Khaki Shame



On Wednesday, the day UPA 11 was celebrating completion of four years, Uttar Pradesh was hosting two ambitious conferences. One was on skill development and community colleges, jointly hosted by the British High Commission and the state government, the other was entrepreneurs’ summit addressed by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.

I sighed with relief as I saw the state taking some baby steps in the right direction after days of chaos. There had been huge turbulence in the political circles following two major developments. One came after Lokayukta NK Mehrotra submitted his report on what is now called the memorial scam in which an estimated sum of Rs. 1410 crore is stated to have been siphoned off from Rs. 4148.54 crore spent on the construction of Mayawati’s dream projects (memorials) in the state capital. Interestingly, the Lokayukta exonerated Mayawati of all the charges while laying the total blame on the doors of former cabinet ministers Naseemuddin Siddiqui and Babu Singh Kushwaha and hordes of engineers and officials. The keen interest evinced by Mayawati in the execution of all her projects are known to all and sundry in the state capital as she often monitored the progress from a chopper that flew quite low many a time for her to have a clearer view. But then it appears she and her secretariat only checked the pace of the construction activity, not the cost, not the quality.

Fine, if that’s how the system functions. But is there something called ‘moral responsibility.’

The report came at a time when the SP government led by Akhilesh Yadav was battling one crisis after another – the most serious one was posed by the custodial death of terror suspect Khalid Mujahid. A CBI probe promptly recommended by the chief minister failed to assuage the hurt sentiments of the Muslim community who described it as cold-blooded murder. With the stage already being laid for polling on communal lines, Mulayam can’t afford their anger months before the general election in the country. The BJP has brought in Amit Shah to UP and the Muslims are edgy about the role his mentor Narendra Modi will play. Interestingly, the BJP has openly decided to support 42 cops who have been named in Mujahid’s death case.

But keeping all this aside, the two conferences sought to move on and discussed a way forward, with delegates from UP sharing their experiences of skill development, a sector in which the state needs to invest. Ironically, while the chief minister was displaying his political will to build a climate conducive for industrial growth, two cops were exchanging lathi blows outside Indira Pratishthan where the entrepreneurs’ summit was on; a few hours before, a family of seven was chopped to death in Ghaziabad; then there was violence in Moradabad.

All my enthusiasm tanked in a couple of hours. I was reminded of what one of the participants said at the skill development conference – UP has to board the skill development bus. If we miss the bus, the country will also fail to board it.

We are obviously gasping for breath already as the bus approaches us?

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  • Javed

    will you be submissive if a man tries to impose himself on you s8xually? same logic
    sometimes offensive is an effective defence. kill 5 to keep 500 safe. non-violence is weapon but not the only weapon and not the weapon always

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  • Guest

    Should we have exchanged Afzal Guru for Sarabjit Singh ? There are no easy choices in the shadowy war that has never stopped between the two sides.

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  • Mars

    Dude please get your history right, Ashoka the great was almost more than 1500 years before Genghiz kahn was born in 1162.

    Secondly what proof Pakistan had that Sarabjit was a spy. Why compare Sarabjit to Afzal or Kasab.

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  • Tanvir

    budy Are you a spokesman for so called Pakistani civilized?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1095428366 Pankaj Maijerwar

    Pakistan is a terrorist state and Pakistanis are a rude and illegitimately cheating lot. I have seen these people around me for more that three years by now and I have never seen them to be truth speaking. These people are only concerned in showing themselves as the biggest and most religious Muslims. Other things are not in priority to them.

    Sarabjeet was a spy or not…this is not the matter. The matter is, why the hell we want to be friends with Pakistan! This country was formed on the base of hatred. Why can’t we just declare them, each and every Pakistani and their supporters even if technically they may be Indians as well, our enemy. And full stop. See them, shoot. Let them also do the same to us (which they are doing anyway).

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  • Shahid

    The author seems to forget that the inheritors of Buddha are no less violent than those of Chengiz khan. Just turn the pages of history and see for yourself. Go to Burma or Srilanka or to any country in the east and see what the inheritors of Buddha have done. We can’t escape the truth behind colorful anectodes. We can’t become holy by throwing sh*t on others. The incident involving a Pakistanin prisoner in Jammu shows how hollow the author’s words are.

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  • Haidar Ali

    Mission? to kill innocent people is mission for Indian Intelligence? A dirty game rapped in National Defense… ..

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  • Panky

    This is a rather confused article, and also has spelling and grammatical errors. We expect better from regular columnists on HT. The author also seems to imply that she knows conclusively that Sarajbit was a spy for India, and that he was deserted by the Indian intelligence agencies and Indian government. Both of these suppositions are an insult to Sarabjit’s memory. When someone is on foreign soil, his security is not always within our control. Afzal Guru was an Indian citizen, so Pakistan should have nothing to say about whether he should have been hanged or not, especially since he went through the due process of law and Presidential appeals etc. The evidence against Afzal was rather damning.

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  • Modi Zindabad

    “The same clearly cannot be said of Pakistan. We may lawfully hang
    dreaded criminals but we do not lynch, we do not bludgeon our prisioners
    to death and we do not behead enemy solders on the borders of our
    country. Unlike hotheads who are demanding an eye fpr an eyue, which can
    only render the whole world blind,” Wish the author was well read and it pains me to read naive ill-researched articles, pandering only to the basal instincts and naivety of the majority of the readers with such amazing conspicuous absence of facts.

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  • Manish

    I don’t know who Sujata Nandan is…but it is very apparent that she does not deserve to be a columnist for a leading National daily…she does not know the facts, has her history wrong and is not clear what message she wants to convey through the article having so many grammatical and spelling errors…She has based her entire article on her assumption that Sarabjit was a spy…and then somehow she moves to a completely different tangent towards the end…There should be an option to give -ve “stars” to an article which wastes time and effort of all.

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    Javed Reply:

    Very well said dude. I think our paanwallah offers a lot more pragmatism and sense than sujathhha and her drivel that she calls blogs
    Does she get paid for this ****? Wow

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  • mahesh

    the author is majorly ignorant of details of how spies are recruited and the nature of the work of our spy agencies. before writing the next time please try to learn something about what you are writing about.

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  • RahulG

    I left the article half way y’day I could not bear the illogic and pointlessness. But having read comments I came back to chk whether she is slantingly trying to justify attack on sarabjit comparing him with afzal.

    And lo yes this disgusting motherfcuking ugly b1tch is saying that india is responsible for sarabjit getting killed because we (lawfully) executed some terrorist called afzal guru. And we must not blame those rabid **** dogs (who hv gone mad due to the anti india venom someone put in their heads to enslave them) because they naturally want justice. This dimwit forgot that unwittingly assumed that sarabjit is a spy and went on to build a castle of (biased) opinions on flawed premise.
    I would never say this but, the opinion of this columnist is just as rotten,stinking and filthy as she looks in her photo

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  • wajid

    Sujata, could you please comment on the pakistani prisoner Sanaullah, who died in an Indian prison

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  • Praveen Saxena

    What is the buzz in Lucknow ? will NAMO follow Amit Shah to UP?

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    sunita Reply:

    yes — divide society on communal lines

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    Praveen Saxena Reply:

    ..paying back Congress and the other parties in the same coin…

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    sunita Reply:

    yes, in a way –

    Praveen Saxena Reply:

    Many thanks for your feedback

    Anonymous Reply:

    What do you say when Congress, SP and BSP communalize UP politics by offering reservation, freebies ONLY to muslims and pander to muslim hardliners?

    Looks like slamming BJP comes naturally to HT journos.

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    sunita Reply:

    No, personally speaking quota should be there, but not for caste and communities but for poor. Don’t slam HT – there is no such bias

    Anonymous Reply:

    Sunita,
    You should watch Newslaundry interview of Shobana Bhartiya and Vinod Sharma. Both admitted that they are pro-congress in their interviews.

    Please show me one blog critical of Congress (the way you slam BJP).