How Nehru, Gandhi treated Netaji and India’s independence

The contribution made by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose towards the achievement of freedom in 1947 was no less, and perhaps far more important than that of Mohandas Gandhi

by Dipin Damodharan /
History is like that, it always shows leaning towards the ruling class. It happened in the case of India too. When the Indian National Congress (INC) came to power in 1947 after India’s independence, they had distorted Indian history in their own way.

And the true national hero, many historians call him the real father of modern India, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose moved out to trash bin. India’s first Prime Minister, also the creator of the country’s many problems including Kashmir, had tried his level best to put Netaji in the hidden shades of history.

In other words we can say Nehru’s congress and independent India had shown unpardonable ingratitude to the real man behind India’s freedom. ViewsPost tries to go back to some historical facts to expose the betrayers (including Nehru) of Netaji.

Lt. Manwati Arya, Rani Jhansi Regiment, Ex. INA (Indian National Army), candidly exposes many facts regarding the ant-Netaji policy of Congress and Nehru in her 2010 book, Judgment, No Air crash, No Death.

In this book she says that Jawaharlal Nehru had given a very cold response to initiate any action to decipher the truth about Netaji’s death.

Lt. Manwati Arya also explains that the Nehru government had adopted an anti-Netaji policy to banish steadily the contributions of Netaji and his struggle against the British rule for the independence of the country.

Nehru’s shoddy plans

Nehru’s substandard actions to insult Netaji had no boundaries. The ‘great’ prime minister of India had also tried to put a ban for hanging up Netaji’s portraits in public places including offices and army mess halls.
“I also asked Attlee about the extent to which their decision to quit India was influenced by Gandhiji’s activities. On hearing this Attlee’s lips widened in a smile of disdain and he uttered slowly, putting strong emphasis on each single letter: ‘MI-NI-MAL’.”

In a confidential memo dated February 11, 1949, under the signature of Major General P N Khandoori, the government recommended:”The photos of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose be not displayed at prominent places, Unit Lines, Canteens, Quarter Guards or Recreation rooms.”

Lt. Manwati Arya, in her book on Netaji, remembers that during her talks in All India Radio (AIR) she was always briefed by her programme producers, without fail, about the national policy to be careful and not mention any reference of the INA including the name of Netaji in her discourse on AIR.

All these actions were to be expected from Nehru, a prime minister heavily favoured by the British, at the same time, he had no legacy to project himself as a proud freedom fighter.

Nehru had succeeded in getting support for his anti-Netaji policies even from Netaji’s comrades in INA like Shah Nawaz Khan, S A Ayer etc. These people betrayed Netaji for cheap positions offered by Nehru in the then government.

Remember, Shah Nawaz Khan was the chairman of National Inquiry Committee (NIC) constituted by Nehru in 1956.
The ‘great’ prime minister of India had also tried to put a ban for hanging up Netaji’s portraits in public places including offices and army mess halls
Real man behind freedom
Who is the real father or the man behind India’s freedom? This question is always controversial.

Many eminent historians had neglected the over-exaggerated projection of Mohandas Gandhi as the father of modern India. Dr R C Majumdar in his book, History of the Freedom Movement in India (1948), put forward:
“The honour and esteem with which every Indian regarded the members of the INA, offered a striking contrast to the ill-concealed disgust and contempt for those sepoys (soldiers) who refused to join the INA and remained true to their so-called salt. The British came to realize that they were sitting on the brink of a volcano which may erupt at any moment.
It is highly probable that this consideration played an important role in their final decision to quit India in 1947. So the members of the INA did not die or suffer in vain, and their leader Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has secured a place of honour in the history of India’s struggle for freedom.”

In the same book, Majumdar candidly states that “the contribution made by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose towards the achievement of freedom in 1947 was no less, and perhaps far more important than that of Mohandas Gandhi, and I hope true historians and all lovers of truth now accept this view.

From the horse’s mouth
Clement Attlee was the Prime Minister of Britain when India got freedom in 1947. Therefore his words on Netaji have relevant and important than any proof.

Attlee had a visit to Kolkata When P B Chakraborti was the acting governor of West Bengal. The following are the words selected from Chakraborty’s thanks note (dated March 30, 1976) for the publication of Dr R C Majumdar’s book.

“I had then a long talk with Attlee about the real grounds for the voluntary withdrawal of the British from India. I put it straight to him like this:
The Quit India movement of Gandhiji practically died out long before 1947 and there was nothing in Indian situation at that time which made it necessary for the British to leave India in a hurry? Why did you then do so?
In reply Attlee cited several reasons, the most important of which are the activities of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose which weakened the very foundations of the attachment of the Indian land and naval forces to the British Government.

I also asked Attlee about the extent to which their decision to quit India was influenced by Gandhiji’s activities.
On hearing this Attlee’s lips widened in a smile of disdain and he uttered slowly, putting strong emphasis on each single letter: ‘MI-NI-MAL’.”

But all these historical facts have been neglected by our history text books penned by pseudo-historians.

‘Sonia Gandhi was godmother of 66A’

Key sources claim that Sonia Gandhi wished the amended IT Act to pass to help prevent the publication of uncomplimentary references to her and others close to her on various websites.

MADHAV NALAPAT  28th Mar 2015

ho was responsible for the abomination referred to as Section 66A of a revised Information Technology Act which itself has features which belong less to a democracy than to an authoritarian state? It took Justices Chelameshvar and Nariman of the Supreme Court of India to move the legal system in India closer to what it ought to be in a country which claims to be a democracy. A 24-year-old lawyer, Shreya Singhal was the trigger behind the challenge to the Act in the Supreme Court. For after all, it is the young who have the most to lose unless the shackles of the colonial legal and administrative system carefully preserved by Jawaharlal Nehru and his successors gets scrapped and replaced with methods and laws valid for the 21st century. The Information Technology Act 2000 was replaced by an amended version passed without discussion in both Houses of Parliament on December 23 and 24, 2008, coming into force ten months later. It is not coincidental that it is after the amended version has come into force that this country’s advantage in Information Technology has been severely challenged by other countries, including the Philippines. The amended Act made any internet-related activity operating out of India a hazardous occupation, because of the ease with which both service providers as well as users of the worldwide web can get tossed into jail, in effect at the whim of an official or the political, commercial or other individual controlling the decisions of such a functionary.

From the start, this writer has opposed the amended Information Technology (IT) Act, and in the process, sought to ascertain the inspiration behind its origins. What key political insiders claim is that the amended Act was the result of the “advice from UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi that legislation get passed which would assist in preventing the flood of less than complimentary references to her and others close to her in several websites”. Both the print as well as the broadcast media have treated Sonia Gandhi with the same elevated degree of reverence as shown by Prime Ministers Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh and Modi, so it is understandable that the Congress president would have been less than happy at this section of the media being in parts considerably less solicitous of her than the “Establishment” in India and abroad has been over the decades. These insiders say that the UPA chairperson’s pressure on the government to deal with uncomplimentary posts by muzzling online freedom of speech was relentless, especially from end-2007 onwards. They claim that it was because of this informal directive from the Congress president that the amended Act was devised and passed in 2008 with the support of the BJP. Although A. Raja’s name has been tossed about — most recently by H.R. Bharadwaj — as the prime mover of the amended IT Act, insiders say that “Raja was listened-to only when it suited the Congress leadership”. Whenever the Congress leadership was lukewarm towards a Raja proposal, “Sonia Gandhi would speak to Karunanidhi, who would fall in line. Hence, to say that A. Raja was responsible (for the amended IT Act) is laughable”. When asked whether Rahul Gandhi was of the same view as Sonia Gandhi in the matter of laws to intensify online policing, the reply was that “Rahul is considerably more liberal than his mother”. They claim that “incessant oral complaints were made to the UPA ministers about uncomplimentary posts on Sonia Gandhi, sometimes in very strong language” and that it was largely because of such informal communications from the Congress president that Government of India went ahead with the infamous 2008 amendments to the IT Act of 2000.

As was pointed out by this writer multiple times in the past, the UPA has, numerous times during its decade in office, passed pieces of legislation that would appear to have come after consultations with Kim Jong Un, the boisterous boss of North Korea. In practically every sphere of significant activity and operation, already harsh laws have been tightened, often significantly, so that life has become a minefield for those citizens lacking the billions of rupees needed to afford a top lawyer or the good luck to be related to (and possess a soft corner within the heart of) a politician of influence or a senior official. In such writings, this writer placed the blame for such enactments on Kapil Sibal and Palaniappan Chidambaram, but credible individuals reiterate that the brain behind the incessant intensification of colonial-era laws and administrative practices was Sonia Gandhi, and that Chidambaram and Sibal were merely following her wishes with the fealty and dogged determination both have demonstrated in this regard over the years.

Others view such placing of the blame on Sonia Gandhi as unfair, pointing out that she has been vocal on multiple occasions in expressing her love for the common man and the underprivileged, and has shown a partiality towards known campaigners for citizens’ rights such as Aruna Roy, who mentored Arvind Kejriwal during that period when the Chief Minister of Delhi was not yet being informed by his key supporters that he was born to save India from sloth and poverty, and that the most effective way of ensuring success in such a task would be to expel or marginalise from the Aam Aadmi Party all except those holding a similar view. As for Chidambaram and Sibal, the duo have modern views and intellects considerably above the average, which indeed was why it was particularly disappointing that they ensured that Manmohan Singh would enter history as the Prime Minister who in his time created a system of laws, practices and regulations which sought to enslave the people of India as comprehensively as the British did in their time, and which marked a shameful retreat from the low levels of “reform” practised since Pamulaparthy Venkata Narasimha Rao became Prime Minister of India in 1992. Those who defend Sonia Gandhi claim that such measures were actually the result of the combined efforts of Chidambaram and Sibal, encouraged by Manmohan Singh (who seems to believe that the citizens of India need to be constrained and foreign interests liberated from the regulations imposed on locals). They say that this triumvirate was constantly looking for ways of tightening the control of state agencies over the citizen. They add that Sonia Gandhi is in fact “liberal”, as evidenced by the fact that the Congress Party (of course, in a way which had zero practical effect) endorsed the repeal of the Queen Victoria-era law on homosexuality, and asked for the waiver of the death penalty in the case of a lady who was part of the plot to murder Rajiv Gandhi.

Despite the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared his intention to transform the structure of governance in India in a 21st century manner, elements in his government somehow ignored this objective and followed the standard (19th century) practice of the Delhi establishment and justified in court even Section 66A of the amended IT Act rather than get it repealed, as several BJP leaders had promised before coming to power. Now that the Supreme Court of India has reminded the government that Article 19(1)a of the Constitution of India (despite a significant watering down of the provision by Nehru in subsequent years) stands at the core of the democratic process, hopefully, the magnificent judgement of Chelameshvar and Nariman will be followed by other SC decisions which go towards ensuring that India morphs into a country where it is civil society which rules, rather than (as in North Korea), the state machinery. What the NDA needs to do is to repeal the entire amended Act and bring back with some small modifications the original Information Technology Act 2000 passed by Prime Minister Vajpayee.

Prime Minister Modi needs to continue repealing several of the odious enactments that have the simultaneous effect of slowing down progress, while increasing the quantum of bribes collected. Hopefully, sometime in the future, enough of the records hoarded in secrecy by successive governments will get released, so that it becomes known as to whether it was Sonia Gandhi who was the prime mover behind the UPA’s flurry of Pyongyang-style laws and regulations, or the triumvirate of Manmohan Singh, Kapil Sibal and Palaniappan Chidambaram who were responsible for giving the state powers over the citizen that are contrary to any definition of democracy.

SHE written by M O Mathai


Foreword:This article has a short but important history. It was written on June 23, 1977 by no less a person than M.O. Mathai. He was then Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru’s private secretary. Mathai was an intelligent and competent man from south India, a Catholic by religion like many south Indians, and quite courageous to have written the two well-known books alleged experiences of Nehru and his times, which became controversial.: (1) Reminiscences of the Nehru Age, and, (2) My Days with Nehru, where he has, for the first time, divulged many secrets of the high and the mighty of the Nehru years. He has also written the book SHE.

M.O. Mathai (1909-1981) was assistant to India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Mathai worked with the United States Army in India before becoming an assistant to Nehru in 1946. He resigned in 1959 following Communist allegations of misuse of power.  One of Mathai’s letters (UO No D/S13170 of 2/12/1954) digged out by the Delhi-based non-profit trust Mission Netaji had become controversial in 2006.[1] The letter indicated that the ashes of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was received in India in the 1950s. This information is contradictory to the Indian government’s opinion that Bose’s ashes are kept in Renkoji temple in Japan. Mathai died in 1981 of a heart attack in Madras at the age of 72 years.

However, the article that our readers are going to read, was not an ordinary article of a descriptive nature. It has many references to Mathai’s personal interaction with Indira Gandhi (nee Nehru). The article was originally supposed to be a part of Mathai’s book, ‘Reminiscences of the Nehru Age’ but for obvious reasons, at the last moment, it was left out of the book. I received a copy of the article, (which I am sharing with our readers), soon after its appearance in the form of an article by an unknown author but it does not take too much grey matter to guess who is writing and about whom. Our readers will judge. A great deal of what Mathai is telling us in these pages, are already known to intelligent, informed readers; however, these few pages are surely quite readable although the actors and actresses of the old drama are now gone, many with their past glory tarnished! It was to hide the tarnish that so much trouble had been taken to keep these few pages hidden from the general public, at the time. In India, the general public has always been and still is the outsider, never mind what the politicos say!

She has Cleopatra’s nose, Pauline Bonaparte’s eyes and the breasts of Venus. She has hair on her limbs which have to be shaven frequently. Physically and mentally she is more of a male than a female. I would call her a manly woman.I met her first in her ancestral home in the winter of 1945. She then had a baby son of crawling age and who was a cry baby. My first reaction was that she was a conceited girl with unhappiness written all over her face. Her second son, born in December, 1946, was an unwanted child. As a baby he had to be circumcised to remove a defect. By 1947 her cup of unhappiness was full and fortune took possession of her face.In the autumn of 1946 her father gave her a small Austin car. She wanted me to teach her driving. In the initial stages I used to take her to the Viceroy’s bodyguard’s Polo Ground for lessons. She was quick in learning. Then I stopped the driving lessons because she was getting into the advanced stage of pregnancy. I told her I didn’t want her to take any risk going into the open roads learning driving. Her second son was born in the middle of December 1946. By the middle of February 1947 she was ready to resume driving lessons. We went into the roads and to Connaught Circus. Then I told her “you just imagine that you know everything, concentrate, consider the person driving a car from the opposite direction is a fool, and go along with confidence driving the car, take a round of Connaught Circus and come back”. She did that and returned in triumph. The driving lessons ended there.Before the middle of 1947 she asked me to take her out to a cinema. From then on we used to go out for pictures as often as I was free – which was not frequent.

She looked forward to taking me out driving over the Ridge with the jungle on either side. She hated small cars. So we used to go in my car which was a Plymouth. She liked to go into the wilds where there were ruins. Drives to regions beyond Qutab Minar were favored. One day, during an aimless drive, she told me complainingly “You do not love me”. I said “I do not know; I had not thought about it”. By the autumn of 1947 I knew she had fallen headlong in love with me without my taking any initiative in the matter. Her face would light up on seeing me. She started talking to me about herself. She said that some time after her marriage, she discovered that her husband was not faithful to her. This came to her as a great shock because she married him in the teeth of opposition from every member of the family. She said she began to lose her saris, coats, blouses, shoes and handbags. She suspected the servants until she discovered some of her lost things on the persons of two women at a party. These women were known to be friendly with her husband. She also found out to which women her husband had given the books stolen from her book-shelves.She made it known rather discreetly what her intentions were about me. I told her I had two inhibitions: (1) I did not like to fool around with married women; (2) my loyalty to her father prohibited anything such as she had in mind. She was immediately forthcoming about No.1. She assured me that some time ago she had stopped having anything to do with her husband. She added: “I can no longer bear the thought of his touching me”. She further confided in me “fortunately he has also gone impotent though he retained his attraction to women”. About No. 2 she was angry with me and asked “What has my father got to do with it? Am I a minor?”

Since then she spent as much time with me as possible and ridiculed me for my attitude to her father in so far as she was concerned. But I continued to resist gently. I was not mentally prepared or reconciled as yet.On the 18th November 1947 she took me to her room and kissed me full on the lips and told me “I want to sleep with you; take me to the wilds tomorrow evening”. I told her that I had very little experience with women. She said “all the better”. So on the 19th, which was her birthday, we went driving out and chose a place in the wilderness. On our way back I told her that I had some revulsion about milk in her breasts (though she had stopped breast-feeding the child a while ago). Afterward, she did something about it and soon went completely dry. She discovered that I knew little about sex, and gave me two books, one of them by Dr. Abraham Stone about sex and female anatomy. I read them with profit.She was not promiscuous; neither did she need sex too frequently. But in the sex act she had all the artfulness of French women and Kerala Nair women combined. She loved prolonged kissing and being kissed in the same fashion. She had established a reputation of being cold and forbidding. She was nothing of the kind. It was only a pose as a feminine measure of self-protection. She was a passionate woman who was exceptionally good as a wriggler in bed. During the twelve years we were lovers, I was never satisfied with her.Progressively she became hostile to the fat female family friend who used to come to stay. Ever since she saw the family friend welcoming me on arrival with a hug and an innocent kiss on my cheek, she became jealous and livid with rage against the family friend. Occasionally the family friend used to ask me to take her and my “she” to a good cinema whenever there was one in town. My “she” could cleverly see to it that I did not sit near the family friend but only next to her as third in the row.

The day before the next time the family friend was expected to arrive “she” asked me to take her out into the wilds after sundown. In the car I asked her ‘what is the big idea? I have some urgent work to do’. She replied ‘as long as the fat one is here, I will keep away from you because I do not want you to touch me after she has touched you.’ I assured her that I had absolutely no interest in the fat one. Eventually, ‘she’ got used to the fat one’s friendly welcome and departure gestures to me.She tried hard to persuade me to occasionally go up to her room while her husband was there, sit down and talk to them both. I told her that I had no intention of practicing deception. So she used to bring him to my study occasionally.She used all kinds of devices to ensure that her children spent as little time with their father as possible. She told me that she did not want any influence of their father on them because she was convinced that his influence would be bad for them. She concluded by saying: “I do not want my children to grow up as champion liars.” This was one of the reasons why her husband was shifted to a separate room.Once I mentioned to her something which her husband had told me. She said: “Don’t believe a word of what he says. I have learnt it to my bitter cost”.

She wrote to A.C.N. Nambiar, whom she had known personally for a long time and who was also a friend of her father and mother, asking for his opinion about divorcing her husband. She knew that Nambiar was a dear friend of mine. Nambiar replied to her to say that under certain circumstances it was preferable to have a clear break to living in make-believe. I did not encourage her in this matter, mostly for the sake of her father.One day, she told me that she could not bear the thought of being married to a Hindu. I told her “It is a compliment to the galaxy of great men Hinduism has produced through the ages”.I never encouraged her to come to my bedroom. On one occasion she came. It was past midnight. I was fast asleep, having worked till midnight; she lay down beside me and gently woke me up by a kiss. I asked her “What is the matter?” She said: “I had to come”. I did not know if she had been troubled in mind. I told her: “Let us lie here quietly and do nothing unless you want to”. She said: “On this occasion, I only want to be with you”. She lay there relaxed till about 4 in the morning, and gently tip-toed to her room upstairs. Before going away she told me: “I never told you that once I thought of committing suicide. Such thoughts do not come to me any more. You have given me back my happiness.”

Once, early in our life of love, she told me, “I never knew what real sex was until I had you”. At the height of her passion in bed, she would hold me tight and say “Oh, Bhupat, I love you”. She loved to give and receive nick-names. She gave me the name of Bhupat the dacoit, and I promptly gave her the name of Putli, the dacoitess. In private we used to call each other by these names. About her protestations of love in her romantic excitement, I quoted to her once two passages from Byron’s Don Juan:”Man’s love is a man’s life, a thing apart,It is a woman’s whole existence.In her first passion woman loves her lover;In all others all she loves is love”.She replied, “all right, I want you to tell me as often as possible, not in bed, that you love me”. I tried my best to oblige her. In fact, there was no difficulty, for I had fallen deeply in love with her.One evening, I found her disturbed. When she saw me, she burst into tears. I asked her what had happened. She said that when she came from her dressing room to drink her usual glass of milk, she discovered that there was finely powdered glass in it. The powder was floating on the thick cream. At the first sip she immediately sensed it in her mouth and spat it out. She said that from her dressing room she heard her husband sneaking into her bedroom and making an exit. She controlled herself, put her arms round me and holding me tight, said: “Oh, Mackie, I love you; I am so glad you came up.”

In the Constellation plans on our first visit abroad together, she was all excitement when we were in sight of Mont Blanc. She said softly to me, “I like the Queen Bee, I would like to make love high up in the air”. I asked her:”Didn’t you ever dream of soaring higher up like an eagle and surveying the world? I woke up from such a dream once and found myself on the floor, for I had fallen from the bed without breaking any bones”. She knew I was pulling her leg. On reaching London, she found out the first free meal-time for her, and arranged for me to take her to a quiet restaurant. On reaching the restaurant, I asked her to order the food; I said I would have the same as hers with the addition of six large raw oysters on ice with appropriate sauce to begin with. She said she too would have it. The main dish she ordered was veal. She said “Ever since I arrived here, I have been dying to eat veal”. I asked her if ever she had read Vatsayana’s Kama Sutra. She said, “No, why?” I told her Vatsayana had prescribed veal for young couple for six months before marriage. She had not even read the Ramayana or the Mahabaharata. Her knowledge of the Ramayana was only what her grandmother had told her. In many ways, she was a denationalized person.

She did not like artificial birth-control aids. Once in the early fifties she got pregnant by me. She decided to have an abortion done. She went to the British High Commission doctor whom she knew personally; but he refused to help. So she went to her ancestral home and got in touch with a lady doctor whom she knew personally and in whom she had perfect confidence. On this trip she took her second son with her. After a fortnight the mother and the little son returned with the good news that the boy was cured of his defect in speech in the natural process. Earlier he could not pronounce “R”, and the mother was worried about it; she was in frantic search for a speech-correction expert. On the day of her return, she told me that the whole thing came out without any medication or aid.Was the father aware of her attachment to me? The answer is in the affirmative. Every time he had to go out for dinner, he knew where to find her. Fifteen minutes before the time of departure, she would come fully decked up and sit in front of me in my study. At the stroke of the appointed time the father would pass my study and call her out.

In the winter of 1958 I happened to see something by sheer chance. Immediately after lunch, I went to convey some urgent information to her. She had already closed the door. I knocked; after about five minutes she half-opened the door and peeped out. I discovered that the curtains were drawn and a tall, youngish handsome, bearded man – a Brahmacahri – was in the room. I came away saying “I had something to tell you; but I shall say it later”. That was the end of our relationship. She tried to make me believe several times that the scene I witnessed meant nothing more than some “yoga” and “spiritual” lessons. I gave her the definite impression that I was not interested in her explanations. Gradually she grew bitter against me. In fact, ultimately she became my deadly enemy – which constantly reminded me of the famous couplet of William Congrave:”Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned; nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”Within a fortnight of the incident I collected all her passionate letters and returned them to her. A year later I came across some more in my old papers. They were also returned to her.There is an erroneous belief among some that she and her husband came together during the last two years of the husband’s life. Enough had happened in their lives that a reunion of hearts was not humanly possible. It is true that she was kind and considerate to him during his illness. Certain things were done during this period and more specially at the cremation and collection of the ashes of the husband and well advertised to give certain desired impressions. They were all for public consumption, for, by that time, she had emerged as a full-fledged political animal.

A few clarifications, now that the readers had a look at the material presented by no less a person than M.O. Mathai himself on Indira (aka Maimuna Begum).Indira used to ‘shave her limbs’;
read that as ‘her pubic hairs’. This is an Islamic practice forced today on the Afghan population by the Talibans in Afghanistan. There is nothing extraordinary in her statement that she would not like to get married to a Hindu man, although she used to have unauthorized sex with the Hindu ‘brahmachari’ in her own bed room.That her second son (the bastard son by Mohammad Yunus) Sanjay (aka Sanjiv) had circumcision is no secret now. Why blame an unknown and imagined ‘defect’? It was done only to leave the seal of Islam, exactly as it had been done on Jawahar in the palace of the nawab of Oudh. Her inordinate love to eat veal can be tolerated but not the false explanation of circumcision. The entire Nehru family was of Islamic roots of unknown pedigree and they now plan to hand over the country today, to an ill-bred Catholic woman of unknown pedigree.That she had the abortion of her third baby, the one sired by Mathai, is not known by many. But the matter was hushed up by the excuse of ‘speech-defect’ of the baby son, Sanjiv (he was not name-changed to Sanjay as yet, after the car theft in London and to procure a separate Indian passport to evade the London police). Now we know that it is hard to pronounce the letter ‘R’!That Firoz was a liar does not come to us a surprise! Didn’t the school boys use to chant:”Gali gali men shor hai,Rajiv Gandhi chor hai?”And to think that no one had told them that the bastard son of Indira was the Bofors thief, which fact even any of the Indian leaders have not yet been able to decipher! And how could a fornication-prone thief like Firoz, hide the fact from a smart broad like Indira (aka Maimuna Begum), his own wife, for, it is widely accepted that Indira was indeed much smarter than Firoz.

That Indira had no or little knowledge of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, was suspected by many. Did she know anything at all of the Koran? She was after all invited by the Saudi king to attend the Hajj ceremony at Mecca which information was also suppressed by our foolish media persons. If Indira learnt the rudiments of the Ramayana from her grandmother, the question still remains, which one? Jawahar’s mother or Kamla Nehru’s (nee Kaul) mother! We happen to know the name of Jawahar’s mother; it was Thussu which was changed later to Swarup Rani. None of us seem to know the name of Kamla Kaul’s mother.The fact of Firoz’s cremation is very interesting. It was done only to fool the Hindus of India. This Sunni musalman son of Nawab Khan, the liquor vendor of Allahabad, converted to Catholicism by Sonia’s petulance at Orbassano, Italy, had died and been cremated like the kafir Hindus but was not buried in accordance with the tenets of Islam. Then what happened to him? Did he go to the Jannat at all? Did he have the 72 houries and the 28 gilmans (pearl-like boys)? No one tells us that! It is amazing that the Indian media is headed by a bunch of idiots and that situation needs to be corrected as early as possible.

I am sure that the short write up by Mathai has done a world of good for our readers and eventually the larger public in India. Rest assured, all India is now reading our web-site and discovering the truth for the first time. The truth will surely eventually come out in full, for all to know and eventually they will all act as true sons of the soil. At the moment, our India is chock a block with traitors, starting from the President, Michael Kocheril Raman Narayanan to Gujral, Kuldip Nayyar, Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Dilip Kumar, Mani Shankar Aiyar, K. Natwar Singh, retired ambassador Abid Husain, Mukarram Husain et al and a host of others!And a thought about Firoz’s attempt to poison his own wife! Was it the same incident that had prompted Indira to poison Lal Bahadur Shastri at Tashkent? Who knows?

Rajiv Gandhi was a coward, genocidist and the worst traitorous idiot

Letter to Mr. Rajiv Gandhi

By Jagmohan
April 21, 1990

Dear Shri Rajiv Gandhi,

You have virtually forced me to write this open letter to you. For, all along, I have Rajiv Gandhipersistently tried to keep myself away from party politics and to use whatever little talent and energy I might have to do some creative and constructive work, as was done recently in regard to the management and improvement of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine complex and to help in bringing about a sort of cultural renaissance without which our fast decaying institutions cannot be nursed back to health. At the moment, the nobler purposes of these institutions, be they in the sphere of executive, legislature or judiciary etc. have been sapped and the soul of justice and truth sucked out of them by the politics of expediency.

You and your friends like Dr. Farooq Abdullah are, however, bent upon painting a false picture before the nation in regard to Kashmir. Your senior party men like Shiv Shankar and N.K.P. Salve have, apparently at your behest, been using the forum of the Parliament for building an atmosphere of prejudice against me. The former raked up a fourteen-year old incident of Turkman Gate and the latter a press interview an interview that I never gave to hurl a barrage of accusations of communalism against my person. Mani Shankar Iyer, too, has been dipping his poisonous darts in the columns of some magazines. I, however, chose to suffer in silence all the slings and arrows of this outrageous armoury of disinformations. Only rarely did I try to correct gross distortions by sending letters to the editors of newspapers and magazines. My intention was to remain content with a book, an academic and historic venture which, I believed, I owed to the nation and to history.

But the other day some friends showed to me press clippings of your comments in the election meetings in Rajasthan.

That, I thought, was the limit. I realised that, unless I checked your intentional distortions, you would spread false impression about me throughout the country during the course of your election campaign.

WARNING SIGNALS: Need I remind you that from the beginning of 1988, I had started sending “Warning Signals” to you about the gathering storm in Kashmir ? But you and the power wielders around you had neither the time, nor the inclination, nor the vision, to see these signals. They were so clear, so pointed, that to ignore them was to commit sins of true historical proportions.

To recapitulate and to serve as illustrations, I would refer to a few of these signals. In August 1988, after analysing the current and undercurrents, I had summed up the position thus: “The drum-beater of parochialism and fundamentalism are working overtime. Subversion is on the increase. The shadows of events from across the border are lengthening. Lethal weapons have come in. More may be on the way”. In April 1989, I had desperately pleaded for immediate action I said: “The situation is fast deteriorating. It has almost reached a point of no return. For the last five days, there have been large-scale violence, arson, firing, hartals, casualties and what not. Things have truly fallen apart. Talking of the Irish crisis, British Prime Minister Disraeli had said: “It is potatoes one day and Pope the next”. Similar is the present position in Kashmir. Yesterday, it was Maqbool Bhat; today it is Satanic Verses; Tomorrow it will be repression day and the day after it will be something else. The Chief Minister stands isolated. He has already fallen-politically as well as administratively; perhaps, only constitutional rites remain to be performed. His clutches are too soiled and rickety to support him. Personal aberrations have also eroded his public standing. The situation calls for effective intervention. Today may be timely, tomorrow may be too late”. Again, in May, I expressed my growing anxiety: ‘What is still more worrying is that every victory of subversionists is swelling their ranks, and the animosity is being diverted against the central authorities”. But you chose not to do anything. Your inaction was mistifying. Equally mistifying was your reaction to my appointment for the second term. How could I suddenly become cammunal, anti-muslim and what not ?

When I resigned in July 1989, there was no rancour. You wanted me to fight, as your party candidate, election for the South Delhi Lok Sabha seat. Since I had general revolusion for the type of politics which out country had, by and large, come to breed, I declined the offer. If you had any serious reservation about my accepting the offer of J and K Governorship for the second term, you could have adopted the straight forward course and apprised me of your views. I would have thought twice before going into a situation which had virtually reached a point of no return. There would have been no need for you to resort to false accusations.

May be you do not consider truth and consistency as virtues. May be you believe that the words inscribed on our national emblem – Satyameva Jayate – are mere words without meaning and significance for motivating the nation to proceed in the right direction and build a true and just India by true and just means. Perhaps power is all that matters to you – power by whichever means and at whatever cost.

REALITY: In regard to the conditions prevailing before and after my arrival on the scene, you and your collaborators have been perverting reality. The truth is that before the imposition of Governor’s rule on January 19, 1990, there was a total mental surrender. Even prior to the day (December 8, 1989) of Dr. Rubaiye Sayeed’s kidnapping, when the eagle of terrorism swooped the state with full fury, 1600 violent incidents, including 351 bomb blasts had taken place in eleven months. Then between January 1 and January 19, 1990, there were as many as 319 violent acts – 21 armed attacks, 114 bomb blasts, 112 arsons, and 72 incidents of mob violence.

You, perhaps, never cared to know that all the components of the power structure had been virtually taken over by the subversives. For example, when Shabir Ahmed Shah was arrested in September 1989, on the Intelligence Bureau’s tip- off, Srinagar Deputy Commissioner flatly refused to sign the warrant of detention. Anantnag Deputy Commissioner adopted the same attitude. The Advocate-General did not appear before the Court to represent the state case. He tried to pass on the responsibility to the Additional Advocate General and the Government council. They, too, did not appear.

Do you not remember what happened on the day of Lok Sabha poll in November 22, 1989 ? In a translating gesture, TV sets were placed near some of the polling booths with placards reading “anyone who will cast his vote will get this”. No one in the administration of Dr. Farooq Abdullah took any step to remove such symbols of defiance if authority.

Let me remind you that Sopore is the hometown of Gulam Rasool Kar, who was at that time a Cabinet Minister in the State Government. It is also the hometown of the Chairman of the Legislative Council, Habibullah, and also of the former National Conference MP and Cabinet Minister, Abdul Shah Vakil. Yet only five votes were cast in Sopore town. In Pattan, an area supposedly under the influence of Iftikar Hussain Ansari, the then Congress (I) Minister, not a single vote was cast. Such was the commitment and standing of your leaders and collaborators in the State.

And you still thought that subversion and terrorism could be fought with such political and administrative intruments.

Around that point of time, when the police set-up was getting rapidly demoralised, when intelligence was fast drying up, when inflitration in services was bringing stories of subversives plan like TOPAC, your protage, Dr. Farooq Abdullah was either going abroad or releasing 70, hardcore and highly motivated torrosists who were trained in the handling of dangerous weapons, who had contacts at the highest level in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, who knew all the devious routes of going to and returning from Pakistan and whose detention had been approved by the three member advisory board presided over by the Chief Justice. Their simultaneous release enabled them to occupy key positions in the network of subversion and terrorism and to complete the chain which took them again to Pakistan to bring arms to indulge in killings and kidnappings and other acts of terrorism. For example, one of the released persons, Mohd. Daud Khan of Ganderbal, became the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of a terrorist outfit, Al-Bakar, and took a leading part in organising a force of 2,500 Kashmiri Youths. Who is to be blamed for all the heinous crimes subsequet}y committed by these released 70 terrorists ? I would leave this question answered by the people to whom you are talking about the “Jagmohan Factor”.

The truth, supported by preponderence of evidence, is that before January 19, 1990, the terrorist had become the real ruler. The ground had been yielded to him to such an extent that dominated the public mind. He could virtually swim like a fish in the sea. Would it matter if the sea was subsequently surrounded ?

LABELLING ANTI-MUSLIM: In your attempt to hide all your sins of omission and commission in Kashmir and as a part of your small politics which can not go beyond dividing people and creating vote banks, you took special pains to demolish all regards and respects which the Kashmiri masses, including the Muslim youth, had developed for me during my first term from April 26,1984, to July 12,1989. Against all facts, unassailable evidence, and your own precious pronouncements, you started me labelling me as anti-Muslim.

May I, in this connection, also invite your attention to three of the important suggestions made in my book, Rebuild- ing Shahjahanabad: The Walled City of Delhi. One pertained to the creation of the green velvet between Jama Masjid and Red Fort; the second to the construction of a road linking Parliament House with the Jama Masjid complex, and the third to the setting up of a second Shahajhanabad in the Mata Sundari road-Minto road complex, reflecting the synthetic culture of the city, its traditional as well as its modern texture. Could such suggestions I ask you, come of an anti-Muslim mind ?

FORUM OF PARLIAMENT: How you and your associates use the fonum of Parliament undermine my standing amongst the Kashmiri Muslims, was evident from what N.KP. Salve, MP ?, did in the Rajya Sabha on May 25, 1990.

Referring to the so called interview to the Bombay Weekly, THE CURRENT – an interview which I never gave – Salve chose wholly unjustified expressions; “There was a patent and palpable attitude if very disconcerting communal bias and, therefore, he (Governor) was happy under the garb of eliminating the terrorist, the saboteurs and the culprits, in eliminating the whole community as it were; now the Governor has himself given profuse and unabashed vent to his malicious malignity, hate and extreme dislike, branding every member of a particular community as a militant”.

I know Salve. I do not think, if left to himself, he would have done what he did. Clearly, he was goaded to say something which was against his training and background. But the elementary precaution which any jurist, at least a jurist of Salve’s imminence, would have taken, was to first check up whether any such interview weekly had been given by me, and if so, whether the remarks attributed to me were actually made. The unseemly haste was itself revealing. The issue was raised on May 25, while the weekly was dated May 26 June 2, 1990. You yourself rushed a let to the President on May 25, on the basis ofthe interview that in reality did not exist. You explained that V.P. Singh had appointed a person with “Rabid Communalist Opinion as Governor. You also got your letter widely published on May 25 itself.

Since your party men did not allow me to have my say in the Rajya Sabha, even when an opportunity came my way to speak on the subject, I was left with no other option but to file a 20 Lakhs damage suit against the Current Weekly in the Delhi High Court. The case may take a long time and I may donate the damages, if and when awarded, to charity, but I intend sparing no effort to expose all those who have played dirty roles in the disinformation-drama.

ARTICLE-370: You created a scene on March 7, 1990, at the time of the visit of the All Party Committee to Srinagar, and made it a point to convey to the people in 1986 I wanted to have Article 370 abrogated. At that critical juncture, when I was fighting the forces of terrorism with my back to the wall beginning to turn the corner after frustrating the sinister designs of the subversives from January 26, 1990 onwards, you thought it appropriate to cause hostility against me by tearing the facts out of context. Whether this act of yours was responsible or irresponsible, I would leave to the nation to decide.

What I had really pointed out in August-September 1986 was: ‘Article 370 is nothing but a breeding ground for the parasites at the heart of the paradise. It skins the poor. It deceives them with its mirage. It lines the pockets of the “power elites”. It fans the ego of the new sultans, in essence, it creates a land without justice, a land full of crudities and contradictions. It props up politics of deception, duplicity and demagogy. It breeds the microbes of subversion. It keeps alive the unwholesome legacy of the two-nation theory. It sufficates the very idea of India and fogs the very vision of a great social and cultural crucible from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. It could be an epicentre of a violent earth-quake, the tremors of which would be felt all over the country with unforeseen consequences.

I had argued, ‘The fundamental aspect which has been lost sight of in the controversy for deletion or retention of Article 370 is its misues. Over the years, it has become an instrument of exploitation in the hands of the ruling political elites and other vested interests in bureaucracy, business, judiciary and bar. Apart from the politicians, the richer classes have found it aonvenient to amass wealth and not allow healthy financial legislation to come to the State. The provisions of the Wealth Tax, the Urban Land Ceiling Act, the Gift Tax etc, and other beneficial laws of the Union have not been allowed to be operated in the State under the cover of Article 370. The common people are prevented from realising that Article 370 is actually keeping them impoverished and denying them justice and also their due share in the economic advancement.’

My stand was that the poor people of Kashmir had been exploited under the protective wall of Article 370 and that the correct position needed to be explained to them. I had made a number of suggestions in this regard and also in regard to the reform and reorganisation of the institutional framework. But all these were ignored. A great opportunity was missed.

Subsequent events have reinforced my views that Article 370 and its by product, the separate Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir must go, not only because it is legally and constitutionally feasible to do so, but also because larger and more basic considerations of our past history and contemporary life require it. The Article merely facilitates the growth and continuation of corrupt oligarchies. It puts false notions in the minds of the youth. It gives rise to regional tensions and conflicts and even the autonomy assumed to be available is not attainable in practice. The distinct personality and cultural identity of Kashmir can be safeguarded without this Article. It is socially regressive and causes situations in which women lose thier right if they marry non-State subjects and persons staying for over 44 years in the State are denied elementary human and democratic rights. And, above all, it does not fit into the reality and requirement of India and its vast and varied span. What India needs today is not petty sovereignties that would sap its spirit and aspirations and turn it into small “banana-republics” in the hands of ‘tin-pot dictators’, but a new social, political and cultural crucible in which values of truth and rectitude, of fairness and justice, and of compassion and catholicity, are melted, purified and moulded into a vigorous and vibrant set- up which provides real freedom, real democracy and real resurgence to all.

I must also point out that when other States in the Union ask for greater autonomy, they do not mean separation of identities. They really want decentralisation and devolution of power, so that administrative and development work is done speedily and the quality of service to the people improves. In Kashmir, the demand for retaining Article 370 with all its ‘pristine purity’, that is, without the alleged dilution that has taken place since 1953, stems from different motivation. It emanates from a clever strategy to remain away from the mainstream, to set up a separate fiefdom, to fly a separate flag, to have a Prime Minister rather than a Chief Minister, and Sadr-i-Riyasat instead of a Governor, and to secure greater power and patronage, not for the good of the masses, not for serving the cause of peace and progress or for attaining unity amidst diversity, but for serving the interests of ‘new elites’, the ‘new Sheikhs’.

All those aspiring to be the custadians of the vote-banks continue to say that Article 370 is a matter of faith. But they do not proceed further. They do not ask themselves: What does this faith mean? What is its rationale ? Would not bringing the State within the full framework of Indian Constitution give brighter lustre and sharper teeth to this faith and make it more just and meaningful ?

In a similar strain, expressions like ‘historical necessity’ and ‘autonomy’ are talked about. What do these mean in practice ? Does historical necessity mean that you include, on paper, Kashmir in the Indian Union by one hand at a huge cost and give it back, in practice, by another hand on the golden platter ? And what does autonomy or so called pre-1953 or pre- 1947 position imply ? Would it not amount to the Kashmiri leadership say in: ‘you will send and I will spend; you will have no say even if I build a corrupt and callous oligarchy and cause a situation in which Damocles’ sword of secession could be kept hanging on your head’ ?

KASHMIRI PANDITS: You and the like of you have made India a country which has lost capacity to be true and just. Anyone trying to be fair is dubbed communal. The case of the Kashmiri Pandits bears eloquent testimony to this fact.

Whatever be the vicissitudes of the Kashmiri Pandits’ history and whatever unkind quirks their fate might have brought to them in the past, these all pale into insigficance in companison to what is happening to them at present. The grim tragedy is compounded by the equally grim irony that one of the most intelligent subtle, versatile, and proud community of the country is being virtually reduced to extinction in free India. It is suffering not under the fanatic zeal of mediaeval Sultans like Sikander or under the tyrannical regime of Afghan Governors, but under the supposedly secular rule of leaders like you, V.P. Singh and others who unabashed search for personal and political power is symbolised by calculated disregard of the Kashmiri migrants’ current miserable plight and the terrible future that stares in their eyes. And to fill their cup of pain and anguish, there are bodies like ‘Committee for Initiative on Kashmir’ which are over-anxious and over active to rub salt into their wounds, and to label anyone who wants to stand by them in their hour of distress as communal.

In a soft, superficial, permissive and, in many ways, cruel India which has the tragic distinction of creating over one lakh refugees from its own flesh and blood and then casting them aside like masterless cattle to fend for themselves on the busy and heartless avenues of soulless cities, chances for Kashmiri Pandits to survive as a distinct community are next to nothing. Split, scattered and deserted practically by all, they stand today all alone, looking hopelessly at a leaking, rudderless, boat at their feat and extremely rough and tumultuous sea to face before they can reach a safe shore across to plant their feet firmly on an assured future.

The deep crisis through which the Kashmiri migrants, or for that matter, the entire Kashmir, is passing is really the crisis of Indian values – the perversion, in practice, of its constitutional, political, social and moral norms. If I visited the camps of the refugees and tried to extend the firm hand of justice to a community in pain, if I instructed that, instead of cash doles, the migrant Government servants should be given leave salary, and if I conceded the demand of a widow of the person brutally killed by a terrorist, for allotment of a house on payment, I became communal, a known anti-Muslim, about whom concoted stories were planted in the press. If, on the other hand, someone falsely accused the Indian Army and the Governor’s administration, if he assailed Jagmohan in particular, of giving inducements through provisions of plots and trucks, without giving particulars either of plots or of trucks, his accusations got published all over the press, his reports were flaunted in national and international forums and were copiously quoted in Parliament by the members of your party and he was labelled as secular and progressive and champion of human rights and what not. Hard Evidence about ‘Jagmohan Factor’. I do not like to refer to anything that looks like indulging in self-praise. But not to let you get away with your calculated campaign of disinformation, about Jagmohan communal factor, I must invite attention to some hard evidence about what the people of the Valley actually thought about me before you and your proteges started the smear campaign on my appointment for the second term.

Your principal prop of current politics of Kashmir, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, was not to be left behind in the drive launched to create an ‘anti-Muslim’ image of mine. In his interview published in the Times of India of August 30, 1990, he said, “A known anti-Muslim was appointed as Governor of a Muslim majority state”. How untrue, how unfair, was the propaganda, should be obvious from the fact that on November 7, 1986, at the time of his swearing-in-ceremony, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, in a public speech for which the records exist, said: “Governor Sahib, we should need you very badly. It is, indeed, amazing that such remarkable work could be done by you in a short time through an imbecile and faction-ridden bureaucracy. If today three ballot boxes are kept – one for the National Conference, one for the Congress and one for you, your ballot box would be full while the other two ballot boxes would be empty”.

The misfortune of our country is that we have leaders like Dr. Farooq Abdullah who have no regard for facts or truth and whose superficiality is matched only by their unprincipled politics.

Incidentally, did it not strike you that Dr. Farooq was virtually accusing your late mother of being anti-Muslim because she was the Prime Minister when, in April 1984, a ‘known anti-Muslims’ was appointed for the first term, as ‘Governor of a Muslim majority State” ?

Apparently in consultation with you, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, on February 15, 1990, issued a written statement to the press in Urdu in which he inter alia, said, “The Governor, in the personification of ‘Hallaqu’ and ‘Changez Khan’, is bent upon converting the valley into a vast graveyard. On account of continuous curfew since January 20, it is difficult to say how many hundreds of people have become victim of the bullets of the army and paramilitary forces, and in this general slaughter how many hundreds of houses have been destroyed. At this moment, when Kashmiris are witnessing their beloved country being converted into a vast graveyard. I appeal to the national and international upholders of humanity to intervene in Kashmir and have an internatianal inquiry made into the general slaughter of Kashmiris at the hands of army and paramilitary forces”.

Here is your ‘patriot’ calling Kashmir “Aziz Wattan”, suggesting a separate country. Here is your ‘national leader’ asking for an international inquiry into the general slaughter of the Kashmiris by the Indian Army and paramilitary forces. Here is your ‘responsible friend’ speaking about the continuous curfew for 25 days in the valley and his consequent inability to find out many ‘hundreds of innocent and unarmed Kashmiris’ had been massacred and how many hundreds of Kashmiri houses razed to the ground, although he knew perfectly well that there had been a number of days when there was no day- curfew, partially or wholly, and the authorities had brought out the list of casualties, about 40 upto February 16, and were daily asking the public to provide with the additional names, if they had any, so that correction in the official list could be made. Here is an erstwhile Chief Minister who did not care to explain how ‘innocent and unarmed’ people were ruthlessly shooting down IAF officers, BSF jawans, senior officers of the Television and Telecommunications Department and young men in the streets; and how, while inciting people through lengthy and fiery statements, he did not find a single word to condemn such brutal murders.

Is the nation not entitled to know why you have not disowned such unfortunate behaviour on the part of Dr. Farooq Abdullah? And how do you account for his recent statement as published in The Times of India of February 7, 1991: ‘I directed my partymen to lie low, go across the border, get training in arms handling; do anything but not get caught by Jagmohan’ ?

Stabbing me in the back at personal level, perhaps, did not matter. But by keeping the pot boiling, you your proteges prolonged the agony of Kashmir and caused many more deaths and much more destruction. The politics of unscrupulousness was brought to its lowest depth.

ROOTS: You once said, ‘I do not read history; I make history’. Apparently, you do not know that those who happen to make history without reading it, usually make bad history. They cannot understand the undercurrents and the fundamental forces that really shape the course of events and determine the ultimate destiny of a nation.

In the absence of historical perspective, you and the like of you never perceived the roots and tendrils which gave rise to the current crop of separatism and subversion in Kashmir. Poisonous seeds were persistently planted in the Kashmir psyche. And these were liberally fertilised. Those of you whose obligation it was to stop these plantations and their fertilisation, were not aware of even the elementary lesson of history; to compromise with the evil was only to rear greater evil; to ignore the inconvenient reality was only to compound it; to bow before the bully was only to invite the butcher the next day.

I could cite scores of cases to support my contention. Here I would restrict myself to only two examples.

Softness and Surrender. On October 2, 1988, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday his statue was to be installed in the new High Court complex at Srinagar. The function had been announced. The Chief Justice of India, R.S. Pathak, was to do the formal installation. But a few Muslim lawyers objected. They threatened to cause disturbance at the time of the function. The Chief Minister gave in, almost willingly, to the bullying tactics. The function was cancelled.

What are the implications of what happened ? A secular Kashmir, part of a secular India, could not have, even in its highest seat of justice, a statue of the Father of the Nation, of a sage, who laid down his life for communal harmony. Who was the person spearheading the move against the installation ? It was none other than Mohd. Shafi Bhat, an advocate of the J and K High Court and an active number of the National Conference, who was later on given party ticket for Srinagar Lok Sabha seat in the elections held in November 1989 and with whom you kept warm company during your visit to Srinagar on March 7, 1990, to create as many difficulties as possible for Governor’s administration.

At that time there was National Conference (F) Congress (I) Ministry in office. Such was its lack of adherence to principles, such was the character of Congressmen who formed part of the Ministry and such was its disposition to cling to power that not even a little finger was raised when the function was cancelled.

The bully’s appetite could not have been whetted better. Intimidation could not have secured better results. The troublemakers could not have perceived a more casual and non- committed adversary. Was it not natural for them to nurture higher ambitions and think that more spectacular results could be achieved by deploying a more aggressive and threatening strategy ? Only a naive would believe that in the context of the Kashmir situation, softness and surrender on basic principles would not act as an invitation to terrorism and militancy.

The Union Government enacted the Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1988. It was made applicable to all the States of the Union except J and K. Because of Article 370, concurrence of the State Government was needed for extension of this law to the State. But the same was not given. Why ? Because J and K is different what an argument for having a law which aimed at eradication of misuse of religious premises for political purposes.

Nowhere was this law needed more than in the State of J and K. Nowhere were religious places misused more than here. Nowhere were seeds of fanaticism and fundamentalism sown every Friday more assiduoulsy than from the pulpits of the mosques here. Nowhere was it preached more regularly than here that Indian democracy was un-Islamic, Indian secularism was un-Islamic and Indian socialism was un-Islamic. And yet, neither the State Government which was ruled by two supposedly secular parties, nor the Union Government took the matter seriously. What intrigued the most was that the law which was considered good for 100 million Muslims in other parts of India, was not considered good for 40 lakh Muslims of Kashmir.

What was the use of the nationalist forces ruling the country when they would not act in national interest at all, when they remained mental slaves of the politics of communalism; when they were inclined to place reliance on words and not on deeds; when they did not lead, but succumbed; when they encouraged, and not defeated, separatist elements; when, instead of building a new society strong in human and spiritual values, they did everything, wittingly or unwittingly, to repair, renovate and strengthen the old decaying and smelly sitadel of obscurantism; and when they invariably gave precedence to expediency over the basic goals and principles of our Constitution ? What could be the result of all this ? Did it require any unusual insight to understand where such fipurious forces would take us ?

I leave it to the well-wishers of the nation to consider, without any political or personal bias, a basic question. How was it that Dr. Farooq was calling me Hallaqu and Changez Khan, and you were travelling all the way to Srinagar to ‘expose’ me as anti-Article 370, anti-Kashmiri and anti-Muslim and, at the same time, Miss Benazir Bhutto was vowing to tear me to pieces – ‘Jagmohan ko Bhag-Bhag Mohan Kar Denge’ ?

There are many other facets of Kashmir’s truth which lie buried underneath the heaps of disinformation and also of superficiality and shallowness. These days I am busy in an attempt to remove some of these heaps. One day, I hope, the country will acquire the true perspective of the problem. The Kashmiri masses would also realise that I was their greatest well-wisher. I wanted to save them permanently from the exploitative oligarches and also from the machinations of religious ‘Czars’ and forces of obscurantism.

You have already committed the sin of letting down the Bharat Mata in Kashmir. Now do not add to it another sin of letting down the other Mata also. There is, after all, some power above. Conscious of her. She may condone your negligence. But she would not condone your sin of blaming an innocent person for what were your own faults, particularly when he had been persistently reminding you of your obligations.

So far as I am concerned, I am content with my gloomy pride of having done the correct thing in Kashmir. True, I seemingly and, perhaps, temporarily, lost the goodwill of some of the locals. But I was not seeking a certificate from anyone. I had gone for the second term to do a national duty.

The country’s polity and administration have assumed such a character that it has become incapable of solving from its roots, any serious problem. Elections have virtually lost all meaning. And these would continue to be meaningless until and unless Indian democracy and its constitutional structure acquires a healthy cultural base, a pure soul and soil, from which the seed of justice, truth and selfless service could sprout and blossom into a Great Tree providing shade and shelter from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. Currently, the inner light is gone, and we are being led virtually by blind men with lanterns in their hands. We stumble from one crisis to another. As a poet says:

It has happened
and it goes on happening
and it will happen again.

With best wishes,
Yours sincerely,

Reproduced from:
Converted Kashmir – Memorial of Mistakes
A Bitter Saga of Religious Conversion
Author: Narender Sehgal
Utpal Publications, 1994

Mrs Vadra is in trouble and she knows it

Mrs Vadra is in trouble and she knows it

Continuing his pressure on the Congress ruling family for a propensity to violate rules and norms with impunity, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy swiftly invoked the legal process against Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Vadra, regarded as the ‘last hope’ of the politically declining party, for possessing three DIN (Director Identification Numbers) in violation of the law. He demanded criminal prosecution of Priyanka Vadra under Section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

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In a letter to the Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Subramanian Swamy pointed out that as per the Ministry’s own website, Priyanka Vadra had applied for and duly received three DIN numbers. These include 01038703, 01840144 and 02914391 – which is a violation of the Company Act and the Income Tax Act. Interestingly, Robert Vadra’s mother Maureen Vadra has also been allotted two DIN numbers – 01840680 and 01839769.

Section 155 of Companies Act 2013 prohibits any person have having more than one DIN. It says: No individual, who has already been allotted a Director Identification Number under section 154, shall apply for, obtain or possess another Director Identification Number.

The situation was the same under Section 266C of the old Companies Act 1956, and is thus an established legal principle, which fact would have been known to the family chartered accountants.

Section 159 of the Act posits six months imprisonment and a fine up to Rs 50,000, plus a fine of Rs 500 per day. It reads:

If any individual or director of a company, contravenes any of the provisions of section 152, section 155 and section 156, such individual or director of the company shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees and where the contravention is a continuing one, with a further fine which may extend to five hundred rupees for every day after the first during which the contravention continues.

Section 152 (3) of the Act specifies that no person can be appointed as a director of a company unless he has been allotted a Director Identification Number under section 154. Clause 4 asserts that a person appointed as a director must furnish his Director Identification Number (DIN) along with a declaration that he/she is not disqualified to become a director under this Act. Clause 5 states that no person can act as a director unless he gives his consent to hold the office as director and such consent has been filed with the Registrar within thirty days of appointment in a prescribed manner.

Section 155 explicitly states:

No individual, who has already been allotted a Director Identification Number under section 154, shall apply for, obtain or possess another Director Identification Number.

Section 156 reads:

Every existing director shall, within one month of the receipt of Director Identification Number from the Central Government, intimate his Director Identification Number to the company or all companies wherein he is a director.

It may be pointed out that Robert Vadra, a promoter director in 12 firms, has only one DIN number and his colleague, Amit Mehta, a director in seven firms, also has only one DIN number. Hence there must be some reason for Priyanka Gandhi seeking and receiving three DIN numbers, and an enquiry into the matter is clearly warranted. While it is fair to state that she would be unaware of the nitty gritty of the law, the excuse cannot extend to the corporate lawyers and chartered accountants who would have assisted her in the matter.

This is a direct embarrassment for the Gandhi family, which cannot be wished away easily. It comes amidst the hottest contested general election since 1977, and comes close on the heels of allegations of a nexus between six new firms floated by Robert Vadra in 2012 and the realty major DLF, after an executive of the Group, Amit Mehta, gave the corporate email id as his email id in the relevant papers submitted to the Government. DLF has since distanced itself from the employee, who is a Director in five of the new firms floated by Robert Vadra.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs lists Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as a Director, with Active status in her husband’s company Blue Breeze Trading Private Limited, incorporated in November 2007, though she is said to have resigned as per information with the RoC, after getting hints about approaching controversies. She was also a Director in Rahul Gandhi’s Backops Services Ltd, which was closed down following media attention into its projects and income.

An enquiry into Priyanka Vadra possessing three DIN numbers is serious because it raises the possibility of her involvement in businesses that do not reflect on the Ministry’s website.

Rahul Gandhi lies thru the teeth on Modi. Here is Rahul Gandhi’s first interview: Full text

Rahul Gandhi's first interview: Full text

For the first time, Congress vice-president and poll campaign chief Rahul Gandhi opens up to an elaborate sit down interview with Times Now editor in chief Arnab Goswami. For the first time after his political debut in 2004, Rahul Gandhi takes direct questions on wide range of subjects on Frankly Speaking with Arnab. In the biggest political interview of 2014 Arnab asks all the questions that India wanted answers from the Gandhi scion. Is he scared of a political face off against Modi? What is his view of the 1984 Sikh riots? Was he a reluctant politician? And what are his views on multiple scams that UPA 2 was affected by.

Arnab: Rahul, Thank you very much. It’s great to have you on Frankly Speaking show today. It’s been 10 years as an MP for you, you fought your first election in 2004 & this is your first TV interview.

Rahul: It’s not my first interview, but it’s my first formal interview of this type.

Arnab: Why has it taken so long?

Rahul: I have done a little media interaction, prior to this. I have done press conferences & spoken to the media. But mainly bulk of my focus has been on internal party work and that’s where I have been concentrating, that is where most of my energy was going.

Arnab: Or is that you have been reluctant to communicate more on one to one basis?

Rahul: Not at all, I have had many many press conferences that you have seen. I don’t have that issue.

Arnab: It’s not that you wanted to avoid touching on difficult or tough issues

Rahul: I like difficult to tough issues, I like dealing with them.

Arnab: Now that this is your first detailed & long interview in 10 years, we have a lot of ground to cover. I have one request to you right at the start of the interview, let’s be as specific as possible on the subjects we deal with today. Do I have your Agreement on that?

Rahul: Yes, we will be specific but if I would like to sort of explain things in a broader fashion, I think that will okay with you.

Arnab: If I want to draw you back into specifics?

Rahul: You can draw me back as much as you want

Arnab: Rahul Gandhi the first point is this; you have just avoided this whole question about whether you are open to PM’s post. It seems to me Rahul that you are avoiding a difficult contest.

Rahul: See, if you look at the speech I gave at AICC a few days back. The issue is basically how the Prime Minister in this country is chosen. The way the Prime Minister is chosen in this country is through the MPs. Our system chooses MPs & MPs elect Prime Minister. I said pretty clearly in my speech in AICC, that if the Congress party so chooses & Congress party wants me to do anything for them, I am happy to do that. It’s respect for the process. In fact announcing your PM prior to an election, announcing your PM without asking the members of Parliament, is not actually written in the constitution.

Arnab: You did that in 2009?

Rahul: No, we didn’t

Arnab: Of course you did?

Rahul: What we did in 2009 was that we had an incumbent Prime Minister. Prime Minister won the election, he then went to Parliament. The members of Parliament decided that, that Prime Minister will continue, and there was actually a process where he was asked.

Arnab: But you named your Prime Ministerial candidate?

Rahul: We had an incumbent Prime Minister and there was no question of our changing him.

Arnab: See Rahul we can go up and down on this question. The fact of the matter is this, who else will they choose, and who else will Congress MPs choose if not Rahul Gandhi?

Rahul: That is up to them right, but what one has to do and this is central to what I keep saying is that democracy is about respect of processes. Democracy is about non-arbitrary decisions. Democracy is about spreading decisions; it is not about destroying processes. There is a process in the constitution and that process says, and it is clearly written in the constitution, and it says members of parliament are to be elected by the population and members of parliament are to elect the Prime Minister. All I am doing is respecting that process.

Arnab: Are you avoiding a direct face-off with Narendra Modi? Is there a fear of loss Rahul because this election is not looking good for the Congress party from overall estimates? And the growing belief is that if Rahul Gandhi has not picked up the challenge officially that means that there is a fear of loss, he is avoiding a direct one on one battle with Narendra Modi, you must answer that?

Rahul: To understand that question you have to understand a little bit about who Rahul Gandhiis and what Rahul Gandhi’s circumstances have been and if you delve into that you will get an answer to the question of what Rahul Gandhi is scared of and what he is not scared of. The real question is what I am doing sitting here, you are a journalist, when you were small you must have said to yourself I want to do something, you decided to become a journalist at some point, why did you do that?

Arnab: You are asking me the question

Rahul: Yes, I am asking you a question, it is a conversation

Arnab: Because I like and enjoy being a journalist, it is a professional challenge for me. My question is you avoiding a direct face-off with Mr. Narendra Modi?

Rahul: I am going to answer the question but I just want to ask you, when you were young and thought of being a journalist what drove you?

Arnab: Once I decided to become a journalist, I can’t be half a journalist. Once you have decided to get into politics and you are leading your party effectively, you can’t be leading your party by half, so I’ll throw the question, with respect, back to you, Narendra Modi is challenging you on a daily basis?

Rahul: You are not answering my question, but I will answer the question and that will give you some insight into how Rahul Gandhi thinks. For that I will have to expand a little bit about my growing up, how I grew up and the circumstances in which I grew up. What I saw when I was a child ,was my father, who was a pilot, and because of circumstances was thrown into the political system and all I saw when was small after my grandmother died was my father in constant-constant combat with the system in India and then I saw him die actually. In my life I have seen my grandmother die, I have seen my father die, I have seen my grandmother go to jail and I have actually been through a tremendous amount of pain as a child when these things happen to you, what I had to scared of I lost, there is absolutely nothing I am scared of. I have an aim, I have a clear aim in my mind and the aim is that I do not like what I see in Indian politics, it is something that is inside my heart. It is like in our mythology when they talk about Arjun, he only sees one thing, he does not see anything else, you asked me about Mr. Modi you ask me about anything and the thing that I see is that the system in this country needs to change, I don’t see anything else and I am blind to everything else. I am blind because I saw people I love destroyed by the system. I am blind because the system everyday is unfair to our people, I ask you today, you come from Assam and I am sure that you also in your work feel the unfairness of the system. The system everyday-everyday hurts people and I have felt the pain that the system can cause. I felt the pain with my father, I saw him every single day of his life, so the question of whether I am afraid of losing an election or whether I am afraid of Mr. Modi is not actually the point. I am here basically for one thing, I see tremendous energy in this country, I see more energy in this country than any other country, I see billions of youngsters and I see this energy is trapped.

Arnab: Can I draw you back to my question. I will go into those areas and I respect what you are telling me about your personal journey, It’s not Rahul, as if I lack empathy for what you are saying, in fact I am pretty sure many people do but my question to you is Narendra Modi calls you a Shehzada, now let’s be very specific Rahul. Narendra Modi calls you a Shehzada, a) what is your view of Narendra Modi b) are you afraid of losing to Narendra Modi, Rahul please answer my question as specifically as you can?

Rahul: What Rahul Gandhi wants to do, is Rahul Gandhi and millions of youngsters in this country want to change the way the system in this country works. What Rahul Gandhi wants to do is empower the women in this country, wants to unleash the power of these women, I mean we talk about being a superpower…

Arnab: You are avoiding the question

Rahul: No I am not avoiding the question

Arnab: My question to you is, what is the Congress Vice President’s view of the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate

Rahul: I think we will defeat the BJP in the next elections

Arnab: And what is your view of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate?

Rahul: The BJP has prime ministerial candidate, the BJP believes in concentration of power in the hands of one person, I fundamentally disagree with that, I believe in democracy, I believe in opening up the system. I believe in the RTI, I believe in giving power to our people. We have fundamentally different philosophies

Arnab: What is your view, would like to expound your views, your PM accuses Narendra Modi in his press conference of presiding over “the mass massacre of innocent citizens on the streets of Ahmedabad.” Mr. Rahul Gandhi my question to you is this, do you agree with your PM when he says that?

Rahul: Well, I mean what the Prime Minister is saying is a fact, Gujarat happened, people died but the real issue as far I am concerned…

Arnab: How do you accuse Mr. Narendra Modi of it?

Rahul: Gujarat happened, people died. The real issue at hand here is…

Arnab: How is Mr. Modi responsible?

Rahul: He was CM when Gujarat happened

Arnab: The fact remains that Narendra Modi has been given a clean chit, in the Gulbarg massacre case by the SIT and the court Mr. Gandhi. My question to you is “can the Congress party sustain it’s attack on Mr. Narendra Modi on this issue when he has been given the clean chit by the courts in the Gujarat riots

Rahul : The congress party and the BJP have two completely different philosophies, our attack on the BJP is based on the idea that this country needs to move forward democratically, it needs push democracy deeper into the country, it needs to push democracy into the villagers, it needs to give women democratic powers, it needs to give youngsters democratic powers. It is about opening the doors of the congress party, about empowering the youth

Arnab : How is Narendra Modi responsible for the riots when the courts have given him a clean chit, politically your party’s tact to criticise Narendra Modi and draw him into the Gujarat riots?

Rahul: Our political party is fighting an ideological battle Against the BJP and let me draw out the two pillars- our party believes that women should be empowered, democracy should go to every house, that RTI, and the MNREGA paradigm should be further expanded. The BJP believes power should be extremely concentrated in this country, few people should run this country and the large mass of this country should have no voice.

Arnab: Specifically speaking how is Narendra Modi, your party criticised him for the 2002 Gujarat riots, and how can you do that when he has been given a clean chit in the Gulbarg massacre by the SIT of the court. It was challenged in the court, the court upheld the SIT finding and therefore legally speaking Mr. Gandhi you cannot draw Narendra Modi into the Gujarat riots, implicate him personally. Do you believe that strategy of your party is fundamentally wrong?

Rahul: The strategy of the party is very simple. Everything we have done over that last 5-10years, in fact if you look all the way back to the freedom movement, every single thing we have ever done is empower people. We empowered people in the freedom movement, we empowered farmers in the Green revolution, and we empowered the citizens of India when we did the telecom revolution. We have empowered millions and millions of people through frankly the most powerful legislation that has ever taken place in this country called the RTI- Right to information. Things that used to be closed, things that were in closed doors which nobody knew about

Arnab: I will come to that but you haven’t answered my question. Gujarat riots is the question, your party has consistently wanted to put Mr. Narendra Modi on the back foot on the Gujarat riots, he says “the court has given me clean chit” and I am asking you today, is your party’s argument about putting him on the back foot on Gujarat is flawed given the ways the courts have looked at it

Rahul: The PM has stated his position on the Gujarat riots. The Gujarat riots took place, people died, Mr. Narendra Modi was in charge of Gujarat at that point. I am bringing you to a real ideological battle that is taking place here. The real ideological battle that is taking place here and the one we are going to win and that has always been one in this country is the battle of empowering people in this country. Of course there is your point of the Gujarat riots and it is very important that people who have taken part in this kind of thing are brought to book. But the real issue at hand here is empowering the women of this country, giving them true power. We talk about India being a superpower we can only be half a superpower if our women are not empowered. What I want to do is going forward is basically focus on three things. Focus on empowering our people, truly empowering our people, giving them democratic rights within the political party. I want youngsters who come in and really, really push democracy in the party. I want to empower them and I want to make India, together with everybody, taking everybody together I want to put India on the manufacturing map, I want to make this the centre of manufacturing in the world. I want to make this place at least as much as a manufacturing power as China.

Arnab: You say that Narendra Modi was CM during the Gujarat riots and the BJP was in power. The BJP was as much in power in Gujarat during the riots as much as Akhilesh is in power in UP or for that matter the Congress party was in power when the 1984 Anti Sikh riots happened, now let me quote, you spoke in one of your speeches of the anger of your Grandmothers death, I think it was campaign trail in Rajasthan. You spoke about knowing the people who killed her and you spoke about anger and managing your own anger and quelling your own anger and drawing it into strength elsewhere. Now that speech of yours became a subject of controversy with Narendra Modi posing a series a questions to you on 1984 and he said the following and I want to quote him and your categorical and specific response “he’s crying for the assassination of his Grandmother but has he shed tears of those killed in the 1984 riots, I want to ask the Shehzada and you remember Mr. Gandhi he’s constantly deriding you by calling you a Shehzada, whether your party kills Sikhs in anger when your Grandmother died, so following from this I have 2 questions, my first question; do you acknowledge the role of congressmen in the 1984 riots, B) will you apologise for the riots as your party demands an apology from Modi for the Gujarat riots?

Rahul: Two things, in 1977 when my Grandmother lost the election we went and lived ….and the people who came with my Grandmother, those people who stood by my Grandmother were Sikhs. Pretty much everyone had deserted my Grandmother but the Sikhs were standing with my Grandmother. I think the Sikhs are probably one of the industrious people in this country. I admire them; we have a PM who is a Sikh. I don’t have the same world view as my opposition. What those two people did to my Grandmother, was two individuals, I don’t turn around and take my anger which existed then, frankly, it doesn’t exist now and brush it onto an entire community, that’s just not me.

Arnab: I am sure you don’t, my question is do you acknowledge the role of Congress men in the 1984 riots because

Rahul: I am coming to your question

Arnab: I am sure you don’t, my question is do you acknowledge the role of Congress men in the 1984 riots because there must be justice. Mr. Gandhi there has to be finality, the Gujarat riot cases have moved forward and many people have got justice, if I just compare that to the 1984 riots, you can look at the status and case history of what happened to Mr. Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler, HKL Bhagat, Dharam Das Shastri and the one story that you hear there is these cases are endless, they go on for the longest period of time. I am asking you again, Mr. Gandhi before you seek an apology from Modi would you apologise for the 1984 riots, would that be something that you consider?

Rahul: I do not take my anger which existed on 2 individuals who did something evil and wrong and overlay it on millions of people. I think that’s criminal. Did the Sikh riots take place in Delhi? Absolutely. Were they completely wrong? Absolutely.

Arnab : Were Congressmen involved?

Rahul : Did innocent people die? Absolutely

Arnab : Were Congressmen involved?

Rahul : Some Congress men were probably involved

Arnab : Has justice been delivered to them?

Rahul : There is a legal process through which they have gone through

Arnab : You admit some Congressmen were probably involved

Rahul : Some congressmen have been punished for it

Arnab : In that case, why don’t you apologise for the 1984 riots? The congressmen who you are talking about are still fighting their cases and in 2009 if I am not mistaken Jagdish Tytler, Mr. Rahul Gandhi. Was going to get nominated as a congress candidate, it was only following the media furore that his nomination was taken back. Mr. Gandhi I am asking you this question in all seriousness do you feel that Congressmen were involved and 2)Do you believe if you apologise for the riots there will be finality

Rahul : The fact of the matter is that innocent people died in 1984 and innocent people dying is a horrible thing and should not happen. The difference between Gujarat and 1984 was that the Government of Gujarat was involved in the riots

Arnab: How do you say that

Rahul: I mean….

Arnab : The CM of Gujarat has been given a clean chit by the courts

Rahul : The difference between the 84 riots and the riots in Gujarat was that in 1984 the Government was trying to stop the riots. I remember, I was a child then, I remember the Government was doing everything it could to stop the riots. In Gujarat the opposite was the case. The Government in Gujarat was actually abetting and pushing the riots further. So there is a huge difference between the two things, saying that innocent people dying is absolutely wrong

Arnab : Explain that. Government of Gujarat was aiding and abetting the riots is what you just said, explain that?

Rahul : I mean it’s not me…it’s the large number of people who were there, large number of people who saw actively the Government of Gujarat being involved in the riots.

Arnab : You will keep that line despite the CM getting a clean chit form the courts?

Rahul : I mean, people saw it. I am not the person who saw it, your colleague saw it. Your colleagues told me

Arnab : They saw the riots?

Rahul : The saw the administration actively attacking minorities

Arnab: What are you saying? Can you explain?

Rahul : I am saying that there was difference between the 1984 riots and the riots in Gujarat. The difference was that the Government in 1984 was trying to stop the riots, trying to stop the killing whereas the Government in Gujarat was allowing the riots to happen.

Arnab: If the government in Delhi and in the center was trying to stop the riots in 1984, then tell me, how is it possible that Sajjan Kumar was named in Fir’s on the grounds of inciting violence in outer Delhi leading to the murder of Sikhs. The status of the case is known. How is Jagdish Tytler, accused of inciting the mob in Pulbangash leading to murder and rioting in the area. How is the late HKL Bhagat accused of inciting violence. And you know that a plea in the Delhi Court was closed after his death. How did these Congress leaders do what they did allegedly, if the government was so strongly and proactively acting against the riots?

Rahul: There is a process. See there is a legal process. And that process is on. Okay.

Arnab: There was an SIT finding. It was challenged by Zakia Jafri. It went up there and the courts upheld what the SIT found. Are you questioning the wisdom of the courts Mr. Gandhi?

Rahul: Look. All I’m saying, all I’m saying is that there is a difference between the 1984 riots and the Gujarat riots. The simple difference is that in 1984 the government was not involved in the massacre of people. In Gujarat it was. The question is why do these kind of things take place. Why is it that the Gujarat riots took place? The Gujarat riots took place frankly because of the way our system is structured, because of the fact that people do not have a voice in the system. And what I want to do. And I have said it and I will say it again. What I want to do is question the fundamentals over here. What I want to do is ask a couple of questions. I want to ask why candidates that are chosen in every single party are chosen by a tiny number of people. I want to ask why women have to be scared to go out on the street. I want to ask these questions. These are fundamental questions.

Arnab: I appreciate that you believe in transparency. I’ll move away from Gujarat but I must say that I have not found this comparison between 1984 riots and 2002 riots that they are two different cases. I can’t take this at face value Mr. Gandhi. The reason for this is because in both cases the government, the accusation is that the government could have done a little bit more. But at the same time I want you to, once more if you can substantiate. You stand by what you said, that the Chief Minister and the government of Gujarat played a role in abetting the riots? You stand by what you said?

Rahul: All I’m saying is there is a difference between the 1984 riots and the Gujarat riots. The difference is that the government of the day in 1984 was not aiding and abetting the riots. That is all I’m saying.

Arnab: So you don’t need to apologise for the ’84 riots. If someone seeks an apology from you, will you give it? Your Prime Minister has apologised for the riots. Expressed deep regret. Will you do the same?

Rahul: First of all I wasn’t involved in the riots at all. It wasn’t that I was part of it.

Arnab: On behalf of you party.

Rahul: I think that riots, as all riots, were a horrible event. Frankly I was not in operation in the Congress party.

Arnab: Mr. Gandhi let’s move on to the RTI. Which is the single biggest legislation to combat corruption. Which you said in your speech at the AICC that was something that you were speaking about. Now, I find it ironical that a party which has 90.38% of its funds from cash between 2008 and 2012. 89.11% of its money comes from unaccounted sources, unnamed sourced. Why would you not say charity begins at home? And let us put the Congress party and its funds under the scanner of the RTI. Why would you not bring the same freshness of perspective in this case as you did when you dealt with the issue of the ordinance.

Rahul: I think that political parties should be under RTI if political parties feel, and it’s a law that has to be passed in parliament. If political parties unanimously feel that that should be the case then it should be the case.

Arnab: What was your view? What will be your view on it?

Rahul: My position is that the more openness the better.

Arnab: So your own personal view is that your political parties should be under RTI?

Rahul: See the issue is this. Laws in this country are passed by parliament. What one needs to do is pass a law in parliament that brings RTI in the political party. I have a personal view on it but you have to take that view through parliament. I have a view also for example on the six bills that are sitting in parliament.

Arnab: I’ll come to that. But my question is on the RTI. I want your view on it. You are a very influential politician. You have demonstrated some of your actions in the past that what you say and do can influence the decisions in government and in parliament. So my question to you is very significant. You said, in the AICC you said we enacted this revolutionary law to hand you power knowing fully well that it would place our own government under severe scrutiny. I agree with you. What about placing your own party under scrutiny? Are you open to that?

Rahul: I am the first person who has been saying over the last five years, talking about transparency in the party. I have made the Youth Congress and the NSUI fully elected bodies. I have spoken about the six bills in parliament. I have spoken about the Lokpal Bill and I have pushed the Lokpal Bill. I was involved in the RTI. We worked together to bring the RTI. So as far as transparency in the political party is concerned I am absolutely for transparency. There are questions about the RTI that need to be discussed and thought through. The real question is that our system is based on different pillars. And the question is which ones of these pillars should have RTI. Because, if you only put RTI into one pillar and you don’t have RTI in for example the judiciary and the press and in other areas then you might create an imbalance. Am I for opening up? Am I for bringing RTI into as many places possible? Absolutely. Am I for creating an imbalance and weakening the legislative structures of this country. No I am not.

Arnab: How does putting political parties under the purview of the Right to Information Act, how does that actually weaken the legislative process? It brings in transparency.

Rahul: It brings in transparency but it changes the balance of power.

Arnab: How?

Rahul: Because the judiciary does not come under RTI. The press does not have RTI. Other components of the system do not have RTI.

Arnab: The press does not rule the country.

Rahul: No it doesn’t. Okay. The Judiciary does not have RTI. So you have to have a complete thinking. So if you want to bring RTI. If you want to deepen RTI, you have to think about it in a composite manner. You cannot just say, ‘Okay let’s put RTI here, put RTI here’. You have to have a strategy to put RTI and open the system together. And as far as opening the system is concerned.

Arnab: But you are willing to let a discussion happen on brining political parties under RTI?

Rahul: Of course I am.

Arnab: You’re not opposed to that.

Rahul: No I am not opposed to any discussion, ever.

Arnab: On this specific subject.

Rahul: On all subjects. One has to take care that one is not creating imbalances in the system. And that’s something that one has to discuss.

Arnab: Mr. Gandhi do I sense that you are almost committing yourself and then pulled back.

Rahul: No, no, no. I have said that I am happy to have a discussion.

Arnab: You’re happy to have a discussion?

Rahul: Of course.

Arnab: On bringing political parties under RTI?

Rahul: Absolutely.

Arnab: Mr. Gandhi.

Rahul: But let me just go back and let me give you… Let me go further than that. The central question in all this is who chooses political candidates and how? The central issue in all this is what is the power of the Member of Parliament, the power of the MLA and the power of the Pradhan in political system? If you look at the legislative power of a Member of Parliament, you look at the legislative power of an MLA today and you look at the role he plays in Parliament and the role he plays in the assembly. He doesn’t actually make laws. He presses buttons. Go to a state like Uttar Pradesh and you look at actually the law making, the law making done by the MLAs, it’s extremely limited. You can’t talk about bringing people into politics. You can’t talk about opening up the system until you start to empower these people.

Arnab: Was it part of the empowerment of people that Ashok Chavan was protected in the Adarsh Scam despite the fact that the judicial commission actually said that he was involved in a quid pro quo? A Chief Minister, an ex Chief Minister forced to go because of one of the biggest scams. Which was by the way Mr. Rahul Gandhi played out greatly on TIMES NOW. Is he being protected? The CBI is not getting permission to prosecute him. You can say all this Mr. Rahul Gandhi about the legislative framework to fight corruption. But my question to you is more fundamental. You have not shown the political will to use your tremendous influence to ensure that Ashok Chavan faces justice. You said a little bit and you moved back. Why are you still protecting Ashok Chavan.

Rahul: I’m sorry the Congress party wherever we have had issues of corruption we have taken action. On every front. We are the ones who brought the RTI which is the single biggest weapon against corruption. And we got it ourselves. We are the ones who delivered RTI to this country.

Arnab: Your Maharashtra cabinet rejected the judicial commission report on Adarsh. And after that the governor refused to give prosecution to go against Ashok Chavan. None of this was part of the empowerment of the people. You said you’re not for it. After that in some kind of tardy, if I may say so, partial acceptance of the report. The bureaucrats are blamed and each and every politician including Mr. Ashok Chavan gets away. I want to ask you Mr. Rahul Gandhi. You said you will not compromise. You will not make small compromises. How big a compromise was it for you tocontinue to protect Mr. Ashok Chavan. Why are you protecting Ashok Chavan?

Rahul: I made my position on Ashok Chavan clear

Rahul: Ashok Chavan absolutely clear. I made it front of a press conference. I made it absolutely clear exactly what I thought about that issue. Let me again go back to the issue at hand. The issue at hand is bringing in youngsters into the political system. Opening the doors…

Arnab: The Chief Minister did a sort of partial acceptance which basically means bureaucrats are faulted in the report. They are penalised. Indicted politicians get away. Mr. Rahul Gandhi I am asking you this because you’ve come up on the issue. Do you have the political conviction to push this through. What will you say to the people watching this interview today, who will say, ‘You know what, you said it’ but you’re not taking responsibility. The man still gets away scot-free. Why should a bureaucrat be punished and a Congress politician be let off?

Rahul: What I will say is that in the Congress party anybody who does any act of corruption will be taken up and punished.

Arnab: What about Ashok Chavan?

Rahul: Every single person.

Arnab: But he has got away.

Rahul: What I will say is that there are six bills in parliament that are sitting there bring them in. Pass them.

Arnab: But your words are not matching your actions Mr. Rahul Gandhi. You’re saying it but all the politicians they got away scot-free, including not just Ashok Chavan. There are several NCP ministers. All of whom tried to interfere and meddle in the process. They used the name of Kargil Mr. Rahul Gandhi to give themselves private profit. If you say this and you have the conviction why are you not following it through?

Rahul: I have made it absolutely crystal clear right in front of the press what I think about this issue. Arnab: But nothing happened.

Rahul: What do you mean nothing happened?

Arnab: Ashok Chavan faces no action.

Rahul: Absolutely not. What all I’m saying is that anybody, regardless of who he is, if there is any corruption by any Congress person we will take action.

Arnab: Would you like to see Ashok Chavan facing action? Rahul: We have punished our own minister. We have put the most powerful bills in the Parliament house. Please get those bills passed. That’s what I tell the opposition in this country.

Arnab: I am giving you two examples. One ex Chief Minister and one a current Chief Minister. Virbhadra Singh. My question to you is we have papers which have shown that the Chief Minister takes money from a company which his government does business with. And he takes money. Large amounts of money are put in. And then he says I just took the money as a personal loan because I wanted to do renovations in my Palace. My question is Mr. Rahul Gandhi. And this is really fundamental because you have taken a position on corruption of late. Do you think it appropriate of another Chief Minister of a state to be deciding on the fate of a company, that he is revealed to have close links with? And by not speaking on it, because you’ve not spoken on it, aren’t you missing on yet another opportunity to address the issue of corruption with Virbhadra Singh?

Rahul: As far as any corruption done, there is a legal process. And that legal process should be followed and concluded. As far as my personal view is concerned, anybody who is corrupt should be brought to book.

Arnab: Was the legal process completed when A Raja was asked to leave the cabinet?

Rahul: We took action against the DMK ministers.

Arnab: Was the legal process completed when Mr. Kalmadi was asked to leave as Secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Committee?

Rahul: We took action on the corrupt ministers. We have passed a bill in parliament. The Lokpal Bill. The most powerful thing. We got you RTI and we got six bills sitting in Parliament house. We have to change the way the system works. We are always talking about peripheral things. We are never talking about the core reason this system is corrupt. The core reason the season is corrupt is that there is too much concentration of power in the system and people on the peripheries do not have power. The people on the streets do not have power. And that the reason that happens is that our political system, political parties are shut. We need to open the door of the political parties. We need to move, carry out more legislation like RTI and we need to change the system.

Arnab: Are you open to taking action on Ashok Chavan and Virbhadra Singh? Have you seen the papers yourself? Will you examine them Mr. Gandhi? Will you examine it?

Rahul: Anybody who is corrupt should be punished. I am not a judge. So if there is a legal process and there is a result of the legal process, absolutely they should be punished.

Arnab: There is no case being followed against Mr. Virbhadra Singh.

Rahul: Yes I know that but I am saying that it is not my job. My job is when I see issues of corruption, take action on it. That’s what I do.

Arnab: Well Mr. Gandhi now you see. The other question is, should you have spoken up much much earlier? You know you didn’t. Everyone wants to know today why you didn’t speak up during 2G. Why didn’t you speak up during Coalgate? Why didn’t you speak up? I think it was June 2010 that TIMES NOW broke the CWG scam and railgate. You could have spoken up. And you can’t take the defence that you were not very actively there. You have for some time been effectively in-charge of the 2014 re-election campaign.

Rahul: My position was that I report to the Prime Minister. Whatever I felt I had conversations with the Prime Minister. Whatever I felt about the issues I made it abundantly clear to the Prime Minister. I was involved in the legislation, RTI legislation. And now I have helped pass the Lokpal Bill. I bring you back. The real issue here is participation of people in politics. It is bringing youngsters into the political system, it’s opening out the political system. That’s where nobody wants to talk. Everybody is perfectly happy with 500 people running the entire system in India. Nobody, none of you want to raise that issue. The fundamental issue. How do we chose candidates?

Arnab: Do you feel that you have undermined by remaining silent? I want to ask you this when the Pawan Bansal and Ashwini Kumar episode happened for six days the Govt batted back, everyone said this is unacceptable. Six days the Parliament was washed out, do you feel in retrospect that you could have spoke out earlier, Mr. Gandhi please be frank with me on this.

Rahul: What I feel is that this country needs to look at the fundamental issues at hand, the fundamental political issue at hand is that our Political system is controlled by too few people and we absolutely have to change the way our political system is structured, we have to change our Political parties, we have to make them more transparent, we have to change the processes that we use to elect candidates, we have to empower women in the political parties, that is where the meat of the issue but I don’t hear that discussion, I don’t hear the discussion about how are we actually choosing that candidate, that is never the discussion.

Arnab: So I am asking you how are you choosing Ashok Chavan? That is a discussion I am willing to have, how are you choosing Virbhadra Singh , they are elected representatives they hold clout, does their clout make them oblivious to public accountability and scrutiny?

Rahul: Their clout doesn’t make them oblivious, but the point here is the system is the system behind them that has no processes no systems and we just assume that thing is going to work. What we have to do is we have to open that up. We have to bring youngsters into that and that no-one is discussing.

Arnab: Mr. Gandhi a lot of people felt when you said that I will not make compromises, you have got a round of applause when you spoke up on the ordinance. There are many people have faulted you for your technique, they say you could have chosen a more discreet way. My question is will you make compromises, are you willing to make compromises for political purposes, alliances or convenience?

Rahul: My long term view is that we need to take the Indian political system to a different place. We need to bring in youngsters and we need to move away from this concentration of power. Unfortunately the political system today is at a particular place and I can’t simply ignore the fact that the political system is at that place, so certainly there are points at which you might have to take a decision that you are not a 100% happy with but the long term idea for me is to transform the system, to bring in youngsters and make sure they are empowered.

Arnab: Lalu Prasad has been convicted on the 30th of September 2013 for the alleged fraudulent withdrawal of crores of rupees from the Chaibasa treasury in the 90s, the case you are completely aware of. My question is will you make that compromise despite that case to enter into a political arrangement, because when you spoke on the ordinance there was also the backdrop of that case coming up, will you make that compromise?

Rahul: These decisions of the Congress party are made by senior leaders.

Arnab: You are the boss.

Rahul: Our alliance in Bihar is with a political party with an idea not an individual, we are making alliance, and it is not certain that we are going to make an alliance, we are in process of talking to people and our alliance is with an idea, with a party, not an individual

Arnab: If I were to take that further and challenge you that there is talk of a possible alliance with the DMK and Lalu Prasad, and if you are accused by your political opponents that he talks about not making compromises but he agrees to enter into convenient alliances with parties for short term gains, how will you justify yourself?

Rahul: We are fighting an election, we are going to win that election, there are our alliance partners, there is our alliance partner in Maharashtra, and there is our alliance partner in Bihar and Jharkhand. We are making an alliance with their view not with an individual.

Arnab: Leader of the party is Lalu Prasad, hence you are making an alliance with an individual?

Rahul: No, we are making an alliance with a political party.

Arnab: But these are not settled alliances yet but you are open to them?

Rahul: Yes

Arnab: Mr. Gandhi the other question is about price rise and you got a round of applause when you spoke about the LPG cylinders, you told the Prime Minister quite charmingly – that Mr. PM please make things less difficult for households. But I am questioning your silence all these years, because in this period from 2004-2013 the wholesale price index of food goes up by 157%, vegetables by 350% and Onions by 521%, you don’t speak on that. When Raj Babbar says you can get food at 12 rupees a meal, you don’t speak then , when Rashid Masood says you can get food at 5 rupees a meal you don’t speak then, the accusation there is and the general feeling Mr. Rahul Gandhi is that you have really woken up to the issue after the 4-0 drubbing in the last state election, do you concede that?

Rahul: No, I think women are the backbone of this country and women need to be empowered and I felt that price rise is an issue cylinders were a big issue, I went to Kerala and I go a sense that women were concerned about that and I made that view clear to everybody in the AICC session.

Arnab: But you didn’t intervene earlier?

Rahul: I have been working with the PM on the Price rise issue, I have been in discussions with him and we have taken steps in our states, where we have called the Chief Ministers and we have taken steps where we have actually reduced the prices of vegetables in our states, so it is not that I just woke up, it is that I have been working on it systematically. But what I really feel that we need to start looking at empowering women, bringing them in and listening to them.

Arnab: Did UPA 2 let you down on prices?

Rahul: Prices are a reality…

Arnab: Did the Govt let you down, when I look back at your comments I find a comment each time, in 2009, 2010, 2011 you had lot of faith in the PM…

Rahul: I still have faith in the PM he is our leader…

Arnab: Does the Govt’s track record on prices not make your faith in the PM shake a little?

Rahul: We are working on prices, as I said we have spoken to our Chief Ministers and we have reduced prices in states where we are in power.

Arnab: So you have not woken up to it only because of political purposes?

Rahul: No

Arnab: Mr. Gandhi what do you think of the Aam Admi Party and why are your views constantly shifting on the AAP, on the 8th of December after the loss you quite candidly spoke about traditional and non-traditional parties – non-traditional parties being those who have involved a lot of people. Suddenly I find that now seem to be over critical of the AAP, I presume you were talking of them when you said that there are people who can give haircuts to the Bald, were you referring to them when you said parties who over market themselves, which parties were you talking about?

Rahul: The work that I have done in the Congress party, the work that I have done in the youth Congress and the work that I am going to do in the future is about bringing in youngsters into the party, strengthening processes, strengthening candidate selection process and strengthening policy processes. I made a comment about the AAP where I said that there is something that we can learn from them and what I felt that we could learn from them is that they reached out to people in a particular way that was good, there are things that I don’t think we should take away from them. I think we have fundamental strengths in the Congress party and it is something that we have been working on for 3-4 years now and the real power of the Congress party is the depth of the organization and you can’t makes changes by destroying things.

Arnab: But in a recent interview Mr. Chidambaram said he felt the decision to give support to the AAP was unnecessary and that the opinion was divided on this within the Congress. Having seen what you have seen in recent days and the chaos that followed in Delhi, do you agree with that view? Do you feel in retrospect that support to the AAP is something you shouldn’t have done? Please be candid and frank with me on this.

Rahul: I think that as far as I am concerned that the AAP won an election in Delhi and we thought that we would assist them Arnab: They got less seats than the BJP

Rahul: We thought we would assist them, because our party felt we should give them a chance to prove themselves and one can see what they are doing and one can see exactly how much they have proved themselves.

Arnab: What is your view on Arvind Kejriwal?

Rahul: He is a leader of an opposition party like many others, what we have to do as the Congress party and again in front of us is an election, what we have to do is 3 things. One is we have to transform ourselves, we have bring in youngsters, we have to give them space. Two is we have to look at manufacturing, we have already set up the corridors North, South, East & West, how we can take the energy of the Indian people and build a manufacturing superhouse… That is what I think the real issues are.

Arnab: Are you using the AAP to split the Anti Congress vote bank, to keep Mr. Modi out of power

Rahul: You are implying that we have brought the AAP…

Arnab: I am not implying, there is a theory that the Congress is propping up the AAP and keeping them on an extended leash so that they somehow divide anti-Congress vote bank. Had the AAP not been there the BJP would have done better and that experiment could be extended?

Rahul: I think you underestimate the power of the Congress party, I don’t think the Congress party could even do that if they wanted to. The Congress party is an extremely powerful system and all the Congress party needs to do is bring in younger fresher faces in the election which is what we are going to do and we are going to win the election.

Arnab: You will win the election?

Rahul: Yeah, I will win the election

Arnab: You are confident about that?

Rahul : Reasonably confident

Arnab: And if you don’t win do you take full responsibility for it ?

Rahul: If we don’t win, I am the VP of the party of course I will take responsibility for it..

Arnab: If the AAP goes against Sheila Dikshit in the CWG scam, will you continue to support them?

Rahul: I have already said that regardless of who the person is, if there is an issue of corruption the law should take its own course, that’s my position.

Arnab: Mr. Gandhi I now want to understand a little bit on your personal side, my first question is that you have faced a lot of criticism, how do you handle criticism? People say he has his heart in the right place but is he a vote catcher, they pull out all the recent state elections UP, Delhi, MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, they say he has not despite playing an active role achieved considerable electoral success. They are questioning your vote winning ability, what would you say to them Mr. Gandhi?

Rahul: I would say when we win an election, when we won Uttarakhand, Himachal and when we won Karnataka , I am not involved, when we lose an election I am the cause of it. But once again I think what the Congress Party need to do is tap its potential, what the Congress party needs to do is change the way the its organisation is structured and look at changing the way politics in this country is structured, that is where I think we should head. Questions about whether we have supported AAP or not supported AAP, frankly it is a ridiculous notion. It is ridiculous that we would construct the AAP…

Arnab: You supported them, you gave them a lease of life so that they divide the Anti Congress vote

Rahul: That ascribes huge power to the Congress party, I think the Congress party’s strength comes when we open up when we bring in new people, that is historically been the case and that is what I want to do.

Arnab: Mr. Gandhi why do you keep invoking your family name. I have seen you refer, with respect, to your father and your grandmother repeatedly. Now Mr. Gandhi some would say you should be careful of doing that because when you invoke your family and its achievement from the Congress, you can be accused of touting your family background for your own political career and the second is you would be re-entrenching yourself in the role of being a dynast at a time when being a dynast is not seen to be a good thing? Do you agree?

Rahul: I don’t actually keep invoking my family name, I have mentioned my family name once or twice and then people report that. The real issue is that I didn’t choose to be born in this family, I didn’t sign up and say that I like to be born in this family it happened, so the choice in front of me is pretty simple I can either turn around and say okay I will just walk away from this thing and leave it alone or I can say I can try and improve something. Pretty much every single thing I have done in my political career has been to bring in youngsters , has been to open up, has been to democratise. I am absolutely against the concept of Dynasty, anybody who knows me knows that and understands that. But you are not going to wish away Dynasty in a closed system, you have to open the system. Dynasty or children of politicians becoming powerful happens in the BJP, it happens in the DMK, it happens in the SP, it happens in the Congress party, it happens everywhere.

Arnab: Then how are you different?

Rahul: You have to go into why it is happening.

Arnab: It is happening because dynasties are allowed to proliferate, it is because a Scindia’s son is a minister a Deora’s son is a minister a Pilot’s son is a minister. A PM’s son is the Congress VP that is dynasty. Change is not happening at the top, you want change at the bottom. There are people out there who are saying that we want change at the top.

Rahul: The reason children of politicians keep getting repositioned is because the system is closed. You are not going to change that without opening the system, you are not going to open the system without having processes, the system is not going to open by waving a wand and saying Abracadabra let us open the system. It is going to take time, it is going to take effort and it is going to take structure. That is the work that I do. That is the work I spent a whole bunch of my time doing that is the revolutionary work I have done in the IYC and the NSUI that is the work we are doing when we talk of an open manifesto. That is the work we are doing when we talk of 15 parliamentary seats being chosen.

Arnab: Only 15?

Rahul: Absolutely, because one needs to set up the systems, if I was to suddenly launch into 543 seats directly elected by our people the system would explode. What I need to do is I need to set up an idea, test the idea, run the idea, if it makes sense, if it works then move it to the rest of the party. The step we have taken with those 15 primaries, we get that much of a little piece in the newspaper, but that is probably the biggest political step taken in this country. It is a huge-huge step and I think those are the types of questions one needs to ask, one doesn’t ask them, one asks questions that don’t actually reach to the heart of the issue. You are talking about India, we have had a 1 hour conversation here, you haven’t asked me 1 question about how we are going to build this country, how we are going to take this country forward, you haven’t asked me one question on how we are going to empower our people, you haven’t asked me one question on what we are going to do for youngsters, you are not interested in that.

Arnab: That wrong Mr. Gandhi, if I wanted to know that I would hear a Rahul Gandhi speech, this is not a Rahul Gandhi speech this is a Rahul Gandhi interview. Mr. Gandhi I see that you have this knack of trying to throw the question back at me, I can only tell you Mr. Gandhi I am going to ask the questions. My question is how do you handle this. The other view is that you are a fragile person, you get affected by criticism. Subramanian Swamy has raised questions on your degrees, he says why does he claim he has an M.Phil from Cambridge; Cambridge has no record of his thesis, you can’t get an Phil without a thesis, he says yes he went to Harvard when Rajiv Gandhi was PM, someone gave 11 million dollars to Harvard medical school, donors quota, once you enter Harvard said to him we don’t think you belong here, so he dropped out. He has questioned both your degrees, I want you today…

Rahul: Were you in Cambridge

Arnab: I was at Oxford

Rahul: But you spent some time at Cambridge?

Arnab: I was a visiting fellow at Cambridge for a while.

Rahul: So where were you at Cambridge?

Arnab: At Sydney Sussex college

Rahul: So I was at Trinity in Cambridge, I spent a year there, I did my M.Phil there.

Arnab: I want your response to Subramanian Swamy, how do you deal with this?

Rahul: You want me to show you my degree, I can show you my degree

Arnab: Would you like to show him your degree?

Rahul: He has probably seen my degree, I have given a sworn affidavit saying I that I have got these degrees, If I am lying on these affidavits let him take the legal process and solve it , what more do you want me to do.

Arnab: You challenge him

Rahul: Why should I challenge him? Arnab: He’s attacked you personally

Rahul: He’s been attacking my family for 40 years. Why should I challenge him?

Arnab: Does it affect you Mr. Gandhi when you are attacked at a personal level and how do you choose not to respond? How do you bury your head in the sand and say this is not happening? It’s happening to you. You are being criticised

Rahul: I respond by understanding why I’m being attacked. I’m being attacked because I’m doing things that are dangerous to the system. I’m being attacked because I’m asking questions that are dangerous to the system. And I’m not asking superficial questions. I’m not asking questions over here (pointing at the ceiling). I’m asking questions over there (pointing to the ground). And everybody understands that this fellow here is not just a superficial chap who talks. This fellow over here is thinking deeply and is thinking long term. That’s why I’m attacked. I understand that. And frankly, attack me all you want. Beat me to death. It’s not going to stop me. I’m going to keep doing it. And I’m going to ask the questions that are relevant. And you know what, I have thousand people in the Congress party, two thousand people in the party who are working on this stuff. They’re not letting go. And I’m proud of them, they’re not letting go. It doesn’t matter. Keep throwing stones at us. That’s the point. The point is, people who are attacked in this system, the people who are actually attacked, are the ones fighting the system. You understand that? They’re not the people who sit and ask, the superficial questions. They’re the ones who’re actually saying, let’s do something about this system. They’re the ones who are going deep into the system and understanding that this is the crux of it. And the crux of it, Arnab I’ve told you. The crux of it is how we choose candidates. The crux of it is how we make policies. That’s the crux of it. The thing is, you don’t like discussing it. You like discussing stuff that really, doesn’t go to the core and I’m a serious politician. I’m not somebody who’s here to get power, or make money or something. I’m somebody who’s here, who’s seen what the system does to people. I’ve seen, and I can give you example after example which is on my mind. But I’m not going to fight the superficial battle. I just am not. It’s not interesting to me. I’m going to fight a battle. I’m going to fight a deep battle. I’m going to take the youngsters of this country and line them up. And I’m going to then take the system on. Don’t forget that.

Arnab: You don’t have a thick skin, Mr. Rahul Gandhi. Politicians need to have a thick skin.

Rahul: If I don’t have a thick skin right now, it’ll get thick

Arnab: You say you’re a very serious politician. I assure you Mr. Gandhi, I’m a very serious journalist. Therefore when I interview Rahul Gandhi, his first interview in 10 years, it’s my responsibility to ask you specific questions. I’m glad you’re taking them. My next question to you, and I have only two left. Mr. Gandhi, how much have you been affected by defeats and when we see, for example the visuals of Priyanka holding you after the U.P election loss. That picture, almost in a protective manner that Priyanka is holding you and you are walking away. You tell me what’s happening in your mind out there. Do you feel overwhelmed by loss, by defeat, because you’ve had quite a few off late? How have you dealt with it?

Rahul: It all depends on what you’re trying to do. I told you that I’m here because I want to help use the energy of this country. I want to make this country powerful. I want to project the ideas of this country. To do that, I think there are basically 3 things one needs to do. One, is changing the way we do politics here. Getting away from the superficialities, getting away from the small issues and moving deeper into the issues right. Questioning the system, changing the system. Things like RTI, things like Lokpal, things like how we choose our candidates. Things like bringing youngsters into politics. Second is empowering the women of this country. Really bringing them into the system. Really pushing them forward. And third is using the energy of the youth of this country. Bringing in the type of jobs that they need. This stuff is not done in 5 minutes. This stuff is frankly not done in this type of discussions. This stuff is done through concentrated thinking and long term work. It’s frankly difficult work, it’s painful work. If we’re thinking about that and thinking that’s what we want to do, defeat just makes you stronger, it makes you want to do more. I don’t go into an election thinking, if we lose it’s the end of the world. We lose some elections, we win some elections. The real thing is that it’s a heart thing. It’s a soul thing. Why are you here? I asked you that question, why am I sitting here? I’m sitting here because I feel with all my heart that we need to change the system here and not enough people are actually asking that question.

Arnab: Mr. Gandhi, my last question to you in the course of this interaction is this. Your father was forced into politics by circumstances. In your case as well, when you said power is poison and spoke about how your mother Sonia Gandhi came and she cried. If I put that together with some of what you’ve said, it might reinforce the image of a reluctant prince. It’s not my phrase, I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase used against you or to describe you a number of times. Therefore Mr. Gandhi, the last question is this. Had you not been a Gandhi, would you have been in politics at all?

Rahul: If you look at my spirit, regardless of what I do, if I’d been born in India, regardless of what I do, I don’t like unfairness. It just makes my blood boil. I don’t like it. And in whatever I did, if I saw unfairness, I would stand up Against it. That’s the heart of my politics.

Arnab: If you were not a Gandhi, would you be in politics? Some say this is a circumstance thrust on you Mr. Gandhi. You’ve been thrust into this situation. You’re trying to justify to yourself that you need to do it. Heart of heart, are you a politician? Had you not been a Gandhi, would you be in politics?

Rahul: Maybe you find me strange because… Arnab: No, I don’t find you strange

Rahul: You sort of implied that, but maybe I look like an anomaly in the environment that I’m in. Maybe that’s what you’re saying and frankly in a lot of ways, I am an anomaly in the environment that I’m in. The power is poison remark, and I tell this to my sister, I tell it to my mother and my mother tells it to me. I don’t get driven by the desire for power. I’m just not driven by it. For me power is an instrument that can be used for certain things. But for me, it’s not interesting to own it, to capture it or to hold it. Maybe its because of my family circumstances and what happened to my family. Power per se, the quest for power, the thirst for power is not there is me. What is there in me, is a desire, a strong desire to reduce the pain that people feel. To reduce the pain that people feel as a result of the system that is predatory. As a result of the system that need not be there. As a result of system that can change if we just start to ask the deeper question. And we stop asking the superficial questions. Again, and maybe the seventh time I want to repeat it to you. What are those deeper questions? The deeper question is, why is power so concentrated in this country? Why is it that the Chief Minister of a state has the access to any decision in the entire state? Why is it that candidates are chosen in closed rooms? Why is it that people do not have access to the candidates’ decision? Why is it that our policies are made behind closed doors by 5 or 6 people? Why is it that the perspective of one minister is completely different from the one who is following him? What that’s telling me is that we’re not exactly taking the voice of the people into policy. We’re not actually taking the voice of the people into the political system. You said about the Aam Aadmi Party and you said, ‘you criticised them and you praised them’. I liked what I saw as far as the representation, bringing in people, I thought that was an interesting concept. We’ve done that kind of stuff in the Youth Congress. That was interesting to me.

Arnab: Isn’t bringing in people when you disregard the legal process and sit on a protest outside Rail Bhavan and then you also force your decision and your minister is always right. You avoided my question on the Aam Aadmi Party and I’m glad you’ve come to it. Tell me Mr. Rahul Gandhi, were you angry with Sushil Kumar Shinde giving a face-saver to Arvind Kejriwal? It was reported. I didn’t mean to go back to it, you brought it back. The accusation is that you’re still doing deals with the Aam Aadmi Party?

Rahul: What I liked about what I saw in the Aam Aadmi Party was people coming into their system. I liked that. But what’s different between us & them is that we have structure. We develop processes. That I didn’t see much of.

Arnab: Were you upset with Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde for giving them a way out during the recent Dharna? Do you fell they should’ve been offered a face-saver?

Rahul: You’re going back Arnab

Arnab: Yes, to specifics

Rahul: It’s not specifics. It’s frankly superficialities

Arnab: How is it superficial?

Rahul: It’s completely superficial

Arnab: This is the most relevant question

Rahul: No it’s not. Whether Mr. Shinde should’ve apologised, whether he should’ve done this or done that is, it’s a fact and it happened. But the real core issues in this election are, 1)Are we going to head towards a democracy, towards deepening our democracy and towards opening up the system or are we going to head towards concentration of power? 2) Are we going to head towards empowerment of women? Are we going to be a half strong nation? Be a half proud nation? Or are we going to actually empower women? Those are the questions. And you know, if you listen to the debate that’s going on, about the elections, that’s not the debate. There’s nothing in the debate about how we’re going to move forward on the RTI paradigm. How we’re going to move forward on the corruption paradigm. There’s nothing in the debate about funding of political parties. There’s nothing in the debate about how we’re going to choose political candidates. There’s nothing in the debate about how policies must be made. These are the fundamental things. These are the things that actually make an impact.

Arnab: You’re you’re avoiding a debate. Will you have a debate with Narendra Modi if he agrees to a debate on any of these issues? My question is direct. If Narendra Modi says I’m willing to debate these issues…

Rahul: I’m debating these issues by building structures in the Congress party that’s going to transform it.

Arnab: Why shouldn’t there be a debate between the key political party candidates on all sides? Let them talk. Let them have a conversation

Rahul: You’re more than welcome. You have to start that debate. As far as I’m concerned, the debate is taking place.

Arnab: I’m ready to start the debate. Are you ready for it? Then I can go and ask Mr. Narendra Modi if he’s ready for it

Rahul: You start the debate. But the real issue is doing this stuff. The real issue is doing this stuff in the party machine. The only people who are doing that, is us. And frankly, we can stick for it. We’ve just said that 15 constituencies in this country in the Congress party are going to be chosen by primaries. No one said a word about it.

Arnab: Of course, it’s mentioned everywhere. It hasn’t impressed too many people.

Rahul: But the discussion hasn’t gone there. So all I’m saying is, as youngsters and as serious politicians, one has to ask the fundamental questions. The fundamental question this election is, are we going to open up the system? Are we going to close the system? What is going to be the role of women going forward? How are we going to get jobs for youngsters in this country? You asked me a whole bunch of questions. You didn’t ask me once on how we’re going to get jobs for youngsters in this country. You didn’t ask me once about what we’re going to do for the women for this country. And I’m going to tell you what I think.

Arnab: But Mr. Rahul Gandhi, if I was to do that, I would listen to a Rahul Gandhi speech as I said. This is an interview. I’m getting an opportunity to ask you specific questions. You called my specific questions superficial. I, with respect disagree. I feel my questions are specific and you need to answer the specific questions as specifically as possible.

Rahul: You’re more than welcome to ask these questions. But let’s also move the debate to a place where we’re actually reaching towards fundamentals. What should be the role of women in this country? How can we enhance their role? How do we bring jobs to millions of people. For example, every single person who comes to me from abroad, Japan, France, Germany, America and tell me ‘Listen, we need an alternative to Chinese manufacture’. We’re very happy with what the Chinese give us, but we need another port. There’s global energy saying we want to move manufacturing to India. The Congress party, the UPA Govt have built the corridors, we’ve built the North-South, East-West corridor. We built 3 times the roads the NDA built. Why are we not having a discussion on those topics?

Arnab: I asked you that question during the course of the interview. Did UPA Govt let you down? Because Mr. Rahul Gandhi, when foreign investors want to invest in India, they want a clean investing environment. They don’t want crony capitalism. They do not need scams. They do not need ministers who behave like Govts exist on their rent. They do not need the A Rajas and the Aircel Maxis scams. The climate Mr. Rahul Gandhi has become vitiated with corruption. And therefore, the answer to that is and I really want you to address this. If you had spoken out earlier, and lets bring this interview to a finality. If you had spoken out on these issues earlier, perhaps today we would not be in a situation where India is not the preferred investment destination. You get my point?

Rahul: Actually, the RTI right, has basically changed the game in India. What it has done, is that it has basically opened up the structures. And what used to be hidden, can no longer be hidden. That’s the bottom line. The bottom line is large number of corruption issues that were hidden, that nobody would have found out about, came out because of the RTI. We did that. Now please go to our Opposition states, please go to their states and ask them if they have RTI Commissioners. The issue here is very simple. The issue is do you want an open system? Do you want a system where these things are out in the open? Or do you want a closed system where these things are hidden?

Arnab: I think we should have a debate Mr. Modi

Rahul: The debate is taking place right now

Arnab: The debate has to take place between individuals. My final question, Mr. Gandhi. Will you be open to a debate between key candidates or representatives of the major parties? Will you participate in such a debate if there were to be one?

Rahul: There is a national debate taking place right now. The national debate taking place right now is the following. There is the Congress Party that believes in openness, that believes in RTI, that believes in Panchayati Raj, that believes in giving people power. And there is our Opposition that believes in concentrated power. That’s the debate that’s taking place. That’s what the election is all about. We fundamentally believe and the Congress Party has always believed that this country has to be ruled by its people.

Arnab: Can you take back this election or have you lost this election before its begun? Most of the surveys are saying Congress party will be reduced to its lowest ever tally. What would you say to that, Mr. Rahul Gandhi?

Rahul: This country has always been run & successfully when large numbers of people were involved in the decision making. Historically, when you look at when this country has done well, it has done well when we have involved people.

Arnab: You know what Modi says to that, he says you gave them 60 years. He says give me 60 months. He said that in UP at Gorakhpur when he spoke recently. I want you to respond to that.

Rahul: My response to that is that in the last 10 years, we gave the country the fastest economic growth its ever had. My response is that, we did more for opening up the system than any Govt before us. My response is that we have completely changed the paradigm with our rights based development model. We have given MGNREGA which has transformed the rural economy. We are talking about AADHAR which is going to give money directly to the people. To just brush aside the idea that Congress party has been in power for 60 years, we are growing at the rate at which we are growing because of the Congress party.

Arnab: Are you battle ready?

Rahul: Battle ready, of course. We’re going to win.

Arnab: Mr. Rahul Gandhi, thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure talking to you.