30 January, 2012

The Truth about Medha Patkar

Above: Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) banner with threats to Government officials

Francois Gautier exposes Medha Patkar's explosive agenda

Most people in India have a positive impression about Medha Patkar. Is she not the secular activist who takes on big business, fights for preserving India’s greenery and defends the poor and downtrodden?

However documents leaked to the press have revealed a very different picture: that of a scheming person, who has no qualms about breaking the law and whose sources of funding are mysterious.

In a letter written in October 2007, Dr Urmilaben Patel, member of the Congress Working Committee, wrote to Shri Pranab Mukherjee, who was then the Hon'ble Minister for External Affairs Government of India: “You are kindly aware, that Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) headed by Medha Patkar is actively involved in opposing all hydro projects in India... I have recently received material which I find quite disturbing.. I specifically draw your attention into the message of Ms. Patkar using the words of "pressurizing the UPA government", and "honouring" a Supreme Court Judge for a favourable verdict, as is explicit in the emails. It seems it is a deliberate act on the part of Ms. Patkar to defame UPA Govt. I humbly suggest that Govt, should immediately enquire how Medha Patkar managed favourable verdict and take appropriate action against Ms. Patkar for bringing disrepute to the Govt, and to the Hon'ble Supreme Court and halting the progress of the nation. I feel this issue is of national importance and deserves your personal attention”.

Nothing ever came out of it. Yet, since then, there has emerged even more disturbing evidence of NBA's nefarious collusion with foreign elements This is in the form of an exchange of confidential emails between Ms. Patkar and by Mr. Patrick McCully, Ex. Director, International Rivers Network (IRN) based at Berkeley (United States). Now who is this Patrick McCully? He is a man who cavorts with enemies of India, particularly with Angana Chatterjee, on the board of IRN, a known India baiter, who was very close to Ghulab Nabi Fai, recently arrested by the FBI for being an ISI spy. Angana Chatterjee is married to Richard Shapiro, Director and Associate Professor of the Graduate Anthropology Program at CIIS. Now both Shapiro and Chatterjee were regular at the ISI sponsored junkets. She was charged of being propped up by the ISI to launch an anti-India campaign. Further, her partner Richard Shapiro was denied entry to India in 2010 for what was reported to be his anti-India propaganda.

The material leaked is indeed quiet disturbing, particularly the exchange of emails between Ms. Patkar and Mr. Patrick McCully. Few details are given below.

1. The Honourable Supreme Court pronounced its verdict, dismissing NCCL's PIL on July 10, 2007 around 11.00 am.

2. The news is posted on The Times of India's website at 11.26 am.

3. The information along with the news item is sent to Mr. Patrick McCully from Ms. Patkar's email address (nba.medha@qmail.com) at 12.03 pm on July 10. i.e. within 36 minutes.

4. Mr. Patrick writes back to Ms. Patkar on July 12: "How did you manage this? Who was the second judge?"

5. Ms. Patkar replies the next day i.e. on 13th July, at 10:13 AM saying "many eminent persons wrote to the UPA government.. we dealt with the press selectively and ensured that pressure was kept all through." She also sends a soft copy of the judgment and the profiles of Justice C K Thakker and Justice Altamas Kabir.

6. Mr. Patrick reverts on July 17 congratulating Ms, Patkar, and suggesting that five or six people associated with managing "this verdict" be honoured at a function in London (UK). The mail says: "...We must honour Judge Kabir for supporting you. Please explore the possibility. He will retire in 2013 - a very useful man for your future battles." It might be mentioned that the verdict was written by hon'ble Justice Kabir.

7. On July 19, Mr. Patrick writes again suggesting that apart from advocates, individuals who supported in NBA's. defence also be included in the felicitation programme in London. To this Ms. Medha responds on July 22 "apart from advocates no one would like to be acknowledged for writing to pressurize the government. That might boomerang".

As you can see the exchange is explosive and dangerous to the extent that it shows a foreign interest and support to a group that is indulging in obstruction to Country's development.

Then, there is the question of how does Medha Patkar get her finances? Medha Patkar has the Right Livelihood Award, the Rev. MA Thomas National Human Rights Award, Amnesty International's Human Rights Defender's Award, and the BBC's Green Ribbon Award for Best International Political Campaigner. Her Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) is described as a "social movement". Presumably this social movement handles money, if only for its own expenses. But the Supreme Court has noted the NBA is not a registered entity. So, how does it bank its money? How does it account for its expenses? The NBA, which, as we have seen, has international connections, does not seem to have its own website. Foreign sources fund its support groups. But which foreign sources? Could the American Security agencies, which have no qualms about using a Richard Headley - and still shelter him from the Indian justice - covertly fund Medha Patkar? Finally, accused of faking medical certificates, fined more than once for dodging court hearings, Patkar is now accused by the Supreme Court itself of†filing a false affidavit before it.

Many of us have been wondering why nobody can touch Medha Patkar, in spite of all her misdoings, in spite of even of the Congress, the very party Medha associates herself willingly with, speaking against her? The answer is simple: she is protected by the most powerful person in India.

View: Urmilaben Patel's letter to Pranab Mukherjee & Medha Patkar's email exchanges with Patrick McCully

21 January, 2012

Salman Khurshid’s amateurish & deeply biased play - 'Sons of Babur'

Anand Mathur reviews Salman Khurshid's play - 'Sons of Babur'

Salman Khurshid’s play - “Sons of Babur - A play in search of India” - is amateurish. A poseur, the play is patronizing, proselytizing and a lopsided genealogical assessment of history.

Deeply biased, it delves into the identity of an “Indian” in modern India through imagery and anecdotal inspiration from lives of Mughal Emperors.

Vague attempts to create harmony between Hindu and Islamic cultures fail. The author loses track, becoming an apologist for Mughals even as history forces him to acknowledge a bigoted Islam’s role. This is coupled with anti-Hindu rhetoric. Thus, while Chittor’s defeat was certain, Akbar “rues” that Rajputanis committed Jauhar. It is well known that conquered cities saw Golgotha’s, rapes and enslavement.

Attempts to understand Babur and Humayun are biased. In truth they were enterprising migrants using Islam to inspire soldiers, raising the banner of dar-ul-Islam to commit Hindu genocide for personal safety. Guru Nanak’s scathing assessment of Babur’s atrocities is known.

Akbar’s military compulsions called upon consolidating shaky gains politically. He found a willing ally in opportunist Man Singh; the latter tempted by loots from conquests and Mughal weaponry.

Akbar’s expansionism did not stop in lieu of his new found tolerance or as “Khurshid’s Akbar” claims that hunting was, “tugging at our conscience”. Akbar was no Emperor Ashoka.

The author errs in denying Maharana Pratap’s battle against Akbar was not religious. Mughal atrocities, cloaked as Jihad, were known to the defiant Maharana. In fact he was encouraged by Prithviraj Rathod from within Akbar’s court! The Maharana also approached Saint Tulsidas to prevail upon Man Singh from harassing a fellow Hindu.

The author proudly admits Mughal bias against Muslim Princess’ marrying Hindus. However, he makes no attempt to analyze the trauma ordinary citizens experienced due to Mughal policies. He generalizes the sporadic joint revolts against Mughals as examples of Hindu-Muslim camaraderie forgetting the horrible atrocities and conversion of Hindus!

He centers simplistic arguments on the emergence of a modern Indian identity when Zafar was proclaimed India’s Emperor in the Revolt of 1857; eulogizing Zafar when masses’ suffering reached its nadir! The debauchery of the elite is well captured by Munshi Premchand in his story “Shatranj ke Khiladi”. The author questions why no Maratha or Sikh filled in. He forgets that these warriors had brief years and meager resources with which they had chipped away at the terrible dynasty.

He forgets that “Indianness”, exists as “Bharat” from Emperor Bharat’s times and his descendants like Rama, whose rule inspired the household term “Ramrajya”, references to which are found in South Asia; or during Chandragupta Maurya’s Dynasty that successfully repelled the Greeks.

Unlike the superficial understanding of Monotheism by European/Middle Eastern masses, India absorbed its essence culturally, giving it resilience to absorb diversity and a unique political identity. India is well integrated post - independence, contrary to similarities cited with Europe.

Despite the power vacuum during times when Utopian Idealism reached its pinnacle under Buddhism’s influence, a definite politico-cultural identity prevailed within India before Islam’s advent. These values were revived through Saint Shankara in 8th Century and Bhakti movements that galvanized the entire nation wherefore indigenous leaders emerged.

It is this Indian identity that Indian Muslims have repeatedly denied.

The author’s dilemma is two pronged. On one hand is a resurgent Hindu majority, while on the other a Muslim community that resists Renaissance and acceptance of pre-Mughal influences.

The former is easy to resolve since Hindus increasingly show preference for secularism and good governance, rejecting religious dogmatism. Distrust of polity continues over the latter’s opportunism in using Muslims as vote banks, Partition’s trauma, infiltration, etc.

The play handles challenges facing the Muslim community vaguely even as the same resists attacks from imported Salafism, while desperately needing to look within and deal with its Indian heritage. He concedes that Muslims need to accept that modern laws have outpaced manmade Sharia and that Muslims are yet to come to terms with the fact that their rule over Hindus is over.

Khurshid repeatedly invokes Sufism to legitimize Islam’s mystical aspect but forgets that the hordes that invaded India did not come here as philosophers, rather with swords to run their writ. They were bigoted medieval barbarians, attempting to assimilate a people far beyond their sensibilities. Moreover, all Indian Muslims are not Sufi.

Immigrant Americans apologize to Native Americans; Germans for the wars; Modern India denounces casteism, yet we do not see any such bold introspection in this play.

The protagonist’s defense of democracy is a moral sham; the play being dedicated to the political toy, Sonia Gandhi!

09 January, 2012

Indian Electronic Voting Machines (EVM's) Exposed

Above: Security Analysis of India's Electronic Voting Machines (Abstract Paper)

Elections in India are conducted almost exclusively using electronic voting machines developed over the past two decades by a pair of government-owned companies. These devices, known in India as EVMs, have been praised for their simple design, ease of use, and reliability, but recently they have also been criticized because of widespread reports of election irregularities. Despite this criticism, many details of the machines' design have never been publicly disclosed, and they have not been subjected to a rigorous, independent security evaluation. In this paper, we present a security analysis of a real Indian EVM obtained from an anonymous source. We describe the machine's design and operation in detail, and we evaluate its security, in light of relevant election procedures. We conclude that in spite of the machine's simplicity and minimal software trusted computing base, it is vulnerable to serious attacks that can alter election results and violate the secrecy of the ballot. We demonstrate two attacks, implemented using custom hardware, which could be carried out by dishonest election insiders or other criminals with only brief physical access to the machines. This case study contains important lessons for Indian elections and for electronic voting security more generally. Please visit India's EVM for more.

05 January, 2012

Communal Violence Bill Exposed

Hole in the Bucket - Examining Prevention of Communal & Targeted Violence Bill - 2011. Intervention Paper by Prof. Rakesh Sinha, India Policy Foundation. View Intervention Paper

Some key points from this 30 page book by Kiran KS

1. The concept of Minority is flawed: In 1940s, two famous leaders, Tajamul Husain (Muslim) and HC Mukherjee (Christian) opposed the majority and minority concepts based on the forms of worship, in the Constituent Assembly of India.

2. Sonia Gandhi's Communal violence bill is unconstitutional per Professor Sinha. It provides two criminal laws, two legal systems and two punishments in India.

3. The essence of the book is to expose that NAC and Sonia's CVB's agenda is to treat Muslims and Christians above Hindus in the eye of security laws. SC/ST & Linguistic minorities are merely added to hide the real agenda.

4. R.Venkata Narayanan is quoted to have said, Sonia Gandhi's CVB will be a "Hindu Apartheid Law"! That's a strong statement exposing the discriminatory nature of this bill.

5. The book goes back in time to show how Hitler's Germany had biased view of a particular community. In Hitler's Germany, Jews were held responsible for ALL acts of violence. Now Sonia's CVB may do the same over Hindus :(

6. If missionaries try fraudulent or forced conversions, Sonia's CVB is NOT applicable to the violence between tribals & Christians.One wonders why is that scenario left out?

7. Sonia's CVB Article 3(F) will allow to charge a Hindu landlord of "depriving place of living", if he just tries to vacate his Muslim tenant! That can be disastrous in basic society transactions such as renting a place.

8. Sonia's CVB Clause 114 A thru E term a rape of a 2 minority women as "Mass rape". But 2 Hindu women raped is not mass rape! This to me sounds the most bizarre view of a serious crime such as rape, by communalizing it in the view of law.

9. If Sonia's CVB becomes law, a Christian or a Muslim from the "Group", can criticize sati system, but if a Hindu criticizes burqa system, it becomes "hate disinformation". For more information of who belongs to the "Group", refer to the PDF mentioned above.

10. Prof. Sinha highlights that Hitler's 1933 Nazi law viewed police & bureaucracy as pro-Jew. Sonia's 2011 CVB views police & bureaucracy as pro-Hindu. I say what a coincidence in the thought process!

11. Sonia's CVB Section 12: If police hit a minority (not Hindu) during terror investigation, it's "torture" and severe punishment for police prescribed. But if a Hindu is hit, there is no special provision to punish the guilty police.

12. Sonia's CVB Section 120 makes it almost impossible for state administrations to demolish illegal Muslim or Christian religious structures. That's a serious flaw.

13. Sonia's CVB Section 18 (I): Police MUST act against "daily activities" of Hindu organizations, if complained by minorities. The first thought that came to my mind.. RSS shakhas anyone? :)

14. The book says, Hitler and Mussolini rewarded bureaucracy if they were "efficient" (translation: targeted Jews in the first case). Prof. Sinha feels, Sonia's CVB replaces Jews with Hindus, which makes it a very dangerous bill.

15. Prof. Sinha tracks back to 1930, when Muslim League's baseless allegations against police & bureaucracy were common. This eventually led to the disastrous partition of India in 1947. If in 2011, Sonia's CVB replicates the situation for a similar bias, what next?

16. The book lists the top 3 sources of baseless allegation against India's administration & police: a) Radiance. 2) Milli Gazette and 3) Communalism Combat (Teesta Setalvad & Javed Anand)

17. Prof. Sinha categorically states that in the past 5 years, both Ranganath Mishra and Sachar Committee reports have not been able to cite even ONE instance of institutional bias against minorities of India. Hence the rabble rousers are to be ignored.

18. Muslim scholars like AAA Faizi and Humayun Kabir have termed "institutional bias against minorities" in India as imaginary.

19. The most important take away from this book is that while pretending to prevent "state sponsored riots", Sonia Gandhi's NAC is pushing "state sponsored communalism" via this draconian anti-Hindu CVB.

20. Sonia's CVB section 18:122, ALL members of a Hindu org may get ten years jail term, if just ONE member names someone in organization as criminal! Setup precisely to discourage people from becoming board members of Hindu organizations.

21. Sonia's CVB Sec 21 calls for a seven member national authority for final word, which is outside the RTI purview. The craziest part is that this authority must have four minorities & ALL decisions will be taken via majority vote. So essentially, this whole "above the common law" authority is designed be controlled by Muslims and Christians. To top it, this national authority must select its chairman and Vice Chairman from the minority groups. And here it the googly.. anyone with "bias" against minority shown anytime in their career till date, however minor it may be like talking against Muslim reservation just once, is barred! Needless to say, this pretty much negates any sane voice from either minority or majority community to make decisions.:)

Let's stop at these 21 points. These are enough to give you a glimpse of how discriminatory and anti-Hindu agenda driven, this CVB 2011 is. After reading the "Hole in the Bucket", examining Prevention of Communal & Targeted Violence Bill, I feel that even India breaking Jinnah wouldn't have thought as 'communally', as this Sonia Gandhi's NAC!

Also View: Evidence Against Teesta Setalvad