Little blue bird, zindabad

It seems up-rooting of social media as promised by the Caliph of Istanbul is a bit easier said than done. Better luck next time, old chap.

attempt to block access to Twitter appeared to backfire on Friday with
many tech-savvy users circumventing the ban and suspicions growing that
the prime minister was using court orders to suppress corruption
allegations against him and his government.

telecommunications authority confirmed early Friday that it had blocked
access to the social media network hours after Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan threatened to “rip out the roots” of the website.
have proliferated with links to recordings that appear to incriminate
him and other top officials in corruption.

By midday Friday, tweets were continuing unabated as users swapped
instructions online on how to change settings. One enterprising user
spread the word by defacing Turkish election posters with instructions
on beating censors.

President Abdullah Gul, a political ally of
Erdogan’s, was among those who circumvented the order, which he
contested in a series of tweets. “I hope this implementation won’t last long,” he wrote.

“Prime Minister Erdogan’s move spells the lengths he will go to censor
the flood of politically damaging wiretap recordings circulating on
social media,” said Emma Sinclair-Webb, senior Turkey researcher at
Human Rights Watch.

Andrew Przybylski, a researcher at
Britain’s Oxford Internet Institute said the ban appeared to be working
through the Domain Name System or DNS blocking, which was easy to work

He said many Twitter-hungry Turks manually changed the
DNS settings on their computers and in their phones to point to Google’s
Domain Name System, which isn’t affected by the ban.

many users trying to access the network instead saw a notice from
Turkey’s telecommunications authority, citing four court orders.

Turkey’s lawyers’ association asked a court to overturn the ban,
arguing it was unconstitutional and violated Turkish and European human
rights laws. Turkey’s main opposition party also applied for a

Twitter’s (at)policy account earlier sent out
messages telling Turkish users in both English and Turkish they could
send out tweets by using short message service, or “SMS.” It was unclear
how those tweets would be viewable.



Crimea loses, India wins

The conditions are indeed favorable at this point.

India desperately needs to make nuclear energy work and the Russians are passionate about friends (apart from say…Syria) who look the other way.

India and Russia are set to sign the much delayed
techno-commercial agreement for Kudankulam 3 and 4 reactors later this month.
Government sources said all differences, resulting from India’s contentious
Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Act, 2010, had been taken care of with
Moscow finally agreeing to bring the pressurised water reactors under the
purview of the law.

Russia had until now maintained that the liability law, which makes suppliers
of equipment financially accountable in the event of an accident, was a recent
and an unnecessary invention in its civil nuclear partnership with India.

Unlike Kudankulam 3 and 4, the first and second Kudankulam units will function
independent of the liability law. Fearing that allowing the same concession for
the third and fourth units could lead to similar demands from other countries,
India had officially conveyed to Russia in 2012 that both the units will have
to operate under the liability law.

Russia had responded by saying that that the 2010 law was not in keeping with
the spirit of the 2008 civil nuclear cooperation agreement between the two
countries and that the cost of the supplied equipment would increase
significantly if the suppliers were made accountable. …..Russian deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin had said,
“If the supplier is to bear additional financial responsibility for
hypothetical damage, then the price of the supplied equipment will increase,

India and Russia had in 2013 signed an agreement for a $3.4
billion Russian line of credit for the reactors. The cost for the two reactors
is expected to be more than $7 billion.

The agreement, however, was not delayed only because of the liability issue. At
one stage, the UPA government deliberately slowed down negotiations as it
waited for protests in the coastal town against nuclear reactors to subside.  

Manmohan Singh told then President Dmitry Medvedev during his visit to Russia
in March 2012 that the agreement would have to wait “until the conditions
became favorable.”




“experiment of developing India ….has failed”

Deeply enchanted with Mao and completely disenchanted with Nehru (and his successors), Neville Maxwell made the following predictions.  

Ramchandra Guha looks at how well the verdicts have held up over time.

IN the first weeks of 1967, the Times of London carried a series
of articles on “India’s Disintegrating Democracy”. Written by their
Delhi correspondent, Neville Maxwell, these assessed the upcoming
General Elections, the fourth held since Independence, and the first
since Jawaharlal Nehru’s death. 
The articles were deeply pessimistic
about the prospect for democracy in India. As Maxwell wrote, “famine is
threatening, the administration is strained and universally believed to
be corrupt, the government and the governing party have lost public
confidence and belief in themselves as well”.
These various crises had
created an “emotional readiness for the rejection of Parliamentary
democracy”. The “politically sophisticated Indians” whom Maxwell spoke
to expressed “a deep sense of defeat, an alarmed awareness that the
future is not only dark but profoundly uncertain”.

Maxwell’s own view was that “the crisis is upon India — he could spy
`the already fraying fabric of the nation itself”, with the states
“already beginning to act like sub-nations”. His conclusion was
unequivocal: that while Indians would soon vote in “the fourth — and
surely last — general election”, “the great experiment of developing
India within a democratic framework has failed”.
The imminent collapse of democracy in India, thought Maxwell, would
provoke a frantic search for “an alternative antidote for the society’s

Three options presented themselves. 

The first was represented
by the Jan Sangh (forerunner of today’s Bharatiya Janata Party).
would play the Hindu card but fail, since it was as corrupt and
faction-ridden as the other parties, and because the South would reject
its over-zealous promotion of the Hindi language. 

The second possibility
was an army coup,
but this too “seems out of the question in India”
because of the complex federal system. To succeed, there would have to
be 17 simultaneous coups in the States, as well as one in the centre.

While a straightforward coup was unlikely, Maxwell thought that the army
would nonetheless come to rule India through indirect means.
As he
predicted, “in India, as present trends continue, within the
ever-closing vice of food and population, maintenance of an ordered
structure of society is going to slip out of reach of an ordered
structure of civil government and the army will be the only alternative source of authority and order. That it will be drawn into a civil role seems inevitable, the only doubt is how?”
Maxwell answered his query by suggesting that “a mounting tide of public
disorder, fed perhaps by pockets of famine”, would lead to calls for a
strengthening of the office of the President. The Rashtrapathi would be
asked to literally act as the Father of the Nation, “to assert a
stabilizing authority over the centre and the country”. Backing him
would be the army, which would come to exercise “more and more civil
authority”. In this scenario, the President would become “either the
actual source of political authority, or a figure-head for a group
composed possibly of army officers and a few politicians … “.

Forty years down the road, we can perhaps say that Maxwell’s predictions
have been fulfilled in part, modest part.
The BJP has been shown to be
as corrupt and faction-ridden as (say) the Congress, the army has been
called in more often to quell civil disorder, and the President is no
longer a complete figure-head.  Yet his (Maxwell’s) extreme scepticism
about parliamentary democracy, his announcement of its imminent demise,
has turned out to be very mistaken indeed.
Rather than use the benefit of hindsight, let us contrast to Maxwell’s
gloominess a more upbeat contemporary estimate. This was provided by an
anonymous correspondent of another British journal, The Guardian.
His assessment of that election campaign of 1967 began by mentioning
how “the Delhi correspondent of a British newspaper whose thundering
misjudgments in foreign affairs have become a byword has expressed the
view that Indian democracy is disintegrating”. 
Then he added: “My own view after three weeks traveling round the country and talking to all and sundry, is that Indian democracy is now for the first time coming fully alive”.



The West India company

…is striving to be a bit more humane than the East India Company (the 18th c. avatar, not the 21st c. shop owned by Sanjiv Mehta).

Taymoor Soomro recounts the bad old days in the Dawn
The East India Company was to its generation, what Amazon will likely be to
the next: monstrous, semi-sovereign, monopolistic, life-styling. It was a
state-backed, limited liability company incorporated in the seventeenth century
to explore the world and trade for the British. Through commerce and political
machination, it acquired increasing control over India and eventually colonised
the subcontinent before it was absorbed into the British administration.  

its almost three century (first) life, it grew to rule one-fifth of the world’s
population, command a standing army of 200,000 men and control half the world’s
It was simply “the Company”.

The Company stood for power, adventure, discovery, luxury and class. It did
not bring civilisation to the subcontinent. The Mughals of the 17th and 18th
centuries were far more sophisticated than the British in many ways.
But it
brought tea and spices to the West and cheap cloth — calico, gingham, chintz,
seersucker and taffeta for example — a clean underwear revolution. Like all
corporates, its greatest strength and failing was its pure profit motive. In an
age with little regulation and competition, that absolute lack of morality
harnessed to extraordinary power generated massive profit and massive harm.  

Company played a role in the Bengal Famine of 1770 in which 10 million died,
the Boston Tea Party in 1773, the Anglo-Chinese Opium Wars from 1839 to 1842
and 1856 to 1860 and the War of Independence 1857, also known as mutiny; and
destroyed local textile and shipbuilding industries.
It was finally dissolved
in 1874 because of its failures in administration. The grotesque poverty of the
subcontinent today is in part a product of its rule.

So its revival comes as something of a surprise. Even more so, given that
the resuscitator who has pressed his warm breath between its blue lips is an
Indian. Sanjiv Mehta — a businessman with a diverse background in gemology and
tea trading — bought the rights to use the East India Company name in 2005.

There are clearly incentives. The East India Company has a name and
reputation that provide an obvious platform for a luxury goods retailer. Even
more so because we seem to remember the good and none of the bad. It is, in
British history, the original bridge to the exotic Orient, bringing tea and
pepper and cloves and muslin to the Empire. And in subcontinental history, the
Company heralded the British Raj — and brought order to India in a way that
none have since.
Its recent revival is an exercise in monetising those elements
of orientalism and nostalgia and as such its investment appears to be purely in
its branding.

Don’t get me wrong — if, on a hungry afternoon, at the back of a cupboard, I
chanced upon a dusty jar of its Real Raspberries Enrobed in Chocolate, I’d
likely enjoy them notwithstanding my discomfort with their politics and

But in the end the East India Company’s revival leaves me more than anything
else with an unpleasant taste in my mouth. Its gruesome legacy, its
orientalism, its poor product selection make this endeavor unwise. In its
second incarnation, the Company retains its relentless thirst for profit but
little else.  

And to revive a grand Empire builder as a gift shop — well, it’s
like Pol Pot as a Cabbage Patch Kid: embarrassingly distasteful … but perhaps
appropriately degrading. If this is an act of revenge, it’s masterful.

major Tata Consultancy Services said it has been named as the top
employer in Europe for the second consecutive year by the Top Employers

The company was recognised as an exceptional performer
across six core human resources areas – primary conditions, secondary
benefits, working conditions, training, career development and company


“We are delighted to have been rated as the foremost
employer across Europe for the second consecutive year and we look
forward to building on this success as we continue to grow and develop
our talent base across the UK and Continental Europe,” TCS Executive
Vice President and Global Head, Human Resources Ajoy Mukherjee said.


Previously known as the CRF Institute, The Top Employers Institute is
an independent organisation that identifies top performers in the field
of Human Resources worldwide. The Top Employer certification is based on independent research conducted by the institute and audited by Grant Thornton.



Caste (and sect) of dead people?

A good question indeed. Samuel Kuruvilla tries to explain the dilemma faced by the fishermen community of Kerala. He is also clear minded about the playbook followed by the Italians and wants justice for the dead. It is after all not that complicated at all.

(This article was posted back in 2012. In Feb 2014, two years after the incident, it is reported that the families of the dead fishermen have decided to forgive the murderers. It is possible that social pressure was instrumental in this decision making where blood money will help pay for freedom. Perhaps some one should determine the extent of appreciation in value of (thirty pieces of) silver over a period of 2000 years.


The Italians are actively pursuing the
Church angle, given historic Italian and Vatican linkages with the Latin and
Roman Catholic Churches in Kerala.

Kerala is practically the only State in
India that has a plethora of autonomous Catholic rites predominantly composed
of members of one particular community or caste. While the Syrian Christians
are represented by two autonomous churches under the suzerainty of Rome, the
Syro-Malabar and the Syro-Malankar, the ‘new’ converted Christians in the
Catholic fold are represented by the Latin Catholic Church that functions under
the direct authority of the See of Rome. It is to this Church that both the
dead fishermen belong to and this Church was mentored, developed and governed
till around over half-a-decade ago by the Italian Bishops only.

However, the Catholic Church in
Kerala has been forced to keep out of the controversy given the serious nature
of the issue as well as the competing jurisdictions of three different Catholic
rites in Kerala, each with a different heritage while all owing ultimate
allegiance to the See of Rome.  

Caste politics has also played a role in this
issue, with the dominant Catholic rite in Kerala being predominantly composed
of the upper-caste Syrian Christians, while the ‘Latin’ Catholic Church in
Kerala was predominantly composed of people from the ‘oppressed’ classes of
that had converted to Christianity to escape the rigid Kerala caste
system over the last couple of centuries. 

In fact when the recently crowned
‘Cardinal’ of the Syrian Catholic Church, Mar George Alenchery, who happened to
be in Rome attending his Cardinal investiture ceremony, when the incident took
place in Kerala, offered his good offices as a mediator between the
Italians-Vatican and the fisherman community in Kerala, there was an immediate
backlash with the Latin Catholic Church asking the Syrian Bishop to keep his hands
off the issue which concerned their own flock and not his. 

Given the
sensitivities of the people and particularly that of the ‘Mukuva’ community to
which both the fishermen belonged too, there is a limit beyond which the Church
cannot and will not go, at the risk of being branded anti-national and agents
of a foreign power.

The Chief Minister, himself an upper-caste Syrian Christian, has gone on record
as stating that the two erring Italian servicemen need expect no leniency from
the courts.

The whole issue, other than the
immense tragedy that the loss of two young working men’s lives has meant to
their respective families as well as to the state, both the Centre as well as
Kerala, that saw a foreign power commit coldblooded, albeit possibly not
premeditated, murder at our own doorstep, has highlighted the extent to which
the Western powers and in particular the Western ‘Christian’ powers are
prepared to use old colonial ‘religious’ linkages for their present convenience
and benefit, as and when the opportunity arises for them to do so. 

If this wanton act of aggression
against our nationals on our own coastline and well within our exclusive
economic zone is not punished as befitting our present power and status, other
nations will also be tempted to repeat the same along our coasts in the name of
combating piracy or even worse.  

The law must be allowed take its course as
regards the two Italian servicemen who killed our citizens along the coast of
Kerala on the night of February 15, 2012.




A true Keralite (and a proud Christian)

Oomen Chandy has taken a brave stand against the all powerful western capitalist establishment in the form of the United Nations (and the European Union).

He is a proud Christian (along with Union Minister KV Thomas) who will not apologize for standing by his fellow christian fishermen who were murdered in cold blood (unlike church leaders who should know better).
chief minister Oommen Chandy on Friday urged the Centre not to release
the Italian marines accused of murdering Indian fishermen, even if the
United Nations intervened.

Asking the Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh not to give in to the pressures of Italy, he said reports in a
section of media that UN general assembly President John Ashe might take
up this demand with India during his visit to the country,
concerns about the future of the case.

Freeing the marines
without trial under Indian laws would be legally prejudicial and lower
the image of the judicial system in the country, the chief minister said
in a letter to the Prime Minister.

He said people in Kerala were anxiously awaiting the trial and subsequent phases in the case.

Two Indian fishermen were killed off the Kollam coast of Kerala when
the two marines aboard Italian ship Enrica Lexie fired at them on
February 15, 2012.

Ever since the arrest and detention of the
marines — Massimilano Latoree and Salvatore Girone — Italy has been
opposing their trial under Indian laws and exerting pressure for their

This is what Major Archbishop Mar George Alencherry had to say about the whole incident in 2012:
“I am and will remain in close contact with the Catholic ministers of
Kerala and I hope that they will help to pacify the situation. In particular, I
trust in the work of the Tourism Minister, the Catholic K.V. Thomas, who
participated in the consistory in Rome in the past days and attended the mass
with the Holy Father and the new cardinals. He is a man of great moral stature
and of significant influence, both in the local and Central Government, and he
assured me his maximum effort. I guarantee, in the next few days, my constant
involvement with the Indian authorities on the matter,” Agenzia Fides
quoted him as saying.

“I learned the story of the Catholic fishermen killed;
it is very sad. I immediately contacted the Catholic ministers of Kerala urging
the government not to act precipitatedly. In the episode, of course, there were
errors, since the fishermen were mistaken for pirates. But the point is
another. It seems that the opposition party wants to take advantage of the
situation and exploit the case for electoral reasons, speaking of ‘Western
powers’ or the ‘will of American dominance’, the Vatican agency quoted

The archbishop’s reported remarks have kicked up a furore
because most of the state’s fisherfolk, including the two slain persons,
belonged to the Latin Catholic Church. Kerala is stunned by the killing.
state police have arrested the two marines on charges of murder and have also
seized the ship. These measures have been opposed by the Italian officials who
maintained their crew can be tried only under international law. “I like
to believe that the cardinal did not say such things. Hope he would understand
our family’s grief too,” says Derec, 17, son of Jelestin, one of the dead
Besides political leaders, fishermen’s organisations and even
members from the Latin Catholic Church have expressed dismay at the cardinal’s
reported remarks.

The cardinal has also dragged in K.V. Thomas, Union minister of state for
agriculture and food,
into the controversy. Thomas was present at the Vatican
where Alencherry was ordained as cardinal. The minister denied having discussed
the issue with the cardinal. “We are all for taking the most stringent
action against the culprits,” he said.


The bereaved families are apparently under a lot of psychological pressure and have decided to forgive the killers. This of course should have no bearing on the case itself, Indian law does not recognize blood money payment as price for freedom.

“We have already forgiven the marines. I won’t get back my husband
if they are hanged. They shot dead my husband and his colleague
mistaking them for Somali pirates,” said Doramma, 40, wife of Valentine
Jelestine , 45, one of the victims.

For their forgiveness, Italy has paid a price. Doramma got Rs one crore and her two children Rs 50 lakh each. This apart, Doramma, a resident of Kollam in Kerala, has been offered
a job of a peon at the fisheries department by the Kerala Government to
keep Christian fishermen community, a major vote bank, in good humour.

The deal was negotiated by the Rome-controlled Kerala Latin Church to which the victims and their families belong.

It is yet doubtful whether the stance of the families is the true
reflection of their mind. People in their locality say since the Church
has a great influence on the families in the community, they may be jut
parroting the Church’s script. From day one, the Church, perhaps under
the pressure from Rome, has been trying for the safe exit of the marines
from India. To pave the way for it, the hefty (by Indian standard)
compensation has been paid.

But the owner of the ill-fated fishing boat which was badly damaged
in the reckless firing by marine has not been paid any compensation by
Italy despite his repeated request.



The GM invasion is underway

Jayanthi Natarajan dumped the Congress back in 1996 (under the leadership of Mir Jafar Moopanar GK) and Congress got its chance to dump her back in 2013 after Congress was crushed in the state polls and industrialists complained about her to Man Mohan Singh. It was let known that this action was on behalf of a decisive new leader who wanted to show-case his friendliness towards the industry. May not be the best example of poetic justice….but then what is?

Jolted by the recent electoral drubbing that was attributed to the
UPA government’s non-performance and indecisiveness, Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh Saturday cracked the whip, ensuring the resignation of Environment & Forests Minister (Independent charge) Jayanthi Natarajan.

The move, signalling the government’s intent to remove
bottlenecks in the decision-making process, came ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s
address to India Inc. Sources said the Congress vice-president was
instrumental in Natarajan’s ouster and that several batches of
industrialists had met Rahul in recent times and singled out the
environment ministry for having vitiated the investment climate though
“arbitrary objections” and “rent-seeking”.


However the person in charge now is making J.N. look like an angel. The GM invasion is coming and that heroic quantum theoretician Dr. Vandana Shiva and her colleagues will not be able to stop it.

Taking a major step forward to scientifically assess ‘risk’ and ‘safety’
aspects of transgenic crops, the government’s top regulator – Genetic
Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) – on Friday revalidated 10 varieties of
GM crops including wheat, rice, maize and cotton and allowed multi-national
seed companies to go for “confined field trials” of these varieties.

The companies like Monsanto, Mahyco and BASF whose applications got
revalidation will, however, be able to go for field trials only after getting
state’s mandatory nod. Revalidation of these varieties was required as their “validity
period” got lapsed due to state government’s stand of not allowing them to
go for field trial. The GEAC had given its clearance in those 10 cases way back
in 2011 and 2012.

The revalidation of 10 cases on Friday would allow the seed companies, which
developed these varieties, to go for “confined field trials” (called
Phase-II trial) in bigger area as compared to their tests in a very small tract
of land during Phase-I.

The move comes barely a month after the ministry had given its nod to
“confined field trials” of over 200 transgenic varieties of GM crops
which got GEAC’s clearance in its 117th meeting in March last year.

Though the regulatory body had given its go ahead to those 200 varieties,
the then environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan had kept this in abeyance.
ministry had then felt that the companies should not be allowed to go for field
trials unless the Supreme Court takes a final view on a pending PIL on the
contentious issue of GM crops.

The MoEF had, however, under the present minister M Veerappa Moily, last
month allowed the GEAC to hold its 118th meeting on Friday, taking in view
demands of scientist community from across the country.
Agriculture scientists from research institutions including IARI, ICAR and
various Universities have been demanding “field trials” for GM crops
for long,
arguing that “confined field trials are essential for the
evaluation of productivity performance as well as food and environmental safety

A group of prominent scientists had met under ‘father of green revolution’ M
S Swaminathan here at National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (Nasa) in
February and issued a 15-point resolution in favour of GM crops.
Pitching for the field trials, the resolution said, “The
non-conductance of regular field trials is a handicap as well as disincentive
in harnessing the benefits of a wide array of transgenic material available
with different research organizations”.

Anti-GM activists have, however, taken strong objection to the GEAC’s
decision on Friday to revalidate those 10 cases of transgenic varieties which
will pave the way for their field trials.

Protesting field trials, convenor of Coalition for GM Free India, Rajesh
said, “The bio-safety tests can be done in a greenhouse or glass
house. The field trials are mostly for agronomic purposes. The industry wants
to reduce the period of regulation and hence wants to run these things
simultaneously”. He said, “It is, in fact, ridiculous to simultaneously do assessment of
risks and open up the experiment for contamination, which often happens in the
case of a field trial, before the risk assessment is done”.

The industry body – Association of Biotech Led Enterprises- Agriculture
Group (ABLE-AG) – has, however, welcomed the GEAC’s move, calling it “a
progressive push to the march of GM technology in India”.
“We welcome this and hope that the rest of the applications too shall
be expeditiously cleared,” said Ram Kaundinya, chairman of the ABLE-AG. 



Doctor Dharma fails Dharma for Doctors

It is not as we have been advised “first do no harm.”

Instead the motto for the (not so) good doctor apparently is “money helps my conscience go to sleep.”

Even if he does not get the stipulated 14 years in jail he should be banished from the medical community as is deserving of the first ever person in the UK to be prosecuted for female genital mutilation. Similar contempt should be also directed to doctors who perform sex-selective abortions.

A London doctor and another man will
become the first people to be charged in Britain over female genital
mutilation, state prosecutors announced on Friday….Another man, Hasan Mohamed, is
accused of intentionally encouraging an offense of FGM, and of aiding,
abetting, counselling or procuring Dharmasena to commit the offense.

“It was alleged that following
a patient giving birth in November 2012, a doctor at the Whittington Hospital,
in London, repaired FGM that had previously been performed on the patient,
allegedly carrying out FGM himself,” said Alison Saunders, director of
public prosecutions. “Having carefully considered
all the available evidence, I have determined there is sufficient evidence and
it would be in the public interest to prosecute Dr Dhanoun Dharmasena.”

Some 100 to 140 million girls and
women globally are thought to have undergone FGM, which ranges from removal of
the clitoris to more widespread mutilation, and can lead to infection and
long-term severe pain.

FGM has been illegal in Britain
since 1985 but no-one has ever been prosecuted.

There have been increasing calls on
police and the government to act, and last month ministers introduced a new
requirement on British hospitals to keep a record of patients who have been
subjected to FGM.

The latest Department of Health
figures from 2007 suggest that 66,000 women in England and Wales are living
with the consequences of FGM, and a further 23,000 girls under the age of 15
are at risk every year.

FGM was first made illegal in
Britain under a 1985 law, which was extended in 2003 to make it an offense for
British nationals or permanent residents to carry out FGM abroad or seek FGM
abroad, even where it is legal.

The maximum penalty is 14 years in




Neville Maxwell

Maxwell was the reporter for the Times (UK) who covered India (1959-1967) and south Asia and is famous for the comment that the 1967 general elections would be the last one that India had as a democratic country. He covered the Indo-China war and his considered viewpoint was that…it is all India’s fault.

Maxwell at least has the virtue of being consistent, he has also blamed America for the current problems that have opened up between China and her maritime neighbors.

Here are his comments on releasing the Henderson-Brooks report (on the Indo-China war) which is still classified secret in India.

The most interesting question is (as always): who was the whistle-blower?

Those who gave me access to the Henderson Brooks Report when I was researching
my study of the Sino-Indian border dispute laid down no conditions as to how I
should use it.  That they would remain anonymous went without saying, an
implicit condition I will always observe, otherwise how the material was used
was left to my judgement.  I decided that while I would quote freely from
the Report, thus revealing that I had had access to it (and indeed had a copy),
I would neither proclaim nor deny that fact; and my assumption was that the
gist of the report having been published in 1970 in the detailed account of the
Army’s debacle given in my India’s China War, the Indian government would
release it after a decent interval.

The passing of years showed that assumption to have been mistaken and left
me in a quandary.  I did not have to rely on memory to tell the falsity of
the government’s assertion that keeping the Report secret was necessary for
reasons of national security, I had taken a copy and the text nowhere touches
on issues that could have current strategic or tactical relevance.  The
reasons for the long-term withholding of the report must be political, indeed
probably partisan, perhaps even familial. 
While I kept the Report to
myself I was therefore complicit in a continuing cover-up.

I marked the new century by publishing as an “Introduction to the Henderson
Brooks Report” a detailed description, and account of the circumstances in
which it was written, explaining its political and military context and
summarising its findings (EPW, April 14, 2001): there was no public reaction in
the Indian press or even among the chauvinist ranks of the academic security
establishment.  My first attempt to put the Report itself on the public
record was indirect and low-key: after I retired from the University I donated
my copy to Oxford’s Bodleian Library, where, I thought, it could be studied in
a setting of scholarly calm.   

The Library initially welcomed it as a
valuable contribution in that “grey area” between actions and printed books, in
which I had given them material previously.  But after some months the
librarian to whom I had entrusted it warned me that, under a new regulation,
before the Report was put on to the shelves and opened to the public it would
have to be cleared by the British government with the government which might be
adversely interested! 

Shocked by that admission of a secret process of
censorship to which the Bodleian had supinely acceded I protested to the head
Librarian, then an American, but received no response.  Fortunately I was
able to retrieve my donation before the Indian High Commission in London was
alerted in the Bodleian’s procedures and was perhaps given the Report.

In 1962, noting that all attempts in India to make the government release
the Report had failed, I decided on a more direct approach and made the text
available to the editors of three of India’s leading publications, asking that
they observe the usual journalistic practice of keeping their source to
themselves. (I thought that would be clear enough to those who had long studied
the border dispute and saw no need to depart from my long-standing “no comment”

To my surprise the editors concerned decided, unanimously, not
to publish.  They explained that, while “there is no question that the
report should be made public”, if it were leaked rather than released
officially the result would be a hubbub over national security, with most
attention focused on the leak itself, and little or no productive analysis of
the text.  The opposition parties would savage the government for laxity
in allowing the Report to get out, the government would turn in rage upon those
who had published it.

Although surprised by this reaction, unusual in the age of Wikileaks, I
could not argue with their reasoning.  Later I gave the text to a fourth
editor and offered it to a fifth, with the same nil result.  

So my dilemma
continued – although with the albatross hung, so to speak, on Indian necks as
well as my own.
As I see it now I have no option but, rather than leave the dilemma to my
heirs, to put the Report on the internet myself.  So here is the text
(there are two lacunae, accidental in the copying process)



Carlotta Gall

She claims physical abuse by the Pakistan Special Branch (or perhaps even agents of the ISI or MI).

This may have provided her with the motivation to write her book which accuses the Army Chief (Gen Ashfaque Pervez Kayani) and ISI chief (Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha) in Pakistan of being knowledgeable about the presence of Osama Bin Laden.

Conclusion: keep a (well connected, foreign) reporter happy or else. We can also see the example of Neville Maxwell (reporting on the Indo-China war and his comments with regards to the Henderson-Brooks report).

New York Times correspondent Carlotta Gall tells ABC News she was
assaulted by plain-clothed government security agents while reporting in
Quetta, a Pakistani city near the Afghan frontier where NATO suspects
the Taliban hides its shadow government.

Akhtar Soomro, a freelance Pakistani photographer working with Gall,
was detained for five-and-a-half hours. According to Gall, the agents
broke down the door to her hotel room, after she refused to let them
enter, and began to seize her notebooks and laptop. When she tried to
stop them, she says one of the men punched her twice in the face and

“I fell backwards onto a coffee table smashing the crockery,” she
recalled in a written account of the incident. “I have heavy bruising on
my arms, on my temple and my cheekbone, and swelling on my left eye and
a sprained knee.” 

Gall says the agents accused her and Soomro of trying to meet the
Taliban. They identified themselves as working for Pakistan’s Special
Branch, an undercover police department, but Gall said other local
reporters identified them as employees from one of the country’s two
powerful spy agencies: Inter-Services Intelligence or Military

a few of the conclusions as laid out in her book

On ISI and evidence of actual culpability (still no smoking gun as we can see):
In trying to prove that the ISI knew of Bin Laden’s whereabouts and
protected him, I struggled for more than two years to piece together
something other than circumstantial evidence and suppositions from
sources with no direct knowledge.
Only one man, a former ISI chief and
retired general, Ziauddin Butt, told me that he thought Musharraf had
arranged to hide Bin Laden in Abbottabad. But he had no proof and, under
pressure, claimed in the Pakistani press that he’d been misunderstood. 

Finally, on a winter evening in 2012, I got the confirmation I was
looking for. According to one inside source, the ISI actually ran a
special desk assigned to handle Bin Laden. It was operated
independently, led by an officer who made his own decisions and did not
report to a superior. He handled only one person: Bin Laden.
I was
sitting at an outdoor cafe when I learned this, and I remember gasping,
though quietly so as not to draw attention. (Two former senior American
officials later told me that the information was consistent with their
own conclusions.) This was what Afghans knew, and Taliban fighters had
told me, but finally someone on the inside was admitting it. The desk
was wholly deniable by virtually everyone at the ISI — such is how
super secret intelligence units operate — but the top military bosses
knew about it, I was told.

On Afghanistan: When I remember the beleaguered state of Afghanistan in 2001, I marvel at
the changes the American intervention has fostered: the rebuilding, the
modernity, the bright graduates in every office. Yet after 13 years, more than
a trillion dollars spent, 120,000 foreign troops deployed at the height of the
war and tens of thousands of lives lost, Afghanistan’s predicament has not
changed: It remains a weak state, prey to the ambitions of its neighbors and
extremist Islamists.
This is perhaps an unpopular opinion, but to pull out now
is, undeniably, to leave with the job only half-done. Meanwhile,
the real enemy remains at large.