Monday, November 24, 2008

Shameless bias!

Sometimes I really wonder if these pseudo journos do not fear losing their credibility. They have carefully crafted a veneer of a neutral commentator but in most of their articles, their bias screams out!

Take the case of Anil Dharker. This is the same chappie who magically created those “three clear days” between February 28 to March 1, 2002 during the Gujarat riots. Now the same guy has written a piece dripping with hatred and sarcasm and full of half truths and lies!

Let us see the depths to which these guys go!

So, finally, L K Advani has got off the fence. After keeping quiet on the Malegaon blast case for a couple of weeks, and letting Raj Nath Singh do the talking, he has now come out in support of "Sadhvi" Pragya. A tiger can’t hide its stripes for too long, and this particular tiger's stripes have always been a deep saffron which show through whatever robes he is wearing at the moment.

Look at how the Sadhvi has been put into quotes, Advani has been described as a tiger who hides his stripes and how saffron has been treated as something to be despised!

The robes he is displaying now is of prime minister-in-waiting. That's what he donned when he played host to the captains of industry last week, an elder statesman in thoughtful dialogue with leading industrialists about the state of the nation. And then emerged Mr Hyde, railing and ranting at the government for "torturing" Pragya. The basis of his allegations? Pragya said so. (A little aside here: the 'Sadhvi' has not claimed she was subjected to physical torture, just that she was verbally abused and mentally tortured. What does she expect in an investigation into terror and killing of people? Soothing music? Scented agarbattis? Polite requests to tell the truth?)

Sadhvi Pragya’s affidavit vividly describes the manner in which the ATS ordered her disciple to lash her with a belt. Yet Dharker sees no physical torture in that! After all, she is only a Hindu!

Now the Chief Monster of the Gujarat violence, Narendra Modi, is saying that the government is maligning the Indian army because a serving officer is alleged to be the mastermind of the Malegaon blasts and possibly the explosion in the Samjhauta Express. Bal Thackeray too has been part of this chorus: "Countless Sadhvis will stand up to safeguard the interests of the Hindu community" is one of his less inflammatory statements. He also talks of "brilliant military officials" who have been "maligned on mere suspicion of having plotted bomb blasts" and "Efficient police officials who took on terrorists have been brought to disrepute by the Anti-Terrorist Squad".

So, Narendra Modi is a Chief Monster!

And the Samjhauta blasts charge continues to stick even after the ATS, which had leveled the charges in the first place, has itself retracted them!

The combined message of all this is clear: "No Hindu can be guilty of terrorism. No Hindu military officer can be guilty of terrorism. No Hindu policeman can be guilty of terrorism." There is an implied sub-text here which goes like this: "Any Muslim held for questioning in a terrorism enquiry has to be guilty because he is a Muslim. If a 'suspect' is questioned, then released because there is no evidence against him, it's okay to torture him because he is a Muslim".

Can’t the same accusation be made against the pseudo-secular breed like Dharker? Wouldn’t they have written breast beating pieces if some Muslim terrorism accused had leveled charges of torture in custody?

Does this sound crude and extreme? Yes, it is crude and extreme but that in effect is what these gentlemen are saying. Remember poor Khwaja Yunus? Arrested for the Ghatkopar bombing (a charge which has never been proved), he was killed in police custody by former police officer Sachin Vaze and three constables. So says the Maharashtra CID. Vaze is now out on bail awaiting trial. So what happens to him? Why, the Shiv Sena welcomes him into its fold (presumably he is Thackeray's 'efficient police official').

So Khwaja Yunus is “poor”? But Sadhvi Pragya is evil! Why? Oh, don’t look too far for answers – just look at their respective religion!

And what about the young Muslim men who were arrested in Andhra Pradesh on suspicion of terrorism? They were kept in detention for months, tortured by the police, then finally released because they were innocent (a fact acknowledged by the Andhra government which has now said sorry and announced a compensation package for them).

Did LK Advani, prime minister-in-waiting, whose heart bleeds for 'Sadhvi ' Pragya, say anything about these terrible human rights abuses? He hasn't, has he? You will not find a sane person in this country who will justify the despicable acts of the Muslim terrorists who have bombed and killed our countrymen. They deserve no sympathy and they deserve no leniency in the punishment they will get. But the same impartial standards should apply to Hindu terrorists as well. In the end a terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist; there is no such thing as a Hindu terrorist or a Muslim terrorist.

So convenient to say that you do not justify acts by Muslim terrorists – but you will do everything to make sure that suspects are not apprehended and investigated!

If the Hindutva brigade tries to justify their Malegaon and Samjhauta Express bombings on the basis of retaliation, that's a dangerous route to take; Muslim youth are being indoctrinated to avenge Babri Masjid and Gujarat; Indira Gandhi was killed by Sikhs. Rajiv Gandhi by the Tamils in revenge too.

The Samjhauta Express lie continues – and will continue till eternity – once they have tasted blood, these suckers will not let go!

Where do we go from here? Into a black hole for sure. It's a shame that Messrs Rajnath, Advani and Modi can't see that.

Such shameless bias, and yet they are called in for TV discussions as neutral commentators! What irony!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Does CEC mean Congress Election Commissioner?

The Chief Election Commissioner (as also the Election Commissioners) of the country is privy to a lot of information on political parties and the election process and has tremendous powers to use or misuse this. In a situation where there is a neck to neck fight between two major political formations, a slight tweaking of a ruling or decision can tilt the scales in one way or the other.

Therefore, it is important that the post of the Chief Election Commissioner is occupied by a person who is not only unbiased and neutral, but also conveys this attitude through his behaviour, words and policies.

However, some of our “respectable” ex-CECs have some question marks on their head, based on their post-retirement careers.

Take the case of Mr. M.S. Gill. Yes, insiders always knew that he was a Congress stooge, but the man kept a neutral face on the outside. God alone knows how many decisions and policy matters he must have tweaked in order to aid the Congress. Of course, post-retirement he has joined the Congress and was well rewarded for his services during his tenure as the CEC with a plum ministry job.

Even as Sports Minister, there was no hint of any neutrality that might have creeped in during his years as a “neutral” CEC. After the sharpshooter, Abhinav Bindra, won the Gold medal at the Beijing Olympics this year, the ex-CEC was so crass in his anti-BJP approach (having shed all pretense of neutrality which he was showing during his CEC years), that he advised the sportsman to visit only Sonia and not Advani.

If one stooge was not enough, now we have the famous James Michael Lyngdoh, who was the CEC during the 2004 General Elections which gave the Congress a slight edge and led to the formation of the present disastrous UPA. His activism during the Gujarat polls of 2002 (after the riots) and his run-in with the BJP loudmouths is well known. We also know how the usual suspects rushed to his defence at that time. While he maintained a straight face when he was accused of being a “Congress agent”, what was startling was his sharing of the dais with Rahul Gandhi at Amritsar on 18th November.

Finally all doubts have been put to rest. Whether he formally joins the party or not, only time will tell. But where his loyalties lie, we all know. Tell me, as a supposedly neutral ex-CEC, would he be willing to share the dais with say, Advani?

And last but not the least, don’t we all know the background of incumbent Election Commissioner, Navin Chawla, whom the Congress is banking upon to see it through in the forthcoming General Elections?