Saturday, September 1, 2012



HAVE YOU COME ACROSS A MIND SICKER THAN  THIS?

B.RAMAN

During my long years with the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW), I had , inter alia, handled the external aspects of the tribal insurgency in the North-East, the Khalistani terrorism, the Jihadi terrorism and the external aspects of the physical security of the Prime Minister of India.

2. In June 1985,Rajiv Gandhi undertook his first  travel abroad as the Prime Minister of India. He visited France, Algeria, the USA and Switzerland. He went back to India and came out again in October to visit the then USSR and Holland.

3.His June visits coincided with the first anniversary of Operation Blue Star in the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Khalistani elements based in Pakistan, West Europe and the US took a vow to have him assassinated before he returned to India. I was asked to help the SPG, which is responsible for the protection of the Prime Minister, during his visits to France, Switzerland and Holland.

4. That was the first time I came into contact with Rajiv, Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka. Rahul and Priyanka were young kids at that time. I had an opportunity of interacting with the kids, particularly in Paris. I have not met them after October,1985, but have maintained a distant interest in their welfare and progress in life.

5.I have been worried, like many of our fellow-citizens, over the declining and depressing state of affairs in the country. I have written a number of articles critical of the way Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh has been handling the situation. Some of the articles were mildly critical, some very hard-hitting. I had also suggested that the time had come for the Congress to go for mid-term elections to remove the political gloom.

6. I believed that Shri Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, was the man for the occasion and it was time for him to enter the political arena and take over as the PM after winning the elections. Between 2000 and till recently, I was a strong supporter of the BJP, the RSS and Modi.

7. Last year, I started visiting the Twitter site regularly  in the hope of keeping myself in touch with what was being discussed in the Twitter world. That was the beginning of my interactions with the online followers of Modi. I was shocked by their uncouth manners, foul language and extremist mind-set. Whenever I tweeted anything positive about Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka, the followers of Namo came down on me like a ton of bricks and subjected me to vile abuse.

8. I was called an old man who had become senile and developed Alzheimer’s disease. It was claimed that my cancer had spread to my brain etc. By nature, I am a pleasant and polite person. I was shocked by the kind of language used and threats uttered by the online followers of NaMo. Twice I quit Twitter in disgust and then I came back because of my curiosity.

9. I wrote articles drawing attention to the Stormtrooper like methods of the online followers of NaMo and the kind of abuse and character assassination being directed at me. I sincerely believed NaMo was not aware of the obnoxious behaviour of his online followers. I wrote and tweeted a number of times suggesting that he should openly condemn their methods and dissociate himself from them. There was no response. I couldn’t help believing that his followers were indulging in such methods with his knowledge and approval. That was the beginning of my disillusionment with NaMo. My writings and Tweets became increasingly critical of of NaMo’s followers whom I started calling the NaMo Brigade and NaMo himself.

10. That was also the time when I started taking fresh interest in the personalities, policies and activities of the Congress. I did have hopes that Rahul could turn around matters, but my hopes were belied. I started thinking that the time had come for Priyanka to enter the political scene to set matters right with the support of the GenNext of the party. Rahul had not been able to enthuse the younger elements in the party and the country. It was important that Priyanka tried her hand at this.

11. In the beginning of June, I wrote my first article suggesting that Sonia should induct Priyanka into active politics. I was surprised by the initial condemnation of my articles by friends and foes alike. The NaMo Brigade stepped up its attacks on me. I was insulted. I was ridiculed. My sanity was called into question. I decided to go into a mode of watching silence.

12.To my surprise, after about three weeks, others too started discussing Priyanka as a possible political aspirant--- Shri Virendra Kapoor in Rediff, the Sunday Guardian and some other columnists and papers. Last week, NDTV had a series of political discussions on the likelihood of a mid-term poll. One of the questions polled and debated was the chances of Priyanka.

13. I drew the attention of my Twitter followers to this and tweeted once again why I had suggested the name of Priyanka.I tweeted in two consecutive tweets:  “As yesterday's developments in Gujarat show, NaMo will not be able to shake off his dark shadow. Namo is darkness at noon. Priyanka is brightness at night.” My reference was to the shadow over NaMo after the conviction of 31 of the accused in the  Naroda Patiya case of massacre of over 90 Muslims by a mob egged on by some Hindutva Top Guns. My allusion was  to Arthur Koestler’s novel of the last century based on life under Stalin. I was buried in an avalanche of abusive tweets from NaMo’s followers. Some of them even accused me of giving a powerful political slogan to the Congress for the next elections.

14.A couple of days later, one of my followers drew my attention to a defamatory, calumnious blog post twisting the meaning of my Tweets. The post deleted my reference to the conviction of the accused in the Naroda Pitiya massacre case and carried only my characterisations of NaMo as Darkness and Priyanka as Brightness. The post alleged that this old man used to send love Tweets to Barkha Dutt of NDTV, now he has started sending love Tweets to Priyanka.

15.His rage over my suggesting Priyanka as a possible future leader was obvious, but he was unable to counter me logically. So he indulged in character assassination.I have not come across a more sickening mind. It was the reaction of the lowliest of the lowlies.

16.Previously,whenever I used to protest online against the abuses and character assassination directed against me by NaMo’s supporters, my well-wishers in the BJP and the RSS used to ask me to ignore them. They used to claim these were not well-educated people capable of politeness.

17.But the man who has attacked my personal honour and projected me as a decrepit old man with a hunger for attractive women is not an uneducated person. I understand he is a graduate of one of the prestigious IITs of India. After having lived in Mumbai for some years, he is now reportedly based in the US and has allegedly been co-ordinating the online Blitzkrieg of NaMo from his safe sanctuary in the US.

18. If this is the kind of people who are the brains of the NaMo For PM campaign, would it be in the interest of the country for NaMo to become the PM? Everyman is known by the company he keeps. This is the kind of company NaMo keeps.( 2-9-12)

(The  writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com  Twitter @SORBONNE75)

 

39 comments:

Interested Indian said...
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Interested Indian said...

So
1) You are claiming to be matryr, a victim mentality, "really" novel in psyops - good.
2) You are claiming not even guilt by assosciation but guilt by support, i.e. if somebody supports x, x is responsible for all actions of that somebody. Might be novel for psy ops text books, well not really novel for Indian media watchers.

As long as you did not call them names like storm troopers, you for me in this particular case had the moral upper hand and I would really have lent my support for what its worth (strictly speaking not worth anything). Now it is just two people slugging out in mud. You call them to hitler, nazi - they call you senile. Well, all I will say is, I will go and grab a popcorn while both sides hurl abuses, use victim mentalities and all kinds of new psy ops strategems to outwit each others.

Sir, just in case you are wondering. The net is one's own house, their mohalla. Both sides are using it in the same abusive fashion as if conversations go on in their backyard. Infact you have used those abuses in print, just the same way the hindu tried to slyly justify terrorism which I personally find to be more horrendous infact.

I am pretty sure that all this victimization must have hurt personally. But you were a former spymaster, so I would definitely put you above these ego nitpicks. So I have to question your agendas here or is it that I am reading this all wrong.

chomskyist said...

Great Conclusion... NaMo shouldnt be PM of a nation of 1Billion people cause RAMAN's personal feelings were hurt by the NAMO twitter brigade and NAMO didnt reply to his mail. Great !. India is Not Indira Raman Wake Up !

muthu said...

Mr Raman.. I think you are taking yourself too seriously - a problem most retired babus confront, when they are not used to be in a position of power after decades of exercising such power! May be not senility.. it is only this vacuum due to loss of power!

Now, I am a regular reader of Atanu Dey and I can vouch he has NOTHING but India's interest in his mind! And when you say PG should come to rule this country, it is a SERIOUS assault on Mother India, which provoked him to write such a column.. Imagine if someone says B.Raman's daughter, a Bharatanatyam dancer, is qualified enough to head R&AW because she is his daughter! Would you, as a responsible ex-spy agree to such a proposition? Wont you find it preposterous? And if someone goes on with such an idea, wont you feel u shd do something to stop him?! That is exactly what Atanu is trying to do... What EXACT qualities have you observed in PG that you would recommend her to head a country of billion+? Do you know her thinking on national security? economic policies? maoist problems? anything at all?! More so, after you yourself have said that since 1985 u hv not met her! Dont you think you have some responsibility?! I would say Katrina Kaif would make a better PM than PG... can you counter this point with atleast two meaningful arguments? What you said is insulting and outrageous to many of us who think the country deserves better.. So, the hurt you caused to Bharat Mata is a 1000 times higher than the hurt that Atanu's column may have caused you! And btw, "love tweet" is NOT something horrible to say.. it can be paternal love, brotherly love.. It depends on how YOU perceive it!

What They don't Want You to Know said...

I have always held the view that people in the public view must accept public criticism and that 'sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me.'

You appear to be sulking because Modi hasn't replied to your missives. Perhaps he feels that somebody that calls him NaMo is not worth the effort.

(And yes I am writing this from the safety of the UK from where I am orchestrating opposition to your love of the Gandhis. If you question the bona fides of Modi's apparent supporters, you shouldn't be upset if I ask you how much the Gandhis are paying you!

Lee said...

I've had a similar experience. I was, you can say, a fence-sitter in reference to the political preferences before I engaged myself in arguments with the uneducated, illiterate, and ill-mannered blokes of the Modi brigade over the internet. The state is really sad. Eminent journalists like Barkha Dutt and Nidhi Razdan are accused of being "anti-Hindus" just because they echo the plight of the minorities in the state.

The minority that is both educated and supports the BJP, are pseudo-intellectuals based outside India, spilling venom from there, just like the chap you encountered.

My only advice to you would be to ignore or block the apes that resort to abusive language.

bookz said...

" ...from his safe sanctuary in the US"

Please don't hurt him.

Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas said...

Well, the sort of insights and experiences you bring is obviously going to draw a lot of passion and religio-patriotic fervour and jingoism. I guess, you've got to face such opinions without feeling hurt and move on. There is no use in lamenting what is said on twitter and facebook over such matters. Move on......

And the bold font does not help...

Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas said...
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Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas said...
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Saumya Gupta said...

Sir,

With due respect, I would like to ask you a question. You mentioned that you were a supporter of NaMo until you joined Twitter. After looking at the abusive and aggressive tweets of NaMo supporters, you distanced yourself from him. Do you think Sonia Gandhi's supporters are very civilized? Have you ever seen the kind of hooliganism is being carried out by Youth Congress Workers in different parts of India? Doesn't that mean that you should distance yourself from the Gandhis too?

Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas said...
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Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas said...
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Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas said...
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Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas said...
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Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas said...
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Moods & Moments said...

Yeah, you happened to be in RAW, which dealt with many kind of terrorism, its there job. It brought you to the close proximity of Indira clan, not as a professional but loyal seeker of benefits from people in power. Now that loyalty paid off and you hope it pays in future also. So what's is the cribs about?

Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas said...
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Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas said...
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Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas said...

Ok - I meant to leave one comment and ended up fighting through blogger's commenting system, resulting in some obscene number of comments. Have deleted them for now. Sorry for the residue left "This comment has been removed by the author".

Admin said...

You are such a cry-baby!

Paresh said...

Sir, today the entire political discourse has become vituperative, devoid of intelligent debate about matters of national interest. It is more about hollow rhetoric and personal character assassination and sometimes even borders on the comic.

But this kind of senseless nonsense is the product of the entire polity. I am neither a supporter of NaMo nor of Gandhi, but I feel both parties are equally to blame. And this stupidity is further flamed by the media.

I fear that today, the situation of India is similar to Germany just after World War I and before the ascendance of Hitler. Germany was regularly humiliated by the other European powers and Hitler was elected by the people through want for CHANGE. He did manage to bring Germany's technological and military might at par with the other great powers of the time. But, in this process, he threw up such a frenzy of nationalism that he ended up becoming the dictator and causing WWII.

India is in a similar place. UPA has used its majority in Parliament to indulge in an orgy of corruption and stealing of national resources of epic proportions. India is left without any military, diplomatic, economic cultural, social or technological pride. It is literally destroying India from within. However, will Narendra Modi be any different? He may not indulge in money-grab, but I fear about power-grab and extreme nationalism by mis-using the people's desire for CHANGE.

People who vote for UPA should remember the horrors of the last 8-10 years and those who vote for NaMo should be careful about my warning.

This is the unfortunate dilemma Indians find themselves in today. Other countries elect the best out of the available candidates, but Indians always have to choose the least worst!

hasmukh dattani said...

LET'S ASSUME MODI IS THIS THAT.YOUR BLOG IS SILENT ON 100 RACKETS TOOK PLACE DURING INDIRA REGIME OR RAJIV REGIME/IT IS ALSO SILENT ON SWISS BANK ACCOUNT ?! IF AMICHAND JAYCHAND GO TO ITALY THIS GANDHI FAMILY WILL GIVE "MOTAA MAAL "ANSWER.(1) IS RAHUL IS ONLY YOUTH IN INDIA FOR THE COUNTRY ?
(2) GIVE TRUEW DETAILS OF SWISS BANK ACCOUNT ? 93) AS RAW INCHARGE EXPLAIN...THAT 1000 OF GOODS TRAIN FULL OF WHEATS WERE TRANSPORTED TO BANGLADESH IN THE RACKET,FCI,RAILWAY STAFF OF WEST BENGAL AND DOZEN OF CONGRESS NAMES WERE RAISED ...WHY R U SLIENT ? DO MODI DO THAT ?
(4) RAHUL HAS GOT SWISS BANK ACCOUNT CLAIMED BY JETHMALANI AND SAME IS NOT CHELLANGED BY RAHUL ? NOW WILL YOU PUT PORTRAIT OF RAHUL IN YOUR HOUSE ANDDO " PUJA "
(5) HELL WITH MODI DO WE ,PEOPLE OF INDIA DON;T HAVE ANY LEADER TO LEAD THE COUNTRY ?
(6) YOU SAY YOU WERE IN RAW..THEN WHY ARMY GODOWN EMPTY ? BUDGET SAYS 1.5 LAKH CRORES BEING USED FOR ARMY.DEFENCE EXPENSES STILL NO AMMUNITION STOCK BY ANTHOPNY ? WHY YOU DID NOT SPEAKS YOU CORRUPT MAN ?
{7) QUATROCHI SON HAS GOVER OFFICE IN 5 STAR HOTEL IN NEW DELHI !? OFFICE IN 5STAR IS NOT RUN BY TATA BIRLA ? EXPLAIN THE BUSINESS OF QUATROCHI SON OU WERE IN RAWA AS CORRUPT PEON (8) VADERA HAS PARTNERSHIP BUISNESS IN HDIL ETC WHY SILENT ?

hasmukh dattani said...

modi did not give fake bpl 26 ?! mopdi did not build 35 lakh toilet like montek singh
modi is lakh time betterthen any bloody congress
if modi isthat then why you not favour any other young otherthen rahul or priyanks? there are sons of deora,pilot,tytler etc.but why sons of any vips be put forth ? '
politics is safe business wherein offical loot is permiited./done under the rptection of police

Cato Elder said...

Mr Raman welcome you have finally come of age, an age of anonymous debating.
This usually brings out the darkest and scariest of peoples thoughts out to bear.
But you are partly to blame as well, remember the axiom of the internet, whenever the name or associations of the maximum Nazi are invoked , the debate is over and decency is thrown out the window.
Sadly since you started it , hence the result.

Shekhar Deshkar said...

I thought this article would be about why the author thinks "Priyanka is brightness at night". But sad, i couldn't find any. So at the end of the day, it's one's storm troopers Vs the others'. Neither should be complaining :)

Rachit Seth said...

Sir, I believe exactly in what you say,Priyanka should become active and take charge. These NaMo Supporters with abusive hyperbole cannot take the Nation forward.

Alexis said...

Lee wrote: "My only advice to you would be to ignore or block the apes that resort to abusive language."

Relax, Mr. Lee.

Here, let's share a banana.

JB said...

How come there is no discussion here of Priyanka Gandhi's work in development as compared to Narendra Modi's work in development? Isn't that basic point lost among all this angst about superficial behavior? On the same day Mr. Raman saw darkness in Modi, a couple of million educated youngsters in over 100 countries were engaging with Mr. Modi online and asking him questions directly about development, and sensitive issues like riots, etc. How come Mr. Raman did not see any light in this wonderful engagement? Will Priyanka Gandhi please make herself available for a similar Q&A session? Were these millions of young, unbiased, educated people also part of the NaMo brigade and to be dismissed without argument? Mr. Raman, you see only what you wish to see, and, further, you don't like your reflection in social media. Too bad!

JB said...

Paresh, those are pretty specious arguments. Just because a democracy wants change doesn't mean the next govt is going to be Hilter-esque. Paradoxically, Congress is and has been far more akin to a dictatorship by many measures. Indira Gandhi was the worst, with the peak being Emergency, and that is a well-proved example of Congress dictatorship. Its amusing that you would conjure the possibility of dictatorship in other parties, except Congress, where it has been proved!

mad woman in the attic said...

I have no interest in Mr Narendra Modi's aspirations to be PM but i would like to make a general comment. Some years ago in my blog on SULEKHA when I wrote in defence of Indian Muslims I was threatened with dire consequences, violence and other uncouth stuff. I was completely rattled and pulled down my blog. My point is that people hiding behind the computer screen feel safe in trolling, using abusive language etc. It's a part of all inter active exchanges on the net.

sanjay said...

@Paresh,
I am surprised by your understanding of history, of course you as anyone else has a right to an opinion. You blame WW-2 on Nationalism, conveniently forgetting that countries that fought off Nazi Germany, US, Russia, UK, France etc did so with equal nationalistic fervor. The nationalist fervour in Britain is so deep rooted that they can't make up their mind whether to call themselves "Great" Britain or "United Kingdom" even though it's smaller than Tamil Nadu. Haven't heard anyone calling Britain Fascists or Nazist, but try saying "Mahaan Bharat" & you instantly get branded as Fascist by Indian themselves. Let's not conflate Nationalism required to bond a nation towards a unified goal of prosperity and happiness of all with Racial Supremacism which was Nazism that led to extermination of million of Jews considered to be Non-Aryan & hence Not Gereman.

Pax Brutalis said...

It is clear that you are prejudiced against NaMo because he is the political opponent of Gandhi family with who you had a chance encounter to meet personally. Because you saw them as kids, it is natural that you want to see them as heading the billion+ lesser Indians.

What exactly do you know about RG or PG's thoughts on foreign policy, religious riots in Assam, economic agenda, defense policy or any subject for that matter? RG now wants to become PM but he has been shunning responsibility in the union government even when his family party has been ruling at the center for so long. He could have gotten into any ministry and done significant work in say irrigation, power, economy, civil rights, external affairs or for the poor that he claims are "close to his heart". Instead he stays indoors most of the year, comes out only during election months, steers clear of making any public statement that can be used against him, misses most of the days during any parliament session and has ambiguous diplomatic opinion on less important matters. What exactly is so great about RG except his pedigree?

About PG, the nation knows even less. That is because there is nothing worth knowing about a rich kid's life of comfort. How her husband became a real estate billionaire in NCR from a small time merchant in a UP town, is still a big mystery.

Anyway, whatever I write here on your blog pages will be construed as propaganda, so what is the point of even writing anything.

What makes me really angry/sad is that people in India still go by superficial virtues like pedigree to determine who should "rule" the country.

Visible Trade said...

It is often said that you choose a leader for their Heart.

Which parameters have you have been basing your choices on? :)

You should think about the leadership and state of our country your generation has left for our generation. I know that you and others have dedicated your life with integrity and best of intentions to the service of this country. But "best of intentions" is no defense against actual outcome, and you are making the same mistake that has led my country here.

I wish my country's bureaucracy was Wiser.

peter g. said...

SIR,
DONT BOTHER ABOUT THE MUCK THAT SOME PEOPLE KEEP THROWING AT YOU.THERE ARE AN EQUAL NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO APPRECIATE YOUR INCISIVE ANALYSIS OF MATTERS OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE.KEEP GOING.WE MAY NOT AGREE WITH ALL THAT YOU SAY BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN WE RESPECT YOU ANY THE LESS FOR YOUR VIEWS.

peter g. said...

I do agree, albeit reluctantly, that PG is an alternative to RG.From my personal observation of these two persons (albeit from a distance) for about three years (1991-94), I do believe that PG has leadership qualities that reminds one of Indira Gandhi.She exhibited a flair for politics even at that early age.An fairly good extempore speaker and an astute observer of political developments,she will be a "crowd-puller". The less said about RG, the better.However, the mother would want her son to takeover the mantle of the PM rather than the daughter.He is a very mild mannered,gentle person and one who will not survive in the rough and tumble of the political world.He might even quit politics altogether in a few years.Then, PG will be the only choice for the mother to keep the family flag flying in Indian politics in the years to come.

Ravi Krishnan said...

Mr. Raman, please retire completely from public life and go on a pilgrimage seeking solace. You may have already done enough as a babu serving governments and politicians. Now please keep your views with yourself and serve the country. Thanks.

kautilya said...

absolutely no logic in your argument. totally made up of fluff.

by writing this post you have completely removed any doubts about your mental weakness.
clearly Sir, you have lost it.

Ankit shah said...

A little late but could not help a comment. Pl do not delete the abusive comments. It gives an idea what people are capable of. Having been in govt. take it in your stride. Pl. continue. Don't stop