Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year Resolutions that can change India

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Within a few hours from now the entire world will be celebrating New Year. This is the time of the year when many resolutions are made for the coming year. There are some resolutions by our politicians which can go a long way in making our country a better place to live in. Lets take a look at some such resolutions.


Sonia Gandhi: Decides to get rid of all the sycophants in her party and instead replace them with more deserving candidates. Makes the oldest party in the world's largest democracy more democratic where the Gandhi surname is not bigger than the party.


L K Advani: Decides not to contest the Lok Sabha polls and backs a young leader as a Prime Ministerial candidate. Acknowledges that some wing of the saffron brigade has gone the extremist way and it should be handled by law before it becomes uncontrollable.


Manmohan Singh: Resolves to talks with a more authoritative voice in the coming year. Not beg for peace from our neighbouring countries rather show the country's resolve to fight terror. Stop looking at Sonia for making all his decisions.


Prakash Karat: Finally decides to read Karl Marx and understand the minutes of communism. Sheds the anti-US glasses from his eyes and decides to become more rational with his thought. Agrees China to be a foreign country rather than his party's biggest ally.


Raj Thackrey: Finally acknowledges Maharashtra and Mumbai to be a part of India and encourages people from all over India especially Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to come and settle down in his state. Visits the UP, Bihar and runs an NGO working towards providing basic healthcare to the poor.


Mirwaiz Omar Farooq : Understands the real needs of the people of Kashmir valley. Accepts the fact that people need food, water, roads and electricity before independence. Commits to fight the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and work for the betterment of J&K.


Mayawati: Directs her party members not to make her birthday a bigger occasion than Independence Day. People not willing to pay to her party funds will not be slaughtered to death instead will be informed on the developmental programmes her party plans to run.


Mamata Banerjee: Accepts the blame of chasing away Tata Nano from the state. Pledges to work for the development of the farmers and rallies her energy towards industrialisation and job creation in West Bengal. She call for a law banning bandhs.


Amar Singh: For once he decides to speak like as a national leader and stops smelling fish in places like the Batla house. Makes sure his name is not associated with any money scandal in the Parliament. Promises to attend more developmental works in his state rather than Bollywood parties in Mumbai.


Shivraj Patil: Decides to to quit from active politics and walk towards the Himalayas to seek salvation. Unable to manage home (read home ministry), on a wintry morning leaves all things behind. He finally gets peace from bomb blasts and automatic assault riffles.


A R Auntaly: He finally thinks he can do a lot of favour to the country just by keeping his mouth shut. Stops cooking conspiracy theories in his mind and giving startling statements to the media. Instead decides to write scripts for Ram Gopal Varma.


R R Patil: Decides to go back to elementary school and learn basic mathematics. Puts all his efforts in understanding the differences between 'big' and 'small'. He also decides to take coaching from a PR agency to improve his oratory skills.


These are just some of the things which will never happen in this country. Just wish some of our leaders decide to mend their way of functioning in the coming year. Happy New Year to all of you.


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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Aussie dominance in cricket nearing its end

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

There are two things which the cricketing world has not witnessed in almost one and a half decade. Australian cricket team fighting for survival in a Test Series and secondly loosing a test series at home. Australian cricket
is on a decline and their aggressive and dominant brand of cricket is slowly fading away. They do not look the unbeatable team anymore which has won three back to back World Cups.

Australia's decline did not happen in a day but the process started with the exit of bowling spearheads Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. When Adam Gilchrist bid adieu after the Test series with India the Australian batting lost its trump card. When player to player statics were prepared many teams were at par with Australia leaving one position the No 7 in the batting order. No team in the world had anything closer to Gilchrist at that position and often it turned out to be the deciding factor in a match.

The Test match at Perth earlier this year where India defeated Australia was a turning point in world cricket. Nobody would have given India a chance to win versus the Aussies on one of the fastest tracks in the world. The Indian team then followed it up with a convincing ODI tournament win defeating the kangaroos in their own den in two straight finals. Ricky Ponting's man had now started tasting defeats.

When the Ricky Ponting's man toured India the Australian media very unlikely termed them as underdogs. The four test series resulted in 2-0 loss for the Aussies team after which Ricky Ponting acknowledged his team had no idea what was happening during the test series. Without Warne, McGrath and Gilchrist the World Champions looked ordinary and Ponting appeared a clueless leader at times.

The South African put the final nail in the coffin defeating the kangaroos in two straight test matches and becoming the first team to win a test series in Australia in 16 years. They had made a mockery of the Aussie attack in the first test chasing down 414 in the fourth innings for the loss of just four wickets. In the second test the Aussie pride was dented when they managed to get just one SA wicket in their second innings.

Now a question arises with Aussies declining who will be the next superpower in world cricket. Well it should be a tug of war between South Africa and India as both the teams have young and energetic players and are being led by aggressive yet calm captains. As of Australia they will not bow down so easily and keep on competing for the top spot. It seems modern cricket's most competitive days are around the corner.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

India's biggest confusion called Pakistan!

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Pakistan still remains in a state of denial about its involvement in the Mumbai terror attack and keeps of demanding 'proof' from India. The Indian government on its part is busy drafting those 'proofs' that will impress Pakistan. But there are two things that
have been proved in this entire diplomatic tussle. First Pakistan is not being ruled by a democratically elected government and secondly Pakistan as a nation will for ever remain hostile towards India.

The truth is known to the entire world and any amount of proof given to Pakistan will not be enough for it to initiate action against the terror outfits. Considering the present state of things in Pakistan the 'Anti-India' stand is the only thing that unites the war torn country. This is the only issue where the politicians, terrorists, radicals, educated liberals and last but not the least the media in Pakistan stand united.

Now in such a scenario what can we do as a nation? Lets get two things clear we cannot choose our neighbours and will have to live with Pakistan and secondly a full scale war with Pakistan will hurt us more economically than it will hurt Pakistan. So is there anything that we can do to make ourselves more secure than we have been so far? Yes we have to accept facts rather than live in a dreamy world.


The problem in India's diplomacy as far as Pakistan is concerned is very befuddle. One one hand we try building friendly relationships with them on the other we demand Pakistan to be declared a terrorist state. This confusing Indian attitude towards Pakistan is responsible for many of the problems being faced by India. We should have a clear idea as to what we want deal with Pakistan militarily or diplomatically.

Like Israel we should seal our borders as we face a hostile enemy sharing common border with us. We have very little to gain from having friendly ties with Pakistan considering Indo-Iranian gas pipeline is a distant dream. People to people contact hasn't made much difference towards curbing of terror. At the present situation we neither have trust nor mistrust when it comes to Pakistani. Let us go either way as this confusing state of affairs will not do any good to the bilateral relationship.


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Friday, December 26, 2008

A tough year nearing its end

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The toughest year the world has seen in the recent past is finally coming to an end. More than New Year resolutions people will make a New Year wish this time that 2009 brings in a ray of hope in everybody's life. Lay-offs and job cuts become villainous term associated with 2008 and 2009 brings back the smile on the faces of people around the globe. People are free to move on the streets without becoming victims of terror attacks.


2008 has been a one of the worst years for the world and India in particular. Be in the over slumping economy or the regular terror attacks across the length and breadth of the country. The second half of the year was the worst with most of the terror strikes happening simultaneously with the global economic meltdown. Sports was the only thing which gave us a reason to smile be it cricket, the Beijing Olympics or the emergence of players like Saina Nehwal, Vijender Singh and Ishanth Sharma.


The visionless political system in the country saw a new low during the Mumbai terror attack. Cutting across party lines politicians were busy making irresponsible statements one after another. The elites in the society who always thought they were insulated from all problems be it terrorism or lawlessness went through a process of self realisation and self scrutiny. Their ignorant attitude towards public issues has caused the country very dear. A section of the elites have finally realised this.


Critics would argue that 2009 can be no different from 2008 in this country. But to be honest there are certain positive signs that many people have missed out. That the country avoided a communal clash after the Mumbai attacks is a testimony to the fact that people are finally becoming aware of the root causes of clashes. The elites in the society have finally shown some signs of responsibility towards the nation which is a positive sign.


Finally the political system in the country felt they were answerable to the people. It may be a small shot at the almost deaf political system but a persistent questioning of our leaders can do a lot of good to the society. Finally 'We the people of India' have to understand our responsibility towards the development of the society and if required take some initiatives for the betterment of this nation.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Great Indian Movie Script II

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

After Ram Gopal Varma's Mumbai Par Atank Raj failed to impress the audience and bombed at the box office Ramu does an overhaul of his entire cast and crew and this time involves even friends from across the border in Pakistan.


Movie – Atank Ka Khatma

(This time the focus shifts to end terrorism. RGV wants to tell some tricks of curbing terrorism. Its a trade secret he won't reveal anything till his movie is released )


Director – Ram Gopal Varma

(Holds onto the top job this time too as there is no replacement for him in the industry)


Producer – Asif Ali Zardari replaces Vilas Rao Deshmukh

(Deshmukh lost money in the previous movie and Zardari is happy to be the producer of a Bollywood flick. After all he wants everything to be done jointly by India and Pakistan except for terror strikes)


Film Financier – Yousaf Raza Gillani replaces R R Patil

(RR Patil disappears after the first movie and there are rumours that he gone to Antarctica. Yousaf Raza Gillani follows his President to Mumbai. Atleast his car won't be shot at in the Indian financial capital)


Executive Producer – Manmohan Singh and LK Advani

(The leaders are finally showing some signs of unity when it comes to national issue)


Banner – Sonia Productions

(There can be no debate on the banner in India. After all its the Gandhi bahu and leader of the ruling coalition)


Script – A R Antulay replaces ISI

(There was nothing wrong with ISI's script in the last movie but Antulay seems to have better script that them. Also his imagination extends beyond our universe and that's an inherent quality required for scripting)


Male Lead – Ritesh Deshmukh dropped VS Achuthanandan and Mukhtar Bbbas Naqvi in

(Ritesh did not fit as a male lead and was dropped. Achuthanandan and Naqvi are the most respected leaders in the nation right now and thus are apt for the role)


Terrorists – Bureaucrats replace MNS Workers

(MNS workers had done a good job in the previous movie but the 'failed bureaucracy' of our country will suit better in such roles. After all they are well fed!!)


Lyricist – Pakistani singers replace Madhukar Gupta

(They have faced protest all over so they pen the lyrics this time. Madhukar Gupta was below average in the first flick)


Playback Singer – Shivraj Patil replaced by Abdullah Hussain Haroon

(Patil's song like his ministerial tenure failed to impress the audience. Abdullah Hussain Haroon the Pak envoy sings different tunes at different times and thus he is the best man for the job)


Film Critic – United States of America replaces LK Advani

(Advani is replaced as he is executive producer. When Pakistan and India are involved US has to be the judge)


Audience – For the first time an RGV movie goes global


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Monday, December 22, 2008

Pakistani media's conspiracy theories

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks have not only exposed the true picture of Pakistani democracy but has also given an insight into Pakistani media. When General Pervez Musharraf
was in power we witnessed severe protest for restoration of democracy. The Pakistani media played a pivotal role in these protest like the media of a free nation should do. But their recent stand towards the Mumbai terror attacks has raised several question marks on their ethics.


Barring a few news channels and newspapers most of Pakistani media went into a Pakistani defensive mode even when the operations were going on in Mumbai. They were conspiring nonsense theories which they themselves would not have believed. They blamed the Indian media of sensationalising the entire issue. True the Indian media sensationalised the entire terror strikes to a certain extent but unlike our Pakistani counterparts we did on forget the greatest ethic of journalism that of reporting the truth.


I happened to see some of such conspiracy television news programmes by the Pakistani television channels on YouTube and other sources. Some of such conspiracy theories are:


Ajmal Amir Kasav's actual name is Amar Singh and he is a resident of Indian state of Punjab and a RAW agent. (Wonder why they framed his name as Amar Singh and not LK Advani)


The Mumbai Terror attack was staged by RAW and there was no Pakistani involved directly or indirectly with it. (It won't be surprising if Pakistan claims that there is no district such a Faridkot in Pakistan)


The terrorist caught alive was also a RSS member as he was wearing a saffron band in his hand. (In very shady pictures shot at night they were able identify the colour of the band. They would have been sure of the band colour even if it were a B/W image.


The Indian foreign policy is prepared by the Israeli spy agency Mossad. (We surely know who runs the finance ministry in Pakistani)


Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by India to prevent restoration of democracy in Pakistan. (As if elections and so called democracy has changed the centre of power in Pakistan)


Maulana Masood Azhar was a journalist who was captivated by India without any criminal charges. (If Pakistani journalists are capable of forming terrorist outfits than we surely know whom to be scared of.)


Any society will grow and mature when people are free to express their opinion. But when freedom of press is synonymous to sheer nonsense even divine intervention can do very little for betterment of such a nation.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

'The Wall' finally stands tall

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Rahul Dravid scored his 26th hundred in Test Cricket and silenced all his critics. It could have been just another century for the man who has done it several times in the past. But it was not, it was a special innings as Dravid had his back against the wall. It is always a treat to watch any player when he comes from behind to silence his critics.

The restrained manner in which Dravid celebrated his hundred talked a lot about his character. It showed that 'The Wall' doesn't not need to prove anything to anybody. After all the stylish right hander has scored more than 10000 runs in both forms of the game. Cricket fans like me were surprised at his lack of reaction after the ton. This particular trait may be sets him apart from many others and earns him respect around the globe.

Before the start of this Test Match many self styled cricketing experts were crying for Dravid's head. There were talks of dropping him down the order and some even wanted him out of the playing eleven. Indeed there are youngsters waiting for their chance but you do not get a Rahul Dravid everyday. He has answered all his critics in his Dravid like style by playing a class knock of 136.

The team management and captain MS Dhoni have to be applauded for showing faith in his abilities. Many people wanted Dravid to be pushed down the order but Dhoni allowed him his favourite number three spot and Dravid. In Gary Kirsten India finally have a coach who is low profile and helps people overcome their slump form unlike Greg Chappel who believed in spoiling careers of individuals.

In the end it is not fair to advice a Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly or a Sachin Tendulkar when to quit the game. They know it for themselves when to call it a day. Sourav Ganguly showed that even in India cricketers prefer a nice farewell rather than being sidelined from the game. As for Dravid's critics well they have to find a new target for some time.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

A R Antulay speaking on Pakistani lines

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Minority Affairs Minister
Abdul Rahaman Antulay's conspiracy theory regarding the killing of ATS chief Hemant Karkare's has been an egg on the face for the Congress Party. It was too much of an imagination on part of Mr Antulay and perhaps he should talk to Ram Gopal Varma to script his movie. He is talking a stand which is similar to the one being adopted by the Pakistani media who have even gone on to say that the entire terror strike was staged by the Indian Intelligence agency.


A conspiracy can be started by accusing A R Antulay of being an ISI agent who has been paid money to make anti India statements. Would Mr Antulay accept this? At least we have proof of his speech on tape. Whom was he trying to cater to needs to be questioned? Was he trying to appease the minorities? Has he forgotten that more than 40 Muslims fell victim to the terror strikes and they themselves have protested against it. So what were his intentions, his party has to answer this to the people of India.


Being a public servant A R Antulay is accountable to the people of the country and should be made to explain the basis of his suspicion. He alleged that the police team was send on a mission to die there by someone in the corridors of power. Whom is he pointing towards? Has he forgotten the fact that his party and NCP are in power in Maharashtra. Is he pointing towards any of his party colleague? He needs to answer all these questions.

If his allegations are found to be baseless legal action needs to be initiated against him immediately. His comments could have instigated communal violence in the country. Just a mere reignition is not enough for an insane politicians of his scale. His party cannot sideline themselves from his comments and say it was his personal point of view. If it was his personal point of view why was he allowed to make such an obnoxious statement in the Parliament.


When the Anti-Terror Bill was being debated in the Parliament there was a huge concern among the ruling party members. They felt it might dent their vote bank among the minority community. It is highly surprising that an anti terror law in India has to go through religious considerations. Can than the party at the centre claim themselves to be secular. Lets face the facts, vote bank politics is the name of the game in India and no party in this country can claims itself to be secular.


Being a lawyer Antulay should not take up Ajmal Kasab's case as he is yet to find a lawyer. Prove him innocent and send him back across the border so that he can visit us again with more arms and ammunition. One thing is for sure Pakistani Government will honour Antulay with the highest civilian award not because of the case but because he represents them in the Indian Parliament.


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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why doesn't Left protest Indo-China military exercise

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Amidst the recent Mumbai terror attacks one major event that became obscure was the Indo-China joint military exercise in Belgum which began on December 4. Had the Mumbai carnage not happened it would have been very interesting to see Left's stand on the military ties with China. To be honest all of us know that when it comes to China our Left party leaders even tend to forget their nationality.

It needs to be remembered that the Left parties have categorically opposed any military ties between Indian and the United States. Be it the Joint Naval exercise in the Malabar Coast or the Air Force Exercise in Kalaikunda, West Bengal our Left leaders have been up in arms against such military ties between the two largest democracies in the world.


I respect Left parties as they do not promote sycophancy and dynasty politics. They also give importance to the educational and non-criminal background of their candidates. But when it comes to China there is a hint of hypocrisy in their approach. India and its national interest take a back-seat and party ideology becomes the determinant factor in issues concerning the Red Dragon.


Why is it that none of the Left leaders have come out and opposed this military joint exercise? If US was getting to know out military secrets through during such exercise why can't China do the same. Practically US military capabilities and hardware is far ahead of India and it need not copy us whereas there is a huge doubt that looms over Chinese military hardware most of which is outdated.


America has never waged a direct war against India but China has done so. America doesn't claim any Indian territory but China claims the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh. America is putting pressure on Pakistan to flush out terrorist carrying out strikes against India but China being neighbour to both the countries has been silent. Our Left leaders consider America a threat but they should realise China is a bigger threat both military as well as economically.


Why is it that our Left parties never protested when China laid its claims over Arunachal Pradesh? Why doesn't the Left oppose Chinese occupation of certain territories in PoK. Why don't they question China over its regular arms supply to Pakistan. Is the national interest second to their ideologies and beliefs? These are some hard questions that our Left leaders need to answer.


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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

At last something to cheer about

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The last three weeks have been one of the worst in India's history. People were already saddened by the gloomy market and talks of lay-offs when the worst terror attack took place in the financial capital of the country. But yesterday's record breaking win versus in the Chennai test match gave Indians a reason to smile. Cricket is not just a game but a religious obsession in this country.

The script for the match could not have been written better for a nation which needed something to cheer about. Indian team chasing a record total and Mumbai's favourite son scoring a rare fourth innings ton. The English team had dominated the test for almost the 11 out of the 15 sessions yet they were defeated in a convincing manner. Perhaps the heavens wanted to do justice to the ordinary Indians who have gone through a lot of pain in the last few weeks.

Sachin's dedicating his hundred to the victims of the terror attack was a marvellous gesture. It proved that cutting across the sections of the society, ordinary Indians are more united than they were before 26/11. The school boyish celebration by the Master Blaster showed what this win meant to him as well as the entire nation. Cricket is a common religion in India and one rare thing that unites us amongst all our differences.

The test match had a huge significance being played after the terror attacks in Mumbai. The English team should be lauded for coming back to play the test series after what had happened. Critics may argue that it was the IPL money which attracted them to play in India but again speculations have no end. The visitors deserve to be patted on their backs for defying the terror threat and come to India. It is normalisation of life that is the best weapon to fight terror.

True this test win cannot heal the wounds of the victims but its a statement that life has to move on. It might just give a small moment of happiness to the families who have been victims of this attack. We have to look forward in life but at the same time not forget what we faced as a nation. Make sure we do not repeat the mistakes we did which resulted in the Mumbai carnage. As last thanks to our cricketers who have brought a smile in the faces of common Indians.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

A lesson to be learnt from the terror attack

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Its been more than two weeks since the Mumbai carnage shook not only India but the entire world. The aftermath of this incident saw anger and rage against the politicians, ire against the media for sensationalising the event and even call for waging a war
against Pakistan. But the truth is all of us have collectively led the country to this situation. This attack and the incidents that followed it should be a lesson for all of us cutting across political ideologies and professions.


Politicians: One trait which was seen common with our leaders was in making irresponsible statements be it by the secular party, the saffron brigade or the left. They have realised that fooling people works to a certain extent but not always. The rare Parliament session where there was consensus among all the members to fight terror was a testimony to level of public pressure hanging over their heads. Hopefully the leaders will realise that party ideologies and vote bank politics should not be put ahead of issues of national interest.


Media: Indian media has always set high standards for itself but the coverage of the Mumbai terror attacks raised a few questions. Was it necessary to reveal the operational details of our security forces in real time? Was it necessary to give details of where the hostages had taken refuge in the hotels? Screaming journalist trying to force an audio byte from an reluctant rescued hostage was a common sight. True the country needed to be told the story of what was happening in Mumbai. But could there have been a better approach to this entire tragedy.


Bureaucracy: For how long in this country will policies be made by people who are unaware of the ground realities? The ministers have been fired from their posts for inefficiency but what about our babus? Aren't they accountable for the lapse in intelligence gathering? What is the yardstick to judge their performance in the job. How can a person moving in a white car with a red beacon fix the pay of a soldier and understand the hardships of his jobs? These questions need to be answered.


Security Forces: Although they did a nerve reckoning job and even did not step back from sacrificing their lives but there were loopholes which could not prevent the terrorists from reaching Mumbai. The top brass in the security forces have to make sure that our policeman are an even match for the terrorists armed with sophisticated weapons. Various security agencies need to need to shed their ego and share intelligence. Security forces should also ensure that their personnels are physically fit for active service.


People: Last but not the least the most important of the lot the janata janardhan, the aam admi has to do a lot to ensure a better India. There are people who do not have voter ID cards because they cannot stand in a queue but its another story that the same people have all the time to stand outside a store when an iPhone is released. If we do not vote we have no right to blame the political set-up for the next five years. Thugs and goons can become leaders in this country due to our lack of interest in politics. The so called 'educated class' are not ready to take the tough call and lead the country. No wonder America is ahead of us as its Presidents have Harvards and Yales written in their Cvs where as a well educated person in this country feels its taboo to be a politician.


The attacks have taken a toll on us but on a optimistic note lets hope they teach us more and help us talking is country far ahead. We have to live with the politicians in a democracy so lets try to make the system better rather than just showing anger and rage against our leaders.


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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Terrorism and children

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The other day I was talking over the phone to my 5 year old nephew and he asked me “Mama Taj Hotel dekhecho?” (Uncle did you watch the carnage at Taj Hotel) Trying to act innocent I asked him what had happened there and he replied “Jongi ra ashechilo are hotel pure geche” (Terrorists came and the hotel was up i
n flames). For a moment I was stunned as a five year old toddler was talking about the carnage which would obviously affect his innocent mind.

By the time I gathered myself back he was back with his question and asked me where did these people come from and why did they do all this. I said I don't know not because telling him the name Pakistan would not make sense to him, but I did not want to pollute his mind and give him the first dose of the Anti-Pakistan pill. People sitting across the border can pass on the same venom to their children. Of course he needs to know history, he needs to understand what goes on between India and Pakistan but all that has to wait for the day when he can judge all that himself.

I just told him they were bad people and they were punished by the police (He won't understand what army or an NSG commando is). I was worried with the entire episode as it might leave a lasting impression on his young mind. He watches Tom and Jerry and Takeshi's Castle everyday but never felt like discussing it with me. When the talk of the town is terror strikes and everyone in the house is glued to the television the children also are affected by these images.

I just wondered whether the media had a role to play in this. To some extent they sensationalised the entire episode and created a hype to gain TRPs. True we need to be reported but operational details of the security forces and dead bodies could have been left out. At 24 I am considered to be the youth of this country and at 5 my nephew is the future. What is the world he will inherit when he is 24 like me? What is the world we want to give him once he is 24? I just wish I had some answers to it but alas I am once again a commoner.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Why does Pakistan dream of disintegrating India?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee


The other day I went through the post of Pakistani blogger who had written about a prospective Indo-Pak war. He predicted that India would crumble under Pakistani military might and will disintegrate into several parts. He pointed out that North East would become an independent country, West Bengal merge with Bangladesh, J&K would finally get independence and down south a Dravidian country would be formed.

Like a true Pakistani he glorified all the wars (48, 65, 71 and 99) that his countrymen fought against India. I was shocked not because of his dream and imagination but because of the manner in which he had written it to convince his countrymen. What kept me wondering was his educational qualification, having an engineering degree in a war torn country I felt this person should be thinking of nation rebuilding rather than trying to push his country into war.

Even worst were the comments from his fellow countrymen who supported his idea and and not even a single coul raised an argument against it. Then I realised that this is something which separates India from Pakistan. We have a huge section of our society which is liberal and plural. Issues are not just taken on their face value in India but people here look at the from different perspective. We are free citizens of a free nation where our soldiers fight in the borders and not dream of storming the parliament like they do in our neighbouring country.

If only my friend sitting across the border was honest enough to admit that Pakistan has dug its own grave by trying to destroy India. There is lawlessness all around and security a word non-existing in Pakistan's dictionary. Youngsters hold Kalashnikovs like we hold laptops in India and getting RDX for them is like fetching a bag of cement from the market. There are not many Prime Ministers whose car has been shot at in broad daylight.


Had the Pakistani government over the last two decades invested half their time and money on development rather than promoting a pseudo war against India, Pakistani have been a different country. My friend sitting in Lahore would have rather written a blog on having bilateral trade relationship with India rather then dream of destroying it.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Terror Protests – Only After The Noble Were Hit?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

There seems to be a feeling of anger amongst the citizens of this country after the recent Mumbai terror attacks. As a citizen of this country I am very happy to see the people finally seek accountability from our political class. What upsets me is where were all these 'noble man' when there were terror attacks in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Malegaon, Agartala, Assam took place. Does my bank balance and status
in the society determine the value of my life in this country.

The elites in the society cutting across professions are campaigning for a safer India. Never before have we see so much of public anger after a terror strike. Is it really public anger or the elite anger? Where were all these elites of Mumbai when Ghatkopar blasts happened in 2003 or the serial blasts that happened on August 25, 2003, the 2006 blasts in the train which claimed more than 200 lives could not bring these people on the streets.

The elites of the society have always been under a state of denial whenever the country has been hit by terror attacks. They do not board the local train, they do not go to the overcrowded markets and do not wait for the public transport at the bus stops. So the elites who are used to a chauffeur driven car or a hour long flights from one city to another never felt under real threat by terrorists. But this sense of denial has come and hit them and hit them hard. If Taj is not safe no place in India is.


This sense of denial was something the Americans were patronising before 9/11. They believed with all their military might they were 'safe'. That day busted a myth that there was any place thought to be safe in the world. They always believed that terrorism was a problem in Africa, Middle East and Indian Sub-Continent. The attack had so severe impact of the Americans that President Bush had to come out with the famous statement “We Are At War”

The media coverage was very Taj and Oberoi Trident centric but what about the people who lost their lives at CST or the Cama Hospital. What about those relatives who did not have money to take their bodies back home. Was the fair colour of the skin at Taj and Oberoi more photogenic than the darker toned people unable to afford designer clothes for themselves. Somewhere the media was very biased in the way they approached the entire sad episode.

It is a great thing to see all my fellow Indians stand up for the fight against terror. Hope it does not mean more security at the malls and hotels and lead to the protection of the lives of the elites only. Its high time we act and not be resilient to ensure security of all Indians irrespective of their socio- economic status.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

War with Pakistan – Is it feasible?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

There seems to be a very large emotional outcry in the country after the terror attacks in Mumbai. A question arising in all these is should we go for a war with Pakistan? Considering the present state of things a full scale war with Pakistan should be the last measure in our fight against terror. Waging a war
is not as simple as it seems on the streets. It just does not have military cost it has a huge economic cost associated with it.


After the December 13 Parliament attacks Indian defense forces has launched what is known as Operation Parakram and mobilised soldiers along the border with Pakistan. The aggressive military move hardly yielded any results but cost us Rs 6500 crores. More importantly 680 soldiers lost their lives mostly to accidents without any militarily engagement a figure which even outnumbered 527 soldiers who sacrificed their lives during Operation Vijay in Kargil.


Pakistan has an non existent economy today and trying to wage a full scale war against it will lead to an huge economic loss for us even if it turns out to be a military success. The Afghan and Iraq campaign has cost America more than it has cost the two countries. Also considering the nuclear arsenal that Pakistan has coupled with little influence its politicians have over the military a mindless act might lead to catastrophe for us more than them.


Does that mean no action against Pakistan if we have strong enough evidence. No certainly not we need to act and act immediately. First the drama of diplomatic talks and dialogues has to end. It is clear that Pakistan is not controlled but its politicians or its diplomats. Its the men in boots who call shots there and if there is any talk necessary it has to be with them. A politician in Pakistan and I in India have similar control over the functioning in the country!


We seem to have specific information about terror camps running out of Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The Government needs to fuel our Sukhois and MiGs and order them to take down specific targets rather than do carpet bombings. The intelligence inputs in such an operation will be very crucial it need not bypass our inefficient bureaucracy. Senior military commanders have to be given more decision making power to fight our enemy.


The intelligence claims to know about the hideouts of Dawood Ibrahim, Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and other people involved in attacks against India. These people can be neutralised in their own den by a secret police much like the Mossads and KGB. A full scale war against Pakistan will need tremendous sacrifice by our soldiers and our economy and it does not seem too feasible at this moment


Taking smart actions and striking them by surprise in their own land will create a terror in their minds too. We have shown enough resilience, spirit of cities and taken high moral grounds its time to act, act quickly and act smartly. The government has now to choose between the lives of Indians and terrorist and making a choice shouldn't be too difficult.


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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Great Indian Movie Script

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Movie –
Mumbai Par Atank Raj

(This is a typical RVG title for the movie on the Mumbai Carnage)


Director – Ram Gopal Varma

(He is the only person from Bollywood who has a first person account of what went inside the Taj)


Producer – Vilas Rao Deshmukh

(With his CM's chair gone and people having lost faith in his political abilities perhaps he should turn an eye to the silver screen)


Film Financier – R R Patil

(Well every loss seems small for him and considering it will be a RGV flick only a man with big heart like Mr Patil can finance this movie)


Executive Producer – Manmohan Singh

(Having failed to execute any anti terror laws in the interest of the nation, our PM can be the executive producer of this great movie)


Banner – Sonia Productions

(Well Sonia is the boss and she has to have her name in all the banners. After all the hand she shows is what matters to her loyalists)


Script – ISI

(They seem to be scripting all the internal security affairs of our country. Also because they had the first draft of the operation even before the terrorists landed in Mumbai)


Male Lead – Ritesh Deshmukh

(The prince of Maharashtra will definitely play an NSG commando fighting to save the Taj. Only concern is if he could keep out his filthy jokes and a never ending smile out of this thriller)


Terrorists – MNS Workers

(Although they cannot be compared to the terrorists but someone has to play those roles too so MNS workers are best suited for the job)


Lyricist - Madhukar Gupta

(Madhukar Who? Like all RGV movies the music is irrelevant so taking the Home Secretary is ok for the job)


Playback Singer – Shivraj Patil

(He knows a thing or two about voice modulation. Was screaming against POTA and now seems to be only singing slow numbers after terror attacks)


Film Critic – L K Advani

(Having started his career as a film critic he is the best man suited for the job)


Audience – From me who is penning the blog to you who is reading it.


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Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Home Minister calls it quits

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Shivraj Patil has finally called it quits from the Home Ministry in a desperate move to save some face for the UPA government. This government has time and again proved itself incompetent to ensure basic security to the people of this country. The question that arises now is what took him so long when his CV in the last four and half years was nothing to write home about. Is it because the life of a person killed in the street was not worth the same as those killed in Taj? Was it because this time there was a lot of pressure from people like the Tatas calling for the head of Shivraj Patil? Whatever be the reason the worst occupant of the North Block has finally become sane enough to leave it.

India today needs a person with a strong political resolve to helm the affairs of the country rather than a 'good person' which our Prime Minister might be. It is not surprising that he cabinet is full with a bunch of people called the 'Gandhi loyalist' (Pranab Mukherjee, Shivraj Patil, Priyaranjan Das Munshi, A K Anthony) who are the most inefficient souls in this nation. Is it not a mockery of democracy that our Prime Minister and his Defence Minister have never managed to win an election ever in their lives? Mind it they are nominated members of the Upper House in the Parliament.

It is highly surprising that this government is still not talking about bringing in tough laws which will give our security forces some teeth to fight terror. Have they set a benchmark of some lives which have to be lost before a law such as POTA has to be re-enacted? I wonder when there is so much recession in the market and corporate world is talking about layoffs why is no such thing happening with our babus in white. These people have mastered the art of mud-slinging at each other and it is their only claim to fame.

The US, Israel and most other developed countries have their Defence Ministries or whatever they call it being headed by people with a military background. But none of our ministers have had combat experience in their life. How can they understand what facing a bullet or manning the borders from Tawang to Siachen is? Will an engineer be allowed to be the chief surgeon of a hospital or a PHD in history head the team that is working on Chandrayan II. The answer can be expected from a toddler whose milk teeth have barely fallen.

As Govinda chants in his famous song ‘It happens only in India’ such things can honestly happen only in the largest democracy in the world. We are living in an ‘Unsafe India’ and its time we realise and elect our leaders after some thinking. Not voting is not a solution to the problem as many of us think it to be. If we do not vote we have no right to blame the politicians in power. We have to take collective responsibility to have a ‘Better India’ and a ‘Safe India’

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

War Over – Time for Politics

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The Mumbai carnage has finally come to an end and all the terrorists have been neutralised. Our politicians finally have the time to take a dig at each other and settle scores. While the BJP will be targeting the Congress calling it 'soft on terror', the Manmohan Singh government will try to safe guard its vote banks at the cost of the lives of each Indian. Our Prime Minister and his highly talented Home Minister Shivraj Patil seem to be the most helpless souls on the planet today.

Our Prime Minister will now be thinking of ways to safeguard the rights of Ajmal the terrorist nabbed much like they victoriously did for Mohammad Afzal Guru convicted in the Parliament attack case. It is ironical that they did this when their own lives was at stake in the temple of Indian democracy. They will leave no stone unturned in dishonouring the men in uniform who do not care about their own lives when I-N-D-I-A is in question.

Even dangerous are certain breed of politicians like Amar Singh and Mamata Banerjee who will soon term this entire operation by our brave soldiers as a false encounter much like they did in the Batla house case. If they cannot salute the martyrdom of a hero like Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma they have no right to dishonour his sacrifice for the sake of his motherland. How many times has Mr Amar Singh run into bullets himself to understand what an encounter is?

And how can we forget the hypocrisy of people like Arundhuti Roy who is silent in all this. Why did she not condemn the attacks on Mumbai when she shouted for the independence of Kashmir? Is she suffering from a sore throat or she is not in touch with the current affairs? She would have championed the cause of the terrorists had they been caught alive by our security forces. Just because we are a democratic nation with freedom of speech granted to us we have no right to go insane while we speak.

The easiest thing for us to do is to point a finger at Pakistan. Well its true they were the perpetrators of this bloodbath but what about the traitors sitting inside the border. Why aren't our security forces given teeth to fight these terror modules spread across the country. Why aren't they being armed with laws not just guns to take on the mindless urban terrorism we are witnessing for some years now. Would the Israelis and the Americans responded in the same way as we are doing had they been attacked?

Hemant Karkare, Gajendra Singh, Sandeep Unnikrishnan,, Ashok Kamte, Vijay Salaskar, Shashank Shinde, Prakash More, B Durgunde, Tukaram Ombale, A R Chitte, Vijay Khandekar, M C Chaudhary, Yogesh Patil, Jaywant Patil, Ambadas Pawar and Balwant Bhosale are not just names they are bravehearts who sacrificed their lives for the country. They been let down by a weak political class which wants to preach peace to murderers.

I regret for the tone of my blog but like many in this country I too have reached a saturation point. We have to act now or we are yet to see the worst. As a common Indian I pray for the souls of the people who have fallen victims to this massacre. I salute the courage and the sacrifice of our security forces who once again saved the day for India.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai under siege; Where is Raj Thackrey?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

As I pen this blog the encounter between the terrorists and security forces continues in Mumbai. A man who seems to be nowhere in the picture is MNS honcho Mr Raj Thackrey the self styled 'Saviour of Mumbai'. The entire country is rejoicing the freeing of each hostage and mourning each death. The MNS chief and his followers may not like to believe but every house in Bihar and UP is waiting to hear the news of the final terrorist to be shot down.

It is surprising that the government had to call in the army and the NSG commandos for this crisis situation. They should have just made a call to Raj and he would have led the operation himself. After all he is willing to do anything for the sake of 'his' Mumbai. He would have openly challenged the terrorist to target him as he regularly challenges the government to arrest him. After all the terrorists have hit the biggest landmark of 'his' city Mumbai.

He is not afraid of sacrificing his life for 'his' city. How dare they entire 'his' city without his consent. His followers who have battle trained themselves for months thrashing the taxi drivers and vandalising the shops were better prepared to take on the terrorist than the NSG commandos. If the MNS could not manage the hostage situation (though its highly unlikely) Raj could have just made a call to his estranged uncle after all they are on the same side when it comes to the cause of Mumbai.

Raj might be maintaining a count of the number of Biharis and people from UP in the army and among the NSG commandos who are fighting for 'his' city. How could they have entered Mumbai and fought his war for the city of Mumbai. How is that 80% reservation was not given to the locals fighting the crisis situation in their Mumbai. Its grave injustice that has been done by the government. After all the sons of soil deserved to take on the terrorists.

Raj might be thinking about a PIL against the Government for using the 'Bhaiyaas' in fighting the terror in 'his' city thereby polluting it. Wake up Raj its high time you wake up, we are a nation and united by a common string I-N-D-I-A. The threat of terrorism looms over our head each day and people sitting across the borders and inside it planning to strike us make no distinction between a Marathi manoos like you are, the bhaiyaas whom you threaten or a Bengali like me who writes this blog.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

When will the government act?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The situation is now under control”
The guilty will be severely punished”
No body can shake the resolve of this nation against terrorism”


Sounds cliché right? Well these are the comments that our Home Minister has made after each of the recent terror strike across the country. Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Delhi, Malegaon, Agartala, Guwahati and now the financial heart of the country Mumbai, we have been hit in each and every corner of the country. The government has however only been a silent spectator. It is not completely wrong to term the present government to be 'soft on terror'.

Shivraj Patil has emerged to be the biggest embarrassment to the Centre and its allies. He was the same man who was at his loudest opposing POTO (Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance) when it was tabled in the Parliament in 2002 by the NDA government. He had termed it as a 'draconian law' which will be used against a certain section of the people. Mr Patil's voice has seen a considerable decline in decibels, why not he has been the dictionary meaning of failure in the North Block.

It is highly surprising that despite frequent terror attacks the government at the centre is reluctant to bring in tough laws. Is the political embarrassment of bringing back POTA dearer to them than the innocent lives being lost around the the country? Are they waiting for another Parliament attack where some MPs are killed or a civil war to break when citizens loose faith the state machinery to provide them security.

The militancy in Punjab was crushed under the leadership of chief minister Beant Singh and Punjab police DGP KPS Gill. Same was the fate of the Naxalite moment in West Bengal when the then chief minister Siddhartha Shankar Ray stood against it. These are shining example of how militant moments can be crushed when the security forces are backed by strong political resolve. The need of the hour is such strong character in the Home Ministry not the person who currently occupies it.


The armed forces in this country are paralysed by the outdated laws and the people who champion the cause of Human Rights. Some of these laws were drafted when Britishers were still helming the affairs of the country. It will not surprise many that most of the Anti- terror laws are drafted by the bureaucrats with very little participation from the armed forces, the end users of these laws.


It took the United States of America just one 9/11 to draft US Patriot Act (Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act) arming its security forces with teeth to fight against terrorism. The law allows them to make pre-emptive strikes anywhere in the world if there is a threat to US or its citizens. We do not need to go out of the Indian territory but at least fight the barbarians within the geographical boundaries of India.

Enough of appeasement and vote bank politics have been done now its the time for the 'babus in white' to act. If the government is still unable to curb terrorism and provide security to its citizens, it should perhaps outsource the Home Ministry to a country like Israel which will definitely do a better job in dealing with such situation.

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