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Perspective | Oped | Reflections

PERSPECTIVE

ON RECORD
We won’t force Centre to follow Left agenda, says Karat
by R. Suryamurthy

W
hen the CPM decided to support the Congress-led coalition government from outside, there were apprehensions that the UPA government would not last its full term. The Union Budget, which proposed hike in FDI cap evoked sharp criticism from the Left parties. 

India needs a comprehensive defence policy
by Rakesh Datta
A
mazingly, though India boasts of a Rs 77,000-crore defence budget for 2004-05, it does not have a defence policy. With no written character, its defence policy is largely seen in the shades of its external policy. 


 

EARLIER ARTICLES

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
OPED

PROFILE
Nandita: A bright & articulate artist
by Harihar Swarup
G
hoom Tanna” , a short video film by Salman Ahmed, Pakistan’s noted song-writer and lead guitarist, manifests the urge of the people of India and Pakistan to open a new chapter of harmony and prosperity in the sub-continent. The film features ace actress Nandita Das, celebrity Naseeruddin Shah and the popular singer Shubha Mudgal. 

REFLECTIONS
It’s good to be a Saheli
by Kiran Bedi
I
was at an annual of Saheli. An organisation in Boston of very well established professional women and a few men. Volunteering for South Asians by offering support and friendship to immigrant women and their families in many capacities, namely, family discords, domestic crisis, and legal and immigration assistance, besides various other ways of support.

Diversities — Delhi Letter
PM may attend Guru Granth Sahib fete
by Humra Quraishi
P
rime Minister Manmohan Singh has been invited to the quad-centenary celebrations of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib in the precincts of the Golden Temple, beginning September 1.

  • Important month for Manmohan

  • Lalit Kala Akademi jubilee function

  • Book releases

Kashmir Diary
Recapitulating history to illuminate the present
by David Devadas
A
ugust 15, 1947, was a very different day in Jammu and Kashmir than it was in the rest of the country. Uncertainty and strife were the order of the day there on the day when both India and Pakistan were celebrating their new-found independence. It might be useful to go over what happened then, for history can help to illuminate the present.



 REFLECTIONS

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ON RECORD
We won’t force Centre to follow Left agenda, says Karat
by R. Suryamurthy

Prakash Karat
Prakash Karat

When the CPM decided to support the Congress-led coalition government from outside, there were apprehensions that the UPA government would not last its full term. 

The Union Budget, which proposed hike in FDI cap evoked sharp criticism from the Left parties. CPM Politbureau member Prakash Karat, in an interview to The Sunday Tribune, demystifies the misconception of the party’s stand on FDI which will hog the limelight in the monsoon session of Parliament, beginning tomorrow.

Excerpts:

Q: What is the CPM’s stand on Foreign Direct Investment? Is the party opposed to investments in all sectors or only in specific sectors?

A: We are not against FDI which is required for augmenting the existing capacity and product development. Even the Common Minimum Programme argues for foreign investment in a regulated manner. We are not in favour of handing over the domestic industry to foreign investors. Vital sectors which are beyond economic consideration like security, national sovereignty cannot be handed over to them. We should regulate the flow of FDI.

Q: Do you welcome any proportion of FDI in all sectors?

A: Large areas of manufacturing sector need foreign investment and technology transfer. However, for that we can neither hand over the domestic industrial base nor allow the free flow of foreign capital. The quantum must be determined according to the prevailing situation.

Q: In the telecom sector, the increase in FDI from 49 per cent to 74 per cent is what already exists as Finance Minister P. Chidambaram put it. Why is the CPM opposed to hike in FDI in the telecom sector? How does an increase in FDI cap here affect national security?

A: Growth in telecom sector in the past few years has taken place in spite of large inflow of FDI. The teledensity in the country has increased from 3.5 per 1000 in 1999 to 7.04 in 2004. We have achieved this one year ahead of the projected time frame. Ironically, those who argue for opening up the telecom sector cite the Chinese example. Beijing has six telecom companies, all state-owned. Beijing allowed 49 per cent FDI in this sector. We have already done this. As a WTO member, we still have time to restrict FDI flow in this sector. Why should we unilaterally open it up, which could threaten our national security? Communication is a critical sector and globally, the state has controls in regulating this sector. If it is in the hands of foreign companies, communication within the country would not be safe and secure. As regards Mr Chidambaram’s comment, we say, plug the loopholes and prevent industrialists from utilising funds from holding companies.

Q: Now the Left parties have threatened to vote against any move to hike the FDI cap to 49 per cent. Why?

A: Funds in the insurance sector play a vital role in the larger social developmental programmes. When the LIC and the GIC were the sole players, the government had substantial funds for welfare activities. By allowing 26 per cent FDI flow, the government has limited resources for investment in the social sector. If the FDI cap is increased to 49 per cent, there is little scope for the government to invest and fulfill its social commitment. Further, the Union Budget has projected six per cent GDP growth with substantial investment in education and health. From where would the resources be generated to meet the larger social commitment of the government, if the resources at its disposal get dried up?

Q: Will the party bite hard, as Mr Sitaram Yechury had put it, if the Centre does not accede to the CPM’s demand?

A: We have given support to the government on the basis of the Common Minimum Programme. We will oppose any policy decision outside the CMP’s purview. What Mr Yechury had stated was only the concern of the party. Now that the UPA-Left parties coordination committee has been formed, we have a forum to express our views.

Q: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s open arm policy to FDI flow seems to be contradictory to the stand of the party.

A: There is no contraction between the stated stand of Mr Bhattarcharya and the CPM. He said recently that the state is open to FDI flow, primarily focusing on the manufacturing sector. The state has attracted substantial foreign capital in recent times. Japanese companies are the major investors in the state.

Q: Mr Bhattacharjee had stated that "gheraos" organised in 1970s with the active encouragement of the Left parties were "irresponsible".

A: We felt that it was not the correct form of protest. Trade unions could adopt other forms of protest to meet their demand. That’s why there has been no "gherao" in the past two decades in West Bengal.

Q: While the CPM is advocating greater rights for the workers, the West Bengal government has set up designated zones for export-oriented units where the workers are deprived of labour laws which governs the rest of the country. Is this not a contradiction of the party’s policy and practice?

A: This is not the correct picture. The labour rights of workers in these EOUs are being reviewed by the state government following protests by the trade unions. They would be given labour rights. But we have been demanding the right to strike by ratifying the ILO convention or a legislation to make it a legal right. The Supreme Court had only struck down the right of government workers to strike. All sections of workers should have the right to strike — a form of protest against injustice.

Q: Following the CMP’s criticism, fear of instability haunts the UPA government.

A: We are quite aware of the government’s limitations. We are not forcing it to adopt the Left agenda. We will implement it when we come to power on our own. But, clearly we would like the government to stick to the CMP. Further, the larger political question is important. We have given support to this government on the larger political question and political agenda that this coalition government should follow. In the coming months, the discussions would focus on the political agenda like tackling communalism, resolving the entangled Jammu and Kashmir issue, carrying forward the Indo-Pak dialogue process and pursuit of an independent foreign policy.
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India needs a comprehensive defence policy
by Rakesh Datta

Amazingly, though India boasts of a Rs 77,000-crore defence budget for 2004-05, it does not have a defence policy. With no written character, its defence policy is largely seen in the shades of its external policy. There is no defence policy as such; it has always been a part of the country’s foreign policy and such contours are visibly seen.

Kautilya’s Arthashastra, a treatise on military affairs, is well known. Dealing with strategical and tactical aspects of war, whether it was Matsyanyaya or Mandala, both formed rich contents of a good defence policy. But there was no mentioning of defence policy as such. Instead, it was Kautilya’s conduct of external affairs which had a bearing on Dandaniti.

A study of Indian military history shows that war was a recurrent feature during every period — the Maurayas, the Guptas, the Cholas, the Muslims and the Britishers. All had given this country sufficient experience of war. However, all such expeditions and invasions were circumscribed to that period only. Consequently, there was no attitudinal difference in any approach to war efforts. We kept absorbing the invaders and such assimilations became a natural phenomena.

However, little has changed since Independence. We have been described as timid, passive and non-assertive regardless of the country’s size, manpower, scientific and resource potential. According to Maj-Gen D.K. Palit, when British General Sir Rob Lockhart, the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, went to Jawaharlal Nehru for a formal policy directive on defence, he was told we don’t have a defence policy but a policy of non-violence. We foresee no military threat.

The Indian Constitution is silent on national security. Originally, the question of state security did not find mention in the Preamble. It was only in late Seventies that the Constitution was amended and national integrity incorporated vide the 42nd Amendment.

The late George Tanham, a Rand expert, had talked about the lack of strategic culture in India and the government’s unwillingness to undertake a systematic study on defence. Nothing substantially had changed from the time of 1948 war with Pakistan to the last conflict in Kargil as moral aspects in Indian defence thinking seemed dominating with all their pervasive idealistic overtones. For instance, the lack of appreciation of war in 1962 and, later in Kargil, could be seen in terms of the Indian soldiers fighting in canvass shoes.

Sadly, successive governments have failed to give our armed forces a modern and progressive look. India has the fourth largest Army, sixth largest Air Force and ninth largest Navy in the world. Yet, it lacks the dissuasive affect on our potential adversaries. Consequently, our borders are weak, vulnerable and porous and are exploited with impunity by peripheral countries such as China, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh. The transgression from Bangladesh is so heavy that there is a talk about setting up of a new Islamic state or greater Bangladesh in the sub-continent.

Such resultant scenarios largely stem from no policy syndrome. In the absence of a definite defence policy, there is no direction. As a result, our military approach remains reactive. Unlike Pakistan, which has an aggressive Kashmir policy, we do not have a Lahore policy. This precisely is the reason of our ad hoc and disjointed action on security and military matters.

According to Clausewitz, policy is a womb in which war develops. It is the policy which determines the various actions related to the country’s security including the growth of strategic perception. Since India’s defence policy is invariably steered by the country’s foreign policy, the most important sine qua non constantly ignored is the military preparedness. Therefore, when Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw, the then Army Chief confessed to the Defence Committee of the Cabinet in April 1971 that India had only 11 tanks in a state of readiness and needed more time to prepare for war, there was no commotion.

Similarly, after 27 years, former Chief of Army Staff, General V.P. Malik’s statement during the Kargil war that we shall fight with whatever we possess, showed the government’s apathy to actively pursue its grand-strategic objectives, setting aside her military interest over political. Had there been a proper defence policy, such a disorderly situation would not have arisen. In a policy, things are planned on a sustainable basis.

It was in 1963 that India had come out with its first five-year defence plan. It was more or less an expansion plan. But before the plan could complete its second term, it was converted into a roll-on- plan in 1971. Subsequently, any link on defence policy got missed. In the absence of a policy direction, successive governments looked at defence matters in a partisan way. Since nations behave no different from individuals, defence remained on a high and low key.

The Indian army requires a complete re-orientation to face the emerging challenges like low intensity conflict and terrorism to hit back its adversaries. The problem is the lack of a policy. Our weapon procurement and defence research and development system are highly flawed. We buy a weapon and simultaneously spend huge funds on developing the same indigenously with no accountability. This has been going on for the last five decades with no one being held responsible. This is true in the case of all major weapons like tanks, planes, missiles, warships including small arms.

Unlike the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) of the West, we have failed to generate an economic or technological spin in military areas. Even our nuclear weapon endeavour without strategic value was borne more out of domestic political compulsions. Consequently, instead of adding teeth to the defence capabilities, the no-first-use-strike is seen more gullible. Kargil was an example.

Unfortunately, it is the defence budget that matters most for our policy makers today instead of a comprehensive and full-fledged defence policy. For, it is through this budget that we tend to assess our defence needs, short term and long term. No doubt, there is a clamour for higher allocation for defence every year. But a major portion of it remains unspent at the cost of modernisation and welfare — the two basic postulates for a sound defence system.

It is time Dr Manmohan Singh’s government spelt out the country’s defence policy to not only ensure military adequacy in a long way but also streamline the defence efforts, devoid of any policy direction.

The writer is Reader, Centre for Defence and National Security Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh
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PROFILE
Nandita: A bright & articulate artist
by Harihar Swarup

Ghoom Tanna” , a short video film by Salman Ahmed, Pakistan’s noted song-writer and lead guitarist, manifests the urge of the people of India and Pakistan to open a new chapter of harmony and prosperity in the sub-continent. The film features ace actress Nandita Das, celebrity Naseeruddin Shah and the popular singer Shubha Mudgal. It may be a sheer coincidence that the film is produced and directed by celluloid personalities of Pakistan — Salman Ahmed and Saquib Mirza — but the lead artists are from India.

Of course, Nandita emerges as the heroine of the film. In the words of Director Mirza, “Working with Nandita was a nice experience because she had perfect expressions which were required for the film”. The short film is shot in Ahmad’s ancestral house in Patiala and based on his family which shifted from the erstwhile princely state to Lahore at the time of Partition.

Nandita lives in Delhi. Unlike other stars, she does not hide her age. She is 35. Acting has brought her fame and money but she would not like to pursue a full-time film career. It is not films but theatre that fascinates her most. She is a committed social worker. “I can’t give up my work in this sphere”, she says. Even in the midst of shooting or rehearsing for theatre, she would carry out workshops for social work. This meant she has to stay out of Delhi quite frequently but theatre required over a month of settled life. She was able to manage both.

Soon after completing her education, she worked with “Ankur”, an NGO. Her current preoccupation with social organisations gives her the opportunity to be with children. “We conduct workshops for tribal children. Anyway, my work takes me out of Delhi frequently”, she says.

“There are so many things to do in life. Maybe I will keep doing films. But there is no urge to act for the sake of acting. I would like to do roles I am drawn to, roles that I believe in, films dealing with issues that trouble me”. Acting was never a career option for her and she never considered it as her profession.

Nandita has also a dream. She wants to start a school that provides holistic education. Her philosophy is “to live and let live”.

Nandita is noted painter Jatin Das’s daughter and, naturally, inherited artistic bent from her father but reacts sharply whenever asked if being the renowned painter’s daughter helped her in her career. She wants to be known more for her achievements and not because Jatin Das is her father. She is proud of her ancestry but she would like to come up in life on her own. Besides music, her hobby is painting, reflecting her father’s talents. Nandita was born in Bombay but her parents left the city when she was barely six months old. Since then, she has been living in Delhi.

It was during her college days that she was fascinated by street plays. Her classmate introduced her to Safdar Hashmi’s group — Jan Natya Manch. She discovered that the whole process of street theatre was very meaningful. Nandita did street play with the group till Hashmi was murdered in 1990. But she continued doing plays.

She has worked with Habib Tanvir, Barry Johns and M.K. Raina. She was offered the lead role in Mira Nair’s “Kama Sutra” but turned it down. Nandita made her debut as the stunning second lead in Deepa Mehta’s controversial film “Fire” and established herself as a bright, gusty and articulate artist.

Nandita was a student of Delhi’s Miranda College. She completed her graduation in geography from there. For almost a year, she was travelling, seeing the world and then decided to join the Delhi School of Social Work for her Masters. After this, she took to social work. Incidentally, she was in Ahmedabad when the earthquake hit the place in 2001. She organised rescue and rehabilitation work.
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REFLECTIONS
It’s good to be a Saheli
by Kiran Bedi

I was at an annual of Saheli. An organisation in Boston of very well established professional women and a few men. Volunteering for South Asians by offering support and friendship to immigrant women and their families in many capacities, namely, family discords, domestic crisis, and legal and immigration assistance, besides various other ways of support.

I went, for I respected the cause and fully understood the work they do. And how vital it was to continue doing so. Without them and other similar organisations in the same cause, many women in particular would not have known where to go, when abused and beaten and could take no more. We as Indians know how luring these overseas proposals are to the parents of daughters. For many decades in the past and which continues till date, marrying an Indian overseas, stated to be well established, remains a fascination and a dream for many an Indian parent. This despite many sad stories reported and well publicised. How brutally were they treated and sent packing, or left abandoned with no place to go, is fairly well known.

Many of these women needed a Saheli/friend and organisations like Saheli. The Asian Family Violence Report (Boston, and November 2000), in a study of the Chinese, Cambodian, Korean, South Asian and Vietnamese communities in Massachusetts, revealed some dominant perceptions in families indulging in family violence in so far as the South Asian community is concerned. Here are the some of the highlights as presented by the Focus group members about the prevailing mindsets as to why the many battered women continued to live in abusive relationships.

  • That the married woman is believed to become the property of her husband and no longer belongs to her parents.
  • That she cannot turn to her own family for help once she is married and parents are not supposed to intervene.
  • That the in-laws play a critical role in ‘family violence’ especially in dowry disputes.
  • Women who leave an abusive home would experience tremendous stigma.
  • Also the factor of financial and visa status (where applicable) dependence on their husbands and insecurity about life after divorce. These were some of the major ones.

So where do we go from here? Let me share with you what was suggested to Saheli to consider doing further. Basically a three-step strategy. First, a preventive and awareness package. Which means rewinding and going to the source, i.e. parents. And airing of subtle messages through our own television channels (back home), that all that glitters overseas may not be gold. Hence always verify properly before you hand over your daughters to strangers.

Additionally also to make an information or a tool kit about support and friendship in case of need, which could be picked up at visa counters. And then, how about soft messages on the US Indian, Asian TV and radio channels of accessible support?

Since the Asian study clearly revealed that out of every 100 men who beat their wives, 67 were frustrated angry men. Why not devise plans and create opportunities to encourage and promote alongside, going for Art of Living or Anger Management courses as part of the counselling (where applicable) and support services?

Secondly, the Response plan, which Saheli already has put in place. It could find greater support through more volunteers in legal services, training, fund raising, counselling and within law enforcement. Why not support short spots on and by the Desi channels as public interest messages?

Thirdly, the Partnership plan. Network with other NGOs in the same social service. Share in research. Form groups of ‘helped’ women now to help those who need help. Work out the economics of prevention of family violence and do advocacy with donors and agencies for additional support while explaining that it prevents agony and huge money to the state exchequer.

And finally, not to rely only on the Internet but reach out through many other possible means of communications for women in need from Asia and India in particular. This group is yet not Internet-savvy in most cases.

Despite all this, I have no doubt that Sahelis will continue to be needed for many parents who will continue to fall into the trap of false glitter.
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Diversities — Delhi Letter
PM may attend Guru Granth Sahib fete
by Humra Quraishi

Manmohan Singh Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been invited to the quad-centenary celebrations of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib in the precincts of the Golden Temple, beginning September 1. With  a major procession taking  off from Gurdwara Ramsar, where the Guru Granth Sahib was compiled by the fifth Guru, Arjan Dev, to the Golden Temple where the Holy Book was installed in 1604 AD with Baba Buddha as its first Granthi.

Dr Mohinder Singh of the Institute of Sikh Studies says that “Guru Granth Sahib is perhaps the only scripture which contains not only the hymns of the Sikh Gurus but also the Hindu Bhaktas and Sufi saints, some of whom are sudras. It contains hymns of the six Gurus and 31 Hindu Bhaktas and Sufi saints.

Mohinder Singh, who is just back after participating in the Fourth Parliament of World’s Religions in Barcelona, told me that the Spanish translation of selections from the Holy Granth has been done by Prof Aparajit Chattopadhyay through the efforts of Dr Swami Veda Bharati and  Dr Jarnail Singh, Professor of Mathematics, University of Toronto, who   had earlier translated the scripture into French has now completed its German translation.

Mohinder Singh has done a series of eight books on the Sikh heritage. Published by UBSPD, they are not laden with heavy text, but there is an easy flow of words and some excellent photographs by Sondeep Shankar. With that combination, they really stand out.

Important month for Manmohan

September is an important month for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and  his family. His birthday (born on Sept 26, 1932) and marriage anniversary (he married Gursharan Kaur on Sept 14, 1958) fall in this month. Keeping in view the low profile of the Prime Minister, these  occasions would probably be reserved for family and close friends.

Lalit Kala Akademi jubilee function

The Lalit Kala Akademi celebrations took off and went off well, except Mulk Raj Anand who couldn’t really make it. Kewal Anand who had gone all the way to Khandala to fetch “Dctor sahib” returned not just  alone but rather glum.

The only silver lining is this idea that he has come   up with — to convert Mulk’s home in Khandala (a 90-minute drive from Mumbai) into an international writers’ home. To be run by state support. Can’t comment whether our state is in such a position as to sustain a   writers’ place in keeping with international standards.

Book releases

This week, a number of books will be released. Mrs Sonia Gandhi released on Saturday new editions of Jawaharlal Nehru’s classic works, “An Autobiography”, “The Discovery of India” and Glimpses of World History”. Published by Penguin Books, India, the forward is by  Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

On Aug 17, two books of Khushwant Singh will be launched at Le Meridien. One of them is his latest collection of short stories, “Paradise and Other Stories” (Penguin). At  90, he is busy writing long and  short stories. Today (Aug 15) is Khushwant Singh’s 90th birthday. He would perhaps spend the day writing or reading. Happy Birthday, Khushwant!
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Kashmir Diary
Recapitulating history to illuminate the present
by David Devadas

August 15, 1947, was a very different day in Jammu and Kashmir than it was in the rest of the country. Uncertainty and strife were the order of the day there on the day when both India and Pakistan were celebrating their new-found independence. It might be useful to go over what happened then, for history can help to illuminate the present. The fact is that the ambitions of that state’s ruler and its various political leaders in that turbulent season planted the seeds of today’s troubles.

Louis Mountbatten, the last British Viceroy, announced his plan for the Partition of India on June 3, 1947. He acknowledged later that it was only in reply to a reporter’s question that day that he fixed the date. It was a whim really, for August 15 would mark the second anniversary of the day Japan surrendered South-East Asia to him, when he had been the Supreme Allied Commander of that theatre. It was only after he had made that precipitate announcement that he turned his attention to India’s 565 principalities. He summoned the rulers in mid-June to tell them that they must accede to either of the prospective new nations before August 15, at least with regard to defence, foreign relations and communication.

The decision of Hari Singh, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, was the most unpredictable. Not only was his state contiguous to both the new nations, around 77 per cent of the population was Muslim while he was Hindu. He delayed, as is well known, until Pakistan — desperate that a Muslim-majority state must join it — sent in tribal raiders on October 22 to try and force the issue.

What is not as well known is that the major political organisations in the state too were not in favour of the state merging with either of the new countries. The Rajya Hindu Sabha might have been presumed to be pro-India, but it passed a resolution backing independence under the Maharaja. And, on July 10 and again in the party’s working committee on July 19, the Muslim Conference acting president Chaudhary Hamidullah too backed that sort of arrangement.

That too was a strange line for that party, for the Muslim Conference was the main political rival of the National Conference in the state and had, at the all-India level, been closely aligned with Jinnah’s politics for the past couple of years. Chaudhary Abbas, the tallest leader of the Muslim Conference, was in jail that month, as was Sheikh Abdullah, the supreme leader of the National Conference. Most Indians presume that Abdullah was pro-India but evidence that has come to light over the years suggests that he was as eager as the Maharaja for some sort of independence.

His first speech after his release in September was carefully nuanced, with something for everyone who wanted to read meaning, but the key perhaps was: “Our first demand is complete transfer of power to the people in Kashmir. Representatives of the people in a democratic Kashmir will then decide whether the state should join India or Pakistan. If the forty lakh people in Jammu and Kashmir are bypassed and the state declares its accession to India or Pakistan, I shall raise the banner of revolt and we face a struggle. Of course, we will naturally opt to go to that Dominion where our own demand for freedom receives recognition and support.”

Apparently, Abdullah was willing for an independent state with or without the Maharaja at the helm. Hari Singh’s son, Karan Singh, revealed in his autobiography many years later that Abdullah had been released from jail after he wrote a rather obsequious letter to Hari Singh. According to Karan Singh, he wrote that, “In spite of what has happened in the past, I assure Your Highness that myself and my party have never harboured any sentiment of disloyalty towards Your Highness’ person, throne or dynasty. The development of this beautiful country and the betterment of its people is our common aim and interest and I assure Your Highness the fullest and loyal support of myself and my organisation. Not only this but I assure Your Highness, that any party, within or without the State which may attempt to create any impediments in our efforts to gain our goal, will be treated as our enemy and will be treated as such.”

Clearly, then, it was not just Hari Singh who hoped to find a road to independence amid the debris of Partition. He had the support of the Hindu Rajya Sabha and of sections of the Muslim Conference. And Sheikh Abdullah shared the dream, except that he wanted to win an independence in which he might emerge as the ruler instead of the Dogra dynasty. It is that pair of towering ambitions that created the mess that the subcontinent is still trying to contend with.Top

 

The suffering caused by Indians was no less painful than the sufferings caused by the British and development of mutual understanding and respect among our people was as important as getting rid of the foreign rule.

— Mahatma Gandhi

You give me your blood. And I will give you Independence.

— Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose

Freedom is my birth right. And I will have it.

— Bal Gangadhar Tilak

May you ever remember the Creator.

— Guru Nanak
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