While the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) estimates that counterfeit notes (60 per cent of which is created by foreign terrorist networks to fund operations in India) account for only Rs 40,000 crore, the actual figure may be closer to Rs 120,000 crore. Today, fake currency has reached throughout the country, and is being handed out even by banks, especially in the smaller towns.
Dr Manmohan Singh, Shivraj Patil and Palaniappan Chidambaram surely know that the most common means of dissemination used by terrorist networks are the truck drivers who ply across the country. Several of these are handed over wads of fake currency, and these get used up in small stops across the countryside, spreading the evil in a manner that defies detection. Thanks to their poverty, truck drivers are being extensively used as couriers for not merely currency but items still deadlier, designed to inflict heavy blows on the fabric of Indian security. Has even an alert been sounded about this? No way, for Sonia Gandhi is not concerned about such matters. All she is looking for are ?travel requisites?, and apart from the numerous foreign orders for oil, defence and other items, she can always rely on Vilasrao Deshmukh and Rajshekhar Reddy to assist generously on call, although these days, Sheila Dikshit is proving a disappointment.
Truck drivers know that there is no cargo that cannot get across a checkpoint, provided a 500-rupee (sometimes counterfeit) note be handed over. Only a climate of vigilance against such a steady bleed of the country'ssecurity can stop this gap in internal defences, but apart from ritualistic visits by Sonia Gandhi, no actual action ever takes place. Each visit gets over in a few hours, with the dictator of the UPA leaving the city the same day that she arrives, accompanied by a fawning retinue of ministerial pets. Not surprisingly, ?Prime Minister? Manmohan Singh hardly ever finds the time to visit the locations where terrorists have struck. He did not, for example, visit Jaipur, despite the horror that was visited on that city by the Pakistan army. Under Ashfaq Kiyani (who is another Zia ul-Haq), the military in that country has thrown away all restraints on the jihadis, and is encouraging them to wreak havoc on India, to the silence of the US and the EU. In the meanwhile, Manmohan Singh and Pranab Mukherjee chatter on, oblivious to the change in ground reality. The new Pakistan administration, because of the legal vulnerability of its master Asif Ali Zardari, is a creature of the Pakistan army and the ISI. Small wonder that a humble ?Prime Minister?, Yousaf Raza Gillani, obsequiously visited the generals in both establishments, to show his loyalty to them.
It is not only through the dissemination of counterfeit notes that terrorist networks are using the road transport system in India for their purposes. Under the UPA, adulteration of petrol and diesel in non-metro areas has jumped to 70 per cent. Many of the mafias that are involved in the supply of adulterated items are linked to terror networks, and as a result, are building up a cache of funds to expand operations. By next year, unless remedial action be taken, there may be many Jaipurs each month, making this country a hell on earth. From ?India Shining?, Sonia Gandhi is making it a saga of ?India Groaning?. Of course, the obvious step of warning citizens about the deadly effect of the gangs of adulterators and counterfeiters will not be taken, because several of them occupy high positions within the ruling structure, and keep their political bosses happy by a plentiful supply of cash (this time, the genuine article). Small wonder that from 91 districts under the NDA, the number of districts in India that have effectively become ?No Go? zones for the security forces is now 203 and climbing. What is Sonia Gandhi doing about this? Maintaining a vow of silence, on the steady takeover of the country by anti-national elements. It is no coincidence that the most ?generous? Chief Ministers of the Congress dispensation?those in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh?have made their cities safe areas for terrorists, by refusing permission to security forces to conduct the investigations and interrogations needed to identify and isolate terrorists.
Wrongly, those close to Sonia Gandhi are blaming the Muslim community for this state of affairs. They claim that ?Muslim public opinion? is preventing security forces from entering into selected areas to conduct searches. It is a fact that a few outfits that claim to speak on behalf of the 157-million strong Muslim community in India vociferously protest any move by the police to bring to book the perpetrators of such actions, but the reality is that such individuals and outfits are not representatives of the Muslim community in India. Exactly like their Hindu brothers and sisters, the Muslims of India are against terror, and wish to see those guilty of crimes such as the Mecca Masjid and Jaipur blasts punished. In the past, both Bihar and UP were safe havens for extremists, but these days, that cover has been substantially removed. Despite this, both Mayawati as well as Nitish Kumar enjoy substantial support within the Muslim community. Should (as this writer expects) the BJP come to power in Karnataka, by the time the next elections take place, hopefully it will enjoy the backing of a substantial segment of the Muslim community. This can happen if Yediyurappa takes steps to prevent communal violence and tensions, besides the acts of terror that inflame them. By constantly following the example of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and portraying the strong, vibrant Muslim community in India as weak victims of the majority community, Sonia Gandhi is helping create the conditions for a fresh division of India.
Under her direction, each ministry in the UPA functions independently of the others, reporting informally to 10 Janpath and its chosen men within the PMO and other locations. As a consequence, the unity and coherence needed for effective policy has snapped, and there is administrative chaos. Different ministries act at cross-purposes, with even individual agencies within a ministry feuding with the others. In the all-important sphere of defence, the concentration of attention is to purchase as much foreign equipments as possible, before the term of the UPA expires next year. Naturally, none of the numerous shady procurement procedures now being followed has come under the scrutiny of the CBI, which has become a house pet of 10 Janpath.
Since the self-proclaimed saviour of the Indian economy, Manmohan Singh, was appointed Prime Minister in 2004 by ?Madam?, the country'sinfrastructure has become even more dysfunctional, with chaos in airports, ports and highways. Focussing on awarding coal blocks to those close to AICC treasurer Motilal Vora, the PMO has neglected energy self-sufficiency. Not a single new project has been properly implemented, while the many Indian corporates not close to Vora have been ignored, even though many could have set up large power plants by this time. And as for the aam aadmi, income inequality has gone up, not down, during the reign of Sonia Maino Gandhi. Indian corporates have been ignored in the rush to procure foreign systems, whereas countries such as the US, Japan, China and those in the EU help their own companies compete internationally. Rather than hobble them with high interest rates and restrictions that reflect the days of the Nehrus, had Manmohan Singh backed the top 50 Indian corporates to reach the top internationally, many would have done so, to the benefit of the balance of trade.
Although the left parties claim that they want the Indian public sector to expand, they are backing policies that will ensure the demise of both the public sector banks as well as the three oil companies, HP, BP and IOC. Bad loans given by the PSU banks have already made them unviable, while the refusal to allow market pricing (or reduce taxes) on petroproducts will result in a loss of more than Rs 170,000 crore to the three PSU oil companies by March 2009, when the Manmohan Singh government is expected to call for elections. This means that both the banks as well as the oil companies may need to be privatised after the polls, at a knockdown price, to prevent their collapse. It is no accident that both are deliberately being made sick under the UPA, whose leadership is surely aware that current losses are unsustainable. Equally, Sonia'smen know that the RBI'spolicy of superhigh interest rates is killing manufacturing in India, and slowing the growth of the economy by damping down consumption (except of course where it ought to be reduced, the consumption of petroproducts). By early next year, the economic and security collapse will be complete. Sonia Gandhi may watch complacently in the knowledge that India will not, for decades to come, be able to compete with the EU and China. She will be honoured and welcomed in both locations, once the people of India remove her from power. But for the rest of us, it will be too late. Sonia Gandhi would have converted a country that was beginning to shine into a groaning, wounded land.