Deal rumour mongers with iron hand

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

For the last few days, some news channels and the so-called intellectuals have been spreading rumours that Kashmiris living in the other part of the country are being harassed by the locals. However, they have not given any names of such Kashmiris, who have been harassed. Thus it has become clear that rumour mongering has become their pastime. But these miscreants do not know how much damage they are doing to the country. There are some journalists who have amassed wealth during the previous regime by means of brokering and misuse of their media organisations. Now it is they who are out to malign the government with their self created fake news. It is highly gratifying that the CRPF, whose 40 Jawans have fallen in the terrorists attack at Pulwama, has very clearly sent a message across the country that no Kashmiris will be allowed to be harassed anywhere in the country.

In Dehradun when some Kashmiri students expressed their apprehension of being harassed after the killing of CRPF Jawans, the entire administration swung into action and has provided the cover of security to nearly 300 students. The local population has also emphatically said that there was nothing for them to fear. Ours is a tolerant society and people do not react unless they are provoked. If Pulwama like incidents had happened in other countries there would have been serious law and order problem. Therefore, our people must be congratulated for maintaining calm and peace. The anger in India is not against the Kashmiris but certainly against those terrorists and sympathizers of terrorists, who have made the Kashmir a hell and have thrown out Kashmiri Pandits at the instance of their godfathers sitting in Pakistan.

Indian culture has been a syncretic culture where even enemies are respected, although in the present circumstances it is considered no better than foolishness. Those who are sitting in India and extending support to Pakistan wittingly or unwittingly, crudely or discreetly must be exposed and dealt with iron hands because they are doing more damage to the country by spreading such rumours, demoralizing the Indian people and its troops by their abominable deeds.

There is a general feeling that before starting any retaliatory action against Pakistan it will be good if the country is sanitised and freed from internal enemies and snakes of the arms. These pseudo-intellectuals have no concern for the security forces of the country as they were found celebrating the killings of Army or CRPF Jawans, who invariably come from poor families and mostly from the villages. Sometimes ago when 76 CRPF Jawans were killed in the Naxalite prone Bastar of Chhattisgarh, these intellectuals were reported to have lauded their death by organising the party of liquor and chicken biryani. Therefore, the country wants these so-called intellectuals to be named, shamed and dealt with as stringently as possible.


Call the Bluff of Pakistan

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

The duplicity and the wickedness of Pakistan have been again exposed by the statement of its Prime Minister Imran Khan, wherein he has asked India to furnish pieces of evidence to prove its involvement in Pulwama terror attack where 40 CRPF Jawans got martyred. This has become a regular refrain of Pakistan to demand the proof of its involvement after every terror attack in India.

One may recall that after the 26/11 attack in Mumbai in 2008, Pakistan had said ad nauseam that it had nothing to do with the terror attack which had taken the lives of 166 innocents to avoid it culpability, even though a Pakistani Azmal Kasab was caught alive. Pakistan continued to deny its role in the terror attack even when the address of the house of Kasab was made known to the public by its own media. A television channel of Pakistan had even telecast the interview of Ajmal Kasab’s father, which was aired across the world.

Similarly, when Pathankot terror attack had happened, the Government of India even called the Pakistani Military Personnel to see it for themselves the involvement of the ISI but when they returned to their country, they denied any involvement of Pakistan in Pathankot terror attack, obviously under the pressure from the Army. So much so, the shameless Pakistani General Parvez Musharraf had said the Pakistani Army was not involved in the Kargil war. The height of shamelessness of the Pakistani Army can be known from the facts that it even refused to accept the body bags of its own soldiers and the Indian Army had to perform the last rites of their dead bodies. This time also the Casanova Prime Minister Imran Khan is asking for proofs.

One fails to understand what proof does he want? Immediately after the killing of the 40 Jawans, the terror organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad, which is nurtured in Pakistan, claimed the responsibility of the attack. The leaders of Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Toeba (LeT) are sitting pretty in Pakistan with its full support and security. Pakistan has now become an embarrassment for the whole world. Till now 57 countries have asked Pakistan to stop supporting the terrorists but it has refused to take any action against them. Hafiz Saeed and Azhar Masood are continuously funding, training and exporting terrorists to India with the connivance of Pak administration. Imran Khan is a puppet in the hands of the Pakistani Army.

As they say that ‘every country has the army but in Pakistan, the army has a country.’ This man Imran Khan does not have an iota of power, it is the army that calls the shots. It must also be mentioned here that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was founded by an ISI Chief, General Hameed Gul, of which this cricketer turned politician Imran Khan is now the leader.

Therefore, India must be prepared to take appropriate action against Pakistan to avenge the blood of its Jawans. And the first that can be done is to vivisect Pakistan, at least, by recognising the government-in-exile of Baloch Liberation Army (BLA).

Pulwama Terror Attack – “Internal” and Foreign Enemies: How to Destroy ?

By: Parmanand Pandey

The entire nation is seething with the rage over the dastardly killings of more than 40 CRPF Jawans in Pulwama near Sri Nagar. But the television debates on channels further aggravate the grief and tragedy, when we see that some of the participants hold brief even for enemies.

Although this country has been replete with treacherous fifth columnists from time immemorial that have stabbed in the backs of the patriotic forces, yet today we find was unthinkable in the olden days.

The intellectual dishonesty is at its peak. These people shamelessly justify their anti-national activities and provide grist to the terrorists. There is hardly any doubt that these homegrown terrorists get full support from outside.

It is an unconcealed fact that Pakistan is a rogue and bankrupt state. It has no money to spend on any developmental projects. Whatever money is received from the people that go to the Army and the people are condemned to live in abject poverty. Feudal lords, corrupt bureaucrats, terrorists and Army have the nexus, which wants to create somehow the disturbances in India.

What has happened at Pulwama is a reflection of the frustration of Pakistan.

Pakistan is already a divided country. North-West Frontier Province does not want to live even for a minute with the Punjabis, who actually rule the roost. Baluchistan, for all practical purposes, does not consider itself to be the part of Pakistan. Sindh has a very tenuous link with the rest of Pakistan.

Therefore, the Government of India will do well to extend all possible help to the people of these provinces, who are fighting for self-determination. Secondly, the water supply to Pakistan from rivers which originate and pass through India must be stopped. It will not only wither away the crops of Pakistan but also deprive it with fresh drinking water. India must hit hard, where it hurts more to Pakistan.

Some intellectual harlots in India say that Pakistan cannot be compared with other Muslim countries because it is a nuclear state. They insist on having dialogue but with whom, they do not tell – with Hafiz Saeed or Masood Azahar? Such persons are not only timid and cowards but they are more dangerous than the identified enemies. These internal enemies must be smoked out because it is they who have been providing the base and logistic support to external enemies.

In this hour of grief and anger, the words of Prime Minister Narendra Mondi, that the martyrdom of our Jawans will not go in vain and the Indian Army has been given full freedom to deal with the terrorists and their masters, are quite reassuring.

However, one must also accept the undeniable reality that there has been the monumental failure of intelligence because it could not have been done in one day. It must have taken weeks and months to indoctrinate and train the suicide bomber and collect more than 250 kilograms of RDX used for the purpose. So, why the intelligence could not smell the rat? Secondly. why a huge contingent of nearly 2500 Jawans was not airlifted to the place of their postings instead they were being taken in unarmoured buses to almost 300 kilometres away from Jammu through the terrorist-prone area? The country needs satisfactory answers to these questions

Let Sohrabuddin Case be an Eye-Opener for the CBI !

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

      A high-profile criminal case that has been bedevilling the career of many politicians and police personnel have been finally decided by a CBI court in Mumbai, which has acquitted all accused persons. Although the title of the case is ‘Central Bureau of Investigation versus Dahyaji Goharji Vanjara and others’, yet it has been known more as the Sohrabuddin encounter case. There is an oft-repeated legal phrase in criminal justice system that ‘let a hundred guilty be acquitted, but not one innocent should be convicted’. This phrase is more dependent on the fact that the accused can be punished only when the guilt is proved beyond all reasonable doubts, while in other civil laws the principle of ‘preponderance of probabilities’ suffices for the dispensation of justice.

However, the acquittal of all 22-remaining accused in the Sohrabuddin encounter case has compelled every right-thinking person that there is something seriously wrong with our investigating agencies because many a time they either implicate the innocents at the instance of some high ups in which they subsequently find an uphill task to collect the clinching proof against them resulting into their acquittals. By the time the accused persons are acquitted many years of their precious life is lost. Sometimes they deliberately botch up the investigation, for the host of reasons, to get the guilty persons acquitted. Hence, their honesty has, more often, not been above board. This attitude of the investigating agencies has led to the huge loss in their credibility.

It is not for nothing that the former Chief Justice of India Rajendra Mal Lodha had once annoyingly remarked about the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as the ‘caged parrot’. The CBI judge SJ Sharma who delivered the judgement in the Sohrabuddin case has also regretted that   ‘In my discussion, I have also noted the negligence of the CBI towards the material part of the investigation which clearly indicating that they hurriedly completed the investigation either by using replica of the earlier recorded investigation and have implicated the police personnel who had not at all knowledge of any conspiracy rather they appeared innocent.’ That is why all accused have been acquitted for lack of evidence against them.

The CBI was trying 22 accused in 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh and 2006 Tulsiram Prajapati encounter cases and on the charge of killing Sheikh’s wife Kausar Bi. The judge also noted that 92 prosecution witnesses out of the 210 examined had turned hostile. The case, therefore, rested on circumstantial evidence and hearsay, and as a result, the chain of events was not complete enough to believe that the encounter was the result of a criminal conspiracy. The judge said though Sheikh and others were killed yet ‘going by the evidence on record, the court could not conclude that the present accused persons could be questioned or held accountable for those deaths.

While pronouncing the judgment, the judge also spoke about former DIG D.G. Vanzara, who had already been discharged from the case in August 2017, it was improbable that he could have any knowledge of the alleged conspiracy. The CBI’s case was that it was Vanzara who called Gujarat police officer Ashish Pandya, who was on leave at that time, to lead Prajapati’s encounter. However, according to the judge, the CBI could not bring on record any substantial piece of evidence like phone records to prove that Vanzara called Pandya during this period. This case assumed much significance because of the present BJP president Amit Shah, former Rajasthan Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria, former Gujarat Police Chief PC Pande, Additional Director-General of police Geetha Johri, Gujarat police officer Abhay Chudasama, Gujarat police official N.K. Amin, Yashpal Chudasama and Ajay Patel (both senior office-bearers at the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank), Gujarat IPS officer Rajkumar Pandiyan and Andra Pradesh cadre IPS official N. Balasubramanyam, were implicated in the case but they were discharged before the commencement of the trial. Altogether 22 accused had faced trial. Of them, only one, Jeerawala, the owner of Arham farmhouse, was a civilian. All the police personnel are junior officers and constables. Nobody thinks about these junior police personnel, who have practically through the hell and humiliation during the more than a decade.

The prosecution’s case was that the Gujarat police had abducted Sheikh, a gangster, his wife Kausar Bi and his aide Prajapati from a bus when the trio was on their way to Sangli in Maharashtra from Hyderabad on the night of November 22, 2005. Sheikh was killed in an alleged fake encounter on November 26, 2005, near Ahmedabad. His wife was killed three days later, and her body was disposed of. It claimed that a year later, on December 27, 2006, the Gujarat and Rajasthan police forces had shot Prajapati dead on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border. While delivering the 358 page judgement, the judge also made a wry comment on the criminal justice system by saying that he felt sorry for the families of the three persons who lost their lives but the courts work on evidence and the testimony of witnesses and in this case, not enough material was brought on record to prove the case against the accused.

Upon turning the witnesses’ hostile, the Judge said that ‘what could have prosecution done? It couldn’t have forced them not to turn hostile. Therefore, when this court ultimately went through all the evidence and testimonies on record, it concluded that no case of conspiracy could be established.’ The judge also expressed disbelief in the theory that Tulsiram Prajapati was the third person who was abducted along with Sheikh and his wife from a luxury bus and that he was witness to the abduction of Sheikh and Kausar Bi. Since the court discarded this theory, the judge also disbelieved that Prajapati was killed in a fake encounter to eliminate the eyewitness in Sheikh’s case. Commenting on the working of the CBI, the judge said that, “I have no hesitation in recording that a premier investigating agency like CBI had before it a premeditated theory and a script intended to anyhow implicate political leaders. And the agency thereafter merely did what was required to reach that goal rather than conducting an investigation in accordance with law.”

It is worthwhile to know who were Sohrabuddin Sheikh, Kanser Bi and Tulsiram Prajapati? The police version is that Sheikh was an associate of Lashkar-e-Toiba, who was planning to assassinate the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Kauser Bi was his wife and both were travelling from Hyderabad to Sangli (Maharashtra) in a bus when they were killed in a police encounter. According to Rubabbuddin, the brother of Sohrabuddin, who had filed the complaints and made petitions before various courts, the whereabouts of Kauser Bi was not known for several months and then he approached the Supreme Court, seeking an investigation into the death of his brother. He also filed a habeas corpus petition, seeking production of his disappeared sister-in-law, Kauser Bi. It was also alleged that there was a third person with them and he was the none else but Tulsiram Prajapathi.

There was a hue and cry over the killing of trio and the opposition parties and Human Rights activists worked overtime to bring a bad name to Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat. On their pleas and petitions, the Supreme Court then ordered for the investigation of the case by the CBI. The CBI filed the Charge-sheet framing the then Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah making him the lynchpin of the conspiracy and he was also arrested in 2010. The CBI also sought for transfer of the trial of the case outside Gujarat, which was also allowed by the Supreme Court.

It is now a proven fact, that Sohrabuddin was an outlaw and was having connections with Lasker-e-Taiba and Pakistan intelligence agency ISI. He and Tulsiram Prajapati were extorting protection money from marble factories of Gujarat and Rajasthan. This was the reason that people were happier with their killings than doubting over the methods of their killings by the Police. Sohrabuddin was also said to have links with underworld criminals Sharifkhan Pathan, Abdul Latif, Rasool Parti and Brajesh Singh, who were all members and associates of India’s largest organized crime network and underworld mafia operated by Dawood Ibrahim. During investigations, before he was arrested, the Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) of Gujarat had found 40 AK-47 assault rifles from his village residence in Madhya Pradesh. There were some 60 criminal cases pending against him. This was yet another reason that human right activist did not get even an iota of public support.

The CBI Judge has also made some caustic comments by saying that the pressure was brought to bear upon the CBI by some politicians to implicate some people. This case reinforces that there is a crying need to overhaul the methodology of the investigation by the police so that innocent people may not have to suffer and guilty do not go unpunished. The aim, after all, is that justice should not be denied by delaying it.

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.

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