Sam was representative of an earlier generation of Indian officers. Few historical tit bits about the documentary. If you look Sam in pictures, he is always wearing black PIFFER pips although usually senior officers do not wear regimental color pips. Lieutenant General ® S. K. Sinha gives his opinion about Sam in documentary. There is interesting story about Sinha. Sinha is originally from Jat regiment but in WWII, he spent about two weeks with a draft of 4/12 FFR (Sam and present Pakistan army chief General Raheel Sharif’s battalion) before his own battalion came to theatre. Later, he also went to Gorkha Rifles. In 1947, three young officers were serving together in Military Operations (MO) directorate in Delhi. Sam was GSO-1, Yahya Khan was GSO-2 and Sinha GSO 3. In 1971 Indo-Pak war, Sam was Indian army chief, Yahya Khan Pakistan army chief and Sinha was at GHQ heading pay commission. Sinha asked Sam to be given a chance to participate in war and stated, “The old G1 is going to war with the old G2 and the old G3 is being left out”. Sam owned a red motorcycle and in 1947 he sold it to Yahya for Rs.1000. In the upheaval of 1947 Yahya went to Pakistan and never paid the money. Sam used to joke about that Yahya never paid him for the motorcycle therefore he went ahead and got half of the country of Yahya. I did obituary of Sam attached below;
biggest election on Earth. In the world’s largest democracy, an
electorate of 815 million will troop up to 930,000 polling stations in
28 states in nine phases over five weeks, starting Monday and ending May
12. If vote counting goes as swiftly and accurately as has been the
norm in India, results will be announced May 16. Then would begin the
real tamasha (show, entertainment, drama) over who would form the next government.
Polls show the centrist Congress government would be wiped out.
During a recent trip to India, I found no party stalwart who doubted
that prospect, so palpably angry is the public at Congress misrule that
has been marked by corruption, dynastic rule (under the Gandhi family),
government gridlock and stalled economic growth coupled with nearly 9
per cent inflation.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is widely expected to win. Yet its leader,
Narendra Modi, is no shoo-in as the next prime minister for both prosaic
and profound reasons, the latter relating to the identity of India: is
it a secular nation of 1.3 billion with Muslim, Christian, Buddhist and
other minorities totalling as many 200 million, or a Hindu nation with a
Hindu ethos that the minorities must acquiesce to and assimilate in, as
Modi’s most fervour supporters believe?
That is the real story of this election. What makes it
particularly Indian and deeply democratic is that the most passionate
defenders of secularism against Hindu communal forces are many Hindus
No party has won a
majority since 1986. Smaller parties routinely scoop up about a third of
the vote and a third of the seats, an apt reflection of the steady rise
of regionalism. The best projected scenario for the BJP is for 213
seats in the 543-member lower house of parliament. That would
necessitate enticing or outright bribing 59 others to get to the needed
272 seats to form a coalition government.
There is no strong
third party to forge an arrangement with. This may change with the rise
of the populist Aam Admi (common man) Party, “the Tea Party of the
left,” with its campaign against corruption and culture of entitlement.
But it has already said it won’t partner with BJP. Several regional
parties would come with about 20 seats or less, each wanting to exact
its price. But even some of those ready to back a BJP government may not
back Modi as leader of India, so polarizing a figure he has been.
Whereas the party has
held office before (1998-2004), its prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee
was a moderate who was expected to and did keep the BJP zealots in
check. But Modi is seen as hopelessly divisive.
He is chief minister
of the western state of Gujarat where under his watch there was a
communal conflagration in 2002 in which more than 1,000 people were
shot, hacked or burnt to death, an overwhelming majority of them
For secular Indians,
that stain cannot be washed away by his explanations — he had nothing to
do with it; several inquiries were not able to pin any blame on him
directly; there have been no more sectarian riots since; the Muslims of
Gujarat have benefitted from the unquestionable economic boom that he
has brought by attracting Indian and foreign businesses.
His critics, however,
note that one of his caucus members was jailed for 28 years for being
what the court called “a kingpin” in the murder of 97 people. The
federal inquiry that did not find sufficient evidence to charge him did
not exactly exonerate him for his criminal negligence and moral
culpability in failing to stop the days-long riots, in which state
police and civilian authorities were accused of complicity.
Modi has refused to
recant. His supporters argue he has nothing to apologize for. He once
refused a Muslim kufi cap offered him at a public meeting, whereas he
routinely dons various regional headgears for photo ops. He continues to
cater to Hindu chauvinism. He has chosen a federal riding not in his
home state but rather in the Hindu holy city of Benares. He repeats the
BJP mantra of doing away with all the “special deals” for the disputed
(Muslim) state of Kashmir on the Pakistan border, constitutional and
other commitments given for historical and strategic reasons. He says
Muslim terrorism suspects should be prosecuted, not mollycoddled
(reacting to a federal minister who said that long detentions without
charge should be looked at).
“Modi represents everything that’s evil in Hinduism,” says Mani Shankar Aiyar, former Congress minister, a Hindu who calls himself a secular fundamentalist. Echoing Indian
secularists, he told me: “India is not, cannot be, Hindu India. It is a
constitutionally secular nation, with a long history of a composite
The real drama of the
election would unfold after the election, he said. “I am selling tickets
on my veranda to see the parade of politicians who’ll be horse trading —
and battling with their conscience.”
Normally this would be an unremarkable story, especially so as Mohd. Bashir’s wife is from Hyderabad (India) . Lots of Indians would also support Pakistan if the latter was playing (some “Indians” support Pakistan even when playing against India). But still as Dr Omar says, as long as the 2-nation theory lives out its zombie like life (and it will do so till Kashmir is normalized), these stories do make a few bright splashes against a perpetually cloudy sky that is SAsia.
he declared that the hostility associated with an India-Pakistan
encounter is long over, Dhoni meant it and his latest act has proved it.
The Indian captain on Saturday arranged a complimentary pass for a
die-hard Pakistani cricket fan Mohammed Bashir, who came all the way
from Chicago to support his team.
knocked out in the group stage, Bashir has stayed back to watch India
play the final and now has become a “die-hard Dhoni fan” having
interacted with the Indian captain.
training session yesterday but I didn’t have any tickets. Dhoni is
familiar with my face as he has seen me before the Champions Trophy’s
Indo-Pak game in Birmingham. I told him that I don’t have a ticket to
watch the finals.
Ramesh Mane or ‘Mane Kaka’) and told him to arrange for my ticket. Kaka
promptly gave me a complimentary pass. I am completely moved by his
gesture,” the new “Chacha Pakistani” said on Sunday.
“He (Dhoni) asked about me and I told him that I am settled in Chicago.
Since I was standing there for a long time, he told someone to give me
fruits. I am a Pakistan fan but for today, I am a Dhoni fan. Also I have
another India connection. I am Hyderabad’s son-in-law as my wife hails
from the region,” a proud Bashir said flaunting his final match pass.
could be seen wearing a giant sized kurta in the design of his national
flag. He has also been a big hit among the local fans after supporting
Bangladesh during one of their matches.
The pity is that I actually think our constituency has a good
politician from the BJP. If he ever runs for Parliament, my opinion of
him, by itself, would tempt me to vote for him. Yet I cannot forget he
is from the BJP. Much as I’m also tempted by the logic that we must
sometimes look at the candidate and not the party, I know this like the
back of my hand: I will not vote for this party.
The pity is, too, that any party that presides over the plethora of
scams of the last few years deserves no less than to be flung out of
power. I mean the Congress, of course. And even so, I won’t vote BJP.
They have done too much to turn away too many people like me. Perhaps
they don’t care, but that’s the way it is.
To start, there’s the obsession with building a Ram temple in
Ayodhya. Every time we hear that times have changed and young Indians
aren’t interested in this tired old nag of an issue, somebody in the BJP
will announce that building that temple is on their agenda.
India is afflicted with scams, or still widespread poverty, or poor
primary education—whatever it is, the BJP returns, every time, to that
lazy way to ask for votes: champion the Ram temple. Sure enough, it
appears in their newest manifesto too. If you had to judge solely from
the several decades that the BJP has demanded it—luckily, you don’t—this
temple is this country’s highest priority. It must take singularly
warped minds to hold tight to this warped vision for India for so long.
On from there is the way the BJP and fans label anyone remotely
critical as “anti-Hindu”. A good example is a ‘List of Anti-Hindu
Personalities and Their Intricate Connections’ that has been doing the
rounds for some years now. (Full disclosure: I happen to be on that list.)
I know why these lists are made. “Anti-Hindu” is a surer way to get
people’s bile up, after all, than a mere “anti-BJP”. (Similar are the
labels “Pakistani agent”, “Italian origin” etc.) It’s also a lazy way to
argue, used when bereft of anything more substantial.
On from there…I could go on, with plenty more reasons not to vote
BJP. Among them, the party’s unwillingness to see justice done for
horrific crimes. Above all, though, I believe their politics demeans
I believe we have the people, the talent and the passion in this
country to take on the world. But the BJP chooses instead to
systematically turn Indian against Indian. This applies to the
“anti-Hindu” label it uses freely, it applies to the lies and suspicion
it directs at its critics, it applies to episodes of murderous violence
that have been left to fester. For me, all this is unforgivable.
And when you call them on it, the BJP’s supporters have only this
particularly brainless response: “But the Congress also does crappy
things.” Well yes, it does. In fact, crappiness from the Congress was
the reason this country grew repulsed by that party in the first place.
But when they came to power, the BJP turned out to be no different from
the Congress, and in many ways even worse.
(To my knowledge, not even
the Congress holds on to lists of ‘Anti-Hindu Personalities’.)
great dilemma is that on fundamental counts like these, our two major
political parties have failed us. I won’t shy away from the challenge
this dilemma poses when I head for the voting booth. But it does also
leave me with this certainty: I won’t vote for the BJP.
Afghanistan has voted. And wow, what a lot of voting there was! Millions of Afghans turned out and voted in an election where a vote for anyone was a vote against Mullah Umar and his backers. Now it may be that the results will not be accepted, that the winners will fight each other or that the good feeling will evaporate as some future Taliban offensive shakes the state. But if the results are credible and are accepted, then it may well be (to quote journalist Tahir Mehdi) that April 5th 2014 will be to strategic depth what December 16th 1971 was to the two-nation theory.
Of course, one may then point out that the Two Nation theory has had a very healthy Zombie existence since 1971. But even the healthiest Zombie is still a Zombie. Dying is forever.
One can always hope.
This question came up on twitter: was this election a success because Afghan security forces and ISAF did a fantastic job and the Afghan people rejected Mullah Umar? or because Pakistan was paid (and paid well) and agreed to permit a peaceful election? I suspect a bit of both. But either way, it does not alter the significance of the event. Whether Pakistan’s Taliban allies are just not strong enough to disrupt elections or whether Pakistan has sold them out for money. its all the same as far as strategic depth is concerned. Its over.
PS: I have already heard from people on twitter that this will not lead to milk and honey and a civil war is coming. But please note, I said nothing about those things. All that may be true. But strategic depth was a different story. The story was that Afghanistan is waiting for Americans to leave and then our boys walk in and eject the “mayor of Kabul”. That doesnt seem to be the story at all. “Our boys” didnt look as strong as advertised. And unless they are the dominant and strongest party, strategic depth is dead and strategic nightmare awaits.
order to get the family out of their land.…..The attention the case received in the local media caught the eye of
senior security officials, who ordered disciplinary action against the
police officers responsible for writing up a nine-month-old, reports The Nation. A policeman has since been suspended.
The Ranas (=Raja=king also, Rani = queen) were originally Rajput kings from Rajasthan, Maha-Rana Pratap Singh for example hailed from the Sisodia dynasty of Udaipur. Facing Mughal onslaught, the Ranas scattered in the direction of the hills (and to the rest of India), and were rulers of Nepal till recently.
Surprisingly (not really) there are Rana converts to Islam and many prominent Pakistani families are Ranas as well. Wiki
cites the following – it is only understandable in
an Indian context that these proud people would like to flaunt their caste
even after conversion.
Bakhtiar Rana – Ex Lieutenant General Pakistan Army; Rana Phool Muhammad Khan – MPA from Bhai Pheru 1971,1977,1985,1990 (Ex. Provincial Minister Punjab), Azmat Rana – Pakistani cricket player, Shafqat Rana – former Pakistani cricketer, Moammar Rana – Pakistani film actor, Shakoor Rana – Pakistani cricket player, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan- Pakistani cricket player, Rana Tanveer Hussain- Former Minister of Defence Production, Rana Mohammad Hanif Khan- Finance Minister of Pakistan, Rana Muhammad Akram Khan – Ex Chairman Punjab Bar Council, Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan – Deputy Speaker, Punjab Assembly, Rana Sanaullah Khan – Law Minister Punjab, Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan – Speaker Punjab (Pakistan) Assembly, Rana Nazeer Ahmed Khan – Federal minister (1990–93) (97-99) (2002–2004)
By refusing to put Muslim fears to rest, Mr Modi feeds them. By
clinging to the anti-Muslim vote, he nurtures it. India at its finest
is a joyous cacophony of peoples and faiths, of holy men and rebels.
The best of them, such as the late columnist Khushwant Singh
are painfully aware of the damage caused by communal hatred. Mr Modi
might start well in Delhi but sooner or later he will have to cope
with a sectarian slaughter or a crisis with Pakistan—and nobody,
least of all the modernisers praising him now, knows what he will do
nor how Muslims, in turn, will react to such a divisive man.
If Mr Modi were to explain his role in the violence and show genuine
remorse, we would consider backing him, but he never has; it would be
wrong for a man who has thrived on division to become prime minister
of a country as fissile as India. We do not find the prospect of a
government led by Congress under Mr Gandhi an inspiring one. But we
have to recommend it to Indians as the less disturbing option.
If, more probably, victory goes to the BJP, its coalition partners should hold out for a prime minister other than Mr Modi. And if they still choose Mr Modi? We would wish him well, and we
would be delighted for him to prove us wrong by governing India in a
modern, honest and fair way. But for now he should be judged on his
record—which is that of a man who is still associated with sectarian
hatred. There is nothing modern, honest or fair about that. India
Incidentally the couple belong to Toba Tek Singh town, made famous by Sadat Hasan Manto. At this point it is fair to say that the lunatics are in charge of the asylum that Manto had envisioned.
court in eastern Pakistan has sentenced a Christian couple to death for
sending a blasphemous text message insulting the Prophet Muhammad, their
lawyer said on Saturday.
Judge Mian Amir Habib handed the
death sentence to Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar in a jail in the
town of Toba Tek Singh on Friday, defence lawyer Nadeem Hassan told AFP.
Maulvi Mohammad Hussain, the prayer leader at a local mosque in Gojra,
lodged a complaint against couple on July 21 last year for sending him a
text message which he said was insulting to the Prophet Muhammad. Hussain accused the husband of sending the message from his wife’s cellphone.
However, defence lawyer Hassan said that the text originated from a
cellphone which the couple had lost some time before the incident, so
they could not have sent the message.
The defence lawyer said
that the couple had suspected rivals of implicating them into blasphemy
case to settle personal scores and that they had ties with the