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SACW #2 (13 Nov. 01)

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  • Harsh Kapoor
    South Asia Citizens Wire | Dispatch #2. 13 November 2001 http://www.mnet.fr/aiindex ... #1. The war will go on indefinitely (M.B. Naqvi ) #2. South Asia s
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 12, 2001
      South Asia Citizens Wire | Dispatch #2.
      13 November 2001


      #1. The war will go on indefinitely (M.B. Naqvi )
      #2. South Asia's Unsafe Nukes - Nuclear Apocalypse Now? (Praful Bidwai)
      #3. Peace, trust and impartiality (Manabi Majumdar)
      #4. Human rights activists on the second day of the founding congress
      of South Asian Human Rights (SAHR)
      #5. Kashmir discussion - Center for South Asian & Indian Ocean
      Studies, Tufts University (USA)
      #6. India: Savarkar film to project Sangh philosophy
      #7. India's Hindu Supremacist Right: VHP offshoot behind reign of
      terror (Mohammed Iqbal)
      #8. India's Fascist Youth League: 'Bajrang Dal' pamphlet seized in
      Rajasthan (Mohammed Iqbal)



      The war may go on indefinitely.
      M.B. Naqvi
      Karachi Nov 12:

      After a long stalemate between the Northern Alliance and Taliban on the
      northern front, there has been a sudden flurry of Northern Alliance
      advances. They have taken Mazar-i-Sharif all too quickly and have
      taken control of many provinces particularly, Kakhaar, Baghlan and
      another. They have also taken the key city Haireten and are trying to
      reopen a key bridge and the highway between Uzbekistan and
      Mazar-i-Sharif can then be reopened. Once that road is open, it will be
      possible to move equipment and large number of men overland and with the
      repair of Mazr-i-Sharif’s airfield, ground operations on a large scale
      would then become possible.

      Meanwhile with the fall of Mazar-i-Sharif and the surrounding areas,
      Kabul has become an easy target. Although US President George W Bush
      has endorsed the Pakistan president Musharraf’s plea that the Northern
      Alliance should not enter Kabul at this stage, the American war
      department has nevertheless asserted that the Northern Alliance cannot
      be prevented from doing so. Pakistan President’s fears are that Kabul
      should change hand only after there is an Agreement on Postwar Afghan
      government. But an agreed Afghan government looks like a chimera.
      Northern Alliance does look like taking Kabul faily soon.

      What are the Taliban doing? A British observer has said that they have
      stopped the confronting the Northern Alliance troops, having tactfully
      withdrawn for regrouping and possible guerilla action. If this is true,
      and it does look like being a strong likelihood, the whole texture and
      style of the war would rapidly change. Northern Alliance and their
      American allies would have a walkover throughout most of the country.
      But the war will go on indefinitely. The first consequence of which
      would be that the Taliban effort to make the new American-nominated
      government ineffective by preventing its writ from running in the
      countryside where there will be no law and order. The second consequence
      would be that Afghanistan would remain the rubble it is and there would
      be no reconstruction or restoration of infrastructure.

      Next few days would show what the Taliban strategy is because the bulk
      of their soldiery and equipment is said to be still in working order.
      Perhaps they want to persevere as much as may of these things as may be
      possible by not fighting set piece battles with troops that may be
      equipped heavily with latest arms. The prospect does not look good from
      any viewpoint. Ends story.



      The Praful Bidwai Column for the week beginning November 12

      South Asia's Unsafe Nukes

      Nuclear Apocalypse Now?

      By Praful Bidwai

      As the "anti-terrorist" war rages on in Afghanistan, the spectre of a
      nuclear confrontation stalks South Asia. This clear, present and
      growing danger can no longer be hidden. Numerous recent disclosures
      suggest that such a confrontation could come about through several
      different routes, involving not just Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, but
      also Pakistan, India and the US. For instance, there are reports that
      Osama bin Laden may have procured nuclear material through
      sympathetic Pakistani scientists. There are growing fears among
      Pakistan's generals that their nuclear weapons, considered "crown
      jewels", could become the target of a hostile attack (from Israel?
      India? US?) and need to be especially protected.

      Most worrisome, says The Sunday Times ("The Sunday Times" in italics)
      (London), Pakistan may be planning to remove its nuclear weapons to
      its friendly eastern neighbour, China, for "safekeeping". This can
      spark a hostile reaction from the US. Not least, heightened
      India-Pakistan hostility could further escalate, threatening a
      nuclear standoff.

      The consequences of any one of such crises leading to the threatened
      or actual use of nuclear weapons would be unspeakably horrific. Yet
      sober analysis, based on the history of the 40-odd nuclear
      near-misses during the Cold War, and on the dynamic of the
      hostilities under way today, suggests four highly plausible
      nuclear-confrontation scenarios. The chances of their materialisation
      have considerably increased since the Afghanistan war began on Oct 7.
      Common to all four is growing discontent in Pakistan as fiercely
      pro-Taliban anti-war protests mount, destabilising the Musharraf
      government, many of whose functionaries are deeply distrustful of the
      new intimacy between Islamabad and Washington. Consider the following
      possibilities, each with its own logic:

      Scenario 1: The Pakistan army, convulsed by growing social unrest
      and by internal divisions between pro-Musharraf and pro-Taliban
      officers, undergoes splits and fission--far more intense than the
      tension that recently led Gen Musharraf to reshuffle 10 of his top 17
      army commanders. There is a bitter internal contest for the "crown
      jewels". The pro-Taliban group seizes Pakistan's poorly safeguarded
      nuclear weapons and fissile material, and transfers them to Al-Qaeda
      which threatens to use them against the US and its "stooges",
      Pakistan and India. Al-Qaeda's threat is not empty.

      The US intervenes to prevent this. As reported by investigative
      journalist Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker ("The New Yorker" in
      italics) (October 29), the US has already set up a special
      deep-penetration commando unit under the Pentagon and the CIA,
      trained especially to detect, search, de-fang, disable or remove
      nuclear weapons even from relatively well-guarded facilities. The
      commando force, reports Hersh, is exercising with Israel's Unit 262,
      known for its covert operations, and especially trained to penetrate
      nuclear facilities.

      The US special unit fails to disable all of Pakistan's nuclear
      weapons, estimated to number between 20 and 60. Al-Qaeda sets off
      several nuclear explosions, causing devastation. In an alternative
      sub-scenario, Al-Qaeda only gets hold of a large quantity of
      plutonium-239 from Pakistan, not whole weapons. But this plutonium is
      enough to kill hundreds of thousands of people if a crude bomb
      containing it is detonated over a big city with easily available
      conventional explosives. Even if it does not undergo a proper fission
      chain-reaction, the plutonium will scatter over a large area. A few
      microgrammes of inhaled or ingested plutonium-239 produces cancer in
      its victim. And the explosion will disperse millions ("millions" in
      italics) of microgrammes. It's not for nothing that plutonium--the
      most poisonous substance known to science--is named after the Greek
      god of Hell. Mass destruction ensues in either case.

      Scenario 2: The US is frustrated at its lack of success in "smoking
      out" Osama bin Laden--despite intensified air strikes on Kabul,
      Kandahar and the Taliban's northern frontlines, and despite ground
      commando operations, etc. The war continues into Ramzan and the
      commencement of Afghanistan's winter. American forces manage to
      locate bin Laden's rough whereabouts--in a reinforced deep natural
      cave with its own supply of electricity, water and food. (Afghanistan
      has scores of such caves.) But heavy conventional bombs cannot
      destroy him.

      Desperate for results before the peak of the Afghan winter, President
      Bush orders the use of "tactical" nuclear weapons against the
      hideouts. The bombing creates widespread havoc in the Afghanistan
      landmass. It also sends a huge cloud of radioactivity towards
      Pakistan and India. It violates norms of nuclear restraint and
      non-proliferation, encouraging nuclear-capable states to cross the
      threshold--making Nuclear Armageddon a distinct near-future global

      This scenario is not as far-fetched as might appear. Defence
      secretary Donald Rumsfeld has repeatedly refused to rule out the use
      of nuclear weapons--as on October 29 in a CNN interview. The US has
      recently developed specific earth-penetrating nuclear bombs by
      modifying regular warhead designs codenamed W-61. These are 15-20
      kilotons bombs--with the same destructive potential as those used on

      Scenario 3: Faced with heightened social and political turmoil,
      Pakistan implements the plan outlined in The Sunday Times ("The
      Sunday Times" in italics). It starts moving its nuclear arsenal to
      China because it does not trust the US to "guard" its weapons.
      Earlier, Mr Colin Powell had offered Pakistan some high-tech
      assistance to improve the security of missile vaults, including
      special codes which can prevent unauthorised arming of nuclear
      warheads and "rogue" missile launches. Pakistan was reluctant to
      accept this out of fear that the CIA would bug its nuclear facilities
      once it gains access to them. (Pakistan has only accepted the US
      offer to train its personnel in preventing accidents at civilian
      power plants and thefts of weapons-grade material).

      Islamabad's decision to remove nuclear bombs to China leads to a
      revolt or mutiny in the Pakistan army. Alarmed, the Bush
      administration tells Pakistan not to transfer the weapons. It is
      deeply suspicious of Beijing and aware of past Chinese assistance to
      Islamabad's nuclear programme, including transfer of ring magnets for
      uranium enrichment. Pakistan balks at the US command. Reports about
      US preparations to "neutralise" Pakistan's nuclear weapons further
      intensify its internal crisis. America makes menacing moves. Pakistan
      resists. Its leadership is united in opposing what it fears would be
      its arsenal's permanent "neutralisation". Enraged, the US attacks
      Pakistan's nuclear facilities, destroying some and causing a nuclear

      Scenario 4: Kashmir Valley militants, recently declared "terrorist"
      by the US justice department, unleash suicide attacks on Indian
      security forces. Under pressure from Mr George Fernandes and Mr L.K.
      Advani, New Delhi responds "ruthlessly" as promised--with "punitive"
      attacks, some of which spill across the border, where the Pakistani
      army is conducting exercises. An eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation
      ensues. India now plans a major offensive to "decapitate" Pakistan.
      Islamabad, already embroiled in trouble on its western border,
      threatens a nuclear first strike on India. A right-wing chorus in
      India clamours for "the final solution". The RSS and Mr Farooq
      Abdullah demand: We must reoccupy "Azad Kashmir" and "settle" the
      Kashmir problem once and for all. The US tries to mediate but is
      rebuffed. Pakistan makes a "use-them-or-lose them" choice and bombs
      Delhi/Mumbai. India retaliates by bombing Karachi/Lahore.

      In an alternative scenario, Mr Fernandes apprehends uncontrollable
      instability and chaos in Pakistan, and prevails upon Mr Vajpayee to
      order a pre-emptive nuclear strike to destroy Pakistan's arsenal. In
      both cases, millions perish.

      The probability of these scenarios coming to pass is, of course, low.
      But it is finite, real, and much higher than before. In any event,
      "low" doesn't mean much after September 11. The scenarios are no
      longer in the realm of the inconceivable. The least they demand is
      that we acknowledge that South Asia's nuclearisation has made
      millions of Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Nepalis vulnerable
      to a Nuclear Armageddon. All those irresponsible "experts" who told
      us that nuclear weapons would induce "sobriety" and "maturity" in
      India-Pakistan relations now stand disgraced.

      Equally badly disgraced is Mr Fernandes who has just given Pakistan
      an unsolicited certificate of "responsibility" in safeguarding its
      nuclear weapons. Responding to reports about the vulnerability of
      Pakistan's arsenal, Mr Fernandes on Oct 30 said: "I would like to
      give them credit. Those concerned with Pakistan's nuclear programme
      are responsible people." This spectacularly irresponsible comment was
      not based on familiarity with Pakistan's nuclear programme or
      practices, which many Indian policy-makers had underestimated--right
      until May 1998. Rather, it was meant to deflect uncomfortable
      questions about the safety of India's own nuclear arsenal (which too
      has a high potential for mishaps). Both governments, addicted to
      nuclearism, want to minimise the unique nuclear danger in South Asia
      and ridicule concerns about nuclear safety.

      It just won't do to play down or dismiss the grave danger that
      confronts the 1.3 billion people of South Asia. If we are to reduce
      it, we must lower the temperature of India-Pakistan hostility, resume
      the Agra process, and agree to bilateral nuclear restraint measures.
      These should include the separation of fissile material from
      detonators, and of warheads or bomb configurations from missiles and
      aircraft. To meet the true needs of nuclear sobriety and restraint,
      such a regional agreement must be verifiable. It must serve as a step
      towards global nuclear abolition. New Delhi and Islamabad must give
      up their Big Power pretences and nuclear obsessions. Or else, we
      could all become specks of radioactive dust.--end--



      The Hindu
      Tuesday, November 13, 2001

      Peace, trust and impartiality
      By Manabi Majumdar

      THOSE OF us who condemn at once the recent terrorist attack on
      innocent lives in the United States as well as the American war
      hysteria in Afghanistan still have to respond to the reasonable
      charge that ``alternative is the best criticism''. What alternative
      course of action can we suggest to check the carnage being
      perpetrated by either rogue ``warlords'' or rogue ``states''? The
      simple answer is: peace activism.

      Indeed, several ardent initiatives are being undertaken in different
      parts of the globe to establish a people's forum for peace and
      dialogue that, in turn, will encourage more people-to- people
      contact. The fervent hope is that such face-to-face interaction will
      cultivate friendship and trust among people who may otherwise fall
      into the trap of xenophobia - the fear of outsiders. For example,
      many groups are working in the Indian subcontinent to develop
      friendly relations among the citizens of South Asia, especially
      between the people of India and Pakistan, with the aim of influencing
      their Governments' policies in more reasonable directions.

      There is indeed a strong intuitive appeal to the argument that if we
      can pierce the ``veil of ignorance'' that separates the citizens of
      different countries, get to know more about people's aspirations and
      predicaments in ``foreign'' lands and learn to trust one another, we
      will be more inclined to collectively engage in the resolution of
      conflicts. However, much as we advocate ``personalised'' trust as an
      important route to solidarity, collective endeavour and peace, we
      need to acknowledge its limits too on a number of counts.

      First, mutual trust and mutual suspicion may co-exist and even thrive
      together. For example, in parts of Europe, especially in areas
      enjoying economic boom, there has been a right-wing resurgence in
      recent times. These are precisely the regions where several civic
      groups are highly active. But the vibrant civil society that has
      fostered strong ties within the members of various ``community
      enclaves'' has not been successful in cultivating a similar bond
      across communities. Hence, we hear the pronouncements from the
      far-right Austrian politician, Mr. Joerg Haider, or the British
      Conservative leader, Mr. William Hague, openly advocating a crackdown
      on foreign immigrants, while encouraging civic ties among the
      resident communities at the same time.

      Second, trust-proneness is not a linear function of greater knowledge
      about other communities and groups. One has to only recall with
      sadness that when the communal carnage devastated our subcontinent
      during Partition, or when the Sikhs in Delhi or the Muslims in Mumbai
      were attacked in the more recent past, the communities concerned had
      a fairly intimate knowledge of and a fair degree of interaction with
      one another. Yet animosity and communal tensions could be instigated
      by ``..playing on some people's fear and pandering to some people's
      prejudices.'' Proximity is not an automatic antidote to suspicion,
      fear and hostility.

      Third, more information and greater contacts may make us, for
      perfectly valid reasons, more sceptical about the intentions of some
      groups, instead of doing the opposite. While keeping our basic faith
      in humanity intact, we have to be wary of misplaced trust or
      tolerance in fundamentalism of all hues. Unfortunately, however, even
      with a fair amount of information about the aims and activities of
      various terrorist organisations, especially in the oil-rich regions
      of the globe, covert business transactions were none the fewer, at
      least until very recently, between American oil companies or arms
      industries and the former. So continues the uninterrupted flow of
      weapons and drugs across continents, and in their wake violence,
      terrorism and death. Therefore, knowledge about ground realities
      alone is not enough to prompt people to disengage from actions that
      may suit the narrow self-interest of particular groups but have
      sinister consequences for the general public.

      Similarly, and finally, public knowledge about grave injustices and
      inept policies do not necessarily catapult us to sensible action.
      Otherwise, why are we, at least a large part of the public, inert and
      inactive even after having a vivid knowledge of the predicament of
      the starving people in our country on the one hand and of the
      availability of adequate foodstocks on the other? Insensitivity or
      animosity often emanates from ignorance, but not always. Not
      infrequently, it is common knowledge that spawns it; we get so used
      to entrenched inequalities that we often relegate them to the status
      of everyday trivia, not sufficiently momentous for action.

      The above points give us grounds for being both cautious and
      optimistic. The optimistic message is that interaction among people
      within and between nations and greater awareness of the ground
      reality are helpful. After all, people have to be able to work
      together without hostility to engage in cultural exchanges or in
      bilateral and multilateral trade. In South Asia, for example, mutual
      dependence in cultural and economic terms is very likely to foster
      peace and security.

      Peace activism has to pitch its case at a much wider level, on a more
      universalistic scale. It has to tap into a far deeper human resource
      than just social or cultural capital, namely, ``generalised'' and
      moralistic trust in the human tribe as a whole. Simply put, it has to
      appeal to the rule of impartiality. Impartiality is not a plea for
      indifference or lack of sympathy to others; on the contrary it
      requires just responsiveness on a universalistic scale.

      In a sense, such generalised notion of trust and morality blurs the
      distinction between ``us'' and ``strangers''; it insists on treating
      ``them'' with the same dignity with which we treat ``ourselves.''
      Those with whom we have not had a chance to develop friendships are
      not necessarily our foes. In short it insists on human dignity as a
      central social value.

      The impartiality principle, so defined, puts around us a double bind:
      it guarantees freedom of all human beings; by the same token it
      restrains our innate tendency to dominate and control others. It
      enables us to be free but not to control. In both its liberating and
      limiting roles, the rule of impartiality is non- discriminatory and
      universalistic. It is this vision of a community of humans, glued
      together by a commitment to freedom as well as self-restraint, that
      is needed for peaceniks to establish a universal and stable
      relationship among people across the globe.

      Moreover, the task of peace-making does not end by reaching out to
      fellow human beings outside our national borders and cultivating
      solidarity with them; in tandem we have to look inward and address
      all manners of injustices and inequalities that distort our social
      fabric. Peace and inequality are incompatible. Thus, the apparently
      disparate struggles for global peace on the one hand and local
      equality on the other mesh together at a deeper level. More
      concretely, for example, fighting for the freedom of women and
      children in Afghanistan or the livelihood security of famished
      farmers in India becomes inseparable components of a genuine peace
      movement. After all, we cannot expect to achieve peace when women
      suffer from grave physical dangers or farmers commit suicide due to
      severe economic insecurities.

      In sum, a peace programme that aims to combat terrorism and violence
      of all hues will have to spread downward to local communities and
      outward to global communities not only to develop greater
      personalised contacts among people, but more importantly to advocate
      and nurture impartial and universalistic concern for all human beings.

      (The writer is with the Madras Institute of Development Studies. The
      views expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily of
      the Institute.)



      The Daily Star (Bangladesh)
      'Promote, protect human rights in South Asia'

      BSS, New Delhi
      Human rights activists on the second day of the founding congress of
      South Asian Human Rights (SAHR) here yesterday called for all-out
      efforts to promote and protect human rights in the region cutting
      across all forms of discrimination.

      The two-day conference which began on Sunday is being attended by
      former Indian Prime Minister I K Gujral, UN High Commissioner for
      Human Rights Mary Robinson, a 50-member delegation from Bangladesh, a
      more than 100 member-delegation from Pakistan besides host India.

      The Bangladesh delegation include Appellate Division Judge of the
      Supreme Court, Justice Fazlul Karim, Law Commission Chairman, Justice
      Nayeemuddin Ahmed, lawyers Dr Kamal Hossain, Aminul Islam, Sigma
      Huda, economist Prof Rehman Sobhan, senior journalists, Editor of The
      Daily Star Mahfuz Anam, Zaglul Ahmed Chowdhury and Abdul Qayyum
      Mukul, civil society leaders Dr Hameeda Hossain, Taleya Rehman and
      Sultana Kamal, cultural activists Sara Zaker and Shomi Kaiser and Law
      Commission Secretary Iktedar Ahmed.

      Earlier, while inaugurating the conference Mary Robinson cautioned
      against the violation of human rights in the global "fixation" with
      the war against terrorism.

      "What must never be forgotten is that human rights are no hindrance
      to the promotion of peace and security. Rather they are an essential
      element in any strategy to defeat terrorism," she said.

      The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights described as a remarkable
      development the emergence of a body like SAHR in the region.

      Pakistan's human right activist Asma Jahangir said excessive use of
      force was not the answer to terrorism.



      Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 19:03:35 -0800 (PST)
      From: Arindam Dutta
      Subject: Kashmir discussion

      The Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies,
      Tufts University,
      invites you to an open discussion on 'America's New
      War: The Fall out
      KASHMIR' on November 15th from 5-7 pm in Cabot 206.
      The speakers will
      make short presentations followed by an open question
      and answer

      Yasin Malik
      Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF)

      Dr Mirajuddin Munshi
      Kashmiri Human Rights Activist and medical specialist

      Mridu Rai
      Assistant Professor of History
      Yale University

      Eileen Babitt
      Assistant Professor of International Politics
      Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy, Tufts

      Cabot 206 is located in the Fletcher School of Law on
      Diplomacy on
      Packard Avenue. For directions to Tufts, see
      Cabot is a twenty minute walk from the Davis Square T
      which is located on the red line. You may also take
      the Tufts shuttle
      from Davis Square which runs at irregular intervals of
      an imagined
      minutes. Buses 94 and 96 ply to and from Davis Square.
      The schedules
      up at www.mbta.com
      For further enquiries, email Neeti at
      nbelli01@... or
      at anoopswaminath@...

      This event is being co-sponsored by the Tufts
      Association for South



      The Times of India
      11 November 2001

      Savarkar film to project Sangh philosophy

      MUMBAI: "We have to make all Hindus, Muslims and Christians residing in this
      country realise that first they are Hindustanis (Indians)" - The quote is no
      extract of a speech of any Sangh Parivar activist.

      It is a dialogue attributed to the chief protagonist of a feature film Veer
      Savarkar portraying the life and times of radical Hindu leader Vinayak
      Damodar Savarkar, once "accused and arrested" on charges of conspiring to
      assassinate Mahatma Gandhi.

      In fact, the catchy one-liner is being hotly projected in the television
      promos for the first film on Savarkar, now slated to be released on November

      The plot, dialogues and story line could be well guessed as all three
      combined speak of the same lines Savarkar's admirers follow rather
      religiously even today.

      For example, another acidly put remark attributed to Savarkar runs thus:
      "Sampurna ahimsa ka lakshya asambhav hai" (Complete non-violence is a

      Moreover, the protagonist Savarkar's heated arguments with Mahatma Gandhi on
      sensitive issues only show that they did never see eye-to-eye on key matters
      and so their respective ideologies hardly met.

      Made by a renowned radical Hindu trust "Savarkar Darshan Pratishtan", the
      film is in fact being billed as the first cinematic venture of the Sangh
      Parivar to give popular exposure to their cherished philosophy.

      The charge is however denied by the filmmakers. Chief production controller
      Prabhakar Mone argues that the film tries to depict the "truth" of
      Savarkar's chequered life and political graph and his "historic meetings"
      with Mahatma Gandhi and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

      Ved Rahi, who has written and directed the film, also dismisses the
      allegations of portraying Hindu chauvinism in the garb of bringing on silver
      screen the life and times of a Nasik-based radical Hindu freedom fighter.

      "Savarkar perhaps tops the list of the venerable freedom fighters who have
      been consistently devalued in independent India," Rahi argues.

      However, those associated with the making of the film are at pains to
      explain they had to arrange a special screening of the film for none other
      than Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.

      "There is no specific reason. As a die-hard admirer of Savarkar, Balasaheb
      wanted to see our work," says assistant director Sanjay Vajpai.

      Music for the film is scored by Sudhir Phadke, who is also the guiding force
      for the movie for over a decade.

      Savarkar's role is played by Shailendra Gaur, who has so far remained mostly
      confined to the small screen.

      The film is divided in four main parts. The first deals with events that
      took place in London and France and the second part is devoted to Andaman
      while the third and fourth parts related to events in Ratnagiri and those in
      Mumbai and other parts of the country respectively.

      The film has been abundantly shot in Andaman, Ratnagiri and Savarkar's birth
      place Bhagur in Nasik district.

      Savarkar's famous jump off the steamship S S Monrea and reaching the shore
      has been shot in Dock Shed in England.

      About problems in shooting, Mone says: "The Mumbai police harassed us most.
      We did not have problems in England even when we did our shooting there on
      an anti-British plot."

      Expectedly, for those associated with the making of the film it has been
      more of an obsession. "Making this film was not like scripting a routine
      story of a commercial soap opera," says writer-director Rahi, who has worked
      on several tele-serials.

      "A successful script is the one, which can bring both artists and audience
      on same emotional wave length. This, in essence, is the real acid test",
      says Rahi.
      ( PTI )



      The Hindu
      Tuesday, November 13, 2001

      VHP offshoot behind reign of terror
      By Mohammed Iqbal

      JUDA (RAJASTHAN), NOV. 12. The tribal belt in Rajasthan seems to be
      slowly and steadily shedding its original culture. In a shocking turn
      of events, a sustained campaign launched by the Vanvasi Kalyan
      Parishad (VKP) - an offshoot of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) - has
      led to largescale migration of people from this tiny village in Kotda
      tehsil of Udaipur district.

      The VKP has been working in the tribal-dominated districts of
      Udaipur, Sirohi, Dungarpur and Banswara for over a decade with the
      ostensible goal of generating awareness among tribals about their
      rights while preserving their customs. True to the Sangh Parivar's
      character, the outfit has succeeded in driving a wedge between the
      tribals and the others.

      A spate of violent incidents in Kotda tehsil, allegedly at the VKP's
      instance, has led to panic among Muslims, Rajputs, Mahajans and the
      Scheduled Castes here. Following the murder of a small- time trader,
      Habib Khan, by tribals on the outskirts of Juda village recently, the
      open threats have forced nearly 90 families here to abandon their
      homes and migrate to neighbouring towns.

      The murder was perhaps a turning point in the relations between
      tribals - belonging to the Garasia and Gameti tribes - and the small
      Muslim population in the area. In a population of about 2 lakhs in
      Kotda tehsil, the Muslim households barely number 500. Their small
      population is restricted to Kotda, Juda and Bikarni.

      According to the local residents, tension between tribals and Muslims
      had been rising over the past two years with incidents of roadside
      scuffles and looting reported regularly. ``The campaign of hatred
      launched by the VKP seems to have borne fruit when the tribals
      decided to take revenge for a petty quarrel by attacking Muslims,''
      Dr. Mohammed Sattar, a registered medical practitioner doctor in
      Juda, told this correspondent.

      The VKP activists, accompanied by a BJP leader from Kotda, toured the
      area around Juda - situated nearly 100 km from the district
      headquarters - on September 26 to gather tribals for an attack.
      Hundreds gathered near Juda following the beating of drums and Habib
      Khan was identified as the target, since he used to sleep alone at
      night at his `kirana' shop on the outskirts. He was murdered using
      swords and arrows around midnight on September 26. Five persons were
      later arrested by the police in this connection.

      Mr. Bhupendra Pal Singh of the erstwhile ruling family of Juda says
      the poor man had nothing to do with the altercation involving a young
      tribal in the village earlier. ``He was killed simply because the VKP
      had instigated the tribals to take revenge,'' he said.

      The coldblooded murder instilled a feeling of fear and insecurity
      among the Muslims in Juda. As the incident was followed by open
      threats, abuses and violent behaviour by tribals, as many as 80
      Muslim families abandoned their houses and left for nearby towns.
      Almost all the Muslim residents here have since sent their valuable
      household goods away to other places.

      The people belonging to the majority community too were affected by
      the reign of terror in the village. Though they had initially tried
      to stop Muslims from leaving, the ferocity of the tribals frightened
      them and about a dozen of their families have also migrated from
      here. ``Despite the systematic inculcation of hostility, the
      relations between Hindus and Muslims here are cordial. Yet there is
      little likelihood of people coming back soon,'' says Hanuman Singh,
      who runs a tea kiosk in Juda.

      The VKP has its permanent office in Kotda where it runs a residential
      school for tribal children and holds regular meetings to inspire the
      tribals to return to their ``roots''. Thus the tribals, who were
      earlier almost ignorant of the Hindu religious practices, have now
      discovered a new identity for themselves - and a new target for their

      The VKP claims that its objective is to raise the tribals' standard
      of life and protect them from the impact of ``alien culture''. The
      VKP Kotda unit's Sangathan Secretary, Mr. Meethalal Garasia, told
      this correspondent that the Parishad had nothing to do with the
      violence in the area or the killings of a couple of Muslims during
      the past six months, which were the result of personal enmity.

      Yet he does not desist from making wild charges against Muslims.
      ``Their small population has committed all sorts of exploitation of
      tribals. Recently an arms cache has arrived for them from Pakistan
      via Gujarat,'' he says, adding that the tribals would no longer
      tolerate these ``anti-national'' activities. The way the atmosphere
      is being communalised in Kotda tehsil does not portend well for


      The Hindu
      Tuesday, November 13, 2001

      Bajrang Dal pamphlet seized in Rajasthan
      By Mohammed Iqbal

      JAIPUR, NOV. 12.The Congress-led Government in Rajasthan today
      confiscated an objectionable pamphlet published and distributed by
      the Jodhpur unit of the Bajrang Dal. The Government issued a special
      notification this afternoon declaring the pamphlet banned. The
      pamphlet, published with the title Hathon mein talwaren, seene mein
      hai toofan; raksha kare desh ki, Bajrang Dal ke jawan, contained
      provocative and offensive material, which could pose a threat to
      communal harmony. Roughly translated into English, the title stated:
      ``The Bajrang Dal volunteers are defending the nation with swords in
      their hands and a storm brewing in their hearts.''

      A spokesperson said here that the Government had confiscated the
      pamphlet, being distributed in large numbers across the State, while
      exercising its powers under various provisions of the Criminal
      Procedure Code. The pamphlet was objectionable and malicious and had
      full potential to create communal disturbance.

      The notification declared confiscated each copy of the pamphlet,
      reprints, translations as well as any other document citing the
      contents of the pamphlet.

      The ``Trishul Diksha'' programme of the Bajrang Dal - as part of
      which thousands of tridents were distributed to youngsters in
      Rajasthan in the last two months - has created tension in the State.
      The Chief Minister, Mr. Ashok Gehlot, recently urged the Prime
      Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, to consider imposing a ban on the
      outfit in view of its provocative activities.


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