What Hindus really want is justice – R. Sriram

Hindu Activism

R. SriramThe Hindus awakening seen in … an increasing sense of pride in the country’s rich cultural and religious heritage bodes ill for the Liberal Left which has always believed in denigrating Hinduism beliefs while praising or elevating those of other religions. – R. Sriram

An ideology’s durability and strength is often misunderstood by many. Its fiercest believers will always find little to complain but neutral observers can also be sometimes lulled into what is called “the willing suspension of disbelief” when it comes to the receding impact of a political or religious system on people. It is easy to miss the rumblings on the ground while focusing on an artificial sense of stability created by apparatchiks of an imploding ideology.

Liberalism is going through such a phase, both in India and overseas. In India, the shock of the Narendra Modi victory in 2014 has been worsened by the PM’s continuing popularity, the BJP’s electoral surge and the crippling inability of the opposition to even play token defence. This sense of anger, outrage and helplessness at the Right ecosystem’s inexorable march would have been more palatable if it had not been accompanied by a nationalistic and religious awakening among the country’s majority Hindu population. This awakening seen in outward displays of aggression, the increased passion and fervour with which festivals are being celebrated and an increasing sense of pride in the country’s rich cultural and religious heritage bodes ill for the liberal Left which has always believed in denigrating Hinduism beliefs while praising or elevating those of other religions.

Some arguments being made against this trend show the real fear among the Liberal Left brigade. According to these arguments, India’s biggest problem is a growing sense of Islamophobia, not terrorism, terrifying demographic change, joblessness or sneak attempts to divide the country. The Hindus, they feel are out to get their Muslim neighbours and their alleged hatred has been fed by rantings by fringe extremist groups.

This is so silly that one doesn’t know where to start. The Hindu does not feel victimised. He does not hate his Muslim or Christian brethren. He would willingly live and work with them and there are many instances where the people from two or three religions live in harmony. What he hates is a crass and corrupt political system that, aided and abetted by a section of power-hungry journalists, unelected bureaucrats and venal academics, try to denigrate the ordinary Hindu’s pride in his ancient culture religion and civilisation.

The Hindu is upset that a corrupt political system in a desperate search for votes will try and bring about cataclysmic demographic change with little regard for language, culture and religious feelings of citizens.

The Hindu is angry that a weak, impotent state will allow an implacable neighbouring foe to dictate terms while committing aggression in one part of the country in the garb of fighting for freedom. The Hindu is angry that Marxist and liberal historians have spent years whitewashing the crimes of Mughal imperialists and marauding Islamic invaders who looted, pillaged and destroyed Hindu temples while enslaving thousands of its people.

The Hindu is upset that nothing is being done to stop and roll back the creeping conversion movement that seeks to destroy Hindu identity in the northeast and southern parts of the [country].

This is the real issue. Not Islamophobia. The average Hindu is angry at the political system, its masters, whose slavish devotion to a foreign concept of secularism, is being seen as an attempt to deny the Hindu’s true sense of identity.

Take the recent attempts to revive the much-maligned theory of Aryan migration. People bent on reviving this discredited concept make an error common among liberal and left thinkers. A nation’s identity is not dependent on which migrant group was the first to cross the border centuries ago. It is dependent upon the dominant culture and religion practised by people of that country and region. In India’s case, it is Hinduism whether one likes it or not.

Egypt is an Islamic state. The fact Pharaohs ruled the country centuries ago and developed a vibrant, robust culture cannot take away the fact that Egypt’s identity is Islamic and its people practise an Islamic culture brought to the country by Arab armies in the eighth century. It is also wrong to link alleged victim-hood to economic security. For the Hindu, it is not economic insecurity that makes him angry and resentful, but a realisation that justice does not prevail under a corrupt political system.

It is not about whether he is poorer than the Muslim or the Christian. The belief that politicians have perverted the principles of natural justice for petty political ends has created a sense of anger and outrage. That anger is now manifesting itself in various ways and eroding the false ramparts built by pseudo-secularists and their entourage in media, academia and politics. This alone should give the Liberal Left warriors enough cause for worry. – The Economic Times, 24 July 2017

» R. Sriram is the Resident Editor, Economic Times, Mumbai.

HINDUS PROTEST DEMONSTRATION AGAINST PROFESSOR DONIGER AGAINST ON WEDNESDAY MARCH 10, 2010, IN FRONT OF NEW SCHOOL UNIVERSITY BUILDING ,Dr. Wendy Doniger, Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago Divinity School, will be honored by National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) on March 10th at The New School University Building, New York City for her book titled Hindus An Alternative History...PIC Mohammed Jaffer-SnapsIndia

 

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Sonia Gandhi and the toxicity of the Congress party – Minhaz Merchant

 

Sonia Gandhi & Rahul Gandhi

Minhaz MerchantIn 1998, when Sonia Gandhi took over the presidency of the Congress, the full toxicity of the party became evident. – Minhaz Merchant

Without quite realising it, the Congress under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi has become a toxic force in Indian politics.

The 1975-77 Emergency, during which more than one lakh journalists, Opposition leaders and civil society activists were jailed (including L. K. Advani and Arun Jaitley), exposed the first autocratic gene in the Congress. Indians’ fundamental rights were suspended for nearly two years. The Constitution was subverted.

The attempt by the Congress to censor Madhur Bhandarkar’s new film on the Emergency, Indu Sarkar, underscores how keenly aware the Congress is of the human rights violations it committed during the Emergency.

In 1986, Rajiv Gandhi—an essentially decent man whose career was impaled by bad advisors—planted the seed of communalism in mainstream politics by overturning through parliamentary legislation a 1985 Supreme Court order that had granted maintenance to an elderly divorced Muslim woman Shah Bano.

But it wasn’t till 1998, when Sonia Gandhi took over the presidency of the Congress, that the full toxicity of the party would become evident. The crude, thoughtless overnight eviction of then Congress president Sitaram Kesri was an early sign.

When the Congress took power at the Centre in 2004 after a hiatus of six years, it showed its true colours. While Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the gentle, erudite face of the Congress-led UPA government for ten years, Sonia called the shots behind the scenes.

The party had four organisational layers. The first comprised senior lawyer-ministers P. Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, Salman Khurshid and Veerappa Moily. The second was made up of senior loyalists Jairam Ramesh, Kamal Nath and Anand Sharma.

The third layer was led by ground-level operators Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad. The fouth layer comprised Rahul’s young turks – Jyotiraditya Scinda, Sachin Pilot, Milind Deora, Deepender Hooda and Jitin Prasada—all dynasts.

Working seamlessly, monitored closely by a stentorian Sonia, the four-tiered Congress team presided over the UPA’s two terms from 2004-14, widely regarded as India’s decade of scams and sectarian politics.

The communal seed planted after the Shah Bano case in 1985-86 had by now grown into a forest of trees with “saffron terror” carved on the bark of each tree trunk by the Congress’ slick four-layered operation.

The greatest disservice the Congress did was to set back by decades the cause of bona fide secularism. As I wrote in the article, “The Ayatollahs of Secularism”, in The Times of India: “The two real enemies of the Muslim—communal politicians masquerading as secular politicians to win votes and mullahs deliberately misinterpreting the holy book to retain power over their flock—form a natural alliance. Together they have enriched themselves but impoverished India’s Muslims, materially and intellectually, in the name of secularism. Influential sections of especially the electronic media, suffused with hearts bleeding from the wrong ventricle, are part of this great fraud played on India’s poor Muslims: communalism dressed up as secularism. The token Muslim is lionised—from business to literature—but the common Muslim languishes in his ghetto.”

Scams meanwhile profilerated. Three years after the Congress plunged from 206 MPs to 44 in May 2014, most though inexplicably remain unresolved—to the NDA government’s and the judicial system’s discredit. But each one—AgustaWestland, 2G, Scorpene, CWG, Coalgate—is a reminder of how corruption became the new normal in 2004-14.

Cut to the present. The Congress clearly hasn’t learnt its lesson. K. C. Tyagi, a Rajya Sabha MP from the JD(U), the party on whom rests the Opposition’s hope of stitching together a credible mahagathbandhan in 2019, had this to say of the Congress: “We are very upset at the behaviour of the Congress. The character assassination of our leader, Nitish Kumar, has also happened. The Congress today is not the Congress party of 1952, 1962 or 1984. It is not even a legitimate Congress party.”

When even a chronic Modi-baiter like Tyagi berates the Congress as not “legitimate”, Indian politics has clearly reached a point of inflection.

Borewell of toxicity

The Congress today is in real danger of immersing itself in a self-made borewell of toxicity. Its decision to boycott the special session of Parliament on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is only the latest in a series of self-destructive moves.

Note the other parties which joined the Congress’ GST boycott: RJD, DMK, TMC and the Left. What do they have in common? Serious charges of corruption.

1. The RJD’s Lalu Prasad Yadav is looking at fresh jail time in the fodder scam. He is meanwhile battling charges of undeclared assets against his two sons, daughter and wife.

2. The DMK’s A. Raja, in and out of jail since the 2G scam broke, has implicated senior Congress ministers in the telecom license corruption case.

3. The TMC’s top leadership faces charges in the Saradha, Rose Valley and Narada scams which have singed Mamata Banerjee’s reputation for probity, quite apart from her inaction over communal riots in West Bengal.

4. The Left has been implicated in a slew of brutal communal killings in Kerala where its government is accused of complicity.

Virtually every other Opposition party, including the SP, BSP, JD(U), NCP and the JD(S), was represented at the special midnight GST parliamentary session. The four holdouts—RJD, DMK, TMC and the Left—who joined the Congress boycott spoke volumes for the party’s diminished reputation.

Sonia has over the 19 years of her presidency converted the Congress into a family business ruled with an iron fist. Rahul has been inheritor-in-waiting for three years. It is an indictment of Indian democracy that India’s second largest political party continues to operate like a feudal family firm.

India deserves better. – Daily-O, 7 July 2017

» Minhaz Merchant is an author and journalist in Mumbai.

UPA-2 Scams

Aircel-Maxis Scam: A classic case of corruption – Team PGurus

Aircel-MaxisP. Chidambaram

Team PGurusED has unearthed $200,000 money trail between Karti’s Chess Management Consulting Pvt Ltd and Maxis Group companies after father Chidambaram approved this dubious deal. This is a classic case of corruption. – Team PGurus

After CBI declared its probe in Aircel-Maxis, the panicky former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has come out with a pack of lies. A day after the CBI declared its detailed probe details to be furnished in Supreme Court by May 2 and Enforcement Directorate reported to the Apex court about Chidambaram’s violations and son Karti’s two lakh dollar kick back from Maxis, the former Finance Minister has come out with a vague statement.

In his statement uploaded by son Karti’s Twitter account, Chidambaram cleverly tries to put the blame on senior government officials, pretending innocence. In a nut shell, Chidambaram claimed that he just signed on the papers vetted by government officers. Here Chidambaram is telling a blatant lie.

Being a Tamilian, he should be aware of his home town company Aircel’s take over by Malaysian company Maxis. Fact of the matter is that Aircel promoter Sivasankaran is known to Chidambaram as well as the then Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and no officer would dare to question the deal.

On December 31, 2005, all media reported that Malaysian company Maxis is going to invest Rs4700 core or 1.08 billion dollars in Aircel. The news report appeared on the same day because both companies conducted joint press conference in Mumbai to announce this big deal.

In the first week of January 2006, Maxis submitted application to Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). In the application they said in many areas that they are going to invest 800 million dollars (Rs3600 crore) in Aircel. How come value of investment reduced from announced Rs4700 crore to Rs. 3600 crore? After eight years in 2014, the CAG found that the actual value invested was Rs4700 crore, though dubious approval given by Chidambaram was for Rs3600 crore. So more than Rs1000 crore came illegally and where has it gone?

Those days in 2006, any foreign investment above Rs600 crore, the Finance Minister has to send the FIPB papers to Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs(CCEA). But Chidambaram did not. He was CCEA Chairman also those days. Then why did he not send these papers to the CCEA?

The answer is simple. In CCEA, Home Ministry would have objected to Maxis because Saudi Telecom is a partner in the Malaysian company. The Saudi Telecom is also a partner in Pakistan Telecom Company known as PTCL. To avoid objections of the Home Ministry, Chidambaram might have avoided the mandatory sending of files to CCEA.

Worse, the FIPB Order on Aircel-Maxis deal never specified the value of the deal to avoid public scrutiny. How come officers ignored this basic violation? It is certain that without Chidambaram’s directions this glaring violation would not have happened.

Enforcement Directorate has unearthed $200,000 money trail between Karti’s Chess Management Consulting Pvt Ltd and Maxis Group companies after father Chidambaram approved this dubious deal. This is a classic case of corruption.

For the past 30 months, many unscrupulous elements in Delhi have been trying to save their buddy Chidambaram from the Aircel-Maxis scam. They have been trying their best to scuttle BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s case. Hope the CBI under new Director Alok Kumar Verma has awakened from its slumber and Prime Minister’s office would give strong directions on this regard on this open and shut case. – PGurus, 6 April 2017

» Team PGurus are a group of focused individuals with expertise in at least one of the following fields viz. Journalism, Technology, Economics, Politics, Sports & Business. We are factual, accurate and unbiased.

Sonia Gandhi, Karti Chidambaram & P. Chidmbaram

India’s honest majority look to Modi to cleanse bureaucracy – M.D. Nalapat

Corruption in the Indian bureaucracy

Prof M.D. NalapatOnly an accelerated drive against high-level official corruption may motivate citizens into enduring for months more the pain caused by the incompetence of much of the bureaucracy tasked with implementing the epochal policy unveiled by PM Modi on 8 November 2016. – Prof M. D. Nalapat

The most meaningful “majority, minority” dichotomy in India is between those citizens who are honest and those others who are dishonest, i.e. those who correctly pay the numerous taxes due and those who do not. Despite the reality that continuous additions to the colonial governance codes in India have arbitrarily criminalised swathes of activity that are legal in practically all other democracies, it would be safe to say that the “majority community” in India (i.e. those who are honest) comprise 90% of the population, leaving 10% in the “minority”. Even within that sometimes under-appreciated group, government servants, about 75% are honest and less than a quarter crooked, judging by the many this columnist has come across. Among officials, around 10% occupy posts which have the potential to make a significant difference to the situation facing the public.

It is on this 2.5% of the total of government employees that Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to most concentrate on. Corrupt officials have an outsize influence on policy. They have the ability to move up the promotion ladder much faster than the honest, who need to spend most of their time trying to make both ends meet till the next payday, rather than wooing their superiors and political heavyweights in the manifold ways that the crooked have access to. Indeed, the uninterrupted flood of repressive laws and regulations that each government unleashes on the population demonstrates the choke-hold of the upper echelons of the 2.5% of officials who are dishonest. 

Almost all such regulations are broad and vague enough to be subject to misuse, thereby becoming manna for the dishonest rather than (as pious declarations accompanying such measures invariably aver) balm for the honest. The historically outsize influence of the dishonest in the actual working of the governance system ensures that many honest citizens get penalised under such laws and regulations, usually for technical violations, even while relatively few of the big fish get caught. These latter have the means to reach out to the dishonest minority within the governance system, thereby ensuring their safety. For public consumption, there may be a prime time hullaballoo raised by the very officials who are shielding them. However, proof of official intent vests in practical outcomes. If depredators either escape or get away with a mere wrist slap (such as a small fine), it is reasonable to assume that much more than conversation was exchanged between officials and the wrongdoer. When the political executive is being served a menu of policy options, and the judiciary the chance to review them, these two pillars of the governance system need to factor in the reality of corruption within the system in weighing and discounting recommendations made by officials which may focus not on the public interest but on their own and that of other corrupt individuals.

RBI ATMThe Reserve Bank of India has believed since the time of Governor Yaga Reddy that the 1.26 billion people of India should be made to adopt the cashless ways of Sweden, despite the difference in conditions between the life of the median Swede and the median citizen of this country. It is clear from 8 November that RBI Governor Urjit Patel looks askance at those citizens with zero untaxed income who have nevertheless withdrawn substantial amounts of cash from their accounts to use towards patronising the (much-derided by Central bankers ) “informal” economy. The most trumpeted e-gateway in India for making payments is controlled by Jack Ma, who when last sighted was not an Indian citizen. Indeed, foreign rather than domestic interests have a lock on most major internet and mobile telephony entities in India. And “Indian” banks have been silently taken over by foreign entities. US shareholders dominate the big credit card gateways used in India, with Chinese shareholders in the same companies coming a close second and those with Indian citizenship nowhere on the equity horizon. Unless PM Modi manages to endow digital keys to over 600 million citizens within his term, for a considerable time to come it is more socially advantageous to put (taxed) rupees in the hands of the poor and the lower middle classes such as small shopkeepers and crafts-persons, rather than entirely through plastic controlled by multinational interests that are gaining in advantage over their domestic competitors with every passing day because of the rupee falling while interest rates and crippling regulations rise, with some rules making the word “draconian” an extreme understatement. An individual may have kept apart substantial cash (drawn from his or her bank account and shown in tax returns ) not to pay the “black” component of a future real estate purchase, but to make repairs to a temple entering the stage of dilapidation. The grim 1970s-style warnings issued by officials to taxpayers who prefer holding on to and paying with cash are making honest taxpayers, rather than the big crooks, nervous about depositing their clean “old” cash in banks despite the fact that such holdings will become waste paper after 30 December. Prime Minister Modi must protect the honest majority of citizens from crooked officials expert at using technical or imagined violations into darts designed to squeeze payments from honest taxpayers. Modi needs to ensure that the regulations being unveiled day after day on television be designed so as to protect the honest and get used on “bulk carriers” and not only small “fishing boaters” of black cash. A sniper rifle should be used in enforcement that aims at big fish rather than allow bureaucrats to wield blunderbusses spraying multiple innocents even as they incentivise the guilty to increase the bribe offer. 

India’s honest overwhelmingly cast their 2014 votes for Narendra Modi. The target of his next high-octane “surgical strike” should be the crooked among the higher rungs of the bureaucracy. Those who have defiled the noble calling of government through graft and misfeasance should be made to encounter justice rather than peacefully catch a flight together with family to London or Miami for—in more than a few cases—a very long stay. Only an accelerated drive against high-level official corruption may motivate citizens into enduring for months more the pain caused by the incompetence of much of the bureaucracy tasked with implementing the epochal policy unveiled by PM Modi on 8 November 2016. – Sunday Guardian, 26 November 2016 

Corruption in India

Julian Assange: Clinton Foundation and Islamic State are funded by the same money – DC

XHillary Clinton

Deccan ChronicleThe Clinton Foundation just recently confirmed it accepted a $1 million gift from Qatar while Hillary Clinton was US Secretary of State without informing the State Department. – Deccan Chronicle

London: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange claims that Hillary Clinton’s foundation has received generous donations from the same wealthy officials of Qatar who have also provided financial assistance to the dreaded Islamic State.

In an interview to documentary maker John Pilger for RT at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Assange said the Clinton Foundation, which was started by former US President Bill Clinton, has been receiving the money from those who also support the Islamic State.

Pilger asked Assange if “this notorious jihadist group, called ISIL or ISIS, is created largely with money from people who are giving money to the Clinton Foundation,” to which Assange said “Yes”.

Tamim bin Hamad Al ThaniAssange explained that although the US has never officially acknowledged in public the alleged support given to Islamic State by middle-east countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the e-mail exchange between Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta, shows that they were aware of it.

In the email which was leaked last month, Clinton talks of putting pressure on the two countries over the alleged financial assistance to ISIS.

“We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region,” Clinton wrote in the mail.

The Clinton Foundation just recently confirmed it accepted a $1 million gift from Qatar while Hillary Clinton was US secretary of state without informing the State Department, even though she had promised to let the agency review new or significantly increased support from foreign governments.

Qatari officials pledged the money in 2011 to mark the 65th birthday of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband, and sought to meet the former US president in person the following year to present him the check, according to an email from a foundation official to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta. The email, among thousands hacked from Podesta’s account, was published last month by WikiLeaks. – Deccan Chronicle, 5 November 2016

• Hillary Clinton Is Saudi Arabia’s President Of Choice

• Saudi Arabia Has Funded 20% Of Hillary’s Presidential Campaign, Saudi Crown Prince Claims

A Clinton presidency will be a disaster for India – Arvind Kumar

 In this Oct. 18, 2011, file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya. Clinton insists that if she pursues the presidency again, it will be different this time around. But revelations that she sidestepped the government email system as secretary of state suggest she may have a long way to go in making good on that promise. (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool, File)
Sunday GuardianA Hillary Clinton win … would bring back the hostility of the 1990s towards India that existed under the presidency of Bill Clinton. … A Hillary presidency will be an unmitigated disaster for India. – Arvind Kumar 

Every four years, during the presidential election process in the United States, a question invariably comes up, “Which candidate is better for India?”

This question is best answered if one realises that American politics has been a massive stage-managed show based on an illusion of choice, with the illusion mesmerising an entire population into believing that they choose their political leaders and vote on issues that are dear to them. In reality, the Republican Party and Democratic Party work together behind the scenes and act in tandem on important issues. Voters are asked to make the choice between these two parties only on issues that do not matter to those in power. Even in these cases, the voters are manipulated into voting along racial and religious lines so that there is an appearance of the two parties having an equal share of the vote and competing against each other. Occasionally, when it appears that a candidate who is not part of the system could win an election, those in power are not beyond using illegal means to keep out such people from succeeding.

The share of American voters, who have seen through this game, has grown in recent years, and the support for Donald Trump in the Republican Party and Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party during the 2016 primaries was the direct result of an increase in the number of voters who have gained an understanding of the system. Even though it is possible that neither candidate is actually against the existing setup, there is no denial that the support for them is from people who are opposed to the system. Among the candidates representing the two dominant parties who have made it past the primaries, Donald Trump is perceived as the candidate who is against the corrupt establishment, while Hillary Clinton is seen as part of the establishment and as the most corrupt candidate to run for President in the history of the country.

Hillary Clinton & Sonia GandhiThe fact that the Clintons have used politics to make hundreds of millions of dollars and have funnelled vast sums of money from around the world to the Clinton Foundation, has only strengthened the belief that they are extremely corrupt people who sell influence in exchange for money and power. The most famous case related to the Clinton Foundation is their effort to raise money ostensibly to help the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. However, the money was not used to help the victims, but for other purposes including investments in insurance businesses and luxury hotels. Bill and Hillary Clinton, as the UN Representative and the US Secretary of State, respectively, also controlled the flow of money from other sources into Haiti, and the contracts to rebuild the country in the aftermath of the earthquake were given either to friends and relatives like Hillary Clinton’s brother or to firms that donated money to the Clinton Foundation. It is little wonder that the moniker “Crooked Hillary” has stuck to Hillary Clinton and even her official campaign has not made any efforts to counter it. Instead, they have admitted in emails that Hillary Clinton suffers from problems related to trustworthiness among the people.

A Hillary Clinton win in the election would bring back the hostility of the 1990s towards India that existed under the presidency of Bill Clinton. India’s relationship with the US took a sudden downturn after Bill Clinton took office in 1993. For nearly a year, Clinton did not bother appointing an ambassador to India even as he went about opposing India on a number of fronts, leading to resentment in the Indian establishment. He first set about the task of disarming and weakening India by preventing access to technology and simultaneously mounted a sustained attack on the Indian economy by imposing several economic sanctions.

In 1991, Senator Joe Biden, who is now the Vice President under Barack Obama, introduced an amendment in the bill granting aid to Russia, making the aid conditional on the fact that Russia could not sell cryogenic engines for India’s space programme. The Clinton administration persisted in taking measures intended to retard the development of India’s space and technology sectors and blocked the sale of Cray supercomputers that had been approved under the Ronald Reagan administration. This was done even as the Clinton administration allowed the sale of these supercomputers to China. India was also targeted for several economic sanctions and was threatened under what was called the Super 301 clause of the American trade law.

The Clinton administration specially targeted the Indian textile and carpet industries for destruction. Throughout the 1990s, the terms “Dunkel Draft”, “Super 301”, “WTO” and “patent laws” became synonyms for the US attempting to destroy the Indian economy and led to many protests in India. In one famous episode, the Clinton administration declared Indian skirts to be flammable and banned them after an official ignited a skirt in front of television cameras.

On the security front too, the Clinton administration was consistently anti-India and pro-Pakistan. Members of the Clinton Cabinet supported terrorists in India, with Clinton’s Vice President Al Gore using the term “Khalistan” to describe Punjab. Bill Clinton’s close friend Robin Raphel was made the Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, and under her, the US State Department pursued an agenda that supported violent anti-India groups in Jammu and Kashmir, while offering F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan. The State Department also propped up the Taliban regime in Afghanistan during this period.

Hillary Clinton EmailsMore recently, when Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State, Robin Raphel was appointed to oversee a $7.5 billion aid package to Pakistan, but ended up being investigated by the FBI for spying on behalf of Pakistan and lost her security clearance. The charges against her were dropped only after Hillary Clinton herself ended up being investigated by FBI for using a private email server for classified emails. Had Robin Raphel been prosecuted, it would have been impossible for the FBI to justify dropping the charges against Hillary Clinton.

By 1996, India was justified in believing that Indo-US relations had hit the lowest point, but things took a dramatic turn for the worse during Bill Clinton’s second term in office. Warren Christopher was replaced by Madeleine Albright as the Secretary of State and she made no efforts to hide her hostility towards India and her weekly outbursts on television even bordered on racism. Even after leaving office, Albright continued her attacks on India and called for a plebiscite in Kashmir, thus justifying the actions of violent groups. Albright’s cynical action of bombing Yugoslavia and then getting her investment firm to attempt a takeover of mines in that country is an example of the abuse of power by people close to the Clintons. Albright also justified the deaths of half a million Iraqi children and claimed that the deaths were “worth it”. Recently, Albright threatened women in America and claimed that there was a special place in hell reserved for them if they did not vote for Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton, during her tenure as the Secretary of State, picked up where Bill Clinton and his Cabinet members had left off and did not waste any time in pursuing anti-India activities. Within weeks of Hillary Clinton assuming office, Teesta Setalvad, an activist involved in framing Narendra Modi using false charges, was paid a handsome donation by Vikram Chatwal, whose father Sant Chatwal was at one time a trustee of the Clinton Foundation. Emails leaked by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks show that Sant Chatwal also had a role in the infamous cash-for-votes scam in which money was paid to purchase votes in the Lok Sabha. Other emails leaked by WikiLeaks show that the US government intended to fund Teesta Setalvad’s NGO and use her claims in the so-called human rights reports that could be used against India and Hindus.

Given Hillary Clinton’s background, these actions are not unexpected. Investigative reporter Jeff Sharlet has exposed the fact that Hillary Clinton is part of a secretive group in Washington DC variously known as the Fellowship, the Family, or the C Street House. This group is known to use religion to further their geopolitical agenda around the world and evangelical Christians are their main tool when it comes to interfering in other countries. The separation of East Timor from Indonesia using religious persecution as the excuse was one of their achievements under Bill Clinton, and when Atal Behari Vajpayee became the Prime Minister of India for a few days in 1996, Bill Clinton acted at the behest of this group and set up an advisory committee that would supposedly deal with religious freedom around the world.

Hillary Clinton the Christian EvangelistCuriously, this committee had members from every faith except Hinduism, and it recommended the creation of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a government agency that has used, since its inception, fictitious claims to attack Hindus and India. It was the USCIRF that was responsible for demonising Narendra Modi using false charges and recommending that he not be permitted to enter the US. According to emails leaked by WikiLeaks, Preeta Bansal, the USCIRF commissioner, who was the main person responsible for this action, has also pressured Vietnam into accepting proselytism by American missionaries and is close to people in the Hillary Clinton campaign.

It is not just the past record, but the future too portends a disastrous era for Indo-US relations should Hillary Clinton end up becoming the President of the United States. There is already talk of Joe Biden being tapped by Hillary Clinton for the position of the Secretary of State. Biden would definitely pursue his agenda of thwarting the development of India’s space programme and other technological advancements. Even more worrisome is the fact that Hillary Clinton’s closest confidante is Huma Abedin who is of Pakistani descent and whose family has links to radical Islamist elements in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Abedin could end up playing an important role in determining American foreign policy.

Another point against Hillary Clinton is that the war hawk Henry Kissinger has come out in support of her and has praised her stint as Secretary of State. Kissinger’s hostility towards India is no state secret, as many of his racist, anti-India statements have been recorded on tape.

It is in the light of this background that many Indian-Americans have opposed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton and have come out in support of Donald Trump. In contrast to the policies of the Clintons, Trump has promised to make India the best friend of the US and has stated that he looks forward to working with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trump has also reached out to Hindus in US. While there is always a risk of the unknown and it is not clear if Trump can succeed in cleaning up the system even if he intends to do so, a Hillary presidency will certainly be an unmitigated disaster for India.

Despite these facts, some Indian-Americans support Hillary Clinton, but their support is not based on sound analysis but on flawed information fed to them by the media. Most such supporters are highly qualified when it comes to educational degrees, but fall under the category of what is known in American parlance as “low information voters”. Most educated Indian-Americans typically demonstrate very little interest in politics and have almost never been part of even informal political discussions. America has made many things accessible to most people and politics is no exception. Usually, the process of making things accessible to a large number of people has involved dumbing down the system and controlling the behaviour of people.

Indian Americans for Donald TrumpJust as education has been dumbed down in US in order to make it easy for everyone to be part of the school system, politics too has been dumbed down and simplified so that even the most ignorant voter can have a sense of making a choice and being politically empowered. The educated class among Indian-Americans are especially suited to this model as they have no inclination towards politics but have been conditioned to refer to books as the source of their knowledge. They have thus internalised the idea of treating the printed word and assertions they hear from “authoritative sources” as the ultimate truth. They are told through television channels and newspapers that politics consists of exactly two groups, with one group consisting of heroes and the other group consisting of villains, a simplification that they readily embrace. They even use labels like “progressive”, “liberal” and “conservative” to describe themselves, even though they do not really comprehend the meaning of these terms and do not realise that these labels are handed out by politicians. In contrast, many supporters of Donald Trump discuss political issues and seem aware of the situation.

In order for India to build a constructive relationship with US, it requires people in both countries to have good intentions. It is clear that India cannot have a good relationship with the US if Hillary Clinton is at the helm of affairs. On the other hand, Donald Trump has articulated the right intent and his tenure holds promise for India. – Sunday Guardian, 30 October 2016

» Arvind Kumar is a political analyst based in New York.

Republican Hindu Coalition Chairman Shalli Kumar (2nd R) helps Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (2nd L) light a ceremonial diya lamp before he speaks at a Bollywood-themed charity concert put on by the Republican Hindu Coalition in Edison, New Jersey, U.S. October 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Wikileaks proves the Clinton primary was rigged – Michael Sainato

In this Oct. 18, 2011, file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya. Clinton insists that if she pursues the presidency again, it will be different this time around. But revelations that she sidestepped the government email system as secretary of state suggest she may have a long way to go in making good on that promise. (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool, File)

Michael SainatoIn its recent leak of 20,000 Democratic National Convention emails from January 2015 to May 2016, DNC staff discuss how to deal with Bernie Sanders’ popularity as a challenge to Clinton’s candidacy. Instead of treating Sanders as a viable candidate for the Democratic ticket, the DNC worked against him and his campaign to ensure Clinton received the nomination. – Michael Sainato

On July 25, the Democratic National Convention will begin in Philadelphia, Pa. To commemorate the event and its embrace of corrupt politician Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee, Wikileaks is releasing thousands of DNC/Clinton emails.

In its recent leak of 20,000 DNC emails from January 2015 to May 2016, DNC staff discuss how to deal with Bernie Sanders’ popularity as a challenge to Clinton’s candidacy. Instead of treating Sanders as a viable candidate for the Democratic ticket, the DNC worked against him and his campaign to ensure Clinton received the nomination.

One email from DNC Deputy Communications Director Eric Walker to several DNC staffers cites two news articles showing Sanders leading in Rhode Island and the limited number of polling locations in the state: “If she outperforms this polling, the Bernie camp will go nuts and allege misconduct. They’ll probably complain regardless, actually.”

Instead of treating Sanders with impartiality, the DNC exhibits resentful disdain toward him and the thousands of disenfranchised voters he could have brought into the party.

“Wondering if there’s a good Bernie narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never ever had his act together, that his campaign was a mess,” wrote DNC Deputy Communications Director Mark Paustenbach to DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda, in response to backlash over DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz shutting off the Sanders campaign’s access to voter database files.

Another chain reveals MSNBC’s Chuck Todd and DNC staff members discussing how to discredit MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski’s call for Wasserman Schultz to resign.

Most of the emails released come from seven prominent DNC staff members: senior adviser Andrew Wright, national finance director Jordon Kaplan, finance chief of staff Scott Comer, Northern California finance director Robert Stowe, finance director of data and strategic initiatives Daniel Parrish, finance director Allen Zachary and Miranda.

DNC EmailsThe release provides further evidence the DNC broke its own charter violations by favoring Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee, long before any votes were cast.

Over the past several weeks, Guccifer 2.0 released several internal memos showing DNC staff strategizing to make Clinton the presidential nominee—as early as March 2015. In June 2016, Florida-based law firm, Beck & Lee, filed a class action lawsuit against Wasserman Schultz and the DNC based on the revelations from these leaked files.

Other emails show DNC staff in damage control over allegations from the Sanders campaign, when a report—corroborated by a Politico—revealed the DNC’s joint fundraising committee with the Clinton campaign was laundering money to the Clinton campaign instead of fundraising for down-ticket Democrats. Regardless of the fundraising tactics, because both major campaigns didn’t agree to use the joint fundraising committee super-PAC with the DNC, the DNC should have recused itself from participating with just the Clinton campaign.

The Wikileaks and Guccifer 2.0 leaks are the perfect end to a Democratic primary that undermined democracy at every possible opportunity while maintaining plausible deniability.

The party’s rules, including the use of super delegates—who disproportionately endorsed Clinton before the primaries began—are intended to provide the Democratic Party leverage over the election process. Throughout the primaries, decisions were made by DNC officials to help Clinton build and maintain a lead over Sanders.

More votes were cast for Clinton, but they were cast at the behest of a Democratic Party that downplayed her shortfalls to the extent that Sanders not only had to run against Clinton but also against the entire Democratic Establishment. Heading into the Democratic National Convention, voters are beginning to understand that their voices are of little concern to the leadership. – New York Observer, 22 July 2016

» Michael Sainato’s reports have appeared in the Guardian, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, and Huffington Post. He lives in Gainesville, FL. Follow him on twitter: @msainat1.

Hillary for Prison