Doctor out of box
It was a hectic fortnight for the UPA Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. From New Delhi to the Hague, to Srinagar to Imphal, to Guwahati, to New Delhi and a two-day high-profile tete-a-tete with the Pakistani team under their Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. During these days the national attention was also largely drawn to the arrest of Kanchi Shankaracharya, His Holiness Jayendra Saraswati. Held on fabricated charges, he was paraded before the television camera, forcing the 70-year-old saint to make sorties from Vellore Central Jail to Chennai, various court rooms and police stations in police custody.
There was also the sight of about a dozen terrorists, secessionist representatives from the Kashmir Valley, making a beeline to the capital for a lunch and audience with the Pakistani Prime Minister and his colleagues.
These were the same people who refused to meet Dr Manmohan Singh when he went all the way to Srinagar, with his Rs 24,000 crore package and goodies. They are a strange lot.
They eat from our doles, live and prosper here, and yet have the cheeks to say no to Indian Prime Minister when he politely seeks to talk to them. They come to our national capital, wait for the Pakistanis to have an audience with them, get a free lunch and a mouthful of advice from the Prime Minister of Pakistan which for 54 of the 56 years of its existence remained an enemy country, even today stokes communal hatred, secessionism, fundamentalism and cross-border terrorism.
We too are a strange people. In any other country their action would have ensured them gallows. In no other sovereign country could such meetings take place and even if it had taken place, they would have been jailed and tried for treason. This is a country, under Manmohan Singh which gives police custody to the most revered Hindu seer even as it makes Naxalites state guests, murder and rape-accused cabinet ministers and gives traitors and agents of enemy country honour and police protection.
It was one of the most hectic fortnights in Singh'ssix months in office. It was an occasion for him to stand up and show to the world how worthy he was of the post he was holding.
Soft on terror, weak on Kashmir
Hum the Paki tune, Mum on Seer
Dither and divide
Kanchi Acharya'sarrest could have been an occasion for him to demonstrate that his heart also beats for the millions of Hindus who feel deeply insulted and hurt after the humiliating and cruel arrest of the Acharya on Deepavali.
His visit to Kashmir could have been an occasion for him to share the agony of millions of Kashmiri Pandits, displaced and tortured, to be confined to migration camps for a decade. He could have extended a healing touch. Unfortunately Dr Singh was not all that sensitive. His healing touch was reserved for the terror community taking orders from across the border. There are still, according to official reports, 83 terrorist training camps in Pakistan. The infiltration goes on and according to the Army Chief it has only increased in the recent months. There are at least 1,500 Pakistani terrorists active in the Valley, according to an intelligence report. And Pakistan continues to provide allowance to the retired militants who return home. Terrorists sneak into India with Pak arms, under their army cover.
During the first phase of the composite dialogue, New Delhi had given a list of 72 Confidence Building Measures (CBMs). But Islamabad is yet to reply to them. It is not willing to give India the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status. It will not also hand over the 20 most wanted criminals holed up in that country, who had committed the most heinous crimes in India.
Pakistan talks with many tongues in many tones. The central theme of the prattle however is Kashmir, only Kashmir. Pakistan knows that it cannot reach a settlement on Kashmir. It also knows that it does not want to resolve Kashmir. Peace with India will deprive it of all the petro-dollars and the protective US aid, which are essential for its existence.
In Assam, Dr. Singh spoke of Pakistan and Kashmir. He did not utter a word about Bangladesh. He also made another astounding statement there. He said, according to a PTI report ?I will not discuss the Assam sovereignty with anybody.? If the agency report is correct one cannot fathom his thought. Pray, whoever has asked him to discuss the sovereignty of Assam? The problem in Assam is also that of infiltration. In this case it is from Bangladesh. This is of militancy. But there is no demand for secession. Is the Prime Minister offering ideas? With such men at the helm one can only pray God Save the Country, for all the divisive, disruptive elements are on the prowl, with the benign protection of the United Progressive Alliance.
The Hindus have organized massive demonstrations all over the country, protesting the Kanchi Seer'sarrest. Muslim, Buddhist, Christian and Jain leaders supported these agitations. The bandh called by these organizations under the banner of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad evoked a good response in several states. The BJP'sthree-day dharna culminated in the mother of all protests when two former prime ministers, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee and Chandrashekhar, a former President R. Venkataraman and former Defence Minister and NDA Convener George Fernandes, former Rajya Sabha Dy. Chairperson Najma Heptullah along with scores of religious leaders like Asaram Bapu and thousands of their devotees participated. But all this had no impact on the UPA government. In Bangalore, heads of the mutts including the famous Sri Sri Ravishankar and Swami Pejawar Mutt Madhavacharya Vishweshtheertha joined the protest. But the Prime Minister kept mum. His mentor Sonia Gandhi'sdeadly silence was louder and eloquent. They don'tcare for the Hindu, even the national sentiments.
The cabinet last week decided to give constitutional status to the Minorities Commission. This needs constitutional amendment. This is more than sowing the seeds of another partition. This is fundamentally dividing the country. This violates the basic structure of the Constitution. For, the Indian Parliament, the President of India, independent Supreme Court and a free Election Commission are the only bodies that enjoy such status.
The UPA is a coalition, of vested interests and fissiparous tendencies. Its foreign policy is Pakistan centric – in six months the Foreign Minister Natwar Singh and Prime Minister together had over a dozen meetings in Delhi, Islamabad and abroad with Pakistan leaders?its internal policy is drawn to please the gun-wielding marauders?be it the Naxals in Andhra Pradesh or the terrorists in Kashmir or the North-east. The economic agenda is set by the discredited communists who are irresponsible to the core. And when the Prime Minister looks towards 10, Janpath for a clue whenever he is clueless. If no signal comes from there, the Prime Minister is speechless as in the case of the Acharya'sarrest. Should India suffer such incompetence for too long?