What Bush did for India; what he didn’t

I had no consternation that, as one of the many hosts and facilitators of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, I would be attending to guests at a gala dinner where President George W. Bush would be the star attraction.

Here was a man who I think had wrecked much of the Muslim world.Yet, I was deeply aware of some of his administration’s encouraging policies towards India. And I think it was a good chance to hear him speak without the burden of his weighty presidency.

Would President Bush in flesh and blood be different from what he appeared on television screens? Well, he was. There was an air of informality as he walked in and headed straight into the crowd, shaking hands. He appeared warm and forthcoming. In one instance, he reached out to an old lady sipping wine in a corner, gesturing her to draw up close and said: “How are you ma’am, I am George Bush.”

I guess it is difficult to demonise somebody you have met. However, my views of President Bush have not changed after a brief unexpected handshake at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.

I still feel he is singularly responsible for radicalizing much of the Muslim world. Even as Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh kindled a love-fest with Bush, the latter’s policies have not solved some of India’s most pressing foreign-policy problems, despite the nuclear deal.

The nuclear deal has its critics. The technology could become dated even as we build up reactors. Is the 123 deal immune to regime changes? As a Senator, President Obama had offered a “killer amendment” to limit nuclear fuel to India, which the Bush administration and Indian lobbies in Congress had found difficult to stave off. See here. There are also questions on a possible back-handed grip on India’s right to conduct future tests. However, my view is that the nuclear deal has to be adored as more of a foreign policy success than just an energy deal. So, I support it as an appropriate instrument of foreign policy.

Bush’s single biggest favour to India was in allowing our country, while making us a strategic ally, to keep its military stockpile even as India gained access to nuclear technologies and fuel for its civilian reactors. That was an unparalleled exemption.

However, beyond the deal, I do not see much, even though we gloat in Bush’s favours to India. In evaluating the Bush administration’s support for India, I think the best yardstick is to compare it with the Bush administration’s simultaneous policies towards Pakistan. The truth is, Bush never really tightened the screws on Pakistan.

Bush engaged Pakistani president Musharaf as closely as he did Prime Minister Singh. And Bush’s interests in engaging Pakistan were limited to crushing that part of terror which affected only the US. So, while the Taliban were in US gun sight, the Jaishs and Lashkars were largely left unaffected. This was evident after the 26/11 Mumbai terror strike.

Bush had said thus of Musharaf to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in November 2007: “He has been an absolute reliable partner in dealing with extremists and radicals.” The Bush administration stood by Musharaf at all costs.

US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte had articulated Bush’s commitment towards Musharaf extensively.  “There is a common United States and Pakistani interest in Pakistan’s success in the robust and multifaceted fight against violent extremism, focused on democracy and economic development as well as on security cooperation. We plan to pursue that common interest vigorously with whatever government emerges from the election,” Negroponte said during February 28, 2008, hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Many senators — both Republicans and Democrats — had suggested a recalibration of US policy toward Pakistan.

Delaware Democrat Senator Joseph Biden in particular called on the US to triple its non-military assistance to Pakistan from $500 million a year to $1.5 billion, rather than focus on military assistance. He suggested a “democracy dividend” of an additional $1 billion a year. Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, the topmost Republican on the committee, too supported Biden’s proposal.

However, much of US aid during the Bush administration came in the form of military aid. As Musharaf admitted publicly, such aid was diverted and grossly misused against India.

The Bush administration also never really managed to curb Pakistan’s clear intention to leverage its close relations with China to threaten India. It almost gave Pakistan a blank cheque in maintaining strategic ties with China, consequences of which we have seen recently, in China’s aggressive anti-India posturing.

Privately, India’s military generals cringe at the thought of having to counter enemies on two fronts simultaneously.

Lastly, the Bush administration neither had the power nor intention to grant India a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council, which is far more crucial than the nuclear deal.

As he said at the HT Summit, any talk of India gaining the high seat just as yet is preposterous. First, the issue of opening up the Security Council has to be sorted out. Even if the Security Council were to be expanded, there is no guarantee that India’s claim would be the most significant. As always, there is a queue.

So, was Bush was good for India? Well, only to the extent that he let our nuclear weapons be.

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  • Gopi Thomas

    Bush had all the intentions to forge a close tie with India ; his first ambassador to India, Robert Blackwell, was a heavy hitter and a close friend of him. He was the campaign finance chief; had close access to Bush. (Bush’s ephiphany came when he firsst realized India is the largest democracy during his preparation for the presidential campaign; and by now the world knows his fetish for democracy)

    Obviousluy 9/11 changed evrything; and all other priorities became secondary to the war on terror.

    US-India relations has come a long way from its lowest during the Indira Gandhi-Nixon days. Bush has built a good platform with Manmohan Singh, the relationship will only get stronger as the first and the largest two democracies work closely on many initiatives. This will be good for India, US,
    and the world; will create a true multiplier effect in most of the world.

    Any country (sometimes it looks like except India) takes positions in its own personal interest. The historic closeness of USA to Pakistan and its aloofness from India was ta cold war play. They would not have had anything to do with Pakistan in the last eight years but for 9/11.

    Also the President is only one part of a two part equation in the US foreign policy. apparatus – Presidency being one; US Congress being the other. The current president is struggling to pass a healthcare bill in spite of having a majority. in the Congress So, any Indian assistance will have to pass the muster of the congress whose members opearte differently and independently from the President.


  • S Singh

    I really think Bush (and Obama now) has indirectly helped India a big time.

    Bush’s insistence during the last year of his presidency that Pakistanis go after Taliban into the tribal areas, and Obama’s further acceleration and Drone attacks have brought all the Muislim terrorists into Pakistan urban centers. Kashmitri Jehadists now are fighting Pakistan army. It does not look like the army will support any terrorists any more, including their proxy Kasmiri jehadists when the storm settles and calm comes back.

    A conspiracy theory is floating around that the US and India are planning this together with an objective of establishing a US base in Pakistan.


  • Amit

    It’s rather disingenuous of Zia to claim that the Muslim world has been radicalized only after Bush’s misadventures. This is another example of rewriting events to suit one’s explanation. Such theories are no better than the apologists of Taliban who claim that they are fighting foreign occupation by blowing up girls schools et al. Al-Qaeda existed long before Bush came to power. While he has done a greatest disservice to America’s interests by being ham-handed in his response to terror, one is tempted to ask Zia and his ilk as to how our response, which has been on the other extreme, helped us in warding off terror attacks. We keep turning the other cheek and the terrorists keep attacking us. For example, we even escorted two of those rascals all the way to Afghanistan accompanied by our baritone voiced brave Jaswant Singh. What did they do in return: they founded Jaish-e-Mohmmad and all that sort of stupid organizations to bleed and maim us. It’s high time for folks like Zia to wake up and smell the coffee. Such explanations have got boring and tiresome.


    Raju Kurien Reply:


    Zia says “I still feel he (Bush) is singularly responsible for radicalizing the Muslim world”..

    As you stated, Zia and his elks are in a parallel universe.

    First World Trade center, Cole, various embassies, Talibanization, Islamic brotherhood ( Al Sawhari) all happened before Bush. The book ” Looming Tower” traces the radicalization/terrorist/Islamofascit movement of the fundamentalist Muslims starting from their leader Syed Quibb’s days in the USA in early 1950s. Syed’s disdain for the decadent west was the seed for this phenomenon of hatred.

    Bush reacted only after the cowards hit the World Trade Center and Pentagon on 9/11. My only regret is that he did not bomb Saudi Arabia which was the home of 14 or so of the 19 hijackers.

    Iraq was a misadventure; the psyche of America was that they did not want to leave any stone unturned after 9/11. I pray that Iraq will get stabilized and become a vibrant democracy and be a shining example for other countries in that region.

    Bush did a great thing by the relentless pursuit and bombing of the Muslim terrorists and jehadis; that is the only way to root out these violent, destructive people. He was also able to reveal the true color of Pakistan and make the whole world know that the road to terrorist attacks run through Pakistan.

    Bush did not cause the radicalization of the Muslim World. That pocess has been under way long before him. However, he gave them another fodder -Iraq- to add to their grievance list along with Palestine/Israel, Chechenya/Russia, Uighers/China, Bosnia, Kashmir/India.

    I hope Obama continues Bush’ plan in going after the Muslim terrorists, while being cautious about invasion of any country. The doctrine of preemptive strike is one that any country should be able to resort to, provided they can independently handle the attack and the aftermath.


    S Singh Reply:

    Mr Kurien


    Nuclear Agreement is obviously a major contribution. Hope our government will move aggressively on this; our electric energy production could be significantly expanded, eliminating the need for power cuts and independent generators. That Bush could get this ratified by the US Congress where a strong anti-proliferation mindset prevails is significant.

    Although he could not take Pakistan to the task on Jet JuH proxies, the results of his and his successor’s actions will help India immensely -. 1) The current army activity will decimate the terrorists, and any future replacement terrorists will be Pakistan focused for a long time. 2) Pakistan will be significantly weakened after the current initiatives; they cannot venture any direct or sponsored attack against India.


  • Ramesh

    Muslims have been radicalized by Bush?? Is this writer serious?

    Was not Pakistan declared an Islamic Republic in 1980s? Same with Bangladesh. How about the plight of Hindus in those countries? Have not they been decimated and insulted? How about Hindus’ plight in Kashmir? Did Bush cause their decimation or Islam?

    Do Hindus have their temples in most Muslim majority nations? No, most of Middle East is intolerant. There are certainly many Hindus temples in the USA.

    It is a shame that this writer is probably a so-called “moderate” or “liberal” Muslim. We know there is no such thing.


    Sam Reply:

    what does it take to get a columnists who champions the causes of Hindus on this website/blog or newspaper.

    It is high time, it is done.
    there is no point in criticizing “soft terrorist/liberal” muslims.
    You can only so far in that.

    Hindus need their own voice.

    Can knowledgeable posters tell how to do this ?



    Vikram Reply:

    I absolutely agree with you Mr Samnathan Krishnan. Everyone and his twisted uncle has their own lobbies and minority interest groups but God forbid Hindus from having their own interests aired in the public forum. btw check out Tarun Vijay on TOI and even Vir Singhvi, he is no sanghi by any stretch of imagination. But he is definitely not a commie – china/ pak/ naxal loving ‘intellectual’ who believes in ’spirituality and no religion’. He calls spade as a spade which is all that we ask for anyway.


  • http://mywriterkeeda.wordpress.com Ishmart Alec

    i am not surprised by the authors claims. Its usual to blame someone and write an elaborate and articulated article on that. Media always wants a villain. Not to imply that I agree with Bush’s policies on the international front. But its very easy to pin him because of his position as well as the close association with muslim nations in the fight against terror. Also, its an open secret that afghan fighters are the best in the world. They will fight for anyone who pays the right kind of money. They fought toe soviet at the behest of US in the 70s. Once abandoned, they were left with no choice but to go to anyone who paid. Now as everyone knows, religion is the opium of the masses (pun unintended), all they had to do is switch sides. The point is, its all about money, power politics, and oil. To narrow it down to radicalization of muslims and what not is exactly what they want to deflect from the main issue.that is , the arms race, There needs to be instability somewhere to keep the arms selling. The oil. Most of the middle east is now taken. Next bet, afghanistan. there is no legitimate way you can go to a country and bomb it and take its oil. So this is how you do it. So from either sides, either the west or the so called jihadis, at the top level, its about money and power and NOT about religion.



  • Anil Kumar

    Muslism world got radicalized way back in seventh century .. Time and again muslims find someone to blame for that but alas noone has courage to call the spade spade….

    Bush did what any us president would have done in face of 9/11 .. simple..


  • Sam

    26/11 is not a terror attack, as per some Muslim..

    (so is it love from Islam then ? revisionist history right in front of the whole world..)


    I am sure in 5-10 yrs some “moderate muslims” will be totally denying that this attack is not at all terror, but just to show how peaceful islam is..!!!


    Sam Reply:

    If only we understand islam, there is nothing to worry..

    so let us start implementing Sharia for muslim criminals first…

    some videos of islamic sharia in action..



    S Singh Reply:


    let us focus on the two items he brought up in the blog;

    1) Did Bush cause the Islamic Radicalization?
    2)Did he do what he could do for India (ie did he push Pakistan emough etc)

    let us focus on these two;.


    Vikram Reply:

    1) Well he did not, he just hit back at them which we should have done too
    2) Of course he did not, since at the end of the day he is responsible for the lives of the american citizens and not for Indians. And why the hell should he worry for the security and concerns of a nation of 1 B people who cant take care of themselves.

    And if he has done couple of good things for India like the nuke deal thats enough to make him our friend. Muslim world be damned.

    Sam Reply:

    That is exactly do not agree with .

    Why should it always be ” is a person X for or against Muslims” ??
    why should every issue be looked thru exclusively religious angle ?
    why not from law and order angle ?
    if there are thugs looting and terrorising the public, will you go look for them in a KinderGarten School ? will you search every grandmother ?
    You have to focus on a typical profile of the thug and concentrate on the locality where he lives.

    All the hijackers and terrorists in 9/11 are Muslim (and they proudly claim they are foot soldiers in jihad).. so you have to search muslim countries..
    Moderate muslims only love to complain, but actually passively encourage those thugs as sword of islam (they very well know violence of Mohd and islam,,,so they are actively trying to cover up their tracks)..

    This is a typical Mullah question, where in the end they tell you the whole world is out to oppress islam.

    so it is justified to wage jihad.

    My intention in posting all those links are,,,,,the radicalism in islam is inherent.
    It was existing long before and will exist for a long time to come.
    It has very little to do with bush (except in the minds of mullahs and other people who look everything thru religious eye glasses..)

  • Sam

    Pakistan’s objective resolution..

    Look how they use Allah & islam all the time…


    Item3: The principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed.

    Islam supports Jizya, Dhimmitude,… banning temples/churches/…
    so that is what the end goal of pakistan will be.

    Not a single temple, gurudwara, church, .. will be left standing..once talibunnies start controlling pakistan (either full control or enough control to set the agenda for the society)..
    complete islamization


  • Sam

    for all you islamophobists..and muslim oppressors..



  • Sam

    True Islam in action:


    Militants who control parts of Somalia’s capital city are beating women in broad daylight for violating their radical brand of Islamic law, according to local officials and witnesses in Mogadishu.

    “Just today, Al-Shabaab dispatched men with whips to the streets around Bakara market and they are flogging any woman who is found not wearing socks,” according to a female maize trader at the Mogadishu market, who spoke Thursday.

    “Earlier this month, Al-Shabaab militants whipped women for wearing bras in an area of northern Mogadishu that they control, shocking residents who have been besieged by the ongoing insurgency. The militants believe the female undergarments are a deception to men.”


  • Sam

    peaceful islam in action..

    Why they only blow up girls schools ? why not boys ?



  • Sam

    Does indian law allow stoning to death for muslim criminals ?

    If it does not allow it, should they pass a rule to allow it as per Sharia ?
    (if not, isn’t islam oppressed ?)

    On that front, if Kasab is convicted shouldnt he be applied punishment as per Islamic Sharia ?


  • Ashish

    I think Pramit Pal Chaudhuri’s assessment of Bush, elsewhere on HT Blogs is a lot more balanced. He does not judge the Bush presidency on a simple “Was he for the Muslims or against the Muslims?” dimension. He evaluates his impact and his convictions in all the major regions in the world.
    I think the issue a lot of us have with Bush is that he was clearly not an intellectual and his articulation was unclear, to put it mildly. However, lest we forget, except for Clinton and Obama now, none of the American presidents have been intellectual powerhouses. Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr ..
    Reagan’s toughness against the erstwhile evil empire could have gone down as a dangerous game of brinkmanship if it spiralled out of control. It did not; and the Soviet system imploded thereby liberating millions of people across the globe from tyranny and delivering prosperity and promise of a better future. Reagan, the original reactionary, was guided by simple convictions and a belief in a way of life and certain ideals. He led according to what he believed to be true.
    Dubya-ji as president was Reagan minus the folksy charm and the actor’s training. Also, Reagan’s world was much less tumultuous and the enemy much more identifiable.
    Do give Dubya credit for securing his country’s borders after the 9/11. They have ensured that no further attacks happened on their shores. They implemented a draconian security regime at Airports and then over a period of time have made it very sophisticated and painless. I have seen the before 9/11, immediately after 9/11 and the current regime. If anything, the immigration and security checks are a lot smoother now than before 9/11.
    @Amit @Raju Kurien, totally agree that the radicalization of the Muslim world predates Bush by years. Bush reacted after 9/11. Perhaps his reaction could have been better calibrated. But, it can also be argued that he was not only against aggressors but also potential aggressors. I think history will be a lot kinder to him than some contemporary commentators are today.


  • Raju Kurien

    Ok, here they go again!

    Deobandi ulema issues Fatwa against Vande Matharam:

    10,000 Mullahs have assembled for their annual jihad planning session in Deobandi. Chidambaram is scheduled to speak about the need for communal harmony and indicate what appeasing things are in the works.

    And what do these Mullahs do.? They just issued a Fatwa against Vande Matharam.

    May be they should get the hell out of here and participate with their jehadi bros in the struggle for the Pakistan soul!

    As Anil said earlier, they were radicalized right from teh Prophet days! They did not need any Bush.


    Rajeev Reply:

    There are many muslims who sing Vande matram. We should not give importance to such fatwas.

    We should find out all national anthems around the word that have worship of motherland/fatherland and ask deoband to issue fatwa for those too.

    I heard Sri lankan anthem also worships motherland so are sri lankan muslims commiting shirk by singing it.

    It is also haram to use KAFIR’s donation to perform Hajj. What don’t they issue fatwa against that? They can also issue fatwa about muslims making money in hindu holy sites such as vaishno devi? Why should they consume food bought from kafir money?


  • SKS Mumbai

    Vande matram is a very old issue, in fact one of the reasons we opted for Jan Gana Man and not vandematram as our national anthem was Muslim’ objection to worshiping anything other than Allah.

    If I am not wrong even SC has given a verdict that Vande Matram is not compulsory. I don’t think we can have any legitimate objection here atleast


  • SKS Mumbai

    PC already addressed the gathering of Maulanas.

    Any one knows for sure whether this function was organized by Jamat-E-Islami Hind (JEH) or Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JIH) because the reports mention JIH but PC discussed Jamait’s(which one?) role in independence. If I am not wrong, then the body which played some role in our Independence was JEH (of course Hind was not a part of that name in those days). If it was a JEH function then that would really be Very Interesting.

    Of particular interest are his following remarks – the golden rule in a democracy is that it is the duty of the majority community to protect the minority, be it religious, racial or linguistic….. _ __ _ _ _
    a sub-rule to the golden rule as what is a minority in one place could well be the majority in another place: for example, Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir or Sikhs in Punjab. “In such situations, the roles will be reversed. Although a minority nation-wide, the Muslim community in Jammu and Kashmir is bound by the golden rule as well as the tenets of Islam to protect the minority communities in that state,” he said.

    I am just wondering whether the golden rule of democracy, by itself, is not enough for the Hindu minority of J&K? Why the need to add the obligations under Tenets of Islam? Any Guess? Or is this similar to the statements our MEA guys make,where words are used without much regard to their meanings.


    Ashish Reply:

    I think what PC meant was that Islam being a religion of peace, it would be worthwhile to remind its followers of the fact and lend weight to his appeal. A similar appeal was not made to Hindus, because as you know, they have an inherently violent and intolerant religion.


    SKS Mumbai Reply:

    In that case, we have two options
    1. a Global Caliphate, based on Tenets of Islam, or
    2. dictatorship of proletariat

    I will prefer the Caliphate, let them handle the Revolution also


    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    @SKS @Ashish

    SKS, it seems they are folowing your hunch. Maududis want the Caliphate, and will do that through Revolution.

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    I just sent a note on Maududism/SIMi etc.

  • Bobby

    “He appeared warm and forthcoming….”

    I saw something similar written by Vir Sanghvi as well…though I do not understand whats so surprising? If you look at interviews of Journalists who have met Osama Bin Laden they say pretty much the same thing; that he was very warm and hospitable and spoke very softly, not arrogant etc etc…..

    “I guess it is difficult to demonise somebody you have met…”

    Yes and this is why, I think there should not be minimal personal interactions between power centers and journalists. I feel its important for having some kind of objectivity and independence.

    Its interesting that though George Bush was completely disliked and extremely un popular in most of the world, the only two places where the polls showed he was not so disliked was Israel and India.

    Anyways George Bush was a War Criminal, the biggest terrorist in the world for the last 8 years. Its nice to know that in the US some people are trying to prosecute him for murder. I hope they succeed.



    S Singh Reply:

    I wish India had the capacity and guts to do preemptive strike against Pakistan!

    USA did not ahve a choice after 9/11 to ignore potential threats. Obviously they did not have the right intelligence; both on WMD and on the fragility of the Iraquian system. .

    Zia’s suggestion that Bush did not do much to get security council veto power for India– I do not think it matters much; UN is totally incapable of doing anything any way other than to do some studies; it is power that counts. US ahs never acred about UN, so also China and Russia.


    Bobby Reply:

    Dear S. Singh,

    “it is power that counts…”

    Yes, unfortunately thats right. Thats exactly what makes the US the leading Mafia Nation and terrorist state in the world, followed by Israel.


  • http://- Rajeev

    I think Bush was very soft with the muslim world due to American dependence on Saudi Oil. Had that not been the case, he would have Nuked Saudis and rightly so.

    The muslims can never see anthing without using Islamic prism. If you country gets attacked (9/11), what do you do? You defend it like Bush did or beg for forgiveness as Manmohan did after 26/11.

    You guys are wasting your time trying to argue with hard/soft fundoos on this forum. You can never make any muslim accept any mistake. There is nothing called moderate or liberal muslim. Everyone is fundoo except in the manner they display fundooness in public.


  • http://- Rajeev

    I think fundoos should be thankful that Bush didnot nuke Mecca.
    He should be treated as prophet next to Mohammad.


    Bobby Reply:

    oh! the nutcase is back!


    Rajeev Reply:

    I knew this fundoo will definitely make smartass comment.


    Sam Reply:

    If another attack on the symbols of the West (or america), all gloves will be off.

    Probably Muslims (Bin Laden) know this and that is why there is no attack on USA after 9/11.

    Jihadists only respect the violence and not soft talk.

    Muslims know that an angry West means an end to their religion..
    They keep stirring the pot and we have to thank Bush for not taking the drastic action like nuking Mecca/Medinah..

    (i am sure if jihadists have the same power, they would be nuking the christians/jewish/hindus the next minute)..


    Rajeev Reply:

    If you see closely Bush and Mohammad are quite similar then why is that fundoos like Bobby hate him.


    Sam Reply:

    Bush is not even 1/1000 th of the evil committed by Mohd’s followers.

    The last time i read, Bush had invited Muslims for the Iftar in White house.

    Does any muslim country do that for Hindus ?
    Did the president/primeminister invite Hindus for Diwali, to their official residence ?

    pakistan/Bangladesh/Malaysia do not do that…

    there is no comparison between Bush and Mo.

    Rajeev Reply:

    I take back this comparison. I was only comparing them with ref. to ability to decimate enemies.

    Raju Kurien Reply:

    Terrorism update:

    FBI reports that the two terrorists (Rana, Hedly) arrested in Chicago were good friends with Dr Aman Rashid, Consul General of Pakistan in Chicago.

    These terrorisst, according to the preliminary information, were planning to bomb two boarding schools and the National Defence Academy.

    S Singh Reply:

    @Rajeev @ Sam

    The stupid Muslim jehadists did not really expect Bush will go all the way after them. There is no way a Muhamed or Ahamed or Khan will get a job in USA any more!

    Bobby Reply:

    I think it would be stupid to think that the nuclear deal is about nuclear power at all.

    Its interesting that Manmohan Singh went as far as to risk his government for the deal. That alone should make us wary about the real intentions.
    Both the US Government and the GoI know very well that the real reason is to establish strategic ties between the two countries.

    My fear is that the US would at some stage want to have Indian troops in Afghanistan, and all this is simply a play to that end. This is not such an impossible situation. ONe has to recall how eager the Vajpayee government was to send the Indian troops as chowkidars of the US in Iraq. That it did not happen was due to the massive opposition to the act.

    The sudden China hype in the corporate media, also could be a signal of the GoI having plans to allow the US to even have bases within Indian soil, with the “threat of China” being the pretext. All this is old hat which has been played out in various other countries before.

    S Singh Reply:

    I do not see anything wrong in having a base as a part of a startegic partnership, such as making zillions of dollars investment in UP to turn that palce around .

    SKS Mumbai Reply:

    I think they have taken the God’s Own Country a bit too literally.

    Rajeev Reply:

    Communist rambling/Islamic rant.

    K Reply:

    I do believe the China threat is real for both India and the US. I think the strategic partnership with US is a wise thing to do for India and for the US.

    India sending troops to Afghanistan is never going to happen, at least not until US has an interest in Pakistan. Pakis will suffocate if they see indian troops on the east and west borders.

    India gains from using common sense instead of some antiquated version of non-alignment.

  • Gopi Thomas


    You tangentially touched on Jamat It Islami .Since a part of the subject matter of this column is about Bush’s radicalization of Islamic world, what about the radicalism Jamat E Islami has been spewing (and nurturing)?

    Abdul Maududi, founder of Jamat, was radicalizing Muslims through his “theo democracy” long before Bush.,That Islam is not just a religion, but also a political theory and a way to rule nations. And his world view was a theocratic model just the way it was during the Prophet in 650 . A staunch anti-American; he did go to USA for his kidney treatment and died in the US!.

    The Talibans, SIMI here in India, Al Queda are all staunch followers of Maududi and strong believers in his vision of the Islamic nation (which relegates non-Muslims obviously to a less than equal status, also have to pay jJiya(, women in tehir palce etc etc).

    The Iranian revolution in 1979 gave a huge boost to Muslim radicals worldwide. Jamat (in iIndia )while exhilarated about the revolution, maintained that that is not the model Muslims should follow in India; and even if it is the right model , the timing was not right. SIMI disagreed and split away from the parent Jamat. SIMI wanted an Islamic revolution, I remeber seeing wall posters in Kerala “India’s freedom and Nirvana through Islam”..(actually whatever RSS presence i s there in Kerala started after the SIMi movement). SIMIs became the naxalites of jamat.

    SIMIs are “born again” now . After their ban; they formed an official political party (parties) PDP (by Madani who founded the ISS (Islamic Sevak Sangh). During his jail term (on attempt on the life of Advani in the Coimbatore blast), his followers moved to start even more extremist NDF. Suddenly NDF was everywheer, offices in nice buildings, patriotic march on August 15, bookstores, school buses, you name it. There was widespread rumor that Saudi Arabia was funding this. And now they are reborn as SDPI coopting Dalits. There is a lot of terrorist money flowing in, they are opening up offices in all Muslim areas all over India, and a few token offices in Dalit areas.

    All the leaders of this parytty are ex SIMI and NDFers. One internal objective is to marginalize Muslim League which they believe is “too” democartic and not enough “theoe democratic”. There is also internal purification going on through killing moderates and India lovers (the famous case of murdering Chekannur Maulavi is still unresolved in kerala, partly becaus neither the Marxists nor the Congress wants to displease thee Muslin extremists). The Sunni Ttiger Force (I do not know if these guys have branches in other parts of India) of Kanthapuram Musaliyar is involved in several intra Muslim group murders; the putpose of the murders being the purification of Islam so they can fight the ultimate jehad.

    I should say that in Kerala, the godless Marxists, and the “godful” Maudidids have formed a good union. Marxists do openly state that anybody against the USA is a progressive and hnce nothing wrong in forming an electoral alliance. Congress, to my surprise, has kept a distance from these extremists.


  • http://- Rajeev

    There is not a single country on earth that has PEACEFUL MUSLIM MINORITY.

    Why is that so?


    Rajeev Reply:

    Most of the Hindu right wingers are making noise on Vande Matram fatwa forgetting that muslims themseleves are divided on this issue. There are many muslims who see nothing wrong with Vande Matram. It is an old dispute and recent fatwa is nothing but an attempt by Muslim clergy to emphasise their muslim identity and reject everything remotely hindus. I don’t think we should get upset about it as it has been modus operandi of muslims all around the world. They never want to assimilate but want others to change according to muslim so-called sensibilities.

    But What I find most disturbing is-
    1. Fatwa saying Cinema and TV are evil.
    2. Fatwa against women joining as equals in mainstream.

    These are very Talibanish kind of diktats and both right minded muslims and hindus should not accept this BS at any cost. It is time GURU of Taliban (Deobandis) are restricted and condemned. They will bring misery for Indian muslims on a massive scale by their retrogade thinking.


  • http://- Rajeev

    I may not agree with Bush’s economic policy but his commitment to defend homeland can not be doubted. He was ready to be a villain to save his country. This is the greates sacrifice any president can make for his nation.

    The current administration (US) is very soft towards muslims but it fails to realise that no one has won over muslim by appeasement. The best example is UK where muslims are pampered and now same muslims want to convert Buckingham palace to mosque and want Queen to wear Burkha.

    What do these muslims need? A tight kick on their arse..and deportation to their muslim lands.


    S Singh Reply:


    UK Government is quite worried about the homegrown terrorism. Pakistani boys who are born and brought up in England are now openly turning against UK, after taking advantage of the freedoms provided by a pluralistic democratic country.

    there is a similar fear in US after the recent arrests there.


  • Sam

    http://news.rediff.com/column/2009/nov/ … ration.htm

    There are Pakistanis who believe Pakistan started incubating when the first Muslim stepped on the shores of the Indian subcontinent. Muslim encroachments and pillaging expeditions into India and subsequent establishment of Muslim ruling dynasties in India sparked off dreams that the whole of India should rightfully be ruled by Muslims.


  • L Mirza


    You are right tht Islamic radicalization started long before Bush. You can say the internal fissures and “who is purer” push started with the Sunni-Shia split.

    As you stated, Abdul Maimuid and his Jamait created firebrand (Sunni) Islamists in South Asia and middle east. All the leaders of the various Pakistani terrorist groups (Laksahr, Jaish, you name it) are all fervent followers of Maimuid. Syed Qutb and his Islamic Brotherhood also was a huge contributor to radicalism.

    Bush’s action in Iraq has caused more foot soldiers to join these groups; but in itself has not created any “new” ideological firebrands.

    I feel he has indirectly “downplayed” Al Queda and Taliban threat by lumping Hazebullah and Fatah with these groups. Hazebulla was never involved in any international terrorism (such as Madrid, UK, World Trade Center, Afghan/Pakistan etc) . His constant poking of Iran, and the US Policy of diminishing Iran can potentially create Hazbeullah attacks on US interests (which they have not done so far… US has missiled an iranian airline twenty plus years ago killing 200 plus Iranians). So, in that sense, he will be responsible for creating/radixcalizing Shia “radicals” if Shias decide to go after US soft interests.

    Al Queda wants to destroy Iran; however, if one listens to Bush, the impression one will get is that Iran is funding Al Queda; that Hazebullah is a franchise of Al Queda.. So, in that sense, he was not articulate confusing the US populace. US populace believes Iran is the number one terrorist nation, Al Queda being its terrorist wing . They believe Saudi arabia is a friendly country, they do not know Al Queda and Wahabism and Saiudi Arabia are inextricably interwound. They are not aware that Saudi Arabia is funding the Wahabi Islamic teaching in their prisons, funding of mosques throughout US and everywhere else.


    Rajeev Reply:

    Infact Bush has been able to get all Jihadis at one place so it became easy to squish these low-lives with daisy cutters.
    I think US should step up its operation in Afghansistan and I am pretty sure most of the nutty muslims will come to Afghanistan to fight. This will be the perfect time to get rid of muslim jihadi filth in one go.


    Ashish Reply:

    @Gopi, @Mirza
    lots of good information and more important sane perspective.. thank you both


  • Sam

    Look what happens when you take muslims into secular armies


    Some muslim soldier kills his fellow soldiers..


    Raju Kurien Reply:

    This is really bad. He should have resigned if he did not want to fight Muslims.

    Does this mean some of our Muslim soldiers would not fight a war with Pakistan or if need be with Saudi Arabia?

    If so, why are they always whining about their underrepresentation in the military?

    Isn’t it even advisable for secular militaries to recruit Muslims? (Can they die for their mother country If they are not even allowed to sing Vande Matharam?) will they fight against Umma brothers? The concept of nation does not exist for religious Muslims.


    Sam Reply:

    Koran says Muslims should not fight with fellow muslim brothers.

    I asked many religious scholars, to answer this question.

    If there is a war between India (Darul Harb/Amman) and Pakistan (Darul Islam) what is the religious obligation for a muslim soldier in india just purely based on Koran/Hadith…

    They never answered …

    Past history of muslim soldiers fighting against pakistan, india not being darul harb/amman…
    they diverted the question, but never gave a straight answer.

    I am afraid, that some muslims soldiers will act as a fifth column (& refuse to fight) when they are really needed.

    Read history and find out how Vijayanagar empire had muslim soldiers (secular army) and when muslims attacked they acted as fifth column..

    many many examples in history of india.

    if there is a fight against pakistan..the muslim soldiers is religiously unpredictable…


    Shoeb K Reply:

    @Sam @ Raju

    Sam is right. For a “religious” Muslim, the first loyalty is to the religion, and not the country. The Book is quite focused on religion, or more importantly belief systems; and nothing at all on nation-state. Hence the concept of brotherhood, Ummah etc.

    In fact, a religious Muslim should not even “cheer’ Indian soldiers when they are fighting a Muslim army, say Pakistani.

    However, Ulema can designate Pakistani army as not a “true” Muslim army because Pakistan ahs violated lot of sacred Islamic principles.

    Sam Reply:

    Fort Hood jihad shooter handed out Korans the morning of his attack…

    He is doing his dua, until the last minute..
    telling unbelievers how islam is peace..

    (as per Zia there is nothing to be afraid of, once you understand islam…
    islam is peace…
    similar to “rest in peace” in a cemetry..for those who beleive islamist/jihadist propaganda..


    Sam Reply:

    Islamic Sharia in action again


    Somali adulterer stoned to death

    Islamists in southern Somalia have stoned a man to death for adultery but spared his pregnant girlfriend until she gives birth.

    Abas Hussein Abdirahman, 33, was killed in front of a crowd of some 300 people in the port town of Merka.

    An official from the al-Shabab group said the woman would be killed after she has had her baby.

    Amit Reply:

    I think you are taking only those parts of History that conforms to your bias. Let’s not get carried away and designate the entire Muslim community as a fifth column. How is that different from people who say that Muslims do not belong to India. That is just totally uncalled for. Now, with your reference to history, I am sure you can find innumerable examples of muslims fighting muslim armies. How about Ibrahim Gardi, the famed leader of the Gardi battalion in the Maratha army who fought against Abdali, in what was billed as a “holy” war. Numerous historical observers note that his was one of the few regiments of the Maratha army that gave a good account of themselves in that battle. There is no point in reading history with such a bias. On the other hands, you would find millions of examples where Hindus have betrayed Hindus, not to speak of betraying their Muslim rulers. The example of Tipu Sultan is well known who was betrayed by his Hindu minister. In the modern times, I am sure you would do well to remember that one of PVC winner was Abdul Hamid and that was in fight against Pakistan. Just because Partition happened on the basis of religion, there is no need to abuse those who chose to stay back and made India their home. India belong to them as much as it belongs to me and you.

    Sam Reply:

    Would you like to answer the question.

    “Can muslims in Darul Harb fight against Darul Islam. ?

    What does Koran/Hadith say is the obligation or requirement when a Darul Harb country fights with Darul Islam..”.

    I am looking for answers which are based on islamic theology and koran/hadiths only.

    Responding to your reply:
    Most of the time, those betrayals happened at a personal level of greed for money or trying to save their lifes and properties.

    But they are not happening due to a religious mandate or divine revelations.

    syed Reply:

    all this **** about darul harb & darul islam etc. happened during the early years of islam. you will not get anything if you look to answers from within the basic islamic ideology (same for christian scriptures). muslims have, unfortunately, abandoned ijtehad and made the religion static (and as a corollary themselves also).

    By the way sam, this is not relevent but i am curious. You come across as some lonely retired NRI , consumed with hatred, hammering away 24*7 on your computer. Get out in the sun & get a girlfriend (preferably muslim). Who knows, your posts might change!

    Sam Reply:

    still waiting for answer on

    “what is the religious obligation of a muslim in darul harb, when there is war between darul islam and darul harb” ??

    Please answer based only on islamic texts.

  • syed

    For quite some time I tried to understand why Pakistanis did not feel that seriously threatened by the Taliban even as they behaved and spread as they did. But now I think the answer is quite clear, indeed the same thing is happening in India & people are merrily just not bothered. When Chidambaram has called the naxalites a the most serious threat to India does anyone really care?
    I think we are behaving the same way as the Pakistanis. In some way we consider the naxalites as one of our own, which makes them non threatening.


    Shiuli Mukherji Reply:

    Robin Hood is a hero in English folklore, a highly skilled archer and outlaw. In particular, he is known for “stealing from the rich and giving to the poor,” assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his “Merry Men”. There are many songs and stories about him, starting in medieval times, and continuing through more modern literature, films, and television series. I think we will be doing the same for Taliban’s in Pakistan along with the radical Muslim thoughts present in India, bracketing them in “Robin hood genre” only if they don’t themselves differentiate on religious basis and stick to stealing from rich class only.


    Bobby Reply:

    There is no comparison between the Taliban and the Maoists. The former was in part created or at the least supported by the state of Pakistan, along with help from SA and the USA (funny the only difference between the two best buddies is ‘U’ :) ).

    The Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan is the classic case of the frankestein monster. The more apt comparison in the Indian case would be to Bhindranwalla. The reason why Pakistan was so slow in acting against them was partly because of this fact. In particular, they thought that they could still use the Taliban forces in Kashmir and Afghanistan. When it became clear that things were getting out of their hand, they decided to act.

    Maoists, were not create by the GoI. In fact they got so much support from the tribals precisely because of the injustice that the tribals were facing at the hands of the state. They will vanish when the injustice is undone. The tribals, like everybody else, want to live in peace. I dont think they will support the Maoists, once the Indian state, by which I mean all the state (central and regional) apparatus, stops its violent and unjust actions against them.


    Sam Reply:

    For the first time fully agree with Bobby…

  • syed

    @bobby, shiuli,
    Unfortunately, as history has shown such movements have a nasty habit of turning on the people they profess to serve.
    The great leap forward in China – tens of millions chinese killed, Russia under Stalin – again tens of millinos russians killed and exiled. The list is endless..


  • Irsh

    huh!!! it’s scary here! so much of bad-feelings against moslems….I owe this partly to the fact that Moslems’ leadership is in shambles…these politically-motivated leaders never think beyond their self-interests.

    at a time, when Indian moslems needed government to listen to their plights due to the lack of socio-economic development, their leaders are raising issues like Vande Mataram’s position in Islamic context…Total ****!

    I would have been happy, if Bush has had bombed these leaders!! but the problem is I dont see much of Moslems coming forward to their community’s development…not even their youth.

    Zia, you being a Moslem, can do more than just writing a weekly blog… this blog will only reap you these hatred-filled comments…


  • Ramesh Talwani



  • http://twitter.com/magicalvoodoo Ever Smith

    the source of happiness for others around you, begin your day with meditation. To each one, there is a meditation that can make the wining difference. read more http://www.mastervoodoospells.com/


  • http://www.facebook.com/naturerules Balaji Babu

    I am balaji from chennai. I own a beat diesel and I am not a previous owner of indica(i had a getz 2005). I can say the refinement is better if not best compared to a swift or micra.. but still even the polo’s engine has a clatter which is similar to beat and i dont find any difference between these two as far as the refinement goes… If you talk about high speed, then there is no diesel engine of its capacity to compare with, as in a 1 liter engine(its actually 936 CC) you cant expect it to perform like a 1.3/1.4. I believe GM is fine withe sales of BEAT diesel, as only after the launch of this diesel version beat started to clock around 5000 cars rather it was 1500 on average considering the Petrol/LPG alone.
    so is the EON worth the money that is paid for? or whether it has the best of fuel economy, built, drive ability, ergonomics and cost? I see that its top end model is almost 4.5 lacs in chennai. Do you think eon has a better refinement overall? As a package at their own segments and cost, i feel BEAT is better car than the EON and if you have not driven an EON, please try it once.
    Again coming to the price, the entry model of figo diesel is 5.5 L on road chennai whereas Beat is 5.03, its almost 50K difference and this continues for all the variants. If 50K is not a difference at all, I would like to say that the budget interval between a wagonR(1 Liter VXi) and a Ritz(1.2 Liter LXi) is a meagre 20K. With ABS version of WagonR you need to spend more than the Ritz Lxi. So certainly 50K is a better difference and any consumer will realize on the date of delivery. Beat is better built, good interiors and better plastics than the ford figo and comparing it with Figo itself will solve the purpose of GM’s idea of BEAT diesel. When a car like EON which is noisy and has a vibrating gear lever with a lousy 3 pot IRDE version engine can be tagged at 4.5 lacs why not the beat with good built and better plastics and good steering/clutch assembly with the 1 liter derivation of the famous FIAT engine should not be priced 50K lesser than the competition? On a lighter note, if the engine is approx 500 CC less you want it to be at half price of Figo? :-)


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002582675712 Rocco Hunter

    WTF !! :-/

    according to wt basis is d fiesta worst performer ???
    it has got luks, performance, handling, built quality, gud avg .
    jus bcoz its priced at a bit high price doesnt means dat its an worst performer
    dear writer,
    i think according to u, best cars are bad design, bad handling, poor safety, poor built qualtiy n GOOD MILEAGE + LOW PRICING = BEST CAR !


  • Anonymous

    I’ve bookmarked this because I found it interesting. I would be very interested to hear more news on this. Thanks!


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XAVBIBSZW4ITEUU7A4MJXBIXVU Saahil

    Well, a perfect analysis.. But have a point, instead of going in for the new car, still the best priced cars are now available dirt cheap if you enter the used car market. Whats the harm in having a Honda City of 2009 at under Rs. 5 Lacs.. The car is less driven, maintained and by sure now will attract less depreciation from current price as already 3 -3.5 lacs eroded in first 2 years.. Got the latest stock at:- http://www.usedcarindelhi.com


  • http://www.facebook.com/kumaril.bhowmick Kumaril Bhowmick

    Maruti Kizashi……. 300 for a maruti car is unforgiving faliure


  • http://www.facebook.com/bhargesh.ved Bhargesh Ved

    Dear HT,

    You should not post mortem the brilliance of the show, be humble and learn something.
    The whole nation is learning its not such a bad ’show’ as you refer to it.
    SMJ’s and Aamirs heart and mind are in the right place. Their efforts are commendable.


  • http://www.facebook.com/bhargesh.ved Bhargesh Ved

    Totally Agree :)
    Aamir isnt a show prop, hes a change agent


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sumanth-Chandra/1291973406 Sumanth Chandra

    70% of dowry death cases are false. The law itself is wrongly defined. The law says, if any woman dies within 7 years of marriage, then it is dowry death. It is suicide of married men (not women) that is continuously rising (look at NCRB data). When men commit suicide due to false cases or torture by wife and in-laws, no arrests are made and no FIRs are registered.


  • Abhijit Phadke

    Chetan, your article contains quite a few important points, but its written from the perspective of a person who has studied and delved deeper into the issue. Why not think about it from the layman’s perspective?
    Aamir’s show has a very diverse audience. There are many in our country who don’t even read the daily newspapers, and are not aware of what happens around them. This show creates awareness about issues and that’s very important.

    So even though the show may have been uninspiring for you because of being an insider who has knowledge about the issue, why not applaud it for being inspiring for those who knew nothing about the issue before the show was aired?

    I wrote a very detailed article on my blog which contains review, suggestions and the way ahead. Here’s the link to it.


  • Bala Goli

    Completely agree, this dumb writer needs help.
    1. Very jealous 2. He had no clue what he was scribbling 3. Completely biased
    This is the first time i visited HT site and swear never to return back. May some commonsense be bestowed upon Chethan Chauhan. Chethan You are a classic example of a bad indian.


  • Priyadarshini

    yes baba Amir, the fact and solutions you provides , starting from female feticide to pesticide food ,none of any baba/the socalled mantries/in total the samaj rakshak has ever been think of these basics/explsions. Seriously this is not a comment rather simple words having clear meaning.


  • fledglingBlogger

    I cannot understand the claim that Mr.Pilot graduated from Wharton – verity needs checking- I happened to be in a university in close promixity and had heard that he was flunking out – he probably got admitted using the ‘corporate’ quota; but getting through the competitive course wasnt trivial.