan (June 2008).

Congress Miscalculation

The Congress leaders had made a strategic miscalculation, for it prevented Tokyo from planning a major invasion – despite stated declarations by Tojo – of India. If over 300 million Indians were under the spell of a hostile Congress, then Tokyo reckoned it would have a major problem on its hands.
Hidkei Tojo
Hidkei Tojo
It was in this backdrop that the Japanese applied a unique policy towards India. The Indian National Army (INA), comprising Indian POWs captured by the Japanese military, was the spearhead of Tokyo’s thrust into the subcontinent. In February 1942 Japan had acquired 50,000 Indian POWs after routing the British forces in Singapore, and these soldiers were asked to join the INA.
Japan was primarily interested in using the INA for propaganda purposes. Army HQ in Tokyo fussed a great deal about how far Japan should go in support of Indian independence. Japanese military officers assigned to train and equip the INA, such as Major Iwaichi Fujiwara, wanted Japan to offer total support in preparation for a quick and blistering attack on British India, but Tokyo had reservations.
For the Japanese brass, India remained on their periphery as Russia and the United States remained their biggest concerns.
The best time to attack British India was shortly after the initial Japanese victories in Asia. “At several points it was conceivable a Japanese invasion of India might have succeeded had it been planned,” writes Lebra. “The optimum time was in the spring and summer of 1942, following Japanese successes in Malaya and Burma, when Japanese air, sea and land power could not have been checked by the British. But Japan passed up the opportunity.”

Bose arrives

During the months when Japanese forces were toppling European bastions in Asia, Subhas Chandra Bose, who had quit the Congress because of Gandhi’s reluctance to push for freedom,was camped in Berlin. He was trying to get the German Army to allow the Indian Legion that he had established in Germany with Indian POWs to fight the British alongside Rommel’s Afrika Korps.Bose’s plan was brilliant: when the soldiers of the British Indian Army would see their former comrades in the German lines, it would create confusion and possibly mass desertions.
However, Bose’s maxim “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” did not apply to Rommel and Hitler. The Indian Legion did not find much support with the Nazis. “The vulgar racism and Eurocentricism there, particularly Hitler’s brand, prevent the Axis powers from fully believing in the Indian independence movement,” writes Anton Pelinka in Democracy Indian StyleSubhas Chandra Bose and the Creation of India’s Political Culture (2003). “Hitler holds fast to the myth of the superiority of the white man and shies away from allying himself with the non-whites against the white Albion.”
At the same time, the German Foreign Ministry was reluctant to release a potentially valuable bargaining instrument in dealing with the British. When Bose finally arrived in Tokyo by the end of May 1943 the impact was electric. Of the more than 50,000 Indian POWs, only half had volunteered to fight under the INA, but once Bose’s showed up nearly all of them were ready to fight the British.
Bose’s charisma also appealed to the Japanese. Army Chief of General Staff Sugiyama Gen and Tojo developed a special sympathy for him.

Varying War Aims

However, the INA-Japan relationship was never a smooth affair. Tokyo was completely unequivocal about the fact that the INA was a black project – a secret war involving the weapons of espionage, infiltration, psychological warfare and guerrilla attacks.
Bose, on the other hand, insisted the INA be used as a single army that would lead the offensive into India. “For Bose the first drop of blood shed on Indian soil had to be Indian,” writes Lebra.
A compromise was reached, with the INA remaining under Japanese command throughout the offensive but fighting in Indian units directly under Indian officers. But like all compromises, it didn’t work very well. “For Bose there was the single goal of liberation of India throughout the combined action of the INA and Japanese forces, while for Japan, Imphal was a limited holding operation subordinate to the high-priority campaigns in the Pacific,” writes Lebra.
“Bose requested increasing support in military supplies, while Japanese capacity to support her campaigns steadily diminished. The two positions could never basically be reconciled, and the differences caused constant daily friction during this military phase of the cooperation.”

War in India

In January 1944 – by which time the momentum of victory had considerably diminished – Japan finally mounted a military offensive on British India. Still, the instructions from Army HQ in Tokyo signalled the limited objective of “securing strategic areas near Imphal and in Northeast India for the defence of Burma”.
In June 1944 when the Japanese forces crashed into the British Indian Army at Imphal and Kohima, only 15,000 INA soldiers took part in the fighting. The rest were assigned tasks of intelligence gathering and guerrilla attacks.
Subhas Bose
Subhas Bose
Recalling his warfront experiences as a havildar of an engineering company of the INA, V. Vaidhyalingam, secretary and treasurer, Tamil Nadu Indian National Army League, told The Hindu (2 August 2004): “The battle of Imphal turned out to be a long-fought one – for which the INA’s timing was too late in summer. Soon monsoon, not the British army, became our biggest adversary.”
Had Bose been able to attack British India and in full strength two years earlier, the outcome may well have been different. Perhaps no Gandhi or Nehru. No Partition. It will forever remain one of history’s biggest ‘what ifs’.
The weather and the tide of war were turning against the INA. Japan’s game was up after the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Russia occupied Japan’s northern territories. With its primary backer gone, the INA was effectively disarmed.

INA’s Lasting Impact

What the Japanese managed to do with the INA was exactly what they had planned all along. The INA was truly a secret weapon that fired up Indian revolutionary activity and drove a stake of fear in British hearts. It was the Indian soldiers that had for over two centuries ensured the security of the British in India. It was the loyalty of the military that was the ultimate sanction for British rule in India. With that assurance gone, the British knew their time was up.
As Leo Tolstoy, the great Russian writer had written in a letter to the Indian revolutionary Tarak Nath Das in December 1908:
“When the Indians complain the English have enslaved them it is as if drunkards complained that the spirit-dealers who have settled among them have enslaved them….What does it mean that thirty thousand people, not athletes, but rather weak and ordinary people, have enslaved two hundred millions of vigorous, clever, capable, freedom-loving people? Do not the figures make it clear that not the English, but the Indians, have enslaved themselves?”
Like Tolstoy’s drunkards, the INA soldiers initially balked when confronted with the prospect of fighting Britain for independence, in cooperation with the Japanese. It was a volunteer army comprising professional soldiers and many belonged to families that had long served the British.
This loyalty held true despite the British policies which discriminated against Indian officers and soldiers. For instance, Indian Navy officers of all ranks were barred from using the common swimming pools which were for exclusive use of the ‘gora’.
For the British, in ideal conditions, the colonial government would have hanged most of the tens of thousands of INA returnees. After the Indian defeat in the First War of Independence of 1857, the British slaughtered 100,000 Indian soldiers in savage reprisals. But then followed an “untold holocaust” which caused the deaths of almost 10 million people over 10 years beginning in 1857, writes Amaresh Misra, a Mumbai-based historian in War of Civilisations: India AD 1857.
Bombay Naval Mutiny
Bombay Naval Mutiny
But post-World War II, India was an incendiary place. Serving Indian military officers and men keenly watched the INA trials in Delhi. So did more than two million soldiers who had returned from Europe after World War II, having experienced firsthand poor British soldiering. Most of these battle hardened Indian soldiers were ripe for revolutionary activities. The British quietly released all INA soldiers.
“Despite the military defeat of Japan, and with it the INA, popular support for the INA finally precipitated British withdrawal from India,” writes Kalyan Kumar Ghosh in History of the Indian National Army (1966).
Japan’s role in India’s independence was catalytic and seminal. “In all, Japan trained 353,000 soldiers in Southeast Asia,” writes Hilary Conroy inJapan Examined.
It was these soldiers who prevented Europe from recolonising Asia.
Read more »