A Continental Shift



The first Sigur Rós album I heard was Ágætis byrjun, which means ‘an all right start’ in Icelandic. Sigur Rós are an Icelandic band that plays a genre of music that is classified (by those who love to classify such things) as post-rock, minimalist, ethereal music. I found Sigur Rós’s music mainly downtempo and soothing but also sad at times. I heard several of their albums, including the curiously named () (released in 2002), Takk (in 2005) and Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (2008). That last title translates into ‘with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly’. Nice, isn’t it?  I don’t know why, but the band’s music sometimes reminded me of a huge, widescreen film where the camera is static and the visual is of a wide open landscape.

NME)

NOT GRUNGY: Jónsi Birgisson is frontman for Icelandic band Sigur Rós, and has a falsetto voice (PHOTO: NME)

Sigur Rós’s frontman, Jónsi Birgisson has a falsetto voice, which is sometimes reminiscent of  Radiohead’s Thom Yorke but not as grungy. In fact, Sigur Rós are not grungy at all. Their music has influences of modern classical music and the songs—with very, very minimalist lyrics—are all in Icelandic. That means if you, like me, don’t know that language, you can’t understand a thing. Which is why last week when I heard that Jónsi was readying a solo album called Go, I was excited.

I read that Jónsi’s delicious falsetto voice would be singing on Go in English, probably for the first time. If that was not enough, I also found on the Internet a single from the album (which comes out only in March), called Boy Lilikoi. Unlike many of Sigur Ros’s albums, Boy Lilikoi is an uptempo song—and if it’s a preview of Go, we can look forward to a great album. Here’s a sample of the lyrics: I want to be a lilikoi boy lilikoi/ You grind your claws, you howl growl/ Unafraid of all colour/ You run, you’re free, you climb and dress trees/ You reignite/ You growl, you howl, you show your teeth/ You bite, it’s alright.

From Iceland to California’s Long Beach, home of the indie-rockers, Cold War Kids. Formed in 2004, the quartet that makes up Cold War Kids has just one full-length album to its credit (Loyalty to Loyalty) but to really taste their music, you need to sample their EPs and singles, of which they have several. I first heard Hospital Beds, a four-song album with three of the songs recorded live, and got hooked. Their soulful lyrics and blues-influenced style of singing are catchy and great pick-me-ups. But that was a couple of years ago. I hadn’t heard anything much from the band for a while, till earlier this month when they released another EP, called Behave Yourself. The first track on the album is called Audience of One and it does the trick, ensuring that you fall for the band instantly. The EP itself has four songs and a total duration of just 14 minutes but, trust me, you’ll be inclined to put it on repeat and let it stay that way! I don’t know whether Cold War Kids are planning another full-length but as long as they keep rolling out EPs and singles, I’m happy.

The other American band that has been hogging my playlist for the past couple of weeks is, of course, Spoon. Based in Austin, Texas, Spoon has, at its core, singer and guitarist, Britt Daniel, and drummer, Jim Eno.

NME)

Based in Texas, American band Spoon has, at its core, singer and guitarist Britt Daniel (PHOTO: NME)

The rest of the band members keep getting changed and I’m not even sure what they’re current line-up is. If you like the punk sound of Sonic Youth (but with a bit less adventurousness—no screwdrivers rubbing against guitar frets and so on…), you’ll like Spoon. I first heard Spoon, in 2005, nearly nine years after their debut but both the albums I heard, Gimme Fiction and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga turned me into a fan. Pitchfork, the online music magazine (known for its esoteric views) gave Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga a generous 8.5 points and I thought that was greatly deserved.

So, when Spoon released Transference this month, I was looking forward to it. It didn’t disappoint. Transference has a rougher feel than the neat and shiny sound of Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, but that makes it all the more attractive, because it brings out the gritty, punk feel that Spoon was known for in its early years. After a few listens to Transference, I heard an interview with Daniel and Eno at NPR’s All Songs Considered, where they played some of the new songs and discussed the making of the record. It’s on the NPR website. Not to be missed.

THREE TO TANGO

  1. Street People: By Bobby Charles. This ethnic Cajun singer-songwriter from Louisiana died this month at 71. In 1976, he was invited to play with The Band on Martin Scorcese’s rockumentary, The Last Waltz.
  2. Roamin’ and Ramblin Blues’: By David “Honeyboy” Edwards, a veteran bluesman who was born in 1915 and still performs 60 or more times a year. Check him out.
  3. White Sky: By Vampire Weekend from their new album, Contra. Need I say more?

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  • Karan Sethi

    Hello Mr. Sanjoy , since its inception , I eagerly await to read your column in the weekly Brunch every Sunday and have been meaning to write to you for a very long time . Though I’m primarily into Metal and Metallica , Megadeth , Pantera , Sabbath and Zeppelin et al are what I have been bred up on , I love discovering new sounds and love quality playing , and also have a penchant for good ambient/progressive stuff . I have heard quite a lot of the stuff you mention in your articles apart from jazz-blues based music . Just kinda don’t have the ear for that stuff . But I always discover a new band or a new sund whenever I read your column . Your take on bands like Spoon , Wilco , Pavement , Neutral Milk Hotel were great ….I also wanted to suggest a couple of artists you could check out , I don’t really know if you’ll like them but … The week before last you spoke about Black metal … Well I don’t know if you’ve heard of the swedish death metal band Opeth … they’re more of a Progressive/Death metal band , but with great acoustic interludes and they create beautiful landscapes amidst blast beats and some pretty jaw dropping guitar playing . The vocals also vary from clean melodic singing to spine tingling growls . Their previous two albums ‘Watershed’(2008) and ‘Ghost Reveries’(2005) Another band in their vein is the Norwegian outfit Enslaved whose ‘Ruun’(2006) and ‘Isa’(2004) are essential offerings of the genre .

    On a more lighter but again progressive / ambient rock genre I really love some instrumental bands like Pelican and Russian Circles . The former’s ‘City of Echoes’ and ‘What We All Come To Need’ and the latter’s ‘Geneva’(2009) are genre-defyning albums .

    Also I totally loved the fact that you liked Soundtracks as well . OST’S of ‘Across the Universe’ , ‘I’m Not There’ and ‘Singles’ are pretty amazing . You should really listen to the Soundtrack to ‘Away We Go’(2009) . It has some amazing work by singer-songwriter-guitar player Alexi Murdoch . Also there was this movie ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’ which has some amazing Indie-New Wave punk bands like Vampire Weekend , Band Of Horses , The Submarines , etc.

    Also I think you will like folk-punk artist Frank Turner , formerly of the Hardcore band Million Dead .
    Amongst some other Indie-Alternative records that I really like are ‘Wincing The night Away’ by The Shins , ‘Someone To Drive You Home’ by The Long Blondes , ‘Spiderland’ by Slint , ‘Funeral’ by Arcade Fire and ‘Mountain Battles’ by The Breeders .

    Last week’s column on Frank Zappa was amazing . I adore The Mothers Of Inventions , especially ‘Absolutely Free’ and ‘Freak Out’ , true highlights of the musical genius that was Mr. Zappa .
    And I love Spoon’s ‘Kill The Moonlight’ and ‘Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga’ . Have’nt heard of Sigur Ros though , but will surely check them out now .

    I hope you personally read my post Mr. Narayan as I really want you to know that you do a great job I am in complete awe of your musical sensibilities and it is a total treat to wake up every sunday morning and be opened up to a whole new world of music ….
    Also I hope you do check out a like some of the bands I have stated above … Thank you

    Karan Sethi

    [Reply]

    Shiva_17 Reply:

    Hey Karan , great write up bro…
    I am a Metallica ,Sabbath n Zeppelin fan too…they are the reason I got into music,their musical exploits is the stuff made of dreams…and started listening to Opeth too…but only recently…they are amazing as well…
    Keep Rocking n headbanging…!!!
    Sorry Sanjoy…using a bit of your space…we discussed Spoon last week,and here you are as you said…
    N as Karan mentioned, you have given a whole new musical dimension to our Sundays,which used to be boring… usually.
    Looking forward to Cold War Kids and Sigur Rós.

    [Reply]

    Karan Sethi Reply:

    Hey Shiva , Thanks man … Nice to know you liked what I posted and yeah man their musical exploits are the stuff that dreams are made of .. If you like Opeth I suggest you get your hands on their live dvd ‘The Groundhouse Tapes’ , totally capturing their unmatched sound and musical dexterity . Also you should try out bands like Enslaved , Pelican and Russian Circles (the latter two are instrumental prog/rock bands) .

    I don’t know how much you’re into thrash metal dude , but if you liked Metallica’s ‘Kill ‘Em All’ and ‘Master of Puppets’ you shoud check out ‘Bonded By Blood’ by ‘Exodus’ , ‘The Legacy’ by Testament and ‘Spreading The Disease’ by ‘Anthrax’ . These albums are also considered gems of the Thrash Era . I think you would really love headbanging to this stuff in case you have’nt made life difficult for your neighbors already …I also adore Pantera and Ozzy’’s earlier solo albums .

    I hope you read this post and reply … Also It would be great if you could suggest some stuff for me ,… And let’s keep in touch through this blog man … Long Live Rock N’ Roll ..

    [Reply]

    Shiva_17 Reply:

    Hey Karan again you have opened a whole gamut of legendary metal bands which is admirable.I’ll surely try n grab ‘The Groundhouse Tapes’.
    And let me tell you brother,I spent the whole last year just listening Thrash,really liked Anthrax,their whole discography and whatever controversial lyrics they sang,growled n spat.
    Slayer was another one which caught my fancy.Also liked distorted bass of Motorhead and the speed metal prowess of Megadeath.Pantera is also a gem of a band.I know Ozzy more as the lead vocalist for Black Sabbath but haven’t heard any of his solo stuff.
    As far suggesting is concerned , you seem a much more avid,devouring and huge music lover as compared to my little know-how of music,for which I developed a liking only 2-3 years back.Anyhow,I wonder you have not mentioned,the Brazilian behemoth SEPULTURA,if you have heard them its fine,but if you haven’t ,then you are missing something brother(they sing in English and Portuguese both).Another non-english band would be Rammstein,the German pioneers.
    Coming out of the Metal genre,I recently got interested in early British Punk scene,the defying ,daring lyrics against the authority and really liked The Clash,The Sex Pistols.
    In “The Clash”,you will find everything reggae,punk,rock but the lyrics are the most interesting part.Their notable tracks are ‘The Magnificent Seven’,Death or Glory,Guns Of Brixton,London Calling….LONDON CALLING remains their most well-performed album till date.For Sex Pistols,get the album, “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols”
    Another British band I like ,The Smiths,the vocals of Morrissey,and the great guitar of Johnny Marr.are stuff to die for.Again suggesting a British band named Joy Division,the lead vocalist died at the age of 23,only two studio albums,but their influence stills remains huge on a large number of modern bands.
    I will suggest some American bands later,got to go,have an exam today.
    Keep In Touch..
    Enjoy your music…!!!

    Karan Sethi Reply:

    Hey Shiva , great to hear from you again . Yeah , I am a huge Slayer fan . Their earlier works ‘Haunting The Chapel’ and ‘Reign In Blood’ are amongst the most sinister , darkest albums you will ever subject your ears to . Sepultura’s ‘Arise’ and ‘Beneath The Remains’ are classics for me , basically the Max Cavalera era . And London Calling , and Never Mind The Bullocks , Here’s the Sex Pistols are definitely albums which have shaped the world of music , particularly Punk . Since you like punk , I strongly recommend ‘Agony & Irony’ by Alkaline Trio and ‘ The Sufferer and The Witness’ by Rise Against .

    Lemmy is just GOD . I mean the guy can still totally lay an arena to waste !!! Well , I think you’re really into the bit of a punk kinda hard-edged stuff . You should try the early Maiden Records and also stuff by Raven and Grim Reaper , in case you have’nt already . Both were a part of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal .

    And I am a huge Smiths fan . Dude you should totally check out Pavement , also formerly suggested by Mr. Narayan . And although I’m not a huge Joy Division fan , I do like some of their stuff . Also there was a movie , ‘Control’ made on the life and tragic death of Ian Curtis . A must watch for you …

    Great to hear from you man . Keep In touch and hope you aced that paper .

    Shiva_17 Reply:

    Hi Sanjoy
    I was wondering ,being an indie-rock fan,whether you have heard Interpol and Elbow…???
    Interpol is more popular but I liked Elbow too,I heard their Asleep In the Back (2001), and most recent The Seldom Seen Kid (2008),they have a great melancholic ambient sound,with britpop sensibility which really makes a pleasurable listening experience.
    Interpol is an American indie-rock band with more heavier sound,bit like Joy Division and White Lies.

    [Reply]

    Sanjoy Narayan Reply:

    Yes Interpol and Elbow are fine bands. Heard them both. More Interpol than Elbow, though :)

    [Reply]

    Sanjoy Narayan Reply:

    Thank you, Karan, for taking the time to write such a detailed comment. I have heard some of the bands you have mentioned. And shall certainly check out the rest.

    [Reply]

  • http://roadsandreasons.blogspot.com/ Ashish

    Sigur Rós is an amazing band.
    For me, the lyrics are as important as the music, but this is a complete exception – obviously not being able to understand what he is singing, but that voice is simply amazing. Their videos are pretty cool too. It was only after I watched the video for ‘Vaka’ from ‘()’ a couple of years ago and reading up about the album that I realised that the entire album has no actual lyrics and it’s completely made up. That’s a feature for quite a few of their songs.

    ‘Svefn-g-englar’ from ‘Ágætis byrjun’ is just like floating through space. Perfect for listening when you’re all alone.

    Apparently the band is on hiatus now. Darn.

    [Reply]

    Sanjoy Narayan Reply:

    Yes Sigur Ros are a great band. Thank you for your comment.

    [Reply]

  • AK

    Hi Sanjay, I like reading your columns and discovering new music. won’t say i agree with you all the time but respect your opinion on music.
    Anyways I’m writing in about the soon to be held “Rock in India’ concert, i just felt like pulling my hair out when i found out backstreet boys were headlining the show!! Backstreet boys! I mean Backstreet Boys!!
    Then i read what most papers were saying about this concert and I got more depressed to see how the media is ga ga that some has been band is coming to India and how this is the big time for Indian music. I mean Backstreet Boys!!
    So anyways i was delighted today when i read that the Rock in India website had been hacked and the hacker had basically put across mine and I am sure other Metal fans opinion on their site instead. screen grabs here (http://www.indiecision.com/2010/02/01/rockinindia-com-hacked/).
    I think you should pick up this story and put it in the mainstream outlet as i know a few people who had booked flight tickets and hotels and stuff to make it to the concert where they had initially promised big ticket rock and metal acts.
    Anyways cheers.

    AK

    [Reply]

  • http://bibekbhattacharya.blogspot.com Beq

    Hi Sanjoy,
    Check out the album “Riceboy Sleeps” by Jonsi and his partner Alex. Its an ambient-electronica album which is actually immensely listenable. Think of a mellower “Kid A”. Especially the track “Happiness” which is also featured in last year’s “Dark Was the Night” Indie compilation.

    [Reply]

    Sanjoy Narayan Reply:

    Yes, I have. It is indeed good. Thanks.

    [Reply]

  • Bijwat

    The impression that Congress took a hasty decision just before the poll after wasting more than nine years, is firmly embedded in the minds of voters. The unrest in AP and throughout India has already started. Therefore it is definite that Congress ship cannot escape sinking.

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  • Nation Builder

    Congress has always kept power interests above nation interest. It can go to any level to retain power, the country be damned.

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  • goldie

    claps claps claps….baba rey…such deep wisdom…!1

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  • Anonymous

    Bring your MLAs/MPs/Ministers/Speaker/Chief Minister family members to middle of the road and tell them to do fast-unto death

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  • Anonymous

    ‘Bhaago Italy Movement’ has started in Andhra Pradesh,India

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  • Rashida Khan

    Can’t wage reason against a country that is not capable of reasoning. Twenty years after Mumbai blasts with not a single Pakistani implicated being extradited for trial to India, military adventurism, attacks on Indian embassies in Afghanistan,etc. at what point does India keep avoiding drawing a land in the sand? Even its closest ally, the US does not trust Pakistan’s civilian government, why should India?

    Speak softly and carry a big stick– said Roosevelt, who never saw it fit to negotiate with Hitler, Hirohito, or Mussolini, even at a time when US was an unproven military power and no match to axis forces. While Chamberlain retired in ignominy after his “Peace in our time” tango with Hitler, Churchill and Roosevelt fought fire with fire to bring a decisive end to the third Reich.

    Pakistan has shown it is not a mature country. It has a radicalized army that dictates to the PM. After the decisive defeat of 1971, Pakistan became much more pliant to reason; at least until Zia offed Bhutto.Ever since then, Pak has gone back to being a tempestuous toddler among nations. It is time to administer some stiff medicine instead of giving more cookies to the toddler.

    [Reply]

  • Sohail

    Whatever the exigencies of the coming Indian elections, the fact remains that pakistan is in a state of utter chaos and vulnerable to its deep state and their jihadi assets. Things have come to such a pass that their Interior minister has stated that pakistan is fighting for its survival – and he is quite right.
    All this, ofcourse, poses problems for India too in that the pakistani deep state and its jihadi assets finding some relief in Afghanistan will turn their venom at India, not least to keep themselves relevant in pakistan.
    In such a scenario , peace talks with a civilian government that does not have control over its foreign policy would indeed be futile for India. A priori pakistan’s actions to eliminate its terrorists and those who nurture them must be the starting point of any Indian policy prescription that seeks to improve relations. Meanwhile, the means to give a lethal response to any misadventures, formal or informal, by pakistan and its `non state actors’ must be primed for swift delivery.

    [Reply]

    pankaj#1 Reply:

    Very intelligent post. In agreement with you.

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  • Sid

    Rage without Reason – Five soldiers brazenly killed and the writer wants Reason. If it were his brothers or relatives then would his reaction be the same? Living in Fool’s paradise!

    [Reply]

  • D. Kumar

    Mr. Sharma,

    It seems that your writing and reasoning skills are that of 8 std student and you can not even write a decent blog.

    What about hiring a ghost writer?

    Regards,
    Dushyant

    [Reply]

  • Hariharan

    A royal ignore to talks with pakistan for a decade at least meanwhile giving the army at ground zero the authority to act is the most viable and the best option
    We need firmness not pussyfooting at Delhi

    [Reply]

  • JB

    Vinod,

    Is it rage without reason? We are discussing a country that has checkmated the Soviet Union and even the mighty USA. Just imagine a country having the mental strength to hide Osama from the US right in its capital and when the cat is out claiming total ignorance and creating a situation where the US knowing well the truth helplessly accepts the official position, while at the same time milking the US to wage war against terrorism. India is no match for Pak policy makers. And there lies the cause for the anger: that there is no answer to such duplicity. Talk to that country to hearts content for sake of talking, because the Almighty has given us tongues. But never talk to them with any expectation!

    [Reply]

  • Rohit

    Yes, we will use reason – but only after the bloodshedding stops. It is utter foolishness to uphold reason when the army of the other party is freely indulging in killing our soldiers. My only advice to the author is to shut-up if he cannot show even a little bit of sympathy for the soldiers and BSF personnel whose hands are tied down and are falling prey to the fire from Pak.

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  • PDas

    Only one country is infiltrating borders. That country isn’t ours. Only one country’s government is trying to excuse the transgressions from across the border. That country isn’t theirs. Only one country’s media is talking of a peace when that peace is constantly shattered by another country’s transgressions. That country isn’t theirs. That’s the problem, author.

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  • Guest

    Only one country is infiltrating borders. That country isn’t ours. Only one country’s government is trying to excuse the transgressions from across the border. That country isn’t theirs. Only one country’s news channels are trying to force a baseless peace when that peace is constantly shattered by another country’s transgressions. That country isn’t theirs. That’s the problem, author.

    [Reply]

  • Guest

    Only one country is infiltrating borders. That country isn’t ours. Only one country’s government is trying to excuse the transgressions from across the border. That country isn’t theirs. Only one country’s news channels are trying to force a baseless peace when that peace is constantly shattered by another’s transgressions. That country isn’t theirs. That’s the problem, author.

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  • prashant saxena

    There is no reasoning with someone who kills your soldiers. If Pakistan killed your son on Indian soil, when he was doing his job, would you want some action to be taken? Pakistan is killing Indian soldiers. It is the duty of a nation to stand behind it’s troops and go to war if they are killed. If the nation doesn’t do it’s duty, the troops will also stop doing their duty.

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  • Anangsen

    “bold, imaginative and compassionate.”

    Only when it comes to the people of India, not for a global sponsor of terror!

    I strongly disagree with Karan Singh’s drive because we have to be bold, decisive, and formidable! Time for hijra-style pussilanimity is over. We do not need the ‘love’ of pakis, we must command their RESPECT! Respect for strength, for CONSEQUENCES!

    [Reply]

  • Jyotisman Dasgupta

    I totaly agree with Vinod. Jingoism is at a all time high and lot of that is media creation. Whenever Pakistan troops kill our soldiers at the border, these sentiments are stoked by the media, particularly Times Now. They urge the government to act, not wait for the next incident to take place. For that brief period of debate and discussion, nationalistic sentiments are aroused and painful memories of Kalra’s beheading or Sarabjit’s torture and eventual dealth brought to light. It is true we need to learn our lessons. But what can be a befitting reply to a nuclear country which is waging a war in its own turf against home grown militancy?. While i do agree that Pakistan is not doing enough to punish the master mind criminals of 26/11, there is no other way other than peaceful dialogue to resolve bilateral issues with any country. Any sane minded individual will realize that peace is far better option than to stop all talks till everything gets back to normal. Probably that is a perfect world that will never happen. There is a big community in Pakistan that is eager to establish good relations with India. However such voices get drowned in the jingoism and hysteria that we hear on both sides of the border. There is a hypocrisy that we all see in the way Pakistan establishment works. Keeping Kashmir issue alive and fomenting trouble across the border is inherent to its survival. However for how long?

    [Reply]

    pankaj#1 Reply:

    Dasguptaji;
    We will interact.
    But for the present, Ye kahani fir kabhi.

    [Reply]

  • bala srinivasan

    For 66 years INDIA has restrained its rage,swallowed its anger for what some more?enough is enough Pakistan is not equal partner&will never be inspite of its nuclear threat.Time to draw the line in the sand.They want an excuse to go down,may be time we gave them that.

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  • Vamshi

    How long more do you want to wait before we strike back. Self defense is not jingoism.

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  • Haris Chaudhry

    As a Pakistani, I strongly believe that our establishment is doing it all over again in a mad rush to snatch the lead from Nawaz Sharif and set the tone of Indo-Pak bilateral relations. Only Nawaz Sharif’s government has the potential, capability, mandate and support to “bell the cat” however the headstrong cat wants to stay a few paces ahead of the pack ! As much as I support India’s disbelief and rage, this very ‘reaction to teach Pakistan a lesson” is exactly what the khakis (establishment) are after in Pakistan ! They understand the power of loud-media and the momentum of hysteria that could build-off following inaction over Kargil and Mumbia blast by Pakistan !
    The logical thing is to ‘teach Pakistan a thing or two by disengaging’. The illogical but more tactful approach is to bite the tongue and just give an opprortunity for civilian Pak government to set the negotiating agenda !

    Let me assure you (having spoken to a number of high ranking stalwarts within Pak’s ruling party) that there is utmost angst and frustration by this pre-emptive measure and that the ruling party is hellbent and very focussed to take the lead back (even risking a severe blow back domestically through right wing media) and set the tone for bilateral relations !

    Nawaz Sharif’s PML (N) has right wing elements but those are very few and far between especially when it comes to stopping terror from our soil, normalising trade and enhancing people to people contact !

    I urge Indians to refuse to let themselves in being ‘part of the game’ being played ! Please be patient if you can ! The momentum is gradually shifting and it will not be long before the feathers are clipped by an assertive civilian dispensation in Pak.

    Haris

    [Reply]

    Salman Chengazhi Reply:

    Dear Haris,

    You do have a point. Certainly our civilian setup and especially PML (N) is rather young to tackle our khaki gernaills. Infact it has always been a difficult and challenging task whenever we would like to assert a political influence over army. Always a bargaining situation for which we need to have military’s consent to go ahead and accomplish even a civilian objective. But again we (the common citizens of Pakistan) can pray and play a positive role in building infrastructure of the country that has much to achieve and uplift life of terror struck citizens.

    What and where I differ with you is the military’s role for the past few years as engaged with homegrown war and involved in full time military operations on the western front. Separatist movements in Baluchistan and in FATA regions of the country why would you believe that military would like to open a new front on its eastern side and engage in confrontation with India? What again keeps me guessing is the statement made by Indian Defense minister A.K Antony disbelieving that Pak is behind recent escalations/violations between India and Pakistan. That was made ’shut up’ by strong opposition (BJP) that made Antony to change his stance. IMO despite our military’s India centric focus we cannot let go the possibility of tensions originating from Indian side especially when elections are around the corner. This has worked where civilians will always look the other side to act as massiha and save the ailing conditions and sentiments of ordinary citizens. I believe this is politically motivated by BJP to gain vote bank and political sympathies in the hearts and minds of general masses.

    Salman

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  • Ramesh Narain Kurpad

    the most baffling reality is – how is lata mangeshkar better qualified than rafi saaheb in having been awarded the bharat ratna so many years back.

    a rafi award is greater than the bharat ratna.

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  • pankaj#1

    Best lines read since quite sometime.

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  • Anonymous

    India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru defined the philosophical debate in Indian politics till his death in 1964. The worldview he espoused has come to be known as Nehruvian. It entailed pervasive state control over the economy, an idealistic stance in foreign affairs, and special consideration to certain communities in domestic policy.
    But the Congress was far from a one-man or one-ideology party in the 1950s—it was a big tent with a vibrant right wing, too. Its decline as a political institution began under Nehru, who was the first prime minister to abuse Article 356 and dismiss Kerala’s elected state government in 1959. Even if Nehru was not inclined to take this position, he reportedly allowed himself to be overruled by the Congress president, his daughter Indira Gandhi, whom he had gotten installed as party president. This Stalinist template, where no distinction is made between party and state, and the executive is debased at the expense of the party, was pioneered by Nehru and has been followed by almost all successive Congress prime ministers: Manmohan Singh has only elevated it to a new high. The emasculation of inner-party democracy accelerated under Indira Gandhi, was continued by her son Rajiv Gandhi and has been dutifully carried forward by his wife Sonia Gandhi.
    Jivatram Bhagwandas Kripalani opposed Nehru vigorously on the issue of allowing separate personal laws for Muslims in 1955, charging him with communalism on the floor of Parliament. C. Rajagopalachariquit the Congress at age 80 in 1959 to establish the Swatantra Party, espousing economic liberalism. “The Congress Party has swung to the Left, what is wanted is not an ultra or outer-Left…but a strong and articulate Right,” Rajaji wrote in his essay Our Democracy. The Swatantra Party was later hounded by Indira Gandhi, who nationalized industries to decimate Swatantra Party’s financial backers. It was a classic case of destroying economic freedom to kill political freedom.
    But Nehru’s most formidable ideological opponent was Vallabhbhai Patel, and it was Patel’s death on 15 December, 1950, that accelerated India’s tilt towards the left.
    Patel’s worldview was substantively different from Nehru’s in many important spheres. Despite opposition from Nehru, Patel got a mosque shifted—whether one agrees with it or not—to rebuild a temple at Somnath that had been repeatedly destroyed over the centuries by Muslim invaders. Mahatma Gandhi gave his blessings to Patel but wanted no public funds to be used for the construction of the temple. On China, their views differed with Patel advocating help to Tibet when it was invaded—and Patel turned out to be right. On Kashmir’s accession to India, Patel’s realism was again overruled, and Nehru needlessly internationalized the issue by inviting intervention from the United Nations.
    On economic issues too, they had significant differences, with Patel repeatedly opposing Nehru’s demand for establishing the Planning Commission. It was on Patel’s insistence that the Commission was given an advisory role only, with its policies subject to the Union cabinet’s review and approval. Nehru wanted to define the purpose of planning as the elimination of “the motive of private gain in economic activity or organization of society and the antisocial concentration of wealth and means of production.” Patel prevailed over him and got this language deleted.
    That Nehru sought to endow an unconstitutional body with such sweeping powers only betrays his affinity for a centralized, anti-market, if not communist, approach to economic development.
    Their positions on zamindari abolition and the use of eminent domain for land acquisition further illuminate their philosophical leanings. Patel wanted compensation as market price plus 15%, while Nehru favoured no compensation. Patel also successfully supported Rajendra Prasad for President of India, and Purushottam Das Tandon for Congress party president in 1950, not just for ideological reasons but also to show Nehru that he couldn’t always dictate terms. Only Patel commanded the political heft to counter Nehru, and with his demise, the right wing within the Congress lost its strongest ballast.
    Just as with Swami Vivekananda, leftist intellectuals are confused whether to re-appropriate the legacy of Patel, or to escalate their attacks to make them toxic for the right. They are tempted to try re-appropriation because of the titanic stature of these individuals, but at the same time they are unable to reconcile the liberal views of Patel and Vivekananda with their own collectivist dogma, which they have managed to label as liberal.
    In such a political-historical context enters Narendra Modi. His economic record has been debated threadbare. There have been cases where newspapers have published false data, perhaps in their eagerness to bring down his record, and then retracted. Nobody credible doubts that Modi’s tenure as Gujarat chief minister has accelerated Gujarat’s economic progress.
    Modi’s critics argue that he may be a good administrator, but he isn’t inclusive and is autocratic. He has been said to be insufficiently reformist. Above all, Narendra Modi is not secular—he is painted as someone who is too divisive and obdurate to lead a diverse nation like India.
    This is an inaccurate narrative. The word inclusive has become a euphemism to justify irresponsible government spending, often based upon identity, and it is parroted by all who believe in the type of socialism that kept India impoverished for decades. Even the darling of the self-described secular crowd, JDU’s Nitish Kumar, is a dyed-in-the-wool socialist from the Ram Manohar Lohia school of thought.
    Kumar’s government already receives over 75% of its revenue from New Delhi, yet he agitates for more. The sustainability of his Bihar model will be determined by his ability to extract taxpayer funds remitted from other parts of India. Essentially, Kumar is willing to barter political support in exchange for even more funds from New Delhi.
    This kind of parasitic growth is unsustainable and undesirable. Not only does it hurt the poor, it weakens India’s federal structure by centralizing power in New Delhi and by making states dependent on Union government handouts. To quote economist Frédéric Bastiat, Kumar seems to believe in the fiction that everyone can live at the expense of everybody else.
    In stark contrast, Modi stands out as the only major Indian political leader since Atal Bihari Vajpayee to advocate that government has no business to be in business. No mass leader in recent times, even from the BJP, has been as explicit in expressing this view on the role of government. India has witnessed economic growth since 1991 because the government stepped back from areas where it had no reason to be in the first place. It is economic liberalism that has catalyzed economic growth in India, and strong doses of it are the need of the hour. Modi has spoken unequivocally in favour of federalism and decentralization, too, calling for flexibility to state governments in designing welfare schemes.
    In India, one is branded communal if one doesn’t support state welfare of citizens based on religious criteria. This is a hideous perversion of secularism. Can UK’s prime minister or the US president get away with saying that any one community has the first right over the country’s resources? Yet, in India, Manmohan Singh said exactly this for Muslims, and is considered secular. The hideousness of secular politics has plumbed new depths in recent times. During a rally at Azamgarh at the time of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, Congress parliamentarian Salman Khurshid said that the Congress president “wept bitterly” on seeing images of the encounter that took place at Batla House. Congress leaders like Digivijay Singh insisted the encounter was fake before a judicial verdict was delivered. Tears were shed for the terrorists killed in the encounter, but apparently there were no tears shed for policeman Mohan Chand Sharma, who was murdered by the terrorists at Batla House.
    The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government has gone so far as to advocate special courts for Muslims to expedite trials for them. Don’t members of other communities deserve speedier justice?
    Patel had severe disagreements with Nehru and Abul Kalam Azad over the allocation of housing in Delhi that used to be occupied by Muslims who, after partition, migrated to Pakistan. Nehru and Azad insisted that only Muslims should stay in those homes, whereas Patel held that no secular government could take such a stand. The gatekeepers of secularism would have charged Patel as communal today, just as they attack Modi as communal for upholding the same principle.
    Patel unreservedly condemned the methods adopted by communists as being against the rule of law – he said that “their philosophy is to exploit every situation, to create chaos and anarchy, in the belief that, in such conditions, it would be possible for them to seize power.”
    The same charges – fascist, communalist, capitalist—made against Patel during his lifetime and since his demise have been levelled against Modi. This only shows that the Nehruvian consensus has never been so threatened in India as it is today—and those wedded to Nehru’s ideas will do everything they can to prevent the implosion of this consensus.
    -
    http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/DCrr6B9v1MvR6QTEMGDcJM/Narendra-Modi-as-the-antiNehru.html

    [Reply]

  • Ravi

    To my friends who for years have been harping about Muslims in the UK being prosecuted for child grooming.

    Please read the following and re-asses your views.

    Is there a Sikh code of silence on sexual grooming?

    By Zack Adesina BBC News

    Six men were jailed at Leicester Crown Court last week for offences including facilitating child prostitution. The convictions are being heralded as a legal landmark because it is the first high-profile case involving a Sikh victim of sexual abuse which has led to convictions in the UK.

    However, Inside Out London has uncovered evidence that there are potentially dozens of other young Sikh victims of sexual exploitation and few of these cases have come to court.

    The Sikh Awareness Society (SAS), a charity which focuses on family welfare, claims it has investigated more than 200 reports of child sexual grooming in the UK over the past five years.

    However, there are no official statistics to support this claim, because incidents of sexual abuse featuring Sikh minors are rarely reported to the authorities.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23921570

    A half hour BBC TV programme was dedicated to the subject. There have been similar programmes on Catholic Priests.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    so what is your point

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    US court summons Sonia Gandhi

    newindianexpress.com/nation/US-court-summons-Sonia-Gandhi/2013/09/04/article1767534.ece

    On a complaint by a Sikh group, a US federal court has issued summons against Congress party president Sonia Gandhi for shielding party officials allegedly involved in inciting attacks on Sikhs in November 1984, an attorney said.

    In a class action suit filed Tuesday before the district court of Eastern District of New York, “Sikhs For Justice” (SFJ), a US-based human rights group, and other victims of the November 1984 anti-Sikh violence have sought compensatory and punitive damages against Gandhi.

    According to SFJ attorney Gurpatwant S. Pannun, under federal rules, it has 120 days to serve the summons and complaint on Gandhi who is currently visiting the US for medical check-up.

    The suit under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) accuses Gandhi of shielding and protecting Kamal Nath, Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler and other Congress party leaders from being prosecuted for their alleged role in the 1984 violence.

    The 27-page complaint against Gandhi alleges that between Nov 1 and 4, 1984 about 30,000 members of the Sikh community “were intentionally tortured, raped and murdered by groups that were incited, organized, controlled and armed” by the ruling Congress party.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous
  • pankaj#1

    Will someone compare CBI to IB. IB has recently got Yasin Bhatkal.
    it is pertinent to note that CBI tried to run down IB few weeks back.
    CBI has been reduced to handmaiden of UPA. IB is trying to maintain a sembalance of independence. This UPA government has been working worse than ISI, as it is hurting India from inside.

    [Reply]

  • saffronKachha

    Eve-teasing flared up the sentiments both in Godhara and Muzaffarnagar.

    It took the “communal colour” after “Level 2″ action by the political party/ies.

    That’s the story of communal riots everywhere, Muzzaffarnagar not in particular..

    [Reply]

  • pankaj#1

    Vinodji;
    Can you define communalism and secularism?? No, not INDIAN POLITICAL DEFINITION, but definition, as given in English dictionaries or as these words are interpreted in western English speaking communities. Indian politicians have completely put the meaning of said words on its head.
    I am totally against communal politics, absolutely, but what is communalism?? You extolled, Chaudhary charan singh for practicing caste/ communal politics (Jat, backwards, Muslims). You have no objection at all to SP’s M-Y grouping( Again a caste/ communal approach). Congress and all other parties, like Trinamool( pensions to Imams, madarsa support) are secular? How come? you are supporting a religious set up, yourself highlighting that it is being done as the organization is MUSLIM. Is this not a communal politics? First define your definition of these words.
    A sense is being generated amongst Muslims by these so called secular parties that they can go scot free, even if they breach law or act offensively against their majority neighbours. Spate of sexual molestation by muslims, of girls/ women by muslim goons or not even goons, give the impression that they have perceived an idea that they are free to act in a wanton way. ( Azad maidan, repeated rape cases, involving muslims, many a times, a in general a kid glove treatment, even when they commit a crime). and what Modi does? he spares no wrong doers. That is secularism. That is Dharmnirpekshata. Equal opportunity to everyone and RULE OF LAW.

    [Reply]

  • pankaj#1
  • pankaj#1

    HT.
    Muzaffarnagar is burning and your headline is Delhi Rape verdict. BTW, that is also your shame.
    So, now, in UP it is SP and psuedo seculars versus BJP or RLD.
    Where is Congress?? Congress of yore, which showed the path to Indians, India?? Not this present – Galeez- Congress and its MSM and pichhlagoos.

    [Reply]

  • pankaj#1

    All;
    For some reason, I see that many supporters of present Congress regime are Brahmins. Why?? have Brahmins lost their moorings? Yes they have long time ago. But this is time of existential crisis. They should go back to Dharma, righteousness. These words sound incongruous in present time?? yes and NO. Indian have been trying to be politically correct for long. This is inflection time. no more be courteous and correct, politically. All these SPs, BSPs, Lalus,Conggies, Mulayams have to be told that they are wrong and this will not be tolerated in the name of Secularism/Communalism.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    It is but obvious that many parties like Samajwadi and Congress have hijacked the word secular and pretend to be high priests of morlaliy by calling others communal.

    Deep inside they encourage clashes between communities to get votes. We had seen the COngress back Bhindranwala in Punjab and we are seeing now and we are also seeing Mulayam SIngh and Azam Khan encourage the hardline Muslim fundamentalists in UP.

    [Reply]

  • Guest

    A man who brandishes his communalism on his sleeve will naturally remain silent on M’nagar – far from condemning it, its a small mercy that he is yet to condone it. Can’t expect anything better from a CM – one shudders to think that such a man is PM candidate of of a major party. Its like asking a Ku Klux Klan honcho to be a presidential candidate of the USA.

    [Reply]

  • anil

    Why Modi silent? Because he prefers to do things and not talk!

    Modi (and his supporters) waiting to see what best you come up with and what solution you got to offer! Come on.

    [Reply]

  • anil

    [A section of the media considers Narendra Modi’s speech at a gathering of ex-servicemen in Rewari as statesman-like. ]

    If you were not anti-people in your DNA, you could also be happy and could give a resounding thumbs up, the way Modi gave the talk! You failed again! Your opening line could have been different!

    [Reply]

  • hai huku

    Kaha se aaya Modi Muzaffarnagar.

    Modi Modi laga rakhi hain.
    Rahul Baba is useless.

    [Reply]

  • BHK

    These are retired servicemen – whats wrong with them being political and where is the question of Army being political because of this. It looks like the author wants anybody in military to be denied their political rights for the rest of their lives. It is silly to say military is politicized because ex-servicemen choose to join politics.

    They are seeking benefits and no govt official listens to them. There was a Sikh General on TV who explained how they sent letters to ALL political party leaders and ONLY BJP responded. They assured the ex-servicemen supports for their demands like one-rank-one-pension.
    Its isn’t enough for leaders to just sing platitudes for servicemen. They need to show support and understand and appreciate the sacrifices they make.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    Paid stooge of Congress and nothing more.

    [Reply]

  • Vinay Dey

    Sumit Bose thank god you are not in Canada. They would have thrown you out without trouble. Just to let you Indian Immigrant Mr Doshanj was PM of British Coulbia and there are people like you are here too. But he won.Even after 35 years or so after her marriage you cannopt accept her as part of India. And we call other racist.People like you should be shamed.Are u sure you are Bengali.Even now WB dont have BJP in the province.

    [Reply]

    pankaj#1 Reply:

    Vinay Dey,
    Do you have balls to interact with me? One to One. I promise, you will have enlightenment!!! R U game??

    [Reply]

    Sumit Bose Reply:

    Vinay, i need no homilies about xenophobia, but it rankles me that our beloved Italian ex-maid has been named in 2011 as the 4th wealthiest politician of the world!!!!
    I would be just as incensed if Jyoti Basu or Lallu Prasad or Modi were named by a reputed mag as Business Insider at that or any spot in the list of the wealthiest politician of the world.
    I am Bengali enough to realize that while Mother Theresa did provide help to homeless people, remain incensed at the “soul harvesting” that was being done by her set-up. Germaine Greer
    ( Austrailian writer) has exposed this very elegantly. I am Bengali enough to voice my indignation at the defeatist leftists who felled Bengal down, to make possible the conditions for people as Mother Theresa to thrive.
    Here steps in the duplicity, the feigned ignorance at the wholesale loot of the treasury. I am just as exercised as all patriotic Indians that this Italian ex-maid has not yet surrendered her Italian citizenship and yet holds an Indian passport, when the laws of the land are clear.
    I am stating anything about the thousands of crores of loot on during UPA1 and UPA2, that instantly trivializes Indira Gandhi ( mataJi) and Rajiv Gandhi ( bananJi) scales of corruption as insignificant loose change.
    Did Mr Doshanj enrich himself at the cost to good governance?????
    Looks like you are one more pseudo Leftist without any ideas.

    [Reply]

  • Lucky

    As expected, again its Modi cs Universe… I mean seriously you expect hum to talk about everything under the sun!!! Everything in this world is not Modi’s fault… This selective aggression of the media is crossing its limits…

    [Reply]

  • Lakshmi

    Next time I would like to know your views in ” why Sonia ma’m has failed to reach out to kedarnath victims but keen to visit muzzafir riot victims, particularly those of just one community, along with her son??”

    My logic tells me that kedarnath doesnt offer any vote banks and visiting them is fruitless but a riot area can provide vote…

    [Reply]

  • Anil

    (“They are on secular tourism,” said party vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.)

    Well said. Short and to the point.

    [Reply]

    Prem Reply:

    That means what Mr Vajpayee did by visiting Gujrat in 2002 was also on secular tourism. He did not visit any hindu area in 2012 after the riots. BJP VP should check his memory before putting such stupid comments.

    [Reply]

  • neeraj

    Riots in UP….no headlines in media after 2 days….2002 riots still making headlines…..stop this congress bias…media has to realize ppl are not stupid…

    [Reply]

  • Prem

    And what is NaMo’s qualification? Isn’t NaMo a national leader now and if he is not then why is he PM candidate? from BJP.

    [Reply]

  • lakashaka

    how come you expect everything’s and anything’s explanation / answer from Modi?

    [Reply]

  • Indian_Abroad

    Modi is not Digvijay.
    He does not have to say anything on everything.

    [Reply]

  • pankaj#1

    Kanishka;
    Please enlighten me.

    [Reply]

  • Sumit Bose

    Cutlet, you are totally blind, deaf and dumb to the brazen and repeated acts of violence of one particularly nasty community, that seem to have a total monopoly over brutality and looting. The patriotic Indians have been tolerating it for too long and the political masters of the land have always been super-lenient to this band of vandals. The BJP and VHP are a direct spin-off of the repeated belligenrence of this nasty group of pseudo-arab converts and the political groups that nurture them as milch cattle.

    [Reply]

  • ANIL KUMAR

    Fact: (1) Muslim boy molests a jaat girl
    (2) When objected by her brothers a muslim mob kills brothers
    (3)Police arrests all the people involved in murder
    (4)Azam Khan gets those criminals released within hours
    (5) Jaats complain and think about panchayat
    (6) A muslim meeting addressed by BSP SP CONG leaders incite violence and warn against mahapanchay, this happens breakign 144
    (7) Mahapanchayt happens BJP leader are there their videos is availabel nto even a single msg of incitement if anything de were calming ppl down. this too happens breaking 144
    (8) people returnign from Mahapanchayt gets attcked around 30 dead
    (9) Then riot spreads
    Rulers are SP in state congres in Centre where from BJP comes in picture. Why should Modi be speakign on this responisble people from BJP have taken cognizance and given their view.
    Narendra Modi wants debate on givernance corruption inflation ghotala. Congres doesn;t want debate on these lines hence these riots..

    [Reply]

  • Lakshmi

    What political advantage can a calamity hitten place offer???? But the post riot place is a different story…

    [Reply]

  • pankaj#1

    Vinodji;
    Who is communal?? SP, Congress, BSP, TMC, Communists or BJP.
    answer is loud and clear. BJP is the only secular party, Dharm nirpeksh. Rest are very much involved in doing politics of religion. You do not want to see, despite evedences galore, infront of you.

    [Reply]

  • Sumit Bose

    This guy must be drawing a fat packet from our beloved Italian ex-maid’s mafiosi to keep on writing tilted articles after articles. Why not just shift to write for the Corrupt Party’s official mouthpiece?

    That atleast will save you from all the rotten eggs and slippers you get in HT.

    [Reply]

  • Guest

    Naidu would have to sacrifice a lot in terms of Muslim vote in Andhra and Rayalseema areas – he is almost lost in Telangana now. Moreover, with Jagan breathing down his neck, Naidu is in a lot more trouble than the Congress in AP. If at this stage Naidu goes in for an alliance with the BJP, both will sink together – Jagan would call the shots while Congress lords it out in both the states after bifurcation of AP and Telangana.
    Naidu & Modi cannot be put together again – as with Dumpty BJP, Humpty TDP would take a not-so-royal tumble down there.

    [Reply]

    pankaj#1 Reply:

    Guest;
    It is you, who is gloating. You are Ok with Jagan- the most corrupt person will lord it over and you like this scenario. wow.

    [Reply]

    pankaj#1 Reply:

    Guest;
    It is you, who is gloating. You are Ok with Jagan- the most corrupt person will lord it over and you like this scenario. wow.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    http://www.arunjaitley.com/en/my-opinion-inside.php?id=231&mode=Read&icatId=13

    Uncovering Covert operation

    I had on 4th June 2013 written an article “Should CBI uncover the Intelligence Bureau”. A lot more has happened since then. Disclosures in relation to certain activities of the Indian army now raise a larger question – ‘”Should covert operations be leaked out by the government and made a subject matter of public debate”.

    Security Scenario

    India has a vulnerable security scenario. In the last two decades we have been victim of cross border terrorism. We have lost more innocent citizens to insurgency than through conventional wars. Initially terrorism was cross border. Today many local modules are operating within the country. A large part of central India is in the grip of Maoist violence. The Prime Minister once described it as the most serious challenge the country is facing. There is insurgency in several states of the North-East. Successive governments have either tried to negotiate settlements or strengthened the security set up to counter this insurgency in the North East. The military police approach to counter these anti national activities is partly successful. The need is to strengthen our intelligence agencies so that they are able to uncover the activities of groups which spread terror and insurgency. Needless to say that in fighting terrorism our intelligence agencies have met with a reasonable success and busted many modules both domestic and cross border.

    While the role of the intelligence agencies is to develop their own capabilities they need to create strategic assets. They have to infiltrate into these modules. They need to befriend the communities where such modules are active. They use technology in order to intercept their communications. They need to infiltrate into their activities internationally and develop contacts within the governments abroad or with groups, which operate parallel to the targets of our investigation.

    The hard fact is that in a country with serious security threats, the existence of these activities of intelligence agencies has to be strengthened. Intelligence agencies have to conduct various covert operations. And yet there has to be an element of deniability in the covert operations. They must be happening but we do not admit them or talk about them. Larger public interest demands this. My charge against the UPA government is that for narrow political interest it has deliberately leaked out the covert operations in two cases thereby creating a serious set back to our counter insurgency operations.

    The Ishrat Jehan case

    I will not make a detailed comment on the Ishrat case since have already written about it extensively on 4th June, 2013. It is now clear that this was a part of the counter terror activities of a central agency. The UPA government needs to seriously introspect whether it acted in national interest when it altered the affidavit of the Home Ministry before the Gujarat High court thereby disowning what its own agencies have allegedly done. It intended to use the ever obliging CBI to target police officials of Gujarat and certain BJP leaders of Gujarat. However, the hard truth is that it was an operation of the Central Government and not of the Gujarat government. In the process all that the Central Government achieved was to uncover the covert operation of an intelligence agency.

    The alleged army pay-offs in Jammu and Kashmir

    I am unaware of the truth or otherwise of the allegation. The government leak published in a newspaper indicated that a certain politician of Jammu & Kashmir had received funds for allegedly toppling the state government. The former army chief has stated that the army does make payments to stabilize the system in states affected by insurgency. It stabilizes them by either helping the community through community friendly activities or otherwise. None of us knows or is entitled to know the details of these activities. The Right to information cannot apply to these activities. The CBI cannot invoke its investigative jurisdiction to start investigating whether secret funds have been properly spent by the Intelligence Bureau, the R&AW or the Military Intelligence or by any other agency. . All these activities are neither accountable to Parliament nor judicially justiceable. These are a part of the covert operations The desirability and the appropriateness of these activities is a subject matter for the Government of the day to decide. Prime Ministers, Home Ministers, Defence Ministers, Chief of the Army staff, heads of IB and R&AW and several others in the government are privy to information which must necessarily die with them. It cannot become a part of their memoirs. Should such an information have been leaked out by the political establishment which had a problem with the former Army Chief? Pushed to a corner should the Army Chief at all have admitted that such payments were indeed undertaken? The UPA government has abandoned its’ state-craft. It does not mind if the country is hurt as long as the UPA can score points when faced with a certain electoral defeat.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    http://www.arunjaitley.com/en/my-opinion-inside.php?id=231&mode=Read&icatId=13

    Uncovering Covert operation

    I had on 4th June 2013 written an article “Should CBI uncover the Intelligence Bureau”. A lot more has happened since then. Disclosures in relation to certain activities of the Indian army now raise a larger question – ‘”Should covert operations be leaked out by the government and made a subject matter of public debate”.

    Security Scenario

    India has a vulnerable security scenario. In the last two decades we have been victim of cross border terrorism. We have lost more innocent citizens to insurgency than through conventional wars. Initially terrorism was cross border. Today many local modules are operating within the country. A large part of central India is in the grip of Maoist violence. The Prime Minister once described it as the most serious challenge the country is facing. There is insurgency in several states of the North-East. Successive governments have either tried to negotiate settlements or strengthened the security set up to counter this insurgency in the North East. The military police approach to counter these anti national activities is partly successful. The need is to strengthen our intelligence agencies so that they are able to uncover the activities of groups which spread terror and insurgency. Needless to say that in fighting terrorism our intelligence agencies have met with a reasonable success and busted many modules both domestic and cross border.

    While the role of the intelligence agencies is to develop their own capabilities they need to create strategic assets. They have to infiltrate into these modules. They need to befriend the communities where such modules are active. They use technology in order to intercept their communications. They need to infiltrate into their activities internationally and develop contacts within the governments abroad or with groups, which operate parallel to the targets of our investigation.

    The hard fact is that in a country with serious security threats, the existence of these activities of intelligence agencies has to be strengthened. Intelligence agencies have to conduct various covert operations. And yet there has to be an element of deniability in the covert operations. They must be happening but we do not admit them or talk about them. Larger public interest demands this. My charge against the UPA government is that for narrow political interest it has deliberately leaked out the covert operations in two cases thereby creating a serious set back to our counter insurgency operations.

    The Ishrat Jehan case

    I will not make a detailed comment on the Ishrat case since have already written about it extensively on 4th June, 2013. It is now clear that this was a part of the counter terror activities of a central agency. The UPA government needs to seriously introspect whether it acted in national interest when it altered the affidavit of the Home Ministry before the Gujarat High court thereby disowning what its own agencies have allegedly done. It intended to use the ever obliging CBI to target police officials of Gujarat and certain BJP leaders of Gujarat. However, the hard truth is that it was an operation of the Central Government and not of the Gujarat government. In the process all that the Central Government achieved was to uncover the covert operation of an intelligence agency.

    The alleged army pay-offs in Jammu and Kashmir

    I am unaware of the truth or otherwise of the allegation. The government leak published in a newspaper indicated that a certain politician of Jammu & Kashmir had received funds for allegedly toppling the state government. The former army chief has stated that the army does make payments to stabilize the system in states affected by insurgency. It stabilizes them by either helping the community through community friendly activities or otherwise. None of us knows or is entitled to know the details of these activities. The Right to information cannot apply to these activities. The CBI cannot invoke its investigative jurisdiction to start investigating whether secret funds have been properly spent by the Intelligence Bureau, the R&AW or the Military Intelligence or by any other agency. . All these activities are neither accountable to Parliament nor judicially justiceable. These are a part of the covert operations The desirability and the appropriateness of these activities is a subject matter for the Government of the day to decide. Prime Ministers, Home Ministers, Defence Ministers, Chief of the Army staff, heads of IB and R&AW and several others in the government are privy to information which must necessarily die with them. It cannot become a part of their memoirs. Should such an information have been leaked out by the political establishment which had a problem with the former Army Chief? Pushed to a corner should the Army Chief at all have admitted that such payments were indeed undertaken? The UPA government has abandoned its’ state-craft. It does not mind if the country is hurt as long as the UPA can score points when faced with a certain electoral defeat.

    [Reply]

    pankaj#1 Reply:

    Mohan;
    You again beat me by 6 hours. This is what is bothering me to no end.
    Who says Pakistan needs ISI. Congress/ UPA is good enough to do their biddings.

    [Reply]

    pankaj#1 Reply:

    Mohan;
    You again beat me by 6 hours. This is what is bothering me to no end.
    Who says Pakistan needs ISI. Congress/ UPA is good enough to do their biddings.

    [Reply]

    Bystander Reply:

    I have a basic question for you.
    What institutional instruments does the legislature have for auditing executive functions ?
    Think about it and then respond back.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    I am not at all happy how this incident is being played in media. Don’t know who had leaked this, most probably it is someone from the government but publishing the details in a news papers was bad and the reaction by V K Singh was even worse. These are very sensitive matters and should never be discussed in media. Where your question is concerned, I think you should address that to Mr. Jaitlley.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    Vinodji,

    Mohan Bhai has only reproduced Arun Jaitley’s article.

    The auditing part is irrelevant, because the system is in place for the last 65 years and has done the country incalculable service to the country.

    Therefore, forget audit of the secret funds of the intelligence agencies and SLEEP TIGHT.

    [Reply]

    saffronKachha Reply:

    CBI must uncover any “rogue IB agent” with personal agenda which is not “aligned” with the National mandate.

    One Rogue agent is not whole IB. Get off the high horse !

    [Reply]

  • pankaj#1

    All;
    For the first time, I am appreciating Rahul Gandhi. he has the moral courage- though not enough- to denounce this ordinace, which was allowing criminals to keep their seat. Good work.

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  • Ni2

    Wind of Hindu fascism is blowing strong.

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  • Ni2

    Acute nationalism is an element of Fascism..bad for the country

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  • Anonymous

    BJP SHOULD STRIKE A DEAL WITH jAGAN

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  • pankaj#1

    Vinod;
    Lalu from Jail and Rabri from home, will run RJD.
    Your comments please??

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  • Sujoy

    The vote swing percentage in favour of
    opposition is a matter even if the duration for which a ruling entity has been
    in power. There are and were many states where single party ruled for a longer time even after less achievements e.g. West Bengal. Actually it is true that winning the election in India is very much
    depends on how effectively the party deploys its social engineering strategy.
    Why so? Because in India, a large chunk of the voters are not provoked by the
    GDP or CAD numerics but by false promises and elections sops. It is because of
    the very fact that these socially engineered voters are not educated in that
    sense even if we can considering them as literate. There should be a minimum
    educational qualification is required for eligible voter, otherwise country
    will run by the people like XYZ. Democracy hardly means you will open the gate
    for options which will ruin the country. A serious amendment is required for
    the good of the country and its people.
    Aam Aadmi Party- Its entry has made the contest right and truly
    triangular: I hope AAP would create right kind of noise in the expectation of both the
    parties BJP & Congress. I would like to put AAP this way – Suppose even if
    we consider anti incumbency factor in Delhi, it will happen for both parties
    BJP and Congress because of AAP. If I am a supporter of congress and not happy with its
    governance in Delhi, now I have two options AAP and BJP, similar fact
    is true for BJP supporter also. AAP will eat votes of both the parties and as a
    result situation will be tricky where margin of winning vote % was close in the past. Now
    seat can go either way. At the same time if we are not ready to consider AAP as a black
    horse, then actually we are convincing ourselves that “Corruption and mis-governance
    is not a factor in Delhi. It is something else that we are up to.
    The result of assembly elections, especially of Delhi will
    matter for coming general elections only when BJP will win it because of change
    in capital power. This win will run Modi blower for a longer period, which is essential
    for BJP to sustain in its campaign strategy, which created so called hype
    little early.

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  • pankaj#1

    Vinod;
    What has happened to your blog?
    no longer, intelligent people are coming here. The reason is, you encouraged bigots and discriminated with others. Think. Think deeply. All those rascals were not worth some votes.

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  • Anonymous

    It has begun to look more and more like a fixed match between AAP and the congress. The boost the AAP is getting in the media is to create an artificial wave for the party, because the congress in any case is being rejected by the people and it wants that AAP should come to power in alliance with it rather than hand over the state to the BJP on a platter.

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  • Anonymous

    Vinodji

    Basically we need to have a COngress mukt bharat so that all the naukers and chaekers of the corrupt chor congress finally collapse.

    We need a new India. Aao ek naye bharat ka nirman karein jisme Congress aur uske nauker khatam ho jayein.

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  • Ni2

    Vinodji
    In anticipation Modi effect not delivering electoral results, formation of excuses has already started.

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  • sunil kumar

    I don’t know whether those who r writing negative about Rafi sahab know his contribution. Here was a singer whom whole industry calls a rare Artist because you may have great artist but not great human beings. When Amitabh called him a rare artist and gave an example why he is calling him great and rare . Recently Annu Kapoor in his program gave examples of his greatness. Pyare lal ji when said Rafi saab and lata ji were the two artist who had unlimited range . His contribution to popularize classical songs like :Madhuban mein mein Radhika”, Bhajans like “Sukh ke sab saathi”, non filmi gazals ,Non filmy Bhajans. Sikh gurbanis , Maa Kaali Gaan sung in 14 different languages Amazing range. In one go sang “yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaate to kya hai for Guru Dutt and in same film sang for Johny walker “Sar joh tera Chakraye”.with completr different and Johny Bhai style. He could change his voice in just seconds to suit different characters . Great and if media and FM channel (92.7) in particular is working on the instructions of some disgusted elements we know who they r because his songs were stopped after Lata Ji’s controversial statement. who r they cab be guessed .
    and will be Exposed soon .When I was young boy my father used to take me to 26 th january parade in New Delhi and on both sides along the route patriotics songs of Rafi sahab used to be played and those songs we the young children used to sing in programs in our schools . He was instrumental in building a youth associated with the country at that time. He deserves Bharat Ratna.WHen Lata can get it you know how she got ( thanks to ( Bala sahab influence on BJP during NDA rule). .

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  • pankaj#1

    why?
    What is your choice??

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  • pankaj#1

    Vinod;
    Now this parrot has implicated Parekh and Birla. wow. Did CBI thought that making a “Dhamaka” will hide its short comings??
    All the while, Modi is being implicated that riots happened during his chief ministership, so he is responsible. Now, so many financial scandals, and who is responsible?? No No, MMS is beyond reproach.
    Now come to this man- Sinha from -CBI. First rate crook, How? see his role when U.N.Biswas and a TOI editor were probing -Chara Ghotala. U.N. Biswas’s report was trashed and Sinha was running a parralel report to save lalu. shame on him. This he did on instructions from higher ups in Delhi and that is why he was elevated to the post of CBI Chief, as a reward.
    Present Congress and its antics generate revulsion, using a mild word here.

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  • humour

    Got your point about not comparing apples to oranges.
    But the almost one-sided nature of your comparison makes me wonder whether the apples are green.
    #justsaying

    [Reply]

  • Man Mohan Sharma

    A note on AAP

    The problem with frivolous intellectualism is
    it always hyper-reacts. Before the Delhi election everybody was busy
    under-estimating AAP and now everybody is busy over-estimating and over
    analyzing the AAP phenomenon. We get to hear such humungous theories from TV
    studios as to how AAP would now be a national party and how Arvind Kejriwal
    would be the PM candidate of the third front! Nobody bothers to tell us how AAP
    will replicate its limited success of a rootless city like Delhi in other
    metros; for instance, how will AAP gather votes in Mumbai where fault-lines are
    between Maharashtrians and outsiders, or say in Hyderabad where there are
    agitations for and against Telangana or even in say, Lucknow, where the
    politics of identity is foremost.

    Even the success of AAP in Delhi is a one-off
    phenomenon that has come about through a string of coincidences – a very
    unpopular government, agitations of the past year on a range of issues from
    corruption to women’s safety, passionate participation of youth (who have long-term
    attention deficiency as always) and a moribund opposition which woke up much
    later in the day and yet managed to be the single largest party. Arvind
    Kejriwal is making a classic mistake once again. He is taking this one-off
    support of the people of Delhi for granted and wants to go for polls once again
    based on some ludicrous suggestions that AAP has the momentum and will gain a
    2/3rd majority in a re-poll.

    [Reply]

  • Man Mohan Sharma

    No AAP is not a threat it will be only whistle blower

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  • ANONYMOUS

    Come on ,why are you guys fighting? both were damn good singers they
    were beyond par ,rafi sahab and kishora da, and they were good friends
    too, then who the hell are you to disgrace any of them by showing your
    likeness towards one singer.Huh!

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