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Krishna Kumar Singh, also known among friend circles KK and among close relative Krishna; Matriculation from Mithila High School Balour, Darbhanga in 1959, Graduated in Political Science Honours from C M College, Darbhanga, Bihar University in 1963; Joined post-graduate in Political Science the same year but dropped; joined Naxal movement under Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal, Satya Narayan Singh and Umadhar Singh in between but circumstances compelled to join literary work, clerk, proof readers etc in different publishing houses for livelihood; Finally joined journalism as career in different English newspapers and before my retirement from active journalism, I worked in The Times of India for about 19 years and retired as Chief Reporter  a few years back; continuing in journalism-reading more and more, writing more and more and praying to Almighty more and more-currently writing for different national English and Hindi dailies and magazines..

Sunday, 15 January 2012

BEHIND THE SCENES DRAMA IN CORRIDOR OF POWER VIS-A-VIS JOURNASLISM:LUCKNOW BOY!

Apart from misdeeds in the corridor of power and journalistic ethincs as well as criminal-politicians nexus in the wake of March 1993 Bombai blast, masterminded by then underworld don and now international terrorists Dawood Ibrahim, The LUCKNOE BOY, A MEMOIR OF VETERAN JOURNALIST  AND EDITOR OF THE OUTLOOK VINOD MEHTA has thrown light on some Bihari politicians and persons including widely anacknowledged as figure of immense moral authority, Jayprakash Narayan ,former IAS officer and now JD(U) MP N K Singh, former union minister Raghubansh Prasad Singh, Rashtriya Janata Dal national president Laloo Prasad Yadav, former union minister and Congress leader K K Tiwari, scavengers mobiliser Tiliya Devi for their deeds and misdeeds in the political  arena of the country! Intresting reading book has touched every aspects of politcs and bureacracy in Delhi and has cautioned the mediapersons of "dos and donots" in carryig their harazdous professions. The book has also singalled out the mean temperament of senior journalists, indulging in power-brokerings in the corridor of power. The book highlighted almost all the topics right from Indira Gandhi's turbulent  emergency to present day corrupt practices in the political and officials corridor in Delhi! The book in detail has referred about wheeling deelings of N K Singh alias Nandu Babu from Bihar. Son of an ICS T P Singh and respected and popular Congress MP from Purnia Mrs Madhuri Singh, said to be confidant of Mrs Indira Gandhi, N K Singh's role during NDA rule of Atal Behari Vajpayee has  priominently figured in the book!
I think it my duty to write about the role of Biharis in their endevoure in unscrupulous work in the corridor of power in Delhi as referred in the book.To begin with, I must start with Jay Prakash Narayan and his disciple  Raghubansh Prasad Singh.The protest of Jayprakash Narayan, started as a students' movement turned into a peoples's movement in 1970s, had given the call of for smpoorn kranti (total revolution) throughout the country. The book referred,"JP, a friend and admirer of Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru-his relationship with Indira Gandhi, unfortunately, was bitter and confrontational.When Mrs Gandhi called JP's Bihar stir an insult to the people, JP accused her of being the foundation head of all corruption in the country." Referring to the JP's agitation Raghubansh Babu, a student follower of of JP  has explained in the book,"The reasons were closed to his heart:corruption, unemployment and inhumanity.One particular protest remains in my mind:JP leading hordes of students on a silent march through the streets with everyone's mouth covered and their hands tied behind their back."
The book further revealed, " The political landscape in 1974 was dominated by JP, with the prime minister merely reacting to the serial challenges he threw at her. Ironically, Jayprakash Narayan's offensive against Indira Gandhi came at a time when she was basking in the glow of several trtriumphs. In the 1971 general elctions, Mrs Gandhi's party Congress (R) won an emphatic victory on a simple yet unbearable slogangs-Garibi hatao! Soon after, the historic  military victory in East Pakistan electrified the nation and even BJP (then Jansangh) and RSS leaders hailed Indira Gandhi as a modern Durga."
The book has many interesting tit -bits and secret revealation about Bihar leaders like Laloo Prasad Yadav and K K Tiwari! Vinod Mehta has described all these things in very interesting manner in his memoir.While referring wheeling deelings under the rule of P V Narsimha Rao, the book has said,"'  Rao's political opponents within the party (Congress) found the excerpts a golden opportunity .A congress MP K K Tiwari  described P.V as a sex maniac."Vinod Mehta while referring to his talks with JRD Tata has written that "The other person who exasperated Tata was Laloo Prasad Yadav.Seven chlidren.' Can you imagine seven children? What short of example is he setting?' Family Planing was an obsession with Tata. He believed the future of the country depended on putting place strong deterrent measures for birth control. JRD's irritation with Laloo might have had something to do with the facts that,  he (Tata),despite the best medical intervention, was unable to produce even one child.(In this respect Mehta did not even spared JRD  for his remarks against Laloo)!"
Mehta has mentoned even the minute things in his book:  I had invited many persons, ---------------------whose contributions  matter in welfare measures on the completion of the ten years of The OUTLOOK INDIA as news weekly under my editorship--------. "Tiliya Devi  for mobilising scavengers from Bihar was invited to speak "-and she spoke!.

The book has referred Patna boy ,N K Singh, like Lucknow Boy as the title of the book-but in some other aspects!  Mehta , in his book has referred  Atal Jee's Man Friday, BRajesh Mishra, in company with  NK Singh had become" deteriorating BJP environment caused by internal squabblings that threatened the Atal's job , is not an open question."The book says, "Atal Jee was no saint. He liked to drink moderately and eat non-vegetarian food less moderately.Being a bachelor and a political star (Henry Kissinger:power is the ultimate aphrodisaic), he was never short of female company.When he became India's prime minister, he juggled a strange domestic life.A Mrs Kaul, whose husband was a clollege professor and had passed away, moved into 7, Race course, alongwith her daughter Namita and daughter's husband Ranjan Bhattacharya. Namita's official designation was foster daughter and Ranjan Bhattacharya became foster son-in-law.Vajpayee, to his credit, made no effort to hide the menage a quatre."The same Ranjan Bhattacharya, Mishra and Singh, a senior bureaucrat and officer on special duty for economic affairs in PMO were trio virtually in complete charge of the PMO!"The husband and wife team of Ranjan and Namita were the other power centres in 7, Race Course Road..Vajpayee may have certain reservation about his foster son-in-law.However, the foster daughter could do no wrong in his eyes. Namita and Ranjan began assiduously cultivating in Delhi media. They had unconcealed contempt for what they called  knickerwala journalists; they mingled with Vir Sanghvi, Barkha Dutta, Shekhar Gupta-even me."
"The activities of Trio (Brajesh Mishra, N K Singh, Ranjan Bhattacharya) had found cursory mention in the media.Nothing more. Our reporters came back with the full chronicle:the three were running riot. We put two senior reporters on the job and in March 2001 published our cover story,"Rigging the PMO."It provided details of numerous decisions taken by the PMO, brazenly favouring a select group of business houses, specially the Hinduja and the Reliance.With the former, Mr Vajpayee had long-standing personal  relations; he had even written an indiscreet note to Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, seeking his indulgence on their behalf in the Bofor scandal.", the book has revealed.
Mehta says in his book, " once Rigging the PMO came into public domain, consternation and panic set in the PMO.Outlook and its editor could be dismissed as congenitally biased.The revealation of E A S Sarma, widely known in the civil service as outstanding officer, honest to a fault, on the other hand, were not easy to dismiss because of his widely acknowledged reputation for probity and professionalism. None of his  specific instnces of wrongdoing could be denied or contested. His testimony was rich in detail."
The writer further says, "Vajpayee summoned me on tea. It was an unhappy meeting. N K SINGH, Vajpayee conceded, could if necessary be shown the door. Brajesh and Ranjan were another matter.I had got it wrong, Vajpayee mildly scolded, those two were pure as snow. I refused to get into a wrangle with the PM. Suddenly , he changed the subject and launched an attack on Outlook Correspondent Saba Naqvi, who was covering BJP.' I do not know what has gone wrong with her lately; she is always writing against me.'He suggested she had been covering the  BJP for too many years,. Perhaps she needed a change of beat."
Another clout of N K Singh in the book," In the last week of March, our second expose-Vajpayee's Achilles Heel-appeared. It began-,'ever since Atal Behari Vajpayee became prime minister and consolidated his hold over NDA, the whisper in the corridor of power have been about the formidable clout Brajesh Mishra , N K singh, and Ranjan Bhattacharya enjoy'. Later in the report we were more specific:' over the last couple of years Bhattacharya's influence has grown-------a cross section of people Outlook spoke to including bureaucrats, industrialists and politicians, say Bhattacharya if powerful yet invisible force which drives the PMO. His primary conduits, say all, are Mishra and Singh".
"---------------trooping the lists was Rs 58000-crore national highway project---------, theRs  20000-crore Reliance-Hirma power projectetc", the book revealed and added another huge sum of Rs 3179 crore under telecommunication sector-the defaulters included Birla, Reliance, Tata Essar. These influential corporates pressed the PMO for extension of payment deadline. They succeeded. Further, they pushed through the draft of new telecom policy heavily tilted in their favour. The Samata Party ( of Nitish Kumar and George Fernandes), a vital ally of the NDA, in a stinging letter to Vajpayee on 16 m March, demanded a probe into various  corruption charges against Mishra, Singh and Bhattacharya. A couple of days after our second expose, Brajesh Mishra and N K Singh held a press conference. Without mentioning Outlook even once, they denied outright all the charges as'mischievous' and 'baseless'. It was commanding performance."
(The same Samta Party now Janata Dal (U) has nominated N K Singh as its party candidate for Rajya Sabha elections from Bihar and under the leadership of the so called Mr Clean-Nitish Kumar, Singh was elected to Rajya Sabha! What a double face of the JD(U) leaders Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav-my comment).
The book has also referred much-maligned Neera Radia tape for brokering during the prime ministership of Manmohan Singh for huge scandal namely telecommunication scandal, shiphoning lakhs of crore rupees. Apart from invoolvement of over half a dozen jornalists, N K Singh has also figured in the tape conversions with Neera Radia for power brokering!
Lucknow Boy , the book of importance by Mehta, has told about NK Singh, " JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP N K Singh, a former Bureaucrat, describes the UPA (second) cabinet as  "Shivji ka baratat", a reference to the creatures that danced at Loard Shiva 's wedding. Referring to Murli DEora's second innings as petroleum minister, N K Singh says'------Murli (Deora's) incompetence is proverbial. Every time a question comes up in Parliament,, he is busy trying to appease the questioner. Perhaps Mukesh (Ambani) has swung for it for him------but Murli is an incompetent minister' Taklking to Praful Patel, the civil aviation minister, Singh says more than the Indian Arirlines,'I think he worked for Naresh Goyal (Jet Airways)."
THUS THE" LUCKNOW  BOY ", WRITTEN BY VINOD MEHTA ,REVEALS HAPPENING   IN CORRIDOR OF POWER IN DELHI!. ETHICS OF JOURNALISM IS ALSO HIGHLIGHTED IN THE BOOK!  (SOURCES::LUCJKNOW BOY WRITTEN BY  BY VINOD MEHTA)

Monday, 9 January 2012

US BLIND APPROACH IN WEST ASIA, PARTICULARLY IRAQ!

Now the world must have taken a sigh of relief from American imperialist approach in West Asia, particularly in Iraq in  the last nine years. US army have left Iraq lock, stock, barrel last month (December 16,2011)..But even today, the intention of America is not honest! Several thousands US forces are even today stationed in Iraq even after withdrawal.. But many bases of America now appear deserted  look. But protest of Iraqis continue against America and the American army are under tremendous pressure to quit the country for all time to come.
But a million dollar question will continue to haunt the globe-what America gained from this misadventure in interfering in the affairs of Iraq in the last several years?! They have left behind a ghost country like Iraq and have practically destroyed the country. They left behind thousands of widows and orphans. And educational institutions and big factories have been ruined by Americans, according to a letter of Vijay Prashad to the  Frontline, a fortnightly of India.
US war operation in Iraq, began in 2002, continued till 2011. Over 4000 US personnel killed in Iraq than Americans killed in the attack on 9\11. Successive US governments right from Bush to Obama had faced rough weather in America for killings of Americans in the war.Not only that Although the death figures of Iraqis in the war are astronomous (some count a million dead), The Lancet has put figures slightly smaller number-nearly 7000000.  The New York Times, which was in possession of 4000 pages  papers of US military investigation on the 2005 massacres at Haditha, where US marines killed 24 Iraqis including 76-year -old man in wheel chair, children and toddlers: Results: Most of the US troops had been acquitted by their justice system,."
 Apart from that US faced worst-ever down trend in its economy. Entire America and Europe are under tremendous economic crisis because of American wars not only in Iraq but in other countries of West Asia. Vijay Prasad has said, " The Bush war on Iraq alone cost at least $ one trillion if not more. It was to make Iraq a model private sector country. All this failed as Iraqis refused to utterly plaint. The US miscalculated the neighbourhood. The assumption was that the US forces would be able to create a satellite in the area that could checkmate Iran's ambition in the region and provide some relief to Israel. Instead the wave of democracy that swept the region was was not inclined to US power but against it. Even Iraq government was not docile as hoped."
It all started in 2001, The Bush administration had  practically invaded Iraq in his bid to end global war on terror Afghanistan to Iraq. Bush had decided to hit Saddam Hussain for so called "connivance with Osama bin Laden in the wake of 9\11 attack on Washington. It was gradually  intensified. In this war , Bush had apprehension that Iraq had biological weapons. Bush had gone to  United Nations and informed that Saddam Hussain had prepared for biological warfare and had instructed his field commanders that to use chemical weapons. Saddam had vehemently denied that Iraq had biological or chemical weapons.. Even the Director General of IAEA Mohamed Elbaradei had cautioned the UNO that  Iraq had such weapons..Thereafter the UN Secretary General Kofi Anna, who had also enquired about biological or chemical weapons existence in  Iraq through Swedish politician Hans Blix, had come to the conclusion that  Iraq had no such weapons.Blix had told to The Guardian," there are bastards who spread things around of course , who planted nasty things in the media, not that I cared much.": Subsequently many developments had taken place  in Iraq and butcher machines of US Army continued to  break the back-bone of Iraq ." Guardian had further  commented, quoting Blix" a massive media blitz  orchestrated by the White House and conducted enthusiastically by the Murdoch machine (At Devas in 2007, Charlie Rose asked Murdoch if News Corp. has shaped the agenda for the Iraq war"No I do not think so," replied Murdoch."we tried. We basically supported Bush policy in the Middle East (west Asia)"
 Vijay Prashad has said, " US occupation of Iraq continued even after it became clear that all the reasons of launching war against Iraq by Bush administration had been false. As US troops had  withdrew from  Iraq, there is little discussions about: that no chemical or biological weapons or weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) were found, that no link between Saddam Hussain and Al Qaeda could be established and that Saddam Hussain had no plans to attack US."
Now I must point out the villain of the pieces for initiating this war against Iraq. In my opinion the vice-president Dick Cheney, Defence secretary Rumsfield and state department head Collin Powell and national Security adviser Condoleezza Rice. The mo moires by the main players in Bush Administration" haave appeared with Cheney  and Rusfeld defending their roles and Powell and Condoleezza puting the onus on Cheney and Rumesfeld" But in US every body is aware that all these villain of the pieces were in agreement of war against Iraq. Sadly "no body has taken responsibility for Iraq fiasco. At most of the leaders  of the country simply blame each other for poor execution of the war (too little planning, say some, too few troops say others)", the memoirs of these people recalled.
There are many other sad tales of barbaric and torturous scenes enacted by US army in Iraq. Another villain piece to encourage the war in Iraq is no more less than media baron Rupert Murdoch!
However, the present president Obama, who gave a well regarded anti-war speech in Chicago in October 2002," "I do not oppose all wars.What I opposed to is a dumb war. What I opposed to is a rash war.T.hat I opposed to is cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchairs, weekend warriors in the administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the cost of lives lost and in hardships borne. What I opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in poverty rate, a drop in the medium income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That is what I am opposed to. A dumb war, a rash war. A war not based on reasons but on passions, not on principle but on politics."
Now let us hope for the best-the globe must be freed from Americans evil imperialists design!


Wednesday, 4 January 2012

MAHATMA GANDHI AND BIHAR ! (ONE HUNDRED YEAR OF GANDHI'S FIRST VISIT TO BIHAR)

In next five years, it will be one hundred year  (1917-2017) when Mahatma Gandhi had first visited Bihar to take up the  sad plight of indigo planters (oppressed tenant farmers) of Champaran in the Himalyan foothills of northern Bihar. Although much has changed by now, the exploitations to oppressed and scar of untouchablity still persist even after the country achieved independence in 1947 from the yoke of  British Raj. We Bihari will celebrate the centenary celebrations of Gandhi's visit to Champran but we many  have forgotten the ideals of great Mahatma.
 Down the memory lane, the Champaran region, which was once cleansed by Gandhi, has been facing so many upheavals after Independence. Being land-locked areas on Indo-Nepal border, the land of Champaran continued to have notoriety in excess holdings of lands with influential persons, crime prone-areas, called Chambal of Bihar, and also centre of smuggling  and last but not the least, the division of society between high caste and low caste, aggravating untochablity.Let us hope for the best-good sense prevails among us!
Mahatama's Champran visit had many stories of ups and downs.It was in early 1916 when Mahatama Gandhi had come to Lucknow to attend the Congress conference. There Gandhi could know about exploitation of indigo planters and Champaran. An exploited farmer Raj Kumar Shukla (as Gandhi had quoted in his  autobiography) caught hold him there and persuaded him to speak to Vakil Babu and he will tell him everything about the distress of farmers of Champaran. Raj Kumar Shukla also requested Gandhi  to visit Champaran. Mahatama had also written in his autobiography that Vakil Babu was none else but Braj Kisore Prasad, who had become esteemed co-worker of Mahatama Gandhi during his "Champaran satya garah" for months together (unscheduled programme ).. In Lucknow itself , Shukla brought Braj Kishore Babu in his tent and had explained the situation of Champaran farmers. But Gandhi appeared unmoved and asked in turn to move a resolution in the party session in progress on this score. Subsequently Barj Kishore Babu moved a resolution expressing party's sympathy with the people of Champaran and it was unanimously passed in the Congress session. Even after that Gandhi was reluctant to visit Champaran despite requests by Raj Kumar Shukla. Gandhi, however, told Shukla that he would let him know about his visit later on. Helpless Shukla started following Mahatama Gandhi and pursuing to him to see the plight of farmers. Reluctant Gandhi later promised Shukla that he would visit Calcutta and thereafter decide about Champran visit. But ignorant, unshophisticated but resolute agriculturist did not leave hope and met Gandhi in Calcutta. Ultimately Gandhi had taken up a train of Patna from Calcutta in early 1917 along with Raj Kumar Shukla.
Mahatma reached Patna for the first time. Gandhi had idea that Shukla would be an influential  person and  knowing Patna people and from there he would move to Champoran. But Gandhi's illusions about Shukla soon over. Raj Kumar Shukla, hiowever, had taken Gandhi to Kadamkuan residence of Rajendra Prasad. But Rajendra Baby was away in. Puri. At Rajendra Babu's residence, Gandhi tasted for the first time untouchablity and feudalism tendency among the people of Bihar.Gandhi has said in his autobiography, " there were one or two servants at the bungalow, who paid no attention. There was strict untouchablity in Bihar. I might not draw water at the well whilst the servants were using it, lest drops of water from my bucket might pollute them, the servants not knowing what caste I belonged. Although Raj Kumar pointed me indoor latrine but servants promptly directed me to the outdoor one. All this was far from surprising or irritating to me, for I was inured to such things. The servants  were doing the duty, which they thought Rajendra Babu  would wish them to do. These entertaining experiences enhanced my regards for Rakj Kumar Shukla, if they enabled me to know him better." Such treatment of Rajendra Babu 's resdence to Mahatma Gandhi had also been written in the autobiography of Dr Rajendra Prasad in later years.
Taking into account the helplessness of Shukla, Mahatama Gandhi contacted Maulana Mazharul Huq, who in turn rushed at Rajendra Babu residence to fetch Gandhi  to his residence. But Gandhi  resisted and asked Huq to te guide him the way of Champaran. Huq talked to Shukla and suggested  Gandhi should first go to Muzaffarpur and from there he should take train for Champran. after reaching Muzaffarpur, Gandhi met Principal Kripalani of Government College , Muzaffarpur as Gandhi was knowing him for long.. There Kripalani also explained to Gandhi the desperate condition of farmers and rather gave the idea of difficult task for him. From there final journey of Champaran began for Gandhi. In the process, leaders like Rajendra Prasad Brajkisohore Prasad, Ramnavi Prasad, Gaya Babu had reached to meet Mahatma . All these illustrated sons of Bihar were Gandhi's helping hands in launching Chapmparan satyagrah by him.Gandhi decided to avoid court procedures to end exploit ation of farmers.
From there Gandhi's face to face with Ahimsa began. "tinkathiya" system was in vougue in Bihar, specially in Champran.An informative book on Gandhi, ""Great Soul-Mahatma Gandhi and his Struggle with India", written by Joshe Joseph Lelyveld, winner of the Pulitzer Prize has dwelt at length  Gandhi's Champran satyagrah. About the exploitation, the writer has said," Farmers were forced by a corrupt combination of local law, taxation, chronic indebtedness and crude force to devot a portion of the land they farmed to growing indigo plants on which they seldom earned a  meaningful return. The indigo , in demand In Europe as a dye for fine fabrics, went to class of British planters, who leased the land, including whole village, from large Indian landlords called zamindars with the land came to tenants, who then had little or no bargaining power against the planters. State of these peasants called ryots was any better than that of indentured labourers of in South Africa; in many cases, it was probably worse. The system  had grown up over near a century.'"" Lelyveld has also quoted the write up of a British officials, who had described exploitation of Champaran farmers, "Not a chest of indigo reaches England without being stained with human blood."
Non-violent agitation , launched by Gandhi, by one estimate had spent 175 days in Bihar in 1917 working on the Champaran struggle. Gahdi had later described his Bihar visit as" birthplace", meaning it as his first immersion in rural India. In Champaran Gandhi was ordered by the collector, the local representative of colonial British Authority to leave but Gandhi politely defied the order, then sent nightlong missives in all directions until the national movement and everyone from the viceroy on down knew he was facing arrest. Llyveld has written , " Crowds of rough unlettered tenant farmers gathered to protect him; youthful nationalists made their way to Champaran as would-be satyagrahis; and the viceroy intervened to cancel his expulsion from Champaran region.. Within weeks Gandhi himself was appointed official commission investigating the complaints of the tenant farmers-it would recommend they be freed from any compulsion to grow indigo."
 In the wake of Champaran satyagrah, Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru has described Gandhi,,"the see essence of his teaching was fearlessness and truth ad action allied to these.. This voice somehow different from others. It was quite and low and yet it could be heard above the shouting of the multitude; it was soft an gentle, and yet there seemed to be steel hidden away some where in it........Behind the language of peace and friendship there was power and quivering shadow  of action and a determination not to submit to a wrong."
In between his champaran visit, many things happened. Ganbdhi had to pass through many experiments-right from court cases to satyagarkh to free the farmers from the clutches of exploitation. His method of satyagrah was unique.. And after full -fledged enquiry by Gandhi himself and the Raj agreeing to his recommendations, the tinkathiya system , which was in vogue of for over a century, was thus abolished and with planters' raj came to an end. In his autograph , Gandhi had commented, " the ryots, who had all along remained crushed, now somewhat came to their own and the superstitions that the stain of indigo never be washed out exploded."
Mahatma had desire to do more for Bihar, specially Champran but it could not materialise ansd Gandhi has concluded in his autobiography about Champaran satyagrah, "It was my desire to continue the constructive work for some years to establish more schools and to penetrate the more effectively. The ground has been prepared, but it did not please God, as often before, to allow my plans to be fulfilled. Fate decided otherwise and drobve me to take up work elsewhere.."
Successive rulers after independence in Bihar have failed to root out social evils like untouchablity, inequality, land to landless, food to poor, education to all without any discrimination. at least remembering Gandhi 's role to end exploitations through non-violence means in Champaran in Bihar although We have voluminous Constitution and laws to tell the world that there is democracy in India!