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RSS Agenda: India, Again, Threatens Surgical Strikes

NOVANEWS

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By Sajjad Shaukat

In the aftermath of the terror attack at a military base in Uri, close to the Line of Control (LoC)

with Pakistan, India has been deliberately increasing war hysteria against Pakistan in accordance with the agenda of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

The situation developed after the Uri base assault has clearly proved that with the help of Indian

intelligence agencies, particularly RAW, India has itself arranged the attack not only to defame

Pakistan, but also to achieve a number of sinister aims.

After the Uri episode, without any investigation, India’s top civil and military officials, including

their media started propaganda against Pakistan by accusing that the militants who target the Uri base came from Pakistan’s side of Azad Kashmir and the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba controlled by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) were involved in it. Under the mask of the Uri base

assault, India started mobilization of troops near the LoC to wage a limited war with Pakistan,

while considering surgical strikes on the Azad Kashmir.

New Delhi claimed on September 29, 2016 that it carried out surgical strikes on terrorist launch

pads across the LoC in Pakistani side of Kashmir.

On the other side, in a statement, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) rejected Indian

claims by saying, “There has been no surgical strike by India, instead there had been cross border fire initiated by India. Pakistani troops befittingly responded to Indian unprovoked firing across the LoC…the notion of surgical strike linked to alleged terrorists bases is an illusion being

deliberately generated by Indian to create false effects…to create media hype by rebranding

cross border fire as surgical strike is a fabrication of truth.”

Meanwhile, the representatives of The Washington Post and The New York Times, who visited

the villages adjoining LoC in the disputed Kashmir region have reported that the people they met

there told them that there were no surgical strikes.

Reports suggest that myth of Indian surgical strikes was exposed. Hence differences existed

between the civil and military leadership—as to how cover the falsehood. In this regard, Indian

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and country’s former Army Chief Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhaag had

decided to prepare a ‘fake video’ of surgical strikes so as to pacify the Indian public and media.

In this context, Indian Express wrote on October 5, 2016, “Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay

Nirupam on Wednesday attacked BJP even as he continued to face flak from several quarters for

suggesting army’s surgical strikes could be “fake” Unfazed by the heat, even from within his

party, Nirupam fired a fresh salvo accusing BJP of trying to extract political mileage out of the

national security issue with eyes set on ensuing elections in the state to be held next year.”

It is mentionable that since July 8, 2016 against the martyrdom of the young Kashmir leader

Burhan Wani by the Indian security forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) in wake of

continued sieges and prolonged curfews, Indian forces have martyred more than 150 innocent

persons who have been protesting against the martyrdom of Burhan Wani.

In wake of new phase of uprising in the Indian Held Kashmir, pressure on the BJP-led Indian

government of Modi has been mounting both domestically and internationally.

But, setting aside the internal and external pressure, days after being named the new Indian

Army Chief, Gen. Bipin Rawat said on January 3, this year that so-called “surgical strikes”

against Pakistan were meant to deliver a message. While threatening Islamabad, Gen. Bipin

Rawat told NDTV in an exclusive interview that the possibility of similar action in the future

could not be ruled out by adding, “If there are terrorist bases across and if they continue to

disrupt the situation on our side of the Line of Control then we have a right to take action against

the terrorists.”

In response, Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on January 5, 2016 rejected claims

by his Indian counterpart Gen. Bipin Rawat about “so-called surgical strikes” and their possible

recurrence.

According to ISPR, Army Chief Gen. Qamar Bajwa made it clear that “Pakistan Armed Forces

were fully geared to respond to any aggression by India.”

However, like the BJP-led Modi government, Indian new army chief is also following the RSS

agenda which is, the real controller of Indian internal and external policies, based upon anti-

Muslim and anti-Pakistan approach.

Taking cognizance of various developments such as unprecedented rise of Hindu extremism,

persecution of minorities, forced conversions of other religious minorities into Hindus, ban on

beef and cow slaughter, inclusion of Hindu religious books in curriculum and creation of war-

like situation with Pakistan, analysts have still been opining that being the leader of the BJP,

Indian Prime Minister Modi is implementing the fundamentalist agenda of his party with the

support of other Hindu fanatic outfits. But, a Mumbai-based writer, author and lawyer, A. G.

Noorani in his article, “Modi’s loyalties,” published in a Pakistan’s leading daily, on October 10,

2015 proved with authentic events and arguments that Hindu fundamentalist party, RSS is the

real controller of India and BJP is only a show piece.

In the article, A. G. Noorani said, “It was an unprecedented journey; but caused little surprise.

On September 4, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Nagpur, the headquarters of the

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, to present himself before the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

Almost his entire council of ministers and the BJP’s parliamentary board were there to

demonstrate their accountability to the RSS. On Oct 2, a dozen or so junior ministers of state got

into a huddle with senior RSS functionaries in New Delhi in what was described as a regular

review meeting. A press release issued thereafter revealed: The prime minister said he was proud to be a Swayamsevak and he had reached where he had because of the values he had imbibed as

a member of the RSS.”

A. G. Noorani elaborated, “Modi is a lifelong RSS activist (pracharak), having left his family to

dedicate himself to the organisation. It, in turn, ensured his rise to the post of the highest

executive of the country. The entire exercise was a flagrant violation of the fundamentals of the

parliamentary system.”

The writer pointed out, “The BJP general secretary Ram Madhav is an RSS man who was

seconded to the BJP along with many others—recently the RSS model is unique. It has a parivar

[family] of 40-plus organisations. The RSS is their ideological fountainhead. It is also the BJP’s

muscle; it provides the cadres and foot soldiers who are indispensable at election time. Bhagwat

disapproves of the personality cult which Modi and his men have built up ever since he became

prime minister.”

He wrote, “The stark reality is that the BJP can never be a right-wing party in the traditional

sense. Its ideology binds it to the RSS which also controls it organizationally.”

He explained, “The word ‘fascist’ was aptly chosen. As Donald E. Smith says in his classic India

as a Secular State—The leader principle, the stress on militarism, the doctrine of racial-cultural

superiority, ultra-nationalism infused religious idealism, the use of symbols of past greatness, the emphasis on national solidarity, the exclusion of the religious or ethnic minorities from the

nation-concept—all of these features of the RSS are highly reminiscent of fascist movements in

Europe. A responsible correspondent reported in August that the RSS membership is growing at

10,000 to 15,000 recruits every month and says it has reached every district except parts of

Kashmir and Assam. The RSS influence on governance was obvious when Atal Behari Vajpayee

was prime minister. It successfully vetoed Jaswant Singh’s appointment as finance minister. The

RSS shadow lurks ominously on issues dear to it. Ram Madhav specifically mentioned Kashmir

as one of them; which implies also relations with Pakistan.”

Nevertheless, these new revelations prove that all the extremist parties like VHP, Bajrang Dal,

Shiv Sena and other extremist outfits including his own ruling party are subsidiaries of the RSS,

while under the influence of RSS; Prime Minister Modi has been rapidly radicalizing India.

While, the constitution declares India to be a secular state, granting equal rights to the religious

minorities, but in practice, ideology of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) prevails. Hindu politics and culture dominated by the fundamentalist parties—under the control of RSS have been

propagating Hindutva. Provocative utterances of their extremist leaders have resulted into

unending violence against the Muslims and Christians including other minority groups.

In fact, Modi who was also a volunteer worker of the extremist Hindu terrorist outfit RSS since 8

years of age is a natural born Hindu extremist, while RSS involved in Muslim genocide, rape of

women, demolition of mosques and alive burnings of the innocent persons.

It is noteworthy that especially, on the basis of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan slogans, BJP got a

land sliding triumph in the Indian elections 2014, and enabled BJP hardliner, Narendra Modi to

become Indian prime minister who was so far seemed to be implementing his party’s extremist

agenda by giving impetus to Hindu chauvinism—not only against other minorities, but also

against Pakistan, as under his direction, New Delhi has intensified unprovoked firing at the Line

of Control in Kashmir and Working Boundary across Pak-Indian border. Now, these latest

revelations clearly indicate that the Indian Prime Minister Modi follows the instructions of the

RSS which is the main decision-making party and real controller of India.

In this respect, some reliable online sources have disclosed that a secret meeting of RSS took

place under Mohan Bhagwat, Chief of RSS which was also attended by Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi,

serving 3 rd  term as General Secretary of RSS, Sureshi Sony (Secretary), Krishna Gopat, Majoj

Biyani and Dr Subhash Bhambre (Minister of State for Defence). Important details reported

about the meeting are—RSS wants BJP to be more aggressive towards Pakistan. Across Line of

Control/Working Boundaries/International Boarder operation has been planned against Pakistan in the near future, most likely before UP election to favorably impact the outcome of elections.

These reports also revealed that RSS wants BJP to build Ayodhya Temple after forming

government in UP. Prime Minister Modi has made important appointments recently including

COAS, RAW and IB Chiefs. BJP/RSS now have their “own men” to lead these organizations.

Modi with ambitious newly appointed Chief’s and DGMO may resort to some limited action

against Pakistan which can be used for political gains through inflated projection. Possibility of a

“False Flag” act of violence followed by a limited cross LOC/WB/IB action by Special Forces or

infantry will be high until the elections are over.

Indian new army chief has been portrayed as an expert of “Surgical Strikes” to domestic

audience, as Corps had conducted “cross border strikes” against Naga rebels in Myanmar.

Para-drop practices have been conducted recently in Kishtwar in Indian Occupied Kashmir

(IOK)—Samba, Jammu and Bhatinda. Practice of “Surgical Strikes” was conducted by D Force

RRF in Batote (IOK). Possible objective of these exercises could be—make videos/ photographs

which can be used to add credibility to a future fake activity.

New Delhi can use any pretext to obtain its sinister designs against Islamabad. In this

connection, Kashmiri freedom fighters attacked on General Res Engineers Force (GREF) Camp

in Batal (Akhnoor) on January 9, 2017. In this connection, Indian media reported that 3 x GREF

employees were killed in an attack by terrorists on January 9, 2017 at GREF camp, located 2 km

from LOC in Batal village. Indian media also stated that the attackers came from across the

LOC. The exact number of attackers is still not confirmed contrary to that, actual facts are GREF

is a subordinate organization of border Roads Organization (BRO).

The Indian authorities have been quick to link them to Pakistan. Indian media is not giving it due coverage, as has been done in previous incidents. Because, Indian Army might be making the groups for launching another surgical strikes—Indian designs to use such fake incidents to

malign Pakistan and to use them as a justification for any surgical strikes may be exposed.

Nonetheless, the Modi government and its new army chief who are acting upon RSS agenda by

considering surgical strikes in Azad Kashmir or limited war in Kashmir in wake of intermittent

firing across the LoC by targeting the villages of Azad Kashmir are badly mistaken, if they

overestimate India’s power and underestimates Pakistan’s power. Pakistan’s Armed Forces are

fully prepared to give a matching response to any such an attack by Indian forces. So, our forces

are ready to conduct a real strike on an opportune moment.

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KASHMIRIS WAVE HIZBULLAH’S BANNER

NOVANEWS

KASHMIRIS WAVE HIZBULLAH’S BANNER AND REJECT THE MOSSAD-RAW ATTEMPTS TO DIVIDE THEM ON SECTARIAN LINES
by Jonathan Azaziah

Here we go! Let it rock Kashmiris! In response to RAW’s agents burning pictures of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Bashar al-Assad and Hassan Rouhani last Friday, Kashmiris in Srinagar gathered in massive numbers–some brothers say hundreds, others say thousands–on Sunday to counteract the hatred, sectarianism and division represented by these degenerates in the pay of Hindutva and Zionism.

The defiant demonstrators waved Hizbullah’s flags, held up Ayatollah Nimr al-Nimr’s (R.A.) pictures and chanted against all forms of sedition. Shi’a, Sunnis, Sufis and even a few Sikhs were present as booming cries of “Death to India!”, “Death to ‘Israel’!” and “Death to Al-Saud!” rang throughout the Kashmiri capital’s streets. Just in case it needed to be said, and for some, clearly it does – THIS IS THE TRUE FACE OF THE KASHMIRI AZADI (FREEDOM) STRUGGLE. Unity and Resistance. And this isn’t a mere slogan either. It’s not even a way of life. It just is. That’s how Kashmiris are and this is what Kashmiris do. Being split on ethnic or sectarian lines is NOT in their nature and it is NOT going to happen; Kashmiris aren’t going to be bullied, nor will they be browbeaten into accepting something alien to their culture, history and identity.

Not by RAW’s subversion.

Not by the brutality of the Indian occupation army.

Not by the usurping Zionist entity’s thirst for expanding its global hegemony.

Not by Saudi Arabia’s petrodollar-fueled Wahhabi-Takfiri fanaticism either.

The fight for Azadi in the Vale is one that encompasses all peoples from all Islamic schools of thought and all faiths. Going on seven decades, Kashmiris have consistently rebuked every one of the Indian regime’s attempts to fracture and factionalize them. And nothing exemplifies that more than the raising of the Lebanese Islamic Resistance’s yellow banner. Hizbullah fights to unify the region. Kashmiris struggle to unify the Valley. The two go together like Wazwan followed by Kahwah on the day that the whole of Kashmir is liberated from the Indian occupation’s reign of terror.

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Pak-India Water Dispute Accelerates

NOVANEWS

Image result for Pak-India Water PHOTO

Sajjad Shaukat

Pakistan is a grave victim of water scarcity, because of being on lower riparian in relation to the

rivers emanating from the Indian-Held Kashmir (IHK). India has never missed an opportunity to

harm Pakistan since its inception; it is creating deliberate water shortages for Pakistan with the

aim to impair Pakistan agriculturally. Historically, India has been trying to establish her

hegemony in the region by controlling water sources and damaging agricultural economies of her

neighbouring states. India has water disputes with Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Indian

extremist Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has given the concerned departments to continue

construction of dams has ordered diverting water of Chenab River to Beas, which is a serious

violation of the Indus Water Treaty of 1960. Therefore Pak-India water dispute has accelerated.

In this regard, an article By: Zofeen T. Ebrahim, Joydeep Gupta (Co-Authors) under the caption,

“India resists World Bank move to resolve Indus Water Treaty dispute”, published in The Third

Pole and reproduced-updated by a Pakistan’s renowned daily on January 6, 2017 is notable.

Zofeen T. Ebrahim and Joydeep Gupta wrote, “India has asked the World Bank not to rush in to

resolve a dispute with Pakistan over the Kishanganga and Ratle hydropower projects. Indian

officials told a World Bank representative in New Delhi on January 5 that any differences over

the projects can be resolved bilaterally or through a neutral expert. Pakistan has objected to the

projects–being built by India in Jammu and Kashmir–on the grounds that they violate the 1960

Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) between the two countries. After India rejected the charge, Pakistan

has gone to the World Bank–the designated IWT mediator.”

They indicated, “Islamabad has also asked the United States (US) government to intervene, and

has added the component of water security to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

agreement. Of the rivers in the Indus basin, the Indus and the Sutlej start in China and flow

through India before reaching Pakistan. The other four rivers–Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Beas –

start in India and flow to Pakistan”.

The writers pointed out, “The Kishanganga project is on a tributary of the Jhelum, while the

Ratle project is on the Chenab. The State Department in Washington has already said it wants

India and Pakistan to resolve all outstanding issues bilaterally, a route favoured by India.”

Zofeen T. Ebrahim and Joydeep Gupta elaborated, “As the dispute flared up, the World Bank

had recently suspended all proceedings–the setting up of a court of arbitration or the appointment

of a neutral expert. On January 5, World Bank representative Ian H Solomon met officials of

India’s External Affairs and Water Resources ministries in New Delhi in an effort to break the

deadlock.The Indian delegation, led by Gopal Baglay, Joint secretary in the Ministry of External

Affairs, made a detailed a presentation on the two projects to support their argument that neither

project violated the IWT. After the meeting, a government official told journalists that the Indian

side had described the objections raised by Pakistan as “technical”, and therefore they would be

best resolved by a neutral expert.”

They wrote, “Pakistan has dismissed this suggestion earlier, and is seeking a full court of

arbitration. The World Bank had agreed to a court of arbitration and then to the appointment of a

neutral expert, leading to objections by both countries. That was when both processes were

suspended. Explore: World Bank pauses dam arbitration to ‘protect Indus Waters Treaty.’ At the

January 5 meeting, Solomon did not raise any question on the designs of the two projects,

according to the Press Trust of India news agency. Instead, he explored ways to resolve the

dispute. With nothing decided, the World Bank official is going from New Delhi to Islamabad to

continue this effort. The official added that India is fully conscious of its international

obligations and is ready to engage in further consultations to resolve the differences regarding

the two projects. Under the IWT, India is allowed only non-consumptive use of water from the

three western rivers in the Indus basin–Indus, Jhelum and Chenab.”

The co-authors mentioned, “The Kishanganga and Ratle projects are on the western rivers. They

are run-of- the-river hydropower projects that do not hold back any water, though Pakistan’s

objection is about the height of the gates in the dams from which water is allowed to flow

downstream. The three eastern rivers–Ravi, Beas and Sutlej–are reserved for the use of India.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan. The Pakistani government approached the World Bank last September,

saying the design of the Kishanganga project was not in line with the criteria laid down under

IWT, and sought the appointment of a court of arbitration. Since the Kishanganga project has

been going on for years, the “inordinate” delay by Islamabad to approach the World Bank would

give India more time to complete its projects, Jamait Ali Shah, former Indus Water

Commissioner on behalf of the Pakistani government, told thethirdpole.net”.

Their article pointed out, “However, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar wrote to the World

Bank on December 23, stressing that it was not withdrawing its request to set up a court of

arbitration. This was followed by a call from the outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry to

Dar, saying that the US would like to see an amicable solution to the transboundary water row.

Karachi-based newspaper…quoted diplomatic observers in Washington to say, “seriousness of

this dispute, particularly the fear that it may harm the treaty, forced Mr. Kerry to make this call.”

The writers explained, “For a while now Pakistan has also wanted to bring China into the picture.

At the sixth meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of the CPEC which was held in

Beijing on December 29, a special group on water storage was formed to pre-empt any “severe

water crisis” impacting economic and food security of Pakistan, an official statement said. After

a Chinese delegation visits Pakistan later this month, the JCC – the highest policy-making forum

of the CPEC – may consider including the Diamer-Bhasha dam into the CPEC agreement.

Planned at an estimated cost of around USD 15 billion, if Pakistan succeeds in getting the dam

financed under CPEC, planning and development minister Ahsan Iqbal would consider it a

“landmark achievement”. Both the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have refused

to lend money to Pakistan for this hydropower project. Pakistani experts react leading lawyer and

former federal law minister, Ahmer Bilal Soofi termed the inclusion of water security into CPEC

essentially a |political choice for Pakistan and China” though the issue does not “squarely fall

within the otherwise commercial mandate of CPEC”.

Zofeen T. Ebrahim and Joydeep Gupta wrote, “Speaking to thethirdpole.net, Soofi said Pakistan

and China need to exchange notes on a “contradicting state practice of India as an upper riparian

to Pakistan and a lower riparian to China, that will help both the states to confront India.” He

further added that Pakistan should raise its voice at an international level that “India’s building of

reservoir and fully utilising the water storage capacity under the treaty poses a serious threat to

Pakistan in particular backdrop of India’s present posturing as it improves India’s capability to

manipulate water flows into Pakistan.” This was echoed by former commissioner Shah who said

the international community should be duly briefed about the “dilution of the violation of the

provisions of the treaty” by India. At the same time, he said both countries should continue to

work closely and quietly to resolve the grievances and find a middle ground”.

They added, “The recent stance by India where it “lobbied aggressively and influenced” the

World Bank, he feared, had further undermined the already “fragile” treaty. “The WB needs to

take the right action–which is to act as arbitrator in this matter, as it has done before,” pointed

out water expert Simi Kamal.The reason why the IWT, 74 pages long with 12 articles and 8

annexures and has no expiry date, has worked so far, she said was partly because the Bank acted

as a third party. “The Bank needs to maintain this role and not back off now, when its arbitration

role is most required in the face of a belligerent Indian government.”

According to the writers, “Kamal further said the solution lay not in the pause by the Bank “or

for hawks to call for dismantling the treaty”, but for both governments to act responsibly and for

the Bank to play its role in "containing adventurism by either government–in this matter the

Indian government”. Shah also felt when Pakistan plans to proceed with such cases, it never does

its homework thoroughly and therefore always appears the weaker party. The same was endorsed

by noted economist Kaiser Bengali when he told thethirdpole.net that he found “the intellectually

deficient and politically inane manner in which Pakistan has been pursuing the matter”, criminal.

Bengali had little confidence in the Pakistan IWT team. He said, “It has no strategy on dealing

with water issues with India. Pakistan’s chief negotiator for more than a decade and a half had

limited intellectual capacity to lead on such a strategically life and death issue,” he said”.

They indicated, “He said Pakistan keeps harping on the "spirit" of the agreement. “Four decades

after a treaty is signed, what matters is the letter of the print, not the spirit of the time when the

document was signed.” Bengali believed India was not violating the letter of the agreement.

“India has been building power plants on western rivers, but not diverting any water”. Nor, he

said, were Pakistan’s contentions on the design "substantive enough to warrant a full scale

confrontation”. He also observed, like Shah, that differences can and should be resolved in a

more “low key” manner. He feared that since India was not violating the treaty per se, if Pakistan

does take the latter to court, it will meet the same fate as the Baglihar Dam case of 2007”.

Zofeen T. Ebrahim and Joydeep Gupta maintained, “While Indian officials maintain that they are

sticking to the IWT, the government has hardened its stand in recent months after attacks on

Indian Army camps in Kashmir by suspected militants. (Read: South Kashmir's role in anti-India

struggle) New Delhi had earlier said it was setting up a task force to examine what projects it

could undertake in the three western rivers of the Indus basin under the ambit of the IWT. In the

last week of 2016, the government announced that the task force would be headed by Nripendra

Mishra, principal secretary to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

Nevertheless in light of the above article, it is mentionable that since the 9/11 tragedy,

international community has been taking war against terrorism seriously, while there are also

other forms of bloodless wars, being waged in the world and the same are like terrorism. Political

experts opine that modern terrorism has many meanings like violent acts, economic terrorism

etc., but its main aim is to achieve political, economic and social ends. Judging in these terms,

Pak-India water dispute which has become serious needs special attention of the US and other

major powers, as India remains stern on her illegitimate stand in this respect.

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India’s Man-Made Economic Calamity

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India’s Man-Made Economic Calamity: How Many Will Die from Starvation, Malnutrition and Disease as a Result of Modi’s Demonetization?

modi

At this point, every sane and responsible person in India should be asking:  How many tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or millions of people in India are going to die from hunger, starvation, malnutrition and disease as a result of Modi’s demonetisation?

Reports from the rural and semi-rural areas of India, from towns and villages, already indicate that hunger is widespread because of the nonexistence of cash.[1][2]  This artificial crisis was created on November 8, 2016 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi arbitrarily declared 86% of the nation’s currency worthless as legal tender—a draconian diktat taken without any prior discussion with his cabinet, Parliament, or the people.

The so-called demonetisation policy has had devastating effects across all sectors of Indian society, crippling businesses and farmers, causing retail stores and vendors to shut down, increasing unemployment, and forcing ordinary people to lose billions of man-hours and woman-hours waiting in endless queues at banks to exchange unusable currency notes or to withdraw the meager cash allowed.

But the worst-hit are the poor, the day-laborers, and the rural and semi-rural working class who make up around two-thirds of India’s population—over 650 million people.  The majority of these people have no bank accounts or credit cards.  Nationwide, only 53% of Indians have bank accounts, and more than 300 million people have no government-approved ID which they needed to convert their hard-earned cash into approved denominations.[3]

Ironically, those worst-hit are the people who helped vote Modi into power, believing his populist rhetoric.  Now, while they and their families go hungry, they outwardly give lip-service approval to Modi’s dictatorial scheme, which was supposedly designed to root out “black money”, ie, money that the rich and well-off hide from the tax authorities.  But inwardly, they are seething with anger at what is being done to them.[4]

It is clear that India’s corporate-controlled mainstream media will continue to grossly underreport the havoc that Modi has wreaked upon the nation with his disastrous, ill-conceived experiment in social engineering.[5]  It is also clear that the opposition parties in India are weak, divided, corrupt, and unable to come together and put an end to this unfolding tragedy.

Massive relief efforts should be underway to help all those who face shortages of food, medicine, and cash.  Whether this means an immediate reversal of demonetization or interim measures, they should be carried out nationwide.  But this is not happening.  Instead, Modi arrogantly and defiantly defends his suicidal policy, while his party has launched a huge propaganda campaign extolling the benefits of India’s supposed transition to a digitalized cashless society.  This is insane, as over 95% of the country’s transactions are done in cash.

Many more months will elapse before the government prints up the replacement currency and before the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) have been recalibrated with the necessary new hardware and software.  Right now, almost none of the ATMs work, despite the government/media lies and misinformation.  While the bureaucrats and banks dither, how many people will die from hunger, starvation, or preventable disease because they and their children couldn’t get food or medical treatment?[6]

Perhaps it is time for intervention on a global scale.  This issue should be brought before the attention of the United Nations.  If necessary, resolutions should be passed condemning India’s government for its monumental negligence, inhumanity, and murderous scheme which affects one-sixth of humanity.  Other groups that monitor human rights worldwide should be involved as well.

Notes

[1] Harsh Mander, “Crisis of cashlessness: Demonetisation is hurting rural India, drying up wages, household supplies and food”.  Indian Express, Dec. 24, 2016. http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/demonetisation-crisis-of-cashlessness-4442343/

[2]   Right To Food Campaign, ” Demonetisation Undermines The Right To Food And The Right To Life”.  Countercurrents.org, Dec. 28, 2016.  http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/12/28/demonetisation-undermines-the-right-to-food-and-the-right-to-life/

[3] Amit Varma, “Narendra Modi takes a great leap backwards. Mao would approve”.  Times of India, Nov. 22, 2016.  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/sunday-times/all-that-matters/Narendra-Modi-takes-a-great-leap-backwards-Mao-would-approve/articleshow/55517238.cms

[4] Vanita Akhaury, “Demonetisation effect: Hungry stomachs are making poor seethe to the point of silent revolt.” Firstpost.com, Nov. 19, 2016.  http://www.firstpost.com/business/demonetisation-effect-hungry-stomachs-are-making-poor-seethe-to-the-point-of-silent-revolt-3114038.html

[5]    “Demonitization 2016: Arrogance, Audacious & Atrocious”.    Nov. 30, 2016. http://nharshakumar.blogspot.in/2016/11/demonitization-2016-arrogance-audacious.html

[6]   A petition calling for the reversal of demonetisation and for Prime Minister Modi to step down can be found at:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Prime_Minister_of_India_Say_Sorry_and_Resign/?cznTtlb

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Illegal Detention of Pakistani Prisoners in Indian Jails

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Image result for Indian Jails CARTOON

By Sajjad Shaukat

Recently, Indian Supreme Court has taken notice on the writ petition, filed by Prof. Bhim Singh,

senior Advocate against the illegal, improper and unconstitutional detention of nearly 254

Pakistani prisoners and those of Azad Jammu and Kashmir languishing in Indian jails for over a

decade.

Despite the anti-Pakistan pressure of the extremist outfit BJP and other Hindu fundamentalist

groups led by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the dilemma of Pakistani prisoners has

attracted the attention of the Indian Supreme Court which has taken notice of this atrocious

conduct of New Delhi.

Indian Supreme Court has asked the central government to provide detailed information about

254 Pakistani prisoners imprisoned in Indian jails either as under-trial prisoners or as convicts.

The apex court has also asked the details of Pakistani prisoners who illegally crossed the border,

the crime record of the prisoners, information about actual number of prisoners under trial, total

number of prisoners who are not under judicial custody and about the number of Pakistani

prisoners who have already completed their punishment. The court has also raised questions

about the identification process of prisoners as well as the management process pertaining to

these prisoners’ repatriation to Pakistan.

Notably, over 50 Pakistani prisoners have completed their sentence in Indian jails and are still

struck up in India, as in the pretext of confirmation their nationality status, Indian authorities did

not release them.

It is mentionable that in 2008, Pakistan and India had signed an agreement to grant consular

access to prisoners in each other’s jails in order to reduce the anguish of the prisoners.

India has arrested hundreds of Pakistan’s nationals, often accusing them of being spies after they

have strayed across the land or maritime border due to unconscious mistake and staying with an

expired passport. It also includes some tourists who went to India. Quite contrary to the well-

treatment of Indian spies in Pakistani jails, Indian secret agency RAW and other security

agencies employ various techniques of torture on the so-called Pakistan’s suspected persons.

Some Pakistani citizens and prisoners have also been killed in Indian jails, while a majority of

them has been killed by Indian security agencies in fake encounters, particularly those persons,

arrested in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.

It is notable that government of Pakistan released Indian spy, Surjeet Singh who was handed

over to the Indian authorities at the Wagah border crossing. He was given death sentence in

1991.

The then Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari commuted death sentence of another Indian spy of

RAW, Sarabjit Singh into life imprisonment on June 26, 2012, who was set free from Jail in

July, 2012 and was handed over to the Indian authorities at the Wagah border crossing.

Surjeet Singh openly admitted that he was in Pakistan to spy when he was arrested in 1982. In

this respect, Surjeet Singh said, “I was a RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) agent. No one

bothered about me after I got arrested.” Surjeet told reporters soon after stepping on Indian soil.

While, about Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, Surjeet Singh revealed, “Sarabjit Singh is a terrorist

and terrorists are neither released.”

Besides, Indian spy Surjeet also pointed out, “All Indian prisoners are treated well in Pakistani

jails. Sarabjit Singh is also doing well there…I was treated well by prison officials and I am

thankful to them.”

However, both Surjeet Singh and Sarabjit Singh were responsible for the string of blasts in

Faisalabad, Lahore, and Multan in 1990 in which several innocent people were killed. They were

also behind other terror-activities in Pakistan.

On June 28, 2012, BBC reported, in recent years, “several Indians returning from Pakistani jails

have admitted to spying for Indian intelligence agency RAW” and some have criticised India’s

government for abandoning them.”

It is mentionable that in April 2011, Gopal Das, one of Pakistan’s longest-serving Indian

prisoners, was released after Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari intervened in his case.

Upon his release, Das admitted he was an Indian spy. Similarly, Kashmir Singh, sentenced to

death in Pakistan in 1973 for spying, was released in March 2008. Afterwards, he also admitted

that he was spying for RAW.

It is noteworthy that that confession of the crime by the Indian released prisoners showed Indian

government’s involvement in terrorist acts which occurred in Pakistan from time to time.

It notable that litigation over the fate of 189 Pakistani prisoners reportedly languishing in Indian

penitentiaries took a new turn on April 5, 2016 when a human rights activist filed a constitutional

petition in the Sindh High Court about a list of 17 prisoners waiting for their repatriation, some

of them well over 10 years.

And during the previous hearing, the chairman of Ansar Barney Trust International indicated that

189 Pakistani prisoners having gone missing from Indian jails and he was shocked to see the

Pakistan government and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s silence regarding them.

Nevertheless, as part of good gesture and to stabilize the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs)

with New Delhi, Islamabad set free several Indian prisoners who had completed their sentences.

Pakistan had announced that it would release more that 100 Indian prisoners. In this context,

Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman stated, “since 2003, Pakistan released 2,657 Indian

prisoners, while India has freed 827 Pakistani prisoners.”

But, instead of reciprocating the good gesture of Pakistan, India had sent the dead bodies of two

Pakistani prisoners in 2008, while, two Pakistani prisoners had died in Indian custody in the

same year, including one Pakistani citizen Mehmoud Khalid who had gone to India in 2005 to

watch a cricket test match where he lost his passport. He was subjected to sever torture, resulting

in his death. Another Pakistani prisoner Akram who crossed the border in the Kasur area by

mistake on February 8, 2008, was arrested by the Indian authorities. He was a patient of

schizophrenia. Akram’s brother, Aslam claimed that his brother was tortured to death by the

Indian authorities.

Posted in India, Pakistan & Kashmir0 Comments

Weekend Reader: Examining India’s Demonetization: Social Impact, US Backing and Global Implications

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India’s “War on Cash”: The Demonetization Blitzkrieg. The “Ice Nine” Solution

By Sridhar Chakravarthi Raman

The demonetization blitzkrieg of the NDA government was served to the unsuspecting Indian public as a moral crusade to destroy the twin evils of black money and counterfeit notes. But as the days went by the stated objects of the demonetization fell apart and the government did a series of embarrassing flip flops to put forth the view that the object was to usher in a cashless society where the digitally baptized citizens would swipe their plastic cards and waft to and fro in digital wallets with consummate ease.If the overt objectives of the demonetization, i.e eradication of black money and counterfeit notes were indeed laughable, then other concerns about its covert objectives gave rise to legitimate concerns. What then is the hidden agenda of the demonetization exercise?

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The Social Impacts of India’s Demonetization: Banks Threaten Impoverished Farmers…

By P. Sainath

The bank has “decided to use Gandhigiri to try and recover the loans [from you].  For this the bank has decided to do one of the following: 1) Put up a tent opposite your house to protest, 2) Make use of a band, 3) ring bells. “Due to these actions, your standing and image in society are likely to be in danger.” That is the Osmanabad District Central Cooperative Bank (ODCC) promising 20,000 of its clients public humiliation and ridicule.

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Cash Is No Longer King: Currency Wars, The Phasing Out of Physical Money Has Begun

By Shaun Bradley

As physical currency around the world is increasingly phased out, the era where “cash is king” seems to be coming to an end. Countries like India and South Korea have chosen to limit access to physical money by law, and others are beginning to test digital blockchains for their central banks.

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Video: #Humans Of Demonetized India: Why We Poor Have To Suffer?

By Akhil K Prabhakar and Chidhambaram

The victims of Prime Minister Modi’s Demonetization Program, tell their story. Their lives are destroyed.  What was the purpose of this devastating process ordered by the Indian government. Was it a policy blunder or a deliberate intent to undermine and destroy small scale retailers and producers across the land.

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India’s Demonetization Policy Triggers Famine In Rural Areas

By Rahul M

“We can eat only if we work every day,” D. Narayanappa said after returning to Bucharla from Bengaluru on November 4. Like many other Dalits in this village, he migrates to the city to work on construction sites for most of the year, coming home every now and then for a few days.

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India’s Demonetization Undermines the Right to Food and the Right to Life

By Right To Food Campaign

The right to food campaign is dismayed by the Indian government’s reckless attempt to renew currency notes, known as “demonetization”, without any serious attention to the consequences it may have for poor people. This move serves no clear purpose and is a major attack on the right to food and the right to life.

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A Well-Kept Open Secret: Washington Is Behind India’s Brutal Demonetization Project

By Norbert Haering

Who are the institutions behind this decisive attack on cash? According to USAID: “Over 35 key Indian, American and international organizations have partnered with the Ministry of Finance and USAID on this initiative.”

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“Demonetization”: Beware of the Digital Money Dictatorship

By Dr. Vandana Shiva

As 2017 begins and we flounder in our mad rush to force all of India into a digital economy overnight, it is worth pausing and reflecting on what the digital economy is, who controls the platforms and lines as well as some basic concepts about money and technology which have moulded our lives and freedoms, based on patented systems that are failing the people of “West”. Obsolete systems are moulding our patterns of work and our wellbeing — as a very large country, and as an ancient civilisation — into a cast that is observably too small.

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India, From the Destabilization of Agriculture to Demonetization, “Made in America”

By Colin Todhunter

Emerging evidence indicates that demonetisation was not done to curb corruption, ‘black money’ or terrorism, the reasons originally given. That was a smokescreen. Modi was acting on behalf of powerful Wall Street financial interests. Demonetisation has caused massive hardship, inconvenience and chaos. It has affected everyone and has impacted the poor and those who reside in rural areas (i.e. most of the population) significantly. Who does Modi (along with other strategically placed figures) serve primarily: ordinary people and the ‘national interest’ or the interests of the US?

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A Well-Kept Open Secret: Washington Is Behind India’s Brutal Demonetization Project

NOVANEWS
 
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In early November, without warning, the Indian government declared the two largest denomination bills invalid, abolishing over 80 percent of circulating cash by value. Amidst all the commotion and outrage this caused, nobody seems to have taken note of the decisive role that Washington played in this. That is surprising, as Washington’s role has been disguised only very superficially.

US-President Barack Obama has declared the strategic partnership with India a priority of his foreign policy. China needs to be reined in. In the context of this partnership, the US government’s development agency USAID has negotiated cooperation agreements with the Indian ministry of finance. One of these has the declared goal to push back the use of cash in favor of digital payments in India and globally.

On November 8, Indian prime minster Narendra Modi announced that the two largest denominations of banknotes could not be used for payments any more with almost immediate effect. Owners could only recoup their value by putting them into a bank account before the short grace period expired. The amount of cash that banks were allowed to pay out to individual customers was severely restricted. Almost half of Indians have no bank account and many do not even have a bank nearby. The economy is largely cash based. Thus, a severe shortage of cash ensued. Those who suffered the most were the poorest and most vulnerable. They had additional difficulty earning their meager living in the informal sector or paying for essential goods and services like food, medicine or hospitals. Chaos and fraud reigned well into December.

Four weeks earlier

Not even four weeks before this assault on Indians, USAID had announced the establishment of „Catalyst: Inclusive Cashless Payment Partnership“, with the goal of effecting a quantum leap in cashless payment in India. The press statement of October 14 says that Catalyst “marks the next phase of partnership between USAID and Ministry of Finance to facilitate universal financial inclusion”. The statement does not show up in the list of press statements on the website of USAID (anymore?). Not even filtering statements with the word “India” would bring it up. To find it, you seem to have to know it exists, or stumble upon it in a web search. Indeed, this and other statements, which seemed rather boring before, have become a lot more interesting and revealing after November 8.

Reading the statements with hindsight it becomes obvious, that Catalyst and the partnership of USAID and the Indian Ministry of Finance, from which Catalyst originated, are little more than fronts which were used to be able to prepare the assault on all Indians using cash without arousing undue suspicion. Even the name Catalyst sounds a lot more ominous, once you know what happened on November 9.

Catalyst’s Director of Project Incubation is Alok Gupta, who used to be Chief Operating Officer of the World Resources Institute in Washington, which has USAID as one of its main sponsors. He was also an original member of the team that developed Aadhaar, the Big-Brother-like biometric identification system.

According to a report of the Indian Economic Times, USAID has committed to finance Catalyst for three years. Amounts are kept secret.

Badal Malick was Vice President of India’s most important online marketplace Snapdeal, before he was appointed as CEO of Catalyst. He commented:

 Catalyst’s mission is to solve multiple coordination problems that have blocked the penetration of digital payments among merchants and low-income consumers. We look forward to creating a sustainable and replicable model. (…) While there has been (…) a concerted push for digital payments by the government, there is still a last mile gap when it comes to merchant acceptance and coordination issues. We want to bring a holistic ecosystem approach to these problems.

Ten months earlier

The multiple coordination problem and the cash-ecosystem-issue that Malick mentions had been analysed in a report that USAID commissioned in 2015 and presented in January 2016, in the context of the anti-cash partnership with the Indian Ministry of Finance. The press release on this presentation is also not in USAID’s list of press statements (anymore?). The title of the study was “Beyond Cash”.

“Merchants, like consumers, are trapped in cash ecosystems, which inhibits their interest” in digital payment it said in the report. Since few traders accept digital payments, few consumers have an interest in it, and since few consumers use digital payments, few traders have an interest in it. Given that banks and payment providers charge fees for equipment to use or even just try out digital payment, a strong external impulse is needed to achieve a level of card penetration that would create mutual interest of both sides in digital payment options.

It turned out in November that the declared “holistic ecosystem approach” to create this impulse consisted in destroying the cash-ecosystem for a limited time and to slowly dry it up later, by limiting the availability of cash from banks for individual customers. Since the assault had to be a surprise to achieve its full catalyst-results, the published Beyond-Cash-Study and the protagonists of Catalyst could not openly describe their plans. They used a clever trick to disguise them and still be able to openly do the necessary preparations, even including expert hearings. They consistently talked of a regional field experiment that they were ostensibly planning.

“The goal is to take one city and increase the digital payments 10x in six to 12 months,” said Malick less than four weeks before most cash was abolished in the whole of India. To not be limited in their preparation on one city alone, the Beyond-Cash-report and Catalyst kept talking about a range of regions they were examining, ostensibly in order to later decide which was the best city or region for the field experiment. Only in November did it became clear that the whole of India should be the guinea-pig-region for a global drive to end the reliance on cash. Reading a statement of Ambassador Jonathan Addleton, USAID Mission Director to India, with hindsight, it becomes clear that he stealthily announced that, when he said four weeks earlier:

India is at the forefront of global efforts to digitize economies and create new economic opportunities that extend to hard-to-reach populations. Catalyst will support these efforts by focusing on the challenge of making everyday purchases cashless.

Veterans of the war on cash in action

Who are the institutions behind this decisive attack on cash? Upon the presentation of the Beyond-Cash-report, USAID declared: “Over 35 key Indian, American and international organizations have partnered with the Ministry of Finance and USAID on this initiative.” On the website catalyst.org one can see that they are mostly IT- and payment service providers who want to make money from digital payments or from the associated data generation on users. Many are veterans of,what a high-ranking official of Deutsche Bundesbank called the “war of interested financial institutions on cash” (in German). They include the Better Than Cash Alliance, the Gates Foundation (Microsoft), Omidyar Network (eBay), the Dell Foundation Mastercard, Visa, Metlife Foundation.

The Better Than Cash Alliance

The Better Than Cash Alliance, which includes USAID as a member, is mentioned first for a reason. It was founded in 2012 to push back cash on a global scale. The secretariat is housed at the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDP) in New York, which might have its reason in the fact that this rather poor small UN-organization was glad to have the Gates-Foundation in one of the two preceding years and the Master-Card-Foundation in the other as its most generous donors.

The members of the Alliance are large US-Institutions which would benefit most from pushing back cash, i.e. credit card companies Mastercard and Visa, and also some US-institutions whose names come up a lot in books on the history of the United States intelligence services, namely Ford Foundation and USAID. A prominent member is also the Gates-Foundation. Omidyar Network of eBay-founder Pierre Omidyar and Citi are important contributors. Almost all of these are individually also partners in the current USAID-India-Initiative to end the reliance on cash in India and beyond. The initiative and the Catalyst-program seem little more than an extended Better Than Cash Alliance, augmented by Indian and Asian organizations with a strong business interest in a much decreased use of cash.

Reserve Bank of India’s IMF-Chicago Boy

The partnership to prepare the temporary banning of most cash in India coincides roughly with the tenure of Raghuram Rajan at the helm of Reserve Bank of India from September 2013 to September 2016. Rajan (53) had been, and is now again, economics professor at the University of Chicago. From 2003 to 2006 he had been Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington. (This is a cv-item he shares with another important warrior against cash, Ken Rogoff.) He is a member of the Group of Thirty, a rather shady organization, where high ranking representatives of the world major commercial financial institutions share their thoughts and plans with the presidents of the most important central banks, behind closed doors and with no minutes taken. It becomes increasingly clear that the Group of Thirty is one of the major coordination centers of the worldwide war on cash. Its membership includes other key warriers like Rogoff, Larry Summers and others.

Raghuram Rajan has ample reason to expect to climb further to the highest rungs in international finance and thus had good reason to play Washington’s game well. He already was a President of the American Finance Association and inaugural recipient of its Fisher-Black-Prize in financial research. He won the handsomely endowed prizes of Infosys for economic research and of Deutsche Bank for financial economics as well as the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Prize for best economics book. He was declared Indian of the year by NASSCOM and Central Banker of the year by Euromoney and by The Banker. He is considered a possible successor of Christine Lagard at the helm of the IMF, but can certainly also expect to be considered for other top jobs in international finance.

As a Central Bank Governor, Rajan was liked and well respected by the financial sector, but very much disliked by company people from the real (producing) sector, despite his penchant for deregulation and economic reform. The main reason was the restrictive monetary policy he introduced and staunchly defended. After he was viciously criticized from the ranks of the governing party, he declared in June that he would not seek a second term in September. Later he told the New York Times that he had wanted to stay on, but not for a whole term, and that premier Modi would not have that. A former commerce and law Minister, Mr. Swamy, said on the occasion of Rajan’s  departure that it would make Indian industrialists happy:

I certainly wanted him out, and I made it clear to the prime minister, as clear as possible. (…) His audience was essentially Western, and his audience in India was transplanted westernized society. People used to come in delegations to my house to urge me to do something about it.

A disaster that had to happen

If Rajan was involved in the preparation of this assault to declare most of Indians’ banknotes illegal – and there should be little doubt about that, given his personal and institutional links and the importance of Reserve Bank of India in the provision of cash – he had ample reason to stay in the background. After all, it cannot have surprised anyone closely involved in the matter, that this would result in chaos and extreme hardship, especially for the majority of poor and rural Indians, who were flagged as the supposed beneficiaries of the badly misnamed “financial-inclusion”-drive. USAID and partners had analysed the situation extensively and found in the Beyond-Cash-report that 97% of transactions were done in cash and that only 55% of Indians had a bank account. They also found that even of these bank accounts, “only 29% have been used in the last three months“.

All this was well known and made it a certainty that suddenly abolishing most cash would cause severe and even existential problems to many small traders and producers and to many people in remote regions without banks. When it did, it became obvious, how false the promise of financial inclusion by digitalization of payments and pushing back cash has always been. There simply is no other means of payment that can compete with cash in allowing everybody with such low hurdles to participate in the market economy.

However, for Visa, Mastercard and the other payment service providers, who were not affected by these existential problems of the huddled masses, the assault on cash will most likely turn out a big success, “scaling up” digital payments in the “trial region”. After this chaos and with all the losses that they had to suffer, all business people who can afford it, are likely to make sure they can accept digital payments in the future. And consumers, who are restricted in the amount of cash they can get from banks now, will use opportunities to pay with cards, much to the benefit of Visa, Mastercard and the other members of the extended Better Than Cash Alliance.

Why Washington is waging a global war on cash

The business interests of the US-companies that dominate the gobal IT business and payment systems are an important reason for the zeal of the US-government in its push to reduce cash use worldwide, but it is not the only one and might not be the most important one. Another motive is surveillance power that goes with increased use of digital payment. US-intelligence organizations and IT-companies together can survey all international payments done through banks and can monitor most of the general stream of digital data. Financial data tends to be the most important and valuable.

Even more importantly, the status of the dollar as the worlds currency of reference and the dominance of US companies in international finance provide the US government with tremendous power over all participants in the formal non-cash financial system. It can make everybody conform to American law rather than to their local or international rules. German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has recently run a chilling story describing how that works (German). Employees of a Geran factoring firm doing completely legal business with Iran were put on a US terror list, which meant that they were shut off most of the financial system and even some logistics companies would not transport their furniture any more. A major German bank was forced to fire several employees upon US request, who had not done anything improper or unlawful.

There are many more such examples. Every internationally active bank can be blackmailed by the US government into following their orders, since revoking their license to do business in the US or in dollars basically amounts to shutting them down. Just think about Deutsche Bank, which had to negotiate with the US treasury for months whether they would have to pay a fne of 14 billion dollars and most likely go broke, or get away with seven billion and survive. If you have the power to bankrupt the largest banks even of large countries, you have power over their governments, too. This power through dominance over the financial system and the associated data is already there. The less cash there is in use, the more extensive and secure it is, as the use of cash is a major avenue for evading this power.

Posted in USA, India0 Comments

India Activates Dangerous Arms Race in South Asia

NOVANEWS

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By Sajjad Shaukat

It is most regrettable that by ignoring the modern global trends like renunciation of war, peaceful

settlement of disputes and economic development, India has activated dangerous arms race in

South Asia.

In this respect, India test-fired its longest range surface-to-surface nuclear ballistic missile Agni-

5 from the Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha on December 26, this year.

Agni-5 is capable of striking a target of more than 5,000 km away. The missile can carry a

nuclear warhead of more than one tone. It can target almost all of Asia including Pakistan and

China and Europe.

While, the Agni-6 is reported to be in early stages of development and the most advanced

version, with a strike-range of 8,000-10,000 km.

New Delhi already has in its arsenal—the Agni 1, 2, 3 and 4 missile systems and supersonic

cruise missiles like Brahmos.

According to Times of India, “Once the Agni-V is inducted, India will join the super exclusive

club of countries with ICBMs (missiles with a range of over 5,000-5,500km) alongside the US,

Russia, China, France and the UK.”

It is notable that in its report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) had

disclosed on February 22, 2015 that India is the world’s largest recipient of arms—“India (14

percent of global arms imports), China (4.7 per cent), Australia (3.6 per cent) and Pakistan (3.3

per cent).” In its report of 2016 also SIPRI pointed out India’s arms-import.

New Delhi’s military is acquiring a slew of new equipments from combat aircraft to submarines

and artillery. It is currently finalising a deal with France’s Dassault Aviation to buy 126 Rafale

fighter jets in a contract worth an estimated $12 billion.

Although peace and brinksmanship cannot co-exist in the modern era, yet India seeks to

destabilize Asia through its aggressive designs, activated with new arms race.

And as part of the double standard, America brushed aside the Indian poor record regarding the

safety of nuclear weapons and materials. And despite, Indian violations of various international

agreements and its refusal to sign Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Comprehensive Test Ban

Treaty (CTBT) and Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),

Washington signed a pact of nuclear civil technology with New Delhi in 2008. During American

President Barack Obama’s visit to India, on January 25, 2016, the US and India announced a

breakthrough on the pact which would allow American companies to supply New Delhi with

civilian nuclear technology.

On November 2, 2010, US agreed to sell India the most expensive—the new F-35 fighter jets

including US F-16 and F-18 fighters, C-17 and C-130 aircraft, radar systems, Harpoon weapons

etc. Besides acquisition of arms and weapons from other western countries—especially Israel,

America is a potential military supplier to India. US also pressurized IAEA and the Nuclear

Suppliers Group to grant a waiver to New Delhi for obtaining civil nuclear trade on larger scale.

In fact, US wants New Delhi to continue anti-China and anti-Pakistan role. Beijing is

apprehensive about the emerging threat, as during the last visit of Obama to New Delhi, the

intent of President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quite clear, while

mentioning about free sea lanes and air passages in the South China Sea.

In this connection, tension arose between India and China in the recent past, when Indian army

erected a military camp in Chumar Sector of Ladakh at the Line of Actual Control (LAC)-

disputed border, situated between the two countries. Similarly, tension remains over the Line of

Control (LoC) in Kashmir, as India keeps on violating the ceasefire-agreement in wake of the

unresolved issue of Kashmir.

It is mentionable that under the Pak-China pretext, Indian ex-Army Chief, General Deepak

Kapoor disclosed on December 29, 2010 that the Indian army “is now revising its five-year old

doctrine” and is preparing for a “possible two-front war with China and Pakistan.”

It is noteworthy that after 9/11, both India and Israel which had openly jumped on Bush’s anti-

terrorism enterprise are acting upon a secret diplomacy, targeting Pakistan and China. It could be

assessed from the interview of Israel’s ambassador to India, Mark Sofer, published in the Indian

weekly Outlook on February 18, 2008. Regarding India’s defense arrangements with Tel Aviv,

Sofer had surprisingly revealed, “We do have a defense relationship with India, and “with all due

respect, the secret part will remain a secret.” In fact, with the support of Israel, New Delhi has

been acquiring an element of strategic depth by setting up logistical bases in the Indian Ocean for

its navy.

Particularly, fast growing economic power of China coupled with her rising strategic relationship

with the Third World, and especially Pakistan—after signing of agreement, “China-Pakistan

Economic Corridor” which is, though for the benefit of South Asia, but, has irked the eyes of

Americans, Indians and Israelis. Owing to jealousy, America desires to make India a major

power to counterbalance China in Asia.

Notably, on July 20, 2011, while hinting towards Pak-China ties, the then US Secretary of State

Hillary Clinton urged India to be more assertive in Asia, saying that as American ally, the

country should play more of a leadership role. She explained, “India has the potential to

positively shape the future of the Asia-Pacific.”

It is owing to the US dual policy that New Delhi openly follows threatening diplomacy in South

Asia. In this context, in May 1998 when India detonated five nuclear tests, it also compelled

Pakistan to follow the suit. The then Defense Minister George Fernandes had also declared

publicly that “China is India’s potential threat No. 1.” Now, by setting aside peace-offers of

Beijing and Islamabad, New Delhi has entangled the latter in a deadly arms race.

While, international community has been making strenuous efforts for world peace in wake of

global financial crisis and war against terrorism, but India has particularly initiated deadly

nuclear arms race in South Asia where people are already facing multiple problems of grave

nature. Majority of South Asian people are living below the poverty level, lacking basic facilities

like fresh food and clean water. Yielding to acute poverty, every day, some persons commit

suicide.

Even, Indian civil society organizations, while complaining of excessive defense spending,

recently, pointed out that the government spends very little amount for the betterment of people.

Indian defense analyst Ravinder Pal Singh, while indicating New Delhi’s unending defense

expenditures at the cost of poverty-alleviation, calls it guns-versus- butter question.

Nevertheless, by ignoring regional problems and especially resolution of Indo-Pak issues,

particularly the Kashmir dispute which remains a nuclear flashpoint, Indian rulers state that they

do not have any belligerent policy. But, it becomes a big joke of the 21st century, reminding a

maxim, “armed to the teeth, but no enemy”, if we take cognizance of India’s increasing defense

purchases and her aggressive designs. Nonetheless, if India continues activating dangerous arms

race in South Asia, it can occlude in a nuclear war.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,
Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Posted in India0 Comments

Indian Conspiracy behind East Pakistan’s Separation

NOVANEWS

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By Sajjad Shaukat

16th December is the day of tragic memory when Pakistan was dismembered and a new state of

Bangladesh was created in 1971 as part of Indian conspiracy which still continues against the

integration of Pakistan.

India has a long-gone history of many centuries, based upon religious prejudice against the

Muslims. In this respect, Indian intelligence agency, RAW which was founded in 1968, has

assumed a significant status as invisible actor in formulation of India’s domestic, regional and

global policies, particularly directed against Pakistan.

Hindus give credit to Indira Gandhi who in the late 1970s gave RAW a new role to suit her

‘Indira Doctrine’ specifically asking it to undertake covert operations in neighboring countries,

especially Pakistan which comprises majority of Muslims. RAW was given a green signal to

mobilize all its resources by exploiting political turmoil in East Pakistan in 1971 which this

agency had created through its agents who provided Bengalis with arms and ammunition for

conducting guerrilla acts against the Pakistani defense forces.

Regarding the separation of East Pakistan, Indian RAW had unleashed a well-organized plan of

psychological warfare, creation of polarization among the armed forces, propaganda by false

allegations against West Pakistan, creation of differences between the political parties and

religious sects of East and West Pakistan, control of media, manipulating linguistic, political and

economic disputes in order to malign the Bengalis against Islamabad.

There is no doubt that one can note political, economic and social disparities almost in every

Third World country. India, itself, contains these disparities on larger scale. In seven states of

India, separatist movements are at work. But, New Delhi which has not recognized the existence

of Pakistan since partition, left no stone unturned in planting and exploiting differences between

the people of East and West Pakistan.

RAW has a long history of sinister activities in the East Pakistan, backing secular areas of Hindu

minority who had played an important role in motivating Bengali Muslims against West

Pakistan. RAW’s well-paid agents had activated themselves in East Pakistan in the 1960’s so as

to dismember Pakistan. For this aim, it took the responsibility of funding Sheikh Mujibur

Rahmans’ general elections in 1970 and the members of his party, Awami League. It colluded

with the pro-Indian persons and had paid full attention in training and arming the Mukti Bahnis

(Terrorists). RAW, playing with the bloodshed of Muslims, succeeded in initiating a civil war in

East Pakistan. However, huge quantity of arms started entering East Pakistan. Meanwhile, India

welcomed the refugees from East Pakistan, providing them with every facility to provocate them

against West Pakistan.

Majib was already in connivance with India for separation of East Pakistan. In this connection,

Asoka Raina in his book, ‘Inside RAW: The Story of India’s Secret Service’, discloses, “Indian

intelligence agencies were involved in erstwhile East Pakistan…its operatives were in touch with

Sheikh Mujib as the possible ‘Father’ of a new nation-Bangladesh, who went to Agartala in

1965. The famous Agartala case was unearthed in 1967. In fact, the main purpose of raising

RAW in 1968 was to organise covert operations in Bangladesh. Indian army officers and RAW

officials used Bengali refugees to set up Mukti Bahini. Using this outfit as a cover, Indian

military sneaked deep into East Pakistan…the story of Mukti Bahini and RAW’s role in its

creation and training is now well-known.”

Asoka further explained, “Indian sources including journalists have put on record how much

RAW had established the network of a separatist movement through ‘cells’ within East Pakistan

and military training camps in Indian territory adjoining East Pakistan…carrying out acts of

sabotage against communication lines so that Indian forces simply marched in at the ‘right’ time.

RAW agents provided valuable information as well as acting as an advance guard for conducting

unconventional guerrilla acts against the Pakistani defense forces.”

It is mentionable that before the 1971 war, Mujibur Rahman, had announced a separate national

flag for East Pakistan in his six points which also included that currency of East Pakistan should

be different along with a separate military.

His six points created prejudice among Bengali people especially against West Pakistan. The

famous slogan, during his addresses and rallies was, “Punjabi dogs go back.” It was due to

Mujib’s instigation that besides Punjabis, Bengalis had also tortured and killed Biharis,

Pashtoons and Balochis, while their women were raped.

Now, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid and her ruling party Awami League

have continuously been pursuing Indian directions by conducting anti-Pakistan campaign.

In connivance with New Delhi, Bangladesh government and Awami League have launched a

massive media campaign in order to spread venom against Pakistan and its armed forces and

against all those Bangladeshi nationals who were loyal to the state during 1971 crisis.

Since Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina Wajid came into power; India has been

employing various tactics to entrap Bangladesh by exploiting her pro-Indian tilt to fulfill its

strategic interests. In this context, Prime Minister Hasina Wajid has continuously been pursuing

Indian directions by conducting anti-Pakistan campaign. Therefore, after passing of 42 years to

the events of 1971, which resulted into the separation of East Pakistan, Abdul Qadir, the leader

of Jamaat-e- Islami (JI) was hanged because of his loyalty to Pakistan. Executions of Mujadid

and Chaudry of JI were also part of the same scheme. Regarding all these executions,

international community raised doubts and noted flawed proceedings.

People of Pakistan have shared moments of happiness and sorrows with the people of

Bangladesh. The tragedy of dismemberment of East Pakistan was aimed at creating a compliant

country through Indian trained and financed terrorists (Mukti Bahini) who had killed thousands

of Pakistanis in cold blooded activities. In this connection, while addressing a ceremony during

his Bangladesh tour, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi openly stated on June 7, 2015 that

Indian forces helped Mukti Bahini to turn East Pakistan into Bangladesh. He elaborated that

former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had played an active role in separating Bangladesh

from Pakistan, and he had also come to Delhi in 1971 to participate in the Satyagraha Movement,

launched by Jana Sangh as a volunteer to garner support for the Mukti Bahini members.

Now, India Prime Minister Modi is trying to implement the same job in Balochistan where

Indian RAW is supplying arms to the separatist elements and is encouraging the anti-Pakistan

Baloch leaders like Brahamdagh Bugti to continue opposing the federation of Pakistan.

Nevertheless, Indian leadership by exploiting the concerns of Bangladesh Army over the raising

of “Jatiyo Rakhi Bahini” (National vanguards) in 1972 once again created volatility in

Bangladesh by patronizing the killing of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman. The supplementary purpose of

the incident was to make 1974 tripartite agreement dormant, as by the agreement Sheikh Mujib,

the father of Bangladesh had wished cordial relations among Pakistan, India and Bangladesh,

declaring “Bangladesh knows how to forgive and forget.”

To further keep the people of Bangladesh in desolation, fueling the hatred and creating

extremism in the society, Sheikh Hassina Wajid was incorporated into the Bangladesh Politics.

Since then through devious judicial trials, she has been executing elderly opposing politicians

and as an extension of her personal and political vindictive posture by manipulating the fateful

1971 event to further the Indian interests. Turmoil, so shaped continues to haunt people of

Bangladesh, as she is refusing olive branch offered by people of Pakistan.

Ironically, Awami League’s purported nationalism is based on fabricated figures about the

killing of three million Bengali people in 1971. Sheikh Mujib uttered this figure during an

interview with the British broadcaster, David Frost. It was not authenticated by independent

researchers or international institutions. During the conflict, only two division of Pakistan’s

Army with limited small weapons was deployed in East Pakistan and it has no motivation to kill

so many people in such a short conflict being fought in unfavorable operational situation.

However, genocide committed by Indian trained terrorists in East Pakistan cannot be ruled out.

Awami League’s delusions, under Sheikh Hasina’s are expected to create grave problems for

Bangladesh. The growing discontent in the country over authoritarian and vindictive rule of

Awami League vis-à- vis antagonistic approach towards Pakistan is causing a division in

Bangladeshi society.

A regards the so-called genocide of the Bengali people, a famous Bengali journalist Sarmila

Bose authored a book, “Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War” after thorough

investigation. She terms the number, a gigantic rumor, while Hamoodur Rahman Commission

Report considers even 26,000 as an exaggerated figure. Richard Sisson and Leo E. Rose in book

titled “War and Secession: Pakistan, India and the Creation of Bangladesh” and Gary Bass in his

book “The Blood Telegram” clearly admit that figures about so-called genocide were Indian

purported.

At present, the situation is turning bleak as foreign investments are evaporating and

unemployment is multiplying. The growing socio-economic degeneration is causing discontent

suiting the terrorist outfits like the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS, ISIL) ISIS

(Daesh) and their financers to take full advantage to recruit the combat terrorists and train them

in contiguous Indian area for further insertion in various regions. Its fallouts in Bangladesh are

evident. Western media has reported about presence of ISIS in Bangladesh. The ISIS militants

attacked on the Holey Artisan Bakery (Restaurant) in the diplomatic district of Dhaka on July 2,

this year and killed at least 20 hostages and two police officers. It includes nine Italians, seven

Japanese and one American. ISIS claimed responsibility for terror attack on the restaurant. But,

without any investigation, Home Minister of Bangladesh Asaduzzaman Khan blamed home-

grown Islamist terrorists and Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI for the restaurant assault by

adding, “There is no IS or al-Qaeda presence in Bangladesh…the hostage-takers were all home-

grown terrorists and not members of IS or any other international Islamist outfits.” His statement

was contrary to the country’s top officials who have claimed that ISIS exists in Bangladesh.

Earlier, ISI has accepted responsibility for a number of past attacks in Bangladesh. On July 7,

2016, terrorists killed two policemen and a woman in an attack at Eid congregation near Sholakia

Eidgah in Kishoreganj, Bangladesh. The incident came, a day after the ISI video on social media

in which, three Bangladeshi youths appeared, threatening more attacks in the country, as the

sources of Bangladesh disclosed. It also proves that Bangladesh’s home-grown militants have

connections with the ISIL. However, availing the opportunity of the Dhaka restaurant attack,

Indian media also began a campaign, accusing ISI.

In the recent past, two foreigners were shot, while a Shia gathering was targeted in the country.

Extremist groups like Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) and Jamaat-ul- Mujahideen Bangladesh

have established affinities with ISIS and are very active these days. Some of the Western

countries even advised their citizen not to travel to the country.

It is optimistically suggested to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other leaders of Awami

League that without indulging into a blame game, creation of Bangladesh may be acknowledged

as one of the most tragic chapters in the history of Pakistan—tragedies test the resilience of the

nations to survive and progress. Living in past sends the message of hopelessness, leadership

must rise to the occasion and guide the nation towards integration and prosperity.

Pakistan’s eagerness in fostering good relations with Bangladesh can be gauged from huge

investments in Bangladesh by Pakistani traders.

Bengalis must know that in the backdrop of Modi’s statement, role of India in dismemberment of

Pakistan through state sponsored terrorism (Insertion of Mukti Bahni) and Indian support to

separatist elements in Pakistan’s province of Baluchistan have already been exposed, as

Islamabad has recently presented solid evidence to the UN and the US in this respect.

Besides, world must take notice of Indian interventionist and hegemonic policies vis-à- vis her

neighbors. India occupied Sikkim, subdued Bhutan, sponsored terrorism in Sri Lanka and is now

teasing Nepal.

While rectifying the historical record regarding the events of 1971, government of Bangladesh

must mention that two Divisions of army (20000, which latter grew to 34000) operating in

adverse environment has no motivation to go on civilian killing spree. It must know that if total

number of troops was 34000, then how come the much publicized figure of 93,000 troops is

true?

People of Bangladesh may identify their real enemies which are India and Awami League which

are creating conditions for break up of Pakistan and has made Pakistanis and Bengalis to fight

with each other. Now, they are again active to promote pro-Indian feelings through Awami

League and Sheikh Hasina’s government and gag the opposition, so that it can be turned into a

fully compliant state.

Nonetheless, as part of old anti-Pakistan campaign, Awami League conceals facts about the

Indian conspiracy behind the separation of Pakistan.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,
Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Posted in India, Pakistan & Kashmir0 Comments

The Social Impacts of India’s Demonetization: Banks Threaten Impoverished Farmers…

NOVANEWS
‘Gandhigiri’, Cashless Hara-Kiri in Marathwada
 
rupee--621x414

The bank has “decided to use Gandhigiri to try and recover the loans [from you].  For this the bank has decided to do one of the following: 1) Put up a tent opposite your house to protest, 2) Make use of a band, 3) ring bells.

“Due to these actions, your standing and image in society are likely to be in danger.”

That is the Osmanabad District Central Cooperative Bank (ODCC) promising 20,000 of its clients public humiliation and ridicule.

Those clients, mostly farmers, have seen many years of distress. Sometimes from crop failure, sometimes from a glut or price crash. A crippling drought and water crisis have further hit their loan repayments.  On top of that, the government’s recent scrapping of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes has left them unable to pay their labourers’ daily wages. “Farm workers have not been paid a single paisa in cash since November 9,” says S.M. Gavale, a small farmer from Khed village. “All are hungry.”

The bank’s letter (see translated excerpts at the end of this story) tells farmers they are to blame for its depositors being unable to withdraw cash.  And warns them: “You should be aware that if any depositors commit suicide for such reasons, you will be held responsible…”

In this situation, village visits by bank ‘recovery teams’ that threaten farmers and their families spur mounting tension and despair. Oddly, the 20,000 farmers together owe the ODCC some Rs. 180 crores.  Just two sugar factories, Terna and Thuljabhavani, together owe the same bank Rs. 352 crores.  But the tactics the bank plans to use on small peasants vanish when it comes to companies controlled by the powerful. “The factories are shut,” says the ODCC’s executive director Vijay Ghonse Patil.  So no ‘Gandhigiri’ there. Nor has the valuable land these outfits own been seized or auctioned by the bank.

“This ‘Gandhigiri’ plan was inspired by Shri Arun Jaitley’s speech.”  So says Ghonse Patil, author of the letter that has sparked outrage in the villages. Speaking to us at the bank’s headquarters in Osmanabad town, he defends his action: “It draws on the union finance minister’s warning of action against  defaulters during Parliament’s budget session.”

“I drafted the letter,” says Ghonse Patil. “And I am serious about it. We need to bring non-performing assets (NPAs) below 15 per cent (of total advances) by March 2017.  I have  to pursue this strongly. I have no other way.” He admits it was drafted without legal advice and “submitted to the Bank’s Board of Directors, which okayed it.”

Several of the letters bear an October date but the farmers scoff at this.  “They were delivered at our homes after November 15.”   In other words, these letters came out after the demonetisation. Ironically, one of those ‘receiving’ the letter  on December 2 was Manohar Yelore. He was a small farmer in Lohara village who committed suicide in 2014, unable to repay the Rs. 68,000 he had borrowed from the bank.

In Nagur village of Lohara block in Osmanabad, farmers gathered from many villages tell us they are shaken: “We will have no option but to take our lives if subjected to such humiliation.” In the state government’s own count, Osmanabad and Yavatmal rank as the worst districts for farmer suicides in Maharashtra. And the state itself has suffered more farm suicides than any other in the country – at least 63,000 between 1995 and 2014, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

Video: Farmers from Nagur, Khed, Kasti and other villages display the letter from the ODCC
threatening to humiliate them with ‘Gandhigiri’ tactics; November 29, 2016

Here, demonetisation has hit both the bank and its clients alike. The cash crunch has squeezed both. Cooperative banks were allowed to accept the banned notes and exchange them for new ones for only three days. All other banks could do this till November 29.  The Osmanabad District Central Cooperative Bank was already in big trouble with its giant defaulters repaying not a paisa of the Rs. 352 crore they owe. “And they’re taking it out on us,” say farmers here. “We are people who’ve tried to repay something.”

With no cash at all, the farmers, labourers and shopkeepers here have worked out a fragile survival strategy after November 9.  S.M. Gavale of Khed explains it: “If the labourers don’t have cash, they cannot eat. But we stand guarantee for them with the shopkeepers. They pick up provisions on credit.”

The local shop owners themselves are bringing in their stocks on credit from wholesalers based elsewhere. So the labourer, the farmer and the shopkeeper could all be locked into a disaster waiting to happen.

There’s another huge problem. A few years ago, the bank started collapsing ‘crop loans’ and ‘term  loans’ and rewriting the figure of what was owed by the farmer. The ODCC seems to have done this repeatedly over several years. The result is an explosion in the size of  the amounts owed by farmers . It is these inflated loan figures the letter asks the farmers to repay. Indeed, the Rs.180 crore sum the 20,000 farmers together owe is a post-‘re-phasement’ figure. The original amount borrowed by them was Rs. 80 crores.

A crop loan is a short-term borrowing by farmers in the form of cash credit.  This is directly tied to their immediate agricultural activity or season. They might buy their seeds, fertiliser, pesticide and other inputs, and pay labourers, from of this sum. They  withdraw cash against this loan as and when required, within the limit of the sanctioned sum.  Interest rates on crop loans normally don’t exceed seven per cent (of which four per cent is to be borne by the state government). These loans have  to be renewed each year.

Term loans are those taken for capital investment – for purchase of machinery, irrigation, and other such expenses.  These loans can be repaid over a period of 3-7 years.  They are given at (compounded) rates of interest that could be double of what crop loans attract.

Dhananjay Kulkarni, general secretary of the Bank of Maharashtra Employees Union, Aurangabad, is with us and has studied the ODCC’s letters and notices.  “What the ODCC (and other banks) have done,” he says, “is to collapse or club together the crop and term loans of these villagers and convert them into ‘new’  term loans.  Under the title of ‘re-phasement’. The  ODCC, like other banks, struck an interest rate of 14 per cent on these.  However, an additional 2-4 per cent interest was added on at the level of the coop societies through whom the loans were delivered. Finally, the borrower pays 18 per cent (compounded)  interest.”

Shivajiraosaheb Patil from Khed village had borrowed Rs. 1.78  lakh in 2004 to pay for an electric motor and installation of a pipeline. He paid back Rs. 60,000 in the early years. But this was then clubbed with his crop loan and ‘re-phased’  in the jargon of the bank,  more than once. And “now they tell me I owe over Rs. 13 lakhs,” he says angrily.  Suddenly, dozens of farmers are on their feet, speaking at the same time. They’ve all brought along the notices the ODCC has sent them.

“We accept we owe the bank money,”  says Babasaheb Vithalrao Jadhav, a farmer of many decades in Nagur. “And indeed we must pay. But we are unable to right now. Because of good rains this year [after many bad seasons], farmers here have had a decent kharif crop and expect a good rabi crop too. So we could pay in instalments from next year. Paying this year would kill us. ‘Re-phasement’ was a fraud that violates even bank rules. It has doubled, even quadrupled our loans. The government is giving waivers to corporates (NPAs) and the super-rich. But cracking down on distressed farmers.”

Many of these loans and their ‘re-phasing’ were also badly timed. They seem to chart the course of the agrarian crisis in Maharashtra. Starting around 1998, making a huge leap in 2003-04 and exploding after 2011. “For four  years,” says Shivajirao, “I had 300-400 tons of excess sugarcane crop I was unable to sell. The factories were flooded with cane and declined to lift it. I went bankrupt. Now I’m  faced with this demand.  I have sold 15 acres of our family’s (un-irrigated) land. But I still can’t handle the burden.”

Most of the rabi crop was sown in these villages before November 8. But transactions thereafter have taken a hit. Kharif crop prices have tumbled with traders “offering us the right amount only if we accept old notes,” farmers say.

Back at the bank, the atmosphere is now much more sober, even sombre, as we discuss the possible consequences of the ODCC acting on its letter.

Executive director Ghonse Patil himself faces a notice for un-refunded advances from a cooperative bank in another district.  He and some of his senior officers only now  seem to grasp that things can go very wrong from here.  What if there was a spurt in farm suicides?  What if those are blamed on the bank and its letter? But, says Ghonse Patil, as we part,  “We have no other way out but to go for this recovery abhiyan.”


Translated excerpts from the ODCC’s letter in Marathi to nearly 20,000 farmers in Osmanabad district

Greetings.

You must be aware of the economic situation of the Osmanabad District Bank. Since the bank is in financial difficulties, the bank depositors have their full focus on the bank. Due to the increase in overdue unpaid loans there is the fear of loss of liquidity for the bank which is now caught in this quagmire. At least at this time, the only option the bank has to improve its situation is to recover the overdue loans. Naturally, due to the pending loans with you, the bank is unable to pay its depositors the amounts they want to withdraw whenever they want to withdraw. As a result, the depositors are very disappointed with the bank operations.

Similarly, many depositors, when they are faced with the prospect of being unable to withdraw their own money from their accounts are sending us statements that if they cannot withdraw their money, they will be forced to commit suicide and you should be aware that if any depositors commit suicide for such reasons, you will he held responsible and you should understand this.

…Because of your overdue loan, the bank is facing a cash crunch and the bank cannot conduct its operations effectively. The bank’s management committee, senior officers and employee association have decided to use Gandhigiri to try and recover the loans. For this, the bank has decided to do one of the following: 1) Put up a tent opposite your house to protest 2) Make use of a band  3) Ring bells

Due to these actions, your standing and image in society is likely to be in danger. Therefore, to avoid such a situation, you should immediately repay your overdue loans with interest in the concerned bank within 30 days and take a receipt for such payment else, the recovery team will take action as explained above.

We are deliberately writing this to you so that you are aware of the situation.

We are in no doubt that you will repay your loan and avoid any unpleasant events from happening.

Expecting your cooperation,

Details of Overdue Loans:

Type of loan,  Principal: 136300  Interest: 348930 . Total : 485230

[loan details for each farmer follow in the original letter]

Yours faithfully,

Sd-

Vijay S. Ghonse

Executive Director

Photos: P. Sainath.

Posted in India0 Comments

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