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RSS’s Chameleon-like metamorphosis on Kashmir

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It is eerie that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Volunteer Corps) celebrated `Accession to India’ Day on October 26, 2020. History tells that the RSS, a communalist outfit, was fanatically opposed to plebiscite or accession of the disputed state either to India or Pakistan. It wanted Hindu majority Jammu chunk of the Kashmir state to be a separate state or integrated with the then Punjab. The RSS’s affiliate Jammu based Praja Parishad  spearheaded demand for separation of Jammu from the Valley.One is baffled to see BJP’s predecessor, the Jan Sangh, its political mentor the RSS and the organization supported by these two, the Jammu based Praja Parishad had celebrating  `accession’ of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India, which happened on 26 October 1947. The accession itself is a myth. But, it is strange that opponents of accession are now riding the accession bandwagon. Had Sheikh Abdullah or Pandit Jawahar lal Nehru been alive, they would have been stupefied by Chameleon-like gimmickry of the RSS.

Distortion of history: The RSS-BJP conglomerate is busy renaming the Kashmir tunnels and bridges after Jan Sangh leaders. But, the Jana Sangh was all along opposed to incorporating Article 370 in the Constitution as per commitment given by the Indian Union Government in the so-called Instrument of Accession. The organisations agitated for its abrogation. Later, when the Union Government signed the Delhi Accord with the Government of Jammu and Kashmir’ for closer ties, they again opposed this too.

 According to eminent historian, Professor Alastair Lamb, the Praja Parishad movement had sought the separation of Jammu from the vale of Kashmir, either as a state in its own right or as part of the Indian Punjab’. (Alastair Lamb, Kashmir: A Disputed Legacy, page 197).

Nehru called Jammu agitation ‘a remarkable instance of folly or of mischief’ in his letter of 27 January 1953 to the chief ministers. He spurned the idea of a separate Jammu province:

Two Nation Theory: Nehru was obsessed that if Jammu gets separated from the Valley on communal grounds, it would amount to tearing to shreds vision of a ssecular India. He saw no difference between Jinnah’s two-nation theory and advocacy for a separate Jammu state. . Nehru expressed his ennui at demand for separation of Jammu in an emotional speech at Calcutta, on January 1, 1952:`There can be no greater vindication than this of our secular policies, our Constitution, that we have drawn the people of Kashmir towards us. But just imagine what would have happened in Kashmir if the Jan Sangh or any other communal party had been at the helm of affairs. The people of Kashmir say that they are fed up with this communalism. Why should they live in a country where the Jan Sangh and RSS are constantly beleaguering them? They will go elsewhere and they will not stay with us’. (Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, volume 17, page 78.)

In another speech at a public meeting held on 06 July 1952 under the auspices of the Delhi PCC, he expressed his shock at their activities:

I am amazed at the way they have gone about doing things in Kashmir in the last couple of years. Basically, their tactics are to denounce the present regime in Kashmir, thereby sowing the seeds of dissension at the time it is essential for all of us to march together. How does it benefit anyone? The Praja Parishad claims loudly that Kashmir must be merged with the Indian Union. We too want that. But it is easy to see the result of tactics they have adopted. It is amazing to see the references to the Jammu Praja Parishad in the Pakistani newspapers. Pakistan is aware that the Praja Parishad is making their task easier by creating dissensions in Kashmir. So you can understand why it is important to act circumspectly. (Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, second series, vol. 18, page 21)

In his speech in the Lok Sabha on 26 June 1952, he said: Do not think that you are dealing with a part of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar or Gujarat. You are dealing with an area, historically and geographically and in all manner of things, with a certain background. If we bring our local ideas and local prejudices everywhere, we will never consolidate. We have to be men of vision and there has to be broadminded acceptance of facts in

Nehru wanted to win hearts and minds of the Kashmiri. He feared the Kashmiri would vote for Pakistan under brunt of RSS’s communal politics.

In a pensive mood, Nehru, in his letter of 29 June 1953 confided to his friend B.C. Roy how the Praja Parishad movement had harmed the interests of the country. He minced no words: If Hindu communalists could organise a movement in Jammu, why should not the Muslim communalists function in Kashmir? The position now is that if there was a plebiscite, a great majority of Muslims in Kashmir would go against us. In fact, there has been some petty violence also.

The Muslim Rashtriya Manch (Muslim National Forum): The RSS is trying hard to prove that it is not a communal outfit. It includes Muslim also. In 2002, K.S. Sudarshan, then RSS chief floated the MRM. They claim to have 10,000 volunteers. During Muslim protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the RSS employed Muslim munch to rout protesters.

 The ‘cow citizen’: THE Indian Supreme Court validated the demolition of the Babri  masjid. The Supreme Court judge Ranjan Gogoi was inducted, shortly after his retirement as a member of the Rajya Sabha (council of states) as quid pro quo for his pro-government decisions.

He took no action on the abolition of Kashmir’s special status. The serving Supreme Court judges rejected a petition for inquiry into Gogoi’s in-service conduct.

The National Crime Records Bureau withheld collected data on murders; burning Muslims alive, cow-related lynching and offences committed for religious reason.

It is strange that the status of cows over-shadowed all other issues in India’s elections. Hindu-monk chief minister Yogi Adityanath of India’s Uttar Pradesh state equated cows with human beings. He directed that cow-related offences be registered under India’s national Security Act. He jailed people for social posts `Love jihad’ and Pakistan zindabad. He declared that only pandemic prevented him from allowing the whole of India to make pilgrimage (Ram darshan) under-construction Ram temple at Babri mosque.  Anyone differing with ruling BJP’s policies is prosecuted for sedition.

A Goa legislator complained that cow vigilantes (gau rakhshak) intercept beef trucks into Karnataka and put phenyl on it to make it unfit for eating.

Judge Mahesh Chandra Sharma of the Rajasthan High Court, in his 193-page judgment, stunned people by mentioning the mythical benefits of cow milk, urine and dung. His judgment, a mélange of scriptures and law, glistens with claims like ‘cow is a surgeon’, ‘a complete pharmacy’, and cow is a ‘national animal’.

While lynching the beef eater, the Hindus ignore that, according to the National Sample Survey Office, more than 80 million Indians consume beef, of whom Hindus account for 12.5 million, the rest belonging to various other communities, including Muslims and Christians.

Moreover, according to 2015 figures, India has been the largest exporter of beef since 2014 and has been outpacing Brazil in that department steadily over the past few years. India’s Al-Dua is a leading exporter of halal/kosher meat to Arab nations.

BJP legislator Sangeet Som is a big beef exporter. Goa allows beef consumption as does the Northeast. Both, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu have openly admitted being beef eaters.

Preventing cow slaughter or the eating of beef has neither economic nor constitutional backing. Where is secular India headed towards? If re-elected, which he is likely to be, Modi would amend India’s constitution to make India a Hindu republic and adopt cows as an equal citizen.

The ‘cow  citizen’: The Indian Supreme Court validated the demolition of the Babri mosque.. The Supreme Court judge Ranjan Gogoi was inducted, shortly after his retirement as a member of the Rajya Sabha (council of states) as quid pro quo for his pro-government decisions.

He took no action on the abolition of Kashmir’s special status. The serving Supreme Court judges rejected a petition for inquiry into Gogoi’s in-service conduct.

The National Crime Records Bureau withheld collected data on murders; burning Muslims alive, cow-related lynching and offences committed for religious reason.

It is strange that the status of cows over-shadowed all other issues in India’s elections. Hindu-monk chief minister Yogi Adityanath of India’s Uttar Pradesh state equated cows with human beings. He directed that cow-related offences be registered under India’s national Security Act. He jailed people for social posts `Love jihad’ and Pakistan zindabad. He declared that only pandemic prevented him from allowing the whole of India to make pilgrimage (Ram darshan) under-construction Ram temple at Babri masjid. Anyone differing with ruling BJP’s policies is prosecuted for sedition.

A Goa legislator complained that cow vigilantes (gau rakshak) intercepted beef trucks into Karnataka and put phenyl on it to make it unfit for eating.

Judge Mahesh Chandra Sharma of the Rajasthan High Court, in his 193-page judgment, stunned people by mentioning the mythical benefits of cow milk, urine and dung. His judgment, a mélange of scriptures and law, glistens with claims like ‘cow is a surgeon’, ‘a complete pharmacy’, and cow is a ‘national animal’.

While lynching the beef eater, the Hindus ignore that, according to the National Sample Survey Office, more than 80 million Indians consume beef, of whom Hindus account for 12.5 million, the rest belonging to various other communities, including Muslims and Christians.

Moreover, according to 2015 figures, India has been the largest exporter of beef since 2014 and has been outpacing Brazil in that department steadily over the past few years. India’s Al-Dua is a leading exporter of halal/kosher meat to Arab nations.

BJP legislator Sangeet Som is a big beef exporter. Goa allows beef consumption as does the Northeast. Both, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu have openly admitted being beef eaters.

Preventing cow slaughter or the eating of beef has neither economic nor constitutional backing. Where is secular India headed towards? If re-elected, which he is likely to be, Modi would amend India’s constitution to make India a Hindu republic and adopt cow as an equal citizen.

Inference: The Muslims are being repressed in several countries including India and France. Islamophobia is on the rise. Yet the whole world is apathetic to RSS’s atrocities against minorities in India. 

Mr. Amjed Jaaved has been contributing free-lance for over five decades. His contributions stand published in the leading dailies at home and abroad (Nepal. Bangladesh, et. al.). He is author of seven e-books including Terrorism, Jihad, Nukes and other Issues in Focus (ISBN: 9781301505944). He holds degrees in economics, business administration, and law.

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Pakistan: Politics entered into a new phase

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Although Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan got the vote of confidence from Parliament and seems his grip over politics. No doubt that the masses in Pakistan still believe that he is an honest, sincere, and visionary leader. But many questions are rising in their minds. Like: why he opted for seeking a vote of confidence from the Parliament: was he obliged? Any legal requirement? Was he wanted to prove his popularity? Etc.

Irrespective of Senate elections, he was not legally bound to seek a vote of confidence from the Parliament. In Pakistan’s history, one of the prime ministers got a vote of confidence from the Parliament but could not survive longer and have to leave his prime minister-ship soon.

Will PM Imran Khan complete his remaining tenure till 2023 comfortably? Should he stay relax once getting a vote of confidence and proving his popularity? Should he conceive all is fine and his Prime Ministership is out of danger? Will the opposition stay calm and quiet till 2023 for the next general election in the country? And so on, many questions need to be answered.

True, it is absolutely true that PM Imran Kahn, for 178 votes in the National Assembly and secured his confidence in the Parliament. It was only the vote of filthy wealthy parliamentarians; they might not be reflecting the views of the masses. They got elected in the general elections held in 2018 but have lost contact with the masses in their own constituencies. PM Imran Khan also has in isolation from his voters. A specific class has encircled him and keep a distance between him and the masses. They do not know how tough is life for the majority of masses in their constituencies. The cost of life, inflations, and price-hike have made their lives miserable.

Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid Ahmed, who is a well-known public leader and representative, has expressed his views just after the vote of confidence in the Parliament that the Prime Minister should take notice of Government Servants Salary structure, which has not been revised for a long time. In contrast, the inflation and price-hike have made their lives miserable.  I fact majority of the masses are facing hardship due to price-hike and are not satisfied with the Governance of PM Imran Khan. They might reflect their anger in the next general elections.

PM Imran Khan has struggled 22 years to become 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan. He made several promises to the public to seek their support during the election campaign. People of Pakistan shown trust in him and voted for him. But after becoming Prime Minister, he has not met the expectations of the masses or his voters. He has not fulfilled some of his promises. Especially his promises affecting the common person and masses are not fulfilled, which might harm his political career.

The country is still facing an economic crisis, joblessness, poverty, corruption, lack of merit, denial of justice and lack of health care and education, etc. The masses are still suffering and living a miserable life.

PM Imran Khan cares a lot for the imported elite and which was reflected in the senate elections. He has chosen 15 out of 27 cabinet members from outside the hardcore PTI members. His choice of imported, dual national, foreign nationals, and electives from other parties will not stand with him once he is in deep crisis and may travel abroad, leaving him alone. Some of his cabinet members, who have not to stake in Pakistan, or on the pay role of foreign countries, may not rescue him in severe crises. At the cost of few cabinet members, he should not offend his loyal workers and PTI members.

This is when he should think twice about what caused him to seek the vote of confidence. How should he serve Pakistan in the capacity of Prime minister, where he can meet the masses’. It is masses whose votes make a difference. The elite is not more than 10% in the country, and their vote bank can not make him Prime Minister again.

On the other hand, the opposition is intended to give him a hard time and may not spare him to relax or enjoy the prime ministership longer. The masses, due to dissatisfaction, may be exploited by the opposition.

As a matter of fact, Pakistan’s politics has entered into a new phase, and it is suggested that PM Imran Khan availing this opportunity, should re-evaluate the situation and revise some of his policies and take merit-based righ decisions. It is never too late!

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COVID-19 pandemic and positives/negatives of the Pakistani government’s policy towards it

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The covid-19 erupt from Wuhan in December 2019. The first case in Pakistan was observed on February 26th, 2020.It is considered a global pandemic because of its contagious nature. It has engulfed many lives and economies. Whereas Pakistan, despite its socioeconomic and political problems, has tackled covid-19 efficiently so far. Objectives of these policies were to contain and mitigate the spread of covid-19. Pakistan made effective policies to hamper the unfurling nature of covid-19. It was praised by the director-general of WHO and he mentioned it as a lesson for the rest of the world. The upshots of the policies on its citizens were both positive and negative, but they helped a lot in sailing through covid-19.

Covid-19 has accentuated the inadequacy of the health sector. However, to combat covid-19, RFCC assists hospitals to evolve their capacities to provide treatments. Many hotels and motels were converted into quarantine centers. Number of ventilators, gears, beds, and testing capability has been increased. Pakistan got a loan of $760M to improve its medical handling. These policies seem effective as they are the major line to combat covid-19. Number of staff has also increased. These policies play a crucial role in containing Corona virus but due to lack of awareness, many people didn’t get tested. Overall, it played a positive role.

“Out of 220M population, 25% are living below the poverty line and 30% live in grave poverty,” said the PM Imran khan. Therefore, containing the poverty and retaining the economy is an arduous task. For this purpose, the Ehsas program was launched with a stipend money of Rs.12000 for the vulnerable. Employees wouldbe paid a salary during complete lock-down. The government displayed leniency in paying taxes to accelerate the investment. The banks remained open during the nationwide lock-down. However, an in-depth analysis reveals that Ehsas program didn’t prove effective due to the absence of a proper tracking system. The poor and needy people in rural areas were not affable with the technology, therefore they were unable to enroll in this program.

Moreover, the government’s policy of smart lockdown cannot be ignored. It started in April, targeting the disease hotspots. The purpose of this policy was to provide a breathing space to the most vulnerable section of the society. Because nationwide lock-down was threatening food security. Smart lock-down technology played a crucial role and made Pakistan distinctive around the world.

To dampen the adverse effects of covid-19 on society, section 144 was implemented to avoid public gathering. According to the health ministry “home quarantine, zoning of hospitals, and social distancing should be in the nitty-gritty of the policy.” They imposed a ban on air traffic and started screening at the airports for international travellers these measures proved beneficial to some extent. But unfortunately the government couldn’t ensure the SOPs.

In a nutshell, the aforementioned account enables a worthy conclusion that Pakistan has managed to contain the devastating effect of covid-19, however, the danger is not over yet. The second wave of covid-19 has started globally which can overturn the successful results other way round. Therefore, some stringent action should be taken to make the policy of containment of covid-19 more effective that is only possible if there is a consensus between the federal and provincial governments. The only way to limit the dangers of the virus is to come up with the unified and all inclusive national plans.

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Who pulls the strings of the government of India?

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While talking to a Cornell college professor, Rahul Gandhi lamented (March 2, 2021) that the RSS was making use of its educational institutions to propagate its tunnel vision (NewsMatters, March 6, 2021). `Wherefrom money comes to run hundreds of thousands of schools’, he asked.

The RSS, founded in 1925, is not only distorting history, and polluting syllabi but also compelling the BJP government to appoint its nominees to key posts whether academic or political.

The RSS’s rationale is that it is their government. As such, they have every right  to make appointments to all political and non-political posts and revise syllabus according to their own version of history.

A bird’s-eye view of appointments

Besides president Kovind Nath, a dalit, and Hindu-monk Yogi Adityanath, several parcharaks (apostles) were nominated for appointment as chief ministers, governors and cabinet ministers. The nominees included ML Khattar, chief minister of Haryana, Trivendra Singh Rawat, chief minister of Uttarakhand, Devandar Fadnavis (Maharashtra), and Ram Thakur (Himachal Pradesh).

The veterans appointed as governors included Balramji Das Tandan (Chhattisgarh), Ram Naik (UP), Om Prakash Kohli (Gujarat), Keshri Nath Tripathi (West Bengal), Kalyan Singh (Rajasthan), Vidya Saga Rao (Maharashtra), Vaju Bhai Bhala (Karnataka), Padmanabha  Acharya (Nagaland), Jagdish Mukti (Assam) and Tathaghat Roy (Tripura) (Source: Aryana P. Chatterji, Thomas Blom Hansen, and Christophe Jaffrelot (eds), Majoritarian State).

Dr, Lokesh Chandra was made president of Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Ram Bahadur Roy, former ABVP organizing secretary who was jailed during Indira-Gandhi- imposed emergency was appointed to the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts. Baldev Sharma, former editor of the RSS’s Hindi mouth-piece Panchjanya, was appointed chairman of the national Book Trust. Shakti Sanha, private secretary to prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was rewarded with appointment of Director of Nehru Memorial and Library. The memorial was the hub of Nehru-Gandhi legacy. A small-time actor Gajendra Chauhan was appointed Chairman of the Films and Television Institute of India. Hindu Nationalist Anupam Kher was appointed head of India’s Board of Film Certification.

Realising that educational institutions are key agents for ideological dissemination, the RSS thrust its nominees as vice chancellors and directors in universities and cultural institutions of higher learning.

RSS’s version of history

A distorted version is taught in RSS-run Vidya Bharti schools. Hindu caste system is well delineated in Rig Veda, Manusmriti and Bhagavad Gita. But, the RSS preaches that the Muslim Turks initiated the untouchability. Turks introduced commodes in India. “Hindus who refused to convert to Islam were forced to clean them. And, thus they became untouchable.”

Conscription power

While addressing a large gathering at Muzaffarpur, Bhagwat said, `RSS volunteers were so disciplined that they could be mobilized in a matter of days should the constitution and laws of the country so demand’. Many senior retired armed forces officers including former army chief General VK Singh have joined the RSS.

Inference

Bhagwat’s bonhomie with politicians, media, judiciary, industry, religious leaders and civil society reflects that the RSS would continue to keep the Modi government under its Octopus claw. Also it is keen to extend its influence in political, societal and non- governmental spheres. To deepen its roots, the RSS has initiated  programmes like Family Awakening (parivar prabodhan),Village Development (grama vikas), and Social Harmony (samara satta). 

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