Thursday, July 30, 2009

YouTube recreats love at TWILIGHT

I went for my routine GLAUCOMA checkup recently and the doctor asked in panic "Are you putting your drops regularly?" I said 'Irregularly". Your left eye nerve is damaged almost 50% and that too permanently. Then i found one can loose ones eyesight even with normal IOP (Intra Ocular Pressure) in certain cases. My eye pressure never exceeded 20. After drops now the pressures are below 12. Mild strokes can also damage the optic nerves. I reflected about the innumerable pleasures our eyes have given us during our life time. As I near the end of the life's journey suddenly i find that there are so many things which gave me innumerable pleasures especially the films, their music and the beautiful heroines. I was addicted to pictures and books. I saw almost all Tamil movies and we had brilliant Telugu imports like A.Nageswara Rao,NT Rama rao,Ranga rao. But the most important thing was the voice of Ghantasala whose songs in Pathala Bhairavi still rings. Ofcourse we had MK Thiagaraja Bhgwatar,NS Krishnana,MK Radha , Raja Kumari,Bhanumathi etc who are not only versatile actors but also singers. Gemini's "ChandraLekha" revolutionised notonly Tamil picturisation but also Hindi movies with Gemini foraying into Hindi cinema .Then in 1950s Tamil cinema had a social revolution with "Parashakthi " penned by M.Karunananidhi, "Velaikari" penned by CN.Annadurai. This not only revolutionised Tamil cinema but also changed political landscape of Tamil nadu by eliminating Congress which is yet to change even today.
It is this time one of my friends advised me to take a look at Hindi picture "Ek do theen" with buxom Meena shorey in lead. At this time my Hindi pictures were restricted to Hunterwali movies of Nadia and John gawas along with English movies like Captain marvel,Flash garden and captain America etc. Next came the first Hindi colour movie "AAN" with Dilip Kumar,Nimmi and Nadira , and Awara followed and i was hooked though i never understood a line of dialogue or lyrics in songs. For a budding adolescent along with beautiful heroines the music scored. I just loved watching them along with Tamil and English movies. I had a crush on Shakila of CID and soon Madhubala,waheeda rehman also became favourites along with Dev anand. Ofcourse i could not see much movies when i joined duty at Delhi but one heard songs at Binacca Geeth mala of Radio Ceylon and I just liked the voice of amin Sayani. Our IB minister Keskar at that time ensured Indians didnot have the benefit of good film songs because he felt Indians must hear only classical singers like bade Ghaulam ali Khan or Chemmangudi iyer of carnatic music as film songs corrupted the pious Indian citizens! He must be turning in his grave seeing our present lot of films and hear the songs!!
So when i got posted in Ladakh, our only companion was a transistor ( a very costly item during 1960s for rupees 800) though batteries used to be a problem at 14000 feet. But it helped me to learn a workable knowledge of spoken Hindi (I was paying a price for the burning of Hindi school books during my school days!!) My posting at Jaipur and falling in love and marrying a Jaipuri girl might have been influenced by Hindi movies. So when our neighbour hood Senior citizens gossip turned to old Hindi Music, the mere word of Shakila lighted up the entire evening. The mole on Shakila's jaw, the hairstyle : WOW we all turned teen aged adolescents and some even sang. For me Aishwarya of (BPL advt) and Kajol continued my midlife romance and continues today with Ganelia, and so many smart TV heroines!!!
When this YouTube revolution occurred, i was already hooked on to General Hamid gul,Baba Ramdev etc. I never expected that one can even bring back those fond memories of yester years or even see missed episodes of"Kitni mohabbat hai","Aap Ki Antara" ,"Bandini" etc etc!!!
I am posting my favourites and expect my friends who visit my site to post their favourites. (CID Shakila, Dev anand,CID) ( Vijanthimala Amrapalli) (Pehla pehla pyar CID Shakila) Babuji deere chalna) (waheeda rehamn, cobra dance) ( Chnadralekha dance in Tamil by Gemini) ( dil ek mandir) (dev anad,Sadhna, Hum dono) ( Razia Sultan Dil e nadan, Hema malini) (Dil apna preet, Meena kumari) (Madhumathi Bichuah) (Raat per dard. Gaman Smitha patil) ( Love in Tokyo, Asha Parekh) ( Gori tera gaon, Amol Palekar, Zarina wahab) ( Likho kath tuje, Sashi kapoor, Asha parekh) ( Laga chuneri Daag Dev anand) (Hoto mei aisi bath, Jwel thief Vijayanthi,dev) (Sharmila tagore, Anupama, Aisi bhi batein, Geetha dutt) ( He malik tere ,do ankhen Bara hath) (tumsa nahin deka) (KL Saigal) (A.nageswara rao, Anjali devi,Swarna sundari) (mera nam shabnam) (Bindiya chamekigi) (chalte chalte Pakeeza) (Reshami zulfein sharbathi ankhen) (Phir teri kahani yadd ayi) (Heart chakra meditation by Karunesh) (Dev anand ,Waheeda, Apna dil Solwa sal) (SD burman Sujatha) (More of Johann's favourite music) Picnic Kim Novak,william holden (Que sera que sera Doris day (Dr.Zhivago,Lara's theme) (morning raga) Gayathri mathra by dev permal (Dance is music with your feet?) (Dance competion Vijyanthimala ,Padmini Tamil) (Benhur chariot race) (Sindhu Bhairavi song Tamil) (Dharisanam ;alaigal oaivathillai,Tamil) (NTR, and Jamuna Ghantasala Telugu) (The good,bad and the ugly)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

KARGIL /Pakistani views

The very frank views by the Pakistani authors about Kargil is a must for all Indians who are interested in recent history

Investigating Kargil

Thursday, July 02, 2009
Taj M Khattak

'What have you done, my friend, Nawaz Sharif?' was how, as narrated in Bill Clinton's memoirs My Life, the Clinton-Nawaz discourse began soon after the photo-op at the steps of the White House on July 4, 1999. Nawaz Sharif had embarked on that fateful sojourn a little over ten years ago for a face-saving climb-down from Kargil. It triggered politico-military consequences for the country and within a span of another three months, Sharif was overthrown, and the country is still reeling from its effects. Musharraf's unceremonious exit after a rule of nearly nine years has made little or no difference at all.

During much of the eight week period preceding the July 4 meeting in Washington, we had looked helplessly at TV images of pinpoint artillery shoots and resultant instant pulverization of some of the nation's bravest sons on such mountainous salients in the war zone as Point 5140 (Dras), Point 5203 ( Batalik), Three Pimples (Dras) and Tiger Hill.

'Operation Badr', as it was called, was launched to coincide with thawing of snow and summer opening of India's National Highway 1A, which links Srinagar to Leh via Kargil. Regular army personnel of the Northern Light Infantry, supported by special forces, artillery, engineers and other combat support personnel, in the garb of mujahideen and under a well-executed cover plan, infiltrated through gaps into Indian territory to occupy mountain tops between the LoC and the highway at several points.

It is a historical fact that any surreptitious military operations, executed howsoever brilliantly and courageously, are unfortunately of no real consequences, unless backed by such other elements of national power as a robust foreign policy, vibrant economy, national consensus, a cause based on sound internationally acknowledged principles and above all a zeitgeist for what a country sets about to achieve.

As the then Indian Army Chief, General V P Malik observed: "Militarily this situation could not have been better for Pakistan after the incursions, since its troops were inside India and had occupied strategic heights along the highway. Had they stayed, they could have cut off the supply route to Leh along the 160 kilometres LoC, seriously affecting Indian's ability to move, re-deploy or augment troops from one sector to another. They were poised to launch operations in Turtuk close to southern Siachen glacier and re-draw the LoC in Dras-Kargil-Batalik-Turtuk sectors. Intensified, enlarged or prolonged fighting would have enabled them to draw the world's attention to Jammu and Kashmir and a war between two nuclear nations."

So far so good – but beyond that, it appears, it was all lost on our military and political leaders.

At the height of the crisis, Benazir Bhutto had disclosed in an interview to Third Eye Television that President Pervez Musharraf had brought the Kargil plan to her when she was prime minister (when he was director-general military operations) and that she had rejected it.

The Indian army too is by this bug; venturing into Siachen under a similar impulse, and to date India retains under its control an area of the glacier of some 900-1000 square miles. Pakistan launched quite a few efforts to push back the Indians from a nearly 43 miles icy front, the most significant one being in 1984 with a sizeable troop's concentration at Khapalu spearheaded by elite SSG elements, but this was repulsed by the Indians.

This failure too reportedly bears Musharraf's hallmark signatures as one of the masterminds and planners. The 'Banna Post' named after Naib Subedar Banna Singh (the only Param Veer Chakra recipient of the Kargil conflict), taken away from us in fierce hand-to-hand combat in broad daylight, continues to be an eyesore on an otherwise glistening and pristine glacier. The Pakistan Army has just celebrated 'Year of the Soldier'. No prizes for guessing who would win hands down any contest for the 'The Most Failed Soldier of the Decade', were there to be any nominations.

But herein lies the whole irony; the Indian army exploited a 'lack of clarity' in a border demarcation agreement and occupied stretches of glacier which were open to different interpretations. The Pakistan army was trying to change lines over which wars had been fought and which, over a period, had morphed from a ceasefire line post-1965 to line of control after Simla Agreement. This fundamental difference, if not clear to the small coterie of Kargil planners, would have been clearer, had there been a broader consultative decision-making process.

The Hamoodur Rahman Commission on the 1971 debacle had observed that the commander-in-chief of the Pakistan Navy learnt about the outbreak of war from the news bulletin on Radio Pakistan. Mainly as a result of this report, naval and air headquarters were shifted from Karachi and Peshawar to Islamabad at tremendous cost to the national exchequer. The National Defence College (NDC) was established at Rawalpindi to jointly train potential senior officers from the three services in the art of war. A Joint Services Headquarters was established to chalk out joint operational plans.

It was hoped that as a result of such measures, a generation of officers would foster closer tri-services understanding, and make joint operational planning more sensible. It is evident from the Kargil misadventure that this is not happening. The bonhomie and camaraderie garnered at the NDC, it seems, is only for extending mundane favors to fellow senior officers from time to time and never quite put to higher national purpose.

At best, Kargil was a tactical surprise -- beyond that it failed at the strategic level. After some hesitation and denials, we accepted the mortal remains of Captain Colonel Sher Khan and Havaldar Lalak Jan and honoured them with the highest gallantry awards, as praise for their courage by the enemy was becoming too embarrassing. There was of course no compunction or embarrassment in promoting/rewarding the four generals largely perceived to bear prime responsibility for the fiasco.

The Hamoodur Rehman commission report remained shrouded in mystery for over three decades, with people remaining unaware all this while as to why exactly we lost East Pakistan, till portions of it were beamed at us only recently from across the border forcing us to release it in its totality. On Kargil too, the people of Pakistan to this day are unaware as to what actually happened and why we drifted to the precipice of a potentially disastrous conflict.

What is known at best are nebulous and hazy facts between Musharraf's now famous 'everyone was onboard' quip to the BBC reporter, the phone call intercept between General Aziz and Musharraf and Nawaz Sharif's approval in principle at a moment when his concentration, to the nation's misfortune, was at the lowest ebb. This is clearly not enough.

The central issue is not whether Nawaz Sharif, the elected civilian prime minister had given an approval in principle and was onboard. It is also not whether another prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, had vetoed the Kargil plan when it was presented to her. Rather, it is the near absolute obsession, of our brethren in Khaki with the LoC, and their inability to resist temptation to do something or the other with it at considerable peril to the country. This obsession has not waned since Ayub's era, without realization that the opportunity to etch the Kashmir border permanently in stone through military campaigns was lost forever, when the Indian Army beat us to the Srinagar airport in 1948 Kashmir War by landing a company strength of troops there. Since then, it has always been only this Line or that; with the square miles area under control of the two adversaries in Azad & Indian Held Kashmir being, more or less a constant.

For as long the LoC remains an LoC, there will always be a danger for another adventure if and when we are through with yesterday's mujahideen turned today's terrorists in Swat, Waziristan and other areas in the north. Isn't it time there was an exhaustive enquiry into it and the right lessons learnt for all time to come. In comparison with re-opening Zulfiquar Bhutto's judicial murder case, which the government is thinking about, it might be easier to investigate Kargil where at least most of the principal witnesses are still around. The chances of that, however, happening in a country where a retired chief of the air staff, has to seek permission from the incumbent COAS just to appear before a National Assembly/Senate Committee, are slim -- unless we undergo a cathartic experience in one form or the other, there will be no relief from this lingering national pain.

The writer is a retired vice-admiral and former vice-chief of the Naval Staff, Pakistan Navy.
Gang-of-Four Planned Kargil, Keeping Pakistan in the Dark

Special SAT Report

WASHINGTON, July 22: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was not aware of the Kargil Operation when he received Indian PM Vajpayee in Lahore on Feb 20, 1999, a new book written by a senior former police officer from Pakistan, and published by a New York Publishing house, has revealed.

The book, Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism: Allah, the Army, and America’s War on Terror, is authored by Mr Hassan Abbas, who is currently a Research Fellow at the Harvard Law School and a PhD. candidate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He has served in the administrations of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (1994-95) and General Musharraf (1999-2000).

The book examines the rise of religious extremism in Pakistan, and analyzes its connections to Pakistan Army's policies and the fluctuating US-Pakistan relations. It includes profiles of leading Pakistani Jihadi groups with details of their origins, development, and capabilities based on interviews with Pakistani intelligence officials, and operators of the militant groups.

The book contains new historical materials on Operation Gibraltar (1965 War with India), conspiracy behind General Zia-ul-Haq’s plane crash in 1988, a botched military coup by fundamentalists in army in 1993-4, the story of National Accountability Bureau (from an insider’s perspective) and lastly about how General Musharraf handled the volatile situation after the 9/11 attacks.

Besides General Musharraf’s detailed profile, the book evaluates the India-Pakistan relations vis-à-vis the Kashmir conflict, and Dr AQ Khan’s nuclear proliferation crisis. The book offers predictions for Pakistan's domestic and regional prospects.

Author Hassan Abbas gives a graphic description of how the Kargil disaster was planned and managed by the Army led by General Musharraf who led a “Gang of Four” and quotes Pakistan High Commissioner to UK, Maleeha Lodhi as saying: “Even corps commanders and other service chiefs were excluded from the decision-making process.”

“So much so that even the very able DGMO, Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia, was initiated into the secret after the gang of four had already taken the irrevocable decision of going ahead with the operation,” the book says.

The chapter on the Kargil Episode asks “Who is to be Blamed” and gives a detailed account of what happened based on author’s interviews with many serving and retired army officers. It says:

“In May 1999, just three months after the frozen road to Indo-Pak dialogue had thawed enough to get a promise for more going, Pakistan launched its operation against the Kargil Heights in the far north of Indian-held Kashmir, just across the LOC. These heights dominated the main Indian supply route to Leh, where India had a small cantonment to house one brigade. It was the Indian routine at Kargil to descend the heights at the start of the winter snows and reoccupy them the following spring. With these heights in Pakistani hands, it meant that supplies to Leh could not be maintained.

And though India did have an alternate route, it was not an all-weather, all-season road. India would therefore have no option but to recover the heights and open the road to Leh or allow its garrison to perish. Though, of course, even if India had any number of alternative roads, its pride alone would have sufficed for them to mount an operation for the relief of Kargil.

This operation had been discussed at least twice before in earlier years and turned down both times. General Zia-ul-Haq was the first army chief invited by the Military Operations (MO) directorate to see a presentation on this operation. After sitting through it, he resorted in his most chaste Urdu, which he would normally do only when he wanted to take someone to task. His ensuing conversation with the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), as narrated by a senior army officer, went somewhat like this:

Zia: When we take Kargil, what do you expect the Indians to do? . . . I mean, don’t you think they will try and recapture it?
DGMO: Yes sir, but we think that the position is impregnable and we can hold it against far superior forces.
Zia: Now that’s very good, but in that case, don’t you think the Indians will go for a limited offensive elsewhere along the line of control, take some of our territory, and use it as a bargaining chip?
DGMO: Yes sir, this is possible, but . . .
Zia: And if they are beaten back there also, don’t you think they will attack across the international frontier, which may lead to a full-scale war?
DGMO: That’s possible, sir.
Zia: So in other words, you have prepared a plan to lead us into a full-scale war with India!

This sardonic observation by Zia ul-Haq caused the demise of the first Kargil proposal. The second time the plan was mooted, it was shot down on the same grounds, that is, it was an easy tactical operation that was untenable in the long run unless Pakistan were prepared to go into a full-scale war with India, in which Kargil would be a secondary objective.

The third and final operational plan for Kargil was put forward by its inspirational father, Lieutenant General Mohammad Aziz Khan, chief of the general staff (CGS). Himself a Kashmiri, he was fully committed to the cause of Kashmiri freedom, and not the sort of man who held any commitment lightly. He is very religious and not known to be a hypocrite.

The tactical parents of the Kargil plan were two. The first was Lieutenant General Mahmood Ahmad, the commander of 10th Corps, in whose area of operations the objective lay. He was a comparatively weaker personality than Aziz, with a romance about history. It is believed that he was convinced by the conviction of Aziz, which, combined with his own historical dream, made him a hostage to the Kargil idea.

The second parent of the plan was Major General Javed Hassan, commander of the Pakistani troops in the Northern Areas (Force Command Northern Areas, FCNA) who would actually have to carry out the operation. He had one of the best minds in the army and even more ambition. He gave his unstinting support to the operation, less through any sense of conviction and more because of the promise that such a position held of bringing him into General Pervez Musharraf’s charmed inner circle.

Musharraf was taken in by the enthusiasm of two of his closest generals, and, being eternally levitated by an irrepressible streak of unreal optimism, he became the strongest advocate of the operation. The absolute secrecy that was one of the preconditions of the success of the operation, to secure it against any possibility of leaks, also made it proof against any possibility of a second opinion, and thus against any collusion with a sense of reality.

According to Maleeha Lodhi, “Even corps commanders and other service chiefs were excluded” from the decision-making process. So much so that even the very able DGMO, Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia, was initiated into the secret after the gang of four had already taken the irrevocable decision of going ahead with the operation.

The next task was to bring the prime minister on board. For this, a presentation was organized. The exact date of this presentation is a million-dollar question, as this may consequently decide how history will judge both Musharraf and Nawaz. According to Niaz A. Naik’s narration of the events to Prof. Robert Wirsing, Nawaz Sharif was given a briefing by the army on the Kashmir issue on March 27 or 28, 1999, which probably was the one where the Kargil Plan was discussed.

Similarly, according to Owen Bennett Jones, the army contends that a specific briefing on the Kargil Plan was given in the second week of March 1999, where Nawaz granted formal approval of the plan. Most probably, both Naik and Jones are referring to the same meeting, and it certifies that at the time of Nawaz’s meeting with Vajpayee on February 20, 1999, he was not aware of the Kargil operation.

Anyhow, Nawaz came to hear the Kargil presentation accompanied by the recently retired CGS of the army, Lieutenant General Iftikhar Ali Khan, who was Nawaz’s secretary of defense. Iftikhar knew Musharraf, Mahmood, and Aziz well and should have used his rank and influence to abort the operation, but he did not, though he certainly showed his reservations. Nawaz’s other adviser was Majid Malik, a minister in the cabinet and a retired lieutenant general who had served as DGMO and CGS during his military career a generation earlier. He had a sharp mind and asked all the right questions of the assembled generals, and pointed out all the weaknesses in their overall plan, and its immediate and larger implications.

This should have educated Nawaz Sharif adequately to put the operation on hold pending a detailed reexamination of the project, but it did not. Sharif agreed with the plan, though the operation was already in its final stages and Nawaz was not aware of that. Probably in his reverie, he was looking to the glory that would come his way when the fruits promised by operation were harvested.

However, close associates of Nawaz contend that the said briefing never mentioned that regular troops would be involved in the operation, and the discussion was framed entirely in terms of “increasing the heat in Kashmir.”

Interestingly, in the latest book on the Kargil issue, Shireen Mazari, a Pakistani academic known for her pro-military stance, asserts that the Kargil operation was in fact planned to counter similar moves expected by the Indians in the area, and this military move was in reality a defensive action finalized after credible intelligence reports confirmed Indian designs for incursions across the LOC! This theory is not corroborated by any other source.

In reality, the Kargil plan was for Pakistan to send in a mixture of Kashmiri fighters and regular/paramilitary troops (the Northern Light Infantry Regiment) to occupy the heights above Kargil before the Indian Army moved in to reoccupy them at the end of the snow season and cut off the supply route to Leh.

The operation was to be projected as a solely Kashmiri mujahideen operation, denying absolutely any Pakistani involvement in it or that Pakistan had any control or influence over these elements. It is worth noting that until the occupation of the heights became an accomplished fact, neither any of the other service chiefs nor the rest of the corps commanders or Musharraf’s personal staff officers knew anything about the operation.

The result was that, when the Indian Air Force joined the action, the Pakistan Air Force was in no position to respond while the army’s quartermaster general and master general of ordnance, both of whose support was vital for any army operation, were also left totally in the dark.

Thus if Kargil had led to general war, the army would have learned that its newest fleet of tanks, of which it was so proud, had no APDSFS antitank ammunition! The other effect of the secrecy surrounding Kargil was that no one in the Pakistani diplomatic corps was equipped to deal with the questions arising in the wake of the operation, while it also split the generals into two groups, that is, those who were “in” and those who were left “out.”

The masterminds of the operation were driven by the belief that their nuclear capability provided a protective shield to Pakistan, and that India would acquiesce to this capture just like Pakistan was compelled to swallow India’s seizure of the Siachen peaks in 1984. All the four generals involved in the Kargil project had remained instructors in different military training institutions during their careers, teaching young officers how vital it is to weigh the pros and cons of a military offensive in terms of understanding the possible ramifications and enemy reactions. It is strange that these generals forgot such a basic military lesson and seriously miscalculated Indian capabilities both in terms of military strength and political influence in the international arena.

The Indians reacted in an outburst of justifiable rage, citing Pakistan’s bad faith for having welcomed their prime minister to Lahore while concurrent preparations for the Kargil operation were already under way. In Pakistan there was no widespread feeling of regret, though few knew what had really happened.

Within the army the general feeling about India was that had made its nuclear tests in the belief that this would force Pakistan to show its hand, and that if this came short, Pakistan would be pushed into the status of an Indian satellite; but when this did not happen, Vajpayee came to Lahore to restart a long suspended dialogue merely to lull a nuclear Pakistan to sleep while cooking up some other perfidious scheme against it, and any measure against such an enemy was entirely justified. Pakistan’s explanation of the events at Kargil, though, had a skeptical reception in international circles to begin with, and later their version was entirely discredited.

For India, the exposure of their neighbor’s duplicity must have been satisfying, but surely not enough. After India’s first abortive attacks to reclaim the heights, it started a large military buildup by moving all its 130mm artillery regiments to the target area and picking up a substantial amount of smart munitions around the world. It is an amazing commentary on the coordination between the “mujahideen” occupying Kargil heights and those fighting inside held Kashmir that when the Indian reinforcements were snaking up the winding roads in endless convoys, there was no reported attempt at an ambush by the latter to disrupt this operation.

When the buildup was complete, India subjected the objective to air strikes and massive artillery barrages day after day, followed by determined and courageous infantry attacks in very difficult conditions. The Pakistan Army top brass had confided to various friends who had their trust that their men on the heights were adequately provisioned and well dug in to withstand the rigors of a long campaign. The truth, as it later transpired, was that the digging in was minimal because the rocky soil just did not allow this.

The result was not only that the troops were exposed to harsh weather and the shrapnel of exploding shells, but also to the splinters of rocks that followed the explosions. For most, their only safety was to scramble to the comparative security of the reverse slopes during the bombardment, and then get back to the other side of the hill to meet the infantry attacks that normally followed the artillery barrages.

Pakistani reserves of supplies and ammunition were woefully inadequate to begin with, and became alarmingly low as the operation progressed, with many having to survive by eating the pitiful vegetation that braved the rocky slopes. Under these circumstances, the resistance they put up was both heroic and magnificent, and the quality of junior leadership again proved admirable. But Pakistani generals again failed miserably—as the plan and preparations were defective.

Kargil left an already friendless Pakistan in almost total diplomatic isolation. Even China, whose president had counseled Pakistan as recently as late 1996 to go slow on Kashmir and concentrate instead on the economic viability of the country, felt constrained to distance itself from Islamabad’s latest adventure. Major General Javed Hassan, the commander on the spot, was being threatened by words and gestures of subordinates that could only be described as mutinous. Lieutenant General Mahmood, on whom reality started to dawn fatefully late in the day, saw his adequate jaw falling at an alarming rate.

And though the conviction and inner reserves of Lieutenant General Aziz, helped by blissful ignorance, kept him as gung-ho as ever and also helped keep Musharraf’s optimism afloat, the prime minister had become a case stricken by fright. Under these circumstance, Nawaz was left to plead desperately for a meeting with President Clinton, who found that his schedule allowed him a few free hours on July 4, 1999.

It is widely believed that at this meeting Nawaz swore complete ignorance about the Kargil operation till everything terrible hit the fan. Blaming everything on his generals, he just begged to be bailed out. Clinton told him quite unequivocally that whether the “mujahideen” occupying the Kargil heights listened to Pakistan or not, the immediate step it would have to take was to evacuate Kargil. As a sop he promised the Pakistani prime minister that following this evacuation, he would treat the issue of Kashmir with active interest.

In the midst of this crisis in June 1999, General Zinni, then commander in chief of the US Centcom (Central Command), had visited Pakistan accompanied by G. Lanpher, deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia, to impress upon Pakistan’s military commanders the need for de-escalation. This team also visited India during the tour.

However, according to Shireen Mazari, some senior Pakistani army officers are of the view that the United States prevented India from coming to the negotiating table with Pakistan, and in this context she also mentions the visit of Henry Kissinger to India in early June, who was “apparently carrying a message from the US government not to negotiate with Pakistan.”

It is a moot point whether such was the case, but it was obvious that US sympathies were with India in this conflict. To any neutral observer of the international political scene, this was a predictable outcome as US interests were increasingly being linked with those of India in the region, but Pakistan’s military hierarchy was apparently oblivious of what was so clearly written on the wall.

The evacuation of Kargil was followed by a hum of resentment all over Pakistan. The loved ones of those who had given their lives on the desolate and remote slopes there wanted to know that if unilateral withdrawal was to be the end of the whole exercise, what the point was of sacrificing the lives of their sons and brothers? The people of Pakistan had been subjected to the largest whispering campaign in history to expect a great victory.

When the operation fizzled out like a wet firecracker, they were a nation left speechless in anger and disbelief. Musharraf and the planners could not give any excuses in public, but privately they let it be known that the blame for the scuttling of a brilliant operation lay on a panic-prone prime minister, who could not stand up to the US president. Nawaz Sharif too could not say anything in his defense publicly, but privately he let it be known that his generals had taken him for a ride, and that he had to bend over backward to get the US president to help Pakistan out of a very sticky situation."

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


It was about 10 years back when i first started learning the basics of email; when one day I got a chat message from a stranger. I responded out of curiosity.That person thought I was some sort of councilor due to my advocating mental health issues. He said he is a gay person and that his parents have fixed marriage with a girl and he wanted to know my view on the matter.He was able to tell me how when he was a young boy of 10 or 11, he was seduced and sodomized by a friend of his father and he has never confided it to anyone. As he grew He has to learn karate to regain his manhood. He also had to seduce some boys and sodomise them to regain his scarred manhood. Throughout he felt guilty but he continued and started believing he is born gay.He was afraid of marriage to a woman and that he will not able to live a normal life. He was also emotionally entangled with a male.I somehow convinced him that his perversion is not something natural but a reaction to his child hood abuse. He married and soon he was blessed with a daughter and he said the joy of father hood is the greatest blessing he had. I asked him whether he felt the urge to seduce the boys again. He said he felt it but then he also suddenly felt the same with other unmarried girls. It is the same old human urge of conquest. But his feelings for that special male person still lingers but then he knows that he is slowly learning to love his wife while loving his daughter is natural and easy.

The decriminalization of Sec 377 has raised some questions. Why this criminal action is suddenly overturned by Delhi High court? A law of the land can be only changed by the parliament and we find here two judges of high court of a small state suddenly coming out with a new law of their own.This has set a bad precedent in that any judge can call a law as bad even if it is in force for centuries. As our Parliament of India is either sleeping or in hibernation the two so called learned judges have taken on themselves to judge an issue which is prohibited by Christian and Islamic ,Sikh holy texts .Even Baba Ramdev has opposed this decriminalisation.
Who are Gays and lesbians and where do we find them in India.
1.Normally we find them in cities amongst child hood sex abuse victims
2.Among clergy of Catholic Priesthood,,Jain Munies,Hindu priesthood, Buddhist monks etc which demand CELIBACY.
3.Prisoners in jail where there is forced celibacy.
4.Foreigners Pedophiles
In foreign countries this is practised covertly mostly in Afghanistan,Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries while it is legalised in USA and some western countries.In Pakistan the Taliban Mullah who trains child suicide bombers almost always rapes the boys so that they are forced to aspire for heaven out of shame by suicide bombing.
The Delhi High court also has put in place another dichotomy in the law which it has created by making the age of consent for "Penile non vaginal sex" as 18 years. The IPC still stands as age of consent for "penile vaginal sex" as 16!!!. A woman can give consent for sex at 16 while a male boy can give consent for gay sex only at 18!!!Of course age of consent for a married woman is 15!!!
Who is driving this law change? Though the first group is vocally active, there is an unseen hand which seem to be at work. The UPA government even had a sitting of three Ministers involving Health,Law,home to decide on this matter.They never showed the same alacrity with regard to nearly 198 laws which are pending in the parliament sub committees which are crying for attention especially the archaic Indian Lunacy act of 1912(1987 Mental health law is same as old one in that it even claims Mental illness is CURABLE!!!)
"CONSENTING ADULTS' doing an act which is prohibited in law in private has not been punished in any court of law in India. I know some child getting sodomised being punished.But i do not KNOW a single case in which GAY SEX BETWEEN CONSENTING ADULTS BEING CHARGED AND PUNISHED IN A COURT OF LAW. FOR EXAMPLE EVEN ADULTERY IS BETWEEN CONSENTING ADULTS and is cited mostly as an evidence but not FOR PROSECUTION when an aggrieved wife or husband brings up the case for divorce. Then why the hurry for decriminalizing this act of GAY SEX.WHO ARE BEHIND IT?
My view is those MALE RAPISTS WHO SEDUCE AND SODOMIZE YOUNG BOYS IN HIGH SOCIETY ARE THE MOTIVATING FORCE BEHIND THIS along with influential Pedophiles of west. MALE RAPE is a crime which is almost never reported due to the psyche of male whose manhood also gets demolished by the act of sodomy.A weaker sex can always report it if she can overcome the stigma associated with it as she is always overpowered by a tougher male.In male rape the raped boy finds his psyche is also destroyed along with his physical scar. So the powerful Gays who seduce young boys used media to highlight the protest by Jamaat-e-Islam-Hind as one of Muslim theocracy while as per ancient Khajuraho sculptures Hindus practiced homo sexuality and so they are LIBERAL. Of course this 377 is a section created during British times and so the liberal opinion must support the change of this archaic law and so the argument goes. Does this has anything to do with PROHIBITION OF RAGGING? Ragging is actually male rapes in most of the south Indian professional colleges.
This law could not be complete without permission for GAY MARRIAGE and as such soon it will have this clamour by the jilted gay boys.
When Delhi High court decriminalised the homosexual behavior it has raised some fundamental issues in our society. Section 377 of the IPC reads -- "Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with [imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment
of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section".
LET THE above section remain as decriminalization of the above behaviour will damage our social fabric. Let this sexual behaviour between" CONSENTING ADULTS' remain behind closed doors as adultery is.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sudha Murthyof INFOSYS,the girl who wrote to JRD TATA

I want to post this as part II of my earlier post on SUDHA MURTHY of INFOSYS. Here it shows how lucky India is for producing ladies of this quality, guts and vision not only to select/leave a job but also select her man and also leave her husband the freedom to continue though she knew she is as good as him in the job.


It was April 1974. Bangalore was getting warm and gulmohars were blooming at
the IISc campus. I was the only girl in my postgraduate department and was
staying at the ladies' hostel. Other girls were pursuing research in
different departments of Science.

I was looking forward to going abroad to complete a doctorate in computer
science. I had been offered scholarships from Universities in the US . I had
not thought of taking up a job in India .

One day, while on the way to my hostel from our lecture-hall complex, I saw
an advertisement on the notice board. It was a standard job-requirement
notice from the famous automobile company Telco (now Tata Motors). It stated
that the company required young, bright engineers, hardworking and with an
excellent academic background, etc.

At the bottom was a small line: "Lady Candidates need not apply."

I read it and was very upset. For the first time in my life I was up against
gender discrimination.

Though I was not keen on taking up the job, I saw it as a challenge. I had
done extremely well in academics, better than most of my male peers.

Little did I know then that in real life academic excellence is not enough
to be successful.

After reading the notice I went fuming to my room. I decided to inform the
topmost person in Telco's management about the injustice the company was

I got a postcard and started to write, but there was a problem: I did not
know who headed Telco I thought it must be one of the Tatas. I knew JRD Tata
was the head of the Tata Group;

I had seen his pictures in newspapers (actually, Sumant Moolgaokar was the
company's chairman then) I took the card, addressed it to JRD and started
writing. To this day I remember clearly what I wrote.

"The great Tatas have always been pioneers. They are the people who started
the basic infrastructure industries in India , such as iron and steel,
chemicals, textiles and locomotives. They have cared for higher education in
India since 1900 and they were responsible for the establishment of the
Indian Institute of Science. Fortunately, I study there. But I am surprised
how a company such as Telco is discriminating on the basis of gender."

I posted the letter and forgot about it. Less than 10 days later, I received
a telegram stating that I had to appear for an interview at Telco's Pune
facility at the company's expense. I was taken aback by the telegram. My
hostel mate told me I should use the opportunity to go to Pune free of cost
and buy them the famous Pune saris for cheap!

I collected Rs 30 each from everyone who wanted a sari. When I look back, I
feel like laughing at the reasons for my going, but back then they seemed
good enough to make the trip..

It was my first visit to Pune and I immediately fell in love with the city.
To this day it remains dear to me. I feel as much at home in Pune as I do in
Hubli, my hometown.

The place changed my life in so many ways. As directed, I went to Telco's
Pimpri office for the interview.There were six people on the panel and I
realized then that this was serious business.

"This is the girl who wrote to JRD," I heard somebody whisper as soon as I
entered the room. By then, I knew for sure that I would not get the job. The
realization abolished all fear from my mind, so I was rather cool while the
interview was being conducted.

Even before the interview started, I reckoned the panel was biased, so I
told them, rather impolitely, "I hope this is only a technical interview."

They were taken aback by my rudeness, and even today I am ashamed about my
attitude. The panel asked me technical questions and I answered all of them.

Then an elderly gentleman with an affectionate voice told me, "Do you know
why we said lady candidates need not apply? The reason is that we have never
employed any ladies on the shop floor. This is not a co-ed college; this is
a factory. When it comes to academics, you are a first ranker throughout. We
appreciate that, but people like you should work in research laboratories.

I was a young girl from small-town Hubli. My world had been a limited place.
I did not know the ways of large corporate houses and their difficulties, so
I answered, "But you must start somewhere, otherwise no woman will ever be
able to work in your factories."

Finally, after a long interview, I was told I had been successful. So this
was what the future had in store for me. Never had I thought I would take up
a job in Pune. I met a shy young man from Karnataka there, we became good
friends and we got married.

It was only after joining Telco that I realized who JRD was: the uncrowned
king of Indian industry. Now I was scared, but I did not get to meet him
till I was transferred to Bombay . One day I had to show some reports to Mr
Moolgaokar, our chairman, who we all knew a SM. I was in his office on the
first floor of Bombay House (the Tata headquarters) when, suddenly JRD
walked in. That was the first time I saw "appro JRD". Appro means "our" in
Gujarati. This was the affectionate term by which people at Bombay House
called him.

I was feeling very nervous, remembering my postcard episode. SM introduced
me nicely, "Jeh (that's what his close associates called him), this young
woman is an engineer and that too a postgraduate.

She is the first woman to work on the Telco shop floor." JRD looked at me. I
was praying he would not ask me any questions about my interview (or the
postcard that preceded it).

Thankfully, he didn't. Instead, he remarked. "It is nice that girls are
getting into engineering in our country. By the way, what is your name?"

"When I joined Telco I was Sudha Kulkarni, Sir," I replied. "Now I am Sudha

"He smiled a kindly smile and started a discussion with SM. As for me, I
almost ran out of the room.

After that I used to see JRD on and off. He was the Tata Group chairman and
I was merely an engineer. There was nothing that we had in common. I was in
awe of him.

One day I was waiting for Murthy, my husband, to pick me up after office
hours. To my surprise I saw JRD standing next to me. I did not know how to
react. Yet again I started worrying about that postcard. Looking back, I
realize JRD had forgotten about it. It must have been a small incident for
him, but not so for me.

"Young lady, why are you here?" he asked. "Office time is over." I said,
"Sir, I'm waiting for my husband to come and pick me up." JRD said, "It is
getting dark and there's no one in the corridor. I'll wait with you till
your husband comes." I was quite used to waiting for Murthy, but having JRD
waiting alongside made me extremely uncomfortable.

I was nervous. Out of the corner of my eye I looked at him. He wore a simple
white pant and shirt. He was old, yet his face was glowing. There wasn't any
air of superiority about him. I was thinking, "Look at this person.. He is a
chairman, a well-respected man in our country and he is waiting for the sake
of an ordinary employee."

Then I saw Murthy and I rushed out. JRD called and said, "Young lady, tell
your husband never to make his wife wait again." In 1982 I had to resign
from my job at Telco. I was reluctant to go, but I really did not have a
choice. I was coming down the steps of Bombay House after wrapping up my
final settlement when I saw JRD coming up. He was absorbed in thought. I
wanted to say goodbye to him, so I stopped.

He saw me and paused. Gently, he said, "So what are you doing, Mrs
Kulkarni?" (That was the way he always addressed me.) "Sir, I am leaving

"Where are you going?" he asked. "Pune, Sir. My husband is starting a
company called Infosys and I'm shifting to Pune."

"Oh! And what will you do when you are successful."

"Sir I don't know whether we will be successful."

"Never start with diffidence," he advised me. "Always start with confidence.
When you are successful you must give back to society. Society gives us so
much; we must reciprocate. I wish you all the best."

Then JRD continued walking up the stairs. I stood there for what seemed like
a millennium. That was the last time I saw him alive.

Many years later I met Ratan Tata in the same Bombay House, occupying the
chair JRD once did. I told him of my many sweet memories of working with
Telco. Later, he wrote to me, "It was nice hearing about Jeh from you. The
sad part is that he's not alive to see you today."

I consider JRD a great man; because despite being an extremely busy person,
he valued one postcard written by a young girl seeking justice. He must have
received thousands of letters everyday. He could have thrown mine away, but
he didn't do that.

He respected the intentions of that unknown girl, who had neither influence
nor money, and gave her an opportunity in his company. He did not merely
give her a job; he changed her life and mindset forever.

Close to 50 per cent of the students in today's engineering colleges are
girls. And there are women on the shop floor in many industry segments. I
see these changes and I think of JRD. If at all time stops and asks me what
I want from life, I would say I wish JRD were alive today to see how the
company we started has grown. He would have enjoyed it wholeheartedly.

My love and respect for the House of Tatas remains undiminished by the
passage of time. I always looked up to JRD. I saw him as a role model for
his simplicity, his generosity, his kindness and the care he took of his
employees. Those blue eyes always reminded me of the sky; they had the same
vastness and magnificence.

(Sudha Murthy is a widely published writer and chairperson of the Infosys
Foundation involved in a number of social development initiatives. Infosys
chairman Narayana Murthy is her husband.)