Focus

Who is getting mesmerised by the chime of shekels?

Kanchan Gupta’s piece, “Indian arrested in Delhi attack visited Iran, Syria” in Jerusalem Post came as an utter surprise on the day when Indian newspapers reported police’s changing stand on Kazmi (“Police sing a different tune on Kazmi” ran HT’s headline, http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Police-sing-a-different-tune-on-Kazmi/Article1-823601.aspx), when they are no longer treating him as a suspect and are talking of ‘chances’ that he wasn’t even aware of the bomber’s intentions, and his only involvement now seems to have been that of a good pedestrian guiding someone, when they are claiming “he might have been an unwitting accomplice.”

Its Mr. Gupta who is singing a completely different tune. He seems to be privy to information which the local newspapers here are not. While no one here seems to be aware of Mr. Kazmi’s involvement with the Bangkok incident, Mr. Gupta opens his piece with it, only mentioning in the fifth or sixth paragraph some indication of Kazmi’s alleged role in the Delhi attack.

Its interesting, but not altogether surprising that Mr. Gupta uses the facts in favour of Mr. Kazmi, against him. Being an Indian journalist with decades of experience, who knew Persian and worked for the IRNA, is definitely not a good reason for Iranian connections, he is surely far more likely to be plotting bomb attacks, and of course he always had his reputation to fall back on!

In his polemic, Mr. Gupta mentions Mr. Kazmi’s colleagues’ surprise over the latter’s going so far (who are these people, we don’t know, nor have they been quoted in the Indian dailies), but Gupta fails to mention the many who stood up for him, expressed anger and surprise that a person of Mr. Kazmi’s experience and track record should be picked upon, demanded proof, and even went on to ask ‘Has he been targeted because he is from the Urdu journalistic fraternity?’ Mr. Gupta conveniently omits all of this, and suggests the government isn’t very careful to whom it issues the coveted press card.

In his earlier article on the same issue, Mr Gupta quoted Ely Karmon of the Israeli Interdisciplinary Centre's Institute for Counter-Terrorism as saying, “What amazes me about all of these attempts is the fact that one successful attack, one Israeli embassy blown up, is a casus belli [an incident that justifies war] for a very strong Israeli response”. Now who would want to provoke Israel, who would want to a present on a platter a pretext for war which Israel is eager to wage. The nuclear power Israel has been getting increasingly paranoid and talks of existential threat from the might-be-trying-to-become-nuclear-though-denies Iran. It has been talking of preemptive strikes and even went on to say it won’t inform its staunchest ally, the US, if it launches the attack. So who is desperate for an excuse?

Despite its 12 years of existence and his keen interest in it and its editor, the journalist Mr. Gupta still doesn’t know that The Milli Gazette is a fortnightly newspaper, not a weekly journal, when quoting Dr. Khan that the attack if carried on by Israel’s enemies was a tit for tat, he fails to add that Dr. Khan gave examples of Israeli terrorism such as the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, for which fake European passports were used, and the murders of Iranian scientists. That Milli Gazette promotes Islamism (whatever that means) would come as a surprise not only to its readers but also to its publishers.

Gupta’s guesswork of an article is interspersed with information we haven’t come across in the Indian dailies. Where did he get this information from, and what kind of card did he flash? May be the police should keep a tab on Israeli phone calls as well. The police claimed Kazmi was paid in dollars for the recce but it might be worthwhile to find out who is getting all mesmerized by the chiming of the shekels?

A. Khan

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 April 2012 on page no. 1

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