Monday, May 31, 2010

Maoist say sorry for train attack!

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

It is not just the politicians in India who change colour in India, the Maoists is nor far behind. Days after it has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Gyaneswari Express Maoist leader Bapi Mahto said that his party was sorry for the attacks in which close to 150 people lost their lives. He said that they wanted to target the goods train that was coming on the adjacent track but were misinformed which has resulted in the loss of so many human lives.

Are they really feeling guilty for their act? Certainly not. The kind of anger that the people in this country now have against them after they targeted the civilians has left the Maoist worried. Also the fact that their supporters in the civil society haven’t suddenly don’t have any words to defend the so called ‘misguided youth’ is worrying the Maoists. It just wants to create a scenario for the Arundhuti Roys to fight its case in the Television studio and make the world believe that these people are fighting for the rights of the adivasis.

There have been call by some Human Rights activists to call off Operation Green Hunt and after this incident there is very little that these groups can do about calling for a ban on such operations. With the centre thinking about deploying the army in the Maoists controlled territories the Red finally seem to fear of a stronger and lethal response from the centre. All this has meant that they want to use some diversionary tactics which helps them gain some public sympathy. They have even promised not to target the railways again.

The fact is straight, in case the army is deployed in these areas the Maoists are also likely to suffer huge damages which they have escaped at the hands of the para military forces. All men fear for their lives and so do the Maoists. This fear is making them make such statements to delay the government in taking strong measures against them. If the army is given the go ahead in the operation Maoists will see their worst dream come true.

Should we fall for such a lie from these men who are ruthless and merciless when it comes to killing people? Why is it that none of the Maoist sympathisers have come out in open and criticised the incident? The government should make its stand stronger in defeating these criminals who do not want development in these areas as this is the soul cause of their existence. They are the biggest hurdle to any developmental activities in the areas dominated by them. There is no reason for them to survive in a developed Red Corridor.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mother of all civic elections in Bengal!

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Nowhere in the country perhaps has a civic election aroused so much interest as it is happening with the case of West Bengal this time. As many as 81 civic bodies across the state are going to the polls today to decide the next course of politics in the State. Never has New Delhi looked so interest in any civic elections in the country in the recent years and never has any civic election made so much buzz in the Parliament. It is the Left Front’s biggest litmus test as it takes on the Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress and the Congress although the two main opposition parties have decided not to sail on the same boat.

An outsider might wonder what is so much to do with a civic election which is being termed as a virtual semi-final of the assembly polls stated for 2011. True, by normal conviction but the fact is never have elections been as interesting in Bengal. The result was always known for the past three decades where the Left front would emerge victorious. The only thing probably to bet on was whether they would get a two-third majority or do a clean sweep. To put in to perspective, Bengal elections had very little TRP value and the political pundits always go their predictions correct or probably there was no need to predict.

It all changed in May 2009 when the TMC-Congress combine sent a shocker to the Left winning more seats in the Lok Sabha polls. Bengal suddenly seemed to have opposed to having a Left Hand Drive in their cars. The Red Fort showed signs of decay and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee seemed to symbolise Mikhail Gorbachobe of India. The invinsibles had been defeated and the inevitable achieved. Mamata Banerjee who was just another politician in Bengal suddenly became the crusader of the Left in India. Since then even a small university election in Bengal has aroused interest.

In the run up to the civic polls Mamata Banerjee played a smart card with her alliance partners Congress forcing them to fall for her bargain or quit the alliance. The grand old party of India decided to opt for the latter option. This gives Mamata a chance to test her own strength before the Assembly elections. If she emerges victorious the Congress will have no options but to listen to her dicktats in the Assembly polls, In case she fails she will kiss and make up with the Congress. As for the Congress it still hasn’t completely closed doors on the Left in the background and might have the last laugh over Mamata.

The Left front on its part is trying hard to keep it’s fort intact and this election has become a pride issue for them. They are trying too hard and the desperation showed when Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee even appealed to the BJP voter to side with the Left. The supporters of the ‘untouchable party’ don’t seem to be untouchables for the Left anymore if it gives them control over the civic bodies. The great party of idealism has very little to showcase in terms of work done. It is to be seen if idealism can by them vote this time to because from a neutral point of view they have done little work to be voted back to power.


Friday, May 28, 2010

What do Maoist sympathisers say now?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The incidents of violence in the last two weeks in the Maoists dominated areas has had a fallout and all the liberal Maoist sympathisers seem to suddenly avoid the media. Afterall, the so called messiahs of the tribal and the poor don’t seem to be just fighting the state and it’s machinery and rather killing anybody and everybody who comes to their territory. The recent sabotage of Howrah-Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Gyaneshwari Super Deluxe Express is just another example of how big a menace the ultra-Leftist moment has become and has indeed turned out to be the single biggest threat to internal security as Prime Minister Dr. Monmahan Singh had once said.

Over the last couple of years when Maoist became the talk of the town there has been an army of their sympathisers in the civil society. These people have time and again blamed the government for the problem but not once condemned the gruesome acts that the Maoist seems to be engaging regularly. The beheading of a cop doesn’t raise alarm to these people but the arrests of a few Maoist informers seem to make them insomniac. They have time and again called these people misguided youth who have taken up arms due to under development in the region.

The second argument does hold some ground as the infamous ‘Red Corridor’ is starved of development. But the Maoists are equally to be blamed for this as their activities have prevented any sort of investment in these regions. These are murderers who want an under developed region to fuel their existence. What else would explain blowing up schools, roads, bridges, communication towers and every single hope of development? These people who are armed with sophisticated weapons have themselves become the biggest hurdle to development as they are too much indoctrinated to understand the meaning of the term development.

After the recent attack on Dantewada where civilians travelling in the bus were killed with security men Arundhuti Roy had accused the government of using civilians as shields. What would she say to the country now? Would she advice people not to travel in trains as this a symbol of the Government so any attack on the railways is justified. It would be interesting to know why people like Arundhuti Roy suddenly become silent. Why is it that after any such attack they seem to go in a hiding and not be in front of the TV cameras?

It is for the entire country to wake up and boycott such people who are supporting the Maoists against the state. Which misguided youth fires from a sophisticated AK-47? It is for people like Ms Roy to answer the nation. What would she tell the family members of those who died in this gruesome act of murder?


Afzal Guru wants capital punishment for himself!

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The indecisiveness in the Indian polity is enough to even frustrate a terrorist. The parliament attack conspirator Mohammad Afzal Guru who has been sentenced to death wants a quick decision on his mercy petition, whatever the outcome. The militant who originates from Kashmir has said that he is fed up with his solitary confinement and delay in the outcome of his mercy petition. In a plea filed by him he has requested the government either to hang him or decide on his mercy petition soon.

The Congress led government at the centre is sitting ideal on the case as they believe his hanging might cause a tilt in his vote bank with leaders in the Kashmir valley having warned of serious repercussions in the event of capital punishment being carried out on him. His mercy petition is lying with the government with the Sheela Dixit led Delhi state government having taken 4 long years to move the file between two tables! They fear that the Congress might seem to look anti-Muslim if the sentence is carried out.

The politicians can afford to sit over the case as not a single of their clan even had a scratch when the terrorists had barged into the parliament. Security men and women had sacrificed their lives to ensure that all of them remained safe. This was one of the worst terrorists attacks in the country and perhaps the most talked about in the country before the Mumbai carnage of 2008 where the sole terrorist caught alive Kasab has been awarded death sentence by the court recently. The Afzal Guru case has since then shot back to limelight.

Guru’s mercy petition is number 29 with the President of India. J&K chief minister Omar Abdulhha wants the President to take decision on the 28 pending cases before considering the mercy petition of Guru. This he believes is more important than dealing with a special case. It needs to be noted that apart from the case of Nalini the co-accused in the killing of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi most of the people in that list haven’t committed any crime against the state.

Some leaders in the Kashmir valley have openly said that Guru cannot be hanged since he is a Kashmiri. Isn’t that an insult to the brave men and women who died defending the same politicians who don’t seem to honour their sacrifice? What is the President of India doing sitting over so many mercy petitions. This kind of politics can only demoralise the men in uniform who bravely defend their motherland. Would our politicians have done the same if some of their colleagues would have been killed in that attack? The country needs answers and the government should not play with the emotions of the people anymore.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

India should protest Canada’s moralistic bug

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Canadian government's moralistic bug resurfaced authorities refusing a visa to a retired lieutenant-general on the ground that the officer served in Kashmir and there were human rights violations by the Army in the Valley. This comes after a similar incident a few days ago when a BSF personal was denied the same as he had served in Kashmir where the free liberal thinkers in the Canadian government feels India suppresses the Kashmiris and termed the BSF as a “notoriously violent force.”

People in Canada should bless themselves that they haven’t been blessed with a territory like Kashmir where the second largest army in the world has to deploy almost half it’s active force due to the anti-India activities that goes on in the state. New Delhi should not take this lying down as the Canadian authorities have raised the issue on Indian integrity and our right to control a violent territory where our western neighbours Pakistan has been fuelling violent sentiments so called ‘jihad.’ They have also been fuelling and funding a proxy war against India for the last two decades.

Kashmir is an integral part of India and we have every right to defend every inch of our motherland. It is true that the military forces in Kashmir have been given high powers by the government but considering the violent situation in the state such powers are necessary in the state. Human rights violation is common in any territory where the security forces have to face a hostile situation day in and day out. The forces face a hostile situation due to the cross border situation where they are time and again attacked by the separatists. These people are stoned which has become a new weapon for the terrorists where ordinary people are brain washed by the terrorists to fight against the Indian state. The Human Rights organizations are used as a shield by the same separatists against the state forces.

If the Canadian authorities are so hit by the moralistic bug and talk of Human Rights what are they doing in Afghanistan as a part of the NATO forces where the US drone attacks have killed as many innocent civilians as the number of terrorists. Didn’t those people living in the Pak-Afghan border have any human rights? Or has the Canadian government turned a blind eye on these facts? Who has given the Canadian government to fight against a so called ‘war on terror’ where it is still to be proven that the Al-Qaeda and Taliban had any direct involvement in the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Centre. What is their take on this issue? What do their forces do when attacked upon by hostile forces in such situations?

India should not take this lying down. The Home Ministry and the External Affairs Ministry should take up the issue strongly with the Canadian High Commission. Many Canadian officers and soldiers en-route to Afghanistan use the India as a transit point and all these visas issued should be scrapped off immediately should the Canadian authorities not back from such a stand. Kashmir is a internal conflict for India and the world has no right to take pot shots at our Government and it’s security forces on their methods to curb terrorism in an ‘Indian state.’


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Did Ruchika Girhotra finally get justice?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

It is often said “Justice delayed is justice denied” but finally some justice seems to have been done in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case as former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for having molested the girl almost 20 years back in 1990. The molestation had become a mental trauma for the budding tennis player who committed suicide three years later after her family was being harassed by Rathore and his men.

The bigger question now arises is has justice been done in the case? Rahhore getting 18 months of imprisonment for forcing a person to death seems too less to be just. But that’s the judicial system in India and a person can be tried just on the charges that can be proven. But this system seems a fair judgement considering that Rathore was awarded just 6 months of imprisonment for the same offence in the month of December and had got bail in just 5 minutes! This had led to a national outcry resulting the case to be reopened which many people has termed as “Trial by the Media”

Ruchika’s family though is happy with the verdict as they finally can have faith in the legal system of the nation. Rathore is accused of abetment to suicide and the family is hoping that he will be awarded a harsher punishment on that count too. There are also another 22 cases pending against Rathore who had used all the bureaucratic and political influence to escape punishment in the case regularly harassing the family after it has tried registering a complaint against him. He had falsely charged Ruchika’s brother in many cases and had tortured him time and again forcing Ruchika to justice.

Although many accuse the media of trying the person outside the court room but the fact remains that it is only due to the media that the government and judiciary got into action and reopened the case leading to this judgement. Would this have been possible without the media? Be it a Nitish Katara, Jessica Lal or Priyadarshani Mattoo case the media forced the judiciary to deliver justice after the accused had used their influence to get off the clutches of the law.

In case of Rathore, the court should award him a harsher punishment for forcing the young girl into misery and finally to suicide. 18 months is too less to be a penalty for someone’s death.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

North East needs to grow up

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The recent flare up of communal tension in Meghalaya and the incidents at Manipur once again proves that North Eastern states have a long way to go to get over the ethnic clashes. The region has been infamous for communal clashes and terrorism which has resulted in grave under development of the region over the last six decades since India gained independence. Small incidents are enough to start clashes between different communities leading to loss of life and property and above all defacing the image of the region not only to the country but to the world. In the day of the Internet people across the world know what happens in any corner!

There has been a feeling among the inhabitants of the North East that the region has been overlooked by the centre. It is partially true but at the same time the people have done little to create a scenario of development as well. Terrorism have been time and again said to be a fallout of the gross neglect of the centre but the vice versa also holds true that it has been the biggest roadblock to development in the region. The numerous extortion drives that are carried out by the terrorists in the region has been a hurdle in private investment in the region with none of the industrial giants having any manufacturing or service industry in the region.

New Delhi hasn’t been a good judge of the situation in the states. Pacifying one state at the cost of the other has been a regular trend in the region. The recent example has been the Manipur versus Nagaland incident where both ethnic groups feel they hold the right ground. The Centre obviously hasn’t learnt lessons from similar agitations in 2004 and repeated the same mistake. It has always believed sending battalions of soldiers would solve the problems but that hasn’t happened the problem as more and more terrorists seems to rise from nowhere. Had New Delhi spent the same energy and money in building more universities the situation could have been different. For example South Assam has very little of terrorism as there is a University, a Medical College and a premier Engineering College NIT Silchar.

As for the people support the man with the guns they have to realize that gun was never picked up in North East for its development and protection of ethnic interest. It was just a cover-up for the huge amount extortion drives that are carried out in the name of a rebellion of freedom. It also protects the interest of the arms and the drug dealers in the region. What else would explain Rs 3900 Crore of money ceased in Bangladesh from an account belonging to the chairman of ULFA Arabindo Rajkhowa. Where was the money extracted from and where did it find its way? In a peaceful North East this amount of money could not be minted easily!

The solution to the problem is in development and that should not be in the form of begging to New Delhi rather starting it from within the region. North East has the potential to become a second Goa, thanks to the beauty it has been blessed with. But is the region doing enough to attract tourists? The answer is a straight No. Arunachal Pradesh can supply power to the entire eastern part of the country and generate revenue. Has anything been done in this regards? No. Nagaland can become a trade hub with the East Asian countries but have we done anything? Again a sad No. It is high time that the region grows up and takes constructive steps not for anybody but for itself.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Left Talks About Development?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

“Industrialization will continue” is what the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mr. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said in a recent election rally ahead of the civic polls in the state. Nobody doubts his intents to bring some change to the state in the form of industries. Everybody is convinced that the Bengal CM is trying his level best to convince the investors to pump in the much needed wealth into the state. But the big question arises can Mr. Bhattacharjee convince his party men. The answer is a sad negative as he faces much more opposition within his party than anywhere else. None of the indoctrinated member of the Left seem to realize that it is necessary to change with time.

The Chief Minister is a great general in the wrong army. The numerous election rallies that Left leaders host has one common song “we will bring in development to the state.” The big question is what did you do for the past three and half decade that you had been in power? Where were your development plans when you had clear mandate in every state election? No government in India had been blessed with such thumping majority term after term. Had it been a Nitish Kumar or a Narendra Modi, West Bengal would have been the most flourishing state in India. What prevented the Left from taking developmental steps that would have brought in much needed development in the state?

The Left has been regularly portraying itself as a party of the peasants and workers. The productivity of one hectar of land in Bengal is 2.2 metric tons a year compared to 4.5 in Punjab. This despite the state being blessed with the mighty Ganges. So if figures are to prove anything the government has failed. The definition of Kolkata in a major dictionary WordWeb states “One of the largest cities in India and one of the largest cities in the world; located in eastern India; suffers from poverty” So Left did not do anything to protect the interests of the workers as well. It’s claim to fame has been closing down 6500 odd small and big industries in the state from 1970s to the late 1900s

When the entire nation was reaping the benefits of LPG (Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization) Left MPs sitting in the opposition benches were busy criticizing the policies of the government. When Parliamentarians from other state were driving the growth engine to their state the Left was busy talking about ideology. The results is a situation where a Left party worker of the 70s is lying in his death bed but his son cannot attend him as he has to earn his living in Bangalore or Pune as his father and his colleagues chased out the intellect of the society and any chance of investment that could have taken place in the state.

At the hour of independence Bengal was the most electrified state in the country and it’s growth rate was second only to Maharashtra. Today 29% of rural Bengal is electrified and the state no longer figures in the top ten states in the country on the GDP growth count. Somebody has to take the blame for all this stagnation that has happened in the state. Will the Left leaders do that? No, they will talk about ideology and Marxism. But it is high time that people in the state wake up and realize that they have offered too many chances to the Left who have failed themselves as well as the state in all parameters of development.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

What Ratan Tata did for the Mumbai victims

What Ratan Tata did for the Mumbai victims.... a every Indian should know.

Ratan Tata is the chairman of Indian Hotels who own the Taj Mahal Hotel Mumbai, which was the target of the terrorists last year . Hotel President a 5 star property also belongs to Indian Hotels.

Although there is no official confirmation on this but this is what is being said publicly. If true the following is really touching.

  • All category of employees including those who had completed even 1 day as casuals were treated on duty during the time the hotel was closed.
  • Relief and assistance to all those who were injured and killed
  • The relief and assistance was extended to all those who died at the railway station, surroundings including the “Pav- Bha ji” vendor and the pan shop owners.
  • During the time the hotel was closed, the salaries were sent by money order.
  • A psychiatric cell was established in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences to counsel those who needed such help.
  • The thoughts and anxieties going on people’s mind was constantly tracked and where needed psychological help provided.
  • Employee outreach centers were opened where all help, food, water, sanitation, first aid and counseling was provided. 1600 employees were covered by this facility.
  • Every employee was assigned to one mentor and it was that person’s responsibility to act as a “single window” clearance for any help that the person required.
  • Ratan Tata personally visited the families of all the 80 employees who in some manner – either through injury or getting killed – were affected.
  • The dependents of the employees were flown from outside Mumbai to Mumbai and taken care off in terms of ensuring mental assurance and peace. They were all accommodated in Hotel President for 3 weeks.
  • Ratan Tata himself asked the families and dependents – as to what they wanted him to do.
  • In a record time of 20 days, a new trust was created by the Tatas for the purpose of relief of employees.
  • What is unique is that even the other people, the railway employees, the police staff, the pedestrians who had nothing to do with Tatas were covered by compensation. Each one of them was provided subsistence allowance of Rs. 10K per month for all these people for 6 months.
  • A 4 year old granddaughter of a vendor got 4 bullets in her and only one was removed in the Government hospital. She was taken to Bombay hospital and several lacs were spent by the Tatas on her to fully recover her.
  • New hand carts were provided to several vendors who lost their carts.
  • Tata will take responsibility of life education of 46 children of the victims of the terror.
  • This was the most trying period in the life of the organisation. Senior managers including Ratan Tata were visiting funeral to funeral over the 3 days that were most horrible.
  • The settlement for every deceased member ranged from Rs. 36 to 85 lacs [One lakh rupees translates to approx 2200 US $ ] in addition to the following benefits:
a. Full last salary for life for the family and dependents;
b. Complete responsibility of education of children and dependents – anywhere in the world.
c. Full Medical facility for the whole family and dependents for rest of their life.
d. All loans and advances were waived off – irrespective of the amount.
e. Counselor for life for each person

1. How was such passion created among the employees? How and why did they behave the way they did?
2. The organisation is clear that it is not something that someone can take credit for. It is not some training and development that created such behaviour. If someone suggests that – everyone laughs
3. It has to do with the DNA of the organisation, with the way Tata culture exists and above all with the situation that prevailed that time. The organisation has always been telling that customers and guests are #1 priority
4. The hotel business was started by Jamshedji Tata when he was insulted in one of the British hotels and not allowed to stay there.
5. He created several institutions which later became icons of progress, culture and modernity. IISc is one such institute. He was told by the rulers that time that he can acquire land for IISc to the extent he could fence the same. He could afford fencing only 400 acres. He also made a condition that the TATA name should not be used (ironical in a country where half the roads and buildings bear Gandhi tag although they may not even have seen them)
6. When the HR function hesitatingly made a very rich proposal to Ratan – he said – do you think we are doing enough?
7. The whole approach was that the organisation would spend several hundred crore in re-building the property – why not spend equally on the employees who gave their life?

This was not covered by any news channel. The channels are busy showing cast politics, Sania Mirza's wedding, Shahrukh Khan's wedding. But these stories need to be told to the nation.


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