Wednesday, July 29, 2009

On homosexuality

All major religions originated in Asia and the religious texts concentrated more on controlling the mind and any desire considered unnatural was taboo. People have lived in this part of the continent with contentment as the endurance limit of the family and society as a whole has no parallel. Applying the ways of life of the West, with no controls, will only lead to chaos in society.

There is always a section that does not fall in line with the majority. Society need not take cognisance of it. Counselling people is the need of the hour, not approving what is followed by a few.

No religion approves of homosexuality. The religions would not have condemned homosexuality had the sexual orientation been due to the genes. Homosexuality is more of a choice. Orientation, inclination, etc., are only hand maidens of the environment and the company the homosexuals keep. There are cases in which counsellors have succeeded in transforming homosexuals into heterosexuals. Homosexuality, therefore, is reversible.

The increasing prevalence of HIV, proctitis and anal cancer among gay groups has been well documented in medical literature. Increasing rates of suicide, alcoholism and drug abuse among them have also been adequately established. We should not studiously follow the American line which is guided by post-modernistic ideology.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Frisking episode

Continental Airlines apologised to the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, for the treatment meted out to him at the Delhi airport only on seeing the groundswell of public mood against it. The incident goes beyond just a breach of protocol. It shows the West’s intolerance of others. It is a deep-rooted malaise and the paranoia following the 9/11 incident has brought it out in the open.

The frisking of Mr. Kalam is condemnable. I do not think India has given such treatment to any foreign leader. But our students are attacked in Australia and our leaders frisked at airports. Is it because of our extreme tolerance or incapability to oppose such things tooth and nail?One wonders how the United States will react if Bill Clinton is subjected to such a security procedure while on his visit to India! Do American airlines frisk their former Presidents? If the answer is no, Continental Airlines will have to answer a serious diplomatic question.

As much as we all resent what happened, filing an FIR is going too far. A show-cause notice is a must, as the country needs to be assured that the frisking was routine and not racially motivated. But for all we know, Mr. Kalam might have had no problems whatsoever.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ajmal’s confession

The case of Ajmal is becoming curiouser and curiouser. At first, he was in the denial mode, later he prevaricated and now comes a stunning confession of the sequence of events leading to the dastardly deed. There is more to it than meets the eye. The confession appears to be not the genuine outpourings of a terrorist stricken by remorse. How can one explain his adroit avoiding of any reference to the Lashkar-e-Taiba leader?

The way in which Mohammad Ajmal Amir ‘Kasab’ has admitted to his crime should raise doubts about his intentions. However, he has shifted the responsibility to his dead colleague Abu Ismail as regards opening firing and killing people.
Ajmal’s abrupt pleading gives rise to many suspicions. Further, his reference to an “Abu Jundal,” an Indian who taught them Hindi, raises more suspicion. This also seems to mislead the trail. Punishing Ajmal alone will not bring justice to the victims of the Mumbai carnage. Our investigating agencies have to go to the roots and expose the mastermind behind the terror strike and punish him.

It is not surprising that Pakistan does not take Ajmal’s confession seriously. If the proceedings in this case are further delayed, there is every possibility that Pakistan may pressure India into releasing Ajmal in exchange for Sarabjit, the Indian who has been awarded the death sentence in Pakistan for alleged bomb blasts.

It appears that belated confessions are selective in nature and will not help unravel the entire conspiracy behind the 26/11 plot. It could even be a strategy to divert attention from the identity of the real mastermind who planned the deadly attacks. The role of state actors in training terrorists is something Pakistan would not like to admit.

Ajmal is not merely an individual. He represents an ideology which does not believe in the rule of law and respect for human beings. He is indeed a test case for India which has been following the norms of justice despite grave provocation. We should not be misled by his tactics.

Ajmal should get life imprisonment. He will be more useful to India in the long run. The four and-a-half hour confession is not enough to know the whereabouts of criminals who were handlers and are protected by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence and its military.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Positive Pakistan

The admission by President Asif Ali Zardari that Pakistan trained terrorists in the past, the joint statement at Sharm-El-Sheikh and the filing of a charge sheet against five suspects in the 26/11 Mumbai attack are welcome from India’s point of view. But Pakistan still has a long way to go before its credibility is established.

Till 9/11, the U.S. was all for Pakistan. It used Pakistan to recruit, arm and finance the mujahideen to fight the Soviets and turned a blind eye to the infiltration of Pakistan-trained terrorists into Kashmir. After 9/11, it asked Pakistan to eliminate the terrorists it had created and nurtured. Islamabad agreed but has continued to train terrorists and kept its channels open with the Taliban to retain its influence in Afghanistan.

The meeting between Yosuf Raza Gilani and Manmohan Singh at Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt, has sent positive vibrations, notwithstanding the different interpretations of the joint statement issued by them. There is a feeling in India that it has given more by way of de-linking terrorism from the composite dialogue process.

Given that the two countries have been arch rivals, there is a deficit of trust between them. The need of the hour, therefore, is patience. Continuing to engage in talks is the only way forward for both countries.

The joint statement did give rise to the fear that India has compromised its stand that it would not engage Pakistan unless the latter brought those behind the Mumbai terrorist attack to justice. But Dr. Singh has clarified that the statement did not amount to diluting New Delhi’s stand on terrorism.

While terrorism is a major agenda, let us not sideline all the other important bilateral issues. We would do well to remember that Pakistan too has had its share of terror attacks from home-grown terrorist outfits.

India needs to demonstrate its resolve to go it alone in its fight against terrorism and not feel obliged to please the U.S. Pakistan knows how to get the maximum out of the U.S. without conceding much.