Friday, August 30, 2013

Evolving The Terrorist's Defence



Without exception every media outlet in the country is calling Yasin Bhatkal (real name  Zarar Ahmed Siddibaba) an “escape artist” or a “master of disguise” for having escaped arrest on a couple of occasions. That sounds like the Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative is a highly intelligent character. It’s reasonable to assume that terrorists are indeed a smart bunch to be operating the way they do. But this guy is so smart that he could hoodwink the Indian police twice? I have serious doubts about that. One, it appears that our police don’t share a national database of “wanted” criminals and two, they must be quite dumb to have believed and accepted his fake names and IDs as quickly as they did. Do police officials detain and allow top “wanted” suspects to go just like that? Not really! But in India there is political pressure to be soft on “certain suspects” as also by many sympathisers in the media. Nothing explains it better than the following piece of moronery:

When in doubt about a terror investigation, blame the most readily available Muslims. Within days of the Dilsukh Nagar blasts in Hyderabad on February 21, the police announced the suspects were the Indian Mujahideen (IM), that its founder Riyaz Bhatkal was the possible "mastermind", and that 'Imran' and 'Maqbool' had recced the area… In the same week as the names 'Bhatkal', 'Maqbool' and 'Imran' swirled around in the media, two youths, journalist Muthi-ur Rahman Siddiqui, also once dubbed "mastermind" in a terror conspiracy by the media and DRDO scientist Aijaz Mirza were released after six months in jail”.

You probably guessed right. That little blast is from India’s greatest economist cum terror-expert cum social-genius cum moron par excellence Sagarika Ghose. She shoots her mouth off crying “meat shops” in Dilsukhnagar and then sermonises the police after the Hyderabad blasts of February 2013. She’s not alone. Most of the media and politicians force the police to go soft on Muslim suspects for very obvious reasons. Consequently, the police too play dumb and let off serious suspects (Sagarika obviously didn’t see Rahul Kanwal’s tweet in February). It is inevitable that in a terror-stricken country and in a terror-atmosphere some suspects will be held for longer periods till they’re cleared. Our police just allowed Bhatkal to walk away each time. Even Bollywood and South Indian actors have been detained in the US. It is unfortunate, but the threat of terror requires being absolutely careful. If you thought all this is phoney, then I recommend you read this story of a Hindu titled “Don’t travel during Ramadan” in the US (the story may be a bit dramatized but may not be entirely fake).

Bhatkal’s arrest probably came by absolute secrecy. The Intel agencies have now probably learned there are many leaks in the system. Yet, what did the Bihar cops do? A bit more of comedy! The moment they brought Bhatkal to the court at Motihari they made an “exhibit” of him and allowed the media to get close enough to get sound-bites from him. Which professional police force allows such an idiotic thing to happen? The police could have released their own pics or videos instead of allowing the media close to this terrorist. So they bring Bhatkal to the court in a black mask and then uncover it for the media to take a glimpse and then put it back on. Does that make any sense? Why the mask at all? Who were they hiding him from? Prospective brides? In the few seconds he got, Bhatkal grandly tells the media “Blasts happen, nothing new about them”. That, I agree with. Because even during the 26/11 attacks the Maharashtra HM R.R. Patil said "Bade bade shehron mein aisi choti choti baatein hoti rehti hain” (small attacks keep happening in big cities). Amazing, isn’t it? How the thoughts and lines of politicians and terrorists converge in strange coincidence. Patil thinks 26/11 was a small attack so there is practically nothing wrong in what Bhatkal says either.

Union Minister K. Rahman Khan even said there’s a “perception among Muslims that IM does not exist”. Bravo! The GOI and media must assume Muslims are totally ignorant and isolated from events. And then, the “self-styled” Indo-Pak peace maker NDTV comes up with another debate on the theory of “home grown terror” (August 29). So you have Barkha Dutt asking the question if Bhatkal’s arrest confirms home grown terror. Add to this concoction Mani Shankar Aiyar, your circle of denial comes right back. MSAiyar says he doesn’t know what the IM is or what their leadership structure is or what their operational cells are and that MHA should tell him and the parliament about it. Who are they making a case for? This is a good follow-up on A.K. Antony’s “dressed in Pak military uniform” comment. Obviously, it seems this was some effort to clear Pakistan having anything to do with IM. For the record, the IM was declared a terrorist organisation by GOI in 2010. The US and UK have also declared it a terrorist organisation. But MSAiyar and Rahman Khan, wilfully blind and ignorant as they are, want to know what IM is. The reason why India doesn’t progress in the fight against terrorists is there are people like these who put a spanner in the works.  

The New York Police Dept. has even put all mosques in their area under a watch for terrorist activities. In India, some politicians and media folks are still debating whether IM exists at all. Naturally, they will make cops look like jokers. Yasin Bhatkal comes from a place called Bhatkal (Karnataka) which has been known in the past to ship bombs and bomb-making material. But hey, if you ask Digvijaya Singh he will tell you where all the bomb-making factories are located. Neither Diggy nor the NIA or CBI are yet to discover these RSS bomb factories. And believe it or not, Kamal Farooqui of SP said Bhatkal has been arrested because he’s a Muslim. Hmm… “Terror has no religion” does it? Bhatkal’s lawyer told the Patiala House court in Delhi he is not Bhatkal but some “Mohammad Ahmed”. Left to these guys, they would allow a blanket pardon for all Muslim terrorists by an enactment in parliament. So does anyone take India’s fight against terrorists seriously? Fortunately, former Home Secretary R.K. Singh was on NDTV too and here is what he said:

We have a fair idea about the organisation (IM) and its roots, contacts etc., we also know who are their leaders. We also know where they are… so it’s not true that we are in the dark about IM. To say it’s home grown terror I would not agree. It’s not entirely home grown, the leaders are based in Pakistan, they are mentored by the ISI, the LeT. When people were taken to Pakistan for training they were received at the airport by ISI operatives. All that information we have”.

R.K. Singh is a man who should know; he has been in the thick of things for a long time. The previous Home Secretary G.K. Pillai and many other sources had certified Ishrat Jehan a LeT operative. Yet there are NGOs and vested interests that are in denial. If they want to challenge the encounter of Ishrat Jehan that is one thing, but to claim she had no connection to LeT despite all evidences and then hold “solidary meets” to mourn her is a shameful act. Pretty soon, there will be “solidary meets for Bhatkal” led by many of the NGOs and bounty-hunting lawyers. Digvijaya Singh and others even suspected the Batla House encounter in which a senior cop was killed. Farooqui has already sounded a bugle for them. Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and some other states are seeking custody of Bhatkal to question him. Well, the Bihar govt that got first custody did not even want to question him and there’s no report of even an FIR being filed. That’s how Nitish Kumar wants to fight terrorists who have made strong bases in Bihar.
 
Trying to create the impression that IM or any other terror group is merely home-grown is a tactic used by the Pakistan-friendly gangs to ensure dialogue continues with that failed state or to protect their own vested interests. The real question that Barkha Dutt should have asked instead of the stupid “How big is the home grown terror threat?” is “How big is the gang of politicians, media crooks, NGOs and assorted vested interests who defend terrorists?” As long as we have powerful forces backed with endless funds the fight against terrorists will be a long struggle. It makes our police force a handicapped unit. For the media that claims that Bhatkal’s arrest is a “big blow to IM” it’s a premature act of moronery that is consistent with their practice of talking utter nonsense. Bhatkal’s saviours may be just around the next bend or the next corner. Bhatkal’s case has been given to the NIA. Everyone knows where that might end up.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

NaMo Inspires New Comedy Channel



In a very harsh criticism of those defending the failed economic policies and actions of the UPA, R. Jagannathan of FirstPost slams a defender of the faith called Mihir Sharma of more or less being blind. It appears Sharma called the UPA critics “unqualified”. Jaggi goes on to write that Sharma blames everything for UPA failures but the UPA itself with the stinging line “The UPA’s foolishness, for him, had little to do with it”. Let’s put aside Jaggi for the moment as an “unqualified” critic. How about someone who loves “Doctoring and nursing the Congress”? I’m quite certain Mihir Sharma doesn’t consider Shekhar Gupta “unqualified” but even this long-time defender of the Congress has turned harsh. SG slams the Congress in his article “Current accountability deficit”. Well, as you would expect, SG slams all senior leaders of the Congress except, yeah you guessed it, except Sonia Gandhi. So with nothing to defend their failures the Congress now believes the best defence is targeting their biggest roadblock for 2014. In the process some of their defenders have become great comedians.

In my posts I often refer to Mafia ‘Wiseguys’. They are the foot-soldiers of the mafia who do all the dirty work, also sometimes known as ‘Goodfellas’. Contrary to what that title may indicate, these guys aren’t bright or wise but have a weird sense of humour and are mostly oblivious to their own stupidity. No matter how badly they goof up the Mafia bosses never kill these wiseguys (except from a rival gang). Even if they are fondly called by certain numbers they respond positively. Take a look (11 secs):

video
See what I mean? You know, the bosses even have numbers for them: Moron No.1, Moron No.2 and so on. The wiseguys don’t realise it or mind it in the least. It’s all love and affection. The other thing about wiseguys is they are fiercely loyal to the bosses no matter what. Politics is a lot similar when you consider a bunch of hate-mongers start off some venture without knowing how to do it. They don’t even possess the basic skills that the wiseguys possess but they possess all their stupidity.

This is not so much about the Congress as a political party but what kind of people they allow to represent them. On August 22 it seems the party held a national workshop on Social Media. Apparently almost all their Twitter, FB and Blogging supporters were there and then some more. Considering the party spokies, like Kapil Sibal and Manish Tiwari, have often dismissed SM as an anarchic platform which has no impact on elections the party must have done a U-turn in trying to educate their foot-soldiers with this workshop. The Congis forget one cardinal rule: “recruit for talent, train for skills”. Talent cannot be transferred, skills can. No matter how many workshops and trainings you put some people through they aren’t going to acquire talent they don’t have. They might, at best, acquire some juggling skills.

Take a look at Rajdeep Sardesai and his writings. For a chronic Modi-hater who for over 11 years made Modi his “Roji-Roti” (as Modi told him) with hate-mongering, even he seems to reluctantly acknowledge Rahul Gandhi is not the youth’s inspiration. This must be a hard pill for RS to swallow. But Rajdeep grandly states “In the normal course, 43-year-old Rahul Gandhi and his youth 'managers' should have been the natural mascots of this new India, and not a 62-year-old Narendra Modi and his Sangh Parivar. Rahul is younger, English-speaking, telegenic and tech-friendly. And yet, as most recent youth surveys suggest, it is Modi who is the preferred choice of young Indians. Where has Modi succeeded where Rahul has failed in attracting younger India?” English speaking, telegenic and tech-friendly? I have to wonder if Rajdeep wants a political leader or another shrill TV anchor. This is his problem. He thinks all of India wants telegenic, English speaking guys for inspiration. Nowhere does the word “PERFORMANCE” figure in his entire article and he suggests youth are looking for quick-fixes. And this tech-friendly RahulG who addressed the Congress’ SM workshop is nowhere to be found on it (unless he’s travelling on FB or Twitter incognito). Therefore, it’s left to his bumbling and comic wiseguys to target Modi.

One would have thought they would have come out wiser (no pun intended) from the workshop but the results have been disastrous from the word go. It looks like the singular objective coming out of this workshop is how to target and tar Narendra Modi. He appears to be their only fear to an electoral loss and gaining another term for Congress. It seems 11 years of work by the MSM to destroy Modi has failed so a new venture was called for; a dedicated website. So some ‘Modi-hunters’ got together and created a site called ‘Pheku.In’. The prime mover seems to be famous Hate-Engineer Shabnam Hashmi but the supporters list reads like a whose boo. Here’s what the TOI reported on August 23 (a day after the workshop) under ‘'Modi haters' to launch website on Friday’:

The site is endorsed by journalists Amit Sengupta and Seema Mustafa, scriptwriter Anjum Rajabali, professors Anuradha Chenoy and Apoorvanand, filmmaker Arma Ansari, poet Ashok Vajpayee and dancer Avni Sethi. Mahesh Bhatt, Mallika Sarabhai, Naseeruddin Shah, Ram Rahman, Shabnam Hashmi and Vivan Sundaram have also pledged support”.

This formaldehyde army (they call it “formidable” though) headed by Shabnam Hashmi created the website with nothing that we haven’t seen in the past many years, including the period prior to the December 2012 Gujarat election. Mostly lies, lies and more lies that everyone knows by now. But they made one big change. They are now telling “stories in pics” like TheUnrealTimes. One must applaud their attempt at comedy. Remember Congi Arjun Modhwadia putting up pics of children from UNICEF site as being from Gujarat? He was caught and had to take down those pics. Now take a look at Comedy No.1:

So they pick a pic from Chennai stating sewage water goes into regular water supply and try to pass it off as one from Gujarat. The morons only forgot one thing; that “social media is the real watchdog” now and I would be surprised if the Congress workshop didn’t cover that part. When I saw it first I could tell the red-striped walls are typical in Tamil Nadu and some parts of the South. The original report is contained in Merinews. (The boss must have picked up the phone and asked for Moron No.1 I guess). We are lucky, the comedy didn’t end there. Here’s another one:

In this one the hate-mongers try to pass off a pic showing children working at a Delhi stadium (in a state ruled by Congress) from a report in The Guardian, as one from Vibrant Gujarat. I wonder if these people take others to be idiots like themselves. That looks like a serious possibility. So why would Congress want such morons to campaign for them? That mystifies me even more. (I’m sure for this the Boss must have called up and asked for Moron No.2).

With eggs on her face (and maybe some others too) Hashmi put out an apology on her Facebook page. She blames it on her technical team and some low-resolution of pics. So even the content search is left to the “technical” team? Laughable! I doubt any technical guy would goof up the way Hashmi & Co have. She calls herself a “social activist” and if this is how activists conduct themselves in the political domain you can imagine why she deserves a phone call from the boss. It doesn’t occur to these hate-mongers that in their quest to tar Modi, they are slandering the state of Gujarat itself with fake pics and information. Hashmi guarantees there will be more pics from Gujarat. I think we should be ready for some more comedy shows.Oh yes, on a site titled "Pheku" it is quiet appropriate the comedians use "fake" pics.

When he was in a good state of mind RahulG did advise his spokies not to talk about Modi but only question his claims. Looks like the memo didn’t reach the hacktivists who are bent on making a laughing stock of themselves and therefore the Congress too. Media channels like NDTV and CNN-IBN have caused their own reputation irreparable damage by their constant anti-Modi campaign. They have burnt their fingers. Even Salman Khurshid ended up being called a ‘cockroach’ after he called Modi a ‘frog’. The more they try to lampoon the more they end up looking like comedians themselves. This is no way to politically combat Modi. But hey, if Modi is going to inspire comedy shows such as the latest one Hashmi & Co. produced, I’m not complaining; I gladly welcome it.

Note: Video clip from "Midnight Run", Pics Via @TajinderBagga.
 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Superstition



I’ve had nothing but bad luck, since the day I saw the cat at my door...” sang Lucknow-born British singer Cliff Richard. There are many in the world who believe a cat crossing one’s path is a bad omen, especially a black cat. Superstition has been with us since eons. Superstition has been tradition with cultures, families and individuals. There are places I know which carry out strange ceremonies to cure people of mental illness, schizophrenia or epilepsy. People resort to this as a last option when all other medical avenues have been unsuccessful. Rationalists across the world have helped destroy many myths, fake beliefs and superstitions. It is very compelling and interesting to listen to many famous ones like Richard Dawkins or the late Christopher Hitchens. Both these men have long debated religionists but they have never campaigned to bring a law against religion or superstition.

So when rationalist Narendra Dabholkar of Pune was killed by some lunatics on August 20 our media and politicians immediately started point fingers at Right Wing organisations, particularly a group called Sanatan Sanstha. The spokie of this organisation has been in the media for 2 days since denying his organisation had any role in the killing.

The reason for suspecting them is that their website had a pic of Dabholkar with a cross marked across his face. This is how stupid and immature our media morons are. But this is consistent with their political propaganda which seeks to imply that only Hindus have superstitions or so-called “fake” or “self-styled Godmen” who deceive people. And an even worse reaction of the Mahashtra CM was to quickly recommend an Ordinance against superstition and black-magic. The immediate task should, as always, be to hunt down the killers of Dabholkar and get them the harshest punishment but the media and leftist parties like Congress, CPM and others were using the incident to start an anti-Hindu practices rant. Most of the protesters in Pune and Mumbai (on the killing of Dabholkar) were naturally from Commie organisations, red flags, banners and all. Maybe all these folks didn’t hear that even the former Pope resigned because God told him to. Well, why the Pope, even Lalu Prasad Yadav went to a Tantrik for a ritual to help him fight the fodder-scam case.


So where is an Ordinance going to draw the line between a belief in some ritual and religious practices. Almost all religious people on earth have some beliefs and superstitions. Jairam Ramesh refuses to occupy an office which is lying vacant for 8 years because some previous ministers died in office when they were occupying it. The DNA article lists a lot of PMs and other politicians who have been superstitious. Superstitious beliefs usually come from bad experiences one has had or observing unusually consistent phenomena. Some religious leaders prey on these beliefs and not all of them are Hindus. In 2005 Benny Hinn gathered a large number of people for some “miracle healing”. And who were his prominent guests? Let’s read a bit of the report:

…After keeping everybody guessing, chief minister N. Dharam Singh, with family, state and union ministers in tow, landed up at the venue. Prompting an angry BJP to declare it will disrupt legislature proceedings from Monday. The show began at 6 pm, with more than an hour of choir singing. Clad in spotless white, pastor Hinn came on stage an hour later, and announced that he liked India and Indians. He also declared that he had come to tell people that Christ was alive. "Many of you are going to feel a presence on your body tonight. That's when you know you are healed. This Jesus I'm talking about will heal you,'' he said. Soon it was time for the VVIPs to be acquainted. Singh climbed on to the stage, and was embraced by Hinn. The pastor promised the CM that he would pray for the state and the country. Ditto with Union ministers Oscar Fernandes, M.V. Rajashekaran, and state ministers Mallikarjuna M. Kharge and H.K. Patil, and Bollywood actor Johnny Lever. Around 8.30 pm, Hinn requested the assemblage to maintain silence, "as I administer the word of God.'' At 9 pm, he announced that Jesus was ready to heal them and asked everybody to stretch their hands and pray. Many differently abled, wheelchairbound persons and other sick and suffering came near the stage to receive "the promised miracle''. Hinn then prayed for 20 minutes with his eyes closed and asked the people one to one: "Are you cured?'' Several answered in the affirmative. So ended day one”.

I recommend you read that whole report. The American miracle-man Benny Hinn was grandly welcomed by the CM, Ministers and other VVIPs. Now what would Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan call the show? A religious act or black-magic? This is where it is hard to draw a line between faith-based practices and charlatans. If people believed Benny Hinn, good luck to them. After all, he hasn’t killed anyone according to the report. The people were at his gathering of their own free choice. Were the handicapped persons healed for good? I seriously doubt it. But it probably made them feel better. Rationalists would laugh at it as they should and they should debate it, condemn it and educate people if they like but they surely have no business to demand laws and ordinances banning what people follow when it doesn’t hurt anyone. It is important to prosecute charlatans if they cause any harm or death and there are enough laws for prosecution.

In March 2012 there was a strange case of water trickling down a crucifix near a Church at Vile Parle in Mumbai. Thousands thought this was some “miracle” and rushed to get a glimpse. Sanal Edamaruku, a prominent rationalist, suggested this may be a plumbing fault and before long there was an FIR lodged against him Mumbai. Of course, it appears Edamaruku also made some uncharitable remarks about the priests tricking people to collect funds. The man is now in self-exile in Finland. Is Prithviraj Chavan going to withdraw the FIR and pardon Edamuruku? Mind you, the media and the commie politicians consistently accuse Hindu leaders and Gurus of being tricksters or thugs, without having to pay a price for it. So why is Edamaruku being targeted for calling some priests tricksters? After all, it appears the miracle-believers did donate money. We should be fine with people believing the miracles they want. We should also be fine with the Edamarukus and Dabholkars questioning these (without calling the religious heads tricksters and frauds). I am not aware if Narendra Dabholkar questioned this Church incident.   

Is Chavan’s Ordinance also going to ban Santa Claus? Almost every Christian knows that Santa Claus is just a story, a myth. Seriously, somebody has to be crazy to think Santa goes around the whole word and gets in through chimneys to drop gifts. But it’s fun for children and it’s harmless. None of us can ever imagine Christmas without Santa. Here’s a Jewish man who turned to Jesus because he experienced a strange miracle. (Video: 1.44 mins):

video
Well, he held the glass out the window and it rained. Sometimes it rains and such sometimes it doesn’t. Some experiences can lead people to believe mundane coincidences as miracles. If the guy had prayed for frogs and it had rained frogs instead then maybe we could have called it a miracle. But if it makes people happy and even convert then it’s harmless. What will Chavan’s Ordinance cover? Even religious beliefs can sometimes be superstitious. People go all the way to Tirupati with Faith and drop a whole lot of money and gold to seek blessings. In a ritual at the annual Haj Muslims stone the devil and even the number of stones they should carry and throw are prescribed. All religions have rituals and practices and it is therefore difficult to draw the line. In contrast, charlatans are possible to identify and must be prosecuted based on complaints of cheating or fake promises.

Jim Jones who formed his own People’s Temple in the USA had his own cult following. After being hounded in the US he and his followers set up base in the northern area of Guyana, which came to be known as Jonestown. On November 18, 1978 over 900 members of this group were poisoned to death in a mass-suicide. This wasn’t religion, it was sheer madness. This wasn’t even superstition or black-magic but an extreme cult that led its leader to kill his followers in a “revolutionary mass suicide”. Prithviraj Chavan equated Dabholkar’s murder to the assassination of Gandhiji. I can’t understand the connection unless he wanted to make a “political” statement against certain groups. It will not comfort anyone that this criminal Jim Jones named his son Stephan ‘Gandhi’ Jones. It would be idiotic to even suggest that because of this Jones was inspired by Gandhi. Wouldn’t it?

Superstitions are an individual’s choice and cannot be eliminated with laws. Unfortunate as Dabholkar’s killing is, knee-jerk reactions aren’t an answer.The days when witches were burnt at the stake are past us. We have people on the streets that have parrots pick people’s future. Sometimes it’s even fun. I am not aware what the Maharashtra proposed Ordinance contains. But if it targets rituals and practices of only one community my bet is it will be challenged for Constitutional validity. In the meantime, the media will continue their propaganda (backed by certain politicians and political parties) to target Hindu groups.


PS: A report from The Hindu: “Are you tired of everyday stress? Sick of acidity problems? Your woes may end soon, if steel tycoon Naveen Jindal is to be believed. On Friday, Shashi Tharoor launched ‘Tiranga Bangle’, an initiative by Naveen Jindal’s Flag Foundation of India”. These two honourable MPs promoting the ‘Trivortex Bangle’ need to talk to Prithviraj Chavan.


Note: Video is  from Bill Maher’s ‘Religulous’ (2008).