Attack on IBN office , freedom at a price

There are probably thousands of journalists at work today who are no less courageous than the fallen. Courage is not a quality we can assign only to those who have not survived their pursuit of a story.

TWO PERIODICALS were running my articles about Shiva Sena and its chief with some reference to Emergency when IBN7 office was ransacked. The moment these attacks took place, those articles were removed from the sites. I can understand that. I am glad that IBN’s journalists not only survived the heinous attack but they caught the goondas. As a member of journalistic community I know we have a long way to go. We have to pay the price to protect our freedoms.

There is an unending list of journalists who had sacrificed their lives in normal democracies, banana democracies and the world’s most murderous countries as well. Examples of unstoppable courage are not uncommon. In Latin America, South Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, many murdered journalists foresaw what awaited them.

There are probably thousands of journalists at work today who are no less courageous than the fallen. Courage is not a quality we can assign only to those who have not survived their pursuit of a story. They are living examples of the values for which their colleagues have died. They awake each morning knowing that at any moment they too could be killed for holding the powerful and corrupt accountable.

They go to work each morning with the conviction that the calling of journalism is to defend the defenseless. The men and women they investigated believed in the opposite principle: that the weak offered opportunities for the enrichment of the powerful. These predators dominate the societies in which the journalists live. I think anyone can identify with the deadly risks the journalists took if one recognizes that they are standing against the might of tyrants.

They did not arrive from somewhere else to seek adventure in their corrupt and violent lands. We should think of those the next time we hear about journalists who have been murdered in faraway places. They have followed in the footsteps of colleagues who pressed on, knowing the fate that awaited them. They refused to bow to threats, wrote their last expose, and would have written their next had not the expected assassin arrived to stop them.

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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The double speak of BJP

BJP

BJP

The doublespeak of the BJP has come full circle. It has plumbed a new low in the politics of somersaults, contradiction and shifting sands. The party, whose principal plank was AKAHAND BHARAT had stooped low before MARATHI MANUS reservation agenda of Shiva Sena and now listen a clarion call, a latest diatribe by Shivraj Singh Chouhan – the roar of Lion Of Madhya Pradesh at Satna, “He would not allow Biharis to usurp jobs in the area. Karkhana lagega Satna mein aur naukri karne aayenge Bihar se, ye hum honey nahin denge. (Factories will be set up in Satna, but people from Bihar will get jobs in them, I wont allow this) .The chief minister said he had asked factories to employ local people. They will have to train local youths and employ them”. Article 16 says: Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment (1) There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State. Does he ever read it?

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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Sardar Patel – a strong but difficult man

 

Sardar Patel

Sardar Patel

Jaswant Singh’s recent faux pax is not the only one in history. Sardar Patel had a fair share of them too. From his anger at the escape of the prime minister of Hyderabad to his views on Kashmir, the iron man raised the ire of many political leaders.

SO CALLED “greats” have a lot of contradictory aspects and Sardar Patel was no exception. He was known for his tendency to pontificate, he was also known for many faux pas just as some of our present politicians like Advani and Jaswant Singh. At the time of partition, Mir Laiq Ali, Prime Minister of the princely State of Hyderabad, had eluded Indian security and escaped to Karachi when Sardar Patel had sent the armed forces to surround the State in order to get it to surrender to India.

The incident roused Sardar’s ire. Addressing Muslims, Sardar Patel said,“I naturally begin to doubt whether Muslims here feel that their future lies in India. I want to tell you frankly that mere declarations of loyalty to the Indian Union will not help you at this critical juncture. You must give practical proof of your declarations. I ask you why you did not unequivocally denounce Pakistan for attacking Indian territory with the connivance of Frontier tribesmen? Is it not your duty to condemn all acts of aggression against India?” He also asked them bluntly as to why they did not speak about Kashmir in their conference. He went on to say “those who want to go to Pakistan can go there and live in peace. Let us live here in peace to work for ourselves.”

Do you expect a national builder to single out one community and use these unkind words? It is not surprising that Patel’s speeches upset Maulana Azad and Nehru. Gandhi reprimanded him: “I have heard many complaints against you. Your speeches are inflammatory and play to the gallery.” It was common knowledge that if you wanted Pandit Nehru to turn against any politician or civil servant all you had to do was to call that person a Patellite.

His daughter, Maniben Patel published her diary which recounted other such situations. In an entry dated July 23, 1949, she referred to a discussion about the possibility of the partition of Kashmir which involved India retaining Jammu and handing over the rest of the state to Pakistan. Patel had retorted: ‘‘We want the entire territory… and battle for the whole of Kashmir”.

She writes further that he was happy to see Guru Golwalkar, the then RSS chief, released from jail and wanted to welcome RSS workers into the Congress. On August 3, 1949, says the diary: “Glad at release of Golwalkar — ready to welcome in Congress. Bapu’s (Sardar’s) task to make their entry easy.” Sardar Patel was the man who had banned the RSS after Gandhiji’s murder. Where does the BJP really stand? I say, let us not open the rusted cupboards. Many skeletons are going to tumble down. The leaders of that period did what they thought fit according to their opinion. Forgive and forget and move forward! We have to make a new India.

 

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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Inquiry Commissions: A ruse to fool the public

Inquiry commission is a tool to fool people and foil the judicial process of a controversy. India has witnessed hundreds of inquiry commissions, their reports and no results. It is the worst kind of political game played in India.

THE ORIGIN of the phenomenon of ‘inquiry commission’ has its roots deep buried in the legal system of British Raj. If we look into retrospect, we find that except some minor incidents of local confusions and misunderstanding there were no communal riots during the Moghul period. The riots, as we witness today, are the product of ‘divide and rule’ policy of Britishers.

They re-wrote and fabricated the Indian history to distort the facts and sow the dragon’s teeth and create enmity between Hindus and Muslims. Even at the height of Mutiny in 1857, the last Moghul Emperor Bhahdur Shah Zafar had risked his life and went himself to Delhi Hindus to assuage their wounded feelings when the Wahabbi Commander Bakht Khan, who had come from Barely, slaughtered the prohibited animal.

Cow slaughter was banned in Moghul Empire. Having failed to create the wider rift between Hindus and Muslims, the British rulers designed an Act known as ‘Public Service inquiry Act 1850’. The Congress government followed that act and sometimes used ad-hoc and temporary legislations till 1952 as and when situation arose.

To meet the public demand for impartial and judicial inquiries ‘Commission of Inquiry Act’ came into being in 1952. Since its inception, the act has become a tool for consecutive governments to defer any precipitated action and subside the public anger. More than one hundred inquiry commissions have been set up since then and literally no purpose did they serve. This Act has sprung up a toothless tiger, which is less effective than a jackal in the turbulent scenario of Indian Democracy.

The provisions enshrined in this Act are not deterrent in nature and have no power whatsoever even to compel a person to ‘adduce’ before it and give evidence. It can’t pass verdicts or judgments, which could be enforceable. It is pathetic to learn that even if an offence is committed in the presence of commission, it can’t take any direct action. The commission needs to forward the case to the Magistrate for trial as provided by Criminal Procedure Court. Most of the commissions are set up under retired judges. The appointment of retired judges, as head of the commission suits to every government. It is not also oblivious to the fact that public understands these appointments as ‘post retirement placement schemes’ for the favourite retired judges.

Have you ever seen any follow up action? The astronomical amounts squandered on these commissions to sponsor these futile exercises are unjustified and undue strain on public exchequer. Let the readers recall that more than ten commissions and committees were set up with regard to the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi after the assassination of Indra Gandhi. Has any prominent leaders been punished.

Justice BN Kirpal Commission of Inquiry was set up on July 13, 1985 to probe Air India Flight -182 disaster in which the plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean with 329 passengers and none was left alive. The members of the commission enjoyed the hospitalities of Canada and US governments in the process of probe and could perceive nothing in the end. Needless to say the entire exercise went in vane.

An inquiry commission was set up under Justice Phukan to investigate the ‘fictitious defense deals’, which were exposed by ‘Tehelka’. Everyone saw the tapes on TV and the then government deflected the legal course by constituting the inquiry commission. The members of the commission enjoyed the hospitality of IAF as its plane took them to visit Shridhi, Pune and Bombay. The next government later claimed that plane was made available in order to influence the Judge. These commission are the smoke screen to hide the inefficiency and ineptness of government.

Had Agatha Christi  been alive she would have written a novel on every inquiry.

I am deliberately not including Hindu Muslim riots in this article as it would open more wounds and that is not the purpose of this scribe. The cacophony about the report of the destruction of Babri Masjid would die down its own death, as it’s a ploy of Congress to beat the already wounded BJP. May I ask Sonia Ji and our able PM Dr Manmohan Singh, why nothing has been done about ‘Sri Krishna Inquiry Commission Report’? It is worst kind of hypocrisy played in the name of Secular India.

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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