Shockwaves Over the Cold-blooded Murder of Saudi Journalist

By: Parmanand Pandey, Advocate, Supreme Court (Secretary General, IPC)

Cold blooded and brutal killing of a Saudi journalist Jamaal Khashoggi by the Saudi Arabian Authorities inside its embassy in Istanbul (Turkey) has on 2nd October sent shock waves across the world. The Saudi authorities firstly expressed their ignorance about his whereabouts and after two weeks of ping-pong, they accepted that he has been killed by a gang of goons. Now it has become clear that he was killed at the instance of the Sultan of Saudi Arabia. Who was Jamaal Khashoggi and why his death has escalated tension in many countries? some counties have already announced their decision of not having any negotiation with Saudi Arabia after they have come to know that Jamal was physically annihilated by the Saudi government at the instance of the present king.

Jamal was a Saudi journalist. He enjoyed top positions in Saudi Arabia’s media houses but recently got himself relocated to America and a regular contributor to the Washington Post. Sixty years old Khashoggi was going to marry very soon as he had gone to the Saudi embassy in Istanbul to collect the papers of divorce from his first wife.

Khashoggi belonged to the rich, and influential family of ‘who is who’ of Saudi Arabia. He was the nephew of Adnan Khashoggi, the notorious arms dealer of the world. He was the cousin of Dodi Fayed, who was flirting with Princess Diana, the wife of Prince Charles. Both of them were killed in a car accident in Paris. Dodi Fayed had even claimed before his death that Princess Diana was pregnant with his child. Jamal Khashoggi was born in Medina. His grandfather Mohammed Khashoggi was of Turkish origin but after his marriage with a Saudi woman, he settled in Medina and became the personal physician of Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, the royal descendant of Al-Saud, the founder of the Kingdome of Saudi Arabia.

Jamal Khashoggi had his elementary and secondary education in Saudi Arabia but obtained the degree in Business Administration from the Indiana State University of the USA. He started his journalistic career in 1983 and worked with many newspapers. He was the foreign correspondent of Saudi newspapers in many countries like Afghanistan, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan in the Middle-East, and in 2003 he became the Editor-in-Chief of the Saudi Arabian daily Al-Watan for a short period.

He was fired from the post of the Editor-in-Chief within few months because he had allowed a columnist to criticise the Wahabi School of Islam. His criticism to the radical Wahabi School of Islam brought reputation to him of a liberal and progressive journalist in the western countries. However, the fundamentalist Islamic forces became fiercely hostile toward him.

But what made the Saudi Government angry with Jamal Khashoggi? A person who was the Media Advisor to the Prince, how could he become such a bitter enemy of the King that the Saudi Arabia’s present dispensation wanted to physically kill him? After his relocation to the USA Khashoggi made blistering attacks on Saudi regime for its policies particularly its blockade of Qatar. He was also against the Saudi regime for having a dispute with Lebanon and Canada.  The Crown Prince was vehemently criticised for his crackdown on dissent and media in the country. However, he had vociferously supported some of the reforms undertaken by the Prince like allowing women to drive. He was highly critical of the arrest of some of the leading Women Rights Activists. Khashoggi had expressed his displeasure with the Prince for waging war on a poor country like Yemen but, strangely he was never in favour of peace with Israel. He had said many times in his commentary in the newspapers that ‘the longer this cruel war lasts in Yemen the more the damage will be. The people of Yemen are busy in fighting poverty, cholera and water scarcity and rebuilding their country. Therefore, the Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman must bring an end to the violence”.

Saudi Arabia was, at first place, not ready to accept the death of Jamal Khashoggi but now it has been accepted by the Sultan that he was killed by some gangsters. The admission after many days of emphatic denials by the Gulf kingdom has come after Donald Trump threatened to impose sanctions if it was proved that the journalist was killed. But we find volte-face of Donald Trump, who says he cannot jettison more than 500 billion dollars of arms trade with Saudi Arabia because that will render lakhs of Americans jobless. So, for him, it is ‘America first’ rather than the protection of human rights of even the most influential journalist, who was associated with the newspaper of his own country. In order to cover up the tragic death of the journalist, the King (Sultan) has sacked Deputy Intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri and Royal Court Media Advisor Saud al-Qahtani, both are the top aides to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has faced mounting pressure on the Khashoggi affair.

Saudi Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb said Khashoggi died after “discussions” at the consulate devolved into an altercation, without disclosing any details on the whereabouts of his body. The government of Turkey, on the other hand, says that it was not only the cold-blooded murder of the journalist but his body was chopped off in many pieces, stuffed in a bag to be thrown at an unknown place. The Attorney General unabashedly says that the “preliminary investigations… revealed that the discussions that took place between him (Jama Khashoggi) and the persons who met him at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul led to a brawl and a fist fight which led to his death, may his soul rest in peace,” this shows the duplicity of Saudi Arabia.

Shrouded in mystery

Now it is clear that Khashoggi had to pay the price of his being the critic of the Islamic Petro-state’s powerful Crown Prince. His disappearance had initially been shrouded in mystery and that triggered an international crisis, with Turkish officials accusing Saudi Arabia of a state-sponsored killing and dismembering his body. Saudi Arabia says that all18 people, Saudi nationals, have been detained in connection to the probe. The Saudi king also ordered the setting up of the ministerial committee under the chairmanship of the crown prince, widely known as MBS, to restructure the kingdom’s intelligence agency and “define its powers accurately”.

The controversy has put the kingdom — for decades a key Western ally and bulwark against Iran in the Middle East — under unprecedented pressure to offer an explanation to take the heat off its rulers. It evolved into a major crisis for Prince Mohammed, a Trump administration favourite who has portrayed himself as a modernising Arab reformer, but whose image and even position at home could now be gravely undermined.

Threat of sanctions

Shortly before Riyadh confirmed that Khashoggi had been killed, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi King Salman agreed in telephone talks to continue cooperation in the investigation into the Khashoggi affair.Mr. Erdogan and King Salman “emphasised the importance of continuing to work together with complete cooperation”.

The Khashoggi mystery is proving hard to solve not because it is such a tough case to crack, but because the known facts are too simple to reach anything other than a damning conclusion. When Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate, he was walking into a trap set by the same team whose members arrived on private jets from Riyadh the previous night. When Khashoggi visited the Saudi embassy in Istanbul on 27 September to get the official divorce papers of his previous marriage, he was asked to come on 2 October and collect the papers.  Khashoggi entered the embassy on 2 October but was never seen again. But these Saudis returned home less than 24 hours after touching down in Istanbul. The obvious but grisly conclusion is that the Saudis dismembered the dissident journalist and transported his remains in small packages back to the Kingdom. The latest facts revealed by the Turkish investigation – and publicly announced by the authorities in Istanbul – are that Khasogi’s body was cut into pieces and thrown into the well located in the garden to the residence of Consul General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. These body parts have  now been recovered. It is suspected by Turkey that his fingers were cut off and sent as ‘trophy’ to the Crown Prince in Saudi Arabia.

A single citizen’s disappearance, though, has raised a host of thorny issues putting in question billions of dollars of arms deals, energy supply and Saudi cooperation in America’s Middle East strategy, especially against Iran and with Israel.

The gory, gruesome and ghastly details of the last few moments in the life of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as reported in the government-controlled Turkish media, have reaffirmed the continuing validity of the universal truth: the pen is mightier than the sword. But the regime felt so threatened by Khashoggi’s dissident and heretical views that it felt compelled to liquidate him.

The murder of not many journalists has been taken so seriously by the world authorities as the murder of Khashoggi as many developed countries are going to take action against Saudi Arabia. Hopefully, other governments, which have belief in democracy, will also take lessons from this case and ensure the safety of such journalists as are critical to the powers that be.


Karunanidhi Encouraged Fissiparious Tendencies in Tamilnadu !

Parmanand Pandey, Secretary General: IPC

It is often said that ‘don’t speak against any dead person’. But can this logic be applied to demons like Ravan, Kans, Duryodhan or monsters like Hitler, Mussolini, Changez Khan, Mahmud of Ghazni or Mao Dezong?

If there is a saying, “Speak no ill of the dead” then there is another saying of the equal strength, “Truth must be told”. Speaking truth is an onerous duty and it must be discharged, howsoever unpalatable it might be.

M. Karunanidhi, a doyen of Tamil politics for more than 60 long years, passed away the day before yesterday at the old age of 94. He was like a comet on the political firmament of Tamil Nadu politics for more than 60 years. He had committed certain egregious and Himalayan blunders that the posterity will never forgive him. He was the person who drove a wide wedge between the North and the South, which will take many more years to bridge.

The first and foremost disservice of Karunanidhi for the country was to create hysteria against Hindi among Tamilians. It is because of him that Tamil Nadu people could not assimilate themselves with the rest of the country for a long period of time. His hostility towards Hindi was in the extreme. In fact, he thrived on the anti-Hindi politics and created so much bitterness for a language like Hindi that was accepted with open arms by Tamilians. Even Raja ji (C Rajagopalachari), who was in the forefront of popularising Hindi in south India was capitulated by persons like Karunanidhi to become indifferent towards Hindi. It was he and his Guru Annadurai, who propounded the theory of ‘Dravid’ and ‘Aryans’ which is totally fake, unrealistic and highly superficial.

It is difficult to understand his hatred for Upper caste Hindus except for the vote bank politics that he pursued. He was born in the community of Nadaswaram (percussionists), who get their livelihood because they beat drums outside the temples. Although, he claimed to be an Atheist, yet he was highly superstitious and used to wear a yellow shawl ( angavastram) throughout his life to ward off evil forces. His way of mocking, chiding and ridiculing particularly the Brahmins was in extremely bad taste. When there was the case being heard in the Supreme Court on Ram Setu, he shot from his hip by asking a preposterous question like from which engineering college Lord Ram had got His degree which qualified Him to become an engineer to make a Setu? But Karunanidhi did not have the courage to utter even a word against any other religion which is enough to make him a suspect of rationalism. Hindus were like a punching bag for him.

Karunanidhi had hardly any respect for his political adversaries and he always spoke most uncharitably against Indira Gandhi or J. Jayalalitha. Shankaracharya was falsely implicated and arrested by J. Jayalalitha in a case of murder only because of the one-upmanship of M. Karunanidhi, who had threatened that if the Pontiff was not arrested he would launch a statewide agitation against the Brahmin Chief Minister. As a result of it, Shankaracharya was arrested but was honourably exonerated.

Karunanidhi had been a hypocrite throughout his life. He had the weakness for women and had children from at least his three wives. His aversion for Brahmins did not prevent him from bringing a bride for his family from the famous clan of Brahmins, who are the owners of the Hindu newspaper.

He was responsible for the deterioration of the relationship between India and Sri Lanka. He left no stone unturned in whipping up the feeling of Tamil Eelam among Srilankan Tamils compelling the late Rajiv Gandhi to send the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to Northern Sri Lanka for establishing peace in Jaffna and Batticaloa. These areas were burning because of the ethnic Tamil agitation. Hundreds of Jawans and officers of Indian Army were killed for nothing unwept, unsung. Despite the best intentions of winning the hearts of Tamil people, the poor Rajiv Gandhi remained a sore in their eyes and ultimately the good-hearted (Rajiv Gandhi) was killed by Tamil terrorists.

It was Karunanidhi who started the many obnoxious schemes of doling out gifts in cash and kind to people for their votes. He was also responsible for opening up the substandard engineering, medical and law colleges where one could get a degree of his/her choice on payment of hefty capitation fees. However, credit goes to his craftiness that despite being a parochial leader he had his presence felt at the national level. It is an open secret that he and his family was sunk deep into corruption from top to toe yet he is being paid tributes in a manner as he was a great visionary.

How pathetic is the condition of the media in our country which is awash only with Karunanidhi since yesterday? Four brave soldiers of the Indian Army, including a Major, were killed in Kashmir while defending the motherland but the news of their supreme sacrifices has been consigned to corners in both print and electronic media. It is beyond anybody’s comprehension why the newspapers and electronic channels of northern India have gone berserk over Karunanidhi, where his following was almost next to nil? How sensitive is our media to the brave martyrs for the country is not far to seek? After all, Karunanidhi was in the moribund state for more than two years.

Duplicity of Celebrity Journalists

Parmanand Pandey, Secretary General: IPC

 Some journalists telephoned me yesterday to know my reaction about the easing out of some media persons from the ABP News. I told them that the natural reaction of any pro-people organisation or its office- bearers will be to condemn the decision of the management. Therefore, my reaction as a former newsman and at present the Secretary-General of the Indian  Peoples Congress will be obvious to denounce the action of the management. More so, when I have myself been victimised from a newspaper because of my trade union activities.
Although these persons do not have even the remote connection with any trade union activity, they have been careerists to the core and never have had any concern or sympathy for the struggling media employees. A few years ago some people requested me to extend legal help to one Srivastava, who was unceremoniously thrown out of the NDTV (again not for raising any demand for the cause of the employees). One of my friends got me contacted on his mobile phone but he politely refused to take any help because as a journalist he did not want to be drawn into any legal battle with the management. Thereafter, one Mr Malviya, who was working for any TV channel met the same fate. Some well-wishers of Mr Malviya asked him to file a case against his termination. He told them that he was not at all interested in going to the court because that would spoil his chances of getting employment and that is true also to a great extent.
My personal experience is that these career-oriented so-called good journalists do not have even an ounce of courage to speak against the owners of media houses. They refuse to join unions because of the fear of being thrown out of the employment. However, till they are in employment they will vociferously cry for the freedom of the speech and expression, but they keep their mouth sealed when it comes to fighting for the rights of the journalists. In fact, they shamelessly work against the employees to be in the good books of their management. I have found most of them cowards to the core, sycophants and self-centric.
Some years ago, a function was organised by the ETV and the Bhadas4Media, a portal for media persons in the Deputy Speaker Hall of New Delhi, where I was also invited as one of the speakers along with many journalists including Punya Prasoon Bajpai, who is now removed from the ABP and Rahul Dev. An IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh Amitabh Thakur was also one of the speakers and if I remember it well he exhorted the journalists to be fearless. Thereafter, I was asked to speak, and I said that the courage was the rare commodity. Most of the journalists would pose to be courageous till their management wanted them to be so. I told them that when we were staging the demonstration for the Majithia Wage Boards across the road outside Shram Shakti Bhawan, there were only two or three journalists in the demonstration and the crowd consisted of mainly non-journalists.
When the Majithia Wage Board report was submitted to the government, most of the journalists holding high positions in the channels and newspapers ignored it for fear of their management. All our requests for publication or broadcast of the news item fell on deaf ears of the so-called bold journalists. The Majithia Wage Board case was heard for many years in the Supreme Court of India but except Mr Venkateshan of ‘The Hindu’ nobody showed even an iota of courage to report the proceedings of the court. Even the judgement of the Supreme Court was not reported in the channels or newspapers. This is the sad state of affairs of the mentality of journalists. Twopenny editors have been found to be hollow and the worst flatterers. There is hardly any connection between their words and deeds.
Thousands of employees, journalists and non-journalists included, have been victimised in the media houses like those of the Hindustan Times, Dainik Bhaskar, Dainik Jagran, Amar Ujala, Rajasthan Patrika and the NDTV but no support has come for them from the familiar-faced journalists. When somebody requests them to extend their support in fighting for their cause they just run away. Therefore, those who are shedding tears for anchors removed from the ABP must also encourage them to work for the larger interests of journalists instead of becoming the hangers-on of the politicians of one hue or the other or the proprietors of the media houses.

Imran Khan, a Don Juan, Will Dance to the Tune of Rogue Pakistani Army

Parmanand Pandey, Secretary General: IPC

     Mr Imran Khan, a Don Juan, is now set to become the new Prime Minister of Pakistan as his Pakistan Tahrik-e- Insaf (PTI) has emerged the largest party in the National Assembly. He is famous in the entire cricketing world, particularly in Pakistan, India and England. His image of a philanthropist and a corruption-free politician has also helped his Party to win the largest number of seats. However, what has helped him most in coming to power is Pakistani Army. The Army will now rule with a remote control having a civilian face as the Prime Minister, who is more a Casanova than a politician. He will be nothing more than the puppet of the Pakistani Army.

       He made his foray into politics some two decades ago and now he has achieved his ambition to head a state which is a known rouge state all over the world. What has disappointed most the people all over the world was his address to the nation the day it became clear that he was sure to become the Prime Minister. His address to the nation made it crystal clear he would be a handmaiden Prime Minister of the all-powerful army of Pakistan, which is known for its phenomenal notoriety for providing safe haven to terrorists in Pakistan.

    The debonair politician has not spoken a word against the terrorists like Hafiz Saeed or even against the fugitive and a bully like Parvez Musharraf, who still continues to enjoy the support of the Army. As everybody in India knows that it was the late General Zia-ul-Haque and Parvez Musharraf, who throttled the democracy. In fact, democracy has never been able to take roots in Pakistan right from its inception. There is no doubt that Nawaz Sharif was a corrupt Prime Minister but so have been all politicians and other establishments of Pakistan without exception. Almost all Army Officers of any significance in Pakistan live like feudal Lords because they have amassed the enormous amount of wealth through corrupt means. A novice like Mr Imran Khan is, therefore, the most suitable and pliant person for the Army to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

     With the amount of popularity that he enjoys in India, it was expected that this man would work for the normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan, but his speech dashed all hopes as it was so disappointing that nothing can be hoped from him. Now it is clear that he will play and dance only to the tune of the Army. In his speech, he spoke like a parrot on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir as was dictated by the Army. He has not spoken a word against the Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Al Qaeda and other terrorist organisations which export terror to other countries, particularly to India. Obviously, because these terror outfits are nurtured by the vagrant and in-disciplined Army. It is hoped that he will avoid adopting the misadventures of the Army, which resulted in the vivisection of Pakistan in 1971 and crushing defeat during the Kargil war.

    However, it will be too much to expect anything innovative from this womaniser Prime Minister. It is an open secret that the Pakistani Army rigged the elections in favour of Imran Khan. His address on television was shocking as he relegated India to the last step of the ladder of his priorities. Even Afghanistan and Iran were kept above India. China was eulogized by him as his Army masters wanted him to do.

    Sometimes it is seen that even newcomers in the power politics do wonderful works but that is when they have an independent mind. Here, in this case, Imran Khan’s mind has already been toxified against India by the corrupt Army.

    Let us see what is in store for Pakistan under his premiership. As they say that ‘coming events cast their shadows before’, therefore, we in India cannot expect much from Imran Khan. India will have to be vigilant as the notorious may again create mischiefs behind the veneer of this seducer of women, Imran Khan.

Rahul’s Ridiculous Conduct Lowered the Dignity of Lok Sabha

Parmanand Pandey, Secretary-General : IPC
The puerile behaviour of Shri Rahul Gandhi on the floor of the Lok Sabha has become a butt of joke across the Country. Immediately after finishing his speech Shri Gandhi left his seat, crossed the aisle to reach the Prime Minister and forcibly hugged him. The Prime Minister was startled, and the entire Country was stunned over this dramatics of Shri Gandhi.
His ridiculous behaviour and acting became an instant delight for the cartoonists and meme generators. Millions of others are angry over it for belittling the seriousness of debate in the Lok Sabha by a person who himself is aspiring to become the Prime Minister of the country.
The Prime minister’s position is highly exalted one in the parliamentary democracy and, that too, of the Prime Minister of India who is the leader of more than 13 hundred million people.
Rahul Gandhi wanted the Prime Minister to get up and hug him, but the Prime Minister maintained the dignity, sobriety and equanimity and did not do what Mr Gandhi wanted him to do, albeit, he patted him like an avuncular statesman.
Low and behold! After coming to his seat Mr Gandhi made another spectacle of himself by winking and suggesting to one of his party members that how he has made a joke of the Prime Minister by hugging him after delivering his speech. This exposed him further that how idiotically (not in a derogatory sense but in the sense, it is used under section 84 of the Indian Penal Code) he can behave in the public life.
The Prime Minister in his speech made a big fun of the childish behaviour of Mr Gandhi, thanks to his exceptional oratorical skill.
Rahul Gandhi, although a Parliamentarian of many terms, must learn to behave in a manner befitting of a leader of a national party. There is no need to go into the speeches of politicians because there was hardly any substance and the issues highlighted by them could not appeal to anybody. Most of them spoke the clichés and the Prime Minister debunked them. In fact, this no-confidence motion came as a blessing in disguise to the Prime Minister, who used the opportunity to the hilt in exposing the shallowness of the opposition and in enumerating the achievements of his government.
This was, therefore, like a windfall for Shri Narendra Modi who addressed the country and successfully reached in millions of houses without any efforts.

Live-streaming of Court Proceedings is a Welcome Step

Parmanand Pandey, Secretary-General:  IPC

Live-streaming of court proceedings is a momentous and laudable decision of the Supreme Court of India. This will, without doubt, bring about transparency in the courts. Incidentally, the first step in this direction was taken in November 2017, when the bench headed by the CJI Dipak Misra directed that the proceedings of two courts in every district of the country would be video recorded.

Now in the first week of July this year a bench consisting of the CJI, Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud handed down an earth-shattering decision for the live telecasting of the court proceedings and the beginning will be made from the court of the Chief Justice itself.

There are many democratic countries where video recording is allowed. In some countries like; the United States of America live telecast of some selected cases is also permitted. Thus the Supreme Court of India will be the first in the world to have allowed for the live streaming of the proceedings.

As far as the Supreme Court is concerned all judges sit in the courtrooms exactly at 10:30 am, without being late even for one minute. However, in most of the High Courts, the condition is not so good. The judges often come late in the courts. Sometimes they come late from half an hour to one hour and they retire to their chambers as per their sweet wills.

The condition of the lower courts across the country is in the total mess. The Judges come and go as and when they desire. It is an open secret that the corruption in the lower judiciary is stinking to the high heaven. A reader/peshkar takes money for the filing of the documents, giving of the dates or providing information about the next date of hearings or for the changing the dates. These employees take bribes from Advocates and their clients in the full glare of the judges.

These peshkars/ ahlmads supply milk, bread, butter, vegetables and groceries to the houses of presiding deities. The situation is not so bad in Delhi and many other cosmopolitan towns but in districts it is rampant. The judges have become so  insensitive to the law – to uphold which law they are responsible – that they do not feel anything bad in it. Many times even if the bail has been granted, the papers will not be prepared till the palms of the concerned Ahlmad are not greased. Peons and employees openly demand money as if it is their right.

The live telecasts of the Court proceedings will certainly help curb the corruption to a large extent. This will make lethargic and incompetent judges more alert and at the same time save the clients from extortion by the non-judicial employees.

Sunlight, as they say, is the best disinfectant.

This will largely cure the infection of corruption and help the ordinary people in getting the justice relatively fast and affordable because the conduct of the judges, advocates, court employees and others will always be under the public scanner. This will also ensure the judges and the advocates to remain prepared during the hearings of the cases because their conducts will be in the surveillance of thousands of people.

No doubt, what has not been achieved by the strictness of the administration will be achieved by the modern technology. Almost everybody knows that there are many advocates, who only seek adjournments to delay the cases. Clients also indulge in highly unethical practices to get the justice delayed. The live-streaming will also go a long way in controlling the witnesses to behave properly because it has been found that they often turn hostile for some considerations.

However, the presiding Judges will be required to ensure that the courts’ rooms are not converted into the places of theatrics. There are no dearth of such advocates who may adopt the recourse of dramatics to get the cheap popularity.

We see that even the live telecasting of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha has not been able to inject a sense of responsibility among the members of parliament. Therefore, the judges will have to take extra care to ensure that some advocates do not hijack the court discipline for cheap publicity.

The technology has come as a boon for the eradication of corruption and we must salute and welcome it with open arms to make the country a better place to live in. This move will also instil a new faith in the judiciary.

Phoney Intellectualism of Congress Pampered Muslims

Parmanand Pandey, Secretary-General: Indian People’s Congress

How can a scientist, a philosopher, an intellectual be prefixed with the community that he or she belongs to? When we say a Muslim/ Hindu/Christian scholar it connotes that the person has the depth only in that particular religion. It is an oxymoron- a contradiction in terms. But when a person is called a historian, then he/she cannot be branded as a Hindu/ Muslim or Christian historian. That is why, it was shocking to know that the Congress President Rahul Gandhi recently met Muslim historians, journalists, economists and intellectuals.

As a matter of fact, it is the so-called intellectuals of the Muslim community who themselves should have objected to being prefixed with the word Muslim because that makes them narrow-minded. They cannot even pretend to be intellectuals. Their shameless behaviour of not objecting to clubbing them with their community has totally exposed them that they have been working more on communal lines than indulging into any dispassionate intellectual exercise.

If Rahul Gandhi met them for seeking their advice on the religious matters, it is all the worse. The so-called intellectuals cannot arrogate to advise a political leader on the religious matters and if they are doing so, then they would have to cast off the mask of intellectualism, which they wear to get the respectability by dubious means.

Verily speaking, they are not intellectuals at all but frauds. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Their agenda is not to serve the society but to operate for the furtherance of their sectarianism.

These dubious intellectuals reportedly questioned Rahul Gandhi’s visit to different temples during the recent elections. What right do they have to ask about the religiosity of a political person? They did not stop only there but they told him that the perceived image of the Congress has been of a Muslim supporting party but his visits to temples have sent a wrong message among Muslims.

This is the height of their hypocrisy. However, what is more, baffling was the apologetic behaviour of Rahul Gandhi towards those dyed-in-wool communal persons masquerading as intellectuals and scholars.

The less said about the despicable conduct of Rahul Gandhi the better. But what has happened to the Congress Party, which is so brazenly alienating the majority community i.e. Hindus without any sense of remorse?

Almost at the same time, another ‘intellectual’ Shashi Tharoor declared that if Modi comes to power in 2019 India will become Hindu Pakistan.

Nobody knows the basis of his idiotic prophecy. If it is based on his intuitive feelings, then nothing can be said but the facts speak otherwise. In Pakistan there were17 per cent Hindus in 1948 now it has been reduced to two per cent while in India there were 8-9 per cent Muslims but now their population is more than18 per cent. The number of mosques has increased manifold in India but the temples and gurdwaras have disappeared in Pakistan with incredible speed. The number of Hindu women being raped and converted to Islam is alarmingly high in Pakistan but there has hardly been any case of forcible conversion of Muslim women to Hinduism.

On the contrary, even in India Hindu women are given allurements to marry Muslim men and convert to their religion. It is called Love Jihad that is going unabated even during the Modi regime. So, the prophecy of the writer of ‘why I am a Hindu’ is not based on any empirical facts.

The Hindus are, therefore, rightly disturbed by the irresponsible statement of Tharoor. The least that the Congress Party can do is to publicly apologise to Hindus to soothe their frayed tempers for the preposterous statement of Tharoor.

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