India: Triggering Mechanism of Self Destruction

India Fails to contain Internal Freedom Movements, wants to attack the neighbours

One of the major causes that led to the First World War was Emperor William’s ambitions for the German Empire to be a world power. He believed in an uncompromising policy of ‘power or downfall’ which ultimately resulted in the ‘downfall’ of the empire. Similarly, it is the misfortune of South Asia that India has been trying to endanger the region’s peace by aspiring to become a ‘world power’, or at least a ‘regional power’ in wake of modern world trends like renunciation of war, peaceful settlement of disputes and economic development.

Over the years, India has not only been developing its conventional and nuclear arsenals, but is also obtaining latest weapons from the US, Russia and Israel in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In this context, presuming a peace-loving China as an enemy New Delhi often justifies arms accumulation, while in practice India has constantly deployed its forces along the Pakistani border. As regards Indian belligerent approach, it is the result of India’s shattered hope of intimidating other neighbouring countries, especially Pakistan which the former considers a continuous obstacle in the way of its designs.

Under the pretext of Talibinisation, the Indian secret agency, RAW, has well established its tentacles in Afghanistan, and has been running secret operations against Pakistan from its consulates located near the Pak-Afghan border. It has spent millions of dollars in Afghanistan to strengthen its grip in order to get strategic depth against Islamabad.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gilani and Foreign Minister Qureshi have repeatedly stated: “India supports terrorism in Pakistan, and its evidence will be shown to the western countries at the right occasion.” Indeed, this is in coordination with the statements of the ISPR spokesman Major General Athar Abbas who revealed that during the ongoing military operations huge cache of arms and ammunition had been captured while it was being shifted from Afghanistan.

Perhaps, frustrated in achieving its aims of becoming a world power, and a permanent seat in the UNSC, now the Indian rulers have started openly threatening nuclear powers like Pakistan and China.

In this backdrop, the Indian Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor, vocally revealed on December 29 that the Indian army “is now revising its five-year old doctrine” and is preparing for a “possible two-front war with China and Pakistan.”

However in response to New Delhi’s threat, Pakistan’s JCSC chairman, General Tariq Majeed, stated:

“The Indian army chief’s statement exhibits a lack of strategic acumen…[such a path could] fix India on a self-destructive mechanism.”

It is surprising to note that in more than seven states, India itself faces separatist movements which are the result of acute poverty and social injustices. Particularly, Maoist movement that has been raging in West Bengal, and has now expanded to other regions including Maharashtra. At present, it is a popular insurgency by the downtrodden who have massive support of the people for their ideology.(images below)

A Maoist camp in the Nallamala forest in AP

Naxals/Maoists

Naxals/Maoists

Red hood locals pledge support to Maoists in the jungles of Bastar

Villagers watch as Maoists burn effigies of Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh in Dumariya district -Bihar

Maoist rebels at a memorial for those killed in Police encounters in the Nallamalla foresr - South of Hyderabad

Mass rally in Hyderabad organized by Maoists

Naxalite base in Karnatka

Naxalite base in Karnatka

“India’s Maoist rebels are now present in 20 states and have killed more than 900 Indian security officers…India’s rapid economic growth has made it an emerging global power but also deepened stark inequalities in society.” (31st Oct. New York Times)

Thus, by neglecting all these ground realties New Delhi has been advancing towards a self-destructive path.

Notably, USA’s dependence on Pakistan for war against terrorism and for close economic cooperation with China will roll back the Indian clandestine agenda which is part of its regional ambition against Islamabad and Beijing. Nonetheless, like the failed foreign policy of Emperor William II, the Indian policy of ‘power or downfall’ is bound to result in a nuclear catastrophe in the region as ‘nuclear’ Pakistan and China cannot ignore their defence, while their adversary is determined to act upon its aggressive designs.–>modified

Indian Maoist/ Naxal insurgency

Naxalite insurgency spreading like wild fire

The Maoist or Naxalite insurgency in India is gnawing away India’s roots and has become a cause of major concern of its administration.

Let us briefly examine this uprising. The term ‘Naxalite’ draws its origin from an organized armed peasant resistance against the landlords that began in March 1967 in a small village called Naxalbari in the state of West Bengal. It signaled the birth of a new movement and since then, all forms of armed struggle with socio-economic development of the downtrodden as the cause have come to be termed ‘Naxalite’. Other terms that are used to describe the movement are ‘leftwing extremism’ and ‘radical Maoism’.


Naxalites are backed by the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). According to Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, Naxalites’ extremism today constitutes the single most important internal security threat to India. The Naxal groups have spread their activities to as many as 22 out of 28 states in the country. In East Bengal the Naxal movement was immensely popular with not only the radical sections of the students movement in Calcutta, but the whole student body of Bengal undeniably were sympathetic about them since the mainstream Communist ideology had proved itself to be hypocritical and farcical in practice, as they stand to this day. The state machinery of India systematically annihilated this student support baseline from the whole movement as international human rights watchdog bodies picked up frantic calls of disappearances of students and intellectuals. Between 1969 and 1979 an estimated 5000 students and intellectuals disappeared or were killed under mysterious conditions. The West Bengal Left Front maintains that these students and intellectuals left their education to join violent activities of the Naxalites. Charu Majumdar progressively changed the tactics of CPI (ML), and declared that revolutionary warfare was to take place not only in the rural areas but everywhere and spontaneously. Thus Majumdar’s ‘annihilation line’, a dictum that Naxalites should assassinate individual “class enemies” as a part of the insurrection, was exploited by state media and the Bengal Left Front to infuse a sense of demonic identity into Naxals and over thirty years portrayed them as a social evil.

Naxalites

Whereas the statistical data refers to the theory being only practiced against such elements in civil society who were deemed to be “class enemies”: the police, landlords, and corrupt politicians cutting across mainstream party lines. Throughout Calcutta, schools were shut down. The strategy of individual terrorism soon proved counterproductive. Eventually, the Chief Minister, Siddhartha Shankar Ray, began to institute counter-measures against the Naxalites. The West Bengal police and the state sponsored CPI (Marxist) cadres fought back to stop the advancement of Naxalites. The student part of the movement was cruelly repressed by numerous disappearing s, staged encounters, and a doldrum of state sponsored media allegations tarnishing the image of the Naxalite movement and this massive and relentless public brain washing campaign was partly successful in hijacking public opinion sympathetic of the Naxalite ideology to that of misinformed ‘fear’. The human rights violations on the West Bengal police went unabated for decades after this to attain the demonic proportions of the eighties and nineties where they have been appropriately termed as the ‘uniformed mafia’. Buddhadev Bhattacharya tactically led from the front line as the police and home minister of West Bengal during the same period to turn the evil nexus of CPIM and the West Bengal Police into a feared repressive regime which was the most effective counteractive agent against the onslaught of Naxalites.


Significantly, aside from the internal dynamics of the Maoist/ Naxal insurgency India also perceives an external element to it. Indian security and intelligence agencies maintain that the Maoists are receiving weapons from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and China through illegal channels So far Indian security forces have tried to suppress the rebellion with brute force; there is an increasing need of a serious dialogue with all the groups involved in the Maoist/Naxal insurgency. The dialogue which has taken place so far with the Maoists is deemed to be a mere ploy by the government to buy time before launching a stronger offensive against the Maoists for which a number of internal security measures have been taken recently which include: trawling the international arms market to upgrade the country’s counter-insurgency capabilities by India’s security agencies; floating global tenders for more than 800 bulletproof vehicles by the Indian military, which are likely to be given to security agencies involved in counter-insurgency operations in Moist effected areas; allocating an additional 10 billion dollars by the Indian government to upgrade its homeland security by 2016. This upgrade envisages affordable technology comprising laser-guided armaments, light vehicles and drones as priority purchases. India has also drawn up a multi-pronged strategy that will target top leaders, win people through a propaganda war and offer cadres a surrender-and-rehabilitation policy while launching an extensive armed operation in Maoist strongholds across the country.


The Indian Central government has also asked the State governments to speed up development works and employment generation programmes in the Naxal-affected areas so as to counter left wing extremism with development. A military advisor has been appointed to prepare an action plan for dealing with Maoists. Indian Central Government is actively considering setting up brigade headquarters or Army cantonments in interior areas of Naxal affected states.

India's Red Army --- Naxals/Maoists

If Indian media reports are credible, the Indian government is preparing to launch full-fledged anti-Naxal operations at three different areas, considered tri-junctions of worst Naxal-affected states. The tri-junctions identified for the offensive are Andhra Pradesh-Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh; Orissa-Jharkhand-Chhattisgarh and West Bengal-Jharkhand- Orissa. The Maoists are enjoying popular support in the poorer area of rural, central and eastern India. Any full fledged anti-Naxal operation will be a great challenge to the Indian Security establishment.

India is hosting the 2010 Commonwealth games for the first time and in the backdrop of acute threats from the Naxalites, its security forces face a major challenge. Unless it can curb or pacify the Naxalites in the meanwhile, it may be nigh impossible to host the games without exposing the participants from 71 nations to extreme danger.

—Sultan M Hali

Myth of Indian nukes safety

There have been many accidents and thefts of uranium in India’s atomic research centres and other facilities giving rise to doubts about the security of Indian nukes. Risks related to India nuclear proliferation are many while their security arrangements are far from satisfactory. The world must take note of it before it is too late. On 29th December 2009, two research students died in the fire in laboratory of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) caused by an explosion, what was described as a ‘loud bang’. It is not yet clear if the bang was caused by an explosion or triggered by a chemical reaction, however this has exploded the myth of the security of India’s nukes. The centre’s director and Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Sreekumar Banerjee said that the fire broke out at 12.05 hours in the lab on the third floor of the modular lab of BARC. However, two scientists associated with the centre have claimed that no research involving radioactive material is conducted in the modular lab. Nevertheless, security has been beefed up at BARC following intelligence inputs that the country’s prestigious nuclear facility faced terror threat.

On 25th November 2009, at the Kaiga Nuclear Power Station at Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada District, a water cooler was found contaminated with Tritium, which is a radioactive isotope of Hydrogen and is used in preparation of nuclear weapons and can cause damage to human body cells on consumption. This dangerous incident clearly pointed to a grave Indian security lapse regarding the safe custody of nuclear material. Reportedly over 50 employees were hospitalized due to consumption of contaminated water but the incident was downplayed by the authorities. Indian authorities and media were focusing on a possible act of sabotage by an insider who was supposedly able to steal a vile of Tritium and mix it with drinking water at the installation. Such a possibility cannot be ruled out as Indian workers in different organizations and service institutions are badly maltreated as part of Indian culture and social order where the elite class is considered the most privileged while the workers are treated with contempt and disdain. But such feeling in the staffers of nuclear installations and research centres is fraught with serious dangers.

On 30th November, Times of India had reported about radiation contamination at the Kaiga nuclear plant in Karnataka. The locals residing in surrounding area suffered heavy losses in the shape of casualties of inhabitants and livestock losses in crores of rupees. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had denied any radiation leakage and said there was nothing to worry about, but in the same breadth he said that he was briefed that it was a small matter of contamination and was not linked to any leak. In this regard global nuke experts were really astonished over Indian PM statement in which he tried to tone down the most serious crisis of India ie safety and security of Indian nuke plants. The newspaper had raised the question “whether we should consider that Manmohan Singh statement is a mater of poor knowledge, or extremists Hindu lobby present in the government was reluctant to share confidential nature of information with their Sikh Prime Minister”. According to another report, Kaiga incident was not the first accident that took place on November 30 this year but some 300 cases of similar nature have already been accounted for. The initial investigation of Kaiga incident disclosed that it was possibly an act of mischief and security breach too. Prithviraj Chavan, Minister of State in the Prime Minister‘s Office, had also confirmed in New Delhi while talking to the press that it was a breach of security. In fact, poor security arrangements have been noticed on various Indian nuke plants, and there are some important places where security cameras have not been installed.

The employees working on the nuke plants have been found stealing and selling Uranium in the local market. According to Hindustan Times, Navi Mumbai Crime Branch had arrested three people – Panvel-based gemologist Premsingh Savitri (40), Vashi-based transporter Srinivas Puryar and Ghatkopar resident Tulsidas Bhanushali a dealer in gunny bags – for illegal possession of 5 kg of depleted uranium. The police were trying to ascertain from where and how Savitri had stolen the uranium. Earlier also, son of an employee of Atomic Mineral Division (AMD) and one of those accused of stealing uranium “yellowcake” with seals of the AMD were found involved but the government failed to take action for the safety and security of the nuke plants.

IAEA is also aware of poor security measures of Indian nuke plants. A few years ago, a similar malicious act was observed in Tarapur atomic power sub-station where the culprits were dismissed after investigations by the Department of Atomic Energy. On June 13, 2009 Indian famous nuke scientist Lokanathan Mahalingam was found dead from Kali River. The scientist was working on Kaiga Atomic Power Station since last eight years. Reportedly, he was in possession of highly sensitive information. Anyhow, he was involved in training apprentices on a replica of the actual reactor. Though India is always raising doubts about safety of Pakistan’s nukes, yet fears abound that Maoists or other extremists may get uranium from the market to make dirty bombs. Former governor of Chhattisgarh, Lieutenant General (retd) KM Seth said: “Unfortunately, the threat to internal security from Naxalites has assumed dangerous proportions and can no longer be whisked away” Dr M Anwar on website ‘Discuss’ wrote: “Unfortunately Indian extremist groups are too rigid to realize the norms of civilized world. They are power hungry and can go to any extent to achieve their political goals. Hindu extremists who are running their own bomb factories may try to grab Indian nukes and the related nuclear material”.

It would be pertinent to mention here the US-India nuclear trade legislation granted India the benefits of being a member of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty without requiring it to meet all of the responsibilities expected of responsible states in this regard. India has even insisted that certain reactors would remain outside the purview of the IAEA. Knowing India’s past and being familiar with the fact that India remained outside the international nuclear mainstream since it misused Canadian and US peaceful nuclear assistance to conduct its 1974 nuclear bomb test, refused to sign the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, and conducted additional nuclear tests in 1998. India had been cut off from most US civilian nuclear assistance since 1978 and most international assistance since 1992 because of these violations. But now the US and Nuclear Suppliers’ Group anticipate at least $100 billion purchases by India, which is has already spent $20 billion on purchase of sophisticated weaponry and has allocated additional $30 billion for buying aircraft, tanks, aircraft carriers and other conventional armament. This is the reason that the US and the West turn a blind eye to India’s aberrations and violations of international covenants. — Mohammad Jamil

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