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December 19, 2010

Page: 2/32

Home > 2010 Issues > December 19, 2010

UPA has become a gang to protect the "apex of India's empire of greed"
Chidambaram pretends oblivious to Omar's ISI agenda in Kashmir

By MD Nalapat

These days, there is a profusion of NGOs in Delhi and Mumbai, each of which has hired several engaging young people-especially from Europe and from the stylish segments in India-who have easy access to the top business persons in Mumbai and to the top policy echelons in Delhi.

Take the case of the Mirage fighters, which are about to be upgraded at rates far in excess of upgrades carried out in other countries. While there has been much hullaballoo about the Adarsh scam, why is there total silence about the enormous Mirage upgrade deal?

THE ISI has worked out low-cost solutions to first hobble India into a low-growth trajectory and thereafter try to destroy the country by assisting those seeking the dissolution of the Union. Dawood Ibrahim (who knows more all-India and specifically Maharashtra politicians than most journalists in Delhi and Mumbai) funds his growing anti-India network by extorting money from builders and film producers, besides rendering services to commercial and political groups in India for which he gets handsomely rewarded.

Being sincere to their masters in Rawalpindi, more than 40 per cent of the money thus collected by Dawood Ibrahim and other ISI agents active in India is reported to go back to the funding of "good deeds" such as creating NGOs that interact with top policymakers in order to block large-scale industrial projects, especially in backward areas where development would drain the swamp from which Maoists and other such terrorists recruit to their flock. These days, there is a profusion of NGOs in Delhi and Mumbai, each of which has hired several engaging young people-especially from Europe and from the stylish classes in India-who have easy access to the top businessmen in Mumbai and to the top policy echelons in Delhi. In view of their passion and beauty, it is indeed refreshing for the well-heeled and the powerful to spend quality time with these eager young people, and to bring a smile on their faces by- for example-blocking projects essential if poverty is to get reduced in India. Such NGOs share Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision for the North-east: that it should remain in its pristine state of underdevelopment, so as to avoid "cultural genocide and pollution". Of course, they seek to extend that philosophy to the entire country, so that economic growth dries up and the country returns to the Nehru Rate of Growth of two per cent.

In his earlier avatar as Finance Minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram

Palaniappan Chidambaram claims that the menace of Black Money in India has gotten reduced because of his emulation of the methods of the East India Company. Clearly, he is living in a highly rarified world, for instead of Black Money being reduced, what has taken place is an increase in unaccounted money that is in proportion to the increase in governmental discretion that has taken place under

UPA-1 (2004-2009). Although the Central Bureau of Investigation, now reduced to a cringing pack of careerists attentive to the slightest signal coming from the politically well-connected, brings to book a handful of officers every few months, these form less than a millionth of the number of those guilty of graft. Of course, the apex of India’s Empire of Greed escapes not only punishment, but even scrutiny.

Even a cursory check into the international travels of the extremely well-connected, including those fat cats who give them company and fund their stays, would show the rot present in a system where those at the top are found more often in London, Dubai, the Maldives and Miami than in districts such as Rae Bareilly or Amethi. Two districts that have remained underdeveloped and socially backward despite having repeatedly elected VVIPs to represent them. The contrast between the lifestyles of India’s political leadership and that of their constituents represents an indictment of the way democracy in India has been subverted into a system that ensures only a single result: the transformation of political leaders into euro billionaires. The poorer the constituency, the richer the politician representing the starving wretches who subsist there (who occasionally get to see their leaders helicopter down and even bestow them with a dazzling smile timed to catch the news bulletins).

These days, the families of the super-powerful live far away from India, in luxury that can clearly be documented in tax and property receipts in the countries they reside in, should any media organisation in India develop the courage to do some investigative reporting.

Home Minister Chidambaram is following the Wajahat Habibullah line on Kashmir, the endpoint of which would be a Kosovo-style separation of Kashmir from the rest of India. He has feigned sleep while miscellaneous politicians in Kashmir have rendezvoused with known ISI contacts in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah and London, expectedly to come back and back those working feverishly to separate Kashmir from India. Not once did he instruct the Income-tax authorities-the same officials whom he has let loose on patriotic citizens because of a nudge from well-known quarters-to bring to book the dozens of Kashmiri politicians who have returned from sojourns abroad laden with jewellery and cash. Amazingly, the more luxurious the lifestyle of the Valley Wahabbi politician who has been allowed to control the state under the Habibullah Doctrine, the greater the venom that they spew about the country and its government, the same UPA that has shown itself impotent to deal with any threat to the nation, even while it is quick to act against threats to the apex of the UPA.

Clearly, the many meetings of Omar Abdullah with foreign nationals not-to put it mildly- sharing the same view on Kashmir and other matters as those with some feeling for this much-abused country-have had an impact. Unlike his father Farooq, who has never made any bones of his identity as a citizen of India, Omar Abdullah has gone back to the politics of his grandfather Sheikh Abdullah, who sought an independent status for Kashmir and who ruled the state as though only the Sunnis of the Kashmir Valley mattered (a situation that has continued since his time). The Sheikh managed to persuade Indira Gandhi to take back tens of thousands of the fanatics who had migrated to Pakistan. Today, it is the families of these returnees who are responsible for almost all the violence witnessed in the Valley. Should Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agree to the Habibullah-Chidambaram endorsed decision of Omar Abdullah to bring back the tens of thousands of fanatics who went to Pakistan since 1989 for training in making bombs, cutting throats and handling AK-47s, the state of Kashmir will burn and boil over for at least three more decades. Should this policy (of allowing the return of terrorists) get implemented, the future of the state is bound to be volatile. Hopefully, the civil society that the Sonia-led UPA has sought to suppress through a plethora of new regulations will assert itself against this suicidal policy, one that could well have been scripted by the ISI.

Why have successive administrations in India been so remiss in dealing with grave threats to national security? The reason lies in the reliance by corrupt politicians and officials on the havala networks controlled by narcotics dealers headquartered in Pakistan. Because of such links, Dubai has become an essential port of call for several top politicians and officials, to ensure the parking of Black Money. Small wonder that several authorities in the country work on behalf of external rather than national interests.

Some weeks ago, this columnist was in Chennai, and was told by those expected to know that "six out of the top ten" most dubious telecom companies were chosen not by Raja but by the apex of the UPA, and that "not a paisa from these six came to Chennai", all the money going to Delhi. That Raja carried out a scam of this magnitude by himself is about as believable as saying that A Q Khan acted without the support of the Pakistan army in selling nuclear technology to Iran and Libya. If necessary, Raja needs to be given approver status, provided he comes out with the truth about all the major beneficiaries of the scam.

A similar approach needs to be followed in the case of the CWG scam, where numerous entities from a handful of foreign companies secured lucrative contracts at rates far in excess of those that they normally charge. Although, of course, this is routine in government. Take the case of the Mirage fighters, which are about to be upgraded at rates far in excess of upgrades carried out in other countries. While there has been much hullaballoo about the Adarsh scam, why is there silence about the Mirage upgrade?

In Chief Justice Kapadia, India has found a jurist ready to take the strong steps needed to preserve the country from the slow destruction that is being visited upon it by multiple (and top-level) sources of graft. Under CJI Kapadia, the Supreme Court has emerged as a source of hope about the future of the country. Hopefully, this vigour will continue, and will extend even to the judiciary, some parts of which may need investigation and strong action. Will the CJI find a partner in the new CBI chief, or will the new broom follow his predecessor in converting the CBI into a pet poodle that could be manipulated with ease?

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