The Great Indian Judicial System!

There has been stay on death sentence of our “dear” Ajmal Amir Kasab.

Iqbal Mirchi has been arrested in London.

Now our immaculate government is pushing for the extradition of Mirchi in connection with 1993 Bombay blast case. We made similar attempt in 1990s but failed to do so. Now we will give it another try.

But for What?

As it is efficiency of our judicial system and investigating agencies is there for everyone to see.

Our NATIONAL INVESTIGATING AGENCY has solved all the cases in their dreams and all the culprits have been booked. Atleast, they release some sketches for people to show that how successful they are. Successful in wasting time!!

Abu Salem was extradited and we were unable to prove him guilty and now his extradition has been cancelled by Portugal court. Let’s see if our agencies can win the case. Somehow agencies were able to solve Parliament attack case of 2001 but the main culprit is still enjoying in jail. The government is acting like a sitting duck and passing time.

Forget these, What can you say about the judicial system of a nation who still has not been able to prove mass killer caught on tv screen, newspapers, eye witnesses, etc gunning down hundreds. We wanted him to bring to justice within constitutional frame work which was very fine. But shouldn’t there be any time limit. It has been 3 years since Kasab was caught and we still are spending crores on his security. The money that could have been utilized for many development scheme. The court wants Kasab to give fair chance. I ask fair chance of what??? You may not feel this way if you have not gone through the trauma and agony of losing your loved ones. Go and ask the family who lost their only earning member in Mumbai 26/11 attacks or the parents who lost their children or families of soldiers who sacrificed their lives while eliminating the bastards. We have forgotten them because we were not the one who suffered. Imagine what they must be feeling when they see how the culprit is enjoying feast in India for 3 years. What a pathetic situation that person caught live on TV hasn’t been hanged till now. We are looking after him as if he has done some great thing. The soldiers who lost their colleagues are being made to plan for his security. What a travesty of justice? After 3 years, we want to hear him again. What were we doing for three years? Just serving him Biryani!!

The spineless representative of 120 crores is largely responsible for this mess. One after another he has only done condemnation and nothing else. I just wonder what we will do even if Mirchi is extradited. He will enjoy hospitality of police and may have to spend few years because of our judicial system and then will walk free. Imagine we are thinking of booking a culprit in 18 year old case. I will be happy if we are able to do so but our track record shows it otherwise. We will be carrying out a futile exercise of wasting money and giving hope to victims. The efficacy of our system is zero. We have bunch of selfish, spineless, power hungry people who will not make daring moves. They will buy time and use the same for their advantage.

One fine day, another plane will be hijacked and we will release Afzal Guru, Ajmal Kasab and Mirchi/Salem.

Why?

Because we couldn’t do justice to the people of India!

Unsung Heroes: Ordinary People with Extraordinary Courage!

These days if you will observe, you will notice that you are hearing news of rampant corruption and malpractices going on which undoubtedly is suffocating the system. Every day you hear new news which makes you feel sad about sorry state of the country and we blame it on our politicians, bureaucrats, etc. But do you ever wonder that despite all this how come our system is surviving?

Real-HeroesNo, you would have not.

The fact is there are few people still existing who are doing their duties in a manner in which it should be done. If not for people like these the system would have eventually collapsed. Unfortunately, these people are not in limelight because they are silently doing their good job and holding the system together. You will find such people in every organization and department both in govt and pvt sector. Be it Satendra Dubey or S Manjunath or SSP Arun Kumar, everyday these real unsung heroes are facing all odds to keep nation moving. You won’t be able to imagine the sacrifices which is being made by them on borders and inside the main land. Lt Archit Verdia, Lt Navdeep, Lt Sushil Khajuria, Tukaram Omble and the list is endless who have laid down their life for the well being of the people. With them their family also suffers but then there has to be someone who feels not like remaining 99.5% of the population.

It is a fact that only 1 out of 100 dares to challenge the system, not bogged down the odds, fearlessly discharging the duties and serve the people. Rest all tend to adjust with the situation and do lip service during tea time by blaming and suggesting but not doing. But this is how a society is and this is main reason that people who do good work without becoming the part of wrong system are tagged as “fools”. But the one who do it don’t care as they know that their conscience is clean and what they are doing is in best interest of society and nation.

During 26/11 we had lakhs of citizen on street demanding change in the system but when the day of VOTING came they were enjoying the holiday. Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime and the day we understand this we will be able to come up with the possible solution to the problems we are facing now. We need to get out of our comfort zone. A nation is as good as its people and thus I consider myself lucky to have people in my country who are facing danger for my survival. But my endeavor does not ends there and I will ensure that I take considerable steps in nation building.

I salute all the unsung heroes and their families for struggle they have gone through in making nation a better place. Their loss is irreparable but we will always remain indebted to them.

Delhi Blast 07 September 2011: Just another Blast!!

So nothing new has happened on Wednesday, 07 September 2011! Just a blast at Gate No 5 of Delhi High Court with 9 dead and 91 injured. The news and reactions which is being poured is so very similar and seems that old tape is being re-run. As far as those who have lost their loved ones, loss is beyond any repair but with nation of having second highest population, these numbers are minuscule and hence no action will be taken to book perpetrators. We are not Israel or US for that matter so we will do lip service and then forget it in next week.

As always our dearest and one of the most prolific PM, Dr MMS has condemned the blast and has roared like tiger saying that we are not going to succumb. We will not be bogged down by this cowardly act of the terrorists. Our Home Minister pointed finger to our friendly neighbouring state. Few VIPs have visited the injured at hospitals with lot of media.

All said and done but they have not said that they will act but only react. Few days of coldness with our neighbour and then extend the hand for FRIENDSHIP because that is the best way out as per Indian Govt is concerned because these blast have happened to derail the peace process which has given tremendous output ever since beautiful Pakistan Foreign Minister met ours in New Delhi.

But few points linger on my mind:

1. Why is that we have become so dud in doing anything of national importance?
2. Why is that our govt is spineless?
3. Why is that specialist investigating agency NIA has failed to solve any of the cases till date?
4. Why something happens when govt is in some trouble? I just hope that this may not be a diversionary attack.
5. Why is that we cannot do justice by punishing “few” perpetrators we have captured and spending crores for their security but not a penny for the citizens of this nation?
6. Why the victims are always common people and never one from political class?

And above all, what credibility do we have to show the world when we can never act to safeguard our national interest. Perhaps, the life of a common man is very cheap! We are being governed by shameless and submissive set of people who have no guts and nuts to act. This is the fate of world’s largest democracy. and who’ll change it.

None but we can only bring the change!

Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam’s visit to K. J. Somaiya college of Engineering

Dr. A. P. J Abdul Kalam – the ex-president of India, will grace the closing ceremony of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of K. J. Somaiya College of Engineering (KJSCE) on the 26th September, 2009. KJSCE is an institute that has transformed learning into an art; and technology into a culture. There couldn’t have been a better occasion for Dr. Kalam’s visit than the completion of twenty five glorious years of the college. Young engineers at KJSCE will be displaying their innovative projects on this occasion. Definitely, it will be a Techno – exhibition to watch out for! Dr. Kalam’s interaction with the young minds will provide them with insights and unleash their potential which will help them flourish and reach greater heights.

A major highlight of the year was the accreditation of all the five courses in the college by the National Board of Accreditation. The college also acquired permanent affiliation to the University of Mumbai in the silver jubilee year. Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, the ex – Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), at the opening ceremony of the 25th year of KJSCE on 12th September, 2008 emphasized the fact that technology is in concurrence with society and humanitarian causes. He echoed the theme of the college for the 25th year – The Human Face of Technology; sensitizing the budding engineers with their environment and urging them to take technology to the masses; an idea reflected every October at Abhiyantriki, the technical festival of KJSCE. Last October had robots abound, classrooms turned into gaming arenas, debates on nuclear technology over canteen tables and project intricacies as the latest gossip! The silver jubilee year has lent a golden sheen to the students’ technical abilities at KJSCE. It would be interesting to hear Dr.Kalam’s views on the theme during the 25th year closing ceremony celebrations.

Prakalp, the platform for young technicians of Mumbai, saw engineers competing and innovating on their pet fields in form of futuristic project models. The National conference on ‘Emerging Trends on Computers, Communication and Information Technology’ conducted in March 2009, jointly by the Information Technology, Computer Engineering department together with IEEE Bombay Section, IETE Mumbai Centre, ISTE KJSCE Chapter, CSI Mumbai Chapter and University of Mumbai definitely set the ball rolling. It saw some of the best ideas come up. It was followed by another National Conference on ‘Global Challenges for Deemed universities in Indian Education by 2020’ on 4th April 2009.

Adding a feather to the cap was the Orion Racing India -a team of engineers from KJSCE. The team is into automobile design and fabrication for the past three years. Orion Racing India is the most successful Indian team to participate in an international engineering design event. Orion Racing India participates in Formula Student Germany, an international car designing event held at the Hockenheim ring, a renowned Formula 1 racing circuit.

Symphony, the annual cultural festival was literally a ‘symphony’ of different elements-of culture, of young enthusiasm, of budding talent; each lending its own individualistic beat. With seventy-five institutes from all over Mumbai getting in above five thousand students, the celebrations scaled new heights.

Well, if technology is human, then culture is the force that binds it into a society. At Somaiya, traditions which are both centuries old or young are cherished. At ‘Garba Nite’, Somaiyaites donned their traditional outfits, picked up their dance sticks and threw in some traditional beats on the dance floor. If Garba had Somaiya on its feet, then the Dahi Handi celebrations had its own pomp and fervor.

The 25th year closing ceremony of KJSCE, blessed by the presence of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam will surely be an event to look out for.

Why India is Clueless about China

A prosperous, militarily strong China cannot but be a threat to its neighbours, especially if there are no constraints on the exercise of Chinese power, notes Brahma Chellaney, professor of strategic studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.

The latest round of the unending and fruitless India-China talks on territorial disputes was a fresh reminder of the eroding utility of this process. It is approaching nearly three decades since China and India began these negotiations.

In this period, the world has changed fundamentally. Indeed, with its rapidly accumulating military and economic power, China itself has emerged as a great power in the making, with Washington’s Asia policy now manifestly Sino-centric. Not only has India allowed its military and nuclear asymmetry with China to grow, but also New Delhi’s room for diplomatic maneuver is shrinking. As the just retired Indian Navy Chief, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, has put it plainly, the power ‘gap between the two is just too wide to bridge and getting wider by the day.’

Of course, power asymmetry in inter-State relations does not mean the weaker side must bend to the dictates of the stronger or seek to propitiate it. Wise strategy, coupled with good diplomacy, is the art of offsetting or neutralising military or economic power imbalance with another state. But as Admiral Mehta warned, ‘China is in the process of consolidating its comprehensive national power and creating formidable military capabilities. Once it is done, China is likely to be more assertive on its claims, especially in the immediate neighbourhood.’

It is thus obvious that the longer the process of border-related talks continues without yielding tangible results, the greater the space Beijing will have to mount strategic pressure on India and the greater its leverage in the negotiations.

After all, China already holds the military advantage on the ground. Its forces control the heights along the long 4,057-kilometre Himalayan frontier, with the Indian troops perched largely on the lower levels.

Furthermore, by building new railroads, airports and highways in Tibet, China is now in a position to rapidly move additional forces to the border to potentially strike at India at a time of its choosing.

Diplomatically, China is a contented party, having occupied what it wanted — the Aksai Chin plateau, which is almost the size of Switzerland and provides the only accessible Tibet-Xinjiang route through the Karakoram passes of the Kunlun Mountains. Yet it chooses to press claims on additional Indian territories as part of a grand strategy to gain leverage in bilateral relations and, more importantly, to keep India under military and diplomatic pressure.

At the core of its strategy is an apparent resolve to indefinitely hold off on a border settlement with India through an overt refusal to accept the territorial status quo.

In not hiding its intent to further redraw the Himalayan frontiers, Beijing only helps highlight the futility of the ongoing process of political negotiations. After all, the territorial status quo can be changed not through political talks but by further military conquest.

Yet, paradoxically, the political process remains important for Beijing to provide the façade of engagement behind which to seek India’s containment.

Keeping India engaged in endless talks is a key Chinese objective so that Beijing can continue its work on changing the Himalayan balance decisively in its favour through a greater build-up of military power and logistical capabilities.

That is why China has sought to shield the negotiating process from the perceptible hardening of its stance towards New Delhi and the vituperative attacks against India in its State-run media. Add to the picture the aggressive patrolling of the Himalayan frontier by the People’s Liberation Army and the growing Chinese incursions across the line of control.

Let’s be clear: Chinese negotiating tactics have shifted markedly over the decades. Beijing originally floated the swap idea — giving up its claims in India’s northeast in return for Indian acceptance of the Chinese control over a part of Ladakh — to legalise its occupation of Aksai Chin. It then sang the mantra of putting the territorial disputes on the backburner so that the two countries could concentrate on building close, mutually beneficial relations.

But in more recent years, in keeping with its rising strength, China has escalated border tensions and military incursions while assertively laying claim to Arunachal Pradesh.

According to a recent report in Ming Pao, a Hong Kong newspaper with close ties to the establishment in Beijing, China is seeking ‘just’ 28 per cent of Arunachal. That means an area nearly the size of Taiwan.

In that light, can the Sino-Indian border talks be kept going indefinitely? Consider two important facts:

First, the present border negotiations have been going on continuously since 1981, making them already the longest and the most-barren process between any two countries in modern history. The record includes eight rounds of senior-level talks between 1981 and 1987, 14 Joint Working Group meetings between 1988 and 2002, and 13 rounds of talks between the designated Special Representatives since 2003.

It seems the only progress in this process is that India’s choice of words in public is now the same as China’s. ‘Both countries have agreed to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of this issue,’ Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told Parliament on July 31. ‘The matter, of course, is complex and requires time and lots of patience.’

It was as if the Chinese foreign minister was speaking. Isn’t it odd for India — the country at the receiving end of growing Chinese bellicosity — to plead for more time and patience after nearly three decades of negotiations?

Second, the authoritative People’s Daily — the Communist Party mouthpiece that reflects official thinking — made it clear in a June 11, 2009 editorial: ‘China won’t make any compromises in its border disputes with India.’ That reflects the Chinese position in the negotiations. But when Beijing is advertising its uncompromising stance, doesn’t New Delhi get the message?

The recent essay posted on a Chinese quasi-official Web site that called for India to be broken into 20 to 30 sovereign States cannot obscure an important fact: Dismember India is a project China launched in the Mao years when it trained and armed Naga and Mizo guerrillas. In initiating its proxy war against India, Pakistan merely took a leaf out of the Chinese book.

Today, China’s muscle-flexing along the Himalayas cannot be ignored. After all, even when China was poor and backward, it employed brute force to annex Xinjiang (1949) and Tibet (1950), to raid South Korea (1950), to invade India (1962), to initiate a border conflict with the Soviet Union through a military ambush (1969) and to attack Vietnam (1979).

A prosperous, militarily strong China cannot but be a threat to its neighbours, especially if there are no constraints on the exercise of Chinese power.

So, the key question is: What does India gain by staying put in an interminably barren negotiating process with China? By persisting with this process, isn’t India aiding the Chinese engagement-with-containment strategy by providing Beijing the cover it needs?

While Beijing’s strategy and tactics are apparent, India has had difficulty to define a game plan and resolutely pursue clearly laid-out objectives. Still, staying put in a barren process cannot be an end in itself for India.

India indeed has retreated to an increasingly defensive position territorially, with the spotlight now on China’s Tibet-linked claim to Arunachal Pradesh than on Tibet’s status itself.

Now you know why Beijing invested so much political capital over the years in getting India to gradually accept Tibet as part of the territory of the People’s Republic. Its success on that score has helped narrow the dispute to what it claims. That neatly meshes with China’s long-standing negotiating stance.

What it occupies is Chinese territory, and what it claims must be on the table to be settled on the basis of give-and-take — or as it puts it in reasonably sounding terms, on the basis of ‘mutual accommodation and mutual understanding.’

As a result, India has been left in the unenviable position of having to fend off Chinese territorial demands. In fact, history is in danger of repeating itself as India gets sucked into a 1950s-style trap. The issue then was Aksai Chin; the issue now is Arunachal.

But rather than put the focus on the source of China’s claim — Tibet — and Beijing’s attempt to territorially enlarge its Tibet annexation to what it calls ‘southern Tibet,’ India is willing to be taken ad infinitum around the mulberry bush.

Just because New Delhi has accepted Tibet to be part of China should not prevent it from gently shining a spotlight on Tibet as the lingering core issue.

Yet India’s long record of political diffidence only emboldens Beijing. India accepted the Chinese annexation of Tibet and surrendered its own British-inherited extraterritorial rights over Tibet on a silver platter without asking for anything in return. Now, China wants India to display the same ‘amicable spirit’ and hand over to it at least the Tawang valley.

Take the period since the border talks were ‘elevated’ to the level of special representatives in 2003. India first got into an extended exercise with Beijing to define general principles to govern a border settlement, despite China’s egregious record of flouting the Panchsheel principles and committing naked aggression in 1962. But no sooner had the border-related principles been unveiled in 2005 with fanfare than Beijing jettisoned the do-not-disturb-the-settled-populations principle to buttress its claim to Arunachal.

Yet, as the most-recent round of recent talks highlighted, India has agreed to let the negotiations go off at a tangent by broadening them into a diffused strategic dialogue — to the delight of Beijing. The process now has become a means for the two sides to discuss ‘the entire gamut of bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest.’

This not only opens yet another chapter in an increasingly directionless process, but also lets China condition a border settlement to the achievement of greater Sino-Indian strategic congruence. Worse still, New Delhi is to observe 2010 — the 60th anniversary of China becoming India’s neighbour by gobbling up Tibet — as the ‘Year of Friendship with China’ in India.

Brahma Chellaney

Sorce: REDIFF

 

Pokhran II was a fizzle????

Santhanam ‘S claim:  Pokhran II was a fizzle. It did not produce desired yield.

But Why Now? Why after 11 years of the test?

I do not Doubt Santhanam Integrity. As a scientist, he is free to disagree. The question is why now.

My reason- By making such statement he is trying to create a faction and public opinion that will ensure India does not give up her right to conduct more test (if necessary) by signing some stupid treaty (CTBT)

Dr Kalam Statement: Pokhran II was a success. The desired yield was obtained. However, subsequent review of the test was done by Santhanam. (sic)

So what’s the controversy?

As a science student I might conclude that my observations/experiments were successful but on reviewing it later it may be possible that my inference or deductions can be insufficient.

Dr. Kalam Never ruled out that possibility. And it is not necessary that all scientists may have same opinion about such a complicated test.

So what is a big deal? If Mr. Santhanam feels that the test were not as successful as he thinks…Fine but what does he propose.. Should we conduct more tests? What other alternatives have we got? Are they adequate? What could be the consequences if we go for further testing?

Instead of debating on that we like M 0 R 0 N s are fighting over whether NDA is good or UPA?

Instead of focusing on solutions we always try to rope in new controversy and will fan the fire for vested interests.

No wonder we are called the world’s largest Mobocracy!!!

Lets’ be the Change that we want to see in our Nation!

According to one of the statistics, 70 per cent of India’s population falls under the youth category ie, below 35. The questions arising at this stage is – can the country’s largely youth population, change India? The obvious answer to this is YES if one uses the ideas, has the ambition to do something, has the confidence to win, and has a righteous heart. Everywhere we hear people complaining about lack of amenities, increasing crimes, sky rocketing food prices, corruption, red tapism , terrorism, injustice etc. – but do we ponder on how can we change it all?

The 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai saw people coming to streets demanding some action. Less than a year later, we cannot even compel the government to take stern action against the culprits. Why? It’s high time every individual realises that we should raise our voices demanding action. Youth are the leaders of tomorrow, so it’s our duty to raise ourselves with the goal to serve the nation, however petty it may be. Remember each and every Indian can make a difference. You need not belong to the Gandhi family or be a descendant of the Scindias, Ambanis or the Birlas. You just need to inculcate intellectualism, human values and observe a commitment to service. With everyone following this, India will surely become more tolerant.

Our politicians are using the British policy of “divide and rule” in their selfish interests Let us remind them “United we stand and we will”. We crib of our government not providing world class solutions and facilities, but how many of us follow our fundamental duty to vote? Remember, to vote is a right and a duty. It is the building block of tomorrow. If we do not use our franchisee, we have no right to complain of corrupt people in the political arena.

It’s on account of our apathy that our farmers are dying out of debts when agriculture is said to be India’s prime sector. We keep on complaining about rising food prices but we do not give any thought that it may be due to agriculture land being converted to SEZ (Special Economic Zones). Can’t we raise our voices for thepoor, uneducated farmers rebelling against SEZ and demand irrigation facilities. Can’t there be a hundred Medha Patkars in a population of billion plus. We believe corruption is the root of most problems, but we don’t hesitate individually when we bribe a peon just to avoid long queues? We, the face of India tomorrow, should practise what we preach.

Self realisation is important to an individual and there are millions of alternatives if one wants to really do something. One can be a part of a NGO and can at least give physical support if not monetary help. Join the armed forces to protect our motherland. Create an environment of sound health facilities for those who cannot afford health facilities. Feed the poor, encourage parents to send their children to schools. Practice and preach family planning which will help keep population growth under control. IT companies can create IT solutions for upliftment of villages to reduce the urban-rural divide. Use public transport which will help India maintain environmental standards. Stop deforestation and plant more tress for a greener India. Raise voices against crimes against women, children, or anyone for that matter. Use the Right to Information (RTI) to get answers from the government. Be a law-abiding citizen. Use the media constructively. Join the IAS and be an active part of society. And there are numerous other options available.

Albert Einstein once said,“Problems cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them”. Youth, its time for you to wake up before it’s too late.

Sanjeev Nanda Case: Mockery of Justice!

January 10, 1999 in the wee hours of Lodhi Colony area in Delhi, a speeding BMW mows down 6 people. All 6 including three police men are killed in the accident. More than 10 years have passed and accused has finally got the punishment for his heinous crime. Imprisonment for 2 years!! The accused is the son of known arms dealer Suresh Nanda, Sanjeev Nanda. In a “Historic Judgment”, Justice Kailash Gambhir of Delhi High Court set aside the trial court conviction of 5 years and convicted him under the milder Section 304 A (causing death by rash and negligent act) IPC.  Strangely, the court reduced Nanda’s term even after taking a stern view of the events following the accident, like Nanda’s fleeing from the spot and attempts to win over witnesses during the trial.

Well readers, this is the justice in India!!

The Constitution and law must be same for one and all. This is what I have read in the books. But the reality is something else. The law takes totally different course if you have money power. Take the instance of Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan, Alistair Pereira and Sanjeev Nanda. If you look into the history, you will see numerous instances where the justice has taken a beating for rich. I was reading a journal where it was written that in India, more than 99% of the prisoners belong to poor background. This is precisely that poor people cannot afford the renowned counsels to represent them. They are made scapegoat for big crimes to shield the main faces behind the crime. Their lives don’t carry great importance.

At this point of time, I can recall couple of lines of a song from movie Lawaris:
Aapka yeh pasina khoon se bhi keemti
Aur apne khoon ki keemat yahan kuch bhi nahi!
Apna to khoon paani
Jeena Marna Bemaani!!

This is the mockery of justice. For the Nanda’s family the justice has been done but what about the families who lost their loved ones? Justice Kailash Gambhir said that though the incident was “gruesome,” it could not be held that it occurred within the knowledge of Nanda. But where was his knowledge when he was drunk and driving. He was not wrong when he fled from the scene. He did no wrong when he tried to buy the witnesses.

Right?

But the judge has delivered the verdict and “justice has been done”. So lets’ forget the suffering of the families of deceased. Let us forget those who were trampled under the wheels. That was their fate. They were guilty of sleeping on pavement. No matter pavement is meant for pedestrian, a rich brat’s car can run anywhere. This verdict will condone Drink and Drive.

Long Live Money Power!  Long Live Democracy!

Lets’ not Forget Them

It’s that time of the year again.
Every July since the year 2000, the Indian media and the Army in that order, celebrates the eviction of Pakistani intruders from the forbidding heights of Drass and Batalik (and not Kargil, as we all in the media keep referring to for some completely unfathomable reason).
The Army, of course, appropriately remembers its martyrs — the young and not so young officers and several hundred jawans — who sacrificed their lives in recapturing a piece of real estate that the Pakistanis had encroached upon. It was a heroic battle against heavy odds. After that conflict, Vikram Batra, Anuj Nayyar, Manjo Pandey, to cite just three martyrs, became household names.
This year, on the 10th anniversary, the Army has planned a larger celebration and rightfully so.
We in the media have also gone into an overdrive to commemorate the occasion.
After all, Kargil was this generation’s first war. It was also India’s first televised war. We made citizens feel that they were part of the war by beaming images right into their bedrooms.
In many ways, Kargil (I actually hate using the word, but Drass or Batalik do not have the same resonance in the people’s mind as Kargil has) is also a landmark in the military-media relationship in India.
Till 1999 the Army establishment generally looked upon the media as a nuisance. Post-Kargil, the armed forces have woken up to the media’s potential as, what the military fondly calls a force-multiplier. An uneasy relationship till then gave way to greater awareness about one another facilitating meaningful interaction.
This year in fact the Army has made special efforts to invite all those who had reported the conflict from the area that summer. This, the Army says, is its tribute to media’s contribution in the Kargil conflict.
I, like many others, was in the sector in 1999, reporting the events for Outlook magazine. Every year since 2000, I too have written or spoken about the experience in the Kargil-Drass-Mushkoh-Batalik sector.
I am also hoping to be at the Drass memorial on 25th and 26th July later this month to meet up with friends who made Kargil (that word again!) such a memorable experience in our life a decade ago.
And yet, ever since I went there last week to report on what has changed and what has not in the decade since the war, a sense of unease has gripped me. At first I thought it was plain tiredness. After all, one is older by a decade and the body doesn’t take the rigours of travelling in the high mountains as easily as it did 10 years ago.
But deep down, I knew there was something more to my disquiet than just creaking old bones.
Then suddenly it hit me this morning: Are we in the media guilty of over hyping Kargil and its martyrs at the cost of totally ignoring the others? To be honest, the answer is yes.
By admitting this, I am in no way taking away the sacrifice and heroism of our soldiers during the 1999 conflict. Or trying to belittle the tough conditions under which we in the media operated and reported the conflict.
But I will also be less than honest if I don’t admit that collectively we in the media are equally culpable in ignoring or downplaying the unending internal battles fought by the Army as well as other security forces across India.
How many of us for instances, know the names of Col. Vasanth or Subedar Chunni Lal? Or for that matter Constable Tukaram Ombale? How many of us remember the faces of the unnamed police and CRPF constables who die by the dozens in the battlefields of Chhattisgarh and Orissa? Or for that matter army jawans who continue to sacrifice their lives in counter-insurgency skirmishes in India’s north-east?
In Kargil, nearly 500 people lost their lives.
Every year since then at least 400 security personnel have died in action across India.
Is their martyrdom less significant? Don’t their families deserve similar adulation? They certainly do but I am afraid even we in the media tend to report on these incidents for a day or two and move on to our next story.
In the process, we have ignored the interminable internal security threats that India faces, be it in Kashmir, the north-east or in the heartland from the Maoists. And underplayed the sacrifices made by the gallant soldiers who fight them.
In less than a fortnight, when the nation pays a collective tribute to the Kargil martyrs, all of us can perhaps introspect and review our attitude towards other, lesser known but equally valiant soldiers who fight on without expecting anything in return.
As I look ahead, post the Kargil anniversary, it is perhaps time for me to do away with my Kargil obsession and refocus on the current and future battles.

Source: NDTV Written by Niting Gokhale

26/11 Mumbai Attack: Scam in procuring Bullet Proof Jackets for Police?

The bullet proof jackets procured for Mumbai Police were of low quality.
This allegation has been levied by the opposition and media on Government of Maharshtra post 26/11 attack on the financial capital of India, Mumbai.

A reply given by Mumbai police to an RTI application seeking the information on bullet proof jackets used by Mumbai Police has raised some sort of suspicion. The reply shockingly stated, “Since the file relating to bulletproof jackets cannot be found, the queries cannot be answered.”

CNN IBN claims that sources in Mumbai Police that the file was not lost, but was being protected from public scrutiny to possibly avoid controversial details from coming out in the open. If this is the truth then it is certainly a matter of great concern. The news channel also says that these jackets were sent for testing and they failed. Every single bullet went through the jackets even though the rounds were fired from a distance. The trial was followed by an enquiry into the spurious jackets but the results of which were shrouded in mystery and now as the police has been claiming, lost along with the file. Sources have claimed that the quality of cloth and special wire mesh used in the jackets was inferior and the vital steel plates were usually corroded.

This is yet another case of rampant corruption in political circles. After Bofors and coffin scam this is yet another instance where the politicians have insulted the saviors of the city and nation. This is perhaps the saddest part of the whole issue. It is directly related to the organization which has to ensure that law and order situation is maintained in the city which is always under the threat. If we cannot provide best equipments to our soldiers and police then that is really very pity. The brave officers laid down their life for the people but it saddens me that have they given better jackets many of the officers might have been saved. It seems that the life of a patriotic soldier has no value for the politicos.

CM of Maharashtra, Ashok Chavan has his own sets of arguments. But whatever be the case both government and opposition must ensure that truth does comes out. If the opposition is so concerned then they must provide the proofs of their allegation and government who is “so determined” to tackle terror must also not try to cover up the whole issue.

We as a citizen have shown in the recently concluded Parliamentary elections have shown our concern for the city by “coming out in large numbers to vote”. Hopefully we will show greater concern this time and ensure that we get the satisfying reply. The families of slain police officers have already demanded an enquiry on the entire issue. We must also pressurize our politicians to tell the truth. And if allegations found true; stern actions should be taken against the culprits.

But will it actually happen?

It all depends on us. If we are genuinely concerned about our safety and regard soldiers with the highest respect then we must act and act tough!!

Reference: CNNIBN