Seemingly Insane

Aman ka Tamasha

While the entire world welcomed the new year with joy and a genuine hope that the new year would herald a much welcome turn towards happy tidings, we witnessed a truly dumb act. Times of India in all its wisdom has tied up with the dung err Jung newsgroup of pakistan to sponsor/conduct a people-to-people contact series of events.
According to the TOIlet
“The two leading media houses of India and Pakistan – The Times of India and the Jang Group – have come together to develop a stronger Track 2 in the diplomatic and cultural relations between India and Pakistan. “Aman ki Asha: Destination Peace” looks beyond the confines of a 62-year-old political boundary to the primal bonds that tie together the two peoples.”

What exactly are the primal bonds that tie us together? Looking back at partition, the basis for the  formation of Pakistan was the views of some that they were different from the rest of the country and just could not live together in harmony. They needed a separate country and got it. Partition led to an Islāmic Republic and a secular democracy. The state of either country needs no elucidation, especially in economic progress and freedom of religion. A simple comparison of the change in % of the minority religion members in each country would tell you the truth. Any guesses as to which country has been better?

But I digress. What exactly is wrong with this whole tamasha you ask. Is wanting peace between two countries that have been at war since their birth such a bad thing to ask for? TOI in “Love Pakistan” says

“But mostly, it all boils down to one simple question.
Why? Why must we do it? Why do we need them? Why don’t they first say sorry for what they’ve done? And the answer is simple.
It’s easier to say Hi than to say Sorry. It’s shorter too.
Besides, there is no rule that says a book has to be closed before a new one is opened. Not even if it’s a history book.”

I would like to give a similar reasoning in my Analog paper when my professor asks me Why must we use this amplifier instead of that. I wonder what he would award me for that. The Darwin award I’m sure. Another article “Peace with Pakistan: Give Tomorrow A Chance”  says

“The 26/11 Mumbai assault confirmed what New Delhi has believed for a while — that Pak-based groups have been involved in recruiting, training and financing terrorists who’ve struck Indian cities with chilling regularity, killing hundreds of innocent people. There’s a sense on this side of the border that these terrorists have, at least in the past, been used, unofficially or semi-officially, as proxies in an undeclared, low-intensity war against India. “

and immediately thereafter says

And yet, the need for aman has never been greater. Shouldn’t someone, somewhere try to take a bold, even if tiny, step towards breaking this unending cycle of enmity and violence? Chances are that such an effort will be heaped with ridicule by the naysayers and dismissed as naïve by the skeptics.
Does that mean we say ‘no’ to giving peace a fighting chance? That we play into the hands of warmongerers, who want nothing more than to keep the two nations at each other’s throat? And condemn our children, grandchildren and the generations thereafter to a life of strife?

Anyone know if Brahma failed to put in a brain in these guys’ heads in the assembly line above? The fact that it was pakistan based groups that supported terrorist attacks in the past is understood. The fact that it was a group of pakistani terrorists who boldly carried out the killings in Mumbai last year is also understood. And yet, it is required of the victims to take “tiny” steps towards breaking this unending cycle of enmity? What cycles! Hello!! It is a one-way traffic of terror from that side to this side with a whimper and “We will give a fitting reply” statements on this side. We have to take steps for peace? Sure we have to. Bomb the crap out of the terrorist training camps in PoK is a start. But noooo. We should not play into the hands of warmongers who want to keep the nations at each others throats. By the I read this line, I was sure the guys at TOI have forgotten their brains in the last expedition to the Amazonian rainforest never to find them again. We are the ones faced with a daily threat of bombings and terrorists guns in our cities, theatres, public places and homes.Stepping back and assuming that all that I’ve written above is typical hindutvawadi/rss/bajrang dal/hindu fundamentalist/anti-pakistan warmongering, let us see what the track record has been so far in terms of effectiveness of the piss process err peace process. Off the top of my head, here is a list of peace and tranquility –

Here is another list –
  1. March 13, 2003 – Bomb attack on a commuter train in Mumbai kills 11 people.
  2. August 25, 2003 – Two car bombs kill about 60 in Mumbai. Aug. 15, 2004 – A bomb explodes in the northeastern state of Assam, killing 16 people, mostly schoolchildren, and wounding dozens.
  3. October 29, 2005 – Sixty-six people are killed when three blasts rip through markets in New Delhi.
  4. March 7, 2006 – At least 15 people are killed and 60 wounded in three blasts in the northern Hindu pilgrimage city of Varanasi.
  5. July 11, 2006 – More than 180 people are killed in seven bomb explosions at railway stations and on trains in Mumbai that are blamed on Islamist militants.
  6. September 8, 2006 – At least 32 people are killed in a series of explosions, including one near a mosque, in Malegaon town, 260 km (160 miles) northeast of Mumbai.
  7. Feb. 19, 2007 – Two bombs explode aboard a train heading from India to Pakistan; at least 66 passengers, most of them Pakistanis, burn to death.
  8. May 18, 2007 – A bomb explodes during Friday prayers at a historic mosque in the southern city of Hyderabad, killing 11 worshippers. Police later shoot dead five people in clashes with hundreds of enraged Muslims who protest against the attack.
  9. Aug. 25, 2007 – Three coordinated explosions at an amusement park and a street stall in Hyderabad kill at least 40 people.
  10. May 13, 2008 – Seven bombs rip through the crowded streets of the western city of Jaipur, killing at least 63 people in markets and outside Hindu temples.
  11. July 25 – Eight small bombs hit the IT city of Bangalore, killing at least one woman and wounding at least 15.
  12. July 26 – At least 16 small bombs explode in Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat, killing 45 people and wounding 161. A little-known group called the “Indian Mujahideen” claims responsibility for the attack and the May 13 attack in Jaipur.
  13. Sept 13 – At least five bombs explode in crowded markets and streets in the heart of New Delhi, killing at least 18 people and injuring scores more. The Indian Mujahideen again claim responsibility.
  14. Oct 30 – Eleven bomb blasts rip through Guwahati, the main city of northeastern Assam state. Detonated in quick succession, they kill at least 68 people and wound 335.
  15. Nov 26 – At least 101 people are killed in Mumbai as an unidentified number of armed attackers shoot at and toss grenades into crowds at landmark hotels and buildings.
  16. Nov 29 – Police finally end the siege at the iconic Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai. More than 155 people, including foreigners, were killed in militant attacks on two luxury hotels and landmarks across the city.
Guess the source? Yep – TOI.

Read up on a more detailed list here.  A thorough, hard-hitting article by Narayanan Komerath on the truth about “Non-state actors” is here – “Give Peace a Chance.. “. It has some really interesting nuggets in it, especially about Gen Musharraf, Osama Bin Laden and POK.

A series of peace measures right from the Tashkent declaration, Shimla agreement between Smt Indira Gandhi and ZA Bhutto to the Lahore Declaration between India and pakistan has resulted in nothing but military adventurism on the part of “non-state actors”. Heck, while ABV was riding the bus to Lahore, the NLI was busy taking up positions on the Kargil heights vacated by the Indian Army for the winter. And we all know what that led to. I wonder if the peace proposing TOI would be able to look into the eyes of the parents of Capt Saurabh Kalia, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan or the widow of Havaldar Gajendar Singh Bisht and tell them that it is the fault of non-state actors and that we need more people-to-people contact and that it not the fault of pakistan that they were killed. And oh, we’ll give your parents or your widow a petrol bunk in the next, umm, ten years? Until then you can rot in obscurity and poverty and nobody will remember you for the brave sacrifice your family man did and we’ll have high tea with the friends from pakistan. Sure!

One must be deluded to think that pakistan is saying the truth when it says it was non-state actors who were responsible for all the terror attacks we have suffered. The whole military-jihadi complex is such a rotten association that today even pakistan is feeling its effects. For those who think this ideology doesn’t run deep, read this article at the SDPI – “The subtle Subversion: A report on Curricula and Textbooks in Pakistan” for an understanding of how religious fundamentalism was introduced into the education in pakistan and how it has led to rise of fundamentalism in the country. Indoctrination was aided in full earnest by Zia Ul Haq and its effects are seen in the nation today. It is a very interesting read to understand how thinking was moulded nearly a quarter century earlier and how it has caused pakistan itself some of its major troubles. “Pakistan a Failed State” a 200-page book on fundamentalism and issues in this regard in that country is a revealing read. A quote in the book quotes Vir Sanghvi,

“Confusion and misunderstanding in Indian attitudes more than five decades after independence are certainly a factor in the Indian inability to develop a coherent Pakistan policy. “

Forget all this. You don’t need to trust any of all that and still claim that you believe peace is possible and that the people on the other side of the Wagah border are peaceniks like you and don’t want war. Sure. But give it a thought – ISI, the dreaded pakistani intelligence agency which has been found responsible for the multitudes of fake currency rackets, creating and nurturing terrorist groups since the Afghan conflict and can be called terror central is not populated by ultra radical, religious islamic folks is it, like how american media sometimes portrays “islamic” terrorists and “mullahs” to be? It is populated by people from the society of pakistan, who are english educated, can swill wine and talk shakespeare with the best of them. Doesn’t that jar with the oft-repeated statements that educated folks do not want war but peace. Heck, Mohammad Atta, the 9/11 pilot was a student at Technische Universität Hamburg! He wasn’t a school dropout who had been brainwashed. Make your own conclusions.

And in todays news, right after this aman ki tamasha, I noticed on todays TOI’s homepage –

Aman ki tamasha
Ironical.

Besides, after the recent statements by Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah that terrorism in the Kashmir valley is abating and that the Army needs to stand down, we have the peace overtures by the Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari no less, () in Pakistan occupied Kashmir while talking about a thousand cuts and a peace mission who are in Srinagar right now conducting negotiations with the CRPF and throwing rose petals at them.

Happy new year folks!

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12 responses

  1. Sarangan Rajamanickam

    I think you are getting confused between Pakistan Government and Pakistan. The tie up is just between 2 newspapers. But, you point out all the terrorist activities which might be supported by Pakistan Government. How are they related?

    I believe this is a better thing. In the 62 years, we have or should have realized that neither Pakistan nor India could win a War. Fighting is not going to help us a lot.

    Just a waste of People’s money and lives. I think if the businesses in both the countries are partnered in joint ventures (like this one), in the long run it might help to stop the war.

    January 8, 2010 at 1:44 pm

  2. I have been following this too and it is rather sad to see TOI’s inconsistency and rather ambivalent stand. There was a time when i really liked TOI and its coverage and articles a lot. Nowadays their stunts make me sick!!
    and errr. sorry for being a hindi prude. But its Aman ‘ka’ Tamasha. Tamasha would be masculine while Asha is feminine and hence the ‘ki’ 😛
    Nice post Brig!! 🙂

    January 9, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    • heiligesheisse

      Revs,
      They turned sick a long time back. And i was always quite bad at picking masculine, feminine in hindi/sanskrit. will tip my hat to you and change it 🙂

      January 10, 2010 at 12:35 am

  3. heiligesheisse

    Saranga,

    I think you are getting confused between Pakistan Government and Pakistan. The tie up is just between 2 newspapers. But, you point out all the terrorist activities which might be supported by Pakistan Government. How are they related?

    Actually no. If you dig deeper esp regarding the connections of the media and the inter services intelligence there, you’d see just how ‘separate’ they are from the government. I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory but there is just way too much information out there to list here on this.

    In the 62 years, we have or should have realized that neither Pakistan nor India could win a War. Fighting is not going to help us a lot.
    That is patently wrong. In the wars we have fought, the ’65 war might be construed to be a stalemate but even that is hotly debated among military historians. The other conflicts especially the ’71 Bangladesh independence conflict was a resounding victory. Splitting a country into two and establishing a new nation is not a victory? :0
    Kargil, again, though the IA suffered setbacks initially due to lack of information and lackadaisical approach to the whole thing, once they got into gear, they pounded the shit out of the peak occupying northern light infantry troops. If you read up on the wireless intercerpts during that time when the Bofors guns and the Migs and Mirages were bombing them to kingdom come, you’d laugh. For example =

    A WORSENING WAR
    PRAVEEN SWAMI
    in Kargil

    Karim to Afzal: “Their Army has reached very near us. We need more men. Our water and ammunition is also running low.”

    Afzal to Karim: “Remember Allah’s name.”

    Karim to Afzal: “I’ll worry about Allah later! Right now I need reinforcements.”

    – excerpts from intercepts of conversations between Pakistan-based commander Afzal and field commander Karim in the Kargil area.

    This was the situation at the end. The reason the IA did not open up another front and take Lahore was political. We were not the same country then as we are today. So we had to bow to international opinion and keep the conflict localised. A full scale war by opening fronts all across the IB would have led to a thumping.

    Just a waste of People’s money and lives. I think if the businesses in both the countries are partnered in joint ventures (like this one), in the long run it might help to stop the war.

    Let us see. ’65, ’71, ’98 in Kargil, the Kashmir insurgency, Punjab insurgency, backing Dawood, fake currency rackets etc etc etc are all signs of ‘getting on with lives’? This naivette will lead us nowhere truth be told. Sure, there are people on both sides who do not want war. But as long as there is widespread support of hindu india is out to get us and we must therefore protect ourselves and plant the flag of islam in the red fort ideology, i’m sorry but we just can’t talk peace. In case people do not realise just how widespread this thinking is, just read up on the book linked earlier in the post to the syllabus in pakistan and the effects it has had. Also read up on news and other reports on the kind of following and grassroots support that the various umbrella organisations such as the dawa and the harkat-ul-ansar have in mainstream pakistan. Heck, Zardari himself accepted that they had used non-state actors as state-policy against India. And we still fail to take that into account!

    January 10, 2010 at 12:33 am

  4. heiligesheisse

    Heres something thats from the grassroots –

    From the Dawn Newspaper

    January 10, 2010 at 3:20 am

  5. Sarangan R

    Now, the discussion is getting interesting. Let’s see:
    Topic I:
    “I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory but there is just way too much information out there to list here on this.”

    Come on… I think you are just biased. It does not ‘sound’ like a conspiracy theory. It IS a conspiracy theory. Actually, It is not even a theory. Just a belief. Seems to be baseless…

    Topic II:
    “Regarding the War”
    I think these are the words of King Taimur (Not very sure).. But the saying is good. ‘A Enemy is harmless only if he falls to the ground as two pieces’. I would probably add that ‘You can count a victory only if your enemy has fallen as two pieces’.

    Else, it is going to be like India and Pakistan. Every few years, we are going to have a big war and in the mean time, people/soldiers on either side will be killed every day. (I hope that you have read the news that the Pakistan army has killed a few soldiers today, thus violating the peace treaty)

    It is very clear that in today’s political situation (of the World), a real Victory is not possible for either countries. (Nor would I want it). The best way is to develop friendship. But, to develop friendship at a political level is just next to impossible. So, the next option is to develop in economic, social and business world. This tie up would be a perfect start.

    Topic III:
    I just cannot miss the words,… “the dreaded pakistani intelligence agency”. So, you make it sound like pakistani intelligence agency is the most crooked and as if ‘Indian Intelligence agency (RAW)’ is a god sent angelic merciful agency.

    My God… All the Intelligence agencies are like that. It is just their job. What about Raw’s involvement in Bangladesh? If we separate Bangladesh from Pakistan, that would be a merciful glorious selfless act. But, if Pakistan tries to separate Kashmir, then they are crooked. Come on…

    Topic IV:
    Let us just consider that everything that you have said is true. So, what is the solution that you propose to solve the problem?

    To use the Indian army against Pakistan army and capture the whole nation?… Is that your solution? Frankly, that is the only solution that I can get from your writing. If that is the solution, do you think it is possible? especially, when both the countries are nuclear powered.

    I think the only possible solution is that the businesses in both the countries should join together. The TOI step has to be applauded.

    January 11, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    • heiligesheisse

      Come on… I think you are just biased. It does not ’sound’ like a conspiracy theory. It IS a conspiracy theory. Actually, It is not even a theory. Just a belief. Seems to be baseless…
      Like I said there are way too many instances to actually list here. I certainly don’t have the drive to collate and list them here. you are welcome to hold your opinions here.

      And nobody here says things can’t get better. It is just that the rot is real deep in that state and hence needs a clear break from the current where the political front is a couple of steps away from a coup almost always with the politicians looking over their backs each time they try to raise their voice against the military. Read Ayesha Siddiqua’s Military Inc and Shuja Nawaz’s Crossed Swords. You’ll get an idea.

      Do we want a war? Far from it. Pakistan isn’t worth it and neither is rocking our fragile economic progress for paltry gains. Again, do you ever read about pakistani soldiers being killed by ours and breaking the cease fire? something to think about? Another thing to reflect here is that we hardly need them right now except to have a peaceful neighbourhood. Our relation in terms of trade with other countries far outweighs giving importance to pakistan. so i for one wouldn’t cry if our trade doesn’t improve, but thats just a personal opinion.

      as for the isi, yes it is a crooked agency. read up on all the links i’ve given above. they’re not conspiracy theorists. far from it. they’re ex-bureaucrats, intelligence officials, intelligentsia, educators, whatnot. heck forget all that. the move by the civilian govt to bring the isi under the home ministry backfired spectacularly with the army refusing and the govt having to beat a hasty retreat. IB is under the mha and RAW under Cabinet Secretariat i.e. civilian control. As for the Bangaldesh war, lets check the facts shall we. Mujibur Rehman’s Awami League won a clear majority of 167 seats in the 1970 general elections in pakistan. AZ Bhutto refused to give up PMship to Mujib and Yahya sent in the army (remember, erstwhile east pakistan had more # seats than the west) and crushed the protests in bangladesh. And how! Read here. Even if you don’t trust the wiki article, the sheer volume of articles on the atrocities committed before the war started is enough proof. And RAW was the reason for this??!! When millions of refugees started pouring into west bengal and other NE states was when it was decided to help the mukhti bahini and plan for war and that too only after failed attempts to bring international pressure on pakistan to stop the genocide. But of course, its all RAWs fault.

      I don’t need anyone to suppose that all that i’ve said is true. The links provided here are but a drop in the ocean on the literature on pakistan and why it has infamously come to be known as terror central. What is the fucking solution one might ask, for this entire madness. Before we attempt to provide a solution, there must be a few steps we can take to think of a solution. We need security. While offense may be a good defense, we have to first run a tight ship and ensure that our hands are up to block the incoming punch. So, ensure enough funding to spruce up internal security! And pay the freaking police enough so they can ensure prompt intelligence to track infiltrators who can come in not via the kashmir border but through the gulf, nepal and the eastern borders. Intelligence is the name of the modern game. Take steps to improve that! We hardly pay specialist positions commensurate salaries and intelligence agencies require specialists of a wide variety. The US didn’t win the cold war by an out=and-out nuclear war with the Soviet Union. We don’t need to either nor is such a thing a realistic possibility no matter how crazy people on either side of the border may be. I’m certainly not that crazy. So what other choice do you have? For one thing, our trade relationship with the US has gone up like crazy and likewise with the chinese who are both bigtime backers of the pakistanis. Use the increased interdependence to our advantage and help pressurise pakistan to move away from the terrorism shithole and turn to peaceful means. We’d certainly welcome that instead of war and Sunny deol riding a tank! At the same time ensure that you have a backup if things hit the fan! Being prepared for any eventuality while seeking peace is my offering. Does that mean we go to war next monday? Most certainly not. Thats just tilting at the windmills.

      Yabba, ithuku mele mudiyathu sami. lets just agree to disagree. no times 😛

      January 11, 2010 at 8:28 pm

  6. Sarangan R

    Yep.. I was just about to say that… lets just agree to disagree. no times 😛

    January 12, 2010 at 2:14 am

  7. Sarangan R

    i.e until your next post….

    January 12, 2010 at 2:15 am

  8. Sree

    Awesome post…and the last pic was ironical!! 🙂
    TOI is making is a mockery of itself these days…and its more of peace from our end while they (Pak) disagree as well declare war on every little thing we propose!!

    February 7, 2010 at 7:30 am

  9. Sree

    Award awaiting for you at my space!! 🙂

    February 28, 2010 at 4:31 am

  10. Himanshu

    Another one awaiting for you on my blog as well.. 😉

    February 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm

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