Saturday, December 18, 2010



An unnecessary political controversy has been created over a diplomatic cable from the US Embassy in New Delhi to the US State Department in Washington DC summarising, inter alia, a discussion on terrorism in India which the US Ambassador Timothy Roemer reportedly had with Rahul Gandhi, the General Secretary of the Congress (I), at a lunch hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July last year. It is one of the cables leaked out by WikiLeaks.

2. A careful reading and analysis of Rahul Gandhi's observations as reported in the cable would indicate that the theme of the discussions was about the relative threat faced by India from the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), a Pakistani organisation, and indigenous extremist elements belonging to the Hindu as well as Muslim communities. My reading is that Rahul Gandhi had said that the indigenous elements----whether the Indian Muslims who have taken to terrorism or some Hindu elements taking to terrorism--- cause him greater concern than the LET.

3. This is what I have been saying since the Indian Mujahideen (IM) made its appearance in 2007 and since some Hindu elements, angered by what they perceived as the soft policy of the Congress(I) controlled Governments towards Muslim terrorists, took to reprisal terrorism against the Muslims and their places of worship. I have been saying that while we can be ruthless without any qualms of conscience against the LET and other Pakistani jihadi organisations, we cannot be so against our own citizens who take to terrorism---whether they are Hindus or Muslims. We have to be more nuanced in dealing with our indigenous terrorist elements without adding to the anger in the two communities against each other. The LET has been active in India for over 17 years. We are used to dealing with it with no holds barred. The new indigenous elements----Indian Muslims and Hindus--- are of recent origin and it is going to be more difficult to deal with them--- unless we pay attention to the anger in the two communities----- the anger in the Muslim community over perceptions of unfair policies towards their community and the anger in the Hindu community over perceptions of softness towards the Muslim terrorists.

4. I, therefore, do not take serious objection to the views of Rahul Gandhi. However, I wonder whether it was wise on his part to have discussed this with the US Ambassador lest his views be misinterpreted as has happened now following the leak of the cable. (19-12-10)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )


Canary said...
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Canary said...

To the point analysis of the entire issue. While the media is going overboard in discussing the issue, I believe your views explain the issue perfectly. But I am sure even you would agree that most of our politicians do not intentionally raise the issue of homegrown terror for fear of losing votes. If we don't investigate the homegrown terror links (whether it is IM or Lt Col Srikant Purohit), the situation will get out of hand in future.

Innate Thoughts said...

While this is a polished presentation, Rahul Gandhi should have realized its implications to the Hindus living in USA. If the Indian leadership does not understand that their local politics generates enormous problems for even American citizens of Indian origin, then they are unfit to govern.

balaji said...

Mr Raman being a true Congress worker ,you have tried to sweet coat what Rahul has said.Rahul has no business talking the way he does on a campaign trail in a private conversation with the American ambassador. My belief is that Americans would have been saying ,this congress guy is still flagging more conspiracy theories for vote bank(as evidenced by the previous wiki-leaks report on Congress party post 26/11)politics.When will Congress ever learn to look at real Security issues and not divert them for their own gain. They did the same with "Bindranwala","LTTE" and now "Maoists". Some breed never change its in their genes and Rahul is no exception.

prashhanthkpp said...

I beg to disagree with Mr. Raman's analysis of what Rahul Gandhi might have implied. Matters of internal security is not a subject of discussion, however informal it may be, with a US diplomat over a social dinner. Rahul Gandhi's musings are not nothing more than an imbecile, immature ranting. It is a grave lament either without understanding what foreign policy is (which is what I would gather) or with a deliberate intent. US's unconditional support to Pakistan even after the Mumbai butchery is a direct outcome of of such irresponsible loud talking. And to say the least, this adds to the number of stupidities Mr. Gandhi has been blabbermouthing on various issues i.e. 1)Gujarat is bigger than UK, 2) India is bigger than US & Europe put together so on and so forth.

Abhishek Drolia said...

Mr Raman,

Please dont give acceptability to this comment. People in India have read the cabal directly and Mr Rahul Gandhi did not qualify his statements or explained that the US Ambasador has misrepresented his view in the cable.

He has indeed gone on an offensive about some elusive hindu terror (Right wing terror) and is setting the stage of creating confusion within the Indian security establishment about the need to concentrate resources towards pakistan based terrorists.

Rahul's urge to win UP elections will cost India dearly as IM will finally regroup if more political pressure is put on the security establishment.

Rahul Gandhi is not fit to become the Prime Minister of India. Congress party should disown him

Dinesh PC said...

You seem to have absolutely, completely lost it, off late. First Barkha Dutt, now Rahul Gandhi, next I am expecting an article for you praising Digvijay Singh as well.

Esoteric said...
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Esoteric said...

Lets recall the statement of David Miliband on a trip to India immediately after 26/11...Miliband linked terror and Kashmir, suggesting India must satisfy Pakistan on Kashmir before terror factory can be dismantled.He made those comments after a private night camping with Rahul Gandhi.

Lets also recall Rahul's support to Omar Abdullah after he questioned Kashmir's acession to India.

Just these two facts indicate that Rahul's position probably is much more soft on Kashmir than any other person in this country other than top leaders of Congress.

Wikileaks reveal Rahul's thinking on subjects on which he will never articulate clear positions in public otherwise.

Sonia, Rahul and Dr Singh share this 'public' brahmaniacal distance...because it seems their positions are widely different from what the middle class expects from this Govt.

Common Indians want peace with Pakistan but not under coercion and these leaks reveal that these leaders agree with Gilani's more than with Advani's.

Something is very out of whack with that...I must say.

Neel said...

- You are saying that actions by Muslim extremists are justified because they are fighting the tyranny of a majority religion. There can be nothing further from reality.

- India is not an anarchy. There is a rule of law.

- There are a lot of disaffected people in the country because of the divisive politics of our political class.

- They political class are no different than the British imperial masters. All they care about is about exploitation and draining the wealth of our country. They follow the same policy of divide and conquer while looting the wealth of the ignorant people.

- Atleast the Britishers gave us a unified language and a base in modern education. They event built the buildings that are now the seat of our government. What has the political class done for our country other than looting its wealth?

- This policy of the Congress of bringing up a ghost of a tyrant majority is equivalent to George Bush saying lets bomb Iraq in response to 9-11.

Anonymous said...

I have always treated people belonging to the congress party and their supporters with contempt. They can just not be trusted to do the right thing. Bahukutumbi Raman has proved himself to be a congressman.

The re-election of the congress party back to power in 2009 was a major mistake committed by the people of India. And they certainly are paying for it dearly. Raman was happy when the congress party won.

How can justifying the most stupid and corrupt leaders in the name of "secularism" ever be possible for a "strategic analyst", I just dont understand. We are now witnessing Raman frequently eating his own words and playing down embarassing revealations all too often.

Raman is not very good at judging people and situations. I really wonder what he ever achieved during his tenure at the intelligence bereau. His words do not mean much anymore. I frequently stop reading articles as soon as I learn it was written by Raman.

slim_shady said...

Mr. Raman,

I, like many others, have respected your work over the years. Therefore your recent piece on Barkha Dutt, and now this, seem very concerning.

Since I have respect for your rational and reasonably unbiased thought, I am going to unequivocally assume that you are voicing these views not for their merit but for the support of the Congress party. This is disturbing because not engaging in such patterns is what differentiates you from the clearly-purchased mainstream Indian media.

If you are doing this because it will bring you more wealth or a better position somehow, then please stop. You have had a distinguished career, and there are many admirers who will go out of their way to support you in whichever way. Congress' dark incentives are not worth it.

If you are doing this because you are being pressured in some other way, then this is a lot more understandable. But even in that case, I urge you to look deep within and find the courage to oppose this nonsense. Because what you say will affect the views of an untold amount of people, and India will have to go a long way backward before it can eventually move forward again.

Thank you.

ambi said...

RIP congress RIP!

Esoteric said...

The sycophancy displayed during Congress Plenary recently towards Rahul Gandhi was instructive.

It must also be the only occasion/event where PM is not #1 speaker but the Congress President is..even the seating arrangement has pegged PM in the second rung..

Three-four facts must be tabled...

- The day Raja and co were raided by CBI, immediately a threat was reported from LTTE to the PM and his ministers.There was no threat to Sonia/Rahul.

- Finance Minister has repeatedly mentioned Rahul as the next PM. Now PC the Home Mininster has said the same thing.PM has not indicated that he doesnt want another term has not stopped anyone from talking about his successor

- Why does Rahul not use his real paternal surname of Khan?

- Vinci is a interesting second name to choose to hide your real identity (Rahul Gandhi reportedly had adopted Raul Vinci as his name in the US while completing his studies in the US.'Vinci'..are we to start probing how the 'Holy Grail' links the Maino's to the Vatican..or else how will we ever break Rahul's code...was Raul Vinci a code for us to break to get to the reality. Moot point.

Mohammad said...

First Rahul is correct. As according to Newton law- to every action there is equal and opposit reaction so will be case of Indian Muslims. If in the name of Hindu God a Mosque was destroyed or innocent Muslims were killed in different parts of India like in Gujrat, in Mumbai etc then there will be some reaction but who is to blame to create such a situation? Did Pakistan motivate radical Hindu groups to act like this? Radical Hindu groups justify creation of Pakistan as they destroy house of God in the name of God. I think it proofs that God of Minority is not equal to God of Majority. This was the fear why Pakistan was created. Sad but true. Point is how we can create peace? Can we blame foreigners for all our own mistakes? I think wrong politics and worng use of relegion never bring good results. We all have to learn “No culture can survive if we attempt to be exclusive” Gandhi. This is my message to all.

Neel said...

Dear Mohammad,

I agree with your message.
No culture can survive if we attempt to be exclusive.

India is a country for all faiths.
That is what sets us apart from the rest of the world.

I am not saying that everything is perfect, but where else in the world do you find such different faiths co-exist ? We cannot comparing India to any other country as they are predominantly Islamic or Christian or Jewish or any other faiths and dont even allow other faiths or cultures to survive.

No other country other than India is inclusive. Be it our neighbours, or any other country. Name one.

What we have in our country is unique and has to be preserved.

We cannot discredit the majority of Indians who make this co-existance possible.

At the same time, we have to fight against the political and foreign forces who are weakening India's Indianness.

Whether it is about the riots or the bomb blasts, let the rule of law follow. Let Indians fight against the forces that stop the rule of law from working rather than taking law in their own hands.

Killing innocents is never an option. Period.

Mihir Artemis said...

Dear sir,
I disagree with your view on "our own citizens who take to terrorism",terrorism is not a job or hobby which can vindicated on the basis of nationality.The very moment someone turns his rifle's barrel towards innocent civilians, be it hindu or muslims,he loses the right to be called 'human'.If a person has no qualms in shedding the blood of innocents then the same courtesy should be extended to them irrespective of his nationality.It is this kind of sick mentality which has ensured that Afzal Guru's days of merry-making are still going on.

dayanandsutar_from_latur said...

Looks like Rahul Gandhi has said so as per the directions of Pakistan's ISI.

dayanandsutar_from_latur said...

Looks like Rahul Gandhi has said so as per the directions of Pakistan's ISI.