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Sunday, April 21, 2013

LIFE IN INDIA IS ALL ABOUT CONNECTIONS


By Swapan Dasgupta

Judged by the lax standards of India where human life tends to be woefully cheap, the twin blasts in Boston that led to four deaths and many more injured, may have seemed relatively trivial. True, there was considerable admiration for the local police and the federal authorities that pursued the investigations with understated rigour and their success in identifying and apprehending the two unlikely perpetrators of the blasts, but this was offset by disagreeable comments that America “had it coming.” How the spectators of the Boston Marathon were responsible for the problems Moscow has with Chechnya, is a different matter altogether and unlikely to unsettle the pre-conceived theories of those who are relentless in putting their own spin on the so-called ‘roots of terrorism’.

President George W. Bush may well be the target of fashionable derision but it can scarcely be denied that his emphasis on Homeland Security has now become a bi-partisan goal, from which even the relatively more liberal President Obama dare not depart.

Compare this with the farce that was witnessed in India earlier this week over the sentencing of the perpetrators and facilitators of the devastating serial Bombay blasts of March 1992 that killed nearly 250 people and left countless others permanently disabled. The Supreme Court this week, accorded the film star Sanjay Dutt an extra month of freedom to surrender before the Mumbai. The ostensible reason was to allow the Bollywood star a little more time to complete his various shooting engagements, a move that will give a lot of respite to many film producers who had sunk in a great deal of money in films starring Dutt.

Not surprisingly, this generosity by the apex court didn’t go down too well with the great unwashed. It is a cruel fact of life that there isn’t enough justice to go round the world. However, conceding the element of iniquity in the administration of the law, there was outrage over the belief that class bias could be so openly and blatantly upheld. There may be sympathy for the film producers who stood to make whopping losses if Dutt was packed off to jail immediately, but there was little appreciation of the fact that a convicted criminal was being shown extra consideration, not to attend a sick relative or a moping pet dog, but to make some extra money.

True, the outrage over the leniency shown to Dutt resulted in some others convicted in the same conspiracy also getting some extra time to be with their families. But what I found interesting was the nonchalance with which India’s liberals and even representatives of the ruling Congress Party argued for all-round lenience. It was almost made out that some people were being punished for some youthful indiscretion that may have included stealing mangoes from orchards belonging to others. That Dutt and the others had been sentenced for their involvement in a case that resulted in a bloodbath was quietly forgotten. Equally forgotten was the fact that Dutt wasn’t a victim of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, and that he knew exactly what he was doing in helping the underworld smuggle deadly weapons to wage against India. Sanjay Dutt was convicted under the Arms Act for possessing illegal weapons. In reality, his offence was more serious, almost treasonable. By modifying the sentence to suit his shooting schedules, the law displayed utter contempt for those who died in the blasts. There is generosity for those who sided with the terrorists and little concern for those who were victims of terror.

The Supreme Court doesn’t set the terms of the political discourse. As such, it cannot be blamed for the onrush of contrived sympathy for those who were convicted and still insist they were innocent. But it can be said that the show of indulgence has created the conditions for viewing the blasts of 1993 as a conjunctural misdemeanour that was now history. From an avowed position of ‘zero tolerance’ of terrorism, the liberal discourse is shifting to a forget and forgive approach. At this rate, Dawood Ibrahim may as well surrender and then approach the court to be given time to settle business affairs that haven unattended after two decades of absence from India. Maybe a Katju-type person may even oblige him and take into account the fact that he has no bank loan, speaks Urdu and probably loathes Narendra Modi.

I am not being facetious. Last week, I read in the papers that one S.M.A. Kazmi, said to be a journalist, who has been charged with involvement in the attack on an Israeli diplomat by Iranian terrorists two years ago, has used his bail period to start an Urdu newspaper that is ironically called  Qaumi Salamati (national security). I am not prejudging either the verdict of the court or the quality of the prosecution’s case. What I found revealing was that the inaugural function of Kazmi’s media venture was attended by the Chief Minister of Delhi, the Chairperson of the Minorities Commission and leaders of at least two political parties. What interests me is that a person charged with having links with terror groups that targets the diplomat of a friendly country, can secure political insurance with such ease.

In Boston, two blasts reaffirm the determination to stamp out terrorism; in India, life is all about connections.

Sunday Pioneer, April 21, 2013

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

In intellectual stature also Americans are incredibly far ahead of Indians.

Corruption be it nexus between law enforcers & corrupt politicians , tax defaulters being granted amnesty by P Chidambarams instead of penalty, criminals contesting elections-these have been THE NORM in India. For decades cataract operations in India meant blindness for sure. We took it in our stride without questioning. The advanced medical procedures came from abroad. Even today many go blind during "free eye surgeries". So many die owing to medical negligence within India. Or get maimed , permanently disabled. We remain unperturbed. But agitate writing columns & articles when some Indian doctor dies in Ireland.

America is just the OPPOSITE.

No wonder many Indians who have lived for long in the West find themselves misfits in India.

RK.Narayan succinctly summed it up:-

" It is so easy to love your motherland from a distance".

Anonymous said...

Do you still believe India regards ISRAEL a "friendly" country treating it accordingly ?

Selfish & unscrupulous India that has long ensured its oxygen supply from vote bank of ANTI-ISRAEL fanatics only uses ISRAEL for arms purchases to drip irrigation.

Even Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf was more level headed as long time back he spoke about mending ties with ISRAEL and burying fanaticism.

Whereas India's R.Venkatraman as President held aloft Yasser Arafat's arm on his visit to India.
During Kargil war India would have faced dire consequences but for timely help from ISRAEL in the form of crucial weapons.

Who benefits? Certainly not HINDUS among aam janata. The pampered MPs cannot relinquish their free quota of cooking gas cylinders & free air travel & more undeserved FREE perks. Otherwise Indian policymakers are bereft of convictions.

SM.Krishna defends shah rukh khan.
I have NEVER fathomed how one raj kapoor being praised in Russia benefits us the aam janata in any way. Or a sachin tendulkar, his exploits including his vada pav preferences.

Anonymous said...

By keeping our blind focus on cricket & useless forgettable movies & soaps we have neglected manufacturing woefully. No wonder China has long overtaken us.

Indians are very fond of shouting:-

" This is no rocket science...we can also do it...swadeshi ....".

But did nothing. Be it glass bangles,cleaning aids like rustproof steel wool , scouring pads , gloves , dessicated coconut, freeze dried jackfrit & many such user friendly gadgets & tools , vegetables & fruits that we NEED much more than cricket , alcohol & shah rukh khan's antics, salman khan's bare chest CHINA has outdistanced India.

Once upon a time Kerala was famous for its pepper. Now I believe Vietnam has overtaken us.

Indians like to cry "we are the greatest democraceeee" but I feel like that aam janata in Robert Southey's 'After Blenheim'.

Anonymous said...

Sir, you're SPOT ON! as always and your articles give a deep and candid analysis of the situation. simply love them.
mr kazmi will be met with the wrath of israle's patriotic sons one fine morning when he least expects it. till then he can publish as many papers and save his sorry butt from the stupid indian judiciary and law.


Ashish said...

Sir, you're SPOT ON! as always and your articles give a deep and candid analysis of the situation. simply love them.
mr kazmi will be met with the wrath of israle's patriotic sons one fine morning when he least expects it. till then he can publish as many papers and save his sorry butt from the stupid indian judiciary and law.
by the way the CJ of supreme court and those convicted in the blast have a LOT in common. hence you can see where all this respite to them is coming from....and sanjay dutt has once admitted in the court since he is a practicing muslim he is being ill treated. now you see the picture.

chahjain said...

The article flaunts reality in India.
Excellent observations!
We need true liberals ,we need true Senior columnist like Swapan and we need good leader like Modi for India.

Although no directly related but on side note Nitish Kumar who created Modi hate last week on Cap himself refused to wear.Please watch.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAGx2VKEaCk

Anonymous said...

You should never make the mistake of comparing America with India.

Those who are not exposed to Americans but only to useless Indian school text books & jingoistic tripe invariably end up turning hostile towards Americans. The West in general.

For decades wealth generation in India has been only through kitschy movies & cricket. Both are unsustainable. Bollykolly movies are mostly plagiarizations of Hollywood movies. The originals are far far superior.

Except for a Bhagyaraj , Cheran, AP.Nagarajan , Sridhar , BhimSingh rest in Kollywood have had nothing original to offer.


In intellectual stature also Americans are incredibly far ahead of Indians.

Corruption be it nexus between law enforcers & corrupt politicians , tax defaulters being granted amnesty by P Chidambarams instead of penalty, criminals contesting elections-these have been THE NORM in India.

America is just the OPPOSITE.

No wonder many Indians who have lived for long in the West find themselves misfits in India.

RK.Narayan succinctly summed it up:-

" It is so easy to love your motherland from a distance".

Hrudananda Pallei said...

what we should call people like mr. katju, a victim of morality or anything else....

Anonymous said...

Its is only possible in India where people who commit genocide helm at the top of state affairs and polarized vote bank bring them into power. The conviction of other minister for mass murder and collective responsibility of governance enshrined under the constitution itself bring Modi’s responsibility who is as much responsible as others for Genocide. The Journalist investigation, prosecution is nothing to do with his profession and publishing news paper, at least it gives true picture of thought. The person who commit genocide may remain head of state and citizen who charged with offence, true or false, cannot bring his opinion among public that we want? Sorry for such double standard and hypocrisy. Yes in India connection works when we see all those fame BJP RSS leader go to meet safron terrorist in jail. Yes it was connection that no one got convictions in Best Bakery case in first trial and re-trail few conviction were secured, it was connection that thousands of murderer, rapist, looters are moving freely in Gujarat along with its leaders and symbolically few junior ministers got convicted while seniors will enjoy KURSI.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @4:11AM indeed makes extremely PERTINENT VALID points.

Reposting my comments from niticentral as they frequently delete my (hindu brahmin tamil indian vegetarian pious woman)EQUALLY HONEST comments & questions as it is fast turning into a front for modi just as rest of the tv channels are fronts for congressis & leftists & various such CORRUPT RASCALS.
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I have something very important to ask. This has been rankling me for quite sometime & that is the reason I consistently maintain I prefer Smt.Jayalalithaa to Narendra Modi or anyone else.

The viswaroopam movie of DESPICABLE hindu/secoolar/artist/ tambram/kollybolly kalignan. Already I have written my points TOTALLY supporting MUSLIMS’ stand. Thank GOD Jayalalithaa is one such person who never had any confusion or cobwebs throughout her life over such seemingly complicated matters. She KNOWS the film crowd , their credentials much more than Modi , sushma swaraj , murli manohar joshis, advanis, dmk etc etc.

The entire world is in anti ISLAM mode. And Hollywood’s most influential & rich producers , directors , kollywood rich influential dmk , dk several lustful tambram women & men , finance minister p.chidambaram harvard returned alleged darling of Davos , GATT blah blah -ALL were supporting the ROTTEN SCOUNDREL kamalhassan in the name of artistic freedom…war in Afghanistan blah blah…

Jayalalithaa was very quick in her clear thinking & decisions. She never felt the necessity to offer prolix explanations indoo versus muslim art & kalaithaikku sevai….MOST IMPORTANT it was NOT vote bank politics that spurred her decision. Contrary to what the violently prejudiced idiotic mob of india , indian diaspora of the world thought.congress of course as
that is its worthless character saw an opportunity to checkmate Jayalalithaa employing its upstart manish tiwari to tweet some inanities which were wondrously busted by Jayalalithaa’s SANE LEGAL grasp over the entire issue.

I am all admiration for MUSLIMS of Tamil Nadu as no other force of this world would have busted this scoundrel tambram’s obdurate ARROGANCE & clout.Of kollywood & bollywood. As amir khans , salman khans also supported this scoundrel. For the first time I saw the scoundrel’s face ashen , his grammar faltering his entire family divested of its mock patina of faux glory. Almost reduced to tears calling for press meets..entire kollywood glamorous crowd could do NOTHING at all but negotiate & negotiate.

GOD BLESS Jayalalithaa & those MUSLIMS of Tamil Nadu!!!

I seriously doubt Modi would have had the clarity to take such a firm step if he had been in her place.

Where money is involved hindus are the MOST unscrupulous.All would have cited MF.Hussein & crowned this scoundrel of kollywood. And hindus are highly notorious for their debauchery also. Would have lectured about culture & culture the great kamasutra culture & culture like aishwarya rai did in AMERICA full of silly revolting GIGGLES.

America would have wholeheartedly supported scoundrel of kollybollywood.

http://www.niticentral.com/2013/04/24/the-great-anti-modi-feedback-loop-70112.html

Anonymous said...

When narendra modi visited Kolkata addressing lots of eager profits chasing mercenaries called business community , industrialists one ARROGANT IRREVERENT INSOLENT woman wannabe entrepreneur poured venom on Smt.Mamatha Banerjee.
I was & am SHOCKED. Why could not her security guards handcuff & throw that wannabe entrepreneur into prison ? This is no freedom of speech. Only profoundly INFORMED people deserve unbridled freedom of speech & action. Not ALL idiots of this world. That is called ANARCHY.
Overshrewd narendra modi also chose to remain taciturn. When push comes to a shove modis , pchidambarams , obamas ANDDDD yechurys would join hands grandly announcing to all “we are doing this for the unity & welfare of you aam janata as lots of countries will attack us otherwise”.
NOBODY genuinely likes Smt.Mamatha Banerjee including overcraft hindu alleged brahmin cho ramaswamy.
It is INDEED a GREAT BLESSING conferred on Smt.Mamatha Banerjee that she is not suave blah blah from Harvard , wharton , berkeley , cornell. Or else merciless TATAS would have manufactured their useless nanos panos calling it employment generation for engineers who invested so much money & time in purchasing entry into various IITs & BITS pilanis blah blah.
She is veritably THE GOLIATH that single handedly pooh poohed TYRANTS of this world in the guise of prakash karats , prannoy roys , jyoti (ANDHAKAR) basus who despite having wives were screwing state & its governance.


http://www.niticentral.com/2012/11/22/defiant-mamata-banerjee-mocks-at-saviours-of-government-22361.html