Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Rajdeep Rehash


Just like Rahul Gandhi sees two Indias I believe there could also be two Rajdeep Sardesais. There is one Rajdeep who, in his privacy, is often in deep introspection and contemplation with great thoughts and the other on TV who often can’t string together a single coherent sentence without stuttering and stammering. The stuttering and stammering is not so much a speech handicap as it is the manner in which he handles or approaches issues. On 29th July Rajdeep released his latest Friday blockbuster on his blog “When should a minister resign?” And then in the evening he decided it was to time to discuss Subramanian Swamy’s provocative article in DNA.

It’s a bit surprising that Rajdeep chose to discuss Swamy’s DNA article over two weeks after it was published. The reason? Some Harvard students and faculty members have petitioned for Swamy’s dismissal from Harvard University. Well, whatever else happens to Swamy at Harvard, it appears those petitioners are not quite aware of the First Amendment to the US constitution that guarantees free speech. Rajdeep is right in bringing up the issue on CNN-IBN but when he allows absolute trash to pass as expert opinion or analysis that is where is he is guilty of thoughtlessness and refuses to see idiocy when it happens right in front of him. Among the participants was Dipankar Gupta, supposedly a Sociologist,  and these were some statements he made to Rajdeep during the discussion on being asked if Swamy should be thrown out of Harvard:

If anybody goes to teach summer school in Harvard he is obviously not top of the pops”! Well, for a sociologist that is supposed to be a hard argument against Swamy’s article I guess. I also assume Rajdeep and Dipankar aren’t aware that Swamy was in the Department of Economics at Harvard as a professor and the summer school teaching is the latter part of his career. Still, what that statement by Gupta has to do with the topic is a mystery. Rajdeep fails to read that. Gupta doesn’t stop there, he goes on to make another interesting observation: “Swamy has the right to his opinion but not the right to be published”! Can anyone explain that? And that too goes over Rajdeep’s head? Why? Because Dipankar Gupta is supposedly a “sociologist” with great skills at debate and those statements were his sound arguments against Swamy's article. We all get it!

And then Rajdeep Sardesai has the penchant for claiming “we exposed, we exposed, we exposed”! This, on the cash-for-votes scam. Anyone following events would know that CNN-IBN had actually suppressed the sting video which helped the UPA survive a no-confidence motion in July 2008. Now that the SC is hounding the Delhi police and the case is back in the news Rajdeep claims to have exposed the scam. Not only that he claims to have exposed 2G, CWG, Adarsh and so on. If this continues he would one day out-do Bollywood starlets in exposure.

That is the first Rajdeep. The second Rajdeep is one who thinks a lot more clearly when he retires to his privacy and is able to regain his presence of mind and think with greater clarity. Which could be the reason his blogs are so different from the personality on TV.

Still, his clarity of thought does not take away from the fact that his channel, and others too, do not possess adequate moral and ethical balance in their account to be lecturing politicians or common people. I decided to have some fun rewriting and rehashing his latest blog. So here goes: “When should a minister resign?” asks Rajdeep. (Quotes from his article are in blue)

Referring to the resignation of Shastri in 1956 owning moral responsibility for a rail accident, Rajdeep says: “That, of course, was a different age: a period when the notion of 'integrity' had genuine meaning, and was not the self-righteous proclamation it's been reduced to today.” How true! If back then there had been TV channels and they had captured something like the “Cash-for-votes” sting they wouldn’t have suppressed it. They would have put nation ahead of parochial considerations. Isn’t it funny to hear this guy talk about integrity?

The self-righteous lecture on moral science doesn’t end there, here’s more:

It is this growing public frustration with a tardy judicial process that has created the present environment in which a carnivorous media is playing, to quote a rather forlorn prime minister, "accuser, prosecutor and judge." The classic jurisprudential principle in which an accused was presumed to be innocent till proven guilty has been turned on its head. You are now guilty till you can prove your innocence. A television studio is now a cacophonous courtroom, and the news anchor (this columnist included) is often the ultimate judge. The result is that resignations can be forced if a sufficient amount of surround sound is created over a 'scam'.

You could take that para and put it in any article concerning the media. Well each time Rajdeep and his channel heap scorn on someone and carry out a media-lynch operation this would suggest he is a very different person on TV and an altogether different one when he introspects and writes his blog. Each time he sermonises – look inward, raise the standards of media and so on and even submits a meek confession by including himself in the crime. A sort of Dr.Heckle and Hype! Hitchcock would have loved this guy! And then he allows the likes of Dipankar Gupta to make the most stupid statements on his channel without countering it. That’s how you allow mindless lynching.

That done, he once again returns to his favourite principle : “Hammam mein sab nangein hain”, here he rephrases it for the netas:

The battle, in that sense, is now being fought in the peoples' court where perception matters more than legal niceties, a perception magnified by the 'sab neta chor hai' slogan. In normal times, an A Raja would not have had to step down on the basis of a CAG report. After all, CAG reports often 'indict' ministers and officials. But in the case of Raja, the report only confirmed the widespread suspicion of a deliberate misuse of the telecom ministry for personal benefit. Similarly, former CWG chief, Suresh Kalmadi was deemed guilty even before a chargesheet in the case because there was a general 'perception' that he had manipulated games contracts. By contrast, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit stays on in office even after the Shunglu panel probing the Commonwealth Games scam indicted her government because she is 'perceived' to be an honest, hard working chief minister.

Here’s the truth: The biased media, including CNN-IBN, NDTV, Headlines Today chose not to make half the noise about Sheila Dikshit as they did about B. S. Yedyurappa. To their joy they also found a TV-hugging Lokayukta who simply loved frequent press conferences. This Lokayukta was discussing his report on mining even before actually releasing the report. I can't recollect Shunglu hugging and delighting the media with his reports. The public perception of media’s motive isn’t too hard to see as Rajdeep himself gets the feedback from various sources and responds through Twitter. The corrupt media is as brazen in promoting the cause of one party and a family as were Raja and Kalmadi in their actions.

Here’s some more:

The 'perception' factor in public life is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can be a rough check of the system, forcing normally brazen politicians to resign under the sheer weight of public opinion. A Yeddyurappa may seek a Nobel Prize for fighting illegal mining, but once a crusading Lok Ayukta has charged him with corruption, he loses credibility. An Ashok Chavan could argue that he was forced to quit as Maharashtra chief minister over the Adarsh housing scam even before an FIR could be filed in the case, but the emotional quotient attached to Kargil war widows made him a political liability.

Now how does this rehash sound like?:

The 'perception' factor in public life is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can be a rough check of the system, forcing normally brazen journalists to resign under the sheer weight of public opinion. A Barkha Dutt may seek a Nobel Prize for fighting imaginary communalists, but once a crusading Manu Joseph or Vinod Mehta has charged her with power-broking, she loses credibility. A Vir Sanghvi could argue that he was forced to quit as Hindustan Times ED over the Radiagate scam even before an FIR could be filed in the case, but the emotional quotient attached to paid news made him a media liability.

The words are exactly Rajdeep’s, I have just changed the name and causes. So how about applying it those who are peddling bias, untruths and covering up important news and issues? Not to forget, even employing fake tweets to back their own causes.

We aren’t done yet. Let’s take another para on this moral science sermon from Rajdeep and rehash it.

On the other hand, an uncontrolled war of words can lead to instant character assassination where lines get blurred between fact and allegation, truth and hype. Take the case of former union minister Shashi Tharoor. There was no legal charge against him, and yet, he was summarily removed on grounds of 'perceived' impropriety. That he had no real political base perhaps made him an even softer target. Contrast his situation with that of a Vilasrao Deshmukh who remains a cabinet minister even after having strictures passed against him in the Supreme Court. A Tharoor was 'dispensable'; a Deshmukh is a political heavyweight.

Here’s the rehash:

On the other hand, an uncontrolled war of words can lead to instant character assassination where lines get blurred between fact and allegation, truth and hype. Take the case of former CNN-IBN journalist Siddharth Gautam. There was no legal charge against him, and yet, he summarily quit on grounds of 'perceived' impropriety. That he had no real media-celebrity base perhaps made him an even softer target. Contrast his situation with that of a Rajdeep Sardesai who remains a Managing Editor even after suppressing the cash-for-votes video. A Gautam was 'dispensable'; a Sardesai is a celebrity heavyweight.

The story of the cash-for-votes sting and the subsequent events and suppression of the video by Rajdeep Sardesai is documented at India Today. I recommend reading it. The unfortunate experience of Siddharth Gautam, former CNN-IBN journalist involved in the sting op, is pretty well laid out in the article at India Today.

To his favourite line “Hammam mein…”, Rajdeep has now added another line “Sab neta chor hai”…. I have a suggestion of one more that he can add to his collection: “Muh me Ram, Bagal mein Churi”… Every once in a while Rajdeep’s conscience strikes, and trust me, I will be there to rehash it for him.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Padma Shri Awaits Sanjiv Bhatt

Sanjiv Bhatt, the IPS officer who filed an affidavit in the SC against Narendra Modi, is back in the news again. First, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi police is investigating a complaint filed by him. This is what the Indian Express reported on July 28:

In a complaint filed with the EOW, Bhatt said that his “Gmail account had been hacked into by some agents working on behalf of the administrative machinery of the state government of Gujarat with a view to tamper with certain crucial evidence, which could potentially incriminate certain highly placed persons”.

Bhatt lodged a complaint with the EOW on July 18, stating that he was contacted by a reporter of a leading English daily. He was told that around 300 pages from his e-mail account were delivered at the reporter’s office. The e-mail exchanges pertained to the affidavit filed by a freelance journalist, claiming that Bhatt had attended a meeting called by the Gujarat Chief Minister after the Godhra incident. The complainant said he was contacted on July 13 by the reporter, and the e-mail exchanges were dropped at his office in the latter half of June. Bhatt said the hacking of his e-mail account has to be investigated. Bhatt lodged a complaint four days after an article regarding the hacked e-mail account appeared in the English newspaper.

Hmmm! “email exchanges were dropped at his office”? I really don’t know how to figure that one yet. You might also like to read my previous post on this subject: “What is Sanjiv Bhatt angling for?”.

I didn’t know then but I am sort of able to make more sense of it all now. Here is another news report from JagranPost (Regular reader Poorva has also posted this in the comments section of the previous post I’ve referred.)

In a development that could put IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt in the docks, the trail of email exchange of the officer, accessed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), show that the officer has been in touch with the anti-Modi lobby including the Congress, rights activist Teesta Setalvad and others. The contents of the email exchanged even put a question mark on his claims of being at the meeting chaired by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the night of February 27, 2002…….

According to sources, the content of the emails not only expose Bhatt appealing for help from the anti-Modi camps including politicians and civil society members, it clearly establishes Bhatt as a mere pawn in a bigger game plan. In order to prove his claims against the Chief Minister, Bhatt had asked his IPS friend Rahul Sharma to help in managing evidences to substantiate his claims, but he failed in his endeavour.

In order to prove his claims about the February 27 metting, Bhatt in his affidavit submitted before the Apex Court and in his testimony before the Nanavati Commission has claimed that he met former Gujarat Minister Haren Pandya (who died later) at the meeting held at the Chief Minister’s residence. However, the call records of Haren Pandya on the eventful night contradict Bhatt’s claims. The trail of emails exchanged between Bhatt and Sharma between May 12-22, 2011 show that Bhatt tried his best to manage some evidence to support his claim on Pandya.

Rahul Sharma in his reply to Bhatt on May 22 at 7.42 am stated that Pandya received the last call on his number at 10.52 pm, which clarifies that he was not heading towards Gandhinagar. It’s clear that he was in his constituency Ellis Bridge and there was no chance of the minister being in Gandhinagar on the intervening night between February 27 and 28. The content of the email show Rahul asking Bhatt whether Pandya ever mentioned of being present at the meeting, to which Bhatt replied that he heard that spoke about it with some other people.The entire trail of emails between the two officers shows Bhatt trying to get a hand at some evidence to substantiate his claim on Pandya but he failed.The mails clearly show that after his testimony before the Nanavati Commission he was not only in regular touch with Teesta Setalvad, the rights activist who has filed a case against Modi in post-Godhra riots, but was also getting instructions from the Congress leaders.

Bhatt was in regular touch with Teesta, Congress state president Arjun Modwadhia and Leader of Opposition Shakti Singh Gohil on some pretext or the other in the month of April. Records show that Bhatt procured documents and a Blackberry phone from Gohil…..He wrote to Shabnam Hashmi of NGO ‘Anhad’ and Father Sedrick Prakash of ‘Prashant’…. On 9th May, Bhatt also requested them to run a signature campaign and help him in taking his fight against Modi to logical end.

Sanjiv Bhatt follows the footprints of illustrious people who have a reputation for filing false affidavits to tarnish Narendra Modi. I maintain that the Congress government at the centre is the most corrupt and the most dangerous government India has ever had. The campaign Bhatt desired from some already looks like a “signature” Congress campaign.

NDTV and CNN-IBN who made a huge noise about Sanjiv Bhatt and rang the death knell for Namo’s political future have so far had nothing to say about these fresh news reports. Well, don’t worry you will find them reporting about Sanjiv Bhatt in the very near future. By every indicator available Bhatt has only followed the path chosen by Setalvad and others and should be entitled to the same rewards they received.

He can rest assured in the new year he is sure to receive the Padma Shri. And if he can throw up some more muck, membership in Sonia Gandhi’s NAC wouldn’t be an over-reach.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Hindu's Hindutva Delusion

(Note: I'd recommend first reading my previous post "Rivers of blood" in case you already haven't)

Travis Bickle is a ticking time bomb. He is a fictional character and for all purposes walks around like every other normal person. You would find it hard to find something unpleasant or unusual about him. Yet, somewhere in the recesses of his mind he wants to lash out at society, kill a presidential candidate and slaughter all the pimps and scumbags in his city. He even inspired John Hinckley’s real life attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. Let’s blame Martin Scorsese?

Mark David Chapman walked around with ‘Catcher in the Rhye’ by J.D. Salinger. He was quite obsessed with that book which talked about phoneys in society. The book has 26 chapters. Chapman wasn’t satisfied that there was no murder or proper justice in the end and that there should have been a chapter 27. He writes the 27th chapter by shooting and killing John Lennon. Let’s blame J.D. Salinger?

That’s not all even CharlesManson found secret messages in the Beatles song “Helter Skelter” and was also inspired by the Bible for his killing spree. Let’s blame the Bible and the Beatles? Closer home, India’s greatest serial killer, Raman Raghav had every belief and governments to blame for his lunacy.

The latest to join the list of deranged men who found motivation in various writings is Anders Breivik. The Norwegian man who carried out blasts and shot and killed over 90 of his fellow citizens, many of them children. He’s written a manifesto and claims to have been inspired by many. Among his inspirations is India’s Hindutva. This is where the likes of Praveen Swami delight in veiled warnings about Hindutva and hold out prophecies of doom. Swami is the associate editor of The Hindu and this is what he wrote in his article:

For India, there are several important lessons. Like's Europe's mainstream right-wing parties, the BJP has condemned the terrorism of the right — but not the thought system which drives it. Its refusal to engage in serious introspection, or even to unequivocally condemn Hindutva violence, has been nothing short of disgraceful. Liberal parties, including the Congress, have been equally evasive in their critique of both Hindutva and Islamist terrorism.
Besieged as India is by multiple fundamentalisms, in the throes of a social crisis that runs far deeper than in Europe, with institutions far weaker, it must reflect carefully on Mr. Brevik's story — or run real risks to its survival.”

In a follow-up article Praveen Swami quotes Breivik’s references to the UPA’s appeasement of muslims in India and the possible attempt to destroy Hindu culture itself. I have reproduced the ‘Rivers of blood’ speech of Enoch Powell in my previous post. It wouldn’t be untrue to state that many governments in Europe, particularly Britain, have followed an extremely mindless vote-bank policy that has swamped their societies with immigrants unwilling to integrate into their societies. In particular, there has been rising and widespread anger against muslim immigrants, especially those from the Indian subcontinent, who have campaigned against everything that these European democracies value. From special rights for their community to Islamic Sharia law they have demanded everything and even gotten quite a bit of it. Some have gone to the extent of campaigning for and demanding Islamic law in some of these countries. Britain would be a good example of such campaigns.

My attempt is not to hang Praveen Swami. He is otherwise a good writer and commentator. I just believe it is outrageous to even read or make sense of a deranged individual’s motives for such acts. He is “God’s lonely man” and in his sick mind will seek to find sources and inspiration that will confirm his convictions. But democracies across the world, particularly India, must realise once and for all that all their citizens need to come under the bracket of “equality”. Policies and practices which consistently seek to create divisions in society will inspire even more dangerous lunatics. This is not to suggest that there will be no such lunatics but governments need not seek to inspire them.

The leftist-media, Praveen Swami included, likes to talk about right and left wing and liberal and centrist. This is the mumbo-jumbo behind which truth is brushed aside and facts glossed over. It has to take an extreme lunatic to even vaguely term the Congress party “liberal”. How exactly is the Congress party liberal? I doubt Swami or any of the media commentators can explain that. Since independence (maybe from even before) the Congress has been nothing but an extension of the communists. I would even dare any of these media liberals to clearly define and explain what exactly the Congress ideology is. I guess it’s the same “liberalism” that wanted to cling to power and impose Emergency on this nation. Wanna know their response? To even criticism, some of it jerky reaction, Praveen Swami has created a separate category: “#idiotwatch”! Such is the contempt for people not as bright as he is. He had perhaps hoped that many of the so called left-liberals would jump on to that word and make it trend on Twitter. Didn’t happen!

In India we currently live under one of the most corrupt and dangerous governments we have ever had. Scams, improprieties, corruption, illegal invasion of privacy, spying on its own citizens and even corruption in the judiciary are all hallmarks of a totalitarian regime and an invitation to disaster. This need not be from the right or left wing alone. There may be many individual lunatics with no ideology but with sufficient belief in their cause to impose havoc and tragedy on innocent citizens. But for Praveen Swami and many others in the media to try and pin a major share of such lunacy on Hindutva is also another extremism that confronts India. I thought the privilege of that lunacy was reserved for the likes of Digvijay Singh and P. Chidambaram.

Breivik’s manifesto has references to various other sources of inspiration including Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, English DefenceLeague and even Geert Wilders. His actions run quite contrary to the sources of his inspiration. So Praveen Swami and others in the media would do well to save us their delusions.

Evil lunatics do not need outside inspiration. Evil IS their only inspiration.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rivers Of Blood

There is a lot being said about Anders Breivik, the one who committed mass-murder of innocent people in Norway. There are those who are trying to link this act of murder to various roots like Anti-Jihad movements, multiculturalism and even Hindutva because of some manifesto this deranged man has written. I will be writing a full post and response to what has been written and said in the media so far. But before that let's go back over 40 years to this famous speech by British parliamentarian Enoch Powell. He had, in many ways, warned of something like this due to excessive marginalisation of the original and majority population of Britain. His speech was essentially for Britain but this might well apply to many countries in Europe. The left-liberal mafia had already sown the seeds for this long back. He was branded racist. There were those who even said this was hate speech and there was a prima facie case for his prosecution. I will just let you read on....

This is the full text of Enoch Powell's so-called 'Rivers of Blood' speech, which was delivered to a Conservative Association meeting in Birmingham on April 20 1968.

The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils. In seeking to do so, it encounters obstacles which are deeply rooted in human nature.

One is that by the very order of things such evils are not demonstrable until they have occurred: at each stage in their onset there is room for doubt and for dispute whether they be real or imaginary. By the same token, they attract little attention in comparison with current troubles, which are both indisputable and pressing: whence the besetting temptation of all politics to concern itself with the immediate present at the expense of the future.

Above all, people are disposed to mistake predicting troubles for causing troubles and even for desiring troubles: "If only," they love to think, "if only people wouldn't talk about it, it probably wouldn't happen."

Perhaps this habit goes back to the primitive belief that the word and the thing, the name and the object, are identical.

At all events, the discussion of future grave but, with effort now, avoidable evils is the most unpopular and at the same time the most necessary occupation for the politician. Those who knowingly shirk it deserve, and not infrequently receive, the curses of those who come after.

A week or two ago I fell into conversation with a constituent, a middle-aged, quite ordinary working man employed in one of our nationalised industries.

After a sentence or two about the weather, he suddenly said: "If I had the money to go, I wouldn't stay in this country." I made some deprecatory reply to the effect that even this government wouldn't last for ever; but he took no notice, and continued: "I have three children, all of them been through grammar school and two of them married now, with family. I shan't be satisfied till I have seen them all settled overseas. In this country in 15 or 20 years' time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man."

I can already hear the chorus of execration. How dare I say such a horrible thing? How dare I stir up trouble and inflame feelings by repeating such a conversation?

The answer is that I do not have the right not to do so. Here is a decent, ordinary fellow Englishman, who in broad daylight in my own town says to me, his Member of Parliament, that his country will not be worth living in for his children.

I simply do not have the right to shrug my shoulders and think about something else. What he is saying, thousands and hundreds of thousands are saying and thinking - not throughout Great Britain, perhaps, but in the areas that are already undergoing the total transformation to which there is no parallel in a thousand years of English history.

In 15 or 20 years, on present trends, there will be in this country three and a half million Commonwealth immigrants and their descendants. That is not my figure. That is the official figure given to parliament by the spokesman of the Registrar General's Office.

There is no comparable official figure for the year 2000, but it must be in the region of five to seven million, approximately one-tenth of the whole population, and approaching that of Greater London. Of course, it will not be evenly distributed from Margate to Aberystwyth and from Penzance to Aberdeen. Whole areas, towns and parts of towns across England will be occupied by sections of the immigrant and immigrant-descended population.

As time goes on, the proportion of this total who are immigrant descendants, those born in England, who arrived here by exactly the same route as the rest of us, will rapidly increase. Already by 1985 the native-born would constitute the majority. It is this fact which creates the extreme urgency of action now, of just that kind of action which is hardest for politicians to take, action where the difficulties lie in the present but the evils to be prevented or minimised lie several parliaments ahead.

The natural and rational first question with a nation confronted by such a prospect is to ask: "How can its dimensions be reduced?" Granted it be not wholly preventable, can it be limited, bearing in mind that numbers are of the essence: the significance and consequences of an alien element introduced into a country or population are profoundly different according to whether that element is 1 per cent or 10 per cent.

The answers to the simple and rational question are equally simple and rational: by stopping, or virtually stopping, further inflow, and by promoting the maximum outflow. Both answers are part of the official policy of the Conservative Party.

It almost passes belief that at this moment 20 or 30 additional immigrant children are arriving from overseas in Wolverhampton alone every week - and that means 15 or 20 additional families a decade or two hence. Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependants, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant-descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre. So insane are we that we actually permit unmarried persons to immigrate for the purpose of founding a family with spouses and fianc├ęs whom they have never seen.

Let no one suppose that the flow of dependants will automatically tail off. On the contrary, even at the present admission rate of only 5,000 a year by voucher, there is sufficient for a further 25,000 dependants per annum ad infinitum, without taking into account the huge reservoir of existing relations in this country - and I am making no allowance at all for fraudulent entry. In these circumstances nothing will suffice but that the total inflow for settlement should be reduced at once to negligible proportions, and that the necessary legislative and administrative measures be taken without delay.

I stress the words "for settlement." This has nothing to do with the entry of Commonwealth citizens, any more than of aliens, into this country, for the purposes of study or of improving their qualifications, like (for instance) the Commonwealth doctors who, to the advantage of their own countries, have enabled our hospital service to be expanded faster than would otherwise have been possible. They are not, and never have been, immigrants.

I turn to re-emigration. If all immigration ended tomorrow, the rate of growth of the immigrant and immigrant-descended population would be substantially reduced, but the prospective size of this element in the population would still leave the basic character of the national danger unaffected. This can only be tackled while a considerable proportion of the total still comprises persons who entered this country during the last ten years or so.

Hence the urgency of implementing now the second element of the Conservative Party's policy: the encouragement of re-emigration.

Nobody can make an estimate of the numbers which, with generous assistance, would choose either to return to their countries of origin or to go to other countries anxious to receive the manpower and the skills they represent.

Nobody knows, because no such policy has yet been attempted. I can only say that, even at present, immigrants in my own constituency from time to time come to me, asking if I can find them assistance to return home. If such a policy were adopted and pursued with the determination which the gravity of the alternative justifies, the resultant outflow could appreciably alter the prospects.

The third element of the Conservative Party's policy is that all who are in this country as citizens should be equal before the law and that there shall be no discrimination or difference made between them by public authority. As Mr Heath has put it we will have no "first-class citizens" and "second-class citizens." This does not mean that the immigrant and his descendent should be elevated into a privileged or special class or that the citizen should be denied his right to discriminate in the management of his own affairs between one fellow-citizen and another or that he should be subjected to imposition as to his reasons and motive for behaving in one lawful manner rather than another.

There could be no grosser misconception of the realities than is entertained by those who vociferously demand legislation as they call it "against discrimination", whether they be leader-writers of the same kidney and sometimes on the same newspapers which year after year in the 1930s tried to blind this country to the rising peril which confronted it, or archbishops who live in palaces, faring delicately with the bedclothes pulled right up over their heads. They have got it exactly and diametrically wrong.

The discrimination and the deprivation, the sense of alarm and of resentment, lies not with the immigrant population but with those among whom they have come and are still coming.

This is why to enact legislation of the kind before parliament at this moment is to risk throwing a match on to gunpowder. The kindest thing that can be said about those who propose and support it is that they know not what they do.

Nothing is more misleading than comparison between the Commonwealth immigrant in Britain and the American Negro. The Negro population of the United States, which was already in existence before the United States became a nation, started literally as slaves and were later given the franchise and other rights of citizenship, to the exercise of which they have only gradually and still incompletely come. The Commonwealth immigrant came to Britain as a full citizen, to a country which knew no discrimination between one citizen and another, and he entered instantly into the possession of the rights of every citizen, from the vote to free treatment under the National Health Service.

Whatever drawbacks attended the immigrants arose not from the law or from public policy or from administration, but from those personal circumstances and accidents which cause, and always will cause, the fortunes and experience of one man to be different from another's.

But while, to the immigrant, entry to this country was admission to privileges and opportunities eagerly sought, the impact upon the existing population was very different. For reasons which they could not comprehend, and in pursuance of a decision by default, on which they were never consulted, they found themselves made strangers in their own country.

They found their wives unable to obtain hospital beds in childbirth, their children unable to obtain school places, their homes and neighbourhoods changed beyond recognition, their plans and prospects for the future defeated; at work they found that employers hesitated to apply to the immigrant worker the standards of discipline and competence required of the native-born worker; they began to hear, as time went by, more and more voices which told them that they were now the unwanted. They now learn that a one-way privilege is to be established by act of parliament; a law which cannot, and is not intended to, operate to protect them or redress their grievances is to be enacted to give the stranger, the disgruntled and the agent-provocateur the power to pillory them for their private actions.

In the hundreds upon hundreds of letters I received when I last spoke on this subject two or three months ago, there was one striking feature which was largely new and which I find ominous. All Members of Parliament are used to the typical anonymous correspondent; but what surprised and alarmed me was the high proportion of ordinary, decent, sensible people, writing a rational and often well-educated letter, who believed that they had to omit their address because it was dangerous to have committed themselves to paper to a Member of Parliament agreeing with the views I had expressed, and that they would risk penalties or reprisals if they were known to have done so. The sense of being a persecuted minority which is growing among ordinary English people in the areas of the country which are affected is something that those without direct experience can hardly imagine.

I am going to allow just one of those hundreds of people to speak for me:

“Eight years ago in a respectable street in Wolverhampton a house was sold to a Negro. Now only one white (a woman old-age pensioner) lives there. This is her story. She lost her husband and both her sons in the war. So she turned her seven-roomed house, her only asset, into a boarding house. She worked hard and did well, paid off her mortgage and began to put something by for her old age. Then the immigrants moved in. With growing fear, she saw one house after another taken over. The quiet street became a place of noise and confusion. Regretfully, her white tenants moved out.

“The day after the last one left, she was awakened at 7am by two Negroes who wanted to use her 'phone to contact their employer. When she refused, as she would have refused any stranger at such an hour, she was abused and feared she would have been attacked but for the chain on her door. Immigrant families have tried to rent rooms in her house, but she always refused. Her little store of money went, and after paying rates, she has less than £2 per week. “She went to apply for a rate reduction and was seen by a young girl, who on hearing she had a seven-roomed house, suggested she should let part of it. When she said the only people she could get were Negroes, the girl said, "Racial prejudice won't get you anywhere in this country." So she went home.

“The telephone is her lifeline. Her family pay the bill, and help her out as best they can. Immigrants have offered to buy her house - at a price which the prospective landlord would be able to recover from his tenants in weeks, or at most a few months. She is becoming afraid to go out. Windows are broken. She finds excreta pushed through her letter box. When she goes to the shops, she is followed by children, charming, wide-grinning piccaninnies. They cannot speak English, but one word they know. "Racialist," they chant. When the new Race Relations Bill is passed, this woman is convinced she will go to prison. And is she so wrong? I begin to wonder.”

The other dangerous delusion from which those who are wilfully or otherwise blind to realities suffer, is summed up in the word "integration." To be integrated into a population means to become for all practical purposes indistinguishable from its other members.

Now, at all times, where there are marked physical differences, especially of colour, integration is difficult though, over a period, not impossible. There are among the Commonwealth immigrants who have come to live here in the last fifteen years or so, many thousands whose wish and purpose is to be integrated and whose every thought and endeavour is bent in that direction.

But to imagine that such a thing enters the heads of a great and growing majority of immigrants and their descendants is a ludicrous misconception, and a dangerous one.

We are on the verge here of a change. Hitherto it has been force of circumstance and of background which has rendered the very idea of integration inaccessible to the greater part of the immigrant population - that they never conceived or intended such a thing, and that their numbers and physical concentration meant the pressures towards integration which normally bear upon any small minority did not operate.

Now we are seeing the growth of positive forces acting against integration, of vested interests in the preservation and sharpening of racial and religious differences, with a view to the exercise of actual domination, first over fellow-immigrants and then over the rest of the population. The cloud no bigger than a man's hand, that can so rapidly overcast the sky, has been visible recently in Wolverhampton and has shown signs of spreading quickly. The words I am about to use, verbatim as they appeared in the local press on 17 February, are not mine, but those of a Labour Member of Parliament who is a minister in the present government:

'The Sikh communities' campaign to maintain customs inappropriate in Britain is much to be regretted. Working in Britain, particularly in the public services, they should be prepared to accept the terms and conditions of their employment. To claim special communal rights (or should one say rites?) leads to a dangerous fragmentation within society. This communalism is a canker; whether practised by one colour or another it is to be strongly condemned.'

All credit to John Stonehouse for having had the insight to perceive that, and the courage to say it.

For these dangerous and divisive elements the legislation proposed in the Race Relations Bill is the very pabulum they need to flourish. Here is the means of showing that the immigrant communities can organise to consolidate their members, to agitate and campaign against their fellow citizens, and to overawe and dominate the rest with the legal weapons which the ignorant and the ill-informed have provided. As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see "the River Tiber foaming with much blood."

That tragic and intractable phenomenon which we watch with horror on the other side of the Atlantic but which there is interwoven with the history and existence of the States itself, is coming upon us here by our own volition and our own neglect. Indeed, it has all but come. In numerical terms, it will be of American proportions long before the end of the century.

Only resolute and urgent action will avert it even now. Whether there will be the public will to demand and obtain that action, I do not know. All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal.