Archive for January, 2008

Miscellany : 30 January 2008.

31 January 2008

High Court books fair at Park Circus maidan

No Kolkata Book Fair this year. Delivering its judgment on a Public Interest Litigation against holding the fair at Park Circus Maidan, a division Bench of the Calcutta High Court — comprising Chief Justice S S Nijjar and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh — on Monday issued “an immediate stop work” order to the Booksellers and Publishers Guild that organises the event. The petition was filed by local residents and a Sonarpur-based NGO, Voice of People. The court said allowing the fair will violate citizens’ constitutional rights of living in a pollution-free atmosphere.

I am waiting for the day when courts rule human specie’s right to live not in conformity with Environment & condemns it to gallows.

Money calls the shots

“The thing that pisses us off is that it shows how much power India has. The Aussie guys aren’t going to make it up. The players are frustrated because this shows how much influence India has, because of the wealth they generate. Money talks.” ‘Cricket’s Day of Shame’ cried a headline in the paper and the report said the players were dismayed to hear “Harbhajan had avoided any meaningful punishment”. The report also said that CA caved in to India’s muscle flexing as it was anxious to save the tri-series because it feared to be sued for a figure understood to be about $60 million if India quit the tour.

Australians forgot that they are maligning their next door-country man, Judge Hansen & are accusing him of colluding with money bags (BCCI). India has finally arrived on the scene as a great power!, shall we say? Can we twist Aussie arms to give us Uranium like wise? May be when Sharad Pawar is made Prime Minister.

Way 2 Z+ Security

Intelligence inputs that a senior Pakistan ISI official got in touch with fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim to get BJP leaders L K Advani and Narendra Modi assassinated have set alarm bells ringing within the country’s security establishment that’s already worried about plans being drawn by militant outfits to target VVIPs. The inputs suggest that a top ISI official contacted Dawood, who was in the vicinity of Zahedan in south-east Iran near the borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan, and told him to target the two leaders. The input on Dawood being approached comes close on the heels of another intelligence input on the presence of suspected ISI operative, British-born Pakistani Mohammad Khalid, near the India-Nepal border. Khalid is believed to have travelled from Karachi to Nepal via Malaysia after undergoing training in Pakistan.
It is comforting to know our intelligence agencies have moles inside ISI & terror networks. It is another matter that most terrorists attack cases are languishing in unending sleuth work. Even before investigation commences the super cops pronounce organizations & individuals guilty, high publicized arrests are made, public is pacified, calm is restored, & cops can return to wait for the next attack. Mayawati would do well to ask Dawood or Khalid to have conversation about targeting her within earshot of RAW or IB operatives to get the coveted Z+ security cover.

Gandhi Remembered

It is a pity that we still don’t fully come to terms with Godse’s claims at his trial. . He speaks of an accumulated 32 years of resentment. But the essence of his case has three prongs: Gandhi was a failure, the charkha could not even clothe 1 per cent of the nation and non-violence was an ideal honoured only in the breach. Second, Gandhi was impractical. But most importantly, Gandhi’s virtue had become his vice: “Gandhiji should have either changed his policy or could have admitted his defeat and given way to others of different political views to deal with Mr Jinnah and the Muslim League.” The problem with Gandhi, on this view, was that his own path was too impractical to succeed, but his presence was powerful enough to ensure that no other path could gain equal legitimacy. Gandhi remained the high ideal, but he was now the ideal that stood in our way. “Indian politics in the absence of Gandhiji would surely be practical, able to retaliate, and would be powerful with armed forces.” One of the judges presiding over the trial had little doubt that had the audience on the day of trial been constituted into a jury, they would have returned a verdict of ‘not guilty’ on Godse.

30th January is lesser of the 2 half yearly dates for singing odes to Gandhi. Usually after a crime, the first question sleuths ask of themselves is “Who has benefited?” Only gains accrued then were to Congress party. Gandhi was becoming a liability to Congress party & severely limited the political & administrative space for Nehru & others. Mehta convincingly argues that it helped Congress additionally by holding Hindutva forces at bay for over 4 decades.