Will Fugitive Scofflaw Zakir Naik Be Caught At All?

Could India’s officialdom be spreading glib lies about attempting to apprehend scofflaw hate-mongering Islamic preacher Zakir Naik?

He has reportedly applied for a Malaysian citizenship in the mainstream media.

Congress apologists and leading lights of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party are trading charges in the matter after Amir Gazdar one of his aides confessed serious wrongdoing on the part of Naik to Mumbai cops.

The real picture can be deduced from the following pointers reproduced from a blog in these columns published a year ago:

Naik’s bigger backers are located beyond the borders of India – many of them in the Middle-East. The current central government has extended olive branches to all of them to “contain terrorism” and expand trade.

Between 2013 and 2015, Naik was conferred several awards in the Middle East.

2013

Dubai International Holy Quran Award  

Islamic Personality of 2013 conferred on Naik by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President, Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai

Parenthesis

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Rashid Al Maktoum in 2015 August.

Modi had undertaken a two-day visit to UAE in August, a first by an Indian prime minister in 34 years.

UAE is home to 2.6 million Indians.

During the visit, the two leaders pledged to end terrorism.

On September 19 2015, Rashid Al Maktoum succumbed to a massive heart attack at the age of 33.

Parenthesis ends

Sharjah Award for Voluntary Work  

Conferred by Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah

Parenthesis:

Born in 1939, Sheikh Sultan III bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi is a member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates and current ruler of the Sharjah emirate. He has ruled Sharjah since 1972. The rule was briefly interrupted during a six-day period between 17 and 23 June 1987. It was an attempted coup led by his brother Sheikh Abd al-Aziz bin Muhammad al-Qasimi.

Parenthesis ends

2015

King Faisal International Prize

Conferred upon Naik by Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud

Parenthesis

Some of the others who won this award include King Abdullah Ibn Abd AI-Aziz of Saudi Arabia himself, Al Qasimi of UAE, Presidents Dr Hamed AI-Ghabid [Niger] and [Alija Izetbegovig] Bosnia-Herzegovina and Abdou Diouf [Senegal]; Prime Ministers Mahathir Mohammad [Malaysia] and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan [Turkey]  

On April 3 2016, Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud [who had won the above award himself] presented India’s PM Narendra Modi with the Arab nation’s highest civilian award.

Zakir Naik’s perfidy was publicly known a decade ago.

Naik was banned from entering the UK by the then Home Secretary Theresa May [currently British PM] in 2010.

“Numerous comments made by Dr Naik are evidence to me of his unacceptable behaviour,” May was quoted as saying.

The admirers of 1965-born qualified medical doctor Zakir Abdul Karim Naik have spread mayhem on a global scale since 2006.

They include Najibullah Zazi, the Afghan-American arrested for planning suicide attacks on the New York subway, Rahil Sheikh [1], accused of involvement in a series of train bombings in Mumbai in 2006 and Kafeel Ahmed, the Bangalore born man killed during a failed suicide attack on Glasgow airport in 2007.

Indian Journalist Shoaib Daniyal disagreed with Naik’s belief that “Americans swap wives at will because they eat pigs which also swap their wives”. He also pointed out that Naik’s statement that Islam allows a man to marry multiple women because “in the USA, there are more women than men”, was inconsistent with US demographic statistics.

Torkel Brekke, a professor of religious history in Norway, calls Naik a very controversial figure.

Naik’s rhetorical attack on other religions and other varieties of Islam are strongly disliked by many members of the Indian Ulema for ignoring their authority.

Indian journalists had issued warnings about Naik.

“It would be useful to consider the case of Zakir Naik, perhaps the most influential Salafi ideologue in India,” observed Praveen Swami, a senior Indian journalist in his seminal work part of a book published in 2011.Operative excerpts from its blurb:

Sections of Bollywood backed Naik.

Film producer Mahesh Bhatt supported Naik in 2010 saying the ban constituted an attack on freedom of speech.

Naik’s application for judicial review of the ban was dismissed on 5 November 2010.

The same year, Naik was forbidden to enter Canada after Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, warned MPs of Naik’s views.

The bans on the entry have not been lifted.

India’s mainstream media had begun their harangue in 2016.

Operative excerpts from a report in The Times of India dated July 9 2016:

Mumbai-based preacher Dr Zakir Naik, who is under the scanner after two of the Dhaka terrorists claimed he was an inspiration, seemed to have been followed by four youths from Kalyan, a Mumbai suburb. They had run away and joined the Islamic State.

Areeb Majeed, arrested for IS activities in Kashmir, is believed to have told interrogators of the National Investigation Agency that he was ‘inspired’ after hearing the lectures of Naik.

Copies of Naik’s lectures were also found in a library located in Bihar, a north Indian cow-belt state. Enquiries had revealed the facility was frequented by Indian Mujahedeen members.

One of those who regularly accessed Naik’s works is Yasin Bhatkal – now in custody in India.

Like the Dhaka terrorists, Mumbai youths hailing from well-to-do respected families are drawn towards fundamentalism-fuelled-violence caused by the speeches of Naik. Besides Areeb, the other Islamic State joiners in the knowledge of police are engineering students Fahad Shaikh and Amaan Tandel.

According to police sources, suitably brain-washed initially by Naik’s hate-speeches, Areeb Majeed’s hatred was honed by a woman, Tahirah Bhatt, who also helped him join the banned group. In turn, Majeed recruited Shaikh, Tandel and others. They fought in Iraq. Currently, Majeed is in jail. Shaikh had contacted his family a few months ago. The whereabouts of Tandel aren’t known.

“The named youths were provoked to commit anti-national activities citing the destruction of Babri Mosque and Gujarat riots. Primary sources of ‘inspiration’ were hard-copies of Naik’s works. Naik’s rallies used to witness huge footfall in Bihar,” the official added.

Families of 15 young men and women from Kerala state’s northern districts suspect their offspring may have joined the Islamic State, according to top sources in India’s southern-most state.

It is not exactly known whether Zakir Naik’s speeches had impelled the youths to take such a step. However, a Press Trust of India report published by the website catchnews.com revealed alarming aspects of this unlikely tale. Operative excerpts:

State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has directed the police to launch a probe into the matter urgently, said Member of Parliament P Karunakaran. He represents the north Kerala constituency of Kasargod – located on the state’s borders that touch Karnataka.

“Family members of these youths were aghast reading Whatsapp messages. ‘We are not coming back. Here there is Divine Rule. You also should join us,’ one message said. ‘We have joined IS to fight US for attacking Muslims,’ said another. These youths were visiting the Middle-East for religious studies. We brought it to the notice of CM P Vijayan,” said Karunakaran. He had been apprised of the issue by a local body leader VPP Mustafa and a legislator M Rajagopalan.

This group comprises men, women, couple and even a child travelling along with parents.

The abhorrence of family members back home is apparent from the statement issued by Hakim, a male parent of one of the ‘missing’ youths.

“If my son returns as a good man, I will welcome him. If not, I do not want to see even his dead body,” Hakim was quoted as saying.

According to Rajagopalan, all those missing were below the age of 30 and highly qualified. This motley ‘missing’ crowd includes a medical doctor couple and an engineering graduate, his wife and a 2-year-old child. Before dropping out of sight, different persons in this group had presented varying tales for leaving Kerala. The reasons included visiting families far away job search.

The youths’ approach to life had undergone a sudden change during the last 2 years after accessing inflammatory Islamic literature, Rajagopalan added.

Surely Zakir Naik is an influential man.

Naik was ranked 89 on The Indian Express’s list of the “100 Most Powerful Indians in 2010”.

Naik was ranked 82 in the 2009 edition.

BBC’s Sanjiv Buttoo says he is acknowledged as an authority on Islam. However, he warns that Naik is known for making negative remarks about other religions.

US based senior journalist Sadanand Dhume observes that Naik has a ‘carefully crafted image of moderation’. This has been achieved through a gentle demeanour, dress sense of wearing of a suit and tie and his quoting of scriptures of other religions.

Naik was also listed in the book The 500 Most Influential Muslims under honourable mention from 2009 through 2014.

[1]

Seven serial blasts had ripped through Mumbai’s suburban railway network at peak hour on July 11, 2006, leaving at least 147 dead. The death toll had risen to 189 later. The incidents’ mastermind was Rahil Sheikh, currently in prison.

Sheikh is a trained as a computer engineer.

Sheikh’s brothers – Faisal and Muzammil were charged in the 2006 bombings.

Sheikh’s telephone records had indicated that he had been receiving calls from Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Also, it has been suggested that he was acting as the point man to collect funds and pass it on to the LeT which is said to have carried out the attacks.

Sheikh is said to have travelled to Pakistan.

Divine Intervention – 2

India’s legal system has almost reached a point of no return – describable as perversion of the worst kind.

Power attained through corrupt means ensures that ill gotten wealth is retained by the obviously guilty individuals and institutions.

Frustration and anguish are the only words that spring to mind when justice is delayed and denied.

The Kargil war of 1999 has come back to haunt India’s conscience – through a video statement released by a 20-year-old college student Gurmeher Kaur.

The video has become the rallying point for slanging matches between the right and left wing political types – hailing and/or vilifying young Gurmeher.

In this verbal melee, the supreme sacrifice of brave soldiers like Captain Mandeep Singh, Gurmeher’s father, who laid down his life in 1999 somewhere in India’s northwest tip, is getting tossed about needlessly. It has now turned out that Captain Mandeep was killed by terrorists in Kupwara, 170 km from Kargil!

The 7 years’ old  Adarsh Society scandal, with its macabre connections to Kargil immediately springs to mind. The scam had surfaced in 2010. India’s mainstream media [MSM] had cried itself hoarse over it. The stinking stigma has stuck to the names of some of the nation’s top politicians, bureaucrats and many more of the richest individuals of India that is Bharat. All these ‘worthies’ had shamelessly robbed Kargil martyrs’ widows [1] [2]. Petitions and counter-petitions in this imbroglio have led to a web of legal deceit. The cases are still in limbo. The chances of the cases’ attaining a proper closure are remote.

In 2004, a fire tragedy in a school in the southern state of Tamil Nadu had devoured the lives of 94 innocent children studying in a primary school.[3]

The real relief for the anguished parents who lost their loved ones can never come. The piddly “compensation” helped the perpetrators take rest cures in prisons. Many of them have moved higher courts seeking relief and release.

There are no connections between the events listed above in real life. So, a poignant fictional link was artificially created to wake up patriotic Indians’ slumbering consciences.

Given below is an updated version of a short story penned in 2011.

Justice Advait Aher of India’s Supreme Court summoned his trusted stenographer Kaatyaayani Khandelwal to dictate his ruling in a school fire tragedy matter that had killed 94 school children in Tamil Nadu – a southern state some 11 years ago.

Exactly 94 children – most them little girls had perished in a devastating conflagration that had spread due to illegal thatched roofs in a building unfit to be a school, locked collapsible gates meant to prevent children from cutting classes which ensured their painful death and a rather callous teaching staff who had no pity or any feelings for the children. 

The criminally culpable school management had managed to hire the best legal brains money could buy in India’s capital New Delhi. An appeal against the ruling of the Madras  High Court that had sent them to prison had been filed in the Apex Court.

The judge knew that the appellants were guilty as sin for mass murder. But, numerous holes in the police investigation and the shoddy conduct of the case in the lower courts had been thoroughly exposed by Chatturbhuj Daryanaani – one of India’s senior most and smartest criminal lawyers. 

The portly stenographer walked in carrying her shorthand notebook and her mobile phone – something she used to record the dictation of her boss as a kind of back up.

Ever efficient, she did not believe in getting her boss to correct her mistakes by hand on a typed draft.

Recording the audio of what you dictate will aid its verbatim transcription without typos Sir,” she had said the first time when she had brought the gadget into his room.

“Morning, Kaatyaayani!”

“Sir…er…er…”

Aher was surprised.

His stenographer had never hesitated to say anything before.

“Go ahead, Kaatyaayani. You want take an off today? I can always dictate the judgement tomorrow.”

“No sir, it is not that. I will switch on my mobile phone that contains a recorded conversation given to me by a friend who is researching into things termed supernatural. Please hear it before pronouncing the verdict. It will take some 7 minutes. The narration is totally offbeat in nature. I know you never believe in such things. But, do listen. It is a sincere request. Thanks.”

Without a word, she flicked on the play button and began walking away.

The way a young voice began surprised Aher.

Ouch…ooh! It’s paining Amma!

Better learn to bear pain, Jambu! You are born as a girl, you know!

I had hurt myself on the knee while playing.

My mother always called me Jambu – the shortened version of Jambukeshwaran – that ought to have been my name had I been born a male.

I had been named Jambakalakshmi.

My parents always had wanted a son.

I keep hearing my mother telling all our relatives that that sons get money into the family when new brides come home with a lot of dowry – whatever that means – and daughters are only expenses.

We have to be dressed beautifully, married off with a lot of presents and cash for our future even if we have a job and all, my mom adds to the end of each conversation.

Somehow, I feel unwanted at home.

The doctor auntie told me the other day that Amma will soon be giving birth to my sibling.

I hope it will be a brother.

But, the pain is unbearable. I feel my leg is on fire, Amma!

Don’t worry, darling! A little coconut oil and turmeric powder on your wound will make it go away in a day. But, you should be more careful. Supposing you get scars from wounds, it will be very difficult to find a good husband for you. Now, now! Don’t cry, please! It is just a small wound on your knee.

Sometimes, I do not understand whether you are comforting the child or mouthing misogynistic statements!

My father, an officer in the Indian army, loves me more than my mother. He sometimes scolded her because my mother said something which my father thought wasn’t right.

His words comforted me more than mom’s turmeric mix.

Dad spends most of the time guarding our country in a place called Siachen – somewhere in north India.

He came home yesterday afternoon after six long months.

Just before I was tucked into bed yesterday, he said it was very cold out there.

The temperature, most of the time, hovers around minus 25 degrees Celsius, Jambu. The mountainous surroundings are beautifully white in a cloak of fresh snow, but the cold leaves an unpleasant feeling. One of my friends recently died while urinating in the open. Apparently, the salty liquid waste froze in an upwardly direction when he relieved himself without protection. Somehow, the cold always gets into our feet despite our wearing the correct dress, shoes, woollen socks and a lot more.

So how do you manage the cold, Appaa? How do you sleep at night?

The human mind is all powerful because it is given by God. It can do anything. The blankets, smokeless fire, sleeping bags and a lot of other equipment, for some strange reason other, allow the cold to enter our bunkers all the time. High altitude fighting involves psychological warfare. My commanding officer lieutenant colonel Simranjeet Singh Chibber taught me a trick which always helps me relax.

How?

Whenever the cold is so unbearable, I imagine that I am at home – here – where most of the year, it is unbearably hot. The imagination takes over and the mind, with some concentration, makes my physical body forget where I am. Slowly, I feel comfortable. The discomfort returns only upon being jolted when gunfire erupts.

Can one forget one’s cold by just imagining the heat?

Yes. And the opposite is also true. You can forget the heat by imagining the cold.

But I have never been to Siachen…because you have never taken me there.

Not a place for young ladies, darling! But, you have been to the nearby hill station Kodaikanaal many times! Supposing it is very hot somewhere, just imagine you are there without a blanket. Sometimes, you may feel cold enough to ask for one!

You are joking!

I am dead serious!

I tried it out. 

The green Kodai hills swam into view revealing the hat lifting and suicide points besides – the snapping, whistling wind.

Suddenly I felt cold.

The wound no longer hurt.

It was miraculous!

Amma broke my reverie.

Come on Jambu! You are getting late for school.

At school, as usual the teacher was scolding some of us, including me.

I put the trick to use again.

By thinking that my grandmother was narrating a funny story, I even began to smile.

The nice feeling was cut short rudely when I began smelling hot smoke.

A moment later, I saw it coming from the first floor of our school.

The teachers sternly ordered us to stay put.

I began teaching my trick to as many of my friends as possible.

Many began giggling.

Suddenly, as the fire burst through the roof. All of us were scared. The trick stopped working.

The stair-case was very small and narrow.

But, we could not use it because the collapsible gate outside our classroom on the corridor that led to the exit downstairs was locked as always.

The princi does not want as to escape from school and play truant.

So the exit is locked and can only be opened by the watchman uncle.

Perhaps he has gone for his cup of tea and Beedi smoke.

Some of my friends passed out.

The actions of the fire brigade breaking open the ventilator – the only one in the room caught my attention.

I called out to the firemen and helped them locate us through the thick smoke that was blinding them and us.

I think I managed to help many of my classmates.

The firemen uncles scolded me.

Charity begins at home, young woman!  Save yourself first!

The sari of my class-teacher who had asked us gruffly to stay put was on fire and she was screaming.

Even as she was being rescued, I fainted.

When I surfaced, I felt a burning sensation all over my body.

I used the trick again and began feeling comfortable.

So far 91 children have perished. I am afraid you daughter will add to this tally, major!

Is it paining too much, Jambu?

My father’s kind voice felt like a cool balm.

No Appaa! Your trick is working fine. Where am I?

You are in a government hospital, getting treated for burns.

Oh!

I lost consciousness again.

My father’s kind touch patting me on the head woke me up.

I found him crying.

Major Krishnan, your daughter has only a few more minutes to live. Nevertheless, please don’t tell your wife who is here in the neighbouring maternity ward as I do not want her to go into a shock and worse.

I did not understand why doctor uncle looked so worried.

Suddenly I felt a very pleasant breeze and very light.

I could see a girl’s burnt body in a completely singed dress…upon close examination, I recognised myself from the red ribbon that held my pigtails.

Your presence is required in the maternity ward. Please, hurry up!

The voice was gentle.

How can I come? I am here!

That was just your body. Your mother has developed labour pains. It is time for you to become your own younger brother Jambukeshwaran.

I do not understand this. And more importantly, can you find someone else to be my brother please? I really wish to stay back here with my friends now and later, play with my younger brother!

Your existence on earth was not supposed to end now. Further, you have an important task of informing the truth of what actually happened in your school today to some important person in your next birth because your current physical condition now does not allow you to continue as the currently known Jambu. Soon, you will be a Jambu again…this time…a male. Come on, child! Let us go.

I had a final look at my friends. Sadly I will never see them again here…or in the place called heaven.

The judge slowly wiped his tears.

He knew what to dictate for the two cases for which he had reserved the judgements earlier.

The first was of course, that of those seeking to end their incarceration for killing 94 innocent children.

The second one involved what Aher perceived as an insult to the memory of the martyrs of Siachen over the years.

Faulty equipment meant to prevent seepage of the effects of chilling snow and betrayals in the Indian defence ministry had killed several army personnel without anyone being the wiser.

Worse, a massive building with 31 floors meant for their widows and children that had come up in New Delhi’s fashionable Defence Colony was being misused and abused by self-seeking, well-connected, corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.

With a grim expression, he pressed the buzzer to summon Kaatyaayani Khandelwal to dictate two landmark judgements.

[1]

Operative excerpts from a report published in The Hindustan Times:

Close to a thousand soldiers have died guarding Siachen since the army took control of the inhospitable glacier in April 1984, almost twice the number of lives lost in the Kargil war.

In 1999, Pakistani aggressors occupied strategic peaks in the Kargil. The operation to push them back cost India 527 lives.

Almost a fifth of the casualties were linked to enemy fire before the November 2003 ceasefire between India and Pakistan.

The remaining deaths were because of nature’s fury, accidents and medical reasons.

Figures show 997 soldiers, including the 10 men from Madras Regiment, have died on the glacier over the past 32 years. The military casualties include 220 men killed in firing from the Pakistani side..

On the glacier, soldiers deal with altitude sickness, high winds, frostbite and temperatures as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius.

[2]

Operative excerpts from the relevant Wikipedia dossier:

The Adarsh Housing Society is a posh, 31-storey building constructed on prime real estate in Colaba, Mumbai, for the welfare of war widows and personnel of India’s Ministry of Defence. Over a period of several years, politicians, bureaucrats and military officers allegedly conspired to bend several rules concerning land ownership, zoning, floor space index and membership get themselves flats allotted in this cooperative society at below-market rates.

Unearthed in November 2010, the scam led to the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Ashok Chavan, to resign.

In 2011, a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) said, “The episode of Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society reveals how a group of select officials, placed in key posts, could subvert rules and regulations in order to grab prime government land – a public property – for personal benefit.”

In January 2011, the Maharashtra government set up a two-member judicial commission to inquire into the matter.

The commission was headed by retired High Court judge Justice JA Patil, with NN Kumbhar acting as member secretary. After deposing 182 witnesses over 2 years, the commission submitted its final report in April 2013 that highlighted 25 illegal allotments, including 22 purchases made by proxy.

The report indicted four former chief ministers of Maharashtra viz. Ashok Chavan, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde and Shivajirao Nilangekar Patil. Other accused include 2 former urban development ministers Rajesh Tope and Sunil Tatkare, 12 top bureaucrats and controversial diplomat Devyani Khobragade.

The Khobragade tale’s visa fraud side has a sinister flipside if viewed from the latest context of President Trump threatening to deport illegal immigrants in the US of A.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are currently investigating allegations that three former chief ministers of Maharashtra – Sushilkumar ShindeVilasrao Deshmukh and Ashok Chavan – were involved in the scam.

Sadly, justice will never be done in the Adarsh matter, reveals a report by Shalini Nair in The Indian Express, dated January 2011.reveals a report by Shalini Nair in The Indian Express, dated January 2011. Operative excerpt:.

From the time land was allotted to Mumbai’s first IAS officials’ housing society — Lalit in Cuffe Parade [in the vicinity of Adarsh] in 1965 — all plum government plots have always been given to societies whose members were officials with crucial postings

Here is a complete list:

Lalit Society: Includes ex-chief secys P D Kasbekar, L D Lulla, R D Pradhan and ex-law secy Bobby Dalal [located in south Mumbai, within a 1 km radius of the secretariat].

Buena Vista Society: Members are Union cabinet secretary (retd) S Rajagopal, retired chief secretaries K B Srinivasan, S Ramamoorthy and D K Afzalpurkar, senior IPS official K Padmanabhan

Samata: Justices C S Dharmadhikari and Y V Chandrachud

Shalaka Society: Meant for government buildings but transferred to society whose members include former chief secretaries Arun Bongirwar and Ajit Nimbalkar, former BMC commissioners Sharad Kale and J D Jadhav

Dilwara Society: Members include late CBI director M G Katre, retired DGP P S Pasricha, former Anti-Corruption Bureau chief S K Iyengar and retired Mumbai police commissioner Ronnie Mendonca

Charleville Society: Members include former municipal commissioner K Nalinakshan, ex-urban development secretary L Rajwade, retired IAS officer Yashwant Bhave, IAS official Ramesh Kanade

The above residential societies are located in south Mumbai’s Nariman Point – which virtually abuts the secretariat and the legislative assembly.

Priya Society Former chief secretaries D M Sukhthankar and N Raghunathan

Sagar Tarang Society: Former police commissioners Satish Sahane, M N Singh, Julio Ribeiro, R S Sharma, S K Bapat, Hassan Gafoor and A N Roy.

Praneet Society: Land meant for government buildings given to society, with former chief secretary R M Premkumar, former additional chief secretaries Ajit Warty, Navin Kumar, Ashok Khot and Awadesh Sinha as members

Aseem Society: Built on government land in Worli, its members include State Election Commissioner Neela Satyanarayan

The above residential clusters are located in Worli – where some of the richest persons in India’s financial capital live. Till recently, Peter Mukherjea and Indrani Mukherjea lived as husband and wife in this very area. They have been accused of killing Indrani’s daughter through an earlier marriage – Sheena Bora.

Amaltas Society: This land meant for government buildings houses about 150 senior officials, including retired additional chief secretaries Jagdish Joshi, Manmohan Singh and Ravi Bhargav, former information commissioner Suresh Joshi, former principal secretary V K Jairath, former CIDCO managing director G S Gill

This building is located in Juhu, northwest Mumbai – also sometimes called the Beverly Hills of Bollywood. It has residences of the Bachchan clan, Jeetendra, [father of young female movie mogul Ekta Kapoor] and some of the real estate belonging to the late Yash Chopra, the legendary filmmaker.

Pataliputra Society: Former chief secretaries Johny Joseph, V Ranganathan and J P Dange, Urban Development (II) secretary Manukumar Shrivastav, former MMRDA commissioner T Chandrashekhar

This building is located in Lokhandwala, currently the space from where most of Bollywood operates. It encompasses the production house that belongs to Shah Rukh Khan.

Nyay Sagar and Renuka societies: This residential complex is home to many sitting judges of the Bombay High Court and politicians. The list includes the son of former Union home minister Shivraj Patil, his secretary Sudhir Khanapure, former chief secretary P Subramanyam, former Urban Development secretaries D T Joseph and Ramanand Tiwari and Nitin Kareer.

[3]

Operative portions from the relevant Wikipedia dossier:

On 16 July 2004, the fire tragedy occurred on thatched roof structure of the school. The school started at 9:15 a.m. and during one of the breaks at 10:30 a.m., one of the girls noticed the fire and alerted the teacher and the news spread to other classes. The fire sparked from the midday meal kitchen thatch and spread to the upper level, which also had thatched roofs and spread rapidly. The narrow staircase had sundry materials that prevented exit of children. The staircase was also located close to the kitchen. The kitchen did not have gas stoves and fire logs were used for cooking. The school was overcrowded, having 900 children in its rolls. The thatches and the supporting bamboo poles caught fire and fell on the children and also blocked the exit.

The total toll read: 94 children dead.

The state government deputed a committee under Justice K. Sampath to inquire into the circumstances and causes leading to the fire accident on 20 July 2004. The committee assumed office on 1 August 2004 and was constituted with expert members Dr. Rani Kandhaswami (Former Principal, Lady Willington Institute of Advanced Studies in Education, Chennai), S.K. Saxena (Fire Officer, Madras Atomic Power Station, Kalpakkam), K. Vijayan (Clinical Psychologist, Institute of Mental Health, Chennai) and P.A. Annamalai (retired Head Master).

The committee was given a timeline of four months, but extended for four times and it was able to finally complete the investigation on 30 June 2005. The investigations found out that the school was not inspected by the educational official for three years. The fire officials reported that the building laws were not followed as the school had a thatched kitchen and classroom roof, had no emergency exits and it was a “death trap”.

The committee found out that the major reason for the heavy casualty was the false tactics of the management to bring the other two school students to the aided primary school to mislead the inspecting authorities about the student-teacher ratio. The management was held responsible for the whole accident. The report pointed out that the teachers were not trained in disaster management and the prohibited thatch structure was close to the classrooms. It also stated that the schools had inadequate exit facilities and had no firefighting capabilities. Pulavar Palanichamy, the owner of the schools, was reported to have used his political clout and coalesced with the municipal and the revenue department officials getting the permits for the schools. Vijayalakshmi, the noon meal organizer and also the teacher of the English Medium school, was held accountable for not performing her duties of taking safety precautions. Vasanthi, the head cook lighted the oven in the absence of her assistant, Sivasankari, who usually lights it. There was contrasting reports on whether Sivasankari was present in the school during the event. The Tahsildar of Kumbakonam Taluk, Paramasivam, was reported “dishonest” for granting licence under the Tamil Nadu Public Buildings (Licensing) Act, 1965 to the school. The chartered engineer Jayachandran was also held dishonest of giving stability certificate to the building without visiting the school once. The additional assistant educational officer, Madhavan for allowing the school to run without recognition for 6 years. Sivaprakasam, the assistant elementary education officer, was held accountable for allowing Madhavan, who was not competent to allow permit to the school. Balaji, the deputy education elementary officer was accused of carelessly passing the papers signed by Madhavan. The local health officer r Dr. Sivapunyam was accused of giving false sanitary certificate to the school. Annadurai, a friend of Pulavar Palanichamy was accounted for advising circumvention of rules. Pingapani, the deputy educational officer, who inspected the high school, did not show interest in learning that the same campus had a primary school acting beyond rules. The other officers who were earlier responsible for permitting the nursery school against the rules during 1999, namely, Shanmughavelu, Sethuramachandran, Chandrasekharan and Dr.Palanivelu. The Deputy elementary educational officer, Durairaj and assistant elementary educational officer, Balakrishnan, were held less culpable for knowing about the thatched structure and the exaggerated attendance, but not initiating any action.

The accident was the one of the four major fire accident in the state following the Brihadeeswarar Temple fire on 7 June 1997, when 60 people were killed, Erwadi fire incident on 6 August 2001 that killed 30 mentally challenged people and fire at a marriage hall on 23 January 2005 at Srirangam where 30 people including the bridegroom were killed. A private school building collapse in a private school in Madurai during the 1950s killed 35 girls and injured 137 others.

The trial of the case started after a long delay on 24 September 2012 in the Thanjavur district sessions court. The case had 21 accused and had 488 witnesses that included 18 children affected in the accident. The headmaster, Prabharan and three others turned approvers.

A total of 17 people were chargesheeted in the case and were set to face trial. The seventeen included Pulavar Palanichamy [the school’s owner], his wife and correspondent of school Saraswati, three teachers, six officers in the education department (elementary), the Kumbakonam municipal commissioner, town planning officer and four assistants in the education department. The education department officials were accused of negligence of their duties and the lower level officers for conspiring with the officials for obtaining and renewing the licenses. The three teachers were accused of showing negligence shown towards rescuing the children.

The trial was concluded on July 17, 2014. On July 30, 2014, Thanjavur district sessions court sentenced school founder Pulavar Palanichamy to life imprisonment and fined Rs 51,65,700. Palanichamy’s wife and school correspondent P Saraswathi, headmistress J Santhalakshmi, noon meal organizer R Vijayalakshmi, cook R Vasanthi were sentenced five years imprisonment. Officials in district elementary education office, officer R Balaji, his assistant S Sivaprakasam, superintendent T Thandavan and assistant G Durairaj were also sentenced five years jail. Total fine of Rs 52,57,000 was imposed and ordered the compensation of Rs 50,000 to parents of each victim.

A higher court cleared charges of 12 accused, including three teachers, six education department officials and two municipality officers.

An October 2016 report in The Times of India adds:

The Madras high court ordered to provide Rs 5 lakh each as compensation to the relatives of 94 children who were charred to death in an inferno at Krishna English Medium School in Kumbakonam The court had appointed judge Venkataraman to look into claims of the victims’ parents.

Are Indian Opposition’s Honourable Men and Women Out To Kill Bharat’s Neo Caesar – Modi?

Aren’t the opposition parties and paid media knaves’ knives attempting to maim India’s Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi finding tacit support from within the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party?

Does the single fulcrum uniting the anti Modi movement led by marginal leaders of the otherwise fractured opposition to protest his trashing high denomination currency notes have no sinful and/or ulterior motive other than helping the suffering middle-class?

Are all the opposition parties saying in unison that they too are for against black money, mouthing the truth?

Have peoples’ seemingly incessant hardships reached the threshold of an uncontrollable nationwide chaos as being stated by the opposition?

The answers to all the above queries are – anyone can discern – could only be in the form of the two letter word NO. Yet, PM Modi is going overboard to ‘convince’ the masses through Whatsapp interactions.

Why should Modi do this when a clear disconnect between the people and the parliament has been established by the combined acts of the discredited opposition? Anyone in India can see and hear that no worthwhile business has been transacted during the ongoing winter session of parliament! 

Yet, spokespersons of the BJP are – mixing fact, facetiousness, sarcasm, innuendo and irony pointing out the following ‘acts’ of the opposition to alleviate the sufferings of the masses in support of their star-vote-catcher:

  • Besides stymieing parliament’s functioning, the opposition has proposed a roll back of the demonetisation, extension of the time frame to exchange old notes and augmented supply of currency notes in distribution points.
  • To achieve these honourable ends, the opposition pursued the following ‘proactive’ steps:
  1. Parliament’s functioning was stymied with demands that have so far changed some 6 times. This includes Modi’s replying to questions by being present in the house, despite its not being incumbent upon the PM.
  2. The likes of Rahul Gandhi mingled with the public queues outside ATMs, apparently, to understand the masses’ angst.
  3. Chief Ministers of Delhi and West Bengal –Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Bannerjee respectively demanded to know details of the new currency notes’ distribution from the national capital region [NCR] offices of the Reserve Bank. In this endeavour, they blocked the traffic within a 1 km radius of Parliament.
  4. The left parties raised questions in Parliament – and have even announced intentions to be on the same page as their political foe – the ruling Trinamool Congress [TMC] in the major north-east state of Bharat. They narrated a count of those who dropped dead while standing in queues outside ATMs.
  5. The combined opposition even disturbed the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu who read out a statement regarding a mishap that had claimed over 150 lives. That was a loud and insensitive insult of the innocent dead souls.
  6. Those aggrieved by the money cleansing move of Modi filed petitions in various High Courts and a special petition was filed in the Supreme Court. In its wisdom, the Apex Court asked the government to speed up measures before riots happened. That sentence was enough for the opposition to point to the ‘impending riot situation on a nationwide scale.’
  7. “Cash delivery trucks were looted in Kashmir and in Pune,” was the only news item sign of the ‘riot like’ situation. But then, such heists happen all the time.

In a word – the threat of a countrywide unrest has proved to be an empty one.

Anyone with basic knowledge of governance could dismiss these above deeds producing zilch to lessen the sufferings with less than the proverbial guffaw.

Various aspects of the demonetisation step were exposed in my earlier blogs. Their links:

The ruling BJP is repeating ad nauseam that the opposition is likely to lose its heavy cash stash due to the demonetisation move.

If that is the only reason, the matter can be handled easily by the second rung leadership of the BJP.

Yet, Modi is pitch-forking himself into the fray.

Possible reasons:

Conservative estimates place normalisation some 3 months later.

Modi is fighting with his back to the wall against fire from his own flanks. And it isn’t the Shiv Sena of Maharashtra. The snipers are from within the BJP itself.

Shakespeare said thus in Julius Caesar:

The evil that men do lives after them

The good is oft interred with their bones.

Modi had been warned long ago – even before he took oath of office – to be precise – on May 16 and 17 2014 to be wary of those around him:

The links:

http://bharata-bharati.tumblr.com/post/85873597731/narendra-bhai-beware-of-enemies-around-you

http://tsvhari.com/template_article.asp?id=1016

With criminal intent, Google killed all my blogs by cancelling my Gmail account. Therefore, some of the links within the above blogs will narrate the legend ‘blog not found’.

Operative excerpts:

Frustrated ambitious men and women will do anything to gain political power.

Who and why would someone want to eliminate Modi?

There are many within the Bharatiya Janata Party itself who would not stop at anything to get Modi out of the way. Such men and women could be instigated by one woman – Edvige Antonia Albina Maino – also known as Sonia Gandhi.

My above blog was published on December 18, 2010.

Within 3 weeks, Sonia’s controller in Pakistan – Salman Taseer– the very man who could physically blurt out the truth– who was then in a gubernatorial post – was murdered in cold blood – by his own bodyguard Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri. Murders of Taseer and Indira Gandhi in 2010 and in 1984 respectively had one common denominator – Sonia Gandhi.

Taseer had introduced the Au Pair girl Sonia to Rajiv in the sixties – in a restaurant in the United Kingdom. Then Sonia was trying to learn to speak English to get employed as a waitress.

All those who could have exposed Sonia about her role in the Bofors payoffs have ended up dead.

The first to be killed on February 28 1986 was Swedish Prime Minister Sven Olof Joachim Palme. He is bound to have known the Bofors secrets. The Palme murder is still an unsolved mystery. His so-called killer was charged with murder, but released. The assassin – Carl Gustaf Christer Pettersson – died under mysterious circumstances recently when he was ready to spill all the beans.

The second Swede to lose his life was Palme’s political disciple Bernt Wilmar Carlsson, who perished in the Pan Am jet bombing in Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21 1988. Carlsson was scheduled to succeed Palme in the party. The Swede was doing important jobs for the United Nations to stop war mongers in their tracks in Africa.

The men who were accused of the guilt for over a decade by the West – two alleged Libyan terrorists – believed to be close to Tripoli villain Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi–were freed. The dictator was later trampled to death.

Bofors’ MD Martin Ardbo, and the middlemen Win Chadha and Ottavio Quattrocchi – who ought to have known who paid what and to whom – died of natural causes.

Rajiv Gandhi himself– who probably knew who benefited or had been the beneficiary himself– was murdered in 1991.

The Congress is still in denial about the details of not only Rajiv’s murder but also the elimination of the terrorist who ordered the cold blooded murder – V Prabhakaran.

Further details can be found in these blogs:

There are simple explanations to these.

The elections since 2014 have proved that the successors of the Nehru Gandhi clan – Sonia and Rahul Gandhi – are no longer the vote-catchers they once were. Hence, Congress party’s clown prince is putting up a brave front, with feeble one-liners against Modi. However, reports indicating that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra could lead the campaign in UP betray the sorry state of the mother-son duo’s waning clout.

In a few months, the state of Uttar Pradesh will go to polls.

Till the other day, it did seem that former CM Mayawati had the opportunity of coming to power in UP.

The party with chances better than the rest of the pack – post the demonetisation – in UP – is the BJP. The dead giveaway of this possibility is Mayawati’s relentless attack on Modi’s regime post November 8 2016. The ongoing fratricidal feud within UP’s ruling Samajwadi Party could ensure its defeat at the hustings.

The demonetisation sob stories are off the national media’s radars now.

If the thinning of the queues outside banks and ATMs have succeeded in turning the opposition parties’ party into a damp squib, the border incident wherein Pakistan soldiers left Indian brave-heart’s body mutilated on November 22 2016 have poured water on the proposed anti-demonetisation stir of the opposition – that could prove to be colder than Kashmir valley’s bitter winter’s ice on the Dal Lake.

Modi’s popularity began climbing after the first ‘surgical strike’ leaving 4 Pak army camps across the borders in tatters.

Then came the second one – called the ‘surgical strike’ against shady wealth. It turned the opposition’s paper treasury caches into sheaves of worthless paper.

Finally short-sighted Pakistan has left itself open to the sucker punch by its misadventure across the border which could lead to the third surgical strike that could inflict heavy casualties on the enemy.

Yet, Modi cannot afford to remain complacent.

Modi doesn’t need enemies from beyond the BJP. He has a well-endowed one in the form of Arun Jaitley.

Undoubtedly, the PM is India’s neo Julius Caesar.

Modi had been warned long ago – even before he took oath of office – to be precise – on May 16 and 17 2014 to be wary of those around him.

India has a fairly long list of potential Caesars.

The first two: Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose.

Lal Bahadur Shastri would rank the next. Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi – though not exactly in the Caesar mould – are certainly the nation’s martyrs..

The current Nehru-Gandhi clan is trying to profit from each of these murders.

Shakespeare said thus in Julius Caesar:

The evil that men do lives after them

The good is oft interred with their bones.

Will India Inc Forget Demonetisation Woes Thru Jaitley’s Raids On Zakir Naik’s IRF & An Arms’ Dealer Sponsored Concert?

India’s media savvy Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has perhaps succeeded in creating a sideshow by pretending to lynch Islamic preacher Zakir Naik. Since July, the Finance and Home Ministries have twiddled their thumbs over the issue.

The Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax and other departments that report to India’s Jaitley have begun conducting raids on Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation [IRF].

As it did in July this year, the sudden interest on Naik may yet prove to be nothing more than a storm in a beer tankard sold in south Mumbai’s watering hole – Metro House!

Is the proposed ‘impending action’ against Islamic hate-monger Zakir Naik – a diversionary tactic to drag attention away from the current anger of the public against the demonetisation?

The answer: Probably, yes.

What purpose would the diversion serve?

Answer: It would succeed in attracting people’s attention towards an inbuilt hatred against a faith called Islam. Its basic tenets have nothing in common with terrorism. But, persons like Zakir Naik [better suggestion for a name – Shaatir Naalaayak – meaning clever scoundrel] besmirch the reputation of Prophet Muhammad [Peace Be Unto Him].

Of course, the exercise would drag the angst and anger of the people of India that is Bharat away from the demonetisation travails.

How sure can one be about this tactic working?

India’s financial capital Mumbai is witnessing theGlobal Citizen Concert.”

The concert’s syndication is handled by one Shiv Khemka, a notorious arms dealer with a shady past with all sorts of connections with Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Shiv Khemka is more Russian than Indian, one would be led to believe by reading a short profile on the group in Business Today:

The disinvestment process is what drew us more to India,” says Shiv Vikram Khemka, Executive Director. “’We have a 20-30 year perspective for India.”

The Khemkas fancy their chances because of the success they’ve met with in the disinvestment process in Russia: Out of 35 bids, they succeeded in 27. The Khemkas aren’t revealing the PSUs they’re targeting, preferring to only identify the sector they’ve identified: oil and energy.

Shiv Khemka is an open supporter of Arun Jaitley.

His tweet in September 2016 [reproduced verbatim below] clearly shows where his loyalties lie: Swamy’s statement against FM @arunjaitley and about tax laws is totally irresponsible.

Economic Times stated that while Russian Helicopters (RH) is in talks with a handful of possible Indian partners, the lead contender happens to be the Gurgaon-based Sun Group, reported a website in May 2015. Operative excerpt:

As per insiders, the group may get a significant share of the deal, which might cross a whooping amount of $700 million. RH is likely to produce at least 200 choppers in India. Vice-Chairman and founder of Sun Group Shiv Vikram Khemka has been a non-executive director on the board of RH since 2011 and has already set up a helicopter division. He is likely to be involved in the ‘Make in India’ project.

While the Sun Group did not respond to a detailed questionnaire sent by ET, company officials said things were at a preliminary stage and it was too early to comment.

But according to sources, Sun Group was also an offset partner for RH in a previous competition to supply light choppers to the army, a process which was cancelled by the government last year.

The financial capital will also soon forget another little thing it ought not to – the dreaded date called 26/11.

An excerpt from the relevant report in The Indian Express dated November 19 2016 told the bitter truth:

The concert Global Citizen is taking place just before the eighth anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai attacks and speaks volumes about the spirit of Mumbai — the show must go on.

The 26/11 show’s villains are still in Mumbai, enjoying life, cocking a snook at the law and left untouched by the cops – despite their being up to their ears in black money and involved in anti-national activities of the worst kind!

Here are links exposing shady sides of the ongoing show:

https://haritsv.wordpress.com/2016/07/06/did-indias-gossip-column-journo-sinh-commit-suicide/

https://haritsv.wordpress.com/2016/06/05/maharashtras-bjp-slur-khadse-in-a-vain-shadow/

The irony is best expressed in the song penned by the immortal Hindi lyricist Shailendra for the 1962 Devanand starrer Asli Naqli [True-Fake].

Yesterday’s wealth, today’s joy,

The courts of the rich

And my impoverished alleys

You should be asking me

As to which one is true

And which is the fake!

Breaking relationships

Traditions

I have arrived amidst those with kind hearts

I can tell you there is no strength in the rich

The world of pelf didn’t care for me

The globe’s poor showered love on me

I sat on my imaginary palace’s throne

Sighting an Utopian global peace

Yet

Yesterday’s wealth, today’s joy

The courts of the rich

And my impoverished alleys

You should be asking me

As to which one is true

And which is the fake!

Indians are being fooled again – by the clever Jaitley – who is running with the bad-dogs and also running alongside the hound – Modi!

India’s paid press will surely make merry.

The evidence from the recent past is too fresh in the memory!

The Real Secret Behind Modi’s Currency Cancellation Move?

Is there a link between Prime Minister Modi’s sudden cancellation of the Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency notes to geopolitical financial upheaval in the wake of US election results that catapulted Donald Trump to the White House against all expectations?

Could that be the signal of the newest global bloc – BRICS undergoing serious realignments?

The replies to both the queries could only be in the affirmative.

Indian PM Modi’s attempt to unearth unaccounted wealth in India whose final value could snake beyond US$ 500 billion has acquired a sudden importance as the geopolitical world has undergone a sudden, drastic change.

One man has created this situation.

His name is Donald Trump.

Modi seems to have merely reacted to what Trump’s slogan “America first” platform could eventually lead the world into.

Trump’s proposed foreign policy has reportedly rung alarm bells in Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, the EU headquarters in Brussels and most of the vulnerable Baltic nations along Russia’s western border.

Brussels, incidentally, is also home to the headquarters of NATO.

Trump had threatened to pull out of NATO and withdraw the nuke umbrella protection over Japan and South Korea. He had vowed to slap huge trade tariffs on China.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, had said in May, “We hope the U.S. people from all walks of life would view bilateral relations from a reasonable and objective perspective.” It was a diplomatic way of saying Beijing abhorred Trump.

China has reasons to do so.

It overtook US of A as the world’s most powerful nation in terms of financial assets.

There is only one nation in the world that would be willing to take on China due to domestic and security reasons – and that happens to be India.

China supports Pakistan and its terrorists for Beijing’s strategic reasons of curbing India’s growing ambitions to be a world power. The contrast is clear – Pakistan is the world’s poorest rogue nation and China is the richest!

The warning had come from The New York Times – way back in May this year.

The open admiration for Trump from Vladimir Putin [1] means quite a lot.

The latter is supposed to be one of the mainstays in BRICS.

When Trump takes charge, it would be interesting to see what his stand on Islam and IS actually means.[2] Whatever Trump ends up doing, could lead to the second polar part being headed by a new colour code – the green-tinted brown-skinned Muslims of the world.

The biggest victim could be BRICS.

Not many in the world know that the BRICS idea was basically born in American Wall Street’s holiest cow – Goldman Sachs [3] way back in 2001 and was called BRIC comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China – the then 4 major emerging markets of the world. The originator was Jim O’Neill [a.k.a. Terence James, Baron O’Neill of Gatley], then its assets’ management wing’s chief.[4]

On April 16 this year, a Canadian conservative paper revealed why BRICS would fail and fail miserably.

This means the composition of BRICS could undergo major changes.

Sooner or later, Brazil – with its new found love or the US of A would have to exit BRICS, say credible reports. It would have a new name – a kind of a takeoff on Britain’s exit from EU – BRAXIT. That is because of one twice-divorced woman – Dilma Rousseff. [5]

The highly corrupt Jacob Zuma of South Africadenoting the last initial ‘S’ in BRICS [6] could be another nation edged out – sooner or later.

Finally, the ‘C’ in BRICS – China – which continues to claim it is communist could be targeted by Trump.

Trump’s strongest ally in this could be India on the one side and Russia on the other.

But, Trump’s known mindset of making NATO allies pay for their protection could result in one nation that has the highest economic growth rate in the world – India as America’s biggest ally.

The pointer in that direction is the trip of Modi to Japan – the only nation to be nuked ever – that too by the US of A.

Sections of EU – need the Russian gas – cheaper than their own to keep their industries running. Thanks to Modi’s rapport with Putin and the latter’s known admiration for Trump, India could play the role of a powerful broker in modern-day geopolitics.

All this needs money and lots of it.

Modi seems to have embarked upon a sudden move to do just that. If someone sitting in one corner of India – poor old me – can guess this much, much more can be second guessed by think tanks in China and perhaps Islamabad.

Is that why a section of the Indian press suspected to be in the pay of the enemies of Bharat are trying to run Modi’s financial move down?

One pointer to the final denouement is that Modi is an avowed anti-communist. Though Putin had been one – he is against socialists in Russia.

So, will the letter ‘B’ that stands for Brazil be dropped or be substituted with another ‘B’ that stands for Britain?

Since China is against Trump’s foreign policy, will the ‘C’ disappear?

Will the ‘S’ then stand for South Korea?

Will other letters like ‘G’ [Germany] and J [Japan] be added?

The months to follow will provide some surprising replies.

However, let us remember that Britain’s PM Theresa May visited India before the currency withdrawal and Modi visited Japan immediately afterwards.

[1]

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is currently President of the Russian Federation since 7 May 2012. He was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2000, President from 2000 to 2008, and again Prime Minister from 2008 to 2012.

During his second term as Prime Minister, he was the Chairman of the United Russia Party, the ruling party.

A native of St Petersburg, Putin was a KGB foreign intelligence officer for 16 years who reached the level of Lt. Colonel.

Officers in the KGB had to be members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Putin opted for retirement in 1991 to enter politics, moved to Moscow in 1996 and joined President Boris Yeltsin‘s administration. Rising quickly through the ranks and becoming Acting President on 31 December 1999, when Yeltsin resigned, Putin won the subsequent 2000 presidential election by a 53% to 30% margin crushing his Communist Party opponent, Gennady Zyuganov. He was reelected President in 2004 with 72% of the vote. In September 2011, after presidential terms were extended from four to six years, Putin announced he would seek a third term as president. He won the March 2012 presidential election with 64% of the vote.

[2]

Few in the world know that IS was a creation of the West when Putin demanded more than the proverbial pound of flesh for the highly subsidised gas from central Russia. The replacement of that was supposed to be from the Middle-East, from Oman. The pipeline was to pass through Syria, from where Assad had demanded much more than what Putin had asked to allow the pipeline to pass through. In turn, the West discovered a tyrant in Assad to tackle whom a rag-tag army of freedom fighters called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant came into being. It turned out to be a worse Frankenstein monster than the CIA’s earlier creation – Osama bin Laden.

Osama was placed in Waziristan – the lawless Pak-Afghan border – under the ruse of displacing the Soviets from their occupation of Afghanistan.

The apparent motive bandied about was teaching democracy to the crazy Afghans.

But the reality was – accessing the mineral goodies – currently valued at US$30 trillion in Afghanistan – stuff that the combine of China and Russia hope to pocket.

[3]

On April 30, 2002, Goldman Sachs Group Inc faced charges of fraud. Accusations included its analysts’ misrepresentations that adversely affected the market price of securities. The firm paid $12,500,000 as settlement.

On July 15, 2003, facing a lawsuit for artificially inflating the RSL’s stock price by issuing untrue or materially misleading statements in research analyst reports, Goldman Sachs paid $3,380,000 for settlement.

[4]

O’Neill quit the British cabinet on September 23 this year. He is a British peer teaching economics in Manchester varsity.

[5]

Brazilian economist and the first woman to be President of Brazil, Dilma Vana Rousseff was born in an upper-middle-class household in Bulgaria, and is a former communist. She was  Brazilian economist and politician who served as the 36th President of Brazil from 2011 until her impeachment and removal from office on 31 August 2016. She is the first woman to have held that office.

The daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant, Rousseff was raised in an upper middle class household. She became a socialist during her youth and, following the 1964 coup d’état, joined various left-wing and Marxist urban guerrilla groups that fought against the military dictatorship. Rousseff was eventually captured, tortured, and condemned to jail between 1970 and 1972.

On 12 May 2016, the Senate of Brazil temporarily suspended President Rousseff’s powers and duties for up to six months or until the Senate reaches a verdict: to remove her from office if found guilty or to acquit her from the crimes charged. Vice President Michel Temer assumed her powers and duties as Acting President of Brazil during the suspension. On 31 August 2016, the Senate voted 61–20 in favor of impeachment, finding Rousseff guilty of breaking budgetary laws and removing her from office

[6]

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma was charged with rape and faced allegations of racketeering and corruption. He managed to get himself acquitted through his good offices in the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa in 2005 and 2009. His financial advisor Schabir Shaikh too was convicted but also exonerated. The appeals are pending before South African courts till the time of writing. There are other arraignments. South Africa’s Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said Zuma’s rural homestead at Nkandla was an improper drain on the exchequer. The Constitutional Court unanimously held in 2016’s Economic Freedom Fighters v Speaker of the National Assembly that Zuma had failed to uphold the country’s constitution, resulting in calls for his resignation. It resulted in a failed impeachment attempt in the National Assembly.

India’s Demonetisation Tale’s Untold Parts

Prime Minister Modi’s sudden demonetisation trashing Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency notes achieved many things.

The move successfully forced around Rs.8.5 lakh crores [US$128 billion] worth stashed ill-gotten wealth back into the economy.

Among other things, the step exposed the camouflaged meadow-snakes’ poison-dripping fangs.

The trashing of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency notes was the second surgical strike against Pakistan. Its singular success is the binning of the only flourishing business in Pakistan – printing of counterfeit currency – for the time being.

Reports reveal that Pakistan had pumped as much as Rs.20 lakh crores into the Indian economy to fund terrorism and cripple Bharat financially using diplomatic bags and human mules through Nepal, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Africa and UAE, to name just a few.

According to intelligence inputs, the illegal currency funded sabotage in the Kashmir valley and encouraged Islamic fundamentalist terrorism in Muslim pockets of Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Significantly, pro-Pak street protests in Kashmir have simmered down.

It also lined the pockets of what passes for ‘sections of the secular press in India,’ reports added.

Peeved at the loss and with nothing better to do, the anti-Modi channels are yelling blue-murder on the demonetisation issue.

Significantly, a huge cache of cash was being burnt in Uttar Pradesh. Some of the smoking embers have been recovered and sent for forensic tests to find links with Pakistani sabotage. This news disappeared from headlines almost immediately after it appeared for the first time. 

One probable reason is that the Modi regime does not want to give more credit to Pakistan than what has already been done. Further, such talk could trigger a run on Indian economy.

The cobra in the grass

My tweet early Wednesday: “Did anyone bother to notice [Union Finance Minister] Arun Jaitley’s silence on the surgical strike against black money?”

Operative portions of Jaitley’s mischievous response 10 hours later that has a lot of hidden meanings: [Jaitley’s statements are in a different colour for easy identification.]

“A lot of currency operating outside system will now have to get in to banking system”.

The unsaid part:

At least 48 hours before the demonetisation, there were serious attempts to turn some Rs.25,000 crores from black to white. Premiums amounting to 25% were on offer – in Chennai. This writer has personal knowledge of it.

Simply put, the ‘system’ is rotten, per se. And Jaitley propagates the rotten system.

“It will change the course of the way people spend and keep their money”.

Read between the lines:

Jaitley implied that moneybags would rethink on bankrolling the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP].

“The new step is also of significant advantage.”

The tricky double-Dutch

The significant advantage has been introduced already. Small-time shopkeepers and/or housewives and/or other individuals can shove money into the banks in minor tranches – from Rs.5 lakhs to Rs. 40 lakhs. It would result in at least 35% of the ill-gotten stash to change colour and crawl back into the crannies of the economy.

It doesn’t nudge the economy in the direction of a cashless economy, but, significantly pushes it toward one.”

The Houdini act – to escape criticism – the reality:

There are no 100% cashless economies anywhere in the world.

There are only hopes – to achieve this utopian concept, or so said the Harvard Business Review some 4 months ago. Operative excerpts:

Denmark, Sweden, and Norway are already considering it, while the European Central Bank is considering getting rid of large-denomination bills.

Cash, according to a recent MasterCard study, accounts for nearly 85% of global consumer transactions.

Some of Sweden’s neighbours, in response to EU’s increasing regulations on restricting cash usage, are demanding a “constitutional right to pay in cashfuelled by concerns around negative interest rates and a perceived loss of privacy that comes with digital money.

Mobile payments today account for over 70% of all e-commerce transactions in China due to wallet wars among three major players – whose acronym is BAT. They comprise Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent.

Keeping ATMs stocked and working properly is a cost to banks. These ATM maintenance costs are disproportionately high in many parts of the developing world, such as sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America , with myriad security and infrastructure challenges, as well as in geographically large, sparsely populated countries, such as Canada, Russia, and Australia, where the logistics challenges are high.

The absolute cost of cash to consumers, based on average transit time and cash access costs are high in some of the world’s most populous countries: Indonesia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, India, China, and the United States. They are high in many of the major European countries, such as Germany and France, as well as in Japan. These costs are lower in several Scandinavian countries with relatively entrenched mobile payments systems, such as Sweden, Finland, and Denmark, as well as countries with rapidly evolving mobile payment systems, such as South Korea and Kenya.

Countries in the developing world tend to have a greater tax gap and a greater degree of uncertainty about the reliability of the estimate of the gap. Developing countries have the largest tax gaps, with their shadow economies as large as 30%-44% of GDP. In India, for example, the tax gap could be as large as two-thirds of overall taxes owed.

The following countries have the greatest potential for unlocking value by policy and innovation led migration to a cashless society: U.S., Netherlands, Japan, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Czech Republic, China and Brazil. The U.S., for example, incurs a cost of $200 billion annually to keep cash in circulation; nearly a third of all store sales are still cash based despite its long history with plastic money

The second group that could go cashless in the long run includes parts of Eastern Europe such as Poland and Russia, and countries with large populations such as India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Egypt, and the Philippines. Cash imposes severe costs on consumers in India and Mexico as we detail in our Cost of Cash studies

New Delhi’s 11 million inhabitants collectively spend some 72 million hours per year chasing cash.

Mexico’s small businesses suffer a 21% incidence of cash fraud — nearly twice the rate faced by larger businesses in the country.

“The government’s decision has given a sense of satisfaction among honest tax payers.”

The hidden prose:

Suddenly the middle-class with cash available on their declared returns would be in demand and make a killing – by merely circulating the ‘available balance on their cash-books to help money change colours and thus help financial villains.

“Long term advantage to the economy is significant. We appeal to the people to bear the minor inconveniences for the short period of time.

It is a big feint for a future sucker punch.

Ground is being prepared through this guarded statement on short-term inconveniences to assail the PM in the future.

Post script:

Question:

Will this end black money?

Answer: NO!  Persons with leeway in their income tax returns will make a killing by helping cash change colour from black to white and then to black again. Help could come from sources that owe allegiance to – of all people – FM Arun Jaitley!

Question:

Will Pakistan stop its misadventure?

Answer: No. The ISI goons will try to counterfeit the newer notes

Verdict

One should view the demonetisation exercise in the final analysis. The longer term reactions will be the ones to watch.

Diwali Greetings With A Difference!

O compatriot Indian!

I wish your Deepavali is happier

Next year

By then

Let us hope

O sentinel of our borders

Your OROP is really through

And the money is in your hands

The clothes and equipment

Meant to help your stressful vigil

In our Himalayan borders

Really keep the cold out

Your family back home feels

Safer from local anti-social elements

Your home is free of

Illegal encroachments by rowdies

The cross-border enemy

Learns what constitutes

Legal battles

O sister

You are able to tread

Free of fear

From lecherous rapists

Sexual favour demanding bosses

Crooked relatives ogling at you

Criminals waiting to snatch your costly neckwear

Or MCP criminal caste warlords

In the beaten tarmac paths

Of urban concrete jungles

And/or the dusty

Weather-beaten rural countryside

O brother

Your pocket isn’t picked

By shady phone companies

Fraudulent hawkers

Selling faulty ‘discounted’ wares

Your rightful promotion

Arrives routinely

You are still gainfully employed

And not exploited as now

Cops stop fleecing you

Politicians really keep

Their election promises

Pothole ridden

Roads are rendered travel-worthy

Sans encroachments

Jay-walkers et al

O Mother Bharat

China learns

The meaning of economic rape

Pakistan understands

There is no difference between

Terrorists

Cannot be classified as

State and/or non-state actors

Lanka deciphers

The import of human rights

Of linguistic minorities

And you are finally

Rid of

The camouflaged colonial chains

Continuing to snag your freedom

But then

I happen to know

All this is and shall always be

Wishful thinking  

My latest thought provoking writing:

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