My Views

Secularism? Shourie vs Sachar

Posted in Politicians Speak, Polity, Religion, Religion and Politics by dullar on January 23, 2008

Two are among foremost of the intellectuals of the present day, one is jurnalist turned politician, other former CJ,
but two has expressed diammetrically opposite views about what hinduism is all about. I think Shourie has covered a
long path in his transformation into a politician and has kind of shed the neutral, unbiased principles that
represeted the journalism of his age. He is still blunt, he is reactionary, he is still extreme, although tilted
towards the political ideology of a political party and its mentors. Sachar on other hand has kind of upheld the
constitutional principles of secularism and given some reasons that these principles are not mere rhetoric in modern
day polity of country but the fundamental basis of youthful and fast paced all round development of world's
oldest civilization and a 21th century nation.

I would not like to reproduce the entire articles but will definately like to compare the concluding paragraphs of
the same.

Shourie concludes…

…."Every set of scriptures has in it enough to justify extreme, even violent reaction. The tectonic
shift in the Hindu mind, that has been going on for 200 years, is being underestimated"….(more)

Rajendra Sachar laments Shourie in what he concludes as..

…."I am firm in my conviction that any attempt to dilute the composite culture and inclusive democracy of
our country can only bring harm. As Maulana Azad's soul-stirring speech (1940) put it, "I am a Muslim and
proud of the fact. I am indispensable to this noble edifice. Without me this splendid structure of India is
incomplete. Everything bears the stamp of our joint endeavour. Our languages were different, but we grew to use a
common language. Our manners and customs were different, but they produced a new synthesis… no fantasy or
artificial scheming to separate and divide can break this unity"…. (more)


Military funding in Pakistan

Posted in India and World, Pakistan, Terrorism by dullar on January 18, 2008

In order to understand how military operates in Pakistan, one of its important aspect is the funding of military oerations. Its been evident that seeing the proportions and dimensions of its activities, be it internal security, ensuring security across north-west border along Afghanistan, fightning insurgency in Baluchistan, and aiding the millitancy in Jammu & Kashmir the military in Pakistan cant be funded wholly by the internal resources, thanx but no thanx to its economy’s condition. So money flights in Pakistan for its military activities across the border in form of aids. US, China, Middle East Islamist countries, especially Saudi Arabia are the foremost in aiding Pakistan, of course for their own objectives. According to an estimate Pakistan got a sum of around 58 billion USD from 1950 to 1999. It has been further aided heavily by US after 9/11 in the name of fighting the taliban and Alqaeda  in Afghanistan. Its been to everybody’s guess that how efficiently Pakistan and it military spending all this aid. But the results have their own story to tell. Military has been highly incompetitive as far as above stated objectives are concerned. Containment of cross border terrorism, internal security condition, popularity and credibility of army among civilians has been at its all time low.

Dealing the mater, this article cites some of the enlightening reasons for the Pakistan Army’s dire conditions, which have brought much miseries to people at large there-

“…….Extensive research shows that when governments luck into unearned cash (which economists call ‘rents’) from oil or other resources, the healthy links that bind them to their citizens are often severed. Freed from relying much on taxes, governments spend the money arbitrarily. Citizens, left untaxed, feel less motivation to monitor things carefully. The result is corruption, misrule and a host of other ills.

Rents paid for natural resources are bad enough. But ‘strategic rents’ — earned by a country for its role in the foreign policies of other states — are even more damaging. Military aid by definition entrenches the militaries that get it, making them less responsive to civilian control. Pakistan’s military has grown enormously powerful over the years, resistant to democratic checks and highly entrenched in every aspect of the country’s commercial, civil and political life… …” (more)

Possible solutions for above mentioned problems cant be arrived at so easliy, but there can be few broad starting points- Credible elctions next month under neutral, foreign authorities’ monitoring; seperation of army affairs from civilian affairs,as General Kayani has hinted,(see previous post); pro-active involvement of people and media in scrutinising the daily affairs of government and the military activities; China and India playing an increased role in ensuring peaceful neighbour.

Neighbour’s Nightmare

Posted in India and World, Insight, Pakistan, Relations with neighbours, Terrorism by dullar on January 17, 2008

Disturbing news from the India’s western neighbour are coming more frequently than ever. With Musharraf’s
loosing grip over the affairs of the country, people given up there trust in the polity and the military, civil
liberties curtailed to their new low, the situation in Pakistan is really grim. The military is seen as unable to the
danger that is bubbling under its western and northern borders. The terrorist activities backed by the Al Qaeda, and
the taliban groups are bleeding the army like never before. Its been yesterday that a fort has been seized by the the
terrorist groups from control of army in the north-west of the country. Army was too demotivated or lacked the power
to tackle the dullheadedness of the armed terrorists. Again few groups of millitia that had been trained by the ISI
have turned their guns to the mentors. Now when Musharraf was under pressure from US to curb the cross border
terrorism that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies were fomenting in Jammu and Kashmir and Afghanistan before 9/11,
the activities of training millitants have tobe slowed and lowered down by ISI. Now the monsters reared by them are
up inthe arms against their own establishment when these blood-thirsty monsters did not find a outlet for their long
reared killing habits.

Internal political and military reforms are the need of hour in Pakistan. But seeing the attitude of Musharraf, who
is not ready to give away his powers, whose unpopularity is all time high in Pakistan, and demoralised military the
hopes are grim. Although the elections are due on 18th Feb but there are few takers as far as their transparency is
concerned. General Kayani is trying to bring back some
to armed forces in his own subtle ways. Armiy personnels are strongly advised to remain away from the
political and civil affairs of the country. But country is far from the day when armed forces will mind only their
own affairs.

Pakistan being a country which hold nuclear weapons, there has been growing concerns across the world about the
security of the same. With growing influence of terrorist activities in the country and army loosing grip over
internal and border security, al qaeda pose the most potent threat to not only Pakistan’s security but also of
whole world. Although Musharraf dont want to
be dictated by Washington
as far as the secutiry of its nukes is concerned, but world community definately have
some credible responsibilities inthis matter. Pakistan’s nukes cant be taken as its own internal matter. This is
one of the main agenda of various candidates in US Presidential election campaign. World has a very close interest in
the security and peace in Pakistan. One of ways of ensuring that is to create strong international pressure on the
establisments in Pakistan to ensure credible and transparent election process. India seems to be silent in the matter
but it would not suit its long term interests.

Left In Limbo

Posted in Foreign Policy, India and World, Polity, Relations with neighbours by dullar on January 16, 2008

Left is running for a cover and searching a new ideological stand to oppose the Indo-Us Nuclear deal after the latest development in the Indo-Chinese relationship with PM winding up a successful chinese state tour. What India gains from the tour are – 1) Increased warmth in Indo-Chinese relationship in a multi dimensional manner, 2) Assurances from China that it will look Indo-Us nuclear deal from a new, friendly, and optimistic perspective, and not merely as a step in the direction of Chinese containment on the part of Washington, 3) Increased credibility of Manmohan Singh government as upholding the basic principles of India’s independent foreign policy, 4) Boosting of confidence of Government to present the deal to the left coalition in a more emphatic way, when left will listen to it more seriously, 5) Increased chances of bargainning India specific norms in talks with IAEA and guidlines of NSG, 6) With border talks now on being conducted with a new vigour and on practical and friendly terms, India’s policy of maintaining a peaceful periphery will get a new zeal. 7) Calming the political and strategic atmosphere in Asia and China visualising India in a new perspective.

Although Manmohan Singh realises the compulsions of a coalition government and parliamentary democracy, the easing of China’s stand on the nuclear deal will give some breathing spcae to the government and its efforts to bring left on board will definately get a confidence. Left again has a chance to ease their opposition to the deal and help government to bring India at a respectable and deserved place on the nuclear energy map of the world. With China sharing the concerns of climate change, sustainable clean energy, and a shared vision of economic and political well being of two great rising powers of Asia, the leftist politics of oppostion and blackmailing should yield to common good of the country by pulling back all its reservations about the nuclear deal 

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