Wednesday, January 27, 2010

US wants India to do its dirty work in Pakistan

This is a very interesting article which gives a very detailed account of what Robert Gates, United States Defence Secretary meant when he said "It's not unreasonable to assume that Indian patience would be limited, were there to be further (terrorist) attacks."

Does anyone recall a top American official publicly declaring that India would be justified in attacking Pakistan if terrorists struck Indian targets again?

I don't. Which is why I believe more attention must be paid to what United States Defence Secretary Robert Gates said last week in India, when asked whether he had counseled restraint to New Delhi in the event of another terror strike.

Gates' reply, "I told all of the Indian leaders that I met with that I thought that India had responded with great restraint and statesmanship after the first Mumbai attack. The ability of any state to continue that, were it to be attacked again, I think is in question..."

That was more of a threat against Pakistan than Washington has made before. Underlining that, Gates emphasized, "It's not unreasonable to assume that Indian patience would be limited, were there to be further (terrorist) attacks."

At that point (in New Delhi, on January 20), it could legitimately be argued that Gates was double-dealing, as America frequently does, sweet-talking India in India before heading off to Pakistan to repudiate his statement. But, this time, in Islamabad the next day, Gates repeated to Pakistan TV almost exactly what he had said in New Delhi. His words, "I believe that after the tragic attack on Mumbai, India was restrained in its response. But no country, including the United States, is going to stand idly by if it's being attacked by somebody."

Interesting, especially the similar phraseology, pointing to a pre-formulated response! Was Washington merely waving the India stick to nudge Islamabad towards greater cooperation in the Af-Pak war? Or, is the US starting to believe that Islamabad is a lost cause, and that India can be used -- not just politically and diplomatically, but its hard power as well -- to deal with Pakistan?

Unthinkable? Remember that a government's public positions usually lag, in both time and emphasis, what policymakers agree to behind closed doors. It would be reasonable to assume that Robert Gates, while meeting Dr Manmohan Singh, was even more forthright in signaling America's tolerance for the use of Indian force.

America's dwindling patience is evident from more than just Gates' warning. At the same time that Gates visited Delhi, two former US officials -- General Richard Myers, former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and William Schneider, until recently the Pentagon's head of technology -- were in India, sounding out key opinion-makers and policy-makers about the possibility of a growing military role for India in Afghanistan.

The question at the heart of their discussions was: how best can Indian police organisations, like the Border Security Force, the Central Reserve Police Force and the Central Industrial Security Force, take on a major role in training the Afghan National Police to look after security? Neither Myers nor Schneider seemed even slightly constrained by Pakistan's entreaties to Washington to curb India's role in Afghanistan. Myers and Schneider, some might argue, are not from the US government; they merely represent an academic viewpoint! That distinction, however, is far less relevant in America.

Washington works closely with its think-tanks, even outsourcing research that underpins key decisions: e.g. how best can the India card be played to ratchet up pressure on Pakistan? New Delhi's mandarins must surely wonder if America -- losing patience with Pakistan and calculating that US military action against Pakistan would be expensive, bloody, and the end of all influence in Islamabad -- was signaling that if India wanted to do the dirty work, Washington would look away.

For Islamabad, though, Gates' words will be nothing other than a stark threat. Superimposing the India stick on the traditional carrots of aid, weaponry and undying friendship, is a measure of Washington's desperation in dealing with Pakistan's reluctance to crack down on Jihadi terrorism. Gates' new stance will also highlight America's shrinking interest in cultivating a benign image in Pakistan. Draining the abscess of radicalism is now a greater imperative.

Despite India's satisfaction, Gates' understanding is not an unalloyed blessing. Whenever the next major terrorist strike takes place --and Pakistan's prime minister has declared that he cannot stop one -- New Delhi will find its options dangerously narrowed. An inflamed public and a rampant media will challenge Indian policy-makers with the question: what now holds back India from retaliating against Pakistan? With international restraints loosened, Indian strikes on Pakistan's territory would be a real option, and war not just an academic question.

But how ready for that challenge is the military? After the terrorist strikes on Parliament on December 13, 2001, and in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, the subcontinent stood poised on the brink of war. Despite General Padmanabhan's brave statement, after the Parliament attack, that India would wage war with whatever equipment it possessed, the army asked the government for more time to prepare. With military modernization remaining stalled for a quarter of a century, Defence Minister A K Antony and his predecessors have set the scene for potential embarrassment.

India has done the diplomatic heavy-lifting for coercing Pakistan on terrorism. The military preparation, however, remains sadly lacking.

Sources: Article written by Mr.Ajai Shukla.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Lagadapati Calls for Referendum

Maverick Vijayawada MP, Lagadapati Rajgopal had called for a Referendum throughout the state to decide which district would want to separate. He also claimed that not more than 10% would like to separate. He spoke to press persons on Wednesday (6th January) at his house in New Delhi. He said that he had independently conducted a survey throughout the state.

First of all, was referendum conducted when Hyderabad State (Telangana) was merged with Andhra State ?? NO. Then, why are the politicians now talking about referendum ?? Referendum is completely ruled out.

How feasible is another State Re-Organization Committee (SRC)?? 1st SRC was completely against the merger of Hyderabad State and Andhra State but still due to the pressure from Andhra Politicians at that time, the merger took place. What is the guarantee the same would not happen again ?? Can we trust Andhra politicians who are well known in breaking it ?? NO.

Only solution before us is a peaceful formation of Telangana State with Hyderabad as its capital. Hyderabad was the capital of erstwhile Nizam state and so, by default, it should be the capital of Telangana State. Hyderabad is itself in the heart of Telangana and so, there is no question of making it a Union Territory or Combined Capital City.

All Hyderabadis, irrespective of whether they are from Telangana or Andhra would still be Hyderabadis. Either KCR nor Lagadapati can change that. The only change is that Hyderabad would be the capital of Telangana State.

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Telangana Posters


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Chasing the Telangana dream since 1952

In 1952, a young intermediate student from Osmania University walked in with a bunch of friends to tell the 1st States Reorganisation Commission that Telangana should not be merged with Andhra into a grand state. And why. He was all of 18 then.

Tuesday will mark a poignant moment for Jayashankar when he walks into North Block to plead why Telangana region should be separated from Andhra Pradesh, an argument which has endured over six decades.

If there is a thread joining Telangana's continuing appeal over 62 years and four generations, Jayashankar may be it. The man, however, underplays his role in the struggle for statehood. "I have just sensitized the people of Telangana through research and academic studies, and by educating them on injustice," the statehood ideologue said.

It will be yesterday once more when the former vice-chancellor of Kakatiya University, along with TRS boss K Chandrasekhara Rao, makes a forceful plea for division of AP at the all-party meeting called by Centre on Tuesday. "Telangana is bound to come. I am optimistic," the academic-turned-activist told TOI.

His pursuit of one dream in a lifetime may be a record of sorts. Telangana has erupted at regular intervals and Jayashankar has been in the forefront always. He was a teenaged activist when he met the first SRC.
Then, in 1962, he was part of a campaign which rocked the region. As a lecturer, in 1968, he participated in the revived agitation.

The big hope came when he worked with Channa Reddy in 1971 in what is remembered as the most successful Telangana upsurge since 1947. It again resulted in disappointment till the retired professor of economics came across a rebellious TDP leader to forge a new statehood platform — TRS.

"I never joined a party," he said, adding, "My range is from RSS to TRS. Anyone who stands for Telangana can be done business with." This time, however, the 76-year-old says Telangana is round the corner. He has not given up hope.

Sources: Times of India

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Telangana Muslims back Separate Statehood; but MIM Keeps Quiet

Even as the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, the Muslim political party with tremendous clout in Hyderabad, still keeping its cards on Telangana issue close to its chest, several other Muslim organisations have become active in support of the Telangana state.

Though Muslims in Hyderabad's old city, the bastions of the MIM are largely silent and aloof from the one month long agitation for Telangana state, the minority community members were participating in large numbers in protests and processions in other nine Telangana districts.

As the well established organisations like Jamat-e-Islami have declared their full support to Telangana on the grounds that smaller states will be helpful in providing good governance, several other Muslim groups like Muslim Forum for Telangana and Telangana Muslim Front have also come up to spearhead the movement.

The issue of Muslim participation in Telangana movement has always been sensitive and crucial as they constitute nearly 20 per cent of the four crore population of the region and were mostly concentrated in Hyderabad and other urban centers like Nizamabad, Kamareddy, Warangal, Karimnagar, Adilabad and Nalgonda.

Abdul Rahman Al Attas, the former Telangana Rashtra Samithi member of Legislative Council sought to dispel the impression that Muslims as a community were opposed to Telangana state.

"This is untrue. Muslims like the other people of Telangana region want Telangana state as their rights will be more secure and they will get back their due share in government jobs," he said.

He said that a Muslim Minority Joint Action Committee on Telangana was leaving for New Delhi on Saturday to meet Union home minister P Chidambaram , finance minister Pranab Mukherji and other senior leaders to spell out the stand of Muslims in favour of Telangana.

The MIM, which has one seat in Lok Sabha and seven in the state assembly, is among the eight recognised political parties of the state invited for the January 5 talks by the Central government. "We will not come out with our stand in the very first meeting as it will be a prolonged process," said the MIM president and Member of Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi .

Even as nearly 90 legislators of different political parties in Telangana region announced their resignations to mount pressure on the Central government to form the state, MIM has kept silent and the party has made no such announcement.

MIM has traditionally been opposed to the division of Andhra Pradesh and formation of Telangana state on the ground that separate Telangana state will be more fertile ground for the Bharatiya Janata Party and other 'communal forces' and the people from Andhra and Raayalseema regions were 'more secular' than those of Telangana.

"If Telangana is formed, politically it will be beneficial for my party as it can win 15 to 20 seats in a 119 member assembly. But we are not looking at the issue from the angle of political benefit. We feel that it will not be in the interest of Muslim minority. BJP can never think of coming to power in an integrated Andhra Pradesh but they will have a chance in separate Telangana," Owaisi had said a few months ago.

"We are neither for Telangana state nor for a united Andhra Pradesh. We are just saying that when they sit for discussion to decide the fate of the state, MIM should have chair at the table and Muslims as a stakeholders should be heard," he had said.

But with the mounting pressure on the Central government from pro-Telangana forces and inclination in the Centre to positively consider the demand, the MIM is a bit worried about the future.

Jamat-e-Islami Hind's Amir chief of Andhra Pradesh Malik Moatasim Khan declaring Jamat's support to Telangana movement dismissed the fear of communal forces becoming communally strong and said that the communal forces were present all over the country and Jamat along with other forces will fight against them.

"The issue now is not that of creating political consensus on formation of Telangana. But now the time has come to think of the development of the Telangana state," he said, adding that the Central government does not have any option but to form Telangana state.

Movement for Peace and Justice, another active organisation, has come out in its support and said Telangana state should be formed on the basis of justice.


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Political Parties Condemn JAC Member Comments

Political parties across the spectrum have condemned the statement made by one of the members of the Joint Action Committee for Telangana, Mr.P Ravi who stated that if Hyderabadi Andhras donot support Telangana then they wont allow the Andhras who go to their home towns for celebrating Sankranti Festival be allowed back.

It is important to note that the politicians who condemned the statement included those from Telangana too. Andhra politicians and people have to accept the fact that there are always people in agitations who tend to go to extremes. This we have seen in both Telangana and Samaikya Andhra agitations.

BJP leaders Mr.Kishan Reddy and Dr.K Lakshman who hail from Telangana have categorically snubbed the JAC statement saying that Agitations should not be against people and agitations should not cause any harm or problem to the common man. They demanded that JAC leaders have to take back the statement made by one of their leaders. They also advised that JAC leaders show caution while making any statements which can lead to mistrust among people.

Mr. TG Venkatesh, another irresponsible leader from Raayalaseema had called Telangana leaders to come to Raichur in neighbouring Karnataka State for a challenge. He said they would take care of Telangana leaders in Raichur.

Mr.Venkatesh from Raayalaseema is famous along with Lagadapati Rajgopal from Andhra and K Chandra Sekhar Rao from Telangana for making irresponsible statements which are not upto their stature.

Senior Congress Leader from Telangana, Mr.P Sankar Rao had stated that the JAC statement is not in the spirit of Telangana.

Others senior Congress leaders from Telangana like Jeevan Reddy and state minister, Ponnalla Lakshmaiah have asked people not to take the statement seriously as they are made in a highly charged atmosphere where police where persecuting the students and not allowing the students attend the rally.

Even the JAC Convener,Professor Kodandaram reminded that the same Mr. P Ravi had said that they would go to Andhra areas to celebrate Sankranti Festival and invite Andhras to Telangana to celebrate Dasara Festival.

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Meeting on Telangana - Sheer Waste of Time

When all the political parties have virtually split into two halves, one representing Andhra State and another representing Telangana State, I was wondering what would be the outcome of the meeting that is taking place while Iam writing this post in New Delhi.

Home Minister, P Chidambaram had called for a all party meeting representing all the regions of the state. All the parties including Congress, Telugu Desam Party & Praja Rajyam Party have virtually split along regional lines. Parties like Bharatiya Janata Party,Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Communist Party of India have already made known their stance since many years for a separate Telangana State. So, there is no split in these parties.

All the leaders of all the regions have already made their stance clear and they said they would not budge. So, what is this meeting going to decide ??
If it decides for the creation of Telangana state then Andhra region would again erupt in violence and conversely if the meeting decides against Telangana, entire Telangana would erupt in flames, including the capital city, Hyderabad which is in the heart of Telangana.

The meeting started at 10:30 AM today (an hour back) on January 5th 2010 at North Block (Home Minister Office) in New Delhi. Leaders from 8 political parties were invited for this meeting.

Congress Party: Uttam Kumar Reddy representing Telangana and Kavuri Sambasiva Rao representing Andhra.

Telugu Desam party: R Prakash Reddy representing Telangana and Y Ramakrishnudu representing Andhra.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi: K Chandra Sekhar Rao and Professor Jaya Shankar, both representing Telangana.

Bharatiya Janata Party: Bandaru Dattatreya representing Telangana and hari Babu representing Andhra.

Praja Rajyam Party: Chiranjeevi and C.Ramachandrayya, both representing Andhra.

Communist Party of India(Marxist): J Ranga Reddy and BV Raghavulu, both representing Andhra.

Communist Party of India: K Narayana, Gunda Mallesh both representing Telangana.

Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen: Assaduddin Owaisi and Akbaruddin Owaisi who are playing the neutral card even though they are from Telangana.

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Responsible Leaders - Page Not Found

I've been closely following the separate Telangana Movement past couple of years. This is the first time I noted that responsible politicians who can make a difference err on the language they are using.

Taking example of TRS President K. Chandrasekhar Rao who infamously said "Telanganawale jaago and Andhrawale bhago" in November 2009. This is one of the most irresponsible statements that any politician can make. Actually, he should have been jailed for making this statement which goes against the basic tenets of Indian Constitution.

Even though Iam a hardcore Telangana supporter (being born and brought up in Hyderabad), I sincerely feel that we can achieve Telangana only through peaceful and Gandhian means. Violence has no place in a democratic setup like ours. That too a politician like KCR who is in such an influential position cannot afford to give such idiotic statements. He has to understand that his statements like this are only adding fuel to the Samaikya Andhra leaders.

In this aspect, I have to commend politicians like BJP MLA from Amberpet, Mr. Kishan Reddy who proclaimed that anyone and everyone has place in Telangana and we have to abide by the Indian Constitution. He said, being a capital city, it is but natural that people from all the areas of the state and the country tend to swarm because of job generation. Mr. Reddy said what happens if Americans or Australians or British say the same and kick out people of other nationalities ?? We are only fighting for a separate state but not separate people. We need to get Telangana only with peaceful means.

Also, in yesterday's Vidyarthi Garjana (Students Roar), couple of speakers where aggressive enough to create apprehensions in the minds of lakhs of Andhras who have made Hyderabad their Home. One of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) leaders, Mr.P Ravi stated that if Hyderabadi Andhras donot support Telangana then they wont allow the Andhras who go to their home towns for celebrating Sankranti Festival be allowed back. Some leaders also said that they are ready to die or kill for getting Telangana state.

Fringe elements like this are highly dangerous for the Agitation. Of all the hundreds of leaders who are fighting for Telangana, only a couple of leaders are giving irresponsible statements. The problem is that only such people are getting highlighted which is giving a bad name to the mostly peaceful agitation. Leaders who are fighting for a United Andhra Pradesh are only using the statements of such leaders to rake up sentiments in Andhra areas.

One more thing which I want to highlight is the continuous attacks on film shootings that are taking place in Telangana areas. This is absolutely wrong. Telugu film field has actors from all the areas and film field is responsible for creation of thousands of jobs. The attacks on film shootings will only take away these jobs where even people from Telangana region are employed. All the actors have Fans across the state and we need to understand that they cannot take a stance here on Telangana.

The political leaders who are leading have to be responsible and at the sametime, make sure that the fringe elements are kept in check. Then only we can achieve a safe and economically developed Telangana.

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