SACW | Dec. 6-15, 2006 | Democracy in Bangladesh / Disillusionment with Sri Lanka / Re-imagining Pakistan / India: Impunity in Gujarat & Mystery of December 13, 2002

Harsh Kapoor aiindex at
Thu Dec 14 21:08:46 CST 2006

South Asia Citizens Wire  | December 6-15, 2006 | Dispatch No. 2333 - Year 8

[1]  Bangladesh: Restoring faith in the democratic process (Rehman Sobhan)
+   Sedition case against [Dr Kamal Hossain and 
other] eminent lawyers condemned
[2]  Sri Lanka: Disillusionment with the State 
and the Perils of Unity in Grievance (UTHR)
[3]  Re-imagining Pakistan: Mr. Jinnah's Pakistan 
Isn't Working. What Can? (Pervez Hoodbhoy)
[4]  India: Grave Mistakes [impunity for mass 
murder in Gujarat] (Teesta Setalvad)
[5]  'The Introduction' [in] '13 December: A 
Reader, The Strange Case of the Attack on the 
Indian Parliament' (Arundhati Roy)


Daily Star
December 13, 2006

by Rehman Sobhan

We meet at a very critical moment in the nation's 
history. On the previous occasions where I have 
presented such reports the moment held much 
promise. In March 1991, when as a member of the 
first caretaker government, I presented the 
report on 29 task forces set up by me, to the 
then president of Bangladesh, Chief Justice 
Shahabuddin Ahmed, the nation was consumed with 
optimism for the future.

In August 2001, when we presented the reports of 
15 task forces convened by CPD again, by 
coincidence, to President Shahabuddin Ahmed, and 
also to Mr. Mannan Bhuiyan and the late SAMS 
Kibria, this optimism had been somewhat 
diminished through exposure to a decade of 
confrontational politics and a dysfunctional 
parliament. But the mood was still positive, if 
more subdued. Today, as we stand poised on the 
edge of a dark void which could devour our 
democratic institutions, the public mood is one 
of foreboding.

We have witnessed three elections under three 
successive caretaker governments in the 
post-democratic era, which have been held in an 
environment of relative tranquility. The three 
caretaker governments, during their tenure, 
commanded universal respect at the time for their 
non-partisan character, and could discharge their 
responsibilities in a collegial environment which 
recognized the democratic nature of their mandate 
and composition.

The chief adviser enjoyed universal credibility, 
and chose to take all his decisions through a 
process of democratic consultation with his 
colleagues in the advisory council. Whilst 
controversy over the role of the caretaker 
government may have been generated in the wake of 
the elections, particularly in 2001, during the 
actual tenure of the three governments, no such 
challenge to the legitimacy of the caretaker 
government prevailed.

Today, for the first time, the conduct of the 
caretaker government itself has became a source 
of controversy, with the non-partisan character 
of its chief executive being questioned. Even 
though members of the current advisory council 
are playing a commendably constructive role under 
the most trying circumstances, we are witness to 
contradictions between the chief advisor and his 
colleagues, which were not witnessed in any of 
the three previous caretaker governments. The 
credibility of the present Election Commission, 
from the outset of its incumbency, has come under 
challenge to an extent not seen during the course 
of the last three elections, and the very 
scheduling of the elections is now contested.

Some very dramatic changes in the current 
situation are demanded if the caretaker 
government is to establish sufficient authority 
to preside over a credible election. The conduct 
of the chief advisor needs to be more 
transparent, the functioning of the advisory 
council more democratic, the integrity of the 
Election Commission must be restored and, above 
all, the conduct of the major political parties 
has to be less confrontational. Otherwise we may 
end up with confrontation instead of elections, 
or with an election which commands a diminished 
credibility in the eyes of the electorate as well 
as the international community. Either of these 
outcomes would compromise the legitimacy of 
whichever government holds office in the days 
ahead, which would neither serve the cause of 
democracy nor restore tranquility to Bangladesh.

In such circumstances, as voters and citizens, we 
look to our political parties to step back from 
the brink and make a final effort to restore the 
credibility and authority of the caretaker 
government by restoring the autonomy of the 
office of the chief advisor. We need to 
reestablish the credibility of the Election 
Commission, so that a greater sense of urgency 
can be invested in the task of publishing a 
credible voter's list. Such a process may 
usefully reach out to civil society organizations 
with links to the grassroots to augment the 
resources of the Election Commission in the task 
of expediting the preparation of a comprehensive 
and transparent voter's roll.

Once the right to vote, and vote only once, has 
been established we need to ensure that no person 
is denied this right through direct coercion or 
threats of force. Here we will need to ensure 
that the officials who conduct the election, 
enforce law and order and eventually count the 
votes, are untainted by partisan commitments. In 
this task of establishing the integrity of the 
voting process civil society must also mobilize 
itself across the nation and go out before, 
during and after the elections to ensure as well 
as protect their right to vote, and to reassure 
those who are particularly endangered from 
exercising their franchise.

The establishment of an enabling environment for 
free and fair elections remains an immediate 
priority. But it is just the first stage of an 
election process. The demand for clean 
candidates, associated neither with acts of 
violence or command over sizeable undeclared 
wealth, is widespread. The Nagorik Committee, and 
every civil society group which has sounded out 
public opinion across the country can testify to 
the universal nature of the public demand for the 
political parties to nominate credible candidates 
for the forthcoming election.

In this task it is not enough to make demands on 
the parties to reach out to party workers of 
longstanding commitment with a record of public 
service, and to prioritize such candidates in 
preference to those with deep pockets and 
adequate firepower at their disposal. Voters must 
demonstrate their preference for clean candidates 
by actually voting for such candidates when 
offered such a choice by a political party. It is 
for citizens, as voters, to reassure the 
political leaders that they will not be 
sacrificing a seat by nominating a clean 
candidate in preference to one with muscle and 

If we move to a free and fair election, contested 
by candidates held in some public esteem who have 
participated in an electoral process whose 
outcome is beyond challenge, we will also need to 
ensure that the democratic mandate of the 
parliament is restored. Three successive 
parliaments have failed to discharge their 
electoral mandate to hold the state accountable, 
or to give voice to the mounting concerns of the 
voters. The people of Bangladesh seek corruption 
free and effective governance which will assure 
them uncompromised justice, non-partisan law 
enforcement, adequate food, remunerative work, 
access to regular power supply, clean water, 
decent schools and well functioning health care 
facilities. It is the responsibility of our 
parliament to ensure such a process of governance 
through creative legislation, as well as to keep 
the government constantly accountable and fully 

Bangladesh cannot afford to live through yet 
another dysfunctional parliament characterized by 
boycotts, exchange of invectives and indifference 
to burning public concerns. A fourth such 
parliament could reflect a terminal sickness in a 
vital institution of democracy from which it may 
be difficult to recover. With our administration 
and law enforcement agencies compromised by 
corruption and partisan conduct and our judiciary 
moving into a phase of partisan warfare, 
virtually all the major organs of governance are 
approaching meltdown.

The crisis of governance facing Bangladesh is 
particularly tragic because there are many areas 
of light which punctuate the darkness. Our 
hardworking farmers have tripled food production. 
Two million women from our rural areas, as well 
as other workers employed by a class of promising 
entrepreneurs, have given Bangladesh a globally 
competitive export capacity. Millions of ordinary 
people, mostly from the rural areas, are working 
abroad to remit over $5 billion which has 
sustained our balance of payments far more 
effectively than our declining inflows of foreign 
aid. Near to 20 million, mostly poor women, use 
access to micro-credit to sustain their families 
and prevent them from sinking deeper into 
poverty. Large numbers of unrecognized 
individuals or groups have worked in a variety of 
innovative ways to ensure subsistence for their 
families, or resources for the local community. 
Many young men and women, whether working in the 
professions or through civil society 
organizations, have demonstrated commitment and 
professional skills which have enhanced our 
development capacity.

If faith in the democratic process is to be 
restored such constituencies of promise deserve 
to be presented with a vision for the future. 
Such a vision will serve to aggregate these 
various enclaves of activity within a national 
project which inspires hope that Bangladesh can, 
one day, come together to synergise its enormous 
potential. The initiative of the Nagorik 
Committee was designed to reach out to citizens 
around the country to capture this sense of 
expectation for the future. We have attempted to 
build upon Bangladesh's successes in a variety of 
areas so as to design a vision which draws upon 
the potential inherent in us to transform 
Bangladesh into a poverty free, democratic and 
inclusive society.

Our expectation is that our political leaders 
will share this vision and draw upon many of our 
ideas in designing their own agenda for 
transforming Bangladesh. Any such vision 
originating from civil society can only graduate 
into an implementable agenda by encouraging the 
political parties to invest their political 
authority behind a vision for the future, which 
they can transmit to the people through the 
democratic process.

Sustainable democracy demands political parties 
who can project a vision of hope to the people of 
Bangladesh. Such a vision should not be perceived 
as yet another exercise in campaign rhetoric or 
it will only perpetuate cynicism from a public 
who have grown weary of broken election promises. 
The political leadership must demonstrate their 
credibility, as well as capacity, to implement 
such a vision, and the statesmanship to reach out 
to civil society to join them in the task of 
transforming such a vision into reality.
Rehaman Sobhan is Chairman, CPD and Convenor, Nagorik Committee2006

o o o

The Daily Star
December 07, 2006

Staff Correspondent

Ekattorer Ghatok Dalal Nirmul Committee and South 
Asian People's Union against Fundamentalism and 
Communalism yesterday condemned the filing of 
sedition case against country's eminent lawyers, 
a press release said.

Terming it utterly derogatory, leaders of the two 
platforms denounced the case against two hundred 
lawyers including Dr Kamal Hossain, Supreme Court 
Bar Association (SCBA) President Barrister Amir 
Ul Islam and former SCBA president Barrister 
Rokanuddin Mahmud and Barrister Tania Amir for 
vandalism at the Supreme Court on November 30.

One court keeper filed the case.

"With a view to establishing the rule of law and 
uphold the esteem of the constitution, the way Dr 
Kamal Hossain and Barrister Amir Ul Islam came 
forward at the hour of crisis, the nation should 
remain grateful to them," read the statement.

It said the intervention of the honourable Chief 
Justice in the proceedings of the case, in fact, 
raises doubts about his impartiality and honesty.

The signatories to the statement include, 
Professor Kabir Chowdhury, the liberation warrior 
Binod Bihari Chowdhury, Justice KM Sobhan, 
Advocate Gaziul Haque, singer Kolim Sharafi, 
women leader Hena Das, Maj Gen (Retd) CR Dutta 
and Prof Borhanuddin Khan Jahangir.



UTHR Bulletin No.42

a note on current developments
Disillusionment with the State and the Perils of Unity in Grievance

1.	Anniversaries as Reminders of Bankruptcy

Prabhakaran's predictable and self-indulgent 52nd 
birthday oration on 27th November, sentenced the 
Tamil people to more misery.
[ . . . ]
Mahinda Rajapakse completed a year as president 
of Sri Lanka on 17th November. His decision to 
rely on Sinhalese nationalists and military 
hardliners to capture the presidency had him 
bogged down in a quagmire, compelling him to 
procrastinate over political initiatives to 
expose Prabhakaran's bluff. Giving these elements 
inroads to manipulate the security forces has 
already had a major impact and caused irreparable 
harm. The Government is answerable for the 
killings of a number of Tamil spokesmen and 3 MPs 
during the last year, in all of which available 
indications point to the involvement of state 
security services. Instead of tackling the 
problem at the outset a year ago, the President 
allowed it to fester.  This was a marked failure 
of leadership. He has thus doomed himself to 
repeat history, making strong rhetorical 
statements on“ defending the motherland” and 
reenacting old discredited security measures 
which invariably lead to the abuse of civilians 
by a state that has long resisted reform.
[ . . . ]
Even while the people are crushed between the 
Government side and the LTTE, their potential to 
articulate defiance and to determine their own 
future should not be lost sight of. One such 
effort was the demonstration by hundreds of 
civilians in Batticaloa on 21st November 
demanding that the Government send food to 
Vaharai and also that the LTTE allow civilians to 
leave and not keep families divided. The Army 
wants to move into that area. It is the TRO that 
receives the food sent and a sizeable portion 
goes to the LTTE. Civilian welfare should not be 
hostage to military operations.



[3] - 15 December 2006

Mr. Jinnah's Pakistan Isn't Working. What Can?

by Pervez Hoodbhoy   

[Commencement lecture by Pervez Hoodbhoy at the 
Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, 
Karachi, 9 December 2006.] 

It is indeed a pleasure to see the Indus Valley 
School of Art and Architecture emerge as a
thriving educational institution. I remember my 
first visit here around 1994 when it had
barely come into existence. The Nusserwanjee 
Building in Kharadar had just been pulled
apart and transported brick-by-brick to this 
site. Over the years it was patiently put
together again, and this innovative experiment 
has now born fruit.  To those who will
graduate today from the School, I extend my 
congratulations. You are ready to set sail
into the big, wide world as artists, designers 
and architects. Many of you will doubtless
become rich and famous, and I hope all of you do. 

But, as a general fact, the success of 
individuals does not always lead to the 
betterment of
the larger milieu in which they live and breathe. 
Improving the state of society is a far
more difficult and complex matter, and it 
involves much more than just increasing the
consumption of material goods and services. 
Societies change when people change their
ways of thinking. It is on this that we shall reflect upon today. 

To help us along, let's imagine a film like 
"Jinnah". You die and fly off to the arrival gate
in heaven where an angel of the immigration department screens newcomers from
Pakistan. Admission these days is even tougher 
than getting a Green Card to America.
You have to show proofs of good deeds, argue your 
case, and fill out an admission form.
One section of the form asks you to specify three 
attitudinal traits that you want fellow
Pakistanis, presently on earth, to have. As part 
of divine fairness, all previous entries are
electronically stored and publicly available and 
so you learn that Mr. Jinnah, as the first
Pakistani, had answered - as you might guess - 
"Faith, Unity, Discipline". This slogan
was in all the books you had studied in school, 
and was emblazoned even on monuments
and hillsides across the country. Since copying 
won't get you anywhere in heaven, you
obviously cannot repeat this.

What would your three choices be? As you consider 
your answer, I'll tell you mine.

First, I wish for minds that can deal with the 
complex nature of truth.  Without
minds engaged on this issue there cannot be a 
capacity for good judgment. And, without
good judgment a nation will blunder from one 
mistake on to the next. Now, truth is a
fundamental but very subtle concept. The problem 
is that things are usually not totally
true or totally false. Still, some things are 
very true and others are very false. For example
it is very true that I will be killed if I stand 
on the tracks in front of a speeding train. And
it is very false that the earth rests on the 
horns of a bull. But these are quite easily
established; separating true and false is often extremely difficult. 

Take art, architecture, music, poetry, or 
sculpture. They are so absolutely necessary that
we cannot conceive of a satisfying or civilized 
existence without them. But there is no
true or false in any of them, just shades of 
gray. Harold Pinter, the British dramatist who
won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, 
emphasizes this in his acceptance speech:

The real truth is that there never is any such thing as one truth to be found
in dramatic art. There are many. These truths challenge each other, recoil
from each other, reflect each other, ignore each other, tease each other,
are blind to each other. Sometimes you feel you have the truth of a
moment in your hand, then it slips through your fingers and is lost.

Pinter says it so well. Who wants to read a book 
or see a drama about absolute heroes and
total villains? Or perfect beauty and total 
ugliness? These extremities do not engage our
mind or sensitivities. 

Truth in art is a subtle matter, and I am not a 
philosopher. At one level it appears to me
that truth in art is really about preferences. Is 
it a truth that Ghalib was a better poet than
Mir? Or that Mehdi Hasan is the greatest ghazal 
singer on the subcontinent? Is the
renaissance neoclassical art of Raphael and 
others more true to life than the modern art
forms that superseded it? Or that modern 
machine-driven architectural geometries are
superior to buildings designed with columns, arches, and gargoyles of classical
architecture? Surely, these are matters of taste.

At another level there is a question of honesty 
and truth that relates squarely to your
profession: should someone, as a commercial 
artist, design a great advertisement for a
bad product? Of course, some people will hold 
very strong opinions on these issues
because, perhaps as a consequence of their 
education and socialization, they have
accepted a certain point of view and acquired 
certain tastes. Fortunately, most will accept
- even if grudgingly - that truth in art is 
unknowable. There are no hard distinctions
between what is real and what is unreal, or 
between what is true and what is false. In
effect, a thing can be both true and false. And 
here I will go happily along with post-
modernists even though on other matters there is 
much that I disagree with them about.

But what about truth in matters of religion? 
Religion occupies a far larger domain of our
national existence than art, literature, and the 
rest. Here there are still stronger opinions
and people shy away from discussions on this 
everywhere. This is because there is
usually a total conviction of where the truth 
lies. Every religion is convinced of its
correctness and of the incorrectness of others. 
My deeply religious Catholic friend at MIT
- with whom I shared a room during my freshman 
year - would kneel by his bed every
night to pray for my salvation because he felt 
that, as a Muslim, I was destined to hell.
His truth was different from mine, but he was 
such a sweet person, and so genuinely
disturbed by what he saw as my ultimate fate, 
that I simply did not have the heart to tell
him that his prayers were quite unnecessary. 
We could, of course, avoid talking about religion 
and I could stop just here. But it is a
fact that religion determines what large numbers 
of Pakistanis live for, and what they will
die for, and - all too often - what they will 
kill for. So we cannot afford to avoid the
subject when the stakes are as high as they are 
today. The choice is between conversation
and violence. 

So let us be bold and examine religion at its three different levels. 
At one level religion is inspirational and 
emotional. Marmaduke Pickthal, who first
translated the Holy Qur'an into English, wrote 
that the melody of its verses could move
men to tears. Abdus Salam, transfixed by the 
symmetry of Lahore's Badshahi Mosque,
said that it inspired him to think of the famous 
SU(2)xU(1) symmetry that revolutionised
the world of particle physics. 
At a second level lies the metaphysics of 
religion. This relates to the particular beliefs 
a religion, including such issues as monotheism 
and polytheism, death and reincarnation,
heaven and hell, prophets and holy men, 
sacrifices and rituals, etc. At both these levels,
the absoluteness of a particular truth is obvious 
to the believer, but not necessarily to
those outside the faith. Nevertheless, he or she 
is happy to achieve a sense of purpose in
an otherwise purposeless universe. Of course, the 
particular beliefs held to be true - as in
art and aesthetics - depend upon the individual's 
family background, education, and
socialization into the wider community.
There is a third level: religions are 
prescriptive. You must do this, but not do that. 
prescriptions are very sensible. But several are 
understood very differently by different
groups belonging to the same overall faith. Some 
differences are relatively harmless, such
as exactly when you may break your fast, when to 
celebrate Eid, and whether your hands
are to be folded or held down while praying. But 
other differences are deeply divisive and
the source of bitter conflict: How much of her 
face must a Muslim woman cover? None,
all, or half-way in between? If a man declares 
three times to his wife "I divorce you"
adequate grounds from an Islamic point of view 
for a divorce?  Or, to take another
example, against whom and in what manner is the 
Quranic injunction for jihad to be
followed? This question has pitted Muslim against 
Muslim in bitter disputation. Is it okay
to set off a car bomb in Baghdad and, if so, in which neighborhood? Are suicide
bombings un-Islamic? Was the 911 attack on 
America a crime by standards of Islamic
morality? Is Osama bin Laden a good Muslim, or perhaps not one at all?  
There are religious authorities on both sides of 
these divides. I do not wish to take sides
on these issues here, but the very fact that 
there is serious disagreement even among
believers of the same faith - not to speak of 
faiths hostile to each other - means that there
cannot be only one single truth in religion. At 
best there is a plurality of truths, as in the
case of art and literature. Some truths are more 
true, or less true, than others. 
And what about science? Are its truths absolute? 
At the risk of appearing evasive, and of
having to disappoint some friends, I have to tell 
you that my answer is both yes and no. 
The good news is that, at the level of 
epistemology, truth in science is ultimately
knowable. Post-modernists are up the creek if 
they think that all scientific knowledge is
relative. A scientific fact has to pass rigorous 
tests before it is accepted. This means that
different scientists in different laboratories at 
different times must be able to observe the
same phenomenon. The nationality, sex, religion, 
or ethnic affiliation of the scientist is
irrelevant. This is why scientists form an 
international community. Precisely because
their differences can be resolved on the basis of experiment, observation, and
mathematical argumentation, they don't kill each 
other or condemn other scientists as
heretics worthy of execution. I have yet to hear 
of a scientist equivalent of Salman

But there are questions that science will never 
be able to address. Nor is science a
monolithic body of doctrine. The great scientist 
and visionary, Freeman Dyson, reminds
us that:

Science is a culture, constantly growing and changing. The science of
today has broken out of the molds of classical nineteenth century science,
just as the paintings of Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock broke out of
the molds of nineteenth century art. Science has as many competing styles
as painting or poetry. 

Well, the objectivity of scientific knowledge was 
the good news. The bad news is that the
world's scientists are also responsible for some 
of the greatest crimes against humanity.
They make nuclear bombs, germ weapons, polluting 
factories, and serve the narrow
interests of their national, religious, or ethnic 
groups. As individuals they are no more
enlightened than anybody else. Some brilliant 
scientists that I have known are mere
morons when it comes to matters of society or of 
human relations. So, scientists will not
save the world - or even Pakistan. 

Who will? Only those capable of nuanced, 
balanced, critical thought can - and they don't
have to be scientists. We can put our hopes only 
on those who realize the provisional
nature of truth, and who do not claim a monopoly 
on wisdom. The dogmatist, who thinks
he has a divinely provided blueprint to reform 
society, will only get us into deeper trouble.
So this is why my first wish was for Pakistanis who can think. 

This is not a hopeless wish. Students here should 
think back into what they were like
before they came to this School, and how they 
changed because their teachers encouraged
them to ask questions. You learned that good 
questions lead to good answers that, in turn,
generate more questions and ideas. Those ideas 
helped you move forward. So, be critical,
be thoughtful, and don't be satisfied until you are thoroughly convinced.  

But I must move on because I still have two more wishes to make. 

My second wish is for many more Pakistanis who 
accept diversity as a virtue. So I
am not asking for unity, but acceptance of our 
differences. Let's face it, we're all
different. The four provinces of Pakistan have 
different histories, class and societal
structures, climates, and natural resources. 
Within the provinces there live Sunnis, Shias,
Bohris, Ismailis, Ahmadis, Zikris, Hindus, 
Christians, and Parsis. Then there are tribal
and caste divisions which are far too numerous to 
mention. Add to this all the different
languages and customs as well as different modes 
of worship, rituals, and holy figures.
Given this enormous diversity, liberals - who are 
rather good people in general - often
talk of the need for tolerance. But I don't like 
this at all. Tolerance merely says that you
are nice enough to put up with a bad thing. 
Instead, let us accept and even celebrate the

Nations are built when diversity is accepted, 
just as communities are built when
individuals can be themselves and yet work for 
and with each other. If we want unity in
the face of diversity, then the majority must 
stop trying to force itself upon the minorities.
Most crucially, the state must stop acting on 
behalf of the majority. It is imperative that
all Pakistanis be declared equal citizens in 
every way. The Constitution of Pakistan does
not accept this. It must be changed to reflect this. 

For sixty years we have feared diversity and 
insisted on unity. But Pakistan paid a very
heavy price because our leaders could not 
understand that a heterogeneous population can
live together only if differences are respected. 
The imposition of Urdu upon Bengal in
1948 was a tragic mistake, and the first of a 
sequence of missteps that led up to 1971. We
have not learned the lesson even now, and the 
public anger today in Balochistan and Sind
against Punjab stands as unfortunate proof. 
After the 80-year old Nawab Akbar Bugti
was murdered by the Pakistan military, no Punjabi 
- even if he strongly disagrees with
the actions of the military - feels safe in 
Balochistan. To my mind this is a terrible thing
and undermines the very concept of Pakistanis being one nation. 

Accepting diversity is something that we all 
learn, to a greater or lesser extent.  I ask
students to look at their classmates who come 
from different backgrounds. Here, as
elsewhere you have different economic, ethnic, 
and religious backgrounds. But probably
most of you have learned to work together. You 
acquired a set of values that allows you
to work together, appreciate merit and honesty, 
and see the individual for his or her merit.
Surely education is really about acquiring these 
values - not just learning technical skills. 
And now for my final wish.

My third, and last, wish is that Pakistanis learn 
to value and nurture creativity.
Creativity is a difficult concept to define but 
roughly I mean originality, unusualness, or
ingenuity in something. If nurtured from an early 
age in children, it leads to great writers,
poets, musicians, engineers, scientists, and 
builders of modern industries and institutions.
No one can dispute that creativity is a good 
thing. But how come Pakistanis - with some
important exceptions - have done so poorly on the 
world stage? Why are there only a
dozen or two internationally known Pakistani 
inventors, scientists, writers, etc for a
nation of 165 million people? 

The poor performance comes because our society is 
not willing to pay the price for
having creativity. Individuals are creative only 
when they are not subject to oppressive
social control, when the intellectual space in 
which they can function is large enough, and
when they have a sufficient degree of personal 
autonomy. It is therefore axiomatic that
creativity runs counter to tradition and 
coercion. Authoritarian societies don't want the 
to be taken off because who knows what can happen after that? 

There cannot be creativity in a society where 
students learn like parrots, where the
teacher is an unchallengeable authoritarian 
figure "jo aap kay baap ki tara hai". Except at
a few leading universities, the written word - 
even if it is in a physics textbook - is
slavishly followed. The students in our public 
universities are just overgrown children,
including the ones who are in their mid- or late 
twenties. In fact they prefer to be called
girls and boys, not women and men. For recreation 
they do not read books but walk
aimlessly in bazaars and waste time in pointless 
chatter. Most have never read a single
classical novel, either in Urdu or English. In my department - the best physics
department in the country - their only 
contribution to what you see around is the huge
birthday or "mangni" greeting cards displayed on 
bulletin boards. Teachers insult them,
throw them out of class, and encourage deference and servility. 

Wrongly, the cornerstone of our education is 
itaat (obedience), which is the very
negation of creativity. It is to challenge itaat that Faiz Ahmad Faiz wrote:
     ab sadeeon kay iqrar-e-itaat ko badalnay
                                      lazim hai keh inkar ka firman koi utarey

I am done with my three wishes. May that inkar ka 
firman come sooner rather than later.

At this point I don't know whether I will get 
past the Pearly Gates or not. The first
Pakistani to get through was, we are told, the 
originator of the call for Faith, Unity,
Discipline. What I've put down on my form is 
quite the opposite, as you will have surely
noted. But Pakistan is no longer what it was in 
1947. Different situations in different
historical epochs call for different solutions. 
So I'm still hopeful about my application for

Now, of course, there must be many applications 
pending in heaven and it will be a while
before I know how mine went. But meanwhile, there 
are lots of urgent things that you
and I must seriously work upon. 

First, we need to bring economic justice to 
Pakistan. This requires that it possess the
working machinery of a welfare state. Economic 
justice is not the same as flinging coins
at beggars. Rather, it requires organizational 
infrastructure that, at the very least, provides
employment but also rewards according to ability 
and hard work. Incomes should be
neither exorbitantly high nor miserably low. To 
be sure, "high" and "low" are not easily
quantifiable, but an inner moral sense informs us 
that something is desperately wrong
when rich Pakistanis fly off to vacation in Dubai 
while a mother commits suicide because
she cannot feed her children. 

Second, we must fight to give Pakistan's women 
the freedom which is their birthright. In
much of rural Pakistan a woman is likely to be 
spat upon, beaten, or killed for being
friendly to a man or even showing to him her 
face. Newspaper readers expect - and get -
a steady daily diet of stories about women raped, 
mutilated, or strangled to death by their
fathers, husbands, and brothers. Energetic 
proselytizers like Farhat Hashmi have made
deep inroads even into the urban middle and upper 
classes. Their emphasis is on covering
women's faces, putting women back into the home 
and kitchen, and destroying ideas of
women's equality with men. The culture of 
suppressing women and excluding them from
public life is spreading like wildfire. As our 
collective piety increases, the horrific daily
crimes against women become still less worthy of comment or discussion. 

Third, and last, we have to wake people up and 
get them politically engaged again.
Young people have tuned into mindless FM 
entertainment and tuned out of participation
in social causes. University campuses are empty of discussion and debate, and
movements against manifest social and political 
injustice bring forth only handfuls of
committed individuals. Millions demonstrated in the streets of London, Rome,
Washington, and New York against the criminal American invasion of Iraq. But in
Pakistan - where the anger was still deeper - the 
response was invisible. We have
become cynical and think that nothing can be 
done. Today the military rules an apathetic

This apathy must go, and can go. Last year's 
earthquake galvanized people across the
country. It broke the myth that we have stopped 
caring for each other. I have never seen
Pakistanis give so whole-heartedly of their 
money, time, effort, and energy. Ordinary
people, students, shop-keepers, 
businessmen...just about everybody pitched into 
the huge
relief effort. 

So we can change for the better. We can be like 
other nations on this planet. We can
make responsible choices for who should govern 
us. We can bring justice to our people.
We can be a decent civilized, peaceful, 
well-informed, educated people. It's only a
question of trying and getting our act together. 
That is the task before all of us, young and



(Hindustan Times
December 14, 2006)


Platform | Teesta Setalvad
December 13, 2006

The challenges thrown up for India, post-Godhra 
of 2002, are fundamental. Are the politically 
powerful, even if they be organisers of mass 
murder and rape, immune from the law? 
Acknowledgement of the crime is the rudimentary 
foundation that begins the process of healing for 
the victim. That and more has been repeatedly and 
crassly denied the victims. Official figures and 
police records reveal that of the 413 persons who 
were classified as 'missing' (bodies untraceable) 
after the carnage, the remains of 228 were 'not 
traced'. From accounts made on oath by victim 
survivors of the mass massacres - who have filed 
missing person complaints before the local police 
in Anand, Mehsana, Ahmedabad and Panchmahals in 
2002 and 2003 - there are alleged to be more 
illegal dumps/graves of their lost relatives.

Panchmahals was one of the six districts targeted 
by militia between February 28 and March 3, 2002. 
Between March 2002 and December 2005, victim 
survivors of the mass massacre at Pandharwada 
made oral and written applications to the DIG, 
Vadodara, Collector, Panchmahals, Dy SP, Godhra, 
Dy Collector, Lunawada, Mamlatdar and Khanpur, 
urging that the remains of their lost ones be 
traced and returned. It was only when there was 
cold silence in response that they went digging 
for the remains themselves. They sought the media 
as an ally.

These relatives discovered bodies of lost ones 
dumped in forest wasteland off the Paanam river 
outside Lunawada town on December 27 and 28, 
2005. They approached the Gujarat High Court and, 
for the first time in three and a half years, got 
some succour. The Gujarat High Court ordered the 
human remains to be sent for DNA analysis and 
testing to an independent laboratory in Hyderabad 
under strict supervision of the Central Bureau of 
Investigation (CBI). This order of Justice C.K. 
Buch had observed that if, after analysis, even a 
single body was found unidentified, a fresh case 
existed and scope for a de novo qua investigation 
was made out.

In May 2005, the CBI submitted the analysis to 
the Gujarat High Court. Victims were denied a 
copy of this report despite repeated pleas, while 
the Gujarat state accessed a copy. On December 6, 
2006, the state appeared to be in an unholy hurry 
to get the matter disposed of. The victim 
survivors who had approached the court in the 
first place weren't given the report and hence, 
no chance to reply. Despite this, the report did 
become public and about nine body remains 
appeared to match with the samples of relatives 
of the Pandharwada massacre. Eleven remain 
unidentified. The matter was taken up for final 
hearing just two days later.

There was scope for fresh investigation by the 
CBI, given the findings of the Hyderabad 
laboratory. It was predictable that the Gujarat 
government was adamant in opposing the court's 
finding in December 2005. But the counsel for the 
CBI remained unmoved by the pleas of the victim 
survivors on December 8, 2006. In effect, the CBI 
indirectly supported the stand of the Gujarat 
government - a fact that has been recorded by the 
judge in his oral order.

The advocate for the victim survivors argued 
vehemently and at length (it is a tribute to 
secularism that our finest legal minds have given 
pro bono services to victims of the Gujarat 
genocide) that the entire matter of illegally 
dumping these bodies needed to be investigated 
afresh by the CBI. The victim survivors and 
co-petitioners had, in the one year since the 
unfurling of this tragedy, filed 600 pages of 
affidavits to substantiate their claims.

Laboriously, they had pointed out that the son of 
the petitioner, Ameenabehn Rasool, was found with 
his skeletal remains, bearing the tattered bits 
of the same cloth in which he had been killed. 
This indicated that post-mortem and other 
procedures had not been followed by the police. 
The state's bias was evident again when it was 
pointed out that while the identified remains of 
Godhra arson survivors were kept in the public 
morgue for five months, these victims were 
unceremoniously dumped in wastelands off the 
Paanam river within three days, despite the fact 
that a 300-acre graveyard belonging to different 
sects of the minority community existed within 
Lunawada town, barely a few kilometres away.

If the state, burdened with the unidentified and 
gory remains of murdered victims, had applied 
just principles of disposal, they would have 
handed over the bodies - unidentified - to local 
clergy to perform the last rites in 2002 itself. 
Not only was this not done but victim survivors 
and human rights defenders who have assisted the 
legal struggle since December 2005, have been 
hounded by the local police with a false FIR 
being made out against them. They have all had to 
seek anticipatory bail.

Today, the struggle against lived fascism in 
Gujarat has been reduced to a rigorously fought 
legal battle for constitutional governance by 
victim survivors and civil society. The dominant 
political class that uses secularism to win 
elections has not merely kept a distance. When it 
comes to punishment to the guilty of 2002, the 
government has lost much of its 2004 pre-election 
bite. Is it uncomfortable with the justice being 
done today? Or is this because it has bloodied 
its own hands in the past? And, therefore, wishes 
that the unchallenged state of impunity to 
perpetrators of mass crimes continues unaddressed 
into a bleak future?



PARLIAMENT' (released by Penguin India books on 
december 13, 2006)

by Arundhati Roy

This Reader* goes to press almost five years to 
the day since December 13, 2001, when five men 
(some say six) drove through the gates of the 
Indian Parliament in a white Ambassador car and 
attempted what looked like an astonishingly 
incompetent terrorist strike. Consummate 
competence appeared to be the hallmark of 
everything that followed: the gathering of 
evidence, the speed of the investigation by the 
Special Cell of the Delhi Police, the arrest and 
chargesheeting of the accused, and the 
40-month-long judicial process that began with 
the fast-track trial court.

[ . . . ]

Most people, or let's say many people, when they 
encounter real facts and a logical argument, do 
begin to ask the right questions. This is exactly 
what has begun to happen on the Parliament attack 
case. The questions have created public pressure. 
The pressure has created fissures, and through 
these fissures those who have come under the 
scanner-shadowy individuals, counter-intelligence 
and security agencies, political parties-are 
beginning to surface. They wave flags, hurl 
abuse, issue hot denials and cover their tracks 
with more and more untruths.
Thus they reveal themselves.

Public unease continues to grow. A group of 
citizens have come together as a committee 
(chaired by Nirmala Deshpande) to publicly demand 
a parliamentary inquiry into the episode. There 
is an online petition demanding the same thing. 
Thousands of people have signed on. Every day new 
articles appear in the papers, on the net. At 
least half-a-dozen websites are following the 
developments closely. They raise questions about 
how Mohammed Afzal, who never had proper legal 
representation, can be sentenced to death, 
without having had an opportunity to be heard, 
without a fair trial. They raise questions about 
fabricated evidence, procedural flaws and the 
outright lies that were presented in court and 
published in newspapers. They show how there is 
hardly a single piece of evidence that stands up 
to scrutiny.

And then, there are even more disturbing 
questions that have been raised, which range 
beyond the fate of Mohammed Afzal.
Here are 13 questions for December 13:

Question 1: For months before the attack on 
Parliament, both the government and the police 
had been saying that Parliament could be 
attacked. On December 12, 2001, at an informal 
meeting, prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee 
warned of an imminent attack on Parliament. On 
December 13, Parliament was attacked. Given that 
there was an 'improved security drill', how did a 
car bomb packed with explosives enter the 
Parliament complex?

Question 2: Within days of the attack, the 
Special Cell of Delhi Police said it was a 
meticulously planned joint operation of 
Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Toiba. They said 
the attack was led by a man called 'Mohammad' who 
was also involved in the hijacking of IC-814 in 
1999. (This was later refuted by the CBI.) None 
of this was ever proved in court. What evidence 
did the Special Cell have for its claim?

Question 3: The entire attack was recorded live 
on close circuit TV (CCTV). Congress party MP 
Kapil Sibal demanded in Parliament that the CCTV 
recording be shown to the members. He was 
supported by the deputy chairperson of the Rajya 
Sabha, Najma Heptullah, who said that there was 
confusion about the details of the event. The 
chief whip of the Congress party, Priyaranjan Das 
Munshi, said, "I counted six men getting out of 
the car. But only five were killed. The close 
circuit TV camera recording clearly showed the 
six men." If Das Munshi was right, why did the 
police say that there were only five people in 
the car? Who was the sixth person? Where is he 
now? Why was the CCTV recording not produced by 
the prosecution as evidence in the trial? Why was 
it not released for public viewing?

Question 4: Why was Parliament adjourned after 
some of these questions were raised?

Question 5: A few days after December 13, the 
government declared that it had 'incontrovertible 
evidence' of Pakistan's involvement in the 
attack, and announced a massive mobilisation of 
almost half-a-million soldiers to the 
Indo-Pakistan border. The subcontinent was pushed 
to the brink of nuclear war.

Apart from Afzal's 'confession', extracted under 
torture (and later set aside by the Supreme 
Court), what was the 'incontrovertible evidence'?

Question 6: Is it true that the military 
mobilisation to the Pakistan border had begun 
long before the December 13 attack?

Question 7: How much did this military standoff, 
which lasted for nearly a year, cost? How many 
soldiers died in the process? How many soldiers 
and civilians died because of mishandled 
landmines, and how many peasants lost their homes 
and land because trucks and tanks were rolling 
through their villages, and landmines were being 
planted in their fields?

Question 8: In a criminal investigation, it is 
vital for the police to show how the evidence 
gathered at the scene of the attack led them to 
the accused.

	How did the police reach Mohammed Afzal? 
The Special Cell says S.A.R. Geelani led them to 
Afzal. But the message to look out for Afzal was 
actually flashed to the Srinagar police before 
Geelani was arrested. So how did the Special Cell 
connect Afzal to the December 13 attack?

Question 9: The courts acknowledge
that Afzal was a surrendered militant who was in 
regular contact with the security forces, 
particularly the Special Task Force (STF) of the 
Jammu & Kashmir Police. How do the security 
forces explain the fact that a person under their 
surveillance was able to conspire in a major 
militant operation?

Question 10: Is it plausible that organisations 
like Lashkar-e-Toiba or Jaish-e-Mohammed would 
rely on a person who had been in and out of STF 
torture chambers, and was under constant police 
surveillance, as the principal link for a major 

Question 11: In his statement before the court, 
Afzal says that he was introduced to 'Mohammad' 
and instructed to take him to Delhi by a man 
called Tariq, who was working with the STF. Tariq 
was named in the police chargesheet. Who is Tariq 
and where is he now?

Question 12: On December 19, 2001, six days after 
the Parliament attack, Police Commissioner, Thane 
(Maharashtra), S.M. Shangari, identified one of 
the attackers killed in the Parliament attack as 
Mohammed Yasin Fateh Mohammed (alias Abu Hamza) 
of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, who had been arrested in 
Mumbai in November 2000, and immediately handed 
over to the J&K Police. He gave detailed 
descriptions to support his statement. If Police 
Commissioner Shangari was right, how did Mohammed 
Yasin, a man in the custody of the J&K Police, 
end up participating in the Parliament attack? If 
he was wrong, where is Mohammed Yasin now?

Question 13: Why is it that we still don't know 
who the five dead 'terrorists' killed in the 
Parliament attack are?

These questions, examined cumulatively, point to 
something far more serious than incompetence. The 
words that come to mind are Complicity, 
Collusion, Involvement. There's no need for us to 
feign shock, or shrink from thinking these 
thoughts and saying them out loud. Governments 
and their intelligence agencies have a hoary 
tradition of using strategies like this to 
further their own ends. (Look up the burning of 
the Reichstag and the rise of Nazi power in 
Germany, 1933; or 'Operation Gladio' in which 
European intelligence agencies 'created' acts of 
terrorism, especially in Italy, in order to 
discredit militant groups like the Red Brigade.)

The official response to all of these questions 
has been dead silence. As things stand, the 
execution of Afzal has been postponed while the 
President considers his clemency petition. 
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party announced 
that it would turn 'Hang Afzal' into a national 
campaign. The campaign was fuelled by the usual 
stale cocktail of religious chauvinism, 
nationalism and strategic falsehoods.

But it doesn't seem to have taken off. Now other 
avenues are being explored. M.S. Bitta of the All 
India Anti-Terrorist Front is parading around the 
families of some of the security personnel who 
were killed during the attack. They have 
threatened to return the government's posthumous 
bravery medals if Afzal is not hanged by December 
13. (On balance, it might not be a bad idea for 
them to turn those medals in until they really 
know who the attackers were working for.)

The main strategy seems to be to create confusion 
and polarise the debate on communal lines. The 
editor of The Pioneer newspaper writes in his 
columns that Mohammed Afzal was actually one of 
the men who attacked Parliament, that he was the 
first to open fire and kill at least three 
security guards. The columnist Swapan Dasgupta, 
in an article called 'You Can't Be Good to Evil', 
suggests that if Afzal is not hanged there would 
be no point in celebrating Dussehra or Durga 
Puja. It's hard to believe that falsehoods like 
this stem only from a poor grasp of facts.

In the business of spreading confusion, the mass 
media, particularly television journalists, can 
be counted on to be perfect collaborators. On 
discussions, chat shows and 'special reports', we 
have television anchors playing around with 
crucial facts, like young children in a sandpit. 
Torturers, estranged brothers, senior police 
officers and politicians are emerging from the 
woodwork and talking. The more they talk, the 
more interesting it all becomes.

At the end of November 2006, Afzal's older 
brother Aijaz made it on to a national news 
channel (CNN-IBN). He was featured on hidden 
camera, on what was meant to be a 'sting' 
operation, making-we were asked to 
believe-stunning revelations. Aijaz's story had 
already been on offer to various journalists on 
the streets of Delhi for weeks. People were wary 
of him because his rift with his brother's wife 
and family is well known. More significantly, in 
Kashmir he is known to have a relationship with 
the STF. More than one person has suggested an 
audit of his newfound assets.

But here he was now, on the national news, 
endorsing the Supreme Court decision to hang his 
brother. Then, saying Afzal had never 
surrendered, and that it was he (Aijaz) who 
surrendered his brother's weapon to the BSF! And 
since he had never surrendered, Aijaz was able to 
'confirm' that Afzal was an active militant with 
the Jaish-e-Mohammed, and that Ghazi Baba, chief 
of operations of the Jaish, used to regularly 
hold meetings in their home. (Aijaz claims that 
when Ghazi Baba was killed, it was he who the 
police called in to identify the body). On the 
whole, it sounded as though there had been a case 
of mistaken identity-and that given how much he 
knew, and all he was admitting, Aijaz should have 
been the one in custody instead of Afzal!

Of course we must keep in mind that behind both 
Aijaz and Afzal's 'media confessions', spaced 
five years apart, is the invisible hand of the 
STF, the dreaded counter-insurgency outfit in 
Kashmir. They can make anyone say anything at any 
time. Their methods (both punitive and 
remunerative) are familiar to every man, woman 
and child in the Kashmir Valley. At a time like 
this, for a responsible news channel to announce 
that their "investigation finds that Afzal was a 
Jaish militant", based on totally unreliable 
testimony, is dangerous and irresponsible. (Since 
when did what our brothers say about us become 
admissible evidence? My brother, for instance, 
will testify that I'm God's Gift to the Universe. 
I could dredge up a couple of aunts who'd say I'm 
a Jaish militant. For a price.) How can family 
feuds be dressed up as Breaking News?

The other character who is rapidly emerging from 
the shadowy periphery and wading on to 
centrestage is Dy Superintendent of Police 
Dravinder Singh of the STF.

He is the man who Afzal has named as the police 
officer who held him in illegal detention and 
tortured him in the STF camp at Humhama in 
Srinagar, only a few months before the Parliament 
attack. In a letter to his lawyer, Sushil Kumar, 
Afzal says that several of the calls made to him 
and Mohammed Yasin (the man killed in the attack) 
can be traced to Dravinder. Of course, no attempt 
was made to trace these calls.

Dravinder Singh was also showcased on the CNN-IBN 
show, on the by-now ubiquitous low-angle shots, 
camera shake and all. It seemed a bit 
unnecessary, because Dravinder Singh has been 
talking a lot these days. He has done recorded 
interviews, on the phone as well as face-to-face, 
saying exactly the same shocking things. Weeks 
before the sting operation, in a recorded 
interview to Parvaiz Bukhari, a freelance 
journalist, he said "I did interrogate and 
torture him (Afzal) at my camp for several days. 
And we never recorded his arrest in the books 
anywhere. His description of torture at my camp 
is true. That was the procedure those days and we 
did pour petrol in his ass and gave him electric 
shocks. But I could not break him. He did not 
reveal anything to me despite our hardest 
possible interrogation. We tortured him enough 
for Ghazi Baba but he did not break. He looked 
like a 'bhondu' those days, what you call a 
'chootiya' type. And I had a reputation for 
torture, interrogation and breaking suspects. If 
anybody came out of my interrogation clean, 
nobody would ever touch him again. He would be 
considered clean for good by the whole 

This is not an empty boast. Dravinder Singh has a 
formidable reputation for torture in the Kashmir 
Valley. On TV his boasting spiralled into 
policymaking. "Torture is the only deterrent for 
terrorism," he said, "I do it for the nation." He 
didn't bother to explain why or how the 'bhondu' 
that he tortured and subsequently released 
allegedly went on to become the diabolical 
mastermind of the Parliament attack. Dravinder 
Singh then said that Afzal was a Jaish militant. 
If this is true, why wasn't the evidence placed 
before the courts? And why on earth was Afzal 
released? Why wasn't he watched? There is a 
definite attempt to try and dismiss this as 
incompetence. But given everything we know now, 
it would take all of Dravinder Singh's delicate 
professional skills to make some of us believe 

Meanwhile right-wing commentators have 
consistently taken to referring to Afzal as a 
Jaish-e-Mohammed militant. It's as though 
instructions have been issued that this is to be 
the Party Line. They have absolutely no evidence 
to back their claim, but they know that repeating 
something often enough makes it the 'truth'. As 
part of the campaign to portray Afzal as an 
'active' militant, and not a surrendered 
militant, S.M. Sahai, Inspector General, Kashmir, 
J&K Police, appeared on TV to say that he had 
found no evidence in his records that Afzal had 
surrendered. It would have been odd if he had, 
because in 1993 Afzal surrendered not to the J&K 
Police, but to the BSF. But why would a TV 
journalist bother with that kind of detail? And 
why does a senior police officer need to become 
part of this game of smoke and mirrors?

The official version of the story of the 
Parliament attack is very quickly coming apart at 
the seams.

Even the Supreme Court judgement, with all its 
flaws of logic and leaps of faith, does not 
accuse Mohammed Afzal of being the mastermind of 
the attack. So who was the mastermind? If 
Mohammed Afzal is hanged, we may never know. But 
L.K. Advani, Leader of the Opposition, wants him 
hanged at once. Even a day's delay, he says, is 
against the national interest. Why? What's the 
hurry? The man is locked up in a high-security 
cell on death row.

He's not allowed out of his cell for even five 
minutes a day. What harm can he do? Talk? Write, 
perhaps? Surely, (even in L.K. Advani's own 
narrow interpretation of the term) it's in the 
national interest not to hang Afzal? At least not 
until there is an inquiry that reveals what the 
real story is, and who actually attacked 

Among the people who have appealed against 
Mohammed Afzal's death sentence are those who are 
opposed to capital punishment in principle. They 
have asked that his death sentence be commuted to 
a life sentence. To sentence a man who has not 
had a fair trial, and has not had the opportunity 
to be heard, to a life sentence, is less cruel, 
but just as arbitrary as sentencing him to death. 
The right thing to do would be to order a 
re-trial of Afzal's case, and an impartial, 
transparent inquiry into the December 13 
Parliament attack. It is utterly demonic to leave 
a man locked up alone in a prison cell, day after 
day, week after week, leaving him and his family 
to guess which day will be the last day of his 

A genuine inquiry would have to mean far more 
than just a political witch-hunt. It would have 
to look into the part played by intelligence, 
counter-insurgency and security agencies as well. 
Offences such as the fabrication of evidence and 
the blatant violation of procedural norms have 
already been established in the courts, but they 
look very much like just the tip of the iceberg. 
We now have a police officer admitting (boasting) 
on record that he was involved in the illegal 
detention and torture of a fellow citizen. Is all 
of this acceptable to the people, the government 
and the courts of this country?

Given the track record of Indian governments 
(past and present, right, left and centre) it is 
naive--perhaps utopian is a better word--to hope 
that it will ever have the courage to institute 
an inquiry that will, once and for all, uncover 
the real story. A maintenance dose of cowardice 
and pusillanimity is probably encrypted in all 
governments. But hope has little to do with 

Therefore, this book, offered in hope.


Buzz on the perils of fundamentalist politics, on
matters of peace and democratisation in South
Asia. SACW is an independent & non-profit
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