Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

How the Rajoana hanging was torpedoed ?—— By Rashmi Talwar RK


Secret Hangings

Original Heading – ‘Secret Hanging’- a new political tool?
By Rashmi Talwar

How the Rajoana hanging was torpedoed ?—— By Rashmi Talwar RK

Has the ruling government at the center found a new tool in ‘secret hanging’ to wrench the power of political manipulations for its exclusive use? This question has been uppermost in the minds of political parties, especially regional ones whose role has suddenly been eroded in the power-plays.

In the past, these very parties had employed sharp tactics of ‘arouse-n-appease’ their publics for vote bank politics, whenever dates of hanging of convicts were announced. Similar political tactics have been seen to be used blatantly by successive union governments by manipulating CBI case hearings, case announcements, judgments or even new cases openings, to puncture the opponent’s rising influence, especially as a diversionary tactics or in some cases ‘just to put the opponent in their place’.

Take the case of, Balwant Singh Rajoana, the assassin of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, who was to be hanged on May 31, 2012. Three days prior to carrying out the death sentence, a clemency plea in favour of the convict, no-less, than by the present Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, was admitted by President Pratibha Patil, who returned it to Ministry of Home Affairs to further review the case and saved him. The Rajoana case was ‘stayed’. In other words it was the victory of a regional political party, Shiromani Akali Dal led by Badal, who emerged as a saviour for an assassin, convicted of killing Beant Singh- a ‘Congress’ Chief Minister.

In August 2011, when Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha moved the resolution in the state assembly to commute the death sentence of former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins- she used the arouse-n-appease tactic to save Santhan, Perarivalan and Murugan the killers, citing the sentiments of Tamils.

No sooner had Jayalalitha’s plea for mercy been broadcast, a simmering Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah angrily tweeted that ‘if Jammu & Kashmir made such a mercy plea for Afzal Guru- a convict in the Parliament Attack (a Kashmiri), then the public reaction would have not been so subdued’. He even went ahead and queried that if other states were throwing their weight behind Rajiv’s assassins, Beant’s assassins and mass murderers, why was it wrong to ask for clemency for a Kashmiri Afzal Guru.

The clemency pleas of Rajiv’s assassins, Rajoana and Davinder Pal Bhullar, spiralled into issues of sharply divided opinions, arousing passions and subsequently opportunism in political parties. The field was open for all political parties, especially regional parties, to politically manipulate the situation by arousing local passions and finally stepping in to save the state subject. Thus, gaining popular support for this supposed ‘gallantry’.

On the one side it was seen as a virtual ‘defeat’ for the ruling party at the centre in such scenarios. In a quick swoop, the supporting (regional) parties showed the central government as a cruel ‘imposing authority’. On another side, these very parties were successful in making the convict appear as a forthcoming martyr or hero for its community as the state chief ministers came out openly in their support.

Defeating such ploys of state governments, the first secret hanging in recent times came of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving assassin of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Although, in Kasab’s case the state governments had limited role to play in view of the fact that he was a Pakistani national, this was probably an experiment by the central government in deriving political mileage out of such ‘secret hangings’. This hanging was seen by all, as resurrecting the sagging image of Congress that was viewed as ‘weak’ owing to slow or delayed reaction on vital issues of major public sentiment and interest. Enthused by the positive feedback generated Kasab’s ‘secret hanging’, the central government was now ready for the second such experiment, this time around with an additional advantage of taking the wind out of sails of the regional satraps.

This time it seems to be Union Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde’s loose statement had antagonized the majority community. A senior political analyst sees it as -“It may appear to be farcical but the statement made by our Home Minister wherein he said that ‘training camps of both BJP and RSS are promoting Hindu terrorism’ may have proved to be the proverbial last nail in Afzal Guru’s coffin”.

While Kashmir flared up post Afzal Guru’s hanging, the senior political analyst, equally upset with the manipulations of the union government, made the picture clearer, he said – “Shinde’s remark, coupled with the fact that the Congress party is popularly perceived to be minority appeaser, had obvious negative fallout. The Congress poll pundits viewed Shinde’s outspokenness as a ‘verbal bomb’ that had antagonized the majority community and results of this blunder would surely emerge in the forthcoming elections in 2014.”

He further analyzed– “Whatever the ruling Congress party may do to woo the minorities, no political party in India can afford to win the parliamentary elections without a strong support base in the majority community. Hence, as a damage control exercise, as also to dodge a belligerent Narendra Modi- a projected candidate for PM and a three time CM of Gujarat- who is breathing down their necks, Afzal Guru had to go”.

Otherwise why is it that convicts before Afzal Guru like Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted for killing Punjab chief minister Beant Singh in 1995, Devinder Pal Bhullar, another sikh extremist on death row for killing nine persons in a 1993 car blast case, Murugan, Perarivalan and Santhan – convicted in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi-are still alive and Afzal Guru is hanged?

In the case of Afzal Guru, senior political analysts have castigated Omar Abdullah for speaking about the negative fallout of the hanging. Prabhu Chawla, the editorial director of The New Indian Express and The Sunday Standard asked –‘Why is young and bright Omar Abdullah taking up the issue of Afzal Guru. Didn’t Guru attack India of which J&K is an integral part?’ Akhilesh Mishra, a right wing activist contends about Omar’s stand that – “By publicly saying that a new generation of Kashmiris might be driven towards separatism, Omar Abdullah is actually seeding the idea himself.” What they probably have missed out though is that Omar Abdullah’s ire may actually be expression of the frustration of a regional political party (NC) against the central government (UPA) for maneuvering such cases to their own political advantage.

In this entire scenario, it is sad to see this disgraceful trend, in which the ruling party at the centre on one side and state governments on the other have jumped on to a populist bandwagon of either hanging or defending hardcore convicts on partisan lines of community or caste or region, only for vote bank politics! Whichever side gains advantage in this sad game of one-upmanship, it is the nation that loses in all circumstances.

FIRST PUBLISHED IN RISING KASHMIR –

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Between the Devil and the Deep sea …… By Rashmi Talwar


Caught Between the Devil and the Deep sea[/caption]

I agree with Mr Shujaat Bukhari on the role of the media in Kashmir during the conflict that started in 1989 onward.
It is also true that many newspapers emerged during that time as the writer points out ” from eight to 800″. The media in Kashmir unfortunately was caught between the devil and the deep sea. Also many sane voices who had a vision of Kashmir’s dangerous paths and liaisons were smothered, and a popular sentiment took over and was intensified by the culture of the gun.
When Pakistan as a country was being doled out aid by US and other countries during the Afghan occupation by USSR , it looked flushed with joy ! A joyous time — accrued out of money that poured by Foreign lands ! and Kashmiris felt one with them, owing to religiosity, culture etc but when it was seen that the stoking country Pakistan was turning into a failed state , some of the hawks and hardliners changed their lingo to ‘Azaadi’ or Freedom for Kashmir.

Why didn’t they think of Freedom for Greater Kashmir including the areas in India as also occupied by Pakistan or China?

In my opinion no solution can be solved by the gun, many like me too vouch for that.

After having stoked fires of hatred and communalism in Punjab , Pakistan had tried its utmost to get a separate Punjab by the name of Khalistan and thus cut off the main route to Kashmir through Punjab from the rest of India.

I know the price Punjabis paid in blood and lives in Punjab during the mid seventies and thereafter till 1989 . However the Roti -beti ka rishta (the relations based on sharing food and giving or taking a daughter in marriage between the two communities of Hindus and Sikhs) finally prevailed to save the situation. It is not merely that the people came to their senses one-fine-day. A heavy hand was used and many lost their near and dear ones and our Golden Temple saw the ignominy as a mute spectator to its devastation and desecration ..
Discrimination prevailed for the entire community for the fault of a few. Many sikhs were blacklisted in foreign countries too and are still in the same category.

Coming back to the role of Media then, in Punjab …. the newspapers made it a point to be inclusive of saner voices alongside the separatist ones. Many sane sikhs stood out against these daily attacks. Media-persons faced the same fear of the gun of a terrorist or of a policemen, lingering over their heads as of journalists in Kashmir.
Many media persons were sacrificed for speaking in favor of terrorists or against them , between the two warring sides.
However in Kashmir the situation aggravates as along with being a Kashmiri the dominant community there has been unfortunately been labelled according to the world situation on religious lines. The Kashmiri Journalist therefore has to take a double blow.
It is like in a family situation “When a father , mother , son or daughter commits a crime the whole family faces the brunt

I feel Good Newspapers must be encouraged by Govt but in turn these papers must also bring in saner voices to sound balanced and guide the people to prosperity , progress and peace, but most of them err on this aspect instead flying on the wave of sensationalism just like the many TV channels these days . Media has to act responsibly and ”seen” to be acting that way by the general public .. otherwise media cannot blame the public for forming opinions in which public blames the media for stirring the public in ungainly directions . … Dear Writer this is only my Humble opinion … rashmitalwarno1@gmail.com

FIRST PUBLISHED IN ‘RISING KASHMIR’ ON JUNE 25, 2012, AS FEEDBACK ON OPINION PAGE ON STORY “HOW GREEN IS THE VALLEY?”

ND Tiwari ‘Sower’ ? or a Vicky ‘Donor’? ………By Rashmi Talwar


AMRITSAR:

Naughty Tiwari !


Days have turned hot in Capital Delhi, and clammy hot for a veteran congress leader, having nightmarish dreams, breaking out in cold sweat, for having being strained to part with a single phial of his precious blood or face its forceful parting !

It is by the order of Delhi High Court that the grand old man with a ‘glad’ eye is feeling the heat of the needle, readied for his DNA blood sample, in a widely publicized paternity suit filed by one Rohit Shekhar.
The court ruled that if N D Tiwari did not willing give, police personnel would force him to provide the requisite blood sample for DNA-testing.

Come May-26 and it will be a catch- 22/ D-(Daddy)Day , situation for the 86-year old congress leader Tiwari, facing this legal paternity suit.

After all, it could be that crucial moment that maybe nothing less than being proved as an ‘un’-proud and reluctant father of Shekhar.

Complying to the terms of the HC order, Tiwari could be persuaded to turn his face and let the DNA needle ‘shoot-and-scoot’ in record 2–seconds, but that would be a lame or tame way for a politician !

Another choice is, being bodily lifted, with wild flailing arms, kicking legs and body twists, being pinned on a bed, face turned away and the blood-sucking needle to do the needful, in the presence of an audience of police personnel watchful of the unfolding drama.

Of course ‘Drama’ is the favorite recourse of a sagging politician, a sure-shot strategy for a meteoric rise in TRP standing on TV channels, that could tilt the scale in its favor and maybe a few years later a best-seller book crafted to that effect, may bring in more ‘moolah’ albeit in this case -due to age-factor, only for his progeny.

No! this is not the story of the latest Bollywood flick ‘Vicky Donor’, having sired 53 kids, only of one Rohit Shekhar who has arisen to make the claim of being the wild-oat phenomena by ‘one’ Tiwari, that infected his biological mother, Ujjwala Sharma, once the General Secretary of the All-India Young Women Congress, a charge denied vociferously and evaded consistently by the veteran Tiwari in legal tangle by prodigal Rohit baba, in 2007.

Going back to history , veteranTiwari is known to have had a fabulous three-time stint as a chief minister of the highest populated state of the country –‘Uttar Pradesh’ between the 70s and 80s- However, the population graph is not his doing ! O Please reign in your horses of speculation!

Tiwari’s rise has been owing to his singular quality of not only being brilliant but being a secularist. Hence, he has never differentiated between peoples of north, south, east or west polarizations.

However, he is known to have averred in the case of sexes, but that is tag passé as many in the political circles are known for their ‘amorous escapades’ and age ‘should’ never been a cause for discrimination, has been the veteran’s favorite slogan over the years.

‘Actions speak louder than words’ is one way to prove the age adage and ‘he has done marvelously well for his age’, whisper his gleeful friends on the sly.

Hence, to his credit, goes the fact, that many a speculative wild sowing both domestic and foreign, have so far preferred to remain anonymous and under wraps and only one ‘wretched weed’ has emerged to make a ‘Teewr’- sharp-, attack and claim on his paternity, amongst the progeny emerging out of what his close watchers call, his colorful and lively ‘donor’ status.

Deepak Garg the HC joint registrar while asking the leader to appear in person at noon for the litmus test ..oops ! – the DNA test, has strongly added that “the court shouldn’t rush to take police assistance” and that “Veteran Tiwari should be given an opportunity to willingly comply with the court orders”. Clearly, his belief and compassion has won over, after all a man over 80, too has a right to throw tantrums or play hide-n-seek !

Tiwari’s sketchered graph shows his inglorious ouster as Andhra Pradesh Governor, for being the sole architect of Raj Bhawan’s ‘night of fantasy’- A three is to one- thereafter many of his friends rang him to find the secret of their friend’s eternal youth and vitality.

A seasoned journalist once had a host of tales about Tiwari’s covert anonymous flights during his ruling stints. But Tiwari, a sharp politician, has promptly tossed the blame of these and of the infamous MMS clip showing someone who looks like him in the sex scandal video, onto the ‘wicked’ Telangana lobby.

However, his detractors firmly believe it could only be his chequered ‘fly’-ing trousers that land him in a sweet-n- sour soup, everytime, sometimes as a ‘Donor’ or ‘Sower’ of wild-oat spice variety…eom

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