Rejoinders / Letters to the Editor


BJP/Jaswant Singh’s book on Jinnah
Arun Shourie's outrageous admission that he was more worried about the effect of Gujarat Riots on Vajpayee than about the Gujarat carnage itself and by his own confession, that it was pretty inhuman of him, is rarest of rare glimpse of the inner rot in our intellectuals. The audacity of the man is chilling. The incident shows how humanly great Vajpayee is and how he was hemmed in by pygmies. On the other hand, the contradictions in Shourie's life is galore. The way he puts down BJP and calls on RSS to take over, shows he has absolutely no reservation about the fascist ideology of the Sangh Parivar and its poisonous ingress in Indian polity. That would be a second show of his gross inhumanity. Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai II How is it that when Advani and Jaswant Singh are at loggerheads Vajpayeeji is totally silent? Does this not strike our so 'vigilent' and 'concerned' media also?     S. Akhtar, Khanpur Deh (Bharuch) - 392150 III Senior BJP leader and former Finance, Defence and Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh in his book Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence blames Nehru etc for India's Partition. Former Congress President and Central Minister Maulana Azad has also expressed such views in his bok "India Wins Freedom". In true context of history to blame only Muslims for India's partition is unjust. The primary responsibility rests on the leaders of Congress and Hindu Mahasabha. Many eminent Hindu and Sikh scholars, leaders, jurist and Educationist C.L. Sitalward, author and Journalist Khushwant Singh etc. are of the same opinion. I would like to say that the 2-nation theory was not the brain child of Jinnah. RN Agarwal has recorded in his well known book The National Movement that "V.D. Savarkar was freely preaching the gospel of Hindu Rashtra. Savarkar said that India was inhabited not by a homogeneous nation but by two nations, Hindus and Muslims." In 1923, V.D. Sarvarkar wrote in his book "Hindutva" and propogated the ideology of "Hindutva" and two-nation theory with vehemence. Jinnah borrowed this idea from Savarkar in late Nineteen Thirties. Savarkar was not alone in this line of thinking. Many eminent congress leaders had supported Savarkar. In 1924, top Congress leader Lala Lajpat Rai had openly advocated the idea of India's partition which was opposed by Muslims including Jinnah who was still a Congress leader working for Hindu-Muslim unity. The idea of Pakistan was first mooted by some Muslim students of Cambridge University, London in 1932 which was dismissed by Jinnah. It took 7 years for the idea to find favour with Jinnah. When Congress assumed office under the Act of 1935, it dealt unjustly with Muslims and made them hostile. In this background Pakistan resolution was passed by Muslim League in 1939. Till 1947, ardent protagonist of 2-nation idea were Pundit Nehru, Sardar Patel and Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Later on Mahatma Gandhi also surrendered before them. Only Maulana Azad had opposed partition vehemently. His book India Wins Freedom bears testimony to these facts. In the light of above facts Savarkar, Nehru, Patel Jinnah, all were responsible for India's partition. G. Hasnain Kaif,   Azad ward, Bhandara, Maharashtra 441904       IV Jinnah was neither a secularist nor a communalist. He was an opportunist to the core. Dr. Rafiq Zakaria in his book The Man Who Divided India has painted a perfect portrait of Jinnah. We the Muslims of India should always remember that most of the problems we are facing today are firmly rooted in the partition of the country perpetuated on us by a man called Mohammed Ali Jinnah and a party called Muslim League. Having said that it is equally true that Nehru and Patel did make some grave mistakes during that period paving the way for partition. I have been reading the book written by Jaswant Singh and I am of the view that it is a very well researched and very well written book. I have read nearly 150 pages so far but I have not come across anything new so far. Whatever he has said about Gandhi, Jinnah, Nehru and Patel that has already been said and written by several historians and authors before. One thing that makes Jasawnt's book different from others is the fact that he belonged to BJP which is considered to be an ultra nationalist or communalist party by many. The importance of this book lies in those questions which Jaswant has raised in this book and which have a bearing on the present and future of entire Indian subcontinent. Most people have not read the book so far and heavily relying on the information provided by the media. Media is very selective in its approach. It has taken out certain paragraphs and sentences from the book without telling in what context they have been written. I believe every thinking individual should read this book and derive his or her own conclusions. This is what we do in case of other important books.  Prof. Obaid Siddiqui V On 29th August, a press meet was organised by RSS where its chief Mohan Bhagwat answered media’s questions regarding Jaswant Singh’s expulsion from BJP, his book, Sudhindhra Kulkarni’s statement about cash-for-vote that it was not himself but some other BJP leader and Jaswant's statement that Advani was in the centre of cash-for-vote scandal, etc. Whole media said that RSS wanted Advani & Rajnath to quit and that it has decided their substitutes. Even then RSS says that it does not interfere in BJP’s affairs. Does RSS think every Indian is a fool and media too is a bunch of fools? If RSS does not interfere then why so much fuss about the meetings between BJP leaders and RSS chief? On 29th August “Muqabla” discussion on NDTV India, RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav, Congress’s Manish Tiwari, CPM’s leader Sitaram Yetury and others participated. When the anchor asked, why not the RSS openly takes over the BJP, Sitaram Yechury replied that after the death of Mahatma Gandhi, RSS was banned and to lift the ban RSS gave an assurance to Patel, then Home Minister, that RSS will never take part in politics. In reply to another question Manish Tiwari, said that Gandhiji’s murder  charges makes RSS think that people will not accept RSS. Through MG, I request Sitaram Yechury and Manish Tiwari to write a book on the factual history of RSS. Till today no leading Congress leader touched this issue.      S. Haque, Patna VI The BJP seems to be the victim of failures in the last two elections. Despite all hyped campaign of feel good, India Shinning and strong leader, the overconfident BJP lost though not by huge margin but certainly was forced to stay away from power. During this period the power hungry party seems to have tried doing different things right from applauding the Jinnah to trying people with communal refrain. This time again in 2009, the BJP did badly, since the people had an obvious choice the secular and stable government. The frustrated BJP members had nothing but to behave in the most crazy ways, since couple of months of election result declaration, the party seems to have shattered with the senior leaders venting out their frustration either rebelling or airing views which are harsh for any party to accept and that in a public domain. The crisis went to such an extent, the confused leaders of the BJP expelled Jaswant for wrong reasons which they couldn't even were able to justify, and this naive acts keep happening, with Shourie calling the party a Kati Patang, the Vasundra Raje not ready to resign etc etc. I guess this is the beginning when the BJP out of frustration and dismay falling to such an incredible extent, what more can we expect from a party which is founded on the agenda of Communism and fascism Md Ziyaullah Khan,Mehrauli, New Delhi VII The famous poet Meer has long been said: "Meer kia sada hain huye beemar jiske awaz usi attar ke laonde se dawa lete hain." The Vishal Indian nation has categorically rejected the BJP agenda which was based on anti minority plank. What a pity a seasoned politician is again approaching the old veterinary doctor for treatment. He will do nothing but an animal dose which he gave in the last fifty years. Advani instead of taking the same old medicine which increases the disease he should refer the modern doctors and specialists. He should kick start a new Rath Yatra with his confidential colleagues and intellectuals of all sections of the public and all religious scholars spent one or two months for this purpose then form a new party, on healthy and broad minded grounds. Those who do not have light in their brains how can they guide you Mr. Advani. If you follow the advice of Mohan Bhagwat. The country will disintegrate.          Dr. Abdul Hameed Maqdoomi, Gulbarga VIII Jinnah: India, Partition, Indipendence by Mr. Jaswant Singh has opened Pandora's Box after 62 years of partition. Some people say that it was British and their policy of "Divide and Rule," others say that it was "Jinnah and Muslim League." Some others say that it was Congress led by Gandhi -Nehru and Patel was responsible for the division of Indian Subcontinent. After such a long period there is no unanimity amongst historians and intellectuals as to who is the real culprit of partition. In my humble opinion, it was Hinduism (Read Upper Cast Hindus or to be precise "Brahminism "), responsible for the partition, as Congress was too heavily dominated by upper caste Hindus which discriminated against the Muslims. In other words the attitude of upper caste Hindus was not normal towards the muslims. It was this attitude or behaviour of upper caste Hindus that alienated the Muslims from the mainstream. Muslims felt that they will never get justice by upper caste Hindus. They will be butchered like animals once Britishers left. This ultimately led to the partition.     Farooq Abdul Gaffar Bawani, Gujrat IX The BJP must rise to the big role A robust and responsible opposition is the need of the viable and stable democracy. Barring the NDA, all non-UPA parties have abandoned their role as the opposition and have lined up with unwanted and unconditional support to the UPA. This makes BJPs role so much more important. The party should not renege on its role. It should cry a halt to the current infighting, rewind to the day the election results poured in. It should repeal all the unjustifiable puraskars and punishments meted out by the muddle-headed high command; must reconvene its baithak, this time among equals; trace the steps backwards to do some honest and meticulous analysis of what went wrong. The partys challenging and thorny problem is to throw up a leader of Vajpayees stature, who can lead and be acceptable to all. That can wait a while. Priority is introspection and analysis, pinpointing maladies and charting the path ahead. The answers must come from within. Outsourcing advice and remedies reduces the partys credibility as an inclusive political force. What the hopelessly divided party needs at the present juncture is a totem to rally around. These two leaders should play just that role before bowing out. The party, unlike in the 14th Lok Sabha, must rise to play a constructive role in opposition and prepare for the 2014 general elections. Dr Mookhi Amir Ali,Santacruz West, Munbai
  Open letter to Manmohan Singh Dr. Manmohan Singh
Hon'ble Prime Minister of India
September 8, 2009, 1.02am
Dear Dr Manmohan Singh.
I had written a small article in The Hindustan Times in June 2004. It was called 'Come Shoot Me: I am a Terrorist'. It was to express my anguish on Ishrat Jahan's killing in Gujarat.
The Magisterial Enquiry, which is mandatory in every encounter case (and which was never done in the Batla House encounter) has finally termed  Ishrat jahan's killing as a fake encounter on 7 September in a metropolitan court. It is not a matter of surprise for us as we knew that she was killed in cold blood. Perhaps you will also agree that such things are happening and happened in Gujarat under Modi. But I am not writing to talk about how bad Modi is.  
I am writing this to ask you a small favour. I know you have absolutely hectic schedules and thousands of issues to handle so I am putting down here the facts, gathered from various media reports. On June 15, 2003, the Ahmedabad city crime branch, then headed by the now jailed IPS officer D G Vanzara, shot four young people -Ishrat Jahan, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana  and Jisan Johar. It was propagated that these four young people were alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives who were allegedly on mission to kill chief minister Narendra Modi.
Ishrat, was a 19-year old student of Khalsa College in Mumbra, a Mumbai suburb.
Ishrat's mother filed a petition in the high court in 2004 demanding death compensation and a CBI probe. Ishrat Jahan's mother's Petition alleged that it was a fake encounter as one of the many that the present government regime in Gujarat headed by Narendra Modi had done to achieve Political Mileage to publicly create panic and sympathy that the Chief Minister was sought to be assassinated.
The crime branch carried out the operation and the same agency conducted investigation. When the petition was heard by Justice KS Jhaveri , he immediately proposed, almost on line taken by the Supreme Court in the infamous Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, for which Vanzara was jailed along with other policemen, that a five-member team - all of the rank of additional DGP - should probe this case. The encounter was done by the infamous D. G. Vanzara and his team who are presently arrested under Orders of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of fake encounter of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausarbi. Sohrabuddin's encounter has been admitted by the state to be fake and recently on 11/08/2008, they have agreed to deposit an amount of Rs. 10.00 Lakhs as interim ex-gratia compensation for being paid to the Kith and Kin of the two.There are allegedly 28 encounters which were fake and have been covered up.
In Ishrat Jahan's matter the CBI was impleaded as a Party and it took a stand that if the Court so orders they are willing to carry out fresh investigations and unearth the truth. Such stand triggered panic with the State Government and it seems even with some Officers of Central Home Ministry.  After UPA came to power some tainted CBI officers placed in Gujarat during the NDA with questionable track record were removed after  a lot of pressure and almost two years but they soon found plush positions in Delhi under UPA regime.
To our dismay we realized last month through the media reports that the Ministry of Home Affairs in an affidavit stated that Ishrat, Javed and two others Jisan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were all operatives of Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba.
Maintaining that the four were terrorists, the Union government told the high court, "No proposal for CBI investigation is under consideration of the Centre nor does it consider the present case fit for CBI probe."
Moreover, the Centre claimed that there is no question of independent inquiry, as an additional DGP (CID & Intelligence) had carried out an independent probe into the incident and the officer is neither working with crime branch nor is he a subordinate to the crime branch, which carried out the operation and later investigated the case itself."
If you remember Hon'ble prime Minister when I met you regarding the Package for the Gujarat 2002 victims along with other activists from Gujarat I had jokingly said, "The news that UPA has replaced NDA at the centre has not reached your Home Ministry as yet'. I had said this precisely in the connection of how the tainted officers promoted by the BJP were still being pampered under the UPA.
The reason behind filing of the Affidavit by the Central Government was to dissuade the Court from appointing a strong S I T and give a message that even the Central Government had approved the act of fake encounter. But for the magisterial enquiry the Central Home Ministry had left no stone unturned to prove that Ishrat deserved to be killed.
The logic used always is what will happen to the morale of the officers. My question is what happens to the morale of the officers when they torture innocent young people, when they kill them, when they illegally detain them, beat them. What happens to their morale then? Do they just go home and sleep?
Why don't we as nation stop playing the farce of being a secular nation and why don't we remove the article from the constitution which says all citizens are equal?
The affidavit filed by the Home Ministry is a proof of the fact that in Ishrat Jahan's fake encounter case UPA has connived with the Gujarat government in a blatantly communal manner. With 3 days to go before assembly bye election in 7 seats in Gujarat 5 more innocent boys have been picked up in Baroda and declared' terrorists'. I do not know if this letter will be also lost on the way and find itself in a dustbin as I have never received any acknowledgment from your office, so I will be forced to circulate it to others to lodge a strong protest against this blatant connivance of the Home Ministry with the Gujarat government. My request to you is that if your government has any political will then please ask your home ministry to tender a public apology for filing the affidavit against the innocent girl who was so brutally murdered. It requires some courage and conviction.
You are fond of poetry. Faiz ke chand lines apki nazar kar rahi hoon: Tujh ko kitnon ka lahoo chahiye ae arz-i-watan, Jo tiray arz-i-berang ko gulnaar karein / Kitni aahon se kaleja tira thanda hoga, Kitne aansoo tiray sehraon ko gulzaar karein
(The blood of how many do you need O motherland;That which will brighten your colourless earth; How many sighs will soothe your heart; How many tears will cause your deserts to bloom.) Sincerely Yours
Shabnam Hashmi
Member, National Integration Council, New Delhi