Sonia Gandhi – A Blot on the Nation

(Am not sure about authenticty of this article)

by Mark Tully*

Sir William “Mark” Tully, OBE. He worked for BBC for a period of 30 years before resigning in July 1994. He held the position of Chief of Bureau, BBC, Delhi for 20 years. Padma Shree, KBE, Padma Bhushan, one of the most respected journalists in the world, writes on Indian Politics: An eye opener account, not known to most of the Indians.

“I can say without the shadow of a doubt that when history will be written, the period over which she (Sonia Gandhi) presided, both over the Congress and India, will be seen as an era of darkness, of immense corruption and of a democracy verging towards autocracy, if not disguised dictatorship, in the hands of a single person, a non-Indian   and a Christian like me. Truth will also come out about her being the main recipient for kickbacks from Bofors to 2G, which she uses to buy votes.”

The sun has already set; darkness is just about to start. Do you blame it on bankruptcy/blindness of Congress or country’s misfortune. It is both. Now read the complete analysis, which follows. THE TRUTH & THE HIDDEN FACTS. I was surprised when the Congress party gave me a Padma Shri – I am the   only foreign journalist to ever get it. For, in my forty years of political reporting in India, I have always been a vocal critic of the Nehru dynasty. Someone even called me recently: “a vitriolic British journalist, who in his old age chose to live back in the land he never approved”.

It started with Operation Blue Star. I was one of the few western correspondents who criticized Indira. As I have said since then numerous times, the attack on the Golden Temple and the atrocities that followed the army operations, produced in all sections of the Sikhs a sense of outrage that is hard today to alleviate. I believed then that the large majority of Hindu India, even if politically hostile to Indira Gandhi, openly identified with – and exulted in – her will to overwhelmingly humble a recalcitrant minority.

As everybody knows, Indira Gandhi helped my fame grow even more, by wanting to imprison me during the Emergency she clamped and finally throwing me out of India for a short while. But the result was that the whole of India tuned in, then and thereafter, to my radio’s broadcasts, ‘The Voice of India’, to hear what they thought was ‘accurate’ coverage of events.

When Rajiv Gandhi came to power, I first believed that he was sincerely trying to change the political system, but he quickly gave-up when the old guard would not budge. I criticized him for his foolish adventure in Sri Lanka, although I felt sorry for him when he was blown to pieces by Dhanu, the Tamil Tiger.

It is in Kashmir, though that I fought most viciously against his Govt and subsequent Congress ones for its human right abuses on the Kashmiri Muslims of the Valley. The Congress Governments tried indeed several times to censor me and the army even took prisoner my Kashmiri stringer, whom I had to rescue by the skin of his teeth. I am also proud that I was the first one to point out then, that the Indian Government had at that time no proof of the Pakistani involvement in the freedom movement in Kashmir.

Thus I always made it a point to start my broadcasts by proclaiming that the Indian Government accuses Pakistan of fostering terrorism», or that “elections are being held in Indian-controlled Kashmir”…As I was so popular, all the other foreign journalists used the same parlance to cover Kashmir and they always spoke of the plight of the Muslims, never of the 400.000 Hindus, who after all were chased out of their ancestral land by sheer terror (I also kept mum about it).

As for Sonia Gandhi, I did not mind her, when she was Rajiv Gandhi’s wife, but after his death, I watched with dismay as she started stamping her authority on the Congress, which made me say in a series of broadcasts on the Nehru Dynasty: “It’s sad that the Indian National Congress should be completely dependent on one family; the total surrender of a national party to one person is deplorable. You have to ask the question: what claims does Sonia Gandhi have to justify her candidature for prime-ministership? Running a country is far more complicated than running a company. Apprenticeship is required in any profession — more so in politics”.

I heard that Sonia Gandhi was unhappy about this broadcast. Then, after President APJ Abdul Kalam called her to the Raj Bhavan and told her what some of us already knew, namely that for a long time, she had kept both her Italian and Indian passports, which disqualified her to become the Prime Minister of India, she nevertheless became the Supreme leader of India behind the scenes. It is then that I exclaimed: “the moribund and leaderless Congress party has latched onto Sonia Gandhi, who is Italian by birth and Roman Catholic by baptism”.

She never forgave me for that. Yet, today I can say without the shadow of a doubt that when history will be written, the period over which she presided, both over the Congress and India, will be seen as an era of darkness, of immense corruption and of a democracy verging towards autocracy, if not disguised dictatorship, in the hands of a single   person, a non Indian and a Christian like me. Truth will also come out about her being the main recipient for kickbacks from Bofors to 2G, which she uses to buy votes, as the Wikileaks have just shown.

Finally, I am sometimes flabbergasted at the fact that Indians – Hindus, sorry, as most of this country’s intelligentsia is Hindu – seem to love me so much, considering the fact that in my heydays, I considerably ran down the 850 million Hindus of this country, one billion worldwide. I have repented today: I do profoundly believe that India needs to be able to say with pride, “Yes, our civilization has a Hindu base to it.” The genius of Hinduism, the very reason it has survived so long, is that it does not stand up and fight. It changes and adapts and modernizes and absorbs – that is the scientific and proper way of going about it.

I believe that Hinduism may actually prove to be the religion of this millennium, because it can adapt itself to change. Hindus are still slaves to MUSLIMS and CHRISTIANS On the name of secularism, lots of facilities and cash incentives are given to Muslims and Christians. Haj subsidy is given to Muslims for Haj yatra, wages of Muslim teachers and Imams are given to Muslims are given by looting the Hindu temples. No such subsidy is given to Hindus for going to Hindu religious places or any wages to Hindu religious priests or Hindu teachers. In fact congress secular government creates many obstacles for Hindus for going to Amarnath Yatra.

Even after 65 years of independence reservation is given on religious grounds while it should have been abolished by this time. If at all reservation or subsidy is needed, then it should be purely on economic grounds rather on the grounds of minorities. Such reservations affect the quality of work. Congress party giving various kinds of allurements to minorities to buy their votes with Hindu money. In the government, many people are with Hindu names but in fact many are Muslims and Christians with Hindu names (**) to fool Hindus and to show in the government, majority people are Hindus. Continue Reading…

Kashmir Crisis- the Historical Perspective

By K.N. Pandit

Unprecedented changes have occurred in the world during past three decades. These are conspicuously visible in international relations, geo- political strategies, economic recession and social churning.

Nevertheless, simultaneously great leaps forward in technological and scientific advancement have abridged distances, shrunk time, and opened exciting opportunities of economic progress. The quality of life has improved considerably. While developing countries had to re-fashion their socio-economic set up to accommodate and even absorb imperatives of rapid development, technologically advanced countries with strong economies thrust much faster innovative options on them.  As a result, developing societies are feeling the pressure of transition to modernism. In such a prospect many irritants are likely to surface. In particular, there is growing demand for social justice and economic parity.  Continue Reading…

Kashmir and its PANDITS

… to remember the real history …

Letter by Dr. K.N. Pandita, General Secretary of ASIAN-EURASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS FORUM AEHRF, Delhi


Mr. L.K. Advani, Hon’ble Deputy Prime Minister & Home Minister of India, New Delhi

Published on Kashmir Herald on the web, Volume 3, No. 6 – November 2003


In the first week of September 2003, Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a reputed Delhi-based NGO organized a 2-day seminar in New Delhi on the theme ‘Kashmiri Pandits: Problems and Prospects’. Many senior leaders, public figures and opinion makers were present at its deliberations. It is understood that the NGO in question would be deputing a delegation to apprise you of the shades of opinion that have emerged on the subject of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Kashmir. Continue Reading…

Not protests but positive approach

By K.N. Pandit

Nine Muslim organizations held a protest in the capital recently slamming Congress for victimizing Muslims who they claim are innocent. This protest was evoked by Delhi police investigations into this month’s Delhi bomb blasts. Continue Reading…

On the Sidelines of Kashmir History

By K.N. Pandita

Mr. Jagmohan’s write – up (Kashmir’s new danger April 12, 2007) asks for some vital clarifications. A letter will not do, hence a full write-up.

Shri Jagmohan is one most outstanding authority on contemporary Kashmir essentially first by virtue of being an astute scholar, and secondly having headed the J&K State twice, once in normal times and the next at a crucial time when armed insurgency broke out. Notwithstanding these unique qualifications, some basics of Kashmir history and psyche appear to have remained obscure to his searching eye. Continue Reading…

Not only a sectarian divide

By K.N. Pandita

The roots of Shia-Sunni jihad bedevilling Pakistan’s Punjabi dominated regions in general and more recently the Kurram Agency of FATA in particular, have to be traced in the deep – seated conflict and contradiction existing in traditional ideologues of the Shia and the Sunni sects of Islam ever since the tragic happenings in Kerbala in 7th century A.D. After the Arab conquest, Iran became predominantly Shia for several reasons. Her centuries old pre-Islamic monarchical mindset harking back to the days of great Achaemenian and Sassanian Empires, her dislike for Arab domination resulting in several anti-Arab revolts and uprisings, her rich and ennobling cultural heritage and national pride, her agriculture-oriented economy and entrenched feudalism, her organized and structured society as against a tribal and a nomadic way of life are some of the factors, which prompted Iranians to carve out their Shia (literally meaning weaning away from mainstream) identity and reinforce it through exceptionally studious, accurate and reasoned scholarship. Continue Reading…

What an ignominious exit

By K.N. Pandita

Congress has its patent antics of making scapegoats and passing the buck on.

Buta Singh has been a Congress activist for the whole of his life. How can one become Mr. non-partisan over night more so when the same party had catapulted him into the seat of the Governor to which he owed allegiance and which was in power at the centre? Continue Reading…

Saddam Hussein

Found in The National Security’s Archive NSARCHIVE Oct. 18: Saddam’s Iron Grip, Intelligence Reports on Saddam Hussein’s Reign.

Washington D.C. October 18, 2005 – The National Security Archive today posted a series of declassified U.S. intelligence documents and other U.S. agency reports on Saddam Hussein’s human rights abuses, one of which is the subject of the first trial of Saddam which begins tomorrow in Iraq. Continue Reading…

North Korea and the United States

Found in the National Security Archive, Washington DC, the following article: Declassified Documents from the Bush I and Clinton Administrations, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 164, Edited by Robert A. Wampler – 202/994-7000. – Washington D.C. August 23, 2005 – Next week, if all goes according to plan, the United States will resume six-party talks with North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Russia and host nation China on the issue of North Korea’s nuclear program. Continue Reading…

Protest without logic

Letter to the editor by K.N.Pandita. This is with reference to ‘Beyond Muslim condemnation of terrorism’ by Louay Safi (AT 5 August 2005). Some Muslim organizations have reacted against the brutality of London bombing. But that is not enough. It is the duty of those Muslims who claim that Islam is a religion of peace and that they do not approve suicidal attacks, should draw a long term plan of confronting the extremists among themselves. They have full information who the extremists are, wherefrom they get support, what are their links and how they move. Continue Reading…

The Saudi-Pakistan nexus

The Tribune, Only jehadis have gained, by G. Parthasarathy

WHEN Saudi Arabia’s ruler King Fahd died after a prolonged illness on August 1, his last rites were performed according to strict and austere Wahabi traditions. But one person who reacted as though his beloved uncle had died and mourned publicly, was Pakistan’s General Musharraf, who promptly declared one week’s state mourning and became the first non-Arab ruler of a Muslim country to rush to Saudi Arabia for the last rites of the Saudi monarch. Continue Reading…

Iran bogged down with nuclear controversy

By K.N. Pandita,

A less expressed view in some knowledgeable Iranian circles is that the new President’s hard-line posture is an exception rather than the rule There are other more baffling issues that must fill the priority list of the President. Un-remitted social and economic baggage, groupism in civilian and military establishments and a restructured relationship with the west should be among his priorities. Above all, declining interest in the ideals of Islamic Revolution of Khumeini’s days among the younger generation that forms more than half of her population needs to be addressed.

However, the President is beset with the nuclear crisis, which projects him as an inveterate hardliner. Perhaps the catalyst for hard-line stance on nuclear programme is not strictly of President’s choosing. Other factors seem to have contributed to it. Continue Reading…

Terror in the holy cities

K.N. Pandita, Recently terrorists were holed up in Mecca and Medina, the two historic and holy cites of the Saudi Kingdom. Saudi police found them activists of Al-Qaeda, the crusaders of the 18th century puritanical Sunni ideology of Abdu’l-Wahhab. Ironically, when Banu Saud clan of Nejd was fighting to raise a kingdom in Arabia, it sought political support from Wahhabism, which had made deep inroads into the Arab society. Today Wahhabism has come home to roost.

Emboldened by the success of 1979 Islamic revolution culminating in the dismissal of monarchy in Iran, , Ayatollah Khumeini began mounting criticism against the Saudi monarchy calling it unlawful and hence non-acceptable to Islamic community. Once again the Saudi monarchy was obliged to invoke political-social support of Wahhabism, this time to counter the rising popularity of Khumeinism. Continue Reading…

The heavy hand of justice

Letter to the Editor, by K.N.Pandita – Dear Sir, The Supreme Court of India, the highest institution of justice in the country has delivered its judgement in the case of terrorist attack on the parliament. One of the accused has been given death sentence and the other one served ten years of rigorous imprisonment. The verdict was delivered after all legal formalities were completed. In this process the most important part was of furnishing adequate and convincing evidence. The honourable judges never allowed any lapse in completing all technicalities. The accused were provided all opportunity of defending themselves. Legal assistance was also offered though not accepted by the accused. Thus from all legal aspects the case was thoroughly screened and examined.

There have been demonstrations in Srinagar and other towns of Kashmir valley against the verdict by the separatists. Interestingly, demonstrations against. The decision of the apex court began from the defenders of the law of the land meaning the Srinagar bar association itself. Continue Reading…

Calculated muscle-flexing

Found in Asia Times, August 6, 2005, by Sergei Blagov, MOSCOW – Russia’s unprecedented joint war games with China can be viewed as a dual message to the United States and the Central Asian republics of the extent to which Beijing and Moscow are prepared to go to protect their interests. Russia is to dispatch about 2,000 troops for exercises scheduled August 18 to 25 near Russia’s far-east port city of Vladivostok, before moving to the Yellow Sea and then to an area off the coastal Chinese province of Shandong.

The games are expected to involve Russia’s Il-76 transport planes with paratroopers, Tu-95MS bombers firing cruise missiles at targets in the sea and Su-27SM fighter jets simulating coverage of ground forces. Russian and Chinese military leaders, including defense ministers as well as Russian Chief of General Staff Yury Baluyevsky and his Chinese counterpart Liang Guanglie, are expected to attend the drills. Continue Reading…

Cool-headed diplomacy

Found in Asia Times of 6th August, 2005, by Adam Wolfe, Russia and China delivered a one-two punch to Washington’s ambitions in Central Asia on the eve of the Group of Eight (G-8) summit with a joint statement on “international order” followed by a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that was hostile to US interests. While this combination was not enough to knock the US out of the region, it was the most forceful challenge to US interests in Central Asia since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Seeking to prevent any further damage to Washington’s position in the “Great Game”, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld traveled to the region to shore up support for maintaining American bilateral agreements with the key players. This was followed by Uzbekistan announcing a deadline for US withdrawal from a military base in its territory. These moves indicate that even though fighting in Afghanistan has yet to cool down, the traditional power politics of Central Asia are heating up. Continue Reading…

Metamorphosis – The Answer

Letter to the Editor, The Tribune, Chandigarh, India, by K.N. Pandita, Jammu 01.08.05,

Sir – This refers to ‘The metamorphosis of Al-Qaeda’ by Rajeev Sharma (August 1, 2005). A comprehensive subject like terrorism and al-Qaeda demands an elaborate and specialised analysis. The fact is that the Islamic society (ummah) is beset with deep contradictions within. Some of these were highlighted by agalaxy of eminent and emancipated Muslim thinkers around 10-12th century who had been greatly influenced by the great Greek philosophers with their fomidable instrument of logic. But this emancipated segmentof Muslim society was only to be ruthlessly suppressed by the emerging orthodoxy of 12-13th century. The orthodoxy had found a strong backing from the vested Khurasanian feudal structure imposed by the victorious Arab conquerors of Iran. Al-Ghazali led the retaliatory campaign and established the supremacy of the dogma. Notwithstanding intermittent groundswells of less intensity, this ideological rupture in the ummah lay benign for several centuries perhaps because of mutual political and logistic interdependence with strong Islamic monarchies and satrapies in the Asian-Eurasian continent until the unprecedented supremacy of modern scientific and technological advancement made by the west. Continue Reading…

The metamorphosis of Al-Qaida

The Tribune, Chandigarh, India, 01 August 2005,

ANALYSIS, by Rajeev Sharma, New Delhi, July 31 – The world of jihad is undergoing a never-before churning process which is set to throw up significant new trends in international terrorism in the months to come. Today’s Al-Qaida has metamorphosed. Al-Qaida as an organisation which emerged in the eighties when Saudi rulers propped up Osama bin Laden with American help as a Deobandi power centre opposed to Salafis or Wahabis who were raising their heads in the desert kingdom, does not exist today. This Al-Qaida was a creation of Saudi and American intelligence.

But, as an idea, a unifying concept or dream, this Al-Qaida is alive and kicking and has become even more powerful. Only its profile, modus operandi and operational culture have changed and its operational character has become global, key counter-terrorism officials of the Indian Government told The Tribune. It is a fine distinction that has to be understood clearly. Continue Reading…

Open season for jihadis

Asia Times-online publishes on 27 july 2005 the following article by Syed Saleem Shahzad:

KARACHI – Sophisticated terror attacks using the minimum possible resources to target civilians are the issue of the day, whether it be in Egypt, the United Kingdom or Spain. Invariably, Pakistan is linked to the attacks. In the case of the July 7 suicide attacks in London, three of the bombers were of Pakistani descent and had visited madrassas (Islamic schools) in Pakistan. Pakistanis are being sought in connection with the weekend’s attacks in Egypt.

Pakistan, simply, is widely reckoned as the premier breeding ground for jihadis, fueled by the Afghan resistance to the Soviets in the 1980s, the on-going troubles in Kashmir and the current Taliban-led resistance to foreign forces in Afghanistan. Continue Reading…

Center about Tajik Culture in Bolder, USA

The Osimi Cultural Center is a non-profit organization that was registered on April of 2002 in Denver, USA. The main goal is the promotion of cultural and scientific collaboration between intellectuals for cultural and scientific communications. The Centers library prepares to present in the Internet different aspects of scientific and cultural heritages of Central Asia and Iran and its modern achievements. Take a look at this center.

Charlie’s war, act two

Found in Asia Times, 19 July 2005, by William Fisher, NEW YORK – Today’s media have all but forgotten that the emergence of Afghanistan’s Taliban can be largely attributed to the policies of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and a hard-drinking, party-loving Texas congressman who helped funnel billions of dollars in arms to “freedom fighters” like Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

In the 1980s, Charles Wilson, a colorful and powerful Democrat from the East Texas Bible Belt, was a member of a Congressional appropriations sub-committee. From that position of power he funneled billions of dollars in secret funding to the CIA, which used the money to purchase weapons to help the mujahideen drive the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. Continue Reading…

The smash of civilizations

Found in Asian Times, July 9, 2005, by Chalmers Johnson,

Note from Tom Engelhardt, editor of Tomdispatch: The World Monuments Fund has placed Iraq on its list of the Earth’s 100 most endangered sites, the first time that a whole nation has been listed. The destruction began as Baghdad fell. First, there was the looting of the National Museum. That took care of some of the earliest words on clay, including, possibly, cuneiform tablets with missing parts of the epic of Gilgamesh. Soon after, the great libraries and archives of the capital went up in flames and books, letters, government documents, ancient Korans and religious manuscripts stretching back centuries vanished forever. What we’re talking about, of course, is the flesh of history. Worse yet, the looting of antiquity, words and objects not only never ended, but seems to have accelerated. From well organized gangs of grave robbers to American engineers building bases to American soldiers taking souvenirs, the ancient inheritance not just of Iraqis but of all of us has simply headed south. Though less attended to than the human costs of the war, such crimes against history are no small matter, as Chalmers Johnson indicates below. [1] Continue Reading…

Kashmiri Youth: Accepting the Challenges

By K.N. Pandita

The history of a nation is usually interspersed with moments of passivity as well as of activity: it is seldom smooth and even. How the nation reacts to the upheavls or how it conducts itself during the interrugnums of peace and turmoil is the interesting chapter of its social history.

Kashmir is passing through an unprecedented period of turmoil. This nation of fairly substantial antiquity has seen through the millennia, short or long, periods of chaos and confusion as well as of placid peace and prosperity.

But the history of past one decade and half has no precedent. It is not one warlord pitted against the other: it is not one ruler bent on undermining the other. It is a period of deep divide within the civil society. It is a period just short of civil war. Continue Reading…