इशरत जहाँ एक उन्नीस साल की लड़की थी जब वह मारी गई.शायद उसके बारे में इसके अलावा इस निश्चितता के साथ हम कुछ और कभी नहीं जान पाएंगे. इसकी वजह सिर्फ यह है कि जिन्हें इस देश में सच का पता लगाने का काम दिया गया है वे एक लंबे अरसे से झूठ को सच की तरह पेश करने का आसान रास्ता चुनने के आदी हो गए हैं. उनके इस मिथ्याचार पर कभी सवाल न खड़ा किया जा सके इसका सबसे अच्छा तरीका है राष्ट्र रक्षक की अपनी छवि का दुरुपयोग निस्संकोच करना. जो राष्ट्र की रक्षा करता है उसे उसकी रक्षा के लिए किसी को मात्र संदेह के आधार पर मार डालने का हक है, यह हमारे देश का सहज बोध है. सिर्फ अशिक्षितों का नहीं, उसने कहीं ज़्यादा राजनीति शास्त्र की किताबों से नागरिक अधिकारों का ज्ञान प्राप्त किए हुए स्नातकों का. उन सबका जिन्हें देश की जनता के पैसे से संविधान की हिफ़ाजत के लिए अलग-अलग काम सौंपे जाते हैं. और भी साफ़ कर लें, इन स्नातकों में भी उनका जो प्रशासनिक और पुलिस अधिकारी हैं, जासूसी के अलग-अलग महकमों से जुड़े ऑफिसर हैं, जिनकी असली पहचान कभी उजागर नहीं हो पाती. अगर दूसरे मुल्क में वे पकड़े जाएं तो वही देश उनसे हाथ धो लेता है जिसकी सुरक्षा में वे अपनी असली पहचान छिपाए फिरते हैं.
क्या कोई यह कहने की हिमाकत कर सकता है कि राष्ट्र-राज्य के खिलाफ साजिशें नहीं होतीं, कि राष्ट्र-विरोधी शक्तियों का अस्तित्व ही नहीं! यह बिलकुल अलग बात है कि राष्ट्र विरोधी का बिल्ला किन पर आसानी चस्पां किया जा सकता है और किन पर वह बिलकुल चिपकता ही नहीं. मसलन, इस्लामी राष्ट्र का तस्सवुर धर्मनिरपेक्ष भारतीय राष्ट्र के बिलकुल खिलाफ है, क्या इसके लिए किसी अतिरिक्त व्याख्या की आवश्यकता है? लेकिन यह समझना और समझाना टेढ़ी खीर है कि हिन्दू राष्ट्र की कल्पना भी उतनी ही राष्ट्रविरोधी है! आज से बीस साल पहले और आज भी खालिस्तान का ख़याल इस्लामी राष्ट्र जितना ही राष्ट्र विरोधी माना जाता था. Continue reading आत्मा से मुठभेड़ की चुनौती: अपूर्वानंद→
While the implausibility of David Headley having named Ishrat Jahan as an LeT operative has already been called out, there’s another problem here. How does anyone cross-check IB’s claim considering none of us has access to Headley?
In other words, the IB can make any insinuation and say Headley said it and we’ll have to believe at as truth.
This is apart from the fact that the judicial process in the news is not about whether or not Ishrat Jahan was an LeT terrorist. It’s about whether she was murdered in cold blood by Gujarat police. To that extent the IB does have a point in arguing that it cannot be blamed for how a state government interprets its inputs. Technically, the IB cannot be held responsible for murder by Gujarat police. But does that mean the IB cannot or should not be held accountable for what inputs it sends across?
Anyway, I posted a series of satirical tweets the other day making fun of the use of David Headley to justify the murder of Ishrat Jahan. Here are some of them.
Over 115 women have signed a letter seeking an apology from Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi for her sexist slandering of deceased Ishrat Jahan in a television channel. The letter has also been sent to the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women for appropriate action.
As the noose is tightening around the conspirators who cynically and coldly planned and executed the killing of teenaged Ishrat Jahan and three other people in 2004, there is a concerted campaign – the final, last ditch bid to save their skins – by tarnishing the image of this college student. There have been planted stories in the media linking her to a terrorist group –all of them false and concocted, even as the Gujarat High Court has clearly said that the CBI’s mandate is to simply investigate whether Ishrat and others were killed in cold blood. Continue reading Women condemn Meenakshi Lekhi’s sexist slandering of Ishrat Jahan→
This is a press statement put out on 14 June 2013 by a group of individuals whose names are given at the end.
It is a clear indication of the desperation being felt by the IB establishment as the heat turns on its senior officers in the Ishrat Jahan probe, that they are down to doing what they do best: use pliant sections of the media to plant stories to deflect scrutiny and create a favourable public mood. Following the summons issued to IB Special Director Rajender Kumar by the CBI (which is probing the case on the direction of the Gujarat High Court), the IB Director first sought to sell the familiar old story of ‘investigation will hit the morale of the IB’ – it seems as though a blanket immunity from any scrutiny and accountability is the only guarantee of IB morale. The IB then ran complaining to the Prime Minister; and when nothing worked, it used the agency’s tried and tested trick of enlisting the support of discredited ‘journalists’. Continue reading IB’s desperate and dirty tricks to scuttle the Ishrat Jahan investigation→
I’ve been thinking a lot about magic lately. The kind of magic that gets pulled at fairgrounds and birthday parties, or on stage, where the impossible is made to appear possible, where material objects dematerialize and specters appear, tantalizing us into suspending our disbelief. Some magicians, including those I would like to think of as friends, do what they can with consummate skill, so that we attain a state of wonder while they effect transformations using ordinary things for extraordinary purposes. They make us inhabit parallel universes on a table top. There is a kind of poetry and grace in that kind of magic. That is the kind of magic that makes men out of god-men, and re-affirms even a non-patriot’s faith in the ‘waters of India’.
There is another kind of magic, a bag of tricks that relies on the cheapening of our impulses, on our addictions to false premises, on our giving in to our basest instincts. And because sometimes old cliches are useful, we could call this kind black magic. The greatest practitioner of this art, at this moment, seems to me to be none other than the man who is setting himself up as the caudillo of the future, the chief minister of Gujarat, our prime-minister in waiting, Narendrabhai Damodardas Modi. We,a stunned would be electorate, are the rabbit he is aiming to pull out of his hat. Continue reading Madhu Mausi, Namo Mamu and the Ghost of Uncle Pepper→
20+ years ago, I picked you up at the airport in Austin and you stayed at my home there for a few days. You had come there to deliver a lecture, as I’m sure you remember. We developed a friendship based on a degree of mutual respect and liking. I think you’ll agree? Several years after that I remember a stimulating afternoon sitting with you in Panchgani, catching up on many things and discussing various issues threadbare.
We haven’t met in some years now, but I’m going to call on the privilege of our 20+ years of friendship as I write these lines.
I have no problem at all with your desire to learn about Gujarat and Narendra Modi for yourself. Nor with your desire to see beyond what you’ve called the “targeting” of Modi. Nor with your speaking in support of Modi: if there are people who criticize Modi, I understand and accept that there are those who support him — it’s a democracy we live in after all. Nor with your speaking your mind: you have always done so and it’s the least I expect from you. (In turn, it’s the least you should expect from me). Continue reading Three questions for Madhu Kishwar: Dilip D’Souza→