|Sunday, March 12, 2000,
face, new phase for RSS
India rules out talks with
Pak lie on jehad and proxy war
Herbal fuel inventor
CISF to extend services to
NDA govt within month: Paswan
Arjun files papers for RS
New face, new phase for RSS
NEW DELHI, March 11 The change of guard effected by the RSS at its Pratinidhi Sabha, currently being held at Nagpur, will throw up a litmus test for the NDA government led by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee.
The role of the RSS vis-a-vis the BJP, which was the raison detre for the collapse of the first-ever non-Congress government at the Centre, led by the late Morarji Desai, is occupying the centrestage of political debate all over again, the recent abrasiveness in Gujarat being the immediate flashpoint. At this juncture the emergence of a known hardliner, Mr K.S. Sudarshan, as the Sarsanghchalak (chief) of the RSS has interesting portents. Mr Sudarshan not only symbolises a new face, but also a new phase for the RSS.
Mr Sudarshan, who has been pitchforked from the number three position of Sah-Sarkaryavha (joint general secretary) to succeed Prof Rajendra Singh, affectionately known as "Rajju Bhaiya" in the RSS fraternity, was the in charge of political affairs in the organisations top brass and thereby was the authorised face of the RSS for communicating important decisions of the organisation to political parties, including the BJP. With this background, he will be a chief with a difference in the politically surcharged atmosphere in which the RSS finds itself in the eye of a storm, Mr Sudarshan will need no backgrounders while conducting a discourse.
Going by his past pronouncements, this vocal votary of the Swadeshi line in the Sangh Parivar is no admirer of the present regime at the Centre. At the end of a "Chintan Baithak" of the RSS some months back, he had categorically told mediapersons that the RSS was "not happy" with the functioning of the government of Mr Vajpayee.
The smiling faces of Mr Vajpayee and the Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, have not been able to mask the frown on the faces of the RSS hardcore, which includes Mr Sudarshan, Mr K.N. Govindacharya, Mr Narendra Modi and a host of other RSS top brass active in the BJP.
The change of guard at Nagpur, thus, is not the best news which could have reached Mr Vajpayee in Mauritius. In fact, the import of this tiding has more long term repercussion on Mr Vajpayees future than the reverse suffered by the NDA due to the aborted tenure of Mr Nitish Kumar as Chief Minister of Bihar.
The RSS, thus, will provide a rallying point both within the Sangh Parivar and outside. However, there is no immediate threat to the Vajpayee government because unlike Congress dissidents (like Arjun Singh, M.L. Fotedar, K. Natwar Singh, Sheila Dikshit, N.D. Tiwari and Mohsina Kidwai who had revolted against Mr Narasimha Rao and formed the Congress-T), the dissatisfaction in the RSS with the BJP regime will not end in internal sabotage aimed at pulling down ones own regime.
Mr Sudarshan is a comparatively junior player in the Sangh Parivar. So much so, the bibliography of Craig Bexters monumental work "The Jana Sangh" published in 1968 which is taken as a well-documented chronicle of the RSS and the BJPs precursor, Jana Sangh does not even contain the name of Mr Kuppahali Sitarammiah Sudarshan, an electronics and telecom engineer, who has spent his lifetime preaching the ideology of the RSS.
For the first time the
BJP hierarchy Mr Vajpayee and Mr Advani in the
government and Mr Kushabhau Thakre in the party
headquarters has personages who are senior to the
reigning RSS Sarsanghchalak.
India rules out talks with Pakistan
NEW DELHI, March 11 (UNI) India today ruled out resumption of dialogue with Pakistan unless Islamabad refrained from fomenting cross-border terrorism to create a congenial atmosphere.
"It is imperative for Pakistan to abjure from promoting cross-border violence as an essential step to creating an environment for a dialogue, External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh told a press conference.
"It cannot be seen as a precondition. It is essential ... It is no good throwing seeds on a land which has not been tilled, Mr Jaswant Singh said while launching the "South Asia terrorism portal" of the Institute for Conflict Management (ICM) here this evening.
He said application of terrorism as an instrument of state policy by Islamabad is threatening Indian nationhood and conceded that Indias efforts fell short of matching the malicious Pakistani propaganda.
"A dangerous mix of narcotics, proliferation of arms and terrorism as an instrument of state policy permeates Pakistans body politic which has emerged as a challenge to Indian nationhood, Mr Jaswant Singh said.
Echoing the views of Minister of State for Planning and Programme Implementation Arun Shourie that Pakistan had now found the two-nation theory unsustainable, Mr Jaswant Singh said Islamabads main objective was to corrode the Indian society by application of "jehad" as an instrument of foreign policy.
"While surfing the net, I was astonished at the number of Jehadi websites detailing varieties of fundamentalism and one can find how little effort India has made in this regard, he said. He refused to divulge details when asked whether the Ministry of External Affairs was planning to counter the propaganda of fundamentalists through the Internet.
Mr Jaswant Singh said in his definition of South Asia as a geo-political entity, he would like to include Myanmar and Afghanistan as "otherwise we will not be addressing the totality.
Stressing that terrorism is a great debilitating force for democratic societies, Mr Arun Shourie said,: "We must be a few steps ahead of the terrorists. He said India had to devise its own means to tackle it. In an oblique reference to the USA, he said,: "If Osama bin Ladens body is handed over to them, they will assume that the problem of terrorism is over for the time-being.
The ICM President Mr
K.P.S. Gill, who wiped out terrorism from Punjab as the
state police chief, stressed on the need for tackling the
problem through spread of information. "We should
use the Internet which cuts across
boundaries, he said, calling for a coalition
against the "rising spiral of violence threatening
civilisations and democracies.
Herbal fuel inventor held
CHENNAI, March 11 (UNI) "Herbal fuel" fame Ramar Pillai was today arrested by the CBI on charges of cheating the public by selling industrial organic chemicals as "herbal fuel."
Mr Pillai was produced before Mr R Muniratnam, CBI Special Judge, at his residence who remanded him to CBI custody till March 16.
The CBI had arrested Mr Pillai following reliable information that the "fuel inventor," in conspiracy with unknown public servants of oil refineries and oil distributing companies, was getting supply of petroleum products like benzene and toulene and selling the same as herbal fuel after mixing these with additives, a CBI press note said.
Mr Pillai, who came out with his "wonder fuel" about three years ago, shot into limelight after he demonstrated his product to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, though scientists remained sceptical of his invention.
After lying low for
several months, Mr Pillai began "production of the
fuel" after starting a small-scale unit in the
Guindy industrial estate. He was making brisk business in
the city through retail outlets.
CISF to extend services to
NEW DELHI, March 11 The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which has taken over security of eight domestic airports will extend its services at all such airports by the end of this year and international airports by the middle of next year.
The CISF, which has been facing an uncertain future due to Rs 300-crore dues from public sector undertakings over the years, has made a turnaround with the opening of new avenues in the form of deployment at airports and providing consultancy to the private sector.
"Last year there was a mood of despondency and we were feeling that the force may have to drop some of its people. Now the market looks good and we require more people, the CISF Director-General, Dr Trinath Misra, said here addressing a press conference on the eve of its raising day.
In addition to providing security at airports, thereby relieving local police, the 96,000-strong CISF also wanted to lend its expertise to the private sector as part of a revenue generating measure. The Central government has now permitted it to provide consultancy services to the private sector.
"We have been permitted to provide consultancy and as soon as the guidelines are cleared we shall be offering it through public notice, Dr Misra said.
On airport security, the CISF chief said although the job was new the personnel were put through special training by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.
The CISF has created a specialised task force and will deploy quick-reaction teams at sensitive airports to deal with any contingency. This is in addition to the sky-marshals/NSG commandos now being deployed on select routes.
The CISF personnel are also being given special instructions to ensure that their conduct in dealing with public was good.
Dr Misra said apart from providing security at the Jaipur, Guwahati, Agartala, Port Blair, Baroda, Rajkot, Patna and Ranchi airports the CISF would soon extend its operations to Hyderabad and a private airport at Kochi.
While lending personnel is expected to generate funds and provide gainful employment for the CISF personnel, the organisation plans to make money through providing consultancy services.
Consultancy can be provided on various aspects, including security/location survey, perimeter defence/access control, transportation and related logistics and inventory control etc.
Asked about the efficacy of the CISF which guards 245 public sector undertakings, including several key installations like oil and nuclear establishments, Dr Misra said services at 114 PSUs were good and free of any pilferage.
He said if then connivance of CISF personnel was established in any shady act, it will be dealt with strictly.
A total of 1,360 personnel were arrested by the CISF at various units and property worth Rs 7 crore was recovered, he said.
On the shortage of women personnel in the force, Dr Misra said the CISF at present has 1,500 women personnel and was planning to take 1,500 personnel by way of deputation from other forces or through direct recruitment.
Pak lie on jehad and proxy war
NEW DELHI, (ADNI) Pakistans insistence that it is only giving moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiri Mujahideen preparatory to President Bill Clintons visit to that country has been given the lie in a document obtained by the ADNI in which the Psychological Operations Branch of the Pakistan Army General Headquarters has unequivocally stated that the so-called jehad is India-specific.
It is a document not prepared for the alleged Mujahids but for regular army personnel and says quite specifically: "Holy persons have said that Muslims will fight jehad in India..."
Apparently intended to boost the sagging morale of the Shia and Isamaili-dominated Northern Light Infantry drawn from the Gilgit region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir which it used as cannon-fodder in Kargil in 1999, the Pakistan army high command in an attempt to salve its own conscience for leaving the bodies of its soldiers to rot in the mountains has dug up a unique homily: "Holy people have said that a martyr feels only that much pain which you feel if stung by an ant or a mosquito."
In somewhat disingenuous attempt to elicit devotion to duty its Psychological Operations (Psyops) Branch has come up with some gems of quotations. Witness: "Benefit of keeping awake during holy war: A human being who remains awake on one night of jehad will earn what he will earn in 300 years of dedicated worship of Allah."
And, under "Benefit of guard duty in holy war: Holy people have said if a human being gives 24 hours guard duty then all his sins will be forgiven."
"Winning or losing in the hands of the Almighty: Defeat can only be provided by God as. He is capable of giving strong orders" clearly aimed at exculpation of an army headquarters guilty of abandoning troops in Kargil.
Quite apart from the self-serving nature of the document, it indicates that fundamentalism is being nurtured in the Pakistan army under Gen Pervez Musharraf which is contrary to his self-projection as the Ataturkian model.
A well-known commentator on Muslim politics and culture in a recent "open letter" to General Musharraf has told him in no uncertain terms that his jehad is un-Islamic.
"Jehad is not the
right or duty of an individual or group as jehadists who
operate in Pakistan with impunity claim", he pointed
out, insisting that jehad was a function of a state and
the state must declare it. "The problem with a proxy
war is that you cannot declare it and Muslims are not
supposed to lie and cheat. So a Muslim state,
particularly one with pretensions of being Islamic,
simply cannot wage a proxy war," he added.
Aamir, Aishwarya get Zee awards
MUMBAI, March 11 (UNI) Aamir Khan bagged the best actor award for "Sarfarosh" while Aishwarya Rai was adjudged the best actress for "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" in the third Lux Zee Cine awards. Sanjay Leela Bansali won the best director award for "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam".
The awards were presented tonight at a glittering ceremony at Andheri Sports Complex, Mumbai. Winners in 15 categories were announced and presented with trophies. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the lifetime achievement award to Pran and Nasir Hussain.
Video-film post-mortems: NHRC
NEW DELHI, March 11 The annual report of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) tabled in Parliament recently, states that the promotion and protection of human rights rest on the pillars of good governance and a firm commitment to the policies of equity and justice. The report, said to be a source of information on the human rights situation in the country and the efforts of the commission covers the period between April 1, 1997 and March 31, 1998.
In its fifth report, the commission has reiterated its conviction that there is an integral relationship between the promotion and growth of civil and political rights and the furtherance of economic, social and cultural rights.
The report points out that in 1997-1998, the commission faced "exceptional challenges" posed by a dramatic rise in the number of complaints including reports on custodial deaths. The number of such complaints increased from 20,800 in 1996-1997 to 36,800 in 1997-1998.
To address the issue of custodial torture, the commission has reiterated that early action be taken on the suggestions of the Indian Law Commission to introduce a provision in the Indian Evidence Act.
Disturbed by the quality of post-mortem reports in cases of custodial deaths, the commission has reminded state governments to video-film post-mortem examinations and send the cassettes to the commission.
To address conditions prevailing in jails in the country, the Commission is making efforts at revising the Draft Prison Bill. It proposes to send the bill to the Central Government for enactment of a Central legislation under Article 252 of the Constitution.
Other significant measures taken by the NHRC pertain to conditions in mental hospitals and remand homes and practice of child marriage.
According to the report, the commission proposes to examine issues arising out of forcible testing of suspected AIDS patients.
The commission has also
reiterated its recommendation that political parties
should establish a clear Code of Conduct to govern
behaviour of their cadres in matters affecting the human
rights of the citizens and deal severely with
NDA govt within month: Paswan
PATNA, March 11 (UNI) Janata Dal (United) leader and Telecommunications Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today asserted that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would again form government in Bihar within a month.
Talking to mediapersons here he said those celebrating the fall of the NDA government would encounter a reverse situation within the next fortnight. He said the RJD would face the same problem that the NDA had experienced since the Congress would remain the deciding factor.
He wondered what the
situation would be if the Governor gave his consent to
the CBI to go ahead with the charge sheet against Mrs
Rabri Devi and her husband Laloo Prasad Yadav in
connection with a case of disproportionate assets.
Arjun files papers for RS
BHOPAL, March 11
Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Arjun Singh, who
has been out of Parliament for a considerable period,
ensured his seat in Rajya Sabha by filing his nomination
papers today. Later talking briefly to mediapersons, he
said this was possible only with the support and
cooperation of Chief Minister Digvijay Singh.
satellite earth station
escape from Orissa jail
3 NSCN (K)
most populous state
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