Modi In Israel: End of International “Appeasement!!”

Israel 2

Modi in Israel

Narendra Modi became the first Prime Minister of free India to visit Israel when he landed in Tel Aviv on July 4, 2017. The visit came 14 years after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to New Delhi and 25 years after the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1992. This visit is a milestone marking an important shift in India’s Israel policy; skipping Palestine visit (that would have immediately preceded or followed the Israel visit) is only an overt manifestation of that.

It was also an assertion of the changing geopolitical realities by the leader of the largest democracy with fast growing economy. It clearly signalled that now India is strong enough to assert itself at international level and its ties with Israel will no longer be governed by moods of the Islamic gulf countries, while it is still genuinely concerned about Palestinian interests. Therefore, his visit also disconnected Indian foreign policy from the domestic compulsions of ‘Muslim appeasement’ politics that has been (and still is) the central theme of governance by the Congress Party that ruled the country most of the time since independence.

However, it was neither Modi’s first visit to Israel, nor was it his first meeting with Israeli PM. Modi had visited Israel as chief minister of Gujarat in October 2006 and had met his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s annual session in 2016. They had also met during the Paris climate summit in November 2015. The Israeli PM sees Modi as one among the “most important global leaders”.

The ground for Modi’s historic visit was prepared by visits of several functionaries and delegates of the Indian government.  For instance, trips by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, several senior secretaries and a multi-party parliamentary delegation led by the Minister of State for Agriculture S S Ahluwalia. Indian Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lamba also went on a five day travel recently.  President Mukharjee and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visits to Israel must also be seen in the same light.

Alongside these preparatory groundwork, PM Modi had also visited most of the Muslim countries in the Middle East; namely, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Iran etc and hosted their leaders and delegations in India to ensure continuation of good relations with them.

More importantly, just few weeks ago in May 2017, Modi even hosted the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and reasserted India’s traditional support for an independent Palestinian nation “at peace with Israel”. The two sides also signed several pacts in sectors such as IT, health, agriculture and so on. So, the Palestinians were well aware of his stand-alone Israel visit.

Clearly, Modi’s Israel visit was the result of careful pre-planning and thoughtfulness.

Hypocrisy of “Muslim Appeasement” Policy

India’s Israel policy has been a glaring example of hypocrisy that has taken deep roots in the thinking of politicians who ruled India since independence but now are sitting in opposition since 2014. This hypocrisy was a spill-over of the ‘Muslim appeasement’ for vote-bank politics started by the Nehru family owned Congress Party. As a result, the ruling Congress Party made ‘appeasing Muslims’ a central theme of running the ‘independent’ Indian State of 85% Hindus and where Constitution doesn’t allow discrimination on religious or ethnic grounds!!!

The clout of radical Mullahs can be seen from example of famous Shah Bano case of mid 80s, when the ruling Congress Party amended country’s Constitution to negate a Supreme Court verdict that went in favour of a Talaq victim Muslim lady, Shah Bano. This case clearly exposed how the so-called ‘secular’ politicians operated from the pockets of radical Mullahs. Their ignore-Hindu faces became exposed few years later when over half a million Kashmiri Hindus were driven away from the Kashmir valley by radical Mullahs and they did little to protect or rehabilitate these unfortunate Hindus. It highlighted the ugly truth that Hindus are hardly safe in free India, which the world sees as a Hindu nation. This mass scale exodus fully convinced the 85% Hindus that they have no political voice or security, and that the so-called politics in the name of ‘secularism’ is fully centered on Muslim community.

In the 1990s, as Italy born Sonia Gandhi planted herself as as head of the family owned Congress Party, the ignore-Hindu brand of ‘secularism’ decisively turned into a visibly anti-Hindu stance retaining the favour-Muslim flavor.  Radical Islamists in Pakistan and around the world love to see India’s ‘secular’ thinkers in action. They rejoice whenever the likes of Mani Shankar Aiyar or Digvijay Singh open their mouths or when Sonia or her mediocre son spit venom against Modi, BJP or Hindu organizations. Today this ‘secular’ tribe gets badly disturbed with the word ‘nationalism’. Many prominent Congressis like Sandeep Dikshit don’t hesitate to even attack Indian army chief because the army symbolises ‘nationalism’. His filthy thinking again surfaced recently when 7 Amarnath pilgrims were killed by Islamic terrorists.

If Pakistan (which is no longer an Islamic State, but a Wahhabi State) appears so emboldened in its endless anti-India campaign, it is due to the presence of such weird self-destructive creatures on the Indian political landscape. A wise Jain monk recently succinctly summed up the Indian scenario when he said: Indian ‘secular’ are a bigger security threat than Pakistan and its Islamic terrorists combined.

How Indian ‘Secular’ See Israel

India’s hardcore secularists think along these lines: “Since gulf Muslim countries hate the Jewish nation, India’s Muslim community must necessarily do so. And since their political survival squarely depends upon Muslim votes, they can’t not allow India to befriend Israel.” Thus, their habitual ranting against Israel is deeply rooted in comradery with radical Mullahs for Muslim votes, as exemplified last year.

Last year, Israel went on offensive to counter terror actions in Gaza – and the Indian ‘secular’ sounded like the biggest paranoids of the world, as usual. Politically irrelevant Comrade Sitaram Yechury demanded suspension of all military purchases from Israel and suggested that “India cannot be a party to this genocide.”  His buddy from CPI, D Raja, wanted a “categorical stand condemning Israel.” For Congress Party’s leader of the Opposition in the Upper House, Ghulam Nabi Azad, it was regretful that New Delhi did not raise its voice against the “massacre” and wanted the House to pass a resolution condemning the Israeli aggression. With the ‘virus of Muslim’ appeasement deep in their blood, they can’t distinguish the actions of a liberal democratic Israeli State from the murderous Islamic terrorists.

However, arrival of BJP (whom the Indian ‘secular’ accuse of being ‘nationalist’!!) at the Union government in 2014 brought fresh and rational thinking that started a national discourse untainted by the disease of ‘fake secularism’.

Jewish dominated Israel and Hindu dominated India can now mingle freely without worrying about radical Islamists and their ‘secular’ servants in India.

Futility of Palestine-Centric Israel Policy

The futility of blind support to the Arab lobby has become rather obvious in the past two decades. The Islamic Arab world remained firmly glued behind Pakistan, turning a blind eye to its cross border terrorist activities in Kashmir. The Arab nations still allow use of the Organization of Islamic Conference to build support for Pakistan and the anti-India jihadi groups operating from its soil.

But what has changed today is the world scenario; it is not the same as it was 20-30 years ago. The global order is seeing faster realignments today than any time in the last century. So, if Islamic Arab nations can’t see India’s point of view on Kashmir, on Islamist terrorism and on its security concerns, there is no reason why India remain so sensitive to their ‘Islamic’ worldview.

Since 1992, successive Indian governments began to concentrate more on India’s wider strategic goals at the international forums and simultaneously shifted away from the obsession with single-point ‘Palestine Cause’ as the sole driver of its Israel policy. Thus, India began denouncing Palestinian suicide bombings and other terrorist acts in Israel and stopped ‘automatic’ support of anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations.

Thus, while retaining genuine concern for the Palestinian cause India also started expanding its commercial and defence ties with Israel. As a result, has India emerged as the world’s largest buyer of Israeli weaponry and as Israel’s major trade partner in Asia in recent years, closely following China and Hong Kong.

Many policy experts also point out the example of an Arab nation like Jordan that maintains its traditional Islamic ties with the Palestine and yet has developed a healthy relationship with Israel. Beyond the domestic irrational ‘Muslim appeasement’ lobby there is no logical reason for India not to take a similar route.

What Makes India-Israeli Partnership Important Today

israel 1

There are compelling reasons why India should make strong ties with Israel.  There are many issues that make India and Israel natural global partners in the current global order.

Trusted Friend: The first is the past covert friendly relationship. Israel helped India during the 1962 Indo-China war. In the 1971 Bangladesh war, Israel purposely delayed sending back Pakistani aircrafts that had gone there for maintenance.  It again helped without reservations during the Kargil conflict in 1999. It was a time when the global powers had placed sanctions on India after its nuclear tests in 1998 and were unwilling to share high technologies. But Israel again helped whole-heartedly. It expedited supply of UAVs, helped train the Indian crew and provided images of Pak army positions. Even in June 2002 when India contemplated a limited military strike against Pakistan as part of “Operation Parakram,” Israel sent military hardware through special planes.

Counter terrorism and border security: Both nations are victims of Islamic terrorism for so long and are surrounded by hostile Islamic neighbours. As Pakistan continues to harbour Jihadi terrorists and continues its efforts to push them into Indian borders, India increasingly needs sophisticated anti-terrorism technologies and surveillance systems. Israel is readily willing to get into counter-terrorism partnership with India by sharing its state-of-the-art technical knowhow.

Given its long experience with Islamic terrorism coming from its neighbourhood, Israel has acquired proven expertise in small and medium range conflict zones. This is precisely what India needs to more effective counter Pak sponsored terrorism.

Border fencing and electronic surveillance are areas where Israel can be an ideal strategic partner. India needs better security at its Pak borders to keep Pak-trained terrorists away and in the Bangladesh border region in the east to curb cross border infiltration and smuggling.

Strategic partnership: As Pakistan is increasingly pushed away by the US Trump administration, it has started to lean closer towards China. Many defence expert think that given the massive Chinese investment in infrastructure projects and its increasing troops presence and terrorist groups regularly weakening Pak governance machinery, Pakistan is on the way to become a Chinese colony in next 10-15 years. The China-Pak now poses a bigger threat to India than before. Thus, it makes sense to aim for a long term strategic partnership with Israel.

Defence supplies: Israeli tanks, missiles, and drone technologies are among the best in the world. India can ensure its long term security needs through technology transfers and join production plans for various defense equipments. Israeli experts are confident that Indo-Israeli bilateral ties would move beyond the short term buying and selling of goods and the focus would shift towards joint research and development. Signs are already there: in February 2017, India cleared a ₹17,000 crore deal for jointly developing with Israel a medium-range surface-to-air missile (MR-SAM) for the army.

Israel is all set to replace the US as the major exporter of arms and ammunitions to India with Barak missiles, surveillance drones and other big league defense deals. India has already awarded a two billion dollar contract to Israel Aerospace Industries for supply of Medium Range Surface to Air Missiles to the Indian Army.  Similarly, the long-range surface-to-air missiles, including Barak 8, will provide security from anti-ship missiles at ranges out to 70km.

Pak’s dirty nukes: Pakistan’s dirty nukes (also seen as ‘global Islamic Atomic bombs’ by many) are of course a direct threat to India, but through Islamic comradery with Arab world, they can always possibly end up with gulf nation and get aimed at Israel too in unforeseen circumstances in the future. Then, given increasing close cooperation between Pak military and Islamic terrorist there is always the very real possibility of Pak’s nukes falling in the hands of terrorists any time in future. Possibility of such a scenario would again highly magnify security threat to both India and Israel.

Commercial ties: Israel can gain a lot from the fast growing Indian economy and a huge market through stronger India-Israel partnership. This was emphasized by the Israeli PM who talked of “Make With India’ complimenting Modi’s ‘Make In India’ program. On the other side, India will get the benefit of latest technologies in which Israel is among the pioneers.

Key global partnership: There are a number of areas where India-Israel ties would be key to the emerging global order, which is seeing much speedier realignments in the light of two most important global issues – Islamic terrorism and climate change. Given the confused nature of Trump Presidency in the US, India will be a major global ally for Israel.

Indian Diaspora: Ancient peaceful ties between Hindus and Jews dates back to 2000 years ago and have survived till date. There are around 80,000 Indian Jews who live in Israel and retain many of the cultural practices of India. They can easily serve as catalyst to strengthen Indo-Israeli ties. An important part of Modi’s diplomacy is engaging with the Indian Diaspora.

Agriculture: Israel is also a leading global player in rain water harvesting, sea water desalination, and effective irrigation of dry lands and so on. These are significant in the era of climate change, rapid loss of fresh water bodies and rise in seawater levels. In India, farmers live tormented by unruly monsoon rain pattern and alternating droughts and flash floods. Israeli experience will be valuable for them.

All About Indian Jews

Posted in Uncategorized, World Politics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Why Should The World Worry About Pak Nuclear Weapons

According to former National Security Director of Afghanistan, Rahamatullah Nabil, terror groups have deeply and widely infiltrated ranks of Pakistani military and secret agencies. Therefore, the world has to act before it is too late.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Pakistan has around 110-130 nuclear weapons compared with around 100-120 nuclear warheads of India.  It also  has the notoriety of exporting nuclear weapon technology to N Korea and Iran. In the past 2 decades, it has decisively established itself as global capital of terrorism (Bin Laden’s capture on its soil only underscored the close Islamic fraternal relation between the Pak establishment and terrorists).

According to the study “Pakistan operates four plutonium production reactors; India operates one. Pakistan has the capability to produce perhaps 20 nuclear warheads annually; India appears to be producing about five warheads annually.”  Experts opine that  within the next ten years, Pakistan could possess the third-biggest nuclear weapons stockpile in the world, only behind the United States and Russia.  India’s nuclear warfare policy is centered on a No First-Use (NFU) doctrine. Pakistan, however, refuses to adopt a NFU doctrine.   The 2015 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace/Stimson Center report shows that Pakistan is using more of its fissile material to make weapons than India.

For a global overview of nuclear states, please click here.

Ever since the Kargil war in 1999, border events have repeatedly exposed hand-in-hand comradeship between the army and terrorists. The recent beheading of 2 Indian soldiers by Pak’s Border Action Team (BAT) only goes to prove how terror training has entered into its military set up – defying all international protocol of hostility between two civilian states.

The Peshawar Talibani attack of December 2014 on a school of army personnel (that killed over 140 innocent kids) offered a great opportunity to establish itself as a civilian state and cut-off filial ties with all Islamic terror groups thriving on its soil. The attack also sent cold shivers down the spine of Pak’s atomic energy commission which demanded increased security of its nuclear weapons. Pakistan’s political leadership also made noise about wiping out all terror groups and its military did launch an offensive.  But today in 2017 the world clearly sees that Pak military – terrorist links are stronger than umbilical ties.

Experts’ worry is not without substance, because Pakistan is no longer an Islamic state; instead, it is a Wahhabi nation. Nurtured and propagated by Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism is an extreme Sunni Islamic ideology that wants to settle all disagreements through violence, terror or war. The Taliban, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, the ISIS and all other Islamic terror groups are practical manifestation of this ideology. Mullahs of Pak military know it better. The day is not too far in future when the distinction between a Pak soldier and a terrorist would vanish completely.

The world has to wake up and act before that happens.  This is why the US and its allies have to look after Pakistan much more closely now than before.

READING FURTHER

Please Explain Pakistan to Me!

How to Survive a Terrorist Attack

Posted in Pakistan, Terrorism, World Politics | Leave a comment

‘Triple Talaq’, Polygamy, Halala Marriage – Relics of Pre-Islamic Arab World

Patriarchy or Religion?

How women were treated like slaves and cattle in the pre-Islamic Arabia is reflected by the presence of practices like  ‘triple talaq’, polygamy and halala marriages and so on.  1400 years ago Arab tribes continuously squabbled and fought each other – the winning side would take away the looted booty including cattle stock and women folks of the losing tribe and use them as they wished. It was by all means a barbaric civilization where, as men got killed in the inter-tribal wars, they were always out numbered by the women folks whose only role was to provide physical pleasure to men and to breed. Therefore, surviving men would keep several women at home – this must be the origin of “harem” in the Islamic world.

Polygamy

In such a world, the prophet restricted the number of women (wives) to 4 for one man. and prescribed treating them all equally and with dignity. This was a good reform for the wild Arab tribes who saw women as men’s property 1400 years ago.

Parochial and half-brained clerics around the world interpret it as Islam allowing 4 marriages!  They conveniently forgot the condition of “treating all wives equally with dignity”. They habitually forget the historical time and context behind this practice. Needless to say polygamy existed in many other societies but they all reform themselves, rather than holding it as sacrosanct in the name of God, Book or religion. But, firmly in Maulavi control, Islamic communities have failed to learn the art of evolution and modernization as times change.

Now, the reality check.

In today’s 2100 century world, Muslims don’t live like warring Arab tribes of the past, even in the Arab world; women: men ratio is even everywhere. So why should a man marry 4 women? Can he really afford 4 wives (and hence, 4 families) and treat them all equally?

The answer is clearly NO.

But the ossified-brained mullah of All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) still want to keep Muslim women like objects of physical gratification for men – exactly as they were 1400 years ago. They are also oblivious to the fact that they live in India  –  which is not located in the Arab desert; nor do Indian Muslims lead tribal life and kill each other like Arab tribes of 14 centuries ago. The men: women ratio is pretty much even like in rest of India (or the world). The 8.6 crore Indian Muslim women don’t consider themselves akin to cattle or property of men – they are free women living in the thriving democracy of the Indian State – thanks to the over-tolerant and rather passive Hindu culture. They desire dignified treatment and freedom over their lives like other women in India.

But the problem is: You can’t teach DEAD men!!

“Triple Talaq”

Before Islam, in the Arab land women were treated like slaves and cattle, and men would discard (divorce, in today’s vocabulary) them at whim. The Prophet tried to end all this and brought Talaq-e-Ehsan. Sura 4, Verse 35 clearly prescribes that in case of husband-wife conflict, family members should mediate and provided for 90-day waiting period for reconciliation. If all efforts fail, a cleric (like today’s judge of a court) can formalize the divorce.

So, what is all this non-sense of ‘triple talaq’?

After the Prophet, during the period of second Caliph Umar, some women came and complained that their husband often say ‘talaq’ but then again continue relationship. In all societies, it is fairly common that married couple often quarrel, say bad things in the heat of the moment but when tempers cool down and things go back to normal.

Well, coming back to the context. Caliph Umar suggested that if he says ‘talaq’ thrice it may be taken as separation. It was also a veiled threat to the husband that he better be careful with what he says or how he treats his wife, else he may end up losing her. The wise Caliph never intended it to become something of a law, and the Holy Book never mentions it.

But then what can you do with the Maulavis who think they are wiser than the Prophet and the Book!   The AIMPLB is also such a over-smart bunch. The town of Deoband in UP is India’s traditional hub of Islamic orthodoxy; it has even suggested that talaq given in a state of drunkenness is valid!!!

No wonder, all rational thinking people including Muslims abhor their fatwas as childish attempt to control the community in the name of Islam.

Muslim Countries where Triple Talaq is Banned

Halala Marriage

Please Read: The Woman Who Sleeps with Stranger to Save Marriage

This is another weird and humiliating stuff coming from their ossified brains. If a women is dumped through ‘Triple Talaq’ and if she still wishes to marry her ex-husband, she must marry another man, have sex with him and then get a divorce. This filthy and artificial marriage turns her from ‘Haram’ to ‘Halal’ and can re-marry her ex-husband. What a brainless logic coming from lecherous minded Mullah – again in the name of religion!!

Jeenat Shoukat Ali of World Institute of Islamic Studies for Dialogue categorically states that halala marriage has nothing to do with Islam. Islamic scholars allege that many Maulavis have opened halala centers. They marry the women for a night or few days, sleep with her and finally divorce her – for a fee !!!! Here is how woman can get sexually exploited.  Read further: The Muslim Issue

Triple Talaq and Halala put Muslim women in the most humiliating situation prone to sexual exploitation as is often reported. It is exploited in an organized manner.

Well, really the issue is not presence of such practices, but how a handful of Maulvis can hijacked Muslim societies and continue to propagate unjust and disparaging practices on Muslim women.  If such stuck-brain mullah really want to live like 1400 year old Arab tribes they should stop enjoying technological comforts of 21st century and stop hiding behind Islam or Koran that is beyond the ability of their ossified brain cells. Indian society will be happier if they shifted to Saudi Arabia or Yemen to preach their outdated life philosophy there.

Indian Muslim Women are Deeply frustrated

Educated Muslim women are fed up with what they say are archaic and patriarchal rules that too often leaves them humiliated. Muslim women do not have the same right as enjoyed by rest of Indian women, and those left by their husbands have no claim to alimony though they can collect a small payment for three months after divorce.  Then, they’re on their own.

According to Noorjehan Safia Niaz, co-founder of Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, “There are cases where women don’t even know that they’ve been divorced. The children are without any support. So, it has become very convenient for Muslim men to just say talaq thrice and it is just so easy for him to get the woman out of his life.”

In 1985, appeasement politicians of the ruling Congress Party led by Rajiv Gandhi caved in under pressure from orthodox Mullah when the Supreme Court ordered a Muslim man to pay alimony to his elderly wife, after verbally divorcing and abandoning her. For sake of Mullah controlled vote, the union government passed a law to retrospectively protect Muslim divorce law.  It was the (in)famous Shah Bano case that exposed fake secularism of Indian politics.

Fortunately, today we have a government of a political party at the Center that does not practice fake-secularism or appeasement politics for votes’ sake, unlike other run of the mill political parties.

Supreme Court to Decide fate of these “Triple Evils” humiliating India’s Muslim women

On May 11, a five-judge Constitution bench of Supreme Court began its hearing on a plea that the triple talaq, nikah halala, and polygamy violated Muslim women’s rights to equality and dignity, and are not protected by the right to profess, practice and propagate religion under Constitution’s Article 25(1).  The Supreme Court would examine whether triple talaq is fundamental to Islam.

When the hearing concluded on May 18, The attorneys of AIMPLB failed to offer a single rational logic in support of ‘Triple Talaq’. Its version was presented by Kapil Sibal – a well-known fake secular from Sonia’s Congress party. He even tried to make a minority-majority issue !!! Vote bank appeasement politics is so ingrained in his mind that he forgot that he was trying to defend triple talaq wholly confined in the Muslim community. The victims side clearly stated that a lot of Kazis make their living from victims, so for them it is a business issue.

Let’s hope these outdated and inhuman practices will soon be thing of the past and Indian Muslim women would feel safe and secure, and be able to live freely with dignity and confidently.

READING FURTHER

The Thorny Issue of Triple Talaq

India’s Battle Against Triple Talaq

Of Halala and exploitation of Muslim Women

Why Uniform Civil Code is Necessary for India

Posted in Gender, Indian Society, Women | Leave a comment

How Excessive And Indiscriminate Sand Mining is Killing Our River Systems

Sand mining

The economic development is fueling the growth of infrastructure and construction activities which is pushing the demand for sand – a vital ingredient of cement concrete and mortar.  In concrete making, each tonne of cement requires 6-7 tonnes of sand and gravel. Globally, sand and gravel form the largest volume of solid material extracted and the highest volume of raw material use after water. Formed by natural erosive processes since ages, they are now extracted at rates much higher than their replenishment.

Traditionally, rivers [Interesting facts about Rivers] have supplied this important component which is formed by weathering of rocks over a long period. However, now excessive and indiscriminate mining of sand (which is many times higher than its replenishment rate) has become a serious issue in a variety of ways which can’t be judged from the economic cost of sand alone. It is a grave issue for people involved with the river basin management, shore development and harbor development, environmentalists and all concerned citizens.

But despite the extraction of colossal quantities of sand and gravel and its significant adverse impact on the environment the issue of over extraction remain mostly ignored by the policy makers, and the common man is hardly aware of the negative consequences. Absence of reliable data also widens the gap between the magnitude of the problem and public awareness of it.

Sand and Riverbed

Sand is formed through erosion of rocks due to mechanical forces. In the process the weathered rocks forms gravel and then sand. So, sand is a mixture of finely divided rock and mineral particles between 150 micron to 4.75 mm in diameter (IS 383-1970).  Its composition is highly variable depending upon the local region but most commonly it consists of silica (silicon dioxide) as quartz which is chemically highly inert and considerably hard to resist weathering.

Sand and gravel of the riverbed provide an ideal substrate for many benthic organisms for breeding, spawning, feeding and hiding. Sand also acts as an efficient filter for removing pollutants and thus maintains water quality. So damaging riverbed means destroying the chain of all these organisms.

Adverse Impact of Excessive Sand Mining

Ill effects of over extraction of sand from river beds can be broadly categorized in three ways:

1. Physical

Large scale removal riverbed materials and dredging below the streambed alters the channel form and shape, that, in turn, has several consequences such as erosion of the riverbed and banks, increase in the channel slope, and changes in the channel morphology.  Removed sand is a direct loss to the river system. It causes deepening of rivers and estuaries; it also enlarges river mouths and coastal inlets.  It is also a threat to bridges and nearby structures.

2. Water Quality

In-stream sand mining activities degrade the quality of river water. The short term turbidity is increased at the mining site due to re-suspension of sediments and organic particulate matter – oil spills and leakages from mining machinery and vehicles further aggravate the issue. Increase in suspended particles directly affect the water users – by significantly increasing water treatment costs – and undermine the aquatic ecosystem.

Sand removal turns riverbeds into large and deep pits which lowers groundwater level in the wells of the nearby areas; thus, affecting the local groundwater availability.

3. Ecological

The stability of sand and gravel bed depends upon a delicate balance of the stream flow, sedimentation and channel form. Native species in streams are uniquely adapted to the stable bed structure. Unstable stream channels are inhospitable to most aquatic species. Bed degradation and sedimentation have negative impact on aquatic life, disturbing the species attached to streambed deposits – leading to loss of biodiversity.

Release of Gharials into River Ganga

Degraded stream habitats also result in loss of fishery productivity. Physical disturbances due to human activities also leads to interruptions in the nesting/breeding activities. For example, in the National Chambal Sanctuary mining of sand adversely affected ghariyals who use sand banks for nesting and basking. They lay eggs under the sand beds – which were destroyed by sand mining activities.

This booklet from the Ministry of Environment and Forests gives comprehensive details of environmental impact of excessive sand mining.

Curse of Illegal Sand Mining

India’s booming construction industry employs over 35 million people and is valued at around $126 billion per year. Officers responsible for implementing ban on sand mining are always at risk.

Here is the latest, from Karnataka.

“IAS officer Ujjwal Kumar Ghosh narrowly escaped unhurt when a lorry carrying illegally mined sand almost collided with his car in the early hours of Saturday at Dandoti village in Chittapur taluk. Ujwal, a 2008 batch officer is the Deputy Commissioner of Kalaburagi district.” Reported by The New Indian Express, March 27, 2017.

Durga Nagpal’s was another high profile incident of 2013 when she was abruptly transferred when she took on the sand mafia in UP’s Ghaziabad area. Such actions against law enforcing officers is unfortunately a regular news, indicating political patronage of the sand mafia.

Supreme Court Order

In 2012 judgment SC had directed all Union Territories and State Governments to seek Environmental Clearances (EC) from Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) for mining minor minerals even in less than 5 ha or renew the same after prior approval from the MoEF&CC. Before this order, mining areas of less than 5 ha were exempted from EC enacted under Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)-2006[2].

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued a restraint order against all sand mining activity being carried out across the country without environmental clearance. It was in response to the controversy surrounding the suspension of IAS officer posted as sub divisional magistrate (SDM) in Greater Noida in Gautam Buddh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh in 2013 after she cracked down on the mining mafia.

So, the intention of the government is clear. Now it need to raise public awareness on the issue in order to safeguard/ rejuvenate health of India’s river system and protect the environment.

Posted in Environment | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Are Muslims In Minority In India?

Who should be considered minority in India:

“180 million Indian Muslims forming 14.2% population and the fastest growing religious group in India (fertility rate 3.2 per woman vs falling national average 2.3)  or  less than 70,000 Parsees who are at the risk of extinction (fertility rate just 0.8 per woman!) and the government has to start Jiyo Parsee program to raise their fertility rate?”

To any rational mind, calling Parsees minority makes sense; handful Jews in India can be surely called minority. But saying that 18 crore Indian Muslims (forming 14.2% of Indian population) are ‘minority’ doesn’t have any convincing logic – their fertility rate is highest in India and much higher than even those in most Islamic nations!!

are muslim minorities

Their population is more than the combined population of two biggest Muslim countries in the middle East: Egypt (86 million) and Iran (78 million)!! They are a full nation (almost as big as Pakistan and bigger than Bangladesh) inside India! Only Indonesia and Pakistan have more Muslims than India (Pakistan’s is only marginally higher), if number is all that matters. But given the ultra-high fertility rate, in next 10-15 years Indian Muslim population is set to overtake even Indonesia! It means India would have the largest number of Muslims in the world (in the Hindu dominated India)!!

And, on what ground the cosmic number of 180 million puts them in disadvantage that they require special concern as minority? On the contrary, the whole battalion of the so-called secular (or Sickular, as many people call them) power hungry vote-bank politicians is always running around to appease them – particularly the Muslim clergy that controls Muslim votes.

Any globe watcher can testify that only  in India Muslims  live in full civil freedom, safety and dignity. They are safest surrounded by Hindus in India – much safer than even in any Islamic society of the Middle East supposedly under Sharia Laws – where Muslims kill each other like sworn enemies and women must behave like commodities. Living in India’s Hindu culture, Shias and Sunnis don’t blow each other’s Mosques or homes or wage Jihad against each other.

Such peaceful coexistence and safety is possible only while living among Hindus, even for likes of the fanatic Owaisi brothers of Hyderabad, who routinely ridicule Hindu gods and throw venom against Hindus! They even have the freedom to threaten Hindus with decimation – if police is removed for 15 minutes! And yet they live safely in the land of Hindus’ ancient India!!  In the 1980s, it was ‘Hindu’ India that banned Salman Rusdie’s “Satanic Verses” that threw the whole Islamic world in hysteria and rage, much before Iranian Ayatollah’s Fatwa to kill Rushdie. Only Hindus, whose life philosophy revolves around eternal and universal Dharma, can show such sensitivity towards sentiments of people of other faiths. But Islamic thinking prevents its followers from showing gratitude or sensitivity.

First labeling Muslims as ‘minority’ group and them demanding favors in the name of being minority is the political handiwork of communal Congress politicians – for their ‘vote bank’ politics  – later the distortion spread to other power hungry politicians.

Congress under Sonia-Rahul has taken the appeasement politics to new low (or ‘high’!). Under the influence of cash-rich Islamic lobby they openly take anti-Hindu stand and taint Hindus as intolerant, ‘communal’ and ‘extremists’! Islamic Jihadis and violent loving terrorists are “saints” for these two unfortunate Italian brains of Indian politics!!  India hater Pakistanis love when they open their mouth against Hindus.

Question:

If India is supposedly a ‘Secular’ – religion neutral – country, then how “Islam” can be the basis for any demand or favor?  One also doesn’t understand why they put Islam into everything, as if no one else other than Muslims live in India?

Can Muslims be Called Minority on Secular Parameters?

Right ‘secular’ parameters to judge small and minor groups of people who might be living in disadvantage, ignored, excluded or under threat are – poverty, physical or mental disability, socially boycotted (lesbian, gay, transgender), people living in difficult terrain, illiteracy, poor senior citizens without support, orphan / abandoned children, group of people persecuted on any ground (like Kashmiri Hindus or Hindus of Pakistan and Bangladesh, Ahmediya Muslims in Pakistan) , etc.

Can the Muslim community be called a minority group on any of these ‘secular parameters’?

Poverty comes closest, but it is a wider national problem across India. Numbers doesn’t make anyone poor in India – any Parsi or Jew can testify to that fact! Mindset can sure dump people in poverty and keep them there – and this must be the most probable reason of their “poverty status”.

By the way, here is the Russian perspective on minorities!

Indian secularists should learn from Russia Putin

Compare Hindu India and Muslim Neighbors

In the Islamic States of Pakistan and Bangladesh, Hindus are in minor numbers and decreasing – they live under severe risk and disadvantage. They are persecuted and pressured to convert to Islam; they are really unsafe due to their minor numbers. As a result, their numbers have been falling continuously. Situation is just the opposite in Hindu dominated India – here all groups and communities flourish without fear of Hindus.

Dominant Hindu culture in India does not have any inbuilt bias against people of other beliefs. Universal Dharma based Hinduism doesn’t prescribe waging Holy war against other community to terrorize, convert or eliminate them.  There is no place for religious fanaticism or hysteria in the life philosophies of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists and other indigenous sects. It is in stark contrast with such scenes from the Muslim world where its extreme and most morbid form manifests in suicidal self destruction to kill others!

In India, 18 crore Muslims have the voice to defy uniform civil code that rest of the 86% Indians have been demanding for decades. A Muslim, Amir Khan, gets planted among the top movie stars of the country by Hindus, he can makes film to mock Hindu gods (PK) and make fortune, and he still has the freedom to accuse Hindus of being ‘Intolerant’! …Height of idiotic and ungrateful thinking (of course, instigated by likes of Congress and other appeasement politicians)!!  I shall refrain from passing any comment on his religion, though – he is a human being that is more important than his religious label.

Here is the eye opening comparison of cultures of Islamic Pakistan and Hindu India:

Indo-Pak demographies-horz

It looks utterly pathetic when appeasement politicians along with the Mullahs demand ‘reservation’ for Muslims by equating them with dalits, for social benefits.  One fails to understand what the caste system has to do with Muslims? When hordes of Hindus were converted to Islam or were forced to convert in whatever manner, their Hindu baggage should have disappeared forever! Any sane mind would expect Islam to be at least that Great. But politics in the name of Islam always takes precedence, unfortunately.

Realities of the modern 21st century society demand that Muslim leaders stop playing politics in the name of Islam and learn how to live peacefully among secular Hindus, learning from Indian Parsees and Jews – who also practice foreign born Faiths. In fact, Parsees can teach a lot to the Muslim community – how to be grateful and respect Dharma based tolerant Hindu culture to live peacefully and prosper through hard work and forward looking mindset. History tells that when Arab Muslims invaded Iran in the 8-10 centuries, Zoroastrians had to flee to avoid persecution, torture and conversion.  They found safe refuge in the distant India of ‘Hindus’ – not among the next door Muslims ‘neighbors’.

Islam is a wonderful religion for individual growth, but only when totally divorced from its political side that the backward looking Wahhabi Mullahs for whom “Islam” is mere tool for political gains.

You may also like to explore: The Nonsense of ‘Terrorism has No Religion’

Posted in Distorted Secularism of India, Indian Society | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Is it Right Time to Push for Uniform Civil Code, or Not Yet?

ucc1For the third time this year, in October 2015, the Supreme Court asked the Central government whether it was willing to come forward with a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to get rid of the legal mess created by different religious personal laws.

Few days later, the Gujarat high court made a strong pitch for a uniform civil code and called for the abolition of polygamy in Muslim society in India as it’s a “heinously patriarchal” act. It said the Quran was being “misinterpreted by some Muslim men” to get away with more than one marriage. The court was adjudicating on a petition by a Muslim man who faced bigamy charges after marrying for a second time without his first wife’s consent.

Citing history, Justice Pardiwala said “The Quran allowed conditional polygamy to protect orphans and their mothers from an exploitative society… When men use that provision today, they do it for a selfish reason.”

To be fair to the Muslim community, not all such cases involve Muslims. There have been other instances; but they all point to the need for implementing the UCC.

The debate on the Uniform Civil Code is not a new one. It has existed right since independence and reached its peak in the mid -80s after the Supreme Court verdict in the famous Shah Bano case.

The Shah Bano case of 1985 stirred up a heated debate surrounding Muslim Personal Laws and underscored the urgent need for a UCC. It also exposed Congress’ spineless conduct when PM Rajiv Gandhi (an educated ex-pilot!) meekly gave in to the protesting Muslim clergy – as part of its traditional Muslim appeasement and ‘vote bank’ politics.

What is Shah Bano Case?

ucc2Shah Bano, an elderly Muslim lady and mother of five, was divorced by her husband. He refused to pay her maintenance beyond the period of iddat (90 day period after divorce in which she cannot remarry) arguing that the Muslim Personal Law allows only that much.

But the Supreme Court granted her maintenance for life under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C (according to which he had to maintain her until she remarries or dies, if she has no means of her own for survival). The Supreme Court held that the Cr.P.C. was common for all and that she could claim maintenance under it. Thus the Court over ruled the Muslim Personal Law.

Predictably, the Muslim clergy made it a big issue and called it an assault on Islam and their so-called outdated Shari’ah law. Rajiv Gandhi soon went into ‘appeasement mode’ and hurriedly passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 to nullify the SC verdict.

It is another story that later the SC nullified this new Act and restored its verdict in favor of Shah Bano. On the brighter side, many Muslims including the All India Shia Personal Law Board supported this order. Congress still fails to acknowledge that progressive Muslims want UCC! For Muslim appeasement politicians radical mullahs alone speak for all Indian Muslims.

Indian Muslim Clergy is Mentally Stuck in the 7th Century Arab World!

ucc3The reason why Muslims are blamed for putting obstacles in the way of UCC is exemplified by this case. It reflected the typical ossified Mullah mindset and their morbid resistance to change with time. I have yet to see a convincing research on why, in the 21st century, Islamic leaders still want to live like uncivil Arab tribes of 7th century in the name of Sharia Law and ‘Real’ Islam!

It is a shame that even in the 21st century, Indian Muslim clergy doesn’t want to free Muslim women from the oppressive practices like one sided verbal ‘triple talaq’ and polygamy. It defies all commonsense why the Muslim clergy doesn’t want to allow freedom and gender equality to women. It is also shameful when the appeasement politicians give more importance to backward looking Islamic clergy, and not to so many other liberal Muslim voices.

… And it is happening in a modern multi-cultural democracy like India!

The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, which lobbies for Shari’ah law in family matters, is totally opposed to UCC.  What Indian Mullahs fail to understand is that the Muslim Personal Law of India is not a Shari’ah law; is just an Anglo-Mohamedan Law written by the British almost a century ago. They also fail to note how even Islamic nations are being liberal. For instance, polygamy is banned in Turkey and Tunisia and the system of triple talaq has been rationalized in several Islamic countries including Pakistan and Bangladesh.

But appeasement politicians have surrendered country’s interest are making mockery of secularism and the right to equality. They have no shame in ignoring liberal Muslim voices – who surely outnumber these few over pampered rigid brains.

How long progressive Indians have to put up with the ossified and backward looking mindset of tiny Muslim clergy, even in the 21st century world – is the question 99.9% Indians want to ask!

History of UCC

Actually, the issue of UCC dates back to the colonial period when the British applied a common criminal code on all but allowed different religious communities the freedom to have their own religious laws for personal matters. These different personal laws dealt with the matters involving marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption and maintenance in the respective religious communities.

Constitution makers debated these personal laws extensively. Progressive thinkers saw them as divisive and wanted a Uniform Civil Code – in order to create a sense of common Indian national identity and eradicate castist and religious mindset. But opponents argued that it would destroy the cultural identity of minorities (it’s a typical appeasement Indian mindset!). Thus, a compromise was reached – the UCC was placed under the Directive Principles (these are non-binding), but which the state shall endeavour to achieve.

Thus, we have Article 44 of the Constitution which says: “The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.” And there is Article 14 which ensures right to equality for all citizens. The Shah Bano case was founded on Article 14 as she protested unequal treatment.

Unfortunately, Congress governments of past six decades have failed to take the country forward even an inch on the UCC, largely to please handful backward-looking Mullahs for ‘vote bank’ politics.

India has 5 Different Personal Laws!

Thus, India has several personals laws governing different religious communities.

One is the Hindu Marriage Act which is applicable over majority people following India born Dharma-based life philosophies – Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs. [By the way, none of these life philosophies are religions in the strict sense ‘religion’ is defined in the West. But out Constitution makers made a terrible mistake when they equated profound ‘Dharma’ with narrow ‘religion’.] In fact, there are three other acts: the Hindu Succession Act, the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act. They were all passed during 1955-56.

The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 has largely remained untouched because Muslim clergy is highly resistance to change. The Christian Marriage Act, 1872 is applicable on all Indian Christians (except in the state of Goa) and their divorce related matters fall under the Indian divorce act of 1869. The tiny Parsee community is covered under the Parsee Marriage and Divorce Act.

There is also a Special Marriages Act, 1954 which allows marriage irrespective of the religions of the man and woman involved.

Hurdle to UCC

ucc4Technically speaking, the UCC debate would have to reconcile the Article 25, which guarantees the freedom to practise, profess and propagate any religion. Thus, it is understandable that governments have been reluctant to touch Personal Laws or talk of UCC. However, Clause (2) of Article 25 empowers the State to frame any law to regulate or restrict “secular activity which may be associated with religious practice”. Therefore, it is argued that Article 25 is no bar to having a Uniform Civil Code.

Implementing UCC would greatly aid Article 14 that ensures the right to equality for all Indians – definitely including Muslim women.

The overly pampered Mullahs are the biggest barrier in the implementation of UCC. They derive their power from the minority appeasement and ‘vote bank’ politics of Congress and other parties. Most ridiculously, they call themselves ‘secular’. The moment the topic of UCC comes up these so-called ‘secular’ leaders immediately label it as an attempt to impose Hindu code – it misguides and instils fear psychosis among Christians and Muslims – synonyms for ‘minorities’.

However Goa Civil Code shows that the enactment of a UCC is indeed feasible in India.

UCC is a priority only for the BJP, Shiv Sena and other ‘India-first’ nationalist parties. Therefore, all progressive minded Indians should glue together to support these parties and defeat the self-serving appeasement politics of Congress and its ilk.

Modi’s leadership qualities certainly inspire all patriots and nationalists. Let’s see when India takes the big leap to treat its citizens equally.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Global Warming – Over-Consumption, Not Over-Population, is the Main Threat

Global warming 2

Will Paris Summit phase out Fossil economy?

Popular Western Myth:  Population growth of poor countries is putting severe pressure on limited resources of the planet and increasing global warming.

This is a wonderful lie spread by the ‘experts’ of the so-called ‘developed’ nations.  This is a terribly convenient argument — rich “over-consumers” of developed countries can blame the poor “over-breeders” of developing nations for all the ills of the planet.

Essentially, they are saying that humans (particularly poor ones) are bad for the planet and its environment – they eat away resources beyond planet’s capacity to replenish and aggravate pollution that is warming the earth beyond human comfort.

This is the standard wisdom showered on the poor humanity which is already suffering from poverty driven inferiority complex – and of course, exploitative policies of the rich nations! It is designed to make them feel further rotten for sickening the planet with increasing temperature as well.

It is an utterly deceptive argument, rooted in the 200 year old Malthusian overpopulation theory that the elite rich world loves!

Let’s look at the facts.

Global population increased in last 100 years from 2 billion to the current 7.3 billion. It may reach 9 billion by 2050, although since the end of the 20st century, fertility rates around the world have started declining rather sharply. The UN expects global fertility to fall to 1.85 children per woman by mid-century, from today’s around 2.5.  Chinese fertility (1.5 per woman) is already in the sub-replacement regime; India’s current fertility (2.3) is under sharp fall and will easily reach replacement level of 2.1 by 2020 and then its population would peak by 2050 at around 1.5 billion. Various recent estimates strongly suggest that the world population is likely to peak around mid 21st century and then start to decline.

Therefore, the traditional Malthus phobia of  global ‘population explosion’ and ‘the potential scenario of too many mouths chasing the limited food supply of the planet’ is just a hoax to berate poor humanity for their higher birth-rates.

Over Consumption of Rich

Connecting global warming and population of poor countries confuses things: it makes it seem that people of the rich and poor countries consume and pollute alike. It is at best a big joke! There is simply no comparison between the resource guzzling lifestyle, of say, an American or a Canadian and the amount of greenhouse gases they emit, with the life of a Nigerian or Bangladeshi who merely struggle to survive on meagre resources.

In fact, folks from the rich nations consume too much of everything and produces too much pollution.  There is simply no comparison.

Here is the eye opener.

Some years ago, Stephen Pacala, director of the Princeton Environment Institute, calculated that the world’s richest half-billion people (roughly about 7 percent of the world population) cause almost 50 percent of the global CO2 emissions. And in striking contrast, the poorest 50% humanity contributed just 7% towards greenhouse gas emissions !!

Looking at the comparative carbon emission, today an American emits equivalent to around 4 Chinese, 20 Indians, 30 Pakistanis, 40 Nigerians, or 250 Ethiopians.

In fact, the resource guzzling lifestyle of the rich societies does more harm to the planet than merely adding greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. So we go beyond carbon footprint to “ecological footprint,” which estimates the area of land required to provide everything we need and also to suck up our pollution. This metric also has some inherent problems, but serves for comparative purposes.

Here is the land required to sustain the lifestyles of different nationals:  An average American needs around 9.5 hectares, an Australian 7.8 hectares, a Canadian 7.1 hectares, a Briton, 5.3 hectares, a German  4.2 and a Japanese 4.9 hectares. In comparison, the world average is only 2.7 hectares!

Even China is still below the global average, at 2.1. India and much of Africa (where most of the future population growth would take place) are near or below 1.0.

Americans are the largest per-capita consumers of everything. For instance, an American eats up over 120 kg of meat per year, compared to just 6 kg by an Indian.

Future Projections

By 2050, around 2 billion (or 40%) extra people are likely to be added. Practically, all of them will be added in the poor half of the world. They will raise the population of the poor world from around 4 billion to about 6 billion, making them the poor two-thirds.  In fact, most of the population growth will take place in just 5 countries: India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Ethiopia.

In comparison, the global economic output will multiply several times – predicted to rise by 500-600 percent – by 2050. As usual, the dominant contribution would come from the big economies of the rich world. Population increase, being added to the poor countries with small economies, should have only a minor contribution towards future economic growth and hence pollution.

If we assume for the purposes of argument that the per-capita emissions in all country stay where they are today — those extra 2 billion people would only increase the share of emissions from the poor world from 7% to 11% ! Realistically speaking, the per capita emission is likely to increase in the poor world as their economies expand. But that is an issue of consumption, not population.

Fast increasing populations do create serious local environmental crises through loss of farming land overgrazing and deforestation. But they don’t pump gases into the atmosphere to the extent of the industrial activities of the ‘developed’ nations.

If environmental experts want to limit the global temperature rise to within 2 degrees – and demand emission cuts by 60 percent by mid-century – the rich nations have to take the lead. It is their wrong development model that forces them to over-consume and spew enormous amounts of greenhouse gases.

Now of course, emerging economies like China, India, Brazil etc are also adding significant amounts of greenhouse gases. But ironically, they are only following the same faulty model of development that the West still wants to continue with.

How do we get an idea about environmental behaviour of the future generations?

A statistician at the Oregon State University, Paul Murtaugh, has given the climatic “intergenerational legacy” of today’s children, assuming the UN’s fertility projections and current per-capita emissions.

He calculated that an extra child in the United States today will, down the generations, produce an eventual carbon footprint seven times that of an extra Chinese child, 46 times that of a Pakistan child, 55 times that of an Indian child, and 86 times that of a Nigerian child.

Therefore, the message is clear. Western over consumption is risking the planet; not so-called over population happening the poor nations. Every talk of rising head counts in India or Africa takes the environmental debate in the wrong direction – the so-called ‘developed’ nations should know.

Posted in Climate Change, Global Warming, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment